The clergymen say that the strange operation was intended to save the souls of the sinners in the town.
(TMU) — A group of priests recently flew over the Russian city of Tver in a small airplane and poured holy water through an open door on the side of the plane. The clergymen say that the strange operation was intended to save the souls of the sinners in the town, by involuntarily dosing them with holy water.
Local news outlet Tvernewsreported that the priests dumped 70 liters of holy water from the airplane, hoping that exposing the town’s population to the sacred liquid would reduce the amount of “drinking” and “fornication” that takes place in the region.
The whole procedure was captured on film for a local television channel. In the footage, a priest can be seen strapped to a harness, preventing him from accidentally falling out of the open door.
Father Alexander seemed to recognize the absurdity of what he was doing, but seemed confident in his mission when speaking to the reporters who tagged along. “Let them laugh. We’re doing our jobs,” he said of his critics.
The holy water bombing took place on Russia’s Sobriety Day, an unofficial holiday that falls on Sept. 11 of each year.
A similar stunt was attempted earlier this year in Columbia, where Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, bishop of Buenaventura, sprayed holy water on the struggling city from a helicopter.
“We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port,” Montoya said in a local radio interview, according to the Guardian.
Violence and poverty are on the rise in the city and the area has been overtaken by the drug trade. Buenaventura was listed as the country’s most violent city in a 2014 study, with conditions having not improved at all since then.
In the case of Buenaventura, the crime plaguing the city like can’t be fixed by a dousing of holy water. Likewise, the priests in Tver are fighting a losing battle. People across the world have been drinking and “fornicating” since pre-history and the chances that they will stop thanks to involuntary exposure to holy water is highly unlikely.
The American singer Billie Eilish recently spoke to her fans about having struggled with Tourette’s syndrome since she was a child. She’d previously avoided going public about her diagnosis as she said she didn’t want to be characterised by her condition.
The hallmark of Tourette’s is tics. These can be motor tics, such as blinking, or vocal tics, such as sniffing. And they tend to come and go over time. Despite what many people believe, Tourette’s rarely entails uncontrollable swearing. In fact, only a tiny proportion of people with Tourette’s experience this.
Although the condition is common – about one in 100 children is affected by it – there is still significant stigma associated with it, so much so that people try to hide their tics and avoid socialising.
In contrast to tics in other motor disorders, such as chorea (an involuntary movement disorder caused by neurological problems), the unique characteristic of Tourette’s is that people can suppress their tics for short periods. Although this often results in stronger outbursts when they allow themselves to tic freely.
Tics can diminish with age, and for some people they disappear by late adolescence or adulthood. Other people live with severe tics all their lives.
We recently conducted a study to find out what it is like to be diagnosed with Tourette’s and how it affects people’s lives. Sixteen adults from the UK agreed to be interviewed for our study. In our in-depth interviews, some adults with Tourette’s told us they live fulfilling lives, with satisfying jobs and happy family lives. They believe that Tourette’s does not define them. They even asserted that the condition had helped them grow emotionally and find greater meaning in their lives. As one participant put it:
It sounds really cheesy, but I think Tourette’s has made me a better person and it’s made me want to help other people.
But some participants reported feeling lonely as a result of their condition. Even those who had become more comfortable having Tourette’s felt a need to hide their tics in public. Similar to Eilish, they learned to suppress their tics and tried to conceal them by any means possible. Since that was not always feasible, some preferred to isolate themselves to avoid public ridicule and bullying.
The tics really made me less likely to reach out socially. Well, to socialise at all or to seek out friends, cause I was worried about being the joke.
They also wanted to disassociate themselves from other people with Tourette’s – a group they considered to be stigmatised by society.
Most adults reported being bullied – sometimes it was even ongoing. And some even experienced negative reactions to their condition from their parents. Some parents expressed frustration and disappointment, often because they misunderstood the condition. One participant said:
I was hidden in the cupboards and the rooms. I was never taken out into public. I was even kept away from my own family except from my grandparents.
Similar to other studies, our interviews showed that people with Tourette’s often have difficulty at work, with employers refusing to make reasonable adjustments for them and making it difficult for them to keep their jobs. Another participant said:
Imagine working in a bar and stressful nights and stuff like that and you start ticking and people start asking questions, poking fun at you drunk, so, you know … And you try and speak to your employer about it … ‘I need to stop right now, I need to pull myself away or go home or something because it’s gonna make me worse’. It’s just a big blow down, it really is. And they don’t understand that, and they don’t care either and they don’t believe they have to care.
