Quick Memes, Part 4

It’s time to clear out the Stupid Bad Memes hopper once again: here are a few more memes that are irritating, but not irritating enough to write an entire post about.  If you missed them, check out parts 1, 2, and 3 of this “series”.


bones-and-meat

First, a grammar quibble:  do not use an apostrophe when making words plural.

Second: Women aren’t meat.  Unless you are a vegan/vegetarian, meat is something you consume, at the expense of another creature.  To equate a woman’s body with meat is to say that she is something to be used, to be devoured.  A man who thinks of a woman as meat believes that she exists solely for his enjoyment.  If you’re interested in reading more about the connection between sexism and meat consumption from a feminist-vegetarian perspective, you should read The Sexual Politics of Meat, by Carol J. Adams.

Third: body shaming works both ways.  I understand and respect the push-back against shaming curvy people, but I don’t think the appropriate response is to shame skinny people (which I assume was the purpose of the hideous statement “Bones are for dog’s” [sic]).  Everybody needs love and acceptance, regardless of body type.  Furthermore, the male of the species should not be separated into dogs and men based on their sexual proclivities.  Some men like skinny women, some men like curvy women, some men like other men, some men like everybody, some men like nobody.  Let’s not band men (or women) into false dichotomies for the purpose of a stupid meme.

And while we’re on the topic of attraction…


i-need-feminism

No.  Just no.

Nowhere in feminist theory does it say that a man cannot be attracted to a woman based on her looks, nor that a man who doesn’t find a particular woman attractive is shallow.  The only thing feminists would request is that regardless of whether you find a woman attractive or not, you treat her with the same basic respect and dignity you would show to men.

Anti-feminists like to pretend that the feminist agenda is to subjugate men by placing them in no-win situations, but we know that’s not true.  Feminism has never been about subjugating anybody, but in achieving equality across the board.  Why does a movement interested in equality call itself the feminist movement, then?  Because historically, women have been victimized, subjugated, and de-humanized to a far greater extent than men.  In a society where men rule, women are often second-class citizens.  Feminism aims to correct this imbalance, not to turn the tables on men.


how-many-planets

On the lighter side, we have this bit of fluff.

Those of us who have the privilege of education know that privilege is spelled with two I‘s.

We assume there is one Universe (for lack of direct evidence to the contrary).  Also, as per the decision of the International Astronomical Union in 2006, our solar system contains only eight planets.  Sorry Plutophiles!  But if we’re considering the entire Universe, then there seem to be uncountable zillions of planets.  Nevertheless, the abundance of planets in the Universe has little to do with you meeting your true love.  Every human in the Universe lives right here on Earth.  If you haven’t met your soulmate yet, take heart; he or she is definitely within 13,000 kilometers of you.  On the scale of the Universe, that’s less than a stone’s throw.

The number of coutries, islands, and seas really depends on how you define each term.  For example, as of 2016 there are 195 officially recognized countries, but I suppose that’s a matter of politics.  Also, there are well over 809 islands in the world, especially if you include river and lake islands, but a great many of them are uninhabited and therefore unlikely to be the site where you meet your life partner.  And that whole 7 seas business has to go; we’re not ancient mariners here.

So it’s fine to create a romantically-inspired meme, but please…do your homework.


immigrants-and-homeowners

Did you know you can write sentences without capitalizing the first letter of every word and we’ll still be able to read them (no matter how much we wish we couldn’t)?

An immigrant is a person who goes to live permanently in a foreign country, regardless of whether they followed legal channels or not.  Somebody who swims across a river in pursuit of a better life is just as much an immigrant as somebody who files paperwork.

This is a poor analogy, and the author’s high school English teacher must be very disappointed.  For the most part, immigrants are not coming to the United States to take something you worked hard for.  On the contrary, studies show that undocumented immigrant workers actually improve the financial situations of documented and native workers.  Unlike the common thief who breaks into your home and steals your jewelry, immigrants provide valuable services as well as ethnic and cultural diversity.  That’s why I think that instead of trying to tighten immigration laws, we ought to consider fast-tracking the naturalization process.  Even the most hardened anti-immigrant bigots ought to appreciate the value of having more hard-working, tax-paying citizens in our communities, right?


luck-or-god

Those are not mutually exclusive things.  Suppose a bank robber manages to escape with the loot mere seconds before the police arrive.  Would you say that he got lucky, or would you contend that God helped him out?

On the other side of that coin, suppose a pious man is walking to church when he is struck and killed by a car.  Is this bad luck, or does God have it in for him?

If you believe in God, that’s fine.  It’s your choice, after all.  But it seems silly to me to assume that the existence of God precludes the existence of luck.  Sometimes good (and bad) things happen without the agency of a higher power.  If you claim that all instances of so-called luck are really the mysterious and unseen movements of a loving, divine being, then you must be prepared to explain the fact that (A) sometimes bad people have good luck, and (B) sometimes good people have bad luck.


seatbelts

*sigh*

We’ll discuss the overt sexism in this meme soon enough, but first I have a few quibbles with the grammar and with the illustration.

