US Politics: Bachmann a POE?

US republican party hopeful, Michelle Bachmann, recently “joked” that the earthquake and hurricane was god trying to get Washington’s attention.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?'” Bachmann said at a campaign event in Sarasota on Sunday.

She has since recanted, saying that she has a “great sense of humor” and that it was a joke.

But what was the joke?

Is she suggesting that she knows that weather and disasters are not god’s punishment on people? Her base tends to skew that way, after all.

Given her history of being associated with pray away the gay and trying to demonstrate she’s plain folk from the same Iowa hometown as John Wayne – well, John Wayne Gacey, but 2 of 3 is pretty close, right?

And her recent birthday wishes for Elvis on the 34th anniversary of his death….

This Americana candidate doesn’t seem to be much in touch with Americana – and she’s not a very credible POE, either, which is about the only joke that is reasonably interpreted.

Perhaps it’s time people realize that the joke is nothing short of Michelle Bachmann and that hopefully, her fifteen minutes will soon be over.


Lawsuit in FL Regarding Retaliation For Atheism (via Attorney Jeffrey Brown)

Reporting the story, not endorsing the law firm.

My interest in the story is as an example of gross workplace bullying and management retaliation for the employee standing up for themselves – but also because it demonstrates a serious problem with religion and people who think that that they, and they alone, are right.

An atheist has filed a lawsuit in Tampa recently alleging that the Polk County sheriff, who is an evangelical Christian, harassed and unnecessarily arrested her as retaliation for being an atheist and for trying to keep prayer out of public meetings. Ellen Beth Wachs has asked the court to prevent the sheriff, Grady Judd, from conducting any new investigations, arrests or complaints which resulted from her atheist views. Thus far, the Sheriff’s a … Read More

via Attorney Jeffrey Brown

You know it’s Wrong – A Guide to Religion (via Occurrence of Opinion)

a fine example of calm-mongering

You know it's Wrong - A Guide to Religion I am a humanitarian and an atheist. The two sit nicely in each others hands. You can't really have one without the other, and I hope many fellow humanitarians and atheists feel the same, which they most surely do. And combined with my love of humans, I love being alive, and being able to enjoy this universe to the best of my human brains capacity. I love knowing the symphony that plays in orbits, and stellar nurseries and the gentle movement of w … Read More

via Occurrence of Opinion

Learning from Movies

I’ve also been watching a lot of movies – especially 1940s through 1960s and I’ve noticed a few things.

1. Movies used to be about people – now they are about what people do.

2. Movies used to be about people who learned something – they had a realization that we either got with them or just ahead of them – now it’s about learning what you want isn’t what you need – too simplistic and no realizations there

3. Movie characters were committed to unique points of view or “POV” and  each character reacted within their POV and related to each other from within that POV – not everyone having a shared or universal POV like in movies now.

What is allowed was for more dynamic characters, since a character interacting with a second would behave in a particular way unique to 1st and 2nd character interactions and when the first interacted with a third character, would take on aspects in their behaviour of how that third character viewed the first. This allowed for the true nature of the first character to emerge only when with both the second and third.

4. Character’s POVs were directly a result of the character’s backstory, socioeconomic status and personality – older movies took the first 30 minutes to set up these characters – but in modern movies, we rush in the first 15 minutes to establish not only the main characters, but an idea as to the quest or goal of the story and onto the first major plot point at the 30 minute mark. We race to establish the plot and audience expectations, rather than allow the characters and plot to unfold at a more leisurely pace. Some modern filmmakers just throw the audience into the middle of the story and let them sort out the catching up themselves – this is deemed to be edgy rather than merely avoiding the set up.

5. Characters really felt things and their emotions drove their actions – now, characters have blunt one dimensional feelings and are reactive to situations rather than driving them – unless it’s a romantic comedy, in which case, the character is reactive until the final act when they are committed to being committed.

People connect to characters because either the character is like them, or they need to come to the same realization as the character.This is often why movie characters instead of obtaining their goal end up learning something else that they  – and the audience – really needed to learn.

Which makes modern movies harder to relate to or glean anything from since modern characters usually only work out problems, not the issues and values that underlay the problems.

Modern movie characters, like modern people, seem more concerned with lurching from action to reaction, rather than what drives the actions or reactions. In this way, we are so consumed with surface concerns that we can’t appreciate or anticipate what’s the motivations, what’s really at stake.