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In Which This Should Be A No-Brainer

February 24th, 2017 No comments

All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing

Really? All of them? Man, God must HATE them, huh?

Stop and think about what had to have happened here. If you listen to Crosstalk America or Focus on the Family, you probably know that Christian businesses are the most moral and best run businesses around. Capitalism is inherently moral because God is a capitalist. God wants you to get His message to the public, not only that but to becomes wealthy off of His heavenly merch table. Best of all – no royalties! Quote the bible? Free of charge! Got a new interpretation of the inerrant Word of God (the next apocalypse prediction is August 2017)? There are literally tens of thousands of people willing to pony up $14.95 plus shipping and handling to find out what God really meant when he said [insert bible quote here]. Golden calves are bad unless you can mass produce and turn a profit off of them.

But Family Christian stores went bankrupt selling Jesus merch. Dunno if you know this but God destroys cities with giant fetus shaped hurricanes for displeasing him. You’d think he’d cut the followers a break and soften the heart of creditors. Especially the Christian ones.

But 27 Christian publishers, including InterVarsity Press, Baker, Charisma Media, David C. Cook, and Abingdon Press, objected to the retailer’s restructuring plan, under which the chain would get to own $20 million worth of items bought on consignment “free and clear,” without paying the suppliers.

“You think I’m giving you $20m of free shit? What am I? A charity? Are you a Sanders supporter or something? Look. I like you. God likes you. You’re a good guy. But if you think I’m giving you 300 copies of “Pray Yourself Rich in 30 Days” you’re outta your fucking mind! …Yeah, I know they’d sell. My company is making a profit. But right now, you couldn’t make a profit selling Bibles to born-agains. In fact…YOU HAVEN’T…Sure, the “Lord will provide”. I’m not worried about “The Lord” right now. I’m worried about the guy at the bank who gets cranky when we’re late on the interest payments from the OTHER loan we gave you…Yes, the Lord helps those who help themselves and right now, you’ve already helped yourself to enough of my business and I am NOT my brother’s goddamn keeper.”

Or something like that.

 

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In Which I’m Conflicted As To What To Be Furious About

February 17th, 2017 No comments

Outside of the beginnings of a cold, it’s been a decent day. Quiet. Enjoyable. Cleaning the kitchen, watching a few movies and arguing with people on Facebook. Relaxing! But now I’m pissed and I can’t figure out what’s worse

  1. The last minute of the otherwise enjoyable Death Game
  2. The seemingly unhinged rantings of a former Facebook friend I met the last time I went to LA and had a lovely time with.

1. Death Game involves a home invasion, very similar to Funny Games but with two psychotic women (Sandra Locke and Colleen Camp). They show up a random stranger’s house while his family deals with a medical emergency, seduce him and refuse to leave. It’s tense, violent, sexy and nightmarish. They don’t pull any punches or try to humanize or explain the invasion. It just happens and this unfortunate guy gets subjected to a myriad of punishments and mindfucks. (And here comes the spoiler alert) Funny Games devastates you because the happy end never shows up. No one survives (as the villains predict at the beginning) and the perpetrators just wander off to the next home to terrorize. And it’s all perfectly calm. Almost like a comedy of manners with blood and no jokes. Thus, it amazed me to see almost the same film made 20 years before. Death Game contains a lot more histrionics and showiness but there’s a direct line between the two movie. So, as it sped toward the climax, the killer question hung in the balance – how does this thing end? Without giving away what happens to the victim, the perpetrators wander out the front door and skip down the sidewalk. SCORE! That’s exactly how it should end! They get away! And it got made in 1974! Damn! Color me, impresse- oh wait they get killed by a speeding van.

Fuck you, movie. Just. Fuck. You.

It’s was one thing for that to happen in Get Carter three years earlier. It made a lot of sense. The movie was all about nihilism. It fit. Redemption doesn’t redeem. But for Death Game it smacks of 1930’s post-code “shit, they can’t get away with it and we can’t re-write the script so…hit by a van…I guess?” Or maybe they took How To Write Good to heart?

Either way – fury. 90 minutes of amazing shot down by 3 seconds of bullshit.

2. I ran in troll circles with this guy. He’s bright and clever. I enjoyed his work and his outlook. When I went to LA we met and he very graciously walked me around the architectural landmarks, including the stunning Bradbury building that, much to my surprise, affected me so deeply, I came very close to crying. We walked and talked and he even shows up at the end of a BBN video. We had, as far as Facebook goes, a pretty close friendship.

