The Burpo-Malarkey doctrine
January 21, 2015 9:05 AM   Subscribe

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."
Alex Malarkey co-wrote a bestselling book about a near-death experience – and then last week admitted he made it up.
posted by almostmanda (164 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Surely it was a little obvious that this was the case. After all, his last name is Malarkey...
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:08 AM on January 21, 2015 [72 favorites]


Recently I was doing some work at the library (I usually work for home but wanted a change of atmosphere / to stave off cabin fever). On a shelf near by was a book:
Do Our Beloved Pets Go To Heaven
(or something very similar). For a moment I contemplated how dryly and wickedly funny it would be to publish a book of that title, complete with a cover photo of myself cuddling a large dog, that ended with a resounding "No, and neither will any of us".
posted by idiopath at 9:09 AM on January 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


For a moment I contemplated how dryly and wickedly funny it would be to publish a book of that title,

It's a little hard to get 250 large-print pages out of this concept....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:11 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


If they can get a big book out of "of course they do", I could surely manage.
posted by idiopath at 9:12 AM on January 21, 2015 [35 favorites]


the story of Burpo – which includes visions of Jesus on a horse and his miscarried baby sister during an emergency appendectomy

Jesus rides the miscarried sister too? What a dick.
posted by dr_dank at 9:14 AM on January 21, 2015 [46 favorites]




It was ever thus. Making up bullshit in order to fleece the faithful.
posted by monospace at 9:17 AM on January 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Was it a Sylvia Browne book? I picked up one of those one time and it was chock full of the stupidest horseshit imaginable; "All of your loved ones and pets will be in Heaven with you, you'll eat meals cooked by history's greatest chefs, go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians," etc. It literally made me nauseous to think about all the money being made off people who are grieving and vulnerable.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


nah now they are just setting up publicity round 2. expect to see their upcoming lifetime special "the boy who didn't go to heaven: the untold story" out right quick. I see it. these people are in it for the long game.
posted by young_son at 9:21 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


“Alex Malarkey not only has to deal with a devastating injury, but now has to disentangle himself from this far-reaching deception,” John MacArthur, an evangelical pastor who has long criticized Christian publishers, wrote in an email. “All these supposed trips to heaven are hoaxes, and they prey on people in the most vulnerable way, because they treat death in a superficial, deceptive fashion.”
...
“The word exploitation is very appropriate. The children are exploited. The Christian public is exploited. The buyers are exploited.”


Don't know if Pastor MacArthur and I agree on a whole lot, but we definitely are of the same mind here.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on January 21, 2015 [24 favorites]


Malarkey.

I mean, come on.
posted by Foosnark at 9:27 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Publisher: "I know you are concerned that there might be repercussions after such a meeting, but would they be worse than the current situation? "

Translation: "Look, your son is quadriplegic and is being exploited by greedy people; lots of other credulous people are being exploited and will blame your son if they ever figure it out; you and your husband don't speak to one another, and from the sounds of it you don't even know how to contact him; and nobody listens when you try to talk to the media. I mean, seriously, how much more could we possibly fuck you up? There's nothing left to lose here."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:30 AM on January 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had a debate about a topic very similar to this with a relative over the holidays. We were talking about the painting Prince Of Peace by Akiane. Allegedly she painted it when she was 8 while being home-schooled by atheists. Now, of course, prints of the "miracle painting" sell like hotcakes.

Upon seeing the it, I immediately thought of actor Bruce Marchiano with whom I was familiar through watching the almost-so-bad-it-is-good Revelation Road movies on Netflix, where he plays Jesus. He also starred as Jesus in The Visual Bible. His career has basically consisted of playing Jesus. The guy looks almost exactly like Akiane's painting. Even he sees the similarity.

My relative was insisting that I was being "too skeptical" and got into a huff when I suggested that perhaps the artist had been exposed to the Visual Bible at a young age, and also that maybe her backstory as a home-schooled atheist was perhaps partially fabricated.

Occam's razor needs some sharpening in those parts.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:33 AM on January 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


"People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."

Yeah I mean, why compete with the classics?
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:36 AM on January 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


It was ever thus. Making up bullshit in order to fleece the faithful.

That's why they're called the flock.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 AM on January 21, 2015 [23 favorites]


Well, good for him for coming clean. That takes a lot of guts.
posted by yoink at 9:37 AM on January 21, 2015 [29 favorites]


"All of your loved ones and pets will be in Heaven with you, you'll eat meals cooked by history's greatest chefs, go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians,"

I think this is fine as such things go and probably is a comfort for people who lead humdrum shitty lives and have no reason to expect better. I mean, sure, if it helps you get through your day to believe that you're going to get to meet Beethoven on some other plane, why not?

The problem is profiting off of it. I mean why the fuck do you need to buy a book that spells this out? It's not like Sylvia Browne's version of the afterlife is particularly creative or hard to arrive at for oneself.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Malarkey is an entirely respectable Irish surname, they were a Donegal branch of the O'Connell clan, and their name means "He who just fucking lies and lies and lies and lies."
posted by maxsparber at 9:41 AM on January 21, 2015 [95 favorites]


Poor kid. His family situation sounds shitty. I hope he gets out of this ok and doesn't get sued by his publisher or something horrible like that.
posted by emjaybee at 9:42 AM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't help thinking that we'd all be a lot better off if we weren't so vulnerable to the "inspirational child" phenomenon, starting with Marjoe Gortner (and probably long before), proceeding up through Tony Johnson and now this kid (and a bunch in between I'm not thinking of right this minute). It's bad enough that many people are willing to be led by children, but you'd think we'd have learned by now to look askance at children who, according to their adult handlers, have achieved a lifetime's worth of wisdom by age 12 or so.
posted by holborne at 9:42 AM on January 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


This begs the question: Has the Internet achieved Peak Malarkey yet?

