Take Me To Your Leader Cartoon

If aliens did arrive and want to be taken to our leader, who would it be?  The leader of the most powerful nation on the planet?  The leader of the United Nations?  The head of every religion to pitch their god(s)?  I’d love to see their expression when they hear about Scientology.  If anything they might spare us from a terrible fate if we could make them laugh.

Christian Martyrs Prove Resurrection

I just watched the entire debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig and was surprised to see Craig bring up this argument, albeit in a more intellectualized and articulated form but the basics were the same. Apparently if people are earnest enough to die for something it is evidence. I couldn’t believe someone would use such an argument to prove the resurrection of Christ. Take out Christ and replace it with other incidents of martydom or just plain suicide. Dying for something is only evidence of strong belief, it is not evidence of what you believe is true. We should know better than that in America after 9/11 and Craig needs to drop it as supposed evidence.

If Christ did raise from the dead, I’m not sure there would be any remaining evidence as it happened approx. 2000 years ago. And that’s the problem with the whole Christian salvation story; we have to trust the past and the disciples recounting of the incident, not outside witnesses. If I asked for evidence that Hirohito during WW2 was God would I trust the loyal Japanese people or would I trust foreign journalists who had investigated the matter? Give me the outside observer, at least as a starting point and then we can talk.

New Species and Noah

Whoever first thought, “I think I’ll put boxing gloves on this kangaroo and have a match,” must have been pretty bored that day.  And the next thing you know the sport of kangaroo boxing is invented. (Not yet recognized by the International Olympic Committee.)  He was slightly more successful than that fellow who attempted to play badminton with a Kodiak bear.  That breed of bear is a pretty poor loser, and I suspect that’s why it’ll never receive the same recognition as a legitimate sport.

The Littlest Atheist Thanksgiving Blessing

I drew this Sunday-Style comic strip version of The Littlest Atheist as I’m working on Series 2 for 2011 and simply wanted to do a holiday strip to experiment. Thanksgiving blessings can be varied and I don’t think blessings have to appeal to any certain god in these modern times–and in this instance no god at all. A blessing has its foundation in religion (no dispute there), but as religion steals ideas from pagans and secular society so the circle should continue and I have no problem in using blessing within the definition of “approval.” I am not one of those atheists who shies away from saying “bless you” when someone sneezes because I know no one really thinks I’m trying to bestow God’s grace on snot. It’s simply a nice tradition and warmhearted response to your friend or neighbor. Parents give their blessings–or “approval” to their kids in marriage, we express our blessings for safe travel and as such secular humanists should feel free to give their blessings on a good feast or other festivities.

Why thank Science? In general I don’t believe science and scientists get enough credit for how good our life is. We take it for granted every day that we are more fit, eat better, and are treated better than at any time in history due to scientific research and breakthroughs. And I’m not even mentioning the inventors of basic necessities of things like running water or toilets. Scientists may be atheists or God-believers, but what they do is so important and so poorly recognized by a society obsessed with staring at crosses, TV sets and worthless celebrities.

‘American Grindhouse’ Movie Review

American Grindhouse - ***Stars

American Grindhouse (2010) is a broad overview of the exploitation genre. One could make the argument that most of film is exploitative because of its need for quick profit and profit means you fulfill some desire within the audience–art be damned!But of course, when we refer to grindhouse and exploitation we are focusing on sex, violence and oddly enough morality. The documentary had a lot of territory to cover and it is not extensive, more like an introduction to film history or the film history that we should be taught because while independents were exploiting audiences, the big players like MGM, Universal, and Columbia were exploiting the independents. They would wait to see if an independent film was a huge success on a low budget and then make their own big budget production knock-off. It often works the same way today.

