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June 30th, 2005

SUGAR RUSH [Jun. 30th, 2005|09:25 am]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
As thecnote pointed out, Sugar Rush is a brilliantly done British comedy. And it's available with bit torrent.

It does point out how awful American television is right now. The only decent series on broadcast TV are the cartoons on Fox on Sunday Night. "Sugar Rush" would never in a million years be allowed on broadcast television -- 15 year olds taking drugs and having sex? Masturbation? The F word? Lesbian teens?

The problem is that in the US, if someone were to put such a show on, they wouldn't be able to do it without it just being porn. I mean, "Sugar Rush" is titillating to some extent, but it also emotionally honest in a way that long ago was banished from American television. All the crime procedurals on US TV have turned into autopsy suite porn. CNN has turned news into current-events porn. And this all happens in atmosphere of puritan opprobrium -- no one on US TV smokes a joint and acts silly for a few hours and goes back to studying for their MCATs -- every infraction against the common morality is punished, otherwise the conservatives will rise up in indignations.

I'm sure glad that we're protected from obscenities like adolescent crotch shots, because it gives us the strength to go on with obscenities like the war in Iraq.
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Scientology [Jun. 30th, 2005|04:14 pm]
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After all the press about Tom Cruise going nuts in public, I did a little googling and found the full text of the book "Bare Faced Messiah" on line, which is an unauthorized biography of L. Ron Hubbard. It is an apparently well-researched book, and is a decent read. If even 1/10th of it is true, it definitely shows Scientology to be a complete crock of shit -- if there was any doubt at all.

http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm

What amazes me is that people who must have something going for them to get to where they are in life -- John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Beck, etc -- seem to have swallowed said crock of shit whole.

Having grown up in a Mormon family, I have first hand experience with the same sort of cult. The founder of the LDS Church, Joseph Smith, was also a charismatic con artist. If you look at any sort of historical accounts aside from those the LDS church puts out, this is pretty non-controversial. And once they got to Utah, they did all sorts of crazy things. Yet now, the Mormons are regarded as a more or less mainstream religion.

And yet, there are plenty of sincere people who have unswerving devotion to both LDS and Scientology. Hell I've no doubt that a lot of people's lives have been improved by joining those Churches, and a thousand others. It could well be that all the world's religions are nothing more than cults started by conmen, and what separates the cults from the religions is longevity.

It's enough to make you think that believing in something -- no matter how improbable, slip-shod, or loony -- improves people's lives. Of course, it's demostrable that it ruins other people's lives at the same time.

Of course Scientology is patently full of shit. The enmity between Scientologists and Psychiatry is a perfect example. While psychiatry is not above criticism, there's certainly a body of work that has been done since the time of Freud that stands up better to criticism way better than Scientology.
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