Invisible – Short Story

Copyright Darragh Jennings (C) 2015 – All Rights Reserved

She sat on the bed with her knees folded beneath her and her chin resting on the big blue pillow she held to her chest.

He stood beside the bed, wrestling with his thoughts. He took a breath, opened his mouth to speak and then his gaze met hers and he stopped short.

‘What?’ she asked.

He swallowed. ‘I…I just… I just feel guilty, I guess,’ he said.

‘Guilty? Guilty about what?’ she asked.

‘Well, I mean, if I hadn’t stumbled across your, you know, your gift… I never would have taken the time to get to know you, and, well, that makes me feel like shit.’ He stared at his hands, awkwardly trying to avoid her gaze for fear of the judgement he might see in her eyes.

‘Why does that make you feel like shit?’ she asked.

‘Because, when it comes down to it, it means I’m a shallow person,’ he said.

‘You know, Tommy, it takes a lot of maturity to be able to admit something like that, and it’s that emotional maturity and intelligence that kept me from trying to lie and run away from you,’ she said.

She waited for him to finally raise his eyes and look at her and then patted the space on the bed beside her. He came and sat beside her and they sat in silence for a time.

‘Where would you have run to?’ he asked eventually.

‘Really? That’s your question? Aren’t you pissed that I could have lied to you?’

‘Well… I mean, you didn’t lie, right?’ he asked, risking a glance in her direction, as if to gauge her reaction.

She took a moment to compose her thoughts and formulate her response. ‘No, I didn’t lie, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have secrets,’ she said.

He uttered a short laugh. ‘It’s not like I can hold that against you, even if I wanted to. Everybody has secrets,’ he said.

‘Even you?’ she asked, with a wry smile.

He tried to steel himself before responding but ruined it by blurting out ‘I really, really like you, Nat.’

Her smile became a grin as she said ‘Nice try, Tommy, but that’s not a secret.’

For the first time all evening, he looked directly at her, the surprise evident on his face. ‘Shit… seriously?’ he asked. As if realising he was staring, he diverted his gaze again and said ‘Umm, how long have you known?’

‘Since last week. You forget that I can still see you when I disappear. That goofy grin on your face was all the evidence I needed,’ she said, grinning as she relived the moment in her head.

‘Now I really feel like shit. I’m sorry, I should probably -’

‘Tommy…’ she said, as she took his hand.

The surprise of her touch overrode his nervousness and he turned to look at her. She pulled his hand towards her, forcing him to lean in and as he did so she moved with him and their lips met in a kiss.

When their lips parted, her smile widened and she said ‘See? The feeling is mutual.’

‘So, I see,’ he said, smiling back at her.

She rose from the bed to stand in front of him, the blue pillow still firmly in her grasp. He met her gaze and had just enough time to see her give him a mischievous look before she and the pillow disappeared into thin air.

He heard her disembodied voice a few moments later as she said ‘Come find me!’

He laughed as he looked around the room for any sign of her, though he knew he would find none until she reappeared. When he felt something soft and light hit the back of his head he was half-expecting to find she had thrown the pillow at his head. He was quite surprised to find instead she had instead thrown her shirt at him. As he heard the shower being turned on he rose from the bed to go find her.

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Some Pressing Thoughts

*** DISCLAIMER: This one’s going to be a bit rambly ***

It’s funny, or in this case perpetually infuriating, how I go through these phases of not caring/not having enough time to post and/or rant and/or blog and/or vlog. This blog hadn’t seen any love in 2 years, my YouTube channel hasn’t seen much activity in the last 10 months, and even that slowly moved from gaming videos to vlogs/rants that only lasted 4 episodes before I gave up.

