The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

September 30, 2008

National (meaning US) Banned Book Week!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 9:22 pm
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That’s right, this week is America’s National Banned Books Week! One of my favorite of all holidays. This is the week where i finally get to take a break from my busy bonfire schedule and take a look at all those great pieces of filth that are corroding our moral landscape.

Since my mom is a librarian, i’ve always had an awareness of this particular week. As an artist, i long for the day when someone will ban one of MY works. Firstly, you’re not anybody until someone bans you, and secondly, it’s GREAT for sales! So many mediocre works no one would have paid attention to until someone banned them. (the movie Last Temptation of Christ for instance. Although the book was fantastic, the movie was nothing special and would have come and gone had not that hooplah been created.)

I thought that we could celebrate by looking at the American Library Association’s most banned books of the 21st century. Yes, we’re STILL banning them. Have i ever wanted to ban a book? Well, i DID actually put Naked Lunch down at one point and would shake and flinch every time i pictured picking it back up, but if my son wanted to read it, good luck. I’ll be downstairs preparing a cup of chamomile tea and putting some George Winston in the background for when he gets to the part with the sex involving the hanging, disemboweled guts, and poop. EWEWEWE. (shudder)

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” -Mark Twain

10. ‘Forever; by Judy Blume

Wow. Are they STILL banning Judy Blume? Damn, they were doing that back when i was a teen. Back then it was “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” because she was, like, thinking about her adolescent breasts coming in.

‘Forever’ is the story of a girl in the summer between 11th grade and 12 grade. She gets a boyfriend, and after awhile they discuss having sex. (The horror…)

They agree to have it, (NNOOOOOO) believing it will seal their relationship “Forever.” Surprise!  It doesn’t. Summer ends, she gets a crush on someone else and breaks up with the guy.

Because this in a nutshell resembles almost every pre-senior year relationship i’ve ever known, i cannot recommend it’s banning highly enough.

Why It’s Banned: Teenagers having sex. Disgusting.

People Who Ban It: Take a wild guess. Uptight religious prudes who have no concept of the presence of hormones or how they work. Or the fact that teenagers might appreciate someone discussing this issue in a way that resembles reality.

9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

Two 4th graders accidentally hypnotize their mean principal, inadvertently turn him into Captain Underpants. From then on, whenever the principal hears finger snapping he turns into Captain Underpants and the two 4th graders must scramble to keep him out of trouble. When water is poured over his head he turns back into the mean principal.

I’ve actually read one of these books, and it’s FUNNY. I mean look at it. It’s ridiculous. It’s like South Park for little children.

Why It’s Banned: It’s like South Park for little children.

People Who Ban It: Uh…. i don’t know, more uptight douchebags with no sens of humor whatsoever? Some feel it models bad behavior. And underpants and Professor Poopypants and the Turbo Toilet are offensive. Even though it cracks me up just to type them out.

8. Scary Stories Series by Alvin Schwartz

Uh…. i don’t know what kind of description this one really needs. It’s uh…. scary stories, uh…. that you might, mm, i don’t know, tell in the dark.

Why It’s Banned: ‘Cause they’re, like, scary. I mean fer cryin’ out loud. Didn’t you ever go to summer camp? Scary stories were like the best thing EVER. I read a book of stories when i was really young that scared the POOP out of me, but made me a rockstar at summer camp

See, the problem was, most lame doofuses just tell the stupid old stories that end with them yelling RRRAAAAHHHH at the top of their lungs. I HATED this crap. It was SOOOOO predictable and cheap.

No, when the pros (and hence, little aspiring i) would tell ghost stories they might begin by promising, sincerely, that they will not use this cheap ploy. And they don’t.

Kids are constantly dealing with fear. They use scary stories to help them wrestle with it and they especially like to do this when they’re with friends and in groups. It really helps. It also helps when there is older person telling the scary story, who, while frightening them, is also a built in safety valve in case they need to come down. I not only liked scary children’s stories, but think they’re constructive in the right situations. You probably don’t want to read this to a group of 1st graders. Duh.

People Who Ban It: Overprotective mothers i must assume. Overly sensitive fathers?

7. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

Frankly explains the physical, psychological, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty. And if that’s not a danger to the moral fiber of America i don’t know what is. Tells you basically everything.

Why It’s Banned: I thought i might as well just copy and paste some actual comments from Amazon.com:

“This book should definitely not be given to children or teens. In my opinion, it is pornographic and totally discussing. What happened to morality. This isn’t teaching anything. Shame on you PLANNED PARENTHOOD. What will they think of next. Don’t waste you time or money. Don’t give this to your kids.”

and

“This book is heavy on sexual “mechanics” and, in my opinion, crosses the line into child porn (see pages 23 and 37).
Who needs another book that treats sex as a “function,” rather than an act intended to bring children into the world and create a stronger bond between married couples?”

People Who Ban It: Your penis makes you a very, very bad boy. BAD! Bad penis. Girls, you don’t even THINK about this terrible stuff, so we don’t even need to worry about YOU. Here’s some needlepoint.

