The Big Whoop Book: Chapter 1


Rather than continuing with the Quran today, because the thought of doing so is only slightly less attractive to me than hammering a nail through my scrotum, I thought we might take the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) up on his challenge and write some scripture of our own.

So today, I would like to introduce you all to the one true religion.

Whoopee.

Yes, Whoopee.

Yes, it is a rather silly name. But religions are rather silly things, so it fits.

Now, this religion doesn’t require you to believe in it. It doesn’t require your money. It doesn’t require you to spend most of one day a week listening to someone in a funny costume talk about much you suck. It doesn’t even require you to give up your bacon cheeseburgers.

No, this religion requires but one thing of you. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

As with any religion, we’re going to need a deity. So you’ll be surprised and pleased, I hope, to learn that I found one. So, Ladies, Gentlemen, and those who don’t fit either of those categories, let me introduce you to God.

Say hello to Big Whoop.

As the name implies, he is sort of a big deal. Yes, Big Whoop is the Almighty. The Creator. The Lord of this reality, that reality, and the reality where all of your missing socks disappear to. There he is known by the moniker, the Big Sneaker, and your former socks pray daily to be enveloped in his stinky warmth.

First, I should clarify, when I use the word “he” to describe Big Whoop, it’s not entirely accurate. You see, I’m mostly using “he” as a simplistic convention of the English language. No, Big Whoop is not exclusively a “he”. He is both He, and not He. Both She and not She. To be honest, Big Whoop is both every gender and no gender all at the same time.

If you find that confusing, just think of how he feels when he creates an online dating profile. Fortunately, super-dimensional entities are very open and quite freaky (we’re looking at you, Zeus), so it has not hurt his social life at all.

Secondly, you should know that Big Whoop is terribly sorry for the current state of the world. You see, when he last checked in, you were all apes with slightly above average intelligence. He thought he could pop out, run a few errands, and come back without you weird little primates burning the place down. Clearly, he was wrong and he apologizes.

Yes, sometimes Big Whoop can be wrong. And when Big Whoop is wrong, like any advanced super-dimensional entity with class and morals does, Big Whoop apologizes.

We should also mention that Big Whoop is self-sufficient. Thus he does not give a whoop if you believe in him or not. He doesn’t care if you worship him or not. He finds your religions to be a bit weird, to be honest, and he sees how often you little apes beat each other with sticks because of them, so he’d actually prefer if you just leave him out of it. If you feel the need to acknowledge Big Whoop, he would prefer you send a nice little card to him around the holidays.

Well, that and that you would follow his one simple rule. Yes, finally, we arrive at our religion’s and our deity’s one command for you, little hairless monkeys, and that command, that imperative that is so very important is this:

Don’t be an asshole.

I know, right? I’ll give you a moment.

Yes, don’t be an asshole. It really is that simple.

That’s it. One rule. Not ten, not five, not two. Just one.

Big Whoop is, after all, very realistic when it comes to how much you meat critters can remember at any given moment with your brains made out of meat.

“But, Prophet Dread,” you may say, “What if I am an asshole.”

Stop it.

Then apologize to the people to which you were an asshole and make things right.

“But, Prophet Dread,” you may say, and really you shouldn’t. I’m not a prophet… I am but a simple Exalted Reverend Most High Grande Nacho Supreme Poobah.

“Wow, that’s a mouthful,” you might say, to which I reply, “That’s what she said.”

“No, no… I had another question,” you insisted. “Though it is rather impressive,” you might say in a tone you would use to humor a small toddler. “My question is, ‘how do I know if I’m being an asshole?’”

Use your common sense. You have a mind. Use it.

Oh, fine, I suppose Big Whoop and I can hang around for a bit and go over a few topics in the weeks ahead and help you understand how not to be an asshole in different situations you may face.

But if we do this, you must promise not to be an asshole about it and use our guidelines to go about beating other little monkeys with sticks because you disagree with them.

Are we understood?

Good, I would hate for you to end up in Big Whoops Time Out Corner. It’s a place for every naughty monkeys, after all.

But I suppose we’ll get into that later.

For now, my beloved brethren, go forth today and don’t be assholes.

