This is probably just me, but I swear modern people have some hypocrisy regarding their agenda or attitudes towards human sexuality. Whenever I hear someone complaining about sexual or sexy imagery in our culture and in advertising, it’s always directed at the female body, and images of the female body that are deemed unrealistic, but I have not heard anyone raise a voice of complaint against images of the male body that fall under the same category. I swear that in advertising the male body is more obviously flaunted than the female, and somehow it’s more acceptable for women to ogle men than man to ogle women, when both are natural and should be treated as such.
Also, I don’t mean to sound like I’m the wrong crowd, but I feel like we are defending everybody’s sexuality except that of men who like women. Men who like women are always made out to be pigs, and the idea of the attractive woman is treated as the representation of a victim because apparently all men are pigs and their sexual urges are evil. We think we’re protecting women by treating them as victims for being sexual beings and being seen through sexual eyes by other sexual beings, but all we’re doing is enforcing the idea that sex is ugly and exists only to be predatory.
All just another symptom of our detachment from our sexual nature, which is of course caused by the dominance of Christianity. But hey, that’s kind of another story.
One thing I noticed about American Christians is that many of them (or at least all of them who are of a conservative persuasion) are very patriotic in the sense that they have a large sense of nationalistic pride towards America, while simultaneously view the country as filled with “sin” and “immorality” (no doubt referring to everything they don’t seem to like, such as gay marriage and women’s rights to have abortions). It seems to me like Christians in America don’t really like America that much, unless by America they mean America as the Christian theocracy they think it should be.
They also seem to think America is a Christian nation (which is nonsense), and if they don’t think that way then they want America to be Christian nation, despite the fact that this blatantly goes against America’s constitution, which states that Congress shall (or should) make no law that impedes the religious freedom of individuals to choose their own beliefs or express them. Thinking about it, as long as any Christians in America are fighting against the freedoms that should be guaranteed by the Constitution, and thus seeking to defile constitutional liberty, one could make the case that they are in fact guilty of treason, not for any beliefs, but for campaigning and lobbying against the liberty of the nation. Of course, that’s just my side of the story anyway.
A week ago, I found a Facebook page called Russell’s Revolution, which you can see here. It paints Russell Brand as some left wing hero and claims to represent his ideology or fans of it. It states that “Society needs to create a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth, heavy taxation of corporations and massive responsibilities for energy companies exploiting the environment.”
Trendy left wing noise aside, is anyone forgetting that Russell Brand is a celebrity, not a revolutionary? Sure, he participates in various causes, such as Gaza, Tibet, and Bradley (sorry, Chelsea) Manning. But think about it, why does any celebrity participate in causes? Usually, it’s not for genuine reasons, and mainly for show.
Late into last month, Russell Brand had an interview with Jeremy Paxman, where he talked about how profit makes him sick and how he predicts or wants an anti-capitalist or socialist revolution. Problem. His net worth is $15,000,000, and he profits off of people who find him funny or watch movies he’s in. Besides, if there was a socialist revolution, and it succeeded, guess who would be on the chopping block. Not just bankers, CEOs, and plutocrats, but high earning politicians and celebrities, like him (unless assuming he led the revolution or is sponsoring, or gave his wealth to society). Did anyone not realize that?
Honestly, I’m sick of this whole idea that we can turn celebrities into revolutionaries, let alone part of some left wing trend that happens to have seduced a lot of people.
One of the most famous entities in Hinduism is Krishna, the eigth avatar of the deity known as Vishnu. He is variously hailed as a great teacher, a manifestation of God, even just God. Except that this is nonsense.
OK, before I begin with my criticisms, I feel I must mention things I like about him. He’s certainly a beautiful deity, he has a good way with women, very playful, and for someone who doesn’t look so strong he is capable of some impressive feats, like dropping a solar disk from the sky, and facing off against someone who threw an entire freaking mountain at him. Holy shit! It seems power and strength and beauty go very well together in Indian lore.
