Saturday, May 12, 2007

Why Don't Conservatives Believe That God is Great?

At the Republican Presidential Debate the candidates were asked to raise their hand if they did not believe in Evolution. Three candidates raised their hands.

Three men running for President of the United States do not believe that Evolution is real.

And they freely admitted it. On television.

If I didn't believe in Evolution you would have to attach jumper cables to my balls and call in that guy from CTU with the little suitcase to get me to admit it, so deep would be my shame. Because to not believe in Evolution is to say, "I am so stupid, I think that things that are so are not so."

Arianna Huffington wondered on Real Time last night if they also don't believe in gravity.

What I don't understand is why they don't believe in the glory of God.

I mean God as an all loving, ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, omniscient Master of Time and Space, or "Whitebeard God" for short. Personally, I always believed God wasn't Whitebeard God, but rather the spirit of love and compassion and forward-paying in each of us. That He was the collective goodness in all of us. He still may be.

The only argument I've seen that a Whitebeard God really exists is Evolution. It is so beautiful, so perfect, so exquisitely crafted, that it is impossible for me to believe it simply "happened." Only a Supreme Being could have come up with such a perfect system of creating and perfecting Life.

I mean, seriously. Look at Evolution. Only Whitebeard God could have come up with something so magnificent. So impeccable.



That's a carny rap, a bedtime story. A way for men to explain what men can't explain. It's a lazy way at that. Do you really think a Whitebeard God would have to resort to doing cheap magic tricks? Snapping His fingers to create stuff? And waiting a whole day between creations? Why? For a nap?

Yeah, apparently the God of creationism is easily tired. After six days He rests. God "rests"?? Do you really think God needs a personal day???

I'm sorry, it's ridiculous to think that the men who wrote the Bible were any more capable of understanding the wonder of God than the men who wrote Greek mythology or Roman mythology or any of the other stories humans have come up with to try to explain the unexplainable before there was such a thing as "science."

Speaking of gravity, Galileo used the Leaning Tower of Pisa to prove that objects of different weights fall at the same speed. (This was before its current scientific use as the subject of comical "look-i'm pushing-it" pictures) He also said the Earth revolved around the sun, instead of the other way around. For this he got the 17th Century equivalent of a trip to Gitmo.

But he was right, of course. Because he used science, not faith. He used the brain God gave him.

That has always been the job of science. To replace the "pin the tail on the donkey" guesses of faith with the certitude that reveals the wonders of the universe. Knowing how the planets move didn't make anyone not believe in God, did it? Didn't it make God seem more wonderful? When you learn how photosynthesis works, or how cells reproduce, or about the elements of the periodic table, don't you wonder how all of this amazing, perfect stuff could have come together? Who could have come up with such a perfect system?

Isn't that more beautiful and wondrous than simply saying, "The Lord works in mysterious ways. It's not our place to question them."

People who believe in the Bible as the absolute authoritative word, IMHO, have no respect for God. The difference between science and fiction is that science is true, whereas in fiction, the hero can't be any smarter than whoever wrote the book. And whoever wrote the Bible may not have been the shiniest shekel in the sack.

According to the Bible, God made Adam and Eve, and they had two sons. And since Eve was made from Adam's rib, apparently it slipped this God's mind that you really shouldn't make a married couple with the same DNA. Is it any wonder Cain had, shall we say, issues? (Maybe He knew it didn't matter... that someday he'd kill everyone on Earth except Noah's family. Nice guy.)

And the Serpent tempted Eve, and Eve tempted Adam, and Cain slew Abel, and for all of this the supposedly omniscient God had his back turned. I've seen mall rent-a-cops who were more attentive than the Bible's vision of our Lord.

Then, apparently God realized he screwed up. That you really can't start a world with just one family, so some more people appear out of nowhere.

Three presidential candidates do not believe in Evolution, but they do believe that God turned a woman into a stack of salt and played a mean unfunny joke on Abraham and a really unfunny joke on Job and that He killed a lot of Egyptian babies who never hurt anyone. And apparently, when Moses was dying, this God was, let's face it, kind of a dick.

And then there's Jonah. Ah, Jonah. According to the Bible... the Word of God Himself, Jonah lived inside a Great Fish.

That's what it says: "Great Fish."

Because, for some reason, the God in the Bible doesn't know that a whale is a mammal, not a fish.

Remember what I said about how a hero can't be smarter than the author?

I'm not convinced there is a Whitebeard God. And Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the Conservative Right Wing keep trying to convince me that God is stupid and vengeful and hateful and vindictive and hates gays and immigrants and wants an estate tax cut.

