Thursday, November 16, 2017

Evangelicals and Child Brides

The dirty little secret of Christian evangelicals is the acceptance of older men creeping on young girls.
The biblical justification for this is Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her.

There it is for horny fundamentalist men. God approves of rape as long as she is a virgin and you pay the father.

Among Old Testament evangelical Alabamans nothing Roy Moore has done is wrong. Child molestation is God approved. Hell, even the payment to the father and marriage parts would only apply if he had been discovered at the time. Or, as Moore's semi-literate lawyer put it, "Culturally speaking, obviously there's differences."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Longest Movies Ever Made

Movie goers tend to dislike movies that run much over two hours, which is about as long as they can hold in the pee after drinking one of those huge concession stand drinks. That hasn't stopped some directors from making real bladder busters.

Logistics - Longest Movie Ever (5 weeks)
At 51,420 minutes, Logistics by Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson follows, in real time, in reverse order, the complete process of a pedometer from end sale, through shipping, back to its manufacturing in China. Much of the film is of a container ship sailing backwards across the oceans. Boredom Index 10 out of 10.

Empire - Longest Famous Movie (8 hours)
In 1964, Andy Worhol followed up his five hour snoozefest Sleep, showing a guy sleeping, with this film of the Empire State Building. That's it. A six and a half hour static shot of the top of the building shown in slow motion for a third of a day. Called an "influential cinematic work" by the Museum of Modern Art, it is listed as culturally significant by the Library of Congress. Boredom Index 10 out of 10.

Greed - Longest Famous Director Movie (8 hours)
Erich Von Stromheim's 1924 silent masterpiece. It tells the story of a woman who wins the lottery and becomes obsessed with money. She refuses to spend a penny forcing her and her husband to live in grinding poverty while she protects her horde. Her husband kills her for the money, flees to the desert where he ends up handcuffed to a corpse unable to reach either the money or water.

MGM executives were aghast at the length.  They cut the movie down to a still long for the time two hours and twenty minutes, butchering the story. The film flopped. Only eight people are known to have seen the now lost original film.

Silent film cameraman Karl Brown said in the 1980 TV documentary Hollywood that Stromheim developed an "insane desire to use his genius as a weapon." He would force studios to spend "millions and more millions until he had a beautiful monstrosity that is worthless except as a curiosity piece." He would prove his genius and have his vengeance against the world.

Lord of the Rings - Longest Great Movie (11 hours, 21 minutes)
Peter Jackson's magnus opus made almost $3 billion worldwide, garnered 17 Academy Awards and spawned another magnus, The Hobbit, that earned an additional $3 billion. There is nothing I can add except that Jackson outdid Stromheim by three hours and pulled it off to boot.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Republicans Define Christianity: Roy Moore Edition

Suffer little children and forbid them not, to come unto me ~ Matthew 19:14
Bible Belt Republicans are the dictionary definition of holier than thou. They claim to speak for God Himself on all things political. The revelation that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore used his power and reputation as an assistant DA in 1979 to abused a 14 year-old child, and other girls as well, has led his supporters to a rousing defense of the godliness of child molestation.

State Auditor Jim Ziegler famously said the assault was neither immoral nor illegal (by Alabama law it was a felony) because the Virgin Mary was the same age when she became pregnant with Jesus.
Or, to put it most irreverently, because God knocked up a fourteen year-old, it is an act of faith for Moore to fondle a girl the same age. *Footnote here, the Bible never states Mary's age, only that she was a virgin living at home at the time of impregnation. Fourteen is a common guess but some pedophilic Christians claim Mary was a prepubescent twelve year-old.
I have no doubt that the "good Christians" of Alabama will, in their faith, joyfully vote a pedo into the US Senate because he is a God fearing bigot.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Rats In the News

If you expand your vision there are many species of rats.

Mob Rat (Rattus Offeret)
Known by their habit of squealing when cornered. Robert Mueller is trying to live capture these animals. George Papadopoulos is one famous mob rat, Carter Page will probably be another.

Sewer Rat (Rattus Bannonus)
Found frequently and most comfortably wallowing in shit. Sewer rats hate anything good, decent, and kind. It is said that even Satan vomits at the sight of Steve Bannon. Most commonly found in rural, poor, uneducated white communities where they are attracted by the sight of Confederate flags, the smell of gun oil, and the blood of innocents. Sewer rats consider treason a noble profession.

Scaredy Rat (Rattus Naufragio)
Naufragio is Latin for shipwreck. The number of Republicans in Congress abandoning ship and skedaddling home is growing by the week. These rats know when a ship is sinking and get while the getting is good.

Trump Rat (Rattus Pirata)
A subspecies of the Sewer Rat, these rats love to clamor aboard sinking ships and take them over. They don't actually do anything when they are in charge, they just run around and shit on everything. The appearance of a horde of Trump rats is always a harbinger of disaster. Considered the dumbest rat species, although Trump rats will tell you they have the bigliest brains ever.

