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Aquarium pictures and a rant

Our trip to the Tennessee Aquarium on 8-4-01.

It was extremely crowded, and the sampling of humanity attending that day didn't exactly give an encouraging picture of the future.

Now, before anyone declares me horribly insensitive, let me state for the record that I understand that parenting is extremely tiring work. The people staffing the Tennessee Aquarium understand this as well. This is why they have a young man sitting in the hot sun armed with a PA system and a singular purpose: his job, all day, every day, once every fifteen minutes, is to inform those in attendance that the aquarium offers, free of charge, these very nifty and well-designed backpacks. The purpose of these sturdy-yet-light metal-framed wonders is twofold: it places the little darling up above eye level so that snookum-wookums can easily see the exhibits without the parent having to lift the little rascal every two seconds. Not to place a lack of emphasis on Junior's education in the wonders of aquatic life, but this solution also gets the little angels out of the way of other pedestrians and clears the ramps of stroller traffic.

Ideally, anyway.

Although the aquarium will gladly hold strollers and other belongings until visitors are ready to claim them, it seems some parents are unwilling to part with them. Now, they do get in the way tremendously, but I understand that they are a convenient way to transport children. I'm with that, and I can totally sympathize with that. I am willing to suffer the inconvenience as a pedestrian who is content in the knowledge that the human species is being perpetuated. Yay, fertility, rah-rah.

Where these people cross the line of my magnanimous patience and proceed to turn into Selfish Cretins is when there are no children in the strollers. Yep, they're rolling an empty cart. It's doing nothing but taking up space.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that most of these ingenious technological marvels fold up. That day at the aquarium, progress ground to a dead stop, in part because of these nimrods. How much is it to ask that they take a minute and make it easier for the rest of us not to clot up in little knots trying to get around them by folding up the bloody stroller? I wanted to perform an immediate vasectomy in the interest of public service when I saw a father pushing an empty DOUBLE stroller, folded out for maximum lane congestion. I own a Swiss Army knife. It is a thing of great utility, and while it might not be up to the task of on-the-spot tubal ligation for the equally-offensive empty stroller mommies, I feel sure its functionality could include severing any number of vas deferens if the situation required it.

It's not like an alternate solution doesn't exist. On the contrary, it's actively encouraged by a young man on the plaza whose economic well-being depends on his heralding this officially-sanctioned option every quarter hour. Oh, I realize that some children are too large to fit in the nifty child backpacks. However, a congested ramp is not the place for free range chickens or free roaming toddlers. I do not have a problem with fully-occupied strollers. They have my blessing. Ditto for empty folded ones.

Fully-unfolded empty ones? Rude, inconsiderate parents, fear my wrath . . . and my Swiss Army knife.

Unfortunately, bad parenting wasn't restricted to those accompanying the preschool set. There were a couple of teenaged boys who were playing with the revolving door to the point of impeding the rest of us getting from point A to point B. The parents were right there, and didn't do a thing. Now, fortunately, they tired of this amusement and proceeded to catch up with their redneck progenitors just as we got to the door, but they'd been at it for a bit. I'm pretty sure the younger one had undiagnosed ADHD. No, that's not a criticism based on annoyance while observing poor parenting, it's based on analysis after three years working in a psych clinic. I felt sorry for him, because I know he could have a better life if his parents paid attention. It wasn't that they couldn't afford it, it was just that they clearly couldn't be bothered.

If you'll forgive the stereotyping, I would be quite surprised if these people weren't also redneck pro-life Southern Baptists complete with at least one truck. We were packed in tightly at points, and overhearing some of their conversation was unavoidable. I wasn't eavesdropping, but I got the impression that the beefy father was less interested in observing the flora and fauna and more interested in baiting a hook and casting it into the tank. Deductive reasoning at work.

Please forgive the sweeping generalization, but why is it that the ones who are most pro-breeding are so often the ones who can't seem to manage the offspring they produce?

Like my very wise mother has always said, don't have them if you're not going to take care of them.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
freakyferret
Aug. 13th, 2001 01:59 am (UTC)
*pounces banshee and hugglies her around the neck*

*then hands her an invisible laser gun that zaps people into nothing but a pile of ashes*


}:> Use at your discretion, dear. :)
pointedview
Aug. 13th, 2001 03:12 pm (UTC)
Woo-hoo! I've needed one of these for a loooong time. :D Who knew that they were available in a small corner of Louisiana? ;)

*hugglies Ferret profusely*
freakyferret
Aug. 13th, 2001 02:00 pm (UTC)
PICCIES!

okay, i saw. :)

I loved the pic of the snake. He was beautiful. And the turtle ones were cool. I'm not a fish person.

Speaking of turtles, I loved how you went on about not being sure what was what and the camera messing up! :D that was so cute. :)
pointedview
Aug. 13th, 2001 03:21 pm (UTC)
Wish you could see the mamba's head in the pic. David must not be as much of a herpetology fan as I am. I would've taken more pix of snakes, though in his defense, some of the ones that he took were too blurry to use.

