Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Some Random Thoughts on Seal Hunting

Seals, they are creatures you don't see everyday. When the tour guide yells out their name in French it is rather amusing to adolescent boys and immature newlyweds. If you saw a seal crossing the street you would probably point it out with something approaching excitement. Now, imagine that you were an Inuit hunter or an East Coast fisherman and you saw them almost every day. Here, to illustrate I've copy and pasted some propaganda from the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) website and substitued squirrel for seal:

"Hundreds of thousands of baby squirrels will be clubbed or shot without mercy this year alone—an annual squirrel slaughter subsidized by the Canadian government.

95% of the squirrels killed are less than 3 months old. Many will be left to die under the ice . . . some baby squirrels may even be skinned alive

The majority of Canadians oppose the squirrel hunt, but are forced to pay for it.
Hunting squirrels is not justified by economic or environmental reasons. It’s driven by votes.

Scientists agree that the size of this hunt puts the squirrel population at risk."

Did that tug at your heartstrings? I hope not. Seals aren't endangered . . . kind of like cows.

Is it just me or does it make absolutely no sense to say that the majority of Canadians oppose the seal hunt and then come out and say that the hunt is entirely driven by votes? I mean, Canada is democratic, right?

Wrong. According to Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths, Canada is currently up there with China as the "cruellest and most self-serving nation." Morrissey is calling for a boycott of all Canadian products, because, you know, all of us are out there on the ice clubbing baby seals. As for the fisherman who earn money hunting seals? "Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone - this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering."

Rant time. I am disgusted with these people who continually compare animal hunts to genocides and the Holocaust. People like this are the same ones who raved for the protection of the gorillas in Rwanda while hundreds and thousands of people, of human beings, were being slaughtered. I honestly have only one thing to say to the people who consider animals to be on the same level as humans: You are absolutely ridiculous. To compare an Inuit fisherman to a Nazi is completely, horrendously, and monumentally imbecilic. To compare a seal to a Jew is ineffably beyond that.

If animals are to be held to the same standards as humans then we must mobilize quickly to stop preying mantises from consuming their young and these absolutely barbaric wolves from consuming caribou. In fact, on the subject of seals, we should start growing kale to feed to them so that they don't slaughter all of these innocent herring. Seals really need to be incarcerated for that sort of behaviour.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

More Familial Bloggers

Well, there are more people in my family who are blogging. First, my sister Suzanne den Boer who doesn't feel she has any insights but has already proven herself wrong. Second, an unknown sister of mine who isn't on my sidebar and isn't named Linda and who will remain nameless until she no longer desires the condition of anonymity. In fact, I will not even tell you where her blog is because it is a secret and she deserves privacy and she probably already moved to another location.

I have five sisters, in case you were wondering.

Oh, and for no particular reason, here's a picture of the the Incredible Hulk:

Ben Harper: Both Sides of the Gun

As many people know, a gun has two ends, or sides, as Harper prefers to call them. The implication of being on both sides of a gun is that you are not only aiming the gun at someone but also having the gun aimed right back at yourself. Harper's album Both Sides of the Gun contains one white cd of mellow emotionally vulnerable songs and one black cd of harder up-tempo revolutionary songs i.e. both sides of a gun. Of course, the temptation to view the album as two separate offerings has proven too strong for some reviewers who forget that the album is two sides (cd's) of the same gun (album). Both cd's contain nine tracks which as any music aficionado, unless they're some kind of heedless vinyl fan, knows, can usually fit quite comfortably onto one cd. Harper's decision is a creative choice, not an attempt to glut his album with an overabundance of tracks.

Harper has been around since his first solo album, Welcome to the Cruel World caught the attention of a few fans in 1994. Since then, Harper's honest lyricism, genre-breaking experimentation and masterful musicianship has gained him a loyal following. Anyone who has seen a live Harper concert (or, in my case, a concert DVD) with his talented band, the Innocent Criminals, can testify that Harper's talent is not the slick mixing-board magic the world has grown so accustomed to these days but is the actual sound of a real band playing *gasp* actual music.

Harper's previous album, Diamonds On the Inside was criticized by some as being far too polished and perhaps as a reaction to this the album has a more raw and earthy feel to it. The white cd, which faces the metaphorical barrel of the gun, contains symphonic strings and acoustic guitar while the black cd, which holds the metaphorical handle of the gun, has more drums and electric guitar. Of course, this is a simplistic interpretation, as the highly eclectic Harper's love for music crosses the boundaries of genres from rock to jazz to funk to reggae to the blues. Indeed, Harper recently recorded the Grammy-winning There Will Be a Light with the Blind Boys of Alabama. Few musicians could move from gospel to an albums such as this with such ease as the maverick Harper does.

