Thursday, April 30, 2009

History Lessons: Ancient Sparta (Part I)

I’ve decided to try out a new type of article. It dawned on me that there are three things that everyone loves: history, ice cream, and things that comes in threes (sorry about the padding). Not only does everyone love history, but combined with a bit of creative re-imagining, it can serve to inspire and lead by its own example.

So today we’ll be hitting the history books and going back to Ancient Sparta, and hopefully, if we’re lucky, taking one or two lessons home with us. Think of it like a trip to the Creation Museum.

Since Frodology has recently experienced an influx of SMRTies who may not be used to the evidenceless-based learning we engage in here, this could be a great place to start. So, again, a trip to the Creation Museum.


Humble beginnings

In its earliest days, Sparta’s politics were dominated by the softer sex, but it wasn’t long before women muscled their way into power and set the militaristic tone of government by which it would forever be remembered.

This fun new policy of fighting kicked off with the Trojan War, a protracted conflict for which we should actually credit the Mycenaeans, the Spartans' progenitors.

Fun fact! ‘Progenitor’ means ‘in favor of genitals’ in English. 

Legend has it that the war started when Prince Paris of Troy eloped with Helen of Sparta, the betrothed of its King Menelaus. Apparently she was comely enough to warrant the launching of 1,000 ships, though this was likely inflated by hyperbole, not be confused with a hyperbola, a really bad case of Ebola; or with Hyperbowl, my local 10-pin lanes.

The Spartan army landed on the beach outside Troy and promptly fell in love with the scenery, quickly forgetting all about Helen. With the Spartans stuck outside the city gates for the better part of a decade, Troy looked impregnable, unlike the bitchin' hot Helen. Unfortunately, the dispute flared up again following a quarrel with a greedy Trojan beach vendor. Things quickly went sour for Troy when a seer in the employ of King Priam prophesized that Paris would be portrayed by the particularly effeminate Orlando Bloom in a retelling of the event three millennia later.

The news must have been shocking, because the Trojan troops opened the city gates to the Mycenaean army, captained by a large, wheeled stray horse, in a bid to hasten their own destruction and end the ignominy. The city was promptly sacked and its population enslaved.

Fun fact! The term ‘sacking’ originates from the ancient practice of placing an entire captured city inside a burlap sack as plunder. Of course, cities were much smaller then.

A version of the story has survived in the form of the Biblical telling of the Rape of Dinah. There are of course some differences, the chief one being that Dinah is thought to have been far more attractive than Helen, as thousands of adult men were willing to be circumcised merely to live in the same city as her.


Gender bender

Sparta was quick to incorporate its hard-earned lessons into a largely pragmatic legal system. They rightly concluded that the conflict was entirely the fault of the harlot Helen, and absolutely nothing to do with trade routes, greed and geopolitics.

This conclusion led to the curious marriage ritual of shaving the bride’s head and dressing her in a man’s tunic, obviously an attempt to ensure no escaping woman would be worth chasing after. This tradition has survived today, in the sense that Greek women still aren't attractive enough to be put on film. When attractive foreign actresses aren’t available, movies about Greece simply aren’t made.

Fun fact! The beautiful women in these films were not Greek: Alexander, Troy, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The 300, For Your Eyes Only, Mamma Mia!

Sad fact! My Big Fat Greek Wedding had dozens of Greek women. 


Family life

In Sparta, military service took precedence over all other areas of life. While men married around age 20, they stayed in barracks until they could live with their families at age 30. Frodologists call this “not having to live with your family until age 30.” The difference is subtle, but telling.

From an early age, Spartan boys took part in vigorous military training, called the agoge. As far as historians can determine, this was just a funny-sounded word with no actual meaning. The training was long and grueling, and if you were going to depict it in a film, I imagine you’d make an uncomfortable-to-watch montage of half-clothed boys, caked in mud and soaked with sweat, tumbling with each other on a river bank. To round out the queasy vision of youthful innocence, everyone would look like male versions of Dakota Fanning.

Oscar-worthy stuff.

But it wasn’t all hard work. Spartans knew how to love too…



Military philosophers of the time believed that a bond of love between an experienced warrior and a novice would make soldiers far more willing to fight for each other (known as “giving”), and also prepared to take a fatal blow meant for the other (“receiving”). It also engendered trust, a vital ingredient in hoplite warfare, as each man was responsible for protecting the man to his left with his own shield (known as a “reach around”).

Fun fact! Sparta’s impressive phalanxes were easily wiped out when tackled from left to right

The reach around leaves your flank exposed

Blog reader attention spans being what they are, I'm going to stop here for today. Check back in a couple of days to learn more about exciting events which may have (but probably didn't) happen, and the juicy details of 5th Century BC agricultural reform.

Carry on to Part II...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What will happen to the Rapture abortions?

Most Christians hold that fetuses, in all their gooey prenatal glory, are sacred sacs of soul-infused sanctity. Quite how they are able to distinguish a fetus from the type of organic glob that most Americans would cheerfully spray with a blast of Raid is unclear. Perhaps they have some sort of affirmative action scheme in place, though no fetus has to my knowledge been accepted to any university yet, no matter how awful. Well, maybe Brown. But definitely nowhere else.

Yet how this inviolability can be squared against the highly anticipated mass carnage of the approaching Rapture is a troubling question for Christian theologians. Babies must first be born in order for their souls to be scooped up into the abrasive burlap sack that is Christian theology. 

So what happens to the ones still floundering in the womb when the Rapture starts?

The question is a pressing one, as we are clearly living in the End Times, and have been doing for a good two thousand years or so. An obvious solution is to allow Jesus to start the show when no saved souls are pregnant. Unfortunately this is difficult to coordinate, and is most easily accomplished if everyone simply stops having sex. Thankfully, obesity and botched plastic surgery are working hard on both ends of the female spectrum to make women much less attractive, and intercourse far less appealing.

Still, universal celibacy is not something we can rely on.  Another option is to exclude pregnant women from the Rapture entirely. After all, it’d be good if they learned to abstain from something, eh? Am I right? Yeah, nice. This could make getting pregnant somewhat like Russian roulette, which it already is for people with ugly spouses, like the Mormons, and those with just one ugly spouse, like the rest of us.

A third solution would be to rapture the unborn baby part and parcel with the mother, and simply wait out the rest of the pregnancy in Heaven. Unfortunately, the mother’s options will be limited should any complications occur, as, in accordance with policy, Heaven’s surgeons have rendered unto Caesar that which are Caesarians. Nor is it guaranteed that the child, once born in Heaven, will even accept Christianity, arguments for the existence of God being what they are.

A, uh, final solution, is simply to rapture the fetus in utero, as an independent entity to the mother. Though still too young to repent of their original crimesin on Earth, the airtight nature of Christian theology all but guarantees that they will be afforded the opportunity in Heaven. As the only alternative would be to send them to purgatory, where the age difference between the unborn fetuses and unbaptized babies could lead to bullying, apologists believe this is the best answer.

While ordinarily this could make for an awkward situation if the unrepentant mother isn't raptured along with the fetus, experts believe that anyone with in an interest in enforcing state abortion laws will vanish during the Rapture, all of which forces the question: will Christians be going to Heaven, or leaving it behind?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bible tag!

As the weather improves and the little ones return to the great outdoors (sometimes for good, if natural selection has its way), parents naturally want to provide activities for their children that are both wholesome and fun. Playing ‘Guantanamo’ was all well and good until Mrs. Schroeder’s cat stopped resisting the water boarding, and you can’t really argue with the police’s opinion that ‘hunting pirates’ isn’t good for race relations.

So why not give them a game to play straight from the Bible?

You’ll need a menstruating woman to get started. This one’s probably on you, moms! She’s ‘it’ for seven days, and anyone or anything she touches becomes ‘it’ too. The ‘it’ team must then try to make as many people and as many things unclean as possible, while the opposing team must try to bathe everything in water before evening. While it sounds like the odds are stacked in favor of the menstruator and her unholy hordes, don’t worry – they’ll be handicapped by cramps and hobbled by the pain of childbirth. Thank Jehovah!

The origin of cooties shots

Bible tag truly is infectious, but you should be careful that your neighbors don’t think you’re Jewish. While they’ll undoubtedly be impressed by the hundreds of gallons of water you’re spilling on your lawn to purify yourselves, you’re not yacht club members yet! In fact, it may be wise to invite them over for a BBQ (in the evening, once you’re clean), just to be safe.

After playing Bible tag for a little while, you’ll probably start wondering “how did they manage to keep everything clean in the desert with such little water?” Well, they didn’t.

Scholars believe Bible tag (!) can explain the disappearance of several early Israelite settlements. After a few hours of vigorous play, participants would begin to run out of things to purify themselves with. When it got to the point that the water jugs themselves needed to be bathed to remain pure, scores of players would have already succumbed to dehydration and exhaustion. The self-inflicted tragedy further embittered thousands of displaced Canaanites, and one teary-eyed spectator has gone down in history with his legendary lamentation, “come on, we’re smarter than that!”

Its prodigious water demands of course mean that, just like all good games, Bible tag can only be enjoyed properly in the developed world.

Coming soon, we’ll have more Games by Leviticus, including one similar to the traditional English game of bowls. But instead of using polished balls, the Israelites used rough, dense pieces of stone, and rather than being rolled down a green, they were lobbed at people’s heads! We’ll also have ‘Guess My Abomination!’ Do I sleep with other men, wear garments woven from two different kinds of thread, or eat crustaceans?

Find out soon, and thanks for playing!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frodologist Family Fun

As someone who’s never had to do it myself, I know that raising a family can be difficult, especially on the husband as he has to watch his formerly sexy bride get uglier and uglier, a trend known to science as the Theory of Marital Unattractiveness. 