The people in our survey said they wanted to be “normal” so they could achieve all their aspirations and goals. They felt that Tourette’s had held them back from being the person they want to be and doing the things they want to do.
Besides Billie Eilish and the American football player Tim Howard, few famous people have talked about Tourette’s outside the context of a joke. Having a pop star proudly admit that she has the condition and raising awareness about it may be a first step to fighting the stigma attached to Tourette’s syndrome. Indeed, identifying with a celebrity can make living with the condition more bearable and less lonely. It might even help people derive some pride from their diagnosis and show that there is hope for people with Tourette’s to fulfil their dreams, just like Billie Eilish.
Fifteen years ago I thought my life was falling apart. It was. But as the years progressed I saw much of the wider world following the same path. Of course, I have to consider the subjective nature of associating the patterns of behaviour perceived at different scales. Was I just interpreting events in the world at large as ‘like’ my own life? This phenomenon is a regular expressed experience of many people. But for me, there is a discernible difference worth considering. I am meticulous in tearing things apart, re-examining them, considering various perspectives, and, most importantly, digging beneath the surface of my own conscious cognition.
There is a bigger perspective. Humanity is in its death throes. There are still many lines of sight that can see the light through the mayhem, the joy of living in a beautiful world, the hope and potential that things have not yet been decided and there is always the chance they may improve. I will venture this is like watching a volcano exploding and being in awe of the power, the drama, and the visual magnificence. It is true that our experience is full of incredible patterns, colours, emotions, and experiences but it is also true that humanity is changing at such a rate that it is almost explosive.
I have watched this Brexit fiasco from my own perspective. It is the same dynamic as a traumatised child having to decide which of their dysfunctional parents they should side with for the best chance of survival. Most people tending to favour leaving the EU are so transfixed by the abuses of the EU that they wish to run away. What most are unaware of is the darker shadow into which they will run. They imagine that being free of the confines of the oppressive control of a super-state in formation will avail them of some idealised freedom and self-determination. Of course, if that were possible they would have already achieved it.
Most who want to remain in the EU are looking towards making love with this larger community and, by being positive in the relationship, see harmonious and productive outcomes. A bit like an abused person making excuses for the bestial behaviour of their partner. In the comparison with parents, the mother may be the EU and the father is a less tangible, less easily perceived, the shadow of a figure which manifests in the US and Israel. What one might reasonably loosely refer to as Western culture. If the UK did this magic trick of leaving the EU there would be nowhere to go other than into that alliance. The UK is already an integral part of it and ideas of becoming somehow independent are simply unrealistic. The imagined alternative of ‘running away from home’ is also unrealistic. A bit like a turkey I once saw making a bid for freedom from a cage on a lorry at the abattoir. It got to run around a bit, and my heart went out for it, but it was still securely confined within the compound.
All of this is happening within the context of a rapidly expanding, all-pervasive, ubiquitous digital infrastructure of control. I saw a tweet just the other day that Microsoft were closing their e-book store. It is irrelevant whether the details are correct or what arrangements are in place because the dynamic is a feasible one. Buying e-books is not the same as buying paper books. They are effectively rented to you; you purchase the right to read the stored copy. But when the store closes the book vanishes. They used to have to burn books but now they can spirit them away. The same is true of music, and all the information on the internet. This is the same problem as underlies digital money and digital identities; they can be spirited away. The electronic digital representation of each individual is held as a reference to an interpretation of an entity with an ID which is nominally vectored to one biological blob on the surface of planet Earth. We are being altercast as something akin to Buzz Lightyear; a virtual plastic toy representing an imagined superhero rendered in the digital world to look like something exists.
So what hope is there for what we imagine humanity to be? Once this superstructure of digital processing with superior intelligence and all the capability of self-replication begins to formulate into a coherent mass it will have no need for the source material of biological blobs from whence it was spawned. We are left at this moment in time wondering what meaning or significance to place on our previously assumed sense of existence. There is all the potential for life, experience, and consciousness to thrive and develop and there is all the potential for it to be destroyed in this volcanic eruption to rearrange the landscape of the universe for some unknown, unimaginable, and immaterial future.