This perpetual state of ping-ponging (granted it’s over a matter of many months) between this project or that project is endemic to my nature but it is, as I said, thoroughly infuriating. Infuriating, in large part, because I can be in the middle of one thing and suddenly a wild and inspiring thought will occur to me that pulls me off in a different direction and I’m off on another wild goose chase that results in, you guessed it: No Goose. This is why I tried to start a Games Development company that went nowhere, because I had lots of ideas for games that went nowhere because I never finished them. This is why I have lots of in-progress (read: some sketchy notes and some half-arsed dialogue) stories/novels that I would love to work on that I have never finished. Although that last is due to my waning inspiration. My writing, whether it’s prose or poetry or music or lyrics is another very much phase-oriented thing whereby I was able to write a whole album of songs years ago, a whole book of (angsty, terrible) poetry years ago, write the music and lyrics for 2 different EPs for my now defunct metal band and begin world building and short story writing for a large fantasy novel series I’ve had in the works for years – all with very long bouts of intervening time devoid of any kind of inspiration or motivation. It’s like I wax and wane like the moon between a content consumption phase and a content creation phase.

My recent post baring my soul and my particular thoughts and interests caught a certain important somebody very off guard (primarily because I was a total idiot in terms of how that was handled) but in any event those are all things that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. I’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter recently (another phase I go through), in part due to that certain important someone reviving my latent civic pride (for want of a better phrase) and reminding me of the then upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland. To that end I have been following my many different civil rights passions through the medium of Twitter, sharing important calls to action, cool and progressive news stories and all manner of content whether simply interesting or directly related to one of my many civil rights passions. I’ll get to those passions in a later post as I want to talk through those various items in respect to how far we’ve come and how much further we still have to go etc… (you get the picture)

Anyway, that’s enough self-aggrandising via the medium of self-deprecation. Talk to you all next time!

F**k your Honda Civic, There’s a Point Being Made

The Rubberbandits are a comedy hip-hop group based in Limerick. The duo have been around for the past few years and started their artistic career primarily with prank phone calls they recorded and released on homemade CDs. They garnered quite a sizeable underground following, primarily among teenagers and when they started doing live shows with their own songs those same underground fans turned more mainstream until the ‘Bandits found themselves playing Electric Picnic, a large, annual Irish music festival. Not only that, they have also landed themselves a regular appearance on Republic of Telly, a comedy popular media show, somewhat in the vein on The Daily Show, which focuses on humourous clips from both Irish and International television media.

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Blond and Pabst

I just read this article and as soon as I saw this line:

Richard Dawkins’s barely literate polemic “The God Delusion”….

I had to immediately stop reading and blog about these inane dunderheads.

The word polemic is used to describe arguments used against a widely held beliefs, but Christian commentators on the so-called “New Atheists” consistently use this word, just one in their book of “Words we think sound cool and make us look great and makes those other guys smell like doo-doo but we don’t really understand them”, as if it was some sort of argument against the argument itself. No self-respecting intellectual would say “Thomson’s paper on anti-gravity emitters? Oh it’s just polemic.” and leave it at that, which is what most of these commentators do, but these two knuckleheads go even further.

They have the audacity to call the published writings of an Oxford-educated scholar and a world-reknowned scientist “barely literate”….?!

I’m sorry but have you guys looked in a dictionary yet? “Barely literate” is what you call 1 in 10 american children who live in poverty and whose parents can’t afford to educate them properly or they end up in gangs etc… “Barely literate” is what you call the goatherders who wrote the Bible (by our standards, despite the poetry of a lot of the prose). “Barely literate” is NOT what you call a college educated Professor of Biology. No matter how badly he humiliates you for believing in fairies and hobgoblins and magical men in the sky.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s move on with the article…

Oh dear, not even a paragraph later, but in the same paragraph that old Hitler/Stalin argument which has been debunked ad nauseum:

Sam Harris’…”The End of Faith” has to falsify history by claiming that Hitler and Stalin were religious in order to make its case for the malign influence of faith.

Sam Harris was not implying that Stalin was deeply religious, but merely that Stalin wanted to be in control of the Church and may have been religious himself, but that his religion or lack thereof was NOT in any meaningful way a contributing factor to his atrocious acts. And Hitler…? Well, I’m sorry, but anyone who makes his subordinates wear paraphernalia that explicitly says “God with Us” is definitely religious, and his diatribe (which is a good adjective for his writings and NOT accurate at all when describing Sam Harris’ book) “Mein Kampf” explictly states that Hitler believed that God was on his side in his campaign of hatred and genocide against the Jews.

Oh, and by the way: YAWN…

having just realised that the article is over 4 years old, I’m going to stop writing this post now and just click submit…

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You’re offended? So am I!

