Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Man At Very Top Of Food Chain Chooses Bugles
APRIL 26, 2010 | ISSUE 46•17
SOUTH BEND, IN—Despite having no natural enemies and belonging to a species that completely dominates its ecosystem, local IT manager Reggie Atkinson opted to consume the processed corn snack Bugles Monday. "I was in the mood for something salty and crunchy, and it's a little early for dinner," said the ultimate predator, whose ancestors' bipedal locomotion, toolmaking abilities, and advanced spatial recognition developments allowed them to hunt animals 10 times their size. "These are original, but the other flavors are pretty good, too." Acting on an impulse from an incredibly complex forebrain that has evolved over millions of years, Atkinson then took note of the Bugles' amusing conical shape and placed one on each of his opposable thumbs like little wizard hats.
The Onion never fails to impress me with their underhanded wisdom. Thanks to my friend Meghann for the regular Onion updates.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
"Most people don’t know what they want or feel. And for everyone, myself included, It’s very difficult to say what you mean when what you mean is painful. The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to… As an artist, I feel that we must try many things – but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be bad – to be willing to risk everything to really express it all." –John Cassavetes
The new film No One Knows About Persian Cats tells the story of subversive musicians in Iran, where certain styles of music -- including heavy metal, rock and hip-hop -- are illegal to record, produce and consume. The film won two prizes at last year's Cannes International Film Festival and opens in the U.S. this week.
The director is renowned Kurdish-Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses, Marooned in Iraq, Turtles Can Fly) and journalist and author Roxana Saberi is the co-writer, though much of the script was improvised. It was shot in secret, since popular music is banned in Iran.
The movie takes place at real locations, as the musicians try to put together a band, a concert and a trip to England. But Ghobadi, speaking through an interpreter, emphasizes that it is not a documentary.
"These kids have within themselves and their real lives a real drama," Ghobadi says. "It's not like in the West, going on freely and without any repression. They're being repressed -- they don't have any concerts, and this in itself makes them live a fiction life."
Follow the post-title link to NPR to read the rest of the article.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Protesters From Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas Take Aim at WV Miners - NY Times
Protesters From Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas Take Aim at WV Miners - NY Times
By BERNIE BECKER
Published: April 8, 2010
MONTCOAL W.V. — Protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., headed to the Upper Big Branch mine Thursday morning to convey the message that the explosion there that left 25 miners dead was a result of e-mail messages allegedly sent from West Virginia threatening the Church and its publisher, according to a statement from the Church.
The church, which is led by Fred Phelps, has attracted attention in recent years by showing up at funerals for soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. At those funerals they carry signs that say that God hates homosexuality and that the death of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is God’s way of punishing the United States for its tolerance of it.
“This whole nation is awash in rebellious sin and defiance of God, His standard, and His servant’s faithful words,” a news release on the church’s Web site said Thursday morning.
The statement said the church had received threats about a trip to West Virginia and Virginia scheduled to begin Thursday.
“So God reached down and smacked one of those mines, killing 25 (and likely four more are dead),” it said. “Now you moan and wallow in self-pity, and pour over the details of the dead rebels’ lives, pretending they’re heroes.”
According to its Web site, the church is scheduled to protest at several locations in Virginia and West Virginia, Thursday through Sunday, including at the West Virginia state capitol and the Hillel on the Virginia Tech campus.
Last month the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the father of a Marine killed in Iraq may sue protesters from the church who picketed his son’s funeral with signs that read “God Hates You” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”
I've never wanted a wild West Virginian to shoot someone before now, hmm. Where are those "squeel like a pig" guys when you need them? Some people may deserve to die, but it wasn't the miners...
Links concerning this event:
Phelps' son says "God Hates Fags" church could turn violent - The Huffington Post
Friday, April 9, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see "Battlefield Earth."
It wasn't as I intended -- promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn't really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those.
It started, as so many of my choices do, with my Willy Wonker.
It was 1994, and I had read an article in Premiere magazine saying that the Celebrity Center, the Scientology epicenter in Los Angeles, was a great place to meet women.
Follow the link to read more - nothing too spectacular, just funny: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/penned_the_suckiest_movie_ever_sorry_
This certainly earns him some level of forgiveness... but then again, he did go to Scientology meetings to meet women. Hmm?
Monday, April 5, 2010
The Bible Salesmen
- The men wear clean suits pinned against their flesh and mechanic smiles.
- They stop me in the street and ask me about our savior, the one on the left clutching a leather briefcase filled with books all saying the same words.
- Books should say different words.
- Books are not meant to say the same thing. Language is meant to be a reckless creature constantly changing, contradicting itself, and so on.
- I ask the man on the right how many bibles he owns.
- I know that it’s more than one and I’m wondering what’s the point of owning several copies of the same book.
- He owns six copies.
- He has seven bibles on him.
- He has sold eight bibles already.
- I tell him the book is repetitive. Man sins, God gets pissed off, man gets comeuppance, learns lesson. I stopped reading about ninety pages in.
- They smile knowingly at each other, the one on the left preparing a canned speech for the salvation of my eternal soul. You would think the two were getting a commission.
- Fuck that.
- I interrupt him somewhere in the dying for my sins part. I ask the other guy why he has six bibles.
- The guy on the left is upset that his speech is getting interrupted, upset that I only want to talk to the guy on the right, upset that he always gets stuck carrying the briefcase.
