7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.20)

7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.20) September 20, 2013

1. Eshet Chayil. Here are two remembrances of two remarkable women I had never heard of before: Sunila Abeysekera and Marillia Hinds.

2. Cool Papa Bell was so fast, it was said, that he once hit a line drive up the middle that knocked him unconscious as he was rounding second base. Billy Hamilton is faster than Cool Papa Bell. The only question is whether or not he’ll be able to hit any line drives up the middle.

3. The importance of the NALT Christians Project has just been confirmed: Professional homophobes Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera denounce those involved in the project as “liberal so-called Christians” who are really “apostates.” That’s a necessary attack for folks like Barber and LaB. The dozens of Christian testimonies collected by the project disprove the false claim of a “moral monopoly” that is the only basis for their purported credibility. They have no choice, then, but to insist that none of those Christians bearing witness is really a real, true Christian. RTCs may want to join them in denouncing such “apostasy,” but if you’re a Christian who doesn’t insist that Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera represent the only valid, authentic form of Christianity, then you should consider adding your testimony to the growing chorus challenging their claim to a moral monopoly.

4. And if you remember, then follow.

5. Matthew Hagee says that the Navy Yard shootings are a sign of the End Times. But then, for folks like Hagee, Billy Hamilton stealing four bases is a sign of the End Times. The U.S. bombing Syria would have been a sign of the End Times, and the U.S. not bombing Syria is also a sign of the End Times. For Hagee, everything is a sign of the End Times. Miley Cyrus twerking is a sign of the End Times. So are Goat Week, Slim-Fast’s new ad campaign, drunken moose, the decline in America’s teen-pregnancy rate and the brain-eating amoebas found in Louisiana’s drinking-water supply.

6. TexasTexasTexasTexasTexasTexasTexasTexasTexas.

7. Joel Duff is a patient guy who demonstrates a gentle, pastoral concern for young-Earth creationists while simultaneously destroying their anti-science ideology with the patient application of evidence, facts and your own two eyes. His post on “Inverted Valleys: A Question of Age” is effective not just because he shows how these flat-topped hills in Utah demonstrate that the Earth is billions of years old, but also because he gently explains, in detail, why the creationists’ preferred methods to try to explain away such evidence for an ancient Earth won’t work in this case:

Young-Earth creationists … would explain the 15,000 feet of fossil-bearing sediments as the result of a global flood but then the other historical events we have witness of would need to have occurred in post-flood times. Why? because all these features could not have been produced simultaneously. Geological features are the result of a series of events not a single event. Valleys would have to be incised prior to volcanic eruptions. The part that really is difficult to explain then becomes the erosion of hundreds of feet of sediments after these eruptions. Young-Earth creationists usually want to explain vast amounts of erosion as the result of waters receding after the flood but in this case they would have already used up this explanation when they try to explain how there would have been valleys for the lava to fill in the first place.

Duff also notes that “Mars may have inverted valleys” like those in Utah and, well, Noah’s flood is a bit of a stretch for explaining those.

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  • reynard61

    #5: “For Hagee, everything is a sign of the End Times. Miley Cyrus twerking is a sign of the End Times. So are Goat Week, Slim-Fast’s new ad campaign, drunken moose, the decline in America’s teen-pregnancy rate and the brain-eating amoebas found in Louisiana’s drinking-water supply.”

    I can’t help but wonder if maybe Hagee himself might have a few of those things crawling through his own cranium these days…

    #6: Texas: 268,581 square miles of utter Fail.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The Right knows there will always be people who live in reality, and there’s nothing they can do to prevent individuals who really want to from educating themselves. So there will always be doctors and pharmacists. Worst comes to absolute worst, the rich will just have to fly to another country to get proper healthcare. (You already know what they think about healthcare for us not rich people.)

    What they care about is making sure that people who willingly choose to not live in reality are in no way hindered for this decision. And that these people are in no way stopped from forcing their idiocy on the rest of us. So you get laws about how pharmacists who choose to believe that birth control is abortion are totally free to refuse to do their job, and the people they’re screwing over have no response but to be Fucked.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    So, in other words your saying it’s ‘A well regulated militia (being necessary to the security of a free State and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms) shall not be infringed’, essentially?

    That still kind of implies a right as its core premise, since it’s saying ‘militia shall not be infringed BECAUSE the people have a right to keep and bear arms’. It does definitely establish, however, that while a militia cannot be *forbidden* it can be *regulated*. That, at least, handles the NO RESTRICTIONS EVER crowd…

    Related, it could be argued that an individual can be considered a one person militia, but that’s probably in loophole territory. (Is ‘the people’ collective or individual? It’s clearly referring to private militias, not a standing army, but…) On the other hand, not allowing the formation of armed militias is *also* forbidden…

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Seems legit.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Well, maybe not all the things she’s done, but *that* one, to be sure…

    Most of the VMA attention was over ‘twerking’ *badly*, though, and generally making a fool of herself. I haven’t seen it, because I really don’t care, but that’s the impression I get, mainly. And also the conservative hate…

  • MaryKaye

    The problem is that not understanding evolution won’t prevent you from becoming a pharmacist or doctor (especially in red states). It will instead make you the kind of doctor who doesn’t quite grasp why prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily is a public health risk, or who grossly misrepresents the “danger to the gene pool” from public decisions, or who supports embodying local prejudices into law because of specious sociobiology arguments.

