I have a mouth, so I guess I must scream

There are a lot of things wrong with American society. Poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, crumbling infrastructure, selfish foreign policy, inadequate healthcare, insane incarceration rates, environmental pollution, gun violence, pitifully underfunded education systems…the list goes on and on. But these things are all very, very hard to fix. Even the simplest of those problems couldn’t be corrected in less than a very hard fought decade. But I want to look like I’m changing the world, without actually, you know, changing the world. So what should I do?

I know! I’ll write long screeds attacking pop culture! Attacking movies and music is so easy. Everyone sees movies , so I don’t have to explain anything complicated like long term economic trends or the greenhouse effect.  I just have to point at something on a screen and say “See? Look! Bad!” That way, I can pat myself on the back for making a difference, while not actually putting out any of the effort required to actually make a difference. Thanks, CNN!

Editor’s note: Lewis Beale writes about culture and film for the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other publications. He has taught writing about film at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Keep this in mind as we go through this guy’s article. He teaches writing. In real life. To actual students.

In the latest “X-Men” film, Magneto levitates RFK stadium and drops it around the White House; the stadium is destroyed.

In “Godzilla,” the monster fights off what looks like the entire U.S. military while he flattens both Honolulu and San Francisco. And in the new Tom Cruise film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” opening Friday, Paris is left underwater after an alien attack, and a futuristic D-Day-like invasion leaves a French beach strewn with dead bodies and smoldering war materiel.

There’s plenty more mayhem to come as this season’s glut of blow-’em-up flicks rolls out: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (aliens drop a cruise liner on a city), “Guardians of the Galaxy” (outer space vehicles liquefied by the dozens), “Hercules” (the title character fights off lions, sea monsters and a whole army of bad guys) and “The Expendables 3” (Sly Stallone and gang; train rams into prison).

Entertainment Weekly recently referred to it as “the summer of destruction.”

But let’s call it what it is: destruction porn.

When writing, you want to have some kind of theme linking together the various threads of your prose. Mr. Beale’s parenthetical statements attempting to establish his theme are what I would call “reaching”. “Outer space vehicles liquified by the dozens”? “[T]he title character fights off lions, sea monsters and a whole army of bad guys”? What the fuck? How exactly are these things linked?

What genuinely irks me, though, is that final sentence. He’s treating the term “destruction porn” like it’s an actual phrase in the English language that means something. Like it has a definition, or that anyone anywhere agrees on what counts as “destruction porn”.

“____ porn” has become the new “-gate” suffix of bad writing. It used to be, if you couldn’t come up with anything original to say, you just find some scandal and call it “[blank]-gate”.  Today, if you’re a hack with nothing to say, just find something that you know little about but think is over-indulgent, and call it “[blank] porn”. The Saw movies are “torture porn”. 50 Shades of Grey is “mom porn”. News coverage of weeping relatives of tragedy victims is “grief porn”. Fucking pathetic.

Like real porn, these movies play to our most atavistic instincts.

That’s not what “atavistic” means. A dolphin with hind limbs is atavistic. Our ancient ancestors millions of years ago couldn’t possibly have thrilled at skyscrapers crumbling or spaceships blowing up, because none of those things existed millions of years ago.  Get a fucking dictionary.

And where the fuck did you get the idea that “real porn” (whatever that is) is atavistic? People don’t have sexual urges any more? Jerking off is a thing of the past? Modern life, right now, doesn’t involve sexual indulgence? What planet do you live on?

They all include some sort of buildup, the titillation of expectation that really bad, but cool, things are about to happen. They generally climax — pun intended …

This guy teaches writing.

…with a massive set piece of CGI carnage. And like real porn, afterwards we’re supposed to feel deliriously fulfilled and exhausted.

I don’t think you know how “real porn” works. Maybe you feel “deliriously fulfilled and exhausted” after stroking yourself, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were going for. What the hell does “deliriously fulfilled” even mean?

Additionally, the fact that you keep using the term “real porn” is a pretty clear indicator that you damn well know the term “destruction porn” is bullshit.

Fact is, we should hate ourselves for feeling this way, as if we’d just had really bad sex.

Writing professor, folks. Calling Dr. Freud.

But that’s not the reaction destruction porn elicits.

Can’t imagine why it doesn’t elicit your perverted reaction in most people. Maybe delirious fulfillment followed by self hatred just isn’t in vogue.

Even worse, we’re exporting this American blood-lust globally, giving outsiders the impression of a country that has totally gone over to the Dark Side.

Star Wars references kinda undermine what you’re going for here. Or does Alderaan not count as destruction porn?

It’s not as if there hasn’t been massive carnage in the movies before this. Hollywood has produced plenty of war films, ecological disaster flicks and alien invasion epics in the past. But the sheer frequency of destruction porn these days — at least 11 movies of this type in summer 2012 (“The Avengers,” The Dark Knight Rises,” etc.) and 12 during the same season last year (“White House Down,” “World War Z,” etc.)…

11 movies in 2012 and 12 in 2013. Please note that he’s throwing out these numbers without ever defining what counts as a “destruction porn” movie, and without ever specifying which movies fit his non-existent criteria, or how any movie possibly could. There were precisely 11 of such movies in 2012, but he won’t bother to explain where that number came from. These are entirely made up statistics. Well, I can do the same thing. I just created a new category called “Shitfuck journalism from hacks”. CNN published precisely one such article which I’m looking at right now.

…and our delight in seeing things blown up, should make us worry about the mental health of society.

Public schools failing, gun violence, suicide…no, wait, fuck all that shit. We should be worried about The Avengers. That’s the important shit.

Idiot.

Movies have always reflected the anxieties of their age. In the 1950s, we had plenty of nuclear paranoia films,often featuring mutated life forms. (Can you say “Godzilla”?)

