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  • By John Patterson

    It’s not every day we see a movie whose main characters declare violent war on their own gods, and then triumphantly destroy them. It sounds like something out of mid-period Ingmar Bergman or […]

    • “One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.”

      ~ Henry Louis Mencken 1880-09-12 1956-01-29

    • Why one would want to associate atheism with being raunchy escapes me.

    • david.graf.589 #2
      Sep 7, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Why one would want to associate atheism with being raunchy escapes me.

      It’s Hollywood – the home of sensationalism and fantasy, – where anything which shocks audiences and encourages viewing or gossip, is good for sales promotions!

      Associating Bible-Bashing Christianity, or Catholicism with being raunchy, would probably go down less well with many American audiences!

    • sex-filled, scatological and foul-mouthed CGI

      Just like South Park, which still (!) manages to be the most moral program on US TV/cable.

      You expect (because you’ve been told) that this can never be a place where morality and self realisation thrives. This base and distasteful part of yourself is proof of your fallen nature, an idea still psychologically bought into by many atheists especially American atheists.

      Europe and even the UK have traditions of vulgarity and the bawdy that makes us more accepting.

      The narrative device is the shock that this which you thought the moral outrage is nothing like this other deep and cutting outrage.

      Adolescent humour engages adolescents, who most often get it. In the midst of their (type of) anarchy is reason and insight.

      John Oliver has been learning this lesson.

    • an idea still psychologically bought into by many atheists especially American atheists.

      should read

      an idea still psychologically bought into by too many atheists especially American atheists.

    • Don’t even get me started on “follywood”. If there was anymore sex or violence in the modern incarnation of visual entertainment, people would either orgasm or kill the person next to them within the first few minutes of every showing. It is laughable how paltry, demeaning and boring our movies, music and television have become. I turned off cable six or seven years ago and stopped watching the news around the same time. I wonder if the juvenile menu of Hollywood productions is an intentional denigration or just a reflection of audience preferences. As for the underlying messages in the dialogue, I am not sure anybody gets it anyway. The hero is always whoever kills the most, kills last or has sex with the other characters. Whether or not he or she is atheist or a fundamentalist is irrelevant.

    • Jack #9

      I only disagree with every sentence you wrote, except the one about “narrative device” and “moral outrage” which I could not dissect and understand.

      I’ll try and parse that for you later. I do rather adopt a number of view points. First I’d like to ask two questions, so I can range my answers better.

      sex-filled, scatological and foul-mouthed

      And the complaint is? (I will assume the complaint will excuse the likes of Jonathan Swift or Hogarth.)

      What is the most actively moralising program on US TV in your opinion?

    • Jack,

      Ah! Maybe this..

      “This base and distasteful part of yourself” – is quite insulting and inappropriate.

      is because I suffered from a surfeit of oneness once. I often lapsed into the faux polite locution of saying “one” meaning everyone, including you and me. So-

      “One expects (because one’s been told) that this can never be a place where morality and self realisation thrives. This base and distasteful part of oneself is proof of one’s fallen nature, an idea still psychologically bought into by many atheists especially American atheists.”

      has its pretension reduced by the locution “you” replacing “one”.

      The “narrative device” is to put ideas with real moral heft amongst what the po-faced falsely deem immoral. The gold amongst the dross. The dissolute grow up a bit.

      I’d still welcome your answers.

    • Jack,

      Thanks for your tolerance. I am somewhat trapped by that “supercilious sophistication”. As a stammering young teen I discovered Latin and my vocabulary tripled using the etymological trick. Ordinary words that I had problems with get substituted by fancy others. My mind just does it now and I find it easier to go with the flow than fight it. I do though love the opportunity to use words nicely. Precision and poetry are delightful, however appearing a twat is fairly common. No longer was I beaten up for being a stammerer, but for being a confident dick.

      Speaking of which,

      sex-filled, scatological and foul-mouthed

      What is the problem?

      What program is more moral than SP? and

      Why is American mainstream culture so at ease with violence yet so body phobic, so Beavis and Buthead snickery about the physical?

