Thursday, February 01, 2007

The War Pigs Take On Iran

The lyrics to Black Sabbath's War Pigs is easy enough to find (hint: link here). I'm almost embarrassed to say that when I first heard the song, it was a Faith No More cover.

But that's the song that came to mind when I saw this piece about Iran vs. Iraq rhetoric. I've been of the opinion for the last few months that we're on the same train to a different depot without the means for careful analysis. Mr. Olberman, Mr. Olberman, please stop about Iran. You're scaring the kids.

Nevermind. We need it. Even the former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has warned us. It's underlined.

It looks like we are going to attack or invade Iran. The thing that frightens me the most is that the complacency of Americans is so high, that many of us were almost surprised when we did invade Iraq. The pattern is repeating itself. We have a tough enough time learning from history that is 200 or 500 or 2000 years old. We are destined to repeat ourselves, to slip back down, below the surface of rationality before we've even taken a breath.

Our only hope is that Bush would eat a baby. Maybe some folks would wake up, take notice, and try to understand what is going on before it happens.

Friends of God, Amen

Two days ago I wrote:

And if you're not completely convinced that the religious influence in the government is working to unravel the basis of good, solid science, please try to catch "Friends of God" on HBO. Okay, you lazy ass, here's the schedule.

That was when I had the documentary on DVR and had heard good things about it. I watched it last night. Every word I wrote is true, and then some. The evangelical movement in America is a travesty of rational thought and the scientific method. There is one guy in particular looking at Job 40 in the Bible, and saying "behemoth" is a dinosaur. That's after he tells a bunch of kids that evolution is silly / the world's only a couple thousand years old, and before he sings a song about people living with dinosaurs (the picture of the harnessed dino pulling the cart is adorable). Did I mention these are kids? Arrgh!

Evangelicals get the WTF Award today.

Watch "Friends of God" on HBO (schedule here). Get angry. You will be a better person for it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is it Getting Warm in Here?

It's happening again, he said, as if it had ever stopped.

Today's NY Times gives us the punch:

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.

Holy shitcakes.

Bush has a hand in every agency, in every issued report, in every word that comes from the government. Okay, calm down. It's not that bad. What? We have to rely on this policy for some of our basic protections? Hey I said calm down.

It's not like the President of These United States put pressure on anyone to mis-report anything scientific, such as global warming. Or oversees a government that would allow the National Park Service to sell a book that explains the Grand Canyon as created by Noah's Flood.

Who am I kidding? It's happening and has been happening ever since we've had that evangelical asshat in office. I enjoyed (and shook my fist after reading) Phil Plait's blog entry back in July of '06. The process is as appalling as it is ubiquitous.

I'm not going to get into all the filthy aspects of how the government treats oil, global warming, or creationism (they all deserve the same amount of outrage), but it is all based in a sick, sad philosophy that I am more convinced every single day is based solely on Religion and Money. The two have been dating for centuries, occasionally accompanied by that strumpet Control. Bush, in this analogy, is like the fashionable gay friend, ushering them off to the glam world where they can enjoy themselves and he can look good.

And if you're not completely convinced that the religious influence in the government is working to unravel the basis of good, solid science, please try to catch "Friends of God" on HBO. Okay, you lazy ass, here's the schedule.

For letting it get this bad, the entire United States Government gets the WTF Award.

"It is right to give Him thanks and praise."
- Catholic Mass

Do you think the president would think they were talking about him?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Glenn Beck is a Tremendous Douchebag

I have to hand it to Glenn Beck; he has made a career out of saying things that fire up his detractors while simultaneously making sense to his devoted listeners. It's hard to strike a balance on that fence. </admiration>

I used to listen to Beck on the radio about five/six years ago when I was working building sets for a community theatre. I found about 1/3 of his ranting relevant. 1/3 didn't interest me. 1/3 made me shout expletives at the radio. But around the time of the 2004 election, folks like Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity became even more polarized than I'd ever noticed. Or maybe they were always like that and I was, for the first time, making note of it. They had all become mouthpieces for the administration, cheerleaders for war.

Radio to TV, daily shows expanded, and the wingnut media bled finally bled into mainstream television in May of 2006 with Glenn Beck's show. The parts I've seen have inflamed my anger and lowered my tolerance towards ignorance. I was actually in the process of compiling reconstituted pieces of his mindless logorrhea when his audio appeared on NPR. And Think Progress beat me to it. From their story, some of Beck's more memorable bits:

The anti-gay slur "faggot" is nothing more than "a naughty name." [1/23/07]

"What happened to the Duke lacrosse team was practically a lynching without the rope. And for the first time in my life, Mr. Oreo Cookie without the chocolate on the outside can understand why people celebrated when O.J. Simpson was acquitted." [1/15/07, using a racial slur for African-Americans that refers to being black on the outside and white on the inside]

"[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'" [11/14/06, on what he would like to say to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first elected Muslim member of Congress]

"I wonder if I’m alone in this — you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims’ families? Took me about a year." [9/9/05]

"And that’s all we’re hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we’re seeing on television are the scumbags." [9/9/05]

Interestingly, the story talks about how Beck criticized Limbaugh and divisive rhetoric in a classic pot/kettle moment (don't worry, he's categorically denied that he meant what he said).

I impetus of the onus to create this entry was the "naughty name" comment. "Faggot" is a naughty word, but it's also a slur, which has its roots in bigotry, which has its roots in ignorance. GLADD's pissed. And CNN is backing him. Makes no difference: Glenn Beck wins the WTF Award.

All these guys, but Beck in particular, remind me of the kid in Jr. High and High School who always talked shit; he never had much logical reasoning, but always had an audience. That kid grew up and got a radio show. Then a contract with CNN. And that kid's audience grew up too and they pined for his tales and antics and eventually found their surrogate on the AM dial or cable news.

Which leaves me. And while the Nancy Grace / Glenn Beck evening combo congeals into the most unwatchable four hours of television nightly, I watch on occasion. Because it's good to know what idiots heads are being filled with. Because, every once in a while, it's good to clench your jaw, shake your fist, and shout naughty names at the television.

"One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say."
- Will Durant