"Tivo-ifies the web" Paul Kedrosky

Wonderland: The End of the World Bus Tour

A group of Palinesque evangelical Protestants traipse around Israel, which they want preserved so that it can be destroyed by God.

via: Trois Vitesse

running time 40 minutes

5 comments religion, world

Godless in America

Play all 5 parts

From Atheist Media:

“The amazing life – and disturbing death – of an extraordinary woman who successfully challenged the place of God in American life for 30 notorious years.

Madalyn Murray O’Hair had come to occupy a special place in the American psyche since her 1963 campaign which ended compulsory prayer in US schools after a Supreme Court action on behalf of her son William. O’Hair’s campaign succeeded, but she became the most hated woman in America (her own label), as she fought to take the name of God off the dollar bill – and her son became a born-again Christian.

Then, on a summer’s day in 1995 , she suddenly disappeared, leaving her breakfast dishes on the table – and half a million dollars missing from her organisation’s bank account.”

3 comments religion

Laughter Yoga

From the laughing instructor in the video “the laughter does not need to be sincere, it can be faked or simulated”.
In other words, laughter yoga is like a comedy for people with no sense of humor. Anne Coulter fans will be right at home.

[Update - someone kindly dug up an example of this preposterous crap in action, I've added the clip below the original]

2 comments FEBL, religion

Travels With My Beard

An English sikh having been mistaken for a muslim by a rastafarian and asked what its like “to be at the bottom of the barrel”, decides to find out what its like to be a muslim in Britain after the London terror bombings. He grows a beard to look a little bit more ‘fundamentalist’, and sets off on his travels.

Running time: 57 mins.

1 comment religion, world

Al Munajid Responds to Media About Killing Mickey Mouse

Belonging definitively in the ‘you cannot make this shit up’ box, Al Munajid reminds us all of a universal maxim that often applies to people who worship bronze age sky gods:

“If you don’t have a sense of humor, do not try and defend yourself when people take the piss out of something you said that was accidentally hilarious. You will only make things worse.”

As an aside, there is another perfect piece of irony here. Given that the topic is a hand rendered cartoon, I can’t help but feel that Al Munajid looks like a computer rendering from the neck down, and that the room he is in also looks, well, a bit Mickey Mouse.

via Atheist Media Blog

Comments Off religion

Zeitgeist and the Threat of Dangerous, Pandemic Internet Memes.

The comments thread under my rant against the execrable Zeitgeist has taken on a life of its own. Most people are clearly cranks, but a few are curious as to why I think such a seemly amateur and relatively unimportant film is worth talking about at all.

Rather than discussing the details of the film, which for me is like a chemist arguing with a priest as to whether you can turn water into wine by saying a prayer, I am more interested in the general pathology of conspiracy theories on the Internet (Perhaps this would be a good topic for some second-rate liberal arts degree).

The ability to travel to new continents created pandemic disease that wiped out many aboriginal Americans. The web has created a potential for diseases of the mind to spread more rapidly across continents than ever before. It is reasonable to take seriously the threat of idea pandemics caused by false ideas, spread via any new and powerful medium. The Rwandan genocide was triggered by the more traditional and less virulent medium of radio, as Hutus spread rumors that they would be attacked by Tutsi. I suspect that it is theoretically possible that an idea could spread via the Internet and translate into large scale violence, and that we should be on the look out for Internet memes that could mutate into malignant forms, just in case.

Current viral ideas on the Internet are largely benign, if bland or tasteless, from cuddly animals (LOLcats) to people drinking each other’s shit (2 girls one cup). Looking at the statistics from YouTube, conspiracy theory clips are extremely popular and increasingly so. Many of the ideas in these are only a few plot changes away from resembling those that have triggered violence, historically. Zeitgeist is a prime example.

Continue reading:

17 comments FEBL, religion

Dog on a Skateboard vs Baby in the Pulpit

American Christianity is increasingly weirder than Christianity in other countries (except, I am told, Brazil, although I have never visited). When I was younger, this video of a infant preaching in the hellfire tones of a death metal band would have been an alien artifact from a backwater Bayou. Today, it would fit comfortably on the cultural flagpole of ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’. Perhaps the fact that this one year old does a fairly good impersonation of a Baptist preacher says more about the intellectual culture of evangelical sermons than the infant’s prodigy.

