Friday, April 3, 2015

Kit's Thoughts: Holy Week in Retrospect; Open Thread

by Kit

Well, it is now Good Friday and what an adventure this Holy Week has been. Again, there is little central theme to this, just a collection of thoughts that have occurred to me over the course of the weekend.

Over the past 6 years of the Obama presidency, especially since the Republicans grabbed the House in 2010, we have heard much from Progressives about the insanity of the American system of dividing power into separate branches because, according to them, it slows down and impedes laws necessary for the public good —like a disastrous healthcare law or Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, which may be the biggest negotiations-breakthrough with a belligerent nation since Chamberlain’s achievement at Munich in 1938.

Of course, the events in Indiana should be proof to progressives of the importance of legislate “looking before they leap” when making the law as the controversy over the state’s poorly-written, overly-broad, and hastily-passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act hit a fever pitch. A fury of animadversions hit the state, the charge led by Tim Cook, the openly-gay Apple CEO who does business in China (which outlaws gay marriage) and Saudi Arabia (which outlaws gays). This law was followed by what may be another poorly-written, overly-broad, and hastily-passed law supposedly barring discrimination of gays resulting in a deluge of attacks from the Religious Right.

Suffice to say, we can expect this evidence to go over the heads of those who will demand their needs or causes be immediately fixed and rectified by the law at once by any means necessary without regard to damage it may cause to the fabric of the law by either laying a dangerous precedence that gives far too much power to a certain branch of the government (Obama’s immigration edict) or being too broad or vague and thus creating confusion among the citizenry about what they can expect from the law (see, above).

Then, as if to remind us of the ease at which we in America still live, a group of gunmen belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab, illustrating the sort of nihilism associated with ISIS, attacked a Kenyan teaching college at Garissa, specifically singling out the Christians for execution while freeing the Muslims. They also did this at the mall attack in Nairobi two years ago.

The message of the attack is clear. It is the same message sent by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram when gay men are thrown off the roofs of buildings, school girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage, hostages are beheaded, POWs burned alive, villages are razed, moderate Muslims are crucified, and Christian and Yazidi men are executed while their wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters are sold into sexual slavery. It is the same message sent by Radical Islamists when they murdered the people inside Charlie Hebdo.

Everything must burn to make way for their twisted vision of the world. We can’t be negotiated or reasoned with because there is no need for us to negotiate or reason with you. You will lose and either convert or die and we will triumph because God is on our side.

And the danger is not that they might achieve their aim and conquer the world, there is no chance of that. They are unlikely to even conquer half of it, as the Soviet-backed Communists did for a time in the 20th century. The danger is in the damage these nihilistic sociopaths and those inspired by them might do before their ideology is sent into the dust-bin of history. Just because Hinkley was delusional in believing he could win Jodie Foster's affections by killing President Reagan did not make him any less of a threat to President Reagan.

And that might depend upon the Right and the Left of our body politic and culture recognizing that (1) moderate civilized Muslims exist, a key issue for American Right, who is obsessed with searching for something to replace communism as a Global Threat to Freedom and Democracy, and (2) for the Left to understand that excusing the actions of extremists because of some Marxist-influenced theory of oppressor/victim dichotomy where the most depraved and violent actions of the “victims” must always be “understood” (and therefore pardoned) in the context of their victimhood and the hands of their oppressors, that sometimes the “underdog” is actually the bad guy.

It is something that should unite all Americans, be they an agnostic gay interior designer in San Francisco, an evangelical Baptist construction worker in Georgia, and a Muslim cab driver in New York because these murderers would kill all three if they had the chance without batting an eye.

And on that somber note, I wish you a Happy Good Friday, a Happy Passover, and a Happy Easter.

Consider this to be an Open Thread. Discuss what you wish, be it the depravity of Al-Shabaab, the amorality of Harry Reid, or what you plan to do this Easter weekend. I intend to do some homework and, if I get the chance, watch Ben Hur and Easter Parade.


AndrewPrice said...

Smile Kit! Smile! It's good for you!

What I'm doing this weekend is simple. We're going to wait for the Easter Bunny, who I am assured is quite real, and then we're going to hunt for the eggs he leaves. :D

Kit said...


I smile. It just rarely happens when I read the news these days…

Hunting for eggs is always fun. The Easter Bunny is very real.

Kit said...

But since I must be a bit more chipper.

The Pope did the In Coena Domini* Mass for Maundy Thursday in Rebibba Prison. And, yes, he washed the feet of 12 inmates.
It starts a little after 1:02:40

*"At the Table of the Father"

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, the news will make you depressed. But keep in mind that the news gets an audience by scaring people... or promising dirt on celebrities. So take what they say with a grain of salt.

Kit said...

It is not so much what is being reported but the way they are reporting. Not the horrible events out there.

Having a Bachelor's in History (sort of) inoculates you from getting too depressed by scary news about mass murders, diseases, and psychopaths. That is just Tuesday.

But what annoys me is the behavior by our body politic and the central loci of our culture.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree. It's the way they are reporting it. If you follow certain bubbles on the internet, then you will quickly become manically depressed by the false drumbeat of "END OF THE WORLD" articles and headlines. Drudge and Brietbart have most conservatives ready to move into bunkers, all on made up headlines. On the other side, Huffpo has leftists ready to do the same.

