31 August 2014

Link round-up for 31 August 2014

Some people just shouldn't use power tools.

Murr Brewster attends a writers' conference, encounters glitchy computers.

Now this is interior decorating!  But could you live there? (NSFW blog)

Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is not just a bigot, but a goofball.

Check out the post-it-note horrors of John Kenn Mortensen (found via Mendip).

Frank Moraes looks at the ending of the film They Might Be Giants.

I reposted my post on Scotland to F169, where it generated quite a lot of discussion (much of it admittedly moronic) and somebody decided to start a thread about me.

This is unnatural behavior.

Here's a photo of the world's most famous iceberg.

Struggling to look cool, Republicans release a video game.

Gays aren't the only target -- the moralist busybodies want to run your life too (found via Republic of Gilead).

The lonely Voyager space probe inspires some thoughts on life (NSFW blog).

It's curious that these weird but harmless people attract so much hatred.

Stupidest anti-union protest ever.

Obama's tan suit, the latest pretext for right-wing hyperventilation, has plenty of precedent.

A pastor is crusading against fantasy novels -- except the crummiest one of all.

Green Eagle explains why it's necessary to keep a close eye on the right wing.

Here's a good illustration of what's wrong with the libertarian concept of freedom.

Bigots whine about a "Babylonian exile" because they can't bully everyone else any more (found via Republic of Gilead).

Fuck you if you think I'm wrong to hate people like this.

A gay teenager records how his Christian family turned on him and kicked him out -- yes, this still happens.

Nihilist Republicans are fighting without a plan, whether for Iraq or domestically.

The Chairman of the House-Senate Energy Conference Committee is apparently a complete moron.

Gregory Towns Jr. was tazed to death by police.

One guy predicted the 2012 election results perfectly -- and he says we'll probably keep the Senate this year.

Think before saying grace.

British politics gets a jolt as a Conservative legislator switches parties to the nationalist UKIP.

Don't be fooled by Pope Frances -- the Catholic Church is still evading responsibility for protecting child molesters.

The EU is destroying Europe's economies using the same policies the Republicans want to enact here.

If this sign doesn't stop public urination, I don't see what can.

Bulgarian artists repurpose Soviet-era monuments in their country as mockery (found via Mendip).

Western sanctions are pushing Russia's economy to the brink of recession.

An Ayatollah denounces high-speed internet as "morally wrong" because it lets people see things he thinks they shouldn't.

An impoverished Iraqi town stands firm against ISIS/Islamic State.  Yezidi women captured by ISIS are being raped and sold.

Pakistan's Hindu minority suffers abductions of daughters and forced conversions to Islam.

Hundreds of thousands of low-caste Indians spend their lives collecting excrement under degrading conditions.

The current Ebola outbreak has now killed more people than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined, and the WHO says it will get a lot worse. Meanwhile, there's been another stupid riot against health workers and a hospital.

The wandering stones of Death Valley expose the foolishness of supernatural explanations for the unknown.

History's greatest scientist left behind a vast and confusing jumble of writings (found via Mendip).


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Wow! Thanks to you I actually read about 38 impossible things before breakfast!

31 August, 2014 07:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

With some of those things, I wish they were impossible.....

31 August, 2014 07:15  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Yeah, I can't understand why bronies attract so much hatred either (before clicking the relevant link, I thought it was going to lead to something about furries - another unfairly maligned group). Some of the comments were pretty depressing (I'm afraid that site has more freedom of speech than I can handle); that said, a lot of the people in the photos seemed to be having fun, and I'd like to think they're happier than the trolls giving them so much crap (just how fulfilling can your life be if you spend the greater part of it calling people "fags" on the Internet?). Upon first hearing of the brony phenomenon, a couple of years ago now, I was sufficiently intrigued to watch some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic myself. It wasn't bad, though the experience left me feeling as though I'd just engaged in the TV equivalent of eating a whole bag of sugar in one sitting!

01 September, 2014 05:02  
Blogger mendip said...

Another great set of links - thanks! Particularly enjoyed the one about They Might Be Giants, (one of my all-time favorite movies). Was surprised to read that folks were confused and/or disappointed by the ending in it. I think that it's wonderful.