Can YOU say Godzilla? You keep bringing up this imaginary entity called “destruction porn” as if it’s something new. Have you seen any classic Godzilla films ever? Do I need to explain to you the whole “Guy in rubber suit smashing cardboard buildings” leitmotif of the entire series?

But the recent spate of films seem to reflect a collective psychic collapse.

What the hell is a “collective psychic collapse”? Who the fuck watches Maleficent and thinks, “Yup. Collective psychic collapse.”?

Sure, there are reasons for this: fear of terrorism, the insecurity created by all those mass murders, like the recent episode in Santa Barbara. We feel that world has gotten even more chaotic. That there’s too much of everything. That society has gotten way too complicated, with too many people, too much technology, too many opposing ideologies clashing against each other.

Look at me! I’m vaguely aware of modern political issues! And I get paid to express that never-more-than-vague awareness with statements like “all those mass murders”! I teach writing!

I’m the 700 billionth person to point out that modern life has complications that didn’t exist in the past! I have absolutely nothing beyond that regurgitation to contribute to the discussion, but CNN needs to fill up space, so here I am!

It recalls the classic 1959 dystopian novel “A Canticle For Leibowitz,” by Walter Miller Jr., in which the end of industrial civilization is referred to as “the Simplification.” It’s as if we’re preparing for a global meltdown.

In your writing classes, do you ever address hyperbole?

And the summertime, when we’re supposed to be mellowing out,…

Who’s the fucking “we” in this sentence? The next time you eat at a restaurant, tell the over-worked and under-paid waiter that “we” are supposed to “be mellowing out” since it’s summer, and see what kind of reaction you get. My guess is it’ll be something along the lines of, “I’m smiling because if you don’t tip me, I starve.”

…is a perfect time for Hollywood to exploit our growing appetite for this kind of carnage. There are two specific reasons for this: Most filmgoers are in the under-40 demographic, looking for a night out away from the heat and to put their brains on pause — and believe me, there’s nothing more mindless than watching stuff blow up.

I can think of something more mindless.

The second reason is the importance of the foreign market, which now accounts for nearly 70% of total box office gross.

Our global neighbors tend to go for what we do best, which is make big budget films with state-of-the-art special effects, a minimum of dialogue (explosions speak a universal language) and lots of mayhem. Lots. Just to take two recent examples: the just-opened X-Men film has grossed $168 million in the U.S., and twice that much overseas. And the new “Captain America” flick — “Captain America,” no less! — has grossed $255 million domestically and a whopping $454 million overseas.

America: A country where scenes of mass destruction are the norm, and carnage is preferred over peace, love and understanding.

Go fuck yourself, you sanctimonious douchebag.

If you actually bothered to watch and think about the movies, rather than pontificate like a self-righteous blowhard, you’d see the themes in both X-Men and Captain America. X-Men is a metaphor for the gay rights movement, while Cap is about the surveillance state and the bullshit notion that we have to sacrifice our freedom and privacy for security. Neither film is subtle in this regard. They wear their metaphors on their sleeve. If you took two fucking seconds to think about it, you’d see it. But that’s asking way too much from you, Dr. Writing Professor.

Oh, and I can’t help but notice the term “global neighbors”. What other fucking neighbors do we have? What’s the difference between “global neighbors” and just plain fucking “neighbors”?

Is this the kind of negative image of America we want to export?

Better explosions than pretentious douchenozzles.

And sure, we all know that “It’s only a movie,” but don’t kid yourself: When we get geeked at the leveling of entire cities, it says something about who we are, and where our society is going.

No. It says something about who you are that this is the kind of thing you judge other people for.

And you’d think after 9/11 and the never-ending mass murders in this country we would be a bit more sensitive to scenes where cities are destroyed and thousands of lives lost, but the opposite seems to have taken place: We wallow in it. We cheer it. Like porn, we can’t take our eyes off it. It’s seductive and incredibly addictive.

Your presumptuousness is much more offensive to me than any explosion in a make-believe movie. “You’d think”. Fuck you. The difference between you and me is that I do actually think. Hey, Dr. Writing Professor and Film Critic, did you ever notice how the original Godzilla came out in 1954, just 9 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki got nuked? Did your tiny little pea brain ever consider the idea that movies are artistic expression, and that they reflect these societal anxieties precisely because that’s what art does? Yes, filmmakers are expressing their feelings about 9/11, and audiences are responding. You can see that in many modern films. This isn’t something new. It’s how art works.

Wish fulfillment? Catharsis? Just good old entertainment? It really doesn’t matter. While we’re in the grips of whatever social psychosis is stoking this ravenous appetite for mayhem, Hollywood will be happy to oblige.

You really are a complete tool, aren’t you?

You managed to write 1,000 words without ever saying a thing. You excel at speculation, allegation, and sensationalism, while stridently avoiding anything that even resembles actual fucking journalism. You pass judgment on others for the specific purpose of generating a headline. You invent terms without ever bothering to define them. You then invent numbers because numbers look like science and reason and that makes dumb people think you’re credible. You use pop psychology to make it look like your verbal diarrhea is actual human thought. And you do all this in the hopes that you’ll stimulate CNN’s audience into irrational fear of an imaginary problem, just so you can do it again next week.

You write news porn.

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Intelligent Imbecility

There are lots of ways to promote bigotry and ignorance. The easiest and most obvious is to just run around shouting “Fuck faggots!”, which accounts for 90% of internet traffic. Another is to declare that you heard from an invisible, silent being that exists…somewhere…that faggots are bad and don’t deserve equal rights. Another is to assert that it’s just your belief that faggots are evil, and how dare you insult my beliefs (which are insulting to other people) (oh, and I want my beliefs enshrined in the law)?

