Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

I find your lack of faith… yadayadayada

February 12, 2013

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Pope Benedict XVI resigns his position as head of the papacy. The Catholic Church is left reeling. World is shocked.

Internet explodes.

And yet, in the past month alone the internets has exploded MULTIPLE times… over the Grammy’s, a blackout at the Superbowl, whether Beyonce lip-syncs or not, the news that JJ Abrams will control the hearts and minds of both Star Wars AND Trek fans, and the revelation that every professional athlete anywhere is probably maybe taking something…

24 hour news cycle, baby.

My tip for the next biggest news story of all time?

Beyonce is elected the next Pope, but only after a power failure at Vatican City means the papal conclave is forced to release fake white smoke from their chimneys. The smoke is later revealed to contain traces of HGH, Beyonce resigns after a week in disgrace, only to then be cast as both Lieutenant Uhura in the next Star Trek film and the ass-kicking descendent of Mace Windu in Star Wars episodes 7-9.

The force is... umm... strong? With this one?

The force is… umm… strong? With this one?

And even THAT’S only gonna tide us over for a week. At best.

Wake me when the zombie apocalypse finally happens, won’t you? Now THAT’S news.

BPM

 

Screw you Apatow – This is 32*

September 20, 2012

*Or, you know, maybe not. I have nothing against Judd Apatow. Not even the fact that he’s personally responsible for Katherine Heigl’s movie career. Sometimes you just need a title, and “The Introspective Ponderings of a Self-Loathing Potential Narcissist” seemed a LITTLE heavy…  

“Sigh… and then what did Kim Kardashian say?”

It will come as no surprise to anyone that’s ever read my drivel to know that I’m far too obsessed with all the wrong shit. I’d love to spend my days entrenched in conversation about philosophical concepts beyond the comprehension of 98.4% of the general population. It’d be great to have an extensive knowledge of the history of Baroque music. And I have no doubt that spending hours conducting exhaustive research for the thesis I’d someday write about the geo-politics of Australasian territories… that’d be swell.

However, what also will come as very little surprise to you, is that I ain’t that smart.

Not as smart as I’d like to be. Not as smart as I pretend to be. Not even as smart as I’d settle on being.

And so, rather than high-minded pursuits, my attention is dragged to what is basically the ephemera of world news. I’m so focussed on the algae resting atop the aquarium, that I never even notice the tropical fish below.

A point made doubly true by the fact that I know so little of algae, or of tropical fish, that my clumsy metaphor might be complete bullshit.

Just be thankful this is a picture of an actual aquarium… I’ll bet a million dollars someone somewhere uses ‘Dirty Aquarium’ as a sexual euphemism

GET TO THE POINT! 

So in the past week, I’ve been swamped by the kind of stories that would normally constitute their own posts here at the BPM.

There was the leaked video of Mitt Romney at a private dinner, where he told potential donors at a fund-raiser that approximately 47% of Americans believed they were entitled to things like food, or health care, and that “…my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”.

There was a kind of international moral litmus test involving the topless photos taken of Kate Middleton, as she and Prince William  sunbathed at a private château in France. The argument for publishing is encapsulated in this quote from Danish magazine Se of Hoer: “It is in the DNA of Se og Hoer that we should entertain and fulfil our readers’ curiosity. Therefore it is always relevant for us when a duchess and future queen of England is topless and voluntarily shows her breasts near a public road”.

And then there is the counter argument, that photo’s taken of a private estate from over a kilometre away, of the wife of a Prince whose mother died as she was being chased by paparazzi, might not be totes cool. For the record, thus far the British, American’s and Australian’s have chosen to err on the side of “Dude… really?!?”, as the Dane’s, Italian’s and French maintain their stance of “Hooray for boobies!”.

