Friday, January 12, 2007

Resorting To Sneaky Underhanded Tactics


Have you ever noticed that conservative commentators and religious extremists often resort to trickery to try and convince their sheep?

E-Mail Spam
My brother sent me the following e-mail, which for the most part expressed many of my own sentiments:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because . WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down
the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer s, no Internet or chat rooms.......WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,

made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang
the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them . CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as
kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!


Then comes the catch. Despite the misspellings, and the ridiculous nature of trying to compare the times while I grew up with today's world, I like some of the sentiment of this chain e-mail spam. But then the author ended it with this.
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,"Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us....go ahead and delete this. For the rest of us....pass this on.


To me, these two sections of the e-mail relate to each other...not at all. It's as if the author is trying to make you sympathetic to his or her ideas, by recalling memories of your growing up years, commiserating about how things have changed, and then zinging you with how it's all because of God...huh? And using a reference to the pledge of allegiance, which only had the words "under God" added in 1954 by Catholic zealots (the Knights of Columbus), makes it even more absurd.

If spirituality, or reverence of God, or religion is so great, why do conservatives often feel like they have to trick you into it, or manipulate into believing what they do? I would imagine this kind of trickery would only work on the weak of mind, but I'm not even too sure about that.

I choose to surround myself with people who think for themselves. Examples of sales techniques like this seem to indicate Christianity is for those that don't.

Current Knitting
I've made it up to the armhole shaping on the back of the dark tweed pullover for Thaddeus.



Since this cone yarn seems to have some machining oil left in it (that washed out when I swatched and scoured it), the yarn is somewhat hard on my hands. But I think forward to what it will be like when all washed up and blocked, and figure it will all be worth it.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my current spinning, Geraldine asks, "May I ask, how are you going to ply the 3ply merino, three singles or Navajo-ply?"

I am finishing my third bobbin of singles, and will ply all three together. I've attempted Navajo plying, but I'm not very good at it. It's the first area of spinning where I think a one-on-one lesson would help me out significantly.

Geraldine also asks, "Does anyone know where one can get Nancy Wiseman's finishing techniques book?"

Amazon's site is always my favorite for ordering books. That's where I recently ordered mine after it was suggested.

12 comments:

Lynne aka witchypoo said...

There is something to be said for natural selection.

FiberQat said...

Someone added the religious tag to the email. The versions of it I've received have never had that on there. Sometimes I think it's the sender's means of assuring him/herself of their faith without considering the receiver's beliefs.

Cara said...

That email sounds a bit like my father. When my daughter was born he wanted me to get rid of the cat because "it will smother the baby," but then would claim that baby car seats were awful contraptions, and I should put bella in my lap or on the seat while driving, instead of in a car seat. I actually know of someone who has severe brain damage from going through the car windsheild as a child. And when we were children our parents weren't bombarded with news stories of murderers/sex offenders carrying off children daily, or they probably would have leashed us in the backyard.

The sweater color is very manly, very nice.

Angie said...

It's true, we didn't have bike helmets or car seats. Lots of kids died or had brain damage to prove it. Those laws are in place to help guard children (who are not little adults and lack the connections to really understand long term results) from the stupidity of some of their parents.

That religious "we made it because we are chosen" or "we prayed so we were taken care of" is so arrogant, it drives me crazy. You know, some people are wonderful people and have totally random nasties happen to them. And some people are complete assholes and everything comes out ducky for them. It sucks, and it's not fair, but that's just how it is.

BTW, I can't seem to wrap my head around Navajo plying for some reason either, so if you figure it out, please share!

Marilyn said...

I had a Daisy air rifle, I rollerskated hellbent for election over very uneven pavement, I climbed apple trees with abandon (knocking my brother out of them was a favorite hobby) and generally made my mother exceptionally nervous. Never broke a bone. My mary brother, who was a chicken of the first water, broke both his wrists, one right after the other. My sister was thrown from a horse and broke an arm. Me--nothing.

I tend to agree with the sentiments, other than the last bit, which was completely idiotic and gratuitous. However, I don't know that I had a better childhood than my children or grandchildren. Just different. As it should be.

Machine-oiled coned yarn usually softens up considerably when washed. I would suggest you give it a good long dunk in warm water with some shampoo. Eschew the no-rinse washes for this one. One of the best sweaters I ever machine-knit was from oiled Shetland. However, I've not hand knit oiled yarn.

Barb B. said...

I've also seen that email without the added crap at the end.
We survived making our own gunpowder, stuffing in a 45 gal. drum and lighting it on fire with a little trench of gunpowder going to the drum like on the cowboy movies. Not that I recommended it for my kids! My kids survived falling out of trees, herion sold in the back of the schools, and the couch potato trap. Every generation, it seems to me, does their best to protect the next from the dangers of their own childhood years.
I've hand knit a couple of sweaters from oiled Shetland coned yarn. The first wash, I just shoved in the sink with hot water and some Dawn dishsoap, and left it for a half hour or so.
I like the look of this one, Joe.
Barb B.

