Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holy Reanimator, Batman!

Raising the dead Does anyone remember that movie? I love it. The head scene is a classic!

I'm a little nervous while waiting for football to start (my Colts don't play until 8, so it could be a long few hours), so I'll take my mind off of it by writing about something completely different.

The other day, on PZ Myers' fine blog, I read about a guy named Randy Demain, who believes that he can raise the dead. And I'm not talking about Mr. Johnson coming to life and enjoying what would probably be a brief and extremely guilt-ridden encounter with some type of orifice (Animal? Human? Latex? Who am I to speculate?); no, this guy believes that he has the ability to command the dead to come back to life. Don't believe me? Watch the video.

Normally, I wouldn't waste my time on something so obviously insane, but I'm writing about it for a couple of reasons. First of all, this is the kind of fundamentalist loony bullshit that some people are out there spouting. Seriously. There are people out there who think this is true, and we need to watch for them and avoid them if possible. I believe we also need to counter this sort of magical, irrational thinking with a little sanity. (Maybe a little sarcasm, too. You know how I get.)

Secondly, the video is just so entertaining, just because of the guy's through-the-roof level of smarminess. This is one happy asshole. And I do mean asshole. He tells a story about giving a sermon in Africa and being interrupted and led to a woman who was "dead...very dead." (Are there degrees of dead? Isn't that sort of like being a little bit pregnant?) He goes on to express his displeasure and irritation at being so rudely torn away from his important sermonizin', saying that his thoughts were "Couldn't this have waited?" (After all, she was dead...very dead.) He was just mad at the whole situation in general, in fact: "I was mad at the devil that he made her dead to interrupt my meeting." (Two points here. Death is a natural process and no devil has anything to do with it, except perhaps for human ones; and how dare this "devil" make her dead for the sole purpose of interrupting his meeting! Of all the nerve!)

Zombies for Christ Well, he'd just had it with this and grew impatient, so he said to the dead woman, "Woman, you need to get up, because I've got things to do!" And she did! Praise the Lord and pass the formaldehyde!

Apparently, when raising the dead, it's imperative to use a commanding and imperious tone; treat those corpses like unruly children! Better yet, treat 'em like misbehaving ho's who need to be taught a lesson, up close and personal, and then buried (again) in the garden in your back yard. Show that corpse who's boss!

Unfortunately, after they took the woman back to the church, she stole money from them. I swear, you do and do and do for these corpses, and this is the thanks you get? They steal from you? Ungrateful, undead bastards. There's a happy ending, though. Some guys chased her down and tackled her (Randy the happy asshole showed his compassion and told them "Take it easy guys--she was just dead! Don't hurt her."), and then she accepted the Lord as her savior. I guess there is redemption even for the walking dead.

You know, I find it interesting that you can bet this guy thinks that voodoo--a religion that does believe that the dead can be raised as zombies--is the work of the devil. Yet he believes that in his religion, not only is it possible to do this, God has commanded us to do it.

The guy concludes: "This is the generation of believers that are gonna raise the dead. Don't make it too hard; just do it as you go." So there you go. Don't be afraid. Just do it! Bring that corpse back to life!

I'll wind this up with the most important point of all. I have to ask...why would you want to bring a corpse back to life? (For any mad scientists out there, that's a rhetorical question. You do it because you're mad. It's just what you do. Now get back to your important work...those body parts aren't going to assemble themselves, you know! Chop chop! Hey...get it?! Ha!) It is part of the natural order of things for all organisms to live, grow, and eventually die. If we didn't have the limiting Monkey's pawfactor of death, the planet would be overrun in no time with everything from bacteria to white-tailed deer to that family down the road that all seem to resemble each other just a little bit too much. (On a related note, this is why birth control is a good idea. Some folks you just don't want overbreeding--or interbreeding, for that matter. Talk about a spongeworthy situation!)

The aforementioned mad scientists are the only ones that think that reanimating corpses is a good idea. This leads me to the conclusion that Demain's version of God is a mad scientist. Nothing good can come from associating with mad scientists.

