The sentiment pleases me


I haven’t seen this movie — heck, I never even heard of it before — but I was sent this clip and I rather liked it.

You see, no one’s going to help you Bubby, because there isn’t anybody out there to do it. No one. We’re all just complicated arrangements of atoms and subatomic particles – we don’t live. But our atoms do move about in such a way as to give us identity and consciousness. We don’t die; our atoms just rearrange themselves. There is no God. There can be no God; it’s ridiculous to think in terms of a superior being. An inferior being, maybe, because we, we who don’t even exist, we arrange our lives with more order and harmony than God ever arranged the earth. We measure; we plot; we create wonderful new things. We are the architects of our own existence. What a lunatic concept to bow down before a God who slaughters millions of innocent children, slowly and agonizingly starves them to death, beats them, tortures them, rejects them. What folly to even think that we should not insult such a God, damn him, think him out of existence. It is our duty to think God out of existence. It is our duty to insult him. Fuck you, God! Strike me down if you dare, you tyrant, you non-existent fraud! It is the duty of all human beings to think God out of existence. Then we have a future. Because then – and only then – do we take full responsibility for who we are. And that’s what you must do, Bubby: think God out of existence; take responsibility for who you are.

Comments

  1. theophontes says

    This seems strangely appropriate. It was written about pre-classical greek religions (~100 years ago) but has a contemporary ring. Why would people even create a god in the first place? And how?

    The process is simple. Any particular medicine-man is bound to have his failures. As Dr. Frazer gently reminds us, every single pretension which he puts forth on every day of his life is a lie, and liable sooner or later to be found out. Doubtless men are tender to their own delusions. They do not at once condemn the medicine-chief as a fraudulent institution, but they tend gradually to say that he is not the real all-powerful theos. He is only his representative. The real theos, tremendous, infallible, is somewhere far away, hidden in clouds perhaps, on the summit of some inaccessible mountain. If the mountain is once climbed the god will move to the upper sky. The medicine-chief meanwhile stays on earth, still influential.

  2. says

    Strike me down if you dare, you tyrant, you non-existent fraud!

    Reminiscent of Sinclair Lewis, giving the townspeople a thrill by denouncing God from the pulpit of their local church and challenging the deity to blast him with divine lightning. The lightning never showed up.

  3. Smoochie says

    Bad Boy Bubby is a seriously fucked up film. One of those that you find yourself thinking about weeks, or even years later.

    I saw it 15 years ago and I still have a vivid recollection of the lead character inadvertently killing his cat by wrapping it in cling-film (a.k.a. plastic wrap).

  4. Gord O'Mitey says

    Well, whad’ya expect?

    What a lunatic concept to bow down before a God who slaughters millions of innocent children, slowly and agonizingly starves them to death, beats them, tortures them, rejects them.

    I mean, I was created in the image of Man, for Man’s sake.

  5. Caek Noms says

    One of the great movies of Australian cinema. As good as that scene is, it’s still not a patch on the scene where he suffocates the family cat by wrapping it in cling-wrap.

  6. Niblick says

    You see, no one’s going to help you Bubby, because there isn’t anybody out there to do it. No one. We’re all just complicated arrangements of atoms and subatomic particles – we don’t live. But our atoms do move about in such a way as to give us identity and consciousness…

    This bit, without the bit about cursing God to the skies, is basically the buddhist concept of “no-self” stripped of any woo: folks experience psychological suffering because they insist on believing “I live” in some concrete sense. For example, we think “I” have consistent principles, so “I” don’t really change my views on things; we then do elaborate gyrations to rationalize the fact that we regularly do exactly that, and those gyrations bring all manner of unpleasant consequences. Not least of which is looking like an idiot when we realize our old view was wrong, and adopt a new view, while pretending not to have moved our position.

    Indeed “resisting change” is a approximately equivalent to “believing I live” in that sense. Atoms rearrange all the time, and our consciousness experiences anguish every time a pleasant arrangement goes away or an unpleasant arrangement comes about. The buddhist claim is that all existential angst goes away if we relinquish any expectations in this regard–which doesn’t prevent one enjoying the pleasant arrangements as they come, or taking steps to bring them about and avoid unpleasant arrangements.

