Marcel Gagne's blog

26
Mar

The Easter Story, as I explained it to my kids

My youngest son asked me aboout Easter today. Luckily, as a parent, I am endowded with the power of complete universal knowledge and, naturally, explaining how Easter works is child's play. Or adult knowledge, as the case may be.

Every Easter, a giant invisible white rabbit, only vaguely like the one in the famous play, Harvey, visits every house everywhere all around the world, delivering chocolates for Easter. He goes by the name, Easter Bunny.

Posessed with awesome jumping powers, the Easter Bunny doesn't need a sleigh or reindeer to cover the world. He just hops from house to house. When he arrives at a house where a boy or girl live, he slides down the chimney, in much the same way as Santa does. Unlike Santa, howerver, the Easter Bunny doesn't care if you've been bad or good. He has Easter eggs to deliver and by gum he's going to deliver them.

Now Santa may be rounder than the Easter Bunny but the Easter bunny is a lot taller. Also unlike Santa, the Easter Bunny can shrink himself down to the size of a fly. This is cool because if you don't have a chimney, he can come up the floor vents. Once he pops out, he returns to his normal size (about 7 feet tall). You won't see him,  of course, because he is invisible.

Once in your house, the Easter Bunny hops around, pausing to poop out chocolate Easter eggs here and there. The eggs are hidden because he's a bit shy about pooping in public so he poops the eggs behind furniture, bushes, and so on. 

Even though the Easter Bunny is invisible, you can tell when he's around because he growls like a tiger. So if you're out hunting for Easter eggs and you hear a low growl when you find an egg, that's the  Easter Bunny.

And that is what Easter is all about.

Note : Originally published 2012-04-05.

08
Mar

Save The Rich

Just discovered Garfunkel and Oates. Wonderful stuff. When you're done here, check them out on Garfunkel's YouTube page.

07
Mar

Atheism Super Bowl Commercial

True confessions time . . . I didn't watch the Super Bowl.

I don't actually like football and I've never been able to figure out what people find interesting about it. Every year though, there's this holy day called Super Bowl Sunday where, as near as I can figure it out, is where the really cool commercials get aired and, if you're lucky, there is one incredibly hot and super sexy half time show. The following is purportedly a Super Bowl ad, though I can't imagine who would have paid for it. I don't even know if it actually aired or if it was one of the many "non-Super Bowl" Super Bowl commercials dotting the landscape of YouTube. Nevertheless, I share it with you now. 

EDIT : It was pointed out to me that this is a remix of a religious commercial, in this case done by the Church of Scientology. Too bad it wasn't the real thing. 

If you saw it and it was real, let me know. Otherwise, I must go on dreaming that some day, somebody will be willing to spend money for this kind of advertising. 

02
Mar

Upside to The McDonalds Years

There are many downsides of the "McDonald's Years", those being the years that you spend more time than you'll ever spend in your life, ever again, at McDonalds with your kids.

21
Feb

Why I Talk About Gun Control

RIght after the whole Sandy Hook massacre, there was a lot of heated back and forth discussion on the subject of why guns are bad, or good depending on who you spoke to, and whether guns kill people or whether just people kill people. The short answer to that last one is that people kill people but guns make it a hell of a lot easier. Anyhow, it appears that I do a lot of the talking (or writing) on this subject and I am, in fact, highly critical of guns, gun ownership, and the whole gun culture. Guns are a touchy and deeply personal topic for many, much like religion, especially in the United States where the 2nd Amendment is considered by many to be as sacred as any Bible and sparks no end of debate. Whenever I see one too many pro-gun postings, or after yet another shooting tragedy, I can't seem to help but join the fray. After one rather heartfelt and personal emails from a friend on Facebook, it occured to me that I needed to respond publicly and to express my feelings regarding guns and gun control (much as I did regarding my posts about why I attack religion).

20
Feb

Definition Of A Stupid By-law

This is the definition of a stupid by-law. Not to mention a discriminatory and insensitive one. At the front of my kid's school, there's a 'school drop off and pick up zone'. Parents can pull up here, wait for their kids to come out, then drive away. There's no posted time limit and as long as you are sitting in the car, it's okay.

Enter, me. My son is autistic and is prone to wandering. He sadly cannot be trusted to simply walk out and come to the car. So I park, get out, walk to the door and get him. No big deal. If I park, as I did today, in the drop-off and pick-up zone, the nice by-law enforcement officer makes me move my car. He explains that the by-law states that you can't get out of the car. 

So here's the insane stupidity of this law. Parents of normal, neurotypical children, who can be trusted to walk from the school to the waiting car, can park there, waiting in their warm vehicles (it's winter) for their kids to join them. It could take 5 minutes. It could take 8 minutes. Because I have to physically get out of the car because my son is autistic, I can not legally do what parents of normal children can do.

14
Feb

The True Meaning of Lent

Even though the language I am most comfortable with is English, my first language was French. I spoke my first English words when I was 9 years old, and to this day, I still remember those first words. We had moved from Alma, Quebec to Ontario and didn't yet have a place to live. So my parents rented a room at the Sleepy Time Motel in St. Thomas, Ontario, where we stayed for a couple of weeks. The motel was just on the outskirts of town. Just a short walk down from the motel was a chip wagon selling hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, and so on. I wanted a hot dog, so I asked my Dad for some money and the English words I would need to ask for my treat. I practiced that line over and over again, reciting it out loud and in my head as I walked toward the chip wagon. Those words, "I want a hot dog with everything on it" still echo through my mind to this day.

Those types of early language memories can be powerful. Consequently, there are still a lot of French idiomatic expressions floating around in my head. I still occasionally say "Close the light" instead of "turn off the light". Which brings me to Lent.

04
Feb

Fashion Monster

I have no idea what to make of this, but it made me smile, scratch my head, and pinch myself to make sure I wasn't having some kind of bizarre psychotic dream. So I'm sharing it.

03
Feb

Betrayal of the intellect

Last night, at the Cambridge Union debating society, Professor Richard Dawkins debated the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The image here comes from a story on the Huffington Post where Dawkins is quoted as saying that religion is a "betrayal of the intellect". When I referred to this story on Google+, someone replied to my post by saying the trouble with Richard Dawkins is that he is a "rabid, fundamentalist, atheist" and as deluded at the former Archbishop. He further suggested that neither science nor religion will ever settle this issue.  

Here's my take . . . whether or not some deity or other exists, I can say with near absolute certainty that it's not the god of the Bible, Talmud, Torah, Koran, or any of the books that are paraded as God's word on this planet. Furthermore, the evidence suggests, with near absolute certainty, that there is no god, at least not in the way that most religious people envision such a being.

27
Jan

Today's Bible Quote Examined : Kings 2:23-25

If you've every wondered whether God and his prophets have a sense of humour, wonder no further. Harken to the word . . . 

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

Apparently, having your bald head insulted was too much for Elisha who was on his way from Jericho to Bethel. He calls on God to do his worse and God puts on quite a show indeed.

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