6. “Fallen Angels: by Walter Dean Myers

For young adults. In the 1960s a Harlem youth volunteers to go to Vietnam. Runs into… surprise! Violence and death. AND if that weren’t enough, wonders why black troops get the crappier and more dangerous missions. Hmmm…..

Why It’s Banned: Oh, let’s see. So many options on this one. There’s violence and death. Even though 18 year olds can go to Iraq, heaven forbid that actually get a dose of what that kind of thing is really about at age 16…

Profanity, ’cause let’s be honest, soldiers in the military swear up a storm. Unlike, you know, teenagers. And my favorite, RACISM.  In in the whole “Why do black troops get the more suicidal assignments” there may be some explorations of racism. So what i don’t get is obviously in bringing up these issues, the book is clearly trying to FIGHT racism, so….

People Who Ban It: Not sure. I bet it IS in fact a tough book. I have no doubt the subject matter may be a little too heavy for junior high school students, although i would imagine it depends on the student. If this is the case, their parents or librarian should recommend something else, or i imagine the child will put it down themselves. I’m unclear as to why it should be out of the library altogether.

5. I Know Why The Baged Bird Sings by Maja Angelou

Maja Angelou RULES.  Second to Toni Morrison, she is my favorite female black writer.”

“I Know Why…” is also autobiographical of all things. And it’s hard core. She and her brother are sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas when she is 3. Lots of racism. Hell the Klu Klux Klan tries to kill them. she is raped at age 8. The perpetrator is caught, but escapes jail time. He is then murdered by her uncles. She has a lot of guilt over this and stops talking. An older woman draws her out by introducing her to books. She goes on to become pregnant at age 17 and accepts it. The end.

Why It’s Banned: Holy crap. it’s pretty much got everything. Other then gay people.

People Who Ban It: Douchebags who pathetically want to pretend the world is a safe place for everybody, especially children. You cannot wish away children being raped and terrible racism and peoples’ actual tragic realities, but you CAN insure that no one you know will ever run across it in printed form. Just down the street. Once again, this is almost certainly not a book for everybody, and the younger the more care parents and librarians should take. Sadly, children are abused and i don’t believe not discussing it is the answer.

4. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck

Does anyone not know this?

Perhaps i should let Bugs Bunny give you the highlight:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is one of the greatest books you’ll read as a teenager and John Steinbeck is awesome.

Why It’s Banned: Honestly, it’s 2008. Why IS this in the top ten of the 21st century?????

2008: “promoting euthanasia”, being “anti-business”,”because of concerns about profanity and the portrayal of Jesus Christ.  Parents called the novel a “worthless, profanity-riddled book” which is “derogatory towards African Americans, women, and the developmentally disabled.”

Uh…… uh…….. okay, the anti-business thing just cracks me up. The derogatory thing…. how come whenever a book puts a bright, unflinching spotlight on how crappy people in the world are, it gets banned for accurately portraying it?!? In order to show you why people suck?

As for the portrayal of Jesus… uhm, i REALLY don’t know what to make about that one. Are we talking about the same book? Does this have to do with the bunny rabbits? Are they Christ figures? Is Lennie? If Lennie is metaphoric for a Christ figure there is NO WAY the kind of people who would ban the book would be smart enough to figure that out!

People Who Ban It: I REALLY don’t know. Apparently there’s some n word usage. Cause, you know, america wasn’t racist or anything back in the 1930s. Look, i just don’t know.

3. Alice Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

A whole series following a likable girl named Alice as she hits adolescence in Silver Spring, Maryland. And i quote: “The Alice series broaches many topics, including relationships, dating, sex, friendship, life problems, families, God, and understanding.”

So you can see right off, these books cannot be allowed to live.

Why It’s Banned: It’s essentially the Judy Blume of the 21st century. The fact that it actually deals with things THAT REAL TEENAGERS DEAL WITH, like… well i quote again: “relationships, dating, sex, friendship, life problems, families, God, and understanding”. Teenagers. Thinkin’ ’bout sex again. We must stop this disease and never speak of it again.

People Who Ban It: If the prudish dipshits who ban this stuff ever knew what their kids were actually thinking they’re **** themselves. Do they NOT remember being a teenager?

2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

I have a vague memory of reading this one back when i was a teenager. Basically a bunch of bullies who rule this boardking school demand that this poor kid first doesn’t sell, then later sell chocolates for the yearly chocolate selling fund raiser. He simply refuses to sell them. He’s all great when they bullies don’t want him to sell then, but then when the bullies want him to, he gets completely shafted. At the end of the book he gets the crap beaten out of him and tells his only friend in the world that he should do what the bullies say. The head bully’s friend takes him aside and tells him he can be real dick, and he’ll one day regret what he did to the poor kid, but the head bully has no remorse whatsoever. The end.

Why It’s Banned: Cause it’s a total bummer?

It IS a total bummer. And Kim Jong Il is President of North Korea, and that’s in real life, so it can’t be banned just be because dickheads sometimes totally win.

Apparently it’s because of Profanity. Lots of instances where it was banned for profanity. Jesus, hasn’t anyone been around teenagers? Oh, also the kid masturbates at one point in the novel. Wow, someone REALLY hasn’t been around teenage boys!!!! Damn, when i was a teenager the only reason i didn’t win an award doing the deed is because i wouldn’t confess and show up to collect it.

