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Go, Sarah!

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Sarah Silverman kicked ‘god’ out of bed on Comedy Central, and proved a lot of people don’t have a sense of humor. World Net Daily advised readers to have “strong discretion” when watching the clip or visiting the website. It also posted reader comments calling for a boycott:

God, what are these people thinking? And I find it frightening that there are people who actually do think these shows are in any way creative or funny. Best thing, don’t support these shows and boycott any sponsors of these shows, letting them know why.

What I find frightening is that there are people out there like this commenter. How ’bout trying a different response: laugh!

Turning back the clock is not an option. But that’s exactly what people like this are trying to do. Every time you hear someone crying ‘decency,’ like Pat Boone and the ever-obnoxious Parents Television Council, it’s code for “let’s turn back the clock–to the middle ages if possible.” (For the CHILDREN!)

They want to live in a world where certain images and speech are taboo, and certain subjects are considered ‘sacred.’ But you can’t have that without wider curbs on civil liberties. Like the cartoon-protesters, these people can’t stand to see ‘god’ lampooned, even if he looks a lot like Tucker Smallwood. I will say I’m grateful that Christians have moved beyond the burning-and-blowing-up stage, and now simply threaten boycotts. That’s progress.

But wouldn’t it be refreshing if someone insulted ‘god’ and nobody cared? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was content to hold their beliefs in private, without expecting everyone else to agree in lock-step? It’s this insistence on according one’s personal beliefs ‘sacred’ status that’s the true intolerance. Like I said in my previous post, how about if we simply give comedians and blasphemers the role of heyoka, tapping us on the shoulder and helping us see when we are being too sensitive or screwed up about a particular subject.

We need to do more to god than kick him out of bed. We need to kick him out of our lives! His image has been foisted upon us by every corrupt and unscrupulous huckster since time immemorial. We’ve been subjected to a non-stop god-fest for most of human history. It’s payback time. He should be burned in effigy. We need to see his sanctimonious image flayed in the streets. (This would be nothing compared to what’s been done by ‘his’ followers in ‘his’ name.) Maybe if we all insult ‘god’ enough, he’ll deign to show his face.

That should settle the question of ‘his’ existence once and for all.


Comments (12 comments)

morgaine / March 8th, 2007, 5:44 pm / #1

Sean, when you said you thought that the response “proved a lot of people don’t have a sense of humor,” you were right on.

It reminded me of ..I think it was John Sanford…who proposed that people who lack a sense of humor have a very repressed shadow. (I know, there’s that word again, but hey, if the shoe fits..) And I agree with him.

Dirty jokes, sick jokes, slapstick, whatever makes us laugh, these are some of the ways we meet our shadow in everyday activities. And thankfully most of us do laugh, because without outlets like humor, these buried feelings/ energies go unexpressed, building pressure under the surface of our awareness, until the force of all that’s pent up explodes. And it usually explodes in ways that are not so benign as an off color joke; Expressions like” I wasn’t myself,” or “I don’t know what possessed me,” are tell tale signs that shadow erupted and denial is in action. Of course, if we don’t take responsibility for what took place, if we don’t try to understand what happened inside of us, then, back under the surface of consciouness ‘it’ goes,- till the next time. We don’t learn the lesson it held.

Infidel753 / March 9th, 2007, 4:51 am / #2

Thank you for reminding me of why more than ten years ago I lost interest in watching TV. It’s just too bland, and fussy prigs like this are the reason. Every time there’s any hint of something a bit daring, all these agitated people come pouring out of the woodwork writing to executives and threatening boycotts. Thus things that would seem utterly unremarkable in a novel or even some genres of movies are rare on TV and considered shocking. Maybe it’s because it’s a broadcast medium and more easily accessible than any other. Unfortunately, if the TV networks don’t stand up to the likes of the Parents Television Council, TV seems doomed to become dominated by kids’ shows and prolefeed, and my impression before I stopped watching it was that that was already happening.

darkeros / March 9th, 2007, 7:44 am / #3

Great stuff going on! Things are POPPING! this is what the dying process looks like… the old order flails about in their death throes while more and more people stand up and shout “HEY! the emperor really DOESN’T have any clothes on! God really DOESN’T exist!. And hey! look! I can say and do these acts and NOT be struck down by lightning! in fact, I am experiencing myself as more alive and liberated than ever in my life!” which is what happens when we release ourselves from these very root deep seated ancestral collective taboos/fears.

