Another Gibson Disappointment

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We are all angry at Mel Gibson, in varying degrees and for varying reasons. But I feel Mel has let down Catholics, and just fans of Catholicism's more colorful aspects, especially, as this public poster child for ultratraditional Catholicism has chosen to expiate his sins through the secular means of some unspecified "rehab program" rather than, say, scourging himself, publicly or privately, or, better still, whatever the Father instructs him to do. (If the Father instructed him to go to rehab as penance, then that's between him and God.)

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  1. Is it just me, or is Libertarianism an especial refuge for ex-Catholics? Perhaps it is something about our tendency to rely on logical argument, a kind of political Scholasticism. This might be something we share with our Jewish brethren and their Talmudic tradition.

    If we want to actually win some political offices, the trick will be to convince the 90% of the electorate that still harbors some belief in some kind of deity, though.

    Kevin
    (Jesuit-trained apostate)

  2. the only thing you should be angry at gibson for is driving drunk and endangering people on the road.
    gibson’s personal views dont infringe upon my life, liberty or property so i dont really care.

  3. What Trill said. Why should I get mad at Gibson? Before I could get mad at him, I’d have to care what he thinks.

  4. On word “hairshirt”.

  5. One word “hairshirt”.

  6. kevrob — Libertarianism also has an obvious “backlash appeal” in its contrast with the collectivist sentiments of Catholicism and Judaism.

    “Hey, Catholics and Jews! If you like the logic but not the peer-pressure, come over to our team! Er… our ‘loose association of like-minded individuals’.”

  7. Can we please cut the man some slack?

    Points in favour of being angry:
    1. He’s made a snuff film which might be anti-Semitic.
    2. He’s made some homophobic comments in the past.
    3. He was drunk and driving along a particularly dangerous section of highway (go there sometime and see how scary it is!)
    4. He mouthed off about how Jews are bastards.

    Points in favour of forgiveness:
    1. He’s an actor, and therefore no more than a prostitute.
    2. His father is a nutcase, not worthy to share the same planet with single-celled microbes, and had a great influence on him.
    3. He’s an actor, and therefore worthless as a human being.
    4. He’s right about one point: an overwhelming proportion of the most evil bastards in history have been Jews (Marx, Engels, Rosenberg, Trotsky, Freud, Reiner, Streisand, Allen, Frank, Frank, Stein, Goldwyn, Mayer, Frank, Asimov, Frank, Bernstein, Frank, Mendelsohn, Frank, et al.)
    5. He’s probably forgotten that some of the saintliest people in history were also Jews (Friedman, Mises, Disraeli, et al.)
    6. He’s an actor, the lowest form of life on Earth.
    7. Forgiveness for stupidity is a virtue.

    Please, can we just let this go?

  8. Am I the only one who thinks it is somewhat ironic for a Burning Man devotee to make fun of the irrational practices of others? Ah well, I suppose it’s all part of the snide college freshman charm of Hit & Run …

  9. Mr. Hoes–I am–and I can’t tell you how terribly convenient this often is–both Catholic and Jew; the son of a Jewish mother, and a baptized and confirmed (saint’s name: Patrick, because I’m also Irish, which is less convenietn) member of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, who has never been declared by any church authority to be schismatic or heretic.

    As far as being a “devotee” of Burning Man and irrationalism, your ignorance of theology is appalling. The Burning Man’s amazing godlike powers of healing and resurrection are REAL, my friend. I’ve seen it and experienced it: if you get burned by any piece of wood or firework from that effigy, you will, almost certainly, eventually heal. (Unless the burn is really sever.) I confess, even I have questioned the doctrine that the fumes from art cars wash the soul clean of sin, or that John Law was really a myth invented by the Roman Historican Josephus, but it’s something I’m working through with my Burning Confessor

    And I used to be a college freshman, but I realized the absurdity of the beliefs and rituals connected with it, and moved on.

  10. Mel has not “let down Catholics” in the slightest.

    The entire controversy surrounding The Passion is because Gibson did not omit what all bible epics in Hollywood?s past have. You know the scene where the Jews condemn Jesus to death and chant ?Let his blood be upon us and on our children!?

    You see, the New Testament is anti-Semitic.

