Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Short Attention Span Theater

Since I seem to be unable to give a bunch of time to any one subject lately, I'll give a little time to several:



Atheism for Kids? -- I haven't finished the book yet and have yet to see the movie, but I'm diggin' the controversy of 'The Golden Compass'. Articles lead with the scary title - "Golden Compass - Atheism for Kids?". Ooh, I hope so. As usual, Christians create a mountain out of a mole hill. Pullman's stories are more anti-Catholic than anti-Christian. But if these stories and movie get a few kids to question blindly following any doctrine, then I'll be happy. I know full well that most of the people making a big deal have not read the books or seen the movie.


I hate cars -- Now, I hated them before the last couple of weeks but getting unceremoniously rear-ended at a stop light two weeks ago cinches it. It screwed up my truck and I'm playing the always enjoyable insurance company dance. Did I mention that I also hate insurance companies? They deserve their own special circle of hell.


Movies -- There are a lot of good movies out there right now. I've yet to see 'American Gangster' and I want to see 'Juno', 'Sweeney Todd', 'Charlie Wilson's War', 'I am Legend',etc. when they come out. I'm going to try and go on a cinematic binge in the next couple of weeks so that I can have some good ammo for a year-end Top 10. Count on the following movies that I've already seen this year probably being in that list: 'Into the Wild', 'No Country for Old Men', 'Michael Clayton', '3:10 to Yuma'. 'Into the Wild' leads in nominations for the just announced The Critics Choice Awards.


I don't heart Huckabee - I truly, deeply feel sorry for anyone that thinks the future of our country should reside with a religious nutjob who thinks that AIDS patients should be quarantined and that 'wives should graciously submit to their husbands' . I vote for quarantining these zealots - an evangelical Ava Maria, if you will.


Books -- Writers should go on strike more often. I am getting a lot more read lately because I'm not parking myself mindlessly in front of the TV as much. Recent reads: 'Golden Compass' by Phillip Pullman (in progress), 'Death of a Revolutionary: Che Guevara's Last Mission' by Richard L. Harris, 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer, and 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman.

11 comments:

wunelle said...

Yeah, I LOVE that xians are boiling over with angst that their impressionable young children may get some inoculation to the load o' Sunday hooey!

It's always seemed obvious to me that if we didn't set the emotional hooks of religion at a young age they would not take root (some jesus nut luminary said "give me the child and I will show you the man...). And here's the proof. I'm all for getting doubt sown as early as possible!

What's depressing to me about Huckabee is not his ignorance but the fact that so many people respond favorably to that ignorance. You'd think that after almost a decade of W Huckabee would be delivering his sermons to chirping crickets.

CyberKitten said...

wunelle said: (some jesus nut luminary said "give me the child and I will show you the man...).

It was the Jesuits. "Give me a child till age 7 and I will show you the man" or words to that effect. Basically they can mold people into whatever shape they want if they catch 'em at an early age - which is pretty much true about anything, not just Christianity. We humans are *very* maleable at that age - it has a great evolutionary advantage.

dbackdad said: I haven't finished the book yet and have yet to see the movie, but I'm diggin' the controversy of 'The Golden Compass'.

Christians do seem to like their storms in tea cups don't they. They blow something up as big and threatening - which only makes people go see it or condemn it without seeing it first which just makes them look stupid when taken to task by people who *have* seen it. No doubt (not having seen it myself yet) it won't be anywhere near as anti-christian/catholic as its made out to be.

As to movies - saw 'American Gangster' last week and 'Hitman' Might see Golden Compass' tomorrow. Looking forward to 'I am legend' and 'AvP2'

As to books - I'm back onto SF (after spending 6 weeks in the deep South) and also reading a history of the Roman Empire, a book on the history of AI and a book on the origins of morality by Friedrich Nietzsche.

dbackdad said...

Wunelle said, "What's depressing to me about Huckabee is not his ignorance but the fact that so many people respond favorably to that ignorance" - It is sad. Most people aren't looking to be convinced of the merits of something. They are looking for someone who already parrots their ingrained prejudices. They say, "See, I'm not prejudiced. [insert famous politician or pundit here] thinks the same way I do, so it must be OK."