And then the 2016 election happened.

I didn’t vote for HRC. I couldn’t. I had too many problems with her – fracking, Wall St., her condescending treatment of Black Lives Matter, somehow convincing John Lewis to lie for her in front of a camera, the fact that a large majority of what she says gets followed up a few days later with “well, what I meant to say was…”. From the start of her tenure as FLOTUS, she backed down from statements her supporters cheered her for making. Remember the cookies comment? “I could have stayed home and baked cookies”? She walked that back pretty quickly. I felt that her coquettish entrance into the 2016 primary (WILL SHE OR WON’T SHE???) insulted a bunch of candidates who didn’t enter because they knew it would be pointless. On 9.9.08, she was the presumptive nominee for 2016. I resented that. I also resented that the media did a shit job covering the the other candidates for the Democratic Primary. And I GODDAMN resented the DNC believing that the most hated woman in US politics would magically brush all that aside for 50.1%. I was pretty vocal about it.

What I also said was, “fuck her emails”, “fuck ‘they’re all the same'” and “fuck Sanders supporters who parroted rightwing talking points”. I was pretty clear about that. I was vocal about that, too.

But, just as not supporting HRC makes you (through some strange alchemy) racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic etc. etc. etc. it also means that you PERSONALLY elected (t)Rump. Seriously?

If you’ve never argued with wingnuts (and I hope you haven’t), you’ll quickly find that no matter what ironclad, universally accepted facts you give them they will either not accept them or move the goalposts.

Here’s an actual example. To demonstrate this to a wingnut, I posted, “I bet you don’t agree that A and B are the first letters of the alphabet.” His response? “Which alphabet?” That’s just all kinds of perfect.

My FFB (Former Facebook Friend) and I share many friends. Over the past several days, when I left a comment on one of their posts, who pops up to chide me “for electing Trump”? Yup. FFB. And it’s getting more and more unhinged. His argument is that “you have no right to whine about him because you elected Trump”. Did I? I don’t remember that. I remember voting my conscience and that was certainly not (t)Rump. Let’s be clear, here. I live in Massachusetts which went for HRC even though I didn’t. If I lived in a red state, sure, I’d have to accept that as true. But I don’t. And he knows that. But in his mind not voting for HRC meant voting for (t)Rump.

Which is bullshit and I reject that.

HRC, like Kerry, Gore and Dukakis, was a shit candidate. The amount of political baggage she carried would have crippled…well…an elephant. But throughout the entire proceedings she and her campaign showed incredible arrogance that, given the staff she put together, beating this political newcomer would be a cakewalk. No. Possible. Way. She. Could. Lose. Period. I mean, LOOK at the guy? He’s a train wreck! He lies. He’s an idiot. He can’t stay on message. HRC, smooth, polished and tempered by 30yrs in politics? C’mon. Put up your daughter’s virginity as collateral. What ever you have to do! Put. Your. Money. On. HRC.

Remember her response to Bernie supporters? I think it went something like…um…let me see…oh yeah – “fuck you.” They didn’t need the independent votes because she was HILLARY FUCKING CLINTON, you dumbass. She used the same tactics of ridicule that lost her the primary against Obama. Obamabots became Berniebots. Same script. I mean…IT WORKED THE LAST TIME, RIGHT?? Then, oops, maybe she should make nice with the independent voters. Suddenly, she’s adopted Sanders’ platform and she’d always believed in that. Always.

As the gap closed in between her and (t)Rump, we were told “Don’t worry about it! She’s got the ground game! Order the drapes for the Oval Office cuz we’re going to Disneyland!” HRC supporters completely forgot about Sanders’ supporters in those heady days. The vast majority of “BernieBots” supported her once the nomination got sealed.

BUT NOT ALL OF THEM.

That’s the definition of treason, folks. That’s the HRC version of white genocide. As bush said, “You’re either for us or against us. Choose up sides, people of Massachusetts! It’s not even going to be close here, but we’re watching you!”

In the end, as you recall, HRC lost the election she couldn’t lose. Was it my fault personally?

Given that I have 352 friend on Facebook, I’m gonna go with no. I’m not that powerful and never thought myself to be. A few of my anti-HRC memes got a small amount of traction but, c’mon.

The other charge leveled is “the constant drumbeat of right wing talking points suppressed support for her.” Again – that wasn’t me. I actually fought against that saying numerous times, “There’s plenty enough to hate about her without resorting to wingnut talking points. Stop.”