There was the initially peaceful protest by Muslims in Sydney’s Hyde Park, revolving around the now infamous American amateur film posted on YouTube which mocks Muhammed. As absolutely no one could’ve predicted, it swiftly got wayyyy out of hand. There was the image of a 4-year-old holding a sign that read ‘Behead All Those Who Insult The Prophet’. There was his mother, who upon being investigated by police, insisted that she didn’t know what the word ‘behead’ meant. And, of course, the inevitable online rush of white, middle-class, anglo ‘real’ Aussies to join Facebook groups represented by pictures like this one:

Don’t rush to judgement, the bottom word there has more syllables than any other word in his entire vocabulary

There was the vote in Australian parliament on the possibility of legalising gay marriage, where Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a close ally of Tony Abbott, was forced to resign from his position after controversially phrasing his objection to gay marriage as follows: “The next step … is having three people that love each other be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people… There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”

Wow… all this is too heavy, Monkey. What about something to lighten the mood?

Well, there was ex-child star Amanda Bynes yet again throwing down the gauntlet to Lindsay Lohan, by continuing to unravel in public… you know, if you call driving on a suspended licence, multiple hit-and-run incidents, and driving whilst smoking pot unravelling. Lindsay responded by (of course) tweeting…
 … only to ‘allegedly’ hit a man in New York less than a week later, trying to park her car outside a hotel. Whilst under the influence, natch.

Now, the REAL challenge here… how does one create some kind of tangential link between such a disparate group of stories?

Well, how about this – they all elicited more or less the exact same kind of reaction from me. A reaction that kind of went something like this…

Sighing. Slumping of shoulders. Shaking of head. Curse word. Acceptance.

That’s in real-time, too.

I’ve officially finally reached the point of apathy where it’s almost impossible to legitimately feel any sense of outrage at the kind of source material that drives most of this blog. I emphasise the word legitimate, because I, like so many people, can still manufacture outrage well enough on occasion. But real emotion?

I suppose on one hand this is potentially a healthy development for me. Why should I give a shit (or indeed, quite so many shits) about these strangers, whose lives will never really intersect with mine on any level whatsoever? Shouldn’t this free up some psychic real estate that can now revolve around newer, healthier thoughts and obsessions? Like Baroque, philosophy, theses… you know… all that shit?

Baroque Art… kind of like an album cover for the band ‘Live’ circa 1995

Perhaps. I don’t know yet. I do know that more and more often I’m seeing no resolution to a raft of world issues as disparate as the Australian political stance on gay marriage, or anglo-Islamic relations, the intrusiveness of the papparazzi, or… Lindsay Lohan… no resolution except for “Well, what are you going to do except wait and hope for generational change?”.

Which still feels like a cowards way out to me, on many levels. Sure, I still believe in the causes that I believe in. I can call out bigotry, or prejudice, or the evils of Twitter, celebrity stupidity and entitlement. But even as I’m doing so, I increasingly find myself thinking that the only hope we have is that the next generation of Button Pushing Monkeys grow up in a society incrementally less hateful towards homosexuals, incrementally less divided by religion and culture, incrementally more respectful, and hopeful, and… better?

I’m still a young man. But I can admit that as far back as I can remember I’ve always been (perhaps to a degree that’s unhealthy) a cynic. Is this just what passes for hope as we get older? I’m interested in others opinions.

Perhaps in this world the most important thing is retaining any kind of hope at all.

It was Stephen King that said “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”.

And I hope that’s true.

Thanks for bearing with me this long down the rabbit-hole/ up my own ass, folks. I promise our usual dick’n’fart joke broadcast will resume shortly.

BPM

Out Of The Mouths Of Children

May 31, 2012

Want me to ruin your day with a single video clip?

If so, then check out this story about a small child singing in front of his congregation at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana.

Then press play.

Sigh… just fucking sigh…

It’s just the latest in a series of stories like these about such inspiring, loving Christian communities and values that make me glad I’m a Pastafarian.

“And he saw that it was Fettucine. And it was good”

BPM

 

Another reason why Patton Oswalt rules

November 23, 2011

Because yes, you CAN make me stand in the background of the opening scene of this ep of ‘The King of Queens’, AND give me absolutely nothing to do…

Just don’t be surprised if when you do, I stand there like a motionless cypher, tripping balls through a parallel galaxy that’s allll in my mind.

Check out from 0:34 to about 1:26 of that clip.

Genius.