    For Gibson, fidelity to the New Testament was the key to a genuine Jesus-snuff-film. In order to insulate himself from the inevitable critics, he would film the story in Aramaic! ?Authenticity,? when it comes to the Bible, can never be attacked, right?

    When the Jewish critics of his film nonetheless pointed out as early as the advanced screenings that the material most offensive to Jews was still there in the film ? for example, in Gibson?s movie, it is the High Priest who announces his acceptance of the guilt for Jesus death, not the crowd, but the line is still there ? what was Gibson?s defense: ?I was just being faithful to the Bible?s account. How can the New Testament be anti-Semitic?? (In the final theatrically released version of the film, by way of compromise, the actor still says the line, in Aramaic, of course ? it?s just that Gibson doesn?t translate it in the subtitles.)

    Of course, contemporary Christianity in the English-speaking world is not anti-Semitic ? certainly not like the ?old days? ? as evidenced, among other things, by American Christians? support for Israel. But still Gibson is not hypocrite and did not let down his Catholic faith as he was just being true to the bible.

  11. Mel has not “let down Catholics” in the slightest.

    The entire controversy surrounding The Passion is because Gibson did not omit what all bible epics in Hollywood?s past have. You know the scene where the Jews condemn Jesus to death and chant ?Let his blood be upon us and on our children!?

    You see, the New Testament is anti-Semitic.

    For Gibson, fidelity to the New Testament was the key to a genuine Jesus-snuff-film. In order to insulate himself from the inevitable critics, he would film the story in Aramaic! ?Authenticity,? when it comes to the Bible, can never be attacked, right?

    When the Jewish critics of his film nonetheless pointed out as early as the advanced screenings that the material most offensive to Jews was still there in the film ? for example, in Gibson?s movie, it is the High Priest who announces his acceptance of the guilt for Jesus death, not the crowd, but the line is still there ? what was Gibson?s defense: ?I was just being faithful to the Bible?s account. How can the New Testament be anti-Semitic?? (In the final theatrically released version of the film, by way of compromise, the actor still says the line, in Aramaic, of course ? it?s just that Gibson doesn?t translate it in the subtitles.)

    Of course, contemporary Christianity in the English-speaking world is not anti-Semitic ? certainly not like the ?old days? ? as evidenced, among other things, by American Christians? support for Israel. But still Gibson is not hypocrite and did not let down his Catholic faith as he was just being true to the bible.

  12. I pray the blessed virgin will intercede for me regarding all the typos in the previous post.

  13. When you spend 5 grand to build a human powered statue of a man picking his nose, you KNOW you’re wasting your money on something frivolous. Tithing or buying indulgences? Not so much.

  14. I don’t see how this is much different than when he was mouthing off about the Terri Shiavo(sp) incident. Just someone who feels everyone is entitled to his opinion.

  15. What bugs me is that Gibson will probably use this “rehab” scam as an excuse to skirt past the DUI charge. Yeah, you remember the original charge he was arrested for right?

    I can see him going before the judge and saying “Oh, it’s not my fault, I have a problem, and I’ve already gone through rehab for my problem. I appologize for my mistake and I promise to never, ever, ever do it again if you just let me off with time served in rehab and I agree to do Lethal Weapon V .”

    It’s sort of strange that we’re talking about whether or not he’s worthy of forgiveness and he hasn’t even faced justice for the actual CRIME that he’s accused of committing!

  16. Don’t forget, David, that he’ll also ask the judge if he wants an autographed picture. Ouch! That slap almost hurt my wrist!

  17. and I agree to do Lethal Weapon V .

    He might get more leniancy by promising NOT to do Lethal Weapon V

  18. (If the Father instructed him to go to rehab as penance, then that’s between him and God.)

    More likely than you think. The priesties are well versed in referring people to secular experts at the first sign of trouble. Anybody going in to confession to discuss marital problems, alcoholism, rageaholism, etc. will be sent to a shrink forthwith. They want to hear about sins! sins! SINS! not your personal issues.

  19. the only thing you should be angry at gibson for is driving drunk and endangering people on the road.

    Amen to that.

  20. I’m not mad at Mel for being such an ass to officer Mee and his side-kick SugarTits. But anyone who drives drunk and recklessly (87 in a 45 zone) down the Pacific Coast Highway, deserves a serious bitch-slapping.

  21. You know the scene where the Jews condemn Jesus to death and chant ?Let his blood be upon us and on our children!?

    In all fairness, only one book in the New Testament actually contains this scene. Certainly no book of the New Testament depicts the Sanhedrin watching over Jesus’s torture, or hordes of angry Jews transforming into a hooded, Satanic figure.

  22. i saw this special on the history channel about how moses lead his people out of egypt and proceeded to slaughter every man woman and child in the towns on the path to the promised land. no joke. it was a pretty disturbing show.
    i think the bible is anti semetic.

  23. gibson’s personal views dont infringe upon my life, liberty or property so i dont really care.

    Good enough point, but it is not anti-libertarian if you do care.
    Is that didactic? I’m sorry, but he referred to infringing on liberties, and it made me think that someone doesn’t have to infringe on my liberties for me to think, “hey, you’re an asshole!” That doesn’t mean I want someone to force you not to be an asshole, but, hey, Mel Gibson is an asshole!
    or maybe he’s just looney. Never mind, who gives a shit any way? Yeah, what trill said.

  24. “Spinoza’s reaction to the religious intolerance he saw around him was to try to think his way out of all sectarian thinking. He understood the powerful tendency in each of us toward developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology.

    Against this tendency we have no defense but the relentless application of reason. Reason must stand guard against the self-serving false entailments that creep into our thinking, inducing us to believe that we are more cosmically important than we truly are, that we have had bestowed upon us ? whether Jew or Christian or Muslim ? a privileged position in the narrative of the world’s unfolding.Spinoza’s system is a long deductive argument for a conclusion as radical in our day as it was in his, namely that to the extent that we are rational, we each partake in exactly the same identity.”

    More at
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/goldstein06/goldstein06_index.html

  25. May you all repent your blasphemous ways and be touched by His Noodly Appendage!

  26. Jesus was a Roman spy sent to oppose the upcoming Jewish revolt. He was Cesar?s man through and through.

  27. Wait, Asimov was an evil bastard? What’d I miss?

  28. I’m willing to take up arms to defend Dr. Asimov.

    As for saintliness, you left out Jesus. Whether you’re Christian or not, he at least warrants Gandhi levels of goodness. And he was most emphatically a Jew (I used to tell an old Jewish girlfriend that Christmas is a Jewish holiday, because a billion people all join together each year to celebrate the birth of the world’s most famous Jew).

  29. Of course, Jesus was a pretty poor Jew by both contemporary standards and the standards of his own day. Jesus was a critic of Kosher diet ? since it?s what comes ?out of our bodies? that defiles, not what we ?put into our body.? Jesus was a critic of the laws against working on the Sabbath ? since it was ?made for man? and not ?man for the Sabbath.? Jesus said of a presumably uncircumcised Roman centurion, no less, that his ?faith? exceeded that of any of the ?sons of Israel.?

    As Jesus makes clear, the entire Jewish establishment of his day was utterly corrupt. His debating foils are inevitably, ?the priests,? the ?scribes,? the ?Sadducees,? and/or the ?Pharisees,? i.e., all of the religious authorities of the Jews, and, it is not hard to see why they would have been such harsh critics of Jesus ? even prior to Jesus? physical attack on the operations at the Jerusalem temple.

    It wasn?t just on religious matters that Jesus was opposed to Judaism, but on political ones. Not only did Jesus apparently prefer a Roman army officer to any of his fellow Jews ? and at a time when the Jews were preparing for open warfare with the Roman Empire ? but, he advocated paying taxes to Rome. Indeed, the sort of submission Jesus called for was amazing. If a Roman took your coat, Jesus advised giving your shirt, as well. If required by Rome to walk one mile, go an extra mile, too. If a Roman strikes you on one side of the face, offer the other cheek, as well.

    To his contemporary Jewish rebels and zealots, Jesus said, ?Blessed are the peacemakers,? and ?Love your enemies.?

    Fundamentally, Jesus wants to end the special claim the Jews have to the worship of Jehovah ? many will come and ?sit at Abraham?s table,? and His disciples are to spread the good word to ?all nations of the earth.?

