Discuss amongst yourselves

We are Bud Grant

Chad the Elder is a true Vikings fan. He knows the drill:

I don’t get the impression that many true Vikings fans are all that confident that their squad will beat the Cowboys. Sure you hear a lot of false bravado on local talk radio stations and some of the younger cadre of Purple fans may honestly believe their team is Miami bound. But deep down the fans who have been around for a while, the ones who can all too clearly still recall the playoff and Super Bowl losses, know that when it comes to the Vikings letting us down it’s not a matter of if but when. The Vikes very well might defeat Dallas this week. All that will do is postpone the inevitable letdown.

What best describes this attitude? Some might say cynicism, others fatalism. I would say it’s more of a stoicism, taking the definition of the word commonly used today rather than the philosophy itself. We accept our destiny but continue to carry on anyway, impassive in the face of eventual defeat. It’s almost as if Viking fans have taken on the persona of Bud Grant, a man well-versed in hiding the pain of crushing losses…. So on Sunday we’ll put on our grim game faces, utter a stern “Skol!,” and await our fate.

I didn’t bother posting about yesterday’s games because I wasn’t interested. The Saints and Colts won, as I expected, although the Ravens put up a better show than I would have thought. I’m not afraid of Dallas; the hype always favors the NFC East team and there is a reason teams that go 12-4 and 13-3 usually win. New Orleans shellacked an Arizona team that was clearly better than Green Bay, the team that all the NFL chatterboxes were saying everyone should fear to face. Dallas looked good in twice beating a Philadelphia team that was crushed by New Orleans this season, but the Cowboys are a good team, not a great one.

The Vikes should win. But we’ve known them to fail to close the deal before.

Conspicuous charity

Richard Dawkins and the Reason Project have ulterior motives for helping Haiti:

Help for Haiti

It is widely imagined that, in times of crisis, religious people render aid in disproportion to their numbers. Richard Dawkins has now created an opportunity for non-believers to put the lie to this myth.

One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to Doctors Without Borders and/or The Red Cross (you decide). But giving in this way will send an additional message: one need not believe in God to care about one’s fellow human beings.

First, it’s not “widely imagined”, it is an established fact. I think it would have been much more effective if Richard Dawkins had set up the No Religion Emergency Response Squad to directly help the Haitian people instead of relying upon atheists to give money. That way, they could at least burn all the copies of The God Delusion and The End of Faith that would be donated for warmth and heat. And I’m sure the three Haitians lucky enough to score the sticks of gum from the near-empty pack of Juicy Fruit that was also contributed would particularly appreciate the effort.

Dawkins is such an unmitigated and self-centered ass that he can’t even permit a natural disaster to take place without attempting to turn it into a statement about atheists. If you want to help someone, then just shut up, do it, and spare the press release. Let not your right hand etc etc. The point is: it’s not about you or your godless ideology, you narcissistic wanker.

I happen to think it is stupid and pointless to “help” Haiti. I oppose all government aid; as for private giving, it’s no business of mine how you choose to spend your money. My point is simply that the Haitian people are in this desperate position due to all the “help” they’ve received in the past. Neither individuals nor societies change when others prevent them from experiencing the predictable consequences of their actions. This doesn’t prevent me from respecting those who believe otherwise, especially those like the four ex-military guys who took it upon themselves to fly to the Dominican Republic in order to personally deliver medical supplies to Haiti. I don’t respect those who give exactly like the Pharisees did; in order to find favor in the eyes of men.

The cynic’s reaction to this conspicuous charity is confirmed when Dawkins, or whoever wrote the appeal on his behalf, writes: “It goes without saying that your donations will only be passed on to aid organizations that do not have religious affiliations.” This is a clear admission that this “charitable effort” isn’t about helping Haitians, it’s merely about advancing the atheist cause.