Rumbling through this promised land

Today is Patty Griffin’s birthday. Here she is singing Springsteen:

* * * * * * * * *

Hall-of-Fame manager Connie Mack was, for decades, one of the fiercest enforcers of the so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” that kept Major League baseball white-only.

Mack won 3,731 games in 53 years as a manager. And he lost 3,948. Loser.

Mack retired in 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line, but Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics team wouldn’t integrate for yet another three years.

They named a stadium after Connie Mack in Philadelphia. Then they tore it down. It makes me happy that the former site of that stadium is now home to a Charismatic mega-church congregation where people of many races and ethnicities worship together.

It also makes me happy to learn that Mack’s great-grandson — a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Florida now running for the U.S. Senate — once got the snot beat out of him in a bar-fight with a black ballplayer. Connie Mack IV, who witnesses say was visibly drunk, mistakenly thought it was a good idea to start a fight with journeyman slugger Ron Gant. According to witnesses, Mack fought dirty, but still lost.

* * * * * * * * *

Also in Florida Republican politics, the legislature there is considering a plan to lower the minimum wage for tipped employees. Democrats should make sure this one is a roll-call vote — forcing proponents of the measure to vote “Aye — I support reducing the wages of the people who handle my food when I’m not looking.”

A poll to find out if most non-Muslim New Yorkers approve of the NYPD’s mistreatment of Muslims might as well just ask those folks: “So, are you a self-centered jackwagon who believes in double standards?” That a majority answer “Yes” is depressing, but not necessarily newsworthy. (See also: Polls on marriage equality.)

Charles Kuffner has a good roundup of the pros and cons of the “Homeless Hotspots” at SXSW.

Susie Madrak asks, “So why aren’t fundamentalist Christians, who claim to follow the literal interpretation of the Bible … picketing seafood restaurants, screaming at people to turn back and save their souls before they eat the unclean food?”

It’s a rhetorical question (read the whole thing), but I’ll jump on that as an excuse to refer back to my answer to that question: “The Abominable Shellfish: Why some Christians hate gays but love bacon.”

In Christianity Today, Dean A. Anderson looks back fondly on the 40th anniversary of Donald W. Thompson’s A Thief in the Night. He manages to do so, somehow, without ever mentioning Donald W. Thompson. Odd. (The Godfather came out 40 years ago yesterday — think anyone will do an article on that without ever mentioning Francis Ford Coppola?) Fortunately, Randall Balmer has already provided us with a terrific profile of the idiosyncratic auteur — the Russ Meyer of the Rapture — in Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey Into the Evangelical Subculture in America.

This Religion News Service headline is five words too long.

This blog post headline from Ed Brayton is perfection.

James F. McGrath on Rule No. 1.

Stuff Fundies Like on what ignoring Rule No. 1 looks like in practice.

Jason Pitzl-Waters tells us about “That Time Kirk Cameron Infiltrated a Druid Ritual.”

People who work in wirehouses shouldn’t throw stones.

The Lutheran Insulter does an impressive job of creating a random-Martin-Luther-insult generator while scrupulously avoiding the Luther insults that really need to be avoided.

How long does it take for the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority to recognize a dirty joke? Sofa King long.

 

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  • Anonymous

    Don’t get me started about Thief in the Night. Managed to see it at our local church’s movie club with a family friend. At age of 6. (Can’t blame my parents, they didn’t really know what I was gonna see.)

    Anyways, it traumatized and haunted me for years, particularly just about anything related to the end of times. I was literally afraid to read Revelations. The biggest relief I’ve found about it is that about a year ago I’ve looked up the movie on IMDB, and saw so many reviews from people who had pretty much the same experience, seeing the movie at a young age, so at least I wasn’t alone.

  • Anonymous

    Anyways, it traumatized and haunted me for years, particularly just about anything related to the end of times. I was literally afraid of reading Revelations. The biggest relief I’ve found about it is that about a year ago I’ve looked up the movie on IMDB, and saw so many reviews from people who had pretty much the same experience, seeing the movie at a young age, so at least I wasn’t alone.

    I am so, so glad that this didn’t happen to me.  I didn’t come across the concept of the Rapture until I was a bit older, and as far as I can remember my response was to say to God something along the lines of “look, I trust you, and if you do want to end the world and replace it with a better one I’m sure you’ll do it in a way that is loving and ultimately for the best for everyone.  But would you mind holding off for at least another three years?  I liked Fellowship of the Ring and I really want to see what Peter Jackson has done with The Two Towers and Return of the King.”
    Sort of selfish, in hindsight.

