Logic Lost

So I’m up visiting my family for the 4th and my dad almost walked into a spider web. It’d been constructed right on the sliding door that goes outside. He didn’t walk through it however. He brought the little kids, nieces and nephews to see the giant web in the doorway. It was really neat, actually. Then he cleared it from the door with his hand.

This morning I walked into a web on the same door. I came out brushing my face of the web and said “That spider didn’t learn its lesson!”

My dad laughed, and then he said something that started an interesting conversation. He said, “Did you look at that web yesterday? It’s a feat of engineering! How do you explain how a spider can do that?”

I’ve always hailed my father for being a pioneer of logic, excluding his dedication to the bible. Indirectly or not I know he was suggesting that the only answer to how a spider can construct a web so structurally impressive is because God made it that way. Of course I was more than ready to explain something to my dad that I had always assumed he believed in despite the bible. I said, “Dad, it’s a talent that’s been developed over hundreds and thousands of years. It probably started with many unsuccessful attempts at web constructing that left those spiders to starve to death, and not pass down their talents to their kids.”

My dad answered back, “You think the spider showed its babies how to make a web, or gave them instructions verbally somehow?”

“No.” I said. “It’s no different than how I walk like you do, or how we have so many of the same behaviors. You didn’t one day show me how you walk and I learned it from you that way. I inherited your traits and behave similarly to you because I’m your son.”

It really did shock me to hear him arguing against evolution. I almost feel like he’s regressed in what was once a purely logical train of thought. One that I’ve always attributed mine to. Then he said to me, “How come a spider in Russia makes the same kind of web there as one does here?”

I said, “Because the same web that works best for catching spider food there works best at catching spider food here as well. It went through the same evolution there because that’s what works best!” I went on to explain, “It probably began as a spider using the web substance to catch its prey, then realizing that it could do an even better job by using it different ways. And I’m sure many of them failed and created things with their web material that did not work, thus leaving them to starve and die. The failures die while the better web makers succeed!”

“They all die.” He retorted. And I said, “Yes, but the failures die without reproducing and making more failures.”

Later, as I thought about it more, I added, “And those spiders are still evolving. That one who keeps making its web in the doorway even after its been torn down isn’t going to do as well as the spider who loses its web and then changes its next location to somewhere different. That other spider is more likely to survive, reproduce, and pass down that single trait to its young. That’s evolution!”

I don’t necessarily enjoy “correcting” my dad, but I could tell by his silence that he was at the very least, impressed that I had answers. Both of my parents have told me that despite how much they hate what I’m doing, they’re impressed with my thinking. They are very pleased to see that I’m putting much thought into what I’m doing, that I’m a thinker.

Like 20 minutes later, after that conversation had passed and nothing more was said about it, I told my dad how fascinated I am with science and the science of evolution. I told him how I had seen this demonstration in a video on the internet by a scientist who explained his theory on how the eye evolved. How something as complicated as a human eye evolved over millions of years. I explained how the scientist showed a flat surface in his first model and how this was the very first eye. A heat sensitive surface that could detect light reflection off of an object but see little more than a blur (shadow and light).

Dad asked me why there’s no animal with this flat eye. I replied, with a partial guess, that I thought tapeworms had this sort of eye. I’ll have to look that up and see if I guessed right. But he bought it.

I went on to explain that the scientist’s next model showed how the slightest con-cave in the flat surface allowed for light to strike its surface in different areas creating a more three dimensional view of an object. And the more that the surface con-caved, like a spoon, the better it reflected the light and shadows of an object in front of it. So whichever animals had the more concave eye saw better and continued the trend of con-caving the eye.

Then I went on to explain how the next model showed how as this eye evolved it went from a spoon-like shape to something more spherical, with a round hole in it. This allowed for the eye to get a clear focal point. The scientist showed at each step what each particular eye could see, this one being a blurry shape, but one that could be seen as a 3D blurry shape.

I explained, how evolution continued in some closing up the hole, rendering it blind, unable to survive or reproduce. BUT then in other eyes, shown in the next model, the hole formed a pocket of water, one which bulbed, making this eye able to actually focus on an object. The model was a hollow sphere with a circular hole in the front and a clear pocket which the scientist injected water. And the more he did this the more in focus the object in front of it got. It was truly amazing to see it build and work right before your very eyes. My dad listened to me explain it without saying anything. Just sort of looking like he agreed but couldn’t say it out loud. I was just hoping that he could see that I cared and had answers. I was also hoping to appeal to his logic.

