Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Observations of a Misanthrope

CD's in Play: Boards of Canada, The Campfire Headphase and Music Has the Right to Children. Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul.

News From the Stupid Side of Life

Many people chide me over my misanthropic tendencies and perhaps they have a point. I'd love for them to have a point. I would love to believe that my assessment of human nature is essentially wrong. However, when I come across a story like this one - *link* - it just seems to reaffirm my basic lack of faith in humanity's ability to progress beyond its own childhood. Why must people be so bloody petty? It's been one of those days and I just finished watching a show on History about Freud and Hitler, the decline of the best ideals of the Enlightenment and the rise of the Irrational Man.

A Brief Word on the Irrational Age

This is the age of the Irrational Human, an age of adversity and conflict, perhaps the end of civilization as we know it - if not the approach of its end altogether. I'm not a big fan of the Enlightenment as a whole but Fascism smashed the best aspects of the Enlightenment and helped along a necrotic process that has been rotting the foundations of our society, gradually and steadily.
I am not so naïve as to believe that we encountered anything remotely close to the ideal civilization at any point of our shared history, but I do think that we were headed someplace better and then took a sharp u-turn and have been retreating back with wild abandon ever since. There is a real meanness of spirit that pervades and this is what aggravates me. We know better and have no excuses, but so few of us really seem to care anymore.

In Addendum: A prime example of an individual who thrives on and encourages the worst in people is Fox's Bill O'Reilly. Came across this clip after watching the South Park clip linked below.

Hot Buttered Hypocrite

** Disclaimer: This is an opinionpiecee, my own opinions.
By now you have probably seen or heard that Isaac Hayes (voice of "Chef", soul singer and actor) has left South Park. (also this link) Hayes, a longtime and devout Scientologist has said he can no longer work in a show that is intolerant towards religion. Hayes claims:

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said, "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honoured," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

South Park's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have pointed out that Mr. Hayes never complained when the show took shots at other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism or Islam. I did a little reading on Scientology today and discovered that disrespecting other religions would appear to be central to their doctrine since they hold that the other religions were created through a collective memory implant by an extraterrestrial name Xenu. Given that Xenu would seem to be an wholly evil entity, it must be assumed that Scientologists would perceive all other religions as the fruit of an evil consciousness working towards the detriment of humanity. Adherents of other faiths could only be seen as agents of evil. Read it for yourself, it is at Wikipedia.org.
Four different people sent me the links to this story, since I am a fan of some of Isaac Hayes music. On that front, Isaac Hayes is brilliant. If you haven't heard Hot Buttered Soul or the soundtracks for Shaft and Truck Turner you should, they are outstanding. Outside of the music is a different story it would seem. Mr. Hayes had many chances to leave the show if it had truly offended his sensibilities. Parker and Stone gave the raspberry to many other religions before getting to Scientology.
If Isaac Hayes had come out and been honest that he would not brook any disrespect to his personal faith, I actually could have accepted that. But that sort of thing doesn't make for good P.R. because people want you to be nice and being nice is to be as inoffensive as possible. He should have said, I don't care about the other religions - this one is mine, back off. It would make him look like a jerk, but being an honest jerk is better than coming off as an outright hypocrite.

Thanks to a friend for providing me with this link showing the offending South Park clip.

Get Blogged

Just a quick addition to complain, yet again, about Blogger's spell check. Aside from not recognising words that it should recognise right off the bat, it has actually created spelling errors by connecting the corrected word to the word in front of it and duplicating the last letter of said word. E.G. - "an extraterrestrial" became "anextraterrestriall" and "the raspberry" became "theraspberryy".

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