October 5th, 2007

#608: Oh, yeah, that'll fix everything.

Arrgh! Don't hand out fun-size Snickers or M&Ms, oh no! No, you should hand out special evangelical candy to trick-or-treaters to save them from Satan!

W! T! F!

Give 'em Scripture Candy, which has Bible text on the wrappers. Or give them "...EvangeCandy, 'the only candy with color-coded Gospels on every wrapper'..." which "are fun for children"!

What children? What kid looks at the freaking wrapper of the candy he's gobbling? "Holy shit, I'd better read this wrapper just in case it contains Bible text which will save me from Satan!"

Or eschew candy entirely and give them "gospel tracts". That's an awesome idea. It'll certainly guarantee you a year's supply of free toilet paper, once you unwind it from your trees and bushes. Lookit that, the one about "bread cast upon the waters" is actually true! Sort of.

Look, I'm a Christian, born and raised Methodist. I have pretty strong feelings about my religion, too. But for crying out loud, can we please just get a freaking grip already? Here I thought the worst thing you could do to a kid who's trick-or-treating was to give him fruit--boy, was I wrong.

"Did you ever wonder why Halloween seems to primarily feed off of a market of 3-13 year olds? This is a Satanic ploy for our children."

Hold it! Stop right there! A Satanic ploy? Do these people listen to themselves?

Oh, but "I don't think that Christian children should completely abstain from the festivities of costumes and candy, because they can be a light through their alternative behavior. [I personally plan on dressing my children up in Biblical and God-honoring characters that will draw people to ask questions.]"

What kind of questions?

Ordinary kid: "What the hell are you supposed to be?"
This woman's victim kid: "I'm Ezekiel!"
OK: "Who the fuck is Ezekiel?"
WK: "Well, in Bible..."
OK: "Okay, shut up." [punch hit kick etc]

Even better, dress the kid up like Judas. Give him a fake noose to wear around his neck, too, while you're at it. Make a pillar of salt costume for your daughter and she can be Lot's wife.
"This Halloween, spiritually invest in your neighborhood children and don't make the mistake that I have made of ignoring the doorbell. Please do not shut yourself off to this generation. You have a unique opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God without even leaving your home. Suffer not these little children and consider how you can protect them from the hauntings of the Enemy."

* * *

While we're on the subject, let's deal with the stupidity that is the "hell house", shall we?

The basic concept is that of the object lesson: each room of a hell house is a diorama, showing people in morally questionable situations, and the message is that unless you turn to Jesus, you'll end up in hell.

Yeah, it's pretty fricking retarded. People go to a haunted house to be scared, not for a stupid sermon. The only message a haunted house should have is "this shit is scary".

For better or worse, the concept of hell doesn't scare most poeple. People worry about a lot of other things more, things a lot more immediate, like being able to make the house payment this month, and finding the money to pay for the kid's braces, and trying to get promoted at work; if people think about it at all, it's somewhere in the deep background, something they worry about late at night when they've managed to stop worrying about everything else.

For many Christians--particularly the evangelical sort--that is the biggest worry of all, that anyone will go to hell. That's nice of them; really, it is. I can't fault their intentions.

But we all know which road is paved with good intentions.

Hell houses and the above ludicrosity (I don't care if that's an actual word or not, that's how annoyed I am by it) don't serve to bring people into the faith. Christians have a reputation for being people who are excited by simple, stupid, boring things, and who shun anything that might even hint at being somewhat sinful, and who will lecture the fuck out of you if you're not "on fire for Jesus" like they are, and try to convert you to their faith...and they have this reputation because--well...have you ever hung around really devout Christians?

Devout Christians will go to hell houses and feel good about them--but what does that say about them? "Look at those people! They're going to go to hell, but I have nothing to fear from this because I've accepted Christ!" That's awfully arrogant of you, isn't it? What's the point of preaching to the converted, anyway? How do you "scare straight" someone who's already straight?

The only way you can get "regular" people into a hell house is by tricking them into it, and that's not only unfair, it's counterproductive: what person is going to say, "Well, crap! Here I wanted to get scared, but you've converted me to Jesus!" when he's annoyed that he paid good money for...for what?

If you want people to come to Jesus, you're not going to accomplish that by tricking them into hearing the message. All that does is foster resentment, something that Christianity can ill afford.

It's all part of a larger theme, which is that Christians have to "do something" about Halloween, which is "of Satan" because of its pagan origins.

If we have to "do something" about Halloween, then we've also got to "do something" about Christmas, too. Christ was not born on December 25; early Christians celebrated his birth on that date because it came near the end of the winter solstice bacchanalia of the pagans, and it made it easier for pagans to stomach becoming Christians. So we'd have to do away with Christmas being on December 25 and move it to sometime in the spring or early summer.

Of course there are already Christians who are thinking about that. I once heard a woman ask--in all seriousness!--this question, on a radio show: "Do you think that 'Santa' is an anagram of 'Satan'?"


