Because Vancouver Moose asked for it:
4 Free speech vs… yo mamma!
0 Movie Friday: Tim Minchin – Prejudice
This song really isn’t what you think it’s about:
I love Tim Minchin.
7 The short answer is ‘yes’
I laughed my ass off when I saw this. That being said, obviously not everyone in the Tea Party is there because they are racist – smaller and more efficient government has nothing at all to do with race. However, due to its stubborn opposition to any program designed to level the playing field or correct for historical injustices, it tends to attract the racist fringe with open, monochromatic arms. In the same way that supporting a larger role for the federal government isn’t a gay thing, but homosexuals tend to fall on the left side of the political spectrum (because that’s where all the equal rights are).
A commenter pointed out something that didn’t occur to me right away: how racist do you have to be to print out signs and go looking for a black person? I’m trying to imagine their thought process:
“Okay, so we’re going to print out these signs and take them to the rally, right?”
“Yeah, that’ll show all those liberals that the Tea Party is about state’s rights and small government, not a thin veneer of politics hastily brushed over a rotten core of deep-seated xenophobia, unwarranted entitlement and good old-fashioned ignorance!”
“Wow, that was deep.”
“Thanks. I read the New York Times today, and just said the opposite of what was written there.”
“I wish I could read.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just take these signs over to the houses of one of our many black friends and/or work colleagues and/or neighbours, rather than having to sleuth around at a rally to find the token fanny-pack-wearing dark-skinned guy at a rally of thousands of white people?”
“We don’t have any black friends and/or work colleagues and/or neighbours, Larry.”
“Uh… because of LIBERALS!”
“Yeah! Fuck those racist asshole liberal faggot commie Muslim terrorist Mexicans!”
“You said it, Steve.”
0 Movie Friday: Peter Chao
Sometimes ridicule is a powerful weapon. Peter Chao seems to recognize this:
While I am definitely not a fan of blackface, especially when it is divorced from its historical context, I actually laughed watching this video. Not because it’s funny to make light of black stereotypes, but because those same stereotypes are being held up to ridicule here. It also pokes fun at the “I’m not racist” meme, showing that merely saying it does not make it so.
Of course, not everyone gets the satirical element…
Of course, the meta-joke in all of this, is that “Peter Chao” is not the guy’s actual name. He is New Brunswick-born Davin Tong, speaks with unaccented (or Canadian-accented if you prefer) English, and plays this character on YouTube specifically to highlight the absurdity of racism. While his take on things isn’t exactly my own, I am glad to see that race is making its way into popular discussion.
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0 Just when you thought religion couldn’t get weirder…
This article was sent to me courtesy of @Mensetmaple:
Well, believe it or not, a group of Russian fans of [Cartoon character] Gadget Hackwrench have created a new religion, with the above mentioned cartoon character as the idol. They pray to posters of her, gather to talk about how incredibly great she is, compose songs about her, and spread stickers of Miss Hackwrench, wherever they go. It’s pretty unbelievable, but if Maradona has his own cult, why couldn’t Gadget Hackwrench?
This is my ideal kind of religion (if there has to be one at all). It’s obviously silly, and it’s more focused on how great something is than it is on forcing others to prescribe to its rules and regulations. Plus, Gadget is at least an observable entity – we know she ‘exists’ insofar as she’s entirely contained within a television show. She doesn’t exist as anything other than a fictional character, which is what separates this cult from the cults of YahwAlladdha – they at least know she’s fake…
1 Kim Jong Il is a Twit too!
Sure, as soon as I get Twitter, all of a sudden everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon:
Last Thursday, the North Koreans created a Twitter account – @uriminzok, a shortened version of a Korean word that translates as “our people”. It already has more than 4,500 followers.
Oh sure, North Korea gets 4500 followers, and I’ve only got 20. Fine, today I announce that I am starting a nuclear program. I will also be systematically oppressing myself and denying me basic food and medical care. I will refer to myself only as the Dear Leader, and will worship myself as a living deity. I’m also stepping up my aggression against Matt, the guy who lives in the apartment next to mine. An international investigation has revealed that I slashed his bike tires, which I am labeling as Matt-ist propaganda designed to cast aspersions at my good name.
There, that should take care of that…
Wait, they have a Facebook page too? FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUU…
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1 Because we all need a good laugh from time to time
A buddy referred me to this website:
From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 10 March 2010 7.12pm
To: Darryl Robinson
Subject: Permission Slip
Dear Darryl, I have received your permission slip featuring what I can only assume is a levitating rabbit about to drop an egg on Jesus.Thank you for pre-ticking the permission box as this has saved me not only from having to make a choice, but also from having to make my own forty five degree downward stroke followed by a twenty percent longer forty five degree upward stroke. Without your guidance, I may have drawn a picture of a cactus wearing a hat by mistake.As I trust my offspring’s ability to separate fact from fantasy, I am happy for him to participate in your indoctrination process on the proviso that all references to ‘Jesus’ are replaced with the term ‘Purportedly Magic Jew.’
