redconfession: ([999] The Axe)
So I've watched Lady Gaga's new Judas video twice now and I have to say, I'm mildly insulted by it.  I'm not up in arms in a rage about it, but I do find it completely disrespectful to the Christian church.  Before I go any farther in this rant I will say three things: I am happily agnostic, was raised Roman Catholic, and do not agree with many of the church's teachings.  That being said, I have Christian friends who are religious, and I respect both them and their beliefs (for the most part).  I am also a fan of Lady Gaga, though she has been getting on my nerves lately for being a little too full of herself.  Now that full disclosure is over, onto the point:

Prior to the video I didn't find fault with it.  The word Judas has come into the English vernacular to mean someone's weakness ("you're my Judas"), and using Jesus' name in the way she did works into the song as a metaphor.  That being said, you can listen to the lyrics without having to take it as some sort of religious statement.  Although I wasn't the biggest fan of the song itself, I didn't understand the controversy that surrounded it as being anti-christian.

Then I saw the video.

The religious connotations (to me) as so beyond blatant.  The bikers have the names of the apostles on their backs for crying out loud.  Their leader has a bedazzled crown of thorns.  Then there was the matter of that overdrawn baptism or what have you water scene.  Without the religious symbolism I feel like the music video would have worked just as well (though I'm sure there will be people who will disagree with me, but this is my opinion).  My problem with it is this--why is it whenever someone basically parodies or twists the beliefs of the Christian and Catholic church, it's considered edgey or cool, but if it were any other religion there would be protest from all sides?  If the music video had been designed around Islamic or Jewish tradition, this would be a more wide-spread uproar.  Oh sure, there will be some news publicity about it and how it's anti-Christian and what have you, and FOX News is already having a field day, but it will die down by the end of the week (though FOX News may keep talking about it for months because it's FOX News and they really don't have enough to talk about).  But was the video about any other religion (technically western religion, as the west seems to not believe the eastern religions are real religions), the outcry would be much, much louder and less socially acceptable.

So why don't we hold Christian teachings to the same level of respect that we do other religions?  Yes, some of the Christian zealots are crazy, but theyr'e just that--zealots.  There are zealots of every group, regardless of age, gender, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.  We can't allow our hatred or annoyance of them to influence our feelings on the religion as a whole.  If it's because we as agnostics or atheists don't agree with their teachings that's fine.  We're all entitled to our opinion, and we're certainly entitled to not agree with them.  But who gives us permission to mock, lampoon, or parody it?  Christians value the teachings, even if we believe it's nothing more than fairy tales or modern myths.  It's our job to respect their decision to practice their religion just as it is theirs to respect ours.

TL;DR - Respect other people's religions, even if you don't believe in it yourself.  It means something to other people, and its not your job to take it away from just because you think it's a load of shit (just as it's not their job to take your choice not to believe from you).
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[livejournal.com profile] cjspooks , aka my wife.

Comment and I'll give you a letter, then you have to list ten people/places/things you love that begin with that letter, afterwords post it on your journal and fill out letters of your own.


1) Bailey.  She's my puppy, who coincidentally turned 1 today (happy birthday, puppy!).  She's a ball of adorable, and although we had ourselves a rocky start in the beginning (she didn't listen too well and she was very fond of biting), she quickly grew to be an inseparable member of our family, and along with her sister, Zoe, have stolen my heart.  She enjoyed sleeping in bed with me, and the hardest part of coming back to college was to not be able to take her with me.


2) Billy Kaplan (aka Wiccan).  My repreentative from Marvel Comics.  Billy is a member of the Young Avengers, who were brought together by Iron Lad from the future to try to become Avengers in a time when the world had none.  Billy's codename was originally Asgardian (as he was pretending to be a kid-like version of Thor), but later changed his name to Wiccan.  He can perform spells, but only if he can concentrate on them (and hear them).  What's probably the most notable thing about Billy is that he is openly gay, and is dating his teammate Teddy Altman, aka Hulkling (and no, I don't like him just because he's a gay character--I liked him and Teddy long before they revealed they were  gay).  Billy is not only an amazing character on his own (he's strong, powerful, and level-headed), but his relationship with Teddy is absolutely adorable.


