Critical Examination: The Real Villains of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

I am of course talking about the animated version, not that live action abortion that showed that not only can Emma Watson not act, but she can’t sing either.  But as I have been chilling with my girly-mate guest, we have shared in one of my favorite pastimes – over-analyzing media that we watch.  In this case, it’s a classic Disney film that a lot of people have already over-analyzed, but I think have all been fooled.  It’s all over the Internet that the Beast is actually a horrible guy, but while he is an abusive monster, he isn’t the real villain of the story.  Nor is Gaston, who is actually the hero of the story.  More about that later.  The true villain of this film is more nefarious than you can possibly imagine.  It’s perhaps one of the darkest secrets in all of Disney, that we shall uncover now.

The True Hero

Cracked already did a video discussing this but the real hero of the story is Gaston.  Which he totally is.  The film tries to play it as he just judges the Beast because of how he looks and that’s wrong, because really the Beast is a good guy underneath it all.  Right?  Wrong!  The Beast is a monster!  His outer image has become his inner one, as he has had years of anger and hatred of the world and himself to turn his psyche into an abusive monster.  Gaston, on the other hand, is not really a bad guy.  Let’s look at some evidence.

The entire village treats Belle like she is a weirdo.  After all, she’s reading books and trying to learn things.  In that time period, for a woman to do such a thing is considered alien and they regard her very negatively.  All with one exception – Gaston.  He treats Belle like she is someone he wants to get to know and care about.  But I hear you say – he comes on WAY too strong and is kind of a dick!  Well, yeah.  But there’s a reason.  For starters, he’s kinda dumb.  But that’s nothing to hold against him.  Him being dumb isn’t his fault.  And the reason he is a dick is because he has an inflated ego.  Why?  Because he is the most valuable member of the community.  He shows that he has a vast amount of animal heads and is a very skilled hunter.  In a time when being able to kill animals and get food is a skill that can sustain a community, it makes sense that he is a celebrity.

But think about this – in the song he sings to himself, Gaston shows that there are a ton of women who are after him, but he makes clear that these are not the women he is interested in.  These hussies are just cheap lays that he gets because he can.  The woman he is actually interested in is the woman that the rest of the village treats as something of a pariah, not only because she isn’t very ladylike for the time, but because her father is kind of insane as well and it has gotten around.  So he is a little dumb and kind of boorish, but he still wants to get to know and seek the hand of a woman that no one else in the community likes.  What’s the problem there?

Why the Beast Isn’t the Villain

We’re building up to the reveal, don’t worry.  The aforementioned video by Cracked said that the Beast is the real bad guy in the film, and while I can see where they are coming from, they didn’t go deep enough in their analysis.  See, here’s the real kicker – the Beast is just a victim of his circumstance.  While he is an abusive monster (and that isn’t going to change with him becoming human again), you can track what got him here.  Years of living as an animal in a home where the only companions he had are people who are terrified of him and whom he has probably killed a few of.  After all, it’s shown that pretty much every inanimate object in the house is one of the servants, and we see Beast’s quarters filled with destroyed stuff.  So was some of that destruction servants who made him upset?  Scary to think about what will happen when the Enchantress’ magic wears off and how many mutilated corpses will be found later.

However, the truth is that of all the characters in the film, the Beast is the one with the least agency.  He is just being strung along by the plot.  Sure, he has a goal of breaking the curse placed on him, but he is just being led along by the real villain of the film.  Some of you may have seen this coming, but it’s even more diabolical than you can possibly imagine.

The Real Villain of the Film Is…

The servants.  That’s right, all the fun servant characters, who you grow to love and think are the best part of the film, are the ones who are secretly manipulating everything behind the scenes.  I can prove it, too.  Let’s get down into this.

Have you ever noticed that the servants don’t age?  The film implies that it has been years, many years, since the Enchantress did her spell.  Yet, the little teacup children are still teacup children.  At the end of the film, when the magic wears off, you see them turn back into children.  The little dog stool creature turns into a dog and it is obvious that it would be old as fuck or dead if it had been aging like a normal dog.  But one character does age in that castle – the Beast.  Beast is aging like a normal person, because even though he looks like a monster he is still flesh and blood.  Which means that his body is growing older.  And it also means that at some point he would die.  You know who wouldn’t die?  The servants.  They are now inanimate objects that only age as their parts decay.  Or if the destruction in Beast’s quarters is to be believed, when they are destroyed.  Which means that some of these now living pieces of furniture could have centuries of life to live.  Doesn’t that sound like a fresh Hell to have to suffer through?  Makes you wonder what such a potential fate would compel one to do, doesn’t it?

The servants talk in the film about how they had nearly given up hope that they would be able to escape that fate.  But then, along comes hope!  A girl who can potentially break this curse and save them from this torture existence of being objects for the rest of their potentially eternal existence.

But I hear your rebuttal – how does that show that they are the villains?  I mean, sure they got a stake in the situation but how do you postulate that they are the bad guys because of it?  I’m glad you asked.  Here’s how I know – because they know what Beast is like.  They are terrified of him.  They know what kind of monster he has become.  And while some of them like the Cogsworth may be delusional enough to buy that he will snap out of it when he turns back into a human, others like Lumiere are nowhere near that naive.  He is clearly the smartest out of them, and he knows the truth about what will happen when the Beast is given back his body.  His physical appearance will change, but his internal violence will be right where is was before.  The only difference is that now Belle will be trapped.  Trapped in a relationship with someone who is still an animal that will likely abuse her, physically and emotionally at the very least, and potentially sexually.  There is no way these servants who have had to suffer through this for years won’t have some idea about what is going to happen once all is said and done.

The thing is – they don’t care.  Why would they?  After all, if you faced the reality of living the rest of your life as a dresser, would you?  Which brings to mind another rebuttal I hear – okay, so Lumiere may be playing things to his own end.  But how do we know the others are in on it?  I have an answer to that too.  When Gaston rallies the town to go and save the woman he has feelings for, and they attack the castle, the furniture fights back.  The bureau actually leaps off a balcony and lands on a guy and crushes him.  You even see his lifeless legs after she smashes him into the floor.  That dude is dead!  She fucking killed him.  And you see the rest of the servants doing real damage to Gaston’s posse.  A threat to their freedom means that they are willing to straight-up murder people in order to ensure success.

Everything that the servants to help foster the relationship between the two of them wasn’t to help the Beast.  It was to help themselves.  When Mrs. Potts was singing that iconic song, in the back of her mind she was thinking – get with her, damn you!  I want to leave this teapot body behind!  Hell, the first thing Lumiere does after he turns back is make out with a maid.  You just know that afterwards he took her to a room and got his dick wet for the first time in who knows how many years.  And I bet you that after they are returned to their bodies, they high-tailed it out of there as fast as their legs would take them.  Given back their ability to live, why would they want to stay and watch the relationship between the two titular characters devolve into a destructive pattern of abuse?

And the best part is – they got away with it!  The servants manipulated the situation to their own ends, and they win.  They got their bodies back and condemned an innocent woman with mental problems to a life of abuse all so they could get their own bodies back.  Scary shit.  But also kind of cool.  Makes me like Lumiere as a character more, really.  From the very beginning when he started to make nice with Belle, he was planning his return to his own body because he knew that this was his last chance.  It was his ultimate gambit, and he got the entire servant body (with the possible exception of Cogsworth who was completely the Beast’s bitch) to assist him to this end.  Hell, Mrs. Potts kinds of hints to it in her part of the song.  She says that she has to make sure everything is perfect in every conceivable way for Belle, because she knows what he does too.

Kind of makes me wish that I could have seen the deleted scenes where Lumiere has the servants gathered and is talking to them about what to do next and how they were planning things.  Am I alone in that?  What do you all think?  Let me know in the Comments

Until next time, a quote,

“But that’s just a theory.  A Film Theory.” – Film Theory

Peace out,

Maverick

The Report

She awoke well before dawn.  It was hard to dislodge herself from Emily’s arms.  She held her so tight.  But there was something on her mind.  She couldn’t keep her mind off it.  She wanted to look over some of the files they had.  There was one in-particular.

(Excerpt from Chief Researcher, Dr. Jeremiah Cromwell’s log, High Orbital Station One)

We got our latest instructions.  We are to begin testing on human subjects.  I’m not sure I feel comfortable about this.  We have already seen what the Nova Particle’s effect on organic tissue is.  It mutates cellular structure in a way that the body cannot survive.  The cells that don’t explode are often unable to function properly.  We have seen lab animals turned into monsters, if they don’t become mangled by the mutations.  The few creatures that were able to mutate without falling into the aforementioned categories were uncontrollable.  I don’t see the purpose of this!
What makes it worse is that the subjects we have been given are children!  Orphans from either Area 4 or Area 3.  We destroy their homes, kidnap them, now we are using them to test how a particle that we know mutates organic tissue will mutate them.  I lodged my protest with Command, but it didn’t do any good.  I was informed that if I didn’t follow orders, I was going to be “re-purposed.”  Nothing subtle about that threat.  This is nothing short of a crime against humanity.  Command assures me that they will be doing a greater good for our country, but I’m not so sure.  What greater good could come from this?

(Excerpt from audio file, testing lab 34)

Subject: what are you doing, doctor?
Nurse: He’s going to be giving you a little injection, alright?  It’s nothing to be afraid of.  This injection will help keep you safe from disease.”
Subject: Okay.  Will you hold my hand?
Nurse: Of course.
<Subject is given injection>
Subject: Ow, that hurts!
Nurse: I know, sweetie.  Just a little poke.  <After a moment> See, that wasn’t scary at all!  You did very good.  <Another pause> You can let go of my hand now.
Subject: I did let go!
Nurse: Sweetie, you’re still holding my hand!  You’re squeezing very hard!
Subject: <Voice deeper> I’m telling you, it’s not me!
<Nurse starts screaming> Nurse: You’re hurting me!  Please let go!:
Subject: It’s not me!  Somebody help me!
<Sound of flesh tearing.>  Doctor: Oh god!  <Buzz on intercom> We need some help in here!
<Door opens> Orderly: Oh fuck!  What the fuck happened to her!
Doctor: Restrain the subject!  Use of lethal force is authorized!
<More flesh tearing, sound of gunshots>
Doctor: The experiment is over.  Loss of subject at 1329, Greenwich Mean Time.  Record the loss of the nurse as well.  Get a crew to clean this up.
Orderly: Yes, doctor.

(Excerpt from Chief Researcher’s log)

If there is a looser definition of the word “science,” this is it.  I swear, I feel like a monster!  All the first batch of test subjects are diseased.  The results were horrifying.  70% of the subject died from the first and second infusions of the formula we made.  The rest had vast physiological mutations.  There were those who had muscle growth go out of control.  Some were emitting a kind of energy from their bodies, which ripped them and the doctors, nurses and orderlies to pieces.  One subject actually exploded!  Took out an entire lab with her.  We’ve learning nothing!  All permutations to the formula have had no success.  All tweaks to the environment that the subject was kept in had no success.  Nothing I did worked.  Another batch of subject is going to be arriving soon.  I am already preparing my staff for the worst.

(Audio File 252)

Subject: Doctor, what is this injection for?
Doctor: It’s to help you adapt to space, little one.  Think of it like a vaccine.
Subject: Okay.
Nurse: Beginning injection now. <To Subject> Just a little poke now.  Be brave.
Subject: It’s okay.  I’m not scared.
<Injection infused>
Doctor: Any changes?
Nurse: Negative, doctor.  Nothing at all.
Doctor: I think we’ve finally done it!  We’ve finally found the perfect subject!