From: Darryl Robinson
Date: Thursday 11 March 2010 9.18am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Permission Slip
Hello David The tick in the box already was a mistake I noticed after printing them all. I’ve seen the play and it’s not indoctrinating anyone. It’s a fun play performed by a great bunch of kids. You do not have to be religious to enjoy it. You are welcome to attend if you have any concerns. Darryl Robinson, School Chaplain
From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 11 March 2010 11.02am
To: Darryl Robinson
Subject: Re: Re: Permission Slip
Dear Darryl, Thank you for the kind offer, being unable to think of anything more exciting than attending your entertaining and fun filled afternoon, I tried harder and thought of about four hundred things. I was actually in a Bible based play once and played the role of ‘Annoyed about having to do this.’ My scene involved offering a potplant, as nobody knew what Myrrh was, to a plastic baby Jesus then standing between ‘I forgot my costume so am wearing the teachers poncho’ and ‘I don’t feel very well’. Highlights of the play included a nervous donkey with diarrhoea causing ‘I don’t feel very well’ to vomit onto the back of Mary’s head, and the lighting system, designed to provide a halo effect around the manger, overheating and setting it alight. The teacher, later criticised for dousing an electrical fire with a bucket of water and endangering the lives of children, left the building in tears and the audience in silence. We only saw her again briefly when she came to the school to collect her poncho.Also, your inference that I am without religion is incorrect and I am actually torn between two faiths; while your god’s promise of eternal life is very persuasive, the Papua New Guinean mud god, Pikkiwoki, is promising a pig and as many coconuts as you can carry. Regards, David.
It goes on… absolutely hysterical.
1 Movie Friday: Billy Connolly
Today’s movie Friday features someone who can literally claim credentials to the title of greatest stand-up comedian of all time. I can’t say he’s my favourite, but I am not the grand arbiter of all things funny. Billy Connolly is a Scottish comedian who may be most recognizable for those of us not into stand-up as “Il Duce” from the dynamite movie Boondock Saints. When he’s not instructing his sons on methods of death-dealing, he’s a wildly funny comedian and actor.
This whole week’s been about race, so I figure I’m okay to let Billy beat up on religion a bit:
The thing about 53 virgins is spot-on. I’ve been with virgins – they’re much less fun than someone who knows what she (or he) knows what she’s doing and is into it big time.
And while we’re at it, let’s rip on “alternative medicine” too:
Interestingly, Billy was in a movie called The Man Who Sued God which is a great indictment of the role that religious superstition plays in secular society. Well, it is until about 4/5th of the way in, at which point it becomes weak dithering pablum. Despite its lackluster ending, I liked the movie and think it’s worth watching. Anyway, enjoy the videos!
1 Gluten-free Jesus discs
Right straight out of the gate we’ve got some grade A crapitalism brewing in… where else… the Catholic Church.
The Canadian Celiac Association has expressed concern to the diocese of P.E.I. over the fact that communion wafers contain wheat gluten. This was, I gather, in between sessions of having real issues to spend their time on. People with celiac disease cannot process wheat gluten, so they have requested that the diocese replace their normal wafers with gluten-free ones.
Rev. Eric Dunn, chancellor of the diocese, said that under canon law, the host has to have some gluten in it.
It’s been a while since I was in church, but I still remember the fateful passage from Matthew 18:20;
Jesus said unto his disciples “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. But verily I say unto you: if y’all aren’t packing the gluten, y’all can go fuck yourselves!”
And in a moment that shows the sensitive, forward-thinking and inclusive spirit we’ve come to expect from the Church, the bishop made it clear that anyone with celiac disease can feel free to forego the communion wafers and drink from the chalice instead. As if having a cracker make you shit yourself isn’t bad enough, you can now out yourself as diseased in front of the whole community! “Mommy, why don’t you take communion?” “Because Jesus hates my small intestine, honey.”
Maybe the church is an easy target and picking on them for making stupid mistakes is like beating a dead horse until it rises again on the third day, but I found this story particularly interesting. According to the same canon law, the host (the communion wafer), once consecrated, undergoes a process called transubstantiation wherein it becomes the living body of Jesus. This is a sacred miracle that is one of the cornerstones of Catholic mass. Far from being merely a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice, the host is the body of Christ.
If this is true, then there should be no gluten present at all in a consecrated host, so people with celiac disease shouldn’t have anything to worry about. By admitting that people with celiac disease might need to avoid it, the church is saying either:
- Their priests are incompetent and incapable of calling down the bread-transformin’ powers of Almighty God,
- God refuses to perform the miracle because the followers of the Church (and by extension, the leaders) are lacking in some important way,
- God hates people with celiac disease, or
- It’s just a cracker, transubstantiation is a crock, and canon law is just a bunch of hokey superstition dressed up in funny clothes.
Unsurprisingly, the issue lit up the comments section (I can’t dive into those anymore, I get addicted) and the religious and anti-religious came out of the woodwork to pump their respective positions. If you want to explore just how deep the lack of critical thinking can go, just check out the flame war on any religious posting comments board.
Expect more brilliant insight from the Church, incidentally. Nobody’s told them it’s not the 1500s anymore, but when they find out, there’s gonna be a shiiiiit storm!