As time increases, the graph itself is the only thing going up

Fortunately, it’s only a theory, which means that its harmful effects can be mitigated with enough practice and concentration. One way to keep your family glued together like glue is to spend quality time proselytizing to the heathens. Now that you’ve saved your child from his apostasy, this can be a great way to spend a day. Try these useful tips to bring Frodo’s Word to the infidel.


Impromptu anti-gay rally

Protesters against gay marriage have received a lot of criticism recently, and it’s not undeserved, watering down their message of hatred like that, instead of condemning homosexuality per se. But a spontaneous rally to vent your anger against the poofters is always a safe bet for a sunny day.

When preparing, make sure to bring along colorful cardboard with which to make your signs and placards. It really is a great opportunity to let your imagination run riot. Use words like ‘sodomy’, ‘fag’, ‘queer’, and ‘free speech’. Remember to bring along a towel to wipe the froth from your mouth and the spittle dribbling down your chin, and don’t forget the markers so the kids can drawn their own posters!


Organized anti-gay rally

This is superficially a lot like the impromptu anti-gay rally, but only the core message of intolerance is the same. You’ll be part of a much bigger crowd, which affords much more opportunity for creative costumes. Always remember the general rule of thumb, which is that if you wear anything but your normal clothes to a rally of less than a dozen protesters, people might think you’re gay.

Be aware that larger groups are often dictated by herd mentality and you’ll have a lot less control over the tone of the rally. Self-moderation and polite decorum are often a problem, and it may be difficult to encourage other protesters to adopt your fascist tone. Always keep hold of your child in case your ranks are infiltrated by a gay pedophile. After all, it’s a dangerous world out there!


Have a bonfire… of books!

Kids love fire, and it’s the job of a responsible parent to encourage and foster his children’s interests. Large bonfires are always a treat, but these days you can’t so much as set a match to a redwood without getting environmentalists on your back. Truly imaginative parents should then realize the great untapped potential behind that bound and printed piece of tinder known as a ‘book’.

Some are morally opposed to setting books alight, but let me ask you this: what’s so bad about it if the author already disagrees with you? Authors are some of the most judgmental people ever to walk the planet, formulating their ideas and then solidifying them in print before even a single reader can voice his disagreement. Over 98% of books ever written already contradict your beliefs, and most of them aren’t even in a language you can read! Can you say ‘superfluous’?

You can’t? Too long? Oh, well you’d better save that dictionary then!

Of course, we must not forget the danger of getting carried away. Frodologist Dr. Carrie W. Clark has warned in her book against forcing all opinions into a dichotomy and calling those on the wrong side of it ‘gay pedophiles’. This is precisely the type of thing we must be protect against, and that’s why I’ll be throwing her book on the fire first along with the rest of the gay pedophiles.

Lastly, remember that the glue used in binding some books can be highly toxic when heated. Prudent parenting requires that you can’t be too careful.

Now who’s ready for smores?


Spread pro-anti-pro-choice literature

Abortion is an awkward subject to discuss in polite society, the gay pedophile in the room, if you take my meaning. But statisticians believe that 9 out of 10 Americans reading this very sentence (abortion!) are thinking about abortion right now. If everyone’s thinking about it, why aren’t we talking about it? Clearly, we have to force people to talk about it.

How can your family help? First, we must stop using euphemisms, like ‘life’, ‘choice’, and ‘abortion’, and call it what it is: fetus molestation. Take your child along to a march, and ask pro-choicers whether they’d happily molest him. Most should say ‘no’. Ask them then why they’re so ready to molest someone exactly like your child, only younger.

Husbands can also help, as everyone knows that men always know what’s best for women. That’s why we have penises. Like the hand of an eager student keen to answer a question in class, nothing says ‘I know!’ better than an erect phallus.

Don’t be tempted to leave your children in the car, because as we all know, there are gay pedophiles about. Instead, get them to star in an existential play with a provocative title like “What if I Was not Am?” The absurdity of a fully gestated fetus pondering his own non-existence will get your audience thinking “hey, that’s funny!” and waste fifteen minutes of their time, which will bring all babies in attendance fifteen minutes closer to the second trimester deadline!

After a long day of good parenting, why don’t you take the whole family out for ice cream? Woah there, easy on the chocolate sauce!

Monday, April 20, 2009

In defense of the Mormons (it’s not what you think)

Minor religions don’t have an easy time of it, especially the ones whose tenets really get the imagination going. I should know. I run one. Mormons in particular are often unfairly singled out, frequently by this website, as deserving of extra ridicule. But just how crazy are they? Words like “batshit insane” and “theological asshattery” are thrown around a lot these days, to the extent that no one stops to ask what’s so truly nuts about bat droppings. We religious minorities need to stick together, and it’s my purpose here to defend the Mormons and show that they haven’t completely lost it.


Land of the free

Mormons view the Bible as divinely inspired but maintain that they’re privy to some juicy extras ignored by Catholics and Protestants. As such, it’s sort of like Christianity Plus. That sounds like fun, right?

All of this was recorded on some nifty brass plates originally in the possession of Laban, a Biblical character the anagram of whose name is unfortunately ‘Banal’, and perhaps worse, ‘Anal B’, though historians still dispute the meaning of the ‘B’. These plates were stolen by Nephi along with Laban's steel sword, the possession of which was a considerable metallurgical accomplishment for the Bronze Age.

The plates describe the flight of a group of people, one Lehi and his family (including son Nephi) from Jerusalem to the New World around 600 BC, which is about 2,100 years before transatlantic travel even became possible. That’s no mean feat, and I’m starting to see why Jesus liked these guys! Historians are unclear as to why Lehi et al abandoned the Jews, but as a sort of ancient bad shit magnet, the decision is understandable, especially when viewed in the context of the customary 19th Century anti-Semitic milieu in which this whole thing was concocted.


Home of the braves?

The descendants of Lehi, who later split into the Lamanites and Nephites (over artistic differences as to where art stopped and porn began) flourished in Mesoamerica, augmenting a pre-existing Semitic group who'd been there for several thousand years already. One can only admire their accomplishments, because according to Mel Gibson, there were a lot of hearts being cut out in the vicinity, so good for them.

Unfortunately, they’re chiefly considered by Mormons as an unsuccessful civilization for failing to leave behind archeological evidence to attest to their existence. Some detractors note alleged anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, such as the mention of chariots. They argue that Mesoamerican roads were extremely narrow and difficult to traverse, with rope bridges only two to three feet wide, all of which makes chariot usage quite difficult. Um, hello? Ever heard of a bicycle?

Mormons maintain that Nephite culture eventually gave away to the Olmecs and the Mayans, who specialized in mathematics and science, a tradition presumably embraced by modern Mormons, because they’re not too good at history. Their enemies the Lamanites, on the other hand, turned into the type of saggy-breasted dart-blowing specimens you see in off peak hours on National Geographic. You know, between the good stuff. With guns and shit.

Linguistic critics of the Book of Mormon argue that no Native American language is even remotely related to Hebrew, which the Levites allegedly spoke. But Mormon apologists rightly point out that the Levites weren’t the sole ancestors of Mesoamericans, leaving plenty of room for the Atlanteans, Cthulhu, and talking rabbits to further influence indigenous languages.

Chosen folk

According to Mormons, Jesus visited America shortly after his death and ascension into Heaven. While mainstream Christians might laugh, they should remember that Mormons still nodding along to this narrative are likely capable of believing absolutely anything. While there, Jesus finally settled the ancient art-porn debate with his inspired ruling that pornography begins at five articles of clothing or fewer, a definition Mormons keep to this day.

Many Christians ask, “but why would God have come to Joseph Smith, revealing this secret history and giving him the divine gift of translation?” Others wonder “is this article really defending Mormons?” And still others yearn to know, “are you even going to answer any of these questions?”


The burden of belief

The life of a modern Mormon is not an easy one, what with the public ridicule, perpetual threat of attack from Skeletor, and having to spend huge amounts of time with other Mormons, often family members. More conservative Mormons must also wear the near-legendary Mormon underwear, a garment rivaled only by the snood as able to inflict humiliation on the wearer.


How do they cope?

The decision to wear Mormon underwear is the end result of a lengthy cost-benefit evaluation. "Do I look hilarious?" Yes. "Is it a good kind of hilarious?" No. "Does everyone else look hilarious?" Yes. "Will demons consume my genitals otherwise?" Yes. And maybe even inspite of.

In terms of their beliefs in general, most Mormons probably try not to think about the historical inconsistencies, parceling them off in an area of their brain and repressing them so that they never need be confronted. Sort of like the way Kevin Spacey’s character suppressed his homosexuality in American Beauty so that he could live according to society’s expectations of normality. 

The analogy is actually quite telling. Mormonism and American Beauty are both absolutely terrible.

Quick Mormon FAQ

"With polygamy and all those kids, Mormons must get to have a lot of sex, right?"

By Protestant standards, yes. The average Mormon parents have four children over the course of twenty years, which means they have sexual intercourse an average of 0.2 times per annum, and 0.1 times per vaginum.

"What goes on inside the Temple?"

Some believe the Mormons have Elvis, still alive, kept in chains in the innermost sanctum, so that they may use his fat guy sweat to teach cabbages to dance the tango. Most however reject this theory in the face of overwhelming evidence that tango dancing is an innate trait of cabbages which does not need to be taught.

"Is there such thing as a gay Mormon?"

Not once the desert is finished with them!

"What should I say to Mormons who knock on my door?"

It shouldn't concern you, provided you've kept the door padlocked and soundproofed from your neighbors. Knocking is also a sign that they've exhausted themselves from screaming, meaning that they will probably try to reason with you for their release. Ignore it. Experience shows that captured Mormons imprisoned in basements eventually succumb to their incarceration after three weeks, and become willing participants in fertility experiments until rickets inevitably overwhelms their fragile immune systems.

"Where can I get a copy of the Book of Mormon?"