Today's assigned reading: "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. That should be the final word on whether or not reanimation of corpses is a good idea. Oh, and you can watch "Pet Sematary" while you're at it. Or the movie I referenced in the title of this entry, "Reanimator." Or any one of the bazillion zombie movies that are out there. They never end well. C'mon, Demain. This is common knowledge. You don't fuck with zombies. You're lucky the one you allegedly created was just a thief; she could just have easily have bitten through your skull to eat your braaaiiinnnnsssss. Not that it would have been a satisfying meal.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Poll dancing

Brian Williams Over on Facebook, I mentioned that it was just announced that Brian Williams would be Notre Dame's commencement speaker this spring. I wrote that I really like him, and it's true. He's my favorite news anchor, and just seems to have that likability and trustworthiness factor that successful anchors have. He also seems to be a fairly cool guy, really into music, and uses his notoriety to bring attention to new bands and artists. You have to admire him for that. I was a little surprised at the response in comments, everything from "he's my news anchor crush" to someone saying he's just plain hot. (Not to mention any names...DAWN! haha)

Some of you may remember my Rahm Emanuel poll (86% think he is a hottie, giving Rahm a definite swoon factor). Let's do the same with Brian Williams.

You will notice that my poll questions are not leading at all. [grin] I take all polls with a grain of salt, especially if I don’t see the questions that were asked. Polls can be easily manipulated, and whenever I see questions that are too constricting, or try to pigeon-hole my feelings too narrowly, I automatically distrust those results. I’ve gotten several mailings from the RNC that are written that way, although I know it’s not confined just to them. My point is to be wary of poll results. But not mine. These babies are 110% accurate! (Using 110% is a pet peeve of mine, by the way. There is no such thing. Stop using it.)

I often say that smart is sexy, and in Brian’s case, a lot of people seem to feel that way. What do you think? Is he a hottie?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A rebuttal

Smackdown I was so happy to see this.

Rachel Maddow spoke with the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., and before he said anything else, he had to address the idiotic remarks made by Pat Robertson. For this poor man, who has seen the devastation and death in his country—he may have very well lost family members and friends—to have to hear those remarks disparaging his country, and to have to respond at a time when he is mourning the tragedy of his homeland, just infuriates me. His thoughts must surely be on his fellow Haitians as they struggle to survive, and to hear about how his ancestors brought this upon his country because they made a pact with the devil had to be humiliating and maddening. Watch as the Haitian ambassador delivers a righteous and mighty smackdown to Robertson (without even mentioning his name). It’s a beautiful thing.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I really hope that the people of Haiti do not believe that Robertson speaks for all Americans. He does not. Merely for a minority segment of slack-jawed drones who think that whatever he says is gospel. I hope the outpouring of help will convince them that most of us have decency and compassion. I realize that Robertson was asking for donations to help Haiti…but why did he have to throw that lunacy about a pact with the devil in there? It really is ridiculous and it is demeaning to an entire country and its people; no matter how much money he gets people to contribute, he should not have said it. It merely shows his ignorance and contempt for those who are not like his “godly” self.

Of course, that gasbag Limbaugh had to weigh in with his disgusting opinion that President Obama is taking advantage of this tragedy to get closer to the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country.” He cites Rahm Emanuel’s quote about a crisis too good to pass up. To say that anything about this horrible tragedy is “good” is absolutely disgusting. It’s a pretty fucking stupid argument, too—I’d say that our President has plenty of support from both “light-skinned and dark-skinned” blacks in this country, and to suggest that he would exploit the death of thousands in Haiti (estimates are currently 45-50,000) in order to cull political favor is simply abominable.

If you listen to either of these fucktards, I hope you’ll reconsider. With such comments, they have shown their true colors; the masks have dropped, and we can all clearly see that they are the ones exploiting this tragedy, Robertson attempting to feed his particular brand of religious mania to anyone willing to listen and Limbocontin trying to further his anti-Obama crusade and his wish that our President will fail. I find both men abhorrent, and their behavior and words are heinous. Olbermann delivered a smackdown of his own, and said it better than I can.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vengeance, hatred, and irrationality

Jules Winfield The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

~~Jules Winnfield, “Pulp Fiction”

The news coverage of the Haiti earthquake is dismaying to watch. It is a beautiful place, with very friendly people, and unfortunately, one of the poorest places on the planet. I urge everyone to contribute, if you can, to assist rescue efforts. The White House website has information about where to donate, and every little bit will help.