Roof Rat (Rattus Rattus)
I had these little bastards first raiding my bird feeders and then invade my attic. You don't know creepy until you've had to listen to those furry fuckers scurry around overhead every night. I've started mixing my seed with a habanero chili solution that does not bother birds but chases away mammals. As for my attic, I hired a company, Attic Construction, great guys, to rat proof my attic. The first night I heard the rats gnawing at the new steel screens over my attic vents, it sounded like someone filing jail cell bars. After that, blessed silence.

Getting rid of rats is a glorious feeling we should all try.

Personal Note: Yes, I took a month off. I had run out of things to write about. While Trump is enraging, he is such a simpleton it takes no effort to figure out what he's up to. He's incredibly boring. I needed time to regenerate my creative juices.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Sports Curmudgeon's Complaints

One of the wonderful things about getting older is becoming a curmudgeon. A young curmudgeon is dismissed as a brat or a bitch but when you get old being a curmudgeon is expected and even considered kind of cute.

Official Replays
No touchdown, no home run, no goal, no great catch or impossible shot is legitimate until it has been subjected to official review. I understand the intention is to "get every call right" but the result is to drain the electricity from an athletic event. All the excitement grinds to a stop as the referees stop everything so they can watch a little television.

Football, of course, is the worst offender but baseball and ice hockey are catching up. Basketball and soccer are still mostly immune from this contamination.

Absurd Celebrations

Every sport suffers from this epidemic, although pro football is the worst. At best the players just look like a fool like when Odell Beckham acted like a dog peeing on the field after a touchdown reception. Then there are the athletes who injure themselves celebrating. In addition to the ones in the clips above there was golfer Thomas Levet who broke his leg celebrating winning the French Open and Indian soccer player Peter Biaksangzuala who died after breaking his neck doing a backflip after a scoring goal.

There is a classic quote in football attributed to several players and coaches, "When you go into the end zone, act like you've been there before."

The Student-Athlete Lie
This one dates back to well before I was born. Colleges started paying people to play sports for them back in the 1870's and even then they found ways to disguise the payments as charity and entered them into non-degree programs so studying wouldn't interfere with their athletic duties. Basically, these dodges are still used today.

Besides the phony "paper classes" described in the links, the scholarship system is constructed to treat the athletes as indentured servants. High schoolers are required to sign "letters of intent" binding them to a university while the university can cancel their scholarship offer at any time up to the first day of class. Even four year scholarships can be withdrawn for any reason such as a career ending injury or the coach recruiting a better running back. The promise of a college education is hollow.

Publicly Funded Arenas
No politician knows how to steal from taxpayers like billionaire sports team owners. Thanks to a corrupt deal made by then Mayor Rudy Guiliani, the city and state of New York was stuck with a $1.2 billion bill for constructing a new stadium for the Yankees and an additional $600 million for the Mets new digs. The Yankees are the second richest franchise in sports and could easily have afforded to built the stadium without ripping off the public.

Across the country, sports teams are blackmailing cities with threats to move elsewhere if they don't get gold-plated pleasure domes. While the extortion is almost always rejected by the public if they get to vote on the matter, like in San Diego last year, local politicians are easy marks willing to open the municipal coffers so they can continue getting autographed photos of star athletes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Trump's Wildfire Dilemma

If Trump thinks about it (okay, tall order) he will have a quandary over how to feel about the deadly California wildfires.

California voted overwhelmingly for Hillery Clinton, but
The parts on fire voted for Trump.

Breitbartians and their ilk like to call the state the People's Republic of California, but
Many of the fires are in the portion of California that wants to break away and form the Free State of Jefferson.

California is proudly multicultural, but unlike Houston, south Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
The fires victims are mostly white, Trump's people.

Trump hate the Hollywood elites, but
Hollywood isn't burning.

Caring about the fire victims requires empathy, a trait Trump long ago purged from his withered soul as part of his contract with Satan. I expect Trump will resolve the dilemma the way he does with all human suffering, figuring out how he and his buddies can profit financially from their pain.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Long National Nightmares Are Exhausting


US Virgin Island
The Daily Beast has precisely described how I've been feeling the last couple of weeks. The neverending displays of presidential juvenility, the wanton neglect of Americans living in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (the forgotten disaster), the mainstreaming of open racism, and the reckless warmongering are so fucking tiresome.

I'm not depressed so much as fed-up. I'm fed-up with a president that daily displays a sociopath's capacity for compassion. A Veep who will waste a quarter of a million dollars on a cheap stunt. A cabinet loaded with grifters where the only sin is apologizing for stealing public money.

There is the Republican Congress possessed by a paralyzing fear of being caught doing or saying something intelligent or, God forbid, honest lest they be targeted by the fascist wing of their party.

Then there is the growth of American fascism itself. Race hatred is more open now than any time in the past half century. There is a longing for wars, not of conquest but wars of annihilation. Breitbart fascism is far from a majority in the United States but it is never the goal of fascists to be a majority. Their goal is to have a nation where everyone else is afraid to state a contrary opinion. Fear is the goal. Fear will keep everyone is line.