Once they eventually expire, don't feel bad about simply looting them. In fact, don't feel bad at all. In the service of the Lord and all that, eh? If the copy you retrieve has already started to rot, just ask me, I have plenty of spares.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can I get a Witness? Or How to Talk to Atheists

It’s no secret: every Frodologist wants to be Roy Cozy. But thanks to a cosmic accident which means a body can only be inhabited by a single person at a time, and sometimes by a demon if you live in some of the more credulous areas of the Midwest, only Roy Cozy can be Roy Cozy. Today, Roy shares his secrets with you, so that you too can witness according to the Way of the Ass Tear.


1. Scripture. Lots and lots of scripture.

You may have read elsewhere that atheists aren’t easily swayed by scripture and that it’s an ineffective method of communicating. Chances are, if you agree with them, you haven’t quoted enough at them. Always ask yourself, “is this working? Am I getting through?” If the answer is “no,” then the solution is always more scripture.

Atheists pride themselves on their independent thinking. The only way to counter this is to quote so much scripture that your voice becomes like white noise, suppressing the urge to think at all.


2. More scripture

“The fool hath said in is heart, there is no Frodo”* always make an atheist stop and think, as chances are he hasn’t heard it before, or seen it on the side of a bus where he lives, a bus which he probably rides to and from work everyday, having little else to look at but other buses carrying exactly the same sign.

Since the atheist is a skeptical beast, however, always provide him with a scriptural reference, and he’ll be that much more easily tricked. Convinced. Yeah, let’s go with convinced.


3. Q & A

Atheists need to know that they’re sinners before they’ll accept Frodo into their lives. Some think that just because they stole something small or watched some pornography years ago and weren’t immediately smote down by an act of divine retribution, they’ll get away with it. But Frodo has a long memory, and forgets nothing. He’s also sly, like a fox. And when vengeance comes, He will bring it swiftly, like a cheetah. Or a swift.

Dear God, it's hideous!

Engage the sinner in a discussion to reveal the extent of his misdeeds.

Have you ever stolen? Then you’re a thief.

Have you ever lied? Then you’re a fraudster.

Have you ever fornicated? Good for you.

Did you enjoy it? Then you’re an adulterer.

Have you ever acted as a prepubescent teen on a pedestrian 90s TV show with no lasting cultural relevance or quirky cultish fan base? Then you’ll always be an actor. Seriously man, you’ll make it one day. People like you. Honest.


4. Clothe the frontal lobe

Being naked is a sin, so why do we let our brains go unclothed? If we let our frontal lobes wander uninhibited, who knows what absurd conclusions they might reach? That’s why we need to learn to circumnavigate the intellect, just like Columbus would have been remembered for had he done it to the globe, and subdue the brain’s protestations, as Magellan intended to do to the natives had he stopped en route instead of sailing all the way around the world.

There’s a neurological (science jargon for ‘fancy’) instinct that warns, among other things, “putting my hand in a blender might cause me to lose my fingers.” But instinct is a product of evolution, and anything which results from an evil process that never even happened cannot possibly be good.

Instead, you need to get your atheist speaking from the heart. Doubting Samwise is pejoratively remembered in Frodology for failing to trust Gollum, even after going on holiday together. Frodo, on the other hand, enjoined us to follow his example of trusting everyone until they give us seven or eight reasons not to. So who are you going to follow? The Messiah, or the fat guy?


5. Even more scripture

Now seems like as good a time as any to check whether you’re using enough scripture. Please consult this useful flowchart which you can print off and stick in your wallet next to a picture of your kids/your curiously attractive niece/that time you ditched your kids to land a 20lb. marlin off the Keys which you hoped would impress your curiously attractive niece.

Click to make tiny


6. Capital Letters

If they’re still not biting, you should be aware that they might start pecking around for evidence of the truth behind Frodo’s Word. Hello, what’s this? A capital ‘T’?! We wouldn’t call it Truth if it was simply the truth.

Some Frodologists like to use capitals all the time, such as in “OMFF HOW CAN ATHEISTZ B SO STOOPID?” Used properly, this technique gives you that extra edge of authority; conveys a sense of urgency; distracts readers from noticing you haven’t cited a source; and saves you extra trips to the shift key.


7. Dangle something from your fingers. Move it up and down. You’ll feel better as they start to nod along with you.

eah i saw dat movie it kinda sucked tho oh shit wrong window


8. Homosexuality

At this point, a lot of you are probably wondering “why is it called ‘The Way of the Ass Tear’?” Put simply, there’s an old Frodologist anecdote which has it that every time an atheist is saved, a donkey sheds a tear of joy. Now, onto the dangers of sodomy.

Frodo is a beneficent deity, and simple attraction to the same sex isn’t going to condemn a believer. By itself. He of course does not tolerate the premarital sex and kinky clothes that make me feel awkward and uncomfortable when I look at them, and then I start to imagine myself in them, with nipple rings and a leather thong, yeah that might work, no, no!

A useful tactic is to console your gay atheist by pointing out that Frodo hates the sin, is ambivalent about the sinner, and loves the guy trying to put moral distance between himself and the person he’s trying to convince is eternally damned. This brings me conveniently to my last point, which is that your message is Frodo’s message, and Frodo’s message is…


9. Love 

Through fear.


