Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Philosophy of Bullying

I was involved in idle conversation today at the gym with a student of Sport Philosophy.

After my initial bouts of laughter* I actually got around to discussing this philosophy of sport. I got the impression immediately that he’s had to justify his chosen major of study several times by now. After all, surely I couldn’t be the only one who thinks that Sport Philosophy sounds like total horseshit?

I thought that History of Film was a complete bird course but this is ridiculous!

Anyway, once we got into it a little I was intrigued to learn that there are two popular trains of thought in Sport Philosophy. One dictates that most games we played back in elementary school, such as dodgeball, handball, floor hockey, and the like, are actually detrimental to a child’s psychological growth. The other train of thought just says “suck it up, buttercup!” It’s survival of the fittest as a means of natural development...the way it was; the way it was; and the way it’s always going to be.


Now I know what you’re asking yourself: why have they forsaken classic kid’s games such as dodgeball in the first place, right? Because they promote social segregation, that’s why; namely, the stronger and quicker kid’s on one side versus the slower, weaker kids on the other…just as God intended it.

Call me old-fashioned.

How else are these pathetic, fat kids ever going to get themselves motivated? Nothing says “try harder” than the possibility of a gang wedgie in the shower after gym class. It’s practically Biblical! The weak and the downtrodden have been beaten mercilessly throughout the ages until they somehow are properly inspired to rise above it all and onto bigger and better things…or, they just die off all together.

Either way, it’s the natural order of the universe.

Look at Moses leading his people out of Egypt. Only after years of being enslaved and mistreated the Israelite losers were finally afforded the opportunity to stand up and do something about it once Moses arrived on the scene. Sure they managed to unleash the Ten Plagues on their Egyptian masters and escape via the parted Red Sea. But what did they get for their troubles? Forty years of wandering the desert in exile, that’s what!

But that’s a whole other story, or is that just another case of the strong bullying the weak? After all, God pretty much did stick it to the Hebrews for all those years after helping them escape. Even Moses himself was denied entrance into the Promised Land when he failed to carry out the simple task of bringing forth water from a rock. I mean, how fucking hard is that?

And so God layeth the smack down on ‘ol Moses. And if that’s not a case of classic schoolyard bullying I don’t know what is.

Bruce Hornsby said it best: “that’s just the way it is.”


Is it the winner’s fault that the losers suck so much? Or make themselves easy targets? If little Chubby Charlie wants to not be the first man out in Mrs. Walker’s grade three dodgeball game every day he better learn to substitute those bags of Oreo’s for carrot sticks and practice harder.

Not that I’m speaking from experience.

Bullies, as much as they are frowned upon, are actually very important in shaping a child’s mind. They are a vital part of any delicate elementary schoolyard ecosystem. Without them, nothing is ever going to encourage them to improve their physical skills?

Donkey Kong does nothing to improve one’s prowess in dodgeball.

Picture a world with no definite winners and losers, just one big, happy, complacent herd of under achievers. The world would be filled with the type of people who use lint rollers and list ‘World of Warcraft’ in the Hobbies section of their resumes. And then there are always those people who work in customer service.

It would be like living in a world of little Brennan Hawkins'? Remember him? Tell me kids like this don't need an honest days ass-kicking.

That’s sure no world I want to live in!

Sure I got picked on in grade school and it sucked at the time. But it sure inspired me to move my ass occasionally allowing me to burn off some extra calories while conditioning my young, developing “flight” muscles. Being closely pursued by a mod of older bullies from the next grade will do that to you.

Gym class was no different. By the time I graduated grade eight I had learned to dodge with the best of them. And by the end of my schooling altogether I was picking off Chubby Charlie’s on my own and thereby completing one of the most important cycles of life.

And so it goes…

* Three of them in total. Approximately a whole 15 minutes worth each.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Further Tales of the Mad Scientologist

Well it’s finally happened.

Tom Cruise has boarded the Mother Ship. In fact, he didn’t so much as just board it as he did pack up all his earthly shit, book first class passage and willingly goose-step up the loading plank with Katie and baby in tow.

You just knew it was going to be something tasty to draw me out of near posting retirement didn’t you?

And Chief Dipshit #1, Tom Cruise, is as good a reason as any.

Sure he dented Oprah’s couch and has quarreled with inquisitive journalists, but how the fuck does one get themselves banned from Germany? Holy shit! You know you’re a real asshole when the Motherland of Evil itself decides to distance itself from you.

But it’s true. The Deutschland has made the conscious decision to put its leather-booted foot down hard on ‘ol Tommy and his Scientology ways by prohibiting the makers of his latest film from using German military sites to film.

