Aug 4, 2014

Growing up in Missions, Memoir Project Excerpt 1

[When we first came to Bulgaria], policemen could stop you on the street and demand to see your documents--foreigners were even easier to spot in those days than now--then keep you standing there forever.  Well, until you bribed them or it finally sank in that you weren’t going to.  This got worse when we got a car.  Because of the weird rules regarding foreigners owning cars (among other things, the car had to be owned by a business and bear special blue license plates that practically screamed “Pull me over!”), we actually purchased the van through the Baptist Union.  Marginally less conspicuous, but when you were pulled over, and the cops realized that you were foreigners and Baptists, then things could get ugly.


Like pedestrians, drivers could be pulled over for document checks--the cop would step out into traffic with his little shiny red ‘МВР’ lollipop and flag you down.  You stopped the car, he came up, “The documents, if you please.”  In fairness, sometimes (read: quite often) Dad really had done something bad, and Bulgaria was more or less the car-theft capital of Europe at the time.  But more often they were looking for bribes, or power-tripping, and on more than one occasion detained us for hours after seeing that the car was owned by the Baptist Union.


It’s hard to say where the truth of the matter lay.  Sometimes it was obvious, like when they would say “Baptist” or see a missionary visa immediately prior to losing their shit.  Other times?  Does he get off on being an asshole?  Is it merely that westerners are famous the world over for greasing the palms of the local constabulary?  Or are they persecuting the followers of Christ just as He warned us that they would?


Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”  In John he expands on the subject more at length: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”  And check it out: we were meeting lots of people who had suffered for the faith, and we were suffering for ours!  Proof positive that we were on the side of the angels, co-participants in the suffering of Jesus for which our heavenly reward would be great.


Don’t get me wrong, sitting in the car for two hours in the heat while a policeman sat flipping through the various documents--car registration (in the name of the Baptist Union, which started all the trouble), our passports, official notarized letter from the Baptist Union granting us the right to drive the car, our visas, notarized copies of the registration of the Baptist Union proving that it was a real legal entity, driver’s licenses (American and International), proof of civil liability insurance, etc.--sucked.  But the idea of the thing?  That was awesome--I was so fucking proud of that you wouldn’t believe.  I couldn’t wait to tell all the kids back home, and on furlough that story was a real crowd-pleaser, let me tell ya’.  I had actually suffered for my faith, how cool was that?


Christians love to suffer.  By which I don’t mean that Christians actually love to actually suffer--the American ones in particular are huge babies about it--but Jesus taught that his followers would be a persecuted minority, a gathering of outcasts and the despised.  The world’s attacks and contempt were a sign of God’s special favor: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,”Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and so forth.  Problem is, in America Christians are the overweight majority of the richest and most powerful nation that ever was.


The dichotomy makes them kinda batty.  Insofar as Christianity is or ever was mythology, the dominant mythos is that of the chosen few defying Satan with the truth: even at the cost of their lives, even though the Devil brought to bear all the powers and principalities of this world--which were under his control, natch--to rail and threaten and silence them, for he despises to hear the truth.  The heroes of the church are martyrs.  The masses looked on and were converted, Satan looked on raged at the reminder of his coming ignominious defeat, and God looked on and was pleased--He even gave them special robes in Heaven, and His final plans await the full tally of their numbers being achieved.  

Now what the hell do you do with that story once you get the power?  The gate’s not so narrow when eighty-odd-percent of your countrymen claim to have found it.  On the one hand, having got it, they’re happy enough doing the natural thing and yanking its levers against their own perceived enemies.  On the other, they’re still shoehorning everything into the only myth they know while desperately trying to convince themselves of their own oppressed status.  If Jesus promised His followers that they would be persecuted, then the thought of not being persecuted is too terrible to contemplate.  Thus, with Heaven’s favor on the line, “Gay marriage is persecution of Christians!”

Jul 1, 2014

An Invitation, in Light of Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Hi, my name is Andrew, and I'd like to talk to you a minute about the First Church of FSM, Piratist. We Pastafarians have long believed that global warming has been caused by a lack of pirates, and, along with our sister organization The Swedish Piracy Church, have done our best to prevent it despite government persecution.
This recent Supreme Court case, however, gives us hope. In order to more closely comply with the decision, we have now changed our official doctrine--yes, His Noodly Appendage hath reach down and touched us, and we have a new revelation. Copyright law is an abortifacient, and it is not the government's place to say "that [our] religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial." Be it known, be it proclaimed, blessed be the Grater of the Mooncheese.
I invite all citizens of goodwill to join us in body and spirit, wallet and swarm. Save the planet. Stop abortions. Keep up with Game of Thrones. Join the First Church of FSM, Piratist, today.