3) Bartowski,Chuck.  Yeah, yeah, I had to cheat on this one, but I don't care.  Chuck is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows.  I watched all of season 1 of Chuck in one sitting.   Yes, I watched all 13 episodes in one sitting.  And I usually don't like the title characters of a show, but Chuck is adorable.  He's geeky, smart, and funny and he knows how to treat a lady (even if he often fails--he gets points for attempting!).  He makes me wish I had a little brother like him, and I spend at least one time an episode wishing I could give him a hug.


4) Booster Gold.  99% of you are going "who the fuck is booster gold?" and the other 1% have seen either the Booster Gold episodes in Justice League, or less likely, the episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  For the uninformed, Booster Gold's real name is Michael Carter, and he's a disgraced Gotham University football star from the 25th century, who got kicked out for betting on his own games.  With no prospects, he got a job as a night janitor at a Superhero museum.  Wanting the fame and fortune he got from playing football, he steals some superhero artifacts, a security robot named skeets, and travels back to the era of the Justice League to market himself.  He used his knowledge of events in "history" to become famous and get endorsement deals and such, much to the chagrin of the Justice League (and like every other superhero in the DC universe).  That's the Booster they've portrayed in Justice League and Batman: the Brave and the Bold.  The booster that I like is a protector of the timestream.  Basically, after he pulls all that shit he gets roped into restoring the DC multiverse by "time master" Rip Hunter (later revealed to be Booster's son, unknown to everyone but Hunter).  With this new gig, Booster can finally be a real hero, the hero he grew to realize he wanted to be.  There's only one problem: he can't tell anyone what he's doing, or else someone might kill him off in his crib, or something similar.  So now Booster is forced to be the laughing stock of the superhero community as a front for his real job.  He's now going by "The greatest hero the world has never known."  Booster is completely likeable as a character; he's honest, and at the heart of it a really good guy.  He honestly wants to be a hero, a real hero, not the hero he used to be, and he cares more for his friends and family more than anyone.  I've quickly found him to be one of the most likable, relatetable, and most importantly REAL characters in the DC universe.  Sorry this was so long, but Booster is relatively unknown and so there was a lot of explanation needed.


5) Bill Compton.  Oh Bill, Sookie's vampire suitor from True Blood.  Sure, you're not the most attractive vampire on the show (Eric wins that one), but you're way more interesting.  You legitly care for Sookie, and you'll do damn near anything to protect her, even...  well that's a book spoiler, so I shall leave that part out.  We'll keep it between us, Bill.  More than anything, really, I just like the way he says "Sookie."  [livejournal.com profile] cjspooks And I love yelling "Sookie" in his accent at each other.  It's a sick hobby of ours. (Edit: [info]cjspooks would like you all to know that it is NOT a sick hobby, simply a hobby, and that there is absolutely no blood letting sacrifices involved.  Those are her words, not mine.)


6) Batman.  I don't think I can be a comic book nerd (albeit a fledgling one), and not put Batman on this list.  He is THE superhero  (I like to pretend that Superman doesn't exist).  Ask anyone, comic book fan or not, "name a superhero" and 9 times out of 10, Batman will be the first thing they say.  I love everything about Batman, from his origins to his detecting to his manner in which he takes on criminals.  And let's not forget that Batman: The Animated Series was only one of the top ten shows from the 90s.  I grew up on Batman, and I still can't get enough.  My current favorite show is Batman: the Brave and the Bold because, not only is the show absolutely hilarious (I miss a show that's intelligent but completely lighthearted), it's introducing me to a lot of B-list DC heroes that I've never heard of like Kamandi and the Blue Beetle.  And it has "Mayhem of the Music Meister," an episode that's not only a musical, but one that I've watched well over 100 times.  I'm also a bit fan of the new Batman and Robin comic book series because, as much as I love Bruce as Batman and Dick or TIm as Robin, I'm really liking Dick as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin.  Their dynamic is enjoyable, and I like watching Damian slowly grow into the role.


