Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, December 05, 2021

If the open-collared look on a shirt or blouse makes you feel a tad too guido or floozy, consider the visual language conveyed by the opposite option:

A fully buttoned shirt is the universal costume symbol for “special.” The buttoned-up look is often shorthand for retarded. (I mean this in the clinical sense.) Think Forrest Gump, Billy Bob Thornton’s Karl Childers in Sling Blade, or Sean Penn in I Am Sam. Slow but sincere, they wish to be perceived as serious, fully integrated citizens — and that top button is the key to what the Project Runway set might call their “image management.”

Nerds, eccentrics, and obsessive-compulsives also mark themselves with this over-buttoning aesthetic.

What’s the common thread? Certainly a general uptightness among these types is at play, but it must be something more than that. Maybe it’s a primal fear of exposing the neck. Or an obsession with completeness for completeness’ sake: Every single button on the garment has to be utilized. The personality profiles sync with those ideas. And others recognize such subtle signals.

This also speaks to how commonplace the top-button-off look has become. Once it suggested a casualness that was against the norm; now, it’s the expected sartorial default. The only exception is the required buttoning for wearing a tie, which lends an overall formality anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/05/2021 04:49 PM
Category: Fashion, Pop Culture, Society
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‘Tis the season: Santa, NO! is a Tumblr blog full of less-than-pristine images of Santa Claus.

Like this collage of Kris-Kringle-y mugshots. I like this bad-Santa lineup almost as much as Carlos Santana’s fragrance “no”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/05/2021 03:45 PM
Category: Comedy, Internet
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If Jesus always came off as too namby-pamby for your liking, the Conservative Bible Project will deliver a Scripture free from suspected liberal-leaning translative interpretation:

The project’s authors argue that contemporary scholars have inserted liberal views and ahistorical passages into the Bible, turning Jesus into little more than a well-meaning social worker with a store of watered-down platitudes.

“Professors are the most liberal group of people in the world, and it’s professors who are doing the popular modern translations of the Bible,” said Andy Schlafly, founder of Conservapedia.com, the project’s online home.

Experts who have devoted their careers to unraveling the ancient texts of the Scriptures, many in long-extinct languages, are predictably skeptical about a project by amateur translators.

“This is not making scripture understandable to people today, it’s reworking scripture to support a particular political or social agenda,” said Timothy Paul Jones, a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., who calls himself a theological conservative.

Religious publishers already provide an alphabet soup of Bible translations for a range of theological outlooks, from the King James Version (KJV) to the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and beyond. The most widely used traditional translations were overseen by scholars who are considered the best minds in conservative Christianity.

“The phrase ‘theological conservative’ does not mean that someone is politically conservative,” said Schlafly, who lives in Far Hills, N.J.

This liberal slanting, Schlafly argues, ranges from changing gendered language — Jesus calling his disciples to be “fishers of people” rather than “fishers of men” — to more subtle choices, like the 2001 English Standard Version of the Bible, which uses “comrade” and “laborer” more often than the conservative-friendly “volunteer.”

I guess these conservative cranks have run out of secular topics on which to focus their outrage, so now they’re turning to the spiritual. When you start probing for conspiracies among chapter and verse, I’d say you’ve pretty completely lost touch with this mortal coil.

As long as they’re looking for historical material that will jibe with and validate their pre-conceived notions, I’ll point the CBP in an obvious direction: Albert Rosenberg’s weirdo Gnostic/”Aryan Christ” theories. It’s a brush of Nazism with which to tar this latest Bible-cleansing effort; but it shows how unoriginal the effort is to begin with.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/05/2021 01:34 PM
Category: Creative, History, Political, Society
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