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Rulers, Ruling All Things January 5, 2010

Posted by monty in news, TV.
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2 comments

I suppose it was only a matter of time.  Last night I posted the video of Brit Hume telling Tiger Woods – on a news show, no less – that what he needed to do was renounce his Buddhist faith and embrace Christianity.  I wasn’t alone in feeling that A) if you want to consider yourself a legitimate news outlet, your Senior Political Analyst can’t proselytize, and B) it’s ignorant and insensitive to dismiss an entire religion in front of a Fox News audience whose knowledge of Buddhism extends exactly as far as the statuary at their favorite Chinese restaurant.

But, just like clockwork, rather than admitting it wasn’t his place to give religious advice to Tiger Woods, Hume went on The O’Reilly Factor last night to complain about how he’s the one being persecuted.

I try to be patient with this kind of stuff, but it irritates me on multiple levels.  The problem that I have with Brit Hume has nothing to do with the Christian faith and everything to do with Christians.  There’s a huge difference between the two, and to continue I’m going to have to ask people to forget for a moment that Tiger Woods is a philandering douchebag.  He is, I’m aware he is, but I’ve got bigger to fish to fry than a pro golfer who can’t keep it in his pants.

It’s so pompous and sanctimonious of Hume to talk down to Tiger – and by extension, all Buddhists – and claim that in times of strife, Christ is the only way to go.  I always thought Christians were supposed to be humble, but what we see time and again is this smug superiority, this sense that they, and only they, know how life is supposed to be lived, and anyone who hasn’t drunk their particular brand of Kool-Aid is automatically inferior.  I’ll say it again: I have no problem with Christianity as a belief system.  But too often its practitioners need to mind their own damn business.

The cries of persecution honestly baffle me.  The main problem seems to be a failure to recognize that criticism is not the same thing as persecution.  I’m not saying Brit Hume can’t be a Christian, can’t think Christianity is great, can’t practice his faith, can’t talk about it publicly, and can’t try to convert oodles of people on his own time.  That would be persecution.  What I’m saying (and what others have said) is that Tiger Woods’ religious faith is none of your business, and it’s supremely inappropriate to use your position as a news correspondent to talk seriously about religious conversion.  This isn’t religious persecution.  It’s honest criticism of your journalistic ethics.

To get a better idea of what I mean, imagine, if you will, that Tiger Woods was a Christian and The Today Show‘s Al Roker was a Muslim.  What do you think would happen (especially at Fox News) if Al did the weather report and then said, “I think the only way for Tiger to overcome his marital infidelities is to read the Qu’ran and convert to Islam”?  Fox would throw a shit fit about the liberal media, Christian fundamentalists across the country would burn Al in effigy, and all those people gathered outside the windows at 30 Rock each morning would bear picket signs.  And of course, on a professional level, Al would be dead wrong.

Tiger Woods has exactly one person to answer to, and that’s his wife.  Maybe his religious faith enters into that transaction, but that’s none of our business.  I believe, as I always have, that religious faith is a personal thing.  I talk about my religious skepticism on here, but I don’t for a second believe I’m necessarily right, or that I have all the answers.  I don’t even want to convince anyone to see things my way.  Christianity would be much more palatable to me if the Brit Humes of the world started to realize that you can live your faith and you can practice your faith, but as soon as you start to impose it on others, you’re a nuisance and a pompous twat.

*****

Current listening:

The Pogues – Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say … Pogue Mahone!! (2008)

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Death by Diamonds and Pearls November 12, 2009

Posted by monty in news.
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2 comments

out-to-lunch

This semester was cruising right along until I hit the last couple weeks.  Now I’ve been so fried and preoccupied with job-related stuff that my initiative and inspiration for this little site have been sorely lacking.  I could also blame my abandonment of what I was working on for National Novel Writing Month on those factors, but that would, of course, only be partially true.

So anyway, activity around these parts might continue to be a little sparse for the next few days while I recharge my batteries.  It’s entirely possible that I’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated with the advent of the weekend, but it’s also possible that I’ll spend the next 72 hours curled up at the bottom of my closet, sobbing softly and talking to myself.

Just so I’m not leaving you completely high and dry, here are two recent videos of Carrie Prejean.  I wrote about her appearance on The Today Show the other day, and now you can see the interview in all its unhinged glory.  The Larry King clip is nearly as good – which means you get even more evidence of just how batshit crazy this broad is.  If God wants to reward us all, he’ll give us a Palin/Prejean ticket in 2012.