The first cd is the mellow Harper, the surfing Californian, the introspective poet, the existentialist, and the friend of Jack Johnson. The album opens with "Morning Yearning", a pleasant opening for a solid set. Next is "Waiting for You" a great song somewhat reminscent of Harper's awesome "Amen Omen" from Diamonds on the Inside. The cd continues with the slow pace which is held in place by Harper's soulful vocals and the soaring combinations of string quartets, guitar, bass and percussion. On the sedond-last track "Cryin' Won't Help You Now", Harper gives the Eccesiastical meaningless speech with the lyrics "Now your poets, Have all put down their pens, The only songs to sing, Are those sung again, Lonely just doesn't, Look good on you somehow . . ." For the sentimentalist Harper fortunately ends on a positive note with "Happy Everafter In Your Eyes," an ode to his soulmate, Laura Dern (?).

The second cd is the revolutionary Harper, the left coast activist, the fist-in-the-air protesting hippie, and the Peter Tosh fan. Green Day should be taking notes because this is how a real protest album sounds. In other words, you don't need to use saran wrap for your veiled references because intelligent fans understand subtlety. The cd opens with the sounds of the Middle East on "Better Way", a raw cut which effectively mixes Harper's Weissenborn with the Tambura. The title track "Both Sides of the Gun" is a funk-infused cut which doesn't just criticize the war but also reveals Harper's own confusion with the war: "Living these days is making me nervous, Archaic doctrine no longer serve us, Now we're left as silent witnesses, We don't know quite what this is, Other than a war that can't be won . . . One dimensional fool, In a three dimensional world. Politics, it's a drag, They put one foot in the grave, And the other on the flag . . . Living on both sides of the gun." Harper also angrily criticizes the response to Hurricane Katrina on the excellent "Black Rain" which ends with the revolutionary lyrics: "It won't be long 'till the people flood the streets, And take you down one and all, A black rain is gonna fall."

Both Sides of a Gun is an excellent album which I believe shows that Harper is not just another musician but on his way to becoming a legend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hmmm, I can post but I can't see my blog. It really doesn't seem fair. I hope this is temporary.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I am Redeemer Propaganda

Imagine my surprise when I saw my face on the cover of some Redeemer literature. Imagine my further surprise when I found a request for a donation which came along with this literature. Alright, Redeemer, I'm a generous person and so I'll allow you to use my beautiful face on all of your literature and you can consider that your donation. Then, if you start paying to use my chiselled face on all of your tracts, maybe then I will consider giving you a donation --- that is, once your payments have exceeded my tuition.

Either that, or I'll start donating when I'm a bored old philanthropist hoping for a "John den Boer Memorial Lecture Hall."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Another Family Blogger . . .

The blogging world has expanded once more and this time it has added my sister Christina. Welcome to the blogger world, Christina.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hitler and Religion

There are few so universally detested figures in history as Adolf Hitler and that is probably the reason why people debate his religion so dramatically. Many atheists like to smugly assert that Adolf Hitler was a Christian and then watch their red-faced Christian friends explode in apoplectic rage. At the same time, many Christians insist that Adolf Hitler was an atheist and then further assert that Hitler's atheism was the very force that propelled him to commit all of his horrible atrocities.

I submit that when atheists try to argue that Hitler was a Christian it is based on a fundamentally flawed understanding of both history and Christianity. On the other hand, when Christians claim that atheism drove Hitler's insanity it is not only a flawed position but also a position which will garner them few atheistic friends and likely won't promote the foundation for dialogue which Christians are supposed to be open to.

Atheists enjoy quoting Hitler's speeches and writings in their attempt to prove that Hitler was, indeed, a Christian. They forget that when they do this they are quoting a man who was a master of manipulation. Germany was a nation full of Christians and in order to deceive these people, Hitler had to use the language of Christianity. When Hitler made speeches which referenced Christ or Christianity he wanted to appeal to the masses. Hitler could not have stirred a crowd, however brilliant his oratory, if he had screamed, "You see, its been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?!" (Quoted by Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, pg. 115) or if he had shouted, " . . .Christianity is not a natural religion for the Germans, but a religion that has been imported and which strikes no responsive chord in their hearts and is foreign to the inherent genius of the race!" (13th February 1945, The Political Testament of Adolf Hitler).

Adolf Hitler was a Christian in the same way that a carpet salesman "absolutely loves" his potential customer's hideous wallpaper. Not only did this carpet salesman hate the wallpaper but he fully intended on letting the flimsy stuff quickly peel off the wall. In other words, Hitler was only a Christian by Machiavellian convenience.

