Cynthia E. Jones
"Bubba Ho-Tep" is the IPO of the Day on The
Hollywood Stock Exchange: http://www.hsx.com . Just
thought you'd like to know. Buy deep! Support Bruce!
Watched your man William Wyler's "The Collector"
last week. I really dig Terence Stamp, and Samantha
Eggar was a knockout. It was surprising coming from
Wyler--it didn't seem like his 'kind' of movie, but
I liked it. Stamp is one of the few actors I can think
of who has mastered that whole sinister/appealing thing.
You almost feel sorry for him. But you wouldn't want
to be her.
Loved the interview...I kept talking to myself out loud
while I was listening to it. It was like an audio version
of the movie geek salon for a while there... "Adaptation?"
"The Sixth Sense?" Great movies? I could feel
you bristling on the other end of the phone... Great
didn't want to start a fight. I was trying to be sociable.
Yes, "The Collector" is an odd picture in
Wyler's ouvre, but I appreciate it for just that reason
-- he hadn't made a film like it before, and to a great
extent pulls it off, too. He was already 63-years old
at that time. He then went on to make yet another completely
different film for him, "Funny Girl," his
one and only musical, and a pretty damn good one, too,
not to mention that it was Barbara Streisand's first
film. I remember seeing "Funny Girl" at a
roadshow engagement when it first opened in 1968. The
final shot before the intermission, with Streisand on
the tugboat singing "Don't Rain on My Parade,"
as it does a giant helicopter pull-back off of her close-up,
well, I was just blown away.
do you think of blade runner
bores me to tears, but I like the score.
Josh.Ihave let you some days in piece. But i have think,
hey why i ask any time from Josh to tell me abaut others
directors actors musicians, and don't ask him abaut
his works.Maybe i have see films made from you and not
give atetion ,who was the director or writer and screenplays
,because hier in Germany are translaydet in German the
tittle of films axampel the good the bad and the ugly,(Enios
Moriccone best musik ,and still doday when i hear this
compositions i think i´am lost in time and i´fel
so emty and SOME melanholy the musik from XENA any time
ihear the tittle musik i fell so strong and ,bbbrrr
i'ts ,i'ts very cool ) call it like this ( zwei gloreiche
halunken)and something else you have try to make cool
frape with ice??FRENDLY GEORGE
first film, "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . . Except"
was released in Germany as "Du Sollst Nicht
Toten . . . Ausser." They've put the elipses
in the wrong place. My agents have just completed
a deal for "Running Time" to be released
in Germany, and possibly TSNKE to be re-released.
A friend who respectfully disagrees with you:
just wanted to let you know that no person of faith
who truly believes in God, or Yahweh, or Allah, or whatever,
believes in anything other than the idea that mankind
should together strive for ultimate world peace and
good will toward all men. This following sentence of
yours: "And it's always been a tradition of the
Serbs to hate the Croats, the Hutus to hate the Tutsis,
whites to hate blacks, Christians to hate Jews, Jews
to hate the Palestinians, Hindus to hate the Muslims,
and Muslims to hate everybody." This is one of
the most irrationally stereotypical statements I have
ever read. I'll have you know that not all Serbs hate
the Croats, not all whites hate the blacks, not all
Christians hate the Jews, not all Jews hate the Palestinians,
and so on and so on. And those who do are simply ignorant.
Anyone who claims to have a belief in God and also claims
to hate another person doesn't fully understand the
God they claim to believe in. I've heard from people
before that religion is the reason for all evil that
exists in the world, and that it causes people to hate
and kill each other. If that's the case then the saying
"Guns don't kill people...people kill people"
isn't true. Every religion, whether wrong or right,
gives a person something to believe in. The religion
doesn't decide what the person is going to think, the
person decides what the person is going to think. People
are going to fight and kill and hate over one another's
religions from now until the end of time, pessemistically
speaking, but that is simply because people choose to
do so. A loaded gun that is sitting on the table in
an empty house cannot go off by itself. A person needs
to be there to decide whether or not to pull the trigger.
Adolf Hitler wasn't Jewish, and he chose to make as
much money as possible while killing as many Jews as
he could. Oscar Schindler wasn't Jewish either, and
chose to save as many Jews as he could no matter how
much money he lost. While every religion does point
out that there are good and bad apples in every barrel,
common sense and logical reasoning will tell you the
same thing. People choose to distance themselves from
one another. You say that religion does nothing but
separate people. Well, you don't seem to belong to any
religion, and yet you persist in separating yourself
from those who do belong to a religion of some sort.
Religion doesn't separate people, people separate people.
You contradict yourself in more ways than I can count,
and I honestly am sorry that something in your life
has caused you to feel this way. You have,however, inadvertantly
made a good point, being that something is terribly
wrong with the manner in which people often respond
to one another. The reason for that, however, is not
religion, but is moreover a growing sense of apathy
and decreasing desire among men to work hard for something
that benefits more than one person. I acknowledge the
fact that you disagree with what Mel Gibson is attempting
to do with his movie. And I whole-heartedly disagree
with your decision to condemn him for it. But condemning
someone for their beliefs does nothing to bring about
world peace. You have to help people! You have to put
yourself on a mission to enact necessary change in society
and in human relations through the use of intellectual
conversations. When you talk to someone about something,
you learn. When you condemn someone for something, you
refuse to believe the fact that people believe different
things. And that is not the fault of religion, people
will believe whatever they want to believe. You think
that religion condemns you for not believing in it,
so therefore you condemn religion? Who in the hell taught
you how to think? Whoever it was, I'm going to say extra
prayers for them....and I now know that I have done
something worthwhile. Instead of condemning you with
my anger, I channell it into a stream of peace. That
stream now flows within your heart, whether you know
it or not. Thank you for your time.