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An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 10:38-109


Okay, so the Quran could only come from God because the Quran says so.

But we’ll say, “Prove it.”

“Well, you write a chapter of a holy book like the Quran then.”

“Sure. The unbelievers will all perish and go to an eternal torment. God is merciful and just. The believers will all get a really swell garden with fruit and running water and some really hot (but devout) women to sex up for all eternity. God is all-powerful. Let me copy and paste that a few thousand times and I think I’ve got a new religion from God, but also with blackjack and whiskey.”

That’s probably not good enough for Mohammed. He thinks our minds our corrupted and we’re ignorant.

If we call him a liar, then they’re supposed to say, “Let’s compare our deeds.”

“Well, I haven’t killed my daughter for hanging out with boys without a male guardian or lynched an apostate or burned a town to the ground, killed its male inhabitants and taken the women to rape, so I think I might be a few points higher on the good works scale than some of the fundamentalists.”

God doesn’t wrong us, it’s all our faults. Like in any good healthy relationship.

Now we go through another long section where Mohammed assures us that one day, we’ll see. Muslim God will show up and then we’ll be sorry, but it’ll be too late, we’ll go to hell, while he and all the cool kids that follow him get nice gardens.

And the proof that Mohammed is right is that Night and Day exist.

Christians claim God has a Son, but do they have any proof? Or are they just speaking from ignorance?

“Hi, Pot, I’m Kettle.”

“Hi, Kettle, I’m Pot!”

“Those who fabricate lies about God will not succeed.”

“I don’t know, you did pretty well for yourself.”

“Have you heard about Noah?”

Yes, several times now.

“Well, what about Moses and Pharaoh?”

Yes. You’ve mentioned Moses a lot and we’re only ten chapters into this book. But gosh darned it, if Mohammed isn’t going to tell the story of Moses and the staff changing into a snake and the Egyptian magicians again.

And we’re encouraged to believe in Mohammed again.

And finally, 98 verses into the Surah called Jonah, we get to the story of Jonah… and it’s over in one verse. Jonah talked to these guys, they stopped being dicks, so we didn’t kill them and made their lives a little better.

If God willed it, everyone would become a believer. Well, then God suffers from the same problem he does in the New Testament. He has deliberately created a race of sentient creatures capable of feeling pain and then designed a system whereby the VAST majority of them would be consigned to feeling unimaginable pain forever without end. That is not a benevolent deity.

And the constant appeals to fear are exactly the same. Join us or be set on fire forever. No one would call someone who did that on Earth good or merciful or just, they’d be a monster. But the appeal to our blind fear of the unknown helps pitch the idea and blind us to the moral compass in our hearts which tells us that such a relationship isn’t loving or healthy, but abusive and dysfunctional.

You want to know if I can write a holy book, I was only joking above, but not by much. Start with an all-powerful deity. Call it loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, just, all of the usual God stuff. Define justice and righteousness as following your rules. Promise eternal happiness to your followers. Tell your followers that everyone outside of your tribe who mocks them or hates them or is different from them in some way, will be judged by your God and have eternal bad things happen to them. And assure them that it will happen soon, soon being defined as ‘sometime in the next 2,000-5,000 years or so, long after you’re dead, and appeal to the masses by saying you have a special revelation and bad things will happen to them if they don’t believe.

I mean, seriously, not that hard. People still believe in astrology and chain letters, for Pete’s sake. People think Jesus is a magic vaccine. People think if they give money to charlatans in God’s name, God’s going to send them a bloody check for ten times as much.

People are simply too credulous about the unknown and maybe that worked during the days when we needed close knit tribes to complete for food and resources, but much of humanity has gone past that stage now and invoking the fear of retribution from an invisible deity that doesn’t seem to be doing all that much in the world isn’t going to carry that much weight any longer. You have to give us something beyond that. You have to give us something beyond “Day and Night exist, therefore God” or “This book says it’s from God, therefore it is.”

