Tuesday, May 27, 2008

National Geographic guilty of hype in Gospel of Judas?

Sure beginning to sound like it.

One of the seven million people who watched the National Geographic documentary was April D. DeConick. Admittedly, DeConick, a professor of biblical studies at Rice University, was not your average viewer. As a Coptologist, she had long been aware of the existence of the Gospel of Judas and was friends with several of those who had worked on the so-called dream team. It's fair to say she watched the documentary with special interest.

As soon as the show ended, she went to her computer and downloaded the English translation from the National Geographic Web site. Almost immediately she began to have concerns. From her reading, even in translation, it seemed obvious that Judas was not turning in Jesus as a friendly gesture, but rather sacrificing him to a demon god named Saklas. This alone would suggest, strongly, that Judas was not acting with Jesus' best interests in mind — which would undercut the thesis of the National Geographic team. She turned to her husband, Wade, and said: "Oh no. Something is really wrong."

She started the next day on her own translation of the Coptic transcription, also posted on the National Geographic Web site. That's when she came across what she considered a major, almost unbelievable error. It had to do with the translation of the word "daimon," which Jesus uses to address Judas. The National Geographic team translates this as "spirit," an unusual choice and inconsistent with translations of other early Christian texts, where it is usually rendered as "demon." In this passage, however, Jesus' calling Judas a demon would completely alter the meaning. "O 13th spirit, why do you try so hard?" becomes "O 13th demon, why do you try so hard?" A gentle inquiry turns into a vicious rebuke.

Un-hyping the hype

Cross-posted from Protein Wisdom.

Who hasn't enjoyed the double pleasure of indulging in a vice, while simultaneously beating yourself up for it? Here's John F. Harris donning the hairshirt at CBS, on how he and his colleagues went batsh!t over Clinton's ill-considered Bobby Kennedy remark. And how regretful he is that trifles like that got so much play, and how he's not apologizing for hyping it, not exactly, and how the media really needs to settle down into giving more coverage to serious issues, and how HOLY WACAMOLEY! IS OBAMA WEARING HIS LAPEL PIN AGAIN?!? STOP THE PRESSES! DON'T HIT 'SEND' YET!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I was on TV. Big whoop!

If you live in my area, you might have seen a fellow being interviewed who got a big tree blown down onto his house. That was me. I've developed some presence since I was last on television, years ago. Back then I looked like a corpse on camera, and sounded like I should be croaking "BRAAAIINNNNSSS!!!"

Friday, May 09, 2008

Like live-blogging your own murder....

That's what Ya Libnan's coverage of Hezbollah's bloody takeover of Beirut must feel like to the brave democrats running the site. We all remember how our imaginations were captured by the sight of democracy in action in that part of the world during the Cedar Revolution. Now please spare a thought for them, these hip, worldly, freedom activists, as the The Jihad closes its fist around them.

Our Middle Eastern go-to guy Michael Totten's apparently not on the ground there, but he's got a good crew working hot sources. Click, scroll, click, and linger.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Duke University wackademics throw a pity party for themselves

Via Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom...

The same tenured radicals who slandered those innocent lacrosse players for months on end have published a tree- and bandwidth-wasting, self pitying "analysis" of the debacle, blaming everyone but themselves. If there was ever any doubt that Duke University's humanities and soft sciences departments were just one big left-wing loonybin, there isn't anymore.

According to the Lubiano Trio, “the most extreme marginalization was reserved for the faculty whose professional expertise made them most competent to engage the discourses on race and gender unleashed by the inaugurating incident — scholars of African American and women’s studies. Instead, administrators, like the bloggers themselves, operated under the assumption that everyone was an expert on matters of race and gender, while actually existing academic expertise was recast as either bias or a commitment to preconceived notions about the legal case. Some faculty thus found themselves in the unenviable position of being the targets of public discourse (and disparaged for their expertise on race and gender) without being legitimate participants in it.”

If they thought this was bad, how “marginalized” would they feel if my dream would come true, and the lacrosse team could line those charlatans up and slap every overpaid, otherwise unemployable one them silly? These assclowns ruined these young men's reputations--they could've ruined their whole lives, if the lying whore's lies hadn't finally been exposed. Elsewhere in the article, there's some blathering about "interpretive frameworks", of which the search for the facts of the case was but one. Christ...

"Expertise on race and gender", snort! Since when does believing and teaching that the straight white male conservative middle-class taxpayer is the root of all evil constitute "expertise"? Since the Sixties Left took over the universities, no doubt. These people no more deserve to be paid for their "work" than I deserve to be paid for scribbling on this blog. They are nothing more than a testimony to how simple humanity and the common decencies can be leached right out of a person's heart, when the only thing the mind ingests is a bitter porridge of trendy resentments. "A curse on all Marxists, and on those who would impose dryness and hardness on all the relations of life". Leon Trotsky said that, before he became a Marxist and went over to the Dark Side.

It's enough to appall anyone with a living soul--especially someone who's going to be faced with the choice of which college to send his kids to, before much longer. Here are people who presumably have some merit beyond a capacity for schoolwork, who presumably have landed their jobs by doing something more than merely grazing in a research library for some months and then crapping out a long, glistening thesis or two. Even allowing for the affirmation action hires, human makeweight brought on to meet the pc quota, they're supposed to be a cut above the common run of us. Yet these people have given themselves over so thoroughly to their radical social theories, that they can't flippin' see without them. They are evidently incapable of making an honest, humble appraisal of the evil they've wrought--and have therefore surrendered that much of their humanity. "Expertise"...they're just petty commissars, so many Little Stalins, projecting onto their disfavored students the loathing they slanderously imagine those students feel towards women and minorities. God help the normal Americans stuck in their clutches in the future, for it's clear the profs will pay no price for what they've done.


Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.