GGW

Today’s entry in The Valley of Wrongness goes to the Infernal Revenue Service.

The letters GGW stand for two things, both of which are equally obscene.  One is Girls Gone Wild and the other is Government Gone Wild.  The text that follows is from Fox Sports’ article, “Win a medal, pay the price.”

Go for the gold — but should you succeed, be prepared to dole out some gold of your own.

The U.S. Olympic Committee awards prize money to American medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, $10,000 for bronze. That prize money is taxed at a rate of as much as 35 percent, Americans for Tax Reform calculated. On top of that, the medals themselves are taxed: You only have to fork over $2 to the IRS for the privilege of keeping your bronze medal, but carve off $236 worth from that gold medal.

Michael Phelps should have no trouble shouldering the tax burden — he makes millions in endorsements. But fellow U.S. swimmer Allison Schmitt has won two golds, a silver and a bronze in London. That’s $75,000 in total prize money — and $26,857 owed to the United States Treasury.

Did I say that both GGW’s are equally obscene?  I was wrong.  If a commercial for Girls Gone Wild appears on your TV, you have the option of turning it off.  If you want to own it, you have to choose to buy it.  Government Gone Wild is there whether or not you want it to be there.  There is one big advantage that Government Gone Wild has over Girls Gone Wild.  It will not result in the breakup of your marriage. 

Do you have an entry for The Valley of Wrongness?  Post a link as a reply and add your own commentary.  If it’s really wrong, I’ll post it and give you all of the credit.

The closed-minded open-minded people

I wanted to read an article on Tam O’Shaughnessy, Sally Ride’s partner for 27 years.  I found a really great one at http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/365992/20120723/tam-shaughnessy-oshaughnessy-sally-ride-lesbian-partner.htm.  I call it great because it didn’t make the fact that Sally was a lesbian a big deal.  It focused on her partner and the great work she and Sally did.  There was one sentence way of the end of the article that said, “Though Sally Ride was open about her partnership with Tam O’Shaughnessy, it does not appear to have been a controversial topic.”  I was getting ready to make a response commending the author for simply stating facts and not trying to capitalize on Sally’s death.  Then I came across a person that I will call, “John Q. Public.”  He wrote the following:

I’m very saddened about Sally’s death. She was a fantastic woman and a great contribution to society. It’s way too bad that people from the Religious Right are so bigoted towards gays and lesbians. May they read and educate themselves what gays and lesbians have contributed to our society. Rest in Peace Sally!!!

John Q. is a perfect example of closed-minded open-minded people.  I wrote this in response:

To borrow your words, “It’s way too bad that people like John Q. Public are so bigoted toward religious conservatives.” It’s also too bad that you tarnished a beautiful article that treated Sally’s sexuality as just another part of who she was instead of making a big deal out of it. I’m a religious conservative and an ally. You see, my conservatism dictates that the government has no right to barge into people’s affairs and determine which adults of consenting age may enter into a contract. My theology is my own theology which I am entitled to. I’d be a hypocrite if I wanted my liberty and wouldn’t give bigots like you your liberty. Whenever you say “all _______” and fill in the blank with an ethnic group, faith group, geographically defined group, etc., you are being a bigot. Would you ever say, “all Jews,” or “all Muslims, or “all Asians,” or “all New Yorkers?’ If not, you should seek a worldview of understanding and liberty instead of letting people be free unless it cramps your style.

Here is a homework assignment: find out who Fred Karger is and look up a group called “The Log Cabin Republicans.” You’ll find that your incorrect stereotypes don’t fit. One last thing, look up the political party of the president that signed the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.

FYI, Fred Karger is an openly gay Republican that was on Ronald Reagan’s staff.  He was the first person to throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 presidential election.  The Log Cabin Republicans is a group of openly gay people that hold to traditional Republican platform issues such as reduced government, responsible spending, and a government that makes sure everyone has opportunities to succeed instead of giving them success at taxpayer expense.  The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by William Jefferson Clinton, a Democrat.

Afterword: Just in case anyone doubts that the International Business Times semi-censored me, here is proof:

So it is OK for one person to write that the Religious Right are bigots but it’s not OK for me to write that people who make broad-brush comments are bigots?

By the way, the rating on my post is now five in favor and three against.  It seems that maybe the International Business Times needs to listen to its readers a bit more.

Just Say NO to Trolls

A preacher friend of mine sent me a link to a beautiful Christian music video.  When I got done watching it, I noticed a link to this video of Carrie Underwood singing “How Great Thou Art” with Vince Gill.

It was a blessing to watch.  I started writing a nice comment about the video.  Below it, I glanced at a comment from some bitter poop of a supposed Christian that goes by the screen name of atterolevad.

there has been a contemporary christian music industry since the 60′ with many styles including rock. these brave christian ministers have come up against foolishness condeming them for there style of music even though they walk the talk . meanwhile carrie underwood sings about getting revenge if her man ever cheats, while other country singers talk about honky tonk ba donka donk, one more drinking song, whos bed has your boots been under..ect. christian values….I think not.