The problem with these approaches is that the public is catching on to them. Stupid can’t hide for long, and more and more people are saying “Fuck your beliefs” and giving gays equal rights anyways. “Damn it!” says the bigot. “I have to deny people their rights, but I can’t do it by being an obvious dumbfuck any more! Whatever shall I do?” The answer is provided, luckily for the bigot, in today’s Washington Post. You gotta be a sneaky dumbshit bigot. You gotta take what you think the opposition believes (which is, of course, nothing like what the opposition actually believes–you are a dumbfuck bigot after all!) and turn it around on them! You gotta be, not really clever, but what you imagine to be clever in your tiny little pea brain. You gotta be an intelligent imbecile.

Behold.

Is gay marriage really progressive?

  • By Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman
  • February 20 at 6:38 am

Ha! Take that, liberals! We put a question mark in our title! That should fill you with doubt about your own beliefs. ‘Cause that’s how intelligent imbecility works. We’re tricky and shit.

Same-sex marriage advocates, and their lawyers, cite Jefferson’s “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” to underscore everyone’s right to marry without state interference. Last week, they successfully challenged Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. Given current legal trends, there seems little doubt that the Supreme Court will ultimately agree with U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s ruling. Gay rights advocates believe this ruling is a major progressive advance.

I’m a gay rights advocate, and when I heard about that ruling the first thing I thought was, “Major Progressive Advance.” Except for the part where I never thought any such thing. Actually, my first thought was, “The bigots are gonna shit themselves,” and boy oh boy was I right.

We ask: Why is this progressive?

No you don’t. You never asked that. This is just a bullshit rhetorical device for you to try to make yourselves look smart while spouting idiocy. The only people you’re fooling with this shit are people who were already dumb enough to agree with you before you even wrote a word.

Or put another way: Why is giving the government more power over your personal life, as opposed to less, considered progressive?

Why are loaded, deliberately misleading questions the things you beat your wife with?

Oh, I’m sorry, was that out of line? I should have known you would never beat your wife. You just take out your frustrations by raping and murdering a hooker. My bad.

See? I can make up passive aggressive dogshit about other people and spout it without blinking! Publish me, Washington Post!

The government gives legal benefits to people in marriages that the government recognizes. All gay people are asking is that they receive the same benefits. It’s not that fucking hard to understand. This doesn’t involve government controlling their personal lives. But singling out gay people specifically to ban them from certain benefits? That DOES involve government interfering with people’s personal lives. No fucking duh.

Ironically, it may turn out that gay marriage advocates are trying to further cement a dangerous philosophical trend that they would normally see as conservative, retrogressive or even reactionary.

Ironically, there’s no irony here, since you’re just pulling this out of your tightly puckered asshole.

Gay marriage advocates believe the progressive position is to require every marriage to get the same governmental blessing. But this is actually not a progressive or liberating posture at all.

The right approach for those who believe in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” freed from government control is self-evident: no government control over marriage.

This is becoming the new right wing way to promote straight privilege. They ignore all the legal benefits of marriage (hospital visitation, shared tax forms, tax benefits, etc.) and act like marriage is nothing but a word. But I guarantee you–if either of these guys’ wife is in the hospital, they’ll damn sure take advantage of the “government control” that lets them visit her. And when these two fucking nitwits file their taxes, they’ll damn sure let “government control” give them some marriage-based tax credits.

Which is to say, they’ll glad spew empty words about “government control over marriage” in a rag like the WaPo. That’s just words. But the moment it affects their real lives, everything they’re saying goes right down the shitter.

The same-sex marriage position requires first accepting the government’s right to sanction marriage.

It obviously doesn’t. It requires recognizing that straight couples get benefits that gays don’t. It requires recognizing how fucking unfair that is. It also requires knowing a right wing bullshit artist when you see one–and I see two that the WaPo decided deserved to have their verbal fecal matter spread to the entire country.

Moreover, advocates don’t merely agree to give government this power, they accept a state’s right to discriminate. The federal court decision overturning Virginia’s gay marriage ban is premised on the state failing to provide a sufficient reason for discriminating between couples wanting to get hitched. This presupposes the right of the government to sanction marriage. Ironically, this is the position of the supposedly conservative traditional marriage defenders.

Go back and read that paragraph again. The first sentence is supposed to tell us what the latter sentences will demonstrate. Read it. The first sentence has absolutely nothing to do with anything that follows. Read it again. I challenge you to explain how the first sentence is even tangentially related to anything that follows.

Keep in mind: The WaPo published this illogical garbage. And the WaPo is purportedly a respectable newspaper. Yeah, fucking right.

But the really important point to keep in mind here is PRIVILEGE. These two fuckheads have probably taken advantage of marriage rights numerous times.  They just take it for granted. Pick up your kids from school? Sure, Mommy and Daddy are married, and legally that’s all that’s required to retrieve your kids from school (even if they aren’t your biological children). They don’t even think about it. The only reason they can flippantly tell gays “Just don’t get legal recognition” is that they’re so used to legal recognition that they can’t even realize they have it any more.

Trust me, no married couple would ever voluntarily give up the legal benefits they enjoy. Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman are no different.

While the Supreme Court has made other important rulings on marriage in the past, no jurist ever suggested disagreement with state laws banning same-sex marriage — until recently.

It’s never been done before, so why do it now?

(Nota bene: This exact same argument could have been made against inter-racial marriage 60 years ago.)

Gay rights lawyers say such decisions were wrong, surely by today’s standards. We ask: What is progressive about conditioning the state’s right to sanction marriage on changeable judicial attitudes?

You don’t ask that. You’re not asking anything. Stop pretending that you’re capable of thought.