    (My unexpected fear, when six, was that the sun was going to explode and we wouldn’t know about it for eight minutes until the light reached us, by which time it would be too late to escape the horrific consequences.  This came about because my parents thought a documentary on astrophysics was probably safe watching.  The science documentary habit was also responsible for the fear of being digested alive by a jelly fish that turned its own internal organs inside out to envelop me, and for the fear of death by meteorite strike.)

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, that’s why I keep harping on how Fred is giving the ‘scare em straight’ fuckers far too much credit. They’re emotional terrorists in a sense and their intent may be good but, well, you know what feminists say about intent and how magical it is or is not.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Rule #1? I’ve always heard it referenced as Wheaton’s Law.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Let’s see who tips better.

    I’m sure that Florida legislation will lead to the creation of literally tens of below-poverty-wage jobs. Of course, that’ll be offset by thousands of wait staff needing to find third jobs to make ends meet.

  • Anonymous

    I know a lot of people like to bring up the “God hates shrimp” card to highlight the hypocrisy of homophobes, but I don’t think it’s as effective as it good be.  It’s easy for bigots to brush it off because Jesus said it’s ok to eat anything.

    What I’d really like to see is people mock-picketing those companies that clean out mold and mildew from homes and business.  The Bible gives a pretty detailed description of how to deal with mold in houses, and it involves a Rabbi and quarantine.  And yet very few “biblical literalists” would get some kind of clergy involved for mold growing in their houses.  Jesus never said anything to specifically negate this, so it is more relevant than the seafood thing.

    I’d also like to see people advocating the Biblical way to poop.  Take a shovel to the outside of town, and bury that stuff.  That’s what the Bible commands.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah. It’s kind of evolved from a great innovative riposte to a rather tired and worn-out “gotcha” against homophobes who use Leviticus, and it never changes anyone’s mind.

  • Tricksterson

    Did Jesus actually say you could eat non-kosher?  IIRC it was Paul who said that, basically because he was trying to move a product and had the ethics of a used car salesman

  • fraser

    As a former Floridian, I’m not the least surprised.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    As a current Floridian, I’m not in the least surprised either. 

  • friendly reader

    Oh Luther… you are the perfect embodiment of your own belief that all of us are simultaneously a saint and a sinner.

    Unfortunately way too many Lutherans forget that and treat everything you ever said, no matter how vile, as if you were speaking Ex Cathedra.

  • Jeff Weskamp


    Democrats should make sure this one is a roll-call vote — forcing proponents of the measure to vote ‘Aye — I support reducing the wages of the people who handle my food when I’m not looking.’ ”

    The proponents of this measure have obviously never seen Fight Club……

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Albright/100001047690991 Michael Albright

    Ugh.  I listened to that Kirk Cameron audio until I had to stop.  I’m kind of aghast that there’s a group of people with considerable political power who think the right thing to do is to illegally spy on people and mock them for welcoming all comers with open arms.  The venom in his voice when the pagan on the tape said that it’s possible to respect someone’s beliefs even if you disagree with them just… I honestly can’t process the hypocrisy.  My own philosophy forces me to reject every response I have to what Cameron says in that interview.  Kirk Cameron’s smugness about his own religion is so inconceivably dense I think it might actually have mass.  He’d give you a ride to the hospital but his smugness takes up the whole backseat of his car, and his douchebagginess is riding shotgun.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    How is it that Kirk Cameron doesn’t know how much of a fool he’s made out of himself?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    How would he do that? Anyone who might call him out on it is someone he thinks is much lesser than him. Heck, he’s scared for his life around a lot of us!

    I kinda feel sorry for the guy, though I’m sure he’d hate my guts. He’s like a Christian Kardashian.

  • Tricksterson

    But not as good looking.  I suspect even the gay men and straight women will back me up on this.

  • hf

    How is it that Kirk Cameron doesn’t know how much of a fool he’s made out of himself?

    Because, as I mentioned on the other thread, we don’t teach children to try and think the thought which hurts the most. In Kirk’s case, I doubt anyone told him to think at all.

    Oh, and he probably enjoys high status in the group he regards as his tribe.

  • Anonymous

    “How is it that Kirk Cameron doesn’t know how much of a fool he’s made out of himself?”

