Was Harry Potter Author Rumbled For Money?

Was Harry Potter Author Rumbled For Money?

I’m so Proud to be Here Once Again

Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy
Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I once heard the hysterically funny Robin Williams spout that line on the Mork and Mindy show. I fell about laughing and I still find it funny. His delivery of the line was reminiscent of a country music singer in a lounge or an evangelical preacher in a small church.

*Williams old routines featured a lot of evangelical moments, like grabbing someone else’s head and  yelling, “Heal!”*

The reason I’m mentioning the ‘evangelical’ moments is because my daughter has been watching a lot of the more esoteric evangelical programs via YouTube. Now I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade or piss on their campfire, but apart from providing some truly hilarious moments of sheer lunacy, these shows are disturbing.

We have a new group of evangelists who are asking the poor and vulnerable for money. One chap is actively touting the 1000 dollar seed. Apparently God is too busy to listen to everyone, so if you really want him to pay attention to you, just send in your prayer, with the all important 1000 dollars, and God will make the time to answer your prayer.

Oh and just in case you are interested the guy who does the 1000 dollar seed is Mike Murdock. He generally broadcasts at around 0430 in the morning so you’re going to have to get up pretty early if you want to take advantage of his great offer.

I grew up watching a load of evangelical programs. They were good for a laugh. *Before you get all high and mighty, I will point out that I was a ‘good’ boy and went to church most Sunday’s and was ‘saved’ from an early age.* I (and a few of my friends) found it hysterically funny when a ‘preacher’ would come up to some ‘poor’ afflicted parishioner/believer and ‘heal’ them through the power of God (and television) by grabbing the afflicted person’s head and pushing them violently backward. The implication, I believe, was that the afflicted was now healed and had passed out after being touched by ‘God.’

I also grew up watching Oral Roberts. Good ole Oral. Who made so much money from his evangelical practise that not only had he built a university (or at least a lot of it) and a hospital, but he had his very own prayer tower. This tower was presumably high enough that Oral was that little bit closer to ‘our maker’ and he could be heard that little bit better. Of course, Roberts fell out of favour with the big guy later. He got on national television and stated that God had told him  if he did not raise a certain amount (I think it was a million bucks) God was going to call Oral home.

I was a bit confused by this. I’m pretty sure the implication was that Oral was going to go to heaven aka home. Now most Christians I know would be tickled to death (sorry about the pun) to go to heaven. Oral didn’t seem very happy at all to be going. Yep, pretty confusing alright.

Then we have Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and their PTL club. Money maker? You bet. Tammy Faye had to pay for all that makeup somehow. Not to mention Jim Bakker‘s felonious (he did some serious prison time) activities, gambling, sleeping with women (professional women) and other things using the money that their believers sent into the PTL club.

The wrong kind of publicity.

The latest pretender to the evangelical throne,  is the Augusta, Georgia independent television station WBPI-CD channel 49’s Club 36. Probably the worst sort of publicity ever broadcast in support of the Christian community. My daughter found an episode that has been uploaded on YouTube under a channel named (rather appropriately) as the Crazy Christians channel.

In a modern-day sort of ‘tall tales’ competition, Henry Lewis and Donna Martonfi tell about their personal experiences with evil, the devil, demons and Hindu spirits. Lewis, who sounds like a Mafioso foot-soldier, claims that before he was saved, he was the physical embodiment of Shiva a Hindu god of destruction. He claims that he actually manifested as a giant cobra from the waist up causing a preacher to faint. Not to be outdone, Martonfi tells of 80 foot tall demons who got into her house and swallowed her whole.

Despite the fact that both of these stories are hilariously funny, they are also disturbing. These same people go on to say that Pokemon cards are demonic, Halloween, Star Wars, Smurfs, Harry Potter are all evil. Henry Lewis’s own definition of the Harry Potter stories: “Harry has no parents, no friends, and he lives under the stairs in a closet. Harry has nothing until he reaches eleven years of age when a Giant shows up and takes him away. He is brought to a witches place called Hogswatch and he is raised by witches.” Something I am sure that Henry can identify with as he himself, he says, was raised by a coven of witches.

Potter and his evil henchmen…or hench-persons.

These type of television evangelists and their pleas for monetary support from their followers, no matter how inadvertently funny they are, are no more than a con-game. Hosted by con-artists and broadcast by the greedy. Their victims are the elderly, mentally challenged and gullible. They are living off the misery and false expectations of people who cannot afford to put money towards their false promises and, lets face it, criminal activity.