#609: Stupid and Stupider.

Elizabeth Edwards seems to think that Rush Limbaugh shouldn't be allowed to be on the air.

Wow, a Democrat that thinks Limbaugh should be silenced. What a story. Stop the presses.

...but she thinks it's because Limbaugh had a medical disability that put him into the 4F classification, making him ineligible for the draft. If he was physically unable to serve in Vietnam, goes her theory, he should also be physically unable to sit in a radio studio.


Ms. Edwards clearly doesn't understand what it is like to be a soldier, particularly a non-commissioned grunt. "Cannon fodder", to be indelicate, although most armies haven't really thought of soldiers that way since WW1 or before.

A soldier has to be able to withstand a great deal of physical stress. It doesn't do your unit any good if half your guys have exercise-induced asthma and can't walk more than half a mile at a time without a hit of inhaled steroids. It also doesn't help if one of your guys has a cardiac arrythmia and he keels over with v-fib the first time he sees "action". It's counterproductive to spend all that time, money, and energy to train him for combat only to have him die because he got too much adrenaline at once.

The idea is to have soldiers who can fight, after all.

There are plenty of medical conditions which are completely innocuous in most lines of work, but which can be fatal to a soldier. That's why the military screens for them. If one of your people gets shot, you don't want to have to contend with both a bullet wound and chronic low blood pressure, for example. You don't want to have to treat someone for diabetes and a sucking chest wound, particularly not in a battlefield hospital. That guy with the cardiac arrythmia can probably work as a carpenter for 30 years without an issue, but if he catches a few shell fragments, the irregular heartbeat will greatly complicate saving his life.

The point is, there are a myriad of things which Limbaugh could have that can't possibly effect his performance as a radio host, but which would have--decades ago--prevented him from being soldier material. Ms. Edwards would do well to learn the difference.

Unless Ms. Edwards wants us to apply the same standard to her and say that she, as a cancer patient, shouldn't be doing interviews. But I wouldn't suggest something like that, myself. I know better.

* * *

And here we learn that the Democrats have disenfranchised their own Florida voters.

The Florida Democrat Party is suing the DNC because of it. Of course, whatever happens, it'll all be the fault of Republicans: the state's legislature has a Republican majority and the state governor is a Republican, so it's the Republicans who are trying to disenfranchise the Democrat voters of Florida.

...damn, that Karl Rove is good. Clearly, before he left the Administration, he used his political pwoer to tell the Florida state government to move the Florida primary to January 29th, and this ended up making the DNC disenfranchise the Florida Democrats. He's tricked the Democrats into disenfranchising their own voters!
In the aftermath of the shattering events of 2000, Democrats here and around the country have made continued efforts to assure that every vote counts. It is thus truly a monumental irony for the Democratic National Committee to replace its own commitment to assuring that every vote must be counted with a decree that no Florida Democrats' vote will count.
Damn! You can't buy this kind of funny!

#610: I can't help myself; it's more dumb spam.

Minhphatvn warns me of big waves tomorrow! O wait! I got that e-mail yesterd--[splash]

Adrian Isaac and Jimmy Sheets sent me e-mails with the exact same subject line! What a coincidence! They must be brothers. Or telepathic. Or telepathic brothers! ...who don't proofread before hitting "SEND", apparently. "Privater"? What's that mean? And why the hell would I want my own "privater" Vegas anyway?

What can I say about Moon Kit? There's a joke in there somewhere, I just know it. Something about "build your own" or "some assembly required". Batteries not included, and always read the goddamned instructions!

giles danh wants to give me wardrobe advice. I think. It might be an ad for plastic surgery. "Want to look like you paid millions for your face? Come to E-Z-GO Budget Plastic Surgery Centre! We finance with no money down!" Yeah, that's probably it.

lek tri advises me that I can be sure. This spam nearly got me, because I like to be sure, and I haven't been sure about much of anything since 2001. But it probably was about erectile dysfunction or penis enlargement, two things which have not really been on my mind all that much ever, but for the spam I've gotten about them. Oh well.

Elvira Aaron sez they have it all! Well, damn it, they shouldn't hog everything! Give some of it back or I'm sending the IRS after you. (What's the tax bracket for "everything" anyway?)

Angeline Boyce is telling me they want to offer me the best medical products. All right! Not just medical products, but the best medical products! I don't even care what they are; sign me up! I'll take a truckload of medical products, so long as they're the best!

...no I wont. I don't have room for 'em. Never mind.

Patty Pleiman receives a failing grade in spelling for her message "grosdnal". Oh, wait a second, wait a second...I've been re-reading The Lord of the Rings lately and I think that might be orcish! Yes, that's it! She's sending me a message in orcish!

*Edhering fires up Babelfish....

...why, that bitch! Not only did she call me a nasty name, but she didn't even spell it correctly! Fuck you too, Patty Pleiman! You're on my banned list now!

* * *

Yeah, it's starting to get to me.