110 Stories Plus 72 Virgins

19 hijackers thought this was the stairway to heaven.

This is an old advertisement for the WTC that I found over on The Fundy Post.

Physicists claim that the Universe is held together by four forces: Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic, and Gravitation.

I’ve maintained for years that this is not the complete picture. There is a fifth force, one that actually powers the Universe. This fifth force is responsible for much of what happens.

This fifth force is Irony.

Never taunt the Universe. Just as you wouldn’t stand in the middle of an open field in a thunderstorm, never give irony an opportunity to strike you. The lightning has no intelligence and no “desire” to hit you. But there’s a buttload of electrons up in the clouds just itching for an opportunity to jump to someplace with a lower charge. You know better than to walk out into an open field to give those electrons a conduit.

Likewise, there is a giant cloud of irony out there, just waiting to jump to a place of lower ironicness. Never say out loud “I’ve scheduled my Caribbean vacation for the week after hurricane season ends, because I don’t want a storm to ruin it.” That’s just asking for a post-season hurricane to destroy your trip.

That brings us back to the unfortunate advertisement above. It’s painfully ironic today.

We have no control over irony, but we can affect the mechanisms it uses to hurt us. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod to prevent the fires and deaths that were caused by electrical storms.

It is time for a new lightning rod. It is time to contain the dangerous power of religion.

Religious fundamentalism in all of its stripes, flavors, forms, and strengths must be eradicated, and eradicated now!

23 Responses to “110 Stories Plus 72 Virgins”

  1. Vjatcheslav Says:

    Are you beginning to follow the Secret? Law of Attrition, eh, Attraction?

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    The “law” of attraction is hogwash. If there were a law of attrition, fundamentalism would take care of itself (but at a very high cost to the rest of us).

  3. Lepht Says:

    law of attrition, huh? you try telling that to Jerry Falwell’s corpse.

    L

  4. ericsan Says:

    No, Alanis, irony is not a fly in your Chardonnay.

  5. Lugosi Says:

    I would argue that irony is the most powerful force of all.

  6. ausyoyo Says:

    wow, what a great poster. I got in trouble on another thread for asking where the sky fairy was on 911. Perhaps he/she/it was taking these people up the last few stories.

    (note no disrespect at all for the victims intended just for the f*wad religious cashing in on the disaster and that includes the scientologists of course)

  7. Brian Says:

    On Richard Dawkins’s site there is a picture of the pre-9/11 skyline with the caption reading “imagine no religion”, evoking John Lennon. That day should have been a wake up call for all of us to the dangers religion poses to human civilization. No one outside the circle of “public” atheists has distilled this war on terror into what it really should be: an all-out effort to break religion’s hold on our minds. Politicians and pundits conspicuously avoid disparaging Islam, and instead point out repeatedly that “most muslims are peaceful”, or some other equally inane observation. Bullshit. These fanatics want to convert us or kill us. I wonder what excuses people will make for religion when one of these bastards explodes a nuke in New York City. “Oh, hooray! The Rapture is here!”, would be a sure bet. I fear for our species.

  8. sadisticon Says:

    I remember this poster, it’s pre-Battery Park City.
    Wow I’m old.

  9. merritt Says:

    sorry to hear that you judge all religions as bad because of some nut cases. some of us find comfort in believing that “this” isn’t all there is. how sad that so many believe that the grave is just a hole in the ground. One can believe in a higher power without killing others by the thousands. please tell me why my beliefs are so intimidating. and just in case you may be wondering, yes, I believe that my belief is “the one” and yes, I would like to be first in line to wipe out the radicals. Being a fundamentalist just means I believe that there are foundations on which to build upon. these foundations make me a stronger person and a better neighbor. I don’t have to agree with you to be willing to lay down my life for you. those who would say otherwise should be taken out into the desert and shot like dogs.

  10. Bob Jones Says:

    The pledge of allegiance is missing “under God”. Just thought you may have missed that. It comes after “Nation” and before “indivisible”. It was put their by our fellow Americans, lawfully.

  11. Adam Says:

    Not all atheists are humanists, unfortunately. If you think extremism or ethical egoism has no face other than through religion, you are mistaken.