One never goes Full Malarkey
posted by surazal at 9:42 AM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


We should remember that the boy was six years old when he wrote the book, or rather he was six when the book was attributed to him. He repudiated it before he left childhood, despite the fact that continuing the lie would have been lucrative. He's a good kid.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:43 AM on January 21, 2015 [139 favorites]


I think this is fine as such things go and probably is a comfort for people who lead humdrum shitty lives and have no reason to expect better. I mean, sure, if it helps you get through your day to believe that you're going to get to meet Beethoven on some other plane, why not?

Well, because it removes a grand incentive to try to improve things here on earth. If you're going to get into heaven just by being obedient and not rocking the boat, why would you rough things up here in an attempt to change things?

Religion has long been a tool nefariously used to keep people docile instead of challenging the powers that be.
posted by Imperfect at 9:44 AM on January 21, 2015 [30 favorites]


I would never be so foolish as to believe in heaven. Which is why I'm going to have my brain uploaded into a computer.
posted by empath at 9:46 AM on January 21, 2015 [28 favorites]


I can't get much schadenfreude off of this. Kid's a quadriplegic, mom and dad aren't even talking to each other, and now instead of being used by his dad and one group to promote their flavor of religion he's being used by his mom and a different group to promote their flavor.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:48 AM on January 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


I mean, sure, if it helps you get through your day to believe that you're going to get to meet Beethoven on some other plane, why not?

An eternal paradise of glad-handing rubes seems a bit of a rum deal for Beethoven though.
posted by sobarel at 9:53 AM on January 21, 2015 [53 favorites]


doesn't get sued by his publisher or something horrible like that.

Could you get sued by your publisher for a story about hanging out with Santa Claus? No? Then why a story about heaven?

Oh, and I would consider subscribing to a religion that promised me techno heaven.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:53 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The amount of inspiration any child can instill is measurable as the length of time between the moment you're being inspired by a child and the last time you had to touch (or had to be touched by) anything that emerged from one of their orifices.
posted by turntraitor at 9:54 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Little kids lie to people for attention and adults lie to themselves for comfort.

News at 11.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:58 AM on January 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


Malarkey is an entirely respectable Irish surname, they were a Donegal branch of the O'Connell clan, and their name means "He who just fucking lies and lies and lies and lies."

They should have been from County Cork.

I think this is fine as such things go and probably is a comfort for people who lead humdrum shitty lives and have no reason to expect better. I mean, sure, if it helps you get through your day to believe that you're going to get to meet Beethoven on some other plane, why not?

Well, because it removes a grand incentive to try to improve things here on earth. If you're going to get into heaven just by being obedient and not rocking the boat, why would you rough things up here in an attempt to change things?


There are also those who decide they will try and take the express route. Sometimes taking others with them.
posted by TedW at 9:58 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm disappointed in the LOL HIS NAME comments here. Mocking somebody's name is both irrelevant and distasteful. You want to snark about the father's morals and the hypocrisy of his writing a second inspirational book while still claiming this is true, great! But laughing at the name is really childish.
posted by Lexica at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


All of your loved ones and pets will be in Heaven with you, you'll eat meals cooked by history's greatest chefs, go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians

That's not Heaven, that's the technological singularity.
posted by localroger at 10:00 AM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Malarkey's book about going to heaven may have been a hoax, but I still have high hopes for the new book about angels by Angus. R. Horseshit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:01 AM on January 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


Jesus rides the miscarried sister too? What a dick.

Hey, he was having an emergency appendectomy at the time; he may not have been fully aware of what he was doing.
posted by yoink at 10:02 AM on January 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Lexica, it's not like we are mocking the guy's name because it sounds funny in and of itself or worse yet because it sounds ethnic or foreign in some way. His name literally means "made up nonsense" and this is a story about him having been revealed to be peddling made-up nonsense. The joke isn't "he has a funny name" (which would be unkind and childish) it's "his name has an ironic parallel to his own poor behavior." It's the real world equivalent of eponysterical. It's funny.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:04 AM on January 21, 2015 [45 favorites]


please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
please let axe cop be real
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:04 AM on January 21, 2015 [49 favorites]


It's less coming clean and more an innovative attempt to out-Jesus the competition.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


"All of your loved ones and pets will be in Heaven with you, you'll eat meals cooked by history's greatest chefs, go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians,"

I am dimly recalling the name for the specific sort of "peasant's heaven" in the mid-Medieval period (it had an exact name and everything) that was basically heretical but tolerated cause it kept them in line while nobles and clergy got the "be one with God and the host of Heaven in divine unchanging grace etc etc." and it was compared to an Islamic conception of heaven as the place where true aesticism could finally be realized because you'd finally been freed of the demands of the body and could commune and contemplate God's universe forever.....complete with the caveat that if the rabble wanted a never ending afterLIFE party well I guess that's fine FOR THAT SORT HARUMPH.

Anyway! I hope this means Belinda Carlise will soon retract her outrageous claim that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 AM on January 21, 2015 [25 favorites]


Previously.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:10 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rest assured though, Tom Greenhalgh has still been to heaven and back.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 AM on January 21, 2015


go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians

That means a lot of narcissistic drug addicts in heaven.

Huh.

Or does it mean that performing for the people in heaven is the hell to which the musicians have been assigned?
posted by clawsoon at 10:15 AM on January 21, 2015 [23 favorites]


I've wondered for a while about the heaven turing test: is the person in heaven actually themselves, or are they a replica created for your own heavenly satisfaction while the real person is condemned to hell?
posted by smasuch at 10:17 AM on January 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anyway! I hope this means Belinda Carlise will soon retract her outrageous claim that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.