A man who believes in compassion
ahead, pray for me. You say, "Every religion, whether
wrong or right, gives a person something to believe
in. The religion doesn't decide what the person is going
to think, the person decides what the person is going
to think. People are going to fight and kill and hate
over one another's religions from now until the end
of time, pessemistically speaking, but that is simply
because people choose to do so." Right, and religion
is the cause. You say that religion gives people something
to believe in, and I'm saying it's a bad thing to believe
in. You say that religion doesn't decide what the person
is going to think, but that's exactly the point of religion
-- someone else decides what your beliefs will be. By
choosing a religion you've chosen their code of ethics
and morality. If you're a Catholic, you believe that
everytime anyone has sex they should have children,
and overpopulation be damned. If you don't believe that
then you have no business calling yourself a Catholic.
As you say, "people will fight and kill and hate
over one another's religion until the end of time,"
and that's what's so awful about it. We're all in the
religion of humanity, and anything seperates that is
a bad idea.
If someone makes a movie almost alone, that is in addition
to bankrolling it they also write it, direct, produce,
edit and film it, will this person get paid for what
a regular cameraman, editor, director, etc. would have
been paid for simply having done all the jobs, on top
of another figure?
Sounds clear as mud. Does this make sense?
Also, can once expect a distributor blow a film up from
16mm to 35mm if they're willing to buy it?
Lastly, what is a normal percentage for a producer's
rep to take off the top of a film he or she sells.
Thanks. Have a good one.
you finance a film yourself, as I've done, then you
end up paying yourself nothing for everything you do
because it's money out of your own pocket that you need
to make the film. No, you cannot expect a distributor
to blow up your picture for you. If the film isn't suitable
for distribution then they probably won't be interested
in it, but they want to put in as little money as possible.
Most distributors I've dealt with are only looking for
reasons to not handle your film, and not being in 35mm
is a good reason. Meanwhile, sales reps or sales agents
generally work in the 33% realm, after expenses, and
they're expenses can go on forever. As soon as my agent
made the sale of "Running Time" to IFC, I
received a statement of expenses for twice that amount.
The original sales agent on TSNKE always stayed ahead
of me on expenses, so even though they ended up selling
most every territory in the world, I never got any money.
I sued them and beat them in three different courts
and still didn't get any money, just legal bills.
You might be amused by this. The other night, I noticed
a listing on cable of an old 70's horror film called
"Madhouse," starring Vincent Price, Peter
Cushing and Robert Quarry, from right around the time
of "Dr. Phibes." So I'm all excited to catch
it - but what comes on? Some lame Kirstie Alley/John
Laroquette comedy by the same name. Ick. The newspaper
listings editor listed the wrong "Madhouse."
Hey good luck on the newest screenplay. Are you doing
any side gigs while in Detroit? I recall in the past
you've referred to helping friends out on projects,
and there was your brief flirtation with "Worst
Case Scenario." Any chance you might get lured
into any commercial work, like car ads or whatever?
if I can help it. I was actually just offered an industrial
film and I got a friend to do it. I'm also just completing
the deal for TSNKE to be sold overseas again. All of
it's old contracts have expired and several countries
want it for re-release. Too bad about "Madhouse."
Nelson pops up, "Ha-ha!"
Josh and friends,
"Do no harm" is a fantastic philosophy to
live by, except that if you truly believe that a friend
is going the wrong way, it is harmful to let him. Sure,
the truth of religion comes into play, but these days,
it isn't the extent. Whether it's drugs, unsafe sexual
behavior, or poor money management, people don't care
much for other people. If they live and let live to
the extreme, then no one is helping anyone else.
God is not us, but He is in us. His very breath gives
us our soul and animates us, and without Him, we would
not die or disappear -- we just wouldn't exist. He is
in us, but He is only equal in the Blessed Trinity,
not in every blade of grass or in every bird.
As we step further from religion, the sense of sacrifice
and doing something for the greater good fades. Everyone
fights to maintain their personal space, their selfishness,
and their pride, and no one is happier for it. We live
in an incredibly sad world. And I'm not talking about
the abundance of sin -- I'm talking about how depressed
people are. And when art imitates life to the point
where we have movies like "Magnolia" and "Igby
Goes Down," we know for sure that we are not living
in a happy society. I wanted to blow my own head off
after seeing those two movies, and many others today
follow the pattern.
By the way, Josh, have you heard of Fatima? I'd be interested
to know if your contention of the miracle would be disbelief
or some other explanation.
blessed trinity my ass! And all that Our Lady of Fatima
and Bernadette of Lourdes bullshit, too. It's only use
is to be the basis of those old 20th century-Fox movies
with Jennifer Jones. French girl sees visions of mother
Mary. Oy vey! And they gave Jennifer Jones an Oscar
for it, too. And I appreciate your absolute certainity.
Like you really know something. Ha! As Marvin Gaye said
-- and here's your blessed trinity -- the only things
you can be certain of are "taxes, death, and trouble."
you seen the 1940s version of The Razor's Edge? If so,
what's your take on it?
probably been 30 years since I saw the old one, and
20 years since I saw the newer one, and both of them
have shot right out of my head. My only impression of
both is a guy full of angst.
