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"A fucking elephant is a miracle. If people can't see a fucking miracle in a fucking elephant, then life must suck for them, because an elephant is a fucking miracle. So is a giraffe."
October 8, 2010 5:09 PM   Subscribe

"I don't know how magnets work," I say, to put him at his ease. Jon Ronson meets the Insane Clown Posse
posted by fearfulsymmetry (78 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 

you know i was thinking the other day how funny it would be if the whole world blew up
posted by boo_radley at 5:20 PM on October 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


mostly because of something avenger told me
posted by boo_radley at 5:20 PM on October 8, 2010


a thousand times awesome:

"I myself find bitches ain't shit," I say, to put him at his ease.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:23 PM on October 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Well," Violent J says, "science is… we don't really… that's like…" He pauses. Then he waves his hands as if to say, "OK, an analogy": "If you're trying to fuck a girl, but her mom's home, fuck her mom! You understand? You want to fuck the girl, but her mom's home? Fuck the mom. See?"

I look blankly at him. "You mean…"

"Now, you don't really feel that way," Violent J says. "You don't really hate her mom. But for this moment when you're trying to fuck this girl, fuck her! And that's what we mean when we say fuck scientists. Sometimes they kill all the cool mysteries away. When I was a kid, they couldn't tell you how pyramids were made…"

"Like Stonehenge and Easter Island," says Shaggy. "Nobody knows how that shit got there."

"But since then, scientists go, 'I've got an explanation for that.' It's like, fuck you! I like to believe it was something out of this world."
posted by box at 5:24 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I used to listen to ICP way back in the day, and I have to say, it is a far stretch of the imagination to place god in their old music. Yeah sure the riddle box could be read as something that may contain god, except, all of the "joker's card" records were more or less demons of punishment as described in liner notes, on the official website and in interviews at the time. The "ring master" is throwing "Forks" (a very notorious michigan gang that existed in all the major cities in Michigan in the mid-nineties).

I aged out of these guys when, for me, the joke stopped being funny, and I went from being the only kid at my school listening to them, to being the only kid that wasn't white trash listening to them. Their approach to "Christianity" is ignorant and stupid, I would imagine Christians would want to distance themselves, and that people that were into the old stuff wouldn't buy who they are now. If they do, they are total sheep, and they have the weirdest pastors.
posted by djduckie at 5:29 PM on October 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Milwaukee. A bad and quite eerie part of town. This happens to be the very block where the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer murdered and ate 17 people in the 1980s.

Ooooh scary. Actually it's not the block where Dahmer lived it's the old Eagles club that's been re-purposed as a multi-room live music venue. The only thing I worry about when I go to a show @ The Rave is my car getting stolen. And Juggalos. Oooh...I see ICP is coming back again, I'm starting to think Milwaukee is a little too close to Detroit.
posted by MikeMc at 5:31 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


In its own profane way, that fuck-the-mom metaphor is actually pretty well wrought. I wouldn't say I agree with it, but I can see how science based explanations of natural phenomena might be frustrating in the same sense that being kept from sex is frustrating.
posted by codacorolla at 5:34 PM on October 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


This just in, 2 Live Crew are actually Buddhists, and ""We Want Some Pussy" is an ironic commentary on desire and impermanence.
posted by Jimbob at 5:43 PM on October 8, 2010 [26 favorites]


Science is driven by narrative and I think in a fundamental way ICP discovered this. Science can't tell you how magnets work. Of course science can provide a predictive model: the simulacrum of truth (viz "Fuck the Mom").

I can see why they are depressed: Why would anyone immerse themselves in a world of the dark carnival? It's a pathological procession of self-limiting movements. This is evident in ICP's latest profession of the supposed "christian" themes in their music. They want out of the Dark Carnival. They want to be people.

I think the next step for them is to tour without their face paint.
posted by kuatto at 5:49 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


""A giraffe is a fucking miracle. It has a dinosaur-like neck. It's yellow. Yeah, technically an elephant is not a miracle. Technically. They've been here for hundreds of years…"

"Thousands," murmurs Shaggy."


