Heckuva job, ‘bammy!
“Noah” was a very silly movie. It did not follow the Biblical account (or at least, it took a hell of a lot of liberties with it), nor did it turn the fantastical tale into a realistic story (such as was done with “King Arthur” a few years back). So, it kinda grated on both ends of the issue, which is rarely a success.
One of the scenes that I did quite like was when Noah describes the creation of the universe. Again it meddles with the Biblical account (it actually has the sun created *before* the plants… I know, that’s just nutty), but it does so in a way that jives with the scientific account. I thought it was really quite impressive, and shot in a unique way… a long series of still images strung together to make a sort of jerky stop-motion video. Some of the shots are really quite beautiful.
So, I happened across this headline (after reading THIS authoritarian nightmare story):
A lot of this story seems to be the sort of anti-sensical madness that could only come from the region that gave the world “Metal Hurlant…” you know, flashy gibberish that simply makes no sense whatsoever.
Let me see if I got this right… Dieudonne M’bala M’bala is, apparently a French guy with a French mother and Cameroonian father, and who became a stand up comic. OK so far. Made a name for himself doing gags with a Jewish comic. Sure. Ran against the “National Front” party (which he saw as racist) in elections of ’97 and ’01. Fine. He begins littering his comedy routines with anti-Jewish stuff. Umm. Then he becomes a friend and political ally of Jean Marie Le Pen, head of the National Front party. Errr… And he hangs around with Holocaust deniers and demonstrates with Islamists. And he apparently invented a gesture that is considered explicitly anti-Semitic, and which appears to be a modifed “Nazi salute”. Buh? And now he’s associated with a group of Belgian nationalists.
This is him:
So… if you’re in America or western Europe and you’re getting your knickers in a knot over Ukrainian neo-Nazis, here’s something new to get in a cold sweat over. Not only neo-Nazis, but weird-ass alternate reality neo-Nazis. Who are apparently quite popular.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think that this was some sort of reeeeaaaaaalllllly long-form gag. But everythign seems to indicate that the anti-immigrant racists of France have fallen in love with the son of an African, who has taken up their cause.
Image not entirely unrelated:
So, in 2012 Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze paid (with his own money) to have a “Ten Commandments” graven image made. Since it was privately funded, it was decreed that, if donated, it could be plopped down on government property, specifically outside the state Capitol.
Well, shoot, thought a group of Satanists, that reasoning works for us, too!
An Indigogo campaign was set up, hoping to score 20 grand to have a statue of Baphomet made. It got almost 30 large. The statue nears completion, and will soon be cast in bronze
The best line in the piece? On the subject of the eventual bronze statue being physically attacked once set up on the Capitol grounds, the lead Satanist:
“wouldn’t expect these outraged and nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.”
They’re making molds and getting it insured, so that, like Hydra or Sammael, if one gets destroyed, two more will rise in its place.
The Saudis big beef with Norway? They haven’t made it a crime to criticize religion, and Mohammad in particular. Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende is quoted:
“It is a paradox that countries which do not support fundamental human rights have influence on the council, but that is the United Nations.”
It is long since past time that the whole idea of the United Nations be rethought. Rather than a collection of *every* nation, no matter how backwards, barbaric or just plain stupid and evil, getting together with everyone having a vote, what the western world should instead focus on are allegiances such as NATO. Exclusionary groups that choose to allow counties in based not on mere existence, but on a shared set of values. And making it illegal to criticize some centuries-dead phoney should be a cause for exclusion.
Leave the UN as a place where combatants can come together to negotiate, and otherwise get rid of it as a bad idea.
Normally, I’m make up some snark about how this is an omen, or maybe Loki pulling a prank or some such. But not in this case. No, it’s not because I’ve suddenly developed a sense of humanity or compassion for poor unfortunates that I don’t personally know or some such silly thing. No, it’s because this wasn’t just any crucifix… it was an *artsy* crucifix. One look at it screams “Hello, I’m a structural failure waiting to happen.”
I have difficulty believing that any competent structural engineer ever thought this was a good idea.
Over the past few days I drove from Illinois through Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming back home to Utah. There is a whole lot of empty along that stretch. If you don’t have satellite radio (and I don’t), your car radio will be constantly picking up and dropping radio stations. And so over twenty hours or so on the road, I heard a great variety of different stations. And of a lot of what I heard gave me a sad feeling.
1) Religious radio: especially in Iowa and Nebraska. Just a whole lot of Jesus going on. I listened to a lot of it, as I have done for decades, trying to figure it out. And as always, it remains largely impenetrable to me… it’s like listening to a foreign language that just happens to use words that sound a whole lot like English words, but the meanings are all shuffled.
A lot of the religious radio was, due to it having been Easter, very, hmmm, “religious.” Celebratory “He Is Risen!” stuff, which obviously doesn’t seem as exciting if you don’t buy that he is, in fact, risen.”Frodo lives!” doesn’t have much emotional impact to any but some hippies and the like from the 60′s.
Listening to people lose their marbles over news that’s pushing 2000 years old just doesn’t make sense to me… kinda like bursting into cheers if a historian or political commentator shouts “And John Hancock signed the Declaration!” Just seems very alien to me.
Equally alien: getting giggitty over the notion that “God loves you.” Yeah, but… God apparently also loves Lady Gaga. And Justin Beiber. And Pope Francis. And Barack Obama. And Vlad Putin. And Vlad Tepes. And Adolph Hitler. And Scarlett Johannson. And Warren Buffet. And some drunken bum. And some crack whore. And some auto mechanic. And some goat herding tribesman. Supposedly, *everybody* who is, was, or ever will be. What makes love special is that it’s supposed to be rare and discriminatory, not a shotgun blast that covers the entire universe. That makes it as rare and precious as the Higgs field, and as worth being all thrilled about.
Less alien but more saddening was religious radio that tries to come off as logical and failed spectacularly, while at the same time being a dick about it. Again, it was Easter, so lots of references were made about the alleged resurrection. If you want to believe in that, fine. But if you want to use it as a logical *proof*, be careful. More than once I heard some nattering nincompoop claim that the final clinching unarguable PROOF of the historiocity of the Bible is “the empty tomb.” Basically, the argument seems to go that since the Roman authorities didn’t carve giant stone panels decrying the early Christians for believing in the “empty tomb,” then the “empty tomb” must have been a real event, and thus… the Bible is For Real and anyone who doesn’t believe is either an idiot or willfully evil (and I’m not exaggerating… this is what I’ve heard, many times). The reasoning is just mind bogglingly atrocious, but it keeps being used.
2) Pot. Especially while passing through Colorado, talk radio was filled with jibberjabber about marijuana. On April 20 – 4/20 – there had apparently been some big celebration of legalized pot in Denver. In previous years, 4/20 was a protest, now it’s a party. And to listen to some of the talking heads, this was a terrible tragedy.
One major complaint was that the 4/20 event was the main front page news story in some paper… when the same day was not only Easter, but also the anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Well, here’s the thing: newspapers are supposed to be about *news.* A major public event dealing with a hot-button political and legal issue is news. And unless Jesus or the Columbine victims came back, Easter and the anniversary aren’t really “news.”
One talk show host was convinced that legalized pot has and will lead to “carnage.” To bolster his claim, he mentioned two recent event… some college student ate a legal pot cookie, went buggo and chucked himself off a balcony to his death. Some other guy consumed some concentrated form of legal marijuana, went buggo and shot his girlfriend dead. Tragedies, sure. But… would these – or equivalent – tragedies have happened had the drugs been illegal? And two people dying… well, sad for those involved, but how many people died due to legal *booze* in the same period?
The complaining about pot I heard on the radio all seemed to come from “conservative” (i.e. deeply religious) commentators. The same people who would screech their heads off about individual liberty in any other subject area, completely lose their minds when the individuals are enjoying themselves in a way the commentator doesn’t personally agree with. Bah. Sadly, killjoy control freaks aren’t restricted to the ranks of left-wing fascists, but also many of those who supposedly push “freedom” also want to micromanage other peoples personal lives and will use nonsensical arguments to achieve that.
3) On Sunday NPR ran a long piece on “coincidence.” Fairly interesting and entertaining, but still based on unreason. Sure, it’s personally remarkable when you unexpectedly meet someone from your distant past somewhere terribly unlikely, say, at the top of an Aztec pyramid. But is there some cosmic significance? Well… no. Most people run into a *lot* of people. Truly vast numbers. And so those unlikely occurrences become almost inevitable, statistically speaking. But as with “mediums” and cold-reading magicians who can tell you Amazing Things about yourself, people generally only remember the interesting “successes.”
Let’s say that you have a twin, but you were separated at the age of three and adopted into different families on the opposite sides of the world. If you just happen to run into each other at the local Circle K… why, that’s an Amazing Coincidence that really must Mean Something. God his own self must have directed you two there at that very moment! And yet… you *don’t* hear too much about the time the two of you came within six feet of each other in that bus station, but didn’t notice each other. The physical reality was no less statistically interesting, but the fact that you didn’t come away from the event with a startling epiphany strips the event of any meaning it could have had.
4) I caught a portion of a left wing talk show, someone standing in for well-known idjit Ed Shultz. As annoying as conservative talk radio can sometimes be… left wing talk radio *wallows* in that level of unreason at all times. The topic was the Keystone pipeline, and how it’s just plain evil. The reasons given for why the pipeline is bad were just… bad. For starters, the Canadian tar sands the pipeline will feed from have a worse carbon footprint than more conventional hydrocarbon sources. Well, ok. Let’s assume it’s true (probably is), and let’s assume that more carbon = bad news (probably is true, to some small degree). Well… the Canadians want to extract the hydrocarbons from the tar sands because they want the money. If the Keystone pipeline isn’t built, some *other* means of transporting the gas & oil will be. The carbon will still come out of the ground and into the air.
Second, the claim is made that the pipeline itself will add X billions of dollars in “environmental costs” over its lifetime. OK, I guess. But if the pipeline isn’t built… that oil may find itself being transported via truck. Can you think of a way to make oil more financially and environmentally costly to transport over long distances than a pipeline? I can. It’s called “trucking.”
Third: the “expert” didn’t want the pipeline built because – paraphrasing here – do we really want to live in a world with pipelines? Ummm… well, I’d really rather live in a world with a thousand major nuclear powerplants being built annually, but you “green” jackholes have successfully torpedoed *that* dream, so… pipelines it is.
5) And then… this poll on science.
Seems the only way to avoid encountering mountains of unreason would be to just stop listening to people.
Whenever someone says something along the lines of “Uh-oh, Britain has expanded sharia,” someone else will point out that sharia, under British law, applies only to Muslims, doesn’t actually replace British laws, doesn’t mean that Britain is being taken over, etc.
Note: by definition, the students with Easter eggs and bunnies and such are *not* Muslim, and thus should not be subject to sharia rules. Especially in secular schools.
Inspectors found the schools are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”.
They reported that girls in one school were forced to sit at the back of the class, that some Christian students were left to “teach themselves” and that an extremist preacher, with known al-Qaeda sympathies and anti-Semitic views, was invited to address the children.
When the Recent Unpleasantness began in Crimea, many people tried to justify Russias actions by claiming that there was an active neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine that was threatening “ethnic Russians.” Behold:
In eastern Ukrainian, Jews leaving a synagogue were told to “register” with pro-Russian militants. They were supposed to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.”
The “logic” that supported a Russian annexation of Crimea to “save” the “ethnic Russians” would now support the annexation of eastern Ukraine and likely the surrounding bits of Russia by Israel. I wonder if Putin would agree.