(Excerpt from Chief Researcher’s log)

As expected, all of the test subjects perished in the second batch we were given.  The third batch, however, something different happened!  All but one perished!  We have a test subject that can actually sustain the formula!  Five infusions, and the subject is still alive.  Maybe now we can stop testing on more kids.  At least, that’s what I was hoping.  Seems the fate isn’t going to be so nice to me.  Command said that they want more.  We’re being sent more staff to replace our losses, too.  This is disgusting!  Beyond unethical.  If there is a God, on the off-chance, he must keep a special place in Hell for people like me.
But, the subject who has survived, who has been renamed Subject Zero, is showing incredible improvement.  It sustained an injury from a careless nurse, but the cellular regeneration was incredibly fast.  Within a few days, there was no evidence that it had been hurt.  The subject has also seen an increase in brain functions as well.  It is learning languages, mathematics, critical analysis and tactical information at an amazing rate.  One of our best chess players lost to it today.  The potential that we have discovered with this Subject, it makes what we have done to the rest almost bearable.  Almost, being the operative word.
  I was told that we are getting some new personnel to perform new tests with Subject Zero.

(Taken from security footage in the mess hall)

“You see what the new guys brought with them?”
“Enough tech to sink this damn station!”
“For real.  And I hear it’s all for one subject!”
“Which one?”
“Who do you think?  Subject Zero.  The brass have been fawning over the data from it for months!  It’s like the rest of the subjects don’t exist with this one.”
“Poor child…”

(Audio File 437)

Subject: Please, stop!  I don’t want to do this!
Researcher: Insert the subject into the device!
Subject: Please, I’ll do whatever you want!  Just don’t put me back in there!  Please don’t hurt me again!
Researcher: Insert the subject into the device!
<Sound of mechanical systems coming online>
Researcher: Begin the test!
<Incoherent screaming>
Subject: Please let me out!  I’m sorry!  I’ll be good!  I’ll do whatever you want!  Please let me out!
<Screaming continues for several minutes>
Researcher: End the test.  Record the data.  Also, make sure to sanitize the lab again.  I swear, if it would stop bleeding so much, that would be a big help.

(Excerpt from Chief Researcher’s log)

My wife left me.  I came clean about what we were doing, and she said she couldn’t look at me anymore.  I don’t blame her.  She took our son with her.  Given what we are doing to Subject Zero, I can’t blame her for not trusting me with him.  God, this poor thing.  We aren’t allowed to speak to the Subject anymore.  The new people they brought in have pretty much taken over my lab.  I have no authority anymore.  I hardly even come into work.  Nobody cares.  The bulk of the staff here quit.  The last batch of subjects we were given died.  There is no subject like Subject Zero.  None at all.  And yet, things are getting weird around here.
The other day, one of our custodians said that he saw the silhouette of a young woman.  One of the subjects!  He said that it was just light.  Like it was made up of light!  This isn’t the first we’ve heard of something like this.  There were reports of the sound of a little boy screaming echoing through the halls, but with no subject to make the noise.  The staff is terrified.  I am too.  It’s all connected with Subject Zero.  It has to be!  There’s something wrong here!  The Emperor himself came to visit!  Said he wanted to check on our progress.  He told us that what is happening to Subject Zero is a good thing.  Bullshit!  That’s fucking bullshit!  I still hear that child screaming in my sleep.  I have nightmares about it standing over me, slicing me open.  We’ve become monsters.  We’re not human anymore.

(A memo sent to Imperial Command)

To:       Imperial Command
From:   Orbital Station 1
Date:    02/23/2305
Re:       Status of Project

Let the His Imperial Majesty know that the final stages of The Project will be starting soon.  The Subject is responding better than we could have hoped.  It has no limit to the amount of the Nova Particle Formula that it can be infused with.  The entire physiological structure of the Subject has been replaced with the Formula.  We will be moving to the final stage very soon.  Once it is completed, tell His Imperial Majesty that we already have a purified version of the Formula that we can begin infusing into new subjects.  The perfected version will be completed upon the Final Infusion.

Glory to our Emperor!  The Day of Ascension is coming!

(Excerpt from Chief Researcher’s log)

I’ve got word that a member of the Aristocracy, who is looking to look at our progress is coming to visit the Station tomorrow.  Guy’s bringing his kid, too.  What the hell?!  He thinks that this place is something that his daughter should see?!  Aristocrats are the most disgusting people in the entire world.  I may just kill him.

(Audio File 890)

Orderly: It’s escaped!  Subject Zero has escaped!
<Explosions in the background>
Researcher: Mobilize all security forces!  Tell them to have stun weapons!  We must keep Subject Zero alive!  Under no circumstances is anyone to terminate Subject Zero, understood?!
Orderly: But sir, it’s-!
<Explosion cuts out all sound>

(Security footage from Camera 504)

<Little girl walking down the hall.  Shadow approaching her>
Girl: Who are you?  Are you with the people here?!  I’m scared.  I want to find my daddy!
Unknown: Who are you?!
Girl: My name is Eleanor!  Who are you?

(Final Chief Researcher’s Log)

Subject Zero escaped.  It used energy fields and ripped the machine they kept it in to pieces.  Killed everyone inside.  The Subject ripped through the entire facility.  We evacuated who we could.  80% of the facility has been completely destroyed.  Only 20 members of the staff survived.  All security forces perished during the attack.  The Aristocrat was found looking for his daughter.  He found her in C-Block.  No idea how the kid got there, but whatever.  We loaded up who we could and got out.  Headed back for the surface.  Last thing I saw were the remaining staff who couldn’t make it to the shuttles, begging for us to save them.
Once we could get readings, we saw that the entire Station was destroyed.  According to the report, Subject Zero wouldn’t have been able to survive.  I looked over every single inch of that report.  No body was found!  Not one trace of the Subject was found!  That scares me.  I know that they say that it is dead.  It would have to be.  But some part of me, deep down, knows that Subject Zero is alive!  Somewhere.  I know that someday, it will come back.  I just pray, when that day comes, I’m far enough away to evade it.  God, what have we done?!

