August 14th, 2009


From Twitter 08-13-2009

  • 08:04:50: When you think about it, "Don't Wake Daddy" is a pretty disturbing idea for a board game.
  • 08:14:44:
    A book on the Muhammad cartoons won't include the actual cartoons.
  • 08:16:47: Last night, I heard that the guy who killed Dr. Tiller refused to pay his child support.
  • 08:17:06: I guess he's one of the growing crowd of people who believe life begins at conception...and ends at birth.
  • 08:18:01: Don't worry. Don't bring yourself down. Don't let your mind chase you like a hound.
  • 08:19:28: A corporate merger is a "stratospheric journey."
  • 08:20:22: Had a dream that I was explaining the plot of "The Giant Horse of Oz," except it included Mario characters and an optometrist.
  • 08:21:28: People DO wear glasses in Oz, so I have to wonder if there are optometrists there. I think the one in my dream worked for King Cheeriobed.
  • 11:51:16: Some dream that took place in a garage involved my dad getting a car stuck at the bottom of some stairs, and my being hired to clean up.
  • 11:54:41: @themall Did he hear that's where he could find the best hookers?
  • 12:31:25: I also had a dream about being a missionary, despite not being convinced of the truth of the religion I was preaching.
  • 13:12:06: I've always thought it a bit odd that there's a poem in a Thompson Oz book that ends with the line, "We'll all be slaughtered in our beds."
  • 13:12:29: Of course, Baum himself came up with, "To cut me don't hurt, for I've no blood to squirt."
  • 13:41:37: You know, if prostitution were legalized, it might make hookers less of a target for serial killers. And it would please Pat O'Brien!
  • 13:45:28: Now you think you're sad, but you never have been sad.
  • 13:53:18: Has anyone seen any "ask me" buttons recently? Maybe John Flansburgh got over his shyness and actually DID burn them.
  • 14:07:31: I'm not totally comfortable with the expression "the customer is always right." Does that include the customers who switch price tags?
  • 14:11:24: Bad rumors tend to stick in our heads even when they're obviously not true. I still think of gerbils in association with Richard Gere.
  • 14:12:44: That's part of why the death panel talk is effective. The simple thought that Obama's plan is controversial is enough to arouse suspicion.
  • 14:39:51: A comic book about animal feed. Now I've seen everything!
  • 14:43:56: Why am I always on a plane or a fast train?
  • 15:43:58: I didn't even know "Les Paul" was a person's name. I thought it was just a brand name, like "J. Crew" or something.
  • 15:44:30: The optometrist visit was quick and painless. I'm apparently slightly nearsighted, but I don't need glasses yet.
  • 19:12:14: Our waitress at Friendly's looked like Sarah Palin. Maybe it WAS her, forced into the food service industry because of all those lawsuits.
  • 19:41:57: You Suck at Craigslist
  • 21:44:20: Is "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" actually about Lady Gaga?
  • 21:55:22: Jimmy Olsen gets married, and Superman turns into a mole.

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God Hates Fantasy

Hey, guess what I came across! It's another fundamentalist author about how fantasy is turning kids to Satanism! A large portion of the article focuses on Twilight, and from what I've heard of that series, it DESERVES to be bashed. Not in the way Pastor Joe does it, though. Harry Potter is another target, but what particularly caught my attention is that there's some stuff about The Wizard of Oz.

Are you at all surprised to find that Pastor Joe is willing to accept any source that goes along with what he already believed? If you are, you haven't read very many articles by fundamentalists. He starts out with a quote from MTV News, of all places, about the popularity of Wicca. Did Iann Robinson tell you that, Pastor? :P He also includes a fair amount of quotes from Anton LaVey, because why WOULDN'T a fundamentalist Christian accept the word of the founder of the Church of Satan as valid? It's not like Satan is the Father of Lies or anything, after all! Really, from what I've heard about LaVey's variety of Satanism, most of its rituals are parodies anyway, so Pastor Joe is accepting information on magic (which he apparently DOES believe in) from a group that quite likely doesn't. Really convincing, Joe!

Speaking of Satan, don't fundamentalists typically believe that most people are bound for Hell anyway? Then why would the Devil play all these games and influence all these fantasy authors and Hollywood filmmakers if he doesn't get any more out of it than he would have by default? Yet, in Pastor Joe's mind, imagination itself is the work of the Devil. Seriously. Because Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling refer to the characters and situations as having sprung into their heads, Joe thinks they must have been put there by evil spirits. I'd have to suspect that an evil spirit would be able to come up with something better than Meyer's poorly written abstinence porn, but maybe Satan got one of his lesser agents for her. ("We don't need the Lord of the Flies for this one. How about the Lord of the Dust Mites?") But not only is emotion bad, but knowledge in general. The pastor criticizes the Gnostic notion, apparently shared by the Mormons, that Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit was ultimately a good thing. But if that was the fruit that gave knowledge of good and evil, then is Joe saying that this knowledge is a bad thing, and we SHOULDN'T be aware of the difference between good and evil? Then what the hell are you trying to do with this article, Joey? Maybe YOU'RE the one who's actually on Satan's side! {g}

While the Oz part is fairly short, my fandom makes it pretty much necessary for me to address it. Not surprisingly, the pastor mentions Baum's membership in the Theosophical Society. From what I've gathered, Theosophy was basically one of those New Age systems of belief that mixes in elements from a whole bunch of different religions and philosophies, often with no regard for their original context. While Theosophy includes some rather offensive beliefs, like the idea of the root races, I haven't heard anything about their thinking Satan was good. How much of Theosophy Baum actually accepted isn't really clear. I know he used the idea of elementals that Blavatsky apparently got from Paracelsus (which is one of Button-Bright's many middle names, by the way) in his writings, but did he actually BELIEVE that there were fairy-like creatures inhabiting the air? I'm not sure there's any way to know. Pastor Joe points out that, in Wizard, "Baum’s channeled message doesn’t only teach children that there are 'good' witches, but the message of Glinda (the 'good' witch) to Dorothy was that she didn’t have to look outside herself for answers. 'You've always had the power…' Glinda reveals to Dorothy." Except that line was from the movie, not the book. Did the pastor ever actually READ Wizard? Probably not, since he seems pretty unfamiliar with all of the books he's bashing. He also writes, "Harry Potter seduces young people into Wicca and other neo-pagan worldviews and practices through the lure of occult power and the lie that you, too, can become like God." Yeah, remember when Harry made his own world, populated it with living beings, judged them for their deeds, and sent a forty-day rain to kill most of them? Because I don't. Rowling herself has stated that she believes in God, not magic, but the problem is that people like our pastor here believe in BOTH.

And I've addressed this topic before, but from what I know of Wicca, anyone turning to that because of the way magic works in the Harry Potter or Oz books (or many other fantasies, for that matter) would probably be severely disappointed. Oddly enough, storybook magic strikes me as working much more scientifically.