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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Topic: Eating Celebrities Alive!
    Posted: 09 January 2007 at 10:43am

To tell you just how vulgar American popular culture has become and how difficult it can be for one to be shielded from it, I was recently forcing myself to listen to one of those syndicated, corporate FM radio shows in which talking and (fake-)laughing heads, otherwise known as show “hosts,” were evidently amusing their audience -with the exception, in this case, of at least one- with Howard Stern-inspired forays into mere fetishism, scatology and incest.  I will spare you the details, but it was pure filth.  What’s more, it was offered to Americans during the busiest period of the day, when people are commuting to and from school and work, and was thus guaranteed an audience.  We are repeatedly told that they (the promoters) are “pushing the envelope” and are thereby protecting our “free speech” rights, but I think they are, to use the expression, spitting on our back and calling it rain and are deliberately corrupting the morals of especially the youth.  I don’t think that pornography should be altogether outlawed but neither do I think that it should be perpetually and publicly broadcast to twelve-year-olds in the form of so-called “entertainment.”   

 

One of our American forefathers, the amazing if imperfect Thomas Jefferson, had this grand idea that, by now, Americans would be public-schooled in the Classics and that America, the shining beacon upon the hill, would be a moral and intellectual improvement upon the great Greco-Roman Republics of times past.  Instead, what it seems to me we are witnessing is a potentially universal return not only to empire (think Nero gone global) and its attendant cult of State-worship -that is to say, worship of the State- but also a rise, with a vengeance, of the basest and vilest forms of paganism -a return, in the main and the public domain, to mono-syllabic grunts.  Apollo is losing to Dionysus.

 

Just imagine.  What a different place this America would be if, instead of constantly pushing the “free speech” envelope with pornography, the talking and laughing heads of this country would instead give us public readings of, say, politically revolutionary and “heretical” ideas, including from our own problematic countrymen and women, and real news from, say, Afghanistan, or even New York.  Hey!  Broadcast this!

 

During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, one observer, while noting the increase in her fame and fortune, commented that the wages of sin, in that case, were “high” (instead of “death,” as the Bible says).  At times I have thought, in contrast to the trials of Socrates and again with Thomas Jefferson in mind, that we seem to have arrived at the point where he or she who is willing to contribute the most to the corruption of in this case primarily American youth is not forced to drink hemlock, as Socrates was, but rather is given celebrity status and is hired to host nationally-syndicated radio and television programs.

 

Here, then, is a case in point (and please do note the $ figures):

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16539806/

 

Serv



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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 11 January 2007 at 11:10am

Q:  If you [Servetus] despise America so much, why don’t you just go home?

 

A:  Because I am home, working on home improvement projects.

 

__________________________________________

 

Well, I’m not exactly home at the moment.  I just had to venture out to the mega grocery store and had to walk through that cultural mine field which is otherwise known as the check-out line.  In the words of Ignatius Reiley (Confederacy of Dunces), what an egregious affront to good taste and decency that place is!  Speaking again of mines, I think I might have detonated one and have yet to fully recover.  I might be burning with fever and hallucinating, but …

 

Have you ever noticed that there doesn’t seem to be a grocery store in the entire union that doesn’t sublet its most highly-prized piece of real-estate, the area right there at the check-out stand, to the publishers of tabloids, the soft-core pornographers and the cannibalistic marketers of (visual) celebrity carrion?  Every single magazine, or periodical, on that stand is a reminder to primarily American women of their weight and thus of their physical inadequacy.  The ever-liberating and liberated Cosmopolitan unknowingly (I suspect) and rather funnily parodied itself with a caption “Sexiest thing to do after Sex” and even the otherwise innocuous Reader’s Digest is all weight and diet obsessed.  Ok, America, answer this: how many pounds (or kilos) did Oprah Winfrey lose last week and is one of those two girls with three names, Mary, Kate and Ashley suffering from an eating disorder or once again strung out on blow (cocaine)?

 

What is even more disgusting and therefore in a way attractive, the appeal, after all, of a carnival side-show, and forget the mystery celebrity cellulite guest on the cover which is a mere enticement to look into the paper, is National Enquirer’s gratuitous cover photograph of, among others, the dangerously suctioned, or liposucked, Star Jones.  Thanks for that tasty morsel, National Enquirer (and God help those people who want off that treadmill to find a graceful way off)!

 

Compare, for instance, People (or what I more accurately call Peeple) magazine to National Enquirer.  People, as I see it, of course, and maybe only until I recover from my present condition, essentially promotes the cults of youth (Adonis) and beauty (Aphrodite).  In it, between its covers, those primarily (and, in the end, as we shall see, pitiable) Hollywood clones, or dupes, who have lined up, in mass, to reduce themselves, at a sizeable price and salary, to being little more than life-support systems for porcelain (capped teeth) and silicone (enhanced breasts) are all aglow in the spotlight, all glorious and glamorous in the particulars and held up as models to be emulated.  But notice later, that night, after the party, under the ubiquitous, watchful telephoto lens, or eye, of National Enquirer, those same aspiring idols, on their way down from the altar, are publicly stripped of their façade and are fed, as either live prey or carrion, to the American masses -myself in this case included- who might otherwise prefer to ignore the photographs (but don’t, and instead actually pull my 3.5-strength magnifying reading glasses out for a better look at the details) were they not quite so strategically placed right there at the grocery store check-out line.

 

Now, then, we see People magazine and National Enquirer together, as they are.  They work as two hands of the same cultural (and tutelary) demigod (so to speak).  I am reminded of the old Biblical proverb, but its meaning in this case becomes a bit inverted: with one hand he giveth and with the other he taketh away.” 

 

Signed:

 

The (maybe fever-stricken) Serv, arguably on the mend 

 

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Support our troops (dismiss their Commander in Chief)!




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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 11 January 2007 at 1:48pm

Mr. Servetus,

I am enjoying your rant? on the cultural septic tank you are living in.  As a Canadian I'm afraid I live in a cultural garbage heap right next to a septic tank.  Glad to see some observations (not political) that highlight the depths of degradation we are all fast tumbling in to.

I often shake my head in utter disbelief at how far our North American culture has nose dived in such quick and incredibly disgusting ways.  When I was a child, only one child in my classroom had a working mother (and we all felt sorry and embarrassed for her).  Almost everyone went to (some sort of) church on Sundays.  Females wore dresses.  Males wore hats.  Adults were addressed as Mr., Mrs. or Miss something or other.  Kids played for hours each day outside, without any toys (or technological gadgets), and with out fear from strangers (for the most part). 

I could go on and on but to me it just seems that, well, I know it wasn't perfect at all back then, but compared to today, it was almost a paradise....

Really, I am so sick of seeing teenage (and younger) girls pubic bones I could hurl.  No morals, no ethics, no responsibility for one's own actions.  Seems to me the parents of the last few generations have really failed miserably at their jobs.  Today's kids (and I've worked with plenty of them to know) don't care for anything but their own self gratification.  Sad.

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant along with you.  Do keep it up, I'm enjoying it very much.  Thanks.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2007 at 9:47am

Thank you for identifying, contributing to, and encouraging me in my fever-induced rant, Ummziba.  And yes, a rant it most certainly is.  Everyone is invited to join in, but I especially encourage my Canadian (and Mexican) partners in free trade to sit with us here for a picnic of slickly-packaged corn-syrup solids and phosphates, in acid rain-drenched northern forests, to compare observations, notes, recipes, and the small print on the “contents” label of mega grocery store-bought food.

 

Meanwhile, speaking of acid, or at least of acerbity, across the Atlantic to our right, from the once Great and sovereign Britain, come yet more strains of cultural discontent and yet another rant from the witty, wondrous, if at times arguably off-key and pugnacious Peter Hitchens (not to be confused in this case with his more notorious neo-con and therefore persona non grata brother, Christopher).  He writes, of Great Britain, and apparently, according to his Introduction, loses some friends in the process:

 

“A clear pattern can be seen in each of these [obscenity] trials, that of an [liberal] establishment anxious to relax the rules, sometimes obstructed by the old-fashioned views of Sir Basil Blackwell, of David Sheppard and of middle-class jurors, or of judges brought up in a different tradition.  There is also a struggle evident between common sense, which is almost always conservative, and the desire of the elite to spread its own ideas to the masses.

 

The battle may have been fought over a few books and over the censorship of stage plays … but of course the effects were hugely increased when television, radio and the cinema realized that the restraints were off.  Nakedness, explicit portrayals of the sex act, liberal use of swear-words, ‘frank’ and ‘non-judgemental’ depictions of drug-taking, homosexuality and prostitution were at first tentative, but quickly became so commonplace that they ceased to count as news.  Only a few years before, wondering foreigners such as George Mikes had recounted the repression and restraint of the British, laughing that while other men had mistresses, the British had hot-water bottles, while their wives sheltered from the cold in nightgowns made of tweed.  Now the entire country seemed to be obsessed with staring at naked female chests, swearing and making dirty jokes.  Like the pagans of old, unaffected by climate, the British were now dancing round a giant phallus.  Unlike the pagans theirs was a sterile phallus, disarmed by condoms and pills – the first heathen sexual cult to be based around sterility rather than fertility.

 

 

Serv

 

Ref:  Hitchens, Peter, The Abolition of Britain: from Winston Churchill to Princess Diana, Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2000, ISBN 1-893554-18-X, pp. 218-219

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Quote mariyah Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2007 at 5:37pm

Asalaamu alaikum:

I totally agree with you!