Take that, Maverick! One minute you’re tonguing Kelly Gillis and the next minute it’s “Nein!”

In the film that centers on a conspiracy to kill Adolph Hitler, Cruise plays the role of head conspirator Colonel Claus van Stauffenberg. Harald Kammembauer, spokesman for the German military, has stated that it is very important to be done correctly. Kammembauer said the military, “has a special interest in the serious and authentic portrayal of the events of July 20, 1944 and Stauffenberg’s person.”

And the reasoning you ask? Because no loony tune Scientologist should ever be allowed to play a Nazi – that’s why! According to the German defense ministry, he has “publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult.”

For once I applaud the Germans. Way to go, you evil Kraut bastards!

In Germany Scientology is not acknowledged and the government believes that the group hides under the guise of being a religion as a way to sponge up money from gullible half wits - like Tom Cruise.

And you know what the Germans are like when they get the least bit suspicious. Your average German makes most coke dealers look relaxed. Lets just put it this way, if the Germans were allowed to have their ovens back Scientologists would be the first on the cookie sheets.

And it doesn’t stop there. Not only is the German military pissed at Cruise, but it has also offended Stauffenberg’s own family…actual Nazi’s!

Now that’s some claim to fame when real Nazi’s disapprove of you. Berhold Stauffenberg, the colonel’s son, was not happy with Tom Cruise being cast as his father because of his Scientology beliefs. He told a local newspaper, Seuddeutsche Zeitung: “He should keeps his hands off my fazzer.”

You tell him, Belloq.

So, how did I ever get on this whole Scientology crazy train anyway? Not that Scientology, or Tom Cruise for that matter, haven’t been begging for it for years. I know this whole Nazi’s vs. Cruise thing is old news by now, but as luck would have it a video of Tom Cruise discussing Scientology also briefly surfaced on YouTube before being deleted. So on top of being banned by Nazi’s, it turns out that Tom Cruise also can’t keep a video on YouTube either.

YouTube only has about a zillion videos of dogs licking peanut butter or dudes getting corked in the nut sack, but apparently Tom’s bullshit Scientology hocus pocus just doesn’t cut it. How sad it that?

The video, which showed Cruise accepting a 2005 ‘Freedom Medal of Valor’ from the Church of Scientology, was alleged pulled from YouTube at the urging of the Church of Scientology itself for copyright violations.

Yeah, whatever!

In the video, Tom says that he thinks, “it’s a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist, and its something you have to earn.” Well, if earning yourself a banning by Nazi’s and YouTube and becoming the butt of everyone’s jokes are what you were trying to earn than mission accomplished, dipshit.


He goes on to say that a Scientologist has the ability to “create new and better realities and improved conditions”…whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. Sounds like bullshit Scientology hocus pocus to me. For a religion that practices a strict abstinence from drugs and medication they sure sound like they exhibit the same symptoms as those who do. Do they really expect me to believe that people who pride themselves on creating “better realities” doesn’t take the odd hit or dose of something? Surely, they must toke the odd reefer at the very least.

The video continues on for about 10 minutes in much this same manner – with Cruise talking and laughing about being a Scientologist, the fact that Scientologists should do and be involved, and the idea that Scientologists can help the world.

It’s a literal Scientologists wet dream of hocus pocus.

Clearly Scientologists were the intended audience and therefore the video was not intended as a recruiting tool for non-believers. Rather it speaks to Scientologists about their duties and his own personal experiences. Cruise went on to talk about how he sees his role to KSW, or “Keep Scientology Working” – the phrase coined by Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard*. He also talks about SP’s (Suppressive Peoples) and PT’s (Potential Trouble Source). Boy, Scientology really digs its acronyms. I guess they feel it makes them seem more, well, science-like. Honestly, they have more acronyms than any ER episode.

Personally, I think it’s rather like reading the script to a Michael Crichton flick and I think I'd rather rub my nut sack over sandpaper.

He also talks about the areas in which Scientologists are the world’s authorities. According to Cruise, Scientologists are the leading experts in getting people off of drugs, the mind, improving conditions, criminal rehabilitation, uniting cultures, and bringing peace – just to name a few.

Clever monkeys these Scientologists. Too bad they’re hated by Nazi’s and YouTube, and apparently have welcomed a moron as one of their prominent figureheads.

