please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chickwatch '08: Stupid Tuesday!

Welcome to that super-est of Tuesdays. So far, any attempt (or desire) on my part to live-blog this sucker will be thwarted by the tendency of all the cable news networks to over-analyze every single fucking second of this somewhat ridiculous day.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. The complaint, once upon a time, might very well have been that there wasn't any substantive analysis at all. Now, there's what I first noticed eight years ago: if you're looking at/listening to these assholes for raw numbers while trying to draw your own conclusions, it's difficult. They'd like to do the thinking for you, in short.

It's still morning, though, and...I have things to do. Things that don't include flipping back and forth between CNN, MSNBC and yes, Fox News while constantly going over to Wonkette and Zogby, online.

Zogby stopped polling early on election night, 2004. I remember noting how openly sad and dismayed all of the big three (Brokaw, Jennings, Rather) looked, after Ohio went to Bush. That state had been a big surprise, and in the time since, it has been shown conclusively that it was no accident: that one made Florida in 2000 look nice n' orderly n' above-board.
But yeah: Brokaw in particular looked like he was gonna cry. I wondered, looking at the three of them, if they'd been told, If this guy wins the presidency again, the time of people like You is at an end, and therefore you must all leave network news.

Sure enough, right after that, Brokaw leaves NBC on his own, destined to spend much of his time on the controversial topic of how people who fought in World War Two are deserving of praise. Rather gets burned in a very intricate way (see Mary Mapes' Truth and Duty), and is out at CBS. Peter Jennings doesn't leave ABC; quickly develops cancer and dies.

(MSNBC just called West Virginia for Romney, with 41%, at 10:13 A.M. I wouldn't mind it if Mittens is the GOP guy, this time. Most people could beat that cardboard man-thing like a gong, even a schmuck who never actually says anything, like either Clinton or Obama.)

The other day I was at a truck stop in Woodburn, Oregon. There was an entire rack of Jack Chick tracts there, and I grabbed a handful.

It's tempting to say that as goes the views of Mr. Chick, so goes the views of most of middle America. It's not quite true, though. Plenty of Americans are Mormon (which he hates), are Catholic (ditto) or Jehovah's Witness (he has at least one pamphlet on the subject of Witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses). He's so thoroughly invested in his hatred of Masons, Moslems, Homosexuals and Men in Turtlenecks that he could scarcely be said to be a mainstream Christian so much as he is Anti-Human.

(10:30 A.M.- it appears that the dirty tricks have begun. People in the hundreds tramped dutifully off to the polls today in Virginia, which isn't having a primary today, but next week. This of course might just be an honest mistake, and not foul play. Brian Williams said something along the lines of "Voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, stand down. I recommend you go home and enjoy our coverage.")

Back now, after a few hours abroad. Turns out Huckabee took West Virginia, not Mittens. Good? Push them as far right as possible, so they'll definitely lose?
It has its appeal, bein' a nut. Huckabee's good at going on 'The Daily Show', for instance, and being friendly and not-crazy-seeming. His ideas on social engineering, at least on paper, infuriate the likes of Jonah Goldberg. This doesn't change the fact that Huck votes his religion first, which makes him unfit to lead a country as diverse as this one.

So...What, am I one of those knee-jerk anti-religion types there that would seek to deny all the wonderful things that organized faith does for the greater run of humanity? Of course not.
But most of the things that I feel are good about America were the work of secular types, and tended to be actively opposed by the churchy types. Forget this at your peril.

For instance, the early Abolitionists tended to be Christians, but they were liberal Christians. The Civil Rights movement, on the other hand, tended to be actively opposed by most white churches, and they found plenty of scriptural reasons to back this up.
And as much as one might disparage the lives of women in Islamic nations, I suspect that things wouldn't be all that much different in the West, were it not for the Suffragist movement, which was violently opposed by the better part of your churches.

I've reopened the dialogue, for the moment, with the Tugboatcapn. He was good enough to answer a question I put to him the other day. I've heard Ann Coulter (and as of today, Rush Limbaugh) say that voting for Hillary Clinton was desirable, over voting for John McCain, and I wondered what he thought about that.
Tug had said as much (minus saying anything good about Hillary) over two years ago, and I wondered about it then. At the time, I believe I expressed astonishment that compromise, of all things, would be viewed as a bad thing.

I used to be a big habitue of the right-wing blogs, largely because I felt that the dialogue was important. But I got a few too many glimpses into what I truly consider the darkest parts of both Man's Soul and the real heart of the American electorate: I don't ever hear liberals talking about wanting to kill conservatives, but I often found conservatives who at least really enjoy joking about killing liberals. This is when they aren't talking about how mean spirited liberals are.
I've said it before: even among the evangelical types I've met in my life who were good people, they still seem to forget that there is a biblical proscription against wrath. To say nothing about not following a multitude to do evil, but that one's up for personal interpretation, of course.

Unlike most guys over there, I don't believe he's insane; I just don't happen to agree with him on 90% of the issues. This is why I don't comment on his blog, unless I agree with something he's said, which happens once a year or so.


Jack Chick's work tends to be characterized by the classic approach: we meet some easily dismissed straw-men, and they are witnessed to by someone who makes sweeping generalizations.

This is nice, because you get that glimpse again: The chosen headgear of today's wayward youth is a forest ranger's hat, apparently. Also, they are so bored that they gladly listen to a complete stranger who told them to quit swearing, several panels previous to this.
The disaffected youth are quickly swayed-true, by the way, they are-and somehow immediately begin to conform to the worldview of the moustache guy.