7) Brian Michael Bendis.  (For the uninitiated, BMB is a comic book writer.)  Growing up, I'd always been interested in comics, but I didn't want to have to sort through the years and years of backstory, and I was afraid that if I just tried to jump in, I'd be completely lost and it would cause me to lose interest.  Then this man penned Ultimate Spider-Man, which is not only a reboot for the webslinger, but an alternate universe.  I was able to pick up the trades and not have to worry about what villain x's backstory was in the past, because it would be different.  After about 3 or 4 trades, I stopped picking them up.  I don't remember why, but it definitely wasn't because I wasn't interested.  Anyway, fast forward a few years and a good friend slowly gets me into comics again.  The first comic book (not trade) is Dark Avengers, and lo and behold, it's written by Bendis.  So not only do I like this man for helping me get into comics, I like him for his unique style of comics, one where he's not afraid to write an entire page full of dialogue off one image.


8) Bad Romance.  I know I shouldn't like Lady GaGa.  I didn't want to like Lady GaGa.  But goddamn I love Lady GaGa.  Her music makes me happy from the first beat.  They're catchy and fun and she's absolutely out of her mind crazy.  And Bad Romance is definitely my favorite song of the bunch.  It gets bonus points for having it's own fan created mathematical equation ((RAH)²(AH)³ + [ROMA (1+MA)] + (GA)² + (OOH)(LA)² = Bad Romance), and for driving my dad insane (he hates this song with a passion).  This video is crazy, and it's by the director who directed "I Am Legend."  What's not to love?


9) Black Jack.  No, not the card game (although that's fun too), the anime doctor.  Black Jack ,like Booster Gold, isn't very well known, so bear with me while I go through a short explanation of who he is (preferably a length shorter than Booster's).  He was created by Osamu Tezuka, the grandfather of anime.  He's a genius surgeon, the best in the world, but there's just one catch--he doesn't have a license.  So instead he works underground, asking exuberant sums of money for his services.  Yes, I realize this summary of him makes him sound like the worlds biggest asshole, but I assure you, he's not.  He became a doctor to help people, but the medical board revoked his license because he failed to obey his boss' orders not to perform a considered impossible surgery, despite saving the person's life (he didn't fight it because he didn't believe that a license made him any more or any less of a doctor).  And yes, he may ask crazy amounts of money for his services, but he seems to do that more as a cover than anything.  He's more interested in seeing the human side of the patient, and if that moves him he'll perform the surgery for nothing or next to nothing.  He lives by a complex moral code that you have to see to believe.  He's a character that I admire because he's skilled but not prideful, but at the same time he's not stricken by complete humility either.  He's jaded by humanity as a whole, but is moved whenever one or more individual's shines through.  He abides by his own rules and principles and he won't let anybody convince him to stray from them.  And that just makes him a badass.


10) Billy Joel.   Long Island's native son, and one of my father's favorite singers.  Growing up, I listened to what my parents listened to, and Billy quickly became one of my favorites.  Throughout the years I've figured out that he only sings about three things: Women, Growing up/self-discovery, and History.  Don't believe me?  Women: Only the Good Die Young, She's Always a Woman, You May Be Right, Uptown Girl, All for Leyna, Sometimes a Fantasy, Great Wall of China...  Growing up/self-discovery: Captain Jack, Piano Man, The Stranger, Second Wind, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Second Wind, New York State of Minds... History: We Didn't Start the Fire, Downeaster Alexa, Allentown, Goonight Saigon, Leningrad...  And even though he tends to focus around those general topics, they're all unique and have a distinctive flair that sets it apart, yet each has the Piano Man style.  All the songs he has are catchy and fun and they make me happy.  I don't care if the man crashes his car into trees or marries women only 10 years older than me, I have nothing but respect for this man and his work.




I know this was a novel-sized post, but I was bored and have a lot to say.  So thank you for sitting through it all, and if you'd like your own letter, drop me a comment :)

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March 2012

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