Anyone who reads this can see exactly what you’re doing. The bigots have lost the gay marriage debate on one front after another, so now you just wanna take your ball and go home. Just end legal marriage entirely! That oughta go over well! I’m sure the step-fathers out there who no longer have legal guardianship over their step-children won’t mind at all! Right wingers are smart!

The more principled approach, which is consistent across the philosophical spectrum, is leaving marriage to the religious and family institutions from whence it came.

What philosophical spectrum? Is there even such a thing as a philosophical spectrum? I’ve been studying philosophy since 2000, and I’ve never encountered any such thing.

Privilege is again at play here. What Leahy and Goldman are really asking is, “Can’t we just let the church (which already excludes gays) give us all the benefits and tell everyone who’s not like us to fuck off?” No, shithead, you can’t. It doesn’t work that way. Marriage is a civil contract. It has been for a very long time. And I know, you really want all the benefits to yourself, even if sharing them with others won’t cost you a thing. That’s because you’re suffering from a common disorder known in psychiatry as Being An Asshole.

Marriage existed long before there were government bureaucrats looking to raise revenue by collecting license fees.

Yeah, that’s why the government recognizes marriages. The tiny fees they get from licenses.

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If a person meets whatever common sense, minimal legal requirements are established for people to wed — such as those related to age, health, mental capacity or banning incest — why should government approval be required?

That’s what the gays are asking. You seem to have missed this part.

You see, STRAIGHT marriages don’t require government approval. Wanna get married? Sure, why not. It’s not like there’s an exam. As long as you’re straight, you get married. Simple as that.

All gays are asking is that they be treated the same way.

If gay rights advocates truly believe marriage is a protected, inalienable right, then they should be in court arguing against state-sanctioned marriage per se.

It’s not that gays are destroying traditional marriage, it’s that they SHOULD be destroying traditional marriage. See how subtle and nuanced these bigots are becoming?

What about the traditional marriage position – that defining these unions is up to the states and that states have a vested interest in promoting traditional families? It runs counter to the conservative belief in limited government.

The true conservative position should be to let the church control everything. Christian hegemony for the win!

Same-sex couples are generally no better or worse at parenting than those with different sexual orientations. Limiting marriage on procreation grounds, even if legal, is a slippery slope that would trample the Constitution and personal liberties in a way worthy of China, not America.

That’s the only point in this op-ed where these two say anything even vaguely rational. But then they fuck it up by going, “China! Amiright?”

Most important, a marriage license is derivative, not the basic right at issue. If the right to marry is inalienable, then the government needs to stop seeing it as another revenue raiser or privilege creator.

We should just leave it to religious institutions! They secure privilege much more hatefully than the government ever could!

In practical effect, all same-sex marriage proponents are claiming is their inalienable right to be required to pay a marriage fee like everyone else.

How the fuck did this sentence make it past an editor?

All they’re claiming is a fee? So hospital visitation isn’t part of legal marriage? And neither is guardianship of children? What about inheritance rights? Adoption? Tax credits? Spouse benefits for insurance plans?

No, none of that exists. Well, it all does exist, but Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb are so caught up in their own privilege that they stupidly don’t even realize how much legal benefit they get from marriage. They think they can just erase the entire legal structure of the marriage cake and still get all the frosting. Well, sorry, fucknuts. It doesn’t work that way. If you actually got your way, you’d have no legal basis on which to claim you can visit your wife if she’s dying in the hospital. Think about that–if you ever even think at all.

Look, I’m not saying all conservatives are stupid. I’ve met a few smart ones. But too many of them are complete idiots. And the worst type of conservative idiot is the one who masters the English language just enough to make an argument that might be mistaken for rational human thought if viewed from a thousand miles away through layers of skin-melting fog. In other words, the one who’s able to gussy up his imbecility with just enough false erudition to be published in an overrated rag like the WaPo.

Vox Populi

If you’re like me and enjoy reading something excruciatingly dumb every now and then, then you can rarely go wrong with the Letters to the Editors pages of local newspapers. I usually find myself wondering, “If these are the ones they saw fit to publish, just how awful must the unfit ones have been?” And today’s three letters are no different.

Let’s start with C. Dale German of Bethany, OK, who has a nuanced and original take on the current condition of these great United States.

One nation under God

Ha ha! Just kidding. He’s just gonna regurgitate dishonest god-humper boilerplate. This asshole has totally drunk the “1950s were a utopia” Kool-Aid about the 1950s that too many Americans gullibly believe, and he wants us all to know how deluded he is.

America was once a civil place.

Even our Wars were Civil!

Democrats and Republicans fought from opposite political perspectives yet were both proud Americans.

In fact, just like now, they would NEVER shut up about what proud Americans they are. It’s practically the only thing politicians ever say in this country.

Families could watch TV with small children and never hear profanity.

Talk about first world problems. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant fucking god damn first world problems, you cunt-faced son of a bitch.

School days began with Bible reading, a salute to the flag and the Lord’s Prayer.

That flag reference sandwiched between two religious references is very revealing. As much as they yammer on about the evils of idolatry, the flag might as well be a god to fundamentalists.

We went to work and left our houses unlocked.

Then you were idiots, seeing as crime rates were about the same in the 1950s as they are today, and are actually steeply declining over the last two decades. The only thing that’s changed is now you have sensationalistic 24 hour news channels constantly bombarding you with real life horror stories.

The American military was strong and respected.

That’s because we’d just dropped a fucking nuke on Japan. The “respect” was bullshit. People just didn’t want to get fucking nuked.

Americans felt blessed to live in America.

