Saturday, April 5, 2008

I guess we can take that gun now…



Heston dead at 84.

Borrrrrring...

Trusty Tory @ Home

I really don’t know why DBT doesn’t just provide a link to the CPoC “newsroom” and another one to the Toronto Sun editorial page and be done with it. All he does for the most part is parrot (or reprint verbatim) those two sources of “information” (propaganda) in any case.

Update: Another wicked spanking. That’s gotta hurt.

Sicko (Full Movie!)



It has easily ignored Turkish subtitles, but here’s the whole film. The link might not be around long, so enjoy it while you can.

Update: A new survey reveals that 59 percent of United States physicians now support legislation that would establish a national health care plan while 32 percent oppose the concept. Researchers conducted the last survey tackling the controversial issue back in 2002 when 49 percent of doctors supported the idea and 40 percent did not. The study’s authors contribute the swing in opinions to growing debate on a national health insurance program and more doctors seeing patients suffering “because of increasing deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care.”

Quizzlestick



The world’s most complicated game show.

Real Time: 04/04/08 - Monologue

Spectrum of Conservatism: “Natural Selection” Edition

Getting Things Said

Another edifying response to Bob Fife’s “outrageous” and “dehumanizing” remarks the other night:

Call it natural selection! I’m game for that……Why are we forced to pay against a successfully strong conservative way of thought and opinion? They have unprotected gay sex or use dirty needles or can’t balance a mortgage and it’s our fucking problem??? Enough of these useless turds on society go to hell worm meat (in the most vile Christian sense of the term I could imagine). Bite me you useless, pathetic creatures that natural selection would have cleansed the planet from long ago, saved only by conservative societies construction and then neglect of reason through comfort and complacency!

Again I hope I don’t offend and come across as insensitive to the useless lefty drags on humanity, but die and go away pleeeeease.

Africa is lost to humanity regardless of how much of my money you pump into its illiterate, cannibalistic dictatorships, you fucking assholes!


Today’s “Conservatives”… compassionate, civil and morally superior. At least so they keep telling me. Go figure.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Conversation With Stephen Colbert



Enough of hypocrites and bigoted, hateful maroons. (For a while at least.)

Here’s a video of Stephen Colbert speaking to students at the Harvard Institute of Politics about a year and a half ago. Enjoy!

McBush: Troops & Consequences



Typical right-wing hypocrisy when it comes to supporting veterans. Of course, that could never happen here, right?

The Neverending Irony



Oh, those poor “Conservative” dears…. It seems their delicate feelings are hurt that Bob Fife pointed out the completely obvious on the CTV News last night when he said there were some “knuckledraggers” in the CPoC which is part of the reason Harper has such a restrictive communication policy when it comes to members of his caucus (what some refer to as “gagging” them).

And how do the readers over at SDA express their righteous indignation at Fife’s so-called “bigotry”? By calling him (and others in the dreaded “MSM”): a buffoon; a living corpse; shysters; masturbators; trash; hypocrites; liars; and so on. Many demand not only an apology for his “outrageous” and “dehumanizing” epithet, but also that Fife be fired from his job as well. Others suggest complaining to CTV’s sponsors in an effort to get them to pull their advertising. Notorious troll “John West” chimes in with: “I’ll bet that little shit Fife has never kissed a girl.”

No wild overreaction there.

Update: On the same wavelength it seems. Selective political correctness — how true.

From the Department of Waywayoverdue



With the rare exception (above, for example and even then, only slightly), “Air Farce” has been seriously unfunny for years now. In truth, it hasn’t been amusing since the days when it was on radio. It won’t be missed in the least. Now, if they’d only stop running them on the Comedy Network…

Douglas Bell at Toronto Life sums things up nicely.

No Cigar



Paul over at “Celestial Junk” and a few others beside think they’ve come up with a wickedly clever way of diffusing the outrage over Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski’s bigoted remarks from 1991 — by drawing attention to the remarks of Tommy Douglas on homosexuality from 40 years ago. Specifically, when discussing the decriminalization of homosexuality during the 1968 federal leaders’ debate on Trudeau’s proposed Omnibus bill Douglas said: “Instead of treating it as a crime and driving it underground we ought to recognize it for what it is. It’s a mental illness; it’s a psychiatric condition which ought to be treated sympathetically, which ought to be treated by psychiatrists and social workers.”