Just give me an intravenous drip of this stuff. I think I could actually live off of it.
posted by dgaicun at 5:50 PM on October 8, 2010 [12 favorites]


"You know Miracles? Let me tell you, if Alanis Morissette had done that fucking song everyone would have called it fucking genius."


They may have a point there (at least it would have been a hit).
posted by oddman at 5:55 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


"But since then, scientists go, 'I've got an explanation for that.' It's like, fuck you! I like to believe it was something out of this world."

I cannot relate to this at all. These people are not adults, they are babies.
posted by smcameron at 5:56 PM on October 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Until near the end of that fuck the mom analogy I was parsing it as "Scientists are the daughter, God is the mom, wouldn't you rather FUCK THE MOM!" I liked it better that way.
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:59 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


If these guys were actually always Christian rock then you must admire their perseverance in perpetuating their hoax (or hiding their true nature).
posted by snofoam at 6:04 PM on October 8, 2010


If you want to live in a fantasy world, that's fine, just don't go around asking people how things work.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:15 PM on October 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


The Insane Clown Posse as an Evangelical sleeper cell? Well, I'll be.

Or, maybe it's just two expressways of massive ignorance merging? Hell, I don't know.
posted by nevercalm at 6:29 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Until near the end of that fuck the mom analogy I was parsing it as "Scientists are the daughter, God is the mom, wouldn't you rather FUCK THE MOM!" I liked it better that way.



I saw the reverse. I parsed it as "I'd rather tap the hot ass of mystical awe at the wonders of creation but boring old mom the rule making scientist is there getting in the way so I guess I'm just going to have to fuck her instead."
posted by mwalimu at 6:29 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fucking elephants, how do they work?
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:43 PM on October 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile, an interviewer who understands class in America and doesn't have a vortex of axe-grinding suck following them everywhere...
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:47 PM on October 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: fuck you! I like to believe it was something out of this world.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:15 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unexpectedly, the feeling I got from this interview:

pathos

Chemically imbalanced, traumatized boys hiding behind guns, religion, and face-paint.
posted by jet_manifesto at 7:20 PM on October 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


I guess after reading that, I can see the semi-poetic angle. Understanding something on a scientific level removes a bit of the fun that you can have with your imagination. The stars are balls of incandescent gas. They are not angels looking down on me. It's the same way people will revere crappy movies -- they don't need to uplifted by a good film. They just want popcorn and car chases.

But it also shows the limit of their imaginations that they cannot hold the science in their minds and still allow imaginations to run free.

So, fuck these clowns.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:27 PM on October 8, 2010 [14 favorites]


I cannot relate to this at all
In a way, I can kinda relate. Science is like the guy sitting next to you at a magic show explaining how all the tricks are done.
Have you actually seen a double rainbow? I did a few weeks ago, and I literally could not stop looking at it. It put a smile on my face, and I didn't care that it was just white light being refracted through water vapor in the air. It was downright beautiful.
I'm not religious by any means, but even I think an elephant is a fucking miracle. I mean, I do know that they've been around longer than hundreds (or even thousands) of years, of course. But those things are really cool!
posted by Gilbert at 7:33 PM on October 8, 2010


Jon Ronson picks superb topics (e.g., conspiracy theorists, Sylvia Browne and her psychic cruise, the peak-potential/Pentagon nexus, and Paul McKenna and NLP) , but his faux-naif shtick is fairly grating.
posted by darth_tedious at 7:33 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]



Violent J was interviewed on the AV club recently

It was an interesting read. I'm not ICP's target audience, but... I can see where they are coming from. There are worse performers.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:36 PM on October 8, 2010


Gilbert: "Science is like the guy sitting next to you at a magic show explaining how all the tricks are done"

Hmm. When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was read books about how magic tricks were done. Oh well.
posted by smcameron at 7:40 PM on October 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is it really faux-naif? I find Ronson delightful because he seems genuinely interested in oddball things, and very honest when his class/intellect/world view is no use in a situation.

