About Me and Stuff

I’m pretty certain I was born to be a comedian, but I got sidetracked trying to earn a living. Now I just do it part-time and it shows…

However, some people are absolute naturals. George Carlin for me was perhaps the best. He’s dead now, but we’re still laughing. I’m sure you’ve already watched the Religion is Bullshit sketch about a thousand times already, but here is another of my personal favorites:

 

Of the comedians still living, Ricky Gervais and Billy Connolly are without doubt on top of my list of funniest comedians.

Now run along and find your own videos of them…. and don’t forget to die laughing.

It’s arrogant and reckless to think that prayer will cure cancer…or anything else for that matter

I received another one of those deceptively cute e-mails today from someone who I don’t think is a Christian. The contents are what you’d expect from a fundie.

However, I know this person and she’s definitely no fundie; maybe just another innocent believer who is a tad lazy to employ some reasoning skills. And also becoming an unwitting spammer.

So here’s the contents of the mail:

Friday is world cancer day – I’d appreciate it if you will forward this request 

 93% won’t forward 

A small request.. Just one line. 

Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer.  Amen

[Image of candle removed]

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it’s only to one more person. 
In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.. 

Please Keep This Candle Going

Okay, the first obvious problem with this mail is that World Cancer Day is on the 4th of February 2011, more than two weeks away; not this coming Friday as the impression is being created. I however don’t have any problem with that; it’s actually laudable to create awareness about this important day. What I do have a problem with is the call to prayer and the conceited suggestion that you will be only one of the mere 7% of people who are “good” and “give a shit about cancer.”

My second problem with this mail has to do with reasoning. Let’s assume that there is a god. Cancer has been around since the dawn of man. It’s just that its only been relatively recently diagnosed, not through divine revelation mind you, but through the hard work of scientists. Let’s also assume that god is responsible for creating everything and he [or she] has a divine plan, just like scripture [or the priesthood] tells us. Now wouldn’t it then also be logical to conclude that cancer was created by god and it’s part of his divine plan?

Wouldn’t it also then be arrogant, not to mention futile of man to pray for its eradication, seeing as it is a constituent of a bigger divine plan? Isn’t it reasonable to make these conclusions? And isn’t a divine plan supposed to be incontestable? As the late great George Carlin so eloquently reminded us:

What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?

Coming back to reality, the plain and honest truth is that prayer is not going to do any good in curing cancer; there is no evidence whatsoever that it does anything apart from making you feel like you can sit on your ass and magically command things to happen. Cancer is treatable when detected early and the chances are good that cancerous cells can be treated into remission. Ongoing research, however may one day lead scientists to discover how to switch cancerous cells off, so that they don’t divide and replicate.

This e-mail is dangerous in that it encourages both fundies and the ignorant to pray rather than seek medical help. Let’s be part of that 93% that employs our reasoning faculties.

Beating around the bush, and churning out the rubbish

The late George Carlin was undoubtedly one of the classiest comedians to ever analyze the world’s idiosyncracies with such side-splitting accuracy. His take below on the way politicians speak without actually saying anything, is a typical example:

Now contrast the way American politicians speak, with the way this Nutter from South Africa does:

Some choice. Listen to utter lies, American style or utter rubbish, South African style. While I prefer neither, given a choice I would opt for the charming American lies, rather than the sickening racist, revolutionary tripe that is favored by South Africa’s current batch of dictators in the making.

Even though we laugh like crazy every time this idiot opens his mouth, I accept that it may be something of a sacrilege mentioning Malema while writing about a true comedian, such as Carlin.

Religion, Politics and Culture or Religionists, Politicians and Culture. What’s the Connection?

A heady mix, especially religion and politics. Most people don’t recommend discussing either when in polite company; or in any company for that matter, especially when alcohol is available to lubricate the tongue. But where does culture fit in, if at all? Recently I came across a post on a social networking site which claims that religion and culture are one and the same. So, if culture is related to religion, is it also related to politics; and is politics for that matter related to religion. If you’ll bear with me, I’m going to attempt to uncover any connection, relation or association between religion, politics and culture, through a logical or mathematical approach.

Apart from the observation that nearly everyone has an opinion on religion and politics, and seem to want to assert that opinion, both are connected in other, rather ignominious ways. If you accept that regulation of  policy is derived through politics and that politicians formulate and administer, said policies, then it follows that politics revolves around politicians. What’s that got to do with religion? Well, Comedian, George Carlin commented that “When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion.” In truth, politics (and politicians), like religion, thrives on false promises and exaggerated, even absurd, claims. There’s your first connection, right there.

The second connection between religion and politics may not be that obvious, but it’s real, even if contentious. Religion owes it’s continued existence to it’s ability to enthrall poor, needy and desperate people. A politicians career also depends on his ability to mesmerize the poor, needy and desperate (with, yes you guessed it; false or exaggerated promises). Obviously, education also plays a role, but it goes without saying that generally, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be scammed by religious and political scumbags (in other words, Evangelists and Right-wing Conservatives).

What’s the connection between religion and culture? Although some people assert that there is not much difference between the two, there actually is. The fallacious association is made when one examines how they both evolved and were adapted in different parts of the world. The reason one may find them indistinguishable from each other, is because religion and culture have merged to such an extent over time. However, when you look at the origins of religion and culture, the distinction is obvious. Religion is associated with base, primal instincts. It evolved out of a need to make sense of the world, in the absence of philosophy and science. Culture is associated with advancing civilization, and a more sophisticated, philosophical, even scientific way of life. It is safe to postulate that culture set in when religion stopped providing all the answers. The problem with religion is that it is a nasty, vicious animal, and won’t lay down and die. To ensure it’s survival, religion has crept so far up the ass of culture, they’ve become locked into an indistinguishable mess.

And what about culture and politics. Is there a connection? Well, all I can really say about this, is that the culture of politics is to perpetuate lies and deceit, and the lust for power at all costs. Enough said…