the work and personal site of Jared Alessandroni

Archive for January, 2012

Atheist Quickie 4.5

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Them:

Me:

Why would we retain another lawyer? We already won the case.

Tinker, Tailor God is this still on?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I saw a terrible movie last week.

Atheist Quickie #4

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Them:

One more nail in the coffen; the american flag is really a flag of the zionist jew… The star of david repersents fire (The top triangle) and the other triangle, pointing down, represents water… Now, when your intertaining your thought’s about the U.S.A. flag??? The color’s are red (fire) and blue (water)… Good luck with the law suite…

Me:

You make no sense and can’t spell.

Atheist Quickie #3

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

From Person with Name

I am an atheist, and I am also currently a Boy Scout. I have thought about leaving for a while, but it is a lot of fun. Please help me decide if I should leave or not.

I don’t know why, but I just loooove the sound of my own keyboard, so I have to respond:

I can’t give you too much advice – I am far less qualified than your friends or family who know you and your situation better. But, since I love giving advice, I’d point out that the Boy Scouts of America is a huge organization with some very frustrating problematic leadership on the National level, but which on a local level has at least some de facto autonomy. If your local groups are accepting and positive, you should support and join them. It’s a bit more complicated if they feel that your lack of a religious view is an issue, or you feel that they will and you have to remain quiet about it. In that case, it’s worth deciding where that line is for you. It’s easy in some senses to walk into the room with a tee-shirt that says, THERE IS NO GOD and see what everyone does. But there are many times where religion is out of context – and while I have no problem saying what I believe, I feel that it’s just as obnoxious to bring that out up out of nowhere as it is when believers do. If they’re fine with you, and your lack of belief isn’t an issue, AND you don’t feel a strong need to share it with them – a lot of ands – I think you should just go for it. If, however, you feel uncomfortable, especially if they are bringing up their religious beliefs, then you might carefully and respectfully state your views and gauge their reaction before you make any decisions. Now, finally, you might have been wondering if it’s problematic to even be associated to a group that doesn’t technically support what you believe – that’s a different story. It is – and you are by extension supporting an organization that is sometimes hateful and often bigoted. But it’s equally unfair to the local Boy Scout group to assume that they are like that, and you have the right to factor in your own happiness. Either way, what you do will be right.

Hope that rambling helps you think through your decision.

Sugary Goodness

Friday, January 20th, 2012

First edition of my latest webcomic – enjoy it while it’s fresh! And bitter. So bitter.

Jared Alessandroni, Teacher

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Back in the day, when I was first teaching, I taught at one of the best schools in the South Bronx – PS 31. I later moved up to become the director of Gifted and Talented before I helped found South Bronx Charter SChool. PS 31 had its flaws – many caused by an awkward collocation in what can only be described as a prison-like building from the seventies. The school was successful, though, and the staff highly skilled. Shortly after I left, a new Principal came in, Liza Diaz. I remember seeing her when I visited my old school – she was a slow-moving woman who took long lunches. But the part of this story that means anything to me is not this woman (whom I can literally see doing nothing else but ordering lunch) – but rather the slow degradation of my PS 31. They are currently being described as a “C” school – which is in itself sad, since many schools get Cs in the school ranking system and are not degraded that way. But PS 31 used to be the pride of the South Bronx, and it would still be today with stronger leadership, and especially if they hadn’t brought in this lazy, ridiculous woman and at the same time given her the task of turning 31 into a middle school. This decision happened around ’05, and when it did, Carol Russo (the old and venerable principal) and I sat in her office and predicted this – almost to the point of seeing some corruption being unearthed. The DOE under Bloomberg wanted to fix some bad middle schools in the Bronx, so they took a working elementary school, trashed it, and now they’re cleaning up their mess. It’s a shame, and it didn’t have to end this way.

For my daughter, Sweeping

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Murakami was a drama major who,
Working at a record store,
Read

Joyce, Hornby and Tolkien,
Later Rowling,
Who

All taught class while
Reading Melville
Who

Spent his days covered
In the entrails of beasts
Which

Were born of and
Born of and born of
Our most distant ancestors
Single-celled organisms
Gasping for light
From the one star
Which was directly
Responsible
For everything afterwards.

Very little great art
Was made by those
Who studied that art.

All great art
Was made by those
Who lived deeply.

You think, I assume,
That I don’t respect
That I belittle
Art as its own pursuit.
Rather, I want you to
Pursue everything.

Sweeping the floors
Of the record store
Of the classroom
Of the boat
Is noble,
Is worthy,
And gives you time
To think about
Everything else.

Atheist Quickies #1 and #2

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

AS the (barely, at this point) webmaster for American Atheists, (atheists.org) I get a lot of fun mail. Here’s an example:

Your website makes sweeping claims about what Atheists believe, such as, that they love their fellow man. Stalin was an Atheist. Mao was an Atheist. Did they kill millions of their own people out of love? Perhaps they were really closet Catholics publicly denying the existence of God.

Now, I get roughly 2 to three of these per day, more around Christmas. In fact, when we were on our Christmas vacation out-of-country – I was receiving around 6 or seven. So, I don’t respond to most of them – but when I do, I know they are going into the air, because just as I would never become a god-fearing Christian after getting on, the recipient is not about to stop going to church and start reading up on Dawkins. So, every so often, I’ll post my answers here – for your erudition and possible improvement as people, and because otherwise, what’s the fun?

Here’s my response to the above:

Brian,

Atheists don’t believe in anything. That’s the whole point. Some of us love our fellow man, while some of us are a bit more Ron Paul about it. Either way, unless you want to talk about Hitler, Bin Laden, and McVeigh – I don’t think naming a few people is evidence for religious believers loving their fellow man.

Jared

It’s not always that innocent, though. Since this is my first, here’s a bonus one:

Name: None of your business

Just saw that the asshole on Fox news going on about Gov. Perry. Why don’t you bunch of cowards go after the Muslims or Jews and leave Christians alone? Because you are a bunch of spineless losers. Get some balls faggot!

I… didn’t respond to this (like I said, only every so!) but I did just look at it. Like there is a group that’s more scary, powerful, or dangerous in this country than the Christians? Like going after them is the easiest, but watch for what, the Jews? Going after Muslims is practically part of the Republican platform. Anyway, more to come. Just warning you.