I trust you’ve found this guide helpful. Used effectively, the Way of the Ass Tear can turn that disbelief into undisbelief.


* Please suppress the urge to thrash me with a stick at this point. You know who you are.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Curious Case of Kenneth Ham

The Creation Museum in Kentucky announced with alarm this morning the disappearance of its president, Kenneth Ham. It is unknown where Mr. Ham has gone, or indeed when he was last seen, as colleagues report that an imposter had been coming into work for at least several weeks. Museum employees admit that the subterfuge should not have been so surprising, as Mr. Ham was only growing more apelike in both appearance and rhetoric as the months passed, and the imposter was later revealed to be a middle aged chimpanzee. 

Mr. Ham is one of few humans on the planet not to have evolved from apes, being instead a descendant of the only species created entirely through poetic license and metaphor. The case of Mr. Ham is accordingly a stunning example of convergent evolution, demonstrating successive transformations from H. sapiens to H. ignoramus and finally to costumed Planet of the Apes cast member.

Finding Mr. Ham has been complicated by his goofy 19th Century beard and the amateur Photoshop skills used on his missing person poster

Coworkers became suspicious of the chimpanzee during its email correspondence with biologist PZ Myers and participation in a debate hosted by the BBC. The highly proficient primate set alarm bells ringing when both friends and museum staff began to notice an apparent improvement in Mr. Ham’s coherence. 

Wife Marilyn was stricken with grief at the news of Mr. Ham’s evolution, lamenting “I had no idea he was so sick.”

Initially friends suspected that Mr. Ham had been eaten by one of the museum’s animatronic dinosaurs, which they warn are “very much true to life.” Fears were allayed however when cooler heads noted that the museum is only home to a Tyrannosaurus and other herbivores.

Mr. Ham has long been a divisive figure in Christianity. His founding several years ago of the Answers in Genesis ministry caused controversy when his literalist followers took the name to mean that the rest of the Bible was superfluous. The brief flirtation represented the greatest degree of accord ever achieved with local atheists, before the misconception was lovingly (but violently) corrected.

Many young Earth creationists are unlikely to thank him for evolving into another species, or indeed failing include a hyphen between ‘young’ and ‘Earth’, a careless mistake which could easily lead to witless detractors desperate for jokes capitalizing on the ambiguity by poking fun at the creationist’s own lack of youth.

As investigators still struggle to solve this puzzle, local residents can only wonder whether, like everything else, the answer will turn up in Genesis.

Everything else

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is Heaven Sinking?

Conservative America is gripped with fear following the release of a scientific report which declares that Heaven seems to be gradually losing altitude. Though liberals have denounced the claim as ‘fanciful’ and likely just a right wing conspiracy, Democrat Senate majority leaders came together to assure the nation they would treat the matter with earnest circumspection, concluding to their Republican colleagues with a unanimous ‘how you like me now, bitch?’

The chief cause of the problem seems to be the increasing proportion of fat people in Heaven. It used to be that fatties would go to Hell for their gluttony, but these days scientists warn that they’re all either just big boned or suffering from glandular problems. Consequently, it’s really not their fault, and they deserve to be rewarded for the unfortunate circumstances which have given them a whole range of health problems, from chronic lethargy to epic denial.

Government leaders are split as to the best recourse. When questioned by reporters, one official commented ‘ew, fat people.’ Still, it’s clear that they will have to ask tough questions in order to stop Heaven from its earthward course, and preventing fat people from going there might be a necessary measure. For example, if we ban leopard print, will obesity just go away by itself, or will we drive the problem underground? Can’t we just pawn the problem off on our children’s generation? Or ship the fatties to Canada? Please?

Are you sure? Canada?

In any case, it seems that the Obama administration’s policy of systematically executing America’s fatties has certainly backfired. As an alternative to bailing out the fast food industry, the Simmons-Fonda Act rightly received overwhelming support, and cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were remarkably kept to a minimum. But the government must face the fact that further increasing Heaven’s mass jeopardizes its future, an eventuality which would make centuries of state-sponsored desecularization efforts all for nothing. Right wing news sources report that Obama is nevertheless reticent about changing course, and have fueled rumors that the government always culls the obese in batches of seventy-two.

Meanwhile, Heaven still has minimal support and weak foundations, a situation which hasn’t improved over the years despite the best efforts of fervent believers and their dead counterparts. If Heaven continues to sink, scientists warn that it will eventually end up on the planet’s surface, meaning that people will no longer go anywhere when they die.

Heaven’s architect has already been sent to Hell for His negligence in the construction phase, a banishment which answers the age old question ‘can you still sin in Heaven’ with a definitive ‘if you really fuck up.’ Insiders speculate however that this was not the damned architect’s first mistake.

Though the market certainly isn’t right, it seems that unless the problem improves Heaven will have to be sold. Keen observers worldwide are already taking note by amending the golden rule of real estate from ‘location, location, location,’ to the much snappier ‘no fat chicks.’

