Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

BUT BUT BUT …. they’re terrorists aren’t they????

Musicians support Cambridge singer fined for busking.


Story Link: Salon’s Patton Oswalt peace summit –

Isn’t calling someone a “scold and shusher” being a scold and shusher? Reminds me of that old Woody Allen (or was it Monty Python?) skit where the new secret weapon to destroy the enemy is the world’s funniest joke. It works for awhile but eventually blows back and kills the friendlies – friendly fire. Eventually the joke teller becomes the victim of his own jokes and just looks like a buffoon, or worse. I never heard of Patton Oswalt before reading this. Interesting discussion but I kinda think he overplays the ‘comedy can solve all bullshit eventually’ meme. It’s the “eventually” that bothers me. It’s kind of like saying, “don’t worry if you are lynched by skinheads who don’t like the colour of your skin, we’ll kill them with ridicule as revenge.”

It’s not about being PC, I hate that as much as anyone. Don’t ban words. But, like the racist Oklahoma fraternity school bus chanters, sometimes you have to pay for being assholes with more than just having your ego smashed by a good joke. I don’t know that you can ridicule away that kind of generational racism.

I mean who the hell knew what Bill Cosby was up to all those years? I laughed along with him for decades. Did he tell rape jokes? I don’t remember. Did I laugh? Probably.

Yea parody can be a powerful weapon but it’s not the be-all and end-all in the progressive arsenal. Bill O’Reilly has been ridiculed for more than a decade and his followers are just as stupid and loyal and even more numerous than ever. He also has to be judged by standards of journalistic integrity. Not shushed, but sanctioned. Not scolded, but punished, financially and professionally for disseminating hate, bigotry and violence. It didn’t cost him anything for his Tiller the Killer campaign because, like Patton Oswalt, he defended himself by claiming he was taken out of context…..

Peter Guenther

Continue to article: Salon’s Patton Oswalt peace summit –

While browsing my archive to review past posts, I came across this and thought It was worth reposting… Peter Guenther

Don't Worry, Be Happy

David Foster Wallace long ago warned about the cultural snark that now defines popular culture. It’s time to listen

David Foster Wallace was right: Irony is ruining our culture David Foster Wallace (Credit: Hachette Book Group)

Percy Shelley famously wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” For Shelley, great art had the potential to make a new world through the depth of its vision and the properties of its creation. Today, Shelley would be laughed out of the room. Lazy cynicism has replaced thoughtful conviction as the mark of an educated worldview. Indeed, cynicism saturates popular culture, and it has afflicted contemporary art by way of postmodernism and irony. Perhaps no recent figure dealt with this problem more explicitly than David Foster Wallace. One of his central artistic projects remains a vital question for artists today: How does art progress from irony…

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Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper

By Peter Guenther

I have a confession. I have not read or seen Fifty Shades of Grey and I do not have any desire to do so. All I know about it is from reviews and trailers. It is a fictional story about a billionaire, Christian Grey, seducing a young, naive woman, Anastasia Steele, and drawing her into a submissive role as his BDSM slave. By many objective accounts it glorifies an abusive relationship. Many others think it is just a very bad movie.

Enter Jian Ghomeshi a real person who thought he was living out a real life version of the fictional Christian Grey. In real life, Anastasia Steele is an abuse victim. Even large portions of the BDSM community think so. Some scenes conform to a “no means yes” mentality. Consent is tricky, as Ghomeshi is finding out. But many women seem to love the book and movie, which have been described as Mommy Porn. The same demographic also loves romance novels that feature dashing, dominating, well endowed, male protagonists. Go figure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no anti-porn prude. Whatever floats your boat.

So what does American Sniper have to do with all this? In short, it’s a romanticized fictional portrayal of a real person. It has broken box office records, like Fifty Shades of Grey. Both aren’t what they seem on the surface. One glorifies sexual abuse, the other glorifies killing. Both portray troubling issues in a simplistic way that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

American Sniper is War Porn. It glosses over American war crimes in Iraq. It revels in portraying ALL Iraqis as savages deserving death. It is propaganda that makes Americans feel good about a brutal and unjustified invasion of a foreign country. It takes a man who bragged about his obvious psychopathic tendencies and portrays him as a hero for killing 160 people. He becomes the victim and his victims become human dreck.

I am willing to bet that victims of sexual abuse and bombed into oblivion Iraqi’s aren’t flocking to support these movies. A few plot and dialogue corrections could have gone a long way towards fixing both. Ignorance is not an excuse.

False memories of Brian Williams: Memory experts Chabris and Simons’ tips to avoid distortions..

The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?

Jonathon Gatehouse

May 15, 2014

via America dumbs down: a rising tide of anti-intellectual thinking.

Larry Bartels, the co-director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University, says he doubts that the spreading ignorance is a uniquely American phenomenon. Facing complex choices, uncertain about the consequences of the alternatives, and tasked with balancing the demands of jobs, family and the things that truly interest them with boring policy debates, people either cast their ballots reflexively, or not at all. The larger question might be whether engagement really matters. “If your vision of democracy is one in which elections provide solemn opportunities for voters to set the course of public policy and hold leaders accountable, yes,” Bartels wrote in an email to Maclean’s. “If you take the less ambitious view that elections provide a convenient, non-violent way for a society to agree on who is in charge at any given time, perhaps not.”

A study by two Princeton University researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, released last month, tracked 1,800 U.S. policy changes between 1981 and 2002, and compared the outcome with the expressed preferences of median-income Americans, the affluent, business interests and powerful lobbies. They concluded that average citizens “have little or no independent influence” on policy in the U.S., while the rich and their hired mouthpieces routinely get their way. “The majority does not rule,” they wrote.

Hateful Christian Bigots Claim HGTV ‘Got Bullied’ Over Cancelled Show (Video) | Crooks and Liars.

The Benham brothers feel that people serving the “gay agenda” bullied HGTV into cancelling their show, “Flip it Forward.” Jason and David Benham were capitalizing on their friendly sibling rivalry to “help families find a fixer-upper and transform it into the dream home they never thought they could afford,” according to Right Wing Watch. David told ultra-religious, right-wing radio host Janet Mefferd that the “gay agenda” was “attacking the nation,” in the same sentence as “demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches.”

According to CNN, David Benham said, of the cancellation:


“I feel they got bullied. There’s an agenda that’s out in America right now that demands silence, especially from men and women who profess Jesus Christ and hold to his standards.”

Here’s the audio via Right Wing Watch.

Plus, they had more to say on North Carolina’s Amendment One to ban gay marriage.

No, there isn’t an agenda against people who profess to follow Jesus Christ and try to live their own lives according to biblical principles. There’s an agenda against people using Christianity to further a discriminatory, even hateful, campaign against anybody whose lives they disagree with. There’s an agenda against people trying to force Christianity on the rest of us.

It’s not Christians, it’s bigoted “Christians” like the Benham brothers…

It’s not Christianity itself that’s under attack. It’s people like the Benhams, like Pat Roberts, like everyone who screams, “We are a CHRISTIAN nation that must get back to our CHRISTIAN roots and live by CHRISTIAN principles,” that are under attack. These right-wing Christians are the ones acting like bullies, if we are to use the word “bullying” in that manner.

The statement the Benhams issued after HGTV made its decision said:

“The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is; have we shined Christ’s light today? Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying. Over the last decade, we’ve sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views.”

“We do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views.” Really? David Benham also worked hard on the side of Amendment One, an amendment to the North Carolina constitution defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. He also (wrongly) compared the fight against marriage equality to the fight against Nazis, calling Christian acceptance of things like abortion and marriage equality and “appeasing evil,” according to the Right Wing Watch article.

If fighting against marriage equality and saying that the so-called gay agenda is attacking our nation isn’t hateful and discriminating, then what is?

It’s no wonder that, fearing a major backlash, HGTV would choose to cancel their show. HGTV did that one day after Right Wing Watch published its report. While people have the right to their views, there is nothing in the Constitution or the 1st Amendment saying those views can’t have consequences. If you’re going to be high profile, you do have to be careful about how you express your views. As the Benhams and others could stand to learn, it’s not necessarily in what you say, it’s in how you say it, and it’s in how you act.

Here’s the video, with some “fair and balanced” reporting from Fox News.