Of course, 40 years ago this was the position of the medical establishment (the CMA, AMA and the APA regarded homosexuality as a mental disorder) and the approach of treating it as an illness rather than a criminal perversion was considered “progressive” at the time. How the compassionate (but misinformed) remarks of Douglas equate to Lukiwski’s hateful and ignorant remarks from 16 years ago is difficult to see, but a lot of these “Conservatives” seem unable to tell the obvious difference between the two. That’s because, as I’ve said before, they’re dumb as rocks.

Perhaps instead of minimizing, trivializing and attempting to rationalize Lukiwski’s remarks, these folks should take his own words to heart: “The comments I made should not be tolerated in any society. They should not be tolerated today, they should not have been tolerated in 1991 and they should not have been tolerated in the years before that.” Listen up and learn.

The Spectrum of Conservatism (with updates!)



Today’s “Conservative” Party. What a fine bunch of folks.

Please, do tell us more about that “civility” thing...

Update: Hmmm. On a semi-related note, this is an interesting comment from Kate McMillan:

“Could the butt kissers please ply on something other than my posterior? I get that you support the letter and I thank you, but this whole matter has caused me to question my loyalty to anyone within the so called ‘right’. My readers offer support, but how am to know they won’t be the one's who throw me to the wolves tomorrow? Expect less frequent posting as I'm rather disillusioned at the moment.”

There you go, all you sycophantic, flying monkeys… You’re just potentially treacherous “butt-kissers”. Heh. Too funny. The comment has since been deleted, but you can look at a screen grab here.

Update2: And the “Conservative” reaction? Of course it’s all just a big joke to them. What’s new?

Update3: Irony gets thrown to the wolves. And again...

Update4: Hold the phone... Apparently I’ve been had! According to Kate, the comment was made by someone masquerading as her (or channeling her…). If indeed that’s the case, I apologize for the mistaken assumption and jumping to the wrong conclusion on that basis.

Randi Rhodes Suspended By AAR



I’ve never been able to stand Randi. She’s an obnoxious, egomaniacal windbag (right-wing radio doesn’t have an exclusive franchise on them). It doesn’t surprise me that she’s finally been busted for stepping over the line. You can watch the whole uncensored video here. Of course the Right will have a field day with this.

Good thing stupidity isn’t a “Pre-Crime”



What sort of a horrifically deranged nut-case would defend the notion of driving while intoxicated and rail against laws against drunk-driving as being part of some oppressive “social engineering” conspiracy by atheistic “Progressives” bent on creating a “heaven on earth”? Why look folks, it’s none other than than “Blogging Tory” Frank Hilliard; another one of today’s so-called “Conservatives”… Stephen Taylor must be soooooo proud.

Update: In fairness, not all BTs are complete lunatics. But come on Dante, “genteel and esteemed colleague”? Hopelessly addlepated crackpot more like.

Is AcipHex® Right for You?



Didn’t it occur to anyone that this product has a hilariously unfortunate name? What on earth were the folks at Ortho-McNeil thinking?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hateful, Racist Wingnuts



According to Five Feet of Bowel Obstruction® the above describes “the good old days...”

The video in question from the film “Ghandi” depicts the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on April 13, 1919, where British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1,650 rounds were fired, or 33 rounds per soldier. Official British Raj sources placed the fatalities at 379. According to private sources there were over 1,000 deaths, with more than 2,000 wounded and Civil Surgeon Dr. Smith indicated that there were over 1,800 casualties.

It’s becoming so routine that one shouldn’t really be surprised by Kathy Shaidle’s disgusting racism and yet there’s always an element of shock in realizing that such foul, hateful people are part of the “spectrum of conservatism” in Canada these days.

Yawn…

Not worth the effort

Seriously not worth a response.

You want me to praise an execrable mediocrity like Don Getty? Puh-leeze. Are you serious? Do you have the slightest fucking clue what you’re talking about? I must say, this latest bit of witless, incoherent, shamelessly partisan drivel is beyond stupid — it’s profoundly ignorant to the point of embarrassment. Maybe Dred Tory is willing to take up the pointless task of deconstructing this nonsense, but personally, seeing as you don’t even have the basic integrity to retract a completely outrageous LIE from the other day, I really don’t see much point in the exercise and won’t waste my time.