So I suggest to us one and all… stop sitting on the sidelines and find YOUR edge with a symbolic act. If hearing about cleaning up dog shit with pages from the bible caused a reaction in YOU even though you are a proclaimed atheist… pick up a bible and do the same! or something that you imagine as even worse… though remember, no killing or harming another by beating them with the bible or stuffing pages down someone’s throat. This is to be your own dark cherished act. Do it alone, or with a best friend to witness, or video tape yourself and post it on YOUR site! Something that all your inner parental, authority figures would tan your hide for! Yup, the sooner we all cross the line of the ‘taboo’, the sooner the whole facade will come tumbling down.

We THINK we are free… but DO YOU DARE?

just say no to christ / March 9th, 2007, 8:28 am / #4

I have to admit, I was a little jealous that I wasnt the one to think of picking up dog shit with pages from the bible. Dogs are my career. Now I will have to think of something even more outragous. Oh yeah, I do dare, I do go there and my three smart ass kids are more than happy to help.

My real dad took a bible and cut a square through the pages and used it to hide his weed. I might do the same in memery of him. He died when I was 12 in a car accident. And no he wasn’t high at the time, he was completely sober, it ws just a freak accident.

Amy

morgaine / March 9th, 2007, 11:34 am / #5

It sounds like the lines are being blurred between taking down religion in a dramatic way… and personal edge work. Not every one’s edge work is necessarily about doing something anti-authoritarian. Yes, of course, we do need to question whether the things we assume are sacred, really are, and why we think they are. And if its really not, then it needs to be relieved of it’s status in whatever way. Like the bible, its great that it’s being examined and relieved of that sacred status.( and the dog got some relief too!;-) ) But don’t assume that if someone had a reaction to it…it necessarily indicates that the next best step for them is to repeat that or find a more outrageous edge. A reaction could mean a myriad things to different people and call for a wide range of responses. Yes, the personal is the political, but, if you’re encouraging people to find a symbolic edge to push, I think ts important for every person to be clear whether they are looking to make a political statement, an act for personal growth, or both. Cause sometimes they work great together, and sometimes they don’t, at least in terms of strategy and goals. Bottom line for me, respect the wide range of expressions people have in pushing edges. One persons edge may look tame to me, but could be a grand canyon for them. .

darkeros / March 9th, 2007, 12:54 pm / #6

Hey Amy,

It doesn’t have to be original… just authentic to YOU! if dog shit is what you relate to, then DO IT! its our personal symbols that make the MAGIC work!

Morgaine… its not a about outrageous, its about edgeplay with one’s inner demons. Outrageous is the judgement of the bystander. Really all the guy did was clean up shit with paper. But it does need to challenge the sacred introjects… such as the Heyoka’s did. Can you imagine someone actually getting up and pissing on the altar at holy communion?!?!?!?! THAT is what we are talking about! THAT LEVEL of confrontation of that which we hold HOLY!

Its also about taking a joke, which is someone else pissing on YOUR holy spot… such as ATHEISM!!!! yes, now now ain’t THAT the RUB!!!

BlackSun / March 9th, 2007, 1:41 pm / #7

Morgaine and Darkeros,

Because acts of protest or desecration are usually met with social opprobrium, I think it’s important to give special protections to those who are willing to stand up and make such powerful statements.

Frankly, I don’t see a contradiction between on the one hand playing with one’s personal edges vs. making a social/political statement. A person should only make a statement they are personally comfortable with–knowing full and well there may be ramifications and consequences.