What is interesting for Freethunkers on viewing this documentary is the shattering of the prevalent illusion that films are getting worse: more sex, more violence, more blasphemy and more everything against family values. Looking at the periods of the late sixties and seventies it is almost shocking to see the level of blood and sexual violence. Many of today’s productions seem tame by comparison and the past is only saved from its hardcore elements by its lack of realism with blood that is ridiculously red or bad acting. The nudity was certainly there which elevated into big production porn and sadly most pornos these days are unimaginative but bright spots do appear for what we call reality porn or low budget scenarios like vampire nuns. If you want to check out what porn will hopefully continue to branch out into then preview “Ultimate Surrender” with female wrestling that ends up in someone being penetrated.

Now if Christians think that film was clean before the sixties they need to give American Grindhouse a viewing. Before the Hays era, a religious moralist who was called into clean up Hollywood standards, there were nipples on screen and there was a pretty high level of violence. The filmmakers gave audiences something they couldn’t see anywhere else and while it didn’t reflect the hum-drum of daily American life, in some instances it was an exaggerated parody of the more extreme aspects of it. The fact is, much of film is inspired by current events and gossip–what was talked about in secret after church services. Couples cheated on each other, husbands beat their wives, children were sexually abused, racial violence persisted and all in all the culture was not as reasonable as it is today. Again, our culture is getting better, not worse. The apocalypse may be canceled.

The other interesting aspect to exploitation films is the morality or educational angle. Filmmakers were able to make hits out of movies that showed how babies were born (the documentary shows one rather graphic birth sequence that should be shown to all of our young teenage girls–yeah, that big head will come out of your vagina as a result of unprotected sex) or movies that showed how sex happens within marriage. Drug movies moralized at how crazed and criminal people could become such as the classic Reefer Madness (The Seventies Show did a great little parody of this flick). Violence, in general, was acceptable as long as it showed the bad elements getting their just due and that crime does not pay.

Religion was not overlooked as exploitative with an interesting comparison to the early grindhouse picture roadshows. They would travel from town to town like carnival evangelists. They didn’t save your souls but they would show you something new. John Landis, near the end of American Grindhouse made the interesting observation that the biggest and most successful grindhouse picture in the last decade was The Passion of The Christ by Mel Gibson. Why did Christians, who feel it is inappropriate to hear foul language, view graphic violence or see nudity feel it necessary to see the depiction of their savior getting the living shit beat out of him? Much like Hostel or the Saw series, it was their version of a torture film with a happy ending.

Notable directors interviewed for American Grindhousewere John Landis, director of Animal House and American Werewolf in London, Joe Dante of Gremlins and Piranha, and Herschell Gordon Lewis of Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs. Like I said, a nice overview so you can write down certain films to continue your studies…especially the nudist films.

My Neighbor Jesus

I recently moved and along with all the hassle and stress of that comes new neighbours.  Now on first contact who makes the first move?  Should you go up to them and introduce yourself or should they come over and welcome you to the neighbourhood?  Or do you wait for the “accidental meeting” where you simply bump into each other by random chance along the fence?  Depending on how weird they are, maybe you’ll get lucky and never meet.  Then the imagination and rumours really take off.  This is when you truly become a participating and contributing member of the community.

God Designs The Ass Cartoon

This cartoon about God designing the ass always stands out, even with my old artwork. It was portrayal of an absolutely stupid moment in creation, but you have to think about it. God designed the ass, if you believe he designed everything. He thought to himself, “I will make crap come out of here but nothing goes in according to my anti-gay rules.” Of course, there’s no mention in the Bible if women are allowed to stick things in their ass as you don’t see too many Christian men protesting against that.

The original idea was actually inspired by a conversation in theology class when I was attempting to be a youth pastor. I’m not sure how it came about, but the reason God sliced our buns vertically is that if he sliced them horizontally we couldn’t enjoy playground slides–or rear ends would go “bumpity-bumpity” all the way down.

If God is real, wouldn’t this be the conversation to have with him over a beer and laugh your “ass” off?