We still do. I just had a conversation the other day about how happy I am not to live in fucking Mexico where the fucking cartels are leaving duffel bags full of severed heads in elementary schools. The difference is that I don’t feel the need to buttress those feelings with glurgy, sentimental garbage and lies like you do.

“Blue laws” supported businesses that closed on Sunday.

Free enterprise!

Those who don’t remember this America don’t know how heartbreaking it is for those who do remember the America we lost.

It wasn’t lost, because you can’t lose something that never existed.

For sure there was poverty, segregation and social ills to be cured in an evolving America.

*Snort!* Yeah, America in the 50s was great! We saluted the flag and didn’t say the word “shit” on TV! Sure, there was crime, injustice, racism, sexism, higher poverty rates, higher illiteracy rates and all. But we had blue laws! (By the way–blue laws still exist in many cities…)

But we remember a nice country.

That’s because you were a spoiled little brat who was shielded from the harsh realities of the country you lived in. Social ills and injustice are perpetuated by silence, and silence is exactly what a sanctimonious, censorious, prudish, sheltered society like 1950s America breeds. That’s why you were so content with your fucking censored TV and chintzy American flag crap while black people were being beaten in the streets just for protesting Jim Crow laws. “Yeah, there was segregation and poverty, but I remember a nice country.” Shut the hell up.

School teachers and clergy wore suits and were respected.

If you paid school teachers a decent wage maybe they could afford more suits. Or, you know, feed and clothe their children. But the suits seem to be what’s important to you, and if that’s what it takes to get you to pay teachers more, then I guess I can go with it.

Men respected women as ladies and women responded as ladies.

“As ladies”. There is so much packed into those two words that I could write an entire blog post unraveling it. (Don’t worry. I won’t.) Let’s just say that this is the 1950’s “suits=respect” way of saying “Bitches stayed in their place.”

We can hope that not all is lost.

I hope all of it is lost. I don’t want to live in a society where superficial crap like words on TV, saluting a flag and wearing a suit are more important than real life concerns like poverty and injustice. Take your shallow-minded, cotton-candy, shiny-surface-with-a-rotten-core vision of America and shove it.

When those who remember are gone and only those who don’t remember remain, we can hope today’s crass, vulgar, obscenity of incivility will one day fade into history in a born-again America true to its founding purpose — one nation under God.

Or we could just keep living our lives and wait for all you pathetic old fogies to die so we don’t have to hear about this crap any more. The really funny thing is that 60 years from now people will be saying these exact same things about the times we’re currently living in. Humans are nothing if not predictable animals.

Our next subject, Wayne Hull of Yukon, OK, has some serious fucking Fatwa Envy going on:

Regarding the staging of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” at Civic Center Music Hall: Why would anyone during the holidays condemn an actual religion of peace? Imagine the ferocious protests if the same venue was being used to stage “The Most Fabulous Ramadan.” Why mock people of faith who celebrate their faith?

Because it’s funny? It’s telling that every time Christianity is mocked, the response is a furious protest by Christians claiming that Christians don’t do furious protests so fuck the Muzzies. They are so jealous of Muslims they can barely contain it.

What’s hilarious about ridiculing the story of Christ, likely using the most exaggerated homosexual caricatures in the presentation, and infusing sex acts into a holiday otherwise devoid of promiscuity?

Christmas? Devoid of promiscuity? Are you fucking high? The whole damn holiday revolves around a teenage girl giving birth out of wedlock.

Oh, and notice how he says “likely” when describing the contents of the play he’s furiously not-protesting. That means he hasn’t seen the play he’s criticizing. Fucking typical.

How is this anything but an affront to people whose beliefs are different and, consequently, threatening?

Pretty sure you’re the one protesting people whose beliefs you view as different and threatening. Hasn’t that been the whole theme of every single sentence prior to this one?

They made a play about gay Jesus. Fucking get over it. You didn’t even fucking see it, and no one is forcing you or anybody else to watch it. Yet you protest its very existence. You, my friend, are the one being intolerant.

Last year the Obama administration openly condemned an American citizen for a YouTube video poking fun at the Prophet Muhammad.

This would be a good time to remind everyone that the term “religion of peace” in regards to Islam was coined by George W. Bush. Pandering to Muslims is nothing new, and both parties do it. It’s not right, but it’s not exclusive to Obama, either.

Now our elected officials waffle with another public piece that, if paralleled in regards to Islam, would likely result in mass riots.

More fatwa envy. American Christians really, really, REALLY wish they could get away with the violence that goes on in the Muslim world. They’d love to riot and chop people’s heads off if they could.

Christians are supposed to shut up passively as their faith is ridiculed. If they speak up, they’re chastised as being bigots or, at least, anti-First Amendment.

And rightly so, because that’s exactly what they are. But no one is calling for you to be censored. What you’re asking for, on the other hand…

Those who support a “gay agenda” must know how deeply regressive this play impacts their desire to be recognized as part of a larger society.

Only amongst small minded bigots like you. Normal people don’t respond to a gay Jesus play by thinking, “Well, I guess that means I should deny gays their rights!” That’s not how human brains work.

The Christmas story isn’t a story of gay sex, let alone gay persons.

See? The gay people don’t need your fucking approbation anyhow. You’ve already excluded them, so why should they censor their play to appease your bigoted ass?

It’s a Middle Eastern story of one man whose life changed the world forever.

Which is why we Christians fight tooth and nail to make sure it never changes again….

…And lose every time.

And just so it doesn’t look like I’m unfairly picking on my home state, let’s move on to Pennsylvania. Central Pennsylvania, to be more precise. And as we all know, central Pennsylvania is the most important Pennsylvania, because it’s central to all that other Pennsylvania. And it’s got those fires that never, ever, ever go out.*

But that’s not what the real problem is. Take it away, Chris Hicks of East Pennsboro Township.

