Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, April 25, 2008

Expelled Gets Nailed

How did this slam by Fox News's own Roger Friedman manage to make it to their web site?:

Directed by one Nathan Frankowski, "Expelled" is a sloppy, all-over-the-place, poorly made (and not just a little boring) "expose" of the scientific community. It’s not very exciting. But it does show that Stein, who’s carved out a career selling eye drops in commercials and amusing us on sitcoms, is either completely nuts or so avaricious that he’s abandoned all good sense to make a buck.

The blog Tiny Frog says:

Not surprisingly, the movie seems to eschew actual scientific discussion of Intelligent Design, preferring to play-up the victimization of ID advocates (a common and exaggerated claim). Rather than taking about the mechanisms of evolution, they chose, instead, to talk about the “evils of evolution”: show concentration camps and talk about Adolf “God with Us” Hitler - so they can emotionally inflame people, shutting down the thinking portions of their brains, rather than intellectually convert them. No doubt, they’ll avoid mentioning Martin “We are at fault in not slaying [the Jews]” Luther’s influence on Hitler - whom Hitler praised in his book, Mein Kampf. Meanwhile, Origin of the Species was banned in Nazi Germany.

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I don't care how sophisticated and full to overflowing with snark a 16-year-old is, the scene depicted in the first five minutes or so of this film is unbelievable and has no relation to reality. A 16-year-old girl does not openly purchase a home pregnancy test while bantering with a convenience store's (which didn't look like any convenience store I've ever been in) male clerk, go to the store's bathroom and perform the test, then discuss the result in more "smart" banter with the clerk in front of another customer. Never happen.

There's another scene, near the film's end, where Juno's boyfriend (Michael Cera) somehow knows, without being told, that she's in labor, and rushes from his track meet to comfort her with some post-partum cuddling. At the end of the film, they're sitting in front of his perfectly landscaped house, playing a guitar duo. Awwww. If the film had any courage, it would admit that Cera wanted to have sex with Juno and discard her. That's what most boys (and men, too) want. But the whole film operates like TV. It wants to make the audience feel good about themselves and others, so it lies to them.

Juno is like a slightly dirty pastiche of one of those cautionary ABC Afternoon Specials and a "very special, unforgettable" episode of The Gilmore Girls where Rory discovers she's pregnant. Juno even has a bespectacled, female Asian friend, just like The Gilmore Girls' Rory.

Juno is cliched, dull, predictable and oozes with calculated, canned whimsy. Bleccch!


Nightline's Hypocritical Scientology Story

Three hours ago, ABC's program Nightline aired a story critical of Scientology, based on the revelations of an insider, former Scientologist Jena Hill.

So, you say, isn't it good that ABC and Nightline aired anything critical of Scientology? Where's the hypocrisy?

When has ABC, let alone any major network, aired a story critical of the basic tenets of Catholicism, Judaism, Islam or any other religion? When have they ever run an interview with someone who abandoned fundamentalism to adopt a materialist, scientific world view, like author Michael Shermer? They never have. They never will. Despite the assertions of people like Michael Medved to the contrary, the media pander endlessly to the followers of religious mass movements. Have you noticed how CNN, the History Channel and other media outlets pollute the airwaves with interminable pseudo-historical specials like What Did Jesus Have for Breakfast on Christmas? whenever there's a major religious holiday?

All religions are superstitious nonsense. ABC picked on Scientology because it's a minority belief that sounds peculiar when summarized that has generated constant media attention because it attracts Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise, who amplifies the peculiarity of Scientology with his anti-psychiatry rants to Matt Lauer and his sofa jumping on Oprah's show.

Although there are believable allegations that the Church of Scientology has engaged in various forms of misconduct, including harassing and persecuting its critics and possibly causing one woman's death, they pale into insignificance compared with the criminal legacy of the Catholic church, most recently demonstrated by years of revelations of sexual molestation of minors by priests which were covered up by the church's hierarchy.

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