    Even if we are forced to classify the Jesus of the Gospels as some kind of ?Jew,? Christ can hardly be said to have been a fan of First Century Judaism, or, indeed, the Mosaic Law as such.

  30. Nonetheless, was he not still a Jew, even if perhaps an apostate one?

  31. Is it just me, or is Libertarianism an especial refuge for ex-Catholics?

    What ever makes you say that Kevin?

    Akira MacKenzie,
    Recovering Catholic, Born-Again Atheist.

  32. Wait, Asimov was an evil bastard? What’I miss?

    Yeah! I the later Foundation Novels were pretty bad but that’s no reason to throw him in the same boat as Marx (Karl, not Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo)?

  33. EDIT: I thought…

  34. I’m straining to come up with a reason to justify the Asimov is Evil statement. The later books were okay if not up to his earlier standards, so it can’t be that. He was, by all accounts, a nice guy. He was rather liberal politically, but he moderated that by a heap of common sense and rationality. He was an atheist, I believe, so that might make him evil in the eyes of some.

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s no way no how he can be called evil in any real sense.

  35. The entire controversy surrounding The Passion is because Gibson did not omit what all bible epics in Hollywood?s past have. You know the scene where the Jews condemn Jesus to death and chant “Let his blood be upon us and on our children!”

    The sacrifice of Christ as a price for human sin was foretold in the Old Testament. Christ’s speech in the gospels indicates he knew he was going, and when. The core of Christianity is that the very spilling of Christ’s blood compensated for human sin. Not Christ passing away quietly in his sleep as an old man; that wouldn’t have done the trick.

    If the Jews hadn’t been so afraid of the carpenter-nutjob, and Jesus had lived to the ripe old age of 86 and choked unceremoniously on a chicken bone to meet his end, prophecy would not have been fulfilled, there’d be no sacrifice, no mystery, and no church. And no Christmas trees every year. And that would be a shame, because I have a lot of very nice Christmas ornaments.

    He couldn’t just die; he had to die violently to fulfill his purpose in Christian mythology. Meaning somebody had to kill him. If not the JPF, then maybe the PFJ or the FPJ.

    Which is why I think people who get their panties in a bunch about how that film made it look like the Jews were the villains who killed Christ are idiots. The Pharisees in the Passion story are symbols of basically any angry mob that collectively doesn’t have a f*cking clue. In this story, they just happen to be Pharisees.

    Of course, contemporary Christianity in the English-speaking world is not anti-Semitic ? certainly not like the ?old days? ? as evidenced, among other things, by American Christians? support for Israel.

    I think it’s in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine where she makes an apt snort of contempt at white WASPy folk who disparage their contemporary Native American neighbors, and drive through Indian country with their car doors locked, but still cover their walls with romanticized, corny paintings of Indian warriors perched defiantly atop cliffs with the wind whipping their feather-tipped and largely mythological locks.

    I’ll bet that your less scholarly, garden-variety McChristian in the U.S. is something along the same lines: a romanticizer of the Biblical promise of an unending homeland for Jews, but someone who would probably hide his valuables and balk at having to cook kosher if a few of said Jews asked to come over for dinner. Or keel over if his daughter announced she was planning to marry a Jew.

    But still Gibson is not hypocrite and did not let down his Catholic faith as he was just being true to the bible.

    I’d say that Gibson’s hasty whitewash of an apology for his drunken ranting a few days ago is rank with hypocrisy. I’m sure if he thought he could’ve got ‘way with it, he’d have made the Passion Jews out to be demonically villainous.

    But, as other people have said here, Gibson’s personal opinions mean a fat lot of nothing. There’s no shortage of others walking around quietly thinking exactly the same baloney as Gibson and his f*ed-up father; we just don’t know about them because they’re more discreet.

  36. Never mind Asimov…what’s with all the Franks?

  37. Jim Walsh, I think he was just Franking around with us.

    I can’t even think of a Frank. . . . Okay, I cheated and used the Internet: Frank Hardy? Frank Zappa? Barney Frank? Frank N. Stein? Anne Frank? No, now that I think about it, I think he was just saying that Sinatra was the worst person in history.

  38. The sacrifice of Christ as a price for human sin was foretold in the Old Testament. Christ’s speech in the gospels indicates he knew he was going, and when. The core of Christianity is that the very spilling of Christ’s blood compensated for human sin.