Artist’s rendering of proposed solution

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cartoon - "A Vicious Circle"

Cartoons have been a bit thin on the ground recently, so I thought I'd try something new.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gollum the Baptist

From an early age, Gollum loathed water. This unfortunate fact was no less irksome to him despite it sounding exactly like the kind of thing a careless biographer might make up in order to juxtapose it with the shocking revelation that he was born into the River Folk. In the history of appalling sentence constructions shamelessly devised for comic effect, only the disclosure of FDR’s polio on the eve of his first college track meet would be more devastating. And polio’s never funny. 

And Gollum was an angry child river-person-thing. He typically responded to his friends’ taunts with his catchphrase warning “you won’t like me when I’m angry!” Historians believe that Gollum’s perpetual failure to transform into the Incredible Hulk only stoked his humiliation, but his Catwoman costume can’t have helped.

“I kept telling him ‘if they bully you, they’re not your friends’,” remembers Gollum’s mother. “He always defended them, saying how they didn't mean it and they were his friends and they genuinely liked him, and that I didn't know what it was like not being popular, just rambling on with these tedious excuses and never ending run on sentences. I think he got it from his father.”

And then there was the speech impediment.

“It was lisp this and lisp that,” she recalls. “It was so infuriating. When he reached ten and he couldn’t pronounce his esses anymore, I actually started bullying him too. ‘Your sspecial sspaghetti ssure wass ssuper tonight!’  he used to say. I haven’t cooked passta ssince… Damn it!” 

For whom the bell… rings

But it was the incident with the Ring that saw the bullying reach fever pitch and paved Gollum’s path from then on. Moviegoers who saw Peter Jackson’s heavily biased The Return of the King will recall the introductory scene where Gollum strangled his friend Déagol in order to claim the Ring for himself, saying “it’s mine! Give it to me!” What Gollum actually said was “it’s fine, I give it to thee.” That Déagol continued to allow himself to be strangled after receiving the Ring from Gollum is regrettable, but it was his decision and he did know the risks.

By bravely shouldering the burden of the evil Ring, Gollum prevented his kinsfolk from suffering its mental and physical abuses. In effect, he saved them from having to commit the insidious campaign of thievery and brutal murder he would undertake by doing it himself. To them. Gollum then, was something of a Middle Earth Jack Bauer.

“CTU... I have a visual on the Precious. Over”

Instead of thanking him, however, they escalated their bullying. Cynically anointing him Gollum the Baptist, the River People both painfully recalled his fear of water and ridiculed him for being a fat black man who liked to sing on Sundays. Had the Ring’s corrupting influence not already caused him to become a hideously skinny wretch, we like to think this vicious slander would have given him anorexia, and from there, who knows? A record deal, two movies, premature bibliography and signature perfume. One can only guess.

Ring of fire

Gollum is frequently reviled for his alleged interference with Frodo’s mission to destroy the Ring, and yet his deeds deserve another look. After all, it was Gollum who showed Frodo the way to Mordor, when the ominous orange glow on the horizon, fetid smell of rot, and ‘Mordor This Way’ signs couldn’t. That Gollum tracked the Fellowship and pursued Frodo so enthusiastically is thought to be the earliest recognition of Frodo as the Messiah. And while Sam might not have eaten the food that Gollum disposed of in order to frame him, at least Gollum didn’t eat it. And look at him – he’s starving!

Dead ringer

Gollum is nowadays remembered as the Baptist for his anointment of Frodo in the Dead Marshes. Frodologist baptisms are today largely unchanged: stagnant water, a careful shove for the hesitant, and a heaping dose of holiness! If that doesn’t sound like much fun, don’t worry, initiates have no idea they’re about to baptized right up to the moment they’re tearing the riverweeds away from their throats. We’re second only to the Mormons for unwitting baptisms!

In any case, it’s clear that Gollum’s solitary, abject ascetic lifestyle in the caves below the Misty Mountains was a sign of his holiness. He was a prophet for Frodo before prophets were cool, and before anyone had heard of Frodo. With a mission recently dispatched to Mount Doom to recover the specific piece of magma that engulfed Gollum when he plunged to his death, we expect to finally give Gollum the recognition he deserves by worshiping him in as macabre a fashion as possible.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New “Virtue” videogame disappointing players and parents alike

A videogame developer is on the receiving end of considerable criticism after its recent release of Virtue: the Game

Players win the game by being as virtuous as possible, accumulating ‘righteousness points’ through a variety of means, such as treating computer characters compassionately and assaulting homosexuals. The game features an open universe which allows players to explore, and a series of story-based missons, ranging from dropping off a younger brother at soccer practice to bombing abortion clinics.

As you might have guessed, the missions sometimes require the player not to complete them in order to gain righteousness. The developers believe that not being able to complete the missions in order to avoid damnation will add great value to the game, as customers will be “playing it forever.” Virtue also features a novel system that rewards players for not wasting time by playing it.