No, no. Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:23 AM on January 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


As a bit of a derail, malarkey with a small m- has a really interesting etymology. It's less than 100 years old, and it sprang up with very little provenance in California. There's a weird theory that it comes from the Greek malakia - "soft" - but I find William Sayers' theory more persuasive: he suggests it's a sound-alike Irish word that became linked with the Irish surname in a bit of folk etymology.
Irish - not the English of Ireland - but Irish Gaelic has a root meall- with a number of derivatives, e.g., meallaim: "I deceive, delude, circumvent, entice, beguile, cheat, allure, coax; entertain, amuse;" meallaire: "deceiver, flatterer...;" mealltach: "deceived, defrauded, mistaken, led astray." Among these is meallaireacht: "deception, allurement, amusement..."

Meallaireacht, heard by American ears as roughly /malarcht/ (with the ch as in Scots loch or German Buch), may have come ashore on the American West Coast or may have made an underground passage across America from immigrant Irish communities in the eastern United States. The sharpening of semantic focus from a general "deception, allurement, amusement" to a speech act, "exaggerated or foolish talk, usually intended to deceive," may have been assisted by an American perception of glib but devious Hibernians. Both the surname Malarkey...and the readily available English suffix -y, which in addition to diminutive status marks perjoration and familiarity, could have served to reshape the word phonetically, and indeed the presence of the Irish surname may well have facilitated the entry of meallaireacht into American English...
The consensus on Malarkey-the-surname translates it as "Disciple of Saint Erc," which would make it around 1500 years old. (Though "erc also translates as salmon, or a class of animals including cattle, salmon and pigs, which the Celts saw as related," so it's possible to construe a much older origin.)
posted by Iridic at 10:25 AM on January 21, 2015 [30 favorites]


I think that was Cockaigne.
posted by Small Dollar at 10:28 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't get much schadenfreude off of this. Kid's a quadriplegic, mom and dad aren't even talking to each other, and now instead of being used by his dad and one group to promote their flavor of religion he's being used by his mom and a different group to promote their flavor.

His mother's declining interviews; I don't think she's really trying to promote anything as much as stop her estranged husband from exploiting their child to make money.
posted by jaguar at 10:32 AM on January 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh, and I would consider subscribing to a religion that promised me techno heaven.

Did you know that Ron and Russell Mael have a wonderful plan for your life?
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:36 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Though "erc also translates as salmon, or a class of animals including cattle, salmon and pigs, which the Celts saw as related,"

Wait, hold up. We need to talk about this now.
posted by clockzero at 10:36 AM on January 21, 2015 [31 favorites]


I don't see why separating gullible people from their money is a bad thing.
posted by Renoroc at 10:42 AM on January 21, 2015


So what if the story is made-up, as long as it gives its readers a warm fuzzy feeling? Isn't that the purpose of those books?

I mean, it's not like the stories of, say, Cinderella or Pocahontas are based on true stories.
posted by sour cream at 10:43 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


We need to talk about this now.

If I can eat it, it is related to stuff I can eat. See also: chocolate, ocelot, twine.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:43 AM on January 21, 2015 [20 favorites]


>I can't help thinking that we'd all be a lot better off if we weren't so vulnerable to the "inspirational child" phenomenon, starting with Marjoe Gortner (and probably long before), proceeding up through Tony Johnson and now this kid (and a bunch in between I'm not thinking of right this minute). ...

It's a form of child worship, really, and insofar as that's transferable to a person's own children, the children around them, and children in general, I see it as a very good thing -- and with that in mind, complete absurdity of overt content comes across as helpful in keeping the focus on the children themselves rather than the ridiculous message.
posted by jamjam at 10:46 AM on January 21, 2015


An eternal paradise of glad-handing rubes seems a bit of a rum deal for Beethoven though.

So you think Beethoven's just lying there, uhm, decomposing?
posted by busted_crayons at 10:51 AM on January 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


You know what else is popular among the evangelical set? The Left Behind books.

These people don't care about what's real and what isn't.
posted by GuyZero at 10:54 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Erc (or "earc") also means "speckled" and "red," so the class of animals might embrace anything with a flecked, dappled, or varicolored hide. Salmon, cows, and pigs qualify; the word apparently covers lizards and bees as well.
posted by Iridic at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


"...shit (the classic), caribou shit, rasbora, python, and
razorbill shit, scorpion shit, man shit, laswing
fly larva shit, chipmunk shit, other-worldly wallaby"

-Ammons
posted by clavdivs at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


real conversation I had this weekend:

Stepmom: I believe in Heaven. Did you read that book about that boy who went to heaven? If you want to read it you can borrow my copy.
Me: Uh, that's okay.
Dad: That boy made it all up. It was on the news.
Stepmom: ...

Stepmom: Well, I still believe it.
posted by desjardins at 11:04 AM on January 21, 2015 [48 favorites]


Am I the only one skeptical about the disavowal here, too? The primary motivation seems to be to preserve an evangelical conception of the afterlife and authority of the Bible.

I'm in no hurry to accept a co-written possibly-coached child's account of what he thought he saw while in a coma as authoritative, but at the same time, right now I'm actually finding it more plausible that Alex had some kernel of a NDE that was then overelaborated than that his statement:
“I did not die. I did not go to heaven. When I made the claims, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough”
isn't also massively coached.
posted by weston at 11:06 AM on January 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


Good for him! He should write a sequel.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:10 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the reason child testimonials are so popular is that when grown men have personal revelations, God 's #1 concern is having the prophet sleep with as many women as possible.
posted by benzenedream at 11:13 AM on January 21, 2015 [25 favorites]


“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 11:15 AM on January 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


Am I the only one skeptical about the disavowal here, too?