And now, today, 11 April 2019, Julian Assange has been deliberately publically ignominiously hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy by the British Police. He will be extradited to the US who will abuse his body and soul for whatever political and material leverage they can gain. Behind all of this is the question of what is going wrong and what on Earth we can do about it. At the heart of the problem is the false illusion of our material existence. I say ‘false’ and ‘illusion’ because they are cultural cognitive interpretations of the meaning of our lives. We create an imagined interpretation of what we are in order to survive. Whilst we continue to indulge in deceiving ourselves in order to fix in space and time some identifiable cognitive model of who we are, we will continue to build institutions and political hierarchies to maintain that deception. It has to be clear to anyone watching a little more of the detail than that offered by the mental fast-food media that this is a profoundly disturbing turn of events.
When you uncover a part of your subconscious you discover something about you that was hidden and driving your choices. In general, it is better to understand yourself better. It allows you to improve, not only your own experience of living but generally to improve the interaction between you and the outside world which, in turn, enhances the outside world too. Attempting to maintain your naivety because it gets you what you want now is actually a failure to adapt and learn and inevitably leads to failure. It is a dangerous form of pathological delusion which leads to conflict, violence, and destruction. Julian Assange did nothing worse than expose a few truths that the US are desperate to keep secret. They are so desperate to maintain the deception that they will go to extremes to make an example of Assange to set precedents of control and to terrorise anyone daring to even think of exposing their malicious behaviour and intentions.
All of us have to review and enhance our own integrity and act on it.
The word “halitosis” is a household term which everyone knows means bad breath. But did you know that the word has been around for less than a hundred years, and was invented not by the medical field, but by advertisers?
Back in the 1920s, people didn’t worry about body odor as much as they do now. They didn’t bathe nearly as often, they didn’t wear deodorant, and some bodily smells weren’t necessarily considered socially catastrophic. A family antiseptic company called Listerine was able to increase its revenue from $115,000 to $8 million over the course of seven years by helping to change that.
Listerine had been around since the 1880s, marketed as a household cleaner, a medical antiseptic, and a treatment for gonorrhea, among many other uses. Forty years later, the company’s owner and his son came up with the brilliant idea to look up a fancy latin word for bad breath that sounds like a medical condition and then market it as though it’s an actual diagnosable disease that is crippling everyone’s social life. They ran advertisements telling wives that their halitosis was making them unappealing to their husbands, telling husbands that their halitosis was making their wives not want to kiss them, telling young women that they’d remain unmarried and unwanted forever if they didn’t cure their “unexcusable” condition with Listerine, even telling mothers that their breath may be grossing out their own children.
And it worked. People began throwing their money at this company, suddenly desperate to cure a horrible medical condition that they’d only just found out was a thing. By manufacturing demand for their product using artificially instilled shame and fear, Listerine made a fortune.
This type of advertisement is now commonplace, because it works. Mothers are told that they may be endangering their children by not using X cleaning product. Fathers are made to feel as though they’re not protecting their family because they don’t own home security system Y. Wives and girlfriends are made to feel self-conscious about how their lady parts might smell if they don’t use feminine hygiene product Z. Screens, billboards and magazine ads blare constantly, “Did you know that you are deeply flawed? You are! But don’t worry, Panaceavox can fix you!” In America they’re allowed to straight up say “Hey, have you ever felt kind of emotionally not okay? Well there’s a diagnosis for that. Ask your doctor if Thorazac is right for you.” People are manipulated into fretting about a problem they didn’t know they had til two seconds ago, then sold the solution.
What people think of as “sin” is a lot like Listerine’s halitosis marketing ploy, except unlike bad breath, sin doesn’t actually exist. And, for those who profit from religion, it’s also been exponentially more lucrative.
Sin is completely made up; we’re all a bunch of large-brained primates moving around in the world and experiencing the consequences of those movements, no more, no less. As a Catholic, I was told that all babies were born sinners, with tiny little blackened souls that would go straight to hell if the priest didn’t get to them first and dunk their deceptively pretty little demon heads in magic water tout suite. It didn’t stop there either. You had to celebrate an ancient Nazarene zombie who came back from the dead because somehow that made our sins go away for a little while, just as long as you turned up each week to drink zombie blood and eat zombie body in some kind of pretend cannibal ritual. The weirdest thing about it was that I thought it was perfectly normal. That’s how you avoided being a sinner.
When you unplug those stories from the power of belief, it’s a laughably transparent marketing scheme.
