Over the weekend I published the first in an ongoing series of book blog posts by me here at PJ Lifestyle: 23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards.
This more than 17,000-word, free, online ebook features six sections of books on a variety of subjects: autobiographies, history, polemics, American exceptionalism, media, and science. (And included throughout are various YouTube videos and custom photos of relevant excerpts.)
The three autobiographies that begin this series each tell a different variation of a story familiar to many PJ readers: the liberal “mugged by reality” reemerging after disappointment as a more tough-minded conservative who recognizes the world’s evil and can call it by name. (Victor Davis Hanson refers to this as the tragic view.)
In reflecting on these narratives, one point often goes unsaid: the journey from Left to Right usually takes awhile — years, sometimes even decades. PJM CEO Roger L. Simon’s Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine, the late Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation, and leading occult author James Wasserman’s In the Center of the Fire each show as much for men traveling very different careers. For all three the journey out of so-called liberalism required many difficult realizations and personal struggles with both private life experiences and the big national stories.
When one’s ideology fails, a new process of searching for answers begins. The experience resembles a fish out of water flailing about on the shore. One flop forward, another scared slide backwards toward the progressive ocean.
I resisted accepting the “conservative” and “right-wing” labels for years; my own transition from Chomsky reader and Nation subscriber during college in 2005 to conservative new media editor in 2012 came in baby steps. I drifted from the hard left wing of the Democratic Party circa 2006 to the (imagined-in-my-own-head) Centrist Liberal wing of the Democrats by 2008. (Thank two and a half years of pay-the-bills-type jobs while developing my freelance writing career for those small gains.) I then flopped over to a disillusioned, independent “New Centrism” (my own term years before “No Labels”) as Obama came into office and his hard leftism emerged. (What was a radical like Van Jones doing in a “post-ideological” administration? Stanley Kurtz would answer that question.)
Initially I empathized with the polite, “center-right” David Frum/David Brooks-style “sophisticated” conservative circa Fall 2009. During 2010 and 2011 the ideological shift continued into more aggressive Tea Party and anti-jihad positions, though my “social liberalism” still remained. Only in the last year — as I’ve returned to a belief in God and grown certain in my need to someday become a father — does it feel like I’ve come all the way to the Right, thus inspiring an unashamed identification with social conservatism and family values. (That I still support state-level legislation favoring gay marriage for the kind of socially conservative, every-human-being-on-the-face-of-the-earth-needs-to-endeavor-to-get-married reasons that Jonathan Rauch argues in his book can remain an ongoing debate for another day…)
Does this kind of gradual journey sound familiar to anybody else?
Part I: Autobiographies
1. In The Center of the Fire by James Wasserman
Original Publication Date: June 15, 2012
In this daring exposé by a survivor of a unique era in the New York occult scene, James Wasserman, a longtime proponent of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, brings us into a world of candlelit temples, burning incense, and sonorous invocations. The author also shares an intimate look at the New York Underground of the 1970s and introduces us to the company of such avant-garde luminaries as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harry Smith, and Angus MacLise. A stone’s throw away from the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol’s Factory, William Burroughs’ “bunker,” and the legendary Chelsea Hotel was a scene far more esoteric than perhaps even they could have imagined.
When James Wasserman joined the O.T.O. in 1976, there were fewer than a dozen members. Today the Order numbers over 4,000 members in 50 countries and has been responsible for a series of ground-breaking publications of Crowley’s works.
The author founded New York City’s TAHUTI Lodge in 1979. He chronicles its early history and provides a window into the heyday of the Manhattan esoteric community. He also breaks his decades of silence concerning one of the most seminal events in the development of the modern Thelemic movement — detailing his role in the 1976 magical battle between Marcelo Motta and Grady McMurtry. Long slandered for his effort to heal the temporary breach between the Orders of A.’.A.’. and O.T.O., James Wasserman sets the record straight. And, he meticulously chronicles the copyright contest over the Crowley literary estate–of which he was an important participant.
This is also a saga with a very human tableau filled with tender romance, passionate friendships, an abiding spiritual hunger, danger, passion, and ecstasy. It also explores several hidden magical byways including the rituals of Voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Finally we are given a bird’s eye view of the 1960s hippie culture and its excesses of sex and drugs, and rock n roll–along with the personal transformations and penalties such a lifestyle brought forth.
Reconstructed from personal memories, magical diaries, multiple interviews, court transcripts, witness depositions, trial evidence, and extensive correspondence, this book elucidates a hitherto misreported and ill-understood nexus of modern magical history. It also shares tales of a mythical moment in American life as seen through the eyes of an enthusiastic participant in the hip culture of the day.
Why Counterculture Conservatives Should Read It:
James Wasserman’s memoir accomplishes an elegant feat by juggling three narrative threads: A) his own personal transformation from socialist hippie drug addict in the late ’60s to gun-toting, libertarian family man and influential elder statesman of a new religion, B) the legal and personal battles surrounding Aleister Crowley’s copyrights and the leadership of the Ordo Templi Orientis – the same emotional intensity that inspires one to build religious movements also pushes others to tear them apart, C) the professional transformation from clerk at Weiser’s bookstore to acclaimed book designer, author, and talking head in Discovery and History channel documentaries. These three threads of course connect with our three CounterCon movements.
In describing the ideological and biographical aspect of Wasserman’s memoir, a good comparison is to PJ Media columnist Ron Radosh and his memoir Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left. Radosh and Wasserman played comparable roles in their respective movements of the New Left and Thelema, each acting as movement historian and subtle observer of behind-the-scenes events and the larger-than-life, legendary personalities.
And both made their journey from left to right one step at a time over the course of many decades. For Wasserman disillusionment from the organized left came in the late ’60s while working in Washington, D.C., on civil rights and antiwar issues. (He realized that the leaders of the movement admitted they didn’t care if the communists won in Vietnam — or that communism was even a bad thing.) But this just knocked him into more than a decade of wandering around the 1970s New York occult scene. It wouldn’t be until decades later when several life events would deliver the rightward kicks needed for him to eventually come out vocally as an advocate of political liberty. The one that I’ll emphasize here: during the mid-’80s Wasserman decided to purchase a gun to protect himself from some of the crazier individuals in the darker corners of the occult underground. He realized that he bore the responsibility to protect his family and that he could not rely on anyone else.
