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Comic Strip of the Day: You Gotta Believe!

Let’s start with David Fitzsimmons‘ panel today, because, while he’s not the first to point out that Evangelicals are willing to overlook the entire New Testament and substantial portions of the Old, his depiction of Trump brought something to mind.

When I was younger, and not a whole lot younger, I was always bothered by Exodus 32-34, wherein the Hebrew people have paused at the foot of Mt. Sinai while Moses goes up to confer with the burning bush.

32 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

It struck me as pretty shallow, given all that Moses had already brought them through, that they would lose faith in him, and in their own deity, so quickly.

It also struck me that the next passage should have been Aaron telling them to get a grip, have some faith and perhaps even swinging that staff of his around and knocking some people upside the head.

But he made the Golden Calf and they worshiped it and the difference today is that I don’t know who the Moses might be who will appear with the stone tablets and focus everyone back in on the mission.

And the fact that I found it hard to believe then probably says more about my youthful optimism than about humanity. I’m certainly not nearly so starry-eyed about people these days.

 

Though John Branch does remind us that there are some bright young folks coming to the forefront.

We shouldn’t simply sit back and expect the kids to fix everything, because they are a diverse group despite the prominence of the Parkland crew.

Still, every generation creates its own mythology, and, while not every Boomer backed civil rights and opposed the war, there was enough impetus that the group appeared to rally behind those causes.

And David Hogg just raised enough money to create a billboard reminding Texas voters of what Trump said about Cruz before he began embracing him, so that’s kind of funny and Hogg has also had constructive dialog with gun-rights supporters, while his group has made substantial progress in voter registration, so, while I don’t think he’s Moses, and I know the fascisti hate him, I do think there’s some hope for the future of this country.

 

Though, as Joe Heller notes, those who want to be triggered will be triggered.

This latest bit of delusional idiocy reminds me of 1976, when rightwing faux-Christian loonies managed, without the benefit of social media or even unregulated talk radio, to stir up a tempest over Franco Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth,” which they hadn’t seen or read the script of, but which, they knew, was blasphemous.

They managed to get General Motors to withdraw its sponsorship, but the program aired anyway and has, of course, become a bulwark of Easter TV programming and church video sessions ever since.

 

 

We’ve always lived with a certain level of stupidity. It’s part of the human condition, and the issue is not how to wipe out stupidity but how to keep it out of the driver’s seat.

Preferably without paying the price we paid to slap down the Nazis or to settle whatever the hell the question was in the 30 Years War, since the reason we finally go to war is almost never the actual problem that resulted in all the atrocities.

However, as Patrick Chappatte suggests, we not only have to watch for the stupidity that comes at you straight on, but also at the stupidity which comes indirectly, and, in this case, most likely as a result of ignoring the wisdom of experienced, knowledgeable experts readily available to the president and taking information, instead, from empty-headed blow-dried spokesmodels on silly television programs.

The oft-repeated complaints about how much money we “give” other countries is one of the selfish core idiocies that differentiates those who know how the world works from those who should not be permitted to have any power whatsoever.

And yet here we are, in a race to see how many of our allies we can turn against us before we’ve finished packing the Supreme Court with those who do not support individual freedoms.

Like the Roman Empire, we’re in a contest to see if we explode before we implode, though the net result will be pretty much the same.

 

Juxtaposition of the Cosmos

(Arlo and Janis)

(Boulet)

However, in the spirit of good fun and just to show that there remains some harmless foolishness in the world, presented for your consideration is this pair, and you’ll have to go to Boulet’s page to read the rest of his piece.

Arlo echoes something I’ve said many times, which is that I’d like to live at the East Pole or the West Pole or someplace where it’s always either autumn or spring and I don’t care which.

The answer is San Francisco, despite the people who complain about the occasional dank coldness there and who really belong in San Diego.

The important point, however, is that Arlo’s suggestion does, indeed, summon up some interesting unintended consequences, since I think the only way it would work would be if the Earth were to go around the Sun the way the Moon goes around the Earth, continually showing the same face, and I know that wouldn’t provide the pleasant climate he’s hoping for.

Ask the folks on Venus

Boulet, by contrast, blows right past all the logical issues in order to present things as he by-gawd has determined they are, regardless of alternatives any one of which makes a great deal more sense.

Such that we can combine these into a fable, with the outcome that Arlo’s suspicion that he could be wrong makes him unqualified for leadership, while Boulet’s daffy self-assurance places him on the Emperor’s Throne.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 John Pershing
September/4/2018
@ 3:09 pm

Hey, Mike:

For some enlightenment on Exodus 32-34, get yourself a copy of Reza Aslan’s “God: A Human History”. Fascinating reading IMHO. (Also, you have to read the Torah — er, — Old Testament in a translation from the Hebrew, although Reza has done this for us.)

-jp

#2 Levi Breeks
September/4/2018
@ 3:59 pm

I’ve always been a 1 Timothy 2:12 man, myself.

#3 Mike Peterson
September/4/2018
@ 4:15 pm

I’m more into Deuteronomy 25:11, myself.

#4 Mike Peterson
September/4/2018
@ 4:25 pm

Haven’t read Aslan but looking into reviews, we may be somewhat on the same page — I was going to mention that, at the time of Exodus, the Jews did not consider Jehovah the only god, simply their god, which makes it a little more understandable that they might seek help from another. There’s a big difference between worshiping only your god and worshiping the only god there is, as all three religions of the Book have shown through history.

#5 gezorkin
September/4/2018
@ 9:33 pm

One of the things I’ve wondered about for a while — and don’t quite know how to research — is what, exactly, do we give to other countries.

That is, do we write a check to some country? Do we allocate funds to country x, but there is no check — instead country x gets some military weapons, or a certain amount of wheat or corn or some mix of stuff that may include expired foods and drugs, etc.

I think that it’s probably a long, long running scandal that never gets reported.

#6 Mike Peterson
September/5/2018
@ 3:01 am

Pretty tall order, though someone who had backing and wanted to write a fascinating book could do it. You’d start with what we said we were going to give them, then find out what we actually tried to give them after it was whittled down in the world of budgetary reality, then distinguish between what we actually gave them vs what we gave them in deferred sorts of technical ways, and then get on the ground and find out what arrived.

And then evaluate it in terms of things like whether donating X-number of pallets of rice is a contribution when it draws Y-number of farmers off their land to centralized distribution centers where they cease to contribute to the nation’s ability to feed itself.

Heh.

Let me know what you find! ;-)

#7 TVC
September/5/2018
@ 12:55 pm

Interesting that King would debut two features so close to each other in june DADDY DAZE and then september MACANUDO. I wonder if it had anything to do with the manageement changes?

#8 TVC
September/7/2018
@ 7:44 am

I don’t get it.

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