If the question is gay marriage, God has the answer

Please tell me Jesus finally proposed to Muhammad.

In response to Shirley Ericson’s letter, “United Methodist church is acting against a courageous minister“:

Contrary to Ms. Ericson’s opinion, God is not this grandfatherly-cosmic-casual-genie that looks down on us and is OK with our sinful condition.

Grandfatherly Cosmic Casual Genie sounds a lot better when you sing it to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon theme. Seriously, try it.

And why would god even be a genie, casual or otherwise? I read Shirley Ericson’s letter. She at no point implies that Jeebus is played by Shaq or Robin Williams, or that he ever grants any wishes (see what I did there? Prayer is bullshit!). The only person talking about this weird genie Jesus is you, bub.

Anyways, if gob doesn’t like our sinful condition, he shouldn’t have created it in the first place. He chose to give us free will and put tempting fruit in the garden. If he’s unhappy with the result, he has no one to blame but himself. Would you put a steak on your floor then beat your dog for eating it?

His word is clear and infallible. It does not change, while a culture’s moral compass becomes clouded and is in decline.

How exactly can a compass be in decline? Maybe he’s referring to the Golden Compass film franchise…

His word is rock solid, firm and clear.

Weirdly, this is also true of his dick.

Sin is bad because it hurts the heart of God.

What is it about fundamentalist religion that turns its followers into prattling five year olds? The baby-talk that comes from these people is just plain fucking creepy. The above sentence should never be spoken by any human being over the age of 8, unless they have, like, Down’s syndrome or something. And even then they should keep it to a minimum.

But apparently, in this guy’s puerile mind, an omnipotent being can be hurt. How? How could a perfect being be harmed in any way? If he has ANY vulnerabilities or shortcomings whatsoever, then he is not perfect and omnipotent.  It makes no sense to speak of a perfect being feeling or wanting or needing anything at all. And, with one fell swoop, I’ve just erased the motivation for all but the most deistic forms of religion. Sorry about that. I know how you guys hate logic.

When will we quit trying to pursue our own fleshly lusts and sinful desires and seek to live sacrificial lives unto our great, gracious, holy heavenly Father?

When we all lose our god damn minds. So, hopefully never.

For a closing exercise, click on that link above and read Shirley Ericson’s letter, then go back and read Chris Hicks’ again.  These are both Christians, but they are clearly very different kinds of Christians. And I’m not just talking about their views on gay marriage being different. Their brains work differently.  They’re processing information and reacting to it in starkly different ways.

Even before we get to their beliefs and their claims, just the language of the two letters shows striking contrasts. Both letters, for instance, contain a single interrogative sentence. But they use the interrogative for entirely different purposes. Ericson’s interrogative (third paragraph) is a hypothetical in which she presents some evidence and then provides a logical conclusion from it in order to make the reader THINK about their position. She’s challenging her audience to use their minds and reconsider their position.

Now look at Hicks’ interrogative, which I just snarked at above. It’s a lament, intended to get people to stop behaving differently from him and start unquestioningly obeying an authority. It has precisely the OPPOSITE purpose as Ericson’s. And rather than use logic to persuade, he tries to change the reader’s mind by appealing to a cognitive bias humans have to be more trusting of people who look wealthy, clean, beautiful, or powerful. Seriously, would even North Korea use language like his to describe its leader?

The baby-talk is completely absent from Ericson’s letter. Her declarative sentences are more complex than Hicks’, and again she uses them differently. Her declarative sentences consist mostly of statements of fact that are not a matter of belief, such as “This guy will lose his job,” etc. She often uses these facts as premises and conclusions in arguments. For Hicks, EVERY declarative sentence states as fact something that is a matter of his own personal faith. He doesn’t actually state a single faith-free fact anywhere in his letter. Not one. And he doesn’t make any arguments at all. He just declares his own beliefs as absolutely true by fiat, as if he himself were god.

I could go on and on analyzing the differences between the two, but the point should be obvious by now. There are different kinds of Christians, and differences between them run so deep that they alter the very way they process information and interact with the world. Ericson focuses on concrete facts. She then processes these to see what they imply. And if what they imply contradicts what she believes about gay marriage, she adapts her beliefs to the new information. She then proceeds to spell out these premises and conclusions for others, hoping to replicate the process in other minds as well. This is all just a long way of saying she’s a RATIONAL FUCKING PERSON.

Hicks, on the other hand, is a textbooks example of an authoritarian. He associates power with truth and beauty. If someone is powerful, then whatever they say must be true and good. He sees himself as a conduit of this power, and issues demands on its behalf that others assimilate to his thought processes or face dire wrath. So he’s like the Borg, but without any real power. He views communication between humans as a string of commands that others obey the power that he is vicariously channeling from an imaginary being.  And he sees value in others only insofar as they conform to this arbitrary string of commands. Which, again, is just a long way of saying he’s a FUNDAMENTALIST FUCKFACE.

I’m glad there’s no heaven. Spending eternity with these guys would be hell.

 

____________________

*No wonder they based a horror video game on it. That shit is fucking scary.

Stupid fish in a noisy barrel

Wanna know the best way to get a good laugh while simultaneously losing any and all hope for the future of humanity’s intelligence? Read the WingNutDaily letters to the editors page! Let’s start out with the really good shit:

Potty mouth

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Martin Bashir’s latest comments about Sarah Palin have literally instituted “potty mouth” journalism.

Literally! Journalists are now literally putting shit in their mouths.

Joe Biden was accidentally caught using potty mouth language, but Martin Bashir, along with Ed Shultz, has elevated potty mouth crazy-talk to new levels.