Oh, and by the way “Alberta Girl”... Bill Davis supported the NEP (He’s another waffling hack that “Trusty Tory” wants me to praise) — good grief you people are dumb as a sack of hammers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

“A vote for the NDP is another vote for the Tories”



From the mouth of a rabid “Conservative” partisan, no less. Quel surprise!

The eternally confounding predicament of the federal NDP.

Irony… Where is thy sting?



You have to love the idea of a new website that caters to “angry journalists” and encourages them to anonymously vent their spleens about “what’s making you upset at your journalism job” given that a good number of the axes they’ve got to grind are aimed squarely at various aspects of the Internet. “Angry Journalist #241” is fairly typical:

I’m angry because my company, just like the rest of the industry, wants me to do more with less. They’ve said, “To hell with quality. Let’s just fill the website with as much shit as possible.”

The usual suspect wheels out her mortified dino graphic to illustrate the presumed demise of the “mainstream media” — Yawn. Of course, the REAL irony is that uppity proponents of the so-called “new media” would be almost completely bereft of substantive content if not for the endless fodder freely provided by actual journalists that’s then exploited for the purposes of deconstruction and critical analysis by these pretentious twats. (And yes, the recursive nature of the irony of me commenting on them remarking about the MSM isn’t lost on me…)

Dumb as Rocks



From Media Matters: On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist repeatedly mocked Sen. Barack Obama’s bowling performance -- which Scarborough called “dainty” -- at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. Deriding Obama’s score, Scarborough said: “You know Willie, the thing is, Americans want their president, if it’s a man, to be a real man.” He added, “You get 150, you’re a man, or a good woman,” to which Geist replied, “Out of my president, I want a 150, at least.” After guest Harold Ford Jr. said that Obama’s bowling showed a “humble” and “human” side to him, Scarborough replied, “A very human side? A prissy side.”

Huh? Since when did bowling 150 make you a “real man”? Good grief, what monumental stupidity. During the last two presidential campaigns, the nitwits that constitute our “so-called liberal media” kept suggesting that George Bush would be “more fun to have a beer with.” You’d really think that the clusterfuck of the past eight years would have shamed them away from such nonsense. But no… as Bob Somerby put it so well some time ago: “let’s face it — nothing will ever stop this crew from bringing these brainless ideas to their work. Your pundit corps is dumb as a rock.”

Whence then is evil?



As I’ve said before, here and elsewhere, I have no patience whatsoever for the Human Rights Commission or the absurd “hate speech” legislation that they and other such institutional bodies are mandated to enforce. Still, I can’t seem to work up a furious sense of righteous indignation about them as seems to be the case with many of our “Conservative” friends for some reason. I wonder why? Well, for starters, maybe it’s because I’m the sort of person who’s disinclined to trash the millions of working poor as “lazy lowlifes” that Kathy Shaidle apparently presumes might be tempted to file scads of discrimination complaints based on their “social condition” (whatever the heck that might be) in order to underwrite the purchase of “…even more lottery tickets, beer, smokes and potato chips” on her dime.

Whatever. But if Five Feet of Bowel Obstruction® really believes this to be the case, then doesn’t that argue, as Liberal spokesbot Scott Reid did much to his misfortune, for the virtue of a state-run early childcare system rather than just doling out a small allowance to parents (or as she calls them “random human being generators”) each month?

Update: Behold the charity of the Prolapsed Catholic — “What? It’s bad to hate poor people now??!! Sheesh.” Are you surprised in the least that this shrill cow and self-loathing welfare queen hates the poor? This is the tragic face of today’s “conservatism” it seems.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The “Spectrum of Conservatism” – Part 2



Apparently, it includes things like this and this. Oh, and this.

There you go. Nazi death threats, advocacy of US annexation and creepy homophobia.

Today’s “New Conservatives” ladies and gentlemen...

Warning: Viewing this video may result in profound boredom and/or significant loss of IQ points. Behold the product of “home-schooling”… Peace out.