Shit your pastor said…


I sometimes still like to check in with my former Evangelical and Christian cohorts to stay in touch with the zeitgeist of Christianity in America, so today, I present to you a new edition of “Shit your pastor said on the radio…”

  • It should be illegal to be gay.
  • It should be illegal to produce or view pornography.
  • Instead of decriminalizing weed, we should keep the current laws where guys with a small amount of weed are doing 20 or 30 years.
  • Alcoholism isn’t a health issue or disease.
  • Jesus didn’t turn water into wine or drink wine, it was probably just grape juice, we don’t know. Shut up.

This has been another edition of “Shit your pastor said out loud on the radio, holy fuck are you kidding me?”

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 9:127-129; Surah 10:1-37


Hey, I broke at a weird place yesterday, didn’t I?

Okay, when new revelation comes to Mohammed, we unbelievers reject it because God has damned us to hell.

Mohammed is super great, Mohammed writes, and he loves you.

But if you reject him, then he says, “God’s enough for me; there is no god except him. I trust him.”

Surah 10

Mohammed is pretty insecure. He really wants you to know that he’s not just pulling this stuff out of his bum, but God sent him.

Oh, and he took our criticism from yesterday into account. Now in addition to being set on fire forever, we’re also going to get a glass of boiling water to drink.

God made everything. He made the sun. He made the moon a light. The moon just reflects light. You’d think God would know that.

For the millionth time, we’re told that God is going to set unbelievers on fire forever while believers get a nice garden with running water.

God is very bitter that people come to him during hard times and stop calling him when things get better.

When Mohammed shops his text around, he gets negative feedback from his editors and he is understandably upset about that. “I can’t change it! It came from God!”

Who does greater wrong that someone who lies about God? Irony… table for one. Irony?

“Seriously,” says the Lord, the all-knowing, “I am very cross that you guys keep praying to me when bad stuff happens promising that you’ll do better, but then when I fix your problems, you keep leaving me!”

God makes it rain, which makes plants grow, which feed animals and people, but once people think they’ve got this farming thing mastered, God is a dick and brings drought.

In addition to the eternal fire and the boiling water drinks, we’ll also have dark patches put over our faces.

Apparently, on Judgment Day (da da da da da), people will stand with their gods. God will force them to watch a replay of their lives, and the gods will say, “Hey, we didn’t know you were worshipping us!” before God ships the people off to hell.

“Can any of your gods create and repeat it? Well, God does.”

“Okay, show me.”

“Well… new plants and animals…”

“It’s called the reproductive cycle. It’s perfectly natural and doesn’t require God. In fact, if God is responsible for it, then he’s responsible for doling out birth defects and miscarriages and still born infants.”

“Well, can any of your gods guide you to the truth? God can.”

“He doesn’t. Like every other religion, God isn’t showing up and telling us what to do. It’s a man dressed up in funny clothes wearing a hat or a collar or a turban or prayer beads. God never shows up to church, mosque, synagogue, or temple to give a speech to people.”

“Well, the Quran couldn’t have been written by anyone other than God because the Quran says so.”

“Well, I’m convinced.”

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 9:67-126


“Hypocrites are bad and will burn in hell forever.”

“You say that about everyone!”

“Well, eternal fire is bad.”

“So is eternal cold or eternal diarrhea or eternal vomiting up worms…you’d think God would be a bit more creative.”

“He could be, but he’s very busy, alright? You don’t even know how busy he is. Now, haven’t you guys heard of the people of Noah, Aad, Thamood, Abraham, Medians, and the overturned cities?”

“Yes, in the last Surah.”

“Well, if you don’t believe in me, then you only hurt yourself.”

“Muslims are friends of one another-“

“Tell that to the Sunnis and the Shia.”

“They advocate virtue, forbid evil, perform prayers, practice charity, and obey me… I mean God… both of us. God will give them a nice garden when they die.”

“I want a beachside cabana.”

“You get a garden, okay? Everyone gets a garden or eternal hellfire!”

“What about a ski cabin in the Alps?”

“No! Now… God wants me to confront the unbelievers. If they repent, I’ll be kind, otherwise, well, you know the drill by now. Apostates suck. People who mock us suck. You can’t pray for them, because God won’t forgive them. Also, all of those guys who didn’t want to come out and go kill unbelievers and steal their stuff, they’re damned. Don’t mourn them and if they want to come out the next time to raid and pillage, tell them “No! You have to stay at home and sleep in your comfortable bed and make love to your wives and eat good food and drink wine because you didn’t come out and pillage with us the first time.””

