Jason Hernandez

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since May 15, 2016
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Recent posts by Jason Hernandez

Nicole Alderman wrote:
I think, in a lot of ways, we pass on traditions to our children because we want them to have the same fun we did, or even more fun. Sometimes this can go overboard, where the parent spends so much time buying and wrapping and finding pinterest activities to make their kids' Christmas "magical." The parent ends up unable to enjoy the holiday because they are so stressed from trying to make it "perfect."



There's a word for it. In the constructed language Láadan, we find
radíidin – non-holiday, a time allegedly a holiday but actually so much a burden because of work and preparations that it is a dreaded occasion; especially when there are too many guests and none of them help.

For years I have observed Solstice as my unofficial New Year. I set my New Year's resolutions at Solstice, and usually, I find a secluded outdoor spot to conduct a blessing. I say secluded because I practice ritual nudity -- yes, even when I have been up north in a cold climate. A few minutes will not harm me, even of freezing temperatures. It is never the same ceremony twice, but it often involves a candle or a joss stick, a symbolic offering, and a nature-based hymn or prayer. (Do you know how hard it is to find a nature-based hymn? "This is My Father's World" is the only one that comes easily to mind.) I use the Franciscan term, Brother Sun, to refer to the turning of the season.

Dale Hodgins wrote:
I like trying to guess who they are, by the style of dress and the number who show up. It doesn't matter. The chances that they will have a better grasp of their own theology, than I do are quite slim. Once in awhile, you get an older one who has studied his books quite a bit. More often, they are young zealots who seem like they've done a lot of skimming. These ones are fun.



Yup. Or, as an atheist on Facebook said, "The quickest way to get on a Christian's bad side is to tell them what the Bible actually says." It needn't be a Christian either; in any faith tradition, most lay believers don't really know in depth what their theologians would know. Way back in the days of America Online, those were some of my first chat room experiences -- watching atheists run scriptural circles around believers.

I enjoy having great scientific questions explained in moronic terms. After discussing the fact that a supernatural being created the heavens and the Earth and that they control the tides etc, I like to ask - "With so much on his plate, do you think he really cares what I do with my penis." Then there's the crime and punishment thing. "A mass murderer confess his sins and goes straight to heaven, while someone presented with scant evidence, refuses to believe and is subjected to eternal torment. Do you think this makes any sense at all?"



It doesn't. The evangelical version seems to me to have God saying, "Believe in me so that I can save you from what I'm going to do to those who don't believe in me."

Or, where Jesus says, "You are my friends if you keep my commandments," how about mentioning that I do not make that a requirement for my friends, and ask if they make it a requirement for theirs?

Honestly, sometimes it seems like evangelicals are going out of their way to turn me into an atheist.

Rufus Laggren wrote:
There is something on the other side of the teeter totter that people don't seem to have mentioned very much. Motivation. Rising to the need. Looking at scenarios, and  getting doubtful or worried, we maybe should(!) remember that our worries and prognostications - they aren't what's real. We're "looking in" (in our imagination), we're not actually there (in the hard place we're imagining). I think that makes a huge difference, a _really_ huge difference, because the body and the spirit don't get energized and motivated by imaginary stuff. People really do "rise to the occasion" in the real moment and in fact become different people therein. And it's not just the individual, but also the nascent network,  community, which many don't even know exists - until there is something _real_ for it to do.



I would modify this: SOME people rise to the occasion. Others are mentally or physically broken by it and do not survive. Isn't that the whole premise behind survivalism -- the expectation that most will not survive? My reality is that almost everything that matters has been harder than I expected it to be. That's not imagination, that's history.

Dillon Nichols wrote:It is a secular movement, and other definitions I've seen are more explicitly anti-religion, among other things.



...which plays right into the hands of religious patriarchy. There are and have been plenty of women with strong minds, who have done empowering things, but rejected the word feminist because to them it meant anti-religion. And religious patriarchs like it that way, because it means women of faith are less likely to discover what feminism is really about.

As an aside: abortion is a real hot potato in this issue. Its supporters speak of "forced pregnancy," for instance. Well, if that is their experience, who am I to say otherwise? But my mother would never have bought it. Her experience was that she cherished every pregnancy, and felt it was a real child as soon as she was aware that it was there. In her mind, women who had abortions were cold-hearted child killers. Is her experience less valid?

Chris Kott wrote:I'm not a feminist because that brand of thinking, in my opinion, suggests a zero-sum game.



It doesn't have to. Compare it to, say, Black Lives Matter. No one in that movement is denying that all lives matter; it's just that black lives, in particular, have been treated as if they don't matter. There is no reason to assume that recognizing that black lives matter requires one to treat non black lives as if they do not.