Apr 23, 2014

Caught in the Pulpit Quote

I read Daniel Dennett's and Linda LaScola's Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind recently.  A powerful book for anyone who's left a faith, and presumably for anyone who's stayed.  One passage in particular, written by Dennett, stuck with me in light of other recent discussions:
I have been asking defenders of sophisticated theology for a reading list of works they are prepared to defend as intellectually bracing and honest, but I have yet to have my challenge met.  I am tempted to conclude that they have realized, on closer examination, that they, too, have adopted a double standard, letting pass as deep thought work that is actually just obscure--and often apparently deliberately obscure.  Such works serve only to buttress the adopters of epistemological modesty, who can reason as follows: "These professors are professorial thinkers about religion.  They are still in the church, so they must have gone way beyond me in thinking these issues through.  I don't get it, but they do, so I should accept their authority."  These high-flown ruminations may well be incomprehensible, but they are nevertheless deemed inspiring and authoritative.  "Go read the meticulous arguments of this thinker; they should sweep away your doubts."  (And if they don't, it must be your fault.) (page 224)
To a T, sir.  To a T.  There's simply no 'there' there, no solid ground but a fuddled slough so vast that no end can ever be reached to prove it.

Mar 28, 2014

Treasures of the Tubes, pt. 1: Sinfest

I'm thinking of a bit of a change of pace around here: something positive.  Ranting about stupidity in politics, evolution, and religion is great, but the recent experience of introducing a good friend to something wonderful made me feel all tingly inside, so with that in mind here's a new series.  The basic idea is to take something that I love, and give it a link and little write-up.

So! Let's get started.

Sinfest.  What can I even say about Sinfest?  This is where it begins:


It just gets better from there.  Slick (the Calvinesque fellow about to strike the Faustian bargain) and 'Nique (the Hobbesian hottie with whom he is perpetually stuck in the friendzone) are the stars of this daily webcomic with a 4000+ strip archive.  Read the whole thing if you have time--the artwork improves, the many characters and their relationships develop and change, and the strip slides along the spectrum between 1-offs and longer, more focused story arcs--such as when the devil, realizing he's just playing the role God assigned him, commits the ultimate act of rebellion by walking away from his booth and hitting the beach.

Then there's God himself, who speaks to man through masks handpuppets:

It's incredibly creative, endlessly entertaining, beautiful to look at (at one point, the Sunday strips began appearing in full color) and hits altogether too close to home in discussions of politics, pornography, theodicy, relationships, loneliness, pot, and pets.  It also gave us what may the greatest line of any webcomic ever, in panel 2:
I leave you with some of my favorites:









Mar 27, 2014

Threatened

This morning, Mother pestered me about some or another apologetical work in that plausibly deniable way she has--"I was just asking for you opinion!"  Faced with the familiar "put up with false-consensus BS" or "start a fight and have everyone jump on you for being unpleasant", I picked B, and in the ensuing argument she asked just why I was so threatened by religious ideas.

Apparently she confuses "being annoyed by repetitive garbage" with "having my rebellion against God shaken to its core".

But the truth is ... I am threatened by religious ideas.

Just look at yesterday's Hobby Lobby oral arguments, in which sincerely held religious beliefs--that contraception is an abortifacient*--are being claimed as grounds for special legal privileges.  This despite that 1) carving out a specifically religious privilege specifically discriminates against the nonreligious and 2) contraception is not an abortifacient, you raving morons.  This infuriating lunacy not only made it to the Supreme Court, but might just carry the day.

Or take today's big headline: World Vision allowed gay-married employees, then reneged as 2000 Christians cut off their sponsor child.

Or go a little further back.  Do a Google image search for "Jessica Ahlquist death threats."  I'll wait.

Or consider the more recent squashing of a SSA club in North Carolina via death threats and blackmail.

Or take my Mother, who votes against my healthcare and my brother's civil rights because of ... wait for it ... her religious ideas.

