Catholic Bishops Reassure No Voters: ” This Time We Won’t Look Like Backwards Idiots”

Letters from Catholic bishops are being read at masses assuring No voters that — unlike all previous cases of the Church opposing progress — this time they wouldn’t look like backwards idiots trying to keep an entire country in the Dark Ages.

The Archbishop of Dublin told reporters “In the past the Church has opposed contraception and divorce. We’ve burned women at the stake, tortured people to death, and ignored facts quite literally supported by the entire sky. More recently we’ve opposed the education of children, and even fought against the American Equal Rights Act.”

“We’ve had a lot of practice opposing things that later turned out to be the most basic progress of human rights. So we’re pretty sure that this time we’ve finally found something which won’t cast us as pantomime villains. I mean, we’re hardly even sexist any more.”

At this point Diarmuid had to bend hear a reporter in the front row.

“Well, no, we don’t allow women to be priests. Is that sexist?”

More muttering.

“Jesus. Well, come on now, it’s been almost twenty years since we last enslaved women to work in Magdalene Laundries, that’s got to count for something, right? Surely we’re a moral authority again by now. It’s not like we’ve been sexually abusing kids for a century and then covering it up or anything.”

More muttering.

“Ah, but that’s got to be some individuals. You can’t say the entire structure of Catholic moral authority was used purely to preserve its own power and traditions quite literally at the expense of an entire generation?”

Really quite urgent muttering now, and the rustling of reports by the government and the UN Committee Against Torture.

“Oh Christ.”

At this point Diarmuid staggered off stage and stopped even pretending to be able to tell other people what was moral or not. When asked for further comment he told reporters “For God’s sake, why are you still listening to us? Go ask SIPTU or something. They’ve done a better job of guiding you than we have.”

More Marriage Equality:

The Content-Beam Speech

I wrote about Hot Buttered Bullshit over at Cracked, because when someone uses coffee to be anti-science then they’re the enemy of all humanity.

I was rewarded with this glorious comment
writer wacky

I’m not being sarcastic. I want to thank this commenter for imagining a beautiful world where I can make an entire living on one column a week. Yeah, I just get them to throw each article’s bucket of diamonds into the Jewellery Shed. Or maybe I have a Szalinski Atomic Space Reducer and buy a single shot of whiskey and a bacon sandwich each week, returning to full size only to write the next article and go to the shops.

It’s an amazing piece of writing. Possibly the first amazing piece they’ve ever written, considering how they clearly hate their job, and how their communications strategy with a site that (they think) pays better is to insult their crappy columns. We get so much characterization in so few lines of text. They have to work really hard as a writer, but not so hard that they don’t have time to read columns that they don’t even like. It’s just a tragedy that someone correctly identified the spirit “write hard and get on with it” but uses it in the most miserable possible way.

Then again, I’ve never heard a writer excuse their own work by saying “I was only obeying editors.” That doesn’t sound good. Yeah, we have to write as much as we can, but we still get to choose which pieces we take. I’m just flattered they think I don’t have to scrabble for new clients anymore. I’m always working on new pieces, new copy, new niches, new fun. I’ve had some hilarious jobs. And in the future I’ll have more hilarious jobs, as long as they pay.

I’ve written things you people wouldn’t believe.
Auction text for comics on teen romance in the fifties.
I’ve written motivational copy for server synergies with Virtual FutureTrends(TM).
All this … content … will be lost online, like tears in rain.
Time to write.

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Tightened Post-Fukushima Regulations Detect Thousands of Leaking Power Plants

In a world gripped by nuclear fear after the Fukushima disaster, tightened regulations have discovered leaks in thousands of power plants around the world. Shockingly, these unregulated breaches were discovered to be the result of cash-saving measures. The stations were purposely designed to let poisons escape into the environment to save money.

“The disasters are literally breath-taking” said project lead Dr Slake. “We visited thousands of power plants, and every single one had at least one huge leak openly pouring waste products into the surrounding area.”

The leaks include sulphur dioxide, clouds of respirable particulate matter, and are the major source of methylmercury poisoning of the food chain. Coal power plants are major contributors to the air pollution causing millions of premature deaths every year.

