Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #226: Agree to Disagree?, Part One; #227: Agree to Disagree?, Part Two; #228: Agree to Disagree?, Part Three; #229: Flies, Vinegar, and Honey; #230: Life, the Universe, and Everything; #232: Blind Faith
The sequel no one demanded! This is a three-parter, so come back Wednesday and Friday — or come back next Monday if you hated the Expelled strips, because this is, in some ways, more of that.
Bill Maher's Religulous (now out in limited release) is actually very funny for the first hour or so, until it turns its attention to Islam, where Maher loses almost all of humor and levity that was so pervasive in the first hour (even to a fault, occasionally). Then he caps it off with a heavy-handed anti-religious diatribe that feels both unnecessary and poorly fit with the rest of the movie.
The funny parts and the legitimately thought-provoking parts still make it very much worth seeing, I think, but it is disappointing that he doesn't really give religion a fair chance to refute his main point: that religion is inherently ridiculous and harmful to society. He interviews no theologians and no Biblical scholars. Perhaps the layman's religious beliefs are really more relevant than those of a scholar, but it's a perspective he doesn't even consider. It's worth noting that he did contact a few real authorities at a few churches (i.e., the Pope and the head of the Mormons), but was refused interviews with them.
Of the people in the film, only a handful — of any religion — come off as particularly sane, and even one of them (a senior Vatican priest) is a bit nutty. The all-too-brief highlight of the film, for me, was the chat with the Vatican astronomer, who comments about the (so-called) "literal" interpretations of the Old Testament and decries the fundamentalist insistence on using the Bible as a scientific text. I would be eager to see a film really examine just that point alone for two hours.
Complaints from some people that Maher and director Larry Charles (Borat) edited his interviewees come off as crazier than they really are is a cop-out, however: he doesn't really bait anybody into saying or doing anything. He asks questions, and they answer. He does make fun of more than a few of them to their face, but the words coming out of some of their mouths is impossible to explain away by baiting. (Even if he did bait them, they still said it.) The nutty religious people on-screen really do believe what they're saying, and these people really do exist. In mass numbers.
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Thursday, January 19, 2017
Kickstarter and Patreon supporters have already got their copies, but for the rest of youse: The Multiplex: Chapter 15 PDF eBook is now available!
Chapter 15 collects strips #311–338 from the Multiplex archives, plus three bonus comics not found in the archives — including “The Abyss Gazes Also,” an all-new twelve-page mini-epic. Chapter 15 costs $2.99.
Since Chapter 15 is done, you can also get all five Chapter eBooks for Book Three — Chapters 11–15 for $7.95. If you get the five eBook set, you’ll also get a PDF of the six-page “The Story So Far” sequence from the beginning of the upcoming print book (about one page of which is new art).
And remember — Chapter 11 is free!
Other Recent Posts
- Production on Book Three is winding down
- Multiplex: Chapter 14 is now available!
- “Autobiography” (excerpt)
- Multiplex will be back on Monday
- Multiplex: Chapter 13 is now available!
- Multiplex: Chapter 12 is now available!
- The Sessions: Voice Acting in Anime and Video Games
- Multiplex will be back soon. (updated)
- Work on Book Three has begun.
- Multiplex is back (yes, already!)