I think you're confusing the ideals of religion with
the reality of it. There are any number of philosophies
in this world that, on paper, make alot of sense. But
when these ideas are taken into the world that we live
in they become irrelevant because mankind is not as
simple-minded or single-minded as the idealists would
like for it to be. When I look at religion, I look at
the devoted followers that I meet in my every day life,
I look at what is done in the name of religion all over
the world and over the course of history. I honestly
believe that the world would be a happier place without
organized religion. I'm not saying that every religious
person is evil, but rather that religion as an organized
practice is a bad thing. I personally find the whole
idea of it to be a mindless in its very nature. Like
an idiots disease, it is designed to be spread to the
naive and weak-minded, to those that are too dumb or
simple to question it.
I'd be much more comfortable living in a culture that
promotes a sort of "do no harm" morality.
I find that the rule of law (not under the influence
of religion) is a very good way of keeping people honest.
Once you get caught up in the idea that your philosophy
of life is beyond rebuke, you've become the sort of
righteous asshole that lives to create problems in the
world. I personally find the idea of defending organized
religion to be extremely repugnant, especially considering
the current state of affairs in the middle east. Would
those in the middle east be any better off if Christianity
was their belief system? I really doubt it. They'd just
run off and create the "I hate you" sect and
then find the texts that support their hate then start
the killing in the name of their God. More often than
not, religion is simply a tool to kill, conquer, or
divide. I truly believe that mankind will only achieve
harmony when religion becomes outmoded. Once we have
stopped looking into the sky for answers, we'll finally
be able to look into ourselves for peace.
said. As Joseph Campbell said (and I paraphrase in my
essay), all of the "holy" books are books
of mythology, imperfect users manuals on how to face
life and death. He then went on to say that in his opinion
the least helpful of the present religions were the
Judeo-Christian religions (which includes Islam) because
they purport that God is outside of us, seperate from
us, and that's not only of no use, it's harmful. God
is us. God, if you will, is what makes anything alive
-- a human, a bird, or a blade of grass. To purport
that God is outside of us, and worse still, judging
us, is painfully unhelpful to the extent of being harmful.
And, as Jim said, and I was trying to say last night
when my computer got a virus and crashed (it's fixed
now), it's not that everyone that participates in religion
is evil, since most humans do accept some form of religion,
but the organized religions themselves are really evil.
I think the person that had it the clearest of recent
days was John Lennon: "Imagine there's no heaven/It's
easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky/Imagine
all the people/Living for today . . ./Imagine there's
no countries/It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or
die for/And no religion too/Imagine all the people/Living
life in peace . . ." Until there's no religion
there can be no peace.
Abolition in America in the eighteenth century is inseperable
from abolition in Britain during the same period. Thomas'
book focuses primarily on slavery in North America and
his section on Abolition which I cited deals primarily
with the Abolition movement in New England.
If the question is, "Are there Charlatans in religion?"
the answer is obviously "yes", but this is
not a property of religion, it is a property of people.
There are charlatans in business, philosophy and, as
you point out so many times, in the arts. That doesn't
mean there are not true believers.
The true believers that I have known don't believe that
they know the truth, they believe that there is a truth
and live their lives in pursuit of it. Such people tend
to be quiet and far removed from televangelists and
rabble-rousers. It is also worth pointing out that they
all admit to having doubts. That's where their faith
As for sectarianism, the exclusivity of a sect or denomination
is irrelevant to your essay. Your statement was that
"Religion is Evil". Therefor, all religion
must be evil; there must be some unique and universal
sense in which it is evil. That some sects are evil
doesn't prove your point. I would take less issue with
you had you said that religion is counter-productive
or even harmful. But "evil", in the same sense
as "lie" requires intent to do harm.
Thanks as always,
make very intelligent, cogent arguments, which I appreciate,
but I honestly do believe that all religion is out to
do harm in one way or another. Since there are so many
humans duped by it, obviously there are many good ones
that don't realize they believe in and are pushing evil
sect, I was only pointing out that the fact you pulled
out, about anybody can be a Jew, was only regarding
a single sect, Reform Jews. I'm not differentiating.
All religion, all sects, all cults are evil. Is that
broad enough for you. I believe you've got yourself
stuck in a contradiction with the true believers who
have their doubts -- if you have doubts then you are
necessarily not a true believer. As you said, that's
where "faith" comes in, and I'll quote good
old Mark Twain again, "Faith is believing what
know ain't so."
josh, i really enjoyed the internet radio interview
and show you did, nice job containing yourself! was
it impossible to add a few clips of dialogue from one
of your films in at the break points? they sure had
enough poetry and music.
didn't ask me for them and it's their show. Yes, I did
a lot of holding my tongue.
As I'm sure many people will respond to your announcement,
let me say that I'm glad to hear you're bearing down
and writing another screenplay. Even if you fail to
produce it, (and I mean no discouragement, I truly wish
to see more of your work) at least you can take solace
that your screenplays offer a lot of important examples
of good writing for all us hopefuls out there.
As for the right routes to send your script through,
I'd say IFC Films would be your best shot. They're financing
all sorts of flicks these days, like it's going out
of style (which, for all the other studios, it is).
I have a chum who just recently co-starred in IFC's
big new release, "Camp," by Todd Graff. Graff
doesn't exactly have the label of "integrity"
so easily associated with him, seeing as how his biggest
screenwriting credits ("Camp" is his directorial
debut) include "Used People," the remake of
"Angie," and "The Beautician and the
Beast." However, the flick got some big hype at
Sundance, a considerable feat for a movie headed by
unknown teenage actors with a plot that doesn't involve
IFC has been putting out a lot of independent films
these days, picking up the slack where Miramax left
off in the mid-90's. Stories that would otherwise never
see the lens of a camera are now being met with greenlights,
with B-list actors lined up to work for peanuts. IFC
already knows you from Running Time, and I think there
may be a chance that they'll give you a chance to make
something big for them.