I have to admit I am pretty convinced by the version where he didn't go to heaven.
posted by biffa at 11:19 AM on January 21, 2015 [29 favorites]


When my mom was dying, she latched on to the "Heaven is for real" stuff with a wholehearted zeal. I found it remarkably depressing. I'm not sure that it made her any happier, either; she seemed very determined for me to read the book, watch the movie, and so on, and I'm not very good at this sort of thing so I didn't.

I can understand a type of religion—contemplative, internally focused, largely intellectual—but this is not the type of religion that most "religious" people espouse and it certainly isn't what my mom was following. It struck me how much burden it puts on those around you, because instead of being philosophical and focused on self-development, it is aggressively reliant on the affirmation of other believers.

I hope that when it's my time to die, I can do it with open eyes and without burdening those around me with the duty to affirm my desperate hopes.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:20 AM on January 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


His name [Malarkey] literally means "made up nonsense" and this is a story about him having been revealed to be peddling made-up nonsense.

I think everyone's aware of that. But it's a really easy low-rent joke that you'd expect to hear from That Guy at the office who laughs at all his own jokes. I'd give it a pass if it were just the dad we were laughing at; he sounds like a manipulative profiteer. Seriously: you're making fun of a quadriplegic kid. That's pretty low.
posted by echo target at 11:21 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


My relative was insisting that I was being "too skeptical" and got into a huff when I suggested that perhaps the artist had been exposed to the Visual Bible at a young age, and also that maybe her backstory as a home-schooled atheist was perhaps partially fabricated.

And here I thought the painter was a Kenny Loggins fan.
posted by Billiken at 11:26 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for the kid. He must be pretty confused, on top of all of his injuries and difficulties, having had so many people believe him. And he's still a child.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:26 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyway! I hope this means Belinda Carlise will soon retract her outrageous claim that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.

No, no. Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.


Heretics! In Heaven, everything is fine!
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:28 AM on January 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


So what if the story is made-up, as long as it gives its readers a warm fuzzy feeling?

The proponents of these narratives are claiming that they are accurate descriptions of reality, not that they are merely personal spiritual exercises. At least some of their readers believe that government and society should be re-organized around their religous beliefs, which, as they see it, these narratives prove to be true. I don't find that acceptable, and debunking this stuff is, I think, important.
posted by thelonius at 11:29 AM on January 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


The interesting twist here though is that he wasn't originally parroting his parents' faith and then boldly repudiating it. He was originally writing it along with one parent (his father), and produced work which was very offensive to his mother's faith (descriptions of heaven outside the Bible? No way! Unorthodox!) He has now aligned himself with his mother's stricter form of the faith which admits of no private revelations of heaven, and in accordance with that more conservative faith, he is repudiating his earlier work.

So you can't really make this a "waking up from the evils of religion" story. If anything, it's a "conservative religion with well defined orthodoxy putting the kibosh on unorthodox popular religiosity" story.
posted by edheil at 11:31 AM on January 21, 2015 [20 favorites]


I had a near-death experience as a teenager after suffering a serious head injury. I didn't get to see Jesus or anything, or glowing tunnels of light and love. More like watching closed-circuit TV...
posted by Windopaene at 11:32 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I can eat it, it is related to stuff I can eat. See also: chocolate, ocelot, twine.

Joey, please stop metafiltering and go to the doctor
posted by clockzero at 11:37 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seriously: you're making fun of a quadriplegic kid. That's pretty low.

I think the "no jokes about names" rule holds here so joking about the name isn't particularly funny, but why not make fun of a quadriplegic kid? That would send a message of inclusion, wouldn't it?

I mean, if people find it distasteful to make jokes about you, you are either Stevie Wonder or you are at the very bottom of your life. Pity is probably the one thing that a quadriplegic kid doesn't need.
posted by sour cream at 11:39 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not clear on why it's bad to make fun of a quadriplegic kid. Obviously, it would be awful to make fun of said person for being quadriplegic or anything related to that. But that's not what's happening here. He's being treated like anyone else.

I could even see an argument to take it easier on this person because he's a kid, but because he's quadriplegic? That has nothing to do with this, and insisting it factor in is somewhere between being just noise and being flat-out condescending and insulting to similarly differently abled people.

(On preview: I agree about 75% with sour cream.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:47 AM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


People have the right to lie to themselves; they don't have the right to lie to others.
That is, unless the others explicitly ask to be lied to, in which case it isn't lying because the others know it's a lie.
posted by Sir Rinse at 11:48 AM on January 21, 2015


It's the real world equivalent of eponysterical.

That would be an aptronym.
posted by cmonkey at 11:49 AM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


The chapter where he claimed to meet Kirby Delauter in heaven was where it went over the top for me.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:49 AM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


People have the right to lie to themselves; they don't have the right to lie to others.

Maybe in your religion.
It turns out that people lie dozens, if not hundreds of times every single day.
posted by sour cream at 11:58 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a weird theory that it comes from the Greek malakia - "soft"

Not to be confused with malaka, which any Australian schoolchild will tell you is Greek for “wanker” or something similar.
posted by acb at 12:01 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


It seems way less like any kind of real change of heart or mind, more like, "now I go to a different church and hang around with a different religious mentality that frowns on this kind of thing a lot more than the people I used to hang around when I was six, and to keep in good graces with them, I need to come out and repudiate this". He's not disputing the underlying concept so much as the specific expression, it's just a lateral move.
posted by anazgnos at 12:02 PM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Or does it mean that performing for the people in heaven is the hell to which the musicians have been assigned?

Indeed. An eternity of having that guy in the front row, yelling "WOOOH" and then demanding you play the song he loves, over and over, and he's going to buy you some shitty well beer as a thank you. Or crappy tequila.

