You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Blog Update

Updated the template today.

Anyone wishing to see the old template, check out the Internet Archive of us from October 2003
Weren't we just so avante-garde, back in the day?

No Jacket Required

The following news report from ninemsn leaves us, well, you know...

Cruise is a Satanist, says radical Christian leader

Tuesday Jun 26 06:00 AEST

By ninemsn staff

A controversial Christian group has slammed Tom Cruise and Scientology in a public bid to help people learn the truth about what they say is a Satanic cult.

“Yes, Tom Cruise worships Satan," said Mark Dice, the founder of apocalyptic US Christian organisation The Resistance.

"I don’t say this as an insult, or as an ad hominem attack. I seriously and literally mean he worships Satan, although most occultists, call him Lucifer the light bearer."

Dice, also an author and commentator, has made several controversial public claims in recent years — including that the World Trade Centre attacks were a CIA plot.

Now he says he is worried celebrities like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are enticing people to join the Scientology.

"In the Garden of Eden, Satan said if Man took the forbidden fruit that he would become just like god, actually becoming equal to God, and that is what occultists people believe."

"They believe they themselves, are gods," Mark Dice claims, before turning his comments directly to the Top Gun star.

"If you want a real religion, try going to a Christian Church, Tom, it's free."

Dice, who wrote the book The Resistance Manifesto under the Terminator-inspired alias John Connor, was in the news just a few weeks ago when he announced plans to hold a series of anti-Paris Hilton demonstrations outside Hilton hotels in the US.

On his MySpace website Dice is pictured smiling and holding a gun, with the caption: "Heard of the 2nd amendment?".

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"This is not a Fleet! It's a gang!" - Wait, sorry, wrong screenplay.

... Today, I am at Riverfront Stages... just north of LA, for the filming of Inalienable, and independent sci-fi film that culminates in a hearing in federal district court. The script was written by Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on the original Star Trek. On his website, he lists the principal actors and describes the plot:
"Still guilt-ridden over the accident that took his family's lives, Eric Norris discovers that his body is host to a parasite from another world. Except, it is more than a parasite: it carries his DNA. Is this his new son or -- as the government believes -- a threat to mankind?"

I will be playing an assistant prosecutor sitting at counsel table with main prosecutor played by Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: [The] Next Generation. As I am live blogging this, the crew is setting up a shot for a scene between Walter Koenig and Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica....

Randy Barnett, 'On the Set of "Inalienable"' (15 June 2007),

Hatch, Koenig, Sirtis... But where's Michelle Forbes? If they go ahead and film this without a role for the Forbester, then "Inalienable" is unconstitutional. Or in violation of the Hatch Act.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Do Heroes Have to Die?

Just been reading an interesting comparison of Harry Potter and Tony Soparno over at The Bulletin's Newsweek page.

Will Potter die in the end of Harry POtter and the Deathly Hallows??

Will Tony Soprano?

Over at Fox News, there are reports of fans and stars alike expressing their opinions over the ambiguous ending of The Sopranos (spoiler alert).

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Potter in the films, has a sneaking suspicion that the character that has made him famous will turn up his toes in the last Potter tome.

Only time will tell.

But do our heroes have to die in the end?

Neither Frodo nor Bilbo burnt out, although they did fade away.

And the Narnia children all bought the farm at the end of CS Lewis' The Last Battle.

Is this some kind of Christ analogy that resonates within Christianised Western culture? (although JC did "come good in a couple of days", as I have heard it said).

Perhaps something deeper: a highly individualised Gotterdammerung in true Wagnerian style, compressed to the size of the one.

Luke Skywalker doesn't cark it at the end of ROTJ - but Darth Vader does. If the "death of the hero" literary trope holds, this would be further proof that the "hero" of the Star Wars" sagas is in fact Skywalker Senior, not Junior.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Calvinists and Cylons. One lot are [fill in the blank], while the other...

"... an upcoming conference on Southern Baptists and Calvinism at
Ridgecrest Conference Center in NC in November 26 - 28. (That is, I
believe. T[hanks]giving weekend!). It's also 2 hours from my house,
so I will plan to be there. I expect to see several bloggers in the
SE there...maybe Steve "Cary Grant" Hays will grace us with his
physical presence. I'm beginning to think he's one of the Final Five
Cylons, a disembodied AI living on an ethereal plane, with a plan."

-- GeneMBridges at

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Australian's worst mass murderer should be allowed to die following several attempts to kill himself in his prison cell, euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke says. Martin Bryant is serving 35 life sentences for the 1996 killings of 35 people at Tasmania's historic Port Arthur penal settlement, in the world's worst mass murder by a lone gunman. Bryant has made at least five suicide attempts in Tasmania's Risdon Prison and has been treated at hospital twice this year after slashing himself with disposable razor blades. [...]
"Mr Nitschke has been in Hobart to address a University of Tasmania bio-ethics forum.
He was the guiding force behind right-to-die legislation introduced by the Northern Territory in 1996. It was overturned by federal legislation the following year. Mr Nitschke said the state had no interest in rehabilitating Bryant. "The sole goal of his (Bryant's) imprisonment is punishment and punishment without hope of release is tantamount to torture," Dr Nitschke said. "As a society we should admit we are sanctioning torture here and in those circumstances we should allow him to die or provide him with the means to obtain a peaceful death."
"He said that giving Bryant an opportunity to end his life would quickly determine if he wants to kill himself. "Some people claim his attempts at suicide are merely attention seeking gestures, which is possible, but providing him with the means of reliably ending his life would soon make this clear. As a society we go to great lengths to prevent him from being able to harm himself but in my opinion putting him in a safe stainless steel box with no hope of escape is nothing more than torture. As a society we should admit this is what we are doing."
-- NineMSN News, "Let murderer take his life: Nitschke" (Monday 11 June 2007)

The number of people who support both the death penalty and voluntary euthanasia (legally-endorsed suicide) must be vanishingly small. While there are a few who oppose both -- mainly moderately traditionalist Catholics, now that recent Popes have discovered that capital punishment has always been contrary to the faith once and for all delivered unto the saints -- most of humankind falls into either or two mutually exclusive categories:

(a)     utilitarians, who support suicide because it makes people happy, but oppose capital punishment because it makes people unhappy; and

(b)     desert-based moralists, who support capital punishment because convicted murderers deserve to die for their crimes, but oppose suicide because terminally ill people haven't committed any crime for which they deserve to die (at which point they deserve to die, for having murdered themselves...?  Must... take... aspirin...)

The upshot of all this is that, of the two causes Dr Philip Nitschke has recently espoused, probably 98% of readers will agree that one is an intrinsically wicked abomination and the other is a straightforward matter of simple justice. Furious disagreement would arise at the next stage, of course, over which one is which.

This blog is unutterably opposed to all profane use of Beatles allusions

"The Daily Mail reports on an interesting judicial opinion from Montana. The judge asked Andrew McCormack, a Beatle-loving beer thief, what he thought his sentence should be. He wrote: 'Like the Beetles [sic] say, Let It Be'. But his cheeky quip did not impress Gregory Todd, a 56-year-old district court judge in Montana. In a sentencing memorandum Judge Todd first corrected McCormack's misspelling and then gave the defendant a lesson in The Beatles discography. The judge produced a sentencing memorandum that cited 42 Beatles songs."

- Jonathan Adler, "Beware Quoting the Beatles to a Judge" , citing and .

Paris worth a Mass?

Was blind, but now she doth see... Isn't "world peace" and "saving the rhinos in Africa" supposed to be somewhere on this checklist?

Imprisoned hotel heiress Paris Hilton has said she believes God has given her a new chance and she plans to stop acting dumb and put her influence to good use.
Hilton called television journalist Barbara Walters from the medical wing of a Los Angeles jail, where she is being held for violating probation in a drink-driving case, and Walters recounted the conversation on her ABC television show, The View. "I'm not the same person I was," Hilton told Walters. "I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me. I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance." [...]
"I told my attorneys not to appeal the judge's decision," Hilton said, describing being in jail as "by far the hardest thing I have ever done".... When she is released, Hilton said, she might like to help in the fields of breast cancer or multiple sclerosis, diseases that her grandmothers suffered, or build a "Paris Hilton playhouse" for sick children.
Hilton, who said other inmates had been friendly, added that her skin was very dry because she was not allowed any moisturiser. "It doesn't matter," she said, "I'm not that superficial girl. I haven't looked in the mirror since I got here."

- "Hilton says God gave her a new chance" (Tuesday 12 June 2007)

And as for the simple life...

Now that Paris Hilton is back in jail for the long haul, she will be forced to do the thing she fears most in prison -- use the toilet. During her first three-day stint behind bars, Hilton was reportedly so worried guards would photograph her on the toilet that she refused to eat or drink anything. The diet left the hotel heiress seriously ill, and prompted prison officials to send her home to serve the rest of the sentence in house arrest. But the prison break was overruled by an LA Court at the weekend, and now Hilton is once again facing the horror of using the stainless steel lavatory -- situated in plain view of prison guards. "She was absolutely terrified that one of the guards or staffers would get her with the cell-phone cam and it would wind up on the Internet," a source told the NY Daily News yesterday.

-- "Paris 'terrified of the prison toilet'" (Monday 11 June 2007)

This is a job for Ewan McGregor, or else Jim, Kevin, Oz and Stiffler.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Re: Independent US Presidential Contender

Methinks this is but a front for failed and discredited
Chancellatorial candidate Finis Valorum.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not quite the Hanoi Hilton

"The Paris Hilton prison diaries"

By John Kenney

Los Angeles Times (5 June 2007),0,51


Friday, June 01, 2007

Not from The Onion

...buried deep in a legitimate article on NineMSN about spam email and the prosecution of a persistent spammer, the journalist responsible just couldn't help but add their own experience with spam to the story, thus making the news, not just reporting it:

"Other types of spam were largely unaffected by the arrest. One Gmail account collected messages Thursday promising deals on Viagra and other medicines, while an AOL account drew an offer for two large, mouthwatering pizzas."

Here's hoping those spam pizzas were tasty!