Superstition and Other Silliness: February 2004 Archives

February 28, 2004

Asimov's Science Fiction is an Adult Magazine

United States: It seems that in the backwaters of Michigan, conservative is easily confused for stupid. The local muckraking telly station is a mouthpiece for those of a loony fundie persuasion and seems to cast a far wider net when looking for things that could be classed as stroke mags.

The local TV station had been running radio promos for a story about a local school magazine fundraiser that included an adult magazine. It's a conservative area, so we figured maybe they accidentally got order forms with Playboy, or maybe the locals were just throwing fits over FHM and Maxxim.

Nope — the adult magazine in question was Asimov's Science Fiction.

In Which I Discover My Wife's Adult Magazine CollectionBrian.Carnell.Com, 16th February 2004 (via BoingBoing).

February 26, 2004

Satan 1, Loony Fundie 0

One of Scotland's most notorious cranks has died of lung cancer. Pastor Jack Glass believed the disease was a direct attack by Satan himself. He was a loving, Christian man:

He hit the headlines after organising a protest to coincide with the Papal visit to Scotland, which he argued violated the British Bill of Rights.
Pastor Glass also picketed Billy Connolly's shows after he was angered by one of the comedian's sketches based on the crucifixion.
An angry pastor was reported to have said: If the Forth was lava, I would throw him in.

More recently, he had fallen for one of popular culture's more obvious trolls and had been campaigning against Marilyn Manson. Pastor Glass loses cancer fight - BBC News, 25th February 2004.

February 25, 2004

John Ashcroft Is Insane

United States: Among other things, the recent Vanity Fair article describes how loony fundie John Ashcroft fears calico cats, how he attended opponent Mel Carnahan's funeral against the family's wishes, how Ashcroft's father put him at the controls of a plane with no training at age eight and how parts of Justice Department boilerplate were altered because they conflicted with the Seven Deadly Sins.

At 61, he is a devout member of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination that disapproves of drinking, dancing, and pre-marital sex. As a boy, he never went to the movies, because, he has said, his parents told him, If you pay 15 cents to get into a movie, 7 cents of that will go to support a Hollywood lifestyle we disagree with. But he is not indifferent to power and its trappings — indeed, he harbored strong presidential hopes as late as 1998 — and it is in his nature to combine piety with ambition. In 1995, for example, when he became the junior senator from Missouri, he was anointed by friends (in the style of the ancient kings of Israel, he has noted) with Crisco oil from the kitchen...

February 23, 2004

A pleasing rant

Garry Otton, whose Scottish Media Monitor examines the treatment of sexuality in the Scottish media and is printed monthly in SCOTSGAY magazine is on form this month:

As the Church disintegrates around us, the voices of its militants become ever more shrill. There was an Almighty fight going on in the playground over campuses shared by Catholic and non-denominational schools. And who had we at the centre of the fight? Well, well, well! If it wasn't our old friend, Religion! Reporter Graham Grant in The Scottish Daily Mail casually described the spat over the bringing together of children of different faiths. Faith is only ever imposed on children. They're not born with one and there's precious little evidence of it bringing anyone together! (Not counting mass graves). Catholic Church militants threatened to pull out of a £150m public-private partnership scheme to create seven shared campuses. Their demands included separate entrances, staff rooms, libraries, and -- I kid you not -- separate Catholic and non-denominational lavatories! Even convent-educated Old Mother (Joan) Burnie gasped in The Daily Record: Is there really a difference between a Catholic and a Proddy willy?

Time to Declare War on Militant Religionists says Garry Otton , Scottish Media Monitor, March 2004.

February 21, 2004

Smile! It can't be that bad.

Karen Armstrong, a writer on fundamentalism, has penned an interesting article in today's Grauniad. She starts with the observation that children know what to read, and it tends to be the sort of stuff parents would rather they didn't.

In fact, the best children's classics have always evoked the dark side of life. Alice's Wonderland reveals the arbitrary demands and heartless craziness of the adult world from a child's perspective. The sinister menace of the Wild Wood is a constant threat in The Wind in the Willows. In the novels of Frances Hodgson Burnett, children are regularly abandoned, bereaved, neglected and ill-treated. Some parents would prefer their children to read books that are more upbeat, but Wilson's success and the endurance of these classics remind us that children know instinctively what is best for them, and find that their worst fears become more manageable when they are made explicit. It seems that many children have not yet succumbed quite as fully as adults to the positive thinking that is fast becoming a social orthodoxy.

She then observes how society doesn't like to cofront pain and suffering--An acquaintance once told me that quite the most difficult aspect of her cancer was her friends' strident insistence that she develop a positive attitude, and her guilt at being unable to do so--before noting that fundies are the worst offenders.

February 16, 2004

Gifts From the Cheap Bastard

United States: Too cheap for a Valentine's Day gift? The fundies in Texas have the perfect thing, promise your beloved that you'll stop looking at porn. I'm sure that idea's really going to go over well with your other half when you lob up empty handed, you cheap bastard.

Chocolates are always nice, and a diamond necklace would be delightful. But a Dallas-based ministry thinks it has a better idea for Valentine's Day.
Her gift for Valentines? Stop looking at porn, proclaim billboards put up by NetAccountability, a nonprofit software company that aims to help Christians confront the secret sin of pornography.

February 12, 2004

Bargain of the Day: Dibbuk Haunted Jewish Wine Cabinet Box

United States: People actually buy this stuff. You're too late for this thrilling auction, but you can console yourself that some wally parted with US$280 for a box that came with a tall tale.

February 8, 2004

Deaf and dumb

United States: The United States government has decided that people with hearing disabilities are too stupid to differentiate between fantasy and reality. The Depratment (typo deliberately not corrected) of Education has ruled that 200 shows are unsuitable for closed-captioning, and no grants will be given for doing so.

The government is refusing to caption Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, apparently fearing that the deaf would fall prey to witchcraft if they viewed the classic sitcoms.

The National Association of the Deaf is not amused:

They've suddenly narrowed down the definition of those three kinds of programming without public input, says Kelby Brick, director of the NAD's law and advocacy center. Basically, the department wants to limit captioning to puritan shows. The department wants to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals are not exposed to any non-puritan programming. Never mind that the rest of the country is allowed to be exposed.

Censor 'Scooby-Doo'? Words fail - Palm Beach Post, 8th February 2004.

February 2, 2004

Muslim Mosh Pits

Saudi Arabia: Taking part in the fun of throwing stones at the devil is one of the highlights of the hajj pilgrimage. Unfortunately, the brochures tend to leave out the bit about two million other people wanting to take a crack at the devil too.

At least 244 Muslim pilgrims have been trampled to death in Saudi Arabia at the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage, the scene of deadly stampedes in past years.
A similar number of pilgrims was also wounded during the stampede, which lasted 27 minutes, said Saudi Hajj Minister Iyad Madani last night.
The tragedy happened after 2 million pilgrims flocked to Jamarat Bridge in Mena to throw stones at pillars representing the devil.
Police and medical teams said the victims were crushed to death.

244 trampled to death in hajj - The Australian, 2nd February 2004.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Superstition and Other Silliness category from February 2004.

Superstition and Other Silliness: January 2004 is the previous archive.

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