So yeah, Mom, you're right: I am threatened by religious ideas, because people insist on acting them out.

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* Oh, and, I now believe that enforcement of copyright law is an abortifacient.  Sincerely believe it, as my Church, The First Church of FSM, Piratist, teaches.  Donations are tax-exempt, and if the legal winds blow some precedent our way then we, too, will be hiring lawyers.

Mar 23, 2014

REC

So ... I finally got around to watching REC and REC2.    I'm not a fan of the "found footage" conceit, but the films do showcase the possibilities--the things that it does very well.  For example, because the first film was shot by a local TV person, she gets to stop in a quiet moment and talk to people on camera.  It also works very well for suspense, mostly because we only see what the characters see.  Their panic becomes our panic as they run away, their suspense becomes our suspense as they scan the room with their nightscope.

It also showcases the weakness of the conceit.  The human visual system is pretty finely calibrated to compensate for how much we move our heads.  Video cameras?  Aren't.  So when the characters run away, you can't see for crap, whereas in real life you would still be able to.  You have to create increasingly contrived reasons for the characters videoing instead of doing something useful and/or realistic.  The first movie did this all right--they were a news team after all--and the second movie tried really hard without quite getting there: sure, the SWAT team has cameras on their vests, but the priest repeatedly yelling how everything must be documented ... uh ... why, exactly?  Then there was the ending of 2:

*major spoilers here, highlight to read*

If the demon had control of the camera, what possible motivation could it have for leaving the huge loose end of the footage which showed that it had escaped?  And why on earth would it drag her back into the room it had just dragged her out of, apart from the fact that that's where the camera was?

*spoilers end*

That happened so that the dropped camera could catch the action, not for any discernible narrative reason.  I also--and this is a *HUGE* pet peeve of mine--hate the sound of people breathing/clothes rustling into a too-close microphone.  Hate it hate it hate it hate it, and sadly the continued "the characters themselves are filming this as they go along" schtick means we get a lot of it.

Like most original/sequel pairings, the original was better.  There were the obligatory "people in a traumatic situation screaming at the authority figures who won't give them information" scenes, but while I find them annoying they are fairly true to life.  There were the obligatory "girl who is 'just sick'--'she has tonsillitis!'--actually has the zombie virus!" scenes, and there were the obligatory "OMG what's happening?" scenes as the characters figure out which genre they're in.  Again, realistic, but watching characters try to figure out what you learned from the trailer (ie, this is a zombie flick) is boring.  But cliches aside, the movie kept me guessing, kept me in suspense, and while I really wish the girl had been less panicky and/or breathy, I highly recommend the film.  I love the ending bits particularly:

*MOAR SPOILERS, highlight to read*

The demon possession angle was masterful.  I mean, of course the Church would think that a zombie virus was possession and try to treat it as possession.  And of course it wouldn't work, because it's a virus!  I love that their interference prevented proper medical treatment (up to and including getting actual medical personnel on the job of finding a vaccine) by abducting her from the hospital and I love that it's their failed meddling that allowed the thing to spread.  Marvelous.

*spoilers end*

The second movie wasn't nearly as good.  Okay, I kinda understand why they didn't brief the SWAT team.  I also understand why the SWAT team is mad about this.  But the aforementioned "people in a traumatic situation screaming at the authority figures who won't give them information" scenes don't work so well when the folks doing the yelling are trained combat professionals in a building known to be chock-full of face-eating undead with functional ears.  Discipline, much?  Also, we were given to understand that how fast you succumb to the infection depends on blood type.  Rotten luck that everyone in this movie had the same blood type.

But its worst crime is to "solve" the issues raised by the ending of the first movie in the boringest way possible, and since the second movie spoilers the first we won't have any more warnings.  Just stop reading here if you haven't seen it.

Thank you for shitting all over the brilliant ending to the first film and retconning it to something utterly banal.  But since you did, let's talk about it.  The zombies are actually possessed.  Not some kind of viral zombies plus brilliant commentary on the Catholic Church, just an actual demon(s?) which needs a biological agent to function but against which Catholic implements are super effective.  But about that ... you know crosses hold the possessed at bay.  And you didn't hand out crosses to the whole team.  Ooookay.  You know headshots kill them permanently, and you didn't feel like sharing.  You need a sample of the original's blood, not one of the subsequent infections, because MacGuffin.  You can't take the original's blood once the original has been shot because reasons.  Certain things are only actually there in total darkness because it's scarier that way faux archaic mumbo-jumbo, but they radiate infrared.  What's so magical about the visual spectrum?  Can demons only see the same frequencies that we do?

