We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
( Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science)
I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
“With Big Brother having ended, we see this as the perfect replacement,” says TV executive Kevin Frooker, introducing his latest format – Celebrity Messiah – to the press. “It’s got everything – the reality TV aspect, celebrities humiliating themselves, interaction with the public, and religion!” The proposed TV series would see a group of celebrities charged with creating their own religion. Each week, the celebrity with the least followers would be kicked off the show – quite literally dragged out of the Celebrity Messiah church by devils, and cast into a fiery pit. “Obviously, the devils are actually production assistants, and the ‘fiery pit’ is an arena full of the baying followers of their rivals,” explains the producer. “But the ‘devils’ will be allowed to poke the evictees with their tridents, and the crowd will be encouraged to throw things and spit on them, just to make the experience as humiliating as possible.”
Frooker admits that the original concept of having evictees burned at the stake as heretics, was rejected after taking legal advice, as were the initial proposals for the eventual winner. “We originally wanted the new ‘Messiah’ to be carried to ‘heaven’ – a luxury penthouse suite packed with booze, drugs and prostitutes – by angels,” he says. “Instead, we’ve settled for them being whisked away in a limousine to the eponymous gay night club.” The celebrities involved would be given considerable leeway in how they go about attracting followers. “They can try and persuade people any way they like, short of beating them up or paying them, obviously, to convert,” enthuses Frooker. “Each week they’ll be set a task – performing a miracle of some sort usually, like feeding five thousand homeless derelicts with only a tin of sardines, or healing cancer patients with the laying on of hands. Of course, we wouldn’t expect them to perform real miracles, just convince people that they had. Some weeks we might skip the miracle, get them to do something humiliating like washing their disciples’ feet, or even better, wiping their arses. Just imagine the likes of Danny Dyer having to wipe the shitty backsides of a couple of dozen tramps. That’d be great television!”
According to Frooker, the participating celebrities will be free to devise any theology they choose to be the basis of their religions – barring those based on race hate, misogyny or child abuse. “We want them to be creative in their religions,” he says. “The more bizarre the belief system involved, the better the entertainment! You’d be surprised the kind of weird shit people can be persuaded to believe in!” Indeed, during the pilot shot for the proposed series, self-styled impressionist and comedian Bobby Davro succeeded in converting over two hundred people to his Church of Latter Day Naturists, which offered salvation through nudity. “Mind you, creating a religion is far more difficult than most people realise,” warns Frooker. “For every L Ron Hubbard, there are a thousand David Shaylers – sad deluded self-publicists confusing cross-dressing with spiritual epiphany.” He points to the fact that in the pilot one-time pop star Kerry Katona found it impossible to attract more than six followers to her cult devoted to the worship of the holy trinity of Father Smirnoff, Junior Cocaine and the divine Iceland giant prawn platter. “It left her an emotional wreck,” says Frooker. “Although I can’t help but feel that rather undermined her cause by continually consuming the entire trinity, leaving nothing for her acolytes.”
Similarly, after an initial surge of enthusiasm, top heavy model Jordan’s breast-worshipping mother cult quickly lost popularity. “I think her disciples were a bit disappointed that it was a huge stone effigy of her knockers they had to jerk off over as their act of worship, rather than the real thing,” the TV executive muses. He warns that the object of the show isn’t for celebrities to actually create their own religions for real. “We don’t want a repeat of Jim Davidson’s attempted Jihad against benefit cheats, illegal immigrants, feminists and lefties,” Frooker says. “That led to an instant disqualification. Really, this isn’t an exercise in egotism, just cheap entertainment.” Nevertheless, as the producer points out, Davidson’s participation in Celebrity Messiah has still boosted his career. “He’s now playing to packed houses of brainwashed acolytes,” he says. “They’re the most receptive audience for his dubious material he’s had since the National Front disbanded – they laugh and applaud all his ‘amusing’ comedy black person voices and misogynistic ‘jokes’.”
Frooker is keen to emphasise that, despite the number of apparent failures on the part of celebrities to create viable religions in the pilot for Celebrity Messiah, there were some notable successes. “Take Darren Day, for instance, who would have thought that he’d be able to persuade so many people to worship his penis,” he muses. “I mean, it isn’t the biggest, or even the most appealing looking, member that anyone’s ever seen, but nonetheless, at one point he had a queue of people over a mile long, lining up to kiss it in order to cure their mouth ulcers and cold sores – not all of them women.” Frooker believes that former gameshow host Day’s success lies in the one- time singer’s instinctive understanding of the appeal of real religions. “It’s all about promising your followers the impossible,” he opines. “With Christianity it’s the promise of salvation and eternal life, with Darren it is the promise that they too can share the power of his penis and enjoy everlasting shagging.”
So successful was the cult of Day’s penis, that he made the final of the pilot version of Celebrity Messiah, facing off against celebrity nutritionist Gillian McKeith and her church of excrement. “The final was where they faced the ultimate test – to be ‘crucified’ in a manner appropriate to their religion,” says Frooker. “Obviously, only a true Messiah would be able to rise again after such an ordeal.” However disaster nearly struck when McKeith narrowly avoided being drowned after being flushed down a giant toilet. “The idea was that she would naturally float back to the surface like a huge turd. Sadly, she got stuck in the U-bend, and had to be freed by divers,” Frooker reveals. “Thankfully, Darren Day fared better, managing to rise again, despite having been forced to masturbate continuously for twelve hours.” Despite the potential humiliations involved, Frooker is confident that there will be no shortage of minor celebrities prepared to appear on Celebrity Messiah, should it be commissioned as a series. “It’s offering them what every celebrity wants: the blind adulation of masses of unquestioning fanatics,” he says. “Just think of the merchandising they could shift with thousands of obedient followers prepared to obey their every edict?”
