Missing Langy

A fellow Languatron opponent reminded me of this video recently, and it made me laugh anew. I made this sometime last year, and it’s not nearly as a waste of time as it seems at first glance. That’s not to say it wasn’t a waste of time at all, but it was my first foray into film editing and Flash animation, and both skills have served me well in the interim, so making this stupid little thing has proven to be helpful to my career. How’s that for rationalization?

Anyway…

If you’re just discovering the lunacy that is Langy, then some background is necessary. It is axiomatic that Languatron is shunned by decent people everywhere. When he shows up at an Internet bulletin board, he is summarily booted off of said board as soon as the moderators are accused of being corporate shills of Universal Studios and/or gay.

So, sometime in either 2005 or 2006, Lang hit upon a solution: he would start his own board. And he would be the only member. He was the only one allowed to post or comment. He would post a topic, respond to his own messages and then carry on lengthy conversations with himself.

To make this scenario even more ludicrous, Languatron would comb through his visitor logs and block the board from being seen by anyone who had previously visited it. Why? Because if you wanted to read Langy’s board, you were obviously a Universal Studios executive trying to spy on him! Eventually, to cut to the chase, he made it so only registered users could view his board. Since he was the board’s only registered user, only he could see his posts.

Languatron effectively disappeared.

The board is no longer online as of 2013, when I came back to re-edit this page. But originally, at the time of this writing, it had “1004 Posts in 765 Topics by 1 Members – Latest Member: languatron.” He may still be writing there, for all I know.

Once Langy was gone, I was surprised by how much I missed him. So I prepared this movie as a tribute to his legacy – and also to bug the hell out of him. The movie touches on much of his celebrated history, including his tortured grasp of the English language, his battles with five posters he termed the “Flatulent Five,” and his infamous bet with RGrant that got him booted from the Cylon.org board.

Summing up: it’s pretty stupid.

Enjoy!

On Request: Weird Mormon Stuff

It looks like I’m taking requests now.

I received the following message at one of the various goofy billboards I frequent.

Do you take requests for your blog? If so, I’d like to read something by you on a particular aspect of Mormonism. The concept that we are in essence training to be gods of our own worlds which we create. I find this so fascinating, and I’m surprised whole books haven’t been written about it.

This concept poses so many interesting questions.

Yes, it does, but it’s a whole lot more boring than that. Church would likely be more exciting if it were a series of “God training sessions” where we landscape planets and divvy out Spock ears. Instead, the “training” we receive is how to be more like Christ, which is essentially the same kind of training that most Churches provide for their members. The idea is that through Christ, we can become, in Biblical terms, “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” ( Romans 8:17 ) The mechanics of this inheritance – planets and solar systems and such – are rarely, if ever, discussed.

For instance, if people who have died have since become gods of their own worlds, do these worlds represent extraterrestrials? Or are their worlds in some seperate reality?

Probably the former, although I’m not sure if I understand the distinction. Certainly they would exist in worlds apart from this one, as Mormon scriptures state the following:

“And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.” (Moses 1:33)

I think traditional Christian theology, which also posits the existence of heaven and angels and things not of this earth, would be more likely to view these things as existing in a separate reality, whereas Mormons have the audacity to locate God and His creations within time and space.

Would any potential extraterrestrials then owe humans fealty since we become their gods?

That’s not how it works. The fundamental unit of the gospel is the family. Your father on Earth is the father of your body, but God is the father of your spirit. We will always be subject to Him, and we will always be part of his family. Those on other worlds He has created are His children, too, and He will always remain their God. In crude terms, we don’t get to muscle in on His territory.

Do Mormons then believe in the possibility of extraterrestrials?

Yes, although Joseph Smith has said that “there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.” That would seem to preclude a lot of traffic between worlds. In addition, Mormon theology suggests that these other worlds are very much like this one, since, like Earth, they are inhabited by the children of God. From my perspective, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for flying saucers and bug-eyed monsters.

And since people will one day become gods, which means there will be more than one, does that make Mormonism a form of polytheism?

That’s the accusation, but it’s misleading.

There are two distinct ideas that invite the “Mormons are polytheists” label. The first is that Mormons reject the traditional definition of the Trinity, which states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all the same person, or, at least, that they are three people and one person at the same time, or of the same “substance.” The traditional creeds define this one-in-three, three-in-one relationship as inherently incomprehensible, which is fine by me, because it makes no sense at all. To my mind, the Trinity is a shortcut; it allows Christians to affirm their Monotheism and still acknowledge three different Gods, but it does so by an indefinable intellectual fiat.