I am a feminist because I appreciate what I as a male take for granted, that women as yet cannot. I worked swing shift for a while. Got off work at midnight, and walked home, twelve blocks, alone -- and was not afraid. How many women can do that? That is what male privilege looks like. And it shouldn't be a privilege of one gender; it should be expected by everyone. I embrace the word feminist because it calls attention to the problems specific to being female.

1 week ago
Of course, there is another cure for the homeless. Cultures considered "primitive" are materially poor by our standards, but their societies are structured in such a way that everyone is integrated into the social safety net. How can one be homeless if it is assumed that one is taken into the home of extended family? I have many times in my adult life moved back in with one family member or another when I fell on hard times; that is the reason I have not had to live on the street. Rugged individualism is just another form of egoistic pride.
1 week ago
Here is my thought: I read (can't remember where) that delivering food to supermarkets in big 18-wheeler trucks actually has a smaller carbon footprint than all those separate pickup trucks each bringing one farm's worth of food to a farmer's market. Now suppose we turn it around. I have never seen any one farmer's market with everything on my grocery list. They're great for produce, and for those of you who eat meat, they can certainly be a source of good, organic cuts. But suppose you want oily fish for the omega-3's? Or maybe you're lactose intolerant, or for some other reason you drink soymilk or almondmilk instead of dairy milk? Maybe you're doing the Atkins thing, low carb, so you want tortilla wraps instead of sandwich bread. I have never seen a farmer's market that has all of these things; I always end up having to go to a supermarket anyway. But doesn't going to both the farmer's market and the supermarket raise my own carbon footprint higher than just going to the supermarket for everything?
1 week ago
I think we should pay attention to developments in East Asia, where megacities are already a real thing. I saw (and used) rechargeable bus/subway fare cards in Singapore a full decade before I ever saw one in the United States. Singapore at that time was already using the concept of clustered high rise neighborhoods, and there were already books out about gardening in those high rises. I expect Singapore to lead the way in urban management for one quite simple reason: it is an island city-state, with no room for sprawl; across the Johor Strait is another country, Malaysia, so Singapore cannot expand in that direction, and on the other three sides is saltwater.
1 week ago
Thank you for reminding me: I have been meaning to read Aerotropolis, about the way major airports have almost become self-contained cities.
1 week ago
Why does it seem like every time we have something in our lives that is, or can be made eco-friendly, an "improvement" nullifies that possibility? I remember when paper milk cartons were just paper; they could be used as kindling or even recycled as paper. So of course, someone somewhere thought this required the "improvement" of that little plastic cap and nozzle. Now, you can't find a paper milk carton without one.

I also remember when a bag of chocolate chip cookies had them in two sleeves, like saltine crackers. So of course, someone had to "improve" the packaging by replacing the sleeves with a plastic frame -- which had the dual "advantages" of increasing the volume of plastic waste and reducing the number of cookies in the bag.

Then the Plastic Monster attacked coffee. Apparently, drip coffee makers with paper filters didn't produce enough plastic waste, so it became necessary to invent Keurig coffee makers, which only take Keurig cups. This had the added "benefit" that a package of Keurig cups makes fewer cups of coffee than a bag of loose grounds. And also that it is harder to gather the spent grounds for compost.

Meanwhile, all sorts of things now come in individually packaged servings that didn't used to. Something in me died when I first saw Lunchables; little did I know they were just the beginning of a deluge. Now some yogurt cups come with an attached cup of a couple spoonfuls of granola. And apparently bags of ready-mixed salad also didn't produce enough plastic waste, because now I see compartmentalized "salad kits," with each ingredient in a separate compartment.

Well, on the bright side, I suppose I can be grateful I have not yet met personally with this apparition of the Plastic Monster, shared by a Facebook friend in Brazil:
2 weeks ago

Kris Mendoza wrote:

Haha, and yes, garden yoga! As I've become more "yogi"-ish, I have become more comfortable squatting down for activities such as carrot pulling rather than bending over or getting on my knees. It feels better on my back, but probably looks a little odd!



I never have understood the bending over. Sure, it makes for trite garden art (wooden cutouts of people bent over with their derrieres in the air), but as to why enough people ever did it to inspire the garden art in the first place... I dunno, I've always felt that was just asking for back pain. I might do it for a few seconds, to pull just a few weeds, but if the spot has enough weeds to keep me there more than a few seconds, I'm down at ground level, usually sitting, leaning this way and that so as not to stay too long in one position, sometimes sitting on one hip or the other.
2 weeks ago