The Alex Jones adventure in THEM: Adventures With Extremists is clearly about having a good time with these entertaining people, but then when Ronson finds himself at Bohemian Grove talking with the people about technology and globalization and politics, he admits this is really a comfortable thing for him, and he enjoys talking to the Elites as much as he enjoys having the crazy undercover romp with Jones.

It is entirely possible to be interested in fringe/weird culture and also be part of Establishment Media. (Ha ha, he says to himself.) Anyway, this is a fun Ronson piece. ICP has been done to death, but he brought some fresh stuff to this newspaper article.
posted by kenlayne at 7:43 PM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oddly, this interview has thematic resonance with with number of Terry Pratchett novels.
posted by Diablevert at 7:51 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


> very honest when his class/intellect/world view is no use in a situation

But that's sort of the point:

He chooses topics in which he's blatantly out of his depth-- which, in itself, is perfectly fine, and even refreshing-- but then goes out of his way to remind the reader of this, at every turn. And while this is understandable from a persuasive perspective ("Reader, I Am Just Like You"), to the degree that Ronson presumably isn't trying to persuade his reader to adopt a particular viewpoint, it's unnecessary, and again, grating.
posted by darth_tedious at 7:54 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the really hate science so much they should stop using it's products, like microphones and amplifiers and speakers. I wonder if they even know that speakers have magnets in them? The 21st century version of the Amish will be the Juggalos.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:11 PM on October 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


They don't 'hate science' they just prefer not to know the explanation for cool shit that happens.

They come off a lot better in the AV Club, perhaps in part because that interviewer avoids the whole "we've been Christians all along" nonsense.
posted by graventy at 8:19 PM on October 8, 2010


I SO WANT TO SEE THE MIRACLES / FUCK YOU MASHUP.
posted by unSane at 8:32 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


In a way, I can kinda relate. Science is like the guy sitting next to you at a magic show explaining how all the tricks are done.
Have you actually seen a double rainbow? I did a few weeks ago, and I literally could not stop looking at it. It put a smile on my face, and I didn't care that it was just white light being refracted through water vapor in the air. It was downright beautiful.
I'm not religious by any means, but even I think an elephant is a fucking miracle. I mean, I do know that they've been around longer than hundreds (or even thousands) of years, of course. But those things are really cool!


I can relate too. I remember really being bummed as a kid after learning that there was no life on any of the planets in the solar system and that stars were just big fireballs. Still, I am gobsmacked by how willfully stupid these dudes are.
posted by Jess the Mess at 8:47 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Violent J's right about Paris. Severely underrated rapper.
posted by blucevalo at 8:59 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


they'd been innocently enjoying all those songs about chopping people up and shooting women, and it was Christian rock?

I do not perceive the incongruity.
posted by telstar at 9:45 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The [Miracles] video is not only dumb, but enthusiastically dumb, endorsing a ferocious breed of ignorance that can only be described as militant. The entire song is practically a tribute to not knowing things.

Early front-runner for Palin's 2012 campaign theme song, then?
posted by contessa at 9:52 PM on October 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


smcameron, we're not that different, you and I. I read a lot about magic tricks as a kid, and I could pretty much figure out what was going on (those two rings are connected, the other one has a gap, etc.). And don't get me wrong; these two guys are idiots, and I have no interest in their music. My only point is that there needs to continue to be a sense of wonderment, and perhaps even the occasional suspension of smarty-pantsness in order to really take in the amazing stuff that goes on around us. Galileo used to draw birds.
posted by Gilbert at 9:53 PM on October 8, 2010


Popes, how do they work?
posted by b1tr0t at 10:31 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, great.

Now the Juggalos that hang around downtown will start handing out Bible Tracts.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:51 PM on October 8, 2010


Fuck this. What I really want to see is Ronson going through ICP's boxes after they die.
posted by dhammond at 11:31 PM on October 8, 2010


I want to see them rehabilitate their image amongst the upright and well-to-do by staging Pagliacci.
posted by Ritchie at 12:18 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You know Miracles? Let me tell you, if Alanis Morissette had done that fucking song everyone would have called it fucking genius."