- The other guy talks about different translations or study bibles with liner notes or extras to keep on hand just in case some stark raving mad sinner comes pounding on his door demanding a bible, foaming, raving, only to be soothed by the clear and succinct words of the Lord God Almighty speaking “Go forth my son” and so on and so forth.
- Alright, fine, let’s talk about the bible then.
- How come God is such an asshole in the bible? God drowns the whole fucking world man? Doesn’t that feel like he was overreacting a little? Couldn’t he just talk it out, express his feelings, communicate, something? I tell you what, God needs anger management, he’s fucking cranky. Also apples are delicious! What the hell was he thinking? You make that shit a forbidden cucumber I guarantee nobody is touching it.
- The guy on the right thinks I’m missing the point.
- The guy on the left is leafing through a script he printed out, trying to find a way to get back on track. He starts stammering about the Kingdom of Heaven.
- My great concern is to see these two as real people. Their bodies radiating the warmth of recycled blood, their thoughts sticking to their tongues like wet cotton, afraid of fear, adoring of adoration, loving of love, and so on until they become the same organic mass of chemicals as everything, breathing in the scattered atoms of the universe but only seeing truth in a book written by schizophrenics. Their words taking the shape of a dead cult still throttling the unconscious conscience of a people terrified by this single dominating thought of death that seems so fucking abstract and cruel that their God takes the form of this cruelty and yet they only choose to see it as love. God is ever loving and yet perfectly willing to send me to hell for not buying a bible and not joining his son’s social organization of baptized wine drinking automatons muttering their “amens”, “and also with yous”, and so on and so forth. God is ever loving but would send my mother to hell for being a perfectly nice and peaceful Buddhist. God is ever loving but would send anyone to hell, I don’t fucking care, God is God, God is great, God is all powerful and no one is beyond saving unless God is lazy. God is ever loving but hides behind his green curtain like the wizard, screaming “Faith! Faith! Trust me, it will all make sense after you’re gone.” That doesn’t even make sense! If that’s what God is then fuck him, give me eternal suffering on principle.
- The guy on the left tells me the bibles are twelve dollars.
Sifting through the vomit of
Saints, and holding their random
Thoughts to light like spider webs
Sticking to my fingers
Fuck you Whitman, Dickinson, Hughes, Ginsberg
I have enough thoughts of my own
Yeah but my thoughts aren't ugly
Beautiful, they aren't crazed
Mad meditations of sand traps, they
Don't fit in iambic pentameter, I don't
know what iambic pentameter is,
Someone told me once and I
Thought "Huh, is that all?"
And promptly forgot
And pretty scenery, haikus with
Hummingbirds and damp rain, ah don't
It fill your soul with radio broadcasted enlightened
Microwaves, yeah I don't even
Know what that means, but I can make
It so I know that's all I'm saying
And the scenery--
How's a table with a trash bag filled with clothes, a mess of opened and unopened mail, how's a house full of cats that aren't mine sleeping, and the weeds in the back so overgrown they crawl over the glass and Son House muttering monologues over the computer and a refrigerator full of real estate agent magnets and pictures of distant family members that I've probably never talked to unless I have and I've forgotten and frankly that's no better and jugs of purified water because the tap probably has cancer and one stupid fucking fly stuttering around reenacting imagined scenes from the Red Baron and buzzing his filtered Nazi propaganda that he learned from the History Channel and if there was a smell I'd be used to it by now and running down the other five senses I got sight sound smell touch taste and I've only done two but the others are boring so fuck it right along with everything else.
Poetry is too serious anyway, I'm
too serious anyway, anything's too serious
Anyway and it's Words. You know what
Else is words--
A is for Aardvark
B is for Bear
C is for Cougar
D is for Deer
E is for Elephant
Is that poetry, cause that I like
VATICAN CITY—Calling the behavior shameful, sinful, and much more frequent than the Vatican was comfortable with, Pope Benedict XVI vowed this week to bring the widespread pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church down to a more manageable level.
Addressing thousands gathered at St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday, the pontiff offered his "most humble apologies" to abuse victims, and pledged to reduce the total number of molestations by 60 percent over the next five years.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," Pope Benedict said. "It seems a weakening of faith in God has prevented our priests from exercising moderation when sexually abusing helpless minors."
"And let me remind our clergy of the holy vows they all took when they entered the priesthood," he continued. "They should know that they're only allowed one small child every other month."
The pope said he was deeply disappointed to learn that the number of children sexually abused by priests was almost 10 times beyond the allowable limit clearly outlined in church doctrine. Admitting for the first time in public that the overindulgent touching of "tender, tender young flesh" had become a full-blown crisis, the Holy Father vowed to implement new reforms to bring the pedophilia rate back down to five children per 1,000 clergy.
"The truth is there will always be a little bit of molestation—it's simply unavoidable," Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi said. "But the fact that young boys have gotten much more attractive over the past few decades is no excuse for the blatant defiance of church limits that have been in place for centuries."
I have to admit, satirizing a matter of such sensitivity and personal human horror may be treading a fine ethical line. However, when the Vatican and Pope take the defensive and choose to reference an epidemic of sexual and physical abuse on children as "petty gossip," or claim a worldwide media conspiracy against the Pope - I think the sacred lines of sympathy, empathy, and victim respect have already been shredded - by the Vatican, not the public. A professor of mine once said (and I'm sure he ripped it off from someone), "There is no one so honest as the Satirist." I have found this to be quite true through my years since, and right now, concerning this specific matter, I think we need (and the victims and faithful Catholics deserve) some brutal honesty and action.