The F-Word


Oh yeah… Not that I made a point of observing it, but happy post “Hey, watch your &%$@^@#$ mouth” Day. I can hardly wait to see what follows next…

h/t: Zorpheous (I like this version better because it’s got the cool pic of HST.)

For Scott…


In honour of his delightfully inspired new website, herewith are some Werther's Originals “Simulation-Human Injection Tablets”… Enjoy! (Virtually, of course.)

The “Spectrum of Conservatism”



Need I really say more?

Monday, March 31, 2008

What’s New in the Retard-o-Sphere?

What a Maroon

Unsurprisingly, not much. Doughy pantload and professional freeloader, oops, sorry… “sociology student”… Patrick Ross launches into yet another one of his painfully tiresome, windy and wholly ill-informed attacks on his nemesis and unrequited love-object, Canadian Cynic. This time he builds his ridiculous argument on the feeble contention that Cynic is not a “Progressive”…

Oh dear, here we go again with semantic labels and ideological definitions. In this case, Patrick hangs his baseball cap on a short blurb from the obscure website of some undistinguished outfit called “The Progressive Living Foundation” that defines “progressivism” as follows:

“…a political movement that represents the interests of ordinary people in their roles as taxpayers, consumers, employees, citizens, and parents. To coin a phrase, progressivism champions government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’”

Gee, could that be a little more vacuous or fluffy? One hardly thinks so. Let’s see if we can come up with something more edifying. Wikipedia is often a good place to start:

“…a general branch of political thought which arose as a response to the vast changes brought by industrialization, and as an alternative both to the traditional conservative response to social and economic issues and to the various more or less radical streams of socialism and anarchism which opposed them. Progressivism historically advocates the advancement of workers’ rights and social justice. The progressives were early proponents of anti-trust laws, regulation of large corporations and monopolies, as well as government-funded environmentalism and the creation of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.”

Of course “Progressivism” is a colossally broad, nebulous sort of term and therefore difficult to define with any precision. It’s interesting to note the vast array of disparate individuals deemed to be “progressives” in the Wikipedia entry; from Upton Sinclair to Thorstein Veblen, and Dennis Kucinich to Woodrow Wilson. But to put a somewhat finer point on matters, John Halpin, senior advisor at the Center for American Progress offers up this insight:

“Progressivism is an orientation towards politics, It’s not a long-standing ideology like liberalism, but an historically-grounded concept... that accepts the world as dynamic.”

Unfortunately, this sort of delicate attitudinal nuance is apparently incapable of penetrating Patrick’s fantastically dense mullet, resulting in him just moronically squawking the dimestore mantra that “Progressivism represents the interests of ordinary people.” Well, duh. What political movement doesn’t make similar claims?

Following on from this stupendously dim revelation is a lot of cheap, utterly meaningless blather (over 800 words, all signifying nothing whatsoever) about “Cynic and his coterie of vicious hooligans” that don’t bear repeating or even skimming really, but behold this brilliant gem:

“What either fail to recognize, or fail to admit, is that the freedom for those who disagree with them to express their views without fear of attack or harassment is part and parcel of a progressive social contract in which people -- each presumably as equal as the next -- are permitted to hold to hold their own opinions, recognize their own interests, organize in order to pursue their interests, and express their opinions in that regard.”

Yeah, well I’ll certainly keep that in mind when Frank Hilliard launches into his next spirited defense of the individual rights of people who choose to “pursue their interests” by driving whilst intoxicated or when he starts hysterically shrieking that Halal certification on certain lamb products is a sure sign that the imposition of Sharia Law by the treacherous Islamofascists in our midst is close at hand. Likewise, I’ll try to remind myself to be a little more sensitive to Kate McMillan the next time she endorses the “free speech” of a self-confessed “full time Nazi” who advocates the wholesale murder of homosexuals based on a commandment from Scripture.

Perhaps others can back me up on this, but the last time I glanced at my “Progressive” membership card, I don’t recall there being any requirement that I check my brains at the door and automatically subscribe to the ludicrous notion that all ideas and opinions are of equal merit. I forget the exact wording, but it may in fact even have suggested something to the contrary — that some ideas are catastrophically dumb and therefore quite deserving of being figuratively pilloried and mocked to death. Like say… much of the flatulent nonsense of Patrick Ross.