“Guess what? You know how you feel like you’re basically fine? Well you’re not! You’re infected with Sin, and only this One True Religion™ can rescue you from it! That’s right, it slices, it dices, it protects your soul from eternal hellfire, it’s the One True Religion™! Follow the One True Religion™ and you will be freed from the burden of Sin, and you’ll go the the best place you can possibly imagine (*cough* when you’re dead). Refuse to follow the One True Religion™, and all that sin will cause literally the worst thing you can possibly imagine to happen to you (after you’re dead, we can’t show it to you here). Act now, supplies are running out, here comes the tithe basket, buy your way into the One True Religion™ today!”
Ridiculous, manipulative hogwash.
Fear isn’t the only thing factoring into people’s belief in sin, of course. It can be egoically gratifying to believe that the real assholes in our world will spend eternity writhing in a state of eternal torture for their transgressions. Also, more significantly, it can feel very comforting to have a set of prescribed “do”s and “don’t”s in a world that is otherwise a completely boundless and open-ended improvisation exercise, with no ultimate rules or guidelines of any kind. It can feel very comforting to have a set of guidelines to live by for which you have no responsibility, which were handed to you from On High by a flawless omniscient and omnipotent deity underlying the fundamental ground of reality.
But that’s just it: you are responsible. It absolutely is your responsibility to figure out how best to move around in this wide open universe, and you don’t get to abdicate that responsibility to some douchebag in a funny hat or some imaginary zombie carpenter. Sin and sanctity are made-up bullshit concepts, which means that the only understanding of how to behave in this world that has any relevance to you at all is your own understanding.
This responsibility can be daunting, but taking it seriously is the first step to becoming the kind of human being that can overcome the huge challenges that our species is facing in the near future.
To act with responsibility in life, you don’t get to rely on anyone else’s rules. You’ve got to get really clear on what you value, what kind of world you want to live in, what kind of life you’re trying to craft for yourself, and begin taking actions toward making those assessments a reality. There is no ultimate right and wrong inscribed on the fabric of reality; you’ve got to make it up for yourself, based on your own clarity of vision and your own will for your surroundings.
People say, “Well if we didn’t believe in absolute right and wrong behavior, we’d all just be a bunch of hedonistic criminals!” Rubbish. If you had the ability to make a movie and have the movie contain anything you want to see, it wouldn’t be full of rape and murder and destruction; you’d try your best to create a thing of beauty. Our lives are the same way. We’re all trying on some level to craft beautiful lives and help create an enjoyable world, which never entails going around hurting people and destroying things. And the clearer our seeing becomes, the more skillful we become in doing so.
The only exception to this would perhaps be sociopaths and psychopaths and people with other severe personality disorders, but their type has never truly believed in sin anyway. Sin is a construct of social manipulation, and manipulators recognize manipulation. A sociopath only cares about the concept of sin to the extent that they can use it to get what they want. Only emotionally and empathetically normal people are impacted by the concept of sin.
The popular acceptance of the concept of sin is a consequence of the way we are psychologically hardwired and the way that that wiring has been manipulated, and you see that same wiring fiddled with in similar ways in many other areas. The way centrists browbeat leftists for not falling in line with Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the 2016 US elections, for example, often looked barely distinguishable from a gaggle of church ladies abusing one of their sisters for wanting to leave the church or get a divorce. Instead of the promise of hell it was the promise of Donald Trump ending the world, and instead of sin being disobedience to God it was disobedience to the mainstream liberal orthodoxy. But the same kind of shaming, manipulation and groupthink herd bullying was present in both cases. The notion of personal sovereign responsibility was violently rejected as anathema by the Church of the Blue Donkey.
Sin is a tool of social manipulation just like advertising, and just like propaganda. Religion, advertising and propaganda all pull the same psychological strings. Since as far back as recorded history stretches, those with wealth and power have been using whatever tools they have at their disposal to control the ways people think and behave. When religion held more psychological weight, they used that to justify book burnings, heretic burnings, and the destruction of anything that challenged the ruling order. Now that humanity is vomiting up the plague of religion from its DNA, propaganda and advertising are taking its place.
But it’s the same kind of manipulation in each case, the same disease, and the cure for that disease is the same too. By insisting on your own sovereign perspective, all attempts to manipulate you out of that perspective begin to stand out like a black fly on a white page. By standing firmly in what you know to be true, what kind of life you know you’re trying to live, and what kind of world you know you’re trying to help create, you give yourself a clear picture of the path that you are on. With that clear picture, any attempts to manipulate you off of that path in any way are easily seen for the unwelcome intrusions that they are, whether they take the form of “You are sinful and you need Jesus,” “You are flawed and you need this product,” or “Trust Big Brother to do what’s right for you.” And you can shrug off the manipulators and stride toward the bright consequences you wish to generate with your actions.
Most common? Clothing and shoes, while Amazon remains the shopping platform of choice.
The findings are based on a survey of 2,174 alcohol-consuming readers between March 11-18 of this year. The average respondent was 36-years-old, and has an income of $92,000 per year, more than double the national average. Thus, The Hustle‘s wealthier readers may skew the results when extrapolated – but we’re having fun with this one.
Overall, 79% of all alcohol-consuming respondents have made at least one drunken purchase in their lifetime — though this varies a bit based on demographics. –The Hustle
Women (80%) are slightly more likely than men (78%) to drunk shop. This makes sense since women generally shop more than men — especially online.
Drunk shoppers also tend to be younger. Millennials outrank baby boomers by 13%, which might be attributed to the rise of e-commerce (we’ll get to this later).
Certain professionals also seem to be more inclined to shop drunk than others. We limited our data to jobs with the highest response rates then parsed out the 5 industries that are most and least likely to shop under the influence. –The Hustle
my drunk purchase from two months ago finally got here from china
What’s the alcohol of choice while drunk shopping? Beer, followed by wine, followed by whiskey.
Another interesting metric is that people who shop while drunk have around 10 drinks per week, while those who typically shop sober consume half as much.
As far as average spent per year:
Our average respondent reports dropping $444 per year on drunk purchases — from life-size cut-outs of Kim Jong-un to 30-pound bags of Idaho potatoes.
A little back-of-the-napkin math gives us a rough estimate of the drunk shopping market at large: There are ~130m alcohol-consuming adults in the US. In our survey findings, 79% of alcohol-consuming adults shop drunk at an average annual spend of $444. Assuming these rates hold true at a national level (purely speculative), drunk shopping is a ~$45B per year market.
Extrapolating this further, we determined the average lifetime spend on drunk purchases is $4,187 — good for a total drunken expenditure of nearly half a trillion dollars.
When it comes to drunk shopping by profession, those in the fashion industry are the biggest, richest drunks – at an average of $949 spent per year, followed by writers, medical professionals and those in the fitness industry.
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate this drunk Amazon purchase
Who spends the least while shopping drunk? Government workers, engineers and – in last place, those working in retail.
Geographically speaking Kentucky is oddly at the top along with Connecticut. Though, the survey may have had one really rich respondent in each state that skewed the results. Who knows.
Kentuckians top the charts with a $742 annual spend. In fact, the entire South — a region known for its fine bourbon — is a blanket of red. California, the country’s wine capital, is the lone over-achiever on the otherwise mediocre West Coast.
This bears little semblance to the CDC’s analysis of the heaviest binge-drinking states (in fact, it’s almost opposite). But it shows that the economics of drunk shopping is a more complex matter than simply parsing out where people drink the most.
As far as platform of choice, Amazon leads the pack, followed by Ebay, Etsy, Target and Walmart. At least two of those are worth an intervention if you ever catch your friends drunk shopping at Walmart, for example.
Clothing and shoes are the goods of choice while drunk.
Studies have shown that people who base their self-worth on appearance are more likely to imbibe alcohol, so there is some tenuous linkage here. But this also ties in with the rapid rise of the direct-to-consumer fashion industry.
Entertainment (movies, games) and tech gadgets are also popular choices — though the party train seems to abruptly halt at software (if you’ve purchased a copy of Microsoft Excel drunk, we need to talk.)
Weirdest purchases, according to The Hustle‘s readers?
200 pounds of fresh, 10-foot tall bamboo
A World War 2-era bayonet
A full-size inflatable bouncy castle (“For my living room”)
A breast pump (“I’m a dude”)
A splinter that was removed from the foot of former NBA Star, Olden Polynice
The same vest Michael J. Fox had on in Back to the Future
A $2,200 pair of night vision goggles
Tons of international fights (Azerbaijan, Iceland, Ukraine, Tunisia)
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone