Daily Archives: March 18, 2004

Passion Unleashes Passions

I haven’t written anything here about Mel Gibson’s film, more or less hoping that, like locusts, it would eventually just go away. I had a dialogue with David Neiwert at Orcinus and some other folks habiting his Comments board (my contribution starts here and continues in subsequent Passion posts) but that has been the extent of it. I said it was just a movie, after all, David replied, in part:

It’s becoming harder to pretend that it’s “just a movie” anymore…. Hate crimes have already popped up their ugly visage, as well as various iterations of anti-Semitism in differing degrees.

–and then went on to give examples. David’s argument that Passion is a medieval throwback is compelling; his thesis that it could act as a center and rallying-point for nascent anti-Semitism and fundie-Xian intolerance is thinner but certainly worth serious thought. But his–and my–assumption that it could bring a lot of whacks out of the closet has already proved accurate. Witness:

HARTLAND, ME — A Hartland man was treated at a Pittsfield hospital after he nailed himself to a cross. The 23-year-old man apparently was trying to commit suicide Thursday evening in his living room, the Bangor Daily News reported.Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong said Monday that no charges will be filed. “There is no crime here,” he said.

Police said the man appeared delusional and told them he had been “seeing pictures of God on the computer.” He told them he had not seen the hit movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus.

Lt. Pierre Boucher said the man took two pieces of wood, nailed them together in the form of a cross and placed them on the floor. He attached a suicide sign to the wood and then proceeded to nail one of his hands to the makeshift cross using a 14-penny nail and a hammer.

“When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911,” Boucher said.

It was unclear whether the man was seeking assistance for his injury or help in nailing down his other hand.

And this not in the back-hill South but the back hills of staid, still-Puritanish New England–Maine, to be exact, where one thought most folks had more sense. Still, you gotta admire the kind of mind that couldn’t figure out ahead of time that if he nailed one hand down, he wouldn’t have any way of nailing down the other.

This is not a joke, btw, but a real event, more’s the damn pity.

Cutting Fat in Govt

Remember how conservatives have been saying for years that those damn liberals made govt so big that fat and waste were endemic? Remember all the promises about how they’d cut all that fat if they got elected? Well, Jay Bookman of the AJC has had a chance to see what they meant by “fat”.

During their long years in the political wilderness, Georgia Republicans would preach endlessly about the thick layers of fat that they knew existed in state government. If voters ever showed enough wisdom to put the GOP in power, they promised, they would cut all that fat and be able to cut taxes, too.Today, they’re trying to make good on that talk. Republicans now control both the state Senate and the governor’s office, and the state’s current fiscal crisis has given them the opportunity to slice all that fat and thus avoid tax increases.

So what kind of spending cuts are they making? The 2005 budget proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue includes cuts that would knock 27,000 children and pregnant women off Medicaid health insurance, slice more than $200 million from public schools, gut environmental protection programs and dramatically reduce the amount of state money appropriated to state colleges and universities, among many other things.

Apparently, that’s what “fat” looks like.

Yup. Pretty much what a lot of us thought they meant. To a Publican, anything that doesn’t make a profit for somebody is “waste”. Anything that helps people rather than corporations is “fat”. Anything that doesn’t smooth the way for contributions is “pork”.

OK. So now we know.

"I’m Embarrassed by Our President" Day

April 1, 2004 has been declared National “I’m Embarrassed by Our President” Day as a way of making solidarity with the rest of the world.

Are you embarrassed by the arrogance, greed, shortsightedness, selfishness, and outright lies told by George W. Bush?Join tens of thousands of others across the country and world and wear a brown armband or ribbon to symbolize all the BS coming out of the White House.

It’s not just that I disagree with the current dministration. I’m outraged. And I’m downright embarrassed to talk to anyone from another country. I’m embarassed to have an President so arrogant, so dishonest, so hawkish, that in three years, he has nearly destroyed any good relations we had before he took office, and worsened those that were already bad.

I find myself apologizing to my foreign friends both in this country and abroad while trying vainly to explain the sheer idiocy and illogic of the current administration’s policies.

So this April 1st, April Fools day, join tens of thousands of others who are wearing brown armbands or ribbons to signify the bullshit flowing down from Washington.

You can get the Official National button here.

Join the March of Brown! Let People Know How You Really Feel!

(Thanks to Benedict@Large)