And so it goes.

The Conservative “Fortress of Knowledge”

Fortress of Stupidity

Who knew such a thing existed? Oh sure, they’ve got a super-sophisticated, high-tech “war room” but an actual “Fortress of Knowledge”… Wow!

Anyway... Would-be “New Conservative” superhero Marc-AndrĂ© Mongeon (a more wonderfully nefarious, deliciously villainous name one couldn’t possibly invent) channels the thoroughly evil, morally bankrupt spirit of Grover Norquist to extol “The brilliance of the GST cut”…

“…governments, particularly those more prone to the tax-and-spend mentality, unless willing to re-up the GST or risk going into a deficit, will be forced to focus on core federal responsibilities and let social policies, including the fiscal room to innovate, to the provinces.”

There you go… The asinine, economically unsound, irrational GST cut is an anti-federalist policy. Brought to you courtesy of the same folks who support states, err, I mean, provincial rights.

Exciting Explosion Activator feature — some assembly required.

Fuck “Civility”

Oh golly gosh, it seems I’ve already broken the first cardinal rule of Canadian Cynic’s facetious “challenge” haven’t I? My bad. Quick… before some of Frank Hilliard’s utopian “Progressives” prevent such an occurrence from taking place… just shoot me.

It would be all too easy of course to side with the morally decent angels and predictable old farts of conventional propriety on this issue and agree with the likes of tiresome fossils like Andy Rooney in their deeply boring assertion that vulgar profanity in our language coarsens and cheapens our discourse, while at the same time having the shameful effect of somehow spiritually degrading us in the process, but I’ve never been able to entirely subscribe to that point of view for some reason. It could be that I come from a long line of grubby, low class coal-miners, or it maybe because it’s just a profoundly dumb idea that somehow manages to continually sustain itself in defiance of reason and is held aloft on little more than the prevailing wind of an elitist prejudice that defies reality.

My dearest friend in the world quite adamantly disagrees with me on this matter and we’ve hashed this out at some length with little satisfaction ever gained on either side. In a former iteration of this blog we discussed the relative merits of the word “fuck” for example and while there was a good deal of interesting discussion about the relative merits of its usage, I’m not sure any of us ever came to much of a definitive conclusion one way or the other.

But let’s turn back to the matter at hand: CC’s “Dumbfuck Wanker Challenge” (the title of which is ironically self-defeating). The presumed intent of this exercise is to be temporarily “civil” and “family friendly” in exchange for a corresponding vow from so-called “conservatives” (aka “wingnuts” or “Blogging Tories”) to avoid being lying, stinking hypocrites for just a day. Sorry, but this just doesn’t seem like much of a wager to me; to the contrary, I’d suggest that it’s pretty much of a foregone conclusion. As such, what’s the point?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

An “Appeal to Liberals”

Bedlam

I really shouldn’t waste my time (or yours) dipping into the fetid pool of stupidity known as “Teh Blogging Tories” but occasionally the temptation is simply too hard to resist.

Attempt to follow the “logic” of addlepated geezer Frank Hilliard at the umpteenth reincarnation of his blog “Mesopotamia West” if you can. According to Frank, the best way for evangelical Blogging Tories to “appeal to Liberals” is to first point out that they’re not in fact “liberals” at all because classical liberals are actually conservatives. After making note of this stupendously obvious, yet wholly irrelevant semantic paradox, Frank then believes it’s important to point out to the sadly misguided folk who regard themselves as Liberals that they’re actually “following a Progressive, statist, communitarian policy agenda” and that “…in truth, real liberals are Conservatives, while faux liberals are Progressives.” Well indeed, perhaps they are. The irony however is that at one time, the beliefs Frank apparently holds in such obvious contempt were strongly adhered to by certain quite influential factions of the Conservative Party, at least amongst those who didn’t subscribe to the “classical liberal” or the “neo-liberal” philosophy that became especially fashionable in the 1980s. So, to sum up the premise of this bizarre “appeal” it requires that one accept that present day Liberals are actually progressive conservatives for the most part and the “New Conservatives” are in fact liberals of one sort or another. There, aren’t you glad that confusing little mess has been neatly sorted out now?