After the show, he'll want to share some pointers with you about improving your sound setup, and then ask if you can write some music for these lyrics he's been working on.
posted by emjaybee at 12:03 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


FREEBIRD
posted by flabdablet at 12:05 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


This kid was exploited. He doesn't deserve an sort of mockery at all, or blames of being any more of a liar than kids who aren't sure whether to play along with their parents claims of santa visiting or not.
posted by xarnop at 12:12 PM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


How to good bye existence: clench anus 100 times. Malarkey or perfect way?

In all seriousness the commenter who pointed out how western religion is so anxiously obsessed with spiritual affirmation from others rather than finding inner peace got me thinking. It's that bullshit American self reliance. Lives of quiet desperation without inner calm or satisfaction. I Work Hard and I Play Hard when I fuck I take a pill so I stay hard. That bullshit. Because we are terrified of silence and inner quiet. Not all of us, but even introverts like me who are drained by lots of human interaction seem to surround ourselves with sounds and dialog that makes us feel less alone.
posted by aydeejones at 12:13 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


This kid was exploited.

Come on, just because he's quadriplegic doesn't mean that he's lost reason and free will.
Give the handicapped a little more credit, will ya?
posted by sour cream at 12:14 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]



Come on, just because he's quadriplegic doesn't mean that he's lost reason and free will.
Give the handicapped a little more credit, will ya?


This has nothing to do with his handicap and all to do with the fact that he was a small child. Children don't have good reasoning skills.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:16 PM on January 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh and the Sylvia Brown comment. Yes heaven is all carnal satisfaction and time killing with your peeps. Because eating and partying is what Jesus wants errrrbudday doin' at da pearly G club
posted by aydeejones at 12:17 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Children don't have good reasoning skills.

One should keep that in mind when buying their books...
posted by sour cream at 12:17 PM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Has the Internet achieved Peak Malarkey yet?

We thought we did, but new techniques let us blow the top off of any subject and extract malarkey we previously couldn't access, and we're also ramping up our renewable production which should provide us with plenty of malarkey after we run out of lies about pre-existing topics.
posted by michaelh at 12:17 PM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm not clear on why it's bad to make fun of a quadriplegic kid.

Okay, how's this correction of my earlier statement:

Seriously: you're making fun of a kid who's apparently been manipulated into becoming a poster child that he never wanted to be, and who's now caught between two feuding parents, a throng who want to make him a positive symbol of religion, another throng who want to make him a negative symbol of religion, a money-grubbing unethical publisher, and his own conscience. That's pretty low.
posted by echo target at 12:33 PM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Honestly recounted or not, no near death experience proves anything about whether there's an afterlife or its nature. It's called "near death" for the most sensible of reasons: because the person isn't dead but experiencing an altered state of consciousness. Some people do envision Jesus, but others see Buddha or characters from other religions. What a person experiences in near death is very specifically tied to their individual cultural background and beliefs. And some can describe an outfit and the mismatched socks their child was wearing in the next room when they would otherwise have had no way of knowing what the child was wearing because they hadn't physically seen the kid that day. Which is pretty freaking cool in terms of what it indicates about the untapped powers of the human brain, but it doesn't prove that there is an afterlife. Good on this kid for owning up to his falsehoods, but even if it had been an honest account of his experience, what he had to say shouldn't have had any real weight in the first place. So many people take near death experiences as confirmation of their religious beliefs, and it's nonsense.
posted by orange swan at 12:34 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also Just In: Everything Robert Fulghum Really Needed To Know He Did NOT Learn In Kindergarten.
Book retraction & refunds to follow.
posted by haricotvert at 12:35 PM on January 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


And some can describe an outfit and the mismatched socks their child was wearing in the next room when they would otherwise have had no way of knowing what the child was wearing because they hadn't physically seen the kid that day.

[Citation, and rigorous proof, needed.]
posted by yoink at 12:38 PM on January 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


I read this in what seemed to be a solidly researched book about near death experiences, yoink. Apparently there are documented instances of people being able to recount details and conversations they would otherwise have known nothing about because they had seen/heard during an "out of body" near death experience.
posted by orange swan at 12:42 PM on January 21, 2015


Everything Robert Fulghum Really Needed To Know He Did NOT Learn In Kindergarten.

He attended a kindergarten with an extremely intense curriculum, and he was left back 20 times. Never actually finished.
posted by Iridic at 12:45 PM on January 21, 2015


orange swan, you still haven't provided a citation, just reiterated that we should believe you and your sources, whatever they were.

I'm not saying I doubt you read it, but I strongly suspect alternate causes in these cases.
posted by Imperfect at 12:48 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Stepmom: Well, I still believe it.

Or, as my grandmother used to say, "People convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still."
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:51 PM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


did we really need confirmation that he did not, in fact, go to heaven
posted by Awful Peice of Crap at 12:55 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I strongly suspect alternate causes in these cases

Yeah, this sort of thing is absolutely the kind of area where, even with the best will in the world, people talk themselves into radically false memories. Unless you have someone recording the first several exchanges the fact that people announce "and he knew what little Tommy was wearing right down to the odd socks!" is just worthless. We all know the way "mind readers" end up with the subject convinced that they knew all kinds of very specific details about them which, in fact, they provided themselves. That works because that's just a thing humans do; we help shape our memory of a conversation into a form that satisfies us. Maybe the first time the near-death subject described everybody he got all kinds of things wrong, but nobody fixates on those, just on the things that were right (and with family there's a good chance that you'd get a lot right). They feed back to the teller a sense of what was right and what was wrong and the story gets amended, and their memories also get amended to comply better with this collectively-created canonical version. And so it hardens into accepted certainty: "he woke up from the operation and was able to describe what everyone was wearing, down to the very last detail." All too human.
posted by yoink at 1:02 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


did we really need confirmation that he did not, in fact, go to heaven

We didn't.