Yeah, like that song she wrote about Irony! Nobody ever makes fun of her for that!
posted by mmoncur at 12:44 AM on October 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


"For ICP a true understanding...would reduce them to, as Keats put it, 'the dull catalogue of common things'." They see science as I do reading about my favourite musicians.


an interviewer who understands class in America and doesn't have a vortex of axe-grinding suck following them everywhere...


What now? Granted, Jon Ronson isn't American himself, but he came from a working-class background and is a very good journalist on his particular hanging-with-the-oddballs beat. (Guardian readers will not be as familiar with ICP as the AVClub audience - they're about as well known as Kid Rock and Dave Matthews over here ie. couldn't get arrested.)His interview with Ray Gosling was compelling.
posted by mippy at 1:25 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want to see them rehabilitate their image amongst the upright and well-to-do by staging Pagliacci.

Insane Clown Pagliacci
posted by dgaicun at 2:57 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


British journalists with unoriginal interviews previously done in The Onion... film at 11 in a worthless format that will crash your computer.
posted by parmanparman at 2:57 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Guardian crashes your computer? Stop using IE6.

Timing of the article is odd though - Ronson obviously did these interviews when Miracles was released which was what, last year? Why the delay?
posted by CRM114 at 3:54 AM on October 9, 2010


I say something like this every time this subject comes up, but since the same people also say the same things every time this subject comes up, what the hell. I think the biggest problem ICP faces w/r/t this whole "fuck scientists" thing is that they (ICP) have an enormously hard time articulating, like, what the fuck it is they're trying to lay down, yo. It's fairly clear to me that ICP is not saying "fuck science" so much as they are saying "fuck a mindset that would leach the awe and mystery from the world." Their professed Christianity aside, I think that what ICP is arguing for here is simply an acknowledgment of the inherent beauty of creation that, to their minds, a reductive materialist viewpoint either misses or rejects. I don't think many of us would seriously object to that -- but what I think ICP outright misses is that many scientists would surely agree with them. In the unlikely (but miraculously possible!) event that Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are reading this, I would direct them to Carl Sagan's Cosmos series, which is available streaming via Netflix (I know y'all motherfuckers got Netflix!), which I think might set their minds at ease a little about whether learning how things work means you have to let go of a sense of wonder (spoiler: it doesn't).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:37 AM on October 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


one of my favorite things to do was read books about how magic tricks were done

Yeah, but why? Because you wanted to play God yourself. You wanted to play the tricks on someone else.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:01 AM on October 9, 2010


"We have tested and tasted too much, lover
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder"

(Patrick Kavanagh - Advent)

"Just to dig it all and not to wonder, that's just fine
And I'll be satisfied not to read between the lines"

(Van Morrison - Sweet Thing)

"Let everyone debate the true reality
I’d rather see the world the way it used to be"

(Goffin & King - Goin' Back)

"And I don't wanna talk to a scientist
Y'all motherfuckers lying"

(Insane Clown Posse - Miracles)
posted by kersplunk at 7:01 AM on October 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
(Walt Whitman)
posted by box at 7:50 AM on October 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


ICP has be "out" as Christians for about 5 years now. How many times does this story keep getting reported, over and over?
posted by piratebowling at 7:52 AM on October 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, and they're not even really evangelical Christians in the way that labeling them as such makes them seem. They're not hanging with Focus on the Family or anything. Their theology is to mainstream evangelical Christianity as Howard Finster is to Thomas Kincaid.
posted by klangklangston at 9:30 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I read that article up until the part about giraffes and elephants and I just stopped. It was too sad.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 10:13 AM on October 9, 2010


Gilbert: "Science is like the guy sitting next to you at a magic show explaining how all the tricks are done"

I would have loved to have that guy sitting next to me.

There are people who want to be fooled, and people who want to know the deal. Much of the world seems to be a struggle between them and their various self-perceived rights to know and/or not know things depending on how that will comfort them. I myself have always found it alarming that there were people in the world who don't want to know how the magic trick works --it seems barely human to me to be so acceptingly incurious-- but I am sure they are equally astonished at my inhuman desire to investigate the 'beauty' and 'mystery' out of it. Ah well....
posted by umberto at 10:40 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder."

