“Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course, but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is therefore at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.”—Thomas Paine on skepticism.
Set in the near future, “Edge of Apocalypse,” according to Zondervan, “jumpstarts the series as military-hero-turned-inventor Joshua Jordan attempts to save Manhattan from two nuclear missiles. Using his Return to Sender military defense system, Jordan finds himself facing an unbearable ransom to the nation he loves. As tensions escalate and global alliances topple, only Jordan and a secret group known only as The Patriots [!] can save the United States from terrorists abroad and traitors within. Set in the very near future, The End series chronicles the earth shattering events which eventually lead up to the Rapture and the beginning of the prophesied Last Days of mankind.”
The book was released in the same month a Christian* militia group got arrested for a plan to kick-start the engine of apocalypse by way of a good-old-fashioned shootout with Johnny Law. Not to mention, of course, a mere five days after the Tea Party Tax Day Protest-or-Whatever-They’re-Calling-It-Now. Let’s see: distrust of a government seen as “occupiers” and potentially tools of Satan; access to absurdly destructive weaponry; and a religious delusion that encourages an embrace, rather than avoidance, of death. Where have we seen this before…
Tim LaHaye, ladies and gentlemen. The world’s most popular purveyor of Christian jihad porn.
*Sorry, Andrew Sullivan, but they were Christian, not “Christianist.” You don’t get to decide that someone is “not Christian” just because they give you bad PR you disagree with their interpretation of scripture. Believing Jesus legitimately wanted them to bust a cap in a state trooper’s ass might make them bad Christians - you’re certainly free to argue that point - but you don’t get to conveniently redraw the margins around what a “Christian” is every time Cletus Yokel gets hauled before a judge.
The Westboro Baptist Church has announced that it will picket the graduation of Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen who was barred from attending her high school prom after requesting to bring her girlfriend as her date.
Sad but typical. Yet maybe, just maybe, a few residents of Itawamba County, Mississippi, will come out to see Fred Phelps. They will gaze out on his garish carnival of human wreckage; they will hear the croaky ravings escaping his spittle-foamed mouth. And that night, they will go home, and at dinner, or in front of the TV, or over a glass of wine, they will ask themselves: “My God - is that what we look like?”
Yes, Itawamba County. That is what you look like. You’re no better than him.
“…sometimes sex is just sex; it’s what you do when you are married. Just like cleaning the toilet is what you do to keep your house clean…and I bet you don’t have this great desire or huge emotional connection to scrubbing the porcelain! You do it because it needs to be done and that’s the way it is with married sex… it does need to be done! It’s the glue that God gave us to bond us to one another. The bible is very clear that it is your responsibility as a spouse.”—The Internet has allowed me to experience some truly remarkable examples of Bad Religious Writing. But for some reason, none of the anti-abortion screeds, creationist treatises, or eschatological death-worshiping fan-fictions are ever as consistently bizarre as Christian sex advice.
4. Random examples of items which are part of the canon of Camp:
Zuleika Dobson Tiffany lamps Scopitone films The Brown Derby restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in LA The Enquirer, headlines and stories Aubrey Beardsley drawings Swan Lake Bellini’s operas Visconti’s direction of Salome and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore certain turn-of-the-century picture postcards Schoedsack’s King Kong the Cuban pop singer La Lupe Lynn Ward’s novel in woodcuts, God’s Man the old Flash Gordon comics women’s clothes of the twenties (feather boas, fringed and beaded dresses, etc.) the novels of Ronald Firbank and Ivy Compton-Burnett stag movies seen without lust
“Our teachers made us eighth graders take turns listening to the General Assembly with a pair of headphones. Most kids listened for a few seconds and passed them on. I went last, and when I put the headphones on my ears, I couldn’t understand a word. One of the kids before me had switched the dial. I sat at the little desk, turned the knob and heard translations in French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. I didn’t know what the sounds were supposed to be. Where I came from, there was English, the northern New Jersey variety, and that was it. To us, kids from 15 miles south in Hoboken talked funny. I couldn’t stop turning the knob back and forth. One voice sounded like bubbles. Another sounded like knives. The world was full of people who understood what these noises meant. But I’d never know, and it made me feel small. I tried to imagine all these people, who were loyal to their own flags and their own languages, far beyond Fairfield and Roseland and Hackensack.”—Bobby Egan, Eating with the Enemy
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”—
Stephen Hawking on the possibility (probability?) of hostile alien intelligence.