Of course, I could be talking out of my ass. Something
tells me you've tried that avenue, and chances are you've
already been shot down by those folks. I find it ridiculous
that no one would want to pick up your film.
But on the lighter side, care to divulge any information
about this script of yours? Perhaps some actors you're
eyeing for the lead roles?
- C. Gray
for the encouragement and the suggestion, which I will
take seriously. I did send "Hammer" to IFC
(and never heard a word back, nor could I get through
to them), but I'm not dealing with them directly now,
it's all going through an agent who won't rep "Hammer"
(although they just picked up TSNKE. That's what I get
for leaving the exploitation field). Meanwhile, when
I write a script I don't think about actors. These aren't
actors, they're characters in my head that I'm creating.
I didn't start off writing "Lunatics" thinking
of Ted Raimi, nor did I start writing "Running
Time" thinking of Bruce Campbell. They both occured
to me several drafts in. And though I can't stand the
idea of superstion, I simply can't help it in regard
to works-in-progress. They die so quickly and so inexplicably
that I just can't bring myself to discuss them anymore.
Thanks for your response. On the subject of Christianity
and abolition I might refer you to Hugh Thomas' recent
book, "The Slave Trade", book five on "Abolition".
All of the early pronouncements against slavery cited
come from religious speakers, in a religious capacity,
including the Papacy as early as the mid-sixteenth century.
The Papacy made continual, if ineffectual, pronouncements
against slavery throughout the slavery period.
As far as I know, the Dark Ages were brought about by
the decline of the Western Roman Empire and no historian
I have read would attribute its decline to Christianity.
Indeed, the acceptance of Christianity under Constantine
marked a rennaisance in the West. Justinian certainly
relied upon the Church to rebuild the Eastern Empire.
Someone would have to show me a serious historian who
disputes that before I would accept it. Remember, too,
that there was no "Catholic" Church until
the Eastern Schism in 1054. Until that point there were
only "Christians" or heretics (from the Church's
When you say that Islam turned against knowledge you
must remember that this "turn" was the result
of the invasion of the Islamic empire by the Seljuk
Turks who were as illiterate as a people can be. The
"Turn" from knowledge, therefor, was independent
of the religion and the result of political change.
According to the Catholic Catechism it is not true that
one must take communion to avoid damnation. The Catholic
position is that the one sacrifice of Christ is sufficient.
The Catholic Church feels that their adherents have
the advantage of better information for achieving salvation,
but that no one else under any circumstances is barred
from it. According to Rabbi M. Steinberg ("Basic
Judaism", 1975) the Jews take essentially the same
position. "Anyone may become a Jew; but no one
has to do so in order to be saved, whether in this world
or the next." (pg. 99)
As for Holy Men lying about their "revealed truths",
a "lie" requires intent to decieve and truly
"Holy Men" believe completely what they say.
I'm not sure what edict you're refering to with Catholic
choirs. My Grandmother was in the choir going back to
the 1920's at least. I would place the date further
back because of monasticism which was the primary religious
life for men until the nineteenth century. I've read
one book about homosexuality in monasteries and one
about homosexuality in nunneries. Most of these relationships
were consensual (to the degree a ten-year old uneducated
peasant can consent given the existing power structure),
but not all by a long shot. These rapes often involved
the monastic school which was attended by local boys.
Of course, naval vessels and garrisons had long histories
of homosexual rape of young boys, though I admit they
haven't the great moral hypocracy for which to answer,
and they did have recourse to prostitution.
I would like to add that, while I don't believe in the
necessity of celibacy, I don't mind if a person chooses
it. Requiring celibacy, originally imposed to prevent
Church appointments from becoming hereditary titles,
means you're going to get a population with more than
its share of sexual hangups. That having been said,
most priests I have known, (probably hundreds) are decent
guys trying to pursue what they believe to be a holy
mission. I have known several who were molesters, though
even most of them joined the priesthood because they
thought it would "cure" them. That is an institutional
change which needs to be made.
A last small note, while there is no rationale for a
blue-eyed Jesus beyond making him culturally identifiable
(Jesus is also portrayed as Black, Hispanic and Asian),
there is also no specific reason why, outside of a documentary,
he need be semitic, though it would be a nice change.
The genetic mix Jesus was a part of no longer exists,
and hasn't for a long time. Part of the discussion of
racism which disturbs me is the disregard for inter-mingling
which has taken place in all but the most isolated (read;
inbred) of societies.
Thanks as always for a good discussion. I'll comment
later on your interview, which I enjoyed. I'll give
you a break for now, though.
is America is what I was referring to. And though the
Catholic church may have taken a negative view early
on, it did very little about it. And the turn away from
knowledge was more than the invasion of the Turks, it
was a conscious effort by the "holy" men to
keep the masses illiterate and "faithful."
And this edict of the 14th century is what has kept
Islam in a state of barbarism ever since. It's the perfect
religion for people 1200 AD, but has nothing to do with
the hopefully civilized modern world. And your quote
from Rabbi Steinberg is just flatly untrue for most
sects of Judaism. Other than Reform Judaism, you cannot
join. If your mother wasn't Jewish, you cannot be a
Jew under any circumstances. Making it the mother instead
of the father was a sociological breakthrough, in that
it accepted that if a woman was raped it wasn't her
fault, but nevertheless, the Rabbi's point does not
apply to most Jews. And to say that "truly "Holy
Men" believe completely what they say" is
a generalization and, I would say, an overstatement.
