Welcome to the Encyclopedia Eclectica

Well, it has a long history for me.

Let’s be honest: Calling a blog “webLOG!” isn’t the most creative. So I had to think about what I wanted to do. Once, a long time ago (fall semester of 1993), I was in an English class that was more of a performance art thing.

I was young. I was silly. I thought it was earth-shattering stuff I was doing.

So a group of us tried to start up a student group called “eclectica” and the group failed miserably. I grew up, got a job, got married, bought a house… and realized it wasn’t earth-shattering stuff I had been doing. That’s not to say that I will not be producing earth-shattering stuff in the near future… it’s just currently on hold while it steeps a little longer.

But, as for “eclectica,” well, the word stuck with me. And that is what a personal blog is, isn’t it? It is eclectic: personal, odd, curious, ranting little eclectic pieces. Makes sense to me.

And, if we are talking about a collection of eclectic pieces, that would be rather encyclopedic, correct? An eclectic encyclopedia?

Well, at the point I was thinking about it, the Encyclopedia Eclectica was born. I would ask you to enjoy it… but I really don’t care if you do. This is not so much for you as it is for me. This is mine for you to peruse, and that’s about it.

Fighting the enemy incorrectly…

Dubya continues to prove how out of touch with reality he is when he tries to tell us the war in Iraq will help stop more 9/11-type attacks.

I’m sorry, but he’s just dead wrong and, deep down, we all know it. Why do I say he’s wrong? Because, if you read why bin Laden says they attacked us, you’ll see that we’ve not addressed any of those issues: Our troops are still in Saudi Arabia, we have done nothing to bring an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and we are still making massive assumptions about the Middle East (don’t forget — we were going to be seen as “liberators” by the Iraqis we were freeing, remember?).

I am not saying bin Laden is right. I am saying, instead of exploring what the motives of the terrorists are and exactly what is happening in their minds, we are playing the cowboy and making ourselves an even larger target. Yup, you heard me right: I feel less safe since March of 2003 than I did between September, 2001 and March, 2003.

Why?

Because we have a president who doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that we have upset muslims outside of the fundamentalist sects. We have upset mainstream, westernized muslims. How do we explain the kids who bombed the London underground? They were born and raised in the UK, but they felt threatened by the policies the US and UK are currently following.

Again, I’m not saying that we should coddle the terrorists or make excuse for them… but we must learn to understand what their motivations are. If we are going to ever defeat them, we must deal with them on a psychological battlefield.

Challenging Intelligent Design

Some in the intelligent design (creationism) community seem to think Pastafarianism is not legitimate, and don’t believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world. BB is willing to “pay any individual $250,000 [in ‘Intelligently Designed currency’] if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

Now… I’m a tolerant person. I respect my creationist friends and their beliefs. I even respect the people I know who are Scientologists, etc., because I have to assume that some attempt at sane, rational thought went into deciding to believe in what they believe.

So, what exactly is wrong about believing in a Flying Spaghetti Monster? Come on: Christians believe that a virgin, who was conveniently “immaculate” herself (that one always cracks me up), gave birth to a kid who was nailed to a piece of wood 33 years later and then rose from the dead and then ascended into the sky after that. I’m not knocking Christianity… I’m just saying that when you look at that and, let’s say, the ancient myths of the Greek and Roman days, the ideas really aren’t that different.

So why can’t someone believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster? In my book, a belief is a belief, be it Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Church of the Sub-Genius, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster…

As Douglas Adams (in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) states in reference to the Babel fish:

Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”

“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.