    In this context “mindfulness” is simply “an awareness of the actual, present arrangement of atoms, as opposed to other arrangements past, future or hypothetical that we’d like better.”

  7. says

    You need to work on what ads are displayed, at least for the RSS feed of FTB, if you want to get the most out of click throughs. I already got ads to become a pastor and going to Mid-West Christian University. I don’t think you’ll get many people here clicking those.

  8. Steve LaBonne says

    mrfright, it presumably costs those fuckers money every time somebody clicks on an ad. Just saying.

  9. Niblick says

    Isn’t “Bubby” a colloquial name for a Jewish grandmother? WTF?

    Often, but it’s actually a general term of endearment, and “bubbeleh” is its diminutive. I was about to claim it comes from the Hebrew word for doll, בובה, but luckily I double-checked; it’s actually a Yiddish word, באבע, and appears older than and unrelated to the Hebrew word, which was invented by Eliezer ben Yehuda. Live and learn. Now I wonder how many Israelis, most of whom don’t speak Yiddish, believe the same folk etymology that I did?

    In an unrelated factoid, when Monica Lewinsky talked to Linda Tripp about Hilary Clinton, she referred to her by the code name “Baba.”

  10. says

    Reminds me of some of the stuff I’ve used when discussing the very idea of god(s) with some friends and coworkers. Usually comes down to “look, if there is a god, then he’s not some loving guy in the sky. He’s the most colossal dick in the entire universe, torturing and killing millions, if not billions, for shits and giggles.”

    Turns out they don’t seem to like that particular reality all that much.

  11. Justme says

    Excellent film, Bad Boy Bubby. The star, Nicholas Hope, was the toast of the Australian film industry for a while thanks to his performance.

  12. b00ger says

    @dWhisper, I’ve often used that line of reasoning myself. I usually save it for my last out if the Jesus-freak just won’t let me stop the discussion. I usually follow it with, “So if there is a god up there, I reject him completely and hope he burns in Hell.” That usually shuts ‘em up.

  13. Matt says

    You need to work on what ads are displayed, at least for the RSS feed of FTB, if you want to get the most out of click throughs. I already got ads to become a pastor and going to Mid-West Christian University. I don’t think you’ll get many people here clicking those.

    Yeah, it’s pretty funny. I’ve been seeing a lot of Rick Perry, Ann Coulter and anti-Obama ads via RSS. You would think Google would be smarter with it’s tar getting.

  14. Brownian says

    Aww. The setting for that scene, reminiscent of the engineering deck, makes me wish Startopia ran on my configuration of Windows 7.

    [Wipes away regretful tear.]

  15. EvoMonkey says

    That’s the perfect clip to counter Ray “BananaMan” Comfort’s new movie that he claims convinces people to change their opinion against abortion in seconds. To believers in an omnipotent god, isn’t the greatest abortionist in human history the very god they worship?

  16. Brownian says

    Turns out they don’t seem to like that particular reality all that much.

    Hence the appeal of an afterlife. It allows for some sort of universal justice. Shitty life as a peasant? Don’t worry; you’ll be a queen once you’re dead. Crushed by a mountain while mining your daily wage? Why, he’s probably sitting on a mountain of heavenly riches right now. Bad guy strikes it rich? He’ll get his; he’ll be poor in eternity. Of course, the injustice of eternity is lost on Christian and Muslim theologians, but the basic idea is one of trying to rationalise that order and justice are desirable, therefore they must exist.

  17. says

    That movie could use a better sound editor. I mean, it’s not “Birdemic: Shock and Terror” levels of bad sound, but it doesn’t reflect well on your movie with the background noise changes depending on whether or not someone is speaking.

  18. Sastra says

    I generally liked the sentiment, but the speech touched a couple times on the “Nothing But” fallacy — presumably as poetry — but I’ve seen that one used so often against atheism that I think I’ve grown a bit gun-shy.