If anyone alive knows that the "truth" is
not that clear, it's the "holy men." Every
time a "holy" man states he "knows"
the truth, he's lying, and deep down he knows he's lying.
did you think of the movies good fellows, taxi driver,
the brekfest club, and batman
Driver" is one of my favorite films, "Goodfellas"
is an excellent film, "The Breakfast Club"
was highly forgettable, and "Batman" is an
excremental piece of garbage, painfully miscast, and
with Jack Nicholson giving the single worst performance
of his long career.
Wondering if you've ever seen the movie "Out of
the Blue," which was directed by Dennis Hopper
in the early 80's? Linda Manz stared in it, and for
my money, was spectactular. The film really haunted
me, and I was reminded of the discussion here several
months ago about distrurbing movies...This is really
one of them. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend
My attempted film project with free Panivision cameras
is still rolling along. I'm spending all my time trying
turn a one-page idea into a good, structured story.
It's very hard to do, but is something I've done ever
since reading your structure essays several years ago.
As for yourself, you've gotta make another film. Couldn't
you get free access to cameras owned by some college
near you? There are cameras (and all kinds of editing
facilities) all over the place. You could shoot something
piece-meal and have a feature in the can within a year,
and probably not spend a dime on anything other than
film stock. That's a very optimistic scenario, I understand,
but there's always a way. You need to continue to build
up a slate of movies. Sooner or later...Robert Altman
was in his 40's before he directed "M*A*S*H."
Have a good one.
hope that your film comes to fruition. And I thank you
for the inspiration. I've got a few irons in the fire
right now, and I'm barreling through the writing of
a new script. I've actually written the whole thing
and am just basically typing it now. This is the first
script I've written in four years, and it feels good.
Sadly, I have no idea who to show it to regarding getting
it made, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
is the city where born ALEXANDER and i'ts a litle city
between Thessaloniki and Edessa,and on the legs of neu
pella ar the ruins of ALEXANDERS PALLAST AND ONE MUSEUM.
there is only one Macedonia on the Balkania and this
is in Greece.And abaut Wuppertal the Germans they think
they ar in Greece when they come in Wuppertal because
only in this city are so many cafeterias in Greek stile.
my favorite rock albums was and are PINK FLOYT ALL-YES-
EMERSON LIKE AND PALMER -A GERMAN BAND NECKTAR -GENESIS
WITH PETER GABRIEL-LED ZEPELIN- BLACK SABBATH -URIAH
HEEP- RAINBOW -SWEET-ALLAN PARSONS THE FIRST 3-QUEN-
FROM THE NEU WEVE OF BRITISCH HEAVY METAL IRON MAIDEN
-HEELOWWEN-GARY MOORE- VIRGIN STEEL(DAVID DEFEIS IS
FOR ME THE MONDERN HOMER)AND MANY MANY OTHER BANDS ELVIS
WAS AND GOING TO BE FOR EVER THE KING OF ROCK AND ROOOLLLLL.long
live rock and rol; i hope sam give to Spinderman 2 some
more mysterium long live Stan the man Lee HE IS THE
MASTER OF FANTASY I REMEMBER THIS WORTS:FROM THE FANTASTIC
FOUR Nr 338( I DON'T REMEMBER EXACTLY)(AN OLD LEGEND
GOING TO BY TRUH FAR UWAY BYOND THE STARS WILL COME
THE UNI MINDE TO CONQWERE THE UNIVERS:I THINK THAT AVI
ARAD KNOW THE REST. HE MAKE A GOOD WORK.GEORGE
see. Near Giannitsa and the Vardar River. And I understand
there being a Greek area of town, here in Detroit it
is uniquely called Greektown, one of the few spots in
downtown Detroit that has remained lively. They now
have a casino there, too, imaginatively called The Greektown
Casino. And I agree, long live rock & roll!
My experience with you through this site suggests that
you prefer two-sided conversations so long as both sides
are well thought out. On that assumption I thought I'd
respond to your "Religion is Evil" essay.
I should mention that I was raised Catholic and, while
I have studied other religions my perspective is deepest
from the Catholic perspective. I should also say that
I share many of your rejections of Catholic teachings.
I feel that, given the influence the Catholic Church
has in sub-saharan Africa, to preach against the use
of condoms is criminal. If you fail to warn someone
that the glass contains poison you are culpable in that
person's death. It might actually be the best idea for
everyone to live in stable, monogamous relationships
but that is clearly not the reality, not in the West
and certainly not in the developing world. "Every
sperm is sacred" because, in theory, every sperm
represents half of a potential life. Science has demonstrated
that every skin cell represent a potential human life
but the Church hasn't taken a stand against dandruff.
I think the Church exceeds its competence in these and
many other areas.
"Religion is evil", though; in fact "...the
basis of nearly all that's evil on our lovely planet,"
with that I have to take exception. If religion were
in fact no more than the opiate of the masses that would
be enough to justify its existence. I know you are aware,
as few enough of us are, how horrid life has been for
the vast majority of people who have ever lived. Until
a few hundred years ago the average person lived perhaps
thirty-five years before dying of a hideous disease,
one which likely wiped out his or her family and community
as well. Not only did the individual die, he or she
died knowing that much of what they had known was lost
as well. And the thirty-five years they had were horrid.
People today tend to forget that slavery has been the
norm in history for almost all peoples, not the exception.
My Eastern European ancestors were "emancipated"
after Blacks in America, in some instances thirty years
after. That doesn't invalidate the suffering of black
slaves, but their suffering was neither unique nor unusual,
even if it was characterised. My wife is a doctor who
deals with people who are dying. She gives people opiates
knowing the drugs will not save or even extend the person's
life. If religion had performed only that role it would
have a tremendous humanitarian value.
