September 6th, 2009



  • 01:35 Link: The 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullshit Animal Facts - Yes, lemmings and ostriches are both in there. #
  • 13:14 @JaredofMo That's a loose end I haven't seen addressed before. I'd say to go for it! #
  • 13:15 @TheRealTavie Are you developing a drinking problem? #
  • 13:17 @TheRealTavie Did they know each other growing up? #
  • 13:19 @NowIsStrange At least you don't mix up Gary COLEMAN and Geoffrey Ru
    sh! #
  • 13:20 Putting iTunes on random means hearing "Knights in Shining Karma" a lot. Good thing I like that song. #
  • 13:20 I actually didn't like it that much the first few times I heard it, but it grew on me. Besides, how can I resist a punny title like that? #
  • 13:21 @NowIsStrange I just figured he chose to become a ghost so he could chase Pac-Man. #
  • 13:22 I don't think I could be a mythological hero. I wouldn't be comfortable posing in the nude. #
  • 13:23 The fact that I'd be useless against monsters is only a secondary concern, as I'm sure a
    magic sword or something would do most of the work. #
  • 13:25 @oz_diggs I can see elements of Neill, Martin, and Shanower in your Tin Woodman. (Their art styles, that is, not actually THEM.) #
  • 13:33 @oz_diggs I love the Cowardly Lion's face in that picture. #
  • 13:36 @3x1minus1 Is there such a thing as diet grape soda? #
  • 14:34 @oz_diggs Not sure. Is it that the hand Notta is using to point to himself is backwards? #
  • 14:43 .nac uoy sa g
    nol sa rof lanimilbus eht otni eratS #
  • 14:59 Photo: trixietreats: #
  • 15:53 Video: James “Angry Video Game Nerd” Rolfe reviews Weapons & Warriors, and, in my personal favorite part,... #
  • 16:59 Many traffic lights and lift buttons are actually placebo buttons – in other words, they do nothing at all... #
  • 17:01 Photo: I think these deserve to be framed, not eaten. samuraifrog: #
  • 17:03 Yesterday was Beyonce's birthday. If you like it, then you should have put candles on it. #
  • 17:29 Photo: thedailywhat: #
  • 17:34 Photo: They had some bizarre promotions back in the day. snuh: #
  • 17:54 Link: Could Texas' Gingrich-Based High School History Curriculum Go National? - And you thought public... #
  • 18:39 @TheRealTavie But you can't get drunk (eaten?) on food. #
  • 18:40 RT @comicgoodness "Jesus! Save me!" [Comic] #comics #
  • 18:41 @MikeConway Probably. I think doing an Oz CRPG based on the movie instead of the books is a seriously wasted opportunity. #
  • 18:42 @oz_diggs Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Woozy only got a few brief mentions in Thompson, one of which said he was made of wood. #
  • 18:56 @DVDBoxSet Not to MY country! This is a CHRISTIAN nation! #
  • 19:13 Photo: Watch out for the flying hobo, long-haired woman!
    mudwerks: Artist: Yoshitoshi (100 Phases) Date: 1886... #
  • 19:15 @therealtavie How come YOUR hair isn't this long? {g} #
  • 19:27 Photo: #
  • 22:23 @oz_diggs She didn't use Cap'n Bill much either, and largely neglected Button-Bright. But the latter was probably lost the whole time. #
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Biblical Babes

The Bible shows obvious signs of being written by a culture that didn't appreciate women very much. Women were responsible for original sin, goad their husbands into worshipping foreign gods, and aren't supposed to speak in church. That said, a few stories with female protagonists somehow managed to work their way into the canon. Only two or three books (depending on whether you're a Protestant or a Catholic) were named after women, however, and those are Ruth, Esther, and the deutero-canonical Judith.

Ruth - This is one of the more popular books of the Bible, and with good reason. While earlier Biblical references bash the Moabites, who are said to be the product of Lot's incest with his own daughter and not to be permitted into the congregation, here we see a woman of Moab become assimilated into Israelite culture through marriage. After the death of her first Israelite husband Mahlon (which actually means "sick," while his brother Chiliom's means "weakening"; giving your kids names like those is just ASKING for trouble), she follows her mother-in-law Naomi, accepting her culture and religion. This includes following the law of the Levirate marriage, and marrying Mahlon's relative Boaz. Their great-grandson David goes on to be King of Israel, giving this book political significance as well. I'm not sure how much of this book is actually accurate--even if David really was the great-grandson of a Moabite named Ruth, I don't know how the writers would have had access to her life story, and some of the names appear to be symbolic rather than realistic--but it's a tale with a positive message.

Esther - I said a little about this book here, but I didn't talk much about Esther herself. When the Persian King Ahasuerus becomes dissatisfied with his wife Vashti, he chooses the Jewish Esther to be her replacement. When the king's official Haman devises a plot to exterminate the Jews throughout the Persian Empire, Esther approaches her husband without being called for, and reminds him that her cousin and adoptive father Mordecai had earlier saved the king from an assassination attempt. Interesting that Esther got her position because Vashti was disobedient to her husband, yet she saved her people by being disobedient herself. It looks like the majority opinion is that Esther was written in the third or fourth century BC, yet Haman's plot to kill off the Jews specifically (as opposed to merely treating them as yet another enemy state, as the Babylonians probably did) seems to me to fit the persecutions of the Greek Antiochus Epiphanes more than anything that happened during the period of Persian rule. The basic idea can apply to a lot of different periods of Jewish history, however. It's crazy how some Christians, especially during the era of the Crusades, used a holy book that INCLUDED the Book of Esther in defense for being latter-day Hamans, but rationalizing violence is unfortunately something that humans have always done well. Incidentally, I understand that Martin Luther hated Esther and wished he could remove it from the canon, but I'm sure I'll have more to say about that foul-mouthed, anti-semitic founder of Protestantism in a future post.