It’s one thing to live a happy little counterculture existence prancing around in a circle, casting spells and dropping LSD. But the reality is there are evil people out there who don’t want us to have this freedom. If we want to live as counterculturalists then conserving our liberty means having a bigger gun than the other guy, the skill to hit him when we fire, and the courage to pull the trigger before he does. And of course this same principle applies whether the bully is a thug wanting your wallet or a despot enriching uranium.
Why Tea Party Occultists Should Read It:
Aleister Crowley — the founder of Wasserman’s religion of Thelema and the most influential occultist of the 20th century — has a really bad reputation. Much of this is his own fault but his enemies did a smear job on him that makes today’s mainstream media look as benign as internet comment trolls. Even still today most of the time when mentioning Crowley’s name in an article someone will show up in the comments to insist that he was a child molester and Satanist who drank blood and performed human sacrifice. (Roger L. Simon mentioned the connection between Crowley and Walter Duranty in his speech opening the Duranty awards — subjects to be explored in more depth in future editions of this list as I do more research.)
This has its benefits for a young religion; it’s much better if the founder is a jerk who’s very difficult to like. That way the ideas and spiritual teachings have to fall or stand on their own and you’re less likely to idolize the founder and emulate his life.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” remains the most well known tenet of Crowley’s system of Thelema and most widely misinterpreted. Those who just “dabble” in Occultism as a kind of revolt against the “establishment” Judeo-Christian tradition think that it means “Do whatever you want is the only law you have to live by because you’re a superman better than everyone else. So you can cheat and party and live the life of a hedonist.” (That certainly sounds to be the Duranty reading of it.) People just assume that because Crowley lived as a libertine for periods of his life that sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, racism, Satanism, and anti-Christian rhetoric were natural outgrowths of the religion he founded.
But that’s not the case. And you see it in the lives of people like Wasserman who find God and make themselves better people through nontraditional religious practices. Thelema isn’t a license to be an evil person. The operative word most misinterpreted is “WILL” and it translates the command more like this: “Find your True Will and then pursue performing it with all of your being.” How does one find his True Will? What does that even mean?
The answer is more mundane than those with the Crowley “Great Beast” caricature in their head may suspect. Crowley wrote in Magick Without Tears:
It should never be forgotten for a single moment that the central and essential work of the Magician is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Once he has achieved this he must of course be left entirely in the hands of that Angel, who can be invariably and inevitably relied upon to lead him to the further great step—crossing of the Abyss and the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple.
True Will = The Will of God, or God’s plan for you on this earth, which we can find out through invoking angels to tell us and then transform us into the people God wants us to be.
Those thinking that the world of the occult is an escape from the Judeo-Christian tradition are in for a shock should they delve deeper. The reality is that Crowley-influenced occultism relies heavily on Jewish and Christian traditions. Don’t believe me? Wasserman’s previous book, The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies, featured later on the list, spends almost 400 pages making the argument.
What this means is that it’s time for occultists and those of “alternative” spirituality to recognize that they too are a part of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage — and have a responsibility to participate in defending it from the genocidal antisemites who want to conquer us all. We’re all Jews. Anyone who regards the Bible as a net positive for humanity, worth defending — regardless of their specific beliefs about the meaning of the words written in it — counts as a Jew. And everyone who struggles with God is Israel.
Why Capitalist Wizards Should Read It:
Also tucked into Wasserman’s memoir the reader finds the inspiring story of his multifaceted career in book designing, publishing, writing, and editing. Wasserman played a vital role in the publication of much of Crowley’s work today, perhaps of most importance being Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck in 1977, for which he also wrote the instructions. (This is my favorite Tarot deck.) Wasserman also produced a stunning edition of The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day. The books he designed have an elegant, authoritative quality to them. Spring for the hardback of In the Center of the Fire instead of the Kindle edition.
The important piece to grasp here is the role of writing as it relates to Wasserman’s spirituality and politics. When he founded a new OTO lodge in New York City the name he selected was TAHUTI. Likewise his memoir today is published by Ibis Press. TAHUTI, also known by his Greek name Thoth, was the Egyptian god of the scribes, the inventor of magic, writing, science, peacemaking, and a central figure among the Western occult tradition:
When we spend our entire lives breathing air, how often do we stop and think about the atmosphere we’re stuffing into our lungs? Do we even remember that there’s stuff called air surrounding us? And having always lived in text-based, book-based societies, can we comprehend what it would be like to live in a world without the written word as the common bridge between minds?
Writing is both a technology and a process for analyzing the world; and upon it sits in delicate balance Western civilization’s liberty-based religious culture, political system, and wealth-generating economic engine. Now with his memoir Wasserman can look back and see the truth of this occult theory as he manifested it over the course of his own life: Through the acts of writing and publishing the world can be transformed. Cast a spell and you can shape the world as you Will.
Through the memoir of another counterculture conservative publisher, lost too soon, we see a concrete example of how to implement this principle to address our dire political situation today…
Dr. Helen asks the question at her blog: Name 5 Reasons a Man Should Get Married,
As I think about it, I wonder in today’s anti-male climate, whether there are financial and legal reasons that a man would want to marry. Maybe I’m being too cynical here. Can readers help me out?
No financial or legal reasons exist for a man to want to marry. I’ll go further: no secular reasons exist for a man to marry. Choosing marriage is an entirely irrational act, contrary to male nature and self-interest. It’s an act of self-sacrifice in which the man decides to give up his own life so he can take care of his wife and their children, giving them a better life than he knew himself.
There’s only one reason why anyone should marry: Because they believe in a religion that says you’re supposed to get married and have as many children as possible and that happiness will then follow. If a transcendent God doesn’t exist and death is the absolute end then what difference does it make if a man spends his money on a wife and kids or on toys and escorts?
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
I guess it’s to be expected – that the cool grew up to be square. Hell, even evangelicals are hipper than liberals now. (I used the word Hell deliberately, even though it isn’t cool.)
Now here’s the thing: Liberals are beginning to realize they’re not hip anymore. They won’t admit it, but they do. Witness Obama’s behavior with the press. He’s sweating like Nixon – and that’s definitely not hip. (On second thought, Nixon was finally hipper than Obama.)
And Jay Carney? Would you call him hip? And what about Biden? Has there ever been a soul so square?
