A new beginning

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 2 years since I started blogging. Hell, sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m blogging.  If someone had asked me 8 years ago if I’d ever have a blog, chances are I’d have said “nah”. Over the years, though, things changed. As a regular member of the Pharyngula commentariat, I found myself having things to say and opinions to share. Whether it was on specific posts by PZ, or in the social threads (the Endless Thread, the Lounge, the Thunderdome, the Mended Drum), I began to discover my voice. As I did, I began to examine old beliefs and cast them aside for newer ones. I found myself examining a host of opinions that I held and often found those opinions lacking. This was an ongoing process that involved self-examination as well as listening to criticism. Along the way, I began to write more and noticed that more than a few people listened to what I had to say and actually liked what they heard. To my surprise in fact, there were some people who *loved* reading what I wrote (I still remember to this day a comment from a dear friend-our Tech Wizard in fact-who told me that she loved reading me; she’s one of the reasons I began blogging). For whatever reason though, I held off on creating my own space. That changed in the summer of 2014. I was jobless for three months that year and was also without a vehicle. I was restless and stir-crazy. I needed something to do. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: “You’ve got all this time on your hands. Why not start a blog?”

So that’s what I did.

Here we are almost 2 years (and nearly 1000 posts) later, and I’m still at it. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts, opinions, tastes, and frustrations with readers. I’ve watched as my little corner of the Internet has grown, pleased as punch that I have regular readers. I’ve blogged about social issues like feminism, racism, and homophobia. I’ve expressed my views on diversity on the big screen and the small. I’ve talked about the ongoing efforts to diversify the USAmerican comic book industry-something near and dear to my heart. I’ve written about the problematic elements in police departments across the country and the seemingly neverending chorus of irresponsible gun owners. At times I’ve even broken away from the serious material and blogged about edible items I’ve found intriguing (or bizarre).

You might think all of this is a precursor to me saying “That’s a wrap”, but that’s far from the case. I am going to continue blogging about social justice issues, comic books, pop culture, and more, but I won’t be doing it from my own little corner of the internet any longer.

I’ll be blogging as a member of the newly created atheist network: The Orbit.

“What is The Orbit?”, you may be wondering. This is who we are:

The Orbit is a diverse collective of atheist and nonreligious bloggers committed to social justice, within and outside the secular community. We provide a platform for writing, discussion, activism, collaboration, and community.

What social justice means to us

We aim to contribute to a more just and equitable world for all people, free of disadvantage on the basis of gender, gender identity, race, age, economic or other social class, sexuality, physical ability or mental illness, geography, nationality, immigration status, and other forms of marginalization and systemic oppression. Our site is feminist and progressive. We know black lives matter and that no one is illegal, we know trans women are women and that sex work is work, and we support a socially conscious atheist movement.

As atheists, we believe criticism of religion must fall within this framework. While bloggers’ views differ, our shared belief is that we can criticize systems and social structures in which others participate without practicing bigotry, and that these include religious structures. We recognize that all of us are likely to perpetuate some forms of prejudice, and are committed to listening when criticized, as we ask the movements we criticize, our own among them, to listen to us. Finally, we believe atheists have an essential part to play in progressive culture, and that social justice needs us as much as we need it.

That’s right-I’m joining a blogging network of social justice oriented atheists and nonbelievers. When I was invited to this august assemblage, I was floored, bc the people involved in this are some of the most outspoken, experienced, erudite bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Who might these people be? I think you’ll recognize many of them. From our press release:

Bloggers at The Orbit include Alex Gabriel, Alix Jules, Alyssa Gonzalez, Ani Sharmin, Ania Bula, Aoife O’Riordan, Ashley F. Miller, Benny Vimes, Brianne Bilyeu, Chris Hall, D. Frederick Sparks, Dana Hunter, Dori Mooneyham, Greta Christina, Heina Dadabhoy, Jason Thibeault, Luxander Pond, Miri Mogilevsky, Niki M., Sincere Kirabo, Stephanie Zvan, Tony Thompson, and Zinnia Jones, with a lineup that is continuing to grow.

See anyone you know?  Today is our launch day and I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this. If you want to know more about us, check out our About page. If you want to help support us financially, check out our Kickstarter. And if you are not in a position to do so, no worries. You can also spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading the Shoops Roost/Progressive Pub, and I’ll see you at The Orbit!



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The end of the world is nigh


“Some say the world will die by fire. Others say the world will die by ice. They’re both wrong. Rainbows and drag queens. The world will die bc people accept rainbows and drag quens.” -anti-gay bigots everywhere

Bigots of all stripes love to claim that homosexuality is destructive and the cause of so many of the ills in society. World-class bigots like Theodore Shoebat claim that homosexuality is a cancer that should be excised from our culture. There’s Mr. “Legitimate Rape” Todd Akin, who has said[…] there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” And then there are my “favorite people”. Oooh, and who can forget Pat Robertson, who thinks that God uses snow to punish people who want to do gay things. But my favorite are those like Scott Lively, who think acceptance of homosexuality is a dress rehearsal for the End Times:

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Has it really been 19 years?

Time to get a little weepy eyed y’all. One of the best television shows I’ve ever watched has its 19th anniversary today. On March 10, 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted. Now, I didn’t start watching the show until the sixth season. If I recall correctly, the first I saw of the show was part two of the Season 3 finale (I remember watching the Mayor transform into a giant snake and start eating students). Years later, I happened to watch the final episode of Season 5, ‘The Gift’, where the Slayer sacrifices her life to save her sister Dawn and the entire world (the second time she died). I didn’t have any real attachment to the show at that point, but when I discovered FX was running repeats, I started watching it from some point in Season 1. Despite the uneven quality, the cheesiness, the ‘making shit up on the fly’ nature of the show, and other issues, I found myself liking it. By the second season I found I really liked it. By the time ‘Becoming Part 2’ was over, I was in tears and loving the show (in part bc Sarah McLachlan’s song was perfect for that ending). Sarah Michelle Gellar took to Instagram with some touching words about the show:

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Posted in pop culture, television | Tagged | 8 Comments

Speakeasy #9

I don’t know about you all, but I’d love to have a drink in an underwater bar like this.

Who needs a drink?

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Posted in Speakeasy | Tagged | 139 Comments