Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Okay, we'll go with plan B.

I had a plan for today's blog post. Really, I did. Unfortunately, however, said post requires the cooperation of a different website which, as you might have guessed, is not cooperating.

So, while I continue to futz with this other site, allow me to direct you somewhere more interesting than here. Jason Rosenhouse, the proprietor of EvolutionBlog, has posted his own review of Expelled, the attempt by Ben Stein to demolish evolution. As you might guess, his review isn't all that positive but, honestly, not for the reasons you might expect:

I went to see Expelled yesterday. I am happy to report it was a private screening. Had the theater to myself. Last time that happened was when I saw Snakes on a Plane (a far more scientifically accurate film, by the way).

Granted, it was a Monday night. Indeed, when I go to see movies I nearly always do so on Mondays or Tuesdays specifically to avoid the crowds. The fact remains that for a new release I can typically count on about a dozen people watching the film with me. And let's not forget that I am living in a town that is -- how shall I put this? -- somewhat right of center politically. Should have been a ready-made audience for this dreck. Indeed, the low turnout even made me scotch my plans to write a letter to the editor of the local paper urging people to check out the Expelled Exposed website. Why call attention to the film if no one else seems to care?

Short review: The best part was the trailer for Get Smart that ran before the movie. (No, Steve Carrell does not do the voice.)

Folks, this movie is seriously boring. Granted, I am not an unbiased source. But I can honestly say this is one criticism I did not expect to be making. I was expecting to be laughing at the funny parts, getting angry at the getting angry parts, and hating myself all the while for getting sucked into the sick little Spock-with-a-goatee world the creationists and ID folks have created for themselves. It didn't happen. This movie is capital-B boring. I find this subject enthralling and still couldn't manage to pay attention.

The movie is, of course, a pack of lies from start to finish. How bad is it? The opening scene shows Ben Stein at a podium lecturing about freedom and America's greatness to an auditorium filled with Pepperdine University students, several of whom are seen stroking their chins thoughtfully while Stein does his thing. Only they are not Pepperdine students, who it turns out are too savvy to have anything to do with this. Turns out they are extras.

I don't want to ruin it for you but, by and large, when Expelled isn't boring and it isn't absurd it's just plain dishonest:

There was, of course, another segment to the film. That was where Stein, after assuring us that he wasn't blaming the holocaust on Darwinism, proceeds to blame the holocaust on Darwinism. Just in case you were worried that this segment was insufficiently offensive and tasteless (not to mention historically misinformed), Stein is quick to remind us that the spirit of the holocaust lives on in the form of Planned Parenthood, abortion and stem-cell research. He trots out a rogue's gallery of cranks for hire (David Berlinski, Richard Weikart, Steve Fuller) to help him make his case. Berlinski, for example, assured us that while Darwinism was not sufficient to lead to the holocaust, it was necessary for it. Ahem. I'm pretty sure attemps to exterminate the Jews long predate Charles Darwin, but why bother with such details.

Jason's thoughts are worth a read* and a ponder, so go take a look.

As for me... I'll be wrestling with a certain website.

* Hell, if nothing else, he has good taste in preferring Snakes on a Plane. That movie was extremely thought provoking.

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