What makes modern liberalism the mess that it is today is that it is mainly composed of people who desperately wanted to be cool in high school – wanted to be Abbie Hoffman or Eldridge Cleaver – but never were. Their longing – this need to be Abbie – has clouded their thinking and their ability to perceive reality, placing us all in a mess along with them.
Meanwhile, Bob Dylan became a conservative.
– PJ Media CEO Roger L. Simon, June 19, 2012
“He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will, too. I mean, he’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping, we’ve gotta … name this condition that he’s going through… I think it’s called Romnesia,”
– President Barack Obama, October 19, 2012
Of course we’re down to the final months of the president’s term, as presidents…
…as President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room with everyone in white tie and refinery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking. So little time, so much to redistribute.
And by the way in — in the spirit of Sesame Street, the president’s remarks tonight are brought to you but the letter ‘O’ and the number $16 trillion.
– GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, October 18, 2012
Previously at PJ Lifestyle we’ve discussed the phenomenon of the “crunchy conservative,” the individual who embraces politics and values commonly associated with “the Right” while living a more natural, “hippie” lifestyle stereotyped as a monopoly of those on “the Left.”
But libertarians who prefer raw milk and organic food aren’t the only oddballs smashing the stereotype of what a “Bitter Clinger” actually looks like. Here are three more political-cultural hybrids:
Someone with classical liberal politics and outside-the-mainstream art tastes, lifestyle choices, diet, fashion sensibilities, sexual preferences, or religious beliefs. Often times this mindset comes as a result of a political shift to the Right later in life.
Archetypal example: New Media troublemaker and publisher, the late Andrew Breitbart (whose memoir appears second on the list.)
Tea Party Occultist
One who identifies with both the founding fathers’ Enlightenment politics and Masonic spiritual values — and perceives the relationship between the two. Religious Liberty requires a government based in Political Liberty and a military to defend it from barbarian idolaters who would take away both. Alternative definition: one who identifies with both the “Right-Wing” Tea Party movement and the Right-Hand path of the Western Mystery Tradition, adequately defined here by Wikipedia:
The Right-Hand Path is commonly thought to refer to magical or religious groups which adhere to a certain set of characteristics:
(See the rest of the Wikipedia entry for a list of various religions and mystical groups characterized as Right-Hand.) Even within the magical world those on “the Right” cherish the Rule of Law, while those on “the Left” embrace anarchy.
Archetypal example: James Wasserman, author, book designer, and a “founding father” of the modern revivals of the mystical secret society the Ordo Templi Orientis and its religion Thelema. (Wasserman’s new memoir begins the list and four more of his books also appear.)
One who understands the magical abilities of the free market to create value, wealth, and prosperity out of nothing but hard work, great ideas, and good luck. In free societies you really can wave your wand and turn lead into gold. All wealth begins when the entrepreneurs who will someday create it first dream and then put pen to paper to lay out their plan. Writing creates wealth. The ridiculous level of comfort in our society today — our government can afford to pay for the luxury of a cell phone for “poor” people — could happen because hundreds of years ago men wrote that the pursuit of happiness was an innate right.
Archetypal Example: Walt Disney. What began as imaginations in his head and sketches of a mouse would one day become a billion dollar multimedia empire with DisneyLand — our Mecca — as the permanent celebratory reminder of how the imagination can manifest mental and spiritual wealth into the material world.
One can note that these categories each correlate with one of the three values of the American Trinity identified and defined by Dennis Prager in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. Counterculture conservatives embody Liberty, Tea Party Occultists emphasize In God We Trust, and the Capitalist Wizards live E. Pluribus Unum in both theory and practice.
These three categories also have their natural opponents, of whom more will be said later in the list when appropriate:
- Counterculture Conservatives Vs Cultural Marxists.
- Tea Party Occultists Vs Nazi Mystics.
- Capitalist Wizards Vs Corporatist Sorcerers.
My intent with this list is to compile an annotated bibliography of sorts — a collection of books on a variety of subjects and genres that when put side by side can manifest fresh connections and new ways of looking at the world so we as individuals can solve our problems and live happier, more fulfilling lives.
Future editions will include additional categories and authors, as well as expanded entries for the books and authors already included. (Please leave suggestions of who should appear in future updates. And if you leave an especially strong comment then I might include it in the next edition.) This first list comprises only a bare bones beginning for defining these three emerging traditions. Perhaps 100 more titles await in my mind for potential inclusion and with input from PJ Lifestyle’s readers that number can grow.
Here are the various sections of the list for your browsing convenience so you can jump to the subjects or authors who are of most interest. However, I’ve still written this extended article (really more of a free e-book before the election) with the traditional intent that it should make the most sense read beginning to end… that is, if it ends up making any sense at all — which is not something I can guarantee… Caveat Emptor…
Part I, Autobiographies: Forging Counterculture Conservatism In The Center of the Fire
- Occult author James Wasserman in the context of New Media publishers Roger L. Simon and the late Andrew Breitbart.
Part II, History: The Temple of Solomon and the Foundations of Western Civilization
- Abraham, The Patriarch as Original Counterculturalist.
- Also: the truth about the Muslim occultists who tried to separate Islam from Shariah and their hidden role in shaping Western Freedom.
Part III, Polemics: A Moonchild of Aleister Crowley and Ann Coulter
- “Freedom is a two-edged sword of which one edge is liberty and the other, responsibility. Both edges are exceedingly sharp and the weapon is not suited to casual, cowardly or treacherous hands.” — Jack Parsons…
Part IV, American Exceptionalism: The Secrets Embedded Within The Fourth Great Western Religion
- The Tarot cards hidden in Washington D.C.’s architecture.
- Why America really is a nation of crazy people.
- Also: meet Ronald Reagan’s favorite occultist.
Part V, Media: Douglas Rushkoff and Programming Internet Magic
- The Bible as R-rated Counterculture Comic Book For Adults.
- What’s the difference between capitalism and corporatism?
Part VI, Science: Howard Bloom and the Modern Alchemical Marriage of Secularism and Spirituality
- What does it mean to understand Mother Nature as “a bloody bitch?”
- And what does it look like when an atheist proves that God exists not as a noun, but as the Kabbalists always said, a Verb?
CANNES – Uma Thurman has joined the all-star cast of Lars von Trier’s epic pornographic drama Nymphomaniac.