That mistake was one that they would regret forever – believing that it was dead.  Quinn looked over the last part of the file, as she heard Emily waking up.  She closed it, locking out the database.  She didn’t need to know.  Not yet.
Quinn went over, slipping back into her arms.
“Hey you,” Emily greeted, opening her eyes.
“Hey.”  She kissed her softly.  “You always said that you wanted to greet the dawn together.  Is this everything you wanted it to be?”
Her lover smiled.  “That and more.  I love you, Quinn.”
“I love you too, Emily.  With all my heart.”  They kissed as the sunlight starting reflecting off the water.  It was a beautiful morning.

Until next time, a quote,

“Encouragement irrelevant.  Will always be scientists willing to perform unethical tests.  Can’t change that…Won’t ignore data vital to her survival because of unethical origins.”  -Mordin Solus, Mass Effect 3

Peace out,

Maverick

Hogwarts is a TERRIBLE School!

Alright, time to talk about something that nobody cares about anymore, and to talk about it like it actually matters.  I know, you all are very excited too.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I have finally come up with some excellent reasons why Hogwarts would be one of the worst schools that you could possibly go to.  Ready for the geek-hate.

1. The magic in that universe would get its ass kicked by modern technology
I know, all of us wanted to be able to do magic when we were kids, but really think about it – their magic sucks.  You need a wand, can’t do magic without said wand and you can’t just think a spell into existence.  At least with Gandalf, he can do stuff just by thinking it, and his magic seems to have a lot more practical applications.  Meanwhile, at Hogwarts, it is contingent on having a wand, the knowledge to do it and is VERY word-sensitive, meaning that if you don’t say the spell right, it either screws up or horrifically bad things happen, like when Ron turned a rat into a half-cup, which gives one nightmares.

But to a better look at this issue – when Voldemort comes to power, the wizarding world doesn’t think to tell us, which would make sense except for one thing – that psychopath effs up our world too!  For real, he destroys a bridge, does countless amounts of collateral damage and we are none the wiser, which must be terrifying on every level.  The religious people in Britain would think that it is the end of the world, and ironically enough, it could have been!  But then you have modern technology.  If we had been aware of who he was, the war against Voldemort would have been over faster than you can shake a stick at.  For one thing, he was out in the open, and could only attack people he knew were there.  So, all we had to do was get a high-powered sniper rifle, a crack-shot and his brains would have splattered on the ground and not one person in his posse would have heard a thing.

Or how about at the final battle at Hogwarts?  Voldemort and his army are gathered at the school.  Out in the open, clearly able to be attacked.  For real, they don’t have good cover or even weapons that could fight back against our own.  So why not use some drones and get some blasting done!  Or we could be a little methodical, while that shield was still up over Hogwarts and just carpet-bomb the entire area.  From high-altitude, they would barely have time to look up before being turned into chunks.  Sure, some of them might aparate away from the area, but very few.  I know that some of you are planning to hit me back with – but they couldn’t see Hogwarts!  Well, that’s why the people there would have had to reach out to us and made it so that we could.  So many problems could have been solved just that quickly.

Oh, and while we mention their failings in respect to modern technology, they use owls, which you are very aware takes its dear sweet time to send information.  We have Facebook and Twitter.  If there was a war going on with the fate of all of humanity at stake, don’t you think that a fast system of data transmission would have been preferable?

2. Hogwarts makes kids into morons
Think about this – what do they actually learn there?  They learn to cast spells and wizarding history, how to care for insanely-dangerous animals and how to create poisons and other such concoctions.  Uh, how about Math?  Science?  Reading?  Writing?  Any knowledge that they could use outside of the wizarding world?  Nope.  Not one bit.  Hell, their “Muggle Studies” courses are so lacking on the information that they are still trying to figure out how light bulbs work.  They know jack-shit about the outside world, and if you think about it, it makes sense why they haven’t progressed beyond the 16th century, culturally.  I mean, they have spells that do all the thinking for them.  Need to rebuild something?  There’s a spell for that (yes, an app for that pun. You’re welcome).  Need something to come to you?  There’s a spell for that.  Need to fly up in the air?  There’s a spell for that.  If you look at the buildings in their world, along with read about them, you see that their buildings are not well-designed, would fall apart in an earthquake the size of the one that effed-up Haiti.  Who designed them?  Who built them?  They couldn’t fathom the complexity of modern architecture.  I mean, their sewer system was so massive that a fucking basilisk could move through it, without difficulty!

The fact is that they go out into the world, unable to come into our world.  They have an understanding of the world that is comparable to a 3rd grader.  What’s more, they come out of that world with unimaginable power, which leads us into our next problem…

3. They have an entire house that is a terrorist cell
In case you are confused about which one I am talking about, it is Slytherin.  Their entire existence is to take in the evil people.  Dress it up however you like, but admit it – they have a HUGE predilection for evil there.  Anytime people who are cutthroat come to Hogwarts, they go to Slytherin.  And they are in a school that is teaching them powerful spells that can torture people with ease, control a person’s mind and evil kill without needing anything more than a wand.  They also learn to make poisons, potions that can give them the power to disguise themselves as anyone, provided that they have that person nearby to get a hair or two from.  They could disguise themselves as the President of the United States or the Queen of England, and no one would be the wiser.  Plus, they have an entire division of their government that erases our memories.  They literally violate our minds to keep their world secret.  Does that sit right with you?