  • Do you have a link? I’ve not been following the Smallville show at all.

  • chgo_liz

    I’ve never had to switch the genders to find it creepy and wrong. I don’t understand how someone with a squeaky-clean public image can gleefully sing about committing a crime and everyone thinks it’s great.

  • Jamoche

    By the definitions of the time and the context of having just won a revolution, I think “well regulated” didn’t mean “there are laws restricting it”, but “well organized” as opposed to “a bunch of guys with guns and authority issues running around in the woods”.

  • I do find it a bit telling that the female song is “My man cheated so I vandalized his penis-surrogate”, when there’s a LONG history of songs from male artists whose message is “My woman cheated so I murdered her.”

  • chgo_liz

    Good point.

  • Jamoche
  • Whether or not a collective of gun-toting citizens constitutes a militia or not is actually completely irrelevant, since they oppose any means by which a militia can be well-regulated, too. Basically, they want to take the words “well-regulated” out of the picture altogether and just keep “shall not be infringed” as the central focus of the law.

  • Yes, this. As I’ve witnessed on far too many occasions, there appears to be no impediment to becoming a nurse or physician no matter how obnoxious or dangerous a person’s views. On any given fat-acceptance thread I peruse, the people who object most ardently about the ickiness of extra pounds are nurses.

  • hidden_urchin

    Except, of course, for the few square feet I occupy. Right? :-)

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Yeah, but the only way to reliably achieve a well organized militia/regulate it is to… have laws regarding the militia.

    Whether or not a collective of gun-toting citizens constitutes a militia or not is actually completely irrelevant, since they oppose any means by which a militia can be well-regulated, too.

    Yeah, that. There’s… pretty much no reasonable way to interpret the second amendment as ‘no restrictions period’.

  • J_Enigma32

    Well, given how many bacteria and superbugs that are appearing now who are immune antibiotics, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about doctors needlessly prescribing antibiotics much.

  • You aim your outrage at a 20-year-old being silly, and none for the older man singing a rape-tastic song? The shame is all on you.

  • Jenny Islander

    She sings the country-flavored signature song on Bolt and she is awesome. She is really, really good at country and country-flavored pop and at best forgettable at everything else. Like Jewel before her, she got rid of a guaranteed fanbase in an attempt to get a bigger one, and became one more blonde pop tart in a market that has been saturated for decades. Jewel managed to scrape together a career after being dumped by her label. Cyrus . . . I dunno. We’ll see.

  • Jenny Islander

    But the man in “Before He Cheats” hasn’t actually done anything this time as far as the woman knows; she’s wrecking his customized pickup because she assumes he’s in there getting a woman drunk so he can have sex with her (adding an extra layer of creepiness to the song BTW: date rape as a reason for a third party to be jealous what the hell). So the male equivalent would be “I am dwelling on how I think she’s going to cheat on me, so I’m going to destroy something precious to her to remind her what else I could do.” IRL that could be anything from rolling up her Oriental rug and stabbing it to “accidentally” letting her dog out on the highway.

  • Mark Z.

    See, I’d find “Before He Cheats” more bearable* if she gangsta’d up and shot him in the face, because at least then she knows how this revenge business works. Instead, she vandalizes the guy’s truck, signs her name on it, and then what does she expect to happen? She’s going to come home from work one day and find her house burned down. Maybe he’ll brag about it in a song.

    There’s a reason Inigo Montoya doesn’t say “You killed my father. Prepare to have your pickup truck defaced.”

    * though not much more bearable, since Carrie Underwood has the voice of an angle grinder

  • Baby_Raptor

    “I’m going to talk condescendingly of women who don’t toe my personal line and nobody can say a word to me about it!”

    Your opinion has been noted. Please shove it up your ass where it belongs.

  • See, I’d find “Before He Cheats” more bearable* if she gangsta’d
    up and shot him in the face, because at least then she knows how this
    revenge business works. Instead, she vandalizes the guy’s truck, signs her name on it,
    and then what does she expect to happen? She’s going to come home from
    work one day and find her house burned down. Maybe he’ll brag about it
    in a song.

    There is, in fact, a response song. I believe it’s called “Bitch, don’t mess with my ride.”

  • Turcano

    Does anyone else find that .gif file vaguely hypnotic?

  • Guest

    Actually that seems more reasonable to me than the actual fundamentalist position. Or at least it would make a hell of a sci-fi story.

  • Carstonio

    Yes, that does help the film make more sense for me. I didn’t consciously notice that aspect of Kal-El’s personality, but I did observe that Routh’s Clark was far more reserved that Reeve’s.

