Happy #JewishLichDay w/ a card from @epicentrewestla!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

The last several years, I’ve celebrated Easter Sunday by doing other stuff. Any excuse to celebrate is a good excuse. To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed the more secular/Pagan traditions of Easter–the bunnies, the eggs, etc.–so the idea of continuing some sort of celebration wasn’t a foreign idea.

The “other stuff” has basically become some sort of brunch, though this has been on-off, and mini-golf.

You read that right.

It happened one year randomly. The suggestion came up and that’s what we went with. This year, since I chose not to schedule a hangout for later today (long story there), I knew we’d have the whole afternoon. That’s plenty of time for mini-golf.

Earlier yesterday, after a day of Olvera Street (haven’t been since grad school) and MOCA (never been), we returned home to find these cards waiting for us on top of our mailboxes:

A couple of things I noticed immediately… While it does say “Easter brunch” and while “Easter” is obviously almost always used in a Christian context, it’s increasingly become more secular so I (perhaps stupidly) assumed it was sort of a family event sponsored by the city, not a church event. Second thing, nowhere on it does it say anything about a church.

Why is that?

Do the cats at Epicentre have something to hide? And why’s it called “Epicentre” anyway? That’s a misleading, if not downright dishonest, term to use for a church. “Epicentre,” especially with the British spelling, can connote any general civic idea (or even the heart of a disaster–the epicentre of a storm).

Due to the above, and to the fact that it takes place in a public park, I decided to look up the event.

Shocker: It’s a church. In fact affiliated with the Antioch Waco, TX church, which means… nothing to me.

Here’s an interesting thing, though. You know how for the past several decades, the evangelical movement has used terms like “born again” or “feeling the spirit” or whatever else? Not so anymore, it seems. I found stuff like:

“…and ascended bodily into heaven as our Priest and Advocate.”

“Advocate”? Jesus is a lawyer now? Seriously, I’ve never seen Christ referred to that way.

“We believe in the principle of separation of Church and State, guaranteeing an individual’s freedom to choose one’s own faith.”

That I didn’t expect and I wonder if this is just lip service or if they really mean it.

“We believe in the bodily resurrection of the believer and of the non-believer, and in the everlasting blessedness of the believer and the everlasting conscious punishment of the non-believer.”

I’m confused. I thought traditional Christian doctrine was that the nonbeliever wasn’t resurrected. But whatever, maybe I’ve gotten that wrong. More to the point, what’s this “everlasting conscious punishment” bullshit? What, Christians don’t say “Hell” anymore? Centuries of terrible PR have finally taken their toll? Seriously, I don’t get it. If you think nonbelievers are going to Hell, why don’t you just say that?

Then there’s this fun tidbit:

I don’t get modern Christian culture. Why is it always lame, acoustic guitar music? Always? Seriously?

My musical criticism notwithstanding, we’re honestly tempted to check this shit out. Too bad it’s at 10:30am on a fucking Sunday.

So hey, Epicentre, thanks for the pretty card. Though I’ve been advised against it, I’d love to do a hangout with your pastor or whomever else some day. Happy Jewish Lich Day, but we’ll be mini-golfing.

My hangout|WITH @MIKELEE_RA

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 15, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

Due to tech issues, this one was a little different. No mic (except Mike–>ha ha ha!). All over Skype. Thus, it sounds like it’s in an echoey echo chamber and over the phone. There’s also no cut-away to Lee. Lots of watching me push up my glasses. Sigh. What are you gonna do? Had fucking UberConference worked, it wouldn’t have been a damn problem. Ah, well, enjoy Lee’s non-visual, voice-only voice!

My hangout|WITH @STEVE_SHIVES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

This week is really late ’cause I was in Vegas the last few days. With that said, Shives and I had a great talk about everything from apologetics to some kind folks at Anti-Atheism+ suggesting that I should touch Shives’ dick. Which I did. On air.

Random shit for Friday (#triggerwarning: #TheSecret #bullshit)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 4, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

It’s no small secret that I hate The Fucking Secret. What pisses me off even more is that author Rhonda Byrne was able to convince millions upon millions of gullible chumps to buy her terrible book, thereby at least in part validating her claims, if only in the eyes of millions of chumps.

It’s also no small secret that Byrne’s bullshit more than passingly resembles the core teachings of the Unity Church. Interestingly, probably because I had a good time there, I don’t resent the church, while I do Byrne. I think too, Unity never really came right out and said, “Anything you imagine will literally come true.” They more said, “Um, well, if you imagine it, and you work hard, and you have some modicum of talent, and you’re lucky, and you’re in the right place at the right time, or you know someone, then it’ll literally come true. But hey, that imagining part’s still really important.”