Hitler convinced his countrymen he had the best interests of Germany in mind. Hitler convinced Stalin to make peace with him and he convinced Europe that he had no intentions to fight. Hitler convinced idealists, including Canada's Mackenzie King, that their appeasement would sate his appetite. How did Hitler convince all of these people? By lying. Hitler was a masterful liar which any person only slightly familiar with his life will know. The question is why some people can see these lies and manipulations, but not Hitler's deceitful Christianity. Hitler was as much a Christian as a pig is a flower. The image is ridiculous, but it shows how remarkably devious the master con-man had to be in order to make his gigantic hog's rump smell like a daisy.

Sure, Hitler had personal beliefs that Christians share with him. However, Hitler was only a Christian so long as Jesus wasn't a Jew, so long as Jesus was the bastard son of a Roman soldier, so long as all of Paul's gospels were ignored, so long as the fundamental belief of Christianity in the equality of mankind was eliminated, so long as Christianity was separated from its historic roots and fitted into his twisted nationalism. Hitler denied early Christianity as corrupted by Paul, the Jew, and blamed the religion for the collapse of Rome. Hitler might fit into a Unitarian definition of Christianity, but so do Wiccans (who, incidentally, are also not Christians.)

Hitler's twisted beliefs were far from Orthodox Christianity and his heresy should have alarmed his countrymen. Although Hitler pined for the days of Wotan and noble German barbarism, he ultimately wanted to replace Christianity with National Socialism. This did not mean persecuting Christians because Hitler felt that Christianity had such a soft flaccid underbelly that it would eventually die of natural causes. National Socialism with its psuedo-scientific reason, inequality and dominance of the Aryan race would prevail and the Third Reich would rule for a thousand years.

Atheism is problematic in that it is humanly impossible to be an atheist. Humans, by nature, must worship something and as much as so-called atheists deny worshipping anything, there is always something they venerate. No, Hitler was not a Christian but neither was he an atheist. Atheists, by definition, deny the existence of God or gods. Hitler did not deny the existence of God just as long as he could define exactly what God is and thereby make an idol in the form of the German nation. Hitler was neither a Christian nor an atheist, he was a Nazi.

Still, atheists do have ammunition when it comes to the topic of Nazism and Christianity. Christianity in Germany did appear to be the weak easily- manipulated superstitious religion that Hitler believed it to be. So-called Christian men supported the little dictator and the church that whould have opposed him barely offered a squeak of protest. Men and women adapted to the nationalist religion with a syncretistic fervour that would have made King Ahab blush. The passivity and outright collaboration is shameful and can only, in my mind, be alleviated by looking at the few examples of Christian fortitude in the German nation.

All of Hitler's speeches which spoke about God? Resounding gongs and clanging cymbols, nothing more.

- The entry on Buju Banton at the little (and by "little" you should read massively oversized) online encycopedia, wikipedia, would have had you believe that this reggae icon is a professional homophobe who occasionally sings songs.

- I added my input and now the entry provides a little more biographical and musical information.

- Wikipedia also includes Dave Matthews on its lists of African Americans. He hails from South Africa and I am guessing that he is now an American, but the man is a Caucasian.

- Caucasian sounds like an insult, but not as insulting as Caucasoid.

- Caucasoid sounds like a some kind of eighties video game Nickelback used to spend all the dimes they made on.

- Caucasoid does not sound nearly as insulting as Negroid or, the absolute worst one, Mongoloid.

- By October 23 next year, I will be an uncle. My oldest sister Karen and my brother-in-law Clint are expecting a child!

- Mmmm, how do I follow that little bullet with the usual trivial bullshit I talk about?

- I like sour cream and onion chips.

- Our car is costing us far too much money.

- Aaron and Erica are coming this weekend . . . right, Aaron?

- Dave Chappelle has excellent taste in music, with the possible exception of Kanye West who is a egocentric mountain of arrogance, albeit a talented one.

- Dead Prez is a little to revolutionary for this Caucasoid as well.

- The pipes at our house froze the weekend my parents and sisters visited, but then the heat started working.

- By "working" I mean "subjecting the entire house to a sweltering tropical atmosphere of ridiculous humidity."

- I have been going to a Bible Study where we discuss C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. One of the best parts is Chris Crookall's humourous commentary.

- Some day, when I can find the humour in the situation, I will write an entry on the money pit that is better known as "Mallory" aka our 1998 Chevy Malibu.

- I like the sound of Tonton John and Tantine Laurianne. Our nephews and nieces are bound to love us just because of our titles.

- I had a dream where Laurianne and I conspired with the professor from Futurama and we blew up a community bank after stealing the money and planting fake bodies in it and then settled in a ridiculously expensive South Pacific Island.

- Apparently, Marcellin was at the theatre when I saw Dave Chappelle's Block Party, but I missed him.

- Remember the Polkaroo? Why didn't they let the male co-host see him . . . just once?

- I'm hungry.

- I feel like eating Hawaiian Pizza.

- My feet smell.

Who deh?