Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey, if you are a priest.....try not to have sex with kids.

UPDATED AGAIN!!!  4/3/10
This is a story that will not and should not go away. The pressure from the media is not as great as it should be, but at least some news sources are not letting the Pope, the Vatican, and the Catholic Church off the hook. I find it revolting that Catholics all over the world are not cutting off their tithes and demanding that their leadership come clean and agree to make public and prosecute ANYONE (Pope Benedict included) who was involved in molestation, coercion, or the cover up of these despicable crimes against children. If we can't trust the top of the church to come clean, why are they worthy of relevance? Why are they worthy of your hard earned money? Why are they worthy of an iota of respect? Every time that there is a social crises on this planet, the Vatican has a comment. Oddly (and sadly) enough, the Vatican remains silent on the pedophilia charges. 
There has to eventually be line that can't be crossed by religion. I hear all about how the religious need to be respected, supported, and given a favored status by our government. Well, that's all good and fine, but a priest raping a child is NOT part of the deal. At that point, you deserve punishment and to be called out. If there is a God, I don't think raping children is something that would be on the Holy To Do List. Check out these links.....get pissed about this. Send an email to the Pope. Will it do any good? Probably not. But if enough people in the world are outraged and demanding answers, this thing won't be swept under the rug!

The Pope's Email:
The Vatican Will Not Be Intimidated! 

Vaticans sex abuse hotline, melts down!!! 

Scandal going global! 

*updates in RED*

Louisville priest sexually abuses a child....go figure 
 click the link above for the story

For those interested, there is an excellent documentary called "Deliver Us From Evil", and it outlines how the church leadership ignored a California priests child abuse for years. They even moved him to different churches every time a new allegation was brought forth. You can read more about the content of the documentary at the links below. If you have Netflix, the documentary is available.

IMDB: Deliver Us From Evil

Amazon: Deliver Us From Evil

There doesn't seem to be a week that goes by without my having to hear about sexual abuse on children. Most of the coverage seems to center around priests and more precisely, Catholic priests. I don't know if there is anything a human being could do that is worse than harming a child.

Why is it so prevalent? And yes, 4% of 110,000 priests that were found to be abusers (between 1950 and 2002) is a large number, no matter how much damage control is done. One child being abused by one priest is one too many. These people are in a position of trust and if there is any place that SHOULD be safe for kids, it's around Christians, right? Especially Christians who maintain a high place in the church.

Obviously, it's a mental illness. Nobody would get into the priesthood or become a pastor with the intent of getting to molest least I really hope nobody has. So, I don't want to be unfair by not acknowledging the mental illness aspect. Before the media caught on and before children felt safe to really come out in the open and talk about the abuse, it got very little attention from the church itself....and by church, I mean the Catholic church (although Catholics are hardly alone in this). Priests when accused were simply moved to another city and there many of them would go right on with the abuse. For decades (and probably centuries) abuse was basically hidden by Rome. We had mentally ill clergy buggering kids and Rome did all they could to hide it and turn away from serious investigation, punishment, or rehabilitation. So, the question I have is; How in the hell is there still a Vatican, a Pope, or any Catholic hierarchy remaining?

The whole operation should have been dismantled and thrown on to the scrap heap. I'm not talking about the rank and file Catholic. I'm talking about the leadership and the top of the organization. I pretty much know the answer to my question and the answer is power. The church is so powerful, that it can pretty much get away with anything. Hell, the chirpings of the Pope has been known to turn elections, cause riots, and stymie scientific study. Why does anyone put any kind of trust or faith into an institution that has allowed so much pain and suffering to go on without addressing it? All one has to do is research the Dark Ages and read about all the horror that the church caused, not to mention holding back advances in medicine and other sciences, for over 1,000 years. If, in modern times, the Catholic church would cover up sexual abuse of children, what won't they hide? There is absolutely no reason to have respect for any of the governing bodies of the Catholic church. It's 2010 and it's time we moved on from such things.

Is there any doubt that God is rolling over in his grave? A large number of his representatives harming children? Well, anyone with the good sense to learn about the Inquistions, Crusades, Jewish history, and Islamic fundamentalism and its' origins, knows that abuse, torture, and killing is simply par for the course when it comes to religion. But this is the modern age and the fact that this kind of thing is happening to children to this day is revolting and the fact that there is really very little in the way of outrage over this is almost as revolting.

Just so nobody thinks I am bitching without a solution, here is something that may help.......let priests have sex and get married, without it being a sin against a God who people still fear is wagging his finger at them from a few thousand years ago. Sex is a natural part of the human life. It's is INSANE to deny that to any consenting adults. Heaven forbid that you spank the monkey once in awhile to relax your mind or ease tension. No.....wouldn't want to spill any "seed" now would we? For crying out loud.......just think about what people (and maybe yourself) believe sometimes. It's ignorant, out dated, and shameful to rely on pretty much anything handed down by Catholic hierarchy as having any sort of value to modern society.

Some links for those interested in being pissed off or enlightened......

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stoner Movies Galore!

I love movies. No secret there. But what most people don't know is how much I love "stoner" movies. Cheech and Chong made careers and lots of money out of depicting what societies idea of who pot smokers are. Anyone who knows more than 10 people probably knows a pot smoker and I'm pretty sure they are not anything like Cheech and Chong, although I wish they all were! The stereotype of the stoner is really funny and the stoners I know are funny. So, why shouldn't movies about them make us laugh? That's one well that Hollywood has been hot and cold about dipping into.

The 1960's gave us quite a bit, both good and bad. Free love...bad idea. Sending more troops into Vietnam.....bad idea. The civil rights movement.....good idea. Hippies.....not sure they were a great idea, but they paved the way for us to be able to laugh for the past few decades.