Violence is another.  You get it. Just by the way, for the best “what it’s like to be teenager” book i’ve read in the past, i don’t know, 20 years, read David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green. It’s wonderful. And he’s one of my top 3 writers.

People Who Ban It: The same jackasses who have been banning all 8 other books.

1. Number one banned book in american local and school libraries today.

Do i really need to even bother saying it? Is there, like, ANY doubt at ALL????

I mean, it’s JUST TOO EASY.

But okay, we made it this far, might as well go on to the OH so predictable end.

Yeah….

Nothing like that damn Harry Potter.

Why it’s Banned: CAUSE HE’S PWNED BY SATAN! dUUUUUUUUUUUUH!

People Who Ban It: Sigh. Do we really not know the answer to this one?

Apparently, in America at least, there exists a group of people who believe certain things. They believe in Jesus, which i think is great. They dislike the larger world, and who can blame them? They are also really  unsure of how to handle imagination.  Use of imagination confuses and to some point frightens them a great deal, as the only way they are able to feel secure in the world is to narrow down everything to only one book, and a very (attempted) literal interpretation of that one book.

Imagination goes places far beyond this one Special book, and creates a lot of trouble and uncertainty.

So, to be safe, they ban it. That and witches are pawns of the devil.

The end.

Ben Stiller’s Viral Video

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 7:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t know ANYthing about whatever movie he had that came out this past summer. Something about a Never Go Full Retard line pissed some people off… i don’t know, it didn’t come to Serbia. Or, it did sometime in the past 5 weeks while my dupe has been sitting on this bloody couch.

Whatever. This video with him, Jack Black and Robert Downey Junior is not only incredibly stupid and puerile, but had me in near hysterics. This is exactly the kind of video that Maja would roll her eyes at while beer comes shooting out of my nose as i makes senseless laughing noises in a high pitched girly shriek.

You know, that kind of video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

September 29, 2008

Advice To Son About Women

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 6:21 pm
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I make no bones about it: i had absolutely no male role model whatsoever growing up. An almost pathetically awkward, heavily self internalized father struggling futilely and desperately with his homosexuality who was finally out of the house somewhere during 6th grade does not count as male role model. Other friends of mine who did not have fathers got their male role model fix by befriending older males and learning from them. I just simply side stepped the whole idea, with maybe the exception of adoring Stan Lee, the brains behind Marvel comics.

As such i didn’t really begin filling out the masculine side of my personality until my late 20s and early 30s.

And now, i’ve got to raise a son.

It is no secret i’m a little clueless as i just can’t picture what a kind, encouraging fatherly presence looks like. On the other hand, i’m not really overly concerned, as i’m old enough to trust myself in most situations, including this one, and completely confident that at the very least i won’t be a dick.

As i sit on my totally rocking terrace at night and either listen to music or just sit in silence and let my thoughts wander, more and more i think about the various points in my son’s life that i’ll have to deal with coming up.

Potty training comes to mind. Riding a bike, learning to stand up for himself, learning patience and how to deal with fear… and of course…. chicks.

How to give him the inside info he needs on chicks? I mean let’s be honest, this is not a sit down one time one day and have a discussion that goes something like:

“Son, there’s something i want to talk to you about. See, sometimes, when a man and a woman love each other very much, the man will…. well, he’ll start by buying her dinner a bunch of times. But if the man doesn’t really love her but only likes her a lot in a certain way he might just buy her a whole bunch of cocktails, which depending on where they are might actually cost more than a dinner.

“And then… well son.. uhm…. here, let me just show you this diagram which will pretty much illustrate what you’ll be contending with. This includes the whole dinner/cocktail process, too. Actually, this ESPECIALLY includes the whole dinner/cocktail process:

“Once you get back home… uh… well you’ll do a lot of kissing. I hope. You really should. It’s a good way to get the whole ball rolling especially for her. And then…

“Well… uhm…. remember all those talks we had about patience? How patience is very important and you know how we’ve worked on being patient in getting things we want? Well son, this is probably the most important way in which patience will pay off.

“How? Well, uh… a bunch of ways. First of all maybe she just wants to kiss and nothing else. Now son, some men will attempt to hump her leg like an overexcited dog, or, and son, this is the worst, you must NEVER do this, they will beg for some nookie. Never ever beg. Seriously. Sooner or later you will watch another man do it, and it looks pathetic. Don’t be that guy.

“See son, being patient and in control of yourself will pay off in dividends. She’ll totally respect you for being patient, in control of yourself, which is inner strength and thus manly, unlike the other desperate shmucks she’s made out with, and will be more likely to give it up later.

“Seriously, the respect that patience and self control will get you is worth it’s weight in gold. Not only with the hot babe in question, but she’ll talk to her friends and you’ll end up being a total stud muffin.

“This patience and self control will REALLY go well for you once the actual nookie commences. Seriously. As a young man, having patience and self control during the nookie is the most important and, by the way, difficult bit to learn. Once you learn it, though, this will catapult your stud status to rock star heights.