I love zombies, though I'm not a huge fan of horror, but I really wish films would follow their own rules and actually think through the implications of their world-building beyond what will be scary right this second.  Yes, REC2 was scary, and tight (mostly--the teenagers were stupid and should have been cut), but not nearly as good as the first.  Go watch REC, but skip 2 and stick with your headcanon.

Mar 9, 2014

In Defense of the Courtier's Reply

I've recently become a fan of The Secular Outpost over on Patheos, where this post brings up a bit of poo-pooing over The Courtier's Reply--an unsophisticated tack by unsophisticated people, as they would have it.
Except that ... it's not.
I was raised Christian and spent most of my twenties desperately trying to stay one. Then when I left (both the religion as a whole and individual doctrines within it), tons of people told me, often in so many words, that they won't take my rejection seriously until I read 'X', where 'X' is derived by marching down a list of apologetical works/arguments/authors until they reach one I haven't encountered. Then invariably when I do, it's the same old nonsense as before, and now 'X' has become the next such item on the list. No Christian has EVER admitted to me that I know enough to reject either their religion or even their pet doctrine--in fact, many have told me to my face that this is impossible. This despite the fact that 1) I almost always know more than they do and 2) I know exponentially more about this particular claim that I reject than they do about the thousand claims that they reject, and I've had it with their crap. The Courtier's Reply quite fits the bill.
The sophisticated theologians (who everyone assures me exist and further assures me are not represented by whatever awful codswallop I just got done with) are just the same thing with bigger words (occasionally used correctly, I'll admit), but they use their sophisticated arguments in defense of sophisticated beliefs that bear precisely zero resemblance to Christianity as it was conveyed to me in a thousand sermons, Sunday School lessons, AWANAs, RAs, MK Retreats, Mission Meetings, dumbass books well-meaning relatives give you when you go off to college, EBC conferences, hymns, small-group meetings, family prayer time, BCM gatherings, and a lifetime of conversations with actual believers.
Whatever bit of my childhood indoctrination I reject or criticize, I'm met with "Ahahahahaha that's not what Christians believe you should go read Aquinas! Oh you've read Aquinas? Erm ... uh ... Craig! Oh him too eh ... uh ... well ... I bet you haven't read ... uhm ... Origen!"
They were nowhere to be found when their 'unsophisticated' counterparts fucked with my head all through childhood, but boy-howdy they like to get in my face now that I'm fighting back.  Tell ya' what: if you sniggering fluff-and-rufflers want my unsophisticated self to take you seriously, then start by getting in the collective face of everyone who lied to me about the cowboy boots.
The Courtier's Reply is a PERFECT encapsulation of that frustration. They defend the tribe against legitimate criticisms of things large swaths of the tribe not only believe but teach their children while doing sod-all to correct them. I've never yet encountered a theologian or apologist who didn't pull some version of this crap, despite how everyone likes to assert they exist. Hell, look at the very first entry in that debate that the poo-pooer mentions as transcending such unsophisticated things:
"[He] dismisses as a “fraud” an entire academic field to which many thinkers of universally acknowledged genius have contributed." Feser then follows up with endless name-checking. Then comes comment #3: " Do you think he has actually read S.C.G. 3:65 or S.T. 1.104.1 ? I doubt it."
Does anyone want to tell me that's not the Courtier's Reply, through and through? Would anyone who wants to tell me 'no' also like to explain just what the difference is? 
I hear and I hear and I hear that it doesn't work. But it just keeps right on working, because they just keep right on doing it. Let them stop doing it, and I'll stop saying that they do it--let them specify in advance how much I have to know to reject their position, then let them deal with that level of haute couture for every rival court, then let them not move the goalposts, and then I shall retire my beloved Courtier's Reply.
Now let's be frank: it doesn't prove I'm right. What it demonstrates is that I can be confidently right without exhausting the musings of every crank who ever opined on the subject, just as I can reject astrology without having first familiarized myself with the mathematical computations--whose complexity puts apologetics to shame!--that underlie it.