Why Goldman Sachs Prefers Arbitration
When Goldman Sachs was sued (in 2010) for gender-discrimation, the bank sought to settle the dispute through arbitration rather than through the court system. The present rules of arbitration do not favor women, employees or consumers.
The advantages of arbitration for Goldman are:
1) “the women are not likely to win in arbitration;”
2) the culture of Wall Street is predominantly male and the Old Boys’ Network is alive and well;
3) powerful law firms represent “the stronger and wealthier party;”
4) there are limited avenues for appeal;
5) discovery can be more limited;
6) arbitration awards “are not directly enforceable;”
7) arbitration may cause “huge legal expenses;”
8) incentives “to rule against the consumer or employ
Goldman Sachs won a huge victory last week. A federal court ruled that Lisa Parisi, a former managing director, must take her gender-discrimination lawsuit against the firm to arbitration.
With the ruling, Parisi — who had sued Goldman in 2010, along with two other women — can kiss her chances of victory goodbye. Arbitration is where plaintiffs’ dreams go to die, which is probably why it was in her Goldman Sachs employment contract.
These plaintiffs aren’t renegade feminists. They’re mainstream financial types who played by the rules and hoped to reap the rewards. The men who fought them are simply corporate types who prefer to keep Wall Street an old boys’ club.
Some of the allegations in the suit are straight out of “Mad Men.” During their work at Goldman Sachs, the women were subject to sexual banter, which is what passes for conversation among traders, as well as to come-ons and sexual assaults. They were passed over for promotions and bonuses, excluded from some male outings and included in others designed to embarrass them. A celebration for new managing directors was held at a topless bar. Afterwards, a married male colleague pinned one of the plaintiffs to a wall and sexually assaulted her.
Male values dominate the business world because males dominate the business world. As Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book “Lean In,” women account for only about 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. At Goldman, the New York Post reported in 2010, women were 29 percent of vice presidents, 17 percent of managing directors and 14 percent of partners.
Women do best when they play nice and go along with the dominant male culture, even if it includes smiling at a strip club. When Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer sniffs at maternity leave as if it’s for sissies and ends women-friendly policies such as the ability to work from home, it’s because that attitude was rewarded on her way up the corporate ladder — even in enlightened Silicon Valley.
In her book, Sandberg illustrates the problems women face. Business-school students received identical profiles of a venture capitalist — identical except for one detail: In half she was called Heidi, in the other half he was called Howard. The students rated both equally competent but found Howard much more appealing.
The Goldman lawsuit is as much about discriminatory pay as about discriminatory attitudes: It alleges that women at Goldman are underpaid compared to men in similar positions. This kind of information can be hard for female employees to learn, since talking about salaries is the last taboo. At the office, you are more likely to hear people talking about their sex life than about their paycheck.
The Goldman women are not likely to win in arbitration, and what they are asking for on the culture side may come about only when the dominant culture becomes female. As for pay, there’s more hope. We can’t outlaw corporate parties at strip clubs. But we can at least make it illegal to pay the women less than men for comparable work. The women forced to attend these parties shouldn’t make less money than the horndogs who organize them.
One out of three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. There’s something terribly wrong with humanity!
Fact! We all come from women!
Fact! No means No!
Fact! Women are equal to Men!
A female friend of mine who knows that my daughter was raped recommended the “Break the Chain” dance, a worldwide event held on Valentine’s Day, inviting women and men to DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. And what better day than the day of LOVE to do so. So I said YES! I am going to dance for my daughter!
The day my oldest daughter was born I felt something different inside of me. It’s as though I got a feminine side and became more aware and understood the female.
If my first-born is reading this blog, please know that I feel more love for you than even the day you were born. It’s an out-of-this-world kind of love. I don’t want you to hurt anymore, and I want you to let go of the pain you secretly carry because you’re not alone. And I want to let go of the anger and guilt that I have been carrying for years and finally heal as well.
At the event, the smiles and energy of those beautiful and fearless women were inspiring. They stood up for themselves and their sisters around the world.
As a father and a victim of abuse myself, I know that each one of those women went through hell. And I saw my daughter in every one of them. They gave me hope and they made their point that nothing is going to keep them down.
When we all started to dance, sing and cheer to the “break the chain” song, we all became “ONE,” lifting our soul to be healed and to create a better life.
It was so moving and powerful that we all danced again!
As I was leaving, I was interviewed for the documentary that’s being made about the event, “She’s Beautiful BUT she’s Angry.” I usually get nervous doing that kind of thing, but I didn’t. My heart did all of talking!
Adam and Noah were ancestors of mine. I never thought much of them. Adam lacked character. He couldn’t be trusted with apples. Noah had an absurd idea that he could navigate without any knowledge of navigation, and he ran into the only shoal place on earth.
– speech, November 9, 1901. Reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1901 – Mark Twain
Women have strengths that amaze men…..IT IS THAT
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in..
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take “no” for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.
HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
…THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.
Waterford mother-of-three Andrea Galgey was so fed up with budget cuts she posted an online invitation for politicians to put themselves in her shoes.
The father of two admits he’s not quite sure what he’s in for: “It’s early in the project and a lot of details have to be worked out.
“It has been said, probably rightly, that policy makers are seldom affected by decisions they make so this is an opportunity to explore that.
“It is a chance to see how decisions made in Leinster House affect people in the community.”