Doesn’t matter, though, because I’m not sure FFB actually paid attention to what I wrote. Like with wingnuts, his worldview is everybody’s worldview and facts don’t matter. I’m not to be judged on my actions but on the actions of others. It doesn’t matter that he should know my position because I was very, very clear about it. “YOU THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE THE SAME.” No. No, I don’t. It’s insulting that he thinks so.

I shook his hand and spend 3hrs wandering around LA with him. I really enjoyed his company. I put up with his HRC posts and rarely challenged him because I liked him. He, on the other hand, constantly harangued me throughout the election and beyond. Maybe he feels betrayed. Maybe the loss shattered his sense of self. Whatever the reason, I’ve become his whipping boy. I don’t like it. It actually makes me sad that he can’t get past our differences. But that’s him.  That’s HRC. Not me. Her job was to win over people like me. She didn’t do it.

I’ve voted third party since 2000 with the exception of Obama in 2008. I’m not a fan of either party. They work for the same business interests but they are not the same at all. For me, it came down to fracking. HRC’s disingenuous and embarrassing ramble on she’d tighten the regulations to the point where it would be impossible to frack stood in sharp contrast to Sanders’ “no”.

I couldn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote for her. I’m not sorry.

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In Which I’m Not Typing AMEN

February 16th, 2017 No comments

Amen profile

“ISN’T IT GOD’S GLORIOUS WORK THAT WE HAVE A UVULA?? TYPE AMEN IF YOU AGREE!”

I get it. You’re so religious that you feel the need to tell everyone on Facebook how religious you are because…that will change people’s minds? Ok. So maybe I don’t get it. I’m an atheist and not a joiner. I’m honestly happy and supportive of your religious choices. I’m not an anti-theist. If religion is how you make sense of randomness of the world and it makes you feel better that it was God’s Plan() that three year-old Jimmy shot his baby sister in the head rather than finding a way to prevent that from happening then more power to you.

Was that judgmental? Probably. But here’s the reason why.

Because your obsessive need to make sure that God and social media know how devout you are actually leaves you open to attack by what I guess you’d refer to as “the forces of Satan.” You’re profiling yourself to the bad guys and inviting them into your computer and possibly your bank account.

There has been a “copy and paste” post going around recently about animal abuse. As well as the directive to “Do not share” but instead “copy and paste” this, the post contains a key phrase with incorrectly spelt words.

A person who copies and pastes it can easily be found by searching Google with the operand site:facebook.com “key phrase here”

The potential scammer can now see a long, long list of Facebook users who have copied and pasted the exact message about animal abuse.

Now they have a target list of people who they can be reasonably sure will react to a new post, an new “like” request, a new friend request, or some other “support us” plea that is related to animal abuse….

Key phases to look out for run along these lines:

“don’t scroll without typing amen.”
“if you woke up this morning and you are thankful every day while being bless scroll down and type amen”

Confidence schemes work because the grifter exchanges confidence for money. This is how it works.

YouTube Preview Image

Sadly, too many people have a Pavlovian response to the word Jesus. Using the name “in vain” provokes anger. Using it in praise leads to euphoria. Or vice versa if you’re a non-believer. The nefarious understand this and use it to their advantage. Thus, you get Facebook pages with millions of viewers that do nothing but post pretty memes with bible verses so that the user can…remember they’re Christian? Seriously. I don’t understand it. What I do understand is that the higher the number of likes the higher the probability that someone is counting there money and giggling. I don’t mean to single out Christians per se. The clickbait political sites on both sides of the aisle do the same thing. Any Facebook page with tens of thousands of likes that asks you to like and share rarely cares about what they’re promoting. Each click makes them money and raises their profile. Just to be clear, they’re not all scams. Reputable enterprises turn to this tactic because that’s the tactic that works.

So what’s the difference and why should you care? Because Proctor and Gamble, the ACLU and the GOP are businesses. I Believe In Jesus Christ shouldn’t be. Am I implying that the proprietor of that page isn’t a Christian? No. I’m saying they’re leveraging your belief to make money. Not directly because it doesn’t cost you anything except your personal information and if you’re ok with someone turning your sincere belief into cash money that’s fine. Just understand that when you copy/paste/share that altruism isn’t their top priority. Unless explicitly stated, that money is going into the pockets of the moneychangers in the temple. Even if explicitly stated there’s no guarantee they’re telling the truth. Have you seen Joel Osteen’s many houses? Sincere Christians paid for him to have a temperature controlled wine cellar.

Joel Osteen HomeOur God is an awesome God!
He gave me this huge home

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