Thursday, July 03, 2008

Death of a Guilty Pleasure

The CAP Ministries is going to close.

The bottom line is that we are broke. Our donor base is now four regular donors giving $165 per month (we lost a $200 per month donor). And that equates to a new release analysis about once every two months ... and no help in providing for my family while I work the ministry, except for maybe butter-n-egg money for a month (for ten people: 6 adopted children, two foster babies, my wife and I) plus a tank of gas.

The CAP has been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite a long time. I'd occasionally go check out how perfectly innocent movies would set up this wonderful approach-avoidance conflict within the reviewer where he was clearly fascinated by what he was seeing, but at the same time punishing himself for this joy. All this under the guise of watching the movies to "protect children". Seemingly, even the least clued christian parent would understand that a movie called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (rated R) is not something you would take a 6 year-old to see. Yet bravely, and with total deference to Jesus, the CAP reviewer would throw himself on such a beast, braving the violence, sex and blasphemy, some would say risking his very soul, to detail in exacting precision the complete catalog of god offenses and explain why this is a Weapon of Satan aimed at the delicate sensibilities of the Bob the Builder crowd. Why said christian parents, while fully savvy of the Internet and it's godless dangers, would fail to understand that the subtle warning ensconced the title phrase "CHAINSAW MASSACRE" is left as an exercise for the student.

So, okay, he liked to go to the movies and loved to feel the righteous indignation only true believers can. And he like folks to pay for this. Props for that. My hobbies usually cost me money and don't generally come with moral superiority so he out strips me there.

But, he even hates kids movies.

A terrific example is Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Probably the blandest pablum the Hollywood vomit machine has ever snorted out it's nose. No god, no crime, no gangsta, no sex, no crippling existential angst. Nothing. What's the problem with Mr. Magoo?

Natalie Portman wearing a dress that exposed a large gap over her chest. Such a display of skin normally not seen is clearly sexual: clearly intended to tease, to incite lust in the male viewer. If she had worn a dress that covered the gap, the Sexual Immorality investigation area score would have been 100. Sure, some highfalutin, high society performers wear such clothing for such affairs, but does that make such a cultural-specific display acceptable? If you think "Yes" then the fact that some cultures eat other people makes it acceptable since it is a cultural-specific behavior. Don't argue with me about what is morally acceptable. Argue about it with God. He will give you a much better Answer than I ever could. [1Cor. 8:9, Matt. 5:28]

Wow! I could never have made something like that up. He had raised righteous indignation to a form of high art.

Unfortunately, he could not raise to the level where it paid all his bills. You need a cable show to do that.

Will I miss CAP Ministries? I will. I went there this morning to see what could possibly be offensive in the film Wall-E, which I quite enjoyed. I figured god has to hate robots (since it is man imitating god and robots can have souls since that is gods providence or some shit), and he has to hate robot sex even more! Alas, he is closing shop, at least for now.

Does this sadden me? A little. OTOH I am pretty stoked that the appetite for this kind of silliness, at least as non-parody, is too small to be self-supporting.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

An Especially Hot Pit in the 8th Circle is Waiting for

Billy Graham.

His lasting damage, I offer as an aside, was to persuade the young George W. Bush to abandon his wastrel ways, at which he excelled, and instead seek the path that has led him to where he is now, a calamity for the nation and the world. Graham's burden is heavy indeed.

I don't beleive in gods but I do believe we should explore the limits of what we're good at.

It is better to do your Dharma poorly than do another's well.
-The Bhagavad Gita

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Republican Strategy for Candidates

Brief and accurate, from TPM:

Continues to boggle my mind what a difference 4 years can make to the conservatives.

1996: Bob Dole is a war hero! Clinton is a draft dodger! WORSHIP THE WAR HERO!

2000: Forget the war! Ignore the potential Vietnam-era AWOL-ness of our candidate, and his complete lack of foreign policy knowledge! He's got integrity!

2004: So what your candidate actually fought and was injured in the same war during which our candidate was so very much NOT AWOL! We mock his service and question the legitimacy of his injuries! Have a purple band-aid to wear at our convention!

2008: Only a certified war hero can lead this country! WORSHIP THE WAR HERO!

You want to bet if I wore a purple band-aid to mock McCain's service I'd be roasted alive?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Laser Magic Tricks

Here. Starts slow but a big finish. I was, frankly, pretty impressed.