We can be heroes…

There are a surprising number of songs about heroes. Marvel has made a pretty penny lately turning their archive of comic book superheroes from the Marvel Universe into silver screen stars. But that’s a well that will eventually run dry. They’ve only got the finite character resources of the Marvel stable available…

This poses a problem for movie makers – given the cinema going audience’s penchant for a good superhero flick – they’re in dire need of some new material that will cut through to the cynical comic book aficionado. Realistic heroes fighting the good fight. Fighting for truth, righteousness and justice. Whatever are they to do? Luckily there’s an as yet untapped resource out there. The World Superhero Registry a one stop shop for active Superheroes currently patrolling earth. It seems to me that this is a dangerous resource, letting all those unlisted supervillains out there know just who might come charging through their doors at any time. I don’t know about you – but I’m really glad that Citizen Prime is out there patrolling the streets with his cohort of RLSHs (Real Life Super Heroes) …

Citizen Prime

Citizen Prime

What’s a Real Life Superhero?
According to the World Superhero Registry FAQs:

“A Real-Life Superhero is a person who does good deeds or fights crime while in costume”

How do you become a RLSH?

“Usually, we become aware of a Real-Life Superhero’s activities and add them on our own initiative. If you wish to request to be added to the registry, please read the recommended submission guidelines. We will review your request and if we feel it meets our standards, it will be added.”

Perhaps to inspire RLSHs – or in a bid to develop some user generated movie superheroes – Marvel have an online Superhero character creator. I give you: Yellow and Blue Man… a bearded sword wielding hero guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of wrongdoers everywhere.

unHacked

I have my Facebook access back. Can I suggest not using an intuitive
word and 123 as your password. I’ve learned my lesson. I also managed
to almost get my hacker convinced that I’d buy my account back off him
for $US250. He told me he “only did it for the money” and wished me a
happy birthday. What a friendly hacker.

Things I’ve Read

Boxing Day Sales

How come shops can knock 40% off the price of things on Boxing Day? Doesn’t this just mean they’re purposefully ripping us off for the rest of the year. Particularly in the lead up to the Christmas cash cow.

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Merry (belated) Christmas

The title speaks for itself really.

My question from this Christmas is: Why don’t we sing carols all year round? Especially “O Holy Night”… although I can take or leave my little sister’s interpretive dance on that number.

Things I’ve Read

False Teachers

I’ve been taking part in a couple of discussions (and reading others) around the net on “false teachers” lately. Basically, my position is that I think “false teachers” as described in the bible have a particular intention – while wrong teachers are just confused, like we all can be sometimes.

They were largely prompted by this post on the solapanel by Gordon Cheng, who followed up with a pointer to that post on his blog.

“Just to be clear, let me say that I think Brian Houston, Rowan Williams, NT Wright and Karl Barth are false teachers.

I’m angry at people who treat their teaching seriously, in the same way that a few years ago, there was a sense of outrage that racist politician Pauline Hanson got any thoughtful attention at all from political leaders.”

Now Michael Jensen has weighed in with his views on the matter.

A follow up comment on that post gave his position on the issue with some clarity. I’d have to say that’s where I sit on things – but all those other posts (and I think, my comments) are well worth reading if you’re at all interested in a somewhat contentious issue.

Repealing Godwin’s Law

Dont mention the law

Don't mention the law

I mentioned Godwin’s Law in the last post. It’s an interesting law – originally coined by Mike Godwin in 1990 to address the trend of usenet users throwing Hitler into arguments.

Originally expressed Godwin’s Law read:
“As an online discussion continues, the probability of a reference or comparison to Hitler or to Nazis approaches 1”

The basic application of the law was that the first person to mention Hitler lost the argument.
Godwin has an interesting explanation of his side of the story here.

“Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust.”

“I understood instantly the connection between the humiliations inflicted there and the ones the Nazis imposed upon death camp inmates—but I am the one person in the world least able to draw attention to that valid comparison.”

The problem with people blindly accusing people of breaking Godwin’s Law is that they’re going by the letter and not the spirit of the law. This probably only happens to me, because I engage in frivolous discussion with art studenty type geeks people… the kind of people who know what Godwin’s Law is to begin with.

There’s another article on pretty much the same thing here. That argues the repeal on the basis that Hitler should be fair game as a test case in arguments.