I had to say something.

For my Christian brethren who don’t think the same artist can sing Jesus Take the Wheel, Before He Cheats, & How Great Thou Art; get a life. This woman is willing to risk popularity & record sales by being very open about her faith. How many risks have YOU taken to proclaim your faith?

Fortunately, God’s grace protects us, even when we strike out in revenge, or, perish the thought, have a drink. The world has much ugliness in it. I suspect that Carrie was telling a story, not writing an autobiography. Just remember, if you are never in the midst of the world, you can’t reach the world. Carrie Underwood has a greater impact on the world by being a Country musician that sings some Gospel than a Gospel musician that sings some Country.

That wasn’t enough.  I was really ticked off at this atterolevad knucklehead so I started doing some research.  In 2009, he/she/it put up a page on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/atterolevad) with a video from this group, the Global Information Network (GIN).  The video was narrated by some kook with a really bad German accent. For ten minutes, he rambled on about how an exclusive membership in GIN, a “club only for affluent, like-minded people” that could help you to raise $10,000 in one day, eliminate bad credit, get a second passport, learn about UFOs, make huge winnings playing baccarat and betting on horse races, attract cars, lovers, and good health, read minds, predict the future, and be healed from almost every disease.  This made me think of a couple of things:

  1. Clearly, GIN couldn’t heal atterolevad’s inability to use the English language.
  2. Since when are Christians interested in mind reading, UFOs, and  being involved in exclusive clubs that wallow in “filthy lucre.”
  3. Doesn’t atterolevad have anything better to do than making stupid comments and promoting cult-like MLM schemes?
  4. How am I allowing myself to get sucked into this insipid discussion?

Then I Googled “atterolevad.”  What I saw was a series of incoherent rants that I can only describe as a cacophony of moronic blather.  atterolevad is what we in interactive chatting call a “troll.”  In fairy tales, trolls are hideous creatures that fear the daylight, hide under bridges, pop up to snatch unsuspecting children from the bridge, and then eat them.  In chat, a troll sits and waits for a spot in a discussion to go on a stupid diatribe, rile people up, and then disappear.

I am writing this for a reason.  atterolevad is a sad little troll.  These trolls tend to suck people, myself included, into their little black pools of putrid ooze.  We waste our time trying to reason with them.  They don’t listen.  Unless you make replies that agree with them 100% they vomit their ignorance upon you and leave you covered in sticky cubes of ochre stupidity.  When we engage them, we might as well go to a theater, wait in line, jump out of the line just before we can buy a ticket, return to the end of the line, and repeat this until the theater closes.  We will have accomplished the same with either activity.

My advice, just say no to trolls.

Backformation in the vomitorium

I used to think a vomitorium was the place where self-indulgent romans would go to purge their over-stuffied bellies so they could have another round of over-eating.  In a grammar and vocabulary dialog with a left-coast colleague of mine, I said the following as we discussed backformation:

In writing about backformation, I just found another horrendous one [backformation]. I just used this sentence:
“Edit” was backformed from “editor.”
I guess I could have written this:
“Edit” was backformated from “editor.”
Where, pray tell, is the vomitorium?

After the conversation, I recalled that in the movie Hanna (which I totally loved), the character of Sophie was fond of the word “vomitorium.”  I wanted to find the exact line from the movie because I thought it was so amusing.  As I looked for it, I discovered two entries for the Valley of Wrongness.  The first entry goes to me for not knowing the correct definition of vomitorium and using that incorrect definition since I first saw I Claudius as a young teen.  I thought it was a socially acceptable place to practice bulemia.  The good folks at Dictionary.com say otherwise:

Main Entry: vomitorium
Part of Speech: n
Definition: in a theater or stadium, esp. ancient, a passageway leading to and from the seating
Etymology: Latin vomitorius, alluding to the path’s discharging of the spectators

That makes perfectly good sense.  Then, they put the nail in the coffin of my Wrongness when they stated:

Word Origin & History

vomitorium
1754, “passage or opening in an ancient amphitheater, leading to or from the seats,” from L. (Macrobius, Sat. , VI.iv); see vomit. Erroneous meaning “place where ancient Romans (allegedly) deliberately vomited during feasts” is attested from 1923.

The second entry in the Valley of Wrongness goes to the dozens of sites that stated “vomitorium” was nothing more than teenage jargon.  I’m only slightly better than them.  I knew it was a real word.  I just didn’t know what it meant. 

Mea culpa.

References

vomitorium. (n.d.). Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon. Retrieved July 13, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vomitorium
 
vomitorium. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved July 13, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vomitorium