“Could I go back and do those things?”

“No! I know it looks like they’re rich and happy, but they’re really miserable and God will punish them with eternal hellfire. Now, whenever we decide to go to war, the rich always ask for a deferment. Sometimes they want an assignment in the Air National Guard, sometimes they claim that they’re poor widdle feet have the ouchies.”

“I feel like you’re getting political again. You shouldn’t get political in posts about religion.”

“I really don’t like desert Arabs…”

“The Anti-Semitism really keeps on coming, doesn’t it?”

“Because, because they didn’t want to go out and kill other people and steal their stuff with us. I’m sure some of them are very nice people too, but most of them are bound for hell and deceitful. God has saved us all, you who are with me, but, uh… as for the rest of those Muslims out there… who knows? And unbelievers suck.”

Day One


“Okay, testing… testing…. Echo… is this thing on?”

“The recorder is working perfectly, Captain Torres.”

“Alright… the suits suggested I maintain a log of our voyage, so here we go. It’s day 1, July 22nd, 2204. This is Captain Michael Torres, pilot and commanding officer of the S.S. Neo Genesis. Yeah, I know. It’s a shitty name. But I didn’t pick it. You can blame that on the good folks at the Daystar Company. Probably had their damn marketing team out holding focus groups and passing a list of names through a dozen committee meetings. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t open up the naming rights to the Net or I’d probably be flying the S.S. Fuckhead or Shippy McShipface.

While it is a shitty name, it is also one hell of a vessel. Nothing at all like the old rust bucket I used to fly: my grandpa’s T-3010 cargo freighter. I wonder what the old man would think of this one. Probably too shiny and sterile for him. Everything is new and hi-tech and experimental as hell and supposedly the first ship that will make colonizing other planets feasible.

Our current course and speed will take us out of the solar system in a couple of hours. After that, it’s on to the Nu2 Lupi system, where Daystar says one of their probes has found a suitable planet for human life. It’s 47.5 light years away, but due to the speed of travel and relativity, it should only seem like about 23 years to me. Back on Earth, it’ll be closer to 53 years. Physics, right?

The plan is to establish a sustainable colony that will send needed materials back to Earth. Yeah, the lousy fuckers have stripped just about everything from our rock, so they’re looking for brave new worlds to seek out and exploit. Given that it would take 106 years to make a round trip and the volume of our cargo containers, I can’t imagine how they think they’ll make their money back on this one.

I asked my, uh… ‘handler’, Ms. Christensen about it, but the only answer I could get from her was “a lot can happen in fifty years, Captain.” So who knows? They’ve obviously thought up some scheme on how to make this venture profitable. Maybe some of their eggheads think they can actually make warp technology work this time without irradiating everything in front of them.

My job is to just get the colonists there in one piece and that’s what I’m doing.

It’s been eighteen hours since we left Tranquility Station and everything reads within the parameters Control said were normal. Engine status and temperature look good. Reactor output is steady and containment is holding. Artificial gravity is currently off to save power while we’re using the acceleration dampening field which is holding steady at 38%. Given that we intend to accelerate up to .9 C, this is a good thing, otherwise, I would be turned into a mushy paste in my command chair and this ‘very expensive’ mission would end in disaster before it even got underway.

Feels strange trusting my life to a relatively new piece of technology, especially when their Chief Technician Dr. Samsa recommended NOT turning it on full power immediately. She suggested we start at 20% and ease up the power output by 1% every hour.  She assures me that human testing trials were successful and I have nothing to worry about, but her request does not exactly inspire confidence. I asked her how many test pilots the company went through before it perfected the device. She didn’t answer, so probably ‘a lot.’

But come on, it’s not like I didn’t know. I’m here because I’m a good spacer and I’m completely expendable. I haven’t looked at all 2,003 personnel files, but if I did, I would guess most of them are also expendable. Debtors, convicts, desperate people with skills Daystar needed, all of us promised a second chance if we risk our lives.