Some did.
posted by Imperfect at 1:02 PM on January 21, 2015


Seriously: you're making fun of a kid who's apparently been manipulated into becoming a poster child that he never wanted to be, and who's now caught between two feuding parents, a throng who want to make him a positive symbol of religion, another throng who want to make him a negative symbol of religion, a money-grubbing unethical publisher, and his own conscience. That's pretty low.

I have not seen anyone here attempt to use humor to completely invalidate this person as a human being or to declare him completely awful and devoid of value.

What I have seen are people who think that it is ironic and humorous that a person named Malarkey has been found to have peddled malarkey, which is a considerably milder joke of altogether narrower and less pernicious scope.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:03 PM on January 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


orange swan, you still haven't provided a citation, just reiterated that we should believe you and your sources

It's correct that I didn't provide a citation, but I didn't "reiterate" that "you should believe me and my sources". I don't know if I am convinced of it. It's the sort of thing that's pretty hard to prove or disprove, because the research subjects could easily lie about it to the person trying to document the incident, or be deceived themselves.
posted by orange swan at 1:09 PM on January 21, 2015


publishers pulling book by Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, girl did not in fact kill a mockingbird as book claims
posted by Legomancer at 1:11 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chalk another point up for nominative determinism .
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:32 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we're playing "interesting related thing I read," I read an article? book? once, many years ago when I was a teenager and interested in such things (actually, it was after I read Stranger with My Face and also when I was little I was a huge fan of that show "Strange but True" where a frequent trope was a dying person who appeared somewhere else to summon help).

Anyway, whatever I read said that many hospitals had in their ER and trauma units LED displays placed on top of high cabinets pointing up, toward the ceiling. That is, one of those LED signs that changes messages but is placed so it is not visible to anyone in the room -- unless said person were actually floating above the room, as some NDEers report. The display will show randomly generated words and frequently change. The idea is that anyone who really did float above the room in spirit during an NDE should be able to wake up and report what the display said. Someone could then look up what the display had said during that person's NDE time. According to the book/article that I read, no one had yet correctly reported the words displayed.

I did a quick google search on this and turned nothing up. I have no citation.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:39 PM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I would be a terrible person and change the message to SEE YOU SOON, LOVE, SATAN
posted by desjardins at 1:59 PM on January 21, 2015 [20 favorites]


Here's an account in the WSJ of an (ongoing?) related experiment.
posted by yoink at 2:06 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


RESTART, RESTORE, QUIT? >
posted by rifflesby at 2:07 PM on January 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


DON'T PANIC
posted by yoink at 2:08 PM on January 21, 2015


FLIP SIGN FOR HEAVEN
posted by turntraitor at 2:09 PM on January 21, 2015


This looks like one publication coming from the WSJ article. It claims one person had "verifiable consciousness" in the abstract. I can't read the whole article. I found a few other articles by or about that researcher, but nothing else seems to reference that study specifically.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:16 PM on January 21, 2015


PLEASE DON'T REPORT WHAT THIS SAYS CUZ IT WOULD BE A BIG OLD MESS IF YOU BROUGHT BACK PROOF OF DUALISM.
posted by Iridic at 2:28 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


PLEASE DON'T REPORT WHAT THIS SAYS CUZ IT WOULD BE A BIG OLD MESS IF YOU BROUGHT BACK PROOF OF DUALISM.

Better: SIGN? WHAT SIGN?

("So, you report floating above the operating table during the operation, Mr. Smith. We have just one question for you; we've rigged a sign up on top of the overhead lighting array to test just these sorts of claims. What did that sign say?")
posted by yoink at 2:38 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


The handwringing about the name is precious. Let us all come off it. Nobody is making fun of a quadriplegic. Certainly the kid wouldn't live his life thinking everything said and done about HIM is about "the quadriplegic." The name means "bullshit," it's a funny coincidence. It does not minimize him in any way. Not even in tasteless joke territory and it comes off as a bogus concern.
posted by aydeejones at 2:42 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


And sour cream, maybe you were being facetious but feel good stories that are total lies on their face sold as truth against the wishes of the supposed story teller? That's the travesty. Not poking fun at a coincidence. Cinderella is an absurd comparison.

Of course this feel good story is different from parables and fables. It's a bad faith money machine running on pure lying and greed.
posted by aydeejones at 2:45 PM on January 21, 2015


Also I falsely conflated sour cream with a "don't joke about the name" commenter when you spoke exactly the opposite. Sorry!
posted by aydeejones at 2:48 PM on January 21, 2015


I mean, sure, if it helps you get through your day to believe that you're going to get to meet Beethoven on some other plane, why not?

An eternal paradise of glad-handing rubes seems a bit of a rum deal for Beethoven though.


Trust me, Beethoven had a bit of a dark side.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 2:48 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I swear we discussed NDE studies here in the last couple of years, including one with pictures facing the ceiling not viewable from the ground, but I can't remember enough of the details to find it. As I recall, the researcher was playing the results close to his vest waiting for his book to come out...which never did. Does that ring a bell for anyone?
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:02 PM on January 21, 2015


Or does it mean that performing for the people in heaven is the hell to which the musicians have been assigned?

Stephen King beat you to it.
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:09 PM on January 21, 2015


Before I opened the article, I thought that “Burpo” was the name of some magical, mythical being he encountered/befriended on the other side, and that that was some real C.S. Lewis-meets-Idiocracy shit right there.
posted by acb at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Burpo thing also confused me before I read the article, but mainly because my brain is stupid and I thought it was referring to Gulpo.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2015


I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.

Well, I am compelled to remark, fucking duh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:18 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Come on, just because he's quadriplegic doesn't mean that he's lost reason and free will.
Give the handicapped a little more credit, will ya?