As usual, the real hilarity comes when Frank sets forth his rhetorical arguments attempting to demonstrate why “Only Conservatives are likely to defend the freedom of individual choice.” And what’s his first example of how “Liberals are ready, willing and anxious to get you -- or force you -- to follow their wishes”? Why, it’s yesterday’s “Earth Hour” of course. Perhaps I missed something because I don’t recall there being anything especially “political” about it, or participation in that event being mandatory or even coercive in any way at all. To the contrary, it was entirely voluntary and, if anything, it was all about getting across the message that we have the power as individuals to make responsible energy choices that can benefit the environment. So Frank’s not off to a great start with this one.

Onward. Frank has a second argument aimed at Progressives who “desire to find or create a perfect world with happy, carefree, pacific people.” I’m not sure who these imaginary utopians are — I certainly don’t know any — but for the sake of Frank’s argument, let’s pretend these wooly-headed dopes exist. Frank suggests one criticize the methods employed by these imaginary utopians in pursuit of their “perfect world” which consist of “a combination of a) persuasion and b) coercion.” The example used to illustrate these nefarious, anti-freedom efforts by the imaginary utopian “Progressives” are the draconian regulations prohibiting smoking. Hmmm. Well, here’s another curious choice, but then in a past version of his blog Frank was also an adamant proponent of the rights of drunk drivers, so go figure… Speaking as an inveterate smoker, I’ve got no problem with these regulations. Oh sure, they’re a little annoying now and again, but it’s a pretty indefensible, unhealthy habit in the first place, so not an especially good ground to fight a pitched battle over individual rights on in my opinion. That doesn’t deter Frank however, who contends that smoking is a “natural impulse” (wrong — it’s an addiction and there’s nothing “natural” about it although it could be argued that some people may be more predisposed to such behaviours than others) and then, by leaps and bounds he proceeds to blame “Progressives” for the Prohibition of alcohol in the United States, and the discredited theory of eugenics that played a role in the Holocaust. This of course is based on a very dubious reading of history as proponents of both these movements were by no means exclusively “Progressives” at all. Moreover, Frank quite conveniently overlooks altogether the “War on Drugs” and the continuing prohibition against marijuana which is largely a “conservative” position for the most part these days. It seems that “Conservatives” most certainly aren’t too interested in “defend[ing] the freedom of individual choice” in that particular case.

Frank’s third argument also involves another strawman, this time based on the notion that Progressives are committed to “breeding out aggressive and thrill-seeking and self-centered impulses in humans” supposedly in order create a “heaven on earth.” Frank argues that such a “breeding program” would inhibit our expansion into the solar system… Well, maybe it would, but seeing as no such dystopian “social engineering” like this exists outside the fictional imaginings of Ayn Rand and other fantasists, or is even remotely desired by mainstream “Progressives” such as people who belong to the Liberal Party, it’s a pretty absurd concern.

Where Frank comes up with these kooky ideas is beyond me, but maybe we’re given some insight into the source of his dementia when he waxes poetic about the basis of his faith in God. “I look down the valley at the puffy white clouds scudding along, and I get a sense that this all means something, that it is a whole thing, complete.” Then follows some inane prattling about the matter of free choice, at which point Frank concludes: “That is classic liberalism; that is the Conservative Party of Canada; that is why your friends and associates need, like Saul on the road to Damascus, to see the light.” Ah yes, the “New Conservatives” as divine revelation. What perfect idiocy.

As an occasional Liberal, this “appeal” is certainly compelling, but most definitely not in the way Frank wants it to be. If anything, this is sums up a few of the reasons why I could never, ever support the “New Conservatives” — nor, it should be noted, would I want to be associated with a party that’s apparently crawling with raving lunatics like Frank.

Update: In a bizarre conspiracy of fate (or some calamitous form of serendipity), yesterday, our old friend Red Canuck also coincidentally stumbled into the tenebrous realm of Frank Hilliard’s kooky bedlam (aka “Mesopotamia West”) to briefly explore some of his creepier delusions: “I’ve worked for women, I’ve married women, I enjoy the company of women. OK, ladies, I’m your guy.” Yikes! Well, needless to say, given the decrepit, witless individual in question, I’m with RC on this one — get me a barge pole… Stat!

