Ted Cruz Says Global Warming Alarmists the Equivalent of Flat-Earthers
Wizard Ted Cruz says that global warming alarmists are the equivalent of flat-earthers. It would be easy to get angry about this, except we already know Cruz is saying this to whip people like myself into a frenzy all while appealing to his know-nothing base. I feel pretty confident that people like Ted Cruz, as harmful as they are, are the exact kind of people that are going to doom the modern Republican Party and its anti-science brigade to the history books. I’m scared about what damage they can do on the way down, but there is no doubt that Ted Cruz and his ilk represent the last gasp of a dying order. People become extreme and rabid when they feel something slipping away forever. Ted Cruz, even though he is appealing to the hoopleheads*, really represents unfettered corporate power combined with religious zealotry. Fortunately for us, in a democracy even such power needs a base to support it and that base is mostly old and white on and on the outs. What’s scary though is that we are running out of time to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. So while Ted Cruz and those he represents will not be with us for long, they just might be able to do enough damage to doom the rest of us and the descendants of the human race for a long time to come. So while I don’t think we need to worry much about Ted Cruz, I think those of us that care need to fight his ideas at every turn.
*Hooplehead: a member of the ignorant masses; an uneducated commoner; an idiot. word popularized by HBO’s Deadwood.
Jeffrey Taylor On David Brooks
A couple days ago I posted Matt Taibbi teeing off on David Brooks. Now Jeffrey Taylor is doing the same. This time it is over his lazy criticisms of secularism. Fore!
This aired last year, but I am only just seeing it now. Holy shitballs! When people believe the Old Testament literally, I have to wonder what they are smoking. Maher does a great job at pointing out the absurdity in the story of Noah. Great fun!
Today I was talking to my Dad on the phone about Dante’s Inferno. Surprisingly we both found it funny. This is a book where people’s souls are tortured in the most horrible ways imaginable for all eternity, often for no more than religious thought crimes or moments of passion. The religious medieval mind was sure a strange one! When things go that dark they, at some point, go through the looking glass and pass into the realm of absurdity, and then turn into comedy.
Lou Reed often makes me laugh in the same way, though I’m almost positive that he was in on the joke. When he was asked about his album Berlin, which many deem the most depressing album of all time, he said he was just, “having fun.” Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, I can put that album on, or any number of his albums, and find myself instantly cheered up. The final song on it, Sad Song, is the cosmic punchline to the album. I was going to describe it, but I found this description on YouTube by Adam Pendleton, the first comment at the time of writing, and I really enjoyed it:
So this poem is about an abusive husband, than his wife kills herself. Even so, he doesn’t really care. He half-heartedly chants “sad song.” than shrugs and moves on. Even after she’s gone he thinks of her as “wasting my time.” and that he was wrong for thinking she ever looked beautiful. He justifies his abuse, “somebody else would have broke both her arms.” At least that’s what I got out of it.
As Mark Twain once said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.”
Lawrence Wright On Scientology
Here is an author of Going Clear, a book on Scientology, about the religion and the upcoming documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Even though this author’s main focus is on Scientology, he says things that are relevant to other religions as well. What are people looking for when they become part of a religion? What makes people believe in something that may appear absurd to outsiders? What are things that a religion does to keep its members in line? The author speaks of the things that many religions share, but also what separates Scientology from those other religions as well.
Heading back to Austin from a brief tour of Louisiana. I will catch up on posting when I am home. I did see a sign in a gas station today that said: “Jefferson Davis Law – No Alcohol Sold Between 2 and 6am.” So that happened. I am glad that the ghosts of the Confederacy are attempting to keep me sober in the wee hours of the morning.
In Denis Johnson’s book Tree of Smoke, his epic Vietnam novel, one of the characters come to the conclusion that different parts of the world are governed by different deities. Each area operates under its own unique set of supernatural laws. When one travels the United States, one can’t help but feel the same way. Louisiana is not Texas is not Colorado is not wherever. It isn’t just different cultures and economic forces shaping human behavior, but almost nature itself. The haunted swamps of Louisiana create a different emotional context than the comforting greenery of the Texas hill country. “God is alive and magic is afoot.” The only question is what god and whose magic? Anyone that claims to know is deluding themselves…
Among the Navajos, a Renewed Debate About Gay Marriage
I found this article interesting because it demonstrates that all people, even those who have dealt with great discrimination, are capable of their own discrimination.