Posts Tagged ‘apocalypse’

6 Fundamentalist Movies You Should Watch

July 3, 2011

Gates of Hell

I learned about this movie from Right Wing Watch, which is an organization that watches the right wing. And they watched the right wing pushing this movie, and it looks awesome.

Have you heard about how conservatives have been trying to sell African-Americans on the idea of being against legal abortion lately? They’re putting up these nutty billboards (some of which imply that blacks are a distinct species) and running goofy political ads on the radio. See, they’re not racist anymore! They’re really concerned about black babies and how letting black women have abortions is like genocide. And that breaks their hearts, They are very concerned about black people. That’s what they’re pushing. It reminds me of how neo-Nazis like David Duke will pretend to be so compassionate to the Palestinians, when in reality they’re clearly more motivated by hating Jews than anything else.

Anyway, since the billboards and radio ads can only do so much, they’ve decided to make a movie about their abortion/race war fantasies. In this movie, black people are finally convinced by the WorldNetDaily (Molotov Mitchell of WND is the executive producer of this movie) that abortion is really a racist genocidal conspiracy against black people. Nevermind that nobody’s forcing anyone to get an abortion these days, that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that if we don’t outlaw abortion, these scary BLACK guys are going to start shooting doctors and liberals and probably your mom, too. So you better do what they say already.

This movie also strives to solve a major public relations problem for the anti-abortion zealot community. I could be wrong on this, but I’m pretty sure that every single anti-abortion doctor-killer or attempted doctor-killer has been a honky. If you line up their mug shots in a row, it looks like what the Children of the Corn would be like if they were allowed to live past their 19th birthday. Gates of Hell seeks to racially diversify the hate-filled anti-abortion terrorist demographic. Since reality won’t do it for them, they’ll have to make a movie about how they wish black people acted when it comes to abortion, like how colleges Photoshop in Hispanic kids in wheelchairs on their homepages.

See, it’s not this guy who’s threatening those of us who want to keep abortion legal and safe:

Molotov Mitchell of WND has an impressive IMDB page

It’s THIS guy:

Gosh, I wonder why anyone ever though conservatives were racist?

The Life Zone

Bitches love Jesus... I'm gonna get those bitches some Jesus.

The Life Zone is a movie about women who were all having an abobo at the same time and were all kidnapped by some anti-choice terrorist good guys. So they lock al the women up in some underground dungeon and force them  to carry on with being preggo until the baby jumps out of her vagina or however that works.

Their captor is some shady old man who leers on as the younger nurse-lady makes sure their pregnancies are going in the exact opposite way the women wanted. They all talk about abortion and have fourth-grade level arguments about it. And at the end it turns out that they were all in Purgatory the whole time to make sure their unborn babies would be able to go up to Heaven. Yay for massive simultaneous deaths during routine medical procedures!

But one of the women tried to induce a miscarriage during her pregnancy because she still believed that abortion is pretty awesome, so she goes to Hell. And  so does the nurse-lady, because she also died recently from committing suicide. And oh yeah, the captor turns out to be Satan.

The director of this movie is a former Republican judge and politician from New Jersey who had to quit because he kept on promoting his movies from the bench. I heard rumors that he would oftentimes sentence people to watch his movies, much like how  the senile Judge Wapner now sentences us all to drink his root beer. Anyway, this guy has another movie you may want to check out called “O.B.A.M. Nude,” which is about how Barack Obama sold his soul to the devil while in college and in exchange was given some mysterious power to turn the world into a socialist paradise for Satan. So that’s where he’s coming from…

Left Behind I-III

I have only seen the first two movies in the Trilogy O’ Kirk (We hardcore fans call it TOK for short on internet forums), but then again I haven’t seen any of the movies I’ve mentioned so far. Hey, this is about movies you should see, not necessarily movies I should see.

So way back in the day, Jesus promised he would return at the side of God  to kick the asses of the non-believers. St. John or whichever crackhead wrote Revelation took that  premise from Jesus and ran with it, elaborating it into a D&D-ish apocalypse fantasy. In the mid-19th century, some pastors merged in some passages from 1 Thessalonians and rapture theology was born.

But the rapture never happened. This made fundamentalist Christian authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins very sad and frustrated. They wondered: What if it really did happen? Hey, maybe it will happen, like, really soon! Wouldn’t that be awesome? LaHaye and Jenkins were getting all excited just thinking about it!

So they wrote a book about it. Then they wrote a few more books about it, and a few more. And then Kirk Cameron was all like, “Dudes! Let’s make some of these shitty books into unwatchable, straight-to-DVD movies!” And so it came to pass.