I’m pretty sure the meme should read “45% fewer car accidents”.  Generally, you use fewer when you are talking about things that can be enumerated, and less when you’re talking about things that cannot.  For example, I’d like to see fewer stupid sexist memes, and I would be happy if this particular meme contained less stupidity.

Also…there appears to be some kind of steel wall between the front and back seats of this car.  There is clearly a mirror, but it is rendered useless by the lack of rear visibility.  Surely this poor car design will contribute more to accidents than any other factor.

Now then…the message behind this idiotic meme is that men could drive more safely if their female passengers would just, you know, shut up.  Apparently, female chatter accounts for a whopping forty-five percent of all traffic accidents, which makes me wonder why they never warned us about riding with women when I took driver’s ed.  Apparently the feminist agenda machine got to my school before they could tell us the truth.

Now it is true that the leading cause of car accidents is distracted drivers, and the chatter of passengers is a source of distraction; however, many drivers are also distracted by talking on the phone, texting, eating, grooming, and reading, and none of those distractions are depicted here.  I find it interesting that the author of this meme thought that the only way to silence passengers – and in particular female passengers – is to physically gag them.  How typical.  How disgusting.


sherbert

Sherbet.  Sherbet.  Sherbet.  There is only one R in sherbet.


That’s all for now.  Good night everybody!

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Miracle Madness

Car Crash

This disastrous image was accompanied by the following text, which I shall pick apart in my usual snarky fashion. You might say that I should cut the author some slack, especially where grammar is concerned; however, when you reach the end and see that this was little more than a subtle variation on a chain letter, perhaps you’ll agree that no slack is owed.

My name is James.

Hi James. Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – you know what? I’m sorry…this is your story, not mine.

I and my wife Sandra got married 14yrs ago and since then we had no child.

James, I’m going to stop you right there. I’m sure you meant to say “My wife Sandra and I”. It’s just polite to put others first, especially your wife. Sorry…carry on.

As Christians, we still believed God for a baby at the due time.

What if it wasn’t part of God’s plan for you to have a baby at all? Seems like you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment if you believe that God will give you what you want in due time. But hey, I’m not here to tell you how to follow your religion.

Finally, my wife got pregnant and everything was alright.

Or all right, if you’re really picky. But never mind that. You were saying?

On the day of delivery, I was driving her to the hospital and suddenly our car collided with an on-coming lorry and we had a fatal accident.

Okay, Jim (May I call you Jim?), I’ve just got a couple of issues. You say your car suddenly collided with an on-coming lorry…as opposed to gradually colliding with it? I’m just trying to establish a mental image of what went down. Also, about that fatal accident you had…I skipped ahead to the end of the story and (Spoiler alert) you’re all still alive. I’m not sure you understand what the word fatal means.

Oh wait…did the truck driver die? I mean, you never mention him again, so I’m not sure. Boy, I’d feel like a real jerk if that were the case.

My sister narrated it thus:

THUS SPAKE MY SISTER!!!

”We had a call from the police through the identification found on you that you and Sandra were in the hospital.

Wait a minute, Jimmy: The police called your sister through your identification? Does your driver’s license have a tiny cell phone built into it, or does an iPhone now count as legal identification?

When we came to the hospital, the Doctor asked us to sign some documents so that an operation could be performed on Sandra to bring the baby out.”

Whoa hang on, Jimbo. You’re glossing over some pretty important details here. Did your wife appoint your sister as her healthcare proxy prior to the events on that fateful day? Was there nobody higher on the surrogate decision-making hierarchy who could have been consulted? I have to say, Jim, not knowing these critical details lessens my emotional involvement in the story.

The baby came out alive but Sandra was declared dead while I was in comma with my two legs broken.

Another innocent victim claimed by punctuation! Damn you, commas! Damn you all!

Also (and not to downplay the seriousness of your wife’s temporary demise), I’m glad you confirmed that you are in fact a biped, James. So many authors forget to remind their audience exactly how many legs they have.

In the night, a man clothed in white appeared to me and touched my head.

Yeah, that was the doctor. He was checking on you. It’s what they do in hospitals, especially when you’re in comma. (If you’re in exclamation mark, they have a whole team of doctors rotating through on an hourly basis.)

From that moment, I started sneezing.

So you had never sneezed prior to that moment? That’s odd.

After 5mins, I sat up and became a little strong.

You sneezed for five straight minutes and then felt stronger? That’s the opposite of how I feel after a marathon sneezing session. I always feel like I want to dunk my head in a bucket of warm salt water and then die.

Then I asked, ‘where is my wife’? Then, somebody the next door started sneezing too. That was Sandra. ‘She’s alive, she’s alive’, the nurses shouted.

Something doesn’t add up. If the nurses thought she was dead up until now, why hadn’t anybody taken her down to the morgue? I’m no expert on hospital policy, but I doubt they leave recently deceased patients lying in much-needed hospital beds in the hopes that they’ll suddenly sneeze themselves back to life.