I really think a six year old kid with a handicap that makes him wholly dependant on the adults around him is going to need protection from being exploited more than just about anyone else out there, depending on family circumstances.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:23 PM on January 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Will his publisher be offering a refund like James Frey's for A Million Little Theses? Wait, that wasn't it. A Million Little Specious? No, that's not right either. A Million Little Feces, or something like that. I'm kind of busy right now and can't be bothered to look into it.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:36 PM on January 21, 2015


Turned out to be A Million not so Little Lies.
posted by localroger at 5:00 PM on January 21, 2015


Anybody heard from Jimmy Bullshit lately?

One of the more interesting things about this is that it's part of a multi-thousand year set of narratives where the protagonist visits the afterlife during a near-death experience. The most famous ones are Gregory's Dialogues and Visions of Drythelm, but there are tons of them. I tend to prefer harrowing of hell stories, since that's when ancient fabulists could get really wild in their cthonic fantasies. I wish I knew better search terms for these kinds of narratives, because I find 'em all fascinating reflections of contemporary yearnings and fears.
posted by klangklangston at 5:15 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


apropo occuli graviton failure.
posted by clavdivs at 5:43 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


The real long con is that the kid is LARPing Umberto Eco's Baudolino

Re-reading "Turning back the clock", 'Baudolino' came to mind for my favorite chapter:
Baudolino saves Alessandria with his father's cow

"...a fine exercise in epistolary rhetoric, a jocus, a ludibrium"
posted by clavdivs at 5:56 PM on January 21, 2015


The Card Cheat: ""All of your loved ones and pets will be in Heaven with you, you'll eat meals cooked by history's greatest chefs, go to see concerts by history's greatest musicians," etc."

I had a theologian friend -- very well-educated, very orthodox guy -- who totally and sincerely believed nobody would be bald in heaven because God would perfect our bodies and when that happened, nobody would be bald. As you may have guessed, he suffered from early-onset male-pattern baldness.

I told him I didn't want to go to a heaven where Jean-Luc Picard had hair.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:19 PM on January 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


I told him I didn't want to go to a heaven where Jean-Luc Picard had hair.

Indeed not.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:05 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


CANNOT UNSEE!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:16 PM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember a minister who visited my family's evangelical church, when I was a kid, and informed us that in heaven we would all be men.
posted by bunderful at 8:51 PM on January 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm not making fun of the kid and his name whatsoever. I am, however, totally reserving the right to make fun of his dad, also named Malarkey, who I strongly suspect was the primary instigator and writer of this book since the kid was 6 at the time. I think that guy's fair game for aptonym jokes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:20 PM on January 21, 2015


Yeah,'co wrote' sounds like how i helped bake when i was six, by licking the beaters.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:55 PM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think the people who should have egg on their faces isn't the poor kid, but a particularly pushy strain of evangelical Christianity that has been using the kid as a poster child for testimony of miracles defeating doubt. But I doubt this recantation will do much because it's a movement that seems to value truthy over true.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:59 AM on January 22, 2015


An eternal paradise of glad-handing rubes seems a bit of a rum deal for Beethoven though.

That's the beauty of it: this heaven is Beethoven's hell. It's a twofer!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:56 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


So my heaven is hell for these chefs that have to perform unending labor making me coq au vin at the snap of a finger, I suppose. THANK YOU JESUS.
posted by Mister_A at 6:56 AM on January 22, 2015


WHOA Lentrohamsanin... it's like we're... one... guy... of sarcasm...
posted by Mister_A at 6:57 AM on January 22, 2015


(And now I see clawsoon already beat me to that gag)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:58 AM on January 22, 2015


This may be one of those things where unless a person's own name tends to provoke jokes and snickers, they find it difficult to empathize. Speaking as somebody whose family name is a common English verb and noun, I was utterly sick of them by the time I was in elementary school.

Seriously, if a person is old enough to carry on a conversation, they've heard all the damn jokes about their name already. To you it's an "aptonym"; to them it's shallow, facile, and displays an inability on the speaker's part to imagine how their comments will be received (because if the speaker put even half a second into thinking about how the recipient would hear it, they wouldn't freaking say it).

I think I was about 10 by the time I'd perfected the level, cold, squelching, "you are nowhere near as amusing as you think you are" gaze. I'd bet this kid is way ahead of me.
posted by Lexica at 10:22 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seriously, if a person is old enough to carry on a conversation, they've heard all the damn jokes about their name already. To you it's an "aptonym"; to them it's shallow, facile, and displays an inability on the speaker's part to imagine how their comments will be received (because if the speaker put even half a second into thinking about how the recipient would hear it, they wouldn't freaking say it).

But in this thread the comments are not being made to Mr. Malarkey, are they? Doesn't your reasoning apply solely to making jokes about someone's name directly to the person whose name it is?
posted by yoink at 11:00 AM on January 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nope. Facile and shallow is facile and shallow. "Ha ha, 'malarkey' means bullshit and this guy's a liar!" is predictable and boring and doesn't become more amusing just because Mr. Malarkey isn't here to hear it himself.
posted by Lexica at 11:51 AM on January 22, 2015


I think I was about 10 by the time I'd perfected the level, cold, squelching, "you are nowhere near as amusing as you think you are" gaze. I'd bet this kid is way ahead of me.

Or press attack: "Ha, ha, ha, this is sooo hilarious. You are soooo funny! Do you know how often I have heard this joke? Never! You are the very first person to come up with it. Can you imagine? Do you mind if I call you Mr. Funny in the future? Because you ARE funny! And so original! Hey guys, come over here, you have GOT to hear the funny thing that Mr. Funny here has just said. Come on, Funny, say it again."
posted by sour cream at 12:46 PM on January 22, 2015


People have been calling me Max the Sparberian since high school and I still find it hilarious.
posted by maxsparber at 1:08 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seriously, if a person is old enough to carry on a conversation, they've heard all the damn jokes about their name already. To you it's an "aptonym"; to them it's shallow, facile, and displays an inability on the speaker's part to imagine how their comments will be received (because if the speaker put even half a second into thinking about how the recipient would hear it, they wouldn't freaking say it).