I suspect that this is in the news mainly as a way for the major outlets to pay a lip-service retort to critics who decry the lack of science reporting in the media. Of course, if you’ve got a science story that DOESN’T sound like it could be reduced to a back-of-the-case plot synopsis for a Roland Emmerich film, well, you’re just shit out of luck, friend.
But as far out of my league as it would be to rebut the good Dr. Hawking, AND at the risk of beating the Carl Sagan drum one last, weary time, I think it’s worth noting something Sagan usually mentioned when discussing the topic of extraterrestrial life. As successful as the raid-consume-relocate strategy has been throughout human history, it is not a terribly stable foundation for long-term success as a civilization - or, at the very least, a technological civilization, one that would be capable of interstellar space travel. How often have feared aggressor-states, facing a scarcity of exterior victims, turned to internecine warfare, eventually annihilating themselves? It’s a bit too early to say with any degree of certainty how serious this propensity for self-destruction is for civilizations on the galactic level - but, as long as we’re daydreaming here, it’s worth considering.
If by some strange turn of events it happened that Miley Cirus and a bowl of Chex Mix were running against each other in a campaign for president of the United States, who would win? Which party would be affiliated with whom?
Well, look at it this way: the Democratic party has an established history of choosing ineffectual candidates who are guaranteed to fail against even the most absurd competition. And the Republicans, for their part, are always eager to field an attention-starved diva with no qualifications to speak of. So the second part of your question is right there: Miley = Republican, Chex Mix = Democrat.
As far as which would win, well, no brainer. Even though most of her fans can’t vote (are either too young or incarcerated on sexual assault charges), the aura of celebrity easily sways enough of the drooling troglodytes America tries to pass off as an electorate. Miley in a landslide. Interesting footnote, though: Would her alter-ego life as Hannah Montana play into her administration? “No way in hell will arch-conservative President Cirus sign that health-care reform bill - but what’s this? Bleeding-heart liberal President Montana signed it when no one was looking! Jeepers! What a mess this double-life has lead to!”
Crush, Texas, was a temporary “city” established as a one-day publicity stunt in 1896. William George Crush, general passenger agent of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, conceived the idea to demonstrate a train wreck as a spectacle. About 40,000 people showed up on September 15, 1896, making the new town of Crush, Texas, temporarily the second-largest city in the state.
Some of the debris came down among the spectators, killing three and injuring several more.
The spectacle is the inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people, in which passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity. “The spectacle is not a collection of images,” Debord writes. “rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.”
While you believed it to be a small, inconsequential event, all but forgotten about by those involved, sources confirmed that everybody still vividly remembers every single detail about that embarrassing day, from the frozen look of horror on your pale face, to the pungent stench of semi-digested tuna wafting through the halls.
"Oh, yeah, definitely. The kid who barfed all over his desk," said a former fifth-grade classmate of yours, who can still instantly recall the disgusting guttural sound you made moments before becoming ill. "Of course I remember."
Microchips, the woman began, “infringe on issues that are fundamental to our very existence. Our rights to privacy, our rights to bodily integrity, the right to say no to foreign objects being put in our body.”
She spoke of the “right to work without being tortured by co-workers who are activating these microchips by using their cell phones and other electronic devices.”
She continued. “Microchips are like little beepers. Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission,” she said.
It was not funny, and no one laughed.
“Ma’am, did you say you have a microchip?” asked state Rep. Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold).
“When Adam ate the apple,
God took away the tree.
But Adam didn’t wallow
In hopeless misery.
He finished up the apple
And planted all the seeds
Now Adam has an orchard
Where God had had a tree”—Matthew Lorimer Miller
“[Glenn] Beck’s “principles” are horrifically unprincipled, which is to say that they were created backwards. These are not the principles from which his political agenda emerges, these are post-facto rationalizations used to bolster a predetermined (but variable) political agenda.”—Slacktivist on Glenn Beck’s 9/12 project