You better get yourself together

You better get yourself together September 23, 2012

“It wears me out to see two men together. It does something to me.”

“They are among the kindest, gentlest people I know. They are also among the most unwanted and unrecognized. But they are determined — and their numbers are growing.”

“Evangelicalism isn’t just a system of beliefs. It’s a subculture striving to be a counterculture.”

We truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers, and for us as Americans to stand our ground and to firmly send a message to Washington that our nation is about more than just some secular laws.”

“If there is a Christian Right buzzword and dog whistle Perry missed, I sure didn’t see it.”

The job of POTUS is an odd one. Sometimes it involves listening to country singers cover John Lennon songs while you’re wearing a tuxedo and sitting in between your mother and your wife and realizing that your every reaction is being recorded, broadcast and scrutinized. A very odd job is all I’m saying.

Why the disparity between partisan support by the bishops, and by other Catholics?

“Take your severance pay, contact your deacons, and turn in your resignation.”

“The nerve of Planned Parenthood, targeting minority populations for health clinics! Why are there no Planned Parenthood facilities in wealthy areas?”

This was the best statistic they could come up with?

“The broad acceptance of evolution has led more directly, of course, to such other evils as antibiotics, gene therapy, and a basic understanding of biology, but why quibble?”

Despite the evidence of this theory being fully debunked and labeled a myth, the church continues to call it Truth.”

“Emergency contraception also known as the morning after pill does not cause abortion nor does it interfere with an established pregnancy.”

Who needs science when you have Linda Harvey?

“Sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to its smallest extent ever recorded, smashing the previous record minimum and prompting warnings of accelerated climate change.”

Artists always get the ladies …”

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  • EllieMurasaki

    A ‘like’ does not adequately convey the fact that for about twenty seconds there I was laughing too hard to breathe.

  • Thank you for the links to the science of TV Tropes!  But now… how do I get out of TV Tropes?

  • The_L1985

     YOU DON’T.

  • LoneWolf343

     I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought so, thought being a Canadian show, I cut them a little slack.

  • LoneWolf343

     “I had misgivings initially that I didn’t voice to the kids, because the
    only people I knew who had read the [Narnia] series were hardcore

    Eh, that’s tricky. The quirk is that while many fundamentalists may read at least some of Lewis, they really don’t understand what they are reading, or suppress the “disturbing” parts.

  • banancat

    (One of my favorite books was Leviticus.  I don’t know why — I gather
    many people find it boring — but all the things they considered unclean
    really interested me.  They sure didn’t like mildew back then, huh?)

    I’ve read Leviticus and found it fascinating for a different reason.  It’s so ritualized the way they deal with everything.  I have fairly severe OCD and the whole thing felt so familiar, with removing X number of bricks and waiting X days and if this, then that and so on.  There’s also tons of fear about contamination and so much ritual to deal with it.  I can’t diagnose someone else, especially someone who lived thousands of years ago, but I have wondered if many of these laws were invented by one or a few religious leaders who had OCD.  They start with something reasonable and then turn it into something so ritualized.  I would have totally followed all of those rituals if I had lived in that society, and I would have done it perfectly.

    Sometimes I also wonder that about the more extreme Kosher laws too, where dishes have to be washed in separate dishwashers to avoid contamination.  That seems like something I would do if I believed it was wrong to mix two foods.

  • P J Evans

     USDA defines ingredients and even recipes – ketchup, for example, has to have sugar in it. Honey can’t have anything in it but honey, or it gets called ‘honey syrup’ or ‘honey product’. (And it can’t be ultra-filtered, either, if you want to claim it’s ‘natural’.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Sometimes I also wonder that about the more extreme Kosher laws too, where dishes have to be washed in separate dishwashers to avoid contamination.

    What do people do when they want to keep strict kosher but can’t afford to live somewhere with more than one dishwasher? The friends I stayed with over the weekend haven’t got any dishwashers, because all the houses that had a dishwasher are way out of their price range, and seems to me a second dishwasher would bump the price up as much as the first dishwasher does.