But, you’re not here to see me praise Krishna. You’re here so I can show you the bad side of him.
For starters, I find he’s for the most part an avatar of Vishnu who thinks himself “God” almighty. And in the Bhagavad Gita, he asks that you surrender yourself unto him so that he can “deliver you from sinful actions”. Am I the only one who thinks this is the same attitude as YHWH or Allah? Seems to me that Krishna is just the Hindu expression of the monotheistic (mainly Abrahamic) idea of God.
There’s a some hypocrisy too. Krishna proclaims lust to be a gateway to hell, and preaches for the destruction of desire, passion, and lust. So why is he playing around with all those beautiful girls? In fact, he thinks any form of desire is sinful except his own, since he calls pleasing yourself a sin but pleasing Krishna a form of love. What kind of bull crap is this? He also seems to advocate the destruction of ego or self, and seems against ego, lust, strength, anger, and pride (Bhagavad Gita chapter 16 verse 18), when in reality he has got to have the most overblown sense of self-worth in all of Hindu lore. And why do we have someone who is against strength? Especially someone who kills monsters and demons and survives all kinds of powerful attacks on a regular basis?
Also, this guy denounces lust, but finds himself having tons of girls flock to him like a rock star and even steals the clothes of gopis, and he gets away with it because he’s supposedly “God” while the average man can’t. And that’s what bugs me, he can do whatever he wants regarding women and get away with it, but denounces lust, self-pleasure, and desire, and would probably make sure you don’t get away with it. What the fuck kind of deity is that?
All-in-all, despite all the good I’ve said of him, Krishna is simply not appealing to me or worthy of any of his excessive praise.
Real quick, I wanna mention ISKCON for a bit, since they glorify Krishna so much. They are not Hindus. They’re just Indian Christians or monotheists with Hindu mythology and ideas. It doesn’t help that they sometimes advocate separation from non-devotees (kinda like how Christianity and Islam advocate hostility towards or shunning of non-believers).
And lastly, to borrow a phrase from a good friend, why should the destroyer of the universe take orders from a blue Justin Bieber?
Recently I was told of the story of Edward Snowden, the man who worked for the NSA and leaked secret information kept by them and handed it to The Guardian newspaper. According to the stories, he had revealed that the NSA was putting surveilance programmes in the Internet to spy on just about everyone. The fact that the American government is spying on its own people using technology seems shocking, but to me, it’s not too new. Because the way I see it, this is another example the hypocrisy and contradiction of American political values (I don’t mean religious, as I already covered).
One the one hand, America is classically known for placing high value on freedom, more specifically freedom of speech and expression, and the right to privacy. But on the other, the American government seems to place high value on stability and “order”, sometimes more than freedom, even to the point that they’ll back up foreign dictatorships rather than support the rebels trying to depose them, while publicly condemning those dictatorships. And does anyone remember the PATRIOT Act, which Obama extended until two years from now? Some knight in shining armor. Some change.
Speaking of Obama, this guy actually supports what those bastards at the NSA are doing. I thought he was the president of the land of the free, not the UK, or Russia, or fucking China, but America. But I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Guys like him and Hilary Clinton (whose ass just gets bigger every time she lies) have been supporting security states and foreign dictatorships and tyrants this whole time. It’s among the reasons she’s so horrible, along with any other politician. The reason I put the UK in that list of coutries that Obama is not president of (to make a point) is because, let’s face it, the dream of nanny-state is secretly in the heart of the UK government, and it has people like William Hague to support the statism of the US and the dictatorships of foreign lands, while spouting venoumous lies regarding how “law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear” (that sounds so much like what Bush’s cronies would say) among other false truths.
I wonder, why does the supposed land of the free have such a difficult time deciding what it really values. Does it truly have freedom in its heart, or is its soul fixated on control? Right now America and the world still suffer from those afflicted with the twin shadows of ignorance and evil in pursuit of the madness of social control in the name of the myth of order. The world has no need for any such people, and neither does humanity. I wonder, will America decide what it believes is the right thing, or continue to follow a policy of hypocrisy? I’m not even sure how I can know America’s answer. I can only hope, but I’m just not that patient.