In the past two weeks, something rather remarkable has happened to me. I was at my day job, talking to my supervisor about going full-time (I’ve been on-call, sans benefits, for three years now), and, to her credit, she’s all like, “You’re totally next in line.” I won’t bore you with the details about how it works at my job, but “next in line” is pertinent. Thing is, even with her assurance, I had no real hope that my spot would come up or that it’d happen any time soon. And the real bitch of it was that full-time at this place only meant a guarantee of full-time hours (as opposed to on-call’s you may work or you may not) nor of higher pay or anything else. So basically, i was fishing for pre-Obamacare registry-requirement benefits.

I left the conversation feeling like she had my back, but also like there wasn’t much she could do to help me out. I also knew that without the increase of income, I still had to find another job because, frankly, the income’s kinda shit and I have expenses (that cocaine’s not gonna snort itself!). I went back to my piddly desk, got back to piddly work, and kept on with my piddly job search.

Then something remarkable happened.

Truly remarkable.

Days later, I got an e-mail. From a media company. One that you’ve heard of. In this e-mail, a recruiter was totally like, “Hey, Anton, how’s it going? How are they treating you over there at that anonymous bullshit company? ‘Cause see the thing is, I’m pretty sure we can treat you a whole lot better.”

“Fucking scams,” I thought. I wrote to a friend. “Someone claiming to be this anonymous media company just offered me a job.”
“Fucking assholes,” she replied. “Still, wouldn’t hurt to respond.”
“Yeah. Shits and giggles and all that.”

I responded. A couple of days later the recruiter and I got on the phone. Boy did she pitch me. “More money than you’ve ever seen, full benefits without bullshit waiting periods, bonuses, vacation time, personal-improvement funds, we’ll totally blow you, free flights to Vegas, fully stocked break room, happy hours…” Okay, that Vegas thing I totally made up, but the rest of it was true. At the end of our conversation, she said I was exactly what they were looking for and she’d set up an interview with the team leads.

I’ll skip a bit here. I interviewed with the team leads. Knocked it out of the fucking park. This is significant. I’m very, very used to hearing things like “We’re looking at other people” and never hearing from the company again.

A final round of interviews was scheduled. I go into the anonymous media company’s offices. They’re sweet. Like “Nutella drizzled over honeycomb with a healthy squirt of cajeta” sweet. Everyone’s happy. And not bullshit, “I wanna get the fuck outta here” happy. No, no. Real happy. I meet five people, including the recruiter, her coordinator, and the two guys I spoke to the previous day. I knock it out of the fucking park.

Except: “We’re looking at other people.”

I call my friend. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. I knew it was too good to be true! They gave me the total ‘other people’ line.”

“They have to say that. You’re fine.”

Over the next 24 hours or so, I agonize and scrutinize everything I said. “Shouldn’t have said that. Definitely shouldn’t have said that.” It was awful.

And all for nought. Next morning, I get the e-mail informing me that they’d like to move forward. Pending references and a background check.

I’ll skip a bit more. This past Monday, I got the offer letter. I sign it and send it back. I go in yesterday to my boss at anonymous bullshit company. “I’ve got good news and bad news. Good news is, you don’t have to worry about making me full-time. Bad news is, tomorrow’s my last day. I got an offer I couldn’t refuse and I’m out–>of–>here, bitches!”

She was shockingly non-plussed. Whatevs. Most of the rest of the day I spent saying goodbye. Even got to give that fuck-you smile to a former supervisor.

And that’s that. Today’s my last day at anonymous bullshit. After a week off, I start at anonymous media company you’ve heard of.

Last night, as I was pondering the ri-donk-ulousness of this whole situation, it popped into my head that were I still in Unity or had I been one of the millions of chumps, I definitely would’ve credited a higher power, the universe, karma, whatever the fuck else we’d like to call it.

Fuck that.

Bullshit visualization and wishful thinking didn’t get me to this great media company you’ve heard of. Nope. It was three years’ experience doing at anonymous bullshit company what anonymous media company wants, my education, my ability to connect with people as much as necessary in interviews, and probably that whole Spanish thing. None of that is is mystical. None of that is magic. It’s all me in the skill and flaws.

Fuck you, The Secret.

My hangout|WITH #SMASHLOCK

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by Anton A. Hill

Back to the controversy! But this time, it’s all Chris Corey’s fault. He’s all like, “Blah blah atheism+ blah blah,” and I’m all like, “Oh, no he didn’t!”

Not to worry, though. We also chat aplenty on his background, including more social (justice) service than you can shake an angry feminist at.

And also a little chat about his and Mr. Dragonbeard’s Apostasy Now podcast.

On an unrelated update, I know things have been very quiet around here the last couple of weeks, but my excuse is stuff is all atwitter in my professional life, with many exciting details to come… if you and I are connected outside of this site and its related media.

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