Survivor-Candy Island

SnickeringNot Even a Hint of Irony

We’re halfway through another season of Survivor – the “reality” show where contestants are abandoned and forced to make do with nothing but their outsized egos, sense of entitlement, and enough rice and beans to stave off any actual threat of starvation.

More often than not, there isn’t even a decent fire-starter in the whole mix of contestants and if hunger pangs get too dire (because Bubba eats up all the beans), you can count on Jeff Probst tossing in a reward challenge full of Snickers or short ribs.. Am I the only one who wonders how far up the beach they’d have to walk to find the luxury resort where the camera crew resides?

The Good Old Days are Gone

Nowadays, Survivor is all fun and games, with no real threat of not actually surviving.  It wasn’t always a beach vacation because in the early years there were contestants that nearly died from the harshness of the challenges and environment.  CBS has effectively turned Survivor into Beach Blanket Bingo and any of the drama from the actual survival element of the game is long gone.  Nowadays, it’s an odd occurrence if somebody doesn’t voluntarily leave the game due to being butt-hurt that they aren’t as popular in a group setting as they hoped they’d be.

“I’m so bummed out I can’t take it anymore” is reason number one most exit the game on their own accord.

It’s almost like none of them actually need or care about winning a big pile of money.  The halcyon days of seeing a dude’s face melt off while trying to maintain the fire are long gone.  Being forced to collect water downstream of a pissing rhino?  Gone.  The sweet taste of toasted rat?  Pffft.

‘”Survivor” has morphed into a (sad) metaphor for the molly-coddled upbringing most of the younger contestants bring to the game.  If they could actually catch a shark they wouldn’t eat it, they’d jump over it.

I don’t want to be accused of pointing out problems for which I don’t offer a viable solution, so those who are inclined to accuse me of that need only hang around long enough for part two in this mini-series to find an equitable solution to the problem of finding an honest version of Survivor to satiate their reality TV addiction now that the Survivor we all fell in love with has gone soft.  Stay tuned for an example of what real-life survival actually entails these days.

Enjoy.

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Stuff I Learnt – Duck Dynasty

“Stuff I Learnt” is a new series premiering today.  It will focus on an eclectic mix of things I have learned since leaving Mississippi five odd years ago.

Hates Ducks and Dudes Who Like Dick

Duck Dynasty Misses The MarkGuy with the longest beard has the smallest penis

The A&E cable show known as Duck Dynasty had about eight million viewers at the time one of the errant fugly duckers went into full out Jeebus-lovin’ homo-hater mode in a GQ magazine interview.

After that article went viral, it was “Heathens vrs. Holy Men” time (aka America vrs Fox News) all over the TV and internet. The Holy Men assured us that the show would be more popular than ever. I clearly remember the harmonic bleating of the usual cast of knuckle dragging religionists fully agreeing with the Fox News analysis. We were advised by those motley fools that the homosexuals would be better served trying to un-homosexualize themselves than taking on a manly dude who seeks gratification slaughtering ducks. Psychiatric sessions were suggested (for gays, but not compulsive duck murderers), no offense intended…of course.

Continue reading

Another Victim of Bible Science

Death Lurks Here

Another day, another dead religious-idiot snake handler.  This time, the fellow had a high enough profile to have scored some National Geographic facetime (Why, National Geographic, Why?).  I’ll assume the best and figure that National Geographic was running a high brow bit on the lunatic fringe of religious society and not trying to go head-to-head with a bunch of waterlogged homophobic Duck Hunters on another network.  If I’m wrong, don’t correct me on the assumption.  I’m old and cranky enough already, living in the world of George Jetson with neighbors apparently beamed in from The Flintstones.  For what it’s worth, I’m feeling quite well today, but then I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, and given the ongoing freak show of the fundamentalists, I’m assured plenty of healthful smiles to keep me fit.

As a matter of curiosity, and with a nod to the photo of the white guy in the masthead above (and the white guy killed today), are there any/many instances of Black preachers dying this way?  I can’t think of any off the top of my head.  Most of the Black people I know, religiously affixed as they are, seem happy enough just bashing homosexuals and have enough common sense, having escaped slavery and all, not to be messing with deadly snakes.  I’ll leave that question to the racial sociology department at JSU or Howard to work out.  I’m always happy to toss out a free doctoral dissertation topic for a young Black college student having trouble finding a topic.

Jeebus’ Law and Order

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

In spite of many previous snake bites, one of which led to the loss of the finger of the aforementioned God slobberer, as well as previous troubles with law enforcement over the transport and ownership of his deadly vermin, today’s Darwin Award nominee was undeterred.  The courts in the US, particularly those in the former slave states, are apparently reluctant to enforce long standing laws against public displays of deadly snakes in church services, so this is what we get to read about every other year or so.

