There’s this guy I work with, a big, roly-poly good ol’ boy (that’s the good kind of redneck). Full of Southern pride, middle-aged, somewhat conservative, a truck driver. At a glance, you’d think his musical taste ran from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams to maybe the Allman Brothers Band and Black Oak Arkansas.
Tony Blair said that many of the challenges facing the world today were similar to those that confronted Jesus and Mohammed, the founders of Christianity and Islam.…“We face an aggressive secular attack from without. We face the threat of extremism from within.”Arguing that there was “no hope” from atheists who scorn God, he said the best way to confront the secularist agenda was for all faiths to unite against it.
It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of the Villager mentality. Liberals are misrepresented terribly in the media and it’s glacially slow in changing. I’m hopeful that it is happening, but the social and professional structure of organizations are very difficult to change without a consciousness of the problems. And I don’t see much media consciousness of this problem. And to the extent they understand it, they are misapplying the lessons.
The Washington Post is a corporation, required by law to make as much money as possible. In order to make as much money as possible, businesses cater to their customers. The main customers of the Washington Post are their advertisers, who are mostly other big corporations. Big corporations, for obvious reasons, like it when people are misled about economic policy, the Great Depression, FDR, etc.That’s really all there is to it.
In a rather curious and confused way, some white people are starting almost to think like a minority, even like a persecuted one. What does it take to believe that Christianity is an endangered religion in America or that the name of Jesus is insufficiently spoken or appreciated? Who wakes up believing that there is no appreciation for our veterans and our armed forces and that without a noisy speech from Sarah Palin, their sacrifice would be scorned? It’s not unfair to say that such grievances are purely and simply imaginary, which in turn leads one to ask what the real ones can be. The clue, surely, is furnished by the remainder of the speeches, which deny racial feeling so monotonously and vehemently as to draw attention.
There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution.
I’ve learned over the years that when you see someone called a “self-hating Jew”, it refers exclusively to left-wing critics of Israel like Noam Chomsky. So what do we call a Jewish woman whose ferocious hatred of Muslims (and blacks) leads her to sing the praises of an actual neo-Nazi group? I mean, I refer to Geller as “a Pez dispenser with breast implants and a shrieking harpy head”, but I can see how that isn’t quite as pithy, nor does it address the strange psychological mechanisms at work here.
But Nina Hartley seems to be really cool. PZ points out a pretty good interview with her, but I thought an earlier one she did with Brad Warner was much better. Too many good parts to excerpt. So if you like reading interviews about pornography and religion, among other topics, check ’em out.
You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.– Blazing Saddles
I said before that one of the reasons I wasn’t all that impressed with Joe Bageant was that he just struck me as a more affable James Howard Kunstler. Heywood crystallizes one of the other reasons for me: he also makes me picture a slightly more avuncular Dave “Mudcat” Saunders. Can you tell which one is which?
I have bitched and moaned for years about the lack of tolerance in the elitist wing of the Democratic Party, or what I refer to as the “Metropolitan Opera Wing”. These are the people who talk of tolerance but the only true tolerance they ever exhibit is for their own pseudo-intellectual arrogance.–snip–I am certain I will get personally attacked for this next statement, but in all honesty, I don’t care what the “Metropolitan Wing” of my party thinks. I don’t like them. The damage the pseudo-intellectuals have done to my party by abandoning tolerance, combined with their erroneous stereotyping of my people and culture, is something that brings out my incivility. In his column, Joe said, “…the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere.” Amen. I must add that this same intellectual arrogance and intolerance overtook the party years ago, and for that very reason, my people in rural America left the tent.So to those bloggers who believe in a straight-forward dialogue and exchange of ideas, God bless you and thank you. Together, you’re coming up with a lot of good stuff, and frankly, much of it has been helpful to me. At the same time, those Democratic bloggers, who have appointed themselves as intellectually superior and believe the only way to win an argument is to shot the loudest with personal attacks, you can go to Hell.
Most educated American liberals, however, believe simply being progressive makes them, by default, the nation’s saviors — morally and intellectually right in all things. As proof, they read more and, allegedly, are more open minded than most conservatives, except when it comes to their daughter dating a redneck named Ernest who lives in a trailer court behind the strip mall. They are certainly among the educated class in a country known for its lousy schools and a dull, sated and unquestioning public. Education and access to education are now our fundamental class delineators. Higher education is now for the privileged. And that privilege, almost regardless of profession or career, is a future that depends on government. Liberal or conservative, it matters little. In fact, this privileged class votes Democratic more predictably than the working class, Hispanics or Blacks.So when educated liberals look up from their copy of The Nation or the Jon Stewart show, they behold a chilling sight: Beefy mobs waving teabags and demanding tax cuts to help pay for new schools and bridges, Sarah Palin emerging from the ashes of the McCain campaign to become the high priestess of the uncurried tribes, with a Mormon named Glenn Beck exhorting millions of fundamentalists to seize the country. They feel that something has gone terribly wrong with America.Immediately they conclude that it is the American people’s fault through their backwardness, incomprehension and misdirected anger, and that maybe it serves them right for not rallying behind the flying progressive standard…”Ah yes,” they wailed, the people have let us down. They are absolutely disgusting!” liberals agreed. And they still agree. Read the comments on Huffington Post or Daily Kos.Or look at the arrogance of Barack Obama’s characterization of American heartlanders “clinging to God and guns.” Which we do. However, implicit in his statement was that both God and guns are indicators of an ignorant loser class. When opponents scalded him for his remarks, he justified them by pointing out he had said, “what everybody knows is true.” Meaning everybody in his class, the educated liberal class.