For a slightly better representation of Patton’s comedy stylings, maybe give this clip a whirl:

Ahhh, the ol’ sky cake dodge…

BPM

Monkey Musings: ‘Red State’

October 19, 2011

I was lucky enough last week to catch a screening of Kevin Smith’s new film ‘Red State’ at The Astor here in Melbourne. For those of you who have never visited The Astor, I’d urge you to go. One of the last of the classic old theatre’s in Melbourne, it comes complete with booze, a swaggering herd of gen-u-wine cinephiles, and it’s own honest-to-God resident Astor cat (named Marzipan, apparently). Just the kind of traditional, cozy, comforting environment to see one of the weirdest, most discomforting films of 2011.

Now, first thing’s first, I’m a big Kevin Smith fan. Huge. Watching ‘Clerks’ for the first time was a formative experience in my life. I’ve seen all his flicks. I listen to his podcasts. I have a Silent Bob bobblehead in my home. I’m even one of the 9 people in Victoria who paid hard currency to see ‘Cop Out’ at the cinemas.

So with that in mind, yes, I’m probably inclined to be quite generous in my reviews of all things Smithian. You have been forewarned.

I’d heard a lot about ‘Red State’ prior to seeing the flick, about the making of, about Michael Parks’ incredible performance, about Smith’s decision at the Sundance Film Festival to self-distribute the movie, and about his many colourful run-in’s with the Phelps family, upon whom several characters in this film are based. And yes, I could quite easily have watched an illegal download of this film weeks ago. But something told me this was a flick that would play much better if experienced with an audience.

I’m glad I waited.

Michael Parks as Abin Cooper

Because ‘Red State’ offers what so few movies do these days – the chance to get lost in a film where you have little to no idea where the narrative might be going next. There’s definitely an ominous sense of foreboding, and in your heart of hearts you’ll know that this story cannot end well, but beyond that… ? It takes storytelling chances, never being afraid to make a reversal or even to kill off a character who only seconds before you were sure was finally going to be OK.

It’s brutal, without ever crossing the line into ‘Hostel’ styled gore-nography. It’s honest in its depiction of human nature. And it’s somehow horribly, horribly believable (thanks again, Westboro Baptist Church).

And best of all, it’s the kind of movie that’ll not only make you think, but will stick in your mind for days afterwards. This isn’t the movie-going experience that I believe Stephen King once described as a ‘popcorn fart’ – all noise and no smell. This is… well… lets just leave it at that before we devolve into a few hundred words on some other more suitable fart-related analogy, shall we?

I’m not going to say it’s the best Kevin Smith movie, or even my favourite. But it’s an impressive left-turn in the final stages of Smith’s filmmaking career, and is damn sure worth checking out.

Because in a world where we can now look forward to a ‘Transformers 4’ & ‘Transformers 5’ very soon, I’ll take all the weird, undefinable, genre-bending cinema I can get.

BPM

I think what God MEANT to say…

May 24, 2011

To be fair, he DOES look old enough to have had a face-to-face convo with the Almighty at some point

Good news folks:

The Rapture, as predicted by Californian preacher Howard Camping, didn’t happen last Saturday night after all.

The bad news?

Well, after slightly miscalculating this particular date, as he did once previously in 1994, Camping is 100%-Sure-For-Realsies-This-Time that it will now take place on October 21st (about 5 months from now).

Which I’m sure is a huge comfort to those true believers that did shit like cash in all their savings or sell their homes last week, because… you know… who needs money once YOU’VE been saved and the world’s ending?

Sigh.

Of far greater concern to me was the death on Friday of one of my childhood heroes, wrestling icon “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Hmmmm… the Macho Man dies, and one day later the Rapture is averted… coincidence????

 

So, to the man of the hour, too sweet to be sour, funky like a monkey… OHHHHH YEAHHHHHHHHH!

Rest in Peace, Randy – you’ll be missed.

BPM

Terrorist Ringtones

February 1, 2011

I’ll cop to being more than a little morbid, sure, but you’ve GOT to admit there’s something pretty frigging funny about this story…

‘SUICIDE BOMBER BLOWN UP PREMATURELY BY SPAM TEXT’

Terrorism only works with mobile phones built circa 2001...

from heraldsun.com.au

That’s right – a radical religious (is there any other kind?) terrorist inadvertently blew herself up when she received a ‘Happy New Year’ spam text message on the mobile phone that was acting as her detonator.

Perhaps proof positive for all the atheists that just maybe there IS a God / Allah / Buddha / Jehovah / L.Ron out there, and that they DO have a sense of humour.

Or maybe not…

Question:

If Islamic male suicide bombers are suckered in by those 72 crispy clean virgins waiting for them in the afterlife, what are the female suicide bombers offered???

BPM

P.S – Any objections if I call my first funk-fusion-ska band ‘The Terrorist Ringtones’? No? Good…

Tweet him @themostevilmanonearth

January 12, 2011

Wow...

Ever stumble across something so vile it completely ruins your day in a freakin heartbeat?

No, I don’t mean shit like ‘Two Girls, One Cup’ for those with their minds in the gutter.

I mean the charming opinions of enlightened thinkers like Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of Fred Phelps, and Megan Phelps, Freddie’s grand-daughter

For those unaware, Fred is the self-appointed head of the Westboro Baptist Church, one of the most notorious hate… sorry… “religious” groups in the United States.

He’s the brainiac behind the website godhatesfags.com. He’s perhaps most famous for picketing the funerals of members of the military and homosexuals.

And now he’s proclaimed that God sent the shooter that seriously injured Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 people this week in Arizona, including 9-year-old Christina Greene.

Apparently this little girl deserved to die at the hand of a potentially mentally disturbed gunman

Lets not waste words – these people are E-vil (capital E) zealots, hiding behind their religious freedoms and the right to freedom of speech. And, incidentally, anyone who uses their own freedom of speech to call the WBC out on their outright lies and hypocrisies? They’re accused of hiding behind (and I quote) “fag speak”.

Evil.

And to tie alllllll this back in to my headline… does Evil have a Twitter feed?

Of course it does! It has several!

Check out Shirley here

And Megan here

Margie Phelps here

Jael Phelps here

And the list goes on and on and on.

You’ll need to check in periodically with these Twitter feeds, dear reader, if you want all the latest details on how the Phelps family and WBC followers plan to picket the funeral of Christina Greene this week.

Seriously.

You can read wayyyyyyyy more about the Phelps family with a few simple Google searches. Go on – it’ll be the most depressing 20 minutes of your life.

And that 20 minutes of research should be more than enough for any sane person to realize there ain’t much that we, as creatures of rational thought and logic, can do to help the WBC. You can’t reason with hysterical bigots this far gone. You can’t attempt any kind of meaningful dialogue. It’s probably best we follow the advice of Lisa Simpson in a Treehouse of Horror ep, and “Just don’t look, just don’t look”.

With that being said, the internet has given everyone (for better and for worse) a voice, to be shouted out from the rooftops… no matter how stupid the thoughts or opinion that voice espouses (look at this blog for example). We cannot bar the Phelps’ from the entirety of the internet any more than we can bar child pornography, or Justin Bieber music videos.

But Twitter… ?

I know so little about actually using Twitter that I’m going to just throw this out there: can anyone really just open an account and spout the kind of hate-fuckery these people do on a daily basis with no real consequences? Do you not get shut down sooner or later by some account administrator for tweeting about God’s wrathful vengeance being invoked upon children like Christina Greene? Is there any kind of line that cannot be crossed, that will not be tolerated?

What point is too far?

Is it when you stop using whatever tools you have at your disposal to spout hate-mongering propaganda, and start marching on Poland?

I’m genuinely curious.

Interested to hear your thoughts,

BPM

Why the Bible needs more Velociraptors: A News Report

August 2, 2010

Sigh… didn’t you just know that if there was going to be a controversial story about Creationism being taught in schools, it’d take place in Queensland?

Fundamentalist Christian’s are ‘hijacking’ Religious Instruction classes in some Primary Schools, and they’re dropping some interesting facts on the younglings to convert em to Christianity.