Judith - It's kind of a shame that the book starring the biggest female badass in the Bible (or the Apocrypha, anyway) is so historically inaccurate, but such is obviously the case. This woman takes charge when her fellows are cowering in fear, and uses her feminine wiles to get the invading general Holofernes drunk, allowing her to assassinate him.

I'm not sure what I'll cover next week, but I'm thinking of Job.


So, this Tuesday is when President Obama is going to address schoolchildren with his radical socialist message that they should stay in school and work hard. This is apparently considered "indoctrination" by some visible conservatives. Obviously every president is going to be scrutinized and criticized, but Obama can't even do anything as innocuous as killing a bug, proposing a new health care plan, giving a speech, or tying his shoe (well, probably; I don't think that one has happened quite yet) without someone trying to paint him as a foaming-mouthed madman. My childhood was full of Reagan and Bush Sr. coming on TV to tell kids that they should say no to drugs. Was that also indoctrination? Hey, maybe it WAS! Well, I'll show those presidents for thinking they can tell things to children! I'm taking my non-existent kids out of school on Tuesday, AND I'm going to get them to start shooting smack!

Not only is our duly elected leader a notorious socialist, anti-insectite, and bad influence on kids, however, but he's also the Antichrist. Seriously, this guy must be busy, which is more than I can say for the last president.

Yes, if you play crazy word games that involve translating two words of some quotation of Jesus that was probably a paraphrase anyway into a different language, you can come up with something that, if you take a few liberties with the pronunciation, maybe sounds sort of like "Barack Obama"! Now THAT'S what I call proof!

Never mind that the idea of the Antichrist isn't really Biblical anyway. Yes, the TERM "antichrist" is used to refer to people who are against Christ, but the idea of this one guy who's essentially Bizarro Jesus is a later development. But people who like the Antichrist idea associate him with the conquering horseman and seven-headed beast of Revelation. This beast is given authority over and worshipped by the entire world, aside from those whose names are written in the Book of Life (which typically seems to consist of the members of whatever denomination is interpreting the story). So people who believe in the Antichrist concept fear any attempts at a government for the whole world, despite the fact that such a thing is slightly less likely than chickens learning to talk. Seriously, some people believe that EVERYONE who isn't the right sort of Christian will worship this beast? Even atheists? Come on, even if he DOES find some miraculous way to bring peace to the world and wins billions of converts worldwide, there will eventually be schisms of some sort. Maybe there will be disputes over which of the beast's heads is the most powerful, or whether the seven heads are all actually aspects of ONE head, or whether it's proper to have the Number of the Beast marked on the forehead or the right arm. This is, after all, essentially what history has shown happening plenty of times.

Now, if we examine the Book of Revelation in its historical context, it makes more sense. Many scholars think that the document is the product of a time when the conquered peoples of the Roman Empire were required to at least pay lip service to the cult of the Emperor. As was the case during the Greek occupation of Judea, the Jews (and at the time of Revelation, Christianity was still a sect of Judaism) took their monotheism seriously, and refused to even claim to worship someone else. In fairness, the Bible records the Jews themselves as having done a fair amount of religious persecution back in the days of the two kingdoms. And when Christianity became the prevailing religion in Europe, not only were people forced to at least pretend to believe what the Church taught, but the persecution of the people whose holy book they'd appropriated was an official policy. But I think if you look beyond the stuff about how followers of Yahweh and Jesus are cooler than everyone else, I see the message here and in other books concerning persecution (like Daniel and Esther) being that the state attempting to curtail religious freedom and set itself up as worthy of worship is a Bad Thing. I guess the "America is a Christian nation" crowd wouldn't agree with me, but I have to wonder how many of them have read either the Bible or an American history textbook.

But getting back to Obama, what has he done to suggest that he's the Antichrist? Tried to conquer the world? Forced people to get forehead tattoos? Set up a fascist cult to worship him? Not as far as I can tell. Yeah, I guess all that is supposed to happen later, but if he didn't have SOME trait associated with the Antichrist, how would anyone even know ahead of time? And from what I've heard, the reason people think he's the Antichrist is that...he's charismatic. Like Hitler, according to some Godwin's Law invokers. Well, yeah, Hitler WAS charismatic, but so are and were many other leaders, regardless of whether they caused more harm or good. That's how a lot of them got to BE leaders. So, yeah, even if I were someone who believed in the Antichrist, I think I would have to have a little more evidence than a few word games and a trait that millions of other people throughout history have had before I'd start to consider any particular person for that role.

Wow, that entry turned out pretty long, when I'm sure I could have gotten my point across by writing, "Gee, some people say really stupid things about the President." But I guess I just can't resist an excuse to wax philosophical on religious mythology.