01 September, 2014 06:27  
Blogger Blurber said...

On the post about Newton, he's a wonderful example of how a mind can be compartmentalized.

He brilliantly applied rational thought to understanding nature while at the same time being a religious nut.

01 September, 2014 09:24  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks to Zosimus for clarifying who the "weird but harmless people" are. I think they are incredibly charming. They are also courageous. If I had such unusual interests, I doubt I would be able to go public with them. On the other hand, many people think I have an unnatural love of puppets. Apparently, I don't know any better. Maybe that's the case with the Bronies. Regardless, I think they're great. But I will not be watching My Little Pony.

Ah, mendip: it is always great to find people who have taste in film! It seems that They Might Be Giants has gotten a better reputation over the years. But still, from years of forcing people to watch the film, I can say that most people find the whole thing bizarre and the ending mystifying. I think if you just accept the film and go along, all is revealed. People fight it. The same is true for another of my favorite films, F for Fake.

01 September, 2014 12:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: It is strange, but there are a lot of people out there who absolutely loathe males who in any way deviate from their narrow concepts of manliness. Maybe they have some buried impulses of their own that they fear? That struck me too, that the bronies would be much more fun people to hang out with than the hateful anal-retentive types who despise them.

By the way, I was just reading Ahab's blog and your people are doing themselves proud dealing with another bunch of haters over there.

Mendip: Frank is a very prolific blogger and often writes about cultural subjects, not just politics. You can often find out about "quirky" movies or artists there.

Blurber: In his case, it's lucky that he was able to compartmentalize that stuff, so that his irrational beliefs didn't rob the world of his tremendous intellectual achievements.

Frank: I watched the video of the ending in your post and recognized it -- I've seen the film myself, though it was a very long time ago. I didn't find the ending confusing. It wasn't clear to me whether she was actually hearing and seeing Moriarty or just going along with Justin's delusions out of love, but I'm happy to allow a movie some ambiguity of that kind.

01 September, 2014 14:11  
Blogger Unknown said...

What I think is so great about the film is that it is open to many interpretations. My take on it was only on the basis of plot. I do think she is honest in her claims, however. She hears the horse because she wants to hear the horse. Love triumphs over reality! Which I think is always the way. I always think much more highly of the objects of my love than is strictly rational. I think that may well be the definition of love! But you could see the ending the other way: the manifestation of her love is that she is willing to abandon the socially accepted view of reality because Justin is more important to her than the rest of society. I quite like that, but I think there are other things in the film that push against this. But this is why the film is so great. There is so much to it. James Goldman was a great writer who understood character far better than his more famous brother. Regardless, I think there are at least a couple of dissertations in it.

But I'll stop going on about it. At least here...

02 September, 2014 00:26  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Frank: Your love of puppets reminds me of one of my own quirks - I have an inordinate fondness for stuffed toys, and have a surprisingly large collection of them. I even find myself making up crazy stories about them, something that once prompted one friend of mine to ask another, "He does know they're not real, doesnt he?" Well yes. Most of the time anyway!

Infidel: It is strange, but there are a lot of people out there who absolutely loathe males who in any way deviate from their narrow concepts of manliness.

What makes it even stranger is the realization that by heaping hatred and scorn on boys and men who push the envelope of what's "acceptable" masculinity, they're essentially fighting to keep restrictions on their own behaviour in place. People are weird sometimes.

Re Ahab's piece, I actually heard of that conference, and was a little disappointed I couldn't go to it myself (as I don't live in Melbourne); it all seemed rather morbidly fascinating! As I said in a comment on his blog, it was a veritable "who's who" of the Australian religious right. Indeed, some of the scheduled speakers have been around so long, I'm surprised they're not dead yet!

04 September, 2014 05:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: That's very true -- love has to triumph over reality in various senses in order to exist at all.

Zosimus: they're essentially fighting to keep restrictions on their own behaviour in place

Maybe they're afraid of what they suspect they themselves might do if those restrictions weren't there.

06 September, 2014 02:24  

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