-Calvin, "Calvin and Hobbes"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Do not all charms fly
At the touch of cold philosophy?
Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine –
Unweave a rainbow…" -- Keats

"Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect that'd happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes wasn't a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time ...." -- Terry Pratchett, "Small Gods"
posted by senor_turtle at 12:55 PM on October 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


I totally don't get the worldview that believes that explaining something makes it less awesome or amazing. It's not like science answers all questions anyway-- but for me, gaining some type of understanding of biology and evolution makes life even more miraculous.

When you realize, for example, even a few of the millions of things that need to go right just for pregnancy to be possible, it doesn't make you think, oh boy, boring, no need to have any more sex or babies and now I think fucking is dull and babies are superfluous.

Realizing that music is made up of notes and that there are principles of harmony and theory doesn't make it sound less beautiful-- it adds a level of intellectual experience that only intensifies the enjoyment because now you have a sense of why certain notes fit together and yearn towards resolution etc. Unless, I guess, you are dull and incurious. Which is a rather sad state to elevate.
posted by Maias at 2:09 PM on October 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


Look, when Violent J's 5-year-old wants to know what fog is, he's on the first step of scientific inquiry. To say they're "ruining the magic" is to say that we should stop using our marvelous monkey brains to do what they do best - make patterns and draw inferences.
posted by muddgirl at 3:43 PM on October 9, 2010


I can’t believe I’m making a counterpoint to an argument put forward by Violent J, but anyway:

I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty. [...] There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.

Richard Feynman
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:19 PM on October 9, 2010 [14 favorites]


Happy (belated) Metafilter Elephant Day.
posted by 31d1 at 4:27 PM on October 9, 2010


Just want to make sure no one misses cortex's deletion reason on this post's double.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:05 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, to summarize: We all see wonder in different things. We are awed by different things.

Those of you denouncing the ICP are committing the exact mistake that you are charging them with. You deride those that find wonder in things that don't kindle the feeling in you.

Pots and kettles and all that. Perhaps it would be best to live and let live.
posted by oddman at 5:20 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Truly, scientists are curious for life (a shameless plug for the org I work for, I admit). Scientists live in wonder of the double rainbow, the spots on a leopard, the wonders of the stars. It's all about imagination and how does this WORK?

I'm agnostic...there's clearly a logic at work. It has NOTHING to do with religion and I hate that these guys are now evangelists. Science isn't the enemy. Curiosity fuels innovation which brings comfort and ease and convenience to our lives (and yeah, I'ma just leave out the controversy).

But I despair at the anti-Science slant to this, although tbh, I'm guessing this crowd wasn't heavily invested in scientific rigor in the first place...
posted by airgirl at 5:34 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always thought that ICP were incredibly stupid. But this makes me wonder how they are even able to breathe without outside help.
posted by Splunge at 7:20 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am not what you would call an ICP "fan," but I have a friend who used to be one of their biggest fans. So I've been to their concerts and I'm probably more familiar with their oeuvre than most people here.

I don't hate them, don't have contempt for them. I'd probably even have fun if I went to a Gathering of the Juggalos today. I share a background with them and their fans.

But I do sort of...pity them. A couple of you have compared them to children, and while you meant it contemptuously, there is something to that. Their shocking, controversial lyrics are not meant to intimidate, like most gansta rappers'. They are instead pitched at the 12-year-old who laughs and is filled with subversive glee at hearing anything "shocking."

They still feel that subversive glee, so they think and rap the most shocking things they can think of (or used to, anyway). And when grownups like Ronson come along, Shaggy and Violent J will take them seriously, and listen, and come away a bit stumped, like a curious 12-year old sitting in on a Philosophy 101 class. I regard them as good people who are not very bright, that's all.

And I enjoy that they've have touched off this debate here of the last 20 comments or so.
posted by mreleganza at 11:36 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"A college professor took two days out of her fucking life to specifically attack us," says Violent J. "Oh yeah, she had it all figured out."