“However, this takes time, and no one has a clue what they’re doing at first when they try the whole nookie thing. Heck your old man here… keeping from getting overexcited they first time he’s with a hot babe and having it not be quite the marathon he was intending…. i’ve certainly had to shrug and smile impishly a time or two.

You’ll learn how to deal with this. Personally, i used to silently recite the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. (creak-a-creak-a-creak-“once upon a midnight weary”-creak-a-creak-“as i pondered weak and weary”-creak-a-creak-“over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”….) However, if it does happen to end a bit sooner than you both had wished, just shrug it off, smile, and thank her for letting you have a little warm up. Casually assure her not to worry, you just need a little 10 minute recuperation and will be back to business. During this time you can practice some special woman pleasing skills we’ll be getting into next time called “going down” which every man should know how to do. If you do this, she won’t even notice the 10 minutes go by.

“Don’t ever be too embarrassed or ashamed if things go a little haywire one way or the other. We guys have ALL been there and had to learn. Your Uncle Jeff, Uncle Milos and even Uncle Kevin and Uncle Michael. All us guys have to learn stuff like that and we ALL have funny stories to tell about when our exploits didn’t quite go as planned, so don’t be too embarrassed. It just makes you part of the man-club.

“Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Shower. Personal hygiene, son. A little bit of this goes a looooong way with the ladies. Can’t stress this enough. I know Mommy likes to joke about when Daddy gets all smelly, but really, she doesn’t like it, and if you want to be getting any, good personal hygiene will greatly increase your chances. As will cocktails, but i don’t think that’s maybe so appropriate to talk about until you’re in college.

“Daddy IS making a bit of a joke with the whole cocktail thing. You know that? Men who get women so drunk that they barely know what they’re doing are scum sucking vermin. No, seriously, they’re not men, they’re selfish little bastards with no sense of honor. A man always treats women with respect, just like you want me and your uncles to treat mommy.

“Son, you’ll have toooons of opportunities to have sex, so really, don’t worry about it so much. The most important thing is that you and your girl have fun together, even if it’s just kissing or being silly. It is your sacred responsibility as an honorable man to make sure that you don’t do anything she doesn’t want to do, and that you treated her with respect and kindness. Any jackass who tells you otherwise is a buffoon. Think about whoever’s told you otherwise. Did they really seem like an honorable man who women actually admire? I mean seriously. Or do they seems like slimy boys who are mostly just trying to impress.

“Patience, self control, and kindness. Trust me. This will impress. You’ll be a rockstar. Oh confidence! Right, confidence! Confidence is KEY! Chicks TOTALLY love confidence! Seriously. Most powerful babe magnet in the WORLD is confidence. Cannot overstress that enough. I have seen women go home with some seriously visually challenged dudes just because they possessed confidence.

“Heck, one time i watched this guy i know, not a particularly attractive guy, you know, he’s okay, actually land a girl by asking her if he could eat lima beans out her butt with a wooden spoon.

“Uh… son, now that i think about that, you should just ignore that last story. Don’t, really, don’t ever try that. Daddy should never have told you that. What? NO it wasn’t your Dad. Jesus. Totally not my style. Confidence is not being a douchebag. Confidence without kindness is…. here watch this youtube video. See? He’s confident! No doubt about that. But he’s a total douchebag.

“Damn, i just can’t do this in one sitting. There’s no WAY! When i was your age my mom, grandma, gave me a book. It was a good book. Bloody hell, i haven’t even mentioned the clitoris!  More often than not, during nookie it’s your best friend.

“Alright, we’ll just have to continue this next weekend. Tell you what, why don’t you think of any questions? I can answer just about anything you might want to know, so just ask me anytime.”

…….

Personally, i think the better idea is to go camping or fishing with a friend of his and an adult male friend of mine. Then me and MY friend just simply start talking trading stories about women and sex (not involving his mother. It doesn’t even have to be personal stories. just… stories and situations). This allows me and the other adult to matter of factly discuss intimate details he’ll need to know without it being so intensely focused. And as a relaxed conversation it allows he and his friend to ask questions or simply pick up on details that me and my adult friend will casually be throwing out.

This is the better plan, i think. I don’t know, talk to me in…. 12 years? 11? I mean, i imagine i’ll have had the whole “where do babies come from” conversation WAY before then. (basically, when ever he asks i’ll answer frankly, to whatever degree he’s capable of comprehending)

“Okay son. I’m glad we had this little chat. I thought, you know, with you getting married next week i should really set you straight on this.”

“P.S. Oh, and don’t waste your money on phone sex lines or really anytime you have to pay to get jollies. They’re not horny sluts waiting for your call. They’re normal women working a job to pay their rent. It’s a performance and there is no truth to the situation.”

Here’s a rather good site to see a glimpse behind the bullshit.

September 28, 2008

Another Palin Spoof

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 11:29 pm
Tags: , ,

As long as Tina Fey keeps making them, i’m-a gonna keep posting them.

i watched her interview with Katie Couric, and this video NAILS it. My heavens, this woman is a douchebaggette.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Fourth Dimension

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 4:04 pm
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I’m having a good time playing with the idea of the 4th dimension.