    The “Nothing But” fallacy is when someone arbitrarily insists that one and only one way of explaining a phenomenon counts as “real” — and that any other perspective, aspect, or method of description of said phenomenon is sly sophistry, an attempt to deny that the phenomenon isn’t really real after all just because it can be reduced into being like something else. It’s stealth esentialism. Such as

    “We’re all just complicated arrangements of atoms and subatomic particles – we don’t live.”

    Oh really? Life then has nothing to do with ‘complicated arrangements of atoms?’ Is it a magic force?

    “We don’t die; our atoms just rearrange themselves.” Um .. that’s what we call “death.”

    I realize the speaker is making a perfectly reasonable point, but he’s using (or seems to be using) the same greedy reductive sophistry of those idiot apologists who say that if human beings are “nothing but” matter and energy then there can be no love, no life, no laughter or hope or imagination — and thus we need “the spirit” to rescue atheistic naturalists from a one-dimensional nihilism.

    We live and we die: rhetoric which argues that if naturalism is true then we “really don’t” are playing dangerous word games which can and will be exploited by the fuzzy-minded supernaturalists. But other than that the film looks interesting.

    Not sure I’m going to want to watch that part about the poor kitteh and the saran wrap, though.

  19. Butch Kitties says

    That movie could use a better sound editor. I mean, it’s not “Birdemic: Shock and Terror” levels of bad sound, but it doesn’t reflect well on your movie with the background noise changes depending on whether or not someone is speaking.

    That might be the result of the director’s attempt to make the viewer experience everything from Bubby’s point of view by using binaural microphones sewn into the actor’s wig to record the dialogue. A lot of the movie’s production was experimental.

    The dead cat in the movie is actually dead. They had it put to sleep for that scene.

  20. says

    What Sastra said, plus there’s this: “There can be no God.”

    We really can’t know this. I know that PZ has epistemic and definitional objections even to the idea of God, which does get to some serious problems (I’m always inclined to move back to older gods as reasonably conceivable beings–since the philosopher’s God is hardly meaningful), but in any case it’s hard to actually say that some mysterious “God” doesn’t exist.

    The problems of having a meaningful conception of God is a problem for our knowledge, not a problem for unfathomable bare “possibilities” that we at least cannot rule out.

    Again, though, that’s more an objection to something like that being said in a philosophy course, not as a dramatic statement in a movie that pretty much gets things “right.”

    Glen Davidson

  21. David Utidjian says

    It has been en-queued on my Netflix for instant play. The instant I get home that is.

  22. says

    That might be the result of the director’s attempt to make the viewer experience everything from Bubby’s point of view by using binaural microphones sewn into the actor’s wig to record the dialogue. A lot of the movie’s production was experimental.

    Good point. I hadn’t thought of that.

    The dead cat in the movie is actually dead. They had it put to sleep for that scene.

    Jesus titty balls! Is that even legal? I didn’t think anyone was allowed to do that since “Cannibal Holocaust”.

  23. theophontes says

    There can be no God.

    Really important to define what is understood by the term “god”. It is a symbolic hold-all for a lot of things – driven by both ignorance and wishfull thinking, yet nevertheless holding an important place in many peoples’ understanding of the world. Perhaps in the past this was even necessary as a form of scaffold (or “fairy wheels” for the cyclists) that can be wholly removed after serving its purpose. It had its role as we, humankind, generated a working conception of reality.

    We should really bring into English the delightful term “”Urdummheit”:

    — is the inability to make a clear and sharp distinction between the symbol (in our “symbolic reality”) and the thing (in physical reality) it represents. Or supposedly represents. We have many symbols that have no referents or corresponding things in reality. These can be regarded as mythological symbols. Regarding these mythological symbols as part of physical reality is primeval stupidity or “Urdummheit.”

    These placeholders fill in many gaps in the realities of goddists. They cannot move forward without something to fill the gaping holes in their relationship with reality. God seems very real, has a symbolic purpose, but is completely false and thereby non-existent within reality. We are conscious of these fictions as being fictions (eg god), but the goddists are not. To them there really is a god.