    Nice, so for the anti-Semite, to be Jewish is to be evil. For the devout Christian, to be human is to be evil.

  39. Nice, so for the anti-Semite, to be Jewish is to be evil. For the devout Christian, to be human is to be evil.

    Hanh? I don’t think you quite got it. Anti-Semites will always find Jews evil, even Jews who look like Sarah Michelle Gellar. The bloody sacrifice of Christ was all part of God’s plan, hence references in the OT to “blood of the lamb” and all that. It’s supposed to remind Christians, whenever they start whining, who was really persecuted; who really, really had it waaay worse than they do.

    For the devout Christian, that’s a core belief: humans are evil and sinful unless they accept the grace purchased for them by Christ’s nasty, violent death. See Romans 6.

  40. Isaac Asimov: Evil Bastard?

    I was a fan of Asimov’s short stories as a youngster, and tried to read the Foundation series. But I think he may be guilty of promulgating some evil ideas. I have one vague instance and one specific instance.

    1) I am disturbed by Asimov thinking some kind of science of “psychohistory,” enabling experts to predict the future evolution of a civilization, might be plausible. To me, this suggests thinking of people as herd animals whose mass movements can be predicted and guided. This disturbs me on some deep level. Also, it doesn’t seem to account for unpredictable breakthroughs, which are a hallmark of technological human history, but are often overlooked by anti-progress, anti-technological doomsayers like the Club of Rome and Paul Ehrlich. So there’s some guilt by association there.

    On the other hand, pyschohistory was just something Asimov dreamed up as a hook on which to hang a series of books. Just because a writer of speculative fiction writes, “What if it was possible to do this?” doesn’t mean he thinks it is likely or desirable.

    2) More specifically: In the July 1776 issue of National Geographic, NG assembled a panel of various experts to discuss the future of America. One of the experts was Asimov.

    I don’t have the issue with me to refer to, but he said something very striking that has always stayed with me. I don’t have the exact words, but it was very similar to this: He noted the bad side effects of technological progress in the 20th century — pollution, urban crowding, nuclear weapons, etc. — and suggested, “The big slogan of the 21st century will be, ‘No more 20th centuries!'”

    He went on to suggest that in the 2ist century, every new technological development would be examined for possible ill side-effects before it was allowed to be released into the world.

    By that, I can only presume that he advocated some kind of authority like the Patent Office that would examine every new invention, and then have the power to decide whether it was worth developing or should be suppressed.

    (Presumably, if such an authority could have foreseen spam or online porn, for example, it would never have allowed e-mail or the Internet to be invented, respectively.)

    When I read that, I was a kid. I wasn’t a libertarian or an adherent of any coherent philosophy yet. But nevertheless it struck me as very wrong.

    Today I have the vocabulary to say: If Asimov advocated such a thing — if he thought such overight and power was even possible, then he had a dangerously authoritarian, anti-progress, sheep-herder, stasist and statist view of the world and of The Way Things Ought to Be.

  41. overight and power = oversight and power

  42. Mel Gibson is to Catholicism what Jerry Lee Lewis is to Southern Baptists.

    Either that or Mel is simply a living example of what every teenager always knew: As long as you’re in the confessional Sunday morning, anything goes on Saturday night.

  43. Is it just me, or is Libertarianism an especial refuge for ex-Catholics?

    hmm lets see white, male, american, and secular…if you are member of any demographic that contains all of the above such as libertarians you are garanteed to have a large group of ex-catholics.

  44. or hordes of angry Jews transforming into a hooded, Satanic figure.

    ummm did we see the same movie??

  45. Oh for Heaven’s Sake, get over yourselves! If we’re gonna judge/ban Mel for his verbal comments, then perhaps we should do it to all the other folks in the entertainment field as well. And not just for a stupid comment made while under the influence of alcohol, how about including those ever present drugs as well. Let’s see, about every commandment ever written has been trounced by famous folks in all entertainment fields. I figure the ones who are speaking out the loudest, are the ones with the biggest sins to hide. Try turning your energies to solving some REAL problems, instead of jumping on a popular tar and feather bandwagon that isn’t justified! And don’t forget, YOU aren’t to judge him…………….as it was so aptly put, it’s between Mel and his God.