Cameron’s character starts off as a reporter for “GNN” who’s trying to find out where all those missing people have gone. Some people start asking him if he’s considered believing they all went to Heaven for the rapture. He hadn’t, but he takes that belief system out for a test drive, buys it, and it works out pretty well for him. He’s told that if he can bring 10 friends and family members in to start selling Amway products Christianity themselves, then he can definitely expect to achieve financial independence in 3 easy steps go to Heaven the next time Jesus sweeps his favorite people up into the sky.

Buck Williams also discovers that the UN Secretary General is the antichrist. GNN has a strict disclosure policy for when you are reporting on someone you believe to be the antichrist, but it’s OK in this case because he can hide his anti-antichrist bias fairly well.

The way you get to activate antichrist mode in the Left Behind universe is to advocate peaceful solutions to the territorial disputes in the Gaza Strip. That’s what the UN SecGen does, and that’s how Buck finds him out. You see, when someone tries to settle international disputes in a non-violent way, that’s a sure sign that they’re evil. The Left Behind crowd can easily tell how good someone is by how many wars they wage. If only it worked the same way with the State of New York Department of Justice and drunken disorderly charges.

In the end I guess Kirk Cameron sneaks into the UN, gains the antichrist’s trust, and just kinda hangs out while God comes back to kick his ass. Because it’s not like either of them can do anything to change what’s going to happen. Supposedly this God person predetermined all of it. That takes a lot of suspense out of this trilogy. We all know there’s no chance the good guy will tragically (?) die after a cameo appearance by Cthulu. It’s just going to be Jesus guiding Mike Seaver through a fundie’s fever dream.

But there’s still lots to learn from Left Behind, especially in how these people view nonbelievers. Basically, they think we’re all extremely stupid and shallow, that the only reason we don’t believe is because if we did we’d all have to confess our sins and submit before the Jesus and we’re all just too proud for that scene. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that maybe we don’t believe because none of the miraculous events in the books and the movies have actually happened. This is all meant to be fiction, right?

But maybe not. If you read the newspapers and do a little free association here and make a few leaps of faith there, it’s possible to link real current events to all this ancient mythology the Left Behind groupies seem to be so obsessed over. And that’s where this stuff starts to get creepy.

Expelled!

Expelled! is a creationist propaganda movie. It also gets pretty far into conspiracy theories and Holocaust revisionism, but mainly this is about creationism.

The filmmakers told their interview subjects that they were making a documentary about the intersection between science and religion. This is how they got people like PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, and Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education to speak with them on camera. Obviously I don’t have any problem at all with this deceitful tactic since we at The BEAST do this kind of thing pretty regularly. The problem… well one of the problems with this movie is selective editing. This is very obvious when you watch the film because the cuts are so fast and awkward that it’s as if Michael J Fox did the editing the old-fashioned way with a razor after a few days off his meds.

According to Expelled!, evolution isn’t accepted by relevant experts because there’s a lot of evidence supporting it, but because there’s a massive worldwide conspiracy of scientists which controls with an iron fist all the peer review literature and all the important positions in relevant fields. So it’s the same premise used by pretty much every other goofy conspiracy theorist, with a twist: If you disagree with Stein and his friends at the Discovery Institute, you sir are a NAZI because this anti-God conspiracy goes all the way back to Nazi Germany.

Yes, as a matter of fact I do got mittens.

The National Center for Science Education has a website devoted to debunking Expelled!, if you’re interested in the details of why Ben Stein is wrong about everything. Maybe you should read that before watching the movie, just in case watching the movie first causes you to start reading about the science in Ben Stein’s voice.

Four Lions

These gentlemen represent an existential threat to our way of life.

I’m going to have to cheat a little with these last two movies which focus on Islam. The ones mentioned earlier were made by the true believers themselves, but here they are the subject. Did I cheat that way because I’m an uncouth American who needs the movies I watch to be westernized for me to appreciate? Probably!

Four Lions is actually about four humans who aren’t lions at all. But they are Muslim wannabe terrorists living in England and planning a suicide bombing for Allah. Hilarity ensues.

We have this disturbing way of looking at Muslim terrorists here in America. It’s the same way they probably see themselves: as a grave, existential threat to Western secular democracy on par with the fascists during World War II. And if you suggest that maybe they’re just a bunch of criminal but laughable idiots who sometimes succeed but usually fail hard, then you’re disrespecting their victims.

It’s a lot like how people still believe in conspiracy theories about John F Kennedy’s death in that when something terrible happens, we ascribe an amount of meaning proportional to the amount of misery it’s caused, even when that connection is not supported by the facts. We don’t like the idea of someone as esteemed as Kennedy being blown away by some down-and-out loser who’s been rejected even by the Soviet Union. It’s much more comforting to believe that he died for brave principles and that he was taken down by one or another shady cabal of evil people with lots of power. Everything seems less random and fragile that way, regardless of the facts.