The film, which von Trier is producing as two feature length dramas, is currently shooting in and around Cologne, Germany. It is unclear what role Thurman will play in the film. This will be Thurman’s first role in a Von Trier film.
Nymphomaniac stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jo, a self- diagnosed Nymphomaniac. One night, an old bachelor, played by Stellan Skarsgard, finds her in an alley, badly beaten. He takes her home to nurse her back to health, while she recounts to him her life of erotic adventure.
I know the reputation that I’m developing among some PJ readers as the prudish love child of Andrea Dworkin and Yusuf Qaradawi. This won’t help much, but here we go:
I don’t want to see Uma Thurman having sex on film. I hope that if she participates in an unsimulated sex scene they use a body double and she doesn’t do something that she’ll feel ashamed to tell her daughter about some day.
In September of 2010, on the occassion of the American release of the porn chic art film Destricted, I wrote about why filmmakers will fail every time they attempt to “bridge the gap” between hardcore sex and drama:
What the filmmakers didn’t really address — and what the Daily Beast reporter who lauds this trite picture as “unique and visionary” miss — is that porn and art serve two different purposes. Art stimulates the viewer on intellectual and emotional levels. Porn stimulates the viewer on a sexual level. It’s not possible to really combine these. Why? Because the sexual experience — specifically the porn sexual experience — is about turning off the mental and emotional levels. (The sexual experience between two people who love each other is a totally different subject.) It ruins porn to think about it intellectually or emotionally. It destroys the lie.
Art rises us up, making us explore and reflect upon who we are. Porn brings us down to our most base animal level causing us to revert to seeing one another as little more than objects for our own self-fulfillment.
The quest to combine the two is inherently doomed to failure.
I can’t think of a single film featuring unsimulated sex used in a meaningful way. (And during my secular-leftist-hedonist film critic days I saw most of the ones on this list at Wikipedia while searching.) Only Pink Flamingos and Short Bus work — and that’s because they’re comedies, using their explicit scenes as low-budget, humorous special effects. John Waters and John Cameron Mitchell are not pretentious©. Von Trier, now making his third unsimulated sex art film, owns the copyright on the term.
Does it make me less of a man to have this position? Or less of a boy?
I agree with this from commenter Azathoth:
Pornographic sex doesn’t work in mainstream movies. And an unsimulated sex scene that looks like a simulated sex scene is pretty much pointless. Something that Von Trier should have learned already. He’s too busy being ‘transgressive’ to learn anythingIn order for unsimulated, graphic sex to work in a mainstream movie it has to be intrinsic to the plot to the point that a simulation wouldn’t work. I can’t think of a situation where this occurs.
Hat tip: Onion AV Club
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Chinese hospitals are introducing a new machine which can extract sperm for donors.
According to China’s Weibo social platform the automatic sperm extractors are being introduced in a Nanjing hospital, capital of Jiangsu province.
The pink, grey and white machine has a massage pipe at the front which apparently can be adjusted according to the height of its user.
Speed, frequency, amplitude and temperature are also controllable.
It has a small screen on the top which plays films for the user to help them with the extraction process.
The director of the urology department at Zhengzhou Central Hospital said the machine was being used by infertility patients who are finding it difficult to retrieve sperm the old fashioned way.
A website which is selling the machine for $2,800 promoting it stating ‘it can give patients very comfortable feeling.’
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
In the recent debates here at PJ Lifestyle about what swimsuit styles were acceptable for women trying to look sexy but inappropriate for little girls heading for a fun day at the beach, one of the commenters wanted to know why I thought more in terms of a future daughter rather than a son (he also assumed I was a reincarnation of Andrea Dworkin):
You are very persistant in wanting people to “show me a swimsuit that you find objectionable and would not want your daughter wearing”. I’ve told you what my daughters liked. Now I must tell you what I wouldn’t get them? Why? Why is knowing that so important?
Finally, are you planning on raising your children(you keep saying ‘daughter’–you’re very focused on the notion that your child will be a girl, why?) in the San Fernando Valley? Do you think your one man crusade on PJM will change the Valley in the next ten or fifteen years?
As seems to be a growing trend with the rise of Netflix and DVR, these days my wife and I watch few shows as they’re broadcast. We prefer to A) watch at our own pace as per our schedule, and B) avoid wasting any more of our lives watching dumb commercials for products we don’t want.
So for the past couple years we’ve plowed through whole seasons of shows like Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, the new Battlestar Galactica, The Wire – many others can probably rattle off the usual list. Last week we finally finished The Sopranos.
Seem strange that we waited so long to watch it? A show so acclaimed and legendary? Perhaps the show most responsible for bringing in this hard-edged revival of TV drama? That was intentional.
I’d tried watching The Sopranos several times over the past decade and could never get into it. I probably attempted the first episode three times over the years. It was only now — as we’ve finished some of the other “top shelf” HBO and Showtime offerings — that I decided to grit my teeth and give the Soprano family another shot. Maybe if I waded a few episodes in then I’d find aspects of the show to enjoy and we’d be off for another 6-season TV epic. And how nice would it be to finally be up to date and to understand what the big deal was about the show in the first place?
I should have paid attention to my initial gut instinct.
*** SPOILER WARNING FOR NEXT PAGE **** If you haven’t seen the last episode of The Sopranos yet and intend to then click here to jump to page 3 of this article, avoiding the spoilers of the last episode and my explanation for why we should have just skipped The Sopranos altogether.
As Barry Rubin wrote about this week at his blog, we’ve reached an age where to state what used to be common sense about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will get you labeled a bigot. To acknowledge that the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel and have rejected every very generous deal put in front of them means you’re “racist against Muslims.”
But just as cultural Marxists invested decades in obscuring the reality of Palestinian intransigence, they also worked to confuse people about the sordid reality of unrestrained male sexual nature. State what used to be common sense for women to avoid sleazy men and all of a sudden you’re the American Taliban blaming women for provoking their rapists.
In my blog post yesterday – What Father Would Permit His Young Daughter to Wear a Bikini? — I knew what paragraph would provoke the most anger and confusion, the one that simply restated the conventional wisdom we all know to be true but don’t like to acknowledge:
But let me spell it out for those who want to deny it: when a woman wears a skimpy swimsuit, she is sending off the signal to every man and boy that she is a self-proclaimed slut and the most interesting thing about her is her body. If a woman didn’t want a man to look at her breasts, if she did not want to use them to attract the kind of men who have no self-control, she would not flash them around.