Usually the conception of it is time. Which, watching a really good video on the 4th dimension here it seems to be. (i really wanted to post both it and the next one, but it’s a bit of overkill.) However i decided to stick with Carl Sagan’s explanation, as he doesn’t delve into the time analogy at all.

Here is Carl Sagan explaining it: (Carl Sagan was a pretty funky dude…)

And here is a tesseract in action:

One more of a tesseract. Granted, it may not need to go on for 5 bloody minutes, but it is pretty awesome to watch:

So, uh, anybody want to go one more and see what the 5th dimension is all about? This video just blew my little mind. After this i might have to go back to Sherlock Holmes slash fan fiction. ($100 says SOMEone has written one) Anyway, to blow your mind, the 5th dimension:

If the internet was a party…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 2:25 pm

This juuuuuuust passes the ‘enough-entertainment-value-o-meter’ to warrant posting. I mean what else were you going to do for the next 4 minutes? Here, have a light chuckle:

September 27, 2008

Reggae Mocha Lab

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 9:22 pm
Tags: , ,

Technically, it’s 60s era ska…

Seventeen

Normally i don’t post work i do for clients. Several reasons, but the main one would be that once i send the finished music to them, it’s really no longer mine to do with as i wish, and now belongs to a larger work (even if that work is simply a commercial). It may not be appropriate to upload online and share, and heaven knows i have plenty of my own work to share.

But in THIS case…

So, occasionally i do some work for an advertising company in Budapest. A couple weeks ago i was hired to write a 30 second reggae track, specifically in a 60s ska style for a tv ad. (for a bank, actually) So i did and it went well and happiness and joy permeated the land.

2 weeks after completion, the client (the bank) recontacted the agency. Apparently, they REALLY liked the  music for the spot, and wanted to rehire me to make a 3:00 full length version which they are then promoting on radio and internet.

Not only great for me, but this means that i can put the track up here for your curiosity/listening pleasure.

Just to add a hair more back story, the trick about making this track full length, is that in the 30 second spot, the only lyrics were: “17, 17, 17 is the number that we love”. (see, the bank has some kind of 17% mortgage financing deal… get it?)

These Shakesperean meets Dylan lyrics were repeated twice, and bingo, there goes 30 seconds. But for 3 minutes… the trick is, obviously i have to keep what’s in the commercial, but how do you turn”17, 17, 17, is the number that we love” into an entire 3 minute reggae track?

Tricky.

But i am the man who tamed the wild serbian amazon of zemun (or at least knocked her up), i am the pianist who once caused a riot at a school for special needs children when i played a barney/sesame street medley that rocked the house (see, i kept alternating between the two songs, getting progressively faster and faster and FASTER and they kind of freaked out. Well, kinda really freaked out. They LOVED it, but boy did i get in trouble),  i am the musical visionary who is writing a funksical about Cthulu, i am the towering intellect who brought a heavy metal band to their knees in worship of me for my jaunty recitation of The Ballad Of Big Ass Lil And Yukon Pete.

Uh… i am the bored blogger with the broken leg who doesn’t really like to shut up because then i’ll be done with the post and have nothing to do. Except learn Serbian. You see the dilemma.

Anyway, here’s 3 minutes of light, audio entertainment:

Seventeen

The Great Shlep

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 8:23 pm

Yeah, i’m a little late in posting this, but i in the end simply couldn’t resist.

I myself had jewish grandparents who lived in florida. She’s not kidding, there are more old, retired Jews in Florida than there are catholics in Rome.

And they’re gonna vote for the OLD GUY!!!!! They’re almost alll racist!!!!! (this is totally true. Old Jewish people are racist as…..)

Thank you, Sarah, for a solution to our problem:

September 26, 2008

9/11 Conspiracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 10:20 pm
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Any event of significance that occurs will have an equal and opposite conspiracy theory to account for it.

Heck, half the time, they might even be true. Heck, half the time an event that has no significance might have a conspiracy behind it that would blow your mind.

I don’t even rule out aliens.

But one thing i don’t buy, at all, are any of these 9/11 conspiracy movies i’ve seen floating about the net, drumming up devotees. In particular Loose Change and Zeitgeist. I don’t get it.

In the States i met a few people here and there who would mention these, but mostly foreigners would bring it up. And now that i’m over here, a foreigner myself, these films get brought up in a lot of discussions i have.

So. Let me make my case.

Everyone who tells me they’re really into these films and believe what they say assumes that my absolute dismissal of them stems primarily from the fact that as an American i can’t imagine my government doing anything so dirty handed, and this of course, is why i naively refuse to salute these movies.

Which is funny because i actually think my government is more dirty and underhanded, and definitely more incompetent than the folks i’m arguing against. I come on, you can accuse me of a lot of thing, but believing in politicians’ honesty, sincerity, and competence? You’ve got to be kidding me. I grew UP during Iran/Contra, i was learning to poop by myself during watergate, Abramowitz anybody? Hey, remember when republicans didn’t like gay people? Okay they still don’t, but Lord knows that doesn’t stop half of them from being gay anyway. (Come one guys, if you really want to order a penis sandwich, hell, just order it. You’ll feel so much better afterwards. Or maybe it’ll just feed your binge purge cycle. Watched my own dad go through that. Not pretty.)

Usually the main fallacy of their worldview, is they have this imagine of America’s superhuman abilities, and more to the point, the Bush administration’s inCREDIBLE genius, and i mean genius and competence beyond anything the world has seen since the Elders of Zion masterminded the entire 20th century.

All you have to do is explain this to me and i will rethink my entire attitude:

So, the Bush administration, within 8 months of coming into power, managed to organize and pull off the most elaborate conspiracy ever attempted. It requires not only Einstein level genius to plan, but needs executed with a precision the most renowned military black ops on their best day couldn’t pull off. (i actually know a few ex black ops. Ask them about military competence. Seriously. Go ahead.)

On TOP of which, the conspiracy requires a WHOOOOOOOOLE lot of people to be in on SOME part of it. And NOOOOOO one, in all the bush scandal books, and in all the ratting out of the bush administration, has EVER come forward. ‘Cause there would be a LOT of inside people.

AND, you’re telling me that this was pulled off by the BUSH administration? HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO US POLITICS FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS?

You mean the folks who could pull off 9/11 couldn’t have Iraq wrapped up in a bow by now? You mean they can pull of the 9/11 conspiracy  and yet fumble the Iraq war AT EVERY TURN. (and the fumbling began at the beginning. Hurricane Katrina is a walk in the PARK for geniuses of that magnitude. Where WERE they? ‘Cause, uh, ya’ll might not have been watching, but, uhm, that little Katrina thing didn’t go so well.

Housing bubble? Economic meltdown? Any. event. in. the. past. 8. years? My point: you are trying to convince me that a regime who has CLEARLY and COMPLETELY demonstrated INCOMPETENCE for EIGHT SOLID YEARS, pulled off the greatest world conspiracy ever seen within their FIRST 8 MONTHS?!

Girlfriend, puh-leez.

So why i am still having these discussion?

‘Cause people LUV a good conspiracy. Peopl love to know they’ve got the secret dibs on what’s going on. No one foolin’ them…

LOOSE CHANGE

So first we have Loose Change. It’s an hour 20 minutes and i know few of you are actually going to sit here now and watch it, but you can jump around, and it makes a good comparison for the debunk video that follows:

There is a version of the film with point by point refutations here (which also wins points by making me laugh occasionally):

And if you REALLY want to dork out, here’s 2 good sites:

This is a blog which compiles numerous sources debunking the film,

and This is a site by 9/11 conspiracists debunking Loose Change. They have a pretty good attitude towards what Dan Avery, the filmmaker of Loose Change was trying to achieve and debunk it, in their words in order to:

     

  • To help separate substantial claims about the attack from ones without merit
  • To provide additional resources for readers to explore issues raised by the film
  • To help the producers of Loose Change to make better future versions of their film
  •  

ZEITGEIST

My personal favorite. It’s newer and has been sweeping the nets over the past 2 years. I especially like it because it is not content to simply delve into 9/11. Oh no, it also attempts to debunk Christianity and point out the secret Cabal of bankers who control everything. I don’t care about the bankers so much, but i LOVE a debate about religion. Heck, i have dozens of books covering Christian history and alternate histories (meaning all those early Christian sects that were eventually suppressed) down to little minutia, plus theology, deconstructions of the Bible, etc. I LOVE this topic!

So while i would describe myself as a Christian, for various reasons, i’m all up for a good debunking, as there are many commonly held misconceptions. And, since i believe that American Evangelists do far more harm for people’s spirituality than good, i’m almost always up for throwing out a few good pot boiling zingers.

(My personal favorite: The story of the Israelites escape from Egypt and subsequent conquest of Canaan. How’d they conquer Canaan? Did the walls of Jericho really come down? What were the preexisting cultures there like? Well, several different and unrelated archaeological teams have been digging Israel since the 60s and 70s looking for these answers. And overwhelmingly they have all found the same data.

None.

No seriously, none. There’s no evidence of any sort of conquests anywhere around this time. The Bible has descriptions of HUGE amounts of killing, cities being wiped, inhabitants being slaughtered. But there’s nothing there. What archaeologists are finding are settlements that pretty much went about their business. It seems Egypt had part of Canaan as its territory until around 1300 BC when it withdrew and decreased its borders although no major battles are mentioned. Then around 1200 we definitively can placer some Jews in Canaan. Buy no Jews in Egypt. No conquest of Canaan. For now you can look it up if you wish. I may blog about it at a later date and cite sources and whatnot. But for now, we have other fish to fry. and by the way, as a religious man, no this doesn’t bother me in the least. if you can’t understand why, read some Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung.)

So, Zeitgeist. Whacha got? (i’m mostly interested in the first 3rd, although all the 9/11 stuff is in the 2nd part)

Hmm. Okay…. uhm…. boy, sure sounds pretty… smackin’ its boot upside the head of religion. Except.. uhm, wow, almost every fact presented is wrong. And i’m not going to even mention that no one has ever ACTUALLY proposed that Jesus was born on Dec. 25th

The myths, though. Almost all are wrong/ are wrong.

Oh, Horus! Wow, there was NOTHING accurate about their take on the Horus myth. He was god of the sky, Ra was the sun god. Horus was DEFINITELY not born of a virgin. Isis brought her brother Osiris back to life and SHTOOPED him to create Horus. And the rest of the crap about Horus doesn’t exist in any Egyptian myth about Horus.

Anyway, almost ALL the Mithra stuff is TOTALLY WRONG! Seriously. Look it up. Mithra didn’t die and resurrects at ALL. No virgin mother, no 12 disciples, no death and resurrection, NOTHING. What is he talking about?

Furthermore, aside from Corn King/Solstice types: death in winter, rebirth in spring every year like clockwork, there are NO myths predating 150 AD that feature gods dying and becoming resurrected, except for potentially Osiris. He gets chopped up into 14 pieces by his brother and scattered all over the world. His sister, Isis, recollects his dismemebred corpse, and then, and i shit you not on this one, shtoops him with a dildo to bring him back to life. At which point he doesn’t even come fully back to life, but roams the underworld forever afterwards.

Surely you’re not telling me that a bunch of Jewish peasants in 0 AD pulled out the Osiris myth and used it as inspiration to invent Jesus? Bloody hell…that’s like using the Saw films as inspiration for Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends.

The more probable source he’s looking for would be the Corn king archetype. Dies in the winter. Rebirth in the spring. This one could be gone into in more depth. Dionysius (or Bacchus) has this trait and i think he’s mentioned. Tammuz, the Babylonian god died in the winter and came back in the spring, but i don’t think he was mentioned.

Attis wasn’t born to a virgin, crucified, dead for 3 days, and then resurrected, although he did have a bit of a death rebrith thing: he killed himself by ripping his own nuts off and died. He eventually came back as a tree. He did, later on in his history come back every spring, but he only did this AFTER 150 AD.

I think had the filmmaker stuck to this aspect of mythology he could have made some interesting points. However, by bullshitting completely and utterly, he loses me without spending time on the one trait that has some merit to be examined. I don’t think the Christ resurrection is the same thing as the solstice rebirth, but i think ther ARE connections to be made. So why not do it?

In fact… wait, isn’t this ENTIRE first part lifted from somewhere? I know i’v e heard something like this…wait, isn’t this verbatim the argument from that book the Christ Conspiracy by Archarya S? Let me look in those credits… ah, there it is. Yup. Listed as a source. I remember that book. So, the filmmakers lifted their argument from there. Damn. It’s a shame they had to choose a crappy, non scholarly work of hyperbole. Don’t believe me? Here’s her site. You can decide for yourself. Hell on her work of advanced scholarship this is her credentials:

“About the author: Acharya S is an archaeologist, historian, mythologist and linguist. This is her first book.”

This is a scholarly work? Man, there are other better sources if you want to question Christianity, it’s just you won’t find such dramatic sweeping claims “that will BLOW your mind!”, which is i think the main idea. The people and sites who defend the books in the film’s bibliography these are the same type of people with the same type of arguments as insistent American Evangelicals. No, seriously. The sides claim to be total opposites, but both latch onto whatever unanalytical hyperbole they can find to keep spitting feverishly in the wind.

God’s Son= God’s Sun? Uh…. what does English wordplay have to do with ancient aramaic, roman, or greek? The pisces stuff was kind of cool. The december 25th stuff is so pointlessly stupid, it’s just annoying.

Okay, you don’t need me personally to do a point for point. There are other people for that. But i liked Zeigeist’s presentation from a watchable, incendiary point of veiw, even if it was complete crap.

I really, really want to put up a good video debunking zeitgeist. There are many videos that do it, but most of them are either crap or really boring.

For a good, thorough online debunking, go HERE

I’ll throw up a movie anyway, but it is boring. Granted you may just be watching a minute here a minute there of all this stuff, so you may not care, as you just want to tune in for a minute or 2. The only good material against Zeitgeist is all in writing. Most of the people who bothered to make an actual video, are clearly religious and their agenda causes them to make conclusions, logical fallacies and insinuations that i can’t get behind. (A lot of the material the movie plunders from Acharya S, she in turn plunders from a guy named Massey, back in the 1800s. He was a druid. Aspersions are cast on him because of his Druidom, which is idiotic. Blavatsky gets mentioned in one video. Why i’m not sure. I’m quite familiar with her and don’t see the connection with Zeitgeist. What? Hitler liked some of her work? Uh, RELEvance?! And it kills any chance of my watching your piece of shit bedunking of a piece of shit film.)

Thus, i am left with the boring:

There are 8 parts in all, and you can just click on the video to go to you tube and watch the rest. But listening to that guy drone on and on is sleep inducing, and i’d rather just go and read a transcript.

Well, wasn’t that fun!

But see, now i can point someone to this post the enxt time i find myself in yet ANOTHer discussion about these 2 films.

