For some it’s a con, for some it’s a game, and for some it’s a gnostic cult. And sometimes it’s all three at once.

Whatever

I used to think that the audience supporting any given conspiracy theory was made up of three distinct kinds of people: Cynics, true believers, and hobbyists. That’s in the past tense because I no longer quite believe that. What I’m starting to believe, instead, is that any individual supporter of any given conspiracy is made up of all three of those things. [Read more...]

Happy cornbread anniversary

SameDifference

Franklin Graham rails against the X-Men as an “attempt to indoctrinate our young people” into greater acceptance of those who are different. That’s not wrong, it just doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. Plus: The history of a song that made history, a maister-wonk on R+L=J, the benefits of abstinence-only sex ed, and a top-notch addition to Patheos’ team. [Read more...]

Bradley Cooper’s amazing performance as a sociopath killer

ItsAllGroot

I finally saw that big Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper flick — the one where he played a gun-crazed sociopath killer. What does it say about us, as a people and as a society, that we treat remorseless killers who live for violence as heroes? That’s an important question and an important conversation. But my main take-away from the film was the strength of Cooper’s performance as an actor. This wasn’t a mere portrayal, but a transformation. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

LostArk

“When they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen shook it. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there because he reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. ” [Read more...]

This day is not imagination’s child

IDontKnowEither

Texas Republican slaps down right-wing nonsense: “I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do. I’m not sure which is worse.” Plus: Privatized red-lining, Wanksy to the rescue, Bill Lindsey, Mallory Ortberg, and the 10,000th (10 millionth?) example of so-called pro-lifers demonstrating that they’re more concerned with controlling women that whatever else it is they claim to be concerned about. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 31: ‘Scream 2 morality’

Scream2

The lesson, I suppose, is that our heroes are allowed to be selfish because they are our heroes. Other people, like poor Chris Smith, are not. So just like the peripheral characters who die for their “sins” in a slasher movie, we know that Smith is doomed. The next time we see him we can expect he’ll be dead, another bloodied corpse in the woods of Camp Crystal Lake. [Read more...]

Congress sides with predatory lenders vs. military families

Martin

The protections against legal loan-sharking here are appallingly modest — 36 percent interest remains perfectly legal. And those protections are weirdly restricted, applying only to a single sub-set of the public: military families. If it makes sense to protect military families from this kind of sleazy, coercive lending — and it does — then it shouldn’t make sense that such protection applies only to military families. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (4.30)

EPIMinWage

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire.” [Read more...]


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