Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bill Maher's Rant Against Religion

Fox News: Bill Maher's Anti-Religion Movie

......not that he has an alternative construct for societies to order themselves off of. But when did anyone expect valid alternatives from Abstract Theorists.

Indeed GOVERNMENT is Bill Maher's alternative to Religion.

“Religion is detrimental to the progress of society.” That’s my favorite quote from Bill Maher’s often brilliant, but often unfocused “documentary,” called “Religulous.” It opens in early October right after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.

The articulate, quick-witted comedian sets out in this film — which was supposed to have been released last Easter — to prove that line is true. Directed by Larry Charles, the man who put "Borat" together so skillfully, "Religulous" is blatant about Maher’s feelings: religion is bad. All religions are bad. They are ruining everything.

If you go for that, then "Religulous" is for you. Unlike Michael Moore, whose controversial films at least allow stories to be told, Maher is not interested in other viewpoints. Rather, "Religulous" is a long Maher spiel that pauses only to underscore his own points.

At first the film is very funny as Maher gently mocks one organized religion after another. He questions just about everything in Catholicism, even though he was raised Catholic. (His mother is Jewish, but threw it all over for the father.) Everything from the Immaculate Conception to crucifixion re-enactments are covered. By the time “Religulous” is over, the faith-seekers in the audience will have scratched Catholic off their possibilities.

Not that the other major religious groups don’t come in for razzing, either. Maher is brutal to Orthodox Jews and just as nasty to Muslims. (He interviews gay Muslims in Amsterdam, a city where he also smokes a lot of pot and finds many easy laughs.) Mormons get it, and so do Scientologists, whom Maher mocks in London’s Hyde Park.

Maher sends up everything outrageous and unusual in religion, cherry-picking the fringe elements wherever he can find them. There’s no question that he’s serious in his endeavors, and for a while following him feels like it’s going to lead somewhere.

Alas, it doesn’t. Unlike "Borat," or even a Moore film, “Religulous” is a dead end. In the last quarter, the laughs peter out as we realize the exploration is pointless. The film concludes with a long, very not funny, tedious speech by Maher — in which he rails against religion — that should clear theaters before the credits start rolling.

Right now you can see a trailer for "Religulous" on LionsGate’s Web site. Interestingly, it’s linked another site called Obviously, a parody site designed just for the film, is registered to an unknown group in the Cayman Islands. It features the quotes of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, videos from the Church of Scientology Web site and a link to a Christian yoga video collection starring (whatever happened to) ‘Northern Exposure” star Janine Turner.

“Religulous” is a tough call. Will audiences flock to theatres to see it? That depends on just how many atheists there are at the popcorn stand. Maher’s point, that the world would be a better place without any religions, that wars would be eliminated and there would be universal understanding, comes across simultaneously as utopian and cynical.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Iron Man" Movie - A Super Hero Movie Filled With Hidden Messages

I took my kids to see "Iron Man" over the weekend.

Let me get past the surface comments: This was a great movie with great special effects and a good story line. It hit upon the classic "good versus evil" theme and was entertaining.

I could not help to notice some of the underlying messages in the movie:

* The "US Military Industrial Complex" having the US Government working for it

* The ability for the "US Government" to be bought

* The notion that corporations are "playing both sides" of the field in regards to global conflict and they have no national loyalties

Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, the character played by actor Terrence Howard was the character that most closely portrayed the indistinguishable partition between corporations and the government. At the opening of the film this Air Force colonel flew on the private plane owned by Stark Industries, the weapons manufacturer. Tony stark was able to persuade him to lower all of his guard in protecting the interests and integrity of the US Air Force.

In the scene in which the new missile system built by Stark Industries was tested for the US Military it was Tony Stark, the weapons manufacturer who put on the show. I assure you in real life the tables are turned. It is the US Military that defines the specs for the missiles and the construct for the tests. In the Hollywood version of events - Tony Stark - high flying corporate elite - ran the show and the US Military as well.

Tony Stark, Iron Man was portrayed as being above the law. He was seen speeding in his expensive high performance automobiles without having to worry about any police man being around to give him and the personal attendant who had to follow him a ticket for speeding.

I doubt that a child viewing this movie would understand these messages that were inserted into the movie script. I have little doubt that there were put there for a particular purpose.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Clay Aiken Has A Baby? A Baby What?

AJC: Clay Aiken’s baby has arrived!

I just wonder how he was stimulated to ejaculate and by whom?

As a straight man if I was going to give a "sperm donation" I would require that it be done the old fashion way.

TMZ reports that Clay Aiken now has a son named Parker Foster Aiken.

Aiken provided the sperm for his friend 50-year-old Jaymes Foster to be artifically inseminated. This is similar to the David Crosby/Julie Cypher/Melissa Etheridge deal a few years back.

Aiken’s mom Fayes told a local Raleigh, N.C. TV station that the dark-haired Parker weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz and was 19” long. She says her son is “smiling from ear-to-ear.”

Aiken and Foster met while he was on the “American Idol” in 2003. She’s the sister of record mogul David Foster.

According to,, he posted the following note on his Web site (though I didn’t see it on the home page.)

“My dear friend, Jaymes, and I are so excited,” Aiken wrote. “Wow … 8:08 … 08/08/08. The little man is healthy, happy and as loud as his daddy. Mama Jaymes is doing quite well also.”

Pastor's Wife: Jesus Please Forgive Me For Attacking That Flight Attendant

AJC: Witness: Joel Osteen's wife threw tantrum on flight

I like Rev Joel Osteen but something tells me that he catches "hell" at home. :-)