  12. Ron Britton Says:

    Merritt:

    I’d respond to your comment, but I couldn’t get through it. If you don’t respect your readers enough to use proper capitalization, then your ideas aren’t worth reading.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    Bob Jones:

    What is lawful is not always constitutional. I have presented the correct, unadulterated version of the Pledge of Allegiance.

  14. cloud9ine Says:

    Who’s a fundamentalist?

    Right there, Ron, when you refuse to read Merrit’s post for lack of capitalization – you are the fundamentalist there.

    When you say, wipe out Islam, blaming religion for some people-gone-wrong, you excuse fundamentalists of all kind.

    To me, as a Hindu living with Muslim neighbors in houses on all sides, peacefully coexisting, celebrating life together, the rest of the world where people stereotype people, and spread hate (and that includes you), is a sad, sad place.

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    cloud9ine:

    This site is about religious fundamentalism. That is what causes most of the misery in this world. Somebody having a strong opinion about syntax is hardly in the same category.

    Apparently, though, you are incapable of reading text that is properly capitalized. So let me spell it out slowly and carefully for you:

    Nowhere in that post did I advocate wiping out Islam!

    I sincerely doubt your ability to peacefully coexist with any neighbors (Muslim or otherwise), if you are incapable of understanding what another person has written.

  16. Merritt Says:

    Sorry to hear that you judge all religions as bad because of some nut cases. Some of us find comfort in believing that “this” isn’t all there is. How sad that so many believe that the grave is just a hole in the ground. One can believe in a higher power without killing others by the thousands. Please tell me why my beliefs are so intimidating. And just in case you may be wondering, yes, I believe that my belief is “the one” and yes, I would like to be first in line to wipe out the radicals. Being a fundamentalist just means I believe that there are foundations on which to build upon. These foundations make me a stronger person and a better neighbor. I don’t have to agree with you to be willing to lay down my life for you. those who would say otherwise should be taken out into the desert and shot like dogs.

    So Ron, how is this? I hope you will notice that I didn’t mention any particular group, just those who would use religion as an excuse to kill. Ron, I don’t disagree with you in total, just the use of the word fundamentalist. Religious Zealots would be the term I would use but then I’m not you.

  17. Ron Britton Says:

    Merritt:

    I’m not the slightest bit intimidated by your beliefs. I don’t know where you got that impression. What you believe, as long as you don’t intrude those beliefs into government, has no effect on me whatsoever.

    It’s looks like we’re in agreement on the issue of religious radicals.

  18. Dave Says:

    I was just a bit baffled by how this was quite an interesting take on the “Power of Irony” that just suddenly turns into being about religion at the last minute!

    TBH I’d agree in thinking we would probably all be better off these days without religion. I’m not strongly opposed to it, I understand it probably helped drive us forward a lot in the distant past, but I’m surprised so many people still believe it blindly and without challenge in modern times, especially to the point of taking lives.

    The only thing is, I don’t see why the angle of the post changed so suddenly from what was quite an interesting start!

  19. J.R. "Bob" Dobbs Says:

    Hey, where are all these guys coming from anyways?

  20. Another Steve Says:

    I think you missed it. The fifth fundamental force is stupidity. But what is stupidity you say? It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.

    In your original article you talk about standing in an open field tempting the lightning to strike you. Only someone who is strong with the stupid would be caught dead in such a situation.

    May the stupid be with you…err not so much.

  21. Ron Britton Says:

    Dave:

    I was just a bit baffled by how this was quite an interesting take on the “Power of Irony” that just suddenly turns into being about religion at the last minute!

    You are correct. It is abrupt and somewhat out of place. At the time I wrote that, I was more concerned with never letting this blog wander off topic. I had to find a way to tie it in. If I were writing it today, I would have left that last part off. If I ever do a best-of page or something, I may reprint the above without the last four paragraphs.

    Although it is a too-abrupt shift, it is actually the whole reason I sat down to write this particular article. If fundamentalism didn’t exist, then it wouldn’t be available as a tool for irony to smack us with.

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Been a while since I read this post! Funny how old ones rise from the grave every so often. Isn’t the supersticious argument of “never schedule a vacation…” no different from religious superstition? It may seem like doing so will “curse your trip” due to selective memory but the fact is, it makes no impact whatsoever on what the weather will be at that time. Just had to interject that… Because isn’t this how religions are born?

  23. Ron Britton Says:

    Religions aren’t based on anything. Irony is real.