  24. says

    I’m sorry but saying that we are the atoms that make us is misleading at best. We all read this fascinating factoid at some point that the vast majority of the atoms making our body come and go, and somehow, we persist. Saying that we are atoms is as silly as saying that the dancers are the dance. Of course, the dance couldn’t take place without the dancers, but the dancers without the dance are not very interesting. Since we outlast our atoms, it is much more accurate to think of ourselves as a process in which atoms participate than just the collection of atoms. Otherwise, you miss the most interesting part.

  25. says

    All definitions of gods that would actually mean something to human life are pretty much ruled out. If you want to insist that a god can still exist, you have no choice but to give him a very teeny-tiny role to play in this Universe. What is the point of clinging to the notion then? I have no problem at all with the notion that there can be no god. To be more precise, no god with any meaningful definition can exist.

  26. says

    Looks like I won’t be able to show this movie to my SO. He’s triggered by any movie that has scenes of cat death or abuse.

    Also, yeah, an actual cat was killed, so fuck them.

  27. speedwell says

    We should really bring into English the delightful term “”Urdummheit”

    I think the phrase “rustic simplicity” comes closest in normal English without making up anything.

    When I was playing tabletop RPGs, the sort of useless, dangerous loser who seemed to honestly believe he was an eleventh level drow mage was referred to by my group as “broken.” Just saying.

  28. BillyJoe says

    I found the DVD of that movie in our large collection about a year ago. The positive comments by well known movie reviewers on the cover suggested it would be a good movie. However, I wasn’t able to watch more that about ten minutes before turning it off in disgust. Now I’m going to have to pull it out again and watch it all the way through. There must be something that I missed.
    (After all, I always disliked Joni Mitchell, but after hearing her song “California” recently, I pulled out my wife’s collection and finally got into her head)

  29. kermit says

    Kind of like saying “There is no green; there is only visible light of a certain narrow range of frequencies bouncing off nearby objects…”

    Of course there’s life. A special arrangement of atoms is one description of it. Disrupt the arrangement sufficiently and you have death. Life can be wondrous without being magical, or even inexplicable.

  30. Chris says

    It’s available on netflix direct to TV for those of you who have it.I’m in the process of watching it and there are definite moments where all I can do is drop my jaw with a look of horror and disgust on my face.And this is coming from someone who LOVES the horror genre and isn’t shocked by much.

  31. smalljude says

    Glad you liked the clip PZ :)

    I just read this about the cat on IMDB “The feral cat killed in the movie was killed humanely by a vet, and not suffocated as depicted in the movie. The same cat was used both when it was alive and after it had been put to sleep. The kitten depicted to be killed later in the movie was not feral, and was not really killed, it was only sedated.”

    Yuk.. I know cats, both feral and not are put down every day, but doing this for entertainment does ignite my yuk factor pretty strongly. I’m presuming they could not put the ‘no animals were harmed in the making of this movie’ statement in the credits then?

  32. Sam Salerno says

    Yeah I had to watch this like three times when I first seen it, I loved it so much.

  33. cody says

    This movie is Weird. When this scene came up I was reminded of this page and came back to watch it a third time, and it stands out as one of the few bright points alone in an otherwise very cold and very dark series of events.

    The cat is disturbing, as are many other scenes. Mostly because everything is so real feeling, both in portrayal and plot. (I probably wouldn’t think it were believable plot wise if I didn’t know about the Fritzl case.)

    I think there is quite a bit of poetic license taken in the wording. Of course we call that specific arrangement of atoms alive/dead depending on the details of the arrangement, of course the atoms come and go in time, and the details of the pattern changes moment to moment on all scales. But he’s emphasizing the (surprisingly uncommon) notion that there is nothing but physical reality. I’d prefer the detailed description but I’m no poet. Same with the word god. Lots of us (myself included) have concluded that the origins of the word god and the most common meaning is outright harmful to the human race, so we fight it, with education.

    Oddly enough I just watched “Being There” last night, about a simple minded Gardener (Peter Sellers) who spent his whole life living in the confines of a mansion. The two movies are eerily similar in the most basic concept.

  34. Niblick says

    Oh really? Life then has nothing to do with ‘complicated arrangements of atoms?’ Is it a magic force?

