Wednesday, May 25, 2011
This one's for YOU, Ted!
The Dread Dormomoo and I trekked to Mobile, AL to attend MobiCon this weekend. A GREAT time was had by all, and my stint as Fan Guest of Honor was a pleasant one. Congratulations and glad-handing all around, plus people attended my panels on what got you into SF fandom, and a 30-year retrospective of being a huckster at SF conventions. (That one may not have been as dreadful as it sounds.)
The image above was the design I did ESPECIALLY for the weekend in celebration of the prophetic Rapture follies of Camping and Co. I was secure in the belief that I would have to issue no refunds. We sold ALL of the ones we took (two dozen), plus I had mail orders to print when I got home.
PLUS, the whole rapture stupidity opened the door to share some biblical truth in a comparatively hostile environment. (SF cons rarely have chapel services, f'rinstance, nor do the attendees sing "Kum Ba Ya" at the end.) It was a sweet time all around. I got to see old friends, new friends, AND I got to sell them things, too!
We did half again as well as at past MobiCons. Their attendance was WAY up, too!
Wayne, Don, and all the rest, thanks for an amazingly wonderful weekend! You, too, Tex!
Next year at Mobile!
Monday, May 23, 2011
I went to MobiCon, and all I got was this lousy autograph.
Isn't it AWESOME!!?
Robert Picardo is a great guy, personable, self-deprecating. I do not usually buy autographed pictures of actors, except as gifts for others, but when I saw this Hirschfeld caricature, it was a done deal.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have to say, as much as I like Herman Cain's FairTax allegiance, AND as much as I like Godfather's pizza, I really have a problem with his having been a Fed governor.
Sadly, I heard the doubtable Hannitoad and his stuffed panda Dick Morris on radio.
Morris was mumphing about the diminishing Repub field of Gingrich, Romney, Trump and Huckabee. Not a peep about Paul (and no, I wasn't surprised.)
I think Morris must still be working for the Clintons.
FOX News is every bit the MSM as CBS, et al.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
The Very Conservative Restoration preachers have tended to be a grumpy lot, and have developed some tropes to fall back on. The above banner appeared in local newspapers during the 50's and 60's on the religion page, often sponsored by a local funeral home, since few things shunted your mind to The Eternal Verities like reminders of your mortality.
The aforementioned grumpy preachers excelled at Us vs. Them rhetoric. This was, after all, during the Cold War, and we knew Who our enemies were: The Russkies on the geopolitical stage, and the denominational ecumenicists on the religious front. Adding a jot or tittle beyond what the Bible said (or what the grumpies preached) pretty well landed you into the latter classification. If you had a church HQ, you were in the enemy camp.
(Allow me to interject my view that the divisions in Christendom are not a good thing, that the almighty insistence upon MY way rather than God's is abhorrent, and lends itself to divisiveness which in no way honors nor obeys Jesus Christ.)
One of the doctrinal windmills at which the grumpies liked to tilt was that selfsame banner "Go to the church of your choice." With polemical fervor they would cry "There is only one church, the church that Christ died for. You should go to the church of Christ's choice, not the church of your choice!" Such grannying fuss played well to the audience, who perceived "church of your choice" as being ecumenical "any brand will do-ism". It was a reliable rant, which reliably missed the point. This was, after all, during the Cold War, and our Great Enemy was Godless Communism. They had the Church of the State's choice. Period. Here in the free good ol' YouEssofAY we had jillions of churches on jillions of street corners! All that, and you could choose which one to attend; no commissar pointed your way. The ad was not a celebration of errant denominationalism...it was a paean to religious freedom in the West. If you have trouble with that, you must be a Commie, too, and we may question your fondness for apple pie as well.
No-one ever saw through to that last bit. Apparently, they never saw the freedom bit either.
To paraphrase the Space Quest games "What a smart person I am!" Wonder if I could get Gary Owens to record that.
Those that note the time stamp on my post (and I have so many reader that someone is bound to notice) will see that I am playing the hypocrite, and that I Am Not At Church. Yesterday your Aardvark was shanghaied into being a judge at a local BBQ cookoff.
Yes, I know. Weep for me.
I got to enjoy four pieces of chicken, and five pork ribs. Then we had BBQ sandwiches for supper.
Are you still weeping?
Having done this, I have discovered a new syndrome: Acute Barbecue Poisoning. Maybe I can start an ABP telethon. Let's just say that digestive time-dilation is involved and leave it at that.
Unfortunately, like the drunkard in Proverbs my response to the next cookoff may be "when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.".
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Bin Laden's Big Love didn't work out maybe?
Usama/Osama bin Laden's five wives were not quite enough.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said Friday.
The pornography recovered in bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.
On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer threw some oil execs on the barbie with his demands to remove "taxpayer subsidies" from "Big Oil". What in the world does that mean? Oil Execs are Washington's favorite menu item when gas prices go up. Grilling them makes for good PR, 'cos the senators are seen as looking out for the Littul People. Screaming about tax breaks for oil companies is great fun, and not listening to the oil company heads' answers is a laff riot.
One of them, in a clearly self-serving move, repeatedly said "we get no subsidies".
Turns out using real-world language, this is true.
In the U.S., companies are taxed 35 percent on earnings of $10 million to $15 million or on all earnings over $18.3 million. That’s one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world... (FactCheck.org)
Companies that operate overseas pay no taxes on money earned overseas, if that money STAYS overseas. This includes, but is not limited to, oil companies. The "tax breaks" in 2005's H.R.6 actually wound up raising oil company tax bills.