It was also dismaying to hear and read Pat Robertson's take on it. I'm not the first one to write about this, but I've done my best to not read any opinions on it yet so that I could formulate my own. It's odd, because I was online with a friend and we even mentioned the people who blame natural disasters on God exacting vengeance upon a city or nation for their alleged sins. Not too long after, I read about Robertson's remarks.

Here's the video:

This is the transcript:

And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal."

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now, we're helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.

I'm a tolerant person, but I've had it with self-righteous pricks like Robertson blaming innocent people for incurring God's wrath in the form of natural disasters and weather phenomena. Whether it's people saying that Hurricane Katrina was because God was pissed at those nasty homosexuals in New Orleans (oddly enough, one of the areas spared was the French Quarter and the gay district), or Florida Governor Charlie Crist saying that his state hadn't been hit by hurricanes lately because he had prayed about it, this sort of ignorance is grating on my last nerve.

Pat Robertson First of all, Robertson's remarks...a "pact with the devil?" Are you fucking kidding me? Oh, wait...he says "true story." So it must be true. Really, Pat? Really? I'd like to see the documents showing that the Haitian people made a "pact with the devil." I'd especially love to see the part where the devil is quoted: "OK, it's a deal." No documents, you say? All word of mouth? So where did you get your information? What evidence do you have showing that the Haitian people made a "pact with the devil?"

You all realize this is lunacy, don't you? We are talking, in this case, about the earth shifting, something that happens all the time. Hurricanes and tornadoes happen because of weather patterns...we have such things on our planet, you know. They are all explained quite well by the scientists who study such things, and to blame innocent people for bringing down some vengeful wrath because of their supposed sins—or the sins of their ancestors, generations before!—is complete madness.

Ask yourself this: if that's really what Pat Robertson's God is all about, why on earth would you want anything to do with him? A being apparently so drunk with power that he feels the need to smite anyone who dares to go against him, no matter how small the perceived slight; who punishes the just along with the unjust; who kills because of his petty ego, kills anyone who dares to question his supreme authority, who kills just because he can? That sort of person sounds like a delusional madman to me, and I reject such a person. I reject them completely.

Haiti4 The people of Haiti are suffering, and they've been suffering for a long time. Some of their troubles are of their own making; the political graft and corruption are rampant. It is also a highly agricultural economy, with very few natural resources to export. In talking with a tour guide a few years ago, he fully realized these problems, but had great hopes for his country, and was very proud of the fact that Haiti was the first black democracy in the world, and that their independence came about because of a slave rebellion. To attribute this—obviously a source of pride to that young man—to a "pact with the devil" is not only ludicrous, it's hateful and ignorant, and Robertson should be ashamed. But he won't be. He feels he is perfectly justified in making such ridiculous statements.

I'll tell you what. I've decided that I feel perfectly justified in pointing out how horrible a person he is for saying that this happened because of some bullshit "pact with the devil." I've found my calling, if you will. Whenever I hear stuff like this, I'm going to write about it, and I'm going to call those who utter such nonsense on it: Pat Robertson, you are a delusional idiot. I suggest that people don't accept the ramblings of a delusional idiot and don't accept his bogus explanation for natural phenomena. We've made amazing progress over the years and understand why these things happen; to attribute it to a vengeful God is disrespectful to those who are hurting, suffering, and for far too many, dying.

The people of Haiti deserve our help, not our scorn for some imagined past transgression.

This Too Shall Pass

For those of you who aren’t on Facebook, I’m posting this video that was brought to my attention by Milwaukee Dan #1. Thanks, buddy!

What is cool about this is that the marching band in the video is the Notre Dame band! They are the oldest continuously performing college band in the country, and always fun to watch at games. I thought it was really neat to see them in a video, and I really like the song, too! I can’t embed it, but click to see “This Too Shall Pass” by OKGo (aka the Treadmillaires). I love the players who are in the grass camouflage outfits. Like an environmentally correct Cousin Itt.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My first fight

ND hockey2 Not me, don't worry (although I did have a moment of extreme pique...more in a bit). Tonight was a Notre Dame hockey game against Ferris State. They really didn’t play all that well, at least from what I could tell (I know very little about the sport), as well as from the guys sitting in the row behind who said, "This is the worst I've seen them play so far this season." I thought that was a pretty good clue.

