“We are a miniscule piece”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"We are a miniscule piece of the matter and energy of the universe, looking carefully at some of the rest of the matter and energy, and asking, "How would you like to get off?""

“We are a miniscule piece of the matter and energy of the universe, looking carefully at some of the rest of the matter and energy, and asking, ‘How would you like to get off?'”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 50, “To Give Itself Pleasure: An Atheist View of Sexual Transcendence”)

(Image description: above text, superimposed over image of bed)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“We are a miniscule piece”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen
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“Let’s celebrate our bodies”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"Let's celebrate our bodies as much as we do our minds. In fact, let's stop seeing our bodies as something apart from our minds."

“Let’s celebrate our bodies as much as we do our minds. In fact, let’s stop seeing our bodies as something apart from our minds.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 49, “Atheism and Sensuality”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to silhouette of person stretching in dance or yoga pose in front of sunset behind mountains.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Let’s celebrate our bodies”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

Godless Perverts Story Hour in SF, Saturday August 27!

Godless Perverts Story Hour Aug 27

We have a Godless Perverts Story Hour coming up in San Francisco on Saturday, August 29! The Story Hour is the performance/ entertainment/ literary reading branch of the Godless Perverts empire — we’ll be bringing you depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities, as well as critical, mocking, and blasphemous views of sex and religion. And we’re very excited to be bringing in an out-of-town performer — Heina Dadabhoy!

Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy spent their childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in their right mind would have believed that they would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist and a pansexual genderqueer switch to boot. Heina has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007, and on the national stage since 2011. You may have heard them at Skepticon, the American Atheists National Convention, the Huffington Post Live, and Have Your Say on the BBC World Service or read about them in the New York Times.

Our other readers and performers for the evening include Donna Jay, Juba Kalamka, Ember Atwell, Michaela Goldhaber, and co-hosts Greta Christina and Chris Hall.

Juba Kalamka 100
Ember Atwell 100
Michaela Goldhaber
Greta Christina 100
Chris Hall 100

So please join us at the for an evening about how to have good sex without having any gods, goddesses, spirits, or their earthly representatives hanging over your shoulder and telling you that you’re doing it wrong. The evening’s entertainment will have a range of voices — sexy and serious, passionate and funny, and all of the above — talking about how our sexualities can not only exist, but even thrive, without the supernatural.

The event is at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St. in San Francisco, near Civic Center BART. It’s on Saturday, August 29, starting at 7:00 pm. Admission is a sliding scale, $10-$20, with no-one turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds go to the Center for Sex and Culture. Hope to see you there!

Godless Perverts Story Hour in SF, Saturday August 27!

7 of the Less-Noted But Still Very Sexist Attacks on Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

It’s entirely reasonable to criticize Hillary Clinton. She’s running for President of the United States, after all. If she’s elected, she’s going to be representing all U.S. citizens: we should tell her what we want from her, and speak out when she lets us down.

But a significant amount of anti-Clinton criticism is loaded with sexism. It’s not just the obvious examples, like critiquing her clothing and her voice, microanalyzing her gestures and mannerisms, sexualizing her or targeting her with sexist and misogynist slurs. Much of the sexism against Hillary Clinton flies under the radar. On the surface, it looks like legitimate political commentary: the sexism underlying it is largely unconscious. But when you understand some of the ways sexism commonly plays out, it’s glaringly obvious.

Here are seven examples.

*****

Thus begins my latest piece for AlterNet, 7 of the Less-Noted But Still Very Sexist Attacks on Hillary Clinton. Enjoy!

7 of the Less-Noted But Still Very Sexist Attacks on Hillary Clinton

“Have you ever truly looked at Clinton with the same critical eye?”

Hillary Clinton

Some guy on someone else’s Facebook page: “Have you ever truly looked at Clinton with the same critical eye with an open mind or you just supporting the party?”

Me: “Hillary Clinton is probably one of the most closely scrutinized people in U.S. politics. There has been a decades-long right-wing smear campaign against her (much of which has been bought into by the left), and every mistake she’s ever made has been examined with a spotlight and a high-powered microscope. So yes — I have looked at Clinton with a critical eye. It has been literally impossible not to.”

I would have said more, but I try not to burst into long streams of invective on other people’s Facebook pages.

“Have you ever truly looked at Clinton with the same critical eye?”

Frivolous Friday: A Big Pot of Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

many cheeses

A few weeks ago on Frivolous Friday, I posted about cooking up big pots of things and freezing them into little Tupperwares, as an efficient way to cook at home for one or two people. I promised recipes: here is one, with our modifications, mostly in the direction of making it easier.

We start with this recipe from Epicurious. A few modifications:

For this recipe, there is absolutely no reason to bake your own butternut squash. Frozen is fine. I’m a big fan of cooking fresh things, but I’m also a big fan of making things easy when the hard way doesn’t really add anything. In this case, frozen butternut squash is 100% fine: it’s not the dominant flavor, and it’s just going to get mixed up into the sauce so texture is a non-issue. And using frozen cuts a BIG chunk of time and hassle from the recipe. Microwave it so it’s warm when you mix it into the sauce.