But back to Slytherin, if they are aware that the house is the source of all the evil in that school, why do they not expel the kids there?  Or how about, when they find out that they belong there, have the kid taken to another room and then axed off.  Tell the other students that they are being sent to another school, or that the house of Slytherin is a kind of distance education.  Or hell, be straight with them after the naming ceremony is over, so they know that the greater good is being served.  But in this house, they are getting all this knowledge, in addition to knowledge that would allow them to control unbelievably powerful monsters and use them to kill people.  These people could learn to control fucking dragons!  Oh, and while we’re on that subject…

4. They have a universe filled with unbelievably powerful monsters that NOBODY keeps track of!
For real, you find out that in the forest around the school, there is a MASSIVE colony of giant spiders that will kill any intruders who get too close.  They have powerful dragons that take dozens of people to keep control of, and they don’t see the need to tell us.  They have guards at their prisons who LITERALLY suck the life out of you just by their very presence.  Don’t you think that somebody in this world would want to know that definitive death could be waiting just around the corner?  Which leads me to my final problem –

5. They would be wiped out once we find out.
Think about it – if you were a member of the British government, and one day your satellite scans, well-outside the range of Hogwarts protective spells that keep it hidden, catches sight of this, what would you do?

The reality is that the secret of Hogwarts was bound to come out sooner or later.  With the speed in which technology is growing, it is only a matter of time.  So, we find out about this world that has unimaginable power and has been erasing our minds and controlling our thoughts for centuries, and even has this dark wizard who could destroy everything, and they don’t tell us?!  Oh yeah, I guarantee you that America would be right with the British when our military rolls in and occupies that, or blows it the fuck up.  Dragons?  They would be either tamed or slaughtered.  Most likely tamed.  The military could find a TON of applications for them.  Dementors?  Killed, outright.  They wouldn’t be dependable as a military weapon and their power is too large.  No, we would just kill them.  Those spiders?  We would burn down that entire forest.  Kill them with fire!  All of them!  That is what they would be saying.  The fact is that the entire world of Hogwarts would be re-purposed by us, or simply destroyed.  They have too much power to be left alone, and they have abused that power, on us.

Before you go off on me, I like the universe of Hogwarts.  It was a fun school to grow up reading about.  It was one of my favorite series, when I was a kid.  But looking back on it now, that place is one of the worst places that one could ever get an education.  Period.

Until next time, a quote,

“Okay, the whole school is messed-up, not just Slytherin!  I mean, they start school when they’re what, ten years old?  From that point on, they just learn magic!  No math, no science…imagine a guy who has access to time travel, and a third-grader’s understanding of world history!  Now imagine that guy times 1000!  And imagine that a quarter of them are evil!”  -After Hours crew, Why the Harry Potter Universe is Secretly Terrifying 

Peace out,

Maverick

Santa Isn’t Real, and I Always Knew!

When I was a kid, like most kids, I had parents who told me every year that if I wasn’t good, Santa wasn’t going to give me presents.  I always found that story oddly amusing.  I mean, even as a kid, the logistics of Santa always seemed a little iffy.

I mean, for one – how the hell does one guy get around the world in one night?  That’s impossible!  Even little kid me wasn’t dumb enough to buy that one guy, working alone, could get around the entire face of the Earth in one night, and give presents to everybody.  For another thing – how was he getting the information about if kids were bad or good?  Do parents tell him?  Are all parents snitches?  Do they have a hotline to this guy, telling him what’s what (in the butt) about their kids.  That’s kind of creepy.  I mean, what if Santa was Evil Santasome kind of creepy pedo?  Or a psycho-killer?  Why do they trust this person enough to snitch to him?  That seemed like a problem to me.

And another thing – how would he hide an entire workshop at the North Pole?  I mean, it is incredibly cold up there.  Anyone who has ever done any reading on surviving in polar climates knows that any equipment you make up there must be very modified, to be able to survive the temperatures at that latitude.  Plus, this guy would have to have a truly massive factory.  I mean, have you ever seen how many presents some kids got from the guy?!  This operation would have had to have been huge, in every conceivable way!  There is no possible way that you could hide that kind of operation from the rest of the world.  Plus – the north pole has no land mass  It is all ice.  That’s not a stable place for one’s operation.  The South Pole would make a much better location.  I simply refused to believe that such a place could be hidden, with the rest of us not knowing about it.  Also, do you all remember how there would be radio and TV stations who said that the Air Force was keeping tabs on this guy?  What the hell?!  How did they not know where his factory was?!  To quote Family Guy –

No-no-no-no, nothing about this adds up at all!

Another big thing that came to mind was – how could I never see this guy?  To address the millions, if not billions of homes that he would have to go to, Santa would have to work quickly.  That means that I would have heard SOMETHING.  But I never did.  The little skeptic in me was very suspicious, and I realize pretty quick that there was a flaw in this story that was not being addressed.  The same skepticism that led me to question the existence of Santa Claus would later be put to good use in questioning the validity of religion later on in my life.

But the thing that really destroyed the myth for me – when I heard my parents upstairs, talking about filling the stockings!  I mean, wow, how careless can you get?!  But I was already pretty sure he wasn’t real, so yeah, I didn’t need to hear that he wasn’t real.  I kind of already knew.

Awesome Santa!It is worth mentioning that the same skepticism about Santa led me to be skeptical of religion, because it was much the same.  Even as a kid, the idea that there is a man, up in the sky, who loves and created all of us, in a world as flawed as this one, never sat right with me.  I think being skeptical is the best way for everybody to be.  This is why, when little kids talk to me, I fill their heads with some of the most ridiculous bullshit that I possibly can.