Then you add the comments, which are a fountain of idiocy.

Suddenly, you are awash in 24/7 talk of the coming race wars, secret traitors, the end of the white race, the flood of Mexican pedophiles headed to Ann Coulter's house, the coup the Fortune 500 are planning, your betrayal by 100% of your leaders (on both sides), the secret plan to destroy the economy, an infinite number of rapes, etc.

If you pay attention to this, your view of the world will quickly become skewed in very bad ways. And it's all bullship.

Rustbelt said...

A few things. First...

Kit, Pope Francis' latest actions don't surprise me. In years past, he's not only washed the feet of inmates, but those of the disabled as well. And before he was even pope, (in a move that would've made the religious right in this country go nuts had they been paying attention), he washed the feet of AIDS patients while Archbishop of Buenos Ares.
One can only hope that the Pontiff's carrying out of (IMO) the hardest of the Corporal Works of Mercy to perform ("Visit Those in Prison"), and re-enactment of Jesus' selfless display of humility at the Last Supper inspires more to do the same.
(BTW, I also have a history degree. Please forgive the Billy quote, but I feel your pain!)

Andrew, that's just how news is. Nobody cares about things that are moving along just fine or are the same as always. As one of my producers once told me, "in order for us to have a good day, someone else has to have a very bad day."

And on the lighter side of the news...
Finally, after years and years, ABC is finally airing "The Ten Commandments" on Easter Sunday. At last, I don't have to choose between Vigil Mass and Chuck Heston's finest performance on Holy Saturday! For me, this just isn't a DVD, Blu-ray, or streaming movie. It's a special event to be enjoyed and cherished when it's available. It's not a feeling you can get from popping a disk into the machine.

INTRO1 (1984) INTRO2* (1981)

(*- Wow, that hair at 0:16!)

On that note, Happy Easter!

Robert L. Hedd said...

Why do I sometimes feel like I am going to wake up, grab my cup of coffee, head to my laptop, click open the news and find out that a nuclear bomb has been set off in Tel Aviv....or Jerusalem?

I think most of us in this country at least, just want to be left alone to try and live out our lives as best we can. What with immediate, global communication it is almost impossible to "see no evil, hear no evil" anymore. Maybe this is why the Kardashians are so well-known. Many people are sick and tired of the corruption, the lies and the general depravity of man (ISIS, Boko Harum, Al Shabbab) that we want a light hearted release from all of it.

Sometimes it's difficult, but we just have to do our best to keep family and friends close and the world's problems at arm's length.

At least that's how I'm thinking this morning as I'm recovering from some virus thingy.


tryanmax said...

When people speak of the miracle of Easter, I'm never sure if they are talking about Jesus's resurrection, or that a male rabbit lays colored eggs.

Kit said...

Rustbelt, I must apologize but I cannot stand Ten Commandments. Yes, the depictions of various events from the Bible still hold up remarkably well after 60 years; Moses put in the water, the banishment of Moses, the Plagues, the Pillar of Fire and the Parting of the Red Sea, etc. All of that are wonderful, well-made scenes. Nothing to complain there.

But that love triangle annoys me every damn time. It adds nothing and is largely by the time Moses returns. It is supposed to create extra drama but it doesn't because the woman is utterly unlikable and makes every moment she has a chore to sit through (though, unlike Moses' wife, she does have a personality).

The dialogue involving the Love Triangle appears to be drawn from the George Lucas Guide to Screenwriting.

The Bible stuff in the movie is great, it is just everything else makes me want to stab my eardrums.

Kit said...

There is a reason DeMille's recent biographer Scott Eyman compared him to James Cameron.

BevfromNYC said...

"When people speak of the miracle of Easter, I'm never sure if they are talking about Jesus's resurrection, or that a male rabbit lays colored eggs."

Tryanmax - I think that it's the rabbit miraculously laying eggs things. Because rabbits regardless of gender, do not actually lay eggs especially ones made of candy!

AndrewPrice said...

The Cadbury bunny does! :D

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Now, I don't want to burst your bubble here, but...have you actually ever seen a Cadbury bunny actually laying an actual egg, chocolate or otherwise? I mean, if a video or photographic proof hasn't been posted on Facebook, then it probably does not really exist...maybe.

AndrewPrice said...

Well, no. But if I can't trust the good people at Cadbury, who make those amazing eggs and fill them with the most highly addictive stuff in the universe, then who can I trust?

Now I feel sad. :(

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, I said "maybe"!! Don't be sad...I'm sure the good people at Cadbury are just being very protective of their chocolate egg laying bunnies...because of well, that golden goose incident we have all heard about.

Rustbelt said...

Kit, to each his own, I suppose.

In TTC's defense, I will say it has one other thing going for it- other than the Bible stuff- that can't copied: Vincent Price.His presence alone can elevate a scene.

And honestly, I would also compare Orson Wells to James Cameron. Needless to say, "Citizen Kane" is not on my list of favorite films.

Critch said...

1. God bless all of ya'll. 2. I'll talk to you on Monday, I have to get ready for Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

Kit said...

Ben-Hur is probably one of my favorite movies. Even though the first 45 or so minutes after the Birth of Christ up to the arrest scene are rather boring. Fortunately it picks up steam after that and by the time the Intermission* hits I am glued.

*They need to bring back Intermissions.

BevfromNYC said...

Happy Easter to all!

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