Archive for May, 2009

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Jesus Camp And Why You Should Fear God

[ Comments Off ]Posted on May 31, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Or, why Jesus Camp will be your favorite new horror film.

Though the lady in this clip speaks in
tongues, her message of “Dubya
stands for WORSHIP” gets through.

Well, if God is the one highlighted in the film Jesus Camp, you should be afraid. Very afraid. I usually find it in poor taste to denigrate the faiths of others (admittedly, I’ve made an exception for Mormons and Scientologists), but in the case of Kids In Ministry International (the organization featured in the film), I don’t see how I can keep my mouth shut. From the opening scenes, in which the rather hefty, third-generation Pentecostal preacher Becky Fischer preaches about fasting while her gut seeks escape from her waistband, to the creepy scene in which a church full of children reaches out their hands and weepingly prays to a life-size cutout of George W. Bush, the rather even-handed documentary calmy reveals a horror of child indocrination into a politicized, bellicose form of Christianity that is only equalled by the stories one hears about the madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. With no voiceover or commentary, the film paints a picture of an overweight, ignorant, and self-righteous group of people convinced that their militant, idioglottic (see Becky Fischer’s bizarre and convoluted rationalization for speaking in tongues) form of Christianity will save the world from itself, and probably within a generation. If you haven’t seen a chilling horror film in a while, Jesus Camp should be on your list. Because of the friend who recommended it to me (thanks a bunch, Sasha!) I think I’ll be having nightmares tonight.

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No Really, WTF California

[ 3 Comments ]Posted on May 30, 2009 by admin in Politics

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Proposition H8. Apply liberally for a pain in the ass.

California is an amazing and beautiful place. Some of the hippest, smartest people I know live there. Apparently though, none of them vote; how else could one explain the bizarre electoral and legislative behavior in the state since the 1990′s? Starting with the almost comical collapse of the $300,000,000+ per mile subway under Hollywood Blvd in 1994, California has exhibited some disturbing trends in voting, governing and law. This is the state that brought us the Rodney King trial, let OJ free, created the “Three Strikes” law that sends chocolate chip cookie thieves to jail for 25 years to life (at a time when the Netherlands’ jails can’t be kept full), elected a monosyllabic Austrian action movie star as governor, has a GDP greater than Spain but can’t balance their budget, and most recently, in spite of having the largest same-sex couple population of any state, can’t seem to pass simple same-sex marriage legislation. WTF, California, indeed. You used to lead the way in social progress and forward thinking, what has happened to you?

UPDATE: We uploaded this image to Cafe Press as a bumper sticker, and they blocked its usage for products within thirty minutes. You can still get the WTF, California mug while we set up an account with another service. And on a related note, did you know there really IS a WTF, California?

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Is There Life After Facebook?

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on May 29, 2009 by admin in Technology

Friday, May 29th, 2009

And are you tragically un-hip if you keep using it? Don’t worry. We have ideas for you.

Well, apparently not, if you’re over 55. However, there are some interesting things going on out there. For one, Microsoft is launching Bing, their new “Decision Engine”. Make sure you understand the distinction, they’re worried that you’ll think it’s just another search engine. Nope, this one will make decisions for you. Finally. I’ve been waiting for something that does that. Although it’s easy to hate Microsoft, I’m personally looking forward to trying it. Google, for all its warm, fuzzy, Googliness, has become the bane of my existence when it comes to search. And what about Twitter? Well I and many people who are smarter than I am feel it’s already peaking. Which means, in a way, that it has a lot of life left in it, but some users will stay on board, many stop using it quickly, and most importantly, the hip people leave when the masses move in. Maybe the ability to search Tweets with tools like Topsy will broaden the interest. My bet? Back to the awesome Googliness. One of the main things that draws people and retains them with Facebook is the multitude of methods to interact easily. Unfortunately, Facebook fails rather miserably with things like chat functionality and a more versatile “inbox”, both of which should have been a no-brainer, in my opinion. A strong possible contender here is Google Wave, which, if they can bundle it all together flexibly with tools like Google Voice or PhoneVite would be a real winner. I would be ecstatic if a networking tool like Facebook allowed me to easily switch from a chat or inbox dialog to a cellphone voice or text dialog. So the questions arise. Am I pathetically uncool if I keep using Facebook? Where are you going after Facebook?

Is Gay Marriage A Black & White Issue?

[ 4 Comments ]Posted on May 28, 2009 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

If you had to choose five social issues to devote your time, energy, or money to, what would they be?

As an American who has very strong beliefs about free thinking, free speech, and the idea that the government should serve the people and not the reverse, I’m often frustrated to see nuanced issues shifted into polarized, black and white debates. Since my views don’t fit neatly into our two-party system, I’m regularly misunderstood on my stance on a variety of issues. This was highlighted for me yesterday when a very intelligent friend for whom I have a great deal of respect asked if this WTF, CALIFORNIA? graphic I created meant that I supported gay marriage. My stance on that is a little more complicated. I support any union based on love, but I’m not sure if I want the government meddling in it. But at a time when millions are homeless or hungry in America, and our health care is in shambles, I wonder about how my intelligent liberal friends and I are utilizing our time, and perhaps more importantly, why wealthy (often religiously-motivated) individuals will spend $36 million dollars to ban gay marriage, but insist they don’t want to be taxed a little more to keep people alive and healthy. I mean, what are the priorities here? To assuage my personal progressive guilt, I’m doing a little work with a Kenya/US non-profit (consider joining us for the June 4 fundraiser, by the way), and also preparing a free program to teach basic computer skills to the homeless. This work feels a little feeble to me; I’d like to do more. If you had to name the 5 most important social issues of today, what would they be?


[ Comments Off ]Posted on May 27, 2009 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Need we say more? For now, we only have a coffee mug on Cafe Press. Stay tuned.

Need we say more? For now, we only have a coffee mug on Cafe Press. Stay tuned.

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