Ken Ham’s Killing Spree to Continue

The southern court system, in declining to prosecute a previous case of snake bite induced religious death, stated that there would be no deterrent effect for prosecuting this type of crime, so hardened were the biblical felons in their proclivities and so devoted were the practitioners and followers of this particular religious aberration.  There are literally places in the US where you can get charged with child endangerment for leaving your minor child at home alone for ten minutes to run to the grocery store but it’s perfectly ok to drag them into a sermon where a preacher is slinging deadly rattle snakes around.  Holy shit! 

Prosecution being useless as a deterrent has never stopped any of the former slave states from dragging every other poor black man into the court system and prosecuting them for smoking marijuana, though it’s a pretty easy observation that the incarceration of those young Black males is as ineffective a deterrent to marijuana use in Black youth as the prosecution of White Pentecostal snake handlers is presumed to be in deterring other young preachers from committing suicide by snake.  Wonder why the difference?

Bonus Thunderfoot Video

Enjoy.

Cable Management Issues

Sofa Full of Kit

The Problem

Connect an Xbox 360, an OTA HD tuner, a laptop, an HD-DVD player and an iPod Video to a high end audio surround sound system that includes multiple subwoofers and a Benq HD digital light projector.  You’ll need to be able to switch audio and high definition video sources without juggling cables.  The toughest part of the challenge is that I had to do in a way that is acceptable to my wife.

The Solution

Everything is neatly tied together.  The gaming chairs are on quick connects and can be added or removed in seconds.  I specially liked my addition of the USB led lamp, which is powered off one of the two front USB ports on the XB360.  The other USB port is assigned to a portable media drive.  There are two external subwoofer amplifiers sitting in the corner on the end table.  Not seen: a narrow subwoofer behind the couch with two 15 inch subs and a boxed set of 12 inch subs in hidden beneath a throw and acting as the end table on the other end of the couch.

Enjoy.

Nye-Ham Debate Retrospective

Protons to Polygamy is Born

I stayed up half the night here in Germany to live-tweet the event and my overall “impression”? Based on the amount of pre-debate skeptic jitters about engaging in a ‘debate’ with a slobbering God botherer, which I normally concur is a bad idea btw, the whole event worked out quite well for the cause of secularism IMHO. Here’s why I feel that way.

First, there’s the relative popularity of Bill Nye easily trumping Ken Ham with all but the radical right wing ultra-minority of folks willing to overlook the reality of science and physics in the 21st Century. Then you toss in Ken Ham’s reliance on Cliff Notes from the prosecutor’s statements against Galileo.  Those are not nearly as effective as when people were engaged in bleeding themselves to death in their holy efforts to excise demons and return to health.

Finally, Ham’s “Molecules to Man” canard, was wholly inappropriate for a debate on evolution as any seasoned atheist debater is familiar with the tactic of shifting from evolution to abiogenesis willy nilly will be familiar with. I was a little taken back (see my live tweet stream) by Nye’s inability or reluctance to go “Christoper Hitchens” mode on Ham and get to some serious nut-cutting. That was a fantasy of mine I knew would not occur, but I was really saddened that Nye didn’t even do a little “soft shoe” Sam Harris impersonation at some point.

Bill Nye: “That all sounds well and good Mr. Ham, but when I read the Bible, I clearly see the story of “Protons to Polygamy” and your disavowing those parts of God’s holy works that you find unsuitable goes directly against your claims made based on other scriptures literal accuracy and contemporary relevance.” 

If Bill Nye had the quick wit and lust for metaphorical nut-cutting that I do, when Ham was busy refuting the literal facts about the Bible supporting polygamy, Bill should have come back with that line and I GUARANTEE you it would be the thing that made the highlight reel. Of course that overlooks the fact that I invented the phrase concurrent to the time of the debate itself, but great minds think alike and Bill Nye has a great mind.

In retrospect, and perhaps as part of Nye’s master plan, he modified Mohammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope strategy and just let Ham wear himself out while Nye stood calmly covering his head tucked safely against the ropes. Instead of going for the kill like Mohammed Ali, he was happy to just stand there and witness the exhausted and frustrated puritanical pugilist nearly pass out from running himself in circles?

I dunno, but since the “debate” was taped, I expect the best of our secular public schools to use the footage, not as a religious exercise, but as an all-too-necessary exercise in deconstructing the rhetoric of creationist apologetics. FWIW, I had an extremely valuable class in critical thinking. It was in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was in 7th grade public school. Being armed with a proper list of logical fallacies is the secular armament most lacking in the rank and file militant atheism army I am trying to corral. If successful I promise not to let you all build a new religion around me since I’ve already started one on my WordPress blog.

Remember troops. Molecules to Man shall from henceforth on, be responded to with Protons to Polygamy, unless somebody can twist up an even shorter, more catchy “meme’ to undermine the creationist mindset.  H/T to Dan Dennett, and I meme that most sincerely.

Enjoy.