Are you seriously sticking with this “potty mouth” motif? Remember, this is one conservative talking to other conservatives. And he talks to them like they’re fucking five year olds.  Quite revealing.

Their obscene language simply reflect the obscene politics of their viewers as well as the perverted laws enacted by the lawmakers that they support.

George Green

You forgot to add “time for nappy” to the end of that. Although the irrelevant reference to gays was a nice touch.

Only God can save us

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Mr. Joseph Farah, you said it perfectly! You said it sincerely! And, you spoke the truth! [“America’s last chance”]

Yes, we are on the cusp of total destruction as a nation. The criminal-acting members of Congress are running away from their responsibilities. The MSM are aiding and abetting treasonous, criminal acts each and every day. No one is stopping them!

“Whenever we try to stop the media, they keep talking about this thing called the ‘First Amendment’, but that’s unconstitutional!” [Note: I’m using the Right Wing definition of “unconstitutional”, which is basically “Something I don’t like and haven’t attempted to understand.”]

We all know who and what Obama stands for! Beyond any reasonable doubt, Obama is a criminal, a liar, a traitor and is obviously hell-bent on destroying our nation!

“I’m not at all bothered that I’ve written 9 sentences so far without ever once saying anything of any substance! Innuendo and accusations are all I need!”

These are not just idle words. These words are truthful.

Um, actually they’re the fucking definition of idle words, seeing as everything you’ve said has been empty boilerplate.

Yet, our nation is totally paralyzed to act and to save itself from total destruction.

We’re not “paralyzed” so much as we’re “ignoring your paranoid, uninformed blather like it were the sound of a fart during unfulfilling sex.”

Only God can save our nation now!

Jack Sherratt

We’re fucked, then. Might as well place your hopes in Mighty Mouse.

Obama: The ‘enemy within’

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Yesterday I met a patriot who has a relative in the Army.

When someone refers to a casual acquaintance as a “patriot” in this manner, he might as well have “Jackass” stamped on his forehead.

My new acquaintance has a couple members of his family who are ministers of the gospel like me. They all have the same perspective about End-Time prophecy as me. Because we both have much in common, he opened up to me about something you need to know about.

Blind ignorance finds a tit. Idiocy is more easily maintained in groups, which is why these kinds of dingleberries tend to gravitate together.

His relative was recently asked if he would take an oath of allegiance to Obama.

Well, he’s in the Army, and the President is Commander in Chief of the Army, so that’s not exactly shocking. All soldiers are supposed to take orders from the President. This isn’t exactly new.

He said he would honor his oath to defend our nation, but not to defend Obama.

Who does he think his orders are coming from? If he goes to war to “defend” our nation, who the fuck does he think is sending him there? Jesus himself? John Wayne? The Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man? Seriously. I really want to know who this guy thinks is in charge of the military, because he sure as fuck doesn’t seem to realize it’s the President.

All the other soldiers at his post were also asked to swear allegiance to Obama, too. They gave the same answer that they would only honor their oath to protect the U.S.

All of them. Every single one. I’m sure he’s not exaggerating at all. An entire post is refusing to take orders from the Commander In Chief, which means the whole shebang will soon be court-martialed for insubordination. Riiiight.

None of them were willing to protect Obama because they consider him an enemy within.

What is it with the right wing mind that it can’t just disagree with someone, or just merely not like someone? Look, I get it if some people don’t like Obama. I didn’t like Bush, so I know the feeling of disliking the President. But I never would have claimed Bush WANTED to destroy the country, or that he was a terrorist, or any other hyperbolic bullshit like that. He sucked as President, but that doesn’t make him The Enemy.

But right wingers seem incapable of merely thinking someone is mistaken, or just merely not liking somebody. If they disagree with somebody, their minds immediately leap all the way to “ENEMY”. It’s like everything between “AGREE” and “KILL THE FUCKER” just doesn’t exist in their world.

This is what Hitler did shortly before he became dictator of Germany.

D.S.

Thanks for that, D.S. I was starting to worry that your letter wasn’t quite eating-one’s-own-soiled-underpants crazy enough. I hope those were some tasty undies, buddy.

James Gandolfini 1961-2013

I love The Sopranos. I mean, fucking LOVE The Sopranos. And loving the Sopranos means loving James Gandolfini’s portrayal of Tony Soprano, since he was by far the best thing about that show. But it goes beyond that. Tony Soprano was the character that set the tone for modern TV. He was a villain, in that he was a criminal who did a lot of bad things. But he was sympathetic, in that we saw his family life and his personal struggles and we identified with them.

Without Tony Soprano, there is no Walter White. There is no Vic Mackey. There is no Tyrion Lannister. There is no Nucky Thompson. Tony Soprano created TV anti-heroes–people who are flawed and immoral and do lots of bad things, yet still evoke sympathy. James Gandolfini didn’t just portray a character. He created a TV archetype that shaped what people today are calling the next Golden Age of TV. His influence on American pop culture is incalculable.

It really saddens me to see the news that Gandolfini died at the tragically young age of 51. His talent extended beyond The Sopranos–he was great in The Man Who Wasn’t There, for instance. But the real reason this strikes me so hard is that I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the pilot episode back in January of 1999, and the experience of his performance in that show never left me. It also never left American cable television. I believe that decades from now, people will look back on his performance as a transformative moment, something that all American TV acting will always be indebted to.  He was a motherfucking star, and his influence will be felt for a long, long time.

Criticism ≠ Bigotry

CNN continues its track record of reporting No Shit Sherlock stories in which they give a large, national platform to some right wing bigot to spout the same crap they always say as if it were something revolutionary. This time it’s a bunch of evangelicals whining about how they’re the new persecuted minority because their bigotry leads to people calling them bigots, which is JUST LIKE what has been done to minorities.