It is criminal what these folks participate in. Con-artists are jailed for fraud all the time. Unfortunately these con-artists are free to keep milking dry the poor folks who fall for their lies under the auspices of religion.

Yes it does say in the Bible that donations to the church are a necessity. But these donations are to aid the sick, the poor, and the church itself so that the congregation would have a place to worship. None of these donations or tithes (or whatever you want to call them) were to benefit the relayer of ‘God’s’ message. Don’t forget, Jesus ran all the money-grubbing [sic] folks out of the house of worship.

There should be laws, apart from the already existing ones that put Jim Bakker in prison, that prevent these shysters and con-men and women from operating legally on television. Sure I find them endlessly entertaining and it doesn’t cost me a penny. Well apart from the electricity used to watch the episodes on YouTube.

Unfortunately for the poor souls that believe the false messages being relayed by these tricksters, the entertainment or false piece of mind they get can be costing them dearly. I’d love to see that not one of these con-artists are ever “proud to be here once again.”  Unless the sentiment is being relayed from the coziness of their own prison cell.

Courtesy of Hitchcock County Jail.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): Hail Caesar

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by Rupert Wyatt,  Rise of the Planet of the Apes  is nothing short of magnificent.  My daughter and I saw this at the cinema and let me tell you, getting to watch  Andy Serkis as Caesar, was worth the price of admission.

Since I’m going to be writing about this film, I’ll explain now that I’ll be referring to it as just Apes from now on. And that honestly is my only complaint about the film. The length of it’s title. Apart from that, the film was nigh-on perfect. So perfect that I did not hesitate to buy the Triple Play Blu-Ray DVD the second it hit the stores.

Of course Andy Serkis was not the only performer who gave a sterling performance in Apes. The cast itself was of a high calibre and also well worth the price of admission. James Franco (Spider-man 1,2,and 3), Freida Pinto (in her third film), John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad in Shrek, Harry and the Hendersons), Brian Cox (in just about every movie made in the last twenty years) and not to forget Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter films. It seems that acting snotty is Felton’s speciality.

I am sure that there are some other films that have been remade as much as the Planet of the Apes, but off-hand I can’t think of them. Of course having just written that, I remembered that The Hulk at the very least ties with Planet of the Apes in terms of re-makes.

Planet of the Apes (1968 film)

The first Planet of the Apes was made in 1968 and it was a”Landmark” film.  Starring Charlton Heston, It featured full frontal male nudity, it featured state-of-the-art prosthetic masks and make-up for the ‘apes’, and it had no less than five sequels.In 20o1 it was re-made by Tim Burton with a stellar cast. And now we have a “re-boot” version that pretty much trumps the other two versions of the film.Planet of the Apes (2001 film)

The plot does vary from the original, so here it is in a very condensed form.Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist. He has been working on a cure for alzheimer’s, which his father Charles (John Lithgow) suffers from. Will has been experimenting on apes and has come up with a formula that increases their intelligence and overall ability.When the company that Will works for put on a presentation of his progress, Will’s prize ape (the female ape that has responded the best to the formula) goes berserk.

Not only does she scare the hell out of the attendees but she has to be killed by a guard before she can harm anyone. Will’s boss, Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) orders the rest of the apes destroyed. While cleaning out the female ape’s ‘cage’ they find that she went mad because she thought her baby was in danger.

Rather than destroying the baby ape, Will takes him home to raise him and provide some sort of companionship for his father. Will discovers the the baby ape, who his father Charles names Caesar, has the improved intelligence of his mother.

Charles’s condition is getting worse and in desperation Will starts giving his dad the formula that was used on Caesar’s mother. He improves dramatically, but the change is only temporary. When Charles is accosted by a neighbour, Caesar protects Charles and savagely attacks the neighbour.

Caesar is then put into an animal shelter run by John Landon (Brian Cox) and his son Dodge (Tom Felton). Meanwhile, Will has perfected the formula that he first used and has gotten permission to continue experiments with a new group of apes.

That is where I have to stop because I don’t want to  be accused of spoiling anything. I will say that you will be on the ape’s side for most if not all of the film. There are places in the film where you just want to cheer, rage against the character (human characters), bang your fist in frustration, and sit on the edge of your seat in suspence. You will laugh and if you don’t cry a little, you will at least get a lump in your throat.

The use of Motion Capture in the film has been improved and the CGI is faultless. I did not at any time  think that the apes were not real. The smoothness and the reality of the fx were perfect and really helped you get carried away with the film.

I will leave you with one bit of advice: Do not miss this film.

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