I’m offended that the morons at the IEDR (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/31/2217253) morons are offended by simple names.

It’s bullshit like this that makes me realise just how far back in the dark ages so many Irish people still are. Especially the morons who make these kinds of decisions.

Fair enough, if they were arguing that the website’s content was immoral and offensive (to their hyperactive sensitivities, I must add) then maybe we would be in the realm of rationality. Just barely. But arguing that the words “porn” and “pornography” are offensive and immoral?? What the fuck gives them the right to do that? That would be like arguing that I hate all Adolfs because Hitler was immoral and offended my sensibilities. It’s exactly this kind of ignorant, irrational and indefensible position these arseholes are purveying.

ARGH!

Love God? I think not.

The following is the text of a private message I received last week on RD.net forum, and my detailed response to it. The member LOVE-GOD had seen my cross-buster tattoo (above) somewhere on the forum, and decided to give me some extremely constructive criticism on it:

LOVE-GOD said:

Your tattoo with the cross is really something serious.

I hope GOD punish u in hell. For you have fail him alot.

The following response was written to LOVE-GOD in the form of a private message, but I’d like to share it with you all.

Hmm…there’s a lot in this small message of yours. Let’s take a look shall we?

LOVE-GOD said:

Your tattoo with the cross is really something serious.

Ok, so, clearly my tattoo has brought up some kind of emotional reaction within you…which means you must take offense at any denigrations of your faith. Why is this? Do you feel god needs you to berate me for tattooing myself as such? Are you trying to get me to change my ways so that I can be spared god’s torment?

LOVE-GOD said:

I hope GOD punish u in hell.

Hmm…well, from this comment it would seem that, no, in fact you would LIKE to see me facing god’s torment. Okay, well I find it odd that you would ACTIVELY WISH eternal torment upon someone who has neither done anything to you nor those around you, but clearly this is what your god teaches: “be angry, vengeful and merciless towards others, and wish torment upon them, for you, above all, are god’s children.”

LOVE-GOD said:

For you have fail him alot.

Hmm…wow, this is a very complicated little sentence. Okay, so first of all, we are postulating that a god actually exists (1), then we are postulating that he can interact with, or at least the universe we inhabit (2), next we are postulating that this god would be deeply offended and disappointed that I got a tattoo decrying the immorality, irrationality and hypocrisy of organised religion on my arm (3) and would torment me eternally for it (3a), next we are postulating there exists some reason why I would be subject to your god’s torment when I do not believe in him, worship him, or even believe he exists(4), and finally we are postulating that I give a flying fuck what you or your god thinks of my tattoo (5), especially when the reaction is “I hope your burn in hell you horrible little heathen-fag”.

Okay, so let’s examine these postulates of yours.

(1) – Okay, so we are postulating that a god exists. Now, I am of the strong opinion, based on mountains of natural evidence that such a supernatural entity does not, and has never existed. There has never been a single piece of evidence to support the beliefs of thousands of years of world religions, and the supernatural claims of all these religions have slowly but surely been worn away by the gradual and SIGNIFICANT advances of scientific progress. We know now about DNA, Evolution, and how the brain works in a MUCH more advanced way than any other society to date, and we can VERY comfortably discard the postulates of ANY and ALL religions.

All the arguments brought to bear on the case FOR the existence of god, such as the argument from design, have ALL failed to stand up to rigorous scrutiny, and as of, oh 150 years ago, there has NEVER been a single piece of substantial, repeatable, verifiable evidence to support the existence of such a god.

So, in this case, it’s your belief against mine, and in my favour I have mountains of evidence, a rational examination of the situation, and it’s related arguments.

What do you have in favour of your postulate? Does it amount to anything more than bullshit lines from an ancient, excrutiatingly fallible text which makes very little coherent sense?

(2) – So, now we are postulating that the god in the above postulate (which it appears is HIGHLY unlikely to exist, and has no evidence or rational arguments in favour of its existence) can actually interact with our universe.