  46. even Jews who look like Sarah Michelle Gellar.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar is a JEW!?!?!

    My god I may have been anti-semitic and not even knew it…surely any people who spawned that cow are wretched to the core.

  47. But Stevo, Asimov was assuming that we’d have seriously brilliant AI running things in the 21st century 🙂

  48. Joshua, are we talking about the same cow?

    She looks a little like my heart doctor (Brave New World, Man) except her hair’s longer.

  49. Oh, sorry, the comment should have read like this:

    Sarah Michelle Gellar is a JEW!?!?!

    My god I may have been anti-semitic and not even knew it…surely any people who spawned that cow are wretched to the core.

    Joshua, are we talking about the same cow?

    She looks a little like my heart doctor (Brave New World, Man) except her hair’s longer.

  50. 1) I am disturbed by Asimov thinking some kind of science of “psychohistory,” enabling experts to predict the future evolution of a civilization, might be plausible. To me, this suggests thinking of people as herd animals whose mass movements can be predicted and guided.

    Don’t libertarians refer to that science as “economics”?

    He noted the bad side effects of technological progress in the 20th century — pollution, urban crowding, nuclear weapons, etc. — and suggested, “The big slogan of the 21st century will be, ‘No more 20th centuries!'”

    Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that much. Murray Rothbard said much the same thing:

    Heaven forfend! Who would want to repeal the twentieth century, the century of horror, the century of collectivism, the century of mass destruction and genocide, who would want to repeal that! Well, we propose to do just that.

    With the inspiration of the death of the Soviet Union before us, we now know that it can be done. We shall break the clock of social democracy. We shall break the clock of the Great Society. We shall break the clock of the welfare state. We shall break the clock of the New Deal. We shall break the clock of Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom and perpetual war. We shall repeal the twentieth century.

    One of the most inspiring and wonderful sights of our time was to see the peoples of the Soviet Union rising up, last year, to tear down in their fury the statues of Lenin, to obliterate the Leninist legacy. We, too, shall tear down all the statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt, of Harry Truman, of Woodrow Wilson, melt them down and beat them into plowshares and pruninghooks, and usher in a twenty-first century of peace, freedom and prosperity.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    I once knew a guy who was a cousin of Asimov’s. FWIW, the guy told me that personally, Asimov was royal asshole.

  51. Pig Mannix,

    Asimov seemed to have a lot of friends in the writing world, all of whom seemed to love him. His correspondence appears to reveal a nice guy, too. I’m betting the cousin didn’t feel that he was getting enough largess from the Good Doctor. Or, perhaps, Asimov’s irreligiosity pissed him off.

    Or Asimov really was an asshole. How would I know? I’m just a fan, but you can’t go by that. I still like Woody Allen movies, and I think he’s a fruitcake.

  52. sorry I’m late with this, and for anyone who’s still interested…

    Most of my mysterious list of evil bastards was just a joke. I actually like Asimov’s early stuff. I was just curious to see if anyone would actually read the post.

    The numerous Franks mentioned are my neighbours whose numerous loud parties keep me up at night. 🙂

    Seriously though, I do tend to cut Mel a little more slack than I ordinarily would. It can’t be easy having that fruitcake as a father. But, he’s guilty of driving drunk on a very dangerous road: lock him up for that!

  53. I forgive you, JMoore, though I fear that Frank does not 🙂

    I like Asimov as much for his nonfiction as for his fiction. He had interesting takes on a number of issues, and I enjoy reading his opinions even when I disagree with them. I own Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Works of Shakespeare, which has some great stuff in it. One thing he hit upon that I’d been noodling around with on my own is that Hamlet wasn’t at all indecisive. The whole hesitation thing was about him trying to get revenge and safely take the throne. How interesting that a scientist/science writer could see that when so many Shakespeare scholars don’t even consider that possibility. Needless to say, I think Asimov was dead on in the interpretation (I disagree with him on his reading of Julius Caesar–you’ll have to read the book to decide on your own).

    Sorry for the rambling, pedantic aside 🙂

  54. Pro L:

    Actually, the Franks are among my best friends, and are well aware of my friendly-hatred of them.

