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27 November 2005

Sound Bites

"There seldom seem to be coherent plots - even Simpsons level of coherence - but the A.D.D. effect is part of the charm. Besides, to see Mel Gibson voluntarily walk off a cliff and plummet to his death while someone says the punchline 'Christians don’t believe in gravity,' is by itself worth the price of admission. And the absolute acceptance of an evil genius super baby with a football head, and a talking dog, as ordinary members of society, is almost unparalleled in art." -- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, on why Fox's Family Guy is his third favourite television show (two slots above The Simpsons, mind you)

"I constantly hear stories of people who were about to buy a Pedro record when a friend piped in with, 'Dude, don't buy that, they're a Christian band!,' which is funny because I would sooner tell them to go fuck themselves than that Jesus loved them. The whole thing is pretty irritating because all of the scrutiny is based on people's assumptions about a very personal issue that they couldn't possibly have any insight into." -- Pedro the Lion's David Bazan, on people who make assumptions about his music

"Not surprisingly, our self-centered culture has produced a self-centered religion. Preoccupation with self dominates the spirit of the age and shapes the character of religion. Modern evangelism has played right along with this central theme. The most common question in evangelism today is, 'What can Jesus do for me?' In other words, the question is how Jesus can help us make it in the present order, not how we can respond to the new order. Potential converts are told that Jesus can make them happier, more self-satisfied, better adjusted, and more prosperous. Jesus quickly becomes the supreme product, attractively packaged and aggressively sold to a consuming public. Complete with billboards, buttons, and bumper stickers, modern evangelistic campaigns advertise Jesus in a competitive market. Even better than Coca-Cola, Jesus is "the Real Thing."

The gospel message has been molded to suit an increasingly narcissistic culture. Conversion is proclaimed as the road to self-realization. Whether through evangelical piety or liberal therapy, the role of religion is presented as a way to help us uncover our human potential—our potential for personal, social, and business success, that is. Modern conversion brings Jesus into our lives rather than bringing us into his. We are told Jesus is here to help us to do better that which we are already doing. Jesus doesn’t change our lives, he improves them. Conversion is just for ourselves, not for the world. We ask how Jesus can fulfill our lives, not how we might serve his kingdom." -- God's Politics author Jim Wallis, on consumer Christianity

"I think the people should demand accountability on the voting. I think there's no point in voting if you're not gonna demand fairness and be able to verify each vote. And other countries can do this fairly easily. So I don't think you really want democracy if you're not willing to take that first step. So when they come out and they go, 'You can have all these electronic voting machines, they're made by Bush supporters, and no, you can't verify what the votes are,' you don't really believe in democracy if you go and vote under those conditions. You're just kind of wasting your time. So that's the first thing, for people to actually value the vote itself before it's ever gonna mean anything. But then... the population has to be educated about how the government actually works. Anyone will acknowledge that there's a lot of people other than those who are elected who run the government, and who are in permanent positions, and long-term positions, appointed positions—not voted in by anybody. That kind of gnaws away, I think, at the idea of democracy. The two-party system, again, is an issue. What we see is no desire on behalf of anyone to begin to address these problems.

But the flip-side is—and this is what I have to remind myself—I think the population of the United States has been subjected to the most sophisticated form of propaganda and mind control that any group of people has been exposed to in a very, very long time. It's difficult for people in this country to get any kind of factual information and to make intelligent decisions based on them. And it's not difficult in the sense that the information's hard to get, it's difficult in that it's hard to overcome what you're getting beamed into your brain by the television every day. The worthlessness of journalism today is just making the country confused and bewildered and lost." -- Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder in The Onion on voting and democracy

Comments on "Sound Bites"


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (11/30/2005 09:40:00 AM) : 

While I loved the Mel Gibson/Christians don't believe in gravity gag and occasionally laugh at family guy, it is a pale imposter of the Simpsons, which still totally rules.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (11/30/2005 10:48:00 AM) : 

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. :)


Blogger Christine said ... (11/30/2005 06:18:00 PM) : 

oh, david bazan. [sigh]


Blogger jasdye said ... (11/30/2005 07:15:00 PM) : 

i'm gonna go with dan and christine on this one.

no, wait. a pale imposter is better than another family comedy that doesn't deliver the funny (American Dad comes to mind). and the gibson joke was pretty funny. but there was way too much God/religion/Jesus bashing on it for my tastes. so i stopped watching (and don't tell me i don't have a sense of humor about goofy Christians).


Anonymous zalm said ... (12/01/2005 12:07:00 AM) : 

Guess who has tickets to Bazan solo with Rosie Thomas this Sunday?


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (12/01/2005 09:56:00 AM) : 


Yeah, American Dad is just kind of OK. I dunno if I would call Family Guy a pale imposter. Different strokes I guess. But it's certainly its own show and makes me laugh a lot more consistently than The Simpsons. Maybe I'm just sick and twisted that way. I'm not really offended by the Jesus jokes. Family Guy makes fun of everyone. You can also find positive religious elements as well (like the episode where God starts using the plagues of Egypt on the family because Peter is acting like God). I guess I also have a hard time getting offended by a TV show when there is so much evil in the real world. But I can certainly see why people would be turned off by those aspects.


I was wondering if you'd be going to that show. I expect a full report. Let me know if you tape it (or if you find out that someone did).


Blogger jasdye said ... (12/01/2005 09:58:00 PM) : 

yeah, the simpsons are getting so banal now that i'm starting to delude myself that i could write better episodes.

of course, those episodes would be entire frankensteinian creatures from the early-to-mid seasons w/ troy mcclure and lionel hurtz.

never caught the positive God episodes. i did catch the one where God and Jesus were total twirps using their powers to pick up cheap chicks at a bar, strike down a girl with lightning and run away before the cops get there.

i'm not making an argument. i'm not trying to start a boycott (yeah, like that'd work). i'm just sharing what i saw and made me - combined w/ some other stuff - decide to not watch that show again.

word verification for today: god's apes (gdsehps).


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (12/02/2005 10:47:00 AM) : 

Yep, I get that and respect it. I guess I just don't offend easily. That and my sense of humor is rather black. But I do think that other people groups might find Family Guy a bit more offensive than Christians, particularly those who are physically handicapped.


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