And in the same way, we’d like for the ‘bad guys’ in the Post-9/11 World news narrative/Michael Bay movie to be not just genuinely bad guys. We want them to be absolutely demonic and with superhuman powers. We can’t have them in court because they might say something which will somehow transform normal, rational Americans into Islamic extremists who want to let Khalid Sheikh Mohammed walk around NYC and plan more terrorist attacks. Because people can do that kind of thing with mere words, apparently.

If you believe in that perception of al Qaeda and others like them, then Four Lions is completely heretical. And what’s funny is that it will outrage Muslim extremists themselves too, and for the same reasons. It just doesn’t take terrorism seriously enough! If you want to laugh at Islamic terrorism, do it in the wake of a drone’s airstrike. It’s for some reason blasphemous to laugh at them for being gullible, ineffectual morons with goofy beliefs and embarrassing, mundane, interpersonal relationship problems.

Oh yeah, they all die in the end.

The Infidel

In a way, The Infidel is a mirror-image opposite of Four Lions. While Four Lions focuses on the titular extremist characters who create humor by interacting with moderates, The Infidel’s main character Mahmud is a moderate Muslim who’s constantly befuddled by the extremist wackos he occasionally crosses paths with in his everyday life. His sister or cousin or someone is about to marry an extremist Muslim cleric he hates, and he’s gotta deal with that somehow. Even his own daughter randomly yells jihadist-y slogans about restoring the caliphate.

Then Mahmud finds out that he was adopted and that his parents were Jewish. So he’ll have to go through a crisis of identity where he learns how to say “Oy, vey” correctly and wear the tattered remains of a Yamaka he just burnt at a pro-Palestinian rally. And then there’s the matter of the radical cleric marrying into his (now Jewish, apparently) family. All this while poor ol’ Mahmud just wants to go on being a half-assed cultural Muslim who doesn’t go to the mosque or care much about politics, but loves to listen to cheesy 80s music and maybe has a drink every once in a while.

The reason you really should see this movie is because the next time some dickhead whines about how people are too afraid to mock Islam like they do Christianity, you can both watch this movie together and prove said dickhead wrong. The attacks on fundamentalist thinking in it are stronger than you’d get in a typical Christian-mocking movie or TV show, but it manages to raise serious concerns while keeping a sense of humor.

Bill Murray to cause apocalypse in an obscure way

July 28, 2010

The good folks at ChristWire are really mad at Bill Murray. So they’re trying to get people to boycott him. You might think Murray did something recently that really set them off. But no. They’re just angry at his whole body of work and his personality. They’re so enraged… How enraged are they?… Well, this much:

He is a weak man, a murderer of lambs, a despicable hedonist who waves the white flag welcoming the end of American moral and economic primacy. He is a harbinger of our death as a culture, the death of that preëminent philosophy of faith married to capitalism that has saved the world countless times from repression and annihilation. Bill Murray is a fatal disease and the sad news we bring you today is that your children have been infected.

The bold print is in the original.

Oh, but it gets better when the author starts fantasizing about being raped by Bill Murray. Seriously:

When you see this man on screen, his eyes wander all over you like a caged New York City rat. They seek out your curves and muscles with eerie desire. Those are not the eyes of someone you can trust. His mischievous grin suggests rape and sex and wanting to violate any thing he comes into contact with in the dead of night. He seems willing to say whatever it takes to get you where he wants to go, both physically and intellectually. Many of my fellow journalists have reported their fear of this man and his wicked charm, the way he works his way into the depths of your life, gets you to confess your darkest secrets.

Dr. Freud, call for you on line two.

OK, that’s hilarious, of course. Now the best part of these kinds of screeds is how you can tell that the author is really overpowered by their emotions, while at the same time want to give the impression that they’re literate and educated. And these two factors just trainwreck in the closing paragraph, just before the quote from Revelation. This time the added emphasis is mine:

Or has Bill Murray come to the grand revelation himself that he is desperately clawing against his own mortality with half-hearted sexual perversion and intellectual degeneracy, wandering drunken through the night, without passion or direction, already lost to the game of life. He is defeat. He has given up making meaningful gestures of faith or righteousness to instead nest in those small moments of self-satisfaction before he slips into the quiet bosom of obscurity. There is no denying that this grotesque and dangerous creature can be described as nothing less than one of the four horsemen of America’s impending Apocalypse.

Well, which is it? Is Bill Murray a horseman of America’s impending apocalypse? Or is he slipping into the quiet boom of obscurity? I don’t think that the author believes that the America’s impeding apocalypse is an obscure event. So it’s got to be one or the other.