SO MUCH THIS. My idiot parents burdened me with both a first and a last name that lend themselves inevitably--as in, usually within ten seconds of introduction--to two incredibly tiresome pop-culture references. It's been at the point for some years that when I tell people my last name I frequently say "Don't. Just don't."

It's childish and asinine. Get over it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:21 PM on January 22, 2015


I find it fascinating that folks are still doubling down on "How dare you mock his name!" Criminy, people. If it makes you feel better, I will concede that yes, it's probably a mild form of assholery. It's nothing on the level of say, pretending to have seen heaven to sell a bunch of sad, gullible people a shitty book, but sure, it's mildly uncouth.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:41 PM on January 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Honestly... no one here has taken a serious shot at this kid at all despite him having done some crappy, crappy stuff. A couple of verbal raspberries in the direction of an admitted huckster and people are rending their hair? Wow. Just wow.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:46 PM on January 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, two things:

1) I should think it would be obvious to anyone capable of everything necessary required for logging into MetaFilter that a six year old child had more or less nothing to do with bilking gullible people, and one should look to one or both of the parents for that;

2) It costs nothing to not be an asshole mocking someone for their not-chosen-by-them name. (I say this as an asshole who has certainly done such in the past and will almost certainly do so in the future in unmindful moments.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:57 PM on January 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


The joke about his name only kicked in when he started lying. I can understand the frustration if I had a name like, oh, Mr. Smoketoomuch and people were constantly telling me I should cut down.

But if nobody said peep about that name, and then I started doing that thing where I stuffed a hundred cigarettes into a terrifying circle in my mouth and then lit them all up?

Well, that's when the jokes moves into the territory of fair game and what did he expect?

Nobody should be made fun of just because they have a name that's easy to mock. I absolutely agree. Their name is not really volitional, and so it's making fun of someone for what they are, rather than what they do, and that's a cheap shot.

But, I don't know, Ronald Wilson Reagan had six letters in each of his names. And I wouldn't have thought twice about steering clear of jokes about the devil until the exact moment he started acting like a force of pure evil.
posted by maxsparber at 1:57 PM on January 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


He was a six year old child when he 'wrote' that book. How is it fair game to mock him for something over which he has literally no control?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:02 PM on January 22, 2015


Do I have like the Reader's Digest condensed version of this thread or something? Am I missing the parts where people brutally savaged this kid? We are still just talking about people giggling that a person named Malarkey turned out to be full of malarkey, right? Because if someone from this board drove to this kid's town and tried to humiliate him and ruin his life or something, I agree they should totally be stopped. If we're still hand wringing over a mild pun on a name, I think maybe what is needed is suggestions for a hobby for some folks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:07 PM on January 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I suspect you don't have a name that easily invites mocking, DirtyOldTown. (One of my favourite songs by The Pogues, btw. Good choice.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:09 PM on January 22, 2015


Is that what it is? Do people just have a lot of feelings over name jokes because they had a bad ride on their own names?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:11 PM on January 22, 2015


Do people just have a lot of feelings over gender/ethnicity/sexuality jokes because they had a bad ride on their own gender/ethnicity/sxuality?

Not saying they're quite equivalent, of course, because names can be changed once one reaches a certain age. But it's worth thinking that when you're talking about a child, they have no such agency to change anything, so maybe mocking them for it isn't okay?

Edited, know we're not supposed to say this usually, but I feel like maybe it was a non-trivial edit. I'd initially used 'names' at the end of my first sentence because I'd copypasted.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:15 PM on January 22, 2015


It is because of my abiding concern for children that I hope that any child who had been roped into committing obnoxious, exploitative fraud would be so fortunate as to have their comeuppance be as mild and toothless as a few smirking puns on their last name.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:23 PM on January 22, 2015


YMMV, of course. So if you think this particular molehill needs an altitude sign and a viewing platform, by all means.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:27 PM on January 22, 2015


Why should a child who has been roped into something have a comeuppance at all?

He was six, ferfucksake, and is now eleven.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:29 PM on January 22, 2015


Ehhhh... we're already those two endless people taking over the bottom of a thread. Maybe we just agree to disagree.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:30 PM on January 22, 2015


Hmm, okay, but do me a favour? Next time you think about making fun of someone's name, think about how it might make them feel?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:47 PM on January 22, 2015


I did/do. And the answer I got, "mild annoyance from something they have probably heard before" did not fill my heart with guilt or worry.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2015


Maybe it should. Comes under the heading of 'microagression,' to me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:28 PM on January 22, 2015


I guess we are either going to be eternally sexually frustrated in heaven, or gay.

The Pope recently announced there would be dogs in heaven, he didn't say anything about whether there would be genitals.
posted by biffa at 3:42 PM on January 22, 2015


Spay again?
posted by clavdivs at 3:59 PM on January 22, 2015


I'm going to heaven to get tutored!
posted by TedW at 4:05 PM on January 22, 2015


"no one here has taken a serious shot at this kid at all despite him having done some crappy, crappy stuff."

Whaaaaaat? He was NINE at the oldest!!
My lord in heaven the things you probably did at 6/7/8 that you have no memory off. The only crime had they been published would be the asshole adults that made your childish errors the business of the whole world.

He has not done anything crappy at all. Being confused about religion, going along with it because adults are encouraging you or seem happy about it.. there's nothing malicious or even crappy here.
posted by xarnop at 6:07 PM on January 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


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