For some time the stoner film was pretty much aimed at a general audience. They were made to amuse people who didn't smoke pot as much as people who did. The over the top situations and unrealistic depictions of pot smokers was easy to laugh at. But, were Cheech and Chong really representative of people who use marijuana? Of course not. But that's what many people, who were not steeped in that culture thought. Cheech and Chong used that to their advantage and are now cultural icons, with such hilarious films as "Nice Dreams" and "Up In Smoke" to their credit.

As time wore on past the 1970's and early 1980's, the stoner movie kind of went into hiding, other than the Cameron Crowe's great "Fast Times At Ridgemont High". We were right in the middle of "Just Say No" and Hollywood was really concentrating on teen comedies, science fiction, and buddy cop films.

But, the 90's rolled around and marijuana was going more and more mainstream and not considered (by the general populous anyway) a hard drug. So, stoners in movies started making a comeback. Some of this was on the shoulders of the rap music genre, which has a strong like to cannabis use. The 90's unloaded a bevy of marijuana laced films that have become classics, such as ; Ice Cube's "Friday", Dazed and Confused, Half Baked, The Stoned Age, and the granddaddy of ALL stoner films, "The Big Lebowski", as created by the Coen Brothers. As the new millenium approached, marijuana was making a comeback in our pop culture.

The 2000's have unleashed some hilarious takes on marijuana use by both teens and adults. It's apparent by the shift of society that pot use is becoming more and more acceptable. It's safer than either cigarettes or alcohol, and is starting to be seen as a very real alternative to synthetic medicines. To be blunt; pot is now mainstream and surging towards medical legality.  Weed movies kicked off the 21st century with Todd Phillips "Road Trip", Kevin Smith's "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back", "Super Troopers" from Broken Lizard (not a movie I recommend, but for some reason, most of my friends love this film)and "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle". As we kept moving towards 2010, more and more films (and TV shows) about marijuana use were being produced. In the last few years, the most memorable films to be watched with a 420 slant are "Smiley Face" starring the brilliantly casted Anna Farris, and "Grandma's Boy" (which stars some of the supporting members of Adam Sandler films).Increasingly, stoner movies were still being marketed to general audiences, but more and more little "in jokes" are put in. Lots of short scenes meant to get a nod, wink, and a chuckle out of those who are high and watching the movie. You know, a little tip o' the cap to the people who inspire the on screen exploits!

There are two films made recently that really standout as great stoner movies. Both include influence from Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. The two films....."Knocked Up" and "Pineapple Express". "Knocked Up" is simply a great film about a goofy, pothead who hooks up with a beautiful television host in a drunken roll in the hay. As to be faithful to the name of the film, the girl winds up pregnant and having to face the music. She is exposed to a whole new world, where grown men sit around watching movies, smoking herb, and doing as little work as possible. The film has a really sweet sensibility about it and is as entertaining a comedy as I have seen in quite a long time. The cream of the crop in my humble opinion is "Pineapple Express". The cast is top notch (Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole, and Danny McBride) and the film goes beyond comedy and into buddy action flick territory.

The fatty boom batty of all weed films has to be the Coen Brothers, "The Big Lebowski". Jeffrey Lebowski, aka The Dude, is an aging hippy who is just trying to get by in life by smoking, drinking white russians, and bowling. When he is mistaken for another, more prominent and rich, Jeffrey Lebowski, his entire laid back lifestyle gets turned upside down as he gets involved in kidnapping, nihilistic fueding and the politics of a local bowling league. All ways the laid back fella, The Dude suddenly finds himself becoming uptight, worried, and a shell of his former hippy self, with the help of Walter, his Vietnam vet bowling buddy. This is simply as good as it gets, in regards to quick dialogue, over the top antics, and surreal visuals. A must see movie, for ANY person who says they love film.

Stoner movies are lots of fun to watch because you know they are not going to take themselves too seriously. The characters in many of these films are put into unrealistic situations and really do stay true to their lack of sensibility and clarity, due to being high. The goofiness makes it fun! So, if you are in the mood for a good laugh at the expense of some burners, check out some of the films on my "Best Of" list!

Top 5 Stoner Films.....EVER!!!

5)Smiley Face


3)Up In Smoke

2)Knocked Up

1)Pineapple Express


The Big Lebowski

Honorable Mention: Nice Dreams, Dazed & Confused, Next Friday, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Grandma's Boy

The NCAA Tournament

I'm a lifelong Louisville Cardinals fan. I rooted for the Kentucky Wildcats too for awhile in my youth. Living in the area I do (Louisville, Ky) almost forces one to follow college basketball. My favorite sport has always been baseball, but there is something about the NCAA basketball tournament that gets me interested in more than just the local teams. That's true for a large multitude of people, all around the country, I assume. 

What has been dubbed "bracketology" has now become a tremendous part of sports culture. People who would very loosely call themselves sports fans, even get interested enough to take a shot at predicting how the tournament will play out. College basketball has something special going on and I hope they don't water it down by going to 96 teams from the current 64 (or 65 if you count the play-in game). This time of year gives teams that are pretty far down the pecking order in basketballs elite a chance at having a legend making performance. Northern Iowa, for example, has made their mark on basketball history by knocking off the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the second round this season. Northern Iowa may not make the tournament again for 10 years, but this is a win that will be talked about for decades!

My Cardinals bowed out early, as I expected they would. So, I really don't have much of a rooting interest in the tournament any longer, but I believe the best teams remaining are Kentucky, Duke, West Virginia, and Kansas State. With Kansas out of the way, I think Tennessee may have a real shot at getting to the Final Four. Enjoy the rest of the tournament and may your brackets remain steady and true!