Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Misery Loves a Parade!

The Utah Pride Festival starts next weekend (June 3rd), and the crowning activity is the parade. For years the Atheist of Utah have marched in the parade to support resiliency in the face of religious persecution of people simply because of who they love. This year will be no different except that my Mom and her Significant Other will be out in Salt Lake City from Washington DC to march with the AoU; I do hope there are enough T-shirts.

If not for the persecution and hate the Utah Pride Festival would just be some great big celebration of love, and I wager very few people would be interested in it. This is because the indignant declaration that “You Can’t Tell Me Who I Can Love” is much more motivating than the pathetic “who can I love?” that is at the core of many people’s love experiences. Supporting someone’s right to love is something I can march for; illuminating the distances between attractive strangers is something that makes me want to sit down and mope.

This year’s festival’s theme is

“We Are Pride”

This conjures up images of false equivalency. A few years ago a group called Mormons Building Bridges marched at the front of the parade. Their very name suggested an acceptance whose absence had hurt many emerging LGBTQ youth. AoU was someplace towards the back as they just accept people without it ever being something new. The bridges that MBB were designing led to nowhere. Recently the LDS church has placed additional requirements for salvation on children who might have a parent who is LGBTQ.  MBB will probably not be at the front this year.

It is at this point in the discussion that most Atheists ask: “why not just leave the gall-darned church?” I don’t really know why.

There is a beautiful world outside your closet, and believing that a magic sky dude is behind it does not make it any more wonderful; it actually takes it down a notch or two.

The theme does work for me in a backhanded sort of way. Instead of talking about love it just mentions “PRIDE” and “WE”, and it could mean anything. I am not in the mood for a love slogan like 2014’s “Love Equals Love”, or 2011’s theme: “Live, Love, Pride”. If I was creating a “love”-based theme today it might be something like:

“This probably won’t end well”

“Good Luck With That”

But that is my own crap. I should be happy for all the people who are exploring newfound or established pleasures in the company of their soulmates… including my all my exes who have landed with people more suited to their countenance. Part of me wants to send messages to their current paramours telling them that they were called a “pot-bellied fetal alcohol syndrome troglodyte” or “Ms Jabba the Hutt” before they became the moon and the stars.  Of course the repression of their former negative opinions would just be a convincing demonstration of the depth of their new love.  I can’t go back beyond the last two since I was married to one for 22 years and time has erased the sting from older breakups.

The Pride Parade will be full of people who are feeling some sting of lost love; just like any gathering of humans. We will see each other and know. We are each that type of pride that drags us out of our humiliation and sets us marching. I would like to be pride.

I plan on making a sign that might look like this depending on the colors I can find. Right now I have some pastel Martha Stewart paint samples I can use:

My miserable status has attracted some like-miserable individuals. I think we marvel at the stupidity that got each of us into a similar situation. I know I feel somewhat superior when I listen to these losers, and I can tell they feel the same about talking to me; perhaps more so. I have threatened to make an amalgam of their stories and put it up on this blog as an interview. They are actually ok with the idea, but they haven’t seen what it is I will write…. So …. We shall see…

We did come up with a good slogan for next year:


We thought it was ironic, and knew there was no danger in anyone actually listening to us.


Anonymous said...

I Dreamed a Dream sung by Anne Hathaway? That is a bit melodramatic even for you. I like this version better too:

adult onset atheist said...

Perhaps "Maudlin" would be a better word choice than "melodramatic".
The version you posted is much more melodic. I like it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Please post a picture of the finished sign!

- Jim C.

Nihilism is for lovers said...

I really liked it, Steve. Great job. Well written. Keep it up. You're a smart person. Fuck love.

Nihilism is for lovers said...


adult onset atheist said...

Thanks Josh! You might like this post where I pretend it is about someone else since I still believed this was an anonymous blog where nobody knew my real name.

adult onset atheist said...

I've posted a picture of the sign Jim