“If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.” — Andrea Balt on Charles Bukowski
So Bill Maher went on the Charlie Rose show and said blah blah blah something something something “most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think”.
Not having seen the show but only reading the transcript, I don’t know if Maher meant it in the sense of “condone violence just for the thoughts you think” or if he meant it in the context of beheadings, stoning apostates, genitally mutilating women, etc., etc., and of course, etc. being what you think the Muslims condone.
And being the crafty shifty shaper of words that he is, he immediately tries to have his cake and eat it by saying “vast numbers of Islamic people around the world [are not distancing themselves from ISIS]. That’s just not true” but “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians…do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it.”
Well, thanx, Bill:
You just created enough straw men to cast every production of The Wizard Of Oz well into the 23rd century.
Next time tell us what you mean by “vast” and “not vast”. You can pull anything out of your
ass hat and claim it fits those parameters.
He blathers on:
“There was a Pew poll in Egypt done a few years ago — 82% said, I think, stoning is the appropriate punishment for adultery. Over 80% thought death was the appropriate punishment for leaving the Muslim religion.”
Cherry picking data from a poll taken at an unspecified point a few years back, Maher fails to state if he is citing actual responses to questions or if he is merely extrapolating from data. More recent polls have indicated a small-to-medium shift away from Islamic believers support of strict Sharia law, but, hey, you can’t trust “those” people, can you? They never change their attitudes and beliefs…
And needless to say, the bigoted chattering class
has embraced Maher’s weaselly rantings.
I’m sorry, folks, but I can’t hear you over the screams of Holocaust victims, burning Huguenots / Knights Templar / “witches”, Caribbean and Native American peoples, or the weeping of Africans crammed in the hulls of slave ships…
Yeah, right now there’s some pretty ugly stuff flourishing in various corners of the Islamic world. We in the Christian West had to go thru similar festering periods in our own history, they have to go thru it now.
You don’t get to escape your adolescence on your way to becoming an adult. The West has, for a variety of reasons, a 500 year head start on the rest of the world. We also have more blood on our hands and in our history than they do.
As a brown skinned Middle Eastern religious leader of a few millennia back once said:
“First take the plank out of your own eye…”
Read Rodney Stark. Read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, And Steel. So called “Christian” nations & leaders have behaved just as swinishly as non-Christians, they just sugar coated it with “it’s God’s will” or “manifest destiny” or “divine providence” or “American exceptionalism”.
Look how many people were murdered in the Holocaust by Germany because they were the wrong religion. Germany gave us Martin Luther, and for all the good he did Luther also signed off on the persecution of Jewish people.
His poison permeated the German culture:
Track down an unexpurgated collection of the Grimm Bros tales and see how many stories involve a Jewish villain who deserves death or a Jewish victim the Christian hero is justified in abusing.
All this created a toxic environment where selfish industrialists in the aftermath of World War One promoted a crackpot and his failing anti-Semitic party in order to prevent communists / socialist / trade unions from demanding any of the industrialists’ hard
earned won stolen cash.
And weep not for Germany:
Millions of them turned a blind eye and kept a silent tongue towards the hatred and persecution of the Jews and the gypsies and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They capitalized on the extermination of their neighbors even if they didn’t shove them into the showers personally.
What happened to them at the hands
of the Russians was richly deserved.
They never questioned their culture, they never asked if “those” people were truly as evil as their children’s stories and popular literature and pastors claimed.
To further quote the aforementioned brown skinned Middle Eastern religious teacher of two millennia ago:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Oh, but that was those nasty rotten Germans:
We are better; we are Anglo-American Christians and thus have a higher, nobler standard we live by.
Look at the Manga Carta; while preening over how wonderful a document it is regarding rights and freedoms, don’t overlook the part where a Jewish person’s estate couldn’t collect debts after they died, nor should you overlook the Edict of Expulsion just a few years later.
Cross the Atlantic:
Read about Columbus & his men enslaving or massacring Caribbean natives, often using brutal methods that make a trip to the showers at Auschwitz seem like a spring walk.
And speaking of walks, how
about that Trail Of Tears?
Want something a little more recent?
Let’s talk about how the Southern Baptist Convention was formed to justify slavery as a Christian institution in the U.S., how after the Civil War they supported segregation and fought against civil rights, how they and others of their ilk formed the backbone of the Ku Klux Klan, lynched hundreds of African-Americans, terrorized hundreds of thousands more, then when the rest of the country finally said, “Hold! Enough!” to segregation, they ran off to form colleges and private schools and start home school movements to make sure their previous white broods didn’t have to breath class room air contaminated by…”them”.
Maher’s rant is based on one thing:
All he sees in the Islamic world is a bunch of “not-mes” he can justify dehumanizing and hating.
Maher, being an avowed atheist, is
welcome to his God-damned opinion.
What disgusts me is the huge number of purported Christians who kvel orgasmically at this utter repudiation of Christ’s basic message.
Going back to that ol’ brown skinned Middle Eastern religious teacher:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
If you want to embrace this bigotry,
please, by all means, feel free to do so.
But have the common courtesy
to renounce Christ first, m’kay?
“While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.”
“Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home. But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another man’s home. And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home.”
“Paul tells us that your penis actually belongs to your wife, and once you are married she will trade you it for her home (I Corinthians 7:4), and every man knows this is a very good trade for him to make.”
Whoops! My mistake! This is Mark Driscoll,
former pastor of the former megachurch Mars Hill.
Mark is taking a leave of absence
in order to spend more time with his lawyer.
The previous images were of George Liquor (TM) John Krisfalusi.
“With his penis, the man is supposed to learn to please his wife and learn how to be patient, self-controlled and be educated on how to keep his home happy and joyous (I Corinthians 7:3). The man should be aroused by his new home, and the wife should rejoice at seeing his penis rise to greet her (Song of Songs 5:14b).”
All quotes direct & documented –
you can’t make this stuff up, folks!
Hollywood suffered a major disappointment at the box office this summer, and it looks like we’re seeing a major sea change in the way motion pictures and TV shows are viewed / consumed.
[We’re going full bore
theological after the jump,
but secular readers
are safe until then.]
In a nut shell, fewer and fewer people feel like shelling out $10-20 bucks to eat overpriced popcorn while watching a movie they know little if anything about.
Previously, they had been willing to spend that kinda money for something they knew they would enjoy, either a branded form of entertainment like Walt Pixar Presents Harry Marvel’s War Trek 007: Die With An Expendable Transforming Hard On, or Something Just Like It.
New movies, unfamiliar concepts, non-popcorn crunchers just didn’t warrant a $10+ entry fee.
Wait till it comes on Pay-Per-Vue or HBO or Netflix or (really scraping the bottom of the barrel here) YouTube.
Heaven knows this is how I watch most of my media:
If it ain’t on Netflix / HBO / YouTube or available on DVD, I’ll pass.
As a result movie theaters are slowly starting to spiral the drain. Their biggest hits are aimed at a teen male heterosexual audience that can’t find dates and whose parents monitor their computer so they can’t watch porn.
There’s next to nada for older and/or female audiences.
Movies used to be a shared common public experience:
You went to see something along with a bunch of other people, and then you discussed that experience with other people who hadn’t been there with you.
Now we share the experience online, comparing notes over TV shows and movies we watched in the privacy of our own homes.
We don’t really connect with the rest of an audience in a movie theater.
Now, there is an exception to that, and that’s when people come together to share a specific common interest.
Here in L.A. we have the El Capitan Theatre which shows Disney movies accompanied by elaborate stage shows. People who go there go specifically to see a Disney movie with an elaborate stage show wrapped around it.
Or people go to sing-a-long events where classic musicals like The Sound Of Music are played with follow-the-bouncing-ball accompaniment, turning it into karaoke for the masses.
Or, if they are real film buffs, they go to the rapidly dwindling number of art / revival houses to see a specific film selected for them by the theater in the company of fellow film buffs.
Back in the day these sorts of theaters, while not exactly plentiful, were easy to find. Every major urban area had at least two or three, sometimes many, many more. Often they would show a new double every night ( not counting special kiddee matinees on Saturdays or late night cult films on Fridays and Saturdays). The films would either be selected as complimentary to one another or as an interesting juxtaposition. Once or twice a month there would be an evening of short subjects / cartoons / music videos.
In other words, every night a three to four hour block of interesting, thought provoking movies representing a wide variety of genres and styles.
If I were king of the forest, I’d want a neighborhood revival house where the staff selected an interesting double feature / selection of shorts for each evening. Projection would be a state of the art digital system; it would be set up to scan 70mm / 35mm / 16mm / 9.5mm / Super 8 / 8mm films without having to run them through hellacious loud / hot / cranky projectors, as well as taking digital downloads / Blu-rays / DVDs / VHS / Beta / laserdisc / Fisher-Price PXL2000 sourced material.
There would be a selection of healthy / inexpensive drinks, good popcorn popped fresh daily, and quality snacks; and next door would be a Denny’s-style coffee shop so after the screening either the film makers or the theater manager could take people over to discuss what they had just seen and get to know one another better.
What we have instead, however, is a theatrical film going experience that relies more and more on variants of previous successes. It is the rare theatrical film that makes even a token gesture at a fresh interpretation of old tropes, or presents itself in a style other than that of last year’s block buster.
“These are not the droids you’re looking for.” //
“?!?!? What the #%@& are you talking about, lady?
There aren’t any droids in that car!” //
“Wow, that worked better than I thought it would…”
underlying art by Walter Baumhofer
The long war had ended.
Its miseries had grown faded.
Deaf men became difficult to talk to,
Heroes became bores.
Who had converted blood into gold
Had grown elderly.
But they held a meeting,
‘We think perhaps we ought
To put up tombs
Or erect altars
To those brave lads
Who were so willingly burnt,
Who lost all likeness to a living thing,
Or were blown to bleeding patches of flesh
For our sakes.
It would look well.
Or we might even educate the children.’
But the richest of these wizards
And he said:
‘I have always been to the front
-In private enterprise-,
I yield in public spirit
To no man.
I think yours is a very good idea
-A capital idea-
And not too costly . . .
But it seems to me
That the cause for which we fought
Is again endangered.
What more fitting memorial for the fallen
Than that their children
Should fall for the same cause?’
Rushing eagerly into the street,
The kindly old gentlemen cried
To the young:
‘Will you sacrifice
Through your lethargy
What your fathers died to gain ?
The world must be made safe for the young!’
And the children
Went. . . .