I want some new conspriacy theories. Like about America’s financial meltdown! It’s the Jews, isn’t it? it’s always them damn Jews. Being all Jewy and stuff. So can i get a good conspiracy about the meltdown with little or no Jewishness? I mean, i understand if you just have to throw a few in, okay. But CAN i get a good america financial meltdown conspiracy theory ? Whatever happened to the Freemasons? Ascended Masters? Come on, folks…

Sweet sweet sushi

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 3:18 pm
Tags: , ,

So yesterday was my birthday. (Yay me!) And wouldn’t you know it,  Maja managed to find a sushi restaurant in Belgrade. I was able to fulfill my number one wish, which was to have some bloody sushi. It rocked.

She has consequently, pretty much earned a stack of get out of jail free cards that should last for at least the next month. You know, cause being pregnant ain’t enough to cut it with me. I’m gettin’ tired of all this complainin’ ’bout how difficult it is to get up and get me more beer. Damn womenfolk. Baby just sits there in yer damn tummy. I don’t see the big deal.

So, let’s see, sushi down…. gave up on ben & jerry’s…. that leaves someone sending me a case of Sam Adams and my list will be near complete.

Now before y’all run off to ship me a case of Sam, ’cause i KNOW that was your next move, sadly, i must inform you that you must never, ever send us any packages ever.

My mom sent us a package. It had in it some bras for post-pregnancy/nursing. And 2 paperbacks. And a sweater. That’s it. She paid $50 to send it.

When they delivered it here, they charged us $60 to receive it. 60 bucks! In dinar currency, of course. We tried explaining that the shipping was already paid for. Maja did her whole “oh look, the poor pregnant woman, carrying mankind’s future in her sweet overburdened belly” routine. (You’d think this would work more often…

Wait. Quick side track. Yes i know this post is entirely uninteresting. Tranny porn is only a click away if you need to run off and be interested in something. Back here in boring land i have a question for all you recent mothers: when you took public transportation, and if you didn’t i spit on your bourgeoisie car, unless i can borrow it…. damn… writing is tricky when your brain thinks in endless run on sentences leading nowhere…

Did people get up to give you seats? Did you have to ask? What was your experience in this?

When Maja takes the bus here, if she doesn’t ask someone to please let her sit, NO one will get up. Okay, maybe occasionally. But barely. And i used to hear women bitch about the same thing in NY subways. But most of the guys i know are the kind who would always get up and give pregnant women their seat, and that includes here. So do i just not see a larger reality?)

Anyway, might as well get back to the point. I was hoping that as i wrote, interesting, fascinating bits would just pour out, but i see now this isn’t going to happen, so we might as well race to the finish line.

Package. 60 m******g dollars.

C-u-s-t-o-m-s.

Yes, see, customs opens all the packages. And they decide what they think the worth is. And then they charge you an arbitrary number for importing said item of value. So they decided that out of 3 bras, a sweater and 2 dingy paperbacks, their cut should be $60. Which was more than half the actual cost of the items in the first place.

There is no system of accountability here, (at allllllllllll) so if you feel there’s a discrepancy or you wish to contest the amount, please send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

665 BendOverandTakeitLikea***** St., Belgrade, Serbia 11080

If you send us anything we will have to pay through the pooper for it. We literally can’t afford to receive packages.

So i will have to be satisfied with my sushi dinner (and i am. maja is GOLDEN today in my book. hell in the middle of the night last night i sat up and composed her a gushy earnest love letter) Sammy, sweet sweet Sammy will just have to wait.

Day After Birthday Plan: sit and watch stupid movies in the rainy afternoon and eat Pringles.

As you can see, i’ve got to go carpe the diem. Slainthe.

September 25, 2008

ARK and Moloch

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 3:35 pm
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Grzegorz Jonkajtys.

If you’ve seen Pan’s Labyrinth (and if you haven’t, you REALLY should) or perhaps the new Hellboy, than you’ve seen  Grzegorz Jonkajtys’ work. It’s instantly recognizable. All those weird creatures? They’re his.

He’s made some short films too, and they’re pretty damn awesome.

This is ARK:

(for the HD version, go here)

An unknown virus has destroyed almost the entire human population. The only remaining survivors escape to the sea. In great ships, they set off in search of uninhabited land. So begins the exodus, led by one man…”

Moloch: a Hebrew demon, made of iron, who feeds off of human sacrifices

Cool stuff, no?

More

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 2:35 pm
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Those Grzegorz Jonkajtys videos got me all in the mood for the short animation Classic, More.

Yes, i realize most of you have seen this. However, on the off chance that there’s a few out there who haven’t, this is a MUST. One of the best short animation vids EVER. And now that i’m all Eastern Europanizing anything i can do to crush the capatalist oppresor and give power back to the prole…

What? Lehman who? Really?

Huh. Apparently my help is not needed. Oh well.

Say, anybody got some rolling papers? Oh no problem, that dollar will do just fine. Cheaper actually than buying a new batch. Here, give Hank Paulson a toke. Oh never mind, i see he’s already been toking. Mmmmm. Wow dude……oooooooo…. hey, we should buy a house!

Sorry. Anyway, i present to you Mark Osbourne’s MORE

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