    • Sorry Jack,

      That doesn’t come close to an answer to the three questions. Just assertions of “class” and “low-class”

      Only connect.

      John Oliver connects.

      http://time.com/3674807/john-oliver-net-neutrality-civil-forfeiture-miss-america/

      John Oliver is foul mouthed.

      Just one question then…

      What TV show is more moral than SP?

    • Sorry to come back to this, Jack.

      You answered nothing at all. What is the problem of sex? Specifically. What is the problem with it in say South Park (at least a program we may both have seen)? Does it promote immorality? Or does it talk about it too much? Or does it, amongst other things, assert society is astonishingly fucked up and hypocritical, valuing a sexual prissiness (for instance) over fighting actual evils?

    • Jack

      It makes me uncomfortable that you have such a narrow view of what an atheist should be. Am I to be excluded next from your version and club? A relatively uneducated working class immigrant that has seen his sons learn more about how to use their minds from SP and Family Guy than anything else that has been thrown at them. They learned more sitting about watching this stuff with friends their own age although I asked some questions to make sure they understood what they were watching. Now with both in their twenties in great jobs, they ask me the same sort of questions to be sure I understood or didn’t miss a certain joke link. I sometimes do miss a few and understand that they have broadened their understanding by the group think with their mates. It’s been good to watch them grow.

    • Jack #14
      Sep 13, 2016 at 4:57 am

      I am reminded of a very, very old cartoon strip called Li’l Abner, in which Granny said: “of course good is better than evil, cause it’s nicer.”

      If you are looking for humour and intellectual tongue in cheek science content in a cartoon, try Wile E Coyote!
      A beautiful image of over-confidence!

    • Defining vulgarity requires a definition of what is inoffensive. As Jack points out,

      America is messed up. Between its judeo-christian heritage, Queen
      Victoria, hippies, and today’s shows, she may never know what to think
      about sex , love, and morality.

      I would only modify the above statement removing the reference to “today’s shows” and “hippies” to come to a quick and relatively accurate description of the shifting sands that created the current American sense of what is appropriate. Vulgarity only exists in relation to the inoffensive, and considering their massively biased roots I am relieved that the old pillars of acceptable are starting to give way.

      Thankfully one of the effects of the explosion in media delivery systems over the last two decades is an enormous expansion in the points-of-view that find their way into the public square. My sons, both 21, grew up watching shows that never would have come close to finding their way onto the popular media when I was a kid. As a result they have extremely well-tuned BS filters, an easy sense of humor, and the commendable habit of doing a quick search about any person or statement they find intriguing.

    • My kids steered me to these “offensive” shows specifically because they are politically savvy and engaged (the shows and my kids). They (my kids) certainly want also to demonstrate a more reasoned morality, less reactive and more considered… I find my kids more moral than I was as a late sixties hippy. I find them astonishingly astute, very slow to take offensive. Less naive. They are resilient.

      They are exemplars of what I have always urged in other areas. Try not to take offense much more than trying not to give it. This makes a safe, tolerant world.

    • david.graf.589#2 and Alan4disussion#3

      “Why one would want to associate atheism with being raunchy escapes me.”

      There’s the money issue pointed out by Alan: “Associating Bible-Bashing Christianity, or Catholicism with being raunchy, would probably go down less well with many American audiences!”

      But on a more basic level, if you have someone who is totally uptight because the religious views they have been indoctrinated – brainwashed – with make anything raunchy – more widely, “fun” – something that will cause them to fry in hell, atheism is anathema to them, so they project all of their brutally repressed desires (which may have gotten to be somewhat perverse by the repression) on this other view. Atheists are bad, ’cause they’re not like me, so that must mean that they do all of these bad things I’ve been warned against (and way deep down under the pile of repression a thin voice squeaks “and that I’d just love to try!”). The enormously enlarged temptation to do things precisely because they’re forbidden – and occasionally the realization upon having “given in to temptation” that, well – all that furor against something so pathetic??? What was that all about, get a life!