We have to remember that people have gotten killed for their desecrations, (such as Theo Van Gogh and many others) and anyone pissing on an altar during communion is likely to be arrested, beaten, or both. It is the power of the metaphor of a Heyoka or pissing on the altar that I think we should value.

Which is why I support doing these things on TV or video. You communicate the point, you don’t disrupt someone’s ritual, and you are safe from most people who would retaliate out of unbridled passion.

Now, with regard to atheism, no atheist I know would give a flying fig about desecrating any ‘godless’ symbols. Most atheists I know are into things that are true whether or not they are respected. The only reason disrespect matters at all to the religious is because they know deep down their practices are subjectively symbolic, and their significance is based on popular acceptance rather than empirical truth.

Therefore, desecration actually possesses power where collective belief systems are concerned, but has no power whatsoever over factual knowledge.

Amy,

That’s a great use for the bible your dad came up with. I stand corrected. The book is not totally worthless. ;-) Sorry he had to go before his time.

Engineer-Poet / March 9th, 2007, 4:49 pm / #8

If you really want to be edgy and make a point, use pages from another book.  You know, the one written in Arabic?

Morgaine / March 9th, 2007, 5:50 pm / #9

Darkeros,

I get that you are speaking about edge-play with inner demons, And I understand this piece is about challenging authority in powerful, overt, shocking ways. I agree, society needs a harsh wake up call when it comes to religion and so called sacred texts (among other things.) And if a person is called to the role of Heyoka, I’m totally supportive of that. And I support your call to others to take such a stand…and play with their edges.

At the same time, what I was responding to was where you said…if anyone had a ‘reaction,’ they ought to do the same or something imagined as even worse, (your words, I’m using ‘worse’ as a descriptor of intensity not a moral judgement…nor was I using the word-outrageous- as a moral judgement, just description). That sounds to me like you’re implying, correct me if I ‘m misunderstanding, that they as an individual would best be served…and the destruction of the system ( religion, or anything blindly considered holy) would best be served…by taking as bold, brash, and intense an action as possible, politically and in terms of facing ones inner demons. If that’s what you are saying, I agree in some ways and for some people, at some times, it’s appropriate, but in other ways I don’t agree that brash is always best. (But maybe it’s all one semantic misunderstanding?.. or just differences in philosophy on approach to change?)

Basically, I said a similar thing to BlackSun before: while I applaud anyone who feels called to the challenge of Heyoka, there are other powerful ways of contributing to the dismantling of the status quo…(or pushing one’s personal edge), that aren’t as apparently dramatic BUT can be equally potent,and in some cases moreso, for the individual…and even for society. Timing and dosage matter when we are talking about the effect of an any imput or action on a system, be it cultural, or personal. Since Heyoka are integral to putting the group on notice when things are out of balance, and have an intuitive mastery of timing, being as tapped in to the collective as they are, I think we too ought to try be cognizant of timing (and dose) when calling for this broader application of pissing on alters or whatever the symbolic act may be, politically and personally.

Not everyone who had a reaction to this toilet paper bible story, in my opinion would best be served, nor would the destruction and rebirth of the old and new necessarily be best served or quickened, by everyone going into their personal edge work full throttle. Going into it yes, commited to it, yes, going in at the intensity you seemed to be calling for, no, not necessarily. I just think there’s many ways to approach the ends we desire.