Note: I feel I should make something clear here. I do have a major problem with America’s government, to the point that I see them as evil, but I do not feel the same way about America itself. I just feel America is struggling between the twin forces of freedom and security, and can’t seem to decide what it values more these days.
With another old geezer being given the seat of papal authority, just another voice to tell people what to do, I figure I’d talk about something I really don’t like, again.
To be honest, when it comes to Christianity, most of the time I don’t even see Catholic or Protestant. It’s all the same insidious crap to me. But the Catholic church as an individual religious entity deserves a mention.
My family is part Italian (my dad’s side comes from Southern Italy), and my dad wanted me Catholic. Apparently my twin brother and I used to go to a Catholic Church when we were only babies and my other older brother and sister were only toddlers. There was this other family and their kids were out of control, and the priest didn’t bother them, but when my siblings were doing the same thing, the priest had the balls to tell my mom to keep them under control. That’s when she called him out for his hypocrisy. You might ask: what hypocrisy? You know the family the priest didn’t bother? They gave money to him, or rather more money. My mom told me the story just this morning. It’s the reason we never go to a Catholic church anymore (except for one time in Italy and that was sightseeing as far as I was concerned).
She went on to tell me two things about the Catholic church. (1) The church is always asking for more money, even though they’re already pretty damn rich (it doesn’t help that most if not all religious organizations are considered tax-exempt), and (2) they’ll absolve any bad you do and then say “It’s alright, Jesus forgives you”. You can kill someone one day, get absolved, do it again, and Jesus will forgive, whereas that person should be punished.
Then there’s the Crusades, the pedophile priests, Papa Ratzi, the Church stopping Africa from having condoms, Catholic schools, and nuns scaring children to near death. I’ve heard all that more than a few times, and I obviously don’t like it, but all that pales in comparison to the two primary reasons for my hatred of the Catholic church, though to be fair it’s the same reasons I hate Christianity as a whole. First is their long campaign of oppression and subjugation of everyone who disagreed with them, including their oppression of pagans and witches. This culminates in the witch hunts and Inquisitions all over Europe and even one in India. Secondly, perhaps most They nurture a weakness in millions of people that leads them to seek out false hope in the form of a voice telling them what to do. The church seems to have some influence, because there are still millions who travel to Rome to hear the Pope’s words, they seem eager to be told what to do. Hell, if you need proof we as a society still sides with the church, the next Pope being chosen has been given too much attention by news media. If we really didn’t care about religion, this would’ve only gotten mild attention at best.
And have the crimes of the church been punished? No! No justice. Their actions have gone pretty much unpunished. No due punishment. If any pope has apologized, then it makes up for nothing, it is as worthless as David Cameron apologizing for Bloody Sunday 38 years after it happened, all while he was never personally involved in it, and while no justice has been delivered to the culprits. And in spite of that, and the bullshit dogma, my Dad was not only Catholic, but tried to raise me and my brother Catholic? He must not be very smart.
And that’s why I hate Catholicism, but really, as I said, it’s all the same Christianity, all the same crap.
Richard Dawkins criticizes religion a lot, it’s role in society, and that our children are so indoctrinated to believe, which I don’t mind. But the prominent atheist/overglorified douchebag is one to talk, for you see, he is trying to do the same.
In 2008, Dawkins announced that he would be retiring from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at children, trying to convince them not to believe in fairy tales or tales of magic, witchcraft, and wizardry because they are “anti-scientific”. I’m not sure if the 2011 The Magic of Reality is that book, but that is outside the point. Do you know how Dawkins’ antics translate to me? Indoctrinating kids into believing what someone else tells you.