“The rules of snippy online debates, though, are nothing compared to public discourse. The Anti-Defamation League has beaten the hell out of anyone who’s dared use a Nazi analogy over the last decade. ”

“Thus, despite all efforts at regulation, the market has repeatedly decided in favor of the N-bomb. There simply isn’t any other tableau, in history or fiction, that offers the same variety of evil and oppressive examples as the Third Reich. Why compare some propaganda to 1984 and some slaughter to Srebrenica when you can double down and link both of them to Nazism?”

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More bad santa

Separated at birth

Separated at birth

And another link linking Santa to Satan… and this one even mentions Harry Potter for good measure.

If the most productive time of salvation are the pre-teen years, and if the pre-teen years are the most vulnerable – does it not stand to reason that Satan would fiercely attack this time? Can we not see the overwhelming evidence of this Satanic attack on our children? From the sexual, sensual music of Britney Spears, or Nsync, to the occult and witchcraft of Harry Potter – there is an attack aimed directly at our children. It is assaulting them from the TV, the music, the Internet, the peer pressure, the public schools – Satan literally “seeks” to “devour our children” into every nook and cranny.

A bit of reductio ad Harry Potterium, and reductio ad NSyncium for good measure (nb only funny if you know that reductio ad Hitlerum is the practice of introducing Hitler into a logical argument – also fulfilling Godwin’s Law). My favourite quotes on Santa:

The Devil is a master of disguise. He can make it appear good, pleasant, and seemingly so innocent – and yet it is deadly! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” He does not appear with horns and a pitch fork breathing fire. He might just appear as a pleasant, friendly, fellow, with “a broad face and a round little belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly… “

Actually, this bit is quite bizarre – and very long. But it’s interesting reading… Basically Santa = Thor = Satan. In summary Santa and Thor both enter buildings via chimneys and so are invulnerable to fire… just like Satan. Coca Cola just added fuel to the fire by painting Santa red. Therefore coca cola is devil water… 

The unusual and common characteristics of Santa and Thor are too close to ignore.

* An elderly man, jovial and friendly and of heavy build.
* With a long white beard.
* His element was the fire and his color red.
* Drove a chariot drawn by two white goats, named called Cracker and Gnasher.
* He was the Yule-god. (Yule is Christmas time).
* He lived in the Northland (North Pole).
* He was considered the cheerful and friendly god.
* He was benevolent to humans.
* The fireplace was especially sacred to him.
* He came down through the chimney into his element, the fire.

Even today in Sweden, Thor represents Santa Claus. The book, The Story of the Christmas Symbols, records:

Swedish children wait eagerly for Jultomten, a gnome whose sleigh is drawn by the Julbocker, the goats of the thunder god Thor. With his red suit and cap, and a bulging sack on his back, he looks much like the American Santa Claus. (Barth, Edna. Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights, The Story of the Christmas Symbols. New York: Clarion Books, 1971, p. 49)

Thor was probably history’s most celebrated and worshipped pagan god. His widespread influence is particularly obvious in the fifth day of the week, which is named after him – Thursday (a.k.a. Thor’s Day).

It is ironic that Thor’s symbol was a hammer. A hammer is also the symbolic tool of the carpenter – Santa Claus. It is also worth mentioning that Thor’s helpers were elves and like Santa’s elves, Thor’s elves were skilled craftsman. It was the elves who created Thor’s magic hammer.

In the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, author Francis Weiser traces the origin of Santa to Thor: “Behind the name Santa Claus actually stands the figure of the pagan Germanic god Thor.” (Weiser, Francis X. Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1952, p. 113)

After listing some the common attributes of Thor and Santa, Weiser concludes:

Here, [Thor] then, is the true origin of our “Santa Claus.” . . . With the Christian saint whose name he still bears, however, this Santa Claus has really nothing to do. (Weiser, Francis X. Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1952, p. 114)

Another interesting trait of Thor is recorded by H.R. Ellis Davidson in Scandinavian Mythology, “It was Thor who in the last days of heathenism was regarded as the chief antagonist of Christ.” (Davidson, H.R. Ellis. Scandinavian Mythology. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1982, p. 133) In case you are not aware, an “antagonist” is an enemy, adversary or replacement.

The bizarre and mutual attributes of Thor and Santa are no accident.

It’s funny, because I always thought Thor looked more like this:

Separated at birth?

Separated at birth?

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Silkworm


I like it when a post I’m writing tangentially leads to a new post. In the caption of that font message I mentioned silkworms – I can’t mention silkworms without remembering the quite excellent Amiga game that went by that name. It featured a jeep and a helicopter in two player mode – and I wasted enjoyed countless hours hunched over my side of the keyboard while my friend/family member hunched over the other.

I’m going to have to track down a downloadable version when I get home.