For instance, I told a younger cousin that there is a monster that lives under the lake, and that each year, the ice groans because he is trying to escape.  I also told the kids of a Jehovah’s Witness that the monsters in video games are real, and that video games is where they live.  Every time any little kid is being told some stuff that is blatantly false, like what their parents are trying to teach them, I tell them the most insane stuff.  And you know what – I have heard stories of it working.  That is part of the reason the Jehovah’s Witness people don’t let their kids hang out with me.  When you tell kids stuff that is so stupid that it can’t be true, and make them think it is, when they find it out isn’t, those little bastards are going to be some of the biggest skeptics ever.  That is how atheism is going to spread!  And it is.  With more and more information being at kids’ fingertips, they are able to find the flaws in everything their parents tell them.  The ways of the old are being replaced by the skepticism and the need for knowledge that the information age has given us.  Truly, this is the greatest time to live.

My Favorite Version of SantaNow, you might be asking – why do you still love Christmas?  I mean, if you get rid of the Santa commercial angle, and the religious foolishness (because the story of Jesus’ birth is blatantly false), what is there?  Oh, gee, I don’t know, how about these things:

  • Eggnog and brandy
  • Lights
  • Trees with lights and decorations
  • People actually being nice
  • Hot girls in elf outfits and Santa hats (sometimes with only the hats…)
  • Free stuff from various places
  • Presents
  • My cat
  • My cat, again (because she’s so awesome that she needs to be counted twice!)
  • Seeing my friends out in the Valley
  • Getting to see a woman I am very much in love with (though she doesn’t know, and never will. But I’ve made peace with that)
  • Finding that last thing you missed in your stocking
  • More eggnog and brandy
  • Assassin’s Creed III (I have been good and waiting to play until after the semester is over!  Aren’t you proud of me?!)

So yeah, it’s a lot of fun, you scrooge assholes.  Enjoy it!

Until next time, a dialogue between two friends,

CALVIN:This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn’t make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery?If the guy exists why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it?And if he doesn’t exist what’s the meaning of all this?

HOBBES:I dunno. Isn’t this a religious holiday?

CALVIN:Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.

Peace out,

Maverick

The Wonderful Joy of Religious Insanity about Halloween

Wanna know something ironic?  I hear the same insanity about Halloween from both religious people and atheists.  What?!  How does that work?  Well, let me tell you.  See, when I was a kid, I grew up in the public school system.  Every year, at my school, there was a Halloween carnival.  We would have all sorts of games and what-have-you going on, and one could get some pizza there too.  It was lots of fun.  Along with the complete lack of responsibility, it is something I have missed about being a lot younger.

But at these events, there was something I noticed – some of the people who were my friends didn’t partake.  Their whole families didn’t get involved.  I always thought this was kind of weird.  I talked to them, and I found out something rather interesting – their families didn’t celebrate Halloween.  When I asked them why, you probably can guess some of the answers I got.

The first set of answers was that Halloween is evil.  Even as a kid, I didn’t get that.  And the irony – neither did they.  They gave me the same lines that their parents gave them.  Some said that it was a pagan holiday which celebrated witches (as Christians see them.  Actual followers of Wicca are nothing like that) and thus, God didn’t like it.  That’s funny, because he doesn’t seem to have a problem with a pagan holiday that was stolen which celebrates the birth of his kid (who is also him).

The next set of answers said that this holiday celebrated demons and Satan and it was a holiday of death, and that is why God doesn’t like it.  There is another irony, because every Sunday, he command his children to drink the blood and eat the flesh of a dead guy.  Yeah, that’s not creepy and zombie at all.

So yeah, it was a lot of Christian rhetoric that I we have all heard a thousand times.  It was dumb, pointless, and made no sense to me.  But, I also saw some people who didn’t celebrate it, and these people aren’t the ones I was expecting.  There were several atheist families who also didn’t get in the fun.  This got me to thinking – why not?  It might surprise you that a lot of the answers I got were very close to the ones that Christians gave.

See, many of those that I talked to said that they didn’t celebrate it because it was based on a pagan holiday.  Of course, they tried to justify it better, saying that they didn’t want to indulge ancient superstitions.  That we were supposed to be more evolved, and grown up past that.

Here’s the thing that both the Christians and the atheists who don’t indulge in Halloween don’t get – it isn’t about any of that.  What is Halloween about?  Well, it is about a lot of things.  First, it is about getting to dress up.  When you were a little kid, you played pretend.  You pretended to be somebody else, because it was fun.  Getting to pretend to be your favorite super-hero, or your favorite movie character.  That was a lot of fun, and we all enjoyed it.  But as a grown-up, you can’t do that anymore.  Well, not unless you want to be mocked and ridiculed like those who cosplay or LARP.  But, on Halloween, you are given one night where you can be whoever you want to be.  You can play pretend again, if only to look slutty for some, and ridiculous for others (and don’t get me started with the “It’s not a costume, it’s a culture” bullshit.  If you want my opinion on that, watch this).  But it is a night where you get to have fun, and get to be happy.

Next, it’s about getting to revel in the delight of fear.  I have a feeling that the reason people like scary stories is because it pulls you into the story more.  Think about it – you always wanted to know what the end of the story was, when you were a kid.  You always wanted to know if it was a scary ghost in the house, or if it was just in the imagination of the person’s head.  It made you so much more fascinated.  I remember the Scary Stories books, when I was a kid.  I was scared stiff of them, yet I always wanted to read them.  More and more.  They were loads of fun.  We loved them, my friends and I, and it made every day a new experience.  Now, all grown-up, I still love a good scary story.  I love it when a story doesn’t try and gross me out with gory mess, but instead, plays with me head.  Letting the fear come from a more visceral and psychological place.  We like scary stories, and to be afraid, because it is a catharsis for how relatively easy our lives here in the Western World are.  We have it pretty damn good, but for one night, we can imagine if things weren’t so good.  If they were a little bit evil.  And it is a good feeling.