I find this statement to be a huge over generalization, to put it kindly. Look, I am married, in my 30s, educated, and I wear a bikini. I’m not a slut, and I don’t think my choice of swimwear projects that to anyone. Bikinis are worn all over the world, by all sorts of women. I doubt all of us believe the most interesting thing about ourselves is our body. I certainly don’t.
In the passage you quote I didn’t say “bikini” I said “skimpy swimsuit.” Not every bikini is going to make the woman wearing it look like she’s offering herself up for the world. I’m not saying that every time a woman wears a bikini she’s telling the world she’s a slut. That would be nuts.
Don’t some bikinis scream “I’m a tramp looking for attention from the wrong kind of men” more than others? As a man I certainly see the ones that do versus those that are tasteful. For little girls though I don’t think they should be wearing 2 piece swimsuits at all, though, but maybe I’m being too harsh?
[... A second comment from me later following up...]
“she is sending off the signal to every man and boy”
I am not saying that you or anyone who wears a bikini is a slut. What I am saying is that when a woman wears a sexy, skimpy swimsuit she is giving off the hint to the men around her that she is more sexually liberated than a woman who is not showing off her body. Again: I’m not making a moral judgment with the observation here, just stating what should be common sense. Wear a sexy swimsuit, and men will think that you’re more interested in sex than a woman who wears a modest swimsuit. Girls need to know that when picking their swim wear.
Vesta could tell that I had a moral objection to promiscuity hiding behind my argument, but the point I was trying to make remained out of view when she responded. She was still thinking about the real world — instead of the male world.
A newly revealed piece of papyrus offers evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married, according to a Harvard Divinity School professor.
A fourth-century codex in Coptic quotes Jesus referring to “my wife,” Karen King, a scholar of early Christianity, said on Tuesday. It is the only extant text in which Jesus is explicitly portrayed as betrothed, according to King.
King is calling the receipt-sized slip of papyrus “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” She believes it was originally written in Greek, and later translated into Coptic, an Egyptian language.
The fragment says, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…,’” according to King. The rest of the sentence is cut off. Another segment says, “As for me, I dwell with her in order to…” The speaker is not named.
The fragment contains just 33 words spread across 14 incomplete lines—less a full-fledged gospel than an ancient crossword puzzle.
“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said in a statement released Tuesday by Harvard. “This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”
Tuesday’s surprise announcement seemed ripped from the pages of Brown’s 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, which sold millions of copies—and irked the Vatican—by suggesting that Catholic leaders had covered up Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene. King said that she does not believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. “At least, don’t say this proves Dan Brown was right,” she told The New York Times.
This non-story really has no business receiving the high level of attention the mainstream media has given it. The Gnostic heresy that Jesus married is already widely known and this scrap provides no new information as to the claim’s historicity.
The reason why secularists are so eager for even the most feeble evidence hinting at the existence of Hubby Christ is because such a revelation would demonstrate more or less conclusively that Jesus was not divine and that my Christian friends are all a bunch of idiots for having faith in Him as their Savior. If Jesus’s crucifiction really was about what Christians say it was — and Jesus knew he was God — then he would never have married. It would have been cruel of him to do so. You marry a woman and have kids — the purpose of marriage originally — and then you abandon them to a life of loneliness and poverty without you just because you’ve got to go die for the sin of the world?
Talk about the ultimate deadbeat dad: “Sorry I couldn’t make child support this month, honey. I’ve been a little busy paying off the debt for the collective evil of all humanity by letting Roman soldiers pound giant nails into my body.”
If Saturday Night Live didn’t make a sketch like that during the height of the Da Vinci Code‘s popularity then don’t be surprised if one’s on the agenda for this week.
Related at PJ Lifestyle on Christianity:
Did you guys read about Elizabeth Hurley’s line of sexy kiddie bikinis?
Much like the author of the article, for me, the problem is a combination of two things – the bikini itself and the child model’s pose or, I should say, the pose she was instructed to do by someone. If she had floaties on her arms and was building a sandcastle, I might not have focused as much on the pint-sized string bikini. What really bothered me, however, was the wording that apparently went along with the pictures on Hurley’s site, such as a caption next to a bikini for the 8-13 age range, which said “great for girls who want to look grown up”. I checked out her site, elizabethhurley.com, to see for myself, and received an error message. I can only assume her reps are doing some damage control with regards to either the pictures or the descriptions.
It’s even worse when you go to Hurley’s website — which is still very much up. Here’s a screenshot from the UNDER 8 page which I’m not all that happy about posting here, but which seems necessary to preserve as evidence:
Vesta poses the usual questions to stir up debate about whether it’s better for young girls to wear very adult swimwear.
Here are a few questions that were on my mind: how do the fathers of the girls wearing these swimsuits look at themselves in the mirror in the morning? Do these men actually feel comfortable taking their girls in public with strangers seeing them dressed like this? Are they in denial about the damage done to an 8-year-old girl training to be “sexy” or do they not care? Or would most fathers today be proud of daughters growing up to be underwear models and porn stars?
Twelve years ago as a high school junior I sat breathless in my seat at Indianapolis’s art house movie theater as Requiem for a Dream finished kicking me in the gut with its punishing climax. The dark, unrated indie drama starring Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, an Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans would become my favorite film of the year — and, eventually of all time. And in my movie review column in the high school paper, come award time I would grumble as Burstyn was passed over for Julia Roberts and Requiem was of course too dark for best picture consideration at all. Instead all the attention went to Russell Crowe and Gladiator. I was of course very annoyed that the most unique film of the year revealing the most promising filmmaking career of his generation failed to get the attention it warranted. And I’ve always carried a bit of an irrational grudge against both Crowe and the film that fully launched his career as a result.
And now everything is at it should be and I can perhaps bury my anti-Crowe vendetta: Aronofsky’s artistic vision united with Crowe’s starpower to enable the bankrolling of Noah, the kind of epic that could have been made with 2006′s The Fountain had Brad Pitt not abandoned the project.