    The opposite, actually. His point is that it isn’t a magic force; it isn’t even a thing. It’s just a statistical description of the behaviors of certain blobs of chemicals, including you and me. It’s “there is no soul” on steroids.

    You could say instead that “our life is no different from the life of bacteria: we’re just little blobs of chemicals extracting energy from other blobs of chemicals, decreasing the local entropy for a while, emitting a new packet of chemicals and then succumbing, in the end, to entropy again.” The fact that in the meantime we wear digital watches just makes us well-dressed giant bacteria.

  35. Bryan says

    As far as the cat thing goes, according to IMDB only the first cat was euthanized & it was done ‘humanely’ by a vet. The second cat in the movie was only sedated. It also says it was a feral cat which may or may not have meant that it was due to be euthanized anyway. Still a grotesque thing though, I think.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106341/trivia

    I just watched the movie and found it disturbing but overall interesting. Definitely not a conventional movie. There is another scene near the end with a similar point as the clip but I won’t go into any spoilers.

  36. Russ says

    Yeah, that film was a bit… Well, awesome, but kind of horrific. The cat, the incest, the boy locked in a room for his entire life, the experimental sound…
    Not one for the masses.

  37. Caek Noms says

    Actually if you listen to the director’s commentry, they didn’t actually mean for the cat to be killed. They used the cat for the live scenes and promised to rehome it, but asked the vet for an already dead cat for the cling-wrap scene. They returned the feral cat to the vet on the belief that the vet would keep it for a few days until the director found someone who’d take it in, but the vet mistakenly euthanised it anyway, not having understood the deal they’d made. The producers were very surprised to get back the same cat, now dead, the next day.

    So, the movie producers actually wanted to do the humane thing. Blame the evil vet!

  38. lurkeressa says

    Looks like I won’t be able to show this movie to my SO. He’s triggered by any movie that has scenes of cat death or abuse.

    For some reason this is pretty common in movies. I mean really, when I see a cat appear in a movie I wonder if it’s going to die at some point or some otherwise bad thing is going to happen to it. Depending on the style of the film, it’ll be killed in either a humorous way or an especially grotesque way. Needless to say that as a cat lover, I’m annoyed. Why do filmmakers hate cats so much?

  39. says

    This is just weird. I saw the movie last night, and <SPOILER>

    He kills his mother and father by suffocating them with cling-wrap!

    And all people are moaning over is that the movie shows him killing a cat?

  40. Rambling T. Wreck says

    <DISCLAIMER> Haven’t seen the film and probably won’t ever </DISCLAIMER>

    I’d guess that the sentiment is that the cat did nothing to deserve its fate, the parents did? But as a life-long misanthrope and ailurophile, I care much more for cats than people anyway.

  41. lurkeressa says

    I’d guess that the sentiment is that the cat did nothing to deserve its fate, the parents did?

    That’s probably at least part of it. There’s something about animals always being innocent that makes them sympathetic (although it strangely rarely applies to, say, arthropods). I remember that when I was small, the sentiment I shared with friends was that when humans died in movies, well *shrug*, it happens, but when animals died it was always sad.

  42. says

    When we die, we are going to stand before God and give an account for our lives. Because God is good, He is going to judge each of us according to the perfect, moral standard of His Law. If we’ve ever lied, stolen, taken His name in vain, He will find us guilty of breaking His Law. And because God is good, He must punish our sin; and the punishment God has ascribed for sin is eternity in Hell.

    But God is also merciful, loving, and kind in that He provided one way to escape that punishment; and that was through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ: fully-God and fully-Man, without sin. He died a horrible, bloody death on the cross that He did not deserve in order to take upon Himself the punishment we rightly deserve for our sins against God. And then three days later He forever defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave.

    What God requires of you and me is that we repent–that we turn from our sin, and by faith and by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’

    So, please, repent and believe the gospel while God has given you time.

    Love in Christ

    Dean

  43. chigau (™) says

    dean
    Jesus’s bloody, painful “death” was completely irrelevant.
    Jesus was/is an Eternal Being and dying was part of the Plan™.

  44. Samantha Vimes, Chalkboard Monitor says

    PZ, were the actors who played the parents euthanized? No?