It was a unique moment in time for me, telling my dad how things are. It was also a prime example of logic lost. That’s how I see it. Lost logic. Because our minds (his mind) understand the logic when it’s heard. The logic is there, it’s just lost. Helping my father find that logic was both rewarding and unsettling. Seeing that lost logic in someone I hold so high for his logic is the real wake-up.


Christian Sniping at Union Square

So yesterday evening I had another run-in with Christians. This particular group comes with the same Canadian youth pastor every year. (The same guy I met Canadian Jason through from Hate Mail 127, and those Amazing Stranger Xtains from pg 2). He knows me now, and each year he has a new group of Christian kids from some bible-belt state. He came with the group yesterday and they all started singing to his guitar there in the middle of Union Square. I immediately went and tried handing them all God Is Fakes. Some took them, but most refused, stunned at what I was doing. And the pastor guy said “Normal Bob Smith! Good to see ya!” And they continued singing their songs even more confused.

He’s a nice guy, very friendly, kinda looks like a character from Lord Of The Rings. Picture of him: normalbobsmith.com/amazingstrangers/as_02_bob&christians.jpg

This year though, when he came over and said hi, I was of course friendly as ever, but I found myself a little more bothered by what he was doing. I told him “Nothins changed with me, except that maybe now I am more disturbed buy what you’re doing, and the misinformation you’re feeding these kids.”

I also said, “So how do you feel about the bad rap Faith is getting now that you got people using it as an excuse to crash planes into buildings?” He replied, “Well, there are proper uses of faith, and improper uses of it.”

Anyhow, he always brings over several of these kids to meet a real live atheist. That’s me. So I sat with Skater Bob and a few friends and waited. He asked if I’d mind, and of course I did not, so he brought over a group of like 5 kids, all girls, ages 16 to 18. All clueless sheep.

This time, unlike the other times, the Canadian youth pastor simply walked the kids over to me, introduced me, and walked away. I had them all to myself, and they were speechless. They had no idea what to say, so I started it off with a question to them that I was very curious to hear their answer to. I asked them if they had had any other options of beliefs in their lives, or if the only belief they’d ever been introduced to was Christianity. Of course they were all speechless, and after asking the question twice got them to admit that they all only’ve had Christianity as an option. That led me right into telling them to look around, seeing hundreds of different cultures and beliefs around them (on a NYC street), and picturing a paradise for themselves while all of these people burned in hell. I must have come back to that scenario 4 times during our hour visit. And they tried to get out of it with things like “That’s why we’re out here preaching” and “Everyone has the choice, and if they choose to reject God, yadda yadda yadda.” And I would not let it go. Each time I’d come back and say “But you know that these people, people just like me who don’t believe in your god, are going to burn when they die. And you’ll have to deal with knowing that while you sit atop your throne made of cloud up in Heaven!”

It was a very satisfying discussion, mostly because they were inquisitive, at a loss for answers, and blindsided. They wanted to know why I thought it was bad to be a Christian even if it’s pretend, and I told them it was because they were being discouraged to understand the world.

“Do you understand the entire world?” One of them asked.

“Not entirely. But that does not make me stop trying to understand it. You are being told that the different languages started at the Tower Of Babal, when that’s not how languages began. You’re being taught that Adam & Eve was where it all began, when in fact, there are very real answers that science has discovered!”

At one point I brought up the story of Abraham willing to plunge a dagger into the chest of his child for God. The kids said, “But he didn’t! God stopped him!” And I replied, “But he was going to do it! He was going to kill his child for God! What the hell kind of religion are you guys a part of?!? Ask yourself what the hell am I doing supporting this behavior!!!”

Anyhow, I decided that some people come to Union and their thing is hacky-sacking, or skateboarding, or peeping girl’s ass-cracks. Mine is badgering Christians. It’s the most satisfying feeling, and I’ve been enjoying the one on one (or four, or eight, or twenty) more than ever before. I look forward to one day doing this same thing in devil makeup with a camera crew.

Happy Birthday to ME!

All right. Your “Happy Birthday Wishes” are all very welcome and good (Thank you very much), but I will have you know that I am not the beloved East Village personality you all may think that I am.

Yesterday, June 23rd, the day before my birthday, I had girl tell me to “fuck off!” because she didn’t want my fucking advice and she didn’t ask for my fucking advice. I got news that Casper (a Graver from Union Square) doesn’t like me because, apparently I think I’m better than everybody! Later, I went to dinner with a girl who was chatting on AIM on her phone the whole meal because “I don’t have anything to say to you” (She wasn’t joking). And I even had an “ex-girlfriend” (however brief) tell me that she was “ashamed” to have ever gone out with me! And that was all yesterday!

