Monday, March 29, 2010

Christianity, confessionals, and real estate agents

Christians are people, too. I guess. Here’s an Associated Press story. If god existed, he’d be spinning in his soup at what his followers do.

Hutaree Militia Planned To Spark "Uprising" by Killing Officers. The nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia who were arrested over the weekend were "preparing for the Antichrist" by planning to kill police officers, attack their funerals with homemade bombs, and retreat to "rally points" protected by IEDS for "a violent standoff with law enforcement personnel." According to government documents released Monday afternoon, the group, known as Hutaree (a word taken from a "secret language"), was planning to launch its campaign of violence in April. Its members had been meeting and training in the woods of Michigan since 2008. Videos on the group's Web site show the men "practiced building and detonating explosives and shooting firearms and built storage bunkers," in preparation for an attack against the "Anti-Christ." The AP says Hutaree members "view local, state, and federal law-enforcement personnel as a 'brotherhood' and an enemy" that they were meant to attack.

On Sunday, I toddled off to an audition. The local theatre’s putting “Brassed Off” on in August, and required people to step up to strut and fret their hour upon the stage. They must have all been drunk, because they’ve given me the part of Jim. Jim and his sidekick, Harry, make up the Greek chorus part of the ensemble. They’re the comic relief, the Abbott and Costello, the Charlie and the Chaplin, the bowed an’ narrer. Rehearsals start in May, so calloo callay, I’m back. Fortunately, I don’t have to learn to play the Tuba, Trombone, Flugelhorn, or Cornet. Mine is a speaking part only, for which fact you music-lovers may heave an ecstatic sigh of relief.

Oh look: another Christian caper. Another AP story:

Chronic YouTuber Arrested for Threatening Eric Cantor A Philadelphia man was arrested Monday and charged with threatening to kill Rep. Eric Cantor. Norman Leboon has made thousands of YouTube videos over the years, and he recently posted one calling Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, a "liar," a "Lucifer," and a "greedy pig." He made reference to what police thought was a stray bullet that broke a window in Cantor's office building last week. "You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads," Leboon said. "You and your children are Lucifer's abomination." Not content just to threaten Cantor and his kids, Leboon also allegedly threatened to kill the congressman's "cupcake wife." Talking Points Memo reports that Leboon has made "similar, if not criminally actionable" threats to "an ideologically diverse array of public figures," including President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

But I should stop now. The poor buggers are such easy targets. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. To put it into terms a catholic priest would understand, it's like raping children in a confessional. It’s like asking real estate agents do a morals or literacy exam: you just know it’s all going to end up badly.

READING: Still on Michael Dobbs and Charles Bukowski.

LISTENING TO: Bob Dylan, "Modern Times".

WATCHING: We’ve come to the end of “The Wire”. What brilliant TV. And Jenny went to the website to find out that the chap singing the opening credits song was Tom Waits! I didn’t recognise him at all. This is because it was, in fact, the Blind Bastards of Birmingham, singing a Tom Waits song.

WORD OF THE DAY: Ear-cleaning.

Paper Heroes:

It is estimated that less than 10 million people are left in North America.
Inside America, US troops stage a coup d’etat. President Fuller is ousted, and General Paul McGann, President of the NRA, is proclaimed President-for-Life. The United States of America ceases to exist. McGann proposes a new name for the continent: ‘Merika. The Stars and Stripes are flown for the last time, and the new flag revealed. It is a blue field with two golden rifles, crossed.
All Central and South American nations combine to form a single trading, defence, and economic bloc: they call themselves the United States of South America. Brazil passes her Security Council seat to the USSA.

Japan, Australia, and New Zealand form a joint space and energy agency called JANZAC, which raises finances to build the Eneribbon: an enormous space-based solar energy collection project which is projected to take a century to complete.
In fact it takes 200 years. The project, however, had paid for itself within the first twenty years of construction. Providing very low cost and practically limitless energy to all countries, the Eneribbon is the single most revolutionary artefact to be built by man. It unites nations, and makes borders disappear.

The International Commonwealth is now the only meaningful political organisation on Earth outside the mystery that is ‘Merika. Sweeping social legislation brought by popular demand has made warfare illegal. The very last dispute involving armed troops occurs as the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is dissolved: a South African guard dog is bitten by a snake and, maddened by the pain, the animal bites a Zimbabwean border guard, who shoots it.
By now ‘Merika is in darkness. She has turned her back on the rest of the world, and all contact with the governing junta by the outside world is severed. All that is seen and heard from ‘Merika is from radio and television broadcasts, which diminish in strength and quantity as the years pass. The odd brief flurry of military-style wavelength-hopping radio communication is intercepted and decoded, and from this it is estimated that fewer than 6 million people now call ‘Merika home. There were, however, disturbing hints that a large proportion of those people is held in bondage. Slavery, it seems, is once again a reality.
At the end of the century jamming radio signals curtain the coastlines and provide a blanket of white noise that covers the continent. Commonwealth analysts can discern no real purpose to this strategy: nothing of importance had come from ‘Merika in years: nothing more was ever expected. The rare attempt to physically close with the shoreline is met with gunfire. The International Commonwealth votes overwhelmingly to leave ‘Merika alone. By 2200, ‘Merika hasn’t been heard from for 10 years: even the jamming signal has stopped.
The International Commonwealth vote universally for disarmament and for the first time in human history, there is no known standing army, navy, or air force. The ownership of firearms is restricted to a relative few: farmers, conservationists, zookeepers – people who work with animals.

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