Then, a little confusion results, as the Tripartite Deity needs to be explained. In this particular tract, it is somehow assumed that today's youth have never heard of Jesus at all, but also that they've never heard of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (which Mr. Chick, like all of them, wisely avoids too much discussion about).
There is a great deal of talk about Baby Jesus running around doing things in the Old Testament (which he did, although only in kind of an ontological cheat, as he was busy being God at the time), which-easily swayed as these young punks are-is where most people would at least say, "Wait a minute..."

I love, as always, that this universal, omnipotent, tripartite deity is for some reason concerned with where and how people have sex. I also love the unending assertion that since some teachers in some places will sometimes say that being queer isn't a bad thing, this translates as those damn liberal teachers promoting homosexuality.
This also underlines something I've noticed about religion at its most primitive: along with a desire for community and unconditional love, there seems to be an equal desire for revenge.


Along with that 'homosexuality smells bad' non sequitur from above, now we have the closeup on creepy moustache guy with his dead eyes fantasizing...'clean...clean...'
You can tell so much about the mental health of the author on this one. Sex is bad, and ladies must be prevented from having it...Unless it is with Me.
And he's wrong, of course, about the nature of Mary, but that gets us back into the whole Centuries-of-Translation argument again.

Okay, teevee back on again now. CNN projects Obama winning Georgia, as does Fox. Probably means nothing.
We've already noted this season that people are a lot more likely to say they will be voting for someone black, when asked by a pollster, than they are to actually do so. This has a broader corollary that I noticed a few years back: people talk big about their beliefs, and then vote for whatever they feel is safest, every time.
In other ways, I've seen this manifest as people having a great deal more in common than you'd think, to hear media tell it. The common interests of a community, at ground level, generally cause people to treat each other in a more or less civil way, and I'm tempted to say that they only turn on each other because they are encouraged to do so. Not sure that's quite true, though.

All the polls seem to be closing, but that still doesn't mean anything. It'll take a few days to count the absentees. It's interesting to see the return of Mike Huckabee, so soon after so many were declaring him Over With.
McCain's running in a dead heat with him in Georgia. I maintain, as usual, that they'll put up whoever is the most mediocre, just as the Democrats will do.
And between the two final Dems, who is that, exactly?

There is a woman who wrote into Wonkette a week or two ago, furious that they'd dare to criticize/ridicule Hillary. She overlooked the fact that all politicians get treated roughly there, and rightfully so.
So a commenter went looking for some sort of info on who this incoherently angry person was, and they found this:
Reverend Allyson/Life Coach.

Needless to say, there's plenty of cheap laughs over there, but what struck me was how overinterested in evaluating her own personality she was. Fortunately, Quizilla is there to provide a barometer for every possible way of examining oneself, no matter how absurd.
The woman has so much crap on her MySpace page that it takes a half-hour to fully load. And what important things do we/does she learn?
Your Hidden Talent (hers is "interpersonal relations")
How Evil Are You? (she isn't!)
How's Your Attitude? ("...Better than 70% of the population")
What Does Your Birthdate Mean? (being born on January 18th apparently means you work well in groups)
What Kind of Seducer Are You? ("fantasy lover")
How Boyish or Girlish Are You? ("40% Boyish")
How Is Your Inner Child? ("happy")
Which Character from the 'L-Word' Are You? ("Bette")
Are You Prejudiced? (nope!)

But then, since this is a New Agey lady, we need to ask the really important questions:
What Kind of Angel Are You? ("this quiz has amazingly Beautiful Pictures!", Allyson notes, before getting the reassuring news that she is a 'Pure' angel)
What kind of Jewel Are You? (diamond)
Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman Are You? ("Goddess!", natch. Gee, I wonder which kind of Endlessly Handsome Man I am...)
What's Your Celtic Horoscope ("You Are an Elm Tree"!)
What Flower Are You? ("You are a lily")
Which Irish Goddess Are You? (Aibell)
Are You High Maintenance? (against all reason, she is Not)
Which Tarot Card Are You? ("The High Priestess")
What Sign of Affection Are You? ("a cuddle and a kiss on the forehead")
How Scary Are You? ("Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?)
and my favorite...
Monkey? Pizza? Death? Oompa Loompa?
Monkey
You are a MONKEY! You rock my sox! You wear your emotions on your
sleeve, and is LOUD LOUD LOUD!

(I gotta actually take that one. I'd love to know how one scores as 'pizza'. I'm not saying that Rev. Allyson is your average Clinton fan [she just won Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee, by the by], I just...Well, the politics...Uh...)


MSNBC predicts that Obama takes Illinois, and Mittens takes Mass. I predict that the presidential race will feature McCain versus Clinton. Now turn off the damn teevee and go live your life.

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

Blogger George Popham said...

Oh, loved this. Deb and I are devoted Chick fans, she has a very large library of his finest works. Been quite a week, on so many levels. i give an abbreviated account over at skook. Happy year of the Rat. HAd other stuff to say. Exhaustion overtakes me.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Life coaches....urgh. I was strongly encouraged to get one from my employer. She was fine, but she was definitely trying to meddle with my personal life, so I fired her. Alas, that and tattoo removal clinics are going to be the two boom industries to take us out of the recession.

7:58 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

G- hey, you know what? That server glitch caused your blog to lose a month or two worth of cached photos, etc. I would like to see the Golden Hoax dinner again, etc.

J.T.- yeah, and...Wait a minute: your employer wanted you to get a life coach? Did they also recommend an aromatherapist?

Interestingly, I'm noticing that the Erudite Redneck seems to have published a Jack Chick-based post on the same day. Weird.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I'm not sure if they believe homosexuals smell bad, but I've been told by members of many persuasions that my odors are monumentally glorious.

9:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home