Nov 23, 2013

Nuclear Disarmament

Let's start with the obvious: back when the Democrats were obstructing Republican nominees, the Republicans loudly derided their obstruction and threatened to change the Senate rules.  The Democrats--the same who just followed through on those Republican threats themselves--objected to them in the strongest possible terms at the time.  Much as I usually hold the "both parties do it" folks in contempt, here, at long last, is something that both parties actually do.  The minority obstructs the majority, the majority rumblingly threatens to curtail its power to do so, the minority whinges about tyranny or time-honored Senate traditions with a tone of voice somewhere between grave disappointment and constipation, and it's all Very Serious.

I've now spent the last couple days watching conservative friends post democratic contradictions and liberal blogs post republican contradictions, as if the mere fact that the Republicans and Democrats routinely reverse opinions on the question actually constituted an argument for or against either position.  The basic argument, as I see it, is that the present obstruction is sufficiently greater in degree that it amounts to a difference in kind.  The old rules no longer allow for a functional government in our present circumstances, so change them.  For the record, I buy it.  The US system has too many potential chokepoints--contrast a parliamentary system, in which one side actually runs the damn government and then is judged at the polls on its performance.  There's a continuum here, but we're rather too "choked" at present.  Will I still think so when next--FSM forbid--a Republican is elected?  Consistency demands it.

There is, of course, a more cynical way to view the calculation.  Republicans, on the whole, block far more nominees--and keep them blocked far longer--than Democrats.  Stifling the ability to do so would therefore be a net gain for the Democrats.  One party's interest will--on balance, mind you--be advanced, and the other's set back, by the proposed rule change.  The parties and their supporters have lined up appropriately, and marshaled arguments in support of their positions, but the real position comes from the interests and not the arguments.

Well, cynical mode off, now.  What I would really like to see happen is to keep the filibuster, but make it an actual filibuster.  In other words, no longer can any Senator simply place a hold on any bill or nomination.  No--if they object to something and wish to delay it, then they can stand up and start talking.  Then the vote happens when everyone is done talking.  I'm not sure how this would work in a practical sense, however: victory would come when the majority party simply gets so tired of it that they cave rather than letting you go on.  But that would happen whenever you expressed a willingness to go on that went beyond the majority's ability to tolerate/get things done.  This in turn incentivizes grander threats and earlier caving, leading quickly back to the situation that we are in now, unless the majority leader had the stones to force the issue every time.  So it's very pretty to think that something like this might be workable, but in practice the willingness to use whatever weapons are at hand to obstruct means that's unlikely.

Which is why, on balance, I'm in favor of the present forced disarmament, which everyone melodramatically insists on calling the 'nuclear option'.

Oct 24, 2013

Al Mohler and the Storehouses of Hail

No one really follows the Bible.  The folks so fond of its manifold condemnations of homosexuality ignore its teachings on slavery, usury, and blood sausage; the tinfoil-hat-wearing prophecy enthusiasts largely shut down when confronted with Jesus' words about "this generation will certainly not pass away" (spoiler alert: it did) or "all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet"; and nobody but nobody believes in firmament cosmology anymore.

The thing is--and those who have read the Bible can back me up on this--there are certain minor incongruities between the Biblical account and reality as it is observed to be, and between Biblical teaching and what have since been found to be dietary, moral, and legal principles conducive to human wellbeing.  The core difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals admit this--and can therefore occasionally be argued into a less harmful interpretation--whereas conservatives do not.

These differing approaches naturally come to bear on our aforementioned incongruities.  Conservatives either deny that they are falsehoods (young earth creationism), or else deny that they're in there (firmament cosmology).  This denial can reach hilarious levels, such as Al Mohler claiming that the cosmos looks old because God made it look old (this is more broadly known as the Omphalos Hypothesis, or Last Thursdayism).  So determined is Al that the Bible be right about creation that he actually proposes a God that deceives us by planting evidence contrary to revealed truth.  The firmament keeping out the water above the stars, or the foundations of the earth, on the other hand ... nada*.

Liberals admit that the Bible says what it says, and (usually) admit when what it says is wrong, but they deny that it means what it says.  For instance: the first chapters of Genesis are a poem of creation or a parable or a record of people's ideas about God and not really a history.  See? they say, that's a metaphor** just like those passages about storehouses of hail!  Except not, because firmament cosmology really was the going world picture in the time and place of the Bible's writing, and the Biblical authors really do reference it extensively, and not just as metaphor: they praise God for making it and include stories (the Tower of Babel) which make precisely zero sense without it.