    Then one important reason people are upset about the dead cat is a real cat really died. It should not be hard to understand that this is more upsetting than the fictional deaths of fictional characters.

    dean, YOUR comment is pure nonsense. Why would God HAVE to punish us? Who makes it so he has to? No one. You are worshiping a fictional sadist. I wouldn’t worship a torturer, but then, I’m a decent person who believes torture is always wrong. And why should I reward your God for torturing his son?! If I believed that Jesus went through all that because God would only forgive me for being human if he tortured his son first, I would hate God for doing so, and trying to implicate me in his crime of torturing and murdering his son.
    You want me to join the forces of evil by worshiping a torturer who hated the world, and so hated his own begotten son that he punished his son for what he hated in the world. Think about that for a while before you try persuading people who actually have given your religion due consideration that they have missed something important.

  45. says

    Actually if you listen to the director’s commentry, they didn’t actually mean for the cat to be killed. They used the cat for the live scenes and promised to rehome it, but asked the vet for an already dead cat for the cling-wrap scene. They returned the feral cat to the vet on the belief that the vet would keep it for a few days until the director found someone who’d take it in, but the vet mistakenly euthanised it anyway, not having understood the deal they’d made. The producers were very surprised to get back the same cat, now dead, the next day.

    Even if it wasn’t deliberate… that’s pretty fucking awful. If we lived in a decent society, filming would have stopped and the movie would have been withdrawn from release out of respect, the producers would have apologized publicly for the screw-up that cost a cat its life, and the vet would have been fired.

    It’s depressing to me that our society allows pet-owners a virtually unlimited right to have their pets “put down” (to use the usual euphemism) for any reason they please. Cats, dogs and many other domesticated mammals, while not of human intelligence, do have a degree of sentience, and the ability to experience emotions and to form social bonds. I see no coherent moral argument that would justify killing them, or torturing them, merely for the convenience of humans.

  46. says

    PZ, were the actors who played the parents euthanized? No?

    Then one important reason people are upset about the dead cat is a real cat really died. It should not be hard to understand that this is more upsetting than the fictional deaths of fictional characters.

    ^^This.

  47. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Bad Boy Bubby is one of my favourite films of all time. (“Of ALL TIME!!”)

    I wasn’t able to watch more that about ten minutes before turning it off in disgust.

    Yes, the first few minutes are … difficult, to say the least. In fact, it’s probably appropriate to put a [TRIGGER WARNING] on that part. It gets better.

    Also, WTF re: the cat.

    Without getting too spoilery, let’s just say Bubby had a somewhat sheltered upbringing. The cat’s death is an accidental consequence of actions he doesn’t understand.

    few bright points alone in an otherwise very cold and very dark series of events.

    It took me a couple of watchings to realise this, but I find it ultimately a very hopeful and uplifting story. My pet theory is that Bubby is Everyman – broken by his upbringing, encountering the world, and doing his best to make his way in it.

    My other pet theory is that it’s ultimately a film about music.

    I almost queued this movie until I read about the dead cat scene in the comments.
    /
    He’s triggered by any movie that has scenes of cat death or abuse.

    Hooooboy – if a dead cat bothers you that much, yeah, you might wanna skip this film. That’s a long way from the most disturbing content. IMHO, skipping BBB for that reason is very much your loss.

    (I probably wouldn’t think it were believable plot wise if I didn’t know about the Fritzl case.)

    And there’s your spoiler.

    “Being There” / The two movies are eerily similar in the most basic concept.

    Ooh, good call.

    If we lived in a decent society, filming would have stopped and the movie would have been withdrawn from release out of respect

    Oh ffs Walton. As long as the catering buffet still has ham sandwiches, your argument is invalid.

    dean:

    godvomit

    Fuck off.

    PZ:

    I saw the movie last night

    A penny for your thoughts?

  48. says

    Oh ffs Walton. As long as the catering buffet still has ham sandwiches, your argument is invalid.

    For precisely that reason, I’m a vegetarian.

    (And no, my argument isn’t “invalid”. It is inconsistent with the prevailing values and practices of our society, but I never pretended otherwise.)