Sandra also narrated that the same man clothed in white who touched my head also touched her head.

One doctor visited two patients? UNTHINKABLE!

Few days later we were discharged from the hospital. My broken legs have also been restored and I can walk perfectly too.

Yes, broken bones often heal quite well when tended to by medical professionals. I mean, it would be different if your legs had been shattered so severely that the doctors gave you zero chances of ever walking again, but since you didn’t mention that, I have to assume that your injuries were not that severe. Good for you, Jimmy-Jammy!

Today, I, Sandra and our daughter named Miracle are all alive.

Jim, I’m really happy that the three of you are alive, but I must remind you: Sandra, our daughter Miracle, and I. Respect, Jimmy. Respect.

What was supposed to be our happiest day turned out to be a sorrowful day but we thank God for today.

But you survived, and you’ve got a child! All in all, you came out ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen, God exists and still performs miracles, even the miracle of bringing the dead to live.

Okay James, I’m not going to argue with you about whether God performs miracles, or even if he exists. But your story thus far, while certainly…um…interesting?…hasn’t really put me in mind of anything miraculous. You said your wife was declared dead, but people die and are revived all the time. How long was she gone? Obviously not long enough for them to move her to the morgue, and they certainly weren’t keeping her body around for your benefit, since you were in a coma and they had no way of knowing how long you’d be out.

James, let’s be honest: you survived a terrible accident, as did your family, but nothing that happened to you falls outside the realm of physical possibility. None of these events should be counted as a miracle, unless you’re willing to broaden the definition of the word “miracle” to such an extent that it becomes utterly meaningless.

Now let’s say that the lorry had mysteriously vanished just before hitting you, only to reappear intact on the other side of your car, thereby preventing a collision. That would be a miracle. Or let’s say that your wife was really dead – like eight hours dead – and she suddenly sat up, alive as ever. That would be a miracle. Anything that utterly defies scientific explanation is a miracle. Your story, inspiring as it is, is no miracle. Sorry to pour a metaphorical glass of cold water on you, James, but that’s how I see it.

Now I decree that:
1. Nothing will cut your joy short on the happiest day of your life in Jesus name.

I think you meant to say pray instead of decree, Jim-a-lim-a-ding-dong. Not to pick nits, but when you decree anything in Jesus’s name, it sort of implies that you think you have the authority to boss Jesus around. But once again, I’m not trying to tell you how to be religious.

2. I command every dead thing in your life to come back alive in Jesus name.

What? Hell no, I don’t want that! I’d be up to my eyeballs in decaying goldfish zombies!

3. This year, may you receive a miracle that will attract the attention of the world in Jesus mighty name.

I don’t know, Jimbo-Tron. Your idea of a miracle seems to require a huge personal tragedy as a catalyst. I’d just as soon not, thanks just the same.

Type AMEN in the comment box to claim these prayers. Share this testimony.

Once again, we are reminded of the awesome power of Facebook to guide the hand of God. Zuckerberg be praised.

Cut Off In Mid-

A Godly Favor

Hmmm, perhaps He’ll finish your sentence for you?

This amounts to a chain letter in meme form. On the one hand, it’s almost not worth it to spend time talking about how pointless chain letters are. On the other hand, this meme promises that if you pass it on, you will curry God’s favor. Since that runs counter to most of what I remember being taught about God when I was young, I thought it might be worth a mention.

Now I’ll admit up front: I haven’t been to church in a long, long while. I’ve also spent a good amount of time in this blog poking gentle (and not-so-gentle) fun at fundamentalist conservative Christians – you know, the ones who feverishly attempt to legislate their personal religious convictions for the “good” of everybody else. But I don’t want to give the impression that I dislike Christians in general. I grew up Christian, and at the risk of protesting too much, some of my best friends are Christians. When I see this meme, which, in my opinion, should be offensive to good-hearted God-fearing folk everywhere, I have to take it apart – if not for my sake, then for the sake of the Christian people I care about.

Although I haven’t cracked open a Bible in many years, I seem to remember that currying God’s favor was never so simple as telling everybody how much you love Him. Best I recall, the Christian lifestyle was meant to be an arduous one, full of self-sacrifice and personal reflection and service to others. The reward, so the Bible says, is an eternity in Heaven, not some personal favor to be granted immediately. I’m not saying it would be outside of God’s power to do unto you a solid, but my understanding of the Big Guy’s modus operandi was that you should not expect immediate gratitude. And He never works according to human schedules.

So if you really believe in God – and not just any god but the God of Abraham; the God described in Christian theology – then this meme makes no sense. By passing this meme on, you’ve implied that you believe God is ultimately controllable by human actions, and that regardless of His ultimate plan for your life, you can get some sort of free gift just by showing all your friends how into Him you are. If that’s what you truly believe, then share away…but be aware, the God of your religion is different from the God of most other Christian denominations.

If you don’t believe in God, then this meme still makes no sense. But that pretty much goes without saying.