In the Epicurious recipe, the proportions of sauce to pasta are WAAAAAAY off. The first time we made it, we ended up with cheesy soup with some pasta in it. The second time around, we doubled the amount of pasta, and it worked perfectly. (Actually, we doubled the recipe and quadrupled the pasta. When we make big pots of things, we do not kid around.)

The crispy Parmesan wheels are nice, and they’re not difficult to make, but they’re not necessary. Ditto the fried sage leaves, although we do still use chopped-up fresh sage. If you’re going to do just one of these, I’d suggest the fried sage leaves, since it’s nice to start the roux with sage-y butter. It’s also nice to grate a little Parm on top when you’re serving it, if you feel like it. Because cheese!

On the advice of the (we think) dyke at Rainbow Grocery, who was obsessed with mac and cheese and spent lots of time talking with us about it, we added Brie and Tallegio to the sauce. It was a nice flourish: it made it very creamy, and the Tallegio gave it a nice little bite. (The recipe can be a little unctuous, and the bite helps.) You don’t need much Tallegio or Brie, just enough to make it creamy and a little tangy without being too rich. Another bitey soft cheese would also work: we used Tallegio because it was on sale, and also the dyke at Rainbow Grocery recommended it, and she was cute and nice and seemed like she knew what she was talking about. Cheap Brie is fine: you’re not putting it on crackers and serving it to the Queen, you’re melting it into mac and cheese. We also substituted Gruyere for some of the Swiss. Yes, that meant we used five cheeses: Fontina, Swiss (Emmentaler, actually), Gruyere, Tallegio, and Brie. Six if you count the Parmesan. What’s your point? (This recipe calls for Fontina and Swiss as the bsae, which work well for us — but if you have cheeses you prefer for mac and cheese, go for it. It’s also fine to just use Fontina and Swiss: we did that the first time, and it was perfectly lovely.)

We’ve found that this recipe is well-served by including chopped-up green veggies of some kind. It makes it more vegetal and vegetally-varied, turns it into more of a full meal in one bowl, and again cuts into the rich unctuousness, which is delish but can be a little much. We’re still working out how to best do that: roasted asparagus worked well, blanched asparagus worked okay but got a little mushy on being re-heated. We’re also going to try peas, and probably cut-up leafy greens of some sort. (If you try this and it turns out well, let us know what you did!)

We added powdered mustard as well as cayenne, which also adds some bite, and apparently also helps melted cheese stay smooth and melty.

We really like a half-and-half mix of white pasta and whole wheat pasta. And we like penne, as it stands up well to being frozen and re-heated.

If you try this out with your own variants, let us know how it goes!

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!

Frivolous Friday: A Big Pot of Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

“To give itself pleasure”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"We aren't just a way for the universe to know itself. We are a way for the universe to give itself pleasure."

“We aren’t just a way for the universe to know itself. We are a way for the universe to give itself pleasure.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 50, “To Give Itself Pleasure: An Atheist View of Sexual Transcendence”)

(Image description: above text, superimposed over image of galaxy and stars in space.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“To give itself pleasure”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland August 18 – Parlor Games!

Godless Perverts Social Club Parlor Games

Godless Perverts are having a Social Club in our wonderful downtown Oakland location on Thursday, August 18. And we’re doing something new this time! Our game nights in San Francisco are among our most popular events — but our meetup space in Oakland doesn’t work for tabletop games. So we’re having Parlor Games Night!

We’ve compiled a list of games that can be played sitting in one place, with no equipment other than paper and pen (which we’ll provide). And some games don’t even need that! Just people, words, and brains. Scroll to the end of this announcement to see a list of games, with brief summaries — or just click here. And if you have favorites that aren’t listed, please let us know! Continue reading “Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland August 18 – Parlor Games!”

Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland August 18 – Parlor Games!

Daily Beast Outs Gay Athletes

rainbow flag

I just sent this letter to the editors of Daily Beast. Content note: homophobia, homophobic oppression, trivialization of homophobia

Dear Daily Beast:

What the hell were you thinking? What possible journalistic value was going to come of outing gay athletes, some of whom live in repressively homophobic countries? You put people’s actual lives at risk — for what? What was the story here? “Gay people exist, and some of them are Olympic athletes”?

This was grossly irresponsible journalism. I know you took down some of the identifying details about closeted athletes — but why is the piece even still up at all? What purpose is served by it? And in any case, it’s too late. Do you really not understand that there are some countries where being gay is illegal — and where virulent homophobes are actively hunting down gay people for the purpose of exposing them? Do you not understand that even here in the United States, where being gay is legal, it’s still dangerous for many people to be out? Do you not know that gay people can lose families, jobs, homes, and are subject to violence? And do you somehow not know that there is a huge spotlight on Olympic athletes, and that news stories about them can and will be seen around the world?

I notice that the banner on your Twitter page has a rainbow flag on it. Shame on you for trying to score points with LGBT readers while selling us out.

Nico Hines needs to be fired. His editor needs to be fired. And Daily Beast needs to do a major overhaul of its practices, to find out how the hell this shameful display of shoddy journalism happened in the first place, and to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.

-Greta Christina

If you want to write to Daily Beast about this, their email address is [email protected] Their Twitter handle is @thedailybeast.

Daily Beast Outs Gay Athletes