Oh, and finally, Halloween is about the fucking candy!  I mean, when you were a kid, what did you dress up for?  What did you get in those goofy costumes that your mom and dad thought would look so cute on you and go out around the neighborhood?  You did it because there was the promise of candy delight!  You wanted candy, to make yourself sick the next day.  And you loved every minute of it!  So, these Christians who talk about how this holiday is evil and whatever, they are idiots.  They don’t get what this holiday is about.  And the same for the atheists.  I think, people just need to calm the fuck down about stuff.  For real, have you ever noticed how uptight people are?  It’s like their assholes clench every time they are given a concept that doesn’t mesh with their little view of humanity.

People want the world to fit into a small little box.  Dr. House said it best.  But the problem is that the world doesn’t fit into that box.  The world isn’t as simple as the Christians, Muslims and even the atheists often want it to be.  Life is complicated.  Life is messy.  There are not clear answer to life.  But we have to keep on going, because this is the stuff that matters.

Happy Halloween, everybody.

Until next time, a quote,

“Spoken like a true circle queen. See, skinny, socially privileged white people get to draw this neat little circle. And everyone inside the circle is “normal”. Anyone outside the circle needs to be beaten, broken and reset so that they can be brought into the circle. Failing that, they should be institutionalized. Or even worse – Pitied.”  -Dr. Gregory House, House M.D.

Peace out,

Maverick

God Loves Evil

Hypothetical situation – you and your girlfriend (or boyfriend) are walking down the road.  A bunch of thugs comes over and decides that they want to rob you.  But they look at you, or your significant other, and decide that you are female, and attractive, so they decide that they are going to rape you or them.  One of you is outright murdered, because this person isn’t hot and worthy of their time, and the other is brutally raped, left to die in a gutter.  But this person (you or them) lives.  They live on with that memory in their mind, forever.  Guess who was privvy to this information? God.  He saw it all.  He saw the whole thing happen.  And what did he do?  Nothing.

But Lucien, God gives us trials!  He never gives us more than we can handle!

Uh…yeah, that’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.  First-off, can a baby who dies of some horrible illness handle that?  Can the little kid whose family is murdered by vicious thugs handle it?  Can the teen girl who is forced to have sex with all the military guys of some country fight back?  Could the family who was murdered before that teen girl was repeatedly raped of stopped them from blowing them away with assault rifles?  What about you?  Say you are the one who got murdered.  These thugs jumped you, and blew your brains out before you could even think.  Were you able to handle that?

The idea that God is just giving us “tests” or “trials” is so ridiculous, and yet people believe that, so adamently.  I often think that most of those people (not all, but most), have never had anything really bad happen to them, so they just write off other people’s problems as something that they could handle, never having experienced it themselves.

Meanwhile, God has just witnessed and event that neither party could handle, and did nothing.  He does this all the time.  Genocide in African countries, starvation in African countries or America, disease and pestilence in places that can’t get modern medicine, all of these things are witnessed by an omni-present God every single day, and he does nothing.

But Lucien, God doesn’t interfere with free will!

What a joke.  Free will.  So, my question back to Christians is – do you believe in Fate?  The idea that the path of your life is chosen before you are even born?  If you believe in that, that everything is predestined to happen before you woke up that day, then you can’t believe in free will, because it’s not possible.  But let’s give this whole idea the benefit of the doubt for a second.  It’s still bullshit!

Look at it this way – God is in all places at all times, right?  So, he watches you or your significant other get brutally raped, and does nothing.  He cares more about the fact that people are free to murder and rape than he does for doing the right thing.  Would you sit back and watch?  Would you do nothing to stop a murderer or a rapist?  It’s free will, after all!  They have the right to do it!  Of course you wouldn’t!  You would do anything you could to stop this from happening.  You would fight to save the lives of those people or person.  That’s just basic human decency.  It’s the reality that Christians don’t want to face, because in their mind, God is perfect.  Yeah, so perfect that he allows murder and rape because it is “free will.”  Seems more like condoning evil to me.

Not to mention – what about the fucking Bible?!  In that, he performed miracle after miracle, in plain sight of everybody, openly taking away free will and changing the outcome of events before they happened!  Hell, he sent his kid/him down to Earth, and he did some REALLY big interfering, such as curing people of disease, taking away their blindness.  He even raised people from the dead!  Yeah, if that isn’t interfering, I don’t know what is.

And some will comment that it is after Jesus that God stopped interfering.  Yeah, that’s bullshit.  The public still says that miracles are happening from God all the time.  One pastor said that God helped him find his car keys.  His fucking car keys!  This god is so pathetic that he will watch the murder and rape of innocent people, but will help a pastor find his car keys?!  The same God who doesn’t ever interfere in what happens in the world, right?  Of course.  Of course it is that way.  Convenient loopholes that those who don’t want to face reality create.

But Lucien, those guys will burn forever in Hell!

So?  So what?  Does that change what happened?  Does it change the fact that you or the person you were with was raped or murdered?  Does it change the fact that this incident has scarred either party for the rest of their lives?  Not to mention – how exactly is them burning in Hell forever going to make it all better?  Eternal torture, you think that’s a good punishment?  You think that them burning forever is just fine?  For all eternity, a time-frame that you narrow-minded people can’t even begin to comprehend, they are going to suffer.  Unless, of course, they come to God and sincerely are sorry for what they did.  After that, he has an open-door policy for stuff like this.  By God’s logic, it is entirely possible that Hitler and Stalin are in Heaven.

The simple reality is that if God exists, he stands in solidarity of evil.  He lets evil work, while going against his own policy to not interfere in order to help people with the most menial things on Earth.  While, everyday, there is suffering, disease, death, rape, you name it, going on all over the planet, and not one time does he step in and stop it.  Not one time.  That is NOT a character who is good.  That is a character who is evil.  That’s the real reality of Christianity.  The reality is that God is a monster, who either doesn’t care, or openly acknowledge what an evil piece of shit he actually is.

