With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Absurdity of the Moment - #01

absurdism |əbˈsərdˌizəm|
the belief that human beings exist in a purposeless, chaotic universe.

This is the first of an intended series in which I will post articles, pictures, commentary, etc. of current affairs taken from headlines as well as subjective experiences that accentuate or epitomize the absurdity of the human experience. Perhaps it can be thought of as my wishful John Stewart voice (but not limited to government and media) - my crying out for solace from the insane frustration that ensues when our species acts in complete disregard of ration, reason, and basic empathy.

For example, this week's considerations were events and circumstances involving Karsai's recent gestures toward the West, The Vatican and Pope's handling of recent (um, and forever) allegations, Sarah Palin (for everything that comes out of her mouth), Glenn Beck's outrageous annual earnings from manipulating the vulnerable and ignorant, Michael Steele and the RNC's sex club tab, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's proposal of a Confederate history month, etc. Yes, it was a good week for the absurd. Just look below to see the recent human activity that was so absurd (and I'm being way too kind) as too topple the rest of these "crazies" for the first feature of this series.

Note: The reference to absurdism is intended to reflect upon the human paradox: the fundamental clash between the human search (and need) for meaning and the apparent meaninglessness of the universe. I have too many romantic and artistic threads to adopt a hardline absurdist philosophy, so I will gear the context towards the existentialist concepts of Albert Camus. He states that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity. Such realization or encounter with the absurd, or the seemingly meaningless universe, leaves an individual with one of three logical choices: suicide, a leap of faith (religion), or recoginition (a choice to embrace one's own absurd condition, and further find meaning within one's subjective reality). According to Camus, one's freedom - and the opportunity to give life meaning - lies in the recognition of Absurdity.

Absurdity of the Moment #01

Protesters From Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas Take Aim at WV Miners - NY Times

MONTCOAL W.V. — Protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., headed to the Upper Big Branch mine Thursday morning to convey the message that the explosion there that left 25 miners dead was a result of e-mail messages allegedly sent from West Virginia threatening the Church and its publisher, according to a statement from the Church.

The church, which is led by Fred Phelps, has attracted attention in recent years by showing up at funerals for soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. At those funerals they carry signs that say that God hates homosexuality and that the death of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is God’s way of punishing the United States for its tolerance of it.

“This whole nation is awash in rebellious sin and defiance of God, His standard, and His servant’s faithful words,” a news release on the church’s Web site said Thursday morning.

The statement said the church had received threats about a trip to West Virginia and Virginia scheduled to begin Thursday.

“So God reached down and smacked one of those mines, killing 25 (and likely four more are dead),” it said. “Now you moan and wallow in self-pity, and pour over the details of the dead rebels’ lives, pretending they’re heroes.”

According to its Web site, the church is scheduled to protest at several locations in Virginia and West Virginia, Thursday through Sunday, including at the West Virginia state capitol and the Hillel on the Virginia Tech campus.

Last month the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the father of a Marine killed in Iraq may sue protesters from the church who picketed his son’s funeral with signs that read “God Hates You” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

I've never wanted a wild West Virginian to shoot someone before now, hmm. Where are those "squeel like a pig" guys when you need them? Some people may deserve to die, but it wasn't the miners...

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