Hmm, time to compost this heap and grow something new. Time to flush this toilet of filth as portrayed by promiscuity and disrespect. I almost fell over the other day when a teacher of a kindergarten class told the five year olds in her class visiting as an adult care center to address the matron (a 90 year old retired professor) by her first name. Yet the nursing staff were told to address this early twentysomething teacher as "Mrs,-----. Not unless she addresses the lady in the wheelchair properly first. I told this woman this also, and she was to address me as Mrs Ruiz and not my first name.

She was speechless.

I was working as a temp. but will not tolerate this indignity to my patients.

My children would have been grounded for a month for behaviour such as hers.

What would you do?

"Every good deed is charity whether you come to your brother's assistance or just greet him with a smile.
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 13 January 2007 at 1:39am
Serv, watch it, you don't want to end up the same way as your name
sake, do you? Mind you, if we all keep going on this eco-unfriendly
decadent downward slide, there won't be any green branches to
place beneath you!

Here in Spain the press and media have been howling about school
bullying, not a new phenomena, but a new buzzword. Children in
state schools treat their teachers the same way they treat their
colleagues: bullying and physically abusing them as the mood
strikes. This total breakdown in the chain of authority is just another
example of the decadence Servetus' rant talks about. Today, children
do not respect their elders neither do they perceive any authority.

Often, the parents of a child who has been punished in school for
misbehaviour or bullying, will attack the teacher too! With examples
like this, what do we expect of our youth?

The problem has begun a debate at parliament level of how to tackle
the generalised feeling of loss of civility in society and a new subject
has been introduced into the (sadly inadequate) Spanish curriculum:
Civil Behaviour. An appointed group of 'specialists' gathered
throughout the summer to devise the curriculum of this new subject.
But in the end, most realise that school can not be an isolated island
of good behaviour when outside, the examples of good and civil
society are almost totally absent: violence incorporated into most
games (especially video/electronic), and one of the highest rates of
gender related violence (more than 68 women died at the hands of
their 'husbands' ex-husbands, or ex-boyfriends or even current
companions last year) and a laissez-faire feeling of 'anything goes',
so long as they don't catch you (no pasa nada si no te cogen- with
apologies to Argentinian readers!).

Spain's gossip industry is probably the most vibrant in Europe with
endless TV programmes related to 'la prensa rosa', which involve
secretly filming public personalities in compromising behaviour,
discussing it endlessly and implicating innocent relatives/friends/
colleagues in scandalous behaviour, in short: the ever popular
human activity of building up idols in order to trash them and drag
them naked and humiliated through the streets where the people
who used to buy their records/watch their movies/read their books
jeer and spit at them ... These programmes invariably have the same
format: participating gossip queens (of both sexes) shouting each
other down and disagreeing on vital points such as who kissed who
first. The spectacle, Serve, is like the National Enquirer style rags you
mention, in motion.

This decadence in society I believe began in the post-1960s when
Victorian attitudes and practises towards sex were totally broken
down, followed by the 'liberation' of women (only to become
enslaved by the workplace) and the pressure of the liberated market
to remove women from their traditional roles through economic
pressure: how many stable married couples do you know where one
of them can afford to remain at home? Nowadays our behaviour is
governed by the simple question; can we afford it?

The decade of the 80s saw the rise of Greed as a respectable goal
and means in itself, establishing itself as an acceptable 'asset' to
success. The decade of the 90s: the search for meaning in a life we
had intentionally or unintentionally, proven meaningless and almost
totally 'devalued'.

The Brave New Century, so far, is turning out exactly as one should
expect after so long dismantling the building blocks of decent civil
society: utter decadence, wars, economic disruption and civil unrest.
And not necessarily in that order ...
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Quote Sign*Reader Replybullet Posted: 13 January 2007 at 12:32pm
Duende
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Here goes my move plan to Spain down the drain!


Kismet Domino: Faith/Courage/Liberty/Abundance/Selfishness/Immorality/Apathy/Bondage or extinction.
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 15 January 2007 at 5:41pm

I am a cliché!  I am now bemoaning the loss of the very walls I spent most of my early adult life (naturally in the ultra-hip underground) tearing down.

 

I realized this weekend, when I saw the audience at a Lawrence Welk television program -a repeat of a program originally broadcast in the ‘70’s- that, in spite of how wholesome everyone appeared, I probably wouldn’t like to live life in an orange leisure-suit dancing a perpetual polka either.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere between Lawrence Welk and Cannibal Corpse and I intend to find it!

 

At any rate, good points, Maryah, and thanks for the “heads up,” Duende.  This time around I have absolutely no intention of carrying on a too lively or stubborn correspondence with John Calvin!

 

Signed:

Miguel Serveto II (aka Serv)

________________________________

 

The fiercest defenders of the facial veil are Hollywood celebrities (immediately after their plastic surgery and before their bruises have healed).  

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