Conveniently, both sides have done excellent work demolishing the other.  Follow, as Bishop Ussher did, the Bible's chronology: so-and-so begat so-and-so when he was however-many-years old.  That goes from Adam (made on the sixth morning-and-evening day) to Solomon, and a slightly more approximate chronology goes from there to historical events whose date is independently corroborated.  The Earth, according to the Bible, is young.  The Bible really does say that, and conservatives really do believe it, and they should like to know on what authority liberals reject it.  Of course, liberals reject it on account of it being retarded, which leaves them in the tight spot of either admitting that large chunks of the Bible are wrong, or else pretending that it doesn't actually mean what it very plainly says.

Liberals are right: if the Bible really means that the earth is 6000 years old, then it necessarily falls.  Conservatives are also right: start explaining away the bits you find ridiculous, and there's just nowhere to stop.  You have a book which is either a) wrong or b) metaphor on point after point of morality, cosmology, and history, and you want people to just take its word on the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and Heaven?  Both sides think not--and both are right.
---------------------------
*Google only turns up three links (one bad and none promising) for "Al Mohler firmament".  If I'm wrong on this, correct me, because that would be amazing.

**"It must be a metaphor because what it actually says is stupid" is a terrible argument--you can't just nebulize a text into respectability, though FSM knows that was more or less what I was up to most of my years as liberal Christian.

Sep 1, 2013

The Ass Twerked Round the World

Folks, we've had something of a national crisis on our hands these last few days.  Something that points to the rot at the heart of our society, and something that we all need to be deeply concerned--even outraged--about.

I'm speaking, of course, of Miley Cyrus' skanked-up performance at the VMAs.

At first, I refrained from commenting.  Pop divas are rather like a monster under our collective bed--if you retards would just stop thinking about them, and talking about them, and clicking on them, and would immediately change the channel whenever the shit-fest that passes for news in this country started 'covering' them, then they would go away.  But apparently that is beyond the mental ken of most of my countrymen, and as the gab-fest and manufactured outrage and concern trolling and 'what-about-the-children' continued, I noted, with increasing dismay, that hardly anyone cut through the fog of vacuous crap to say what needed to be said.

One man tried, I'll give him that, but after landing a single magnificent hammer-blow right on the pigtailed clusterfuck that was the nail's head, he then wandered off to go yell at some kids to get off his lawn.  So apparently I have to do it.  Thanks for nothing, internet.

My dear retarded fellow Americans, my purveyors of moral outrage at skankitude and minstrelsy, my fashionistas and "news" "reporters", my gossip columnists and half-interested googlers, ye drooling mouthbreathers that stopped flipping at the sight of tits, my representatives of the "music" industry and concerned mothers everywhere, all of those 'saddened' that sweet little Hannah Montana reverse dry-humped some cunt in a prison tux: HEAR ME!, for you have missed the fucking point.

Miley Cyrus is shit.  

Always has been, always will be: irredeemable, worthless, soul-destroying, aesthetic detritus utterly devoid of artistic merit; a betrayal of the human spirit and a slanderous misrepresentation of the human experience; a cliche wrapped in a canned beat, sung by a no-talent, auto-tuned hack, injected with hormones and antibiotics, force fed the decaying parts of previous 'artists', and finally topped off with some cellophane and a price tag--you know, shit.  Shit before tits, shit after tits; shit as a lily-white Disney prostitot, shit in her 'daring' attempts to co-opt 2010 black culture--just plain ol' shitty shit.

So how did it come to this?  How did this lukewarm diarrhea get loaded up with sodium, preservatives, and artificial flavoring and shipped out for human consumption?  Because folks would rather talk about the new skin-colored label than the product.  Because we're more 'concerned' about tits and twerking than the thought of our kids actually ripping open that package and slurping it down.

Where are your goddam priorities, people?  There is one thing, and one thing only, that needs to be said about Miley Cyrus, and, by extension, nearly all of pop music--it's shit.  Don't google it, don't talk about it, don't click on the links; when it comes up on the "news", then change the channel; if you catch your children with it, then beat them with a stick and drag them to the symphony.

Flush the turd--don't stand around and flap your gums and stare.