Until next time, a quote,

“In order to believe the Christian message, you have to believe this – that those 100,000 years, people were born, died.  Usually, many of them, in child-birth.  Either the mother or the child.  Had a life expectancy of about 28 years, 25.  Died of mircoorganisms they didn’t know existed.  Genesis doesn’t mention them, because the people who write Genesis don’t know about microorganism.  Earthquakes would have been terrifying.  Tsunamis, volcanoes, mysterious events.  War, famine, super-imposed on us.  You can all fill out this picture for yourselves, I’m sure.  That was our life for tens of thousands of years, on and on it went.  Maybe a gradual upward curve, of a sort.  We seem to have made some progress.  Very painfully and with infinite suffering and labor.  And with our solidarity still intact.  Now here’s what you have to believe – You have to believe heaven watched over all that, for 98,000 years.  And after 98,000 years, they decided 2,000 years, it may be time to intervene.  And the best way of doing that would be to have a filthy human sacrifice in a very remote part of Palestine.  And the news of this still has no penetrated to the rest of the world, and I don’t think will be believed when it does, and isn’t believed by me, and can’t be believed by any thinking person.”  -Christopher Hitchens

Peace out,

Maverick

Is God a “Higher” Being?

I did a post a while back talking about the riddle the Epicurus put to Christians about the nature of God and the nature of evil.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

In eight lines, a man who has been dead for over 2,000 years handily quashes the moral arguments for God.  It’s brilliant how simple and how powerful that statement is.  It is so true, and of course, because it’s true, the Christian crowd isn’t a big fan of his riddle.

There is a whole field of Christian theology that is dedicated to answering Epicurus’ riddle.  And the answers I have talked about.  But there is one answer that I didn’t really touch on, and I think that I will now.  On the site ExperienceProject.com, there is what is called the “Best Answer” to Epicurus’ riddle.  Care to know what that answer is?  Yay or nay, I’ll tell you –

God is none of those things.  God is something more.

This isn’t exactly a new sentiment that is traveling around the Christian zeitgeist.  In Bill Maher’s film “Religulous,” there was an interview with a guy who played Jesus at a park in Florida who echoed these sentiments.

God’s ways are higher than ours, Bill!

Higher.  Yeah, that’s a pretty accurate description of how God is.  High.  Very, very high.  And so are the people who follow him.  The fact is that this argument for God being an entity that is beyond our understanding is a farce.  Let’s examine why.

The first thing that has to be addressed when responding to these comments is what a complete cop-out it is to say that God is something higher, so we can’t know what he really is.  It would be like me saying “I can transform into a dolphin at will.”  When people come back at me with statments about how our biology is different, and it isn’t scientifically possible for a human being to change into a dolphin and change back, and I responded to the effect of, “Oh, well, science can’t explain how I do it because my power to change into a dolphin is on a higher plane than you all can understand it.  I would be laughed into oblivion.  Nobody would take me seriously.  And for good reason, it’s crazy.

But as I have pointed out, time and time again, to no fucking effect, God isn’t viewed in that way.  He is completely above the criticism of people, apparently.  Christians often seem to know the logical fallacies, but ignore them because to ignore them is easier than to face the truth of contradiction and accept it.  A belief in anything has to be open to scrutiny, and it also has to have some pretty extraordinary proof to go with it.  The burden of proof is on the Christians.  It always has been.  To date, scientists and philosophers have handily beaten the shit out of every proof they have ever come up with.

Christians will make that claim – that God is beyond our tiny human ability to comprehend, outside of reason and understanding.  Such a lack of substance in a statment isn’t seen often.  I mean, think about it – how can you defend that statement?  How can you possibly make a compelling reason for believing that?  The problem with this claim is also that it actually makes things more complicated than less.

Let’s look at it a different way.  Think about this – the God of the Bible is a being who is petty, vindictive, vengeful, angry, loving every so slightly, and then merciless the next minute.  He exhibits all the behaviors of a very human creature.  So, a being who acts like us, was said to have made us in his own image, and who has all the petty prejudices that we do is supposed to be some kind of higher being?

In the film Religulous, Maher was asking the Jesus-actor why he would not just make everything good in the world, get rid of all poverty and starvation and murder and rape.  The guy then made the argument that God is waiting for “Judgment Day.”  This statement was then immediate mocked because he asked, “What, is this like a game to him?”  The guy then made the “God is higher” argument.

If you look at the state of the world, it’s pretty clear that none of this came to be because of a being who was beyond all understanding.  If you take the Bible seriously, then the idea of free will doesn’t exist.  Has never existed, and never could.  And also, God is a being who will openly acknowledge prejudice and say that he is a vengeful creator.

I have to ask, Christians – how do you reconcile these contradictions in your mind?  I think with most Christians, they are just too afraid not to believe.  For some, it’s the fear of Hell.  They don’t want to burn foreve,r so they will accept servitude in the place of eternal torture (another human trait that this supposedly “higher” being has).  Another is because they don’t want to be alone in the world.  They want to believe that there is a being who walks with them down that beach (as the old poem goes), and carries them when they are hurting (I wonder how much carrying he is doing for the people who are starving in Ethiopia.  Must have a lot of arms).  Then there are those who claim to know the guy himself, and to have working knowledge of God, usually through a traumatic experience which they claim he was there with them, or through a “sign.”

But like Jodie Foster’s character in the film “Contact”, I have scrutiny of this because it really makes no sense that this being is existing, but gives no proof of his existence, and is higher than us, but also has all the bigotry that anybody wants him to have.

The “Higher Being” argument is a cop-out, plain and simple.  It’s an answer to a question that doesn’t answer questions, but provides more.  It’s a weak, substance-less answer that nobody should take seriously.  But, as always, It is God, and so God is above criticism.  Gotta love the slaves who serve this guy, don’t you?

Until next time, a quote,

“A man chooses, a slave obeys.”  -Andrew Ryan, Bioshock

Peace out,

Maverick