And, in terms of crossing deep personal edge work with political ends, I want to mention, I’ve seen some unfortunate results for folks who haven’t gone into their actions with awareness of their motivations or clarity about boundaries of personal versus political issues( and that’s why I said earlier it sounded like lines were blurring some..and it concerned me. ) I’ve had friends who were strident political activists, and were also working out some big personal issues at the same time, pushing against some big personal edges…and were unable to see how one was affecting the other. There were times it held the group goals back.Times it actually sabatoged things. Not always, but without some discernment, of what underlies an action, it’s a risk. I realize, as Blacksun has said,  Atheism isn’t a coherent movement, that it doesn’t have an organized political body, or one voice but…if it did, and if it were calling for everyone to ‘piss on an alter’, and wake everyone up, and go into their edge play as intensely as possible, I’d be advocating that while this is a good thing for some, we ought to take a look at the other side of the coin..(possibly looking at the shadow of shadow) That sometimes, its working within a system… sometimes it’s the most seemingly benign actions that can slip in sideways and have a tremendous effect…if done deliberately. In terms of this political cause, in terms of dismantling religion, and in terms of one’s personal journey of individuation, I think we need the Heyoka actions you are advocating, but in measure. with other approaches. And it sounded like you were saying this is what we all should be doing. Yes I agree…but…not only.  Maybe, we can agree to disagree?

Since you mentioned edgework and edgework is shadow work, I wanted to clarify for those just beginning to open the curtain- to the idea -of maybe -working with shadow, that they could begin to explore their edge in a variety of ways. Like I said before, what looks tame to me, might be their leap into the void.

Morgaine / March 9th, 2007, 7:44 pm / #10

BlackSun

Thanks for elucidating your position.
I agree that those willing to stand up and make such powerful statements, like Sarah Silverman etc deserve protection Absolutely.

just say no to christ / March 13th, 2007, 12:58 pm / #11

I was thinking on the lines of the Heyoka and intertainment purposes for atheists and others who dare to take a peek into the unbelievers domain.

I”m not well informed about shadow work( I am reading ‘Meeting the Shadow’ right now). However, I am well educated in canine behavior and have long understood that humans have somehow disconnected from their natural instincts. So far, I have equated the shadow with our natural instincts that our society damands we disown. People working in the many fields of animal behavior have been screaming their heads off for a long time, that something has gone horribly wrong in the course of behavioral evolution when its comes to humans. I think we are ignored because religion has so deeply inbedded in our society that we are not like any other species on this planet. We are specially made by a supernatural father in the sky that makes us so differnent from any other animal on this planet. SO, we can’t possibily feel, think and behave like all the other species on this earth. And the FACT of the matter is we ABSOLUTELY DO!

I have been working on regaining my natural instincts and learing to love and nuture them since I began working with dogs. As soon as you think you have found them all, another one pops up. lol

I am getting a lot out of ‘Meeting the Shadow’. It is breaking it all down for me in peoples terms. I am learning better ways of explaining things to my human clients who are 100 X’s harder to reach than their dogs.
—-

Back to uses of the bible for a moment….

My creative shadow or Heyoka keeps popping up and giviing me ideas.
I was thinking….. we could start a top 10 list of best uses for the bible and so far I have come up with..

Planters… cut the center of the bible, place a dead fish in center and add tomato plant.

Give to pet rats for their chewing enjoyment(also good for other teething pets).

Anyway, I’ll make a project of it and send it around atheist blogs and maybe even youtube. I would like to use the picking up dog shit one as well. Who do I have to ask? Darkros?

Morgaine / March 13th, 2007, 8:37 pm / #12

JSNTC:

Yes, as you say, ‘shadow’ encompasses “natural instincts that society demands we disown,” AND all that we as individuals don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge. It is everything that is not within conscious awareness.

A first step in shadow work; when we react to something strongly in someone else, positive or negative, we can be pretty sure we have brushed up against something ‘shadowy ‘for ourselves. We can begin to notice when that happens, (when something moves us, or pushes our buttons) and really pause to consider what it’s about. How does it reflect a quality (or it’s opposite) inside us? How do we want to express this quality? How can we channel the energy in a way thats empowers us /helps us grow?

Re: instincts, another book speaking to this is Steven Pinker’s
book: The Blank Slate,The Modern Denial Of Human Nature.
(I think in BlackSun’s recommended book list).

Glad you’re getting into Meeting The Shadow!

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