Friday, May 25, 2007

Job Description

One of Bob's little end of the semester reports was about what i want to do when i grow up (physically) and how to get there. it was quite interesting. in researching this i met a lot of interesting people (through the internet) and, well, didn't realy go anywhere, but met a lot of interesting people. for those of you who don't know Bob plans on being a police officer, SWAT unit specificly, but before i can do that i will be a simple street cop for at least 5 years. i'm pretty sure that's what i want to do. the choice has realy been law enforcement or military for me, and since i can't join the army due to some phisical restrictions i am going with a law enforcement career. i contacted some SWAt team members and read some articles they wrote, and they all ended up pointing to the same things: hard work, not enough pay, amazingly rewarding. depending on the area a SWAT team may be called in once every week or so for drug busts, hostage standoffs and any dangerous situation. of these the most rewarding is said to be hostage standoffs, in which the officers get to see first-hand the person they saved. the most obvious problem with this is, of course, the mortality rate. one video that i found especialy moving follows below. i should warn you it is extremely graphic, lots of real-life shootouts and deaths, although all the officers survived.

this is the only problem with becoming a police officer. these officers are hardly remembered and appreciated. many people dislike the police and most don't appreciate what they do (that being keeping those perps from killing you or me), they see them as being around to spoil parties and give speeding tickets. those that do get attention are the ones the media portrays as dirty cops, regardless of whether they are or not. such is the case with a New Jersey man shot by an officer after aiming a high-powered rifle at him. as the man lifted the rifle to his shouolder the officer fired and killed him. he was portrayed as a monster who went around strangling kittens and shooting sweet little men in wheelchairs. the same goes for those who shoot armed children. when one is on the wrong end of a gun one does not stop to think "oh, it's a child behind that loaded weapon, i'd better let him shoot me." the police do far more for us than we realize. every officer in that video took that bullet for you and every other defenceless citizen out there.

okay, ibtter angry-at-society rant over now.

just a couple links to police/SWAT vids: (graphic violence) (not quite as graphic violence and a fat guy) (not that bad)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Evangelical Rant!

As some of you may or may not know I am a big fan of the TV show "Malcolm in the middle." some parts of it *cough*olderbrother*cough* remind me very much of my life. But while watching it the other night one specific part reminded me of something.

Reese hands off a huge stack of video games to a kid for $5

Malcolm: "Reese, what are you doing?"
Reese: "selling my material possessions"
M: "why?"
R: "because Brother Billy told me to"
M: "Brother billy? you mean that nut who rides around on the school bus handing out pamphlets?"
R: "it's called the manifesto and he's not a nut if you stop and listen to him. he and his followers have this awesome compound in Oregon where we're going to live off the land."
M: "You're going off with this guy?"
R: "don't worry, it's totaly safe! they have guard dogs, watch towers-"
M: "do mom and dad know about this?"
R: "No and you can't tell them. Brother Billy says the have negitive energy and bad karma."
M: "you're talking about joining a cult are you nuts?"
R: "Brother Billy doesn't talk to me like that, he makes me feel good about myself."
M: "It's called brainwashing Reese!"
R: "my name isn't Reese anymore."
M: "then...what is it?"
Reese stops, ponders,
R: "I don't know but it isn't Reese. now if you'll excuse me i have manifestos to distribute."

Or watch THE CLIP starting at 6:07 and ending at 7:07

That is pretty much how it goes in evangelical churches. You have to sell all your material possessions and go megachurch fulltime. There’s another "believer" who needs to live with you? You can't deny, it's "ungodly" and you will be shunned. the only way to get your rep back is to convert someone or make a huge sacrifice "for the lord." they don't seem to realize that in the Christian faith we believe that Christ already made the sacrifice so they don't have to go live in a hole in the ground and act like a martyr. But they do. And if you don't there must be something wrong with you.
another thing about that clip is the "manifestos" which in Fundimentalish translates to "chick tracts" those hideous little things you find in the copy of TIME at the Dentist's office or hidden in the candy in a gas station. Those are the evil little things that proclaim "a man once saw hell with his own eyes!" and "D&D is satanic!" and all the nonsensical crap like that. They must distribute them in annoying places or...I don't know...they shrivel up and die.
The "compound in Oregon" is just like a megachurch. You can't leave, you can't get in if you're not "saved" but instead of Oregon it's in California. Always in California. Stupid California.
the part about him not speaking to his mom and dad is evangelicalism exactly. i have no idea how many times i have talked to one of my fundamentalist friends and when a non-christian relative or friend enters the discussion they say "oh, but we don't see them much. they aren't Christian."
I will not even mention the whole thing about the "brother Billy makes me feel good about myself" line.

The thing that really caught my attention when I saw this part of the show was when Reese refers to "brother Billy." some of you may remember my somewhat popular post "raise my hands and sway" about the evangelical "retreat" I went to.
As I watched the TV he said the words "Brother Billy" my memory clicked and I remembered something. The last ten minutes or so that I was there was some moron up on stage declaring that "I have conclusive proof that the end-times will come in my lifetime! Amen?" there followed, of course a rather stoned sounding "amen" in response. This was one of those many times when, while bob was around evangelicals, he had a very hard time not standing up and shouting "No you do not you dim-witted slackjawed buffoon!” Jesus said "only my father in heaven knows the day" and so you cannot know for certain.
I also had a strange impulse to run up on stage and beat him over the head with one of the many electric guitars present (EVERYONE in Calvary Chapel plays guitar it's another one of the requirements).
But when I went home and thought about it I just felt sorry for the guy. People like that are so sad and scared and hopeless that they convince themselves that because of that Jesus must be coming back soon. "Signs" you see and "prophecies" you listen to will make no difference, God will do as he will and there's nothing we can do to hurry Him along, and nothing we can do to predict.
I remember when I was a very little kid and the first "Left Behind" (in my way of thinking "left butt-cheek") book came out. Our babysitter was very into it, and though we were still in our terrible Evangelical days I still didn't get it.
"What is that?" I asked him.
His reply was "the future."
When he set it down to go make us dinner I picked it up and read the back, though I had to skip a few words. I had heard the end-times thing explained to me before and even at that age I found it completely ridiculous.
I find this a good time to re-link to this