Thursday, August 19, 2004

Two thoughts...

Okay, I've got two quickie thoughts for you...

The first is I just saw the latest from Penn & Teller from their Showtime series "Penn & Teller: Bull$#!t." (No, I still won't say the word here.) This week's rant was on addictions, and they compared the traditional 12-step religious programs like Alcoholics Anonymous with some of the more secular alternatives.

The big thing they hammered home is this mantra that alcoholism is a "disease". If it's a disease, then it's not your fault that you are the way that you are. But if it is, then why do you have to make an account of what you did and ask for forgiveness? You're not at fault, remember? It's "the disease" that is at fault!

The thing about AA that Penn really didn't get into (but I have in the past) is that you essentially trade in one addition for another. You go from being an alcohol addict to a religious addict, which is considered to be MUCH more socially acceptable... well unless you discount the religious addicts that drive car bombs, shoot doctors, bomb women's clinics, send fake Anthrax threats, or hijack planes and crash them into major cities.

Anyway, I have to say kudos to Penn & Teller for coming up with a kick-ass show, even if it is a word that I voluntarily refuse to say on this forum. These guys are nominated for 2 Emmy awards, and they seriously deserve to win them for the great job they've been doing. It's funny and serious at the same time, and if you have Showtime then you need to watch it... and if you don't you can always get their first season on DVD.

The second quickie thought involves the September issue of Playboy Magazine. Now you may have heard about this issue because of the interview with the guys from Google. It was an interview that almost cost them their debut on the stock market today. Or it may have been the fact that several past and current female Olympians were posing nude. Sadly, none of them were in beach volleyball. (Well, you'll probably say that you just got that issue for the Google interview...)

Anyway, the quickie thought doesn't come from either of those sections of the September issue. Rather it comes from this little letter to the Forum section regarding the Pledge of Allegiance issue.

Does a public display of piety benefit the nation? Before "Under God" was
added, we won every war we engaged in. Since it was added, we have
been bogged down in quagmires. - Paul Alter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Well you're forgetting about Grenada there, Paul. There was no quagmire when we kicked Communist ass there. And that little excursion into Libya where we sent Mommar Quadaffi screaming into the desert because we dropped a bomb on his house certainly wasn't bogged down in quagmire. But other than that, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Nice observation!

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