Instead of Christian priests at sunday school indoctrinating kids to believe what it says in the Bible, we have Richard Dawkins trying to persuade children into dogmatic materialism, and I don’t see the difference. All I see is that double standard Dawkins has: he’ll criticize religion for mindlessly venerating some sacred dogma or some figurehead, while doing little other than preach science and evolution like religious gospels, promote dogmatic scientism, and spray Charles Darwin with praise.
He has no right criticizing indoctrination of any sort considering he is doing the same thing.
I’ve heard of a rumour saying that Dawkins didn’t actually resign from his post at Oxford University, but was canned for his increasing outlandishness and his tying of science, dogmatic materialism, and atheism together, which some other faculty members and outside scientists opposed, which would mean the book story is a cover to save both himself and the university from embarassment. But the truth of that rumour is a different story, though it would certainly explain a lot.
I aim to deal with two concepts. Firstly, justice and revenge, and the link between the two. Secondly, the concept of heroism. I can assure you that I will deal with both in a similar way, almost as though to the two issues are connected. In fact, that might be the point.
Justice and Revenge
It seems that our society has something of a double standard with justice and revenge. If a criminal is punished by law or the government, or by men wearing tights and sporting a cape (you know, superheroes), then it is justice, but if someone who committed a crime is then attacked by the person wronged, someone very close to the victim of the crime, or anyone taking the law in their own hands, then we call it revenge or vigilantism, and then say that it is not equal to “justice”. This probably to do with the notion of justice as something that is delivered by the law.
First of all, if you want justice, why the hell would you put it in the hands of lawyers? I mean think about it: lawyers get paid thousands not to deliver justice but to “win” a case, even if it means lying, manipulating the truth, defending wrongdoers, even complete monsters (in theory, even pedophiles and mass murderers could have lawyers “defend their innocence”), and ultimately obstructing justice, thus creating injustice. Second, if the law was really the source of justice, then how could morally objectionable entities escape justice based on wealth, or having “the best lawyer”. In America, justice is often replaced by injustice for the wealthy and the powerful, and if you don’t have a good lawyer, you’re screwed. And third, why would corporations like McDonalds be allowed to legally silence anyone who criticized them, in the same places where freedom of speech is a right? There are many cases of McDonalds silencing all its critics, and Microsoft tried and failed to do the same. In all those scenarios, so-called justice is about winning or losing a case, rather than righteousness and actual justice.
In my opinion, revenge is justice, or at least a part of justice. Justice and revenge are basically the same thing: someone does you wrong, and you punish them for it appropriately. An eye for an eye. In that sense, you can’t rely on the law delivering justice, because courts often delay justice against wrongdoing, and, depending on who wins a case, justice can actually be obstructed, especially if people are wrongfully convicted. Face it, true justice is just like revenge, and we need it.
The same double standard with revenge often infects our perception of heroism. But there are other things affecting that perception. Archetypal knights saving princesses and defeating dragons, and “paragons of virtue”, are among the things that we often resort to in order to define heroism. In Hollywood, all you have to do to be a hero is to be a protagonist in a movie, your actions come second. Same for villains, in that all they need to be evil is to be the antagonist or the enemy of the protagonist. Again, actions and goals come second. I believe that all you need to be a hero is to do righteous things and oppose injustice, and sure, Hollywood heroes do that. But sometimes, in fiction, the dichotomy is set up between a decidedly less righteous “hero” and a decidedly less rigtheous villain. And no, it’s not cowboy cops; them, I actually kinda sympathize with. And the problem with simply designating “heroes” and “villains” is that, often, both think they’re doing the right thing, though you could say it is somewhat moot considering that actions matter more.
Personally though, another problem I have with tradtional heroism and conventional “good” is that it often involves a great a deal of self-torture, missed opportunities, and self-sacrifice with usually no real reward. Our traditional idea of good means putting others before yourself, completely, and this always involves excessive guilt for your bad deeds, giving up any ambition for yourself, any thought for yourself, sacrificing personal happiness, and in general sacrifcing yourself supposedly for the good of others, and not getting anything in return, except in cases where you get the girl and a fairy tale ending. Whereas my good involves simple righteousness, even angry righteousness, often through any outlet, as long as you don’t lose that righteousness, and it (and by extension righteousness) also involves delivering justice to wrongdoing and destroying injustice.