But has that been religion's sole contribution? Again,
even if one assumes that religion is false, the answer
is "no". Slavery is one area where the contribution
of religion is crucial. The insistence of the non-conformist
sects on the equality of the soul gave direct rise to
the abolitionist movement. Consider that nowhere before
the seventeenth century had anyone ever concluded that
slavery per se was wrong. Slavery for me or my family
might be wrong, but no one had ever said that slavery
as an institution should end. The justification for
ending slavery was a religious justification, one that
is even now only partially secularised. "All men
are created equal" and other such sentiments clearly
reflect a belief in an external standard which requires
faith. There is no philoshophy, even today, which does
not derive or answer religion. The emancipation of women
derives its validity through the same provenance.
You posit that religions are, in their essence, divisive.
"We're the chosen people and you're not,"
is how you put it. I would call your attention to the
Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 839 through
843, as these are statements about the position of the
Church and not dogmatic pronouncements as such. The
sections state quite clearly the Catholic Church's position
that those outside of the Catholic Church are not outside
the grace and salvation (I don't know a good non-religious
substitute) of God. While people may be external to
the Catholic Church, no one in any walk of life is external
to God's love, plans, salvation. I know how sappy that
sounds but I'm trying to summarize and I think these
terms are familiar enough to convey the gist of the
sections. It is not true in the Catholic Church that
"...someone's always got to be wrong." At
least not in theory. Only God is right and everyone
else depends upon him (the pronoun being a convention,
not a statement of gender).
You talk about religious killing. According to the Catechism,
there are two circumstances where killing is justified.
One is where your life is in danger and the other (self-defense)
the other when the lives of those dependent upon you
are in danger (defense of family, etc.). All defense
must involve the minimum necessary force. That may mean
mortal force. Under no other circumstances is killing
condoned; not for conversion, not for comfort and not
for emotional satisfaction of any sort. Again, this
may not always have been adhered to but it is the official
position of the Church. Can you name the last Holy War
of the Catholic Church? That I can think of it was the
Jacobine insurrection of 1745, though I could be mistaken.
The Catholic Church has been involved in other wars
since, but they were not wars of conversion.
You attack tradition. Certainly tradition which cannot
stand up to scrutiny needs to be discontinued. I assume
you are familiar with Will and Ariel Durant. Life-long
historians, socialists and atheists, they nonetheless
expounded the value of tradition. That which stands
up under scrutiny, they said, becomes tradition and
remains so until it can no longer stand. One of the
traditions of the Catholic Church is scientific method,
dating from the thirteenth century and the writing of
Thomas Aquinas. He asserted that no religious truth
would ever be countered by scientific discovery and
that is the Church's official position today. Where
science contradicts the Church's understanding of revealed
truth, the Church must give way because there is only
one truth. The Catholic Church says that one need never
have heard of Christianity to figure this truth out.
God's entire plan for the world can be figured out by
observing the universe and applying reason. This is
true, says the Church, because man's reason is in the
image of the reason of God.
Something I think many people forget is that all of
the major religions of the world developed in an agrarian,
illiterate time and their structures reflect that, Islam
being the closest thing to an exception. Industrialization,
even in the went, is still in most areas less than two-hundred
years old. Vatican II was an attempt to deal with modernity
but the impetus of two-thousand years multiplied by
one-billion people takes a lot to shift.
Finally you mention priests raping children for over
a hundred years. I imagine it has been going on for
over a two-thousand years and will continue as long
as priests are drawn from the pool of humans. It is
difficult for many to understand, but the misdeeds of
the Church have nothing to do with its mission. Police
officers have been convicted of crimes ranging from
racketeering to murder, but no one seriously suggests
abandoning the rule of law. The idea of the rule of
law is greater than those who fail to uphold that idea.
In the same way the ideals of the Church are greater
than those who fail to live up to them. That is not
to say that there is no culpability for the institution
of the Church. But your article did not address institutions,
it addressed religion in its essence, as an concept.
The Catholic Church is easily as flawed as any other
human institution, worse than quite a few. I think it
fosters an atmosphere which makes the priesthood attractive
to men with severe sexual dysfunctions. I think its
rejection of homosexuality is based on a false premise;
that homosexuality is a choice. As far as I'm concerned
telling a homosexual person not to experience a loving
relationship is like telling a tall person not to reach
for things on the top shelf. homosexuality is in most
cases like height; a fact of birth rather than some
arbitrary choice. But these are institutional problems
with the people of the Church and not the Church itself.
The majority of the people I know in the Church are
good, decent people (priests included) more prone than
those not involved to help people in need. They are
far more truly "The Church" and therefor "religion"
in the abstract sense than any official no matter how
Before I finish I do want to mention that I AM AN AGNOSTIC.
I would completely abandon the notion of God were it
not for quantum mechanics. I am not the person to defend
the BELIEFS of religion; I am no apologist. I did want
to be fair to those who do believe, however, because
I think most of them deserve more than the condemnation
they recieve in your article.
Thanks as always,
and women's rights did not come out of the church, nor
did the constitution, nor did the Bill of Rights. We
conveniently like to foget that most of the founding
fathers, as well as Abraham Lincoln, were Athiests.
This country was started by people running away from
the church, as well as Dutch traders. religion may very
well have been a factor in civilizing humanity, and
may very well have been one step better than pure barbarism,
but that's about it. Catholisism brought us the Dark
Ages, and Islam turned against knowledge in the 1300s.
