Archive for December, 2009

Did Glenn Beck “glenn beck” Glenn Beck?

December 29, 2009

The internet is a vast and lonely place. Websites come into existence, pour out their information, then wink out, sources forever lost. But the internet, like the universe, is a large place.

So it was with shock and horror that I noticed “glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com” had gone down. The link was broken (and still is).

Thankfully, I only had to ask myself “DID Glenn Beck rape and murder a young girl in 1990?”, and my shocked horror was quickly replaced, by mellow relief (also because you can just use GB1990.com instead). But the reason for the minor change in url, even better.

It seems that despite having no case, appealing to an international court, and what could have been some furious crying, Glenn Beck could not “glenn beck” the meme (by way of website) which had him deploying his lawyers en mass. After winning the case, domain owner Issac Eiland-Hall sent Beck a letter with a delicious finishing move: he gave him the user/pass to the site which he fought so hard to get taken down with his silly lawsuit.

Well done, Issac (and his awesome lawyer Marc Randazza). Satire superslam complete, first amendment defended, intenet meme now dipped in gold. The actual website domain? Not really all that important. I think “didglennbeckrapeandmurderayounggirlin1990.com” is just as funny as “glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com” was, (though GB1990.com is better still) and even more on point, too. ‘Cause we don’t know if he, in fact, did do that. I’m not saying he did it, but he certainly hasn’t denied doing it.

But the point isn’t about the actual domain, its that Glenn Beck can’t cry defamation for searing satire, just because he doesn’t like it.

2009’s Misinformer of the Year leans on the 1st Amendment almost every time he opens his mouth on TV. *I* don’t like him, but *I* don’t own a media network, so on he goes, spreading his own particular brand of weird right-wing lunacy. Such is free speech in this country. Its a wonderful thing, even if we have to live with people like Beck being allowed on TV as a consequence.

But for Beck to try to reach around the first amendment, while standing behind it shows just how much we really do need to hear him deny that he raped and murdered that young girl in 1990. You can do it at any time, Beck.

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The Hovind Hundred (and one)!

December 10, 2009

Oh no! “Dr” Kent Hovind “Ph.D” is probably too busy (in prison for tax evasion and fraud) to do much about his crappy dissertation entering public domain. In the spirit of the great Fred Clark at slacktivist, I think it may be worth checking out the rocket that launched “Dr” Kent Hovind to his intellectual orbit.

Fred Clark has been wading though the “Left Behind” rapture novels, taking his time to unpack the awfulness page by page, and I want to give Kent’s dissertation a similar airing-out with this series of posts. His “Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education — A Project Submitted to Dr. Wayne Knight” (nice title) is a hardly comparable to the quivering theological madness that animates LeHaye and Jenkins in their awful books, but it is still worth taking a good long skeptical look at.

Both Hovind and L&J are chock full of strange, American-grown evangelical Christian fundamentalism, but Hovind is no premillennial dispensationalist. Hovind didn’t write an 11 novel fiction series to “prove” his wacky beliefs right, but at least LeHaye and Jenkins don’t try to pass their “literal” reading of the bible off as science in the classroom.

In any case, the exercise of slowly pulling apart something terrible should (might) be worth the effort for three reasons. One, to show what can pass for scholarship at unaccredited diploma mills. I have heard Hovind make a fuss over people calling out his “Ph.D”. “So what if its an unaccredited college?”, he says. Well, Hovind can now serve as his own refutation to that question.

Second, this is a chance to get a first-hand glimpse of the mind of someone dedicated to young-earth creationism. In amidst the paragraphs of endlessly repeated assertions, there may well be a few interesting and revealing thoughts, intentional or not, as to how he thinks. Even if turns out to be all dreck, its dreck straight from the source, and I like to sample my bullshit pure when possible.

Third, it will be pretty funny. Not so much for his kooky, young-earth creationist beliefs, out there they may be. Hovind, like most creationists, is piously unoriginal. It is often a point of pride to toe that young-earth line, no matter how much intellectual artillery is shelling it. But when Hovind plays the part of the apologist, or says almost anything about science — that’ll have some funny shit. I wonder how many factual errors he can pack into 101 pages? Can he keep up with the likes of Deepak Chopra for gibbering nonsense aped as science? I’ll try to compile a list and keep track as I go, so some kind of lies errors/page ratio can be found.

To give a small idea of where this Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education will be taking us, I will quote the last four sentences of this 101 page document. The last paragraph is five sentences, so this is our closing gesture, the final flourish. I don’t want to take Hovind out of context, the first sentence of the closing paragraph is “These honest questions deserve an honest answer.” He is referring to a raft of questions about evidence for a young earth that preceedes it. But here it is, Hovind’s parting shot:

I believe we have been lied to about the age of the earth. Satan, the father of all lies, has come up with this one to make a fool of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 19:4 that the creation of Adam and Eve was the beginning. I believe Jesus was right.

See? Look at how tight, how concentrated, how streamlined those last 4 sentences are. Nonsense, religious nonsense, bible quote, affirmation of faith, DONE.  Now for the rest of it.