Pharyngula

I’ve spent far too much time in airports lately, and I think I might be going mad. I’m sitting, trying to type while waiting, and it’s just noise, noise, noise, noise — there’s the horrible repetition of “You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of…”, the frequent intercom warnings that “The TSA has determined that the current threat level is orange…”, which means nothing at all, and worst of all are the televisions located everywhere, blaring out the “news”. I’ve been thoroughly packed full of all the most important news, thanks to CNN.

And there’s the problem.

I was involuntarily subjected to full-on CNN at sampling intervals of approximately an hour and a half, with over an hour of their news coverage at a sitting. There was only one story, one all-important story that soaked up all the air time all day long.

Tiger Woods is whacking a little ball with a stick again, and he’s doing a good job.

His score at some tournament was reported repeatedly, and then some self-important sports pundit would come on and seriously tell us what this meant to Woods’ self-esteem, and to the psychological state of millions of little-ball-whackers all around the world. I kept hoping at least one of these guys would stop, look incredulously at his fellow panelists, and point out that this soul-crushing inanity is not news, and definitely not worth hours of masturbatory reflection. Jeez, CNN programmers should just look at the front page of the BBC and plan on spending 50 minutes of every hour covering the important stuff. I’ll allow that they can spend 10 minutes of every hour covering pop culture trivia — golf scores, Lindsey Lohan vulva sightings, the Kardashians, celebrity face lifts, that sort of thing.

Because right now I’m just going to have to assume the media is packed full of mindless morons.

Speaking of mindless morons, my talk at RIT was ‘reviewed’ by a student named Joe McLaughlin. I see a bright future for him in American media.

I remember him well. I gave a talk on the conflict between science and religion, and afterwards, he came down and asked me some questions. Well, first he declared firmly that he was a Catholic…which told me right away he wasn’t going to have much intelligent to say. I could give a rat’s pungent patootie for his Catholicism — if he wants to ask a question, nothing is gained by declaiming his ideological position at the outset, and my answer wouldn’t change whether he’s Catholic or Cathar. But yes, I had to get his testimonial first.

Then he asked about the infamous cracker incident: Why did I offend Catholics? Didn’t I know the host was sacred? Why did I pick on Catholics and not other believers? It was the usual drivel. I answered him seriously, told him the multiple reasons I had carried out my protest, and asked him if he had read what I had written…he hadn’t. He’d looked me up on Wikipedia, and hadn’t followed a single link to the source.

Let me mention…not once in my talk had I even mentioned desecrating crackers.

If you read his article, you’ll discover that it begins with McLaughlin announcing his Catholic credentials, talks only about the desecration of communion wafers, and despite the fact that I took the time to explain to him personally at some length about the actual motivations for the event, he declares “He just did it to offend Catholics.”

He affirms my opinion of most journalists so well. He ought to think about pursuing the profession. Either that, or he can practice moving walkway announcements.

I am getting a bit exasperated at the obtuse cracker questions I still get. They’re all asking precisely the wrong questions. Here are two hypothetical newspaper headlines; which of them is trivial, and which is High Crazy, needing more explanation?

Headline A:

MAN THROWS BREAD IN TRASH
It’s just a cracker, he says

Or Headline B?

MAN BELIEVES BREAD IS GOD
It’s the most precious object in the world, milllions say

Most people are getting worked up about Headline A, which is ridiculously trivial (and that was the point of the exercise), but everyone who interviews me seems to sail obliviously past the weird world of Headline B.

Please, please, please don’t ask me about how I dared to abuse a cracker, or about Tiger Woods, for that matter. Neither are important. I’d like to consider the insanity of a world obsessed with trivia and delusions, instead.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    April 9, 2010

    How did you dare to abuse a cracker, and is it important to Tiger Woods?

    Well, ok, enough of that. It’s trivial, of course but you knew what you were in for when you did it. So it won’t do to act like the questions are surprising, even if they’re silly.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. #2 F
    April 9, 2010

    Headline B just rocks my world. As a former RC, I think it is just hilarious.

    There are very few actual journalists by weight, volume, or percent.

  3. #3 Walton
    April 9, 2010

    I absolutely agree re the obsessive coverage of sports and pop-culture trivia. But I don’t think that’s exclusively a problem of the American media; we get plenty of it in the British media, too.

    My impression is that the majority of the public are not up to the challenge of actually learning about the real world. They prefer to fill their brains with sports, pop-culture trivia and reality TV. The media is predominantly mindless and banal not because of some deliberate conspiracy, but merely because it caters to the wishes of its viewers.

    Sports are a particularly bizarre phenomenon. I will never understand why people get incredibly worked up over the success or failure of “their” team in some pointless physical activity. British football fandom is particularly incomprehensible (as illustrated by the perceptive Mitchell and Webb sketch I’ve posted here a couple of times).

  4. #4 vanharris
    April 9, 2010

    Crackers! Those two headlines sure as hell put religious idiocy into perspective.

  5. #5 Rorschach
    April 9, 2010

    *guilty look eating morning noodles in front of TV with live Golf coverage*

    As to CNN, the international edition doesn’t seem quite as Tiger-heavy as the US one, but yes, he features regularly.
    What is one meant to make of a news organisation that uses viewer’s emails/twitter feeds/pics/movies as journalistic tools, most often without commentary.

  6. #6 ChrisD
    April 9, 2010

    “Hi, I’m an atheist and a journalist. Mind if I ask you some questions only ignore your answers and make up whatever I want to hear?”

    If the shoe were on the other foot they would be screaming indignantly at the top of their lungs about the misrepresentation and utter lies. Double standards with regard to comforting lies and disregard for uncomfortable truths abound in their ilk.

  7. #7 Givesgoodemail
    April 9, 2010

    Maybe a communion tasteless piece of crap…er, I mean *cracker*, isn’t what Christians crave most.

  8. #8 maureen.brian#b5c92
    April 9, 2010

    Givesgoodemail – you need to close that tab.

  9. #9 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    The challenge I’ve always given Catholics is this little thought experiment.
    Take 10 wafers. Have 5 consecrated by a priest, and 5 not. Shuffle them up. Now a good Catholic can use any scientific test they like or ask any person other than the priest to work out which are the body of christ and which are just bread.

    So far I’ve not got a decent answer at all. Can’t think why!!!

  10. #10 Crommunist
    April 9, 2010

    Leaving aside mostly irrelevant analysis of the writing style and quality of the language, this is a really poorly written article. I don’t really care much that the guy doesn’t like PZ. I’m sure a lot of people find him abrasive (at least when they are on the receiving end of his barbs). That’s natural. The reason why the article is bad is that it HAS NO THESIS.

    At the top he says “I hope people will agree that you shouldn’t be jerks about religion blahblahblah.” Following that statement, however, he provides no justification whatsoever for his point. It reads as follows:

    - I went to a presentation
    - I’m a member of a group that does good charity work
    - PZ Myers’ Wikipedia page says he did bad things to a religious symbol
    - He said that religious people believe in stupid ideas, shortly before saying he wishes they’d leave him alone, which is contradictory (news flash: it isn’t)
    - PZ Myers is a big meanie

    And therefore… God? Therefore… we should not be mean because you don’t like it? Therefore… delicious pudding?

  11. #11 Aquaria
    April 9, 2010

    Sports are a particularly bizarre phenomenon. I will never understand why people get incredibly worked up over the success or failure of “their” team in some pointless physical activity.

    Oh, Walton, Walton, Walton–you clearly don’t understand the Zen training to be had just by becoming a San Francisco Giants fan, grasshopper. In their efforts to pursue an already Zen-like physical activity (what you don’t think that in every baseball stat is a koan waiting to be meditated upon???) lies a mystery that no one can ever penetrate completely about the futility of expectations, good or bad.

  12. #12 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    Not to mention the exquisite agony all England football fans will feel when they hear the workd “penalty shootout”.

  13. #13 Iris
    April 9, 2010

    I’d prefer CNN run Tiger Woods stories 24/7 than the unbalanced right wing propaganda they regularly engage in. They’re more like Fox News every day: the 4-hour Petersen deficit hawk extravaganza re-airing this weekend, John King, the hiring of Eric Erikson, who makes Lou Dobbs seem like Keith Olbermann, etc. Last week I watched a segment where Lanny Davis was the “liberal,” and he spent his entire on-air time agreeing with absolutely everything Mary Matalin said.

    If you want news, stay away from CNN.

  14. #14 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    Forced CNN? Ugh. That qualifies as torture. From McLaughlin’s “write up”:

    Editor?s note: The author is Grand Knight of the RIT Knights of Columbus Council, #14336.

    Okay. What the hell does that have to do with anything?

    Furthermore, I?m the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council here at RIT. The Knights are a worldwide Catholic service organization, and ?Grand Knight? means I?m the president of the local group. My Council does community service events (such as a recent fish fry that raised almost $400 to buy malaria nets for children in Africa) and brotherhood events (like video game night). But ultimately, we encourage each other to be better Catholic gentlemen.

    Oh. He’s part of a good ol’ boys group. A fish fry and video game night are obviously supposed to be terribly impressive here. I note he doesn’t even bother to consider the many atheists who work for non-profit charities, or are active members of help groups, contribute to charities, etc. Apparently, that sort of moral goodness is confined to a specific hierarchy of catholicism. Wonder what his stance on the current ‘scandals’ might be. Of course, that can’t possibly be as important as being all upsetty over a frackin’ cracker!

    This is the most offensive thing you could do to a Catholic?s religious sensibilities.

    I’d be a hell of a lot more impressed, Joe, if you managed some outrage over all the generations of abuse and rape by “good catholic men”, and I’d think that would be a lot more offensive to a catholic than a fucking wafer.

    If they want to be an organization that goes around promoting the harassment of religious people, that?s their prerogative.

    Simply speaking out about religion is not promoting harassment, you god-soaked idjit.

  15. #15 Kel, OM
    April 9, 2010

    Those two different headlines really put it into perspective.

  16. #16 ragarth
    April 9, 2010

    PZ,

    I’ve gotta say I’m a bit astonished. What did you *think* you were getting into when you decided to shove a nail in a cracker? I grant you, its a cracker, but these are insane whack-jobs who thinks the head of their personal mafia speaks directly to god. These are the same people who maintain that protestants are ‘of da devil’ because of a split several hundred years ago. Religion knows no limit on time, especially when it comes to holding a grudge- God loves everyone, unless his followers hate you then you’re name is mud in heaven. I wouldn’t be surprised if your image becomes one with satan in about 200 years.

    In short, you should have known that by even touching a eucharist, the rest of your life would be spent fending off the ignorant morons who actually do believe it turns into pulsing, cannibalistic flesh down their throats.

  17. #17 Izzy
    April 9, 2010

    *clears her throat* First of all, let me announce my credentials as an EX-catholic and say that The Great Desecration was nothing less then AWESOME!!! I thought it was an extremely liberating moment to read your entire blog entry on the topic and to see the “holy” cracker desecrated so, without so much as a tiny sound of outrage from our sky-daddy! Pure awesomeness!!! Looking forward to what you plan on doing next!! :D

  18. #18 Walton
    April 9, 2010

    What is one meant to make of a news organisation that uses viewer’s emails/twitter feeds/pics/movies as journalistic tools, most often without commentary.

    Send us your reckons

    “So, a massive and unstoppable alien and attack threatens the Earth. What’s your reaction? Are you affected by the end of civilisation as we know it? Email us with your thoughts.

  19. #19 TWood
    April 9, 2010

    With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: ?I could give a flying crap about the political process.? Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. ?We?re an entertainment company,? Beck says.

    Glen Beck on Politics

    It’s all just entertainment. For ratings.

    fox noise

  20. #20 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    I work in a Catholic school which excels in turning kids into athiests (it gives them an hour of Catholic dogma each day). I frequently have discussions with the R.E. department, and it’s quite clear that they live in the same little delusional bubble that Benny the Rat has been shown to. They just simply do not get it when it comes to the actions of the church/existence of Dog etc.

    When one of them tried to answer the 10 cracker problem above he started waffling about the essence of the cracker had changed, but the substance had not. When I pointed out that this “change” could only be demonstrated to occur inside his own head and therefore did not represent reality, he got as angry as little Joey above. I must admit to enjoying poking them with a sharp stick on occasion, gives me something to laugh at.

  21. #21 Walton
    April 9, 2010
  22. #22 sfines
    April 9, 2010

    Not the focus of the article, but I once had to spend some time waiting for a flight in Oslo, Norway.

    It was immediately noticeable how quiet this airport was. No overhead announcements, no trolleys backing up, no tv’s.

    It was very similar to the atmosphere of a quiet library.

    Really nice.

  23. #23 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    andrewasante @ 20:

    I must admit to enjoying poking them with a sharp stick on occasion, gives me something to laugh at.

    As you work in a catholic school, I’m sure that helps keep you sane too. :D

  24. #24 Paul
    April 9, 2010

    IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!

    Or, through the wisdom of the Bad Translator,

    Forward Chips!

  25. #25 cartman86
    April 9, 2010

    If only people were obsessed with trivia enough to remember and pay attention to science or historical facts not just random celebrities (of which I am also a scholar).

  26. #26 Sisyphus
    April 9, 2010

    So PZ, what do you think about the whole Tiger Woods scandal? Pretty impressive how he was able to go back to playing golf after having had sex a few times! He’s AMAZING!

    Also, I heard about this cracker thing. How do you feel about holy crackers? Do you prefer them to unholy crackers?

  27. #27 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    Caine,

    Being a bio teacher there, the religiots tend to leave the Science department alone, as they usually get sent sway with a flea in their ear whenever they spout, or worse they get laughed at.

    We do have one creationist who works in our department, as a chemistry teacher, and he is an endless sourse of fascinating logical fallacies and woo soaked drivel (his favourite authors are James Dobson and Lee Strobel). To give you an idea of his personaality, the kids have nicknamed him Ned Flanders.

    The hierachy are all Catlick, but they know how hard it is to recruit Science teachers, so they tend to leave us alone and the majority of the kids seem to be too sensible to fall for the Catholic stuff, it’s just boring background noise they have to put up with avery morning.

  28. #28 Givesgoodemail
    April 9, 2010

    Let’s try that again.

    Maybe a communion tasteless piece of crap…er, I mean *cracker*, isn’t what Christians crave most.

  29. #29 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    Sisyphus:

    Also, I heard about this cracker thing. How do you feel about holy crackers? Do you prefer them to unholy crackers?

    You have to find a way to tell them apart first. Taste tests aren’t helpful, they taste equally awful.

  30. #30 Bastion Of Sass
    April 9, 2010

    This is the most offensive thing you could do to a Catholic?s religious sensibilities.

    Catholics: Taking the “sense” out of “sensibilities” since 33 CE.

  31. #31 Sili
    April 9, 2010

    I didn’t realise there was enough going on in the Star Trek world to merit discussion on even CNN these days.

    Patrick Smith shares your annoyance and CNNNNNNN being blasted everywhere in airports.

    I like these travelogues, though. Reminds me that staying at home and never flying anywhere is very, very nice.

  32. #32 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    andrewasante @ 27:

    Being a bio teacher there, the religiots tend to leave the Science department alone, as they usually get sent sway with a flea in their ear whenever they spout, or worse they get laughed at.

    Good deal. Way back in the ancient days, when I was in catholic school (’60s), we didn’t have science in any substantial or helpful way. When I decided to go to a public HS, I was decidedly behind on the science front, but it didn’t take long to catch up. I remember dissecting a grasshopper and an earthworm in 7th grade. Exactly what that was supposed to teach us, I never found out. Our lay teacher was decidedly bored and went out to have a smoke while we sliced and diced.

    To give you an idea of his personaality, the kids have nicknamed him Ned Flanders.

    LOL. Catholicism killed my belief in god[s] by the time I was 9 years old. I never want to see another nun again though. ;p

  33. #33 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    You have to find a way to tell them apart first. Taste tests aren’t helpful, they taste equally awful.

    No no, you’ve got it all wrong! See my post above. It’s the essence that changes, not anything real!!! ;-)

  34. #34 a.human.ape
    April 9, 2010

    there’s the horrible repetition of “You are approaching the end of the moving walkway?:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway?:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway?:You are approaching the end of?”,

    At least you never had to go to Catholic grammar school.

    Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…

  35. #35 Sastra
    April 9, 2010

    From the article:

    If they want to be an organization that goes around promoting the harassment of religious people, that?s their prerogative. But if their long term goal is to promote the idea that discriminating against atheists (or against anyone) is bad and that people should be more tolerant, they can get a far better speaker than P. Z. Myers.

    The problem with this dilemma is that the writer has bought into the idea that criticizing a person’s beliefs about religion is intolerant bigotry. He seems to feel that, if atheists want to be respected, they have to “give respect” back, by holding back. Otherwise, there’s mutual destruction between unprovable “faiths.” Everybody has the RIGHT to BELIEVE whatever they WANT — without having their belief held up for analysis or scrutiny. So they won’t publicly criticize atheists, if atheists won’t publicly criticize them. Won’t that be nice?

    Leaving alone the likelihood of this actually happening, it’s not what most atheists are looking for. Not anymore. This dandified agreement to avoid bringing out a controversy is a treaty which benefits the entrenched majority. Everyone already knows a million and one reasons why it’s right and good and normal to believe in God. They can successfully dismiss atheism as silly nonsense, because it’s just a given that atheists don’t have a case. If atheists then try to make their case, they’re stigmatized as rude.

    This leave-me-alone-and-I’ll-respect-you approach is also exactly what people with weak, unsupported beliefs need. The truth is too, too sacred to touch with the harsh reality of skeptical analysis and ridicule. No kidding. If I believed in transubstantiation, I’d want to wrap it up in wool and demand that people change the subject, too. Let’s talk about how nice we all are, as people, and stay off of religion.

    Forget it. We’re not changing the subject; that works to the advantage of powerful people with unsupported and unsupportable beliefs about the nature of reality. We’re dragging our beliefs, and theirs, out into the public square and opening everything up to the light of science and reason — and humor and ridicule. Let the ideas battle it out in a fair fight for a change, on the common ground. No sacred cows.

    We don’t want people to treat open debate as if it’s a form of violence, cloak their fact claims in identity politics, and reassure us in smug and honeyed tones that they accept us as atheists because we, too, have a “right to believe whatever we want.” We don’t believe in sacred cows, and we don’t need some ill-defined, sloppy blanket of excuses for nonsense which you call tolerance.

  36. #36 AdamK
    April 9, 2010

    If Tiger Woods were to hit one of those crackers with a stick, it would be the Most Important Thing That Ever Happened Ever!

  37. #37 https://me.yahoo.com/a/4qCa7VoOzteLU8F9EIXSy1IiCz1e#7d999
    April 9, 2010

    @#14 Forced CNN is better than the alternative. Last time I flew threw DFW they had Fox News blaring everywhere. And the last time I went to see my doctor they had Fox News playing in the waiting room. Not being able to ignore Fox had a pronounced affect on both my pulse rate and blood pressure. I presume it triggered some sort of “fight or flight” response.

  38. #38 jasondcrane
    April 9, 2010

    Hi PZ & friends:

    Along the lines of the Great Desecration, you may enjoy my Easter poem, “Transubstantiation Is A Crock(pot)”.

    All the best,

    Jason Crane
    http://jasoncrane.org

  39. #39 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    @ 37:

    Not being able to ignore Fox had a pronounced affect on both my pulse rate and blood pressure.

    Ugh, I’ll bet it did. I am all in favour of *quiet* in airports. The teeming masses of people make enough effing noise as it is, without having any type of TV blaring.

  40. #40 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    andrewasante:

    It’s the essence that changes, not anything real!!! ;-)

    Unless the essence fizzes or something, I demand evidence! I mean really, this is just a case of gods falling down on the job here. Pure laziness.

  41. #41 https://me.yahoo.com/a/w0tdZONn0dj5M1SAsJ0Cvfjm1SfgNLT6Flo-#45ac9
    April 9, 2010

    PZ, Write out a few simple answers to these stupid questions, then when asked, ask the “journalist” if they have enough integrity to print your answer. If they say “Yes”, read it from the paper and hand it to them so there is no question that they have it right.

  42. #42 Randomfactor
    April 9, 2010

    Pretty impressive how he was able to go back to playing golf after having had sex a few times! He’s AMAZING!

    Nah, just wait until it comes out he’s been using performance-enhancing drugs.

    No, not for golf…

  43. #43 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    Caine,

    Ah but evidence would obviate the need for faith!!!

    For as god said “Proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing”

    Well actually it was Douglas Adams, but he was a comedy god, so far better than the “real” one!

  44. #44 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 9, 2010

    McLaughlin’s opening paragraph is about half a notch higher than “Hello, my name is Kent Hovind.”

  45. #45 JJ
    April 9, 2010

    Sports are a particularly bizarre phenomenon. I will never understand why people get incredibly worked up over the success or failure of “their” team in some pointless physical activity.

    Hey, I very much enjoy going to hockey games. Love rooting for my Sharks! What’s the problem with a bit of competition? Yeah, there’s not real point to it, except ENTERTAINMENT! It’s fun, tailgating, getting the buzz on and watching some good old brutality. You sir, are a buzzkill.

    Now I agree sports news should be left to ESPN and shouldn’t be considered “news”.

    GO SHARKS!

  46. #46 MAJeff, OM
    April 9, 2010

    Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…

    Well how fucking stupid was he to do that? Dude, there’s no need for anyone to die over a ham sandwich or 7-way orgy.

  47. #47 KOPD
    April 9, 2010

    Dude, there’s no need for anyone to die over a ham sandwich or 7-way orgy.

    And yet so many do every day. Tragic, really.

  48. #48 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    andrewasante:

    Well actually it was Douglas Adams, but he was a comedy god, so far better than the “real” one!

    No argument there!

  49. #49 melior
    April 9, 2010

    This is the most offensive thing you could do to a Catholic?s religious sensibilities.

    I suspect this opinion is quite disappointing to the guy who invented the Baby Jesus Buttplug.

  50. #50 JJ
    April 9, 2010

    Ugh, I’ll bet it did. I am all in favour of *quiet* in airports. The teeming masses of people make enough effing noise as it is, without having any type of TV blaring.

    And this is why I love my Zune. Pop in my head phones, grab a beer, and get ready for a sitting in the same spot for hours!

  51. #51 kilternkafuffle
    April 9, 2010

    I’ll never forget the day I watched the Russian news again for the first time after living in US for a long time. The 9pm news broadcast is a vestige of Soviet times when everyone watched the same program, and most people still do. They very casually moved from international politics to talking about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie having children!!! The first Russian state channel reported on reproduction by two American actors. (They seem to be lovely people, in fact, but I don’t want to hear about their family life on the news!) If I was a journalist, I’d die of shame if I ever had to report on something like that.

    Also, the Knights of Columbus are positively evil. IIRC, they are the 2nd biggest contributor to campaigns against gay marriage. And way to avoid connotations of systematic killing and repression of the native population of the Americas there Catholics.

  52. #52 SC OM
    April 9, 2010

    For the record, Myers, myself, and the Catholic Church have essentially the same position on evolution: the scientific evidence we have now points to it. That may change in the future, but until it does, evolution should be taught in schools.

    Telling last sentence. Don’t go out on too much of a limb there, Gentleman Grand Knight. Oh, and the evidence does a bit more than “point to” it. Also, the RCC’s position is that they’ll (publicly) accept the science, in the context of rejecting “vulgar materialism” at every turn and maintaining an absurd belief in “special creation.”

  53. #53 Xenithrys
    April 9, 2010

    My US television news/airport story happened the day of the London Underground bombings. I was on my way to London, transiting through LAX. People heard the news from their cell phones while in line to be abused and fingerprinted and photographed. By the time we got through that (over an hour) there was half an hour before we got back on the plane, in a bare room except for plastic chairs and a huge TV. With a son in London who commutes on one of the affected lines, I was naturally anxious. For half an hour the news was all about the (over)reactions of people in New York and Chicago, how the subway was in lockdown and so on.

    IMHO, news (and programmes for that matter) on channels funded by advertising will always be shallow, because they need to attract a gullible, uncritical audience for the advertisers to fleece. It not just about the quantity of viewers, but they’ve learned from market research the quality of viewers is important too.

  54. #54 Kirk
    April 9, 2010

    As everyone has pointed out, the content of McLaughlin’s article was twaddle, but …

    many catholics can write correctly spelled twaddle, in grammatically correct sentences.

    This makes them, in my opinion, more dangerous than run-of-the-mill fundamentalists who are generally at odds with the written English language.

  55. #55 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 9, 2010

    GO SHARKS!

    For matters of principle I am against the shark. In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears. Plus sharks were the excuse for making some absolute horrible movies like Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge.

  56. #56 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 9, 2010

    What’s the problem with a bit of competition?

    What’s so competitive about watching other people play a game?

    It’s fun, tailgating, getting the buzz on and watching some good old brutality.

    Yeah, so much for competition. Not everyone finds drunken communal celebration of violence fun.

    You sir, are a buzzkill.

    You’re a puerile ass.

  57. #57 Kel, OM
    April 9, 2010

    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    That’s an urban legend and you know it. Sharks killing more than drop bears, pfft!

  58. #58 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    April 9, 2010

    @MAJeff

    Dude, there’s no need for anyone to die over a ham sandwich or 7-way orgy.

    Wellll seeing that JC would never have tasted porky goodness I’d have to assume that he was a ‘confirmed bachelor’… :-/

  59. #59 andrewasante
    April 9, 2010

    Will freely admit to being a sports fan, but can understand that others might not YKINMKBTOK and all that.

    I certainly enjoy sports science, and having spent too bloody long on the physio’s table recently appreciate the use of science to allow us masohists to get back on the pitch/track/trail.

  60. #60 randydudek
    April 9, 2010

    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    In San Jose, Sharks tend to embarrass themselves in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

  61. #61 cag
    April 9, 2010

    First comes the holy cracker, then, inevitably, comes the Holy Shit.

  62. #62 timrowledge
    April 9, 2010

    And this is why I love my Zune

    Sinner! Apostate! Kill him! Don’t you understand that there is nothing more offensive to a devout iPoddist? We must insist on a better tone in this blog!

    (Rats. Worn out the shriek key on my keyboard)

    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    I didn’t think drop bears went swimming?

  63. #63 PZ Myers
    April 9, 2010

    No problem. You should be using the shriek-lock key.

  64. #64 Rider1
    April 9, 2010
  65. #65 Cynicide
    April 9, 2010

    At least now you have a title for your memoir “PZ Myers: More than just cracker abuse”.

    In regards to the Tiger Woods stuff, I watch SBS World News here in Melbourne as they tend to lead with grown-up news and save the nutty celeb stuff till the end or in the middle.

    It all reminds me of one of my favorite Jamie Kilstein bits where he calls out popular music.

  66. #66 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    cag:

    First comes the holy cracker, then, inevitably, comes the Holy Shit.

    Shhhh, they don’t like being reminded of Intestinal Tract Jesus.

  67. #67 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 9, 2010

    Speaking of Crackergate, perhaps it’s time for another outrageous sacrilege. I mean it’s become so hard to get good trolls of late. There was barely enough meat on Greame Bird and John Hamilton put together to make a good sandwich! Not like the good ol’ days when we had Alan Clarke (gee, I wonder if he knows Pope Benny?). Personally, I like the idea of lesbians masturbating with Bibles, but I can see that might create problems.

    Perhaps a line of religiously themed sex dolls: 1)The Eternally Virgin Mary with replacable hymens.
    2)John the Baptist with detachable head for easy travel.
    3)The “Find out How Real Men Love Jesus” doll.
    4)The “There is no God but Allah and Mumammad is his fuckpuppet” doll.
    5)The “Go Down on Me” Moses doll–to really keep your bush burning.
    6)The Buddha–for achieving simultaneous orgasm and enlightenment!
    7)A Hindu Pantheon Party Set!
    8)Also Sucked Zarathustra.
    9)Supply Side Jesus–screwing you AND the rest of the country!
    10)And of course a tree with a knothole for the druids.

  68. #68 Kel, OM
    April 9, 2010

    Sinner! Apostate! Kill him! Don’t you understand that there is nothing more offensive to a devout iPoddist? We must insist on a better tone in this blog!

    pfft, nothing worst than an iPod fundamentalist. You’re taking iPod ownership to a fanatical extreme, and extremism in any form is bad. Why can’t you just accept that some people own an iPod and some people own a Zune and both players work equally well for the person who owns them. It’s a matter of preference anyway… As for iRiver or Creative Zen or using a mobile phone as an MP3 player, well those are all equally viable options if they meet the needs of the owner.

    Wow, it’s so easy to fall into that hole of cultural relativism. Just don’t have a vested interest in having any form of objectivity and suddenly nothing has intrinsic value anymore – apart from one’s own inflated ego at recognising that fact.

  69. #69 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 9, 2010

    Communion wafers are halitosis generators. For realz.

  70. #70 trinioler
    April 9, 2010

    I feel ashamed for student journalists. This garbage shouldn’t have been allowed into the paper. Its so biased and badly written. So much use of “I”.

    Okay, first of all. Our school isn’t a journalism school. And yet, I know more about the rules of journalism and FOLLOW them! (I’m Tyler Laing on the site, Science and Tech editor)

    Read my articles. They’re actually damn well-written, factual, and clear of personal bias. This is crap. I don’t care about offending a “fellow journalist” because he’s NOT A JOURNALIST.

    It does NOT matter who you are, or your role in anything, or whatever. What matters are the FACTS.

    This just puts a bad appearance on student journalists everywhere. Good non-existent god… this is horrible. I saved my opinions and biases for the Opinions section.

    Just remember, there ARE good student journalists out there. I’d like to think I’m one of them. And there are others at our paper who are really good too, especially Andrew Bates, next year’s Editor-in-chief. The guy came in SECOND for investigative reporting in all of the Canadian student journalists, up against journalism schools.

  71. #71 WowbaggerOM
    April 9, 2010

    Kel wrote:

    As for iRiver or Creative Zen or using a mobile phone as an MP3 player, well those are all equally viable options if they meet the needs of the owner.

    I don’t like the controls for the iPod so I bought an iRiver instead. I’ve never had a reason to regret my decision other than the iRiver’s iTunes equivalent isn’t as good. Then again, I’m hardly a gadget-freak so there may be any number of other reasons to consider it inferior; I really don’t care.

  72. #72 maarten.jan
    April 9, 2010

    Catholics don’t think the crackers are god. They just say so. They’re programmed to say it, not to believe it. Believe in belief.

    It’s just like my father. He says he believes in god, and that god is very important for him. He goes to church once a year. He only talks about it when I ask him. I have never seen my father prey.

    My mother is even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it). My mother believes in belief, AND admits she does not believe.

    By the way, my parents are officially catholic. They don’t believe the cracker is god.

  73. #73 beige-alert
    April 9, 2010

    I once had a six-hour layover at ATL on the way to Germany. Non. Stop. Wall. To. Wall. OJ Simpson coverage. When I got to Germany, right after a hug in greeting, the first thing I asked my friend was, “Have you heard anything about OJ Simpson?” She looked at me, puzzled, and said, um, no. Hurray! I had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to do it, but I finally escaped the OJ Simpson TV news coverage!

  74. #74 trinioler
    April 9, 2010

    Argh, I meant to leave behind this link: http://thephoenixnews.com/

  75. #75 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    trinioler:

    Good non-existent god… this is horrible. I saved my opinions and biases for the Opinions section.

    And rightly so. The problem with those whose brains have been pickled in god is that they think believe their opinions are facts.

    There’s really no talking with faitheist heads; their idea of atheists and theists (or science and religion) getting along is for atheists to shut the fuck up, keep their heads down and stay quietly in the closet. Anything else is horrible persecution and the promotion of harassment.

  76. #76 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    maarten.jan @ 72:

    They don’t believe the cracker is god.

    A great many catholics do believe the cracker is Jesus though. For real Jesus. It’s magic!

  77. #77 MAJeff, OM
    April 9, 2010
    They don’t believe the cracker is god.

    A great many catholics do believe the cracker is Jesus though. For real Jesus. It’s magic!

    One thing I’ve done in some of my classes when discussing Hmong belief systems is tell students, “there is nothing in this system any stranger than in catholicism. The difference is your social distance from that belief system versus catholicism” and we go through transubstantiation and the ritual cannibalism that is communion.

    One year, a student who was the child of Sri Lankan immigrants talked about a high school friend who took her to his catholic church. They did communion, she took a wafer and started nibbling. He looked at her, horrified, and said, “YOU’RE EATING MY GOD!”

    It’s ok to eat god if you’re from the right tribe. But only if you’re from the right tribe.

  78. #78 sparganium5
    April 9, 2010

    @72: I’ve never seen my parents prey either. They usually just get their food at the supermarket. But my cats, that’s another story. I often wonder if they truly believe that the rodents they eviscerate and gobble (not the head of course, that would be gross) are transubstantiated into Bastet.

  79. #79 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 9, 2010

    MAJeff, OM:

    They did communion, she took a wafer and started nibbling. He looked at her, horrified, and said, “YOU’RE EATING MY GOD!”

    Cannibalism is all about the etiquette. Actually, this reminds me of many of the reactions to crackergate. The irony of them consuming their god never seems to hit; it’s all about what you said – being part of the right tribe.

  80. #80 cicely
    April 9, 2010
    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    I didn’t think drop bears went swimming?

    Airsharks.

  81. #81 John Morales
    April 9, 2010

    Tiger !@%$#%@ Woods!

    Yesterday, I emitted a small StarFart whose only victim was my (should-be-sainted wife) about the “news”, just before switching the damn TV off and returning to my PC.

    (Coverage of Kyrgyzstan:Woods :~: 1:3)

    <growl>

  82. #82 chicagomolly.myopenid.com
    April 9, 2010

    BBC News is one of my RSS feeds, and almost half the posts that pop up are about the Wonderful World of (British) Sport! Meaning basically soccer or rugby or whatever it is they do with leather balls over there. So I can disregard the lot of it and pay attention to the really important news — like Matt Smith’s debut as The Eleventh Doctor!

    Must maintain perspective!

  83. #83 Kel, OM
    April 9, 2010

    I don’t like the controls for the iPod so I bought an iRiver instead.

    For me, the iRiver didn’t have the storage capacity I wanted so I ended up buying an iPod – even if I dislike them.

    At some point there is a matter of taste and necessity, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot look at objective differences and check quality of various devices. I used to use my mobile phone as an MP3 device, but because of its multitasking nature it stalled occasionally. As an MP3 player, it just wasn’t adequate. I can say that comfortably without having that being relative, which is where the legitimate disagreement from personal taste fails to validate relativism.

  84. #84 chicagomolly.myopenid.com
    April 9, 2010

    #20 andrewasante:

    I work in a Catholic school which excels in turning kids into athiests (it gives them an hour of Catholic dogma each day).

    That’s pretty much how I remember it. When I was in 8th grade, studying for The Sacrament of Confirmation, our teachers started laying it on the line: when we were confirmed we were expected to become Soldiers of Christ and start rescuing heathen souls. Up to this point I hadn’t given it much thought, but in the middle of this last desperate indoctrination session I realized that sometime after discovering Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and Wonder Woman comics I knew that the bible stories I’d grown up on were Catholic mythology, and not even as well written as Wonder Woman, let alone Hamilton! But at that age I was in no political position to register a protest and refuse to take two steps forward, so I treated the whole thing as a photo op for the family and walked through it.

  85. #85 Tesla
    April 9, 2010

    You’re reminding me of my favorite gripe: people who unironically use the phrase, “perception is reality.”

    Do they not realize that their willful ignorance merely makes them look bad, and won’t succeed in bringing the whole world down to their level?

  86. #86 AJ Milne
    April 9, 2010

    Therefore… delicious pudding?

    Well, if I could somehow find that thesis in there, I’d have, at least, I suppose, provisionally to agree…

    I mean no, it’s not so much even a sentence. But it does contain the phrase ‘delicious pudding’. And hey, I’m sure we can all at last agree that pudding is delicious.

    (Can I get an amen?)

    Somewhat more seriously, this sort of thing is endemic to religion. What, he’s rambling on and on and on and on and so far all we can really gain from reading the thing to the end is (a) he’s offended about somethin’ and (b) his paper, apparently, had a lot of room this week?

    Par for the course*, really.

    I mean, if these people were actually capable of noticing when what was being said does not particularly follow even the faintest echo of a reasoned chain of argument nor particularly say anything that wasn’t so hazily stupid and trite it would insult the intelligence of the average sitcom writer, would they even be capable of remaining in their religion?

    I mean, fuck, stuff of that general character pretty much makes up their entire set of standard rituals.

    My notion: maybe that’s where they catch it. Spend too much around that stuff, it rubs off on you.

    (*/Somewhere, some poor bastard stuck in front of the 24-hour CNN coverage of Tiger Woods, tied to a chair with his eyelids propped open has just screamed in agony, reading that idiom. Sorry, PZ…)

  87. #87 R. Schauer
    April 9, 2010

    Pz,
    C’mon, Tiger Woods confirms R. Dawkins observation that we are really nothing but gene replicatin’ machines. The way I look at it, the “Tiger” media is helping our cause!

    (…in their usual lame way)

  88. #88 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 10, 2010

    I hope to use this space to push my belief on you: that people shouldn?t be jerks to each other about religion.

    This is a fallacious statement since the RCC (Roman Catholic ChurchTM) has not necessary complied with this stament.

    And, and at the end of the article (or post)

    … people should be more tolerant…

    Again, the RCC has not followed on this.

  89. #89 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 10, 2010

    jcmartz.myopenid.com #88

    When McLaughlin talks about “people shouldn?t be jerks to each other about religion” what he means is that people shouldn’t be jerks about his religion. There’s the further point that atheists don’t have a religion so it’s okay for him to be a jerk towards atheists.

    It’s similar with “people should be more tolerant.” We’re supposed to be tolerant towards him and the Catholic religion, him being tolerant towards PZ and any other atheist is optional.

  90. #90 FossilFishy
    April 10, 2010

    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    I didn’t think drop bears went swimming?

    Airsharks.

    I left Canada to get away from the airwolves, now I have to deal with airsharks? Shit.

  91. #91 bubbabubba666
    April 10, 2010

    From his article:
    “If they want to be an organization that goes around promoting the harassment of religious people, that?s their prerogative.”

    I posted asking him how exactly PZ harassed him or anyone else and to be specific. Of course the comment is “awaiting review by an editor.

  92. #92 bubbabubba666
    April 10, 2010

    Of course you do all realize that one of his next posts will be to cherry pick various comments and show how mean and horrible atheists are, don’t you?

  93. #93 Moggie
    April 10, 2010
    In Australia sharks kill more people than drop bears.

    I didn’t think drop bears went swimming?

    Airsharks.

    We’re going to need a bigger hat.

  94. #94 blf
    April 10, 2010

    Look, it’s really simple: If there’s a tiger in the woods, close your doors and windows and call the animal control people. Geesh!

    Should also work for a fox in the newts, albeit whether or not the newts will get better isn’t too clear.

  95. #95 MichaelEybye
    April 10, 2010

    Those crackers eventually come out of the arse you know…

  96. #96 MadScientist
    April 10, 2010

    Oh, ease up PZ. Joe McLaughlin is just practicing to take Bill Donohue’s place when the old bastard drops dead. After all, it takes years of practice to get from “goddamned stupid” to “utterly vile asshole”.

  97. #97 DLC
    April 10, 2010

    Why write an honest interview when you can write a godbotting strawmanning screed instead?

  98. #98 phoenicianromans
    April 10, 2010

    Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…Christ died for your sins…

    What’s really annoying is that he died for Hitler and Stalin’s sins as well as mine – and I haven’t even had the opportunity lately to get any really good sins in.

    I mean, shit, if there’s all this sacrificial forgiveness going around, shouldn’t I have the opportunity to be forgiven for something so carnal it would make Hugh hefner faint from shock?

  99. #99 Stephen Wells
    April 10, 2010

    There was a revolution in Kyrgyzstan this week, people were shooting each other on a square that I walked across at New Year, and the news gave us 15 seconds in the hour on this and 45 minutes of Tiger Fucking Woods. I despair.

  100. #100 Matt Penfold
    April 10, 2010

    There was a revolution in Kyrgyzstan this week, people were shooting each other on a square that I walked across at New Year, and the news gave us 15 seconds in the hour on this and 45 minutes of Tiger Fucking Woods. I despair.

    It is pretty incredible. Especially as what happens in Kyrgyzstan affects the US, since the US has an airbase there that is used to stage troops and materials in and out of Afghanistan.

  101. #101 Shala
    April 10, 2010

    I can’t really comment about team sports other than hockey, but watching boxing and MMA is really thrilling for me. Competition between people is extremely fun for me to watch, and for people not participating, predictions and discussion of events tends to be amusing and even competitive if betting is involved.

    That said though, I agree it should be limited to sports networks. It’s really not everyone’s cup of tea it seems.

  102. #102 JonathanBerman
    April 10, 2010

    Actually I know Joe personally, and I can confirm that he’s a grade-A moron.

    When I attended RIT he was my neighbor. This led to a few interesting encounters (like watching him and his roommates set pieces of furniture on fire in a shared yard, attending a party where people started telling us that he was threatening my roommate and myself with physical violence, etc.

    He also interviewed myself and another candidate when she and I ran for student government, and (as far as I can tell, deliberately) wrote an extremely biased article.

    The kid’s has more than a few screws loose, so I’m not surprised that he’d write an article like that.

  103. #103 Antiochus Epimanes
    April 10, 2010

    I can tell you why you’re subjected to drivel instead of news.

    Good reporters are expensive. Narcissistic talking heads are, in comparison, cheap.

    You can draw more of an audience with a picture of someone’s butt than with serious events – or at least a more gullible audience, more likely to buy whatever’s being peddled on the commercial breaks.

    CNN wasn’t always so bad, but it saw the Faux News model working, and is emulating it in a race to the bottom.

    You see this in newspapers too, but it’s most obvious on the 24-hour news channels where they’ve got to jabber about something, whether anything notable is happening or not.

    It’s very easy for people to dismiss this sad state by saying, “Oh, reporters are just idiots, let’s all feel superior to them.” But the reporters I know are saddened and angered by the trend – it’s just that no one asks us what we think we should be covering, except at the few organizations that still have a commitment to public service.

    Most of the TV reporters I’ve met have been self-obsessed pinheads, and some print writers I know are shallow losers, but most of us out here really do want to cover the important stuff, and do it well. When we do, though, we just don’t draw a crowd.

  104. #104 dennis.jinks
    April 10, 2010

    Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe series is an excellent dissection of what is wrong with the media. I don’t know if it will make it over the pond without being remade and repackaged with American accents but someone has kindly put it here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm4GiyyVKQQ

  105. #105 aratina cage
    April 10, 2010

    Sastra,

    Comment #35 was a thought so perfectly communicated that it felt intense just reading it. (After all, that is what an echo chamber is supposed to feel like, I think.) Seriously, more Mollies for you!

    I tried to make a heavy-handed, snarky comment at Joe McLaughlin’s article’s website, but I have a feeling it was moderated out of existence, so I will reproduce it here:

    After receiving the Hosts, Myers ran nails through them, threw them in his garbage, and posted pictures on his blog. This is the most offensive thing you could do to a Catholic?s religious sensibilities.
    -Joe Blow

    Oh boohoo waaah! Who gives a crap about your religious sensibilities? People who think bread turns into a god need to grow up. Or don’t and keep us laughing.
    -me

  106. #106 kiyaroru
    April 10, 2010

    Back (for a moment) to noisy airports and TV “news” drivel. From the immortal DNA,

    One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.

    All good, except for the last sentence.

    I cut/pasted the above from Wikiquotes. There is a cat on my lap and I can’t get to the bookshelf.

  107. #107 Citizen Z
    April 10, 2010

    After receiving the Hosts, Myers ran nails through them, threw them in his garbage, and posted pictures on his blog. This is the most offensive thing you could do to a Catholic?s religious sensibilities.

    Obligatory “More offensive than molesting children” comment here.

  108. #108 https://me.yahoo.com/a/JJTA944mroija_JJmBdSUEmznEEmGznv91Y-#ac37c
    April 10, 2010

    Mr. Meyers, I would like to be clear that the RIT Department of Communications recently began offering a Journalism major, and this student IS NOT a representative of it. Our professors are very effective in training students to create quality work, whether it is a feature or an opinion piece. Had he any experience with the department’s offerings he may have attempted to remain as objective as possible. Conveying your personal bias to the audience does not allow you to proceed to write an unbalanced article.

    I worked for Reporter for about 2.5 years, and we separated ways on less than agreeable terms due to communication issues. My work wasn’t necessarily the best or completely unbiased during my time there, but if I was not supportive of the person/presentation, I sought to show why others may have enjoyed it.

    To my knowledge, about half of RIT’s Journalism majors have ever written for Reporter, and a majority of them have not published an article since early February, from what I can see.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit our campus, and don’t let one bad apple impact your decision to attend future campus events.

  109. #109 bubbabubba666
    April 10, 2010

    One commenter on that article claims that PZ:

    “Recently, Myers has suggested on his blog that someone stab/attack the Pope sideways with a rusty knife.”

    Does anyone know what that is referring to? I assume it is either something twisted and taken horribly out of context, or made up outright.

    He also made some other crazy claims.

  110. #110 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 10, 2010

    bubbabubba666:

    “Recently, Myers has suggested on his blog that someone stab/attack the Pope sideways with a rusty knife.”

    One of the Intersection morons. You can read about it here.

  111. #111 Rorschach
    April 10, 2010

    Mr. Meyers, I would like to be clear that the RIT Department of Communications recently began offering a Journalism major

    A Spelling major might be of benefit, too.

  112. #112 Kagehi
    April 10, 2010

    Mind, intersection or not. Sometimes a few people here do, out of frustration, go a bit overboard, and perhaps we *should* call each other on it, instead of just letting it pass. After all, it does one no good to lower yourself to the level of the idiot you are arguing with, thereby giving them the opportunity to come back a week later with 50 quote mines, and a statement, “See! We only defend stupidity, but they defend rape!” Which is basically what they did. The fact that they continual confused “submission”, which refers to the articles posted, not the commentary, with the commentary contents, is irrelevant. After all, we are dealing with the logic deficient. I am surprised they figured out the “submission” even referred to something you place on blogs at all, never mind actually grasping what it is *supposed* to refer to.

  113. #113 pnrjulius
    April 10, 2010

    Actually CNN.com is fairly reasonable, and quite similar to BBC.co.uk.

    I think the difference is not between the US and the UK, but in fact a difference between TV news and web news. Web users must be a smarter demographic less tolerant of inanity.

  114. #114 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 10, 2010

    Kagehi, it simply does not matter what you say or don’t say (or how you say it) when it comes to the intersection morons. They are firm believers in style over substance. I’m not about to censor myself over such wastes of space.

  115. #115 Circe of the Godless
    April 10, 2010

    Wow, the Catholic church has a cover up scandal of child rape going on, and this dork is more offended that you threw a cracker into a rubbish bin some time ago. Sums up religion nicely , doesn’t it?

    Also, I am SO SICK of hearing where Tiger Woods has put his penis. It would be better off as a quizz show. ‘Where in the world has Tiger Wood’s penis been this week?’ Although I’m sure that would get equally tedious as I really don’t care.

  116. #116 rwgate
    April 11, 2010

    I’m really disappointed that a fellow Washington Husky couldn’t come up with a better solution to the “cracker” problem than driving a nail through it.

    They are delicious when layered with cheddar cheese and bacon strips. Sandwich peanut butter and bananas between two wafers and deep fry. Sumptuous!
    Serve in a large bowl with salsa and bean dip for a delightful treat for your golf buddies this weekend.

    They also go extremely well with a fine wine.

  117. #117 godgirl8
    April 12, 2010

    I understand that you think that you are right, but it is not fair or right to criticize someone like that. This must have really made you feel threatened, but God loves you and I will pray for you… Even though you are scared you are not alone and God will forgive you. I know that you will respond to me with similar criticism, but I am not scared, I have faith and I love God. You may use hurtful words and threats, but it will not stop me from praying for you.

  118. #118 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkZ6bud_2OWnH4ya1KYZ-QpvDKkqP4LTac
    April 12, 2010

    PZ, anyone spending lots of time in airports NEEDS a TV-B-GONE! http://www.tvbgone.com/cfe_tvbg_main.php

  119. #119 Aquaria
    May 19, 2010

    #117:

    Go ahead and pray. We’ll think for you.