I say that none of these religions have any use in the
21st century for anything other than making the world
a worse place to live in. That you believe that religion
being an "opiate of the masses" is a good
thing I must take exception with. People need to think,
to figure out why we're here, and what we mean in regard
to other people, and religion not only doesn't help,
it hurts. Everybody in every religion feels that they
are superior to all the other religions. The Catholics
are saying that if you haven't taken communion, you're
not going to heaven. Baptists say you must be baptized
or you're screwed. Jews say you have to be born a Jew
or you're boned. Muslims say you must accept Allah or
you're an infidel. Everything else in religion is rationale,
tradition, and lies. Priests, Rabbis, Mullahs, Ministers
and all of the other "holy" men haven't got
one shred more knowledge about why we humans are here
or what the point of life is than anybody else, or any
bird, or any ant. And pretending that they do is a lie.
And lying is evil. The reason I chose one hundred years
for how long Catholic priests have been raping young
boys is not arbitrary. It was just about a hundred years
ago that the Vatican banned women from the Catholic
choirs because the priests kept having affairs with
them. So, in the Vatican's infinite wisdom, they replaced
the grown women with underage boys. This not only didn't
stop priests from having sex with the choir members,
it increased it. Because, as you pointed out, men that
are drawn to the priesthood are generally those with
sexual dysfunction and confusion. They'd really like
to go to the nearest gay bar and have fun, but their
religious upbringing makes them feel so guilty and like
such sinners that they instead go into the church. I
think all priests would be better off getting down and
funky at the Cock Ring.
Josh.I born in Exaplatanos PELLAS 50 km from sity Pella
where born ALEXANDER THE GREAT. I cam 1968 to Germany
with my mother after the deth of my father, and i stay
10 years in Mainz. abaout 35 km from Frankfurt am main
when i was 18 years old i go to Greece(with 5 big kartons
ful of marvel comics and 300 Rock albums ,ha ha ha)
to the army and when i was 21 years i start to work
with a truck. and so one day, after 15 years i go in
ARAD??? Romania i stay 7 years there(my wive is from
there) i have try to do something there. i have open
one company with Fruht import from Greece, but this
country have very bad economi. so then i cam in 42275
Wuppertal(this is the only City in the world where have
a kind of train, hanging in the air) not far away from
KÖLN. Here live 12.000 Hellenen and in one plase
are 10 cafeterie the Germans say if wie don't go in
Greece for holidays then we go in Wuppertal,if you send
mi one adress i sand you a postkarte.you don't need
to answere mi in this pagine with you adress, and i
promise to not give you adress to any one.George
know that Alexander the Great was Macedonian, but I
can't find Pella or Pellas in Macedonia, Greece, Albania,
Yugoslavia or Bulgaria. Where is it? I did find Wuppertal,
though, north of Koln and east of Dusseldorf (sorry,
I can't make umlauts). I'm having a little bit of trouble
understanding you -- although your English is much better
than my German or Greek -- are you saying the Germans
won't let the Greeks into certain restaurants? And just
out of curiosity, what were your favorites of those
300 rock albums?
The 1969 Vatican council wasn't primarily (I'm not even
sure if it was at all) an issue of exonerating the Jews.
It was more about making Catholicism just like every
other religion, and that's where Catholic Traditionalists
find their qualms. In any case, every movie I've ever
seen clearly depict the Romans as the judges and executioners
of Christ, and as it turned out, the Jews didn't believe
He was God. So why do I keep hearing about the issue
of "blaming Jews for the Crucifixion"? It
seems like everyone's panties are in a bunch (including
yours) because they think that any story portraying
the death of Christ is anti-semitic. Well, that's what
happened, right? The Jews were up in arms and the Romans
crucified Him to keep peace? Tell me if I'm wrong. In
any case, it's not a matter of blame, it's a matter
of who did what. I know it sounds silly, but so do people
who are offended by these types of movies for these
In Africa, AIDS may be on the rise, or whatever you
said about it, but the Catholic church doesn't, in essence,
approve of the spread of AIDS. It can't say, Well if
you're going to fornicate, then use condoms. The point
is to employ some SHRED of morality when dealing with
sexuality. Not just in Africa, but in the entire world,
humankind has devolved into a bunch of selfish animals,
and the God they all worship is sexuality. The world
is ruled by it, and it's crumbling because of it. I
don't know where you find your Traditionalist facts,
but not a single Traditional Catholic I know is worse
off for it. They are mostly happy and selfless people,
who raise their children dutifully, and without any
of them starving to death. A happy family is bred under
It's sad that celibacy of priests is attacked because
of the problem with pedophilia. Who should be attacked
are the sickos who molest children, and who don't know
enough to get a hooker in private than to take advantage
of kids. They're sick people, no doubt, but it isn't
the celibacy that drives them to it. There are other
ways to get your rocks off.
In addition, I'm sure that many of the cases involve
kids that are much older than the opposition lets on.
But the attackers of the Catholic faith are very careful
not to attack homosexuality, but rather to make every
case sound more like pedophilia.
The Catholic faith seems outdated. People mock the sacrament
of confession, but more and more, people are blowing
their heads off because they can't deal with the world,
or more often, a sin they have committed and can't forgive
Modesty is looked down upon, but we live in a world
where women invite disrespect, which leads to more impurity
and more crime. All over the world men and women are
splitting up because they are so ruled by their animal
insticts, that they can't stop looking at other women
or men, and they can't stop their selfishness. Children
are fucked up, and it's all because parents don't raise
their children anymore. More accurately, there are no
While I'm at it, you might want to apply your rules
of structure to your essays as well. They're no so much
essays as they are unorganized rants. And there's very
little fact. Me, my parents, all my Catholic friends,
the sisters in the convents, and all the priests, know
and fully accept that Christ was a Jew. I'm not sure
where you come off saying otherwise. But He began the
Catholic church. If He was alive today, for argument's
sake, He would not go to a synagogue.