So what could Chuckles Schumer possibly mean by "taxpayer subsidies". Ah have had a rev-uh-LAY-shun!
Taxpayer subsidies mean any money a business is allowed to keep beyond current tax liabilities. In the Wonderland of Washington-speak, all money that business makes should be Washington's, and it is by the sufferance of the taxpayers, by their "taxpayer subsidies" that any business is allowed to keep a portion if their "obscene profits" at all, and that grudgingly.
To our brave leaders-from-behind, the rubric is: "all your cash are belong to us.".
Monday, May 09, 2011
I am agog at the dependability of dispensational stupidity. Jesus is ostensibly Lord, yes? You spell Lord "B-O-S-S", yes?
So why, if our Boss says regarding his return:
"No one knows when that day or hour will come-not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36 NIV
do people insist on setting a date?
Why? Could the answer be MPAI? What part of Jesus' statement is hard to understand?
I will not even go into the fact that the whole "Left Behind" scenario is a load of heretical dingo's kidneys. Not even a little bit.
We'll see on May 22nd.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
One of the reasons that the public backing of The War Effort is on the wane-and I am NOT a backer of the war on Terror- is that we have no clear enemy. If terror was the killer from the SCREAM movies, we could get a handle on it. How about the bureaucrat Hengist, who turned out to be a Piglet-voiced Jack the Ripper in the original Star Trek? THAT'S an image we can get our brains around. We have no such image of our enemy in this pathetic hoedown of a war. No, THREE wars.
Political Correctness in all its Marxist glory has stripped us of our most potent weapon. Mark Twain said "Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.". Caricaturing the enemy, subjecting him to ridicule, makes him less fearsome, less formidable, and more defeatable. Because we are fighting by Emily Post's Rules of Warfare, we cannot use the impolitic, or the impolite. If Bin Laden had been cartooned as a goat, or Mohammed as a camel (PBUH), we would have gone a long way toward having a despisable, fightable enemy.
Propaganda cartoons make the Enemy less than human. This may not be nice, but it is War. A dehumanised enemy is a defeatable one. I am not advocating the wholesale scoffing and fun-making of other humans, but in War, the point is To Win. Propaganda Cartoons are a potent tool for winning. We need to have a raft of cartoonists to puncture the pretensions of our enemies. PLEASE, let's be sensible, and do this thing to win!
Of course, this assumes a sane national wish to actually win. It has been clear since Viet Nam that we have ceased as a nation to have the desire to crush our enemies. It's as though Nagasaki and Hiroshima used up the national will, and we must atone by being losers forever.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Been away for days, bereft of electron flow. The N. AL tornadoes of Wednesday last took lives, property, electricity, and the Internet. We got power back on Saturday, and the 'net today. Our lives and property are intact, thank The Maker.
I have been going through io9, and learned that the architect who brought Googie to the world passed away last week. He brought soaring optimism for the future, and cast it into brick, mortar, glass and steel.
One of the commenters, otakuoverlord wrote:
People were so amazingly confident that the space age would transform humanity into a (...yes, predominantly white) utopian society amongst the stars. We went to the f**king MOON at the same time you could grab a shake inside a giant polygon primitive. That's awesome.
Racism removed, why can't we feel that way about the world again?
There it is again, the ever-present need to peel open the scab, make the wound bleed, apologise for past errors, real or imagined, one more time. My response was (this is not the first time I've dealt with this issue):
This makes my horse-pummeling point of weeks ago for me. "Race" did not even have to enter this discussion. We cannot feel the optimism of the past precisely because our faces are constantly ground into (real and imagined) social sins of the past. The caricature of "church" ("You filthy sinner" messages, like that) is alive and real right here in post-Christian Sci-Fi-dom.
Keep picking the scab. Of COURSE it will heal without a scar.
The book of Proverbs says "A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping 19:13" One of the symptoms of a contentious wife is that she will not forgive...she will not let something go. She rabbits on and on about it. There is no peace, because there is no forgiveness. Herein lies the reason for our doldrums of pessimism.
The cartoon church that the world despises has old ladies of both sexes pointing bony fingers of indignation and intoning condemnation upon the miscreant. While there is no dearth of people who raise their own esteem by lowering yours, the church for whom Christ died does not operate that way. Forgiveness in Christ washes away, expunges, cleanses you of all unrighteousness and guilt. Little wonder that baptism is such a potent command for entry into the Kingdom. Once the sin is pardoned, as far as God is concerned, it never happened. He forgives you, and doesn't bring it up again.
Enter our racially-sensitive society, with a guilt-mill cranked by so-called "reverends" Jesse and Al and all. The nation has confessed and repented endlessly for the acts of our forbears, things that we have not done, but their guilt has been imputed to us by a political transubstantiation, making us the slave-owners of the 1800's and Southern Democrats of the 50's. These alleged ministers of the gospel do not have the grace to forgive; instead they lay the same sin at our door year upon year. There is little wonder that there is so little optimism. You cannot feel good about the future when weighed down by guilt, real or imagined, from the past.
The gospel teaches that we in Christ grow from faith to faith, reflecting Christ from glory to glory. The picture is one of upward growth. The modern mavens of the racial anti-gospel, anti-christs like Jackson and Sharpton, smear undeserved guilt on our society, and profit thereby. "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." the prophet Amos said, and Martin Luther King Jr. quoted the vision. The current crop of race-baiters and guilt merchants have trampled and repudiated that vision. Proverbs also says that without a vision, the people perish. Denied forgiveness by the wealthy and politically powerful merchants of race, how can our nation expect to have optimism about the future?