They lost 4-2, and had plenty of chances to get back into it but couldn't capitalize. Being new to hockey, I have to admit that I find it a little thrilling when they slam into the glass right in front of me, and being in the first row, I got to see that a few times. I always jump a little bit, especially when it's really loud! I'm also impressed at how fast-paced the game is. It's amazing the way they skate around so fast and hard...I can barely walk on ice, let alone skate like I'm hell bent for leather! There was one cool moment when one of the Irish players was sliding along on his knees, still going after the puck.

I never thought I'd get into hockey until I went to a game. I was surprised at how fast and fun it was, and I love the sounds of the puck hitting the glass, the swish of skates, and the clack of the sticks. Since I love sports so much, I don't know why I thought I wouldn't like hockey!

This was my second game, and this time I got to see a fight break out. Wow! A swing was thrown, and next thing I knew, there was a dogpile down ND hockeyby our goal, fists a-flying, a couple of sticks popping out of the melee, and even the ref who was trying to pull the guys apart took a swing to the head. Now, I'm not a violent person, but I was kind of like "Holy shit!" as I watched with perhaps a rather unhealthy fascination. I also know that a fight like this with college teams was nothing compared to the pros, but it was still pretty intense for a while there. A guy from each team got the boot from the game, a guy from each got a ten minute penalty, and a guy from each got a five minute penalty. And the ref got a split lip. (See #9 over there? His last name is Thang. What a cool name!)

After the game, went and had a bite to eat (and a big ol’ Molson for me…yum!) and watched the Cards-Packers game. What a fantastic sports weekend!

As for my moment of extreme pique, I'm happy to say that it didn't end up in a fight. (The only fight I ever remember being in was in third grade, and I just remember kneeling on top of a girl and punching her. I think her name might have been Joy. That's sort of ironic now that I think about it. I beat the crap out of Joy.) Most of the row was empty upon arrival, so we didn't bother sitting in the exact correct places on the benches. As more people arrived, adjustments would be made, right? Well, this couple comes walking up, the guy sits down, and the woman looks at me and says, "You're in my seat." I look down at the empty row and look back up at her, and she's still staring at me, holding out her ticket towards me. The rest of us in the row scooch down a bit, leaving space between me and her husband and she holds her hands up six inches apart and says, "I need more room than that!" [I thought, "Yeah, you got that right."] I look down at the empty rest of the row, and I think Ken said something like "There's nobody down there." She said, "Well, what am I supposed to do when other people do get here?" [Apparently as soon as she sat her ass down, it was going to be cemented to that spot for the duration.]

Then she said what was the real kicker for me: "We have season tickets."

Piece o' me Well, pardon me all to hell! I didn't realize you were a fuckin' VIP, or I would have immediately vacated your special season ticket seat, and I would have apologized profusely, and maybe I would have even bought you a snow cone, just to show how honored I was to be sitting next to a season ticket holder. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy! So we all scooch down more in order that our wonderful Season Ticket Holder can take her rightfully assigned seat. The bitch then proceeded to invade my space for the entire game. She was either elbowing me, turning around to talk to people and leaning into me, or crossing her legs so that her leg was sticking over in front of mine. Most of you probably know that I am not a large person, and it's not like I take up a wide swath of bleacher. Anyone who sits next to me in seating like that is a lucky person, because they'll probably get a little extra room. So it pisses me off even more when anyone takes advantage of that and ends up constantly bumping into me and crowding me. Back the fuck off, and if you elbow me again, you might pull back a bloody stump.

Oh, and then Season Ticket HOlder had the nerve to try to talk me up! "Were you here last night? Did you see that game?" I think my curt "No" let her know that I didn't care to chit-chat with her.

After all, I'm not worthy. And I didn't initially sit in my assigned seat. What a bad girl.