July 19th, 2005

flavored with age

Blame it on Cain

In chapter eighteen (!) of his interminable series on Judeo-Christian values, Dennis Prager takes on the death penalty, with a piece he gives the no-controversy-here title "Murderers Must Die".

It's a pretty fun article, and seems to be at its peak when he initially sets up possible religious objections to the death penalty (such as those of Catholics, Torah-reading Jews and New Testament-reading Christians) and then completely fails to address them, but in fact, it reaches its sins-of-omission highlight towards the end:

The only capital crime mentioned before there were any Jews or Israel (in Genesis when God creates the world) is murder. Other death penalties applied specifically to the people of Israel when they entered the Land of Israel -- a special code of behavior for a special time in a special place. And virtually none of those were carried out. The primary purpose of declaring a sin worthy of capital punishment was not actually to execute the sinner, but to declare how serious the infraction was when a society was establishing itself as the first based on ethical monotheism. Capital punishment for murder, on the other hand, was obviously intended for all time and for all people -- it is independent of the existence of Jews and declared to be fundamental to the existence of a humane order.

Of course, the "virtually none of (the capital crimes delineated in the Pentateuch) were carried out" line is nonsense; God in the Old Testament kills the people of Israel non-stop from Exodus all the way through to to the prophets, racking up a bodycount in the tens of thousands -- and that's in addition to killing them for things he didn't bother to mention were capital crimes, like asking for more food when they were hungry or complaining about how God kills the people of Israel so much.

But the real whopper here is that capital punishment for murder is obviously an eternal, everlasting, and unchanging essential value of Judeo-Christian civilization, meant to apply "for all time and for all people", independent of Jewish law and applicable to everyone ever from the dawn of time to today in order to form the very basis of human interaction. Which is all well and good until you consider the fact that Christianity's very first murderer -- indeed, according to Christians, the very first murderer in history -- basically got off scot-free. Cain, who killed his brother Abel in a fit of pique, would seem to be a perfect candidate for the death penalty, since he lived under the rule of the Old Testament God who had zero qualms about killing people; he predated the tribe of Israel, as well, so he would have provided God with a great opportunity to demonstrate this whole "intended for all time and for all people" thing. But instead, God simply let him go. He was banished from his homeland, to be sure, and sent east to the land of Nod; but not only didn't God kill him, God marked him with a special mark so that no one else would kill him either. Contrary to popular belief, the mark of Cain wasn't a stigma; it was a protection. The very first time God had a chance to kill someone for murder, he not only didn't do it, but he also went out of his way to ensure that the murderer wouldn't pay for the life he took with his own.

Once again, none of this matters to me: it's all fairy tales. It just amuses me that someone who takes it as seriously as Dennis Prager -- someone, indeed, who makes his living telling the world that these fairy tales can and must form the very spine of all decent civilization -- is either ignorant or deceptive about what he's peddling.
flavored with age

My ongoing love affair with the IMDB message boards

HUSTLE & FLOW:

I suggest people who see this movie listen to REAL music, such as the Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Flogging Molly or Bouncing Souls.

And this amazing exchange:

Elna1466: "Everybody gotta have a dream." A gramatically incorrect tagline. Wow. Great way to promote the movie. I feel bad for the intelligent, normal black people whose race is ruined by the huge amounts of black morons like this.

Skylar146: I couldn't agree with you more. THe thing I find most amazing about these board is didn't anyone take English in school? Why do people spell so atrociously. I find it so sickening and offending. How can people seriously wonder about things like racism in Hollywood, etc. etc. when they write like that. Give me a break

StainBoy: ...boardS..... offenSIVE.............

Skylar146: i wrote fast and late, but it's comprehendible!! Not like the idiotic things I've been reading. but thanks for your spell check, and now I was more careful writing this one!! Classy people learn from mistakes.


STEALTH:

Judging by movie characters there will be Korean forces which , I believe, in their turn, will be destroyed by those US pilots as enemies.(Before this fighter with the AI becomes the enemy) I mean - they used Korea just to show some evil country and thats all. The country is communistic, but, seriously, it's not a reason to put it in any international action movie. Im not a Korean but still... It's too sad.

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD:

ok. I looked at the messages that have been posted by people for this movie. First off, shut up retards. If your so against the casting or rebel flag dont go see it. I grew up in the south and appreciate the remake. Unless you have a time machine in which you can go back and get the exact same cast its not going to be the same, thats the thing with doing a remake 30 years or so after the show first aired. You have to get different actors/actresses, learn to deal with it. The rebel flag was not used to symbolize racism. Considering the fact that they bootleged alcohol, it might have been used to stand for the Dukes' rebel nature. I dont see the problem in casting Jessica Simpson as Daisy. Daisy wasnt known for her intelegence.....it was her body, which if memory serves me correct, Jessica shouldnt have a problem filling out. Atleast shes from the south (for those fellow southerners who consider Texas part of the south.) She might not know the difference between golden age and silver age Superman like you loosers, but i cant wait to see her in a pair of daisy dukes. After the movie comes out, if the movie sucks or she makes it suck then you can say what you want.

Note: anyone who is not from the south and did not watch The Dukes of Hazzard gowing up will not be taken seriously because you just dont understand.


Note that this one touches off a huge, hilarious argument about Bush vs. Kerry.
flavored with age

HARRY POTTER SPOILERS! WHAT THE FUCK DO I CARE?

If you're like 99% of the nerds on my friends list, you don't want any Harry Potter spoilers.

If you're like the other 1%, you desperately want to talk about the damn thing, but you can't, because 99% of the nerds on your friends list have said "NO SPOILERS".

Since I have no dog in the fight -- I haven't read any of the books, and I'm probably not going to -- I hereby give you license. Please post all your Harry Potter spoilers in comments. Get it out of your systems. This sacrifice I make for you, because I am better than Jesus. Ahh, sweet release!