“No-one seemed to have noticed!” continued Dr Slake. “When we pointed to the vast plume of burning poison emanating from the middle of the plant, workers looked at us like we were mad and assured us it was entirely normal. Maybe the plume contains some psychologically-damaging toxin, but they seemed to think that a plant pumping poison into the sky day and night was working properly.”

In the wake of Fukushima several countries have pledged to cease using nuclear power, which only leaks when something goes badly wrong, and instead use systems designed to leak absolutely all the time so that people get used to it and it doesn’t’ look scary after a while. The move was applauded by groups who think wind farms ruin the view.

More power to you:

Scientists Discover Fundamental Bigot Particle

Scientists have revolutionized our understanding by discovering the bigot, the fundamental unit of intolerance. The bigot is found to be the exact opposite of dark matter: sadly all too visible in the modern universe, and all too willing to interact with other matter in a detectable way.

One of the most revealing results of the experiment was the discovering that bigots don’t need to know that they’re bigots in order to be bigots. The result was obtained by using the Large Hadron Collider to accelerate an Irish “No” Voter and a man wearing confederate flag headband to close to the speed of light and then colliding them. The experiment had to be repeated several times to overcome the immense thickness of the bigot skull and discover what — if anything — was happening inside.

“Our studies conclusively prove that bigots don’t need to know that they are bigots.” said Professor Jagarukasva. “They aren’t aware of their own bigotry. Or much of anything. For centuries people have tried explain bigot mechanics with false ideas of natural law, or entirely imaginary mathematics of the divine, but with modern technology people can easily see the truth.”

The result has sent shockwaves through the bigot community, many of whom thought they weren’t bigoted because they hadn’t completed a Bigot Declaration Form to officially register with their local Bigot Council. (Related story: UKIP wins only one seat in 2015 election.) Several others insisted that they never used “that word”, though they seemed absolutely sure their audiences knew what word they were talking about, and that they were just saying.

One of the first corollaries of this result was found by reversing it.

“Just as one does not need to declare oneself to be bigot,” continued the Professor, “one cannot simply declare oneself not to be a bigot. In the same way one cannot declare oneself not to be on fire: it doesn’t change the fact, and until the problem is solved it will continue to make things worse for the person and more unpleasant for everyone around them.”

Further research:

From the Makers of the Jem And The Holograms Trailer

Thrill as the team behind the new Jem trailer tackle other classic properties!

GI Joe: Joe “Duke” Bloke signs up, and patiently works his way up the ranks with careful attention to peacetime duties around the base. Awesome laser weapons are replaced by his livejournal entries. Instead of fighting against Cobra, we follow his struggle to find a cute boyfriend.
Ghostbusters: A reality show follows four ghost hunters as they continually fail to ever find any ghosts, because ghosts aren’t real. Proton packs are replaced by darkened shakey-cam footage even though there’s no reason they couldn’t film things properly. (NOTE: this show already exists several times over). Instead of fighting the undead we follow their struggle to find cute boyfriends.
Transformers: A reality show about redecorating entirely normal cars. (NOTE: this show etc etc) Instead of transforming into giant robots, Spike Witwicky tries to find a cute boyfriend. This is impossible because he’s Shia LaBeouf and actively repels all human life.
Thundercats: A series of actual cat videos on YouTube. Instead of Mumm-ra, we follow a fixed cat’s struggle to find a cute boyfriend. It’s still more compelling than the millionth movie about the millionth girl deciding true happiness depends on a millionth boyfriend.
Mysterious Cities of Gold: Travelogue following some teenagers with GoPros as they travel to a beach resort. They all totally find cute boyfriends.

The new Jem and the Holograms movie trailer is what happens when a movie executive cries “YouTube!” and is too senior to be laughed at. The whole thing’s been put together by people who think online streaming and personal holographic projection technology are exactly equivalent levels of outrageous. The greatest effort involved was pushing the “Girl Plot #3: Fame Bad Love Good” cookie-cutter so far into the past.

But fear not! While movies miss slam-dunks (this was their only chance to film an EVIL SYNTHPOP BAND!), comics keep scoring from outside the building. Behold the glory of IDW’s ongoing Jem comic. Which I honestly couldn’t have cared less about until I saw the art.

jemcover1 jemcovermisfits

More cartoon coolness with:

A Marriage Proposal

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through our towns or travel our country, when they people being happy, and are tormented by the knowledge that some of those people might be happy with others of their own gender. There’s no actual way to tell these people apart, what with them all being people, so our unhappy walker is forced to imagine the lustful acts strangers consensually commit with each other. It simply isn’t possible for them to continue on their own way, with their own life and preferences, because of the agony of the knowledge that their god is facing starvation. Below I explain why this is so, and propose a novel solution.

I confess myself inexpert the sexual behaviour of total strangers, having always considered it basic manners to be on rather good terms with someone before broaching the subject of their genitals, but several pubic-spirited groups have taken great pains to educate me and the rest of the country, assuring us that these same-sex marriages be a serious crime against a god.

As to my own part, I must admit I fail to understand how the sexuality of strangers requires divine intervention. I will admit that the concept has been raised on some occasion when I’ve been involved, but must humbly report that the level of theological discussion rarely raised above repetition. Indeed, it displayed all the signs of rather poor argument, with the only evolution on each iteration being an increase of volume, but I’m happy to report that everyone involved in the vigorous discussion considered it a roaring success. But I digress.

I inquired upon a prominent member of one of the aforementioned groups to enlighten me. It is generally accepted that around one in ten people might be attracted to their own sex. With twenty thousand marriages per year in our country, the proposed decimation of heterosexual marriage would be about two thousand unions per year, approximately five and a half matrimonies per day, or one sacrament every four point four hours. Apparently the lord and savior is operating on such thin margins that even this small decline would prove an unsustainable strain on the heavenly budget.

I could not get a clear answer as to what consecrated fuel could possibly be extracted from a heterosexual couple on their wedding night, but apparently it only works when the genitals are arranged and connect to each other in a specific way. I asked if the group was confused. Perhaps they were thinking of electrical sockets, or maybe a very simple jigsaw intended for the edification of children? No, I was told, they didn’t understand what I meant by that. They just wanted to be in charge of all human love and affection.

That seemed rather beyond the remit of someone’s personal preferences, but I still considered their problem as I walked away, as it seemed to plague them. And only the most heartless imitation of a human being could let others exist in suffering, tormented by questions of externally enforced legality versus their own deepest feelings. I decided it was my duty to find a solution.

In the manner of someone caring for a friend’s sickly pet I first had to work out what it required for sustenance. And I must exhibit great care, as surely anything which can be damaged by the kindness of strangers (not even the pet, but to each other!) must be among the most vulnerable creations in existence. It occurs that perhaps this god has become rather too refined in its diet, in the manner of the panda bears which can only survive on a specific sort of bamboo, and as a result must face extinction in the face of a changing environment. But still, the panda is an adorable animal, and can provide some solace to those who enjoy its continued existence. Maybe this god is the same. It is the duty of the beneficent human to find some way of preserving such entertaining companions.

Indeed, it seems their sustaining sacrament could be quite easily provided. If their god is somehow diminished by fewer acceptable marriages, it falls upon them to increase how often they get married. This should not present a problem with the modern convenience of divorce, which doesn’t seem to offend their pet spirit in the same way an incorrect marriage does. In fact, if one can get married to feed it, and divorced without incident, even one faithful couple could presumably fill their lord to bursting by getting divorced each morning and remarried in the evening. Careful timing could synchronise their wedding cake with dessert for each day’s dinner, providing a considerable saving in the daily as well as the divine food budget.

Of course, not all No campaigners find it so easy to get married. For some reason people prepared to put their own obscure theological definitions over other people’s happiness can have difficulty finding love. Others insist that only the fruitful union of a mother and a father to produce a child can appease them, but like all people of good character I tend to ignore those who publicly insult orphans and widows.

But in the interests of the common good I shall solve their problem. I humbly offer that those who wish to prevent people in love from sharing the joys of marriage can show their support for heterosexually-hearted relationships and procreation in the most direct possible way.

They can get married on their own, and fuck themselves.

