Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fox News is the Best Thing that Could have Happened to Reza Aslan

The world-infamous Fox News, not needing to further prove how ultra-conservative, biased, xenophobic and anti-Islam they are, went on to further tarnish their 'good' (see disgraced) reputation by going after professor Reza Aslan, a Muslim, for his new book about the historical Jesus entitled Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Interviewer Lauren Green keeps questioning why Aslan, who has studied and written about various religions, was interested in, and has the right to write a book about Jesus instead of discussing his theories and contentions in the text itself. She also wrongly declares that Aslan is hiding the fact that he is Muslim, even though he describes his faith on the SECOND PAGE of his book. You can watch the interview below and make your own conclusions.

Reza Aslan on Fox News

As embarrasing as the Fox News interview was, it has done wonders for Reza's pocket book. His book has become a New York Times bestseller and is at the top of the sales charts, proving once again that controversy sells. He has also parlayed those painful minutes into appearances and mentions on CNN and Huffington Post Live (see videos below) among others. Good on Fox News for inadvertantly brightening the star of a respected academic and authour and for bringing a very sensitive and polarizing issue to the centre of public discourse because the right-leaning cable channel's secret progressive agenda is to provide academics and thoughtful citizens a platform to passionately and eloquently promote their own ideas whilst tearing apart the 'arguments' (see uninformed, unintelligible rants of scared conservatives) of news men and women who deliberately make themselves sound like ridiculous caricatures to put their guests over to the viewing public.

I'm not saying I agree with everything Reza Aslan says in his book, but good for him for debating an important topic and for cleverly turning his time on Fox News into a bestselling media spectacle.

Reza Aslan on the Daily Show (Before Fox News)

Reza Aslan on Piers Morgan Live

Reza Aslan on Huffington Post Live (pre-Fox News Interview)

Reza Aslan Mentioned on Huffington Post Live After Fox News Interview

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are You a Mark?.............Issue 1

It is common in the wrestling industry to hear someone being called a "mark". There is lots of debate about what this means exactly, but usually, and for the purposes of this humble blog, a "mark" is someone who buys what is being sold to them without question or digging deeper to get closer to the truth. A common example of being a mark is when a fan believes a wrestling injury or storyling to be true when it is actually a fictional construct used to create excitement or intrigue.

I am going to offer a series of tests you, the beautiful reader, can undertake to see if you are a mark or are adept at reading between the lines, looking past the surface layer of lies and seeing the realities that lay beneath. Below is round 1.

You may be a mark if:

a.) You believe any of Rob Ford`s lies about not knowing he was going to have to repay a loan from the provincial government. Ford and allies kept claiming that he believed that debt would be forgiven, but Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey made it abundantly clear that the city knew what was coming a long time ago. Check out the link below for more info.

b.) You believe that there wasn`t actually a video showing Rob Ford smoking crack. Why else would all his aides have quit after telling him to seek help for his addiction? What else, besides alcohal, could have made the mayor act so disoriented and disorderly at a military beneft that staff had to ask him to leave? Why else would current aide David Price have claimed to know were said video resided? Why else would Ford have cut his hair almost to the bone mere days after allegations began to surface? Traces of drugs, like crack, stay in your hair follicles longer than other places in your body and getting rid of longer strands of hair is a way to figuratively dump the evidence into the river.

c.) You believe that the new 3-stop Scarborough subway extension is the best use municipal, provincial and federal money. According to an article (check out link below) on the Metro News website, the new line will cost over a billion dollars more than the proposed LRT extension and will not go through needy areas of town like the LRT was going to reach. The new subway line will not reach many low-income neighbourhoods, immigrant hotspots or Centennial College and its thousands of students. Add to that the fact that the extra money that the new subway extension will cost will eliminate money needed for hostels, shelters, subsidized housing and funding for cultural programs and Pride. Oh wait, that was Ford's agenda all along, wasn't it?

d.) You think that any of those neon Nikes, Chuck Taylor's, leg warmers/TNA pants, baggy sweatshirts, green pants  etc. that are fashionable for young people these days are anything but a rehash of 70's and 80's fashion. They didn't look good back then and still don't now. I know trends are cyclical, but c'mon, retailers are barely even trying anymore. And don't get me started on movie remakes and totally unoriginal, derivitive movies that are nothing but a series of cliches that protect the heterosexual-dominant status quo (I'm looking at you Despicable Me 2!).

e.) You think that hamburgers are actually a gourmet food! We have gone from the 4-dollar Harvey's burger, which is still delicious, to the 14-dollar Works burger, which is the same burger in a sit-down restaurant with some peanut butter and banana placed on top. Is that worth the extra 10 bucks? You be the judge, but at least wake up, see what marketing and trends are encouraging you to spend money on and make that decision for yourself.

f.) You believe that pro wrestling is totally fake and doesn't cause any real injury or pain to wrestlers. They really hit each other at times, put on painful holds and slam their bodies into the ring mat, ring posts and the floor outside the ring on a regular basis and are hardly ever pain free. There is a reason a lot of these guys take a lot of illegal drugs, and it isn't only to hulk up to super-human size!