*****

Current listening:

Roxy country

Roxy Music – Country Music

Ballerina Out of Control November 10, 2009

Posted by monty in news, politics.
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2 comments

invisibleaffairs2I promise – absolutely, positively 100% promise – that this will be the last thing I say about this yammering doofus, but Carrie Prejean’s interview with Meredith Vieira on The Today Show this morning was just too priceless to pass up.

Let’s recap who she is first.  She wins Miss USA after saying gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed.  She goes on to become a darling of Fox News and other conservative media types.  She’s eventually removed from her position, allegedly because she failed to meet the commitments of the “office.”  Prejean sues.  Later we find out her boob job paid was paid for by pageant officials, and she’d taken some racy photos for a men’s magazine. Most recently, she dropped her lawsuit after the emergence of a tape wherein the GOP’s sweetheart was filmed practicing safe sex on herself.  In short, we have yet another example of a person of no consequence being elevated to a position of importance, essentially because she aired her bigoted views publicly, and then turned out to be a grade-A hypocrite.

The interview didn’t reflect any of this.  It was, in short,  a masterpiece of megalomanical delusion.  She’s convinced that her firing – and now this sex tape – is all part of grand liberal campaign to “silence” her.  Apparently she’s been diligently copying the notes she was given during her appearances on Fox News, because her talking points read like the How to Be a Young Republican Handbook. A few of the more exciting tidbits:

  • There’s a plot in this country to silence conservative women.
  • We have a liberal media.
  • Because she came under fire for her comments about gay marriage, free speech doesn’t exist.
  • “I’ve been Palinized.”
  • Sean Hannity would be off the air if he said the same things about Michelle Obama that Keith Olbermann has said about her.

I don’t even really know where to start. The easiest place, I guess, is the last point.  To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen in the 1988 Vice-Presidential debates: Carrie, you’re no Michelle Obama.  You’re not even Sarah Palin.  You’re a talentless dingbat whose fifteen minutes of fame are just about up.  And if Hannity did criticize Michelle Obama, he wouldn’t be off the air.  Why?  Because he’s on Fox News.  If anything, he’d get a raise.

As for her first point, I’d argue that it’s not a plot to silence conservative women.  It’s a plot to silence stupid people.  Period.  Prejean, Sarah Palin, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Ann Coulter – what other conservative women could she be talking about?  Olympia Snowe?  Meghan McCain?  As far as I can tell, Snowe is enjoying increased prestige precisely because she’s a conservative woman who’s not a Stepford-esque twit.  She’s smart and principled, and that flies in the face of most current conservative rhetoric.  And Meghan McCain may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but people are willing to listen to her because she doesn’t stick to the accepted GOP talking points. If Prejean doesn’t want people to criticize what she says, she should stop spewing bigoted, hateful nonsense.

And that brings me to her point about the death of free speech.  It’s funny to hear her say this, because my response is the one I frequently hear conservatives give liberals.  Just because we have freedom of speech in this country doesn’t mean you can go around babbling whatever the hell you like without consequence.  You get to say it without being locked up in jail. That’s free speech.  If other entities want to criticize or sanction you because of what you said, well, that’s their prerogative.  Just ask the Dixie Chicks.  I think it’s great they had the courage to speak out against George W. Bush to their largely redneck, Bush-supporting fan base, but the ensuing backlash wasn’t censorship.  The fact that fans destroyed their records, and country music stations stopped playing their songs, struck me as a totally predictable, wholly reasonable response from that demographic.  If you’re going to have the balls to say something unpopular, then you’d also better have the balls to deal with the aftermath.

And that’s really the problem I have with Prejean.  She can’t own up to the fact that it’s not a plot to silence her.  It’s so much more convenient to turn herself into a victim – “I know I’m a homophobe, but look how mean everyone’s being to meeeeeeeee!”  She wants to live under this delusion that some huge lefty conclave gets together for coffee cake and decide who’s going to be blacklisted this month, rather than realize that if you say something bigoted and prejudicial on a national platform, there’s going to be a backlash.

Because, Carrie, some of us actually believe in gay marriage.  Some of us actually believe that whom you choose to marry isn’t going to unravel the fabric of the country.  Some of us believe in, you know, equal rights.  If you’re going to out yourself as an enemy of equality, Carrie, then the least you can do is have the self-awareness to realize what you represent.

*****

Current listening:

drummer feel

Drummer – Feel Good Together (2009)

Current reading:

yiddish

Michael Chabon – The Yiddish Policemen’s Union