Even though the Southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them?Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and insurrections? We know it will not. We so know because we know we never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the denunciation.The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: we must not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. [Applause.] This, we know by experience is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches, we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only; cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avowedly with them.
WHAT HAPPENED TO DAVE MUSTAINE’S VOICE?Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 by Axl Rosenberg
When I saw Megadeth a few weeks ago, the band sounded great — but Dave Mustaine’s vocals sounded about as appealing as the idea of watching a porno flick starring Billy Milano and Snooki.
“I know I’m not making any friends at the U.N. with this album,” Mustaine continues with a harsh laugh. But, frankly, he’s not too worried. Like many born-again Christians, Mustaine favors the interpretation of the Book of Revelations that views the founding of the United Nations—and its eventual demise—as part of a series of prophesied events that will inevitably lead to the Second Coming. “I got saved a few years ago, and I believe what the Bible says, that the U.N.’s gonna fall. In order for the predictions in the Book of Revelations to take place, it’s gotta fall. I don’t ever expect to go there, except to look where the building used to be, you know? I’m hoping that someone’s going to pull the chain, and that’s where the butthole of the United States is, and it just disappears!”…There’s righteous fury galore on “Amerikhastan” and “Washington’s Next,” two songs that take extreme issue with what Mustaine sees as the Bush Administration’s half-assed policies on immigration and the Middle East. Asked his opinion on the ongoing Iraq War, Mustaine pulls no punches.“We needed to drop a really big bomb on that country about 16 years ago, and then we wouldn’t be having this problem,” he growls. “I think Bush made a tragic mistake invading Iraq. I voted for the guy, so I’m absolutely ashamed of my vote, but it was better voting for him than John Kerry. The fact that we’ve been humiliated to the degree that we have, because of our president’s ineptness… I think in America right now, there’s a lot of hope for the future. But I also think that our country has never been hated as much as we are right at this moment.
Asked about his own drug use, which sent him to rehab several times over the past two decades—he also briefly died in 1994 from an overdose of Valium—Mustaine rolls up his sleeves, revealing two pale, sinewy arms completely devoid of needle marks. “I never shot up, actually,” he says. “No, I gotta take that back—I did for one day, and it was so disgusting. I thought, Now I know why y’all suck dicks to shoot up!” He laughs. “You stick a needle in your arm, and the next thing you know, there’s a dick in your mouth!”
I’ll dedicate myself to pissing on John Calvin’s grave for as long as I live. I still think he’s one of the most malignant influences on American culture, period. But it’s only fair to acknowledge that he may not be entirely to blame for our insane attitude regarding work, as a new book asserts:
People in the U.S. often pride themselves for working more than our European counterparts. Why do we work so much in the first place?There aren’t any historical or cultural reasons for it. Americans famously had more leisure time than the Japanese back in the 1960s. I would say if you did a survey of most people who are in their late 50s or 60s, they will tell you that they take fewer vacations than their parents did. Now why did that change? It wasn’t because of the Pilgrims. People work hard in America, but there was a period where leisure time was increasing. I quoted Linda Bell and Richard Freeman in an article they wrote about what happened during the ‘90s. There was nobody to stop you from working longer. There was no government check, there was no union check as there is on excessive work as there is in Germany or elsewhere in Europe. These institutional checks are gone. So people feel like lab rats: “If I work an extra 10 minutes over the person in the cubicle next to me, then I’m less likely to get laid off.” It’s a very rational response.
In a recent post,”On Christian Horror and Atheist Dread” author Mike Duran makes the rather broad and erroneous claim that Atheist horror centers around the fear of “The Great Void.”“A world without meaning and purpose is the ultimate horror. A universe that arose by chance, exists without meaning, where lives plummet toward annihilation is the worst kind of horror.”I would, in fact, assert that the fear he describes is at the heart of Christian Horror and in the entire Christian faith if not all faiths. It is what drives the religious screaming to their church pews and confessionals, clutching their bibles to their bosom. It is what makes them cling to faith and stubbornly resist reason. The atheist simply accepts the void as reality and moves on with his or her life.…There is nothing to fear from non-existence because you will never experience it. You cannot experience nothingness. You will never “feel” not being. So what’s to fear?
Epicurus also believed (contra Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore feels nothing. Therefore, as Epicurus famously said, “death is nothing to us.” When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness.
How many there are who still conclude: “life could not be endured if there were no God!” (Or, as it is put among the idealists: “life could not be endured if its foundation lacked an ethical significance!”) – therefore there must be a God (or existence must have an ethical significance)! The truth, however, is merely that he who is accustomed to these notions does not desire a life without them: that these notions may therefore be necessary to him and for his preservation – but what presumption it is to decree that whatever is necessary for my preservation must actually exist! As if my preservation were something necessary! How if others felt in the opposite way! If those two articles of faith were precisely the conditions under which they no longer found life worth living! And that is how things are now!– Nietzsche