And a quick glance at my Love Calendar tells me that the chances of me getting laid today are slim to none, so maybe, quite possibly, you all might want to consider that I could very well be one huge, gargantuan asshole, and wishing me a Happy Birthday message might be putting your own reputation at risk? Something to consider? But don’t think it isn’t appreciated!!! And NO TAKE-BACKS!

Oh yeah, one last thing about all of these “June 23rd haters,” I AM actually better than each of them, and they are all mental cases. Okay, so I left that part out before to make my reputation seem more questionable. But still, they all seriously hate me! And they all synchronized they’re opinions to the day before my birthday!

So seriously, who’s gonna have sex with me today? List your excuses below.

Banishing Christians from Union Square

Yesterday evening at Union Square I lost it. I was there by myself watchin’ Skater Bob’s bag while he skated around the park, and these blond Christian people came from behind me and started in on this black man sitting next to me. They asked him the last time he’d been to church and if he’d ever heard of Bla-bla Church of Times Square, or something.

It was two of those typical white, suburban, southern, middle age mothers and they had like 3 or 4 kids with them, ages 14 to 17, something like that, and they were all standing over this older black man next to me, treating him like a poor soul. I sat there listening to them getting all worked up, watching these adults demonstrate to these kids how to spread their misinformation to the weak. I saw a couple of the kids looking at me out of the corner of their eye. I know they noticed my tattoos, and that I could overhear them. This went on for like 10 miniutes. Then Bob skated up, and I was trying to control myself, and I handed him a handful of God is Fakes, and he immediately started giving them to the ladies, and then he skated off. Without even looking at what he gave them they looked at me and said “How are you? Are you interested in hearing about the love of Christ?” or something along those lines, and I let go.

I said to them, “I think it’s appalling what you’re doing, spreading this misinformation to others based solely on faith!” And there was one mid-twenties guy with them, total Christian zombie saying, “You haven’t heard our true message of love.” His eyes were deer-in-the-headlights, and he wanted these kids to all turn into him. I was getting more and more furious.

Then I said, “Ok, answer me one question. I only have one question I want to ask you. I’ll answer ANY questions you’ve got.” Their kids were all gathering around me at this point. “Just answer me this” I said. “You’re all going to heaven, right?” They nodded, sure as ever. “Okay, now my question to you is this. How can you for even a moment enjoy a heaven where your fellow human beings are doused in fire every day for the rest of eternity?”

This twenty-something guy was a broken person. He was reciting rhetoric like, “I am based in love, and Jesus’ love gives everyone a chance to see heaven.” And to him, in front of those kids, I said “I have no idea what you’re saying. Why aren’t you answering my question?” And I took this opportunity to rub it in even deeper. “Kids. There can be no heaven while your fellow human beings suffer in hell for the rest of eternity! Do you understand the horror and dismay of hell? Your friends who don’t believe in Jesus will be choking on flames forever, and you think there’s any kind of heaven waiting for you?!? How could you even smile for a minute knowing that people suffer like this??!?” I have to admit I was getting a bit out of control, waving my arms around, my voice raised. The mothers were quickly trying to herd them all away.

None of the adults had any answers for me. And as adults, they were acting as if they were fine with that! That’s what gets me. The frame of mind where you’re an adult running away from a question! I LOVE answering questions! It’s my life’s blood! Then the ladies had the nerve, while they were running from me, to say “Bye now. Have a nice day.” And I lost it.

I shouted at their group as they left “You’re appalling! Kids! Watch your parents run away from a question! I’m asking a simple question and your parents are running away! They say they love people and they run away from their questions! You should be embarrassed and disgusted by them! You people disgust me! I just asked a question and you won’t answer it! You get no ‘Good-bye’ from me!!!”

They gathered in a group with many others about 40 feet behind me. I started talking to the black old guy next to me about how disgusted I was. He was a really great guy, as most old black guys are. He started tellin’ me what they were saying and how they should have answered my question. He also told me that I probably scared them, and that’s why they ran. I look over my shoulder, and they were talking still, the kids all looking at me through the group. They left the park shortly after. I forget how scary an arguing man is when you come from the suburbs. But I was sitting the whole time!

I ended up talking to this guy for an hour or so. The rest of the evening my heart was at a steady pace, and I couldn’t stop reflecting on how horrible it was, and what bad examples these adults were, and how stupid they are. Then I realized, I need a show.

Artist, Atheist, Anthropologist