Of course, to people who buy into this kind of stuff, it doesn’t matter if even two consecutive sentences are consistent. That’s not the point. The point is that they’re mad. They don’t even care if they’ve formed a comprehensible case for getting so worked up in the first place. And when you just appeal straight to people’s emotions, pretty much anything flies – even a Bill Murray boycott.

UPDATE: OK, I’ve looked more extensively through ChristWire‘s stuff, and I’m now about 90% sure that it’s satirical in the same sense as Landover Baptist or Objective Ministries. So now the egg is on my face.

All hail our glorious cephalopod overlords

December 14, 2009

An Amphioctopus marginatus has been observed using coconut shells as armor. Here is a picture PZ Myers has on his blog of the species:

“I could tell that the octopus, busy manipulating coconut shells, was up to something, but I never expected it would pick up the stacked shells and run away,” [Australian zoologist Julian] Finn said. “It was an extremely comical sight—I have never laughed so hard underwater.”

This is apparently significant because it carried the coconuts to a certain location for a specific use, which is something never seen by sea creatures before. Birds and some mammals do it, too, so it’s not that crazy, really. We all know that African swallows can carry coconuts across oceans as long as they grip it by the husk.

I guess we should all make our arrangements now then. Not only can they use tools, but they can also walk bipedally. It’s only a matter of time before the veined octopuses of the world enslave us all.

UPDATE: Here is a video of the octopus which made the zoologist lol:

Quote of the Day

November 28, 2009

AI Will Enslave Us All

September 27, 2009

The Singularity Institute is having their Singularity Summit next weekend in NYC. I learned about this from the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe show where SI President Michael Vassar was interviewed.

I’m really not sure what to think about the SI. They seem to exist in some no-man’s-land between kookiness and practical planning for the future. Dr Novella of the SGU tried to get Vassar to explain how we can expect to allow for AI tech to recursively self-improve without constraint and at the same time be reasonably sure they won’t turn on us and use humans for batteries.I’m not sure that Vassar explained that very well. He seemed to be jumping back and forth between different semantical games – that creating AI so that it couldn’t follow a certain path once it begins to improve itself isn’t really constraining it. But then again it’s probably more likely that I’m just too dumb to get it.

The interview portion of the show linked to above starts at about 26 minutes in.

Eternal Earth-Bound Pets

September 18, 2009

There’s this new organization that will pet-sit for Christians who get raptured away when Jesus flies back to Earth from heaven. They are called Eternal Earth-bound Pets, USA. From their website:

You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind?   Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

They are charging $110 for the first pet, and $15 for each additional pet. This is a great idea because whatever happens, they win. If people go for it, these people will get the money they deserve for coming up with this brilliant idea. If people don’t go for it, then it leaves us with a point at which we can question the sincerity of the believers. Do they really believe in this stuff? If they did, you would think they would want to take care of this kind of business.

I suspect that the results will unfortunately be closer to the latter. Most people who claim that they believe in an imminent apocalypse or rapture or whatever are just lying. They don’t really believe in that any more than I do. It’s just a posturing in order to fit into a group – sacrifice critical thinking skills, gain acceptance. Because if that weren’t the case, then they would plan in advance for it in the same way that they would stop their newspaper delivery when they go on vacation.

But maybe they’ll prove me wrong. Maybe the reaction to this proposal won’t be nervous laughter and defensive questioning. And if that’s the case, then the people running this scam perfectly legitimate business venture will never have to work again.

Or do they?...

Or do they?...

The Large Hadron Collider is going to destroy everything again. Really this time.

September 8, 2009

The Large Hadron Collider is being restarted again this month. So here are some reasons why the LHC = awesomeness:

It will tell us something about the fundamental particles of matter regardless of the outcome. For example, if they find the Higgs boson, it will confirm that theory and raise even deeper questions about physics which nobody can yet forsee. And if they don’t find it, then they’d have exchanged error for truth and have to go back to the drawing board with newer and better ideas, one of them having been falsified. The same goes for things like dark matter, dark energy, extra dimensions like suggested by string theory, and the possibility of a unified field theory.

Its findings will inspire future generations of physicists who will then find out even more about how the Universe works.

It will help teenagers get laid by inducing end of the world panic in people without understanding of what the LHC actually is.

The same fear-mongering will create internet joke fodder.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

Suicide cults will do their ‘cult suicide’ thing. Hilarity will ensue.

Creationists will either try to claim that the findings prove God created the Universe or that the findings are all part of a “Big Science” conspiracy a la Ben Stein. Hilarity will ensue.

Time travelers might show up. But probably not.

It will give nerdy musicians more inspiration for their craft: