I’m not talking about the “Second Coming” or whatever, I mean what if you got transported back in time 2000 years ago and met Jesus of Nazareth. What would you see?
Studying the history of early Christianity really makes me appreciate how little we know about ancient history. Sure there’s some records here and there, but we’re really riding blind.
Imagine if historians 3000 years from now just have Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, this blog, and the ruins of Las Vegas to go on while studying our era. That would leave them with a pretty odd view. But that’s essentially what we’re going by when evaluating ancient times.
Every famous person from back then, like Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, was probably half a foot shorter than you imagine and you could have easily kicked their ass. What I am saying is that I can stomp the shit out of a Spartan. 300 was just a movie, a shitty one at that. I am taller, got more muscle, and when I’m when I’m trying to quit nicotine I can take anybody. ANYBODY.
Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.
Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.
This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!
Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.
Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.
The YouTube algorithm sucks sometimes. When you search certain people, you can’t rid their videos from your recommendations.
Bart D Ehrman, the distinguished James Gray professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one such person. Not that I hate Ehrman, quite the contrary. The man knows the Bible better than anyone. But I don’t find the subject of “God’s existence” to be particularly interesting.
Nevertheless, I watched him debate this with a professional snake oil salesman named Kyle Butt. The subject they were specifically debating was “God and suffering”. Ehrman’s fans swear up and down that he won the debate, but no one “wins” a debate. Everyone loses (and, sorry to say Christians, but agnostics/atheists have the much easier argument).
But I’m always intrigued by how the “problem of morality” gets tossed around like a hot potato in a debate. Maybe I’ve spent too much time of Twitter and Reddit forums, but it feels that in our political climate that all sides wish to enter into a “post moral” phase where one can gain points by accusing their opponent of “moralizing”. However, I have never once found this to be convincing.
Mostly because it makes no fucking sense. Even if we move past “good and evil”, new social mores become established which sets up a whole other paradigm of morality.
When viewed in this political climate, the Ehrman/Butt debate seems outdated (it took place in 2014). Butt believed that there are objective platonic forms of morality established by God of the Bible, while Ehrman simply took a sublime, “know right/wrong when I see it” approach. Naturally, I agreed with Ehrman (even though I didn’t find it philosophically consistent).
But I think what Ehrman was trying (or should have) focused on was the power of empathy in understanding the conditions of our fellow humans. From my understanding, empathy is a real scientifically falsifiable phenomenon that everyone (except psychopaths) feels. HOWEVER, the power of ideology does everything it can to undermine this.
Ideology can take many forms, from personal, to political, to religious.
In my view, individualist ideology, propagated by consumer culture, is the most prevalent. In fact, it even lays the foundation for current political/religious ideologies. When viewed in this light, it makes sense why online atheists and the Christian Right are suddenly bedfellows: Christians can rest easy knowing that God is invested in their individual lives, and the fate and suffering of everyone else is in His hands. And atheists become unburdened in believing that there’s a moralistic force binding the universe together, and can instead focus on their own truths.
Either way, they don’t have to show concern over the suffering of their fellow humans.
I guess that’s another reason why everyone wants to jump on the “post moral” train.
xXx is a film that came out 10 years too late. Bruce Willis would have fucking CRUSHED the role of Xander Cage.
Think about it: what if it xXx was directed by Renny Harlin or John McTiernan. Now those guys understand what action schlock is all about.
I don’t know why xXx sucks so much. Is it the script? The direction? Is it it’s leading actor?
Vin Diesel is proof that just because you look the part, doesn’t mean that you can play the part. Honestly, he is quietly one of the worst action stars I’ve ever seen. And it’s difficult to pinpoint why that is.
Is it because he’s not traditionally “good looking”? There are plenty of action stars that aren’t considered “good looking.”
Is it because he can’t act? To be a Hollywood leading man, having the ability to “act” is surprisingly low on the must-have list.
Is it because he doesn’t have a sense of humor? I think there’s something to this. I mean, Vin Diesel does have a sense of humor, but the joke is always on someone else and never on the absurdity of his character or the situation he’s in.
Being the butt of a joke is for other characters. Not for him.
Some action stars can get away with this. Steven Seagal for example. But the thing is that Seagal lacks the awareness to understand that he is the joke. Diesel is too smart for that.
So in xXx, Diesel comes across as a fucking asshole that I’m constantly rooting against.
Bad news: the blog’s gone downhill and I’m powerless to do anything about it.
Good news: I’ve updated the website format.
As for the quality of content, sorry. I’ve been going through writer’s block since the beginning of September. Don’t know what to do about it. I’m gonna write till something hits. Maybe a change in format will polish this turd up.
I think it’s important that a brand represents its customers. Sure I’m a hack that’s scamming you by selling a completely unnecessary and stupid product, but I do so out of care and concern for your representation.
That’s why I developed Just Fckn Coffee!
No more of that liberal bullshit from Seattle called “Starbucks”. And none of that right-wing authoritarian crap from “Black Rifle Coffee”. I want to appeal to those who feel nothing, whose lives are as empty as their bank account.
Just Fckn Coffee! will give you the jolt you need to make it through one more day. Because life is hard. And there is no hope.
So next time you’re feeling numb from the overwhelming dread that is modern life, pour yourself a cup of Just Fckn Coffee!
Whoever came up with the laws of the physics needs to pull their head out their ass. Between being a dad and full time alcoholic, I just don’t have time for anything!
But what would really help me is if some genius would invent something that could read my mind and write down what I think. I don’t give a damn about things called “ethics” or “privacy”. I just hate writing.
But anyways, I’m getting sidetracked with other projects that will hopefully see the light of day (probably won’t). So if you think I’ve been phoning it in lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
I couldn’t hit shit with my six shooter. I missed every target.
J Robert Oppenheimer’s 10 year old son, Malachi, watched and nodded his head. “Did you really know my father from the war?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?” I replied.
“Whose side did you fight for?”
“Uh, Abraham Lincoln’s?”
“963rd, 9th battalion, 4th infantry, uhmmm, at the Battle of Waterloo?”
“Did you get injured?”
“Oh yeah. All over.”
Malachi scratched his head. He knew I was full of shit. “Are you sure that you didn’t know my father from the future?” he asked.
“How do you know about that?”
“He has a time machine in the barn.”
Malachi took me into the barn and lifted a large tarp off a time weapon—a similar looking time weapon that sent Mr. Ree, Oppenheimer, and myself back to 1879.
“Does it work?” I asked Malachi.
“Of course. My father built it. He can make anything work.”
Oppenheimer stood at the entryway of the barn. “That’s enough Malachi,” he said. “You run along now.”
Malachi shook his head. “Yes father,” he said and went back to tending to his chores.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this, Bob?” I asked Oppenheimer.
“It doesn’t work.”
“Malachi says it does.”
Oppenheimer paced back and forth, rubbing his hand across his face. “Look,” he said, “we can go over this all day. Sure, I can send you to the future, the past, whatever. But it’s almost impossible to get you back to YOUR timeline. I’m sorry James. But we need to look at the present. You’re here. Mr. Ree is here. I need help. This community needs your help. Please help me. I can’t fight Dickleburg on my own.”
I thought through his words. “You love Malachi,” I said. “But did you know that I have a child back in that timeline? If there is a chance, however slim, to get back there, I have to take it. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were me?”
Oppenheimer nodded. “If I’m going to help you,” he said, “then we have to secure these goldmines. There’s a property in gold that makes these time weapons work. To secure the mines, we have to defeat Dickleburg.”
I pulled out my Korth 357.
“I’m no good with those six shooters,” I replied. “But I can shoot a fly’s dick off with this 357. Can you help me make more bullets?”