    The same way that his LB alter-ego doesn’t know that he’s become a tool (in the crassest sense of the word) of both The Antichrist *and* God/TurboJesus.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You have to marvel at a dude that manages to become the Double Agent Who Knew Too Little.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I knew Kirk Cameron was an idiot (I’ve watched the “crocoduck” clip) and a jerk (IIRC, after being “born again” he worked to have a costar fired from Growing Pains because she had done a nude centerfold or some such), and now we have additional proof that he’s a mean-spirited, self-satisfied creep.  The audio was interesting, in a horrifying kind of way, because both Kirk and his interlocutor obviously have no idea how disagreeable they are making themselves appear.  They sneer and snicker at people who were being welcoming and pleasant to Kirk and when they’re not sneering they’re congratulating each other on their own awesomeness.  By contrast, the pagans they are mocking come across as mild-mannered and sincere.

  • Tricksterson

    “crocoduck”?  Dare I ask?

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

     If memory serves, it’s Cameron’s take on the old “no transitional forms” canard. There’s a video of him saying that evolution is false because no one has ever found a creature that’s halfway between a crocodile and a duck while holding up a bad photoshop mashup.

  • Anonymous

    “There’s a video of him saying that evolution is false because no one has ever found a creature that’s halfway between a crocodile and a duck while holding up a bad photoshop mashup.”

    I suppose he wound’t be convinced by Archaeopteryx:

    Archaeopteryx seemed to be part bird and part dinosaur. Unlike modern-day birds, it had teeth, three claws on each wing, a flat sternum (breastbone), belly ribs (gastralia), and a long, bony tail. Like modern-day birds, it had feathers, a lightly-built body with hollow bones, a wishbone (furcula) and reduced fingers. This crow-sized animal may have been able to fly, but not very far and not very well. Although it had feathers and could fly, it had similarities to dinosaurs, including its teeth, skull, lack of a horny bill, and certain bone structures. Archaeopteryx had a wingspan of about 1.5 feet (0.5 m) and was about 1 foot ( 30 cm) long from beak to tail.

    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/agifs/Archaeopteryx_bw.GIF

  • Matri

    I remember a video of someone saying how evolution is false because mammals can’t possibly have evolved from egg-laying creatures.

    And then proceeded to use the platypus as an example.

  • Anonymous

    Ouch.  That’s painfully stupid.  That’s almost Bananas: the atheist’s worst nightmare stupid.

    The mind, she boggles.

  • Tricksterson

    But they have found transitional forms, like critters with both lungs and gills.  I only recently read about that in [shameless plug] “Broken Words”[/S p]

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    You miss the beauty of the argument.

    Say we’ve got living species A and extinct ancestor B.  Clearly evolution is false because no one has ever found the missing link between A and B.  Wait?  What’s this?  Someone just dug up C which is between A and B?  Oh, well in that case…  There are two missing links that they they haven’t discovered!  Two!  What came between B and C?  Huh? What about between C and A?  Huh?  Huh?  How can we believe any of this nonsense when there are two missing links?

    The more forms you find, the more spaces between them, and thus the more evidence that evolution is totally BS.

    It’s all very neat and tidy.  No matter what happens, it will always be seen as evidence against evolution.

    Of course then you’ve got people like Cameron who take what is really a pretty well constructed piece of bullshit, and then screw up the whole thing by assuming that for evolution to be true there must be a missing link between every living thing ever.  Not a common ancestor, just something half way in between.  (Velociraptor-man, spider-duck, sharktopus, cat-dog, hummingbird-snake, so forth.)

    It really is poor form, because with the original bullshit one could claim an understanding of evolution but just claim to be in need of more proof to be convinced.  (And hope that one was never caught while shifting the goalposts.)  With Cameron’s thing he just looks like an idiot even if, or perhaps especially if, you assume he really means what he says.

  • P J Evans

    Somehow, when they’re busy doubling the number of ‘gaps’ they need to have filled, they forget that each new one is smaller than the old one. However, they also don’t understand that a billion years is long enough to lose a lot of stuff permanently – God doesn’t have an infinite amount of memory, so stuff has to be lost.

  • Tricksterson

    Except of course the world is only 10,000 years old tops, don’t forget that.

  • P J Evans

    I grew up Methodist – we didn’t have trouble with evolution back then. (The minister’s son became a herpetologist!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Not a common ancestor, just something half way in between.
     (Velociraptor-man, spider-duck, sharktopus, cat-dog, hummingbird-snake,
    so forth.)

    Isn’t that how 50% of superheroes, Nickelodeon cartoons, and Dungeons and Dragons monsters are designed? (“Behold, now you face the dreaded… owl…bear….pig!”)

