Saturday, June 02, 2012

Speaking of genocide, why not have an anxiety attack about the intertubes instead ...

(Above: well that's as good a way as any to introduce our Sunday meditation).

Before we do our round of the local churches, how about we kick off proceedings with Katherine Stewart's How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren.

The text for the day is that bit in Samuel:

"Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."

God got pretty agitated that Saul spared the king and kept a few calves and lambs. That's not how you do a genocide!

Any way Katherine Stewart has some fun with the Good News Club - Clarence Thomas and US Supreme Court approved - and its message to American children that Saul was a failure, not for having wiped out a people, but because he didn't do the job properly!

Asking if Saul would "pass the test" of obedience, the text points to Saul's failure to annihilate every last Amalekite, posing the rhetorical question:
"If you are asked to do something, how much of it do you need to do before you can say, 'I did it!'?"
"If only Saul had been willing to seek God for strength to obey!" the lesson concludes.
A review question in the textbook seeks to drive the point home further:
"How did King Saul only partly obey God when he attacked the Amalekites? (He did not completely destroy as God had commanded, he kept the king and some of the animals alive.)"

Only in America. If you're going to do a genocide, do it right! Yes Adolf, what a flop you were (and there's a dollar for the Godwin's Law swear jar).

Speaking of fundamentalists, that's an easy segue over to the Sydney Anglicans, and the mystery of the wayward, derelict Michael Jensen, still stuck on sin four in his 7 sins of Sydney. Where's he gone, will this writer's block never end?

That leaves us to brood with Phillip Jensen about the difficulties of reconciling folk in relation to a Commonwealth Day Service in the cathedral, with the Queen, the Duke and Prince Edward present. (As Good As It Gets).

It turned out that there was a conflict over the seating, and some selfish people were very keen to get a pew, even if they didn't actually believe in the monarchy. Not that Jensen himself cared a fig or a whit or a jot for such matters:

Members of the Cathedral, even Chapter members, were tolerated but not really welcome.

Even Chapter members! While upstarts and ponces and poseurs scrambled for seats. Oh the shame ... but not to worry, everybody's welcome to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee bash in the heart of old Sydney town. I mean, it's right to talk about the king of kings, but still, it's right to bung on a do for the Queen of the colonies ...

Meanwhile, Steve Kryger is most agitated about the intertubes, and all the dangers it poses, as he explains in Christians in Church silent on tech topics? As usual, pornography and won't someone think of the children heads the fear mongering, but there are other issues as well:

Yes, what do you think about all these pressing matters,? But sorry, comments aren't available. Please just go away and think in silence.

This led the pond to think deeply on Steve Kryger's words, and pose a question to readers.

How do you think Mr. Kryger's thoughts can be best approached? Sorry, comments are closed on this thread ...

We keed, we keed, and we haven't bothered to give you the link in the screen cap above, because it times out. If only Kryger had added one more Christian dilemma:
  • How to provide links that work.
It seems that fear is catching in Sydney Anglicans. Russell Powell also chimes in with Creating slaves to the screen, which leads off with the classic:

I am no technophobe, far from it ... But ...

Which reminded the pond of all those other ritualistic invocations:

I am no homophobe, far from it ... But ...
I am no xenophobe, far from it ... But ...
I am no homilophobe, far from it ... But ...
(enjoy hours of harmless fun applying this handy formula to the seemingly endless list of phobias available here)

Powell goes on to link to all sorts of articles producing endless worries about the intertubes - fear, loathing, FUD, and alarums, a right royal Susan Greenfield stew. But as Powell provides all this information on your screen, is he attempting to make you a slave to the screen while pretending to alert you to the dangers of the screen. Russian dolls and Chinese boxes ...

Oh for the good old days when CinemaScope, television, radio, and comic books - yes, you Donald Duck - were going to ruin the youth of the world with the effect of constant stimulation, the wrong kind of stimulation, and arousal addiction. Gentlemen readers, check the palms of your hands at once ...

These days it seems the very integrity of Christian marriages is at stake, as are mothers, who surprisingly aren't immune. Not even decent Anglican mothers:

The labour party has launched a new initiative to try to reach 'internet mums' spending hours per day on facebook,

It turns out that's only the Labor Party trying to get its message across - using social media - that it's not engaged in class war, but hey, when you're trying to whip up alarm and panic, any port in a storm. Why the integrity of Christian marriages is at stake!!

Would Powell relax a little if it turned out after it's clunky IPO, Facebook is well on the way to becoming the new MySpace? Betting around the dinner table was for a US$9.95 share price ...

Sorry, no room for rational discussion. Panic, the intertubes are going to get you!! The eyes are watching you, they're lurking in your brain:

Phew, demonic staring Anglican eyes.

But that's enough panic. We'd like to update you on the thoughts of Cardinal Pell, but when last heard from, he was junketing somewhere near Assisi. Just remember there's damnation and eternal hellfire ahead, so make sure you get in a junket or two before you go ... (Pell gone missing, Jensen away somewhere ... you don't think ... oh surely not ...)

So what else? Well we could stir up the Jewish community, but Michael Brull's already done a nice job of that with Israel doesn't deserve unconditional loyalty.

And we could take a look at the Church of Murdochology (a newly devised faith-based religion which somewhat resembles the Church of Scientology), but what more can be said than is said in Jonathan Holmes' Cooking up 'errors' In Media Watch's reporting and in Martin Hirst's Groupthink alive and well at News Limited.