I would've at least gotten one of the fer-de-lance and the emerald tree boa, though. :/

As for running on at the mouth, I was getting a little sleep-dep happy at that point. :) I also didn't want the gallery to be too dry, and wanted to reward folks who had read that far. ;)

Feedback is muchly loved, so thanks for bothering to look, you. :) It's appreciated tremendously.
freakyferret
Aug. 13th, 2001 03:31 pm (UTC)
Any time. :) *hands you a chocolate lolli*
chef
Aug. 14th, 2001 08:53 pm (UTC)
Hi Banshee!
Slamming people with kids behind our back, eh?

Started a journal - so check it out.
pointedview
Aug. 15th, 2001 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: Hi Banshee!
*grins angelically*

No, I'm slamming rude people with children behind their backs. Present company doesn't even remotely qualify. :D

Banshee cheers with delight to see Andrew here

BTW, I like your handle, and am glad that you got it before someone else did. :)
twr
Aug. 15th, 2001 10:48 am (UTC)
Are Southern Baptists the ones who have the tent revivals and practice snake handling?

Now, to be clear: I'm not asking if all Southern Baptists do this, just if it is the set to which the subset of snake-handlers and revival preachers belong.

On an unrelated note, why is it incorrect to end a sentance with a preposition?
chef
Aug. 15th, 2001 02:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
I feel qualified to answer this since some of my relatives are Southern Baptists.

Tent revivals (or any revivals) - yes

Though other religious denominations have them as well. It would be closer to say that Southern Baptists are a subset of groups who have revivals, since most Southern Baptist churches have revivals.

Snake handling - no

Snake handling is usually left to "charismatic" religious groups. They may have similar beliefs in some areas with Southern Baptists but are not a subset there of.

*Please contain your applause for answering your question and ending the answer with a preposition.*
pointedview
Aug. 15th, 2001 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
applauds for chef anyway because he saved her the trouble of answering a question, and did a better job than she could've, anyway :D
twr
Aug. 16th, 2001 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
So what sect/denomination are these "charismatic" religious groups?

After all, isn't that what revivals are all about -- a charismatic preacher?

And if it's not Southern Baptists (even just a tiny subset of them) that does the snake handling, who is it? Lutherans? Presbyterians? Episcopalians? -- None of those strike me as as sterotypically charismatic as Southern Baptists. ;)

Not to worry -- even if it's not the Southern Baptists that are the ones who do the snake handling, I do believe that those Yankees who are aware of the practice generally attribute it (and revival meetings) to Southern Baptists. After all, perception is a powerful thing, and can even change the definition of something enough so that for all intents and purposes, a formerly false statment becomes true because the meaning of the statment is changed from its original intent.
chef
Aug. 16th, 2001 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
I do not know the names of the various snake-handling sects - but there are several of them. If you are really interested, I'll get my wife to answer your question if she ever decides to join LJ. She was a sociology major in college and went to a snake-handling church for a class. In response to the question: "When do they stop?" The answer was: "When somebody gets bit."

I used "charismatic" in the religious sense, not the leadership sense. The American Heritage Dictionary second definition puts it thusly: Of, relating to, or being a Christian religious movement that emphasizes divinely inspired powers or gifts, as of healing and prophecy. Thus, the Southern Baptists have charismatic (definition 1) revival preachers, but not charismatic (definition 2) revival preachers.

You are correct - perception is a powerful thing. Though I doubt one would be able to redefine the Sourhern Baptists - there are (IMO unfortunately) way to many of them (largest denomination in US, I believe). However, (also IMO) if someone allows their perceptions to rule over the truth (whatever that is), then they are as guilty of being closed-minded as the Southern Baptists.

Finally, nothing personal, but all this talk of religion is getting boring :) You know the difference between an agnostic and an atheist, right? I don't know and I don't care. Well, that's where I am.

There are several quotes I could use here but I'll stick with these.

I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.

- Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta

It [religion] is the opium of the people.

- Karl Marx, "Toward the Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right"
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2001 02:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.

- Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta


There are days that I wonder if you and my spouse weren't separated at birth. :)
spring_1970
Aug. 16th, 2001 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
OK -- everybody keeps wanting me to use my BA, for goodness sakes!

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<spring [...] notes,>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

OK -- everybody keeps wanting me to use my BA, for goodness sakes!

<Spring gets out her old Soc of Religion notes, blows of the dust -- cough, cough -- and prepares to answer>

The answer will be cutted and pasted with replies from "Chef" (and I've got to wonder is that a sly South Park reference, dahling <wink>).


So what sect/denomination are these "charismatic" religious groups?

Chef said:I do not know the names of the various snake-handling sects - but there are several of them. {snipe} She was a sociology major in college and went to a snake-handling church for a class. In response to the question: "When do they stop?" The answer was: "When somebody gets bit."