What just popped into my head is this question: Why
are people always bitching that we blame the Jews for
killing Christ, when people, especially the Jews, should
complain that they supported the execution of a blasphemer,
or simply a man who wanted to rule earth and heaven?
many of my essay are just rants, and "Religion
is Evil" is certainly one of them. To say that
Jesus started the Catholic church is, should I say,
a big leap of faith. And I don't give a shit who killed
Jesus, I was just responding to the articles coming
out about Mel Gibson's "The Passion," and
the "controvery" that it's engendering. It's
clear that the Catholic Traditionalists have a problem
with who killed Jesus, not me. Your little rationale
about the Catholic church's inability to support the
use of condoms in a place ravaged by AIDS is at the
heart of why religion really is evil -- why shouldn't
people there use condoms? Because they just shouldn't,
because the church says so. To come up with a lame response
like they should "employ some SHRED of morality
when dealing with sexuality" answers nothing and
doesn't deal with the issue. Humans and all the rest
of the mammals fuck, sometimes to make babies, other
times just for the heck of it. Fucking does not have
to be limited to what the Catholic church says it has
to be, nor will it ever be. Morality is in the mind
of the beholder. Using condoms is a MUCH better idea
than not using them, particularly where there is a high
incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. That the
Catholic church is against this is simply because it's
evil, trying to make the world a worse place than it
already is. Now, let's deal with your next argument:
sad that celibacy of priests is attacked because of
the problem with pedophilia. Who should be attacked
are the sickos who molest children, and who don't know
enough to get a hooker in private than to take advantage
of kids. They're sick people, no doubt, but it isn't
the celibacy that drives them to it. There are other
ways to get your rocks off."
you trying to say that the Catholic priests who molest
young boys are not the "sickos"? That's who
we're talking about. The priests are the sickos, and
there have been thousands of reported cases of child
molestation by Catholic priests. Not tens, not hundreds,
but thousands. And those are the reported cases. I'd
say it's more like tens of thousands or even hundreds
of thousands if we knew the full extent of it. And how
do you know that celibacy doesn't cause it? Using your
own argument that the solution to child molestation
is "get a hooker in private," well priests
aren't allowed to do that, right? They supposed to be
celibate, which Aldous Huxley termed the worst of all
sexual perversions. So, since they're not allowed to
go get a hooker in private, the next best thing is young
boys that don't know any better. I'm asking you, if
you can't fuck hookers or little boys, and masturbation
is a sin, too, then how do you "get your rocks
off"? Praying to the false blond-haired blue-eyed
image of the Semitic Jesus? If you pray hard enough
do you actually come?
final argument makes no sense at all:
just popped into my head is this question: Why are people
always bitching that we blame the Jews for killing Christ,
when people, especially the Jews, should complain that
they supported the execution of a blasphemer, or simply
a man who wanted to rule earth and heaven?"
should complain that they supported the execution of
a blasphemer? Why? Given the state of society 2,000
years ago, why complain about that? He was a blasphemer,
so they executed him. What's the problem? The Catholics
felt that all of the Muslims were blasphemers and killed
as many of them as humanly possible during the crusades,
have we got a problem with that now? No. If your life
is commanded by the evils of religion, then if someone
is a blasphemer of course you should execute them. That's
what religion is all about, get with the program.
First off, I wanted to tell you that I listened to the
entire Omniversica radio program that you participated
in recently and found it to be a vastly entertaining
How wonderful that "The Magnificent Ambersons"
is your 'desert island' film. I have a question, have
you heard the 1991 re-recording of Bernard Herrmann's
complete original "Ambersons" score? As I'm
sure you know, more than half of his score was deleted
from the final film. If you are a Herrmann fan and familiar
with his Ambersons theme (for you, and myself, that
that would likely be from watching the film many times),
listening to the entire score is an immensely moving
experiance (especially Herrmann's music for the deleted
Boardinghouse ending, a cue that concludes with the
main Ambersons theme somberly played on a vibraphone).
The CD is out of print, but if you have heard it, I
was wondering what you thought of his entire score (as
I'm sure you know, the music at the end of the final
film was composed by Roy Webb who didn't utilize Herrmann's
One more question, have you read the Herrmann biography
"A Heart at Fire's Center" by Steven C. Smith?
I haven't read the book, nor have I heard the complete
"Ambersons" score, although I certainly would
like to. I do have a good documentary about Herrmann
on video tape. Unlike everybody else in the world, I
think "The Magnificent Ambersons" is just
the right length. The ending blows, but it doesn't matter
to me, because I think the real ending his Georgie getting
run over, and the scene before where Georgie is praying
and Welles intones, "Georgie got his come-uppance,
three times filled and running over, and no one was
there to see it." On a narrative level I'm entirely
fulfilled. Major Amberson sitting by the fire and trying
one last time to figure out the meaning of life before
he dies moves me every single time. ". . . It's
got to be the sun. The Earth came out of the sun, and
we came out of the Earth . . ." and it slowly fades
Dogs," it's stupid, illogical and violent strictly
for the sake of seeking attention
whats illogical about reservoir dogs
pull a heist where everything goes wrong, a cop is killed,
and you know you've got a rat within your group -- so
everyone goes back to a warehouse and stands there for
two hours waiting for the cops to arrive and arrest
them. That's a completely illogical, stupid plot.