This is the point where you might think that I have posted exactly what I said I wouldn’t – the equivalent of a 30 second clip of a dog on a skateboard. The difference is that encouraging dogs to perform human acts like skateboarding is more amusing than cruel, whereas encouraging children to perform adult tasks like preaching or fellatio, is inhuman.

This seemingly bland video sums up for me, something very serious, the rise of nationalism in the guise of an artless bastardization of a religion that was pretty fucked up to start with.

via Atheist Media

6 comments religion

Sarah Palin’s Church

In case you were wondering. Unless the majority of people defy history and vote for a black man and the President exceeds a normal life expectancy, the world’s most powerful person will be someone who attends this, otherwise harmless, children’s playgroup of a church.

18 comments religion

Cycling Hypocrites on the Brooklyn Bridge

I am an avid cycling enthusiast who hates the cult of cycling. It is an efficient, pleasant form of transport not a fucking religion.

I often cross the Brooklyn Bridge either on foot or on a bike. There are two lanes, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists, with no barrier in between. The number of pedestrians largely outnumbers the number of cyclists, and there are a large number of tourists. This creates two situations where people naturally end up temporarily in the cycling lane: where tourists don’t realize and where pedestrians wish to bypass tourists who, quite reasonably, stop to take pictures.

When I ride a bike, I admit that I quite often ride on sidewalks (its impossible not to at the entrance to the Brooklyn bridge), and I rarely cycle in bike lanes (they actually seem dangerous in urban areas, having been thrown over a car door that someone opened into a bike lane once). I think rules can be broken, but I try and ride carefully and considerately, not breaking rules for the sake of it but because sometimes they don’t make sense.

For some reason, many cyclists on the Brooklyn Bridge ride like some car owners who hate cyclists drive, suddenly insisting on ridiculously strict adherence to rules like which lane you have to be in at all times, and cycling at speeds which are dangerous to others. I suspect that these people include those that complain about SUV drivers and like to do practical things like break rules and cycle on sidewalks. In which case they are not only selfish pricks, but hypocritical selfish pricks.

I don’t think I am exaggerating to suggest that one day a pedestrian is going to get killed. To illustrate, here is a video of a cyclist crossing the bridge who careers along hurling abuse and actually throws a punch at a pedestrian in his way.

Urban cycling is not a race requiring thousand dollar plus bikes and Manga inspired spandex, nor is it an alternative sub-culture for hipster liberals with latent Neo-Conservative rage. It is a normal form of transportation.

5 comments religion

The Quran – Channel 4

This feature length (102 mins) documentary shown a couple of weeks ago on the UK’s Channel 4, was watched by a million people – highly unusual for a documentary slot on C4. It was directed by Antony Thomas who also directed the highly controversial “Death of a Princess” that caused a diplomatic storm between Britain and Saudi Arabia, nearly 30 years ago.

Although the program comes with the warning: “contains footage of executions, the aftermath of bombing and female genital mutilations which may upset some viewers”, it is not a sensationalist piece, and, in large part, celebrates Islam. If anything, it shows too little of the dark side that has pervaded all strands: Islamic; Christian and Jewish, of the Abrahamic cult.

That this review in the Financial Times: “For those of us who ground our lives on what we believe to be rationality, the testimony of those who ground theirs on books that reason says must be fantasy attests to the massive power of the imagination of countless millions”, should assume that any reasonable person would reject Abrahamic, or any other, belief fantasy, is testament to the grip on American culture that it has. No mainstream US paper would make such an assumption about secularism, just as no American publication of any significant audience has yet dared to mock the recent, increasingly vapid and self-aggrandizing, evangelical speeches from Barack Obama, that we usually associate with the Republican right, in the manner of this satire in the London Times, yesterday.

What has this got to do with the Quran? Quite a lot, potentially.

8 comments religion