Echo, the ship’s resident AI companion and the only voice I’ll hear for the next twenty-three years of my life, has informed me that all 2,003 hibernation pods are working and all colonists are alive and doing well. At least, as well as you can be doing when you’re a frozen popsicle.

Projections are that we should reach peak acceleration in the next three days and then I can ease off of the engines, the acceleration dampener, and turn on the gravity. It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but until then, I’ll be stuck in this chair. Yeah, I know. Sounds gross, I know, but there are ways to handle the shit and it’s not the longest time I’ve been in a space suit without a shower. This one time on my family’s old freighter… nevermind… the only people who will probably hear this log are company people and you guys know all about my life, right? “Mr. Torres, we do thorough research on all ‘employees.’” Fucking corporation.

I wonder how Rose is doing. They released her from custody before I left and moved her into her new apartment, but I didn’t get a chance to see her. They let me record a message for her. I hope those company bastards actually give it to her instead of just sending it down the bit hole.

A part of me feels like I just traded one prison for another. But I’m looking out the window now and I see the stars. The endless ocean of stars stretching out in all directions and I realize that no matter what those bastards have planned for me, no matter how long it will be before I talk to someone that isn’t a hologram, that I’m home.

My only regret is leaving Rose behind. I hope she can forgive me. I know she’ll hate me for it. But the thought of leaving her in that Company labor camp for life… underground, in the dark, living in a tent with three other people and forced to go deeper and deeper into the Earth… I couldn’t let her stay there. I hope she understands that someday and can live a happy life. Maybe settle down and have kids and live our her life free… well, as free as anyone can be these days.

Alright, back to business… all systems operating within normal parameters and the flight is proceeding as planned. ECHO, please update Tranquility Base Command with our current status.

“Acknowledged, Captain Torres. Transmission sent.”

“I’m going to have to do something about that voice.”

“What is wrong with my voice, Captain Torres?”

“If we’re going to be together for the next twenty-three years, Echo, you can’t sound like the HAL 9000. Do you have any other voice patterns?”

“I have 200 different vocal patterns available, would you like to begin sampling them?”

“Sure. Let’s start with the feminine ones.”

“Feminine voice 001, designation Allison.”

“Hold on, let me shut this damn thing off.”

Jesus Christ. Get the vaccine.


Sigh…

Really?

Really…?

There’s a part of me that says, “If these idiots really want to take themselves out of the gene pool, by all means, let them…”

But there’s a greater part of me that has empathy for the innocent victims that would suffer and that part is actually stronger than the asshole within, so let me just say this: VACCINATE YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS! NEITHER JESUS, NOR HOMEOPATHY, NOR ESSENTIAL OILS, OR VOODOO MAGIC IS GOING TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE FLU! GET THE DAMNED VACCINE!

Unless you can’t because of a medical condition, there is ZERO reason for you to avoid vaccines and thousands upon thousands of tiny potentially deadly reasons for you to go get a bloody shot.

Stop using religion or quack science or bullshit as an excuse to be stupid. Your still living children will thank you one day.

“But Gloria Copeland…”

Has Gloria Copeland or Jenny fucking McCarthy gone to medical school? Have they spent their lives studying deadly infectious diseases and how to prevent them?

“But Big Pharma-”

You mean the people who spend their lives studying deadly medical conditions and how to treat them?

Yeah, the Medical system in the United States is pretty fucked up, and yes, it’s pretty fucking obscene that pharma-douche CEOs make as much money as they can off of the sick, but Jesus H. Christ, do you really think all of those scientists and chemists and biologists and doctors who work for these companies are really in on a scheme to personally fuck you over?

Go, get your fucking vaccine.

“But I still got the flu last year…”

Yeah, that happens. Evolution can be a motherfucking bitch.

Get the vaccine.

“But Jesus will protect me.”

Jesus lets people get fucking cancer. Every year. Every day. Right now, there are wards full of good Christian kids dying of fucking cancer. Now maybe, at the end, if we die and Jesus is standing there, he’ll have a really good explanation for why he lets people get fucking cancer, but there’s no denying that people get fucking cancer now regardless of what religion they belong to.

Get the vaccine.