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A has nothing to do with B - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Dec. 14th, 2008

02:00 am - A has nothing to do with B

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The other day I was reading something in the paper (I think it was a letter to the editor)[citation needed] from someone complaining about fancy expensive ostentatious Christmas displays, y'know, the kind that involve so many decorations and lights that you have to either hire workers to put them up, or have endless free time and energy. Now, fair enough, some people think those are ridiculous and pretentious. They don't really bother me, but hey.

The thing was, this person complained that such fancy decorations "have nothing to do with Christmas". Wait, WHAT? Is that bad? Because I've been doing lots of things that have nothing to do with Christmas! For dinner I had a tuna sandwich and some fries. What's that got to do with Christmas? Gee, nothing, I guess! And this past week I did laundry, and practiced solving Rubik's Cube as well as my higher-order V-Cubes, and drew some cartoons... and I'm hard-pressed to find a direct link between any of these activities and Christmas!

And somewhere on LJ recently, I forget where,[citation needed] someone was objecting to crossdressing at furry cons, and using as the main argument against it the fact that crossdressing "has nothing to do" with furry fandom. Again, what the hell, people? Lots of things that have nothing to do with furry fandom go on at furry cons. Like at MFF, Babs and I were amusing ourselves by drawing funny eyes and mouths on pieces of paper and holding them up in front of our faces. You might have seen me wandering the halls at some point with "angry eyes" or looking like that :awesome: smilie. But with only like one or two exceptions, these facial features we drew were human, not animal. (Well, cartoony human.) What does THAT have to do with furry fandom? Well, nothin'. Did anybody complain? Not that I'm aware of!

So c'mon, people, don't be dishonest. Don't misuse words like that. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with A "having nothing to do with" B. Ma'am, perhaps what you mean is that fancy Christmas displays are prideful and selfish and go against the Christmas spirit of charity. Dude, perhaps what you mean is that crossdressing is deviant behavior unfit for public display even at a "gathering of weirdos" such as a furry con. I happen to disagree with you on both those points, but I wish you'd just say what you mean.

In fact, I know an example of a group of people taking the whole "having nothing to do with = bad" logic to its ultimate extreme: the Taliban! I read an article about them in a magazine once.[citation needed] (Yeah, I know, I suck at citing references. Whaddya think this is, Wikipedia?) When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, they started outlawing things, like drinking and gambling, and the list got longer and longer, covering such innocuous things as watching TV, listening to music, dancing, playing cards (even for fun), children's toys, cameras, etc. (And of course for women it was much worse.) And one Taliban official was quoted as saying, "Time should be spent serving the country and praying to God. Nothing else. Everything else is a waste of time, and people are not allowed to waste their time." IOW, they seriously believed that any activity having nothing to do with supporting God and country should be illegal.

So... yeah, yeah, I know, it's a figure of speech. But it's a stupid one! Another one that annoys me a bit is when people say "You don't need to be doing that" when what they really mean is "You shouldn't do that". Heck, there's a lot of things I don't *need* to do, but most of them are harmless. I don't have anything I need to write on paper right now, so I don't need to be picking up this pencil. [picks up pencil] There. Who did that hurt? Nobody! [accidentally stabs self with pencil] OWWW!! ...Okay, ignore that last part. But you get my point.

Oww, pointy...

Comments:

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From:ceruleanst
Date:December 14th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
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Furthermore, in most such examples, the assertion is arguably false itself. If someone asked me "What do decorations have to do with Christmas?", I would have no choice but to look at them funny. Obviously these displays have something to do with Christmas or you wouldn't be thinking of their relationship to Christmas when you see them.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 14th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that too!
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From:haystack
Date:December 14th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
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I believe in your case, it'd be more like a Wackypedia. :)
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From:jugularjaguar
Date:December 14th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)

Angry eyes

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Wow that post went every where.

See that is one thing I really like about you. You know how to create silliness. We need more silliness at furry cons. Not that has anything to do with Furry.
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From:frostyw
Date:December 14th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
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[accidentally stabs self with pencil] OWWW!! ...Okay, ignore that last part. But you get my point.

No, it sound like you got your point.
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From:koakako
Date:December 14th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
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I agree with you 100%! This is so absolutely true! I do NOT want to live someplace that EVERYTHING has to MEAN something, related to something ELSE, and we can do no OTHER thing! Sheesh!

(See. I didn't NEED to reply to this post, but I did it anyway! Take THAT, you... people who don't get it. Yeah, them. Whoever they are. :P )
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From:tahamaki
Date:December 14th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
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For the people who ask what crossdressing has to do with Furry, you could simply mention Bugs Bunny.. ;)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 14th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah!