You know…

Like how Noah collected Dinosaur eggs to take aboard the Arc…

And how if we are all descended from Adam and Eve, that still doesn’t mean as a species we’re in-bred, because DNA wasn’t invented back then…

And how Adam and Eve weren’t eaten by Dinosaurs because of a “protective spell“.

Oh shit... Force-Field, ON!!!

Aren’t these the same loonies that claim Harry Potter is satanic because he uses magic? What’s the difference between Harry’s invisibility cloak and Adam and Eve’s magical powers?!?

STEGOSAURUS DISGUISE-ICUS!

But I digress.

The real sticking point here is that these classes are taking place at State Schools, not Christian Schools, and that they can be conducted by any interested party.

This means that they’re predominantly run by local Pentecostal churches and Fundamentalist groups, but also means that, in theory, I could teach a room full of ten-year old’s about religion if I really felt like it… and if I was allowed within 100 feet of a school.

The villain here ain’t Pastor McForce-Field or his merry band of Monkey-Denialist’s… it’s Education Queensland, who have deemed this particular brand of R.I compulsory.

And as for the schools pleading innocence here? Please. They admit that much of the time they don’t even have a teacher present during the classes, or if they do it’s only to supervise the instructors “because of all the fire and brimstone stuff“.

‘Hijacking’… for Christ’s sake…

You know what? I’m gonna throw a ‘Die Hard’ analogy at ya (suck on that, Fundamentalists!):

If Mr. Takagi had invited Hans Gruber and his terrorists to that Xmas party… and he’d pretended they didn’t have guns… and he chose to leave the room when they started collecting hostages… and the Security Guard turned his monitor off and ignored whatever was going on upstairs because he was in the midst of a really enthralling crossword puzzle…

If all that had happened… then I would hesitate to say that Nakatomi Plaza was HIJACKED!

"Come out to the Sunshine Coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

The Jesus-Peep’s aren’t exactly infiltrating the schools by stealth under cover of darkness. They’re not wresting control of the classroom by force. They’re only abusing whatever power the teachers and the Education board ALLOW them.

If you’re a teacher in that scenario who feels that strongly about what’s going on… then undermine what’s being taught in R.I! Contradict it. Flat out tell the students you think it’s all a fantasy. Drop a little Science on em. But don’t just stand by, wringing your hands and complaining on behalf of the children. Grow a pair!

Because as it stands, studies show that almost 30% of Australian’s currently believe that Men and Dinosaurs co-existed.

Seriously.

It’s up to you to do something about that, goodly educators of Australia. John McClane’s not coming to do it for you.

BPM

Sex & The City 2 – Who’s our target audience again?

May 26, 2010

Interesting to see that Carrie Bradshaw can somehow still create controversy…

All that sand, but where's the camel(toe)?

‘Sex & The City 2’ opens in cinemas worldwide next week, and early reviews have been pretty scathing about one specific aspect of the narrative:

This movie, it seems, is anti-Muslim.

The Hollywood Reporter was one of the first to denounce the film as being incredibly offensive. Hadley Freeman from the UK ‘Daily Mailwrote, “Not since 1942’s Arabian Nights has orientalism been portrayed so unironically. All Middle Eastern men are shot in a sparkly light with jingly jangly music just in case you didn’t get that these dusky people are exotic and different“.

I’m sure there’s some flimsy reason for the girls to travel to Abu Dhabi for their Cosmopolitan’s, and I can totally see how a scene involving local women casting aside their burqa for a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s and the latest couture might be construed as not especially racially sensitive.

But seriously…

Dem. O. Graphics. Look it up.

I’m sure after the movie grosses $100+ million opening week, Michael Patrick King will be devastated about all the money that they’ve lost by not catering to the Muslim audience.

Bear in mind we’re talking about the same franchise that featured one token black woman in the original film. Jennifer Hudson acted as Carrie’s assistant, gratefully accepted her hand me down’s, and left the big city to return home to the ol’ South by movie’s end… Hmmmmm…

A three-dimensional Muslim character will turn up eventually… but they’ll probably have to come up with a fully fleshed out Black, Asian and/or male character first.

Enjoy your girls night out, ladies…

BPM