Now within in this postulate we have two possibilities (a) – this god listens to prayers and human contact and interacts with the world for these or other reasons (b) – or this god was merely a catalyst for the creation of our universe and no longer plays an active role in our universe

(a) – There has never, in how many years of recorded history, been an incident in human history which, after rigourous, rational examination, defied all known natural explanation and was for lack of a better word, literally an act of god, where god was the ONLY possible explanation for that interaction. Never. Not once. You would think that if god interacted with the world i.e. natural disasters, miracles etc… we would have some damn proof of it by now, but no, apparently, if god exists (postulate 1) he has NEVER interacted with our world.

For, if a god, or any other supernatural entity for that matter, were to interact with our world, since they are a supernatural entity, once they begin to interact with our universe, their interactions would be limited to the scope of the laws of our universe, we would be able to examine scientifically this interaction, and logically, and rationally determine that the ONLY logical cause of such an incident was in fact a supernatural entity.

As I’ve already said (a few times) there has never been even a SINGLE case of the above happening.

(b) – In this case god is being invoked as some form of first cause, and then we end up with the argument from first cause, which postulates that everything has a cause, and if you follow things back far enough, you will find god as the first uncaused cause, but since the logic of the arguments calls for EVERYTHING to have a cause, the uncaused cause is an illogicality in the structure of the argument and so cannot exist as part of the argument, and therefore we end up with an infinite regression and we explain absolutely NOTHING.

Also, using god as the catalyst for the beginning of our universe simply COMPLICATES things unnecessarily. In order for god to have been involved in the creation of our universe we would going against the principle of occam’s razor, i.e. we are taking the more complex, and convoluted of two possibilities for a given situation.

(3) – So, now we are considering that the above god (postulate 1 & 2), since it can interact with our universe and can see what is on my arm, is disappointed and offended by my tattoo.

Wow, that is one petty god you got there. Sounds rather abrahamic to me. Were you born in 100BC? Because it sure sounds that way. Anyway, so, now we are ascribing HUMAN emotions, HUMAN motivations and HUMAN punishments to a SUPERNATURAL ENTITY. How does this work?

EVEN if we accept postulates 1 & 2, there is NO possible way we can accept ONE specific HUMAN interpretation of what this supernatural entity is or wants, or how it will react to any given situation.

In fact, it’s INFINITELY more likely that YOU are the one who would torment me for my tattoo, and your perceived offense from it, and NOT this god who you have tried to ascribe human motivations and human interpretations to, who, by all accounts, either does not exist, or is NOTHING like you could possibly imagine (you know, since it’s all SUPERNATURAL and all).

(3a) – Again, we are ascribing human motivations and concepts upon a Supernatural entity, and that does not work. This god of yours is JUST as likely to reward me for my observations about organised religion than it is to beat me for a million years upside the face with a live Halibut.

(4) – So, now we are postulating that this entity somehow has dominion over all the world and that I would be subject to his judgements even though I live my life as if he did not exist, do not believe in even the possibility of him existing, and I decry everything that such an entity would stand for.

So, we are postulating that somehow this entity not only has control over us (the failed postulate 2) but would gladly pass judgement upon us.

Here we go again, ascribing human interpretations upon a SUPERNATURAL concept, imagining him lord of this world, and imagining that he would pass judgement upon us all based on the actions of a few. Hmm….that sounds rather like the way a HUMAN would act, not a SUPERNATURAL entity…strange….and it also falls back upon Postulate 3 since we have are postulating that this entity actually GIVES a shit about what happens on this planet. It is JUST as likely, (or even MORE likely, in my opinion) that should such an entity exist, watching over us all, it is merely a form of life we do not understand and it is merely an observer, observing the existence of lower life forms (us), and has no interest in interacting with us, LEAST of all punishing us for some trivial HUMAN concerns like religion.

(5) – And finally we come to me actually giving a flying rat’s ass what you or this supernatural entity thinks, when this supernatural entity, based upon on ALL the pre-requisite postulates we need to consider, is SO HIGHLY UNLIKELY to exist as to be a statistical improbability.

And this postulate fails straight off the bat, without any real examination, because I do NOT give a flying fuck what you or ANYONE thinks of my tattoo. It is my opinion, and my belief, that all organised religion is a mistake, it is detrimental to our society and our development and progress as a race, and you believing that some sky-fairy-daddy would be pissed off to the point of throwing me in a pit of eternal torment for my beliefs shows me that you are an unenlightened person, whose morals have been informed by the egotistical, savage, wholly immoral and downright fucking disgusting teachings of the major religions of the world.