A Brief History of Disbelief: Shadows of Doubt



I posted Sir Jonathan Miller’s BBC4 series “A Brief History of Disbelief” on a previous iteration of my blog and wanted to do so again here, but have refrained from doing so until now at the behest of someone who found it profoundly “depressing” for whatever reason. Well, tough. It’s too good to miss, and seeing as a lot of videos have a tendency to abruptly vanish for various reasons (copyright infringement, amongst other things), it seems a shame not to give it another viewing while it’s still available online. To quote from the fellow who uploaded it: “So few representatives of atheism provide a compelling and earnest account for unbelief, let alone with the lucidity and intellectual vigor of Jonathan Miller. He is sincere and moving in this attempt to explain and understand the origins of the truth of disbelief of religious superstition and faith.”

Miller is another one of those delightful polymaths that the Brits turn out with alarming regularity for some curious reason. Writer, satirist, physician, stage director, operatic impresario, philosopher and TV presenter… the man is quite wonderfully accomplished at everything he’s turned his hand to over the years. In this first episode called “Shadows of Doubt” Miller starts his journey in the wake of the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and moves on to explore the first “unbelievers” in the ancient world before examining some of the modern theories about why people have always felt compelled to believe in mythology and magic.

Reflecting on “Earth Hour”



So, how painful was that, folks? Flick off a few lights, turn down the thermostat, shut off the TV, power down the computer for a short while… Like any of those minimal gestures impinged in the least bit on your absolutely fabulous “lifestyle” to any appreciable degree, or resulted in the slightest inconvenience at all… not much of a big deal at all really, was it? Of course it was almost entirely symbolic in nature, but that was the point — it wasn’t intended as a solution; at least not beyond bringing to light (so to speak) the obvious message that we have the free will and option to make deliberate choices as individuals about conserving energy and acting in an environmentally responsible manner, and that taken together all of these “small gestures” — as trivial and token as they may be — can collectively amount to something that may not be entirely insignificant in terms of reducing our overall impact on the planet’s finite resources, especially if such practices were to be more routinely exercised as a matter of course.

But quite aside from all that pious, enviro-righteousness, this little exercise served another purpose. And that was to point out (as if we didn’t already know) how absolutely kooky, paranoid and catastrophically stupid the so-called “conservatives” amongst us are when it comes to the addressing the serious environmental challenges we’re presently confronted with. They propose nothing constructive whatsoever and have absolutely ZERO to contribute in terms of making a positive difference. Instead, like the intellectual turtles they are, they recoil into their protective shells and solipsistically imagine that the world around them exists solely for the purpose of satisfying their own greedy, selfish pleasures. Even worse, the reaction of some of their ideological leaders to this initiative was, as some have quite astutely pointed out, one of vandalism and deliberate sabotage. How useless and counterproductive is that? Still others, rather than seeing this as a bit of a personal challenge they could quite easily rise up to meet, chose instead to fantastically imagine that it was some kind of communist conspiracy. What a laughable, pathetic bunch of assclowns.

How on earth can we ever make any headway with respect to the environmental front when these sorts of tragically dim-witted people are the guiding animus driving the CPoC? Is it any wonder that to date the government’s policy on this file as been so totally incoherent, muddled and demonstrably ineffective? The Liberals may not have a lot to crow about in this regard given their embarrassing past record of impotent, yet media-friendly lip-service, but at least they established the regulatory framework needed as a preliminary step towards taking positive action, and under Dion’s leadership, have expressed an apparently sincere willingness to address the problem of climate-change in a more serious fashion. Meanwhile, the “Conservatives” and their supporters appear quite happy to just remain perpetually “stuck on stupid” when it comes to this issue.

While a few lights may have been briefly dimmed for an hour or so last night, at the same time maybe this entirely painless and quite easily managed conceptual exercise has inadvertently provided us with another, highly revealing sort of illumination...

Update:SDA Gets Results!”… Heh. More like Kate McMillan Jumps the Shark.

Small Brain Dead Animal