More on movies at PJ Lifestyle:
I enjoy reading the cover of this set: “The Complete DVD Movie Collection,” because Indiana Jones Meets Aliens in the Kingdom of the Crystal Turd and the Treasure is Knowledge is not included. I can pretend it doesn’t exist, because I’m still disappointed.
Originally just called Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first film is one of the best adventure movies ever made, and easily one of Steven Spielberg’s top five best directorial efforts. Much has been written about Raiders, so I’ll skip most of the lip service. Raiders is an iconic adventure film — one that I come back to often, and one I can’t resist watching if I find it playing on television.
In my comic book collection, I have a copy of Marvel Super Special, Issue #18. While it’s not a valuable item, it means a lot to me because I’m pretty sure I snagged it from my grandma’s garage sale when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. No idea how she got it.
I got the comic before I saw the film, so my perception of Raiders is strongly affected by that comic adaptation. In the comic, the Ark is described as having a low humming sound, like a great energy building up throughout the film. Once that energy was released in the climactic scene, the Ark went back to a lower, less intense hum. I always liked that touch, but I’ve always been disappointed to not hear the hum in the film. There were other changes, some bigger than others, and they’re detailed here.
To establish greater continuity, the creators agreed to re-title the first film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is maybe the wisest change to any George Lucas or Spielberg project. I’ve never had a problem with the title change, just like I’ve never really had a problem with Lucas re-naming Star Wars to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Makes for better continuity.
Read the whole thing for a pleasant reflection on The Indiana Jones Trilogy (we don’t talk about that embarrassing fourth installment) from my friend John King, who’s blogging through his entire DVD collection in alphabetical order. He doesn’t just review the films but also talks about his personal memories of them and their connections in the culture. Fun stuff:
This is not a movie review site.
I have about 400 movies on DVD. I’m watching my collection in alphabetical order and writing through the experience. I’m also downsizing and switching stuff out in favor of Blu-Ray.I’m interested in the connections people have with film. When we watch movies, images and sounds bombard us, but this is not a passive activity. We bring our experiences, knowledge, and background to each film we watch, and the stuff of this transaction changes each time we re-watch a film.This is also a tribute to physical media, especially the kind in which we can see ourselves reflected.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
The ritual remains the same each year: everyone recalls where they were and what they were doing when they learned terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001.
For those of us who made a political transition from Left to Right over the last decade, this reminiscence has the potential for an extra shot of sorrow. We must remember not just where we were, but who we were and how 9/11 affected us at the time.
And it’s on this latter point that I really wish I could forget. But I still have my journals from that period and a copy of the op/ed column I wrote for the school paper that morning. I presented the naive, do-gooder “liberal” message of the time: we should not pay any attention to the ideas of the crazy people who committed this crime, we should just focus on mourning the victims. Hijacking the media to broadcast their message and forcing us to consider it is exactly what the terrorists want. And we shouldn’t take our enemies seriously, because (as the media experts and the president assured us and I would later argue, too) they were fringe extremists misinterpreting a benign religion of peace that posed no real threat to America.
Eleven years later and I no longer advocate that we should ignore evil ideas. And I’m embarrassed of the person I used to be who did.
So on this 9/11 instead I look forward, and pose different questions: if 9/11 had never happened, then where would you be today? Or rather, who would you be today?
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
From my friend Bethany Mandel at Commentary, “Dems See Women as Objects, Not Voters”:
At the Democratic Convention this week in Charlotte, we’ve learned what mainstream feminism has become. What was once a movement to fight for equality for women in every sector of society has somehow turned into a parody of itself. Since the feminist movement began in the mid-1800s, feminists strove to move past the era where women were seen merely as sexual and reproductive objects. These feminists fought for women to have roles outside of their marriages and their homes, to have equal opportunities in education, the workplace and the political arena.
Cut to Charlotte in early September 2012 and these “feminists” are representing themselves solely as human beings with female reproductive organs. At the DNC this week, women are promoting the Democratic agenda by walking around the convention wearing pins that read “I’m a slut and I vote” in addition to dressing up in costume as birth control dispensers and vaginas. These female reproductive organs, devoid of any other identifying characteristics, are duty-bound to vote for Democrats in order to protect themselves from government (while simultaneously demanding governmental involvement in their reproductive choices).
I thought to just instant message Bethany to tell her about this book that I started reading the other day, but then it seemed to make sense to just throw it out as a blog post instead because I’m sure there are commenters much more versed in this subject than I am who can provide their own recommendations:
I used to think it strange that my leftist friends who were the most outspoken about abortion “rights” and their own promiscuous sex lives were also loud about worrying about overpopulation and the proliferation of unwanted poor babies cursed to miserable lives. But when we understand Margaret Sanger’s ideology as institutionalized within the platform of the Democratic Party then suddenly it comes into focus how the two subjects of hedonism and eugenics would be related in today’s progressives. “Feminism” and “women’s rights” and “coat-hangers” were just the cups of the shell game distracting guilty, do-gooder “liberals” from Sanger’s eugenic utopianism. Here’s an excerpt from page 14 that seems relevant today:
Hmm… “Thus the working classes are pressured to copy the particular reproductive choices of society’s elite.”…
A Chicagoan who helped Mr. Obama navigate his rise through that city’s aggressive politics, Ms. Jarrett came to Washington with no national experience. But her unmatched access to the Obamas has made her a driving force in some of the most significant domestic policy decisions of the president’s first term, her persuasive power only amplified by Mr. Obama’s insular management style.
From the first, her official job has been somewhat vague. But nearly four years on, with Mr. Obama poised to accept his party’s renomination this week, her standing is clear, to her many admirers and detractors alike. “She is the single most influential person in the Obama White House,” said one former senior White House official, who like many would speak candidly only on condition of anonymity.
“She’s there to try to promote what she understands to be what the president wants,” the former aide said. “Ultimately the president makes his own decisions. The question that is hard to get inside of, the black box, is whether she is really influencing him or merely executing decisions he’s made. That’s like asking, ‘Is the light on in the refrigerator when the door is closed?’ ”
Yet if that answer remains elusive, interviews with more than two dozen former and current administration officials offer a portrait of a woman wielding a many-faceted portfolio of power.