BTW, loved your Canada post on your blog.

CK - I'm a big Nietzsche guy, having read just about everything by or about him. Let me know how that book is.

CyberKitten said...

dbackdad said: CK - I'm a big Nietzsche guy, having read just about everything by or about him. Let me know how that book is.

I'm just coming to the end of my 1st unit of my MA. In it we basically cover a few of the main ethical/political philosophers for a few weeks each to get a taster of what they're about.

We did Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Rousseau and now Nietzsche.

The book I've been working through is 'On the Genealogy of Morality'. I've managed to read through the first two treatises so far. I'm finding Nietzsche both easy to read and yet slightly difficult to grasp. He's certainly full of passion and interesting ideas. On balance I'd have to say that I like his style.

I'll do a full review on my Blog in the New Year when I read the third treatise and then go back to read the introduction.

Next year I'll be doing a full 10 week unit just on him so I'm guessing I should have a fair idea of what he's all about by the end of that [grin].

Do you have any of his works that you particularly recommend? I have about 5-6 of his books so far.

wunelle said...

"...with their beady little eyes and flapping heads so full of lies!"

James said...

I agree that Xian's always hurt their own cause when they make a big deal out of something they don't like.

It was like my super Christian parents saying don't get tattoos, don't get your ears pierced and don't do drugs or drink or have sexual relations before marriage.

Sooner of later I did them all. I don't do drugs now except a little weed now and then (but I don't see marijuana as a drug). I've pierced my ears and I currently have tattoos all over my body. :) Oh yeah and I left their Mormon church and am now a godless Zen Buddhist. Go figure.

As for the children issue in regards to religion? Mormons (I mention them because I know them them best) don't believe in the Catholic belief in baptizing babies. So what do they do instead? They baptize the little rug-rats at 8 years old!!

They believe that a child is accountable and old enough to make such a decision as to whether they want to get baptized or not at eight. I didn't now jack at that age about anything let alone the religion!! I just went along with what my siblings did--get baptized.

Besides, the peer pressure to get baptized in that church is through the roof. Not to mention scaring the crap out of kids with guilt, fear and shame saying not to be baptized would be sin. No kid that I knew of age refused baptism. Kids just want to please their parents and if that means getting baptized then they do it.

As for Huckabee? Well, between him and Romney the GOP is coming closer and closer to electing a "Pastor in Chief."

shrimplate said...

Fuck religion. There's just no better way to say that. Profanity cures the sacred illness.

Zarathrustra is, imho, the most beautiful of the many Neitzsche books I've read. It's like Blake or Kafka: a string of parables.

CyberKitten said...

Just got back from The Golden Compass.....

A *very* good adaptation of the book but a VERY annoying ending. Still got a B+ though!

Why they mess with things is totally beyond me.

dbackdad said...

CK and Shrimplate - Right now, I own ... Zarathustra and a biography of Nietzsche by Ronald Hayman. I've read Beyond Good and Evil, and The Will to Power. Like Shrimplate, I'd have to say Zarathustra was my favorite.

CK - I heard about what they had done in relation to the book with Golden Compass. They just ommitted the last couple of chapters, right? I hope it was a conscious choice by the filmmakers because they felt thematically it would work better at the start of the 2nd film. Peter Jackson did similar things, especially with The Two Towers and Return of the King. But I also heard that they actually filmed those scenes and removed them close to release time.

CyberKitten said...

dbackdad said: They just ommitted the last couple of chapters, right?

Yup. I thought it was very strange.

dbackdad said: I hope it was a conscious choice by the filmmakers because they felt thematically it would work better at the start of the 2nd film.

Not the way I saw it. The end of book 1 naturally leads into book 2. I don't see why they couldn't have made the film 10 minutes longer and put the prpoer ending in it.

dbackdad said: But I also heard that they actually filmed those scenes and removed them close to release time.

Weird!

How are you enjoying the book BTW? The film has prompted me to read the trilogy again - but not for a while I suspect. Maybe over the Summer....

dbackdad said...

CK - I'll give my take on the movie later today. Alex and I are seeing it this morning. I finished the book Friday night and liked it very much. Once I've seen the movie, I'll read the other two books (I bought the edition with all 3 books in it).