Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Pat Robertson’s Perplexing Protein Pancakes

posted by jmcgee

It may be old news, but in light of his recent statement regarding the health of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Pat Robertson’s moral compass is an open target for scrutiny.

Although not as attention-grabbing as his verbal forays into the world of public embarrassment, Pat Robertson’s August 2001 introduction of a recipe for “Pat’s Age-Defying Shake” raised some eyebrows—and some questions. For someone so ready and willing to express the word of God by spinning Scripture into something of an admonishment for the world, Robertson, it seems, is just asking for a taste of his own medicine.

Touting his concoctions’ curative properties, Robertson offers two recipes for time-halting foodstuffs on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s website: one for “Pat Robertson’s Age-Defying Shake,” and another for “Pat’s Age-Defying Protein Pancakes.” The instructions for self-manufacture of these miracle products are available for free after registration. Although this may offer the illusion of legitimacy, it is perhaps the “age-defying” property of these foods that calls for further examination. Does it not defy God to pursue the vanity of youth? Is it not God’s will that you should age gracefully, on His terms? It seems Pat Robertson has failed to consider one of the most ignored of the seven deadly sins, the sin of pride.

Even more provocative is the televangelist’s turn as entrepreneur; a similar product he developed for weight loss has become a readymade vehicle for profit. In a deal with national health and nutrition chain GNC, Robertson is marketing “Pat’s Diet Shake” in two flavors: classic chocolate and its milder counterpart, vanilla. Although there is no co-branding with his nonprofit endeavors evident on the label or in its marketing, the use of his name, a moniker synonymous with “The 700 Club” and the Christian Broadcasting Network, is as easily identifiable as, say, “Atkins” or “The Zone.” So even though Mr. Robertson has the freedom to explore business ventures outside the confines of his media empire, profiting off his already well-publicized personality is neither a righteous nor an ethically sound means of adding money to his coffer.

My Baby, My Moses

posted by burb

Naveen Andrews, who plays the Iraqi character Sayid on “Lost,” recently admittedly that he had impregnated a woman—pardon, “fathered a love child”—while on hiatus from his longtime girlfriend Barbara Hershey. Unfortunately, that news preempted a bunch of more interesting tidbits from the British actor, which had appeared in a Gannett interview just days before the fathering bombshell.

Andrews–who wears a cross, calls his mother a “Christian maniac,” and believes “there are many ways to God”–will appear as Egyptian prince Menerith in a version of “The Ten Commandments” coming to ABC this Spring. On the list of things Andrews won’t be saying again once network publicists get to him is this observation: “Our Moses is portrayed as a nut case.” Also: “God basically orders genocide in the name of ‘you do what I tell you.’ In this sense, the miniseries, he says, “is a study of dogma” and the dangers of fundamentalism. (Lest you think the film set was all furrowed brows and deep thoughts, Andrews admits in another interview, that the actors had a hard time shaking off the feeling that they were in a remake of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.”)

George Costanza’s Ten Commandments for “Working Hard”

posted by donna freitas

Apparently, good old George from “Seinfeld” has his own version of the Top Ten things We Shall and Shall Not do. This was forwarded to me by a friend:

1. Never walk without a document in your hands: People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they’re heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy: Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss–and you *will* get caught–your best defense is to claim you’re teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training dollars.

3. Messy desk: Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail: Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing–they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there – it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.

5. Looking Impatient and Annoyed: According to George Costanza, one should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Leave the office late: Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important emails at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.

7. Creative Sighing for Effect: Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8. Stacking Strategy: It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).

9. Build Vocabulary: Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember: They don’t have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.

10. MOST IMPORTANT: DON’T email this to your boss by mistake!!!

Words to live by!

More “Lost”: From Messiah Complex to Confronting the Island’s “Monster”

posted by sherry huang

Does Jack have a Messiah Complex? As recounted by Donna, the latest “Lost” episode revealed Jack, the doctor who prides himself on rational, scientific thought, as a man under pressure to perform medical miracles, even as he doesn’t believe in them himself. In a flashback, viewers hear his wife’s haunting words before she leaves him: “You will always need someone to fix.”

Ironically, even while Jack dismisses miracles and faith, he is a modern-day Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulder. Out of an unexplainable need to look after everyone and fix everything, Jack takes control: He leads the expedition to find Michael and fiercely prevents Kate from following. He also has the need to be the martyr–he wants to be the one who sacrifices his time and his energy for others. In the first official encounter with one of the Others, it is Jack who wrestles spokesperson control from Locke.

As the only resident doctor, Jack’s need to take care of everyone (at least, physically) is intense; he is the only one who has the bandages and medication to help Sawyer. In a rerun of last week’s episode, we glimpse Jack carefully doling out pills to Sawyer: Jack is the savior carefully rationing everything to prevent anarchy and to further assert his authority. Even as he pits himself against Locke, he tries to find faith in himself to save everyone from the island’s dangers.

In other “Lost” news, last week’s episode (rerun last night before the new episode) was overt in its Christian references: Priests. Virgin Mary statues. A golden cross necklace. Confession. Psalm 23. Mr. Eko’s “Scripture Stick” (or, as Charlie refers to it, the “Jesus stick”). Mr. Eko’s reputation is cemented as the resident man of religious faith. We see the arc of his faith journey and see him find his redemption even as others are searching for theirs. He is a man with nothing left to lose, and in finding the crashed plane with his dead brother’s body, we see him close a chapter in his past.

In a flashback, even though his brother, Yemi (a priest), proclaims that God will never forgive Mr. Eko for his sins, he is ultimately forgiven by the island. The island reunites him with his brother’s dead body to give it a proper “burial.” As he recites Psalm 23 and puts the gold cross around his neck, he becomes a man with a restored soul who is starting his path to righteousness. He has gone “through the valley of the shadow of death” by confronting Yemi’s death and facing the mysterious black smoke that is the island’s monster, and he has come out of both events fearing “no evil.” With his “Scripture Stick,” Mr. Eko has the rod/staff that will comfort him as he continues to cement his salvation.

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