When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’” says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

Waaaaaah! We can’t spout bigotry without being called bigots! We’re the real victims here!

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

Since when is disagreement the same as denying people marriage rights, allowing businesses to fire people for being gay, opposing anti-gay bullying laws for schools, and other forms of oppression which are clearly not merely disagreement?

But quoting the Bible doesn’t inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There’s a point at which a Christian’s opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

First sensible thing anyone in this article has said so far. Now, let’s get back to the stupid.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Or maybe it’s proof that some of them are starting to realize how idiotic it is to attack someone for something that has no effect on them or anyone else.  Maybe some part of their tiny, reptilian brain stems somehow managed to avoid getting completely fried by religious dogma and whispers to them, “You sound really, really stupid and mean-spirited when you attack gays. Maybe you shouldn’t do it…”

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?” He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Or again, maybe they’re not able to repress the cognitive dissonance that arises in the brain of any non-insane person who hears a phrase like, “homosexual conduct destroys lives.” I’ve met quite a few gay people in my life. They all seemed to be doing just fine. In fact, the only recurring problem was that if they openly said they were gay, they faced a flood of anti-gay Christian “love” which sought to deny them rights that everyone else enjoys.

And, seriously, you’re accusing the non-Christians of prudishness? That’s fucking rich.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

You’d think that would make them a little more empathetic to the many gay people who have lost their jobs for being gay. But then again, you’d think.  They don’t. That’s why they’re evangelicals.

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a “postmodern” era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It’s an environment in which anyone who says “this is right” and “that is wrong” is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

Whereas god-humpers are well known for their open-mindedness and willingness to consider other people’s viewpoints.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Oh, yes. When we say, “Treat gay people like humans and stop being such a busybody,” that’s intellectual tribalism and dogma because we can’t understand anyone else’s point of view but our own. Now, let’s have a conversation about that whole “Even people who don’t agree with us must follow our Holy Book” horseshit that you guys keep spouting.

Ed Johnson is spouting some weapons grade level of lack of self awareness here. He clearly has no comprehension of what the actual pro gay rights side has to say. And he clearly gives no truck to any point of view that doesn’t line up with his own dogmatic and ignorant reading of the Bible. And he’s projecting his own dogmatic bigotry and inability to comprehend those who are different (gays) onto the very people he dogmatically condemns without comprehending.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 – “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

19th century slaveholders made the exact same argument about slavery, you fucking goon. And no, marriage is not consistent throughout the Bible. The Bible in some parts is perfectly fine with forcing a child into marriage or a man taking multiple wives which he treats like property. There is nothing universal or timeless about the account of marriage in the Bible.

Public jousts over the Bible’s stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds.

I guess it depends on what they’re jousting with…

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled – if it ever is – there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

No. There will come a point when they don’t say that homosexuality is wrong (and that point can’t come soon enough). But there’s nothing stopping them from saying rape or pedophilia is wrong.

The fact that evangelicals constantly confound consensual homosexuality with non-consensual forms of sex is revealing of their authoritarian mindset. The notion of an individual consenting means little to them. Sex is good or bad depending on whether or not the authorities tell you it’s good or bad. Whether you consent or not is irrelevant. That’s why you hear some evangelicals attacking consenting gays but defending the brazen rapists in Steubenville. It’s not about consent or personal freedom to them. It’s not about your personal identity or your right to a private life. It’s about God Says So, which always translates to We Say So. It’s about control and power over others for evangelicals. And that’s why they need to be opposed at every turn.

Jason Collins’ bravery brings the insects out of the woodwork.

I was really happy to see Jason Collins become the first athlete in any major league sport to openly come out as gay. Good for him! But, unfortunately, they call his choice “brave” for a reason. It’s inevitable that the bigots and morons out there will insult him for merely having a different sexual preference than their own. So if they’re gonna insult him, then I’m gonna insult them. Fair enough?

I don’t judge Jason Collins, we all have out faults,but I can’t be like cool. He’s openly living in sin without fear.

— Je’Vonte Hughes (@DocKingSchultz) April 29, 2013

I’m much more worried about people who openly live in ignorance without fear. Oh, and by the way @DocKingSchulz, if your statement isn’t judgmental, then neither is mine.

Jason Collins is going to hear it so bad on the court. I have nothing against gay people but the objective of sports is to win by any means

— Summer(@Living_M_Dreams) April 29, 2013

By any means? Uh, no. Ask the folks at Penn State what happens when you decide you need to win by any means.

It’s interesting that Jason Collins will be known more for being gay than playing basketball.

— DJ Styles (@somanystyles) April 29, 2013

What other made up facts interest you?

Hurr hurr hurr. Look up Brianna Renee. There are jokes about her, a turkey baster and a Justin Bieber poster being together.

Tom is a baseball fan. Nothing gay about hardball. Keep swinging that wood, you straight motherfucker.

Seth Goodman@SethGoodman25 2h

Nooooo Jason Collins noooo!!!!

Yeeessss Deal With it Yessss!!!!!!

Andy Griffin@agriffin8 1m

@jasoncollins is the opposite of a role model. He is just another person promoting the decline of our country. #truth#immoral

People who use the hashtag #immoral are a real blast to hang out with.

Busther Gutless@P2_Cold 4m

Why do we care if Jason Collins is gay? Its none of my business

We don’t care about your business.

theMambaGreen@theMambaGreen 7m

@lilricky07 you a faggot ass niqqa. commenting on jason collins.

You show that person who has different preferences than you!

Neither will you, even if you’re not gay. The difference is that only one of you is stupid enough to pretend that he will.

Benghazi has been in the news for months. Jason Collins, one day. #JustSaying #You’reAMoron