Sure he energetically signs autographs, poses for cell phone cameras, and shakes every hand thrust in his face, but behind that otherwise happy façade lays a total asshat through and through. Forget jumping on Oprah’s couch like a spastic chimpanzee or those weird high-heel demands he made on Nicole, let’s look at the recent notable highlights from this video:

1) Cruise refers to ‘spectators’ in the video and says he has no time for such people. Apparently you’re either on this crazy train for the long haul or you’re not – that’s it – there’s no middle ground. You’re either on the shortbus or you’re off the shortbus. I guess this also means that you can’t take a little time to test the water first and make sure this whole Scientology thing is really the right belief system for you. I don’t know about you, but I like to read the menu first before committing myself to dinner. And if that qualifies me as a ‘spectator’ than so be it!

Besides, isn’t this an odd thing to say considering his given acting profession? Where would he be exactly without ‘spectators’? Living in a cardboard box and eating cat food in the Hollywood hills – that’s where! I bought a ticket way back to see ‘Mission Impossible’, so I deserve some thanks. See if I ever spectate one of your movies again, you ungrateful prick!

2) Cruise also makes it very clear in the video that he is doing all he can do to make a difference and he wants to do more. Pardon? What the fuck does Cruise do that’s making such an impact on the world? What has he done lately that’s realigned the world’s axis back on even keel? I haven’t seen him building any schools in poverty-stricken countries, adopting a Third World crack baby, or even physically assisting to raise money for any reputable causes**? He’s no fucking Bono or Bob Geldof is he? Shit, he’s not even a Sean Penn or Rosie O’Donnell for that matter either.

Oh wait, maybe he was referring to his founding and donation-raising for Downtown Medical to provide 9/11 rescue workers detoxification therapy based upon the works of Chief Numbnut himself, L. Ron Hubbard.

Oh goodie! No strings attached there, eh?

Medical professionals and firefighters were in an uproar. Who knew religious-based medical treatments would be met with such skepticism? Maybe if he were to throw in a complimentary ‘Engram Cleansing’, or half-off any regular ‘Aura Waxing’ he might have had himself more takers.

3) Cruise says he is “fighting the good fight” but never really mentions what it is he’s fighting. The War of Terror? The War on Drugs? The Cola Wars? War of the Worlds? What exactly are we fighting here? Is there a battle going on somewhere I don’t know about? Should I be bottling water or is this just more bullshit Scientology hocus pocus?

4) At one point Cruise enters into a tirade on how he wants to go on vacations to explore the world but he doesn’t because of what he “knows”. Umm, hello? It looks like his whole fucking fairy-book life has been a vacation to me. But let me get this straight; when he’s not filming in exotic locations, dining in extravagant restaurants, or visiting trendy “It” spots in all the worlds cosmopolitan metropolis’, he’s locked away in his hotel room for fear of what he “knows”?

I call shenanigans!

5) Apparently, when he’s not in front of the camera or making an ass out of himself he’s pulling people from burning wrecks and rescuing kittens from trees. He said so himself – he can’t help it – he just has to do ‘something’ when he sees these things.

He’s like fucking Superman! I want whatever reality it is that this guy is creating for himself please.

6) What the fuck is up with that laugh? It doesn’t seem genuinely all knowing and blissfully happy to me – it borders on a ‘scary mental institution’ persona that makes him seem like some half-ass Batman villain***. It’s a creepy laugh! It’s the kind of laugh that one makes before they carve up a freshly killed corpse if you ask me. My instincts upon seeing this video were not “Oh, cool! Run towards enlightenment”, it’s “Oh, fuck! Run for your life!”

In the end, I am left with one burning question: What the hell does he know (or thinks he knows) that the rest of us don’t? He makes constant reference in the video about the things he “knows”.

Do Scientologists ever really tell us anything though? They claim to “know” lots of shit about lots of shit – experts in fact. Well you know what? I wanna see some credentials! Show me some kind of approved certificate, medical diploma, merit badge, or anything other than just giving me your word on what you know!

Whatever it is, I say – keep it to yourself – I’m not ready to travel to wherever it is you’re heading, crazy man!

This might be why the video was pulled in the first place because the Church of Scientology didn’t exactly want Cruise becoming the poster child for their religion . What it comes down to is that Cruise seems to be teetering on the brink of several different realities.

Much of the video is unclear. But none of this hides the fact that ‘ol Tommy has gone completely loony tunes.

The bitch is back. Spread the word.

* Who, is it also interesting to note, was originally a pulp and science fiction writer in the 40’s and 50’s. You may feel free to insert your own punch line here.

** How about him hosting an annual ‘Luau for Lupus’ maybe?

*** ‘Retardo’ maybe.