One of the ICP road crew locates the video on his iPhone, and it is indeed withering: "The [Miracles] video is not only dumb, but enthusiastically dumb, endorsing a ferocious breed of ignorance that can only be described as militant. The entire song is practically a tribute to not knowing things."


The creator of that video mentioned in the article responds.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:35 AM on October 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't deny that the night sky is beautiful, and I have in my time spread out on a hillside for hours looking at the stars and being awed by their beauty (and receiving bug-bites whose marks took weeks to go away).
But what I see - those quiet, twinkling points of light - is not all the beauty there is. Should I stare lovingly at a single leaf and willingly remain ignorant of the forest? Should I be satisfied to watch the sun glinting off a single pebble and scorn any knowledge of a beach?

(Isaac Asimov)
posted by infinite intimation at 11:13 AM on October 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


You deride those that find wonder in things that don't kindle the feeling in you.

You've constructed a strawman argument. Magnets ARE awesome - anyone with a sense of curiosity should find that magnets are awesome - but not because they're "magical" or "miraculous". The problem isn't with the statement "fog is awesome" - the problem is the following statement - "and anyone who tries to explain fog to me should go fuck themselves".
posted by muddgirl at 12:56 PM on October 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Exactly, Muddgirl! They're not only saying that this destroys wonder for them but actively rejecting the possibility that they are wrong or that others might see it differently. Willful ignorance of alternative perspectives isn't disagreement it's closed-mindedness. It would be one thing if they took the time to understand the science about one of the "miracles" and then said, you know, I don't want to know more about that because that makes it less magical for me. They haven't done that-- just assumed that that's what would happen if they did.

It's like asserting that you don't like a particular kind of food that you haven't tried and therefore anyone who does like it is wrong. You have a perfect right not to try that food-- but you can't set yourself up as a critic of it, unless, say, there's science showing that it's really bad for you and that's why you don't try it. But in that case, while you can argue against eating it, you still can't make statements about how it tastes.
posted by Maias at 3:28 PM on October 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always thought that Misfit's "Mommy, Can I go out and Kill Tonight?" Was about Jesus' introspection while he was on day 39 in the desert and had accepted his destiny; wondering how he could broach the subject of how he might sacrifice his own life in order to save mankind, to his mother, the Blessed Mother Virgin Mary. But Danzig, so far, has not confirmed this.
posted by Elmore at 3:33 PM on October 10, 2010


I'd seriously like to know, does anyone know how magnets work?
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:58 PM on October 10, 2010


I'd seriously like to know, does anyone know how magnets work?

Nope. electro-magnetism is one of the fundamental forces. It has been unified with other forces, but that just means that you can use a single large equation to describe what appear to be different forces. There is no how.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:17 PM on October 10, 2010


I'd seriously like to know, does anyone know how magnets work?

There's a magnetic field around a magnet, which when moved can induct a current in electrons. This property is used in everything from toy model cars to microphones to transmitters, all electrical motors and so on. But as to what magnetism is or where it comes from, there's no easy way to answer that. It's like when Cosby asked "Why is air?"
posted by telstar at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2010


I'd seriously like to know, does anyone know how magnets work?

A bit of Feynman will probably help.
posted by LVdB at 12:37 AM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Was anybody else as disturbed as I was about the whole ends-justify-the-means aspect of the "Psych, we're really Christians!" thing? It doesn't speak well of their opinions of either their faith or their fans that they feel it is necessary to be that deceptive.
posted by catastropher at 11:43 AM on October 11, 2010


That Feynman link is FUCKING AWESOME. Thanks.
posted by nevercalm at 12:33 PM on October 11, 2010


That Feynman link is FUCKING AWESOME. Thanks.

Tautological statement is tautological.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:49 PM on October 11, 2010


The Feynman link is a nice illustration of a a phenomenon I've noticed (though certainly I'm not the only one who has): when very knowledgeable people discuss an issue in their area they invariably add quite a few asides alluding to all sorts of tangents and background assumptions about the topic that the are glossing over for brevity or simplicity.

I often imagine these asides as little footnotes appearing in the air above their heads.
posted by oddman at 9:40 AM on October 14, 2010


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