Pharyngula

King James is so passé

The Bible I want on my bookshelf is the Robert Crumb Version. He’s got one chapter done: Crumb is about to publish his version of Genesis, which will be a “scandalous satire” which “presents a complex, even subversive, narrative that calls for a significant re-examination of both the Bible’s content and its role in our culture”. Sounds fun!

Of course, we’ll never have a complete RCV Bible. No one could ever drop enough acid to do Revelation right.

Comments

  1. #1 t3knomanser
    March 31, 2009

    If anyone could, R. Crumb could.

  2. #2 Michelle R
    March 31, 2009

    Oh yea! As soon as this thing comes out, it’s goin’ on my nightstand!

    Afterall, fundies say it’s a great idea to read the good book before bed.

  3. #3 wjv
    March 31, 2009

    Has anyone read the Boomer Bible? That guy certainly dropped enough acid. Brilliant satire, though; I’m surprised it’s not more widely known.

  4. #4 Courtney
    March 31, 2009

    I’m still a fan of of Live from Golgotha.

  5. #5 Richard Harris
    March 31, 2009

    …his UK publisher is predicting will “provoke the religious right”.

    Therein lies the problem. The religious right is actually the religious wrong. But with that description, no wonder the clowns are suffering mega-delusions.

    And why not an American publisher? Just askin’.

  6. #6 KI
    March 31, 2009

    Crumb may be the most important philosopher of my teenage life. I cannot imagine what I would have become without “Zap” and “Yellow Dog” and all the stuff that followed. It led me to S Clay Wilson, easily the most fucked-up cartoonist ever (“Star-eyed Stella and the Checkered Demon”), and eventually to Art Spiegelman (in “Arcade” funnies).

    You will probably get a pile of “Oh, he’s such a misogynist” posts by people with a superficial knowledge of his work. I found his attempts to get beyond his upbringing to be laudatory, however he might have failed in not being a sexist pig. Someone with so much sexual baggage from the 1950′s deserves a little slack, but that’s just my puny opinion.

  7. #7 Sisu
    March 31, 2009

    You might also enjoy the Brick Testament. The Old Testament done in Lego, no punches pulled.

    Google it, or go to thebricktestament dot com.

  8. #8 scooter
    March 31, 2009

    An S Clay Wilson version of Revelations would be outstanding

  9. #9 Rick Schauer
    March 31, 2009

    Hopefully, this new version of the bible won’t lead to behavior like this this brainwashed wack job!

  10. #10 Matt Heath
    March 31, 2009

    “And why not an American publisher? Just askin’.”
    It would be usual for a book by a well known author to have both; I expect the article quotes the British publisher because it in the Graun (“of Manchester and London”).

  11. #11 KI
    March 31, 2009

    scooter: oh hell yeah! And Spain could do Paul’s letters – spooky darkness. Gilbert Shelton for Kings and Judges (Fat Freddy as Solomon?) Spiegelman does the gospels as a cut-up/fold-in, with all four texts deconstructed simultaneously! Cootchy Cootie as Moses in Exodus. The possibilities are wide and vast.

  12. #12 Interrobang
    March 31, 2009

    You will probably get a pile of “Oh, he’s such a misogynist” posts by people with a superficial knowledge of his work.

    No, as a matter of fact, I think the fact that he hates and(has admitted he) fears women makes him absolutely perfect for the job of illustrating the Bible. Perhaps after he finishes with Genesis, he can do Paul. It sounds, if you’ll pardon the expression, like a match made in heaven.

    After all, Christianity didn’t invent misogyny, but it did raise it to an art form.

    (I also love the implication here, that we should just overlook his misogyny because he’s such a great artist. Would anybody at all be saying that if his depictions of, say, black people were as twisted as his depictions of women? OTOH, it’s damn easy to overlook bigotry when you’re not on the firing line…)

  13. #13 tristero
    March 31, 2009

    I, too, eagerly look forward to Crumb’s Bible, or as much of it as he cares to deal with. But the Book of Revelation is being unfairly maligned as an acid fantasy. To think of it that way is like reading Principia and deciding it’s some weird kind of pornography because it’s talking obsessively about bodies and how they’re always moving. See here:

    Because of intricate and unusual symbolic language, the Book of Revelation is hard for modern people to read. They are not used to this kind of literature. Not so for people in the ancient world who would have been more accustomed to the complex nature of apocalyptic literature. The very fact that an apocalypse was a common type of literature meant that if followed certain conventions of style, and people knew more what to expect from it. Because there were many other examples of apocalyptic writing, these conventions would have seemed less strange and cryptic. Also, apocalyptic literature was almost always a kind of literature for ‘insiders,’ that is to say, it was written for people who already knew something of the situation and of the symbols that were used to portray it. So, for the original audience of the Revelation of John, all these strange scenes would have been immediately intelligible. What the modern reader or biblical scholar has to do is to try to read the text with ‘ancient eyes,’ by being informed about the way the literature worked and the situation out of which it came

    What follows is a long essay about how Revelation obliquely describes contemporary struggles with the Roman oppressors. In short, Revelation is a kind of samizdat, written in code.

    The essay also describes some different ways Revelation has been interpreted over the years.

    Merely because the book has been misconstrued for centuries, and especially by modern religious lunatics, is no reason to misread it the same way they do, as some sort of demented, visionary, hallucinogenic prophecy. Its not. The author was noSchreber. It truly is an amazing – and yes, amazingly bizarre – read. Its influence on art and literature over the past 2000 years has been enormous.

  14. #14 Michelle
    March 31, 2009

    “No one could ever drop enough acid to do Revelation right.”

    And LO! The four riders pranced about to the rhythm of coconut shells, and a trumpet blew. TOOT TOOT! The gates of heaven and hell were torn asunder, and the Black Knight declared “You shall not pass!” And LO! Sir Spam-a-lot fought for the salvation of your soul, but the Black Knight was relentless, decrying his injuries as a mere flesh wound. His blood soaked the moon, making a Very Creepy (TM) special effect.

    The four riders pranced forward, to find a stupid blond chick walking backwards across the Great Seal with the Holy Grail. (Grail grail grail! YEAH!) The Great Seal was broken, and the ground shook. A chasm opened in the earth, swallowing the stupid blond chick. The earth began to crumble, and LO! The four riders did flee for their lives, but none so fast as Sir Robin the Brave. Sir Jones of Indiana barely escaped with his hat, as the French Soldier launched a cow at the fleeing riders.

    From the depths, demons emerged, hell-bent on devouring the souls of the unfaithful (or anyone else who looked tasty). The vampires played baseball, and with each crack of the bat, the sky was torn in two, as flame and fire rained down upon the sparkly ones. This heralded the arrival of the Dark Lord, aka You-Know-Who, aka Mouldy-shorts, aka Lord No-Nose, aka Voldemort, who would destroy all those who are not pure, and have not been eaten by vampires, and have not been consumed by the rain of fire.

    Just then, the TARDIS arrived…

  15. #15 Bubba
    March 31, 2009

    @12 Interrobang

    Would anybody at all be saying that if his depictions of, say, black people were as twisted as his depictions of women?

    You’ve obviously never seen Oooga Booga. Satirists sometimes push it beyond the limit.

  16. #16 ER Doc
    March 31, 2009

    PJ, I’m not sure it’s actually necessary to redo Revelations to parody it. You could use it intact with the other, parodied books of the Bible, and no one but a biblical scholar would notice.

  17. #17 Jack
    March 31, 2009

    On the contrary, Lebron is a shoe-in for MVP.

  18. #18 KI
    March 31, 2009

    Interrobang@12

    You perhaps should read his works with the character “Angelfood McSpade”, especially the one that end with her head in the toilet and the white businessman taking a crap on her.

    “These Negroes are such foolish creatures”.
    “I think I is gettin’ shit on again”.

    When an artist confronts the inequalities and problems of a society, I find it imperative that they not sugar-coat the reality, and the reality in the USA is fuckin’ ugly.

    Perhaps the concerned would be better off correcting the problems, rather than shooting the messenger. Someone who attempts to better themselves and understand their shortcomings as a person, even when unsuccessful, is preferable to those who never try.

    I feel a superficial overview of his work shortchanges the deeper message, that sexism and racism are deeply ingrained into America, and most people need to be hit over the head to realize it.

  19. #19 Marcus B.
    March 31, 2009

    There’s also always the lolcat bible at http://www.lolcatbible.com/
    I’m guessing that it isn’t exactly what everyone likes, but it is filled with some rather nice sarcasm buried in the piles of inane lolspeak.

  20. #20 GMacs
    March 31, 2009

    SiMoN,

    First off, congratulations on your sneakiness.

    You would find so impressive a judge pinnacle of science like Florida, wouldn’t you?

    Were it not for the recent administration change, he would have been on the fast track to being a federal judge or attorney. Wait, no, too experienced.

  21. #21 Fridy13
    March 31, 2009

    @Interrobang #12:
    “Would anybody at all be saying that if his depictions of, say, black people were as twisted as his depictions of women? OTOH, it’s damn easy to overlook bigotry when you’re not on the firing line…”

    Well, actually, his depictions of black people aren’t any better, sometimes.

    Ultimately I think Crumb is more of a misanthrope than anything else. Does his casual racism/sexism make him less culturally relevant? I mean, misogynist artists are a dime a dozen, do we have to discount all of Picasso’s works too? (Or Rodin? Or Diego Rivera? Or…?)

  22. #22 Hockey Bob
    March 31, 2009

    Sorry for the slightly off-topic comment, but I just had this discussion sent to me;

    http://www.rushlimbaughforum.com/who-has-murdered-the-most-atheists-christians-t2961.html

    Any chance there might be an articulate atheist to set the matter straight for this confused idiot? It seems to me that this has been discussed here before, with much fanfare. Why do these morons insist on calling Hitler an atheist, since he was a christian?

  23. #23 DungheapTheUgly
    March 31, 2009

    Acid was clearly involved in the original Revelation. Revelation 10:9-11 says this:

    So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

    Sounds like acid to me, especially if the “little scroll” had Mickey Mouse on it.

  24. #24 Naughtius Maximus
    March 31, 2009

    @21
    The pathetic thing is that this email will do the rounds and people will actually think it happened.

  25. #25 Kevin Schreck
    March 31, 2009

    Sounds excellent! Thanks for the heads-up!

  26. #26 Matt
    March 31, 2009

    Cant claim to be a Crumb fan from way-back, though Im ‘superficially’ familiar.

    Just recently saw the Crumb documentary. The movie is produced by David Lynch, and as deeply Lynchian as any of his fiction.

    What Crumb hates, I posit, is not women per se, but the sexual power they hold over him. As a poor and unknown young man he had no outlet. Comics saved him (literally. see the documentary to understand just how F-d up a family he came from), and with his fame came feminine attentions. This only reinforced his belief it wasnt ‘him’ they liked but his accomplishments and talent. Misogyny often is sublimated self-loathing, methinks.

  27. #27 GMacs
    March 31, 2009

    @25
    I hope most people would be smart enough to realise he would have linked if it were.

    So an old cartoonist is making his own version of the bible? This should make for a really good read.