    As for Asimov’s take on Hamlet. I have read the late bastard Jew’s (sorry) take on the vacillating Danish prince. I agree that it’s a very thoughtful interpretation, BUT…

    …in Shakespeare’s world, the duty of the eldest son of a recently-deceased king is clear: take the crown, and execute anyone–anyone, even your mother and uncle–who dares interfere.

    Hamlet was supposed to have seized power immediately! And lopped of the heads of his mother and his uncle. In other words, he was supposed to have done what Edward III did not.

    Although I appreciate Isaac’s clever interpretation, I have to stand by old principles: if you’re going to have a male-primogeniture-monarchy, then you have to insist that the rightful king be a cruel, even matricidal, shit. Hamlet fails to be a king.

  55. Ah, but succeeding in taking and keeping the crown is the key. Claudius’ accession to the throne of Denmark was a fait accompli, meaning that the army, etc. was in his hands. Killing him might be enough for Hamlet to take and keep power; then again, it might not. After all, the play doesn’t seem to hint at any rebelliousness about the transition to power, and Claudius seemed to be reasonably popular. Not to mention Hamlet’s youth and inexperience compared to his uncle.

    Let’s think about what Hamlet would’ve said to justify his assassination of Claudius: “Um, well, he murdered my dad. . . . Proof? Oh, um, this ghost that might’ve been my dad’s or maybe a spirit sent by Satan or maybe my freakin’ imagination told me that he was murdered by Claudius. . . .What do you mean, where’s Fortinbras?”

  56. After jeus said :”All your sins are forgiven” he added, in a rather shrill tone “Now LET ME DOWN!”…..but thats been edited out of history….
    “take these nails outta my hands
    & I swear youll get to the promised land…..”
    Gospel According to the Clamtones.

  57. Pig Mannix, I suspect you keed. But just in case …

    “1) I am disturbed by Asimov thinking some kind of science of “psychohistory,” enabling experts to predict the future evolution of a civilization, might be plausible. To me, this suggests thinking of people as herd animals whose mass movements can be predicted and guided.”

    Don’t libertarians refer to that science as “economics”?

    Economics can be used to explain things that have already happened real good, and can give very broad principles of what might happen “If A, then B” but it’s not much good for specific predictions along the lines of “Will the government of the USA fall? When?” or “Will the year 2008 be a boom time or a depression?” The situation is too chaotic (as in chaos theory).

    “- He noted the bad side effects of technological progress in the 20th century — pollution, urban crowding, nuclear weapons, etc. — and suggested, “The big slogan of the 21st century will be, ‘No more 20th centuries!'” -”

    Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that much. Murray Rothbard said much the same thing…

    Rothbard was not the only person to lament the murderous record of governments during the 20th century. But Asimov was talking about the negative side-effects of technological progress — and seemed to advocate addressing those effects through some kind of authoritarian “censorship” of technology. Big difference.

  58. Winecommensewer

    She looks a little like my heart doctor

    Is heart doctor some sort of euphamism for hooker?

  59. Could someone please tell me why Mel Gibson is said to be anti-semitic when he goes on a drunken rant after being stopped by police?
    If the topic happened to be a rage against the Israelis for attacking the Hezbollah in Lebanon he might have received praise for his vitreol…
    (At least that would agree with the mainstream media’s opinion on the Israeli attack.)

    Where are the protesters who should be voicing their anger against the Anti-semitic comments made by the leader of the Hezbollah a few days ago?
    Is it right to allow such comments made by a political leader who should know better, while at the same time, take a relatively harmless citizen of the US to task for doing the same thing?

    Are special allowances being made by the media, for those radical leaders who truly want to see the Jews exterminated in the Middle East?
    (Before they attack the US).

    Where are the spokesmen for the Jewish community in Hollywood, who should be angry at those who are launching deadly missiles at Israel?
    Has anyone said anything in support of Israel?
    Why is the silence so deafening?
    I thought that Steven Spielberg or Barbra Streisand would have approached the microphone by now…..

    All Mel is guilty of is being loose-lipped and drunk and having it all recorded.
    Is he truly a “Lethal Weapon”? or just a rich target for the legal system?
    I wonder if he will be using the same legal firm that Michael Jackson just fired.

    I am waiting for comments..

    Ron

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