But, on the other hand, Charles Darwin made a very convincing argument for the power and beauty of the Hand of God.

Can Someone From New York Please Explain Michael Musto To Me?


Whenever he's on Countdown, I watch him with my jaw dropped. I don't understand why he (or anyone else) thinks he's even a little bit funny. The only way to know he's telling a "joke" is that he stops babbling momentarily. The resulting uncomfortable silence is your signal to "laugh."

You really want to punish Paris Hilton? Forget prison. Trap her in an elevator for 45 days with this imbecile.

The clip below is, believe it or not, one of his least uncomfortable appearances. Still, anyone who does comedy for a living will tell you it's not a good sign when you have to follow a joke with "these are the jokes" or (even worse) "remember that?"

Last night, with Alison Stewart (no laugh riot herself), he said that Howard K. Stern "cried through two funerals using a pill for a Kleenex." I've parsed it, I've diagrammed it, I've sent it to the Mayo Clinic, and I still can't detect where in that sentence a joke is hiding.

Here's how unfunny I think Michael Musto is: I would rather watch Mark Russell open for Carlos Mencia than sit through even a half hour of Michael Musto. And I would rather walk on broken glass on my tongue than do any of the above.

But for some reason, this giggly, jiggly squeal-monkey is embraced by New York. Can someone there tell me why? Please?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Buy Joe Scarborough an Atlas

I like Joe, but on his MSNBC morning show he used Opie & Anthony, Imus and Howard Stern as examples of "Hollyweird values, out of touch with America."

This from his New York/New Jersey studios.

When You Watch This Story You'll Get Angry, But Stick Around for the Ending

I have watched it over and over all week, and I can't decide if it's insensitivity on their part, or if I'm simply losing my mind. Maybe it's both.

"World Leaders At Urinal Troughs" (First in a Series?)

For the Record, I'm Firmly Against Benchmarks

Always have been.

Now, with the Iraqi government taking a well-undeserved two month vacation, I'm more against benchmarks than ever.

I think it's silly to announce a date in the future when you're going to withdraw your troops.

I think we should withdraw our troops today. Now. Right now.

They should be home by Monday.

If we are going to "measure the success" of the Iraqi government in July, and they are embarking on a two month vacation, I can tell you now: Things won't improve much.

What do you tell the parents of a man or woman who is killed in June?

Get our troops home. Now.

I refuse to keep feeling "safe from terror" while Americans sit there like human sacrifices, absorbing all the terror for us. It's like they're our surrogates. It's inhumane.

Get our kids home.

And I keep hearing pundits and government officials on TV saying, "Well, even if we wanted to pull out now, it would take up to six months to get all our troops out of Iraq."

How is it that the United States Government can't get 150,000 soldiers out of Iraq in less than six months, but they expected millions of citizens without cars to evacuate New Orleans in 24 hours?

What is their plan if there's an emergency in Los Angeles? Philadelphia? Miami? Chicago? New York? Honolulu?

They can't get 150,000 soldiers out of Iraq in less than six months???

How secure do you feel now?

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Jeez, sweetheart, why the long face? No, seriously... I'm not just asking why you're so sour and snotty compared to your cheery, Alba-esque co-worker...I'm seriously asking why your face is so long.

"Gentlemen, We've Got to Save Our Phoney-Baloney Jobs!"

If you know anything about what is going on in the news, this morning was a WOW ZOOM morning on Today.

They reported that Republicans accused Democrats of "playing political games with deadly consequences." They showed a clip of John Boehner accusing the Democrats of wanting to bring "failure and genocide"... but never mentioned that Boehner called for benchmarks himself on Fox News this past weekend.

"After a briefing at the Pentagon President Bush fired back himself...but he also struck a compromising tone..."

Actually, his "compromising tone" wasn't a result of his Pentagon briefing, it was a result of the (E-O) eleven Republican congressmen who told the President on Tuesday that something's gotta give, that things must change. What did they say that caused the president to finally yield? To finally realize he has no credibility? To compromise on benchmarks, which he swore last week he would never do?

They told him they would lose their seats.

Not that kids were dying. Not that our next generation would be bankrupt, crippled and killed for a folly.

They told him their polling was down.

They played politics with the war.

It was the single most cynical political act I've ever read about in my life.

But fortunately, NBC "cleaned that story up" this morning:

"[E]leven moderate House Republicans told President Bush he's lost credibility on Iraq and public support on Iraq is dwindling."

