Avatar’s aftermath

check out this CNN article.  Seriously.  Go read it.

(CNN) — James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

…..

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ ”

Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.

….

“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”

Reached via e-mail in Sweden where he is studying game design, Hill, 17, explained that his feelings of despair made him desperately want to escape reality.

“One can say my depression was twofold: I was depressed because I really wanted to live in Pandora, which seemed like such a perfect place, but I was also depressed and disgusted with the sight of our world, what we have done to Earth. I so much wanted to escape reality,” Hill said.

Really what can you say? just wow. what amazing incredible emptiness surrounds us if it can be filled by a three hour cartoon (in every sense of the word).

HT to Jonah Goldberg

perfect book at the perfect time

on a secular economic and political note, Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism is celebrating its two year anniversary today.

What a perfect book for today’s political climate. A fairly easy to read but still quite serious and unvarnished look at the historical antecedents for the progressives currently empowered in Washington D.C.

If you haven’t read it yet, you must do so. Available in whatever format you consume books.

hardcover
kindle
audio
paperback.

just get it and read/listen to it. you will be glad you did.

so completely true

we humans quickly accommodate to the status quo and become discontented and ungrateful in the midst of overwhelming prosperity and comfort.

the link above takes you to a Jonah Goldberg post which has a video to watch that you will then have to watch on youtube. Believe me it is worth the double click involved.

(warning for comedy use of a bleeped expletive)

Man is homo religiosus

or as I keep saying, “you don’t replace something with nothing.” the blue people movie is more evidence that in our modern culture spirituality is fine, but Christianity or other specific organized religion is off-limits. Jonah has an interesting piece up called “Avatar and the Faith Instinct.”

a bit to tease you over there to read it.

But what I find interesting about the film is how what is “pleasing to the most people” is so unapologetically religious.

Nicholas Wade’s new book, The Faith Instinct, lucidly compiles the scientific evidence that humans are hard-wired to believe in the transcendent. That transcendence can be divine or simply Kantian, a notion of something unknowable from mere experience. Either way, in the words of philosopher Will Herberg, “Man is homo religiosus, by ‘nature’ religious: as much as he needs food to eat or air to breathe, he needs a faith for living.”

Wade argues that the Darwinian evolution of man depended not only on individual natural selection but also on the natural selection of groups. And groups that subscribe to a religious worldview are more apt to survive — and hence pass on their genes. Religious rules impose moral norms that facilitate collective survival in the name of a “cause larger than yourself,” as we say today. No wonder everything from altruism to martyrdom is part of nearly every faith.

The faith instinct may be baked into our genes, but it is also profoundly malleable. Robespierre, the French revolutionary who wanted to replace Christianity with a new “age of reason,” emphatically sought to exploit what he called the “religious instinct which imprints upon our souls the idea of a sanction given to moral precepts by a power that is higher than man.”

faster please

Jonah Golberg has been the lone voice crying in the wilderness on behalf of proper funding levels for research into airborne-laser volcano lancing.

The only thing I can do at this dire moment is to add my small voice to Jonah’s and beg for more funding of this important project before it is too late. Faster please.

from New Scientist here is more on the possibly impending threat.

If the structure beneath the three volcanoes is indeed a vast bubble of partially molten rock, it would be comparable in size to the biggest magma chambers ever discovered, such as the one below Yellowstone National Park.

Every few hundred thousand years, such chambers can erupt as so-called supervolcanoes – the Yellowstone one did so about 640,000 years ago. These enormous eruptions can spew enough sunlight-blocking ash into the atmosphere to cool the climate by several degrees Celsius.

Could Mount St Helens erupt like this? “A really big, big eruption is possible if it is one of those big systems like Yellowstone,” Hill says. “I don’t think it will be tomorrow, but I couldn’t try to predict when it would happen.”

paperback version is out tomorrow

the paperback version of the book is out. No more excuses for not getting and reading one of the most important books explaining the ideological antecedents of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton.

Get it tomorrow. Read it Wednesday.

Government control

I really don’t want to be or to come across like one of those black helicopter conspiracy theory nuts, but we have been down this road of unfettered Federal government control before.