After a lunchbreak in college, my life drawing lecturer, Bob (he was the greatest of them all), mentioned some pretty erotic Japanese woodblock prints, and I told him that the explicitness was actually quite normal in Japanese society. And the sexually explicit nature of the woodblock prints carries over into manga, in other words the naughty bliss we know today.
Way back, one of his students was fighting the Japanese in Burma, and he happened upon some very dark and erotic propaganda aimed against the Americans and swaying the Burmese on their side by convincing them that American soldiers would violate Burmese women in their homes. People in the West have never heard of that kind of propaganda, let alone imitated it.
Another story he told me was that, when American delegates came to Japan to speak with the Emperor, all the erotic artwork in the palace and the erotic graffiti on the port had to be cleaned up. Why? Just to seem kosher to the Americans. And I thought the Americans believed in freedom of expression. But I guess it’s no wonder why the palace had screen paper with warriors ready to pounce with their katanas, and trapdoors. Looks like that fantasy villain’s lair is actually possible.
I’m sure that changed when America showed up, probably after they bombed Japan near the end of World War II. After the war, America introduced Western morality to Japan, turning sexuality and nudity from a normal part of life, into something to be demonized.
In fact, this has something to do with how tentacle porn was born. To sum it up, the stigmatizing of sex and nudity lead to a pretty stupid law in which you aren’t allowed to depict male parts on camera. To get around this, porn writers decided to replace them with tentacle monsters, since tentacles technically don’t count.
The Japanese video game industry would also later be affected. Until 1994, Nintendo of America had strict censorship policies on the content of video games released for their consoles. Why? Because apparently Nintendo of America believed that video games were only meant for kids. In fact, plenty of Japanese entertainment might have been censored for American audiences. Even today, some companies sell-out their values and censor their own content for American audiences.
Lots of times America has to choose between its value of freedom of expression, and its rather pathetic religious values. Unfortunately, when they came to Japan, they chose religion over freedom, just like it would often do in the future. In fact, old-timey America doesn’t seem as free as advertised. Well who is America, a country priding itself on the values of free speech, to deny any other country freedom of expression, especially sexual? A true America would not be founded on such prudishness, especially not of the religious kind.
I hate hypocrites. Anyone one who pretends to hold values, morals, beliefs, and ideals of any sort, and in reality does not hold them, and more often than not acts against them. And I hate coming close to being one, because that would be becoming the thing that I hate.
If you sincerely hold beliefs and morals, but do not have the moral strength to fulfill them, you’re not a hypocrite. If you pretend to hold those things and do not actually follow them, you are.
Hypocrisy plagues politics and religion consistently. For instance, the two sides of the American political pole. Those on the liberal end claim to profess defence of social and civil liberties, while simultaneously they persecute the politically incorrect, thus they attack those that disagree with them and try to shame them as being horrible people, and many liberal politicians and spokespersons support their lofty causes from their very well-off abodes. Those on the conservative end claim to profess morality and traditional values, but their economic practices and their support of greed and unbridled war often contradict their dedication to morality, let alone Christian morality. An example of religious hypocrisy would be the Abrahamic religions, which practice “do unto others what you would want done to you”, and “love thy neighbour”, while preaching war against the unbelievers, “heathens”, homosexuals, bisexuals, and women.
Most of the time this happens when you take ideas and put them in the hands of people who do not actually believe them, and are only in pursuit of power and wealth. The pursuit of power and wealth would be somewhat forgivable if they didn’t just dishonestly use beliefs and ideals to do it. The tragedy is that even so-called believers in freedom fall to hypocrisy.
I wonder, what does it take to stem this hypocrisy? When will the hypocrites be chastised for their falsehood towards themselves?