In The Weekend Australian (26 May), Chris Kenny gives a detailed definition of what "groupthink" has come to mean within News Limited.

When a collection of like-minded people engages in a common pursuit for extended periods, a form of consensus can take hold. If it leads to a form of self-censorship, then it acts against instincts for questioning or dissent, and this is at odds with an open-minded sense of inquiry fundamental to journalism.

Uh huh, or religion.

Naturally Hirst makes the obvious point:

That may be so, it is not a bad start, but it does not just describe an ABC mindset. Organisational cultures tend to favour groupthink. The Australian's Chris Kenny dismisses the paper's own groupthink on the grounds that News Limited is a private company. This mindset can be described in another of Orwell's neologisms "doublethink" – simultaneous denial and acceptance of an unpalatable truth about oneself.

Yep, when it comes to doublethink, the Church of Murdochology is right up there with the Scientologists, and Robert Manne in The Monthly, using Watson's Dial M for Murdoch as a springboard, has done an excellent summary of the devious, underhand, duplicitous, scheming, outright villainy and corruption that went on in Britain (and also in Scotland) ... right up there with the "butler did it" (but maybe he didn't) scandal showing the depths of sordidness, hypocrisy and power craziness at work in Vatican City. (Murdoch & Company: Rupert is finally reaping what he sowed).

It's just a suggestion, but shouldn't The Australian start thinking of handing out M-meters (new and alphabetically more advanced than E-meters) to their readers, as a way of maintaining the faith and checking there are no deviants in their midst?

Now that only leaves Muslims to offend.

Oh heck, enough already, if we slag off the Islamics, how would the likes of Gerard Henderson be able to whinge?


Will those Chaser lads ever head off to medieval Mecca the way they did over the medieval Pope? Well it might not be the real Gerard Henderson, but it sure sounds like him. (here for not Gerard).

Done! Islamics are the funniest people, almost as funny as GH.

Now it's time to go read how to remove musty smells from dried dodo feathers ...

(Below: and since we opened with Carl Barks, why not end with him. Forget genocide, the intertubes, and factual journalism, there's only one real sacrilege. Blowing round bubbles with gum! Square bubbles only please if you want to enter Valhalla. Click to enlarge, the rest is in the comic Lost in the Andes).


  1. 'Lost in the Andes' was a collectors' item back in the day of my errant childhood, swapping comics. Call it the social media of the era. Oops, nearly forgot how you despite the trend, DP, but, there you are, quoting the execrable Twitter.
    I'm setting up a #CloneRoop tag, to sign on thousands of womb-bearers to offer their bodies as surrogate hosts for the spawn of The Saviour of Mankind. We could, in few years, have a Roop on every block, willing & able to keep us all heading in the correct direction. Remember how all those 100+ News organs decided, with 100% editorial independence, to pronounce the Invasion of Iraq to be an eternal good?
    Here's the Great Man today, Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch Did White House leak highest security secret possible yesterday about cyber attacks on Iran? If so, dangerous, maybe scandalous, game.
    See, Roop is right onto that well-worn POTUS play. When the economy tanks, start a war, and before we know it, oil will be down to $14.
    So, what's the problem with a Stuxnet or drone war on Pakistan, or Iran, or Syria? Well, it's only theologically correct if the leaks are in the proper direction - to News agents. Then, with the full support of Roop, any war, no matter how filthy & disastrous, will be pronounced a success. By independent editors, to boot, and not to forget our very own Greg "76 submarines" Sheridan.
    The only problem I've spotted so far is that drew the conclusion first. But that shouldn't discourage Roop, who has a whole stable of 'toonists in his hand, and none of them saw the slightest risibility in Abbott's "tacky".
    Roop, of course, is the Master of Dissonance. Abbott is getting pretty good at it, too. Pretty soon, he'll confirm his elevation to the pantheon with those memorable lines, "We do abhor violence".

  2. News!Flash! DP, Nic Carr (The Shallows, Rough Type) blogs about Oprah's new eBook club. Now, here's a delicious thought. How about eBooks that have been carefully selected, thoughtfully annotated & distributed by Roop? What a great way to get The Thought into the minds of the masses.
    I'd love to have Roop lead me through Ulysses, or Pirsig's ZATAOMM. Getting back to the comics, those Classics that abridged the timesomeness out of literature, while Roop is at it, couldn't he delete a lot of the irrelevant & the irreverent stuff? I'm pretty sure that an edited colloquium could convince us that the Barrier Reef should be mined for oil & minerals.

  3. The Sydney Anglican "evil eye" is promoting the "one eyed" Sydney Anglican publican known to some as "Not the Southern Cross!" and it looks like the bulk of the publication is dedicated to gay bashing. The FCA are a group of Anglicans who objected to the ordination of Gene Robinson and no doubt women bishops in England and Sydney Anglicans are pivotal to the existence of this group.

  4. What's funny Anon - the perpetual gay and women bashing can't be called fun - is the way the web designer clearly thought Orwellian Big Brother demonic staring glaring eyes conjured up the tone and out-reaching ways of the site. Was he (presumably no her was involved) being post modern ironic? Or do those eyes really capture the way the Jensenists keep watch over their flock?

  5. I think those eyes tell all about the way the flock is controlled. Anyone caught deviating and the shepherd moves in with the hungry wolf. Sheep gone and problem solved!


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.