    Yeah, that’s why I keep harping on how Fred is giving the ‘scare em straight’ fuckers far too much credit. They’re emotional terrorists in a sense and their intent may be good but, well, you know what feminists say about intent and how magical it is or is not.

    It’s not so much that intent is magic, but that someone who intends to do good and fails might be easier to understand and even forgive if you feel inclined to do that. Someone who intends to do evil… well, it’s a little harder to even understand them so forgiveness is consequently even harder.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    The owlbear is one of my favorite animals!

    If you want to breed one with a pig, you’re on your own.

  • Tricksterson

    Now I will have to go to my secret laboratory and create those things because they’re just too cool not to exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Of course then you’ve got people like Cameron who take what is really a
    pretty well constructed piece of bullshit, and then screw up the whole
    thing by assuming that for evolution to be true there must be a missing
    link between every living thing ever.  Not a common ancestor, just
    something half way in between.  (Velociraptor-man, spider-duck,
    sharktopus, cat-dog, hummingbird-snake, so forth.)

    Clearly they all migrated to the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Along with that one bear.

  • Anonymous

    I see others have already answered, but I’ll try a link to the youtube video I first saw:

  • Anonymous

    Dude’s like the perfect Buck.

  • Anonymous

    I was only able to listen to part of the Kirk Cameron smugfest, but there was a part where he mocked the concept of light and dark.  He assumed that it was something like yin and yang, keeping each in balance, then sneered, “Why not all good?”

    I’m not a Druid, and I don’t know what their actual concepts of light and dark are. When I heard him, my first thought (after “What a jerk”) was that everyone has light and dark, and if you ignore or deny your dark side, it has a way of coming back and biting you in the butt.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That Thief in the Night movie, in like the first 5 minutes, has more suspense in it than all of Left Behind.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    The Druids shoulda gone with the bees. You know, from the Wicker Man remake. Nicolas Cage is at least as bad an actor as Kirk Cameron!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Aw, I wouldn’t be so hard on Nick Cage. Far as I’m concerned, he’s like the neutral base of actors. He’s neither good nor bad. Putting him in your good film will not make the film worse, putting him in your bad film will not make the film better. When someone tells me “Hey, this movie has Nick Cage in it”, it is a statement which conveys exactly as much information about the movie as “Hey, this movie has consonants in it”.

  • Rikalous

    But Rule No. 1 is “Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!” I mean, it’s good advice, but I didn’t think it was integral to Christianity. 

  • Randall M

    Nicholas Cage is excellent in any movie in which he has to drive very fast, and terrible in any  movie requiring him to act.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

     

    @e1ba9d84b6f06e1da242ea860b017672:disqus Nicholas Cage is excellent in any movie in which he has to drive very fast, and terrible in any  movie requiring him to act.

    Which says something really terrible about the live action movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, that Nicholas Cage — both driving AND acting — was just about the only bearable aspect of it.

    So, the Illinois Nazis article. Arthur Jones, the organizer of family-friendly neo-Nazi events around Adolf Hitler’s birthday, is quoted as saying,

    “As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an
    international extortion racket by the Jews…. It’s the
    blackest lie in history.

    “The more survivors, the more lies that are told.”

    (Emphasis mine.) I was struck by the cognizent dissonance of using the term “survivors” when espousing the opinion that there was nothing to survive in the first place. I suppose he probably meant “The more ‘survivors'” or “The more alleged survivors,” but what that quote really comes across like to me is “Too bad the Holocaust left so many survivors to go around endlessly repeating that the Holocaust happened. That’s bad for PR.”

  • Green Eggs and Ham

     True, and yet Vin Diesel needs to go to the Nicholas Cage School of Acting to improve his own acting skills.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah. He’s not exactly memorable in Fast and the Furious, though it’s a kind of fun movie to watch.

  • Tricksterson

    One thing I noticed in the Hotspot article.  No homeless people seem to have been asked for their opinion.

  • Tricksterson

    Funny thing is that the pagans would probably have let him film them openly.  But then that would have required asking politely and promising to treat their ritual with the same respect he’d want from someone filming a Christian gathering.  I’m guessing he’d rather be sacrificed

  • Lori

    “Behold, now you face the dreaded… owl…bear….pig!” 

    That’s ManBearPig

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manbearpig

  • Anonymous

    In high school, a had a Sunday School teacher who insisted that evolution is a lie because we never see a cat giving birth to a fern.  Now I want a cat-fern to be made into a superhero and/or D&D monster.  Make it so, Internet!

  • Anonymous

    Heck, I followed the steps exactly, but it doesn’t look like it’s working.  Apologies