  • Joshua

    Wash by hand, surely. In different sinks or something I guess. However people did it before dishwashers.

  • Joshua

    I loved it as a teenager. And still do. I find it uplifting, after all the death and oppression.

    But then, I like BSG and Dollhouse and stuff too.

  • B

     IIRC that’s one reason my dissertation adviser and her family were vegetarian — you don’t have to worry about mixing the meat and dairy if you never cook or serve meat.

  • Jenny Islander

    I recently learned that many of the cemeteries in and around New York City were built as tourist attractions. They were large green expanses of relative coolness and quietness, so people would take the trolley or the train to see them. Rich families built their mausoleums with lots of sculptures to show off their wealth or accomplishments; there was an Egyptologist, for example, who interspersed Egyptian and Christian symbols all around his tomb, apparently without a qualm. Sometimes there are heartbreaking stories behind the fancy monuments. One girl whose name I forget was apparently one of those child prodigies who don’t fall off the vine in adulthood–except that she was killed in a traffic accident at 17, as she was beginning multiple artistic careers, so her family built an astonishing neo-Gothic-rococo thing that incorporated the number 17 as many times as possible, and her fiance, who killed himself out of grief, was buried nearby with an angel on top of his headstone kneeling and gazing at her resting place.  Boosters added assorted things to the cemeteries–did you know that if you go to the edge of one NYC graveyard and stand next to a statue of Minerva, she’s saluting the Statue of Liberty several miles away?  On a humbler scale there are graves from the ’20s and ’30s that have flattering photos of the deceased burned into weatherproof porcelain, so you look at the dates and just above them a nice lady in a picturesque hat is smiling out at you.

    It’s all very historical and some of the individual monuments are quite attractive, but the overall effect is goofy.

  • Tricksterson


  • Kiba

    There’s a cemetery just outside of Downtown Dallas (it’s on McKinney Ave) that I like to wander through. There’s a mausoleum there that I find funny just for the family name on it which is Slaughter. It’s a slaughter house….

  • Anton_Mates


    Do any actual biologists working in the 21st century ever use the phrase “highly evolved” for any serious purpose?

    The usual term is “highly derived,” which just means “very different from your ancestors.”  Caveats:

    1.  “Highly” doesn’t mean “excellently” or “nobly” or anything like that, it just means “a lot.”  Barnacles are highly derived–they look really weird compared to whatever shrimpish critters they’re descended from–but they’re not therefore spiritually or mentally superior to other crustaceans.  Although Darwin might disagree.

    2.  You usually end up specifying a particular trait or traits that are
    derived, since every modern organism is a patchwork of derived and
    primitive traits.  For instance,  human bipedalism and brain size is
    pretty derived, as mammals go, but the anatomy of our hands is pretty
    primitive.  Other mammals developed paws and hooves and wings and flippers, but we have the five-fingered forefeet of our shrew-looking forebears.

    3.  You have to specify which ancestors you’re talking about, because obviously you’re not very different from your immediate ancestors, and you are very different from your ancestors of a billion years ago.  So if you consider just the reptiles, then the birds are (in many ways) highly derived, being warm-blooded and feathery and flight-capable and otherwise very different from an early reptile.  But if you consider all the vertebrates, birds aren’t particularly derived, because they look about as much like an early vertebrate as snakes and frogs and kangaroos do.

    Sooo, humans are highly derived in some ways, highly primitive in others, and none of it’s particularly worth feeling proud about.

  • “Talking tombstones” are a real thing; I know about them because they were invented by a Stanley Zelazny, much to the amusement of SF author (and possible cousin) Roger.

  •  The one that’s been on my mind lately is “part of this complete
    nutritious breakfast.”  Who’s the marketing genius who came up with that
    one, and how did it come to be so consistently echoed in everyone’s

    I don’t know, but that brings to mind an old Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin points out the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs are part of a complete nutritious breakfast and Hobbes starts listing off all the other stuff the kid on the box is eating.