Actually, to use the term "sect" is almost incorrect. Snake-handlers are usually a "one-church" kinda thing. The church is known to the parishoners. They may or may not know of other "snake handling" churches. They may or may not be affiliated with them (and often aren't because of the very secretive nature of these groups). Snake-handling in this way is often illegal. Because people can DIE from this! These churches are very insular and protective of themselves. While the community may know of them, they do NOT advertise their presence. Again, the illegal thing.

Oh and the it ends when someone gets bit -- very true for the most part. Either someone gets bit or everyone "falls out" from exhaustion and being "infused with the holy spirit."



After all, isn't that what revivals are all about -- a charismatic preacher?

Well, yes and no (I'm not pasting Chef here -- he's getting pissy at this point ;) ).

Revivals can be about a charismatic preacher. Those are the "tent up on the outskirts of town, everyone go to get the LORD!" kinda things. Those are much more sect-like, more the "holy roller" stereotype kinda things. Everyone's there, there's a sermon (lots of shouting), there's singing (again, shouting) and then the "recommitment" part of the evening -- depending on the preacher this may mean laying on hands (mind out of the gutter!), being infused with the holy spirit (and some fainting, may chance) and/or the holy spirit speaking through someone (the ubiquitous speaking in tongues -- again, OUT OF THE GUTTER!) Oh, and I left out the passing of the plate -- you know that happens!


(Rest of reply in next comment)


spring_1970
Aug. 16th, 2001 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
And the info continues...

For the most part, revivals are a part of all organized religions but are often called many different things (potluck being one ). A revival is a way to reinforce the sense of community and "oneness" in beliefs. That's really it. For most "mainstream" religions, a "revival" is a yearly event, and in my experience, often coincides with Summer Bible Camp. The revival is a way to "rebind" to the church and to the belief system.



And if it's not Southern Baptists (even just a tiny subset of them) that does the snake handling, who is it? Lutherans? Presbyterians? Episcopalians? -- None of those strike me as as sterotypically charismatic as Southern Baptists. ;)

Often the people that snake-handle are not a part of a "mainstream" religious group. Their church is the end all-be all of their religious upbringing. They were likely raised in this church, they are raising their children in this church and so forth and so on.

The leader of this church is likely your ideal of a charismatic one. The dictates of the church are held by this one person (there may be a group of elders but for the most part the pastor runs everything). You don't see these as "The Lutheran House of Snake Handling." Often they are more like "The Holy Temple of the One True Faith" to give you an example. Their tenets and belief system are their OWN. Mostly all of their rules and regulations come directly from the Bible or previous practice. They don't copy or use the Baptist rule book, as it were.


CHEF PASTE:
Finally, nothing personal, but all this talk of religion is getting boring :)

Actually, talk of religion and the various subgroups is amazingly interesting! And you know it! Religion is the "sacred canopy" to an extent, that has molded our society. While I do not agree with many of the tenets it is interesting to discuss them.




Unless someone wants to talk about Stargate -- I'd much rather talk about Stargate

Spring
chef
Aug. 16th, 2001 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
For some people, Stargate is a religion. ;) Wonder what Jesus' fan fic was like? *VBG*
spring_1970
Aug. 17th, 2001 06:16 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
You are a BASTARD!

And you know it!

Jesus' fan-fic? Christ on crutches, the things you come up with!

pointedview
Dec. 31st, 2003 08:40 am (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
*giggles* Knowing the slashers, probably some scary stuff with the apostles; poor Mary Magdalene might not get any time at all.

*winks and blasphemes all over the place, hoping God has a sense of humor*
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2001 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Southern Baptists
It surely ain't the Piskies. Trust me, I know. :)
pointedview
Aug. 15th, 2001 09:33 pm (UTC)
I think it's only incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. :D SentAnces can probably do as they please. :)

Sassiness aside, I don't have my stylebook handy, but I'd imagine that it has to do with the essential purpose of prepositions. They generally modify a noun or noun phrase, and suggest an action that is being done: to something, of something, and so on.



twr
Aug. 16th, 2001 12:38 am (UTC)
Give it time, and sentance will be an acceptable alternate spelling. With time and enough people bastardizing the language, bastardiztions eventually become standaradized.

Just like you can now omit the last comma in a group of items before the conjunction when 50 years ago it was simply incorrect to do so.
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2001 02:39 am (UTC)
Acceptable "alternate" spellings? Not in my LJ, bub. :) We fine people for that. Um, pierogies, I think. Sometimes Fed Exed pies from Pizzeria Uno. :)
pointedview
Aug. 16th, 2001 04:14 pm (UTC)
Related to this
Related to this remarkably interesting discussion that has sprung up in my LJ and even mixes friend groups successfully, :) I will say that Type Talk, a great book analyzing Myers-Briggs personality types, has some very interesting things to say about which types are drawn to what kind of religion (though of course it also accounts for the faith the individual was brought up with). As I recall, iNtuitives generally don't hang with the fundies. :)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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