Read the whole thing. Valerie Jarrett is the one responsible for most of Obama’s radical social policy. Picking a dumb fight with the Catholic church over birth control? That’s “VJ” as she’s known in internal White House notes. The Federal fight against Arizona’s common sense immigration law? VJ fueled that. Nominating a “wise Latina” and a disciple of Critical Race Theory founder Derrick Bell to the Supreme Court? Again, thank VJ.
And if Obama wins reelection in November then again, she will primarily be the one responsible given her role in charting the administration on such a hard left course. She’s bet that a Cultural Marxist appeal revving up the Democrat base engines of multicultural victimhood and middle class, do-gooder liberal white guilt will be enough to win reelection. She fought the moderate (party hack) elements in the administration who would’ve taken the more sensible direction of a Clintonian, 3rd-way pivot to the center after the midterm shellacking. And she won that fight. (Rahm’s back in Chicago.) She understands what both establishment Democrats and the GOP want to ignore: culture matters and they own it.
I think she’s probably right that this strategy will work. The mainstream media and the Obama administration have done a very good job confusing people on basic economics to the point that the barely political, in-the-middle swing voters don’t want to blame the president for an economy that really doesn’t seem that bad to them.
She has reason for confidence. The Times article concludes:
Today, many of the issues Ms. Jarrett championed are being replayed in the campaign. In recent ads, for instance, Mr. Romney has accused the president of using “his health care plan to declare war on religion.” The president, for his part, has accused Mr. Romney of wanting to take women “back to the 1950s.”
And Ms. Jarrett has added another role to her portfolio, traveling to swing states to campaign, sometimes at Mr. Obama’s side.
“Homestretch,” she keeps telling him.
“Homestretch?” he’ll reply.
“Yes, almost there,” she says. “We’ve just got the convention, then three debates.”
Related at PJ Lifestyle on the women shaping the Obama administration:
From my friend Emily Esfahani Smith over at Acculturated, a new group blog that’s providing engaging cultural commentary week after week with one interesting piece after another, “Is the Hook-Up Culture “Empowering”?:
In 2010, Hanna Rosin wrote a pretty devastating feature article in The Atlantic titled The End of Men, which argued that women are outpacing and outperforming men in the postindustrial economy. That article has since been transformed into a book by Rosin that will be coming out next month.
Her most recent article in The Atlantic, Boys on the Side, is adapted from this forthcoming book. In the piece, she takes up what are, to her, the merits of the hook-up culture. That the hook-up culture is thriving on college campuses–thanks, in large part, to the women who drive it–is another sign that women are replacing men as the alphas of society. So Rosin’s argument goes.
But this analysis [Caitlin Flanagan's in Girl Land] downplays the unbelievable gains women have lately made, and, more important, it forgets how much those gains depend on sexual liberation. Single young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s, the same age as the women at the business-school party—are for the first time in history more successful, on average, than the single young men around them. They are more likely to have a college degree and, in aggregate, they make more money. What makes this remarkable development possible is not just the pill or legal abortion but the whole new landscape of sexual freedom—the ability to delay marriage and have temporary relationships that don’t derail education or career. To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their own ends in mind. For college girls these days, an overly serious suitor fills the same role an accidental pregnancy did in the 19th century: a danger to be avoided at all costs, lest it get in the way of a promising future.
Last week my friend Mark Tapson published a thoughtful contribution over at Emily Esfahani Smith’s Acculturated Symposium on Language: “How Technology Democratizes and Degrades Writing. Here’s his conclusion:
Once we lose the ability and desire to convey an emotion in our own words, not with a one-size-fits-all lol or plug-in emoticon, then we no longer express ourselves truly and clearly and beautifully. My middle school students didn’t see the value in the demanding mental exercise of meditation, organization, and precision of language that good writing requires. In the long run, their apathy and fascination with the rapid-fire ephemera of the digital realm will surely erode their ability to express themselves fully as individuals, even to think deeply.
The late John Updike claimed to write his nonfiction on a typewriter but his fiction with a pencil because it provided the intimacy necessary to bring his characters to life. Surely this must seem inexplicable and comically quaint to today’s youth. But they’d be better off unplugging occasionally and connecting with those “slow conventions of narrative” of the pre-digital era.
Read the whole thing for more of Mark’s insights on his time teaching a less literate generation and the power of technology to transform how we use language.
Updike typing nonfiction vs writing fiction in longhand reminds me of a tip I passed on to one of PJ Lifestyle’s contributors when he lamented his writer’s block to me a few months ago: take a step backwards, buy a journal, and pick up a pen again.
I’ve kept a hand-written journal off-and-on for the last 18 years — since I was in fifth grade. After experimenting with a variety of shapes and sizes I’ve settled on the extra large Moleskine plain notebook, a gift from my wife this year. Some of the neat benefits of the Moleskine: very sturdy binding, elastic snap that wraps around to keep it sealed shut, large pocket for loose papers in the back, and the classy black cover.
For journaling I’ve come to appreciate the larger size journals — the extra space gives more room for doing the kinds of writing tasks where the non-virtual page still triumphs. You have plenty of space for sketching and diagramming or pasting in notes.
And it’s that kind of experimenting that we need sometimes to push ourselves to think outside of the box and come up with new ideas that we’re excited to write out and share with the world.
More on writing at PJ Lifestyle:
Kathy Shaidle: Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success
A new video from Prager University:
An update today, posted this morning at his blog:
i’m about to undergo an operation to attempt to drain the fluid from my lungs by inserting a tube. this will take 3-5 days and i will be in hospital. it is possible i will not be able to communicate during this time. they will then try to seal the lungs which if it succeeds will help me. we will then begin chemo and other therapies. the operation is said not be dangerous. please expect no correspondence or articles from me during this period. it is hoped that by next week i will be pretty normal and undergoing care. i have wonderful doctors. i hope and believe we will be together again in future. with all my gratitude for your being good readers and interested in my thoughts. i hope i have been helpful to you. please keep up the fight for what’s good and decent and right even when it costs us in personal and professional terms.
Last month Dr. Helen blogged about the development of sex-robots.
Now Susannah Breslin — the most talented journalist writing about pornography today — has a fascinating report on an industry in transformation.
Fixx is the market research manager for the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, an online adult company that bills itself on its website as “THE #1 ADULT VIDEO ON DEMAND THEATER IN THE WORLD!” Among other properties, AEBN owns PornoTube, an X-rated YouTube, and xPeeps, an adult webcam site that encourages users to “xpose yourself.” It also produces the product Fixx is hawking.
