April 30th, 2004


Odds 'N' Ends

93, all!

(1) If you didn't see this week's installment of PBS's Frontline -- "The Jesus Factor" -- you might want to check your local listings for repeats. It is not, as you might have feared, a puff-piece suggesting the Prez is a deeply committed Christian. It is, instead, a nightmarish warning to America...suggesting the Prez is a deeply committed Christian.

Okay, cheap shot, I know. Put it this way: there are Christians who have maybe a little too much self-hatred in their lives, and there are Christians who pay maybe a little too much attention to what their neighbors are up to, at the expense of self-examination. And then again, there are Christians who are really eager to bring about "Armageddon," by which they mean the literal end of physical life. Now picture giving one of their number, of conceivably less than Einsteinian IQ, the keys to the biggest arsenal in the world.

I still have to think about whether I find the documentary persuasive. But definitely food for thought.

(2) I've added entropy156 to my Friends list, since he was kind enough to add my poor efforts to his...and for everyone who wonders why a rudimentary understanding of mechanics, if not science proper, can come in handy. See his 5 April "Vault" entry, and prepare to laugh.  :)

(3) I find that the hardest thing about LJ isn't having something to write...it's fighting the temptation to throw everything overboard and spend all your time here, at least at first. Deadly stuff, especially for a writer: you spend a couple hours writing something here, it's harder to get your nightly page count turned out for your "real" work.

Topics I'm considering: update on how volume four, In The Nightmare Village, is coming along; a CNN glossary, so you'll be able to decode its stock phrases without impediment; and maybe some observational or think pieces. We'll see. Back to work, AJ!  :/

Thanks for stopping by, anyhow.  :D

93 93/93 -- AJ


"The Jesus Factor," Part 2

93, all!

The really brilliant thing about the Frontline "Jesus Factor" doc (see previous entry) is the way it manages to expose a major threat to this country, and the world, without offending the people who don't consider it a threat. The L.A. Times review assumed the show would infuriate conservatives, but that's not proven true of conservative Christians. Why?

Basically, the Frontline ep argued, rather persuasively, that the U.S. is currently ruled by a man who sincerely believes it his solemn duty -- literally entrusted in him by God Almighty -- to use the country's treasure, blood and weaponry to impose fundamentalist Christianity on the entire planet, at home and abroad. Depending who you are, your response is either, "Yeah! About time, too!" or "Oh my God you're kidding me!"...or, alas, "I don't believe it for a minute" -- which latter could conceivably be a very serious error, should it turn out to be true.

Most of the folks I know -- who, left and right, tend to be a fairly socially libertarian bunch -- assume that Shrubby's professions of Christianity are simply calculated: a sop to his base, cover for his real motives, and so forth. After seeing "The Jesus Factor" (and the Bob Woodward appearance on 60 Minutes a couple weeks back, which edged into similar territory) I'm beginning to believe that they, we, have been badly mistaken on this issue. True, most of the day-to-day policy of the administration seems to be Cheney stealing things for his friends, and as he has a lot of powerful friends, said policies end up with plenty of heavy-duty support.

But the possibility exists that the guy with the final say, Constitutionally, really does believe those things back in paragraph two. And that is a situation likely to become irreparably bad, without warning, while most of his opponents still assume they're dealing with a somewhat snarkier version of his dad.

Don't mean to be getting all political on ya. That was just one sobering piece of journalism, is all, and I'm afraid people won't take it seriously until it's way past too late. If I were you (and particularly if you're used to sprinkling your correspondence with 93's), I'd give the rerun of this PBS show a gander, and some thought.

93 93/93 -- AJ