  28. #28 Naughtius Maximus
    March 31, 2009

    Hockey Bob, go to wikipedia and do a search for martin Luther, it will give a list of his anti-semitic writings

  29. #29 KI
    March 31, 2009

    The great ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes relates that the first time he took ayahuasca (AKA yage) he was confronted by a large lizard that prophesized to him. He related the story to some missionaries he knew who immediately pulled our Revelation and found some relevant passage. He then returned to the shaman who had dosed him, who told him “Oh, the lizard always says that, but he’s full of it, don’t believe him.”

    From this story, I came to the conclusion that much of the psychedelic experience is related to the amygdala part of your brain-the ancient reptile foundation of thought-and have dismissed Revelation as a bad trip ever since.

  30. #30 Ted Dahlberg
    March 31, 2009

    And I just started reading the Bible (KJV, since it’s so very public domain and I’m quoting the whole darn thing) and blogging my comments on it two days ago. Darn it! I should have waited for the new and improved version.

  31. #31 BMcP
    March 31, 2009

    Crumb is about to publish his version of Genesis, which will be a “scandalous satire” which “presents a complex, even subversive, narrative that calls for a significant re-examination of both the Bible’s content and its role in our culture”

    Well fortunately it will be in cartoon form, otherwise subversive satire of the Bible is rather “been there, done that” these days.

  32. #32 Geb
    March 31, 2009

    My favoured version is the Queen James Bible, which is sadly not online anymore, but can be found in the internet archive wayback machine. It was quite spectacularly disrespectful, with very crude humour.

    Genesis 1:27 “God created man in his own image, with some of the faults removed.”

  33. #33 Bernard Bumner
    March 31, 2009

    …his casual racism/sexism…

    I’m not sure casual is the right word for Crumb’s misanthropy in any of its forms; he seems to work very hard at crossing the line. I would say that he is actually very even-handed in his contempt for all of humanity, and for himself.

    …it’s damn easy to overlook bigotry…

    The whole point of Crumb’s work is that it is impossible for any right-minded individual to ignore the deliberately offensive nature of the contents. Of course, there will also be wrong-minded consumers of his work, who possess nothing more than a superficial fascination for cartoon-proportioned, sexually monstrous women (and Bone-wearing black Africans).

    To some extent, I think that his work only functions as a mirror – of his own, and the reader’s own opinions and ideals. On the other hand, his artwork and approach to satirical comics certainly has value, and is unquestionably influential.

    Of course, nobody has to like his work.

  34. #34 Cliff Hendroval
    March 31, 2009

    Like most Christian proselytizers, Simon is a liar.

  35. #35 Jud
    March 31, 2009

    S Clay Wilson, easily the most fucked-up cartoonist ever

    You ain’t just shittin’ upstream, daddy. (That’s a lift from the late Charles Bukowski, easily the most fucked-up novelist/poet ever. Try the short story – only 5 pages or so – “Maja Thurup,” from the collection “South of No North.”)

    Sadly, it doesn’t look like Wilson will be doing Revelation any time soon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Clay_Wilson#Brain_injury

  36. #36 Naughtius Maximus
    March 31, 2009

    I hope Simon never gets an email from a Nigerian Prince asking for his bank account number.

  37. #37 KI
    March 31, 2009

    Jud, “thanks” for the info on Wilson. Sad to hear, I thought he was the most demented genius artist of all time. I cherish my $10 drawing of Captain Pissgums (from when he’d send you a quick drawing for a check in the mail). I hope he recovers.

  38. #38 Marcus Ranum
    March 31, 2009

    LSD doesn’t make you stupid it makes you prone to confabulations, weird flights of fancy, and hallucinations. Religion requires stupid, not trippy. It’s a whole different vibe.

  39. #39 justawriter
    March 31, 2009

    You know what? It sounds even dumber when they say it out loud.
    Dramatic Readings of Fundy Online Forum Posts

  40. #40 Paul Lundgren
    March 31, 2009

    No one could ever drop enough acid to do Revelation right.

    And live to tell it.

  41. #41 Glen Davidson
    March 31, 2009

    Doesn’t Poe’s law extend to the whole book of Genesis? Nearly the whole thing is a set of stories that make god and his people look bad.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  42. #42 Canuck
    March 31, 2009

    Oh goody. Blasphemy. I love a good biting blasphemy in the morning.

  43. #43 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    Posted by: Cliff Hendroval | March 31, 2009

    Like most Christian proselytizers, Simon is a liar.

    That tight little bundle of stupidity has to lie about who he is in order to throw up his verbal vomit onto this screen. So what is one more lie on top of that. Besides, the blood will cleanse him of his lies and repressed sexual anxieties. He has a job as a guardian angel to do.

  44. #44 CosmicTeapot
    March 31, 2009

    The fool says in his heart, there is no God.

    The wise man shouts it from the rooftop.

    _____________<;,><_____________

    Not mine, I wish it were.

  45. #45 MartyM
    March 31, 2009

    I like the version of Genesis Dr. Shermer put in his book “Why Darwin Matters: The case against intelligent design”. It’s awesome.

  46. #46 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 31, 2009

    Just then, the TARDIS arrived…

    ROTFLMAO!

    but it is filled with some rather nice sarcasm buried in the piles of inane lolspeak.

    Lolspeak?

    Inane?

    Look what happens when you talk in Lolcat about inanity.

    Ecclesiastes 1

    Everything Iz Ghey

    1 Teh werdz ov teh preechur, teh son ov David, King of teh Jerusalem. 2 “St00pid! St00pid!” Sez teh teechurcat. “Srsly st00pid. Everythingz ghey.” 3 Wut man getz 4 laburz he toilz @ undur teh sunz? 4 Generashun comez n generashun goez, still same lolcats. 5 Sun rizez n setz, goez bak n rize agin. 6 Teh wind blowz souf n norf, rownd n rownd, alwayz teh sayme. 7 Seaz can has streemz, nevur fullz. Streemz go bak where comez frum. 8 All tingz has DO NOT WANT, more den werdz sez. Lolrus never sez “enuf bucket, kthnx” or kitteh sez “dats good, enuff cheezburger.” 9 Has happen? Gunna be agin. Nuthing new undur teh sunz. 10 Kitteh can not sez “OMFGZ sumthing new!” is jus REPOST!. 11 New kittahz 4gitz old kittahz, new kittahz 4gitd bai even newer kittahz.

    Wizdum Iz Ghey

    12 I Iz teh teechurcat, king of teh Jerusalem. 13 I has studiez n wizdum ovur all lolcatz, n zomg wut hevy berdun Ceiling Cat putz on kittehz. 14 Teechurcat haz see lolrus n cheezburgerz n longcatz n awl dat is st00pidz, lyke chasing aftur tail. Nevr can catch teh tayle and even whn yu doo it hrtz srsly. 15 Wut iz breakd kittah cannot to be fixez, wut gon cannot iz cowntid. 16 Teechurcat sez to selv, “O hai! I has growd n increes widum moar den awl teechurcatz comez b4 meh. I has ekspeeriens much wizdum n nawledg.” 17 Den I appliez self to knowz wizdomz n aslo knowz bout st00pid n ghey thingz, n lernz dat dis aslo lyke chasing aftur tayl. 18 Srsly moar wizdum iz FTL, k. Moar smartz, moar greefz.

    Some people deny that there’s such a thing as a translation that’s better than the original. Even without being capable of reading the original in this case, I’m not so sure about that.

    “Oh, the lizard always says that, but he’s full of it, don’t believe him.”

    ROTFLMAO!

    From this story, I came to the conclusion that much of the psychedelic experience is related to the amygdala part of your brain-the ancient reptile foundation of thought-

    <sigh>

    That was all an argument from ignorance by a famous but ignorant neurologist. All chordates* have a limbic system, no matter that the limbic system was supposed to be “neomammalian“.

    * Well, except for adult tunicates, I suppose.

  47. #47 Andyo
    March 31, 2009

    Dude, you guys got it easy. In Spanish, the book of Revelation is called Apocalipsis. You figure it out. bible’s creepier in Spanish, at least the index.

  48. #48 KI
    March 31, 2009

    The esteemed David M @47
    Sorry about that, I was trying to be poetic, not factual, should have pointed that out. It’s not a good idea to mix your facts and fancy in the same paragraph. Let me know when I do again, thank you.

  49. #49 Dreadnaught
    March 31, 2009

    Talking about using LSD is so funny. Thank all you Boomers for making drugs consequence free. That has worked out great for all of us. Thanks Ken Kesey. It is easy to sit back and be critical of social organizations, such as religion. But what has the worthless Boomers given society?

  50. #50 Geb
    March 31, 2009

    followon from my previous comment, a link and another quote from the Queen James Bible

    2:20 Adam gave them all names, even the skinny ones with three legs and the same amount of eyes, he named the birds too, but they just kept shitting on him. Adam was still devoid of company, however, so turned to compulsive masturbation.
    2:21 So God slipped Adam some rohypnol and cut him. Cut him good. He pulled out two of his ribs, and marinated and ate one.
    2:22 With the other, he made a woman. The entire process is pretty disgusting and God would rather not talk about it.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070826235633/http://www.queenjamesbible.com/index.html

  51. #51 MikeMa
    March 31, 2009

    SiMOn is an April fool. The day is his. The story is a hoax of course.

  52. #52 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    Why thank you Dreadnaught for that empty bit of rhetoric.

  53. #53 bc23.5
    March 31, 2009

    I think the ancient sand dwellers sometimes ran out of water and hallucinated lots of strange things, i.e. Ezekiel. Also there are the writings of John Marco Allegro and a great documentary http://www.pharmacratic-inquisition.com/main/
    An exploration of how the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_Muscaria influenced the early church

  54. #54 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    So, Ken Kesey is the fault of the Boomers. In that sense, what else did the Boomers give us? Jesus Freaks. Is it not said, by Cheech and Chong, in the Book of Big Bambu, “Before, I was all strung out on drugs. Now, I am all strung out on the lord.”

    There are all kinds of things wrong with what Dreadnaught is spewing. Ken Kesey’s busload of Merry Pranksters was driven by Beat Neal Cassady, all of whom had come of age in the 50s, not the 60s. They represented a Dionysian edge that disquieted Allen Ginsberg who, along with Leary and others, unsuccessfully tried to stuff LSD back into an Apollonian bottle. Many of LSD’s early proponents were quite religious. The word “psychedelic” was settled upon after “entheogen” hadn’t caught on.

    Only an idiot would try to claim that drugs are consequence free. Any former psychic white-knuckler would tell you that consequences were rather the point.

  55. #55 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2009

    Thanks Ken Kesey…But what has the worthless Boomers given society?

    Sometimes a Great Notion and Europe ’72 come immediately to mind…

  56. #56 KI
    March 31, 2009

    @53
    I’ve been reading a lot about the effects of dehydration, and hallucinations and desert “revelations” do seem to be linked. Jesus’ 30 day walkabout, Lakota vision quests, all the crazy stuff seems to come from not enough water while you hang out in the desert and fry your brain in the sun.

  57. #57 bc23.5
    March 31, 2009

    @54 Ken Cope
    No kidding there are consequences. Look at what LSD did to Leary’s friend Dr.Richard Alpert.

  58. #58 J. D. Mack
    March 31, 2009

    >>But what has the worthless Boomers given society?>>

    The Internet . . . which you’re using to post your comments. Ironic, isn’t it?

  59. #59 Ryogam
    March 31, 2009

    Gratuitous Blog-Whoring in 3…2…1…

    At my blog “DrivingthePeterbilt.blogspot.com,” I’ve been rewriting the Bible at the rate of two chapters a week for almost a year now. I reached post number 104 last Sunday, ending at Leviticus 26, a most “What the Fuck?!?” worthy chapter of the Bible. I figure I’ve re-written about 10% of the Bible already. Some people have even said they’ve enjoyed reading my work.

    So, yeah, hearing that R. Crumb is going to make any work I do look like the work of an insightful four year, well, mixed feelings.

    R. Crumb, though! Man, I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

  60. #60 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    Look at what LSD did to Leary’s friend Dr.Richard Alpert.

    Rather, what Alpert did to himself with LSD. Leary was right about set and setting; what you brought to the experience determined the nature of the experience. A terrible mind is a thing to waste.

  61. #61 SteveM
    March 31, 2009

    Dude, you guys got it easy. In Spanish, the book of Revelation is called Apocalipsis. You figure it out.

    I give up, what’s to figure out?. “Apocalypse” is a synonym for “Revelation”. (Greek: ?????????? ApokŠlypsis; “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”)

  62. #62 Dreadnaught
    March 31, 2009

    ARPA starts in 1958, much before any Boomers were working. And Al Gore did not give us the Internet. So back to drugs and the destruction of the social fabric.

  63. #63 Yarcofin
    March 31, 2009

    The Lolcat Bible trumps all.

    All praise and worship be to ceiling cat!

  64. #64 Andyo
    March 31, 2009

    SteveM

    you got me. I should have known that hehe. Now that you mention it I did forget it. Still stands that it sounds creepier.

  65. #65 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    Gratuitous slap at strawman Al Gore by the freeper is noted. Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee was born in 1955, which makes him rather a late boomer, but it was his http that catalyzed the internet.

    So back to drugs and the destruction of the social fabric.

    Would that be the Emperor’s New Social Fabric? Personally, I can’t see it.

  66. #66 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 31, 2009

    Dreadnaught, what is this talk about “Boomers”? How old do you think I am, for example?

    Hint: I belong to what conservative politicians here in Europe call “the Internet generation” when they want to express their incomprehension, disgust, and latent fear of us.

  67. #67 SteveM
    March 31, 2009

    Andyo,

    I IIRC the King James Version also calls it “The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine.” I remember being amused the first time a saw a more modern translation call it “The Revelation of St. John” and thought they were using a euphemism. Like when Vatican II switched from using “Holy Ghost” to “Holy Spirit”. That was before I learned that “apocalypse” =/= “armegeddon”.

  68. #68 SteveM
    March 31, 2009

    Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee was born in 1955, which makes him rather a late boomer,

    “late” boomer? Boomer generation is 1946-1965, that puts him exactly at the midpoint.

  69. #69 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    Dreadnaught and his content free boomer strawperson. Drugs are nothing new or unique to boomers. For example, a generation of American soldiers became addicted to morphine as a result of treating their battle field wounds during the American Civil War. And how many wars did England fight in China in order to be able to force China to trade opiates.

  70. #70 Peter Ashby
    March 31, 2009

    Thanks for the headsup on this most delicious of promises PZ, I can hardly wait.

  71. #71 Logicel
    March 31, 2009

    Dreadnought foams: …the destruction of the social fabric.

    The social fabric before the fifties? The one that was a tightly knitted fabric that white males loved to adorn themselves with? It got ripped to shreds.

  72. #72 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    Boomer generation is 1946-1965, that puts him exactly at the midpoint.

    I’ll be 54 in a couple of weeks myself, but by the time I was old enough to buy alcohol, in 1976, the primary damage done to culture by the boomers was disco.

    Here’s an article about all the horrible awful fabric-ripping acidheads taking LSD when I was still in elementary school. Cary Grant, Henry Luce, Anais Nin…

    BTW, Robert Crumb is on record as really not liking LSD at all.

  73. #73 Leigh Johnson
    March 31, 2009

    Acid? I thought Revelation’s author did ‘shrooms…

  74. #74 Dreadnaugt
    March 31, 2009

    Yes, drugs are nothing new and they will be with us for all of time. It was Leary, Aplert, et al, who actually tried to tell us that drugs were good. Look at any inner city, or rural Meth ranch, and tell me drugs are not bad and only enhance your mind.

    Let’s go to Haight-Ashbury and do some LSD!

  75. #75 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    Leigh, I thought it was ergot.

  76. #76 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 31, 2009

    and tell me drugs are not bad and only enhance your mind.

    Who the hell is making that claim here?

    Do you have a point?

  77. #77 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    Dreadnaught, are you saying that drugs are rampant in the inner cities because of Leary?

    Lots of people use drugs not to enhance their minds. They use it to escape from their existence. Big difference. The problem is poverty, not permissiveness.

    Also, great warrior of strawpeople, not all boomers thought much of Haight-Ashbury.

    So, are you this ill informed on other subjects?

  78. #78 Gav
    March 31, 2009

    KI #29 reminds me of the experience of a former boss of mine. In his own words:

    “I broke down [near Tafarnaubach] many years ago and, as I was fiddling under the bonnet, this horse looked over the hedge and muttered “Carburettor”. I ignored him since I was a good chapel boy and taught to have nothing to do with horses, but when I managed to get the car to Gibbs in Sirhowy Bridge I reported the horse’s diagnosis to the service manager, hoping thereby to cut costs. He looked at me with the ill-disguised contempt garage people reserve for those they are about to fleece. “You’re a fool to listen to him” he said “that horse knows damn all about cars. It’s the fuel pump”.

    But the horse was right, it was the carburettor.”

  79. #79 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    Leigh, I thought it was ergot.

    Ergot, frequently linked tot he Eleusinian Mysteries, with its bread and wine (ISTR those substance linked ritually in some other cult–mind like a sieve…), was a fungus that infected bread, and is thought to be a better candidate for what John was up to than mushrooms, despite the Terry Pratchett quote. It’s entirely too useful to midwives for the induction of contractions and stopping postnatal bleeding, while still being a precursor to the synthesis of LSD.

  80. #80 Greta Christina
    March 31, 2009

    S. Clay Wilson may not have done Revelation… but Basil Wolverton has.

    As for me, what I can’t wait for is the R. Crumb Song of Solomon.

  81. #81 natural cynic
    March 31, 2009

    Do I smell fatwa envy?

  82. #82 Beans
    March 31, 2009

    Oh, the Book of Revelation is kwaaaaaaazy! You need DRUGS to write/understand something like that!

    Because creativity can only come from stuff like ACID or WEED!

    PZ, you never fail to find new ways to (be a) bore.

  83. #83 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    The perfect cut, Janine. Freaks =/= hippies. There’s a version of that song with a perfect Johnny Cash impersonation. “1967. America’s Youth discover vagrancy as a way of life.”[/Walter Cronkite]

  84. #84 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2009

    Wolvertoons!

  85. #85 Greta Christina
    March 31, 2009

    Dreadnaught: Get a grip. The desire to alter one’s consciousness with drugs seems to be a fundamental human one (and it apparently exists in some other animals as well). It has existed in virtually every human society (with the exception of the Inuit, what with there being no drug plants in the Arctic), in every known period of history. It is certainly a complicated and often deeply problematic aspect of human experience (and it would sure be nice if we could approach its dangerous and harmful side with some degree of rationality and non- hysteria); but it can also be a source of great pleasure, connection, and even meaning. And in any case, it certainly didn’t require Leary or Kesey to popularize it. Sheesh.

  86. #86 Jaycubed
    March 31, 2009

    “the King James Version also calls it ‘The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine.’ I remember being amused the first time a saw a more modern translation call it ‘The Revelation of St. John’ and thought they were using a euphemism. Like when Vatican II switched from using ‘Holy Ghost’ to ‘Holy Spirit’. That was before I learned that ‘apocalypse’ =/= ‘armegeddon’.
    Posted by: SteveM

    “Apocalypse” = “Revelation”

    “Apocalypse” ? “Armegeddon”

    Apocalypse and Revelation are the same word from different root languages. From the Greek comes Apocalypse, which literally means to uncover (apo=opposite – kalyptein=to cover), as does the Latin Revelation (re=against – velare=to cover/veil – tion=act of).

    Armegeddon has a very different meaning, alluding to a battle fought between the Egyptians and Caananites near the town of Meggido about 3500 years ago. The battle was bloody but inconclusive, and produced the first recorded body count.

    Mentioned above but sans link is the marvelous Brick Testament:

    http://www.thebricktestament.com/

    As a subscriber, they send me a message whenever a new chapter is completed. Wonderfully bloody & straightforward.

  87. #87 Leigh Johnson
    March 31, 2009

    Janine & Ken: You’re probably right – I read something a while back about John of Patmos and remembered fungi – I just assumed it was the magic ‘shroom variety, not the moldy rye bread variety… :)

  88. #88 Lee
    March 31, 2009

    dreadnaught:
    “Yes, drugs are nothing new and they will be with us for all of time. It was Leary, Aplert, et al, who actually tried to tell us that drugs were good. Look at any inner city, or rural Meth ranch, and tell me drugs are not bad and only enhance your mind.

    Let’s go to Haight-Ashbury and do some LSD!”

    Oh, good effing god….

    Because clearly, since they are all drugs, hallucinogens, heroin, crack and crystal meth are all the same thing…

    Dreadnaught, you might take a look at the research on long-term effects of ‘shrooms on the people who have used them, and compare that with the long term effects of crack and meth, before you spout off like this again.

  89. #89 CJO
    March 31, 2009

    The mushroom suggestion WRT Christianity (not specifically relating to Revelation) was, I believe, put forward by John Marco Allegro, one of the original group of scholars given access to the Qumran materials (Dead Sea Scrolls).

    His book about it, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, 1970, pretty much spelled the end of his scholarly reputation.

    He was a character. The whole story of the discovery of the scrolls and the secrecy and scholarly turf wars surrounding their decipherment and analysis is pretty interesting. It’s told well in The Hidden Scrolls, by Neil Silberman.

  90. #90 David Johnson
    March 31, 2009

    “No one could ever drop enough acid to do Revelation right.”

    Well, it *is* Crumb…so I’d give it a 50/50 shot…

  91. #91 Andyo
    March 31, 2009

    The brick testament is hilarious. I think I read it a long time ago up to the Lot story.

  92. #92 Sean Micheal
    March 31, 2009

    I am so glad that Dreadnought has come here to inform all of us that no one born after World War II contributed anything positive to society, and that by merely discussing conciousness altering drugs and the role they may or may not have played in shaping ancient texts we are offending his sensibilities and destroying the fabric of society. How enlightening.

  93. #93 Jimbo2K7
    March 31, 2009

    E-Sheep (Patrick Farley) had an online comic, Apocamon: The Final Judgement that used Pokemon like characters to present the lunacy of Revelations in a quite entertaining approach. Too bad he never finished it.

  94. #94 Tony P
    March 31, 2009

    I’ve always been a fan of The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible

  95. #95 None
    March 31, 2009

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned “Apocomon: The Final Judgement”. It’s a quite good manga-style adaptation of Revelation:
    http://www.serializer.net/comics/apocamon.php?view=toc

    Religion requires stupid, not trippy.

    Not exactly. If you want to do original work in the field of religion, you need to be able to take unrelated things and find (illusory) connections between them. LSD does make that easier.

    If you just want to take somebody else’s religious thinking and parrot it, then, yes, stupid is all that you need. It’s actually an advantage because there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense if you think about it in the sober light of day.

    That’s the main reason I gave up on LSD back in my youth. It was fun to think I was having all these wonderful ideas, but then the next day I’d realize they were all utter nonsense. Plus I’d feel completely worn-out for the rest of the weekend, and eventually it got to be too much aggravation for too little payoff.

    I’ll agree in part with Dreadnaught. I didn’t suffer any serious harm, but if you’re the sort of person who would suffer serious harm from taking drugs then you probably shouldn’t start taking them in the first place. That’s just common sense IMHO. This also applies to alcohol, to religion, and especially to talk radio.

  96. #96 ndt
    March 31, 2009

    No one could ever drop enough acid to do Revelation right.

    That sounds like a challenge.

  97. #97 teammarty
    March 31, 2009

    Cherry Poptart could star in the Sodom and Gomorrah part.

  98. #98 Monado
    March 31, 2009

    I didn’t realize Crumb was still around.

    Frank Miller for the Old Testament massacres.

  99. #99 'Tis Himself
    March 31, 2009

    I read Crumb’s comment:

    . “He has a white beard but he actually ended up looking more like my father. He has a very masculine face like my father.”

    So God is Mr. Natural.

  100. #100 Jack Rawlinson
    March 31, 2009

    For my money, he’ll have to work hard to beat Alan Coren’s masterful piss-take….

    http://www.humournet.com/misc.humour/genesis_revisited.txt

  101. #101 hje
    March 31, 2009

    The Bible: very bad science, but it sometimes rises to the level good literature (once you get around begats and the like). I’m not sure I would let kids read it though–too much sex (‘knowing”) and violence (“smiting”). Of course when I was a kid our minister told my mom that she should not let us watch the Three Stooges, because we then go around hitting each other with hammers and grabbing noses with pliers. But that never happened, and I’m only left with memes like “Niagra Falls.” So maybe it’s OK, but there is is very little slapstick humor in the Bible. Not as bawdy as the Decameron or the Cantebury Tales, and certainly not as brilliant as Shakespeare.

  102. #102 biosparite
    March 31, 2009

    As for getting Revelations right, no one has done better than the novelist Robert Stone in A FLAG FOR SUNRISE: “Saint John the Divine, raving in the wilderness, stuffing the luggage of future madmen.”

  103. #103 Piltdown Man
    March 31, 2009

    Bubba @ 15:

    Satirists sometimes push it beyond the limit.

    Hey, hippies! Check this out. And this! (Scroll down to bottom for next page, click on image for higher definition.)

    Gotta laugh!

  104. #104 John Morales
    March 31, 2009

    Sheesh, Piltdown.

  105. #105 Piltdown Man
    March 31, 2009

    That’s the thing about satire, you see. Like ‘postmodern irony’ it allows you to indulge your basest instincts with a cover of plausible deniability.

  106. #106 Wowbagger, OM
    March 31, 2009

    That’s the thing about satire, you see. Like ‘postmodern irony’ it allows you to indulge your basest instincts with a cover of plausible deniability.

    What that be along similar lines to what the Catholic priesthood does for child molesters?

    Zing!

  107. #107 John Morales
    March 31, 2009

    Piltdown, is it that your whimsical “cat dragged in the dead mouse” thing is supposed to indicate these versions satirise the Bible to a farcial extent*, or are you genuinely trying to inject levity**?

    With you, I can never tell.


    * in which case, I’d reply “I don’t think so!”.
    ** because, if so, you’ve failed magnificently.

  108. #108 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    You will probably get a pile of “Oh, he’s such a misogynist” posts by people with a superficial knowledge of his work.

    No, quite the opposite; it is only those not familiar with him and his work and the movie about same who can deny that he’s misogynist.

  109. #109 Amos
    March 31, 2009

    FTFA: “But if you actually read the Old Testament [God is] just an old, cranky Jewish patriarch.”

    I like the theory that Genesis is a flawed merger of two radically different conceptions of God. One of the gods is the abstract perfection of the ancient Jewish priestly class and the other is the anthropomorphic God of the lay believer. The lay believer’s God begins his life young and inexperienced in a universe full of older and stronger gods. He only becomes dominant in the time of Moses.

    Instead of imagining God in Genesis as the wizened creator and ruler of all, imagine an immature boy who is learning and for whom things sometimes get out of hand, like the archetypal wizard’s apprentice. I think it brings some much needed sense to the character. Otherwise one gets an uneasy feeling, as if a child being raised by a powerful and mentally unstable parent.

  110. #110 Jadehawk
    March 31, 2009

    the destruction of the social fabric.

    oh yeah, giving them uppity niggers and bitches any say in how this Godfearing Nation (TM) is run has completely destroyed the Paradise that was 1950′s America.[/sarcasm]

    FFS, watch “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf” and learn something. your senile nostalgia is pathetic.

  111. #111 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    It was Leary, Aplert, et al, who actually tried to tell us that drugs were good. Look at any inner city, or rural Meth ranch, and tell me drugs are not bad and only enhance your mind.

    Logic fail — false dichotomy, strawman, cherry picking.

  112. #112 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    Hey, hippies! Check this out. And this!

    meh, I prefer Gilbert Shelton to Robert Crumb.

    “Dope will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no dope.”

    -Freewheelin’ Franklin

  113. #113 Piltdown Man
    March 31, 2009

    or are you genuinely trying to inject levity?

    They say if you attempt to analyze a joke you invariably end up killing it, in an ‘unweaving the rainbow’ kind of way. I don’t agree, so …

    One point of view holds human nature to be intrinsically flawed & always vulnerable to the pull of dark atavistic impulses – three steps away from barbarism. The fight to restrain these evil impulses (never wholly successful) depends on two weapons: sublimation (channelling the unruly passions into constructive activities) and repression (socially enforced taboos). Civilization is like a castle which has been captured at great cost and must be constantly defended against the orc-like hordes besieging it, a defence which requires considerable sacrifices on the part of the garrison.

    This is the gist of the conservative viewpoint, properly understood.

    The opposing viewpoint holds that human nature is basically good and kind and rational. Perhaps even perfectible given enough time, technology and money. Civilization is like a flower, a natural blossoming of man’s intrinsic beauty, requiring only sufficient water and nutrients and light. If evil exists at all, it can only be restrictive factors, the gloomy shadows of oppressive artificial systems which block out the natural sunlight.

    This is the liberal viewpoint and its grand narrative is one of emancipation, the struggle to escape cultural restrictions that impede the ascent of man.

    This is why the act of breaking taboos is so important to the liberal – transgression is a virtuous act because it encourages free thought, shatters ossified authoritarian control-systems. Nothing is sacred – apart from the liberal narrative itself. Any transgressive mockery of that must be culturally repressed and made … taboo. This is not hyprocrisy, just an honest awareness that any belief-system cannot escape defining itself in opposition to its opposite. Tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance.

    The problem for the liberal is that once you start slaughtering sacred cows, it’s very hard to stop. Rejecting control brings an intensely pleasurable sensation of release but once you’ve broken one taboo, you have to go that little bit further the next time to get the same frisson. And then it’s only a matter of time before the sacred cows of liberalism themselves fall to the knife.

    It would be tragic if it weren’t so funny.

  114. #114 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    And then it’s only a matter of time before the sacred cows of liberalism themselves fall to the knife.

    couldn’t happen to a nicer stereotype.

  115. #115 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    Sheesh, Piltdown.

    Well, this is about Crumb and those were drawn by Crumb, so they’re relevant. If you find those distasteful and you’re a fan of Crumb, you need to reconcile those.

  116. #116 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    you need to reconcile those.

    why?

    I’m a fan of Salvador Dali, but hardly like all of his paintings.

    that’s the problem with you religious fucknuts. everything has to be all or nothing.

  117. #117 Wowbagger, OM
    March 31, 2009

    The problem for the liberal is that once you start slaughtering sacred cows, it’s very hard to stop.

    Unless, of course, there are no sacred cows. Things can be considered important or even necessary without needing them to be sacred.

    The religious, naturally, prefer to affix the term ‘sacred’ because they wish to use it as a shield to avoid criticism – rather than for any intrinsic attachment to the thing itself.

    Crackers, for example. Are they really that important? Not in the slighest. But you lot want people to take your wacky beliefs seriously, so you trot out the ‘sacred’ card and demand everyone else bow to your demands.

    But most of us don’t give a toss what you consider ‘sacred’ – and you hate that more than anything else.

  118. #118 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    This is the liberal viewpoint

    Not if, um, “properly understood”. (Your characterization of the conservative viewpoint isn’t accurate either, although it does reflect one element of it.)

  119. #119 Kel
    March 31, 2009

    The problem for the liberal is that once you start slaughtering sacred cows, it’s very hard to stop.

    Why should anything ever be regarded as sacred; i.e. untouchable? It would be poor not to at least consider that any tenet, any idea, any belief, any concept, has the power of transcendence as not to be questioned and critically analysed. For if that sacred cow was based on bad assumptions to begin with, having it transcendental to society will pass on the bad assumptions it has as it’s foundation.

    Nothing is sacred, nothing should be regarded as such because of the fallibility of man. We are flawed in our learning, in our thinking and in the consequences thus. And because of that to hold anything beyond criticism is doing a disservice to both the idea and humanity itself.

  120. #120 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    I’m a fan of Salvador Dali, but hardly like all of his paintings.

    This isn’t about aesthetics, it’s about Crumb’s intent. But even then, you’ve just given one way in which one might achieve reconciliation. Perhaps you just don’t understand the concept.

    that’s the problem with you religious fucknuts. everything has to be all or nothing.

    I’m not religious, you old fool, and “reconcile” does not imply “all or nothing”.

  121. #121 Nicole
    March 31, 2009

    Up until this point, my bible was a series of Crumb illustrated Bukowski stories. Words fail. Thank you, thank you, for bringing this news to the masses.

  122. #122 sillysighbean
    March 31, 2009

    Wow, I found out that I am not the only S.Clay Wilson fan from a Biology blog! OUTSTANDING! R.Crumb and S.Clay were very influential in shaping this twisted mind of mine, for which I am ever grateful.

  123. #123 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    This isn’t about aesthetics, it’s about Crumb’s intent.

    and you assume that all paintings are about aesthetics? There are other reasons to dislike artwork.

    fascinating way to miss the point.

    was Crumb’s artwork then merely aesthetic too?

    I’m not religious, you old fool, and “reconcile” does not imply “all or nothing”.

    sorry, for some reason I mistook your post there for something written by Piltdown, since he was the one that posted the artwork by crumb, and it would sure sound like an argument that he would make that we need to “reconcile” the messages in those works vs. the version of Genesis he’s publishing.

    In any case, you’re wrong, and so is Pilty.

  124. #124 John Morales
    March 31, 2009

    nothing’s sacred @115, maybe it was relevant, but seemed to be saying “look, Crumb’s depictions are in-your face, almost relishing their (distasteful) subjects”. Was it trying to poison the well? Dunno.

    I think that, implicitly, it acknowledges that the Bible is as appropriate a subject to viciously satirise as are those in Piltdown’s examples).

  125. #125 Kel
    March 31, 2009

    If no-one questioned sacred cows, we wouldn’t have learnt of the heliocentric orbit of the earth or of the nature of evolution. Findings of science would have been limited by the dogma of the time, and we would not have the great insight into nature as we do now.

  126. #126 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    Rejecting control brings an intensely pleasurable sensation of release but once you’ve broken one taboo, you have to go that little bit further the next time to get the same frisson.

    Ah yes, from the POV of the sexually repressed conservative, the only pleasure one could get from seeking the truth is by fucking it.

    And then it’s only a matter of time before the sacred cows of liberalism themselves fall to the knife.

    Since these sacred cows are merely your fantasies that you impose upon “liberalism”, we won’t miss them. Tell me, since all is perishable, how can it be perfected? The only people I know of who believe the sorts of things you ascribe to “liberals” are ignorant woo-bots.

  127. #127 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    sorry, for some reason I mistook

    I already told you what that reason is — although I am somewhat stunned as this is the first time I can recall you ever admitting to an error, let alone apologizing.

  128. #128 Otto
    March 31, 2009

    If you need biblical info before Crumb’s work gets published
    you can resort to the Brick Testament,
    the world’s largest, most comprehensive illustrated Bible:

    http://www.thebricktestament.com/

    The bible retold using lego bricks, and the stories are rated
    for Sex, Nudity, Violence and Cursing.

  129. #129 Reason
    March 31, 2009

    In all fairness, peyote was more likely the psychedelic used… 8)

  130. #130 Mathieu
    March 31, 2009

    No big deal, a Brazilian blogger did it years ago. Well, not the whole Bible but more or less a dozen chapters/year, more or less depending on the year. Pity the site went out of air :(

  131. #131 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    a subject to viciously satirise as are those in Piltdown’s examples

    Before seeing the movie about him, I too assumed that Crumb’s virulently anti-semitic, racist, misogynist imagery — in this case lovingly hosted at the arch-racist heretical.com — were satirical of people with those attitudes rather than reflecting his own. But I think either interpretation is overly simplistic — or perhaps overly sophisticated. You might want to read http://archive.salon.com/people/bc/2000/05/02/crumb/index.html

  132. #132 Jadehawk
    March 31, 2009

    “Tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance.”
    –Pilty

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    –Voltaire

    “Pilty, go fuck yourself and your idiotic strawmen”
    –Jadehawk

  133. #133 SC, OM
    March 31, 2009

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    –Voltaire

    I appreciate your intent (and your own quote that follows), but Voltaire didn’t actually say or write that.

  134. #134 Jadehawk
    March 31, 2009

    well, my 5 minute internet search had it attributed to him more often than not, so I just went with it :-p

  135. #135 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2009

    R. Crumb is large; he contains multitudes.
    Ever see his collectable card sets of primal jazzmen and Delta blues musicians?
    Or hear his records with the Cheap Suit Serenaders?
    I suspect Crumb’s “intent” in the “taking over” strips was complex; some twisted mix of introspective honesty, self-conscious irony, parody, and shuckster.

  136. #136 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    although I am somewhat stunned as this is the first time I can recall you ever admitting to an error, let alone apologizing.

    you have a short and biased memory.

    but i luv u anyway.

  137. #137 SC, OM
    March 31, 2009

    Interestingly (or perhaps not – who knows?), I learned that Evelyn Beatrice Hall had written this during my investigations following the La Sapienza flap, in which Ratzinger [!] used it (and attributed it to Voltaire). Convoluted story, but his dishonesty in that situation appears to have been extreme.

  138. #138 Jadehawk
    March 31, 2009

    oh well, I’m certainly not inclined to perpetrate any further Ratzinger inspired mistakes, and will note this for future reference.

    I love this blog, it’s so edumacational!

  139. #139 Mr Twiddle
    March 31, 2009

    I’ve been a fan of R. Crumb longer than I’ve been an atheist. I’m looking forward to this one. I’ve always felt a might-bit guilty about modeling my comic book character (Owen Twiddle) after Crumb’s Mr. Natural until I heard Crumb reveal in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross that he copied his Mr Natural from an older comic book character of a short, stout, bearded wise-guy. There truly is nothing new under the sun.

  140. #140 nothing's sacred
    March 31, 2009

    ARPA starts in 1958, much before any Boomers were working. And Al Gore did not give us the Internet.

    Funny that you don’t know the difference between ARPA and the ARPANET. The first ARPANET nodes were connected in 1969, largely by college students; the ‘@’ was introduced to email addresses in 1971. Al Gore was the congressman who pushed for commercialization of the NSFnet long before anyone else; to large degree he did give us the internet.

  141. #141 SC, OM
    March 31, 2009

    (I should note that Voltaire’s works were included in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum through – and I think beyond – the last updated version…in 1948.)

  142. #142 Jadehawk
    March 31, 2009

    not surprising at all. the RCC isn’t friendly towards those who engage in and propagate the sin of thinking.

  143. #143 CJO
    March 31, 2009

    But I think either interpretation is overly simplistic — or perhaps overly sophisticated.

    I read that tension as a gloss on a first draft of a working definition of “art.”

    So intensely personal and fucked-up you can barely stand to look (or read, or listen to), but so incisive and so discursive on the wider “world out there” that you know you’ll be poorer for it if you don’t.

    “Discursive” meaning you may well, on consideration, decide it’s abhorrent. But if it’s the genuine article, the artist didn’t allow you to take your decision lightly. That has a value of its own, I believe.

    (Not that I’ll claim that the entire oeuvre of Crumb, or of any other individual, for that matter, rises to this level.)

  144. #144 SC, OM
    March 31, 2009

    not surprising at all. the RCC isn’t friendly towards those who engage in and propagate the sin of thinking.

    And at the same time won’t hesitate to appropriate them as part of its own claims to being a suppressed voice! Who will Ratzinger of the Inquisition cite next in his defense – Galileo? Bruno?

  145. #145 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2009

    Who will Ratzinger of the Inquisition cite next in his defense – Galileo? Bruno?

    hey, I’m sure he can point out that they officially apologized to Galileo… in 1992.

    Don’t recall if they ever apologized to Bruno?

    well, maybe it was because they burned Bruno as a theological heretic instead of for his heliocentric views?

  146. #146 raven
    March 31, 2009

    Why do these morons insist on calling Hitler an atheist, since he was a christian?

    Becaue they lie almost all the time.

    Hitler never killed anyone. It was all done by his followers, catholics and lutherans and the odd xian reformed.

    Don’t forget the Taiping Rebellion, one of the bloodiest wars of all time with an estimated 20 million dead, and started by a Chinese xian.

    Or the Reformation wars which killed tens of millions. In percentage terms, the toll was huge, between 25% and 33% of Germany’s population ended up dead.

  147. #147 aarrgghh
    April 1, 2009

    put down another vote for apocamon — i raved about it 3 years ago:

    apocalypse wow!!!

  148. #148 Jadehawk
    April 1, 2009

    hmm…. for some reason, this exchange made me think of the RCC as a parasitic hive-mind: no independent thinking, but everything useful will be assimilated for the purposes of the Borg RCC

  149. #149 pablo
    April 1, 2009

    Expect Eve to have a really big ass.

  150. #150 Ben
    April 1, 2009

    Here’s another recommend for the Boomer Bible.

    A work of art. Far better than the KJV; clearly, more effort was put into the Boomer version.

    It is also side-splittingly funny, if you’ve a decent familiarity with the KJV.

  151. #151 Piltdown Man
    April 1, 2009

    Wowbagger @ 117:

    Unless, of course, there are no sacred cows. Things can be considered important or even necessary without needing them to be sacred.

    I didn’t mean literally sacred, I was referring to those shibboleths which liberals treat as if they were sacred. Consider how the movement in support of ‘gay rights’ has gone from being a plea for tolerance to a demand for unconditional approval – to the extent that the mere expression of disapproval is enough to get you branded as a ‘hater’.

    nothing’s sacred @ 118:

    This is the liberal viewpoint
    Not if, um, “properly understood”. (Your characterization of the conservative viewpoint isn’t accurate either, although it does reflect one element of it.)

    They were somewhat crude generalizations but basically sound, I think. What did I miss out?

    (Sadly, terms like ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ or ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ have tended to generate more heat than light since the ‘right’ was hijacked by the deviationist running dogs of neoconservatism (an unholy alliance with democratic capitalism known in the UK as the “New Right” (not to be confused with the neopagan fascists of the Nouvelle Droite.)))

    Counter-revolutionary is perhaps a more useful term.

    Kel @ 119:

    Why should anything ever be regarded as sacred; i.e. untouchable? It would be poor not to at least consider that any tenet, any idea, any belief, any concept, has the power of transcendence as not to be questioned and critically analysed. For if that sacred cow was based on bad assumptions to begin with, having it transcendental to society will pass on the bad assumptions it has as it’s foundation.

    Conversely, it’s possible that a given act of transgression could itself be based on “bad assumptions” whose uncontrolled dissemination could fatally weaken the social fabric. Why else would liberal Germany sling Holocaust deniers into jail?

    Nothing is sacred, nothing should be regarded as such because of the fallibility of man. We are flawed in our learning, in our thinking and in the consequences thus.

    Your argument takes a characteristically conservative assumption (“the fallibility of man”) and turns it against conservatism. It’s a fair point – why should the defenders of the taboos be immune from the disorderly passions that make the taboos necessary? What’s to stop them using the necessity of maintaining order as a pretext for the imposition of a mere regimented anarchy (tyranny)? Even if a particular belief-system has a divine origin, its social implementation could still be vitiated by human frailty.

    All this is true, but it would only undermine the conservative case if conservatives actually sought the kind of perfectly harmonious theocratic utopia which liberal polemicists habitually accuse them of. I certainly don’t believe such a utopia is possible, and even a civilization based on the best conservative principes is doomed to suffer corruption and collapse eventually. All we can try to do is stay awake and “strengthen what remains and is on the point of death”.

    John Morales @ 124:

    nothing’s sacred @115, maybe it was relevant, but seemed to be saying “look, Crumb’s depictions are in-your face, almost relishing their (distasteful) subjects”. Was it trying to poison the well? Dunno.

    It was merely trying to show that the satirical impulse is indiscriminate and that those who extol the virtues of “transgression” and “subversion” shouldn’t be surprised when their own precious values are ruthlessly transvalued in their turn.

    I think that, implicitly, it acknowledges that the Bible is as appropriate a subject to viciously satirise as are those in Piltdown’s examples).

    Well you could look at it that way, but the fact that you reacted to the Crumb cartoons with evident revulsion suggests that you for one don’t think they are satirically “appropriate”.

    Kel @ 125:

    If no-one questioned sacred cows, we wouldn’t have learnt of the heliocentric orbit of the earth

    A dogma ripe for overthrow !

    nothing’s sacred @ 126:

    Rejecting control brings an intensely pleasurable sensation of release but once you’ve broken one taboo, you have to go that little bit further the next time to get the same frisson.
    Ah yes, from the POV of the sexually repressed conservative, the only pleasure one could get from seeking the truth is by fucking it.

    Wasn’t it Nietzsche who said truth was a woman? I, of course, never mentioned sex; you were the one who imputed a sexual meaning to my words. What is it with you liberals – can’t ever you think of anything except sex?

    And then it’s only a matter of time before the sacred cows of liberalism themselves fall to the knife.
    Since these sacred cows are merely your fantasies that you impose upon “liberalism”, we won’t miss them. Tell me, since all is perishable, how can it be perfected?

    How indeed! Do liberals contradict themselves? Very well, then they contradict themselves. Liberals are large, they contain multitudes.

    The only people I know of who believe the sorts of things you ascribe to “liberals” are ignorant woo-bots.

    Like Arthur C Clarke.

    Jadehawk @ 132:

    “Tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance.”
    –Pilty
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    –Voltaire
    “Pilty, go fuck yourself and your idiotic strawmen”
    –Jadehawk

    …crasez l’Inf‚me! – Voltaire.

    (Voltaire is large. He contains multitudes.)

  152. #152 Kel
    April 1, 2009

    Conversely, it’s possible that a given act of transgression could itself be based on “bad assumptions” whose uncontrolled dissemination could fatally weaken the social fabric.

    It could, but that’s part of reality. We keep hearing time after time that any push away from the church and towards these new ideas weakens the social fabric – most evidently the women’s suffrage movement in the 1960s. It’s always going to be an unknown when challenging old ideas and exploring new ones – but society is more resilient than conservatives seem to think. Social cohesion is in our best interests in being a social species; any trait that is too pervasive should be weeded out. Can you think of a single “sacred cow” that deserves it’s status, and if so, why?

  153. #153 Kel
    April 1, 2009

    Also, could you please stop talking about conservative and liberal as if this were a black & white issue?

  154. #154 John Morales
    April 1, 2009

    Piltdown,

    It was merely trying to show that the satirical impulse is indiscriminate …

    Indiscriminate, perhaps, but it only hits home where ridicule is warranted; caricatures of some mythical atheist position lack insight and so are lame.

    … but the fact that you reacted to the Crumb cartoons with evident revulsion suggests that you for one don’t think they are satirically “appropriate”.

    On the contrary, it suggests the opposite.

  155. #155 John Morales
    April 1, 2009

    Heh. Sometimes, satire can be dry. Fundie talking heads.

  156. #156 Reinder
    April 1, 2009

    My comics collection is strangely devoid of any work by Crumb, even though I’ve grown to like him a lot over the years. But as a big fan of the creation story as a story, I’m looking forward to buying this one.

  157. #157 Sven DiMilo
    April 1, 2009

    Anybody unfamiliar with Crumb should check out his (IMO) best work ever:
    A Short History of America
    and the Epilogue

    [there may well be better scans out there; they'd be worth tracking down because it's the details that make this piece so perfect]

  158. #158 4nsicdoc
    April 1, 2009

    When I saw the credit for the photo, I immediately got the munchies.

  159. #159 bezoar
    April 1, 2009

    It?s been Mr Natural all along. I WANT THIS BOOK.

  160. #160 Sven DiMilo
    April 1, 2009

    4nsicdoc: yep, that’s a photographer that nobody doesn’t like.

  161. #161 Jadehawk
    April 1, 2009

    Why else would liberal Germany sling Holocaust deniers into jail?

    um… because Germany is a legalistic society, not a liberal one? I’m not sure there’s any aspect of live that doesn’t have its own set of laws in Germany. Including afternoon naps.

  162. #162 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2009

    A dogma ripe for overthrow !

    oh, right. This is April 1st.

    Pilty just made a joke.

    ummm…

  163. #163 Piltdown Man
    April 1, 2009

    Jadehawk @ 161:

    um… because Germany is a legalistic society, not a liberal one?

    Not a True Liberal one evidently …

    +++

    Ichthyic @ 162:

    Pilty just made a joke.

    Heliocentric schmeliocentric.

  164. #164 Jadehawk
    April 1, 2009

    nice try on the No True Scotsman, but it doesn’t work that way. no clue were you’re from, but to claim that Germany is liberal is just hilarious. it may be more liberal than the U.S., but so is Japan, and Japan isn’t a liberal society either.

  165. #165 Kel
    April 1, 2009

    Yes, 1930s facism in Europe reeked of liberalism… just what drugs do you take Pilty?

  166. #166 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2009

    Heliocentric schmeliocentric.

    wow, a tshirt!

    well, I have to admit, that’s some pretty strong evidence right there.

    Is it me, or are you developing a sense of humor?

    I didn’t think someone with your mental limitations capable, frankly.

  167. #167 'Tis Himself
    April 1, 2009

    I prefer Gilbert Shelton to Robert Crumb.

    I prefer Vaughn Bode over both of them. Cheech Wizard and Deadbone Mountain were well drawn and biting.

  168. #168 Jadehawk
    April 1, 2009

    Kel, I think Pilty is trying to say that Germany is a liberal society now, and that the fact that Holocaust denial is illegal is supposed to prove his point that “tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance”, or that there’s sacred cows in liberalism that require legal protection.

    what he fails to understand is that Germany fails his strawman definition of “liberal”. it is more liberal sexually than the U.S., but in many other ways Germany is both conservative and very legalistic. there’s laws regulating EVERYTHING, and this has nothing at all to do with liberalism. not the real one, and certainly not the “hippie” liberalism Pilty is painting for us.

  169. #169 Wowbagger, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Kel, I think Pilty is trying to say that Germany is a liberal society now,

    Well, they aren’t attacking the (religiously) hated Jew in the street – which I’m guessing means by Pilty’s standard they’re liberal.

  170. #170 Piltdown Man
    April 1, 2009

    John Morales @ 154:

    It was merely trying to show that the satirical impulse is indiscriminate …

    Indiscriminate, perhaps, but it only hits home where ridicule is warranted

    It would be nice to think so but I just can’t share your liberal optimism in this regard. Satire can be quite unscrupulous – a comic genius prepared to mix plausible lies with half-truths can easily make the good, the true and the beautiful objects of mockery.

    I found those Crumb cartoons funny. Not because I’m a racist bastard who’s sick in the head – I don’t share Crumb’s manifest & cordial dislike of Africans and Jews – but because Crumb is a superlative comic draughtsman. The sad truth is that not all humour is humane.

    … but the fact that you reacted to the Crumb cartoons with evident revulsion suggests that you for one don’t think they are satirically “appropriate”.

    On the contrary, it suggests the opposite.

    ?

    +++

    Kel @ 152:

    Conversely, it’s possible that a given act of transgression could itself be based on “bad assumptions” whose uncontrolled dissemination could fatally weaken the social fabric.

    It could, but that’s part of reality.

    A curiously fatalistic attitude. Isn’t one of the stock liberal critiques of conservatism precisely that it excuses countless social evils on the grounds of their being “part of reality”?

    We keep hearing time after time that any push away from the church and towards these new ideas weakens the social fabric … Social cohesion is in our best interests in being a social species”

    It may be rational for a social species to maintain social cohesion – but mankind is not only a social species; it is also very often an irrational one. Any social philosophy which does not take account of that irrational streak is a ship heading for the rocks of reality.

    society is more resilient than conservatives seem to think

    So you say. And conservatives maintain society is less resilient than liberals seem to think.

    Many years ago, in the days of my misspent youth, conservative elements in Great Britain were troubled by a great moral panic. The end of civilization as we knew it was at hand and the cause was a popular cockney beat combo known as the Sex Pistols. This so-called “punk rock” – so the more conservative newspapers warned us – was a real and present danger to the entire British way of life.

    In hindsight all this agitation seems quaintly absurd. Punk came and went. Johnny Rotten – once a veritable antichrist – is now a cuddly TV personality whose embarrassing antics are met with amused indulgence rather than alarm. Civilization did not come to an end merely because a bunch of teenagers swore on the telly, committed the occasional act of small-scale violence and generally acted obnoxious.

    True enough. But one thing I do know is that casual profanity, obnoxious behaviour and acts of violence are far more prevalent among young people today than they were thirty years ago. Certain seemingly trivial cultural taboos had been shattered and the mostly harmless shock tactics of the punks gave way to the coldly deliberate low-level psychological warfare of Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV … By the 21st century rap outfit So Solid Crew was stirring up moral panic not for swearing on TV or spitting at the audience but for firearms homicide. I am not so stupid as to claim that the original 1970s punks ’caused’ this degeneration – there were doubtless a great many factors, many of which had no connection with youth subcultures at all – but they were one small link in a very long chain.

    The point? Simply that social disintegration need not take the form of a dramatic, cataclysmic collapse. It can be a slow, incremental unravelling that we don’t even notice until it’s too late.

  171. #171 Piltdown Man
    April 1, 2009

    Jadehawk @ 164:

    nice try on the No True Scotsman, but it doesn’t work that way. no clue were you’re from, but to claim that Germany is liberal is just hilarious. it may be more liberal than the U.S., but so is Japan, and Japan isn’t a liberal society either.

    So what society does qualify as liberal by your criteria?

    Ichthyic @ 166:

    wow, a tshirt!

    They also do babygros.

    well, I have to admit, that’s some pretty strong evidence right there.
    Is it me, or are you developing a sense of humor?

    Draw a diagram of the solar system, place the point of a pencil on the sun and rotate the sheet of paper about that fixed point, observing how the planets orbit the sun. Then place the pencil on the Earth and rotate the paper … ; )

  172. #172 'Tis Himself
    April 1, 2009

    True enough. But one thing I do know is that casual profanity, obnoxious behaviour and acts of violence are far more prevalent among young people today than they were thirty years ago.

    Yeah yeah yeah, we all know how the yoof are going to hell in a handbasket. It’s been that way for centuries, even before Socrates was executed in 399 BCE for leading the yoof of Athens astray.

  173. #173 echidna
    April 1, 2009

    Pilty,
    You used the term liberal for Germany. What did you mean?

  174. #174 John Morales
    April 1, 2009

    Piltdown @170, I shouldn’t have to explain. If my reaction to the cartoons was visceral, it means I was forced to engage with the concepts therein.

    a comic genius prepared to mix plausible lies with half-truths can easily make the good, the true and the beautiful objects of mockery

    Hm. You mean like the Pope? ;) Does unintentional comedy count?

  175. #175 Kerry Maxwell
    April 1, 2009

    Speaking of S. Clay Wilson:

    http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2009/03/30/s-clay-wilson-special-needs-trust?special-needs-trust/

    One of the great traditions of the Underground Comix scene was the *Jam*, and I’d love to see a *Bible Stories* series of jams from the original Zap / Arcade era artists (Crumb, Spain, SC Wilson, R Williams, Moscoso, Rick Griffith, etc). Too bad they’re not all still around. Rick Griffin did an amazing illustrated Gospel of John.

    Anyone remember “Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary” by Justin Green?

  176. #176 Jadehawk
    April 2, 2009

    “So what society does qualify as liberal by your criteria?”

    1) this was about you defining things randomly as liberal which didn’t even fit your definition of liberal. it does however fit your definition of conservative:

    One point of view holds human nature to be intrinsically flawed & always vulnerable to the pull of dark atavistic impulses – three steps away from barbarism. The fight to restrain these evil impulses (never wholly successful) depends on two weapons: sublimation (channelling the unruly passions into constructive activities) and repression (socially enforced taboos)

    German culture is very obsessed with rules. there seems to be the feeling that without all those rules, society would stop functioning properly. you fail at your own definition

    2)By my definition, a liberal culture is one focused on equality, a social safety net, secular government, and liberty in all private matters. most societies fail in at least one criterion. Germany fails both in the equality department and the secular government department. it does tolerably well with its safety net, though that’s getting more and more dismantled now; and as far as privacy goes… well, that’s a matter of debate. by American standards, the German government sticks its nose too much into people’s offices, but not enough into their bedrooms :-p

  177. #177 Kel
    April 2, 2009

    A curiously fatalistic attitude. Isn’t one of the stock liberal critiques of conservatism precisely that it excuses countless social evils on the grounds of their being “part of reality”?

    Could you please stop looking at this in black and white? This has nothing to do with conservatism vs liberalism. For starters the words are so nebulous that making out like they are the only two options is absurd.

    It may be rational for a social species to maintain social cohesion – but mankind is not only a social species; it is also very often an irrational one. Any social philosophy which does not take account of that irrational streak is a ship heading for the rocks of reality.

    It has nothing to do with the rationality of the population, it has to do with simple survival strategies. Remember that we’ve had millions of years as social creatures with selection acting on this, we are equipped to handle gradual change in society – indeed if we weren’t we wouldn’t have come this far.

  178. #178 Piltdown Man
    April 2, 2009

    ‘Tis Himself @ 172:

    Yeah yeah yeah, we all know how the yoof are going to hell in a handbasket. It’s been that way for centuries, even before Socrates was executed in 399 BCE for leading the yoof of Athens astray.

    However much people might wish to shut their eyes to it, gangs of feral youth in modern Britain are a sad reality, manifested in occasional crimes of extreme brutality and casual sadism, countless shootings and stabbings, and the constant white noise of low-level thuggery euphemistically labelled ‘anti-social behaviour’.
    The closed-circuit cameras on every street corner and in every town centre bear witness to this reality, as do the desperate, pitiful efforts of the ‘authorities’ to promote a ‘respect agenda’. (Funny how once upon a time schoolchildren didn’t need ‘citizenship lessons’.)

    echidna @ 173:

    You used the term liberal for Germany. What did you mean?

    Simply that it’s a secular, statist democracy that professes no allegiance to traditional Christian morality.

    Jadehawk @ 176:

    German culture is very obsessed with rules. there seems to be the feeling that without all those rules, society would stop functioning properly. you fail at your own definition

    A conservative society is not concerned with proliferating rules and laws to micromanage every aspect of people’s lives. On the contrary, conservatives typically despise that kind of legislative meddling and associate it with liberals’ impatient efforts to implement their technocratic utopias. Modern Britain is far more liberal than, say, 1950s Britain and far more law-ridden (and crime-ridden).

    Conservatives recognize that all the laws in the world will not make people virtuous. A law is only effective to the extent that most people are habitually law-abiding. And that can only be the result of an intricate process of cultural osmosis whereby certain moral principles (and taboos) are quietly yet confidently propagated from generation to generation and class to class, embodied in countless variegated local customs through the mediation of families, churches, schools and other small-scale associations. It is cultural, not legalistic.

    Once that ancient and delicate fabric has been torn apart by revolutionary liberalism, the state is forced to resort to legislation, passing more and more laws in a futile effort to control an increasingly bewildered and disorderly populace who have been brusquely commanded to despise their traditional sense of identity and morality. And when the laws inevitably fail, there are always systems of technological control …

  179. #179 Jadehawk
    April 2, 2009

    A conservative society is not concerned with proliferating rules and laws to micromanage every aspect of people’s lives. On the contrary, conservatives typically despise that kind of legislative meddling and associate it with liberals’ impatient efforts to implement their technocratic utopias. Modern Britain is far more liberal than, say, 1950s Britain and far more law-ridden (and crime-ridden).

    lol, shifting definitions FTW. this isn’t MY definition of conservative, it was YOURS, in a previous post. idiot.

  180. #180 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2009

    Pilty, your imaginary god and morally bankrupt church are simply unneed in modern day life. Let both die with dignity.

  181. #181 Jadehawk
    April 2, 2009

    However much people might wish to shut their eyes to it, gangs of feral youth in modern Britain are a sad reality, manifested in occasional crimes of extreme brutality and casual sadism, countless shootings and stabbings,

    memory fail. do you seriously think “feral youth” is a modern phenomenon? You should read Oliver Twist sometime

  182. #182 Jadehawk
    April 2, 2009

    or, for that matter, watch Gangs of New York

  183. #183 windy
    April 2, 2009

    [on Germany] Simply that it’s a secular, statist democracy that professes no allegiance to traditional Christian morality.

    You idiot. What’s the name of Angela Merkel’s political party?

  184. #184 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    Jadehawk @ 179:

    this isn’t MY definition of conservative, it was YOURS, in a previous post. idiot.

    No – it was what you understood my definition to be. The passage you quote was part of my attempt to explain why you had misunderstood it.

    The point I was trying to make was that a conservative belief in the need for socially enforced taboos isn’t the same thing as a mania for rules and regulations, which are in fact more typical of the liberal state.

    Jadehawk @ 181/2:

    do you seriously think “feral youth” is a modern phenomenon? You should read Oliver Twist sometime

    As I recall, Fagin’s merry band of boys picked pockets. They didn’t gun down or sadistically torture to death other children.

    or, for that matter, watch Gangs of New York

    Nobody is denying violent gang-related crime existed in 19th-century London (see The Victorian Underworld by Kellow Chesney if you’re interested), New York or any other major city. But crime & crime rates considered purely by themselves are not the only indicator of social cohesion or the lack of it – one must also take into account the response of the authorities & how that response is perceived by the public.

    The despair prevalent in modern Britain has much to do with the perceived inability or unwillingness of the police & judiciary to hit back hard. They seem either impotent or more concerned with the ‘human rights’ of the criminal than the wrong done to the victim (-unless the ‘criminal’ in question is a native Englishman who’s annoyed a Mohammedan or a Christian who’s annoyed a sodomite. Then the police morph into Judge Dredd). By contrast, the 19th century would have seen more vigorous counter-strikes and stricter punishments against the criminal classes on the part of the authorities, thus boosting the general morale of law-abiding society.

  185. #185 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    windy @ 183:

    [on Germany] Simply that it’s a secular, statist democracy that professes no allegiance to traditional Christian morality.

    You idiot. What’s the name of Angela Merkel’s political party?

    An oxymoron.

  186. #186 Walton
    April 3, 2009

    Piltdown, you’re starting to remind me of the Daily Mail.

  187. #187 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    Walton:

    Piltdown, you’re starting to remind me of the Daily Mail.

    The couple and the wife’s elder daughter, now aged 18, all have learning difficulties and were known to social services, but were able to live, together with the wife’s younger daughter, now aged 15, at a low-functioning level in a filthy and chaotic two-bedroomed ninth-floor flat in Feltham.
    The judge said that at the end of the summer of 2000, the couple had befriended and then been taken advantage of by a number of youths.
    Some of the youths used their flat as as place at which to live, take drugs, engage in sexual activity and leave stolen goods.
    In October, X was assaulted quite seriously in a MacDonald’s restaurant by one of them, who believed he had “grassed” on him.
    During the weekend of November 17 to 19, said the judge, the couple were “effectively imprisoned” in their own home and repeatedly assaulted and abused, often in the presence of the two children.
    Three youths were subsequently convicted of criminal offences in relation to the incident and received custodial sentences.
    “X said that at one stage the youths confined him and Y to their bedroom, and made them perform sexual acts.
    “They threw many of X’s and Y’s possessions over the balcony. They forced pepper and fluid into X’s eyes. They locked him in the bathroom for a time, in the dark.
    “They made him drink urine, eat dog biscuits, dog faeces and the faeces of one of the youths, threatening him that he would be stabbed if he did not. They made him put a vibrator up his bottom, and then lick it.
    “They sprayed kitchen cleaner in his mouth, face and hair. They slashed him repeatedly all over his body with a knife or knives.”
    Y told police that she too was made to put the vibrator in her mouth, while the children were also abused, assaulted and locked in their bedroom from time to time. Even the family dog was abused.

    POSTSCRIPT:

    Hounslow Council has won its appeal against a High Court ruling which awarded almost £100,000 in damages to a vulnerable couple who suffered physical and sexual abuse in their own flat by a gang of youths. …

    At the initial High hearing last May, Judge Maddison said a lack of communication between council departments had led to the couple, who both have learning difficulties, being subjected to a weekend-long assault in late 2000. … The couple were awarded £97,000 damages by the court.

    However, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, today said the couple had made the mistake of being kind to the youths and overturned the ruling leaving the couple without a penny.

  188. #188 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    A NEGLECTED boy who raped his stepbrothers and sister repeatedly after he was exposed to hard core pornography, has been locked up indefinitely.

    The 14-year-old was also accused of having sex with two animals.

    Snaresbrook Crown Court heard he threatened his three younger siblings and warned them not to tell anyone after forcing them into a bedroom or bathroom to assault them at the family’s homes in Dagenham and Beckton.

    The children have been left so traumatised they refuse to sleep in their own beds and they wrap themselves tightly in their duvets.

    When the boy’s mother was told, she disowned him and dumped all his belongings, the court heard.

    The court heard the boy, who lived with his mother and stepfather, was seen “without his shoes and without his coat wandering around in circles crying”.

    The children – aged between five and 10 – told police how they had been assaulted lots of times.

    The boy admitted nine charges of rape between 31 December 2004 – when he was aged 12 – and 9 January 2007.

    Charges of bestiality were not proceeded with.

    Valerie Charbit, defending, told the court the boy was also a victim and had suffered abuse.

    He was put on the “at risk’”register, and was neglected at home, often being left alone for long periods of time, she said.

    She said: “He was the subject of domestic violence. He experienced serious and persistent violence in the family home and believed that he was partially responsible for the violence.

    “He also had access to pornographic videos at a young age.”

    The boy was detained for the public protection after the judge ruled there was a serious risk of him committing similar offences.

