Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ben Stein is a Fool

You know Ben Stein, don't you? He is that mousy little pipsqueak who used to host a game show with Jimmy Kimmel (until Jimmy left the show and there was no longer a reason for anyone to watch it). He was also a speechwriter for Richard Nixon. Or maybe you know him as the Economics teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Bueller.... Bueller...).

So what the fuck, csm, you may be asking yourself. Who gives a damn about that old weasel? Well, I bring to your attention, an impending movie titled Expelled. Evidently the old coot is going to champion the blatantly ridiculous intelligent (sic) design movement in this upcoming cinematic turd.

But perhaps I am being too hard on Benny boy. He is, after all, just an actor these days, and maybe the jobs are getting harder to come by. There cannot be much demand for a short, uppity-acting, doughy-faced old-timer like Stein in this day-and-age, can there? Then again, I cannot imagine any circumstance under which I would participate in anything that promotes anti-science as Stein will be doing in this movie.

Of course, Stein has made some incredibly fucking stupid statements in the recent past that seem to indicate that he is off his rocker. Here is a good one from Stein: I think Mr. Bush is going to go down in history as one of the great peacemakers and democracy-builders in the history of the world.

Go back to your Clear Eyes commercials, Ben - - at least that stuff probably works.

24 comments:

Charles said...

At Big Science Academy we take our motto seriously: “No Intelligence Allowed.”
And this year, we are proud to report that in every subject but Science, students and faculty are free to challenge ideas, and seek truth wherever it may lead.

But Science is different. In Science, there is no room for dissent, for dissent is dangerous. That is why we at Big Science simply refuse to allow it. Like dancing, “dissent” can lead to other things.

As Class President Richard Dawkins put it so well: “Shut up!”

As you know…last year we had the misfortune of “presupposition of design” rearing it’s ugly head, with several students challenging Neo-Darwinian materialism, and arguing incessantly for the right to examine Intelligent Design.

They were all Expelled, of course – but still: it just goes to show where academic freedom can lead, if not shut down immediately!

Sincerely,

Charles Darwin
Principal, President, Admissions and Diversity Affairs Officer,
Big Science Academy “No Intelligence Allowed”

derF said...

charles, you're an idiot!!! Please, shut the fuck up.

Science constantly challenges itself. Any one whom has taken even a moment to reflect on the discourse within any of the feilds of science can readily see that. If you are upset because your unsubstaniated 'faith' isn't given the same weight as hundreds of years of empirical observation, let me repeat, charles you're a fucking idiot!!! Please, shut the fuck up.

BAWDYSCOT said...

I fail to see that much difference in the propaganda world between Mr. Stein and Mr. Moore. Propaganda is just that, propaganda.

csm said...

I guess we'll see, Bawdy. A lot will depend on what Stein actually covers in the movie. If he espouses discredited claims (such as those of Behe) then I can see a difference. Farenheit 911 (for example) may be biased, but it is a documentary of a subject that is alive and captured on film...

Maybe Stein can rant against global climate change next - how about "An Inconvenient Bore"?

csm said...

And I'd be interested in knowing who actually posted as Charles Darwin... not that I expect anyone to 'fess up.

Hung said...

Yes I must agree Mr Darwin. Shut Up! Your theory of evolution is correct but every intelligent person here in Taiwan is bright enought to know a higher power is behind it.

Continuing to laugh in disbelieff,

Hung

csm said...

Well, Hung (err.. excuse that please)...

I doubt you know what every person in Taiwan thinks, nor do you speak for them all. However, your individual, personal opinion is welcomed, even if it is fucking ridiculous.

At any rate, I fail to see your point if you concede the accuracy of evolution, unless, of course, you fail to understand intelligent design. Which, not being from the USA where it is insidiously attempting to creep across society and into schools, is probably the case. Here are a few links for you to peruse to see if you still want to side with the "Intelligunt Desine" and creatism crowd:

Answers in Genesis - Ken Ham's retarded view of the world

Wikipedia on Intellgient Design - well-written coverage of the movement (at least it was as of August 24, 2007

Intelligent Design
Humans, Cockroaches, and the Laws of Physics
- a nice article that concisely outlines the issues

Ceroill said...

Maybe I'm the odd man out here, but I try not to equate actors with the roles they get paid to take on. But...on the other hand, since when have media personalities ever had much of a record for sense?

csm said...

I can understand that position ceroill, to an extent. I guess I'll pull out the ever=popular Hitler card to make my point. Would you question an actor who took a role starring as Adolph Hitler in a picture that promoted his ideology and built him up to be a hero?

I'm not saying that Stein is doing exactly that, but I think it is similarly odious to promote "intelligent" design as science and to lie about it. Since the movie is not yet out I cannot say for sure that that is what he will be doing, but I have my preconceived notions...

Ceroill said...

csm, that would depend on whether that same actor espoused these points of view off screen as well. I can accept that a man who plays a part is only doing that. You might as well blame the mailman for the bills he brings you. The actor is, by and large, the messenger, not the message.

csm said...

Yet the actor has a choice what part s/he will accept - the mailman has no choice as to whether s/he can deliver the mail.

Ceroill said...