Or I could point to any other example of a cartoon animal with the wrong set of secondary sexual characteristics, like a male kangaroo with a pouch or a male cow with udders... or a female bird with bright colorful plumage!
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:December 14th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, them wacky Taliban. My fave (naturally) is how, because listening to music is illegal, Afghanistan did not have a national anthem from 1999-2002, making it the only country in modern times to not have an anthem, as per nationalanthems.info an excellent site which everyone should visit and pass word along of. Just ignore the fact that I run it and compile the information contained therein. :) The ironic part is a national anthem could be argued to fall under "supporting country", but not (under their interpretation of the Koran) serving God. So serving the country is against serving God, which puts the political Taliban leaders out of a job! But it's pointless to argue with them anyways. :)

As a Christian, I could, and do, argue that I serve God whatever I do, even if it's picking up a pencil, watching TV, or cross-dressing at furry cons! The Bible is fulla people who do stuff jfthoi, and God didn't smite 'em! He didn't like people with no sense of humour and took things way too seriously (it's true!) So he probably won't like them Taliban dudes or anyone else that takes likfe way too seriously. He'd like you, though. ;)
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From:shockwave77598
Date:December 14th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
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My Lights:

I build my own fancy lights as a celebration of the season in my own way with the gifts God gave me. If anyone doesn't like it, they are free to move along. They tell me what I may do or not do with my own home, we'll have four letter words, you can count on it!
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From:joysweeper
Date:December 14th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Dropping by randomly again. *waves*

I suppose I understand getting annoyed by some of the more tasteless displays. Weirdly shaped blinking lights, ten-feet-tall glow-in-the-dark nativity scenes. Where I live, fortunately, the latter isn't allowed. Three-foot moving lights that look like nutcrackers, but not a giant nativity scene. But "This has nothing to do with Xmas!" is a stupid thing to say. "I can't sleep at night for the blinking lights" at least makes sense.

In the right mindset, everything's connected to everything else. Relevance is a lot more conflicted than yes/no tickyboxes.
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From:orv
Date:December 14th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
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I think there are certain people who feel like there's something wrong if Christmas isn't all Jesus, all the time. Because, y'know, he's the reason for the season. Except that, as bluerain put it to me today, Christmas is a bunch of stuff borrowed from pagan rituals, with Christianity laid overtop like a cheap toupée.

The light displays are actually my favorite part of Christmas. Here in the northern part of the country, we only get about nine hours of daylight this time of year. The lights really cheer up those long, dark evenings.

Edited at 2008-12-14 09:43 pm (UTC)
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:December 14th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Nine hours? What are you running, a tanning salon?
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From:tilt_longtail
Date:December 15th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
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You are STILL trying to solve Rubik's Cube? geeez I did that in 1982.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 15th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
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So did I! I mean I'm honing my technique, discovering clever twist sequences, generating cool patterns, striving for better and better solutions.

For instance, here's a handy sequence I discovered with the help of a program called Cube Explorer, which creates checkerboard patterns on the top and bottom faces while leaving the other four faces solid:
U2 X2 Y Z2 U' D'

(This is in Singmaster's notation, plus my own symbols for center-slice turns. X2 means give the slice between R and L a half turn, Y means give the slice between U and D a quarter turn clockwise as seen from above, and Z2 means give the slice between F and B a half turn.)
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From:xydexx
Date:December 15th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)

Melville's Law

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What does THAT have to do with furry fandom? Well, nothin'. Did anybody complain?
Well, Chuck Melville might have... because last I heard he still thinks if it doesn't have anything to do with furry fandom, it has no business being at a furry con! -=)

Edited at 2008-12-15 01:12 am (UTC)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 15th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)

Re: Melville's Law

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I remember reading some of your posts about that on alt.fan.furry. Sheesh, eh?
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From:nefaria
Date:December 15th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
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This post has nothing at all to do with Fermat's Last Theorem, so it must therefore be very naughty and should be put to bed without supper.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 15th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
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It's just as well. This margin is too narrow to contain supper.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:December 16th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
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I think "You don't need to..." just sounds politer in people's minds. It's like they're giving you the benefit of the doubt: You might be doing something only because you felt obliged, and now they're freeing you from that obligation. A more direct phrase could have them accused of oppression.

Yeah, not much of a justification.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 16th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
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Not much at all. Doesn't even make sense!

"You don't need to be walkin' around with your underwear peeking out like that."
"I don't?? Ohh, thank you, sir!"
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