  189. #189 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    A Hartlepool man is facing jail after he urinated on a disabled woman who lay dying in the street.
    The 27-year-old shouted “this is YouTube material” as he degraded Christine Lakinski, 50, who had fallen ill, magistrates heard.
    Miss Lakinski, who suffered a number of medical conditions, died from natural causes, an inquest found.
    Anthony Anderson, of Raby Road, who admitted outraging public decency, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.
    Hartlepool magistrates heard how, on 27 July, Miss Lakinski was making her way home with a box of laminate flooring when she fell ill and stumbled into a doorway.
    Anderson had smoked a cannabis joint and been drinking when he and two friends spotted her.
    He tried to rouse her by throwing a bucket of water over her, before urinating on her and covering her with shaving foam. The incident was filmed on a mobile phone.
    She was later declared dead at the scene, the cause of death being given as pancreatic failure.
    Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, said: “Although his actions did not contribute to her death it was appalling behaviour that robbed her of any dignity in the last hours of her life.”
    She urged magistrates to transfer the case to crown court for sentencing, claiming their maximum powers were insufficient.
    Anderson’s solicitor did not oppose the application and his client will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on 22 October.
    After Wednesday’s hearing, Miss Lakinski’s brother, Mark, said: “We will await the outcome and just hope he gets what he deserves.”

  190. #190 CJO
    April 3, 2009

    Catholic Blowhard Spams Blog, Makes Arse of Self

  191. #191 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 3, 2009

    Catholic Blowhard Spams Blog, Makes Arse of Self

    Amen brother. This blowhard is boring.

  192. #192 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    A blind man died after two youths kicked and punched him in the street, a court heard yesterday.
    The yobs, both 14, taunted Colin Greenwood, 45, who did not use a white stick in case it made him a target.
    Sheffield crown court was told he kicked out in a bid to defend himself – so the pair booted and thumped the dad-of-five before one of them stamped on him.
    Witnesses said the pair boasted later about the sentence they might get.
    Meanwhile, Mr Greenwood struggled to his feet and caught a tram and a bus home.
    But he fell as he stepped off the bus and was taken to hospital. He died of a brain injury hours later.
    A post-mortem also revealed bruising and broken ribs.
    The alleged attack took place in April near a busy tram terminus in Sheffield, South Yorks.
    Shopper Lisa Collier said she saw Mr Greenwood on the ground as “a boy in a grey tracksuit with the hood up” kicked him in the head “three or four” times. She helped him up but he declined her offer to call an ambulance.
    Ms Collier told the court: “He was calm and quiet and he had tears in his eyes. He said he had been attacked before and didn’t carry a white stick anymore because it attracted attention.”
    The pair caught a tram together and Mr Greenwood got off at the next stop, where he “seemed fine”.
    Both boys, one now aged 15, deny murder and causing grievous bodily harm. In a statement one admitted setting out to tease Mr Greenwood but said the situation escalated after he kicked out.
    The case continues.

  193. #193 Piltdown Man
    April 3, 2009

    “The waves break on the shores of England. The white cliffs stand against the void. We gaze seaward, contemplating the night journey … In the north a howling chaos into which a bleak rain falls without ceasing. Now is the time of departure. The last streamer that ties us to what is known parts. We drift into a sea of storms.”

    A teenage gang who tortured a blind man in a wheelchair told police they committed the horrific act because there was nothing on TV.
    The four, aged 14 to 18, took pictures of David Tupman, as they smeared him with excrement and stubbed out a cigarette on him.
    Stuart Neesam and Liam Bruce, now both 16, his brother Steven, now 19, and Daniel Burnside, now 17, all from Hartlepool, had tormented Mr Tupman, a cerebral palsy victim for five months.
    But on January 27, 2006, they broke into his ground floor flat in Blakelock Gardens, Hartlepool.
    They sprayed the 30-year-old in the face with WD40 lubricant and raced his wheelchair around the lounge, ramming it into the walls.
    The gang also tried to set fire to his hair, beat him with sticks and tipped him out of his wheelchair.
    Prosecutor Ian West told Teesside Crown Court yesterday: “They targeted him for no better reason than for their own amusement or ‘because there was nothing worth watching on the television’.”
    All four pleaded guilty to the burglary, administering a noxious substance and common assault.
    Steven Bruce of Blakelock Gardens, was sent to a young offenders institution for eight months.
    Liam Bruce, of Colenso Street, was given an 18-month detention and training order; Burnside, of Pine Grove, a 12-month detention and training order; and Neesam, of Waverley Terrace, received two years’ supervision with intensive work programmes.

  194. #194 John Morales
    April 3, 2009

    Piltdown seems to be in a manic phase.

    Yes, Piltdown, English civilisation is going to hell in a handbasket unless a Catholic Monarchy regains power.

    There, there, old bean.
    It’ll be allright… providence and all that, you know.

  195. #195 Jadehawk
    April 3, 2009

    still definition-shifting, are we? something tells me the Kaiser, a very disciplined but not very pious man, would have had you executed on the spot for calling him a “liberal” and accusing him of optimism in human nature. or have we shifted the definition for “liberal” now, too?

  196. #196 Jadehawk
    April 3, 2009

    oops, hit post too soon.

    what I meant to say is that germany is conservative in exactly the way you described: it is a culture that values traditions and believes that the wholesale discarding of social norms is damaging; they believe that without rules and traditions, chaos would rule. the reason you’re balking at it is because their “traditional values” aren’t what you think “traditional values” should be. so you’re adding another layer to your definition, and now claiming that they can only be religious taboos, not legal ones.

    fucking moron. Point me to a mainstream German anarchist(which is what your silly definition of “liberal” is actually closer to), and I’ll publicly admit that you were right and I was wrong. until then, you’re talking out your ass anyway.

  197. #197 Piltdown Man
    April 4, 2009

    John Morales @ 194:

    Yes, Piltdown, English civilisation is going to hell in a handbasket

    It would seem so.

    unless a Catholic Monarchy regains power.

    Formal recognition of the Catholic religion by a state is no guarantee of peace and prosperity, but formal rejection of it is certainly a guarantee of misery and chaos.

    It’ll be allright… providence and all that, you know.

    Who’s impugning God’s providence? Not me.

  198. #198 Jadehawk
    April 4, 2009

    formal rejection of it is certainly a guarantee of misery and chaos.

    and the Parallel Universe Award goes to…

  199. #199 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 4, 2009

    Yep, Pilty is in his own world. He can almost see reality from there.

  200. #200 Piltdown Man
    April 4, 2009

    Jadehawk @ 195:

    something tells me the Kaiser, a very disciplined but not very pious man, would have had you executed on the spot for calling him a “liberal” and accusing him of optimism in human nature. or have we shifted the definition for “liberal” now, too?

    I know next to nothing about the Kaiser’s opinions, but I fail to see his relevance. The fact that I introduced Germany into the discussion with a reference to Holocaust denial should have made it pretty clear that I was talking about modern Germany, not the Germany of the Kaiser’s day – which I daresay was somewhat more conservative.

    @196:

    what I meant to say is that germany is conservative in exactly the way you described: it is a culture that values traditions and believes that the wholesale discarding of social norms is damaging; they believe that without rules and traditions, chaos would rule. the reason you’re balking at it is because their “traditional values” aren’t what you think “traditional values” should be.

    And just what “values” and “social norms” does modern Germany prize so highly? In what sense are they “traditional”?

    fucking moron.

    ?Some manners would not go amiss.?

  201. #201 Jadehawk
    April 4, 2009

    manners are irrelevant. truth spoken rudely is still truth, and the politest of lies are still lies.

    and in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not your tutor(unless you start paying me). I’m merely having fun at your expense

  202. #202 Piltdown Man
    April 4, 2009

    Jadehawk:

    manners are irrelevant.

    Spoken like a true liberal.

  203. #203 John Morales
    April 4, 2009

    Piltdown @202, by eliding the second sentence, you have quote-mined Jadehawk. Your retort is to only the first clause of a two-clause expression.

    Dishonesty is not good manners, Piltdown, which makes you ill-mannered.

    Ironic how you’ve proven that missing second clause:truth spoken rudely is still truth, and the politest of lies are still lies with your lie of omission.

  204. #204 Piltdown Man
    April 5, 2009

    Piltdown @202, by eliding the second sentence, you have quote-mined Jadehawk. Your retort is to only the first clause of a two-clause expression.
    Dishonesty is not good manners, Piltdown, which makes you ill-mannered.
    Ironic how you’ve proven that missing second clause:truth spoken rudely is still truth, and the politest of lies are still lies with your lie of omission.

    I omitted the second sentence because I had no quarrel with it – it’s an obvious truism.

    And conversely, insulting language is objectionable even if used to express a truth; while politeness is good in itself, even if misused to tell a lie.

    (Mind you, I don’t know which “truth” Jadehawk had in mind, me being a moron or Germany being illiberal.)

  205. #205 Jadehawk
    April 5, 2009

    And conversely, insulting language is objectionable even if used to express a truth; while politeness is good in itself, even if misused to tell a lie.

    nope. form is never more important than substance. all situations in which this anomality occurs are generally set-ups which have outlived its purpose because substance has withered away. elaborate castles built on vapor, as it were

    you know, like your church.

    Mind you, I don’t know which “truth” Jadehawk had in mind, me being a moron or Germany being illiberal.

    both are factually correct.

  206. #206 Wowbagger, OM
    April 5, 2009

    …while politeness is good in itself, even if
    misused to tell a lie.

    Ah, so that’s why priests are so well-mannered – they know they’re lying and want to ensure they do at least some good.

  207. #207 Piltdown Man
    April 6, 2009

    Jadehawk @ 205:

    form is never more important than substance.

    “The medium is the message”.

    all situations in which this anomality occurs are generally set-ups which have outlived its purpose because substance has withered away.

    If that sentence means anything it can only mean that common courtesy is one of those “set-ups” that has “outlived its purpose”, a charade whose “substance has withered away”.

    I daresay the perpetrators of the various depravities I posted above would agree with that. I beg to differ.

    In truth, your distinction between form and content is facile. Rudeness and politeness are not mere neutral modes of formal expression. They have a definite content, a moral content. In this case, the medium is most certainly the message and the message is one of elementary respect or contempt for other human beings.

    Apart from that, your recent posts seem singularly devoid of content. You have repeatedly asserted that the modern German state is a deeply traditional society. When asked for specifics, you became evasive (“I’m not your tutor”).

    So there’s not a lot of content to go on here, is there?

    elaborate castles built on vapor, as it were you know, like your church.

    upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it

  208. #208 Jadehawk
    April 7, 2009

    #207 = excellent proof of what I just said.

  209. #209 John Morales
    April 8, 2009

    Piltdown:

    truth spoken rudely is still truth, and the politest of lies are still lies

    And conversely, insulting language is objectionable even if used to express a truth; while politeness is good in itself, even if misused to tell a lie.

    Actually, that’s nothing like a converse.
    The converse would be truth is still truth spoken rudely, and lies are still the politest of lies.

    To your new claims, then, the first is a truism if you find insulting to be objectionable, and the second I dispute vehemently. Politeness is not only not good if misused to tell a lie, it is a mask for ungood.

  210. #210 Sili
    April 11, 2009

    I loved The Fabulous Furry Freakbrothers as a kid.

    Yes, they were in the school library.

    Pity I haven’t seen them since. I might enjoy them more now.

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