Does he really? I suppose so, if the actor is in high demand. If not, it is often the case that survival is the first order of the day, rather than being picky about one's roles. Is Ben Stein such a popular actor that he can pick and choose his parts? Or is it, perhaps your position that when an actor plays a part it is automatically a statement of their own true beliefs and attitudes? Anthony Hopkins played Richard Nixon in a movie. Does that mean he necessarily espouses Nixon's political views? In "Inherit the Wind" Frederick March played the role of Matthew Harrison Brady- the fellow who felt so strongly in the absolute veracity of the bible as compared to science. Does that mean he himself held those same views? Now, bear in mind, I'm not saying that actors NEVER cherry pick the roles they take on for political or religious reasons, just that by and large that's not how they choose parts.

csm said...

I do, indeed, see your points ceroill. And yes, movies are (in many cases) meant to be artistic endeavors that do not necessarily jive with the actors' view points.

Still though, I make exceptions depending on the content of the movies. Examples would include movies that: deny the holocaust, are used as tools to fabricate or twist the truth, and/or manipulate weak minds into believing stupidity.

As an actor you have to be at least somewhat morally involved in the product you participate in producing. This is similar to anyone working at any job. If your company is lying, hurting people, or causing damage, and you know about it, then by continuing to work there you are morally culpable for the actions of that company.

Of course, I realize that this is my opinion only.

Ceroill said...

That's cool, csm. But let me try this on you for size: Imagine you're a small time actor, or one past his prime. Not in great demand. In fact, it may have been years since you had a lucrative role, and your savings are reaching rock bottom. If you don't get a job soon you'll lose your home. Then you get an offer, but the part happens to be playing a truly reprehensible person. What would you do? Take the role and be able to meet your mortgage? Or turn it down and find yourself out on the street?

BAWDYSCOT said...

I'd say you can always make the mortgage with porno, if of course, you have what it takes.

csm said...

Well, if the role was for a truly reprehensible person whose life and actiones were treated truthfully on screen, then I'd take it. If not, and the movie's intent was to paint the heinous person as better than he was, then I'd decline.

It is sorta like asking this: you are a regular guy, maybe lower income than those of us who post here. You're out of work and money is running thin. Then you get offered a job to paint children's toys with led paint. Do you take the job?

csm said...

And Bawdy, now I have images of a porn flick with Adolph Hitler screwing Ann Coulter. A nastier movie I cannot imagine!

Ceroill said...

Well, csm, I guess this is one area in which you and I will simply need to agree to disagree. But that's ok. I've known folks who seem to be even more sensitive to the inner lives of actors than you are. By the way, one current film I highly recommend is Stardust. Oh, and btw, just call me Bob. I use Ceroill here because Bob is such a common name it's always been taken already.

BAWDYSCOT said...

I don't know, have you ever seen "Pink Flamingos"? A Hitler/Coulter tryst would have fit right in.

I personally don't have much respect for most actors(note I said most)and have little sympathy for their politics. Some are artists in the first degree, but why Alec Baldwin still resides in this country and Barbara Streisand considers herself "green" when it suits her makes me want to puke. Actors to me are a vessel which the true artists(writers/directors) fill with the art of the media. To illustrate my point I only have to invoke the name - John Cassavetes.

csm said...

Cool, Bob. I definitely don't expect everyone to agree with me.

And you make a good point Bawdy. The writer is, of course, much more the creative force. But any actor/actress who signs on to give life to lies is still complicit in my eyes.

Ceroill said...

Bawdy, I don't give a fig about an actor's politics. If I don't like an actor's performances it has to do with acting ability, not politics, religion or looniness. Example: Tom Cruise: he's no great shakes as an actor, though he's done fairly well at times. The fact of his being a Scientologist is irrelevant to me.

csm said...

Agreed on that one Bob. I'm not a Tom Cruise fan because (at least early on) he rarely wiped that fuckin' grin off his face regardless of the role he was playing. I did like him in Rain Man, though. Similarly with John Travolta - other than Pulp Fiction I cannot recall a single performance of his that I thought was great.

BAWDYSCOT said...

Bob,

Many times I don't "give a fig" about an actors politics either(I certainly wouldn't vote for Sean Penn for President, but in the right role he is a fine actor), but the roles an actor takes on many times ARE influenced by the politics of the actor, Mel Gibson, anyone?

I will admit when it comes to movies I very rarely watch them for pleasure or escapism. I actually want to work my mind with a film. I have some knowledge of the workings of film and enjoy a director at the top of his/her game. I will watch movies if intrigued to do so, not because of who is in it, but more likely the story line is interesting, the story is told from a different point of view, word of mouth, an intriguing review from somebody I respect, the fact that Hollywood had little to do with the project. Actors, for me, generally aren't the main reasons for me to watch somebody's film.

csm said...

I cannot recall ever going to a movie just because of an actor (with the possible exception of Monty Python movies, but then it was because they were also the writers of said films).

I've enjoyed Mel Gibson in movies like the Lethal Weapon stuff - mindless as they are the first couple were enjoyable fun. Liked him in Braveheart, too. Can't really comment on his other directorial adventure as I didn't see The Passion because I wasn't interested in the subject matter - - and I haven't seen Apocalypto yet either...

Finally, since this thread is ostensibly about evolution, just wanted to point ya'll to Jason Rosenhouse's excellent EvolutionBlog and his most recent post which is yet another nail in the coffing for ID.