New Ancient Croc Found and Vestigial Organs Discounted

It’s a double bite with two news items I found of interest.The first is a new species of crocodile found in Thailand. As reported by Fox News–much to the dismay of creationists who should remind Fox they are part of their fan base–a six inch fossil of a croc skull was pulled out of an excavation site in Nakhon Rathchasimaprovince which also is known as Korat. It is estimated to be 100 million years old. This creature had longer legs than their modern relatives and most likely ate fish (based on research from the teeth).

As usual, the newly discovered animal has been named something we cannot pronounce, nor will we remember. It is called “Khoratosuchus jintasakuli.” Hopefully, they come up with a nickname. I suggest “Korat Croc.”

Creationists are busy attempting to prove that the ancient croc fits into the 6-10,000 year timeline of the Biblical narrative and thus are asking to study the teeth for evidence that it might have bit a human or two.

Meanwhile, on the Creationist front, there is an attempt to explain away vestigial organs, or what scientists call evolutionary leftovers. See Answers in Genesis “Vestigial Organs: A Vanishing Argument.” Organs mentioned in the article as fully functional are the appendix, the pineal gland, the coccyx, and the thymus gland. Not mentioned is why these organs screw us over and we end up in the emergency room–oh wait, it’s sin! Of course the appendix would never fail in the mythic Garden of Eden.

I’m not totally opposed to the argument made that what may be considered vestigial may just be unexplained as to function–here’s another defender of vestigial organs if you want to read some of the reasoning. Science never claimed to have all of the answers here and now and for all time and therefore when new evidence is found, especially in the medical field, we have to update our knowledge base. I’m downloading the free video included within the article to see what the extended claims and explanations are since the Answers in Genesis article seems to jump from vestigial to “evolution isn’t true” without much discussion. I mean, maybe in Eden humans had tails which would explain why certain people are still born with them. Or why males have nipples–maybe in Eden we used to produce milk to feed all the kids running around? Possibly male nipples make us look sexy. I know I got teased in junior high by some kid because my nipples were too small (the bastard).

What this article fails to mention about vestigial proof for evolution is that it is not just constrained to the human body. Evolutionary biologists look for it within animals to point to their evolutionary past. Here’s a nice countdown of some of the most popular vestigial limbs and organs on LiveScience.com .

The fallacy of Answers in Genesis is not that they couldn’t be right about evolutionary scientists being wrong on certain vestigial limbs or organs. It is their conclusion that if they disprove one piece of evidence that it proves their entire belief system.

What is their claim? That God created everything. Can we prove God exists? No. It can be inferred by pointing to “creation,” but then you have another problem. If creation shows us a creator, it also shows us the nature of the creator. And nature is brutal and cold with moments of pleasure (eating, sex, a warm comfy den, sunlight, etc). Creation is a mixed bag of imperfections that we humans are constantly battling. 

If you say creation was once perfect and therefore the imperfect creation points to the same God–that makes no sense. The imperfect creation points to an imperfect creator, that is if you insist on using creation as your evidence. You can’t simply make shit up and tell a story about it once being perfect (where’s the proof?). If you want to say the devil or even man is responsible for the imperfect creation–well, who created man and the devil so that they would screw it all up? Again, it points back to the original creator. And if you say God had to allow for freewill and therefore that’s why man and the devil screwed it all up, then what the hell is the point? In the future apocalypse, the second perfect earth/heaven will come about when all us heathens are wiped out because death and sin has been conquered…um…isn’t freewill going to screw it all up again? And if God can allow for perfection and freewill to coexist successfully in the future why couldn’t he do it in the past?

So creationists should stop worrying about vestigial organs and clean up their own house. How about finding a T-Rex with a human skeleton inside of it and then we’ll talk about whether we can take 6-10,000 years as a timeline for earth’s history seriously.

I have to do some artwork, but next I’ll be looking at this video from Answers In Genesis. Hopefully, somebody other than a smartass cartoonist is reviewing the video too.