Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Paris - Sonic Jihad
David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts
Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere - Heartbreak and Duct Tape
Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger
Mustard - Eureka Grande
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Location: Illinois, United States

The peaches, apples, plums and pears are guarded by ferocious bears.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling
My Secret - Frank Warren
Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

20 March 2006

Chocolate Salty Balls

So last week there was apparently a big controversy over an episode of South Park. For those who slept through the row, Comedy Central pulled from its schedule an episode which featured “a literally closeted Tom Cruise and a primer on Scientology.” Rumors circulated that the reason Comedy Central pulled the episode was because Tom Cruise threatened to sit out the publicity cycle for Mission: Impossible 3 (the film is being released by Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, as is Comedy Central).

The episode, which first aired back in November, also resulted in voice actor/singer/Scientologist Isaac Hayes quitting the show. No one is quite sure why it took him four months to become offended.

The whole incident is interesting to me because it illustrates the complete opposite of something that Christians in the United States often say: that you can make fun of Christianity all you like, but you can’t make fun of any other religion or cultural group.

Admittedly, Christianity is often mocked in the public square. But, statistically, 75-80 percent of people in the United States are also Christians (followed by 15 percent who practise no religion at all). In that context, it makes perfect sense that Christianity would be the butt of a lot of jokes. After all, it’s the only religion that a large percentage of the people in the United States know anything about. (I can also think of quite a few reasons why we Christians deserve to be made fun of. But that’s probably beside the point.)

That said, however, if you really think that Christianity is the only religion getting ribbed, you really haven’t been paying attention. There are quite a few shows that pick on religions other than Christianity. Family Guy. American Dad. The Daily Show. The Colbert Report. And, of course, South Park.

As South Park co-creator Matt Stone noted in his response to Isaac quitting the show, he said, “In 10 years and over 150 episodes of South Park, Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."

Realistically, it’s not all that surprising that a lot of Christians in the States think they’re the only ones being picked on. Often these are the same Christians who, despite having control of the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court, think themselves to be a persecuted minority.

Update: If you want to see what all the fuss is about regarding the episode of South Park, you can find the entire thing online at YouTube.

Things I Could Have Done In The Inordinate Amount Of Time It Took Jake’s Over The Top’s Eleven Employees To Make My Junior Pineapple Avalanche

1) Shaved.
2) Showered.
3) Consumed a tasty bottle of pale ale.
4) Cooked a pot of spaghetti.
5) Completed a game of Super Mario Brothers.
6) Shucked a bushel of corn.
7) Had an orgasm. Twice.
8) Taken out the trash, emptied the dishwasher, with time still left over for refurbishing the dining room table.
9) Eaten a junior pineapple avalanche.
10) Been shot in the face by Dick Cheney. Twice.
11) Read a short novel.
12) Boiled and dyed Easter eggs.
13) Written this blog entry.

02 March 2006

Mème Brûlée

Seems I haven’t posted in quite a while. I’ve been a tad unmotivated, plus out of town, plus fighting some foul illness. But I’m feeling a bit better now. Nothing repairs the body quite like deep dish pizza, 10 consecutive hours of sleep, and a Kentucky win over Tennessee on their home court.

Anyways, so here’s a meme to get me back into the swing of things. Thanks to everybody who checked in on me.

Four jobs I’ve had:

1. paperboy
2. grocery store cog
3. freelance writer
4. Communication Director

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. Donnie Darko
2. Magnolia
3. Requiem for a Dream
4. 8 Mile

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. The Daily Show
2. 24
3. Nip/Tuck
4. Family Guy

Four places I’ve been on vacation:

1. Florida (various beaches)
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Chicago
4. Europe

Four favorite dishes:

1. Thai
2. Mexican
3. German/Austrian/Bavarian
4. Italian

Four Web sites I visit daily:

1. BBC News
2. YouTube
3. Comedy Central
4. Wikipedia

Four places I’d rather be:

1. Munich
2. Prague
3. Krakow
4. London

Four bloggers I am tagging:

If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged.