Tag Archive for your modern world

Your Modern World Kicks Your Balls In

Two more entries to Your Modern World tonight.

First up, diseases are a common problem in the modern world. Sure, we’ve made many advances and have eliminated things like smallpox, but we still have to deal with the occasional outbreak. Most societies deal with this through immunizations and vaccines, as well as prevent the spread of disease through hygiene, germ cleansers, and in extreme cases, quarantine.

That’s just not good enough in the backwater villages of India. How do they deal with it? They marry their daughters off to frogs. Yeah, that’s going to end well.

Next time I catch pneumonia, I’ll marry the Little Bird off to a hamster. Fix me right up.

In our second entry, we’re drawing closer and closer to the dreaded 2012 apocalypse as predicted by the Maya. There have been books and TV shows devoted to the date, and theories abound as to what the world-destroying event could actually be.

Putting aside the failure to learn a lesson from Y2K hysteria and the fact that the date is just a nice round number in the Mayan calendar (just like 2000 on our Gregorian calendar), has anyone stopped to realize they’re worried about predictions from people who practiced human sacrifice to appease their gods?

They needed rain, they sacrificed people. They needed more crops, they sacrificed people. They needed the sun to come up the next morning, they sacrificed people. I’m just not going to get myself too worked up over the last page of a calender worked out by some assholes who’d cut my heart out as an insurance policy for reaching that last page.

Makes me wonder if we’re really making any progress after all.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Your Modern World Spites Your Face

In today’s entry of Your Modern World, we find motorcyclists in Nigeria are using dried pumpkin shells as helmets in an attempt to comply with new helmet laws. Many of them are being arrested, yet they still refuse to comply with the law.

The first question a rational human being asks is “why not wear a helmet?” Good question. The first reason is because they’re afraid the helmets will be stolen. This is especially problematic for the motorcyclists who use their bikes as a taxi to get people through the insane Nigerian traffic; the drivers claim they get to the destination and the passenger runs off with the helmet, which costs $29US. That may not sound like a lot, but consider they only make about fifty cents a ride.

Okay, fair enough. What else?

I know some bikers who don’t wear helmets, and their arguments include: helmets restrict vision; helmets dampen hearing; helmets are uncomfortable; you don’t get to feel the wind in the face; forcing helmets on us hampers personal freedom.

Not a big deal in Nigeria. No, it’s their next concern that makes them a prime candidate for a Your Modern World entry:

Stories have also appeared in the local papers highlighting passengers’ fears that the helmets could be used by motorcyclists to cast spells on their clients, making it easy for them to be robbed.

“Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb,” passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper.

Yes, you read that right: they’re afraid of magic!

I would kill to see ABATE present that argument to the state legislature.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Spawn of Your Modern World

In this edition of Your Modern World, we have a group of farmers bringing suit against the government because they think RFID tagging of livestock constitutes the mark of the beast per the Book of Revelation. These farmers, primarily Amish, refuse to use RFID tags to identify their cows, pigs, and so forth, because it goes against their religion and they object to the government forcing them to use the technology.

I’m all for the separation of church and state, and I think it works both ways: the government shouldn’t be interfering with the Amish’s religious beliefs any more than the Amish’s beliefs should influence government policy. However, if the Amish expect to sell their products outside of their communities, they need to suck it up and abide by the law. I fail to see how placing an inert tag in a pig’s ear — which will later be scanned by the buyer — violates their tenets against the use of technology. They could use a paper tracking system, in which case an RFID tag would be no different than a stamped tag, until they make the hand-off to the buyer.

Of course, saying all that validates the stupidity of the mark of the beast allegation. Do we even know what the mark is? The bible quote in question is:

Rev. 13:16-17 – “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Okay… What is this mark? What does it look like? Is it literal or figurative? Also, it refers to men with the mark of the beast, not beasts with the mark of men. Whether we define the beast as an animal, a demon, or Lucifer, it seems to me an RFID tag doesn’t apply. Men created RFID tags, not cows or mythical monsters.

An RFID tag is nothing more than a number, period (and it’s a lot bigger than 666). It becomes the key in a database of whatever information the farmers and/or the government decide to associate with said key. It’s no different from branding an animal to say “Hey, this cow is mine.” Or tattooing a number on an animal. Or hanging a stamped tag from their ear. Or whatever method these farmers use to track their animals.

One thing separates a database maintained by pencil and a databased maintained by computer: convenience. They both do the exact same thing. Yet somehow once electrons become involved, some people move off into the world of magic and superstition.

Reading deeper into the article, I love how the prevention or avoidance of terrorism is becoming a convenient excuse to justify lawsuits. In a nutshell, the suit claims that if the farmers have to quit farming because they refuse to participate in placing the mark of the beast upon their livestock, the terrorists win.

Whatever. If this suit actually makes it to court, I’ll lose a lot of faith in our legal system.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.