Yes. That was the "news" they brought him. Support for the war is dwindling. Dwindling? To 28 percent? That's a dwindle? And isn't that the question he's brushed off in every interview with, "Look, I know people are frustrated..." So obviously that isn't the "news" that changed his mind.

No, what changed his mind this time is the idea that moderates will lose their seats. Or that he'll lose their votes.

In other words, he's playing politics with the war.

Speaking of which, there's a difference between "playing politics with the war" -- which is bad -- and "politicians running the war" or other sneering phrases you hear all the time. Politicans are supposed to run the war.

There's another name for politicans. They're called "the government."

We only call them "politicians" when we don't agree with them. And under our system of government, the military answers to the government. So let's stop this bullshit about how "politicians shouldn't tell generals what to do" or "politicians shouldn't manage the war."

Someone has to manage this war. Please?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm Not Stepping on the Rake Tonight

ABC has a new show premiering tonight. They'd like me to watch. They say it'll be the kickoff to an exciting, interesting story.

That's right. This network has some balls.

ABC is the same network that got me hooked on Invasion, Night Stalker, Knights of Prosperity, The Nine, Day Break, and Six Degrees. Each time, I got involved, then the show got canceled.

It happened on other networks, too: Reunion, Smith, Kidnapped, Heist, Studio 60, Drive...

Each time they canceled a show, they replaced it with another, and I watched that show, and they canceled it, too. Like Sideshow Bob, I kept stepping on the rake, over and over again.

I'm done stepping on rakes. You should be, too. Wait for the first season DVD. Make them commit before you do.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Proof That the Back to the Future Movies Are Amazing

First of all, they still inspire creative people, as these clips show.

And second, even seeing a one-minute GTA version makes me want to sit down and watch all three movies again.

You know the way some people quote Caddyshack or Old School or Fletch? I'm afraid I'm a BTTF geek.

GQ: I Stopped For Colbert, I Stayed for Ivanka

American Idol Notes

Note to Barry Gibb:
Don't you know you can't buy teeth on eBay? If you're taking requests, here's one: Please say, "The game is afoot, Trebek!"

Note to Lakisha:
Way to take Barry's advice and completely ignore it. Oh, well, when it comes to sucking, you know best. The good news is soon you'll be able to spend more time with your kid.

Note to Blake:
Are you from Ork? Can you please go back there? (Actually, you might be the one spending more time with Lakisha's kid this week.)

Note to Jordin:
Hi, this is Mikul. The way you sang, and wore your hair for the first song, and controlled your eyebrows? Please always do all of that. The way you did everything on the second song? Please never do any of that.

Note to Melinda:
Notso hotso first song, good second song. Fiona and Donkey were proud.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gentlemen, Start Your Whacking!

This Thursday, May 10th, is Springfield's favorite holiday, Whacking Day. And this Saturday is Homer Simpson's birthday. So in honor of both, here is Homer's cameo on Duckman, from the 1997 episode "Haunted Society Plumbers."

We were doing a deliberately corny homage to Martin & Lewis/Abbott & Costello/Hope & Crosby movies, and I always enjoyed the little cameos in those movies. I wanted to get Homer, but everyone said it was impossible. And they were right. After all, it would require every entity involved in The Simpsons, an enterprise worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to simply "give him" to us... and for free at that.

But I figured, hey, we could either give up, or we could take a shot, right?

So instead of asking one of the hundreds of people whose job it is to say no, I wrote a letter to Matt Groening, explaining what we wanted to do. I promised that we wouldn't exploit Homer or publicize his appearance at all. In fact, just the opposite: the fun for us was that it would be a surprise. It wasn't a "show business" letter. It was just a sincere request from a fan.

I was shocked a week later when I got a call from Matt Groening himself! I was too much in a daze to remember a lot of what was said, but I will always remember him saying he'd be "honored to have Homer appear on Duckman." He made all the arrangements with 20th and with Gracie, and made sure our animators got all of Homer's character materials.

And then Dan Castellaneta was very generous with his time and talent. Seeing him come into the studio and "become" Homer... I'll tell you, David Copperfield never did a magic trick that amazed me more.

This is far from the funniest scene we ever did. But start to finish, working on these few dopey seconds was one of the biggest thrills of my professional life.

Sorry. Viacom yanked the video off of Youtube today. Guys, either put the show out on DVD or lay off, will ya?

4/11/10  Well, it's now on DVD and it's on YouTube... For now... The scene comes about 20 minutes in.

My Cats Really Need To Learn a Trade

The Disappointing Conclusion to the Amazing Race

And of course I mean that Mirna and Charla were not mortally injured.