I stick my finger into the rubbery, flesh-colored slit on the side of a plastic grey peanut the size of a very large loaf of bread. This is RealTouch, an “award-winning male masturbator” designed by a former NASA engineer that syncs with adult movies to simulate sex for the male with which it is interacting through your computer’s USB port. The device retails for $325, and the package includes 120 RealTouch VOD minutes, anti-bacterial cleaner, and a 90-day limited warranty.
More recently, the company has begun marketing the RealTouch JoyStick, the lingam to the RealTouch’s yoni, which is to say it looks like a dildo. Available only to adult webcam models at this time, the joystick serves as a remote control for the RealTouch device, enabling users in remote locations to have “True Internet Sex™!”
Per Fixx’s instruction, Savannah Steele, a busty blonde porn star in a lab coat, moves the joystick, and the mechanism tightens around my finger and increases speed.
“It feels like having sex with a robot,” I announce. I extract my finger and wipe it off with a wet wipe from the box on the table.
Earlier this year I reviewed Doug Rushkoff’s graphic novel A.D.D Adolescent Demo Division. The sci-fi vision of a near-future with hyper media-savvy youth. He predicted this development and also the response many Millennials will have:
The 2010 documentary Waiting for “Superman” accomplished a rare feat for a film on a topic as politically charged as America’s failing public education system: it earned enthusiastic praise from both conservatives and progressives. Meredith Turney at Townhall explained why:
It’s hard to know what to expect when an avowed liberal takes on the controversial issue of school choice. Director Davis Guggenheim is the director behind “An Inconvenient Truth,” the global warming film that lionized Al Gore. Guggenheim also directed the Barack Obama biographical film played at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the Obama infomercial that aired on television during the 2008 presidential campaign. His liberal bona fides are stellar. So it’s only natural to anticipate a school choice documentary that defends the status quo and toes the party line blaming lack of funding for the woeful state of America’s government education system.
Prepare to be surprised.
In the opening moments of the film, Guggenheim freely admits that he betrays his liberal beliefs every day when he drives past three public schools on his way to drop off his children at their private school. His children’s education is so important, he’s unwilling to risk their future success on the abysmal education record of government schools. It’s a refreshingly honest admission and the rest of the film follows suit.
Over the course of the film, Guggenheim explores in depth why today America spends more on education than ever before, only to earn weaker results than past decades. It’s an engaging, thoughtful documentary made by a man with the courage to confront one of his party’s strongest financial backers, the teachers’ unions.
In the end I left the film more disappointed than most. Yes, Guggenheim articulated many aspects of the issue but he chickened out when it came time to offer solutions. The film ends leaving one thinking that in spite of the film’s careful dissection of the problems, education remains a mysterious, ever-present big problem with many potential paths forward.
“But wait a second,” I thought as the credits rolled. “This isn’t complicated. The film showed that teacher union contracts make it next-to-impossible to remove bad teachers.” Recall the famous “dance of the lemons” sequence showing how rather than fight through the bureaucracies to fire a weak tenured teacher, administrators just pass around their failures, condemning students to waste a whole year of their life with an instructor who can’t perform:
If principals could just fire the bottom 10% of teachers then the problem would be solved and fewer kids would be stuck years behind because they had the bad luck of receiving a burned-out teacher who won’t do their job. Simple.
Guggenheim may have managed to find the problem, but solving it requires a much deeper confrontation than he’s willing to do yet. Because to really recognize this as the core of the issue means that a) most of the blame falls on the political party he made a career supporting with propaganda, and b) it affirms the unpopular, politically incorrect, conventional wisdom that free-market principles work better than government bureaucracies to raise the quality of life of impoverished minority children. But Guggenheim cannot yet look at himself and how his own views contribute to the problem he’s critiquing.
University of Gloucestershire Religion Professor David Webster’s delightful polemic Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, and Unhappy does the same thing on the subject of the irreligious life. Like Guggenheim’s documentary Webster can slice and dice the problem. He skillfully dissects the intellectual and ethical problems of ala carte spirituality and a sizable sector of the New Age movement in both the United States and his home in the United Kingdom. But when it comes time to take the medicine to cure what ails us, he flinches, unwilling to go where his own words should lead him.
Although Ron Howard is plenty busy convincing the world that Arrested Development is filming a fourth season, he’s ready to take on another TV project steeped in myth and legend. Deadline reports that Howard is preparing to direct the Showtime series Conquest, a “sweeping period drama” written by The Motorcycle Diaries’ José Rivera about the clash between the Spanish conquistador Cortes and Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, who didn’t exactly appreciate being conquistadored.
Given the facts that Rivera A) was strongly influenced by Castro-defender Gabriel García Márquez, B) wrote a screenplay glamorizing the Stalinist executioner Che Guevara, C) followed by writing a play on the murderer’s final hours with the radical chic title School of the Americas D) this year the On the Road film coming out also bears his credit… it’s safe to anticipate a series indicting Western Civilization while downplaying the human sacrifice and slavery that took place under Aztec imperial rule.
Who is the real king of comedy today? Has Galifianakis taken the top spot that Ferrell once dominated? Or is there someone else who’s funnier than them both?
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Kathy Shaidle: That’s Not Funny: The 5 Biggest Comedy Taboos
Aurora Shooting Victim: The First Thing I Want to Say to Him is ‘I Forgive You,’ and the Next is, ‘Can I Pray for You?’
Yahoo News with a wonderful story today:
It would be understandable for the victims of the Colorado theater shooting and their families to want to seek retribution.
But Pierce O’Farrill, a 28-year-old who was shot three times, says he has forgiven James Holmes, the suspected shooter in last week’s Aurora, Colo., massacre.
“Of course, I forgive him with all my heart,” O’Farrill told reporters shortly before his release from the Univ. of Colorado Hospital on Wednesday. “When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him–he’s just a lost soul right now.”
O’Farrill–a staffer at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian charity organization that helps “people at their physical and spiritual points of need, with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens”–told the Denver Post he would eventually like to meet Holmes.
“I want to see him sometime,” O’Farrill, one of 58 people wounded in the shooting, said. “The first thing I want to say to him is ‘I forgive you,’ and the next is, ‘Can I pray for you?’”
Image courtesy shutterstock / wongwean