It was not pretty then and it will be less so now due to the lack of the restraining hand of a shared semi-christian culture.

Any time a group of people who are convinced that they are smarter than everybody else and that they care more than everybody else assumes reins of power (incidentally, with the white house, the house of representatives and now 60 votes in the senate, make no mistake, the power of these “do-gooders” is completely unfettered), then the rest of us will pay the price for their hubris.

Here is an excellent post summarizing some of the greatest hits of centralized American government in the past and how they are connected to now.

To an outsider, the Fernald school in Waltham Massachusetts looked like any other educational institution. During the school’s hay day in the 1920’s and 30’s, few passers-by would have guessed the dark secret lurking behind the brick walls – a secret penetrating to the heart of American liberalism.

Fernald was no ordinary school. Set up in 1848 with funds from the Massachusetts State Legislature, the institution was designed for the incarceration of “feeble-minded” children. Throughout the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of low-intelligence (though not necessarily retarded) children were warehoused at Fernald in unspeakable conditions. Treated like animals and denied any affection, these “human weeds” were considered genetically inferior from the rest of society.

In his book The State Boys Rebellion, Michael D’Antonio shows that one of the purposes behind the Fernald school was to prevent these “idiots” from reproducing and diluting the gene pool. Margaret Sanger, icon of the American left and founder of Planned Parenthood, put it even more succinctly: “The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind.”

It was not until the 1960s that the school began releasing their children to live in the outside world.

……..

Although contemporary left-wingers have tried to hush it up, it is a fact of history that the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the National Research Council, Planned Parenthood and the pre-1960’s Democratic Party, all supported the right of the US government to engage in Eugenic selection, while thirty states adopted legislation aimed at compulsory sterilization of certain individuals or classes. Conservatives, orthodox Roman Catholics and radical libertarians, on the other hand, were routinely ridiculed for their opposition to such policies.

The underlining premise behind the American eugenics movement was the view that irresponsible individualism in breeding would act as a cancer on the human gene pool, harming posterity. Government held the future of the human race in its reigns and could improve the evolutionary direction of the nation – and indeed the world – through strategic intervention.

……

Nevertheless, the ideological coordinates behind these abuses remain as intact as ever within the minds of American left, although they have found a myriad of different expressions.

Consider, for example, the widespread assumption that the state has the vocation to act as a supra steward of the human race. In January, James Hansen of NASA (known as the “father” of the global warming movement), told the Guardian that Obama “has only four years to save the world.” Hansen painted a chilling picture of the apocalyptic future awaiting us if government failed to assert drastic measures like the “carbon tax.”

It is not hard to see the continuity Hansen’s remarks have with the eugenics politics of the last century. In both cases, the underlying premise is that the state holds the future of the human race in its reigns, and unless significant freedom is surrendered over to them, irresponsible individualism will destroy our chances – or our children’s chances – on this planet.

…..

The American left has not departed from this basic utilitarian criterion. Consider the justification liberals are constantly giving for using taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research (which involves the destruction of humans at the embryonic stage). They tell us that such research is justified because it can save lives. In other words, the end justifies the means when the end is the greater good of the human race. We see this same callous utilitarianism in the other ethical debates over killing innocent human beings: whether the killing of innocent humans occurs at the embryonic stage (certain forms of stem cell research), the foetal stage (abortion) or the elderly stage (euthanasia), these practices are defended by an appeal to the greater good either of society or (in the case of euthanasia) of the individual who elects to kill himself. As with the social Darwinism of the 20th century, the casualties of this utilitarian approach are inevitably the weakest and helpless members of society.

emphasis added.

Go read the rest of the post and also get the book. I am telling you that Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, is one of the most timely and important things you can read to understand the current political moment.

Have you noticed that the treasury department is taking over banks and not letting them pay back the money that gave the treasury control? have you noticed that GM and Chrysler are being unceremoniously delivered over to ownership by the government and the United Auto Workers Union? Do these things worry you any at all? they should.

We are on a very bad path. a very bad path indeed.

hat tip to vitamin z