Is it safe to come out yet?


Having spent the last few years scaring the shit out of us all by predicting our imminent and painful deaths (e.g. “Bird flu fear: A Melbourne man has been rushed to hospital with suspected bird flu symptoms.” Would those also be the symptoms of that other lesser known disease, regular old human flu?), the Murdoch papers were in a bit of a predicament when, despite Tom’s unending cynicism, something bordering on scary actually happened this week with the terror arrests: How to convey the new seriousness of actual scary rather than pretend scary? I must say I was impressed with the ingenious solution the editors of the Herald Sun and MX came up with. HEADLINES ALL IN CAPITALS. They left themselves a little room to ramp the fear up another notch by keeping the trusty exclamation mark in the bag for now but I bet they have their fingers crossed that someone hurries up and invents electronic paper so they can do flashing red headlines for when bird flu goes pandemic-y.

No one does scary news as well as the Americans, although in their case it is as often unintentional as not. Such as this story about Kansas’ decision to once again change its education rules in favour of intelligent design. Among other things “the board rewrote the standards’ definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena” and is merely a “systematic method of continuing investigation”. Umm… ok. I guess if you can’t get religion taught in a science class, you just redefine science until it includes religion. Personally, I’ve always found the definition of religion as “belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe” a little narrow. I’m not even sure Baoism would make it in, lacking as it is in a story of creation. Any ideas on how to make the definition a little less discriminatory?


8 Responses to “Is it safe to come out yet?”

  1. Could go simple and call it a belief system?

    I suppose ‘simple’ is a bit too close to home for many Americans.

  2. Baoism had many parables and enlightening tales; there must have been a creation story in there somewhere. If not, we could always find the truth through divine inspiration.

    My hot water pipes make a squeeking noise. I’ve always thought imps were the simplest explanation. Thankfully there’s no need to look for a natural explanation now.

  3. How about “stuff you believe without proof which N other people also believe in”

  4. And this? “Of all possible sexual perversions, religion is the only one to have ever been scientifically systematized” Louis Aragon, 1897-1982, French Poet

    I actually primarily wondered why Andrew asks about coming out.

  5. It may have been a subliminal message. Yes, Andrew, yes it is. No one here will judge you.

  6. As I was walking to uni, a full 16 hours after I posted the message, that possible interpretation suddenly struck me.

    Had I meant it that way, the answer would clearly be no: these religious types are far less in favour of redefinitions of marriage/acceptable sexual behaviour than those of science.

    Speaking of Baoism, I discovered today that some of the links to the Baoble were broken on St Crispin’s. Since we have all committed the sacred texts to memory, it doesn’t really matter for us but I have now fixed it up for any other potential converts.

  7. Unintentional subtext!! Stop this conversation at once.

  8. We commited it to memory? I mean, of course we have! Or else our path would have strayed us far far away.

    On a side note: Did you know that (in Austria) patenting contraceptives was not possible up until a few decades ago? It was an immoral contract and thus unlawful.