Within hours of its release, however, Virtue was already being lambasted by players unable to finish the game. One frustrated player called the game “pretty gay,” an accusation which caused the game itself to lose righteousness points and stop working entirely. “I didn’t realize that I couldn’t win without maxing out my character’s Faith stats,” complained another. “I don’t get how god belief is relevant, and it wasn’t in the manual.” The manual itself has attracted criticism, notably for being well over a thousand pages long, its obtuse allusions to game features, and earnest promises of a much better sequel. 

Many potential customers have been disenfranchised by Virtue as it’s currently only available on a single platform, XBOX 360, and Microsoft plans to retain exclusive rights to it. “I don’t even believe in Microsoft,” grumbled one PlayStation owner. “I mean, as a company. I don’t support them. Sorry, that could've been misleading.” Though owners of other systems and non-gamers could techincally acquire Virtue, Microsoft warns that it won't work. For the foreseeable future at least, Virtue will be beyond the reach of anyone else. 

Another player criticized Virtue for its bizarre game play. “I really didn’t get why there were zombies in it. They seemed completely out of place, but all the game literature says they’re integral to the storyline.” The multiplayer function has attracted criticism too, as it only allows married couples to play together, or siblings if the customers are from Arkansas.

For the first time in gaming history, parent groups have actually sided with their children in the condemnation of Virtue. “Unlike previous games, it’s not affecting their behavior at all,” complained a spokeswoman. “My kids have been playing Virtue constantly, and they’re somehow able to distinguish their experiences in the game from those in real life,” she added. “It’s enough to make me want to poke around for someone else to blame.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Roy Cozy reviews Lem Fender’s “The Passion of the Frodo II”

A generic but widely respected, famous scientist, let’s go with Bernoulli, once probably said “atheism is a vile, disgusting abomination against common sense and its filthy practitioners ought never to benefit from my Principle which will one day allow them to fly.” Now that I got that out of my system, let’s get down to business.

Lem Fender’s The Passion of the Frodo II: Back for Mordor is getting a lot of attention from atheists who can’t stand to see Truth at their cinemas, when they’d rather be going to see people fornicating, animals evolving, and other unlikely stories made possible through special effects. But Lem Fender should actually thank those selfish apostates (whom I love), because their antics have knocked the previous number one film out of first place, a film which had been at the top of the list for the better part of two years. Think how outdated its contents must have been!

But those ungrateful atheists (whom I love dearly) could learn a thing or two from The Passion, if only they took time out of their selfishness to be more un…selfish…y. It has a pure, simple message, one of hope and faith, one that atheists could see if only they weren’t blinded by their hatred and hurtful indifference. What is that message?

This film had a maker. It didn’t just spring up out of the ground like a coke can. It was lovingly crafted by someone (who loves you), laboriously labored over with love, until it reached the cutting room and two-thirds of it were casually (but lovingly) tossed aside. Films, like alligeese and contrived examples in general, have creators too.

The most noticeable aspect of Fender’s film is the tender message of love, hope, and faith, and the inspiring vehicle of uninhibited violence he uses to deliver it. Like a French farmer hell bent on making foie gras out of his gagging victims, Fender forces this gentle story of compassion down his audience’s collective throat, their fate as sealed as the cinema’s doors. You might call this his coup de ‘gras’.

Fender simply doesn’t want his audience to forget the depth of Frodo’s love for mankind.

Moving along, - oh, no, we’re not finished with the violence yet. Squeamish audience members should understand that the violence isn’t gratuitous, it has a purpose. The greater the cruelty inflicted on Frodo in the film, the more Fender makes atheists look like heathen ingrates. It’s necessary because Fender, like me, loves atheists so much.

Some critics have questioned the historicity of Frodo’s beating. ‘Historicity’ is a funny word. Let’s move on.

Fender’s motivation for the degree of onscreen brutality is the need to properly convey the depth of Frodo’s sacrifice. “I wanted to make this movie realistic. You can’t have a realistic movie about the supernatural without B-movie levels of gore. If you have miracles on screen, you need to scale up the bloodshed too, or it’s just not realistic. You know, it’s necessary. For the realism.”

Oddly, the other notable aspect of The Passion of the Frodo II that I’ll cover in my review is the satirically convenient allegations of anti-Gondorianism. Superficially there is a degree of what crass people like to call ‘racism’, which they attribute to Fender’s dislike of his high school Gondorian classics teacher, Alfjew J. Jewenstein. But moviegoers wondering why Gondorians are portrayed as a howling, hideous mob should remember that there were no orcs around at that time to be the object of Fender’s evident disgust. It would have been nice, yes, but we can’t just make up history. Is this film anti-Gondorian? No more than Frodology is itself.

In sum, this movie will make you feel like you've been born again. And not the spiritually enlightened, fuzzy evangelical sort of born again. The filthy, visceral, placenta stuck to the bottom of your shoe kind of born again. It's nasty, but it feels so right. Only Frodo could make me feel that way.

This movie is rated R, for religious, and is required watching for all children.