If there was a god who was so petty and so HUMAN as to wish torment upon me forever for my tattoo and my beliefs, I would spit in his face, and jump into that pit willingly, because I would rather die, or experience torment eternally, than live in a world where people like you are “praised” and held above others as the “chosen people” of a supernatural entity with the mentality of a FIVE-year old bully.

Religion and the Modern Society

These ideas have been harvested from a lengthy discussion with one specific member of the RichardDawkins.net forum, who was of the strong opinion that Religion was an extremely important factor in the history of the world and is responsible for many good things in modern society, as it fulfills it role successfully according to Functionalism. This member was of the opinion that Religion would never truly die out because the role it fulfills in society is to big, and it does the job too well. The roles it fulfilled were such as promoting conformity and a sense of community.

Here I hope to lay out SOME factors as to why Religion is NO LONGER necessary in a modern Irish Society (or any other society, for that matter!).

From a purely Historical point of view, and with an eye to modern day society:
AT NO POINT in the past was there such a massive disemination of scientific evidence and information about the world we live than today.
AT NO POINT in the past were the general public exposed at such a close level to the events going on around the world than today.
AT NO POINT in the past was it so socially acceptable to profess a disbelief or a lack of belief in god(s) than today. (and to easily join an organisation of people of a similar disposition)
AT NO POINT in the past was there such a widespread surge of democracy where people understand their rights and will stand up and fight for them than today.
AT NO POINT in the past (aside from the last 100 years) was it so okay to attack the church of the country one lived in, without fear of being arrested for commiting a crime in heresy and being tortured and killed.
AT NO POINT in the past did we have such a significant understanding of our world and how it and we came to be where we are today, such that we could render the beliefs and claims of Religions useless than today.
AT NO POINT in the past would it have been possible for an organisation of less than 1000 people (FFRF.org) to challenge the seperation of church and state in a court of law and win their case and further the goals of a secular society than today.

ALL OF THESE FACTORS point to a greater understanding of the world around us.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS point to a greater rejection of ridiculous, illogical claims based on an insurmountable LACK of evidence.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS point to the decline in acceptance by the general public of Religion in nearly all but it’s strongest forms i.e. crazy evangelicals.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS lend severe weight to the claim that religion will soon be rendered useless and disappear as a significant force in our society.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS outweigh the apparent growth in Religious population.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS are contributing to a growing Irreligious population.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS tell us that the disparity between Religious and Irreligious population will soon be shifted in the other direction as the newly indoctrinated religious begin to challenge their beliefs as they fail, time and time again, in the face of rational thought and evidence, contrary to the claims of those beliefs, to rationalise those beliefs against the realities of the universe we inhabit.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS and the utter contempt the Irish people have for the Catholic church is why there is in fact a GROWING NATIVE Irreligious population, despite the outward stereotype that Ireland is still a highly religious country.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS show us that our modern society clearly has the tools to do Religions work and to do it better than Religion could ever have hoped for.

In Ireland it is such that the majority of the youth simply do not care about religion and simply do not dwell on it overmuch, beyond the odd mass, traditional celebrations and holidays or the R.E. class in school. However there are many people that you will find who, when asked directly “Do you believe in a god?”, the majority of them would reply with something to the effect of “I don’t quite believe in God per se, but I think it’s important to have faith”, simply because they are used to the bloody tradition. And if they were pressed as to what Religion they belonged, they would say Catholic, simply because the family is Catholic.

I fear that we are becoming like the Jewish community in the US who have a large proportion of their youth “believing in belief” and in the traditions, but taking absolutely nothing from it into their personal lives beyond running through the motions. However, the light of reason begins to shine deep within these people when you simply begin to discuss these matters with them, stripping away the layers of indoctrination, showing them the nonsensicalities of specific ideas or doctrines etc… and you begin to get the DISTINCT impression that these people truly do NOT believe in the doctrines of their espoused faith, but are mere fence-sitters afraid to upset the family dynamic by tearing apart cherished beliefs, or too polite to wish emotional harm upon themselves or their family due to their beliefs (or lack thereof ;))