Geraldine said...

I too have seen that letter without the last paragraph and I liked it a lot better that way! Mind you I think perhaps we just didn't hear about all the people who got brain damage or died back then, and we should not forget about the ravages of Polio and Diptheria when we start getting nostalgic about the way things were! One only has to visit an old graveyard anywhere to see the many, many graves of babies and children before the 1940's.

However. away with all that morbidity! Thanks for the tip about Amazon. I had a look there and found it, but I think I will try to order it via a local bookshop, even though it may be more expensive, on the principle of supporting local business. However if they can't get it I shall be back to Amazon no doubt!

For those with plyophobia, Navajo plying is quite easy and you can get some interesting effects with both colour and texture by using it. I find the main thing most people do that makes it difficult is treadling too fast. You have to go really slow, and use about half the number of treadles per 12 inches as you used on the singles yarn to get it to come out balanced. The loops don't all need to be the same length either! you can do long loops and short ones while you are getting your hands to co-operate, it doesn't matter. If you have a slubby single you can accentuate the slubs by plying so that the slub folds over the end of the loop and so becomes shorter and thicker, and if you are plying a multicoloured single this method automatically keeps the colours much more separate if that is the effect you want.

Getting someone to show you is probably a good idea, though as usual I had to learn out of a book 'cos no one else could do it.

hollyeqq said...

I work with a girl who if you say anything, she throws God in the convo. She has pamphlets that she lays all over the lobby for people to read, posts signs, listens to preaching all day every day and generally puts it out there all the time. She is a nice woman but I prefer my religion a little more private. When I mentioned that to her during a conversation about theology, she told me I wasn't a born again Christian and just didn't understand.
Hmmmphh, I understand perfectly.

She would have added on the last bit, it is just her style.
Yuck - it falls right in line with people who send out viruses. WHY? What do you think will happen? Will I read that and think - I NEED TO BE SAVED! We have people who stand on the street corner in their Sunday best and preach. Do they think I am going to stop my car and not go to the beach but go spend the day in church because they are getting all hot and sweaty and dying of car fumes? Nope.
Ok, getting off my soap box.... Clearly this touched a nerve!
Sorry for the rant.
Love the brown... machining oil sucks.
Holly

Jan said...

O dear me.... Your brother this is really someone from : GENERATION JONES (google and I am sure you recognize it what he wrote.
I am a "Jones" myself, from Holland but Jones'es are from all over the world and I also have these nostalgic feelings and sometimes I am glad I grow up in those years. Life for my students is more complicated I think compared to the simple life we had when everything was clear and you didn't have so much choices as we have to make nowadays.
But..... Lidewij Edelkoort (a famous trendwatcher) came up with the idea that the coming years will be "years of soberness" and maybe life will become easier because we all get fed up with all the amounts of choices we have to make. we wnat it simple and sober (so I just started to knit a towel from unbleached cotton after I knitted a beautiful and simple washcloth for one of my best friends who became 50 yesterday: and she loved it)

I really like to read your blog.
Bye from Deventer!

Kathy said...

Hi QJ: This excerpt effects me the same way as you... i love the reminiscing and I even snicker some but you're dead on about comparisons of that world to now.

There were similarly misleading and ire-provoking missives surrounding the issue of the Senator from Minnesota that chose to take his oath of office upon the Koran. The manipulation is unbelievable and very many folks DON'T stop to question the logic or even the legitimacy of the author's comments. Worse still, they're often circulated by organizations like the "American Family Association" leading people to think that perhaps choosing to believe otherwise somehow undermines the integrity of American families and all that neccessarily (?) follows.

We all have to learn how to operate in a culture so inclined... I don't see that the liberals do a very good job of bringing those people into the fray. And frankly, I think they often are guilty of the same kind of manipulation. Some of the information and conclusions passed along by Mr. Gore in his documentary were more than a little sketchy. It broke my heart because if we don't have the high road to claim, how can we hope to win our battles?

Barb said...

I didn't realize it was the Knights of Columbus who added the "under God" portion, but I knew about the 1950's part. I had heard the comment was added as part of the whole McCarthyism, "everyone's a communist" reign. I really dislike it when people shove their beliefs down my throat.

My father (born in 1935) sent me an email about how we should keep the addition because we were a christian nation and it started me on a tear I never told him about. For someone who grew up without that phrase being in his pledge, I can't understand why he thinks it's acceptable for everyone's kids to be forced to ignore their own beliefs for a bunch of fear-mongering individuals (to be polite!).

That being said, I've always noticed that some of the most vocal christians are the least likely to act like christians, or generous, loving and helpful to other people.

Canadian said...

I've never understood this "civic religion" thing that you Americans seem to have there... Whether it's the "under God" thing, or politicians saying "God bless America" or whatever. It seems weird to me. Actually, the Pledge of Allegiance seems weird to me even without the "under God". It seems almost blasphemous to be practically worshipping a piece of cloth.