    One reason Superman Returns was disappointing was because it ruled out any possibility of a full relationship with Lois, even if she were still single. Apparently the hero was like a drifter born to walk alone. (Or fly alone.)

    Another was the hero apparently sleeping with Lois without telling her about his other identity. At least the animated Superman: Doomsday had Lois coming to that conclusion on her own while the two were sharing a bed. According to Carstonio’s Principle of Superhero Relationships (yeah, like I’m Stan Lee or something), any hero who isn’t a “normal” human should fully disclose his or her true nature before any intimate or marital relations. In my experience, Superman has done this in only two incarnations, the Reeve series and Smallville.

    At the risk of sounding like a shipper, I want the Love Triangle Built for Two to be a temporary phenomenon in any Superman story. I don’t want the Silver Age Clark, an object of scorn for a suspicious Lois, in part because his Superman identity was almost the stereotypical boyfriend who won’t commit. My ideal approach would be both identities being attractive for Lois in different ways, with her torn between the two of them, before realizing on her own that she’s seeing different sides of the same man..

  • arcseconds

    But in Returns he’s socially clueless, so of course he’s going to stuff up the relationship big-time! I think there’s some suggestion that it wasn’t exactly planned, it just sort of happened. He probably sees the whole thing as a mistake and is now trying to pretend it didn’t happen, wanting to start this all over again as Clark, maybe.

    See how well this works? :-)

    (presumably this Principle of yours is a normative principle for the fictional characters? You don’t expect the writers to have them always obey it, presumably, or do you only want to ever see squeeky clean superheros who always do the right thing by their SOs, pay their parking fines, and never lie to their mums?)

    You could perhaps combine the Returns approach in a longer narrative with your shipping object :-)

    Just have Clark grow up during the series. He starts off as bumbling, nervous, Returns Clark, and ends up confident, resourceful Clark. You can have awkward dates early on with Lois, then she gets interested in Superman, eventually realising he’s pretty shallow (but has a few problems because although she realises he’s only good as a fantasy object, not as real relationship material, she still gets weak at the knees whenever he’s about) then starts to notice Clark has changed. Maybe it takes her a bit to really notice, and then some more to be prepared to give him a second chance.

    You can fill in the rest of the details yourself :-)

    One interesting thing to fit in would be how is it that Clark’s any good as a reporter? Well, maybe one odd thing about him is that although he’s bumbling and incompetent with his friends and colleagues, he’s not like that when he’s reporting. There you can see his bravery and resourcefulness that he has as a superhero. Maybe moreso, because Superman’s physically invulnerable, but Clark is emotionally vulnerable and inherently shy, so it’s actually quite hard for him to ask those tough questions, but he does so nevertheless.

    how’s that? :-)

  • Jenny Islander

    I just watched that video. Miley Cyrus sings “Jolene.” It’s not one I would have picked for her, but she does an excellent interpretation as a tense, unconfident young woman nerving herself up to ask a confident older woman to back off and possibly get more direct than that. Most people sing “Jolene” as a weary wife (or husband, I’ve heard that too) without real hope of change for the better; Cyrus does something different and nails it.

    Just judging from that one song, she needs, I dunno, there’s something tight about her lower registers somehow, but she can do ornamentation like Dolly Parton, which I would never have suspected. A little more polish, as in working on her voice not having it run through a computer, and she could have real staying power.

    Hey, if she wants to go harder, you know what I would like to hear her sing? Joan Jett.

  • Carstonio

    presumably this Principle of yours is a normative principle for the fictional characters?

    Of course. Any story where a hero violates that principle should include some consequences.

    Great story premise. The Welling series had Clark grow up emotionally over several years, except that he became confident and resourceful after a period of being brooding and guilt-ridden.

    Kal-El’s relationship with Lois might seem like a simple romance on the surface, but I see it as important for humanizing a character that is most definitely not human. More than just two separate identities, he’s part of two separate worlds, reflecting the real-life experience of the descendants of immigrants like Siegel and Schuster. In any continuity where Lois is a full partner, we get to see the hero through the eyes of someone who treats the most powerful person in the world as an equal. Similar to the contrast with Batman, especially in Jeph Loeb’s stories about two heroes who don’t understand each other as much as they think they do.

    By contrast, most attempts to link Superman romantically with Wonder Woman amount to gimmicks. Their outsider backgrounds are so similar that the contrast is lost. Probably why Kingdom Come addressed the relationship in a far larger context. But I would like to see someone re-imagine Kal-El and Diana as Nick and Nora Charles, with sharp repartee as they throttle the supervillains.

  • Original Lee

    Although after the first few times I heard it (because I had a hard time understanding the actual lyrics), I decided it’s a breakup song. Still creepy.

  • Greenygal

    That would be this image, a promotional ad for the pilot, and yes, that literally happens to Clark in the episode.

  • Carstonio

    Here’s the relationship ethics principle in action, including the consequences for violating it:

    http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0635215/quotes?qt=qt0381769