"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Religious round up
Salon has an amusing juxtaposition of articles this week: A story on Steven Baldwin, who has morphed from C-list actor into A-list evangelist; and a lengthy interview with uber-atheist and top evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Now if we could just get the two to take part in a cage match...

On the right we have the faithful:

"Baldwin preaches that free will is a lie of Satan -- we must shut off our brains, he says, and be led by what God tells our hearts. Furthermore, he writes, efforts to end global poverty and violence are just the sort of "stupid arrogance" that incur God's wrath, which we'll be feeling any day now in the coming apocalypse. I suppose when the star of "Bio-Dome" is advising the president and converting kids by the thousands to his gnarly brand of faith, the end is, indeed, nigh. "

While on the left we have the rational:

"What is so bad about religion?
Well, it encourages you to believe falsehoods, to be satisfied with inadequate explanations which really aren't explanations at all. And this is particularly bad because the real explanations, the scientific explanations, are so beautiful and so elegant. Plenty of people never get exposed to the beauties of the scientific explanation for the world and for life. And that's very sad. But it's even sadder if they are actively discouraged from understanding by a systematic attempt in the opposite direction, which is what many religions actually are. But that's only the first
of my many reasons for being hostile to religion. "

In Baldwin's defense, he does consider Bono a tool of Satan - and Dawkins can be a bit of a pushy prick, but still and all, what this boils down to is a dumbass encouraging other people to be dumbasses and a smart, educated guy encouraging people to be smart and educated. Which do you think is likely to make the world a better place?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sweet Jesus
And they wonder why there is a problem with obesity in North America? As a bit of a lardass, I suppose I'm not in a great position to criticize, but "deep fried Coke"? Why not just take a bag of white sugar, roll it in bacon fat and graham cracker crumbs, deep fry it and inject it straight into your heart?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rae makes splash in leadership race

Many Ontario voters would like to tell Bob Rae to "go jump in the lake" - Rick Mercer seems to have convinced him to do it.

Despite the picture scramble, I think this shows Rae has the balls to be Prime Minister - or at least that he is the candidate with nothing to hide. It also shows an admirable amount of humility and a sense of humor, things I want my PM to have.

And for Blogging Tories having this read to them: No, there is no double standard involved in the press virtually ignoring this while jumping on "Doris" Day for his arrival at his first press conference on a jet ski. Doris was trying to look cool in his wet suit at an official press conference and this was a joke for a comedy program. It's not even apples and oranges, it's more like rhinos and the national debt, or anthracite coal and sea water, or blogging tories and sane people -- you know, things that are completely different.

I think this and other similar stunts on the Mercer Report -- Rick skydiving with Gen. Hillier, going to Canadian Tire with Prime Minister Paul Martin etc etc -- show a key difference between Canada and most other nations. We refuse to let our leaders take themselves too seriously. Try to imagine George Bush going to the hardware store with Jon Stewart, or Dick Cheney hosting Saturday Night Live.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Readin' Ritin' and Rithmatic
Linwood Barclay in the Toronto Star on the Tories brave new literacy plan. Next from the Conservative brain trust: A new math curriculum that uses only prime numbers, thus saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Awww, isn't it cute...
We've had our first troll! 15,000 hits - about 5,000 in the last week or so thanks to the Asylum Street Spankers video - and we've finally gotten trolled.

BlameCanada (on blogger since last week) wrote in the comments:
"This is the biggest bunch of crap ever. Tell that out of shape joke of a lead singer to hit the gym and get a haircut. As for him and the rest of the freak show, stop abusing free speech to attack the people that are defending and providing you with that right! You just prove to the rest of the world that Texans ARE retarded, Bush included. You can return to Canada or France whenever. Preferrably sooner rather than later."

I suspect this may be someone I know yanking my chain and hoping to get me to go off on a rant. If so, they have crafted a great and subtle parody of a troll.

Strawman argument? Check.
Misunderstanding of the original material? Check.
Ad Hominem attack and personal insults? Check.
Bad mouthing of French? Check.
General dumbassery? Check.

Now if this dingbat is sincere, let me just ask how it thinks one can "abuse free speech" when it is supposed to be a near absolute. I'd also like to know how the chowderheads whose support of the troops involved in the USA's illegal war in Iraq is limited to slapping magnets on their gas-guzzler are "defending and providing" that right to free speech. And even if the band were referring to the troops - which they pointedly are not - how exactly were the Iraqis threating free speech in the United States?

The puzzling thing is that "BlameCanada" claim to think Bush is an idiot, which leads me to wonder whether it is a real troll or a parody troll. He also dwells on the lead singer being out of shape and having long hair, when in fact the lead singer-Wammo by name and nature-looks fairly dapper in the video and not especially fat (thanks to the lighting and the slimming nature of the black tux). I therefore suspect it is Wammo or someone else from the band - though I would have expected less subtle parody from the rest of the band and more mocking of Wammo.