    And, hey, it’s on TVTropes.  Hope no one was planning on having a productive day…

  • Carstonio


    “Highly” doesn’t mean “excellently” or “nobly” or anything like that, it just means “a lot.”

    Evolution’s opponents willfully misinterpret it as a value system, which is why they ask nonsense questions such as “if evolution is real, why help the poor.” Evolution itself makes no value judgments and I suspect many people find this frustrating or incomprehensible.

  • Vermic


    I have heard (and this is probably apocryphal) that the rather ludicrous commercial for “Head-On” was the result of an issue where they were forced to cut all the false or unsupportable claims they’d wanted to make about the product, and with what was left,  their only choice to fill out the twenty seconds was to simply shout “Head On! Apply Directly to the Forehead!” over and over.

    The story I heard (which is almost but not quite as interesting) is that they were working with focus groups to decide which marketing concept to go with, and as a control there was one ad which was just the name of the product repeated over and over.  The control ended up testing the highest, by a large margin (as measured by how well the audience remembered it, which is the primary metric of success in advertising), so they used it instead.”Head-On: Apply Directly to the Forehead!” is obnoxious, but doggone it, it’s stuck in our brains, and that makes it, from a marketing POV, a Good Commercial.  We can only thank our lucky stars that every commercial isn’t like that yet.

  • The_L1985

     Or edit them out completely.  I was disappointed when the Bacchus sequence–my favorite part of the book–was cut out of the Disney/Walden version of Prince Caspian.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the parts the movie does add, but the idea of Caspian being reunited with his old nurse was so touching that I wanted to see how it would look on the big screen. She was practically a mother to him.

  • AnonymousSam

    I oppose it simply because it comes from corn, and we already overuse corn in so very many ways in a vain effort to justify the absurd amount of overproduction that Monsanto engages in, thanks to government subsidies.

    So in an indirect way, using high-fructose corn syrup is supporting one of the most evil companies in the world. I’d rather just stick to a low sugar diet to spite them. And, uh, because it’s marginally healthier. ^_^;

  • AnonymousSam

    Especially since the Head-On commercials are extremely short when compared to most commercials. Imagine having to suffer through twelve iterations of this between each five minute segment of show.

    “McDonald’s: Apply directly to the mouth!”
    “Friskies: Apply directly to the cat!”
    “Old Spice Body Wash: Apply directly to the pits!”
    “Trojan: Apply directly to the–[Commercial abruptly ends, lawsuits ensue]”

  • I remember seeing the original Head-On commercial (the one before the continual repeated “Head-On: Apply directly to the forehead!”)

    The commercial claimed that it would relieve headaches, and I remember thinking, “That can’t possibly be true, can it? Not if it’s homeopathic.” Sure enough, a few weeks later the commercial was reduced to the things it couldn’t get in trouble for saying — “Head-On: Apply directly to the forehead!”

  • That’s actually a clever idea. Head-On can be applied to your forehead. So can a baseball bat, or a lamp, or a balled-up towel coated in melted butter. All four of those things have roughly the same medicinal value.

  • “McDonald’s: Apply Directly To The Mouth” would not be an entirely unexpected marketing ploy from the company thatsomehow managed to think that “Yeah, I’d Hit It” would make a good slogan for marketing food-like product.

    “Apply Directly to the Cat” is a marketing slogan I would totally get behind.

  • Speaking of editing…

    Don’t get me started on Dawn Treader (-_-)

  • Hilary

    About likeing Leviticus – I found how they delt with lepersy interesting.  Basically, wash everything really well, be in quarantine for a few days, then kill a pidgeon to be let back into the community.  And the ritual impurity of a woman after her period and needing to have a ritual bath afterward to be pure again – it did give a woman a G-d given right to a bath after her period.  Hygene – not something to scoff at, then or now.  Whatever else you can say about them, the tribal Hebrews were big on it.


  • LoneWolf343

     The Narnia movies are actually a trigger subject for me. Sufficed it say, the first one angered me, the second on bored me, and the last one was so awful that I could only shake my head and laugh, and that is going to be the last one. No way that franchise would bounce back from the mess which was Dawn Treader.

  • LoneWolf343

     Hilarious, isn’t it? “Go collect seven swords so you may defeat the Dark Water–I mean, Dark Island! Also, the island is really green and resembles a fart.”

  • I hope they stay true to the book for the Silver Chair. That book is my favorite, and the BBC version really shows some polish (by comparison to, like, Prince Caspian, which you can tell suffers from the budgetary limits the beeb had to work with).

  • Tricksterson

    AFAIK there’s no plans for a film version of The Silver Chair  Have you heard different?  It was my favorite of the books, if only for Puddleglum.

  • LoneWolf343

     We’re not getting another one, I imagine. Disney had already dumped it before it went to distribution (probably because they saw what a horrible turd it was,) and was snatched up my Warner Bros, who is probably regretting that decision. I liked none of the movies, but Dawn Treader was the Highlander 2 of the series.

    Of course, Highlander churned out 3 more movies and a television series after Highlander 2, so maybe I am shooting myself in the foot with that analogy.

  • Damn, my info was faulty then. I remember checking the IMDb like a year+ ago and seeing stuff about the Silver Chair, but it looks like (as LW343 has said) they’ve shelved that one. :-(

  • The_L1985

    I’ve only seen the first few minutes of Dawn Treader, when it  was on TV.  (I had either church with my parents or some kind of appointment–I forget which–and didn’t see much past the rather well-rendered scene of the painting “coming to life.”)  But I personally loved the first one, and thought Caspian was OK.

    If the 3rd is as bad as you say, though, I may just sit it out.  Still no word on The Silver Chair being made into a movie, so you’re probably right about the franchise dying.  (Honestly, though, I think The Horse and His Boy needs to be given a chance–it’s never been made into a movie, and if handled carefully and delicately, it could be quite a hit.  Just need to make the Calormenes more obviously Not Real Arabs.)

  • LoneWolf343

     Here is the plot of Dawn Treader: Caspian and the crew of the Dawn Treader must collect seven “ancient” swords of Narnia to destroy the Dark Island. Here, I had written some notes on the at one of my art galleries, and you should be able to see it. You can infer it’s badness from there.

  • LoneWolf343

     Hmm, reading the end of that, it’s interesting how my thoughts on it changed over time. I suppose I should clarify that Dawn Treader was “So Bad, It’s Hilarious.”

  • The_L1985


    How could they have changed the plot that much?  The first 2 films didn’t stray from their plotlines!

  • The Beeb versions of the Lion Witch & Wardrobe, Dawn Treader, and Silver Chair (esp SC) were pretty good. The Beeb version of Prince Caspian? Not so much.

    The new remakes of LWW and PC are both excellent, though I didn’t like the elongation of time they put into the movie remake of Prince Caspian (I guess they didn’t believe only a few hundred or a thousand years was long enough!).

    As I said the movie of Dawn Treader, while technically excellent, had numerous changes made to the plot which…. nnnyeah, not so memorable for that reason.

  • Oh, god the serpent. I shamelessly had my hand in front of my eyes and was like “Can I look no– NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE… now? NO-.. oh, thank god, they killed it dead.”

  • LoneWolf343

     The trouble is that Dawn Treader isn’t really a film-able book. It would
    probably work better as a miniseries, but the book had an episodic
    plot, and that really doesn’t work well with a feature-length movie.

  • Tricksterson

    Dawn Treader wasn’t that bad but it certainly wasn’t good.  The first and second movies were defintely much better.  I wouldn’t have a problem with the Calormenes being Obviously Arab if they were less cartoonishly evil.