More marriage equality:

Signs You Might Not Be Merely Having A Civil Discussion

  • You use the phrase “merely having a civil discussion.”
  • Seriously, you sat and typed the words “merely having a civil discussion” like an an etiquette cyber-wizard, whose keyboard can magically morph the malleable matter of manners at your whim. You use this reality-altering power to lose arguments online.
  • You’re still talking after the other person stops responding, blocks you, and blocks your new account, the electronic equivalent of shouting through a locked front door.
  • You curse them for continually blocking your accounts. Your electronic self is now being bundled into the back of an electronic police car, screaming that it’s totally calm.
  • You’re still talking after thousands of people have blocked you.
  • You’re still talking after thousands of people get together to develop a program specifically and only to block you.
  • You’re going to keep going until Skynet is spawned simply to deal with you, and the human survivors will decide it was a worthwhile trade.
  • You’re actively searching for total strangers who disagree with you.
  • You genuinely think that not swearing means you’re not being rude. Listen, you can be rude with free money if you throw it into people’s faces when they’ve asked you not to.
  • You believe that not using slurs means you’re not being sexist/racist/bigoted.
  • You have perhaps confused “civil debate” with “civil disturbance”, where thousands of people descend on a single location chanting identical slogans.

Enjoy more calm debate with

Wizards Probe Fundamental Particle of Magic with Large Dice Collider

Wizards from around the plane are collaborating on a new spell designed to probe fundamental particle of magic. The Large Dice Collider will roll use thousands of empowered and extended Mage Hands to accelerate twenty-sided dice from either end of a twenty-seven kilometer long table path.

“Standard Dice Theory shows how all the rules of our reality are bound up in these dice particles” explained Archmage Higgus Bozonn. “In the early days of Greek wizards evoking magic missiles, they thought the dice only had four sides. But we advanced. Taking a shocking grasp of electricity revealed the d6. Further studies revealed the d8, d10, d12, until we were able to expand these basic facets to twenty-sided Standard Dice Theory, revealing that everything in our world was defined by these ‘dice’, not just our magic. But we still don’t know how these dice operate – from our perspective, they seem to be entirely random. The Large Dice Collider should help us learn how to control the most fundamental forces of our reality. Well, ” said the wizard, straightening her baggy sleeves, “More so than we already do.”

The fabulously expensive apparatus is the result of a decade of preparatory conjuring, costing millions of gold pieces. Twenty-seven kilometers of black onyx were required to craft tables smooth enough for the dice rolls. Diamond dice were painstakingly prepared, numbers engraved in gold-lined carvings filled with black pearl dust. 1,000 GP of gemstones line every meter of the table. An army of stone and iron golems functions to maintain the installation, and to dissuade wandering bands of adventurers who mistake the long, gem-filled tunnel for a particularly rich dungeon. (To date twenty level ten parties have been repelled, though in one tragic incident a level four party was forced re-rolled.)

UPDATE: The LDC has been shut down for repair after an early roll resulted in a 1, causing critical explosive failure and a large crack in the table.

More gaming goodness

Ireland’s No Voters Start Campaigning Against Electricity

The group leading the No campaign in the Marriage Equality referendum today announced that they will also be voting to ban electricity.

“Far too many people are enjoying electricity in ways we don’t understand or appreciate,” said spokesperson Fuath Dúr, by the light of a whale-blubber lantern she held aloft in a darkened conference room. “Unnatural electricity can be used to transmit new information, to connect Ireland with the outside world, to improve the situation for everyone in the country, and is generally understood as one of the most basic signs of a civilized nation in the twenty-first century. In short, electricity is everything we’re opposed to.”

Further comments were cut off as the lantern set off the hotel’s fire alarm. This forced a massive public services response to her stupid insistence on backwards ideas. Scorched notes recovered from the room by emergency services were found to read “We already have natural animal fat”, “FEAR! FEAR OTHERS, DIVIDE YOUR LIFE INTO HATE AND OBEDIENCE!”, and “The sweet little innocent baby Jesus didn’t have electricity, did he now? Or married parents. But don’t think too hard about that bit.”

The Iona Institute was quick to support the initiative, because the private limited company been paid specifically to do so. “We fully support this initiative” said Iona Institute commandant Rabid Sin, who didn’t stop counting money during our entire interview. Great fat wodges of it. All in brown envelopes marked Tax Free Charity, Apparently, Please Laugh While Delivering To Bank. “We can confirm that the Iona Institute has used electricity to spread nothing but hate and suffering, and the sooner this problem is ended the better.”

The Institute could not be reached for follow-up questions, as they had been paid to lobby for their own organs to be stripped and recycled, and then immediately done so without a moment’s reflection or human thought.

More Irish news: