Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Idiots are Taking Over NOFX Kinetic Typography

That would explain it. I have a Life magazine from the Eisenhower era. Cover story: "What's Wrong With Our Schools?"

Hello little pigs, welcome to the ideological sausage factory.

Those treated like caged animals tend to revert to animal behavior. Good examples of this can be found in the alpha ape behavior that can be observed in our prisions and in the schoolyards. The more repressive the regime, the more animal behavior it produces.

Parents and teachers alike seem to think it's important that young children know fun facts like, "George Washington is the Father of our Country." That and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee. Nobody teaches these kids how to think, reason, and argue because no one likes a wise-ass kid. Then too, such a child is less easily exploited in later life. There's only so much room at the top, after all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boned Agian

I wrote about this the first time when I read the book and found myself simultaneously furious and disappointed at the ending. I'm talking about The Lovely Bones. Now, one of my favorite young actresses, Saoirse Ronan, is playing the dead-girl lead, Susie Salmon. Isn't that a name that just screams DC Comics? Right up there with Lois Lane, or Lex Luthor, only cutesy, wholesome, and innocent, like Raggedy Ann.

I'm sure she'll do just fine, financially and career-wise, but I think making someone so alive "do" dead is a criminal act. That's not to mention the mental gobbledy-gook this "story" reinforces. I was so annoyed by the book that I went looking for reviews that might help me understand the cause of such a visceral reaction. I found Wonder Bread, by Melvin Jules Bukiet, on The American Scholar. He nailed what is so profoundly wrong with this lovely finger painting of a picture much better than I ever could.

(Spoiler alert) Excerpt:

Generally speaking, the sex-murder of an adolescent offers little that’s good. But in The Lovely Bones, mom and pop hook up and so do Ray and Ruth, whose body Susie is allowed to occupy just long enough to have real, true, beautiful sex for once in her afterlife. “I had never been touched like this,” she tells us. “I had only been hurt by hands past all tenderness. But spreading out into my heaven after death had been a moonbeam that swirled and blinked on and off. . . . Inside my head I said the word gentle.” The book ends with a glow.

Every impulse in every sane reader must shriek No! at this pabulum. It’s not lovely that Susie’s been slaughtered, hacked, and dumped in a pit. It’s not lovely that icy Mr. Harvey gets his comeuppance by a conveniently dropped icicle as the pit containing Susie’s body parts is being drained, leading us to assume that her remains will be found and that she will finally get a lovely stone.

Nice thought if you can abide it. Unfortunately, it’s false to all human experience to find “growth” in tragedy. In fact, the dull truth is that pain is tautological. The only thing suffering teaches us is that we are capable of suffering.

The Wonder Bread article is a long read, but well worth it. If you don't care to read it all, skip to the end and enjoy Bukiet's nice strong finish. You might not agree with his position, but this man knows how to support an argument.

Hat tip to the New Yorker cartoon for the tombstone idea.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Who Wants to be a Fundamentalist?

The new game show loosely based on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

You are on the honor system for “Ask a Friend” (two lifelines) and are free to consult the archives at Rapture Ready or Free Republic as often as necessary in place of “Ask an Expert”.

Question 1, Value 10.

Complete this phrase: “The weather outside is … “

A. Frightful
B. Nauseating
C. Wiry
D. Pre-Apocalyptic

Question 2, Value 100.

Barack Hussein Obama is …

A. President of the United States
B. President of Iran
C. “Happy New Year” in Turkish
D. Satan

Question 3, Value 1,000.

Evolution Theory is …

A. The theory that living organisms mutate over time, leading to new species.
B. The theory that explains how the Earth moves around the Sun.
C. A sitcom on CBS
D. Satan’s evil plot to discredit God.

Question 4, Value 10,000.

Abortion is …

A. The premature termination of an unwanted pregnancy by medical means
B. A political hot button that gets pushed more often than a drug dealer’s doorbell.
C. A video game with killer robots.
D. Satan’s way of thwarting God’s divine right to insert souls into unborn children.

Question 5, Value 100,000.

Democracy is …

A. Government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
B. A tyranny of the majority, created by skillful manipulation of popular opinion, and mitigated by an occasionally impartial judicial system.
C. An artistic expression that is the opposite of a caricature.
D. Heretical

Question 6, Value 1,000,000.

Women are …

A. The female of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
B. The most frequently underpaid and abused subset of society as a whole.
C. The adult form of girls
D. God’s accursed baby factories, and the sole property of their fathers until sold to a husband.

Question 7, Value 10,000,000.

Faith is …

A. Belief in something without the requirement of positive proof.
B. Another word for prejudice, delusion, or self-delusion.
C. Never having to say, “I don’t know.”
D. Compulsory

Question 8, Value 100,000,000.

Armageddon is …

A. The Biblical vision of the end of the world.
B. The ravings of St. John, the Mentally Deranged.
C. A famous East End nightclub of the 1960’s
D. Next Wednesday.

Question 9, Value 1,000,000,000.

The Bible is …

A. The holy book of the various sects of the Christian religion.
B. A book of Middle-Eastern mythology, badly-remembered history, and plagiarism used to indoctrinate children into subservient behavior and hierarchical thinking.
C. An instrument used for load-testing drawers in hotel bedside tables.
D. The absolute, inerrant, Word of God, written by God, edited by God, typeset by God, sold and distributed by God. The absolute pinnacle of history, science, and information available to the human race, and God’s love in convenient book form without which you will burn for all eternity in Hell. And furthermore, GodGodGodGodGodGodGod! Correction: one capital letter is not enough. GODGODGODGODGODGODGODGOD!

Answers: D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D.

Score: 0 = Not Fundie. 10 – 1,111,111,110 = Seek help.