Mormons believe that these three are, in fact, three distinct people, and all three can rightfully be called God. However, they also believe these three are infinitely more alike than they are separate, and that all three are completely united in purpose, power, and authority. There aren’t three separate agendas in play, and each member of the Godhead can speak for the other. In that sense, the Father is the only God, since both the Son and the Holy Ghost exist solely to do His will. So, despite objections by Trinitarians, we’re essentially monotheists in terms of how we worship.

This, however, is a bit of a tangent from your question. The second concept that gets Mormons into trouble, which is the one you raise, is that if people can go on to become like God, then there must be a number of Gods, perhaps an infinite number, who are distinct from the God who is our Father. This is more or less accurate. It’s essential to note, however, that we will never cease to be subject to our own Father and God, so the existence of these other Gods and other families has no bearing on our own faith and religious fealty. Some have more accurately defined Mormons as “henotheists,” which means devotion to a single God while acknowledging the existence of other gods.

Is this the purpose of the possibility reincarnation?

No. Mormon doctrine rejects the idea of reincarnation entirely. We do believe in an infinite soul with no beginning and no end, but the trajectory of that soul is linear, not circular. Nobody gets born into mortality more than once.

That each life we live is a class in the school of Earth, and we become gods when we graduate?

Kind of. Mortality is very much a “testing ground,” but what we’re learning isn’t necessarily how to govern planets. It’s how to be more like Christ. And, I should note, it’s a test all of us ultimately fail without Christ’s sacrifice.

Since the Mormons believe that God resides on Kolob, is the God of either Kolob or Earth formerly a mortal being who similarily achieved godhood after living many lives and graudating?

Take out the “many lives” part and you’ve got the gist of it, although we don’t know the details. One church leader penned the couplet “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” He didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Incidentally, that couplet was lifted by “Battlestar Galactica” in the second part of the “War of the Gods” episode.

What is the God/Earth/Kolob relationship? What is Kolob like? Where is it, do astonomers know? If so, why haven’t Mormons suggested aiming Hubble there? If they did, is there hubble telemetry of Kolob?

We don’t know jack-diddly about Kolob, other than the fact that it’s a star, not a planet, and it’s the star “nearest unto the throne of God.” (Abraham 3:2-3) A handful of Mormons who are loonier than me have made some wild guesses as to where or what it is, but there’s just not much hard info.

How did the Mormons develop this belief?

Mormons believe that the era of revelation didn’t end with the original apostles. These doctrines are all the product of modern revelation to modern prophets.

Didn’t the Mormon faith pre date the popularization of the idea of beings on other planets?

Probably. Joseph Smith was talking about this stuff back in the 1830s.

Anyway, I’d like to see you tackle this on your blog.

How’d I do?

Languatron Reviews My Review

Languatron has posted an online response to my recent review of his book. I invite you to read it here, slightly edited for taste and anonymity with additional commentary from yours truly. Languatron’s words are in bold text, which is only fitting. My lowly response is in italics.

Did I mention that my book is still growing? This is going to be the next chapter to be added shortly. Cut and pasted from my manuscript.

_________________________________________________

Chapter Sixteen

[Stallion Cornell] Reviews My Book

Arrogance begat naivete, and naivete begat [Stallion Cornell] .

Ah. That’s me. The grandson of Arrogance.

NBC-Universal/Sci-Fi Channel wasted no time in dispatching their prime dolt in reviewing my book, and what truly amazes me about this former Utah Senator who moonlights as a short order cook, in a gay homeless shelter in between drawing a paycheck from Universal Studios while sitting on his [tuckus], is how truly naïve and predictable he is.

Where to begin? I am not now, and never have been, a senator or a cook. I doubt that homeless shelters discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. I eagerly await my first paycheck from Universal Studios, which has yet to arrive. But at the moment, I am, in fact, sitting on my tuckus.

Reviewing my book would be too kind an assertion as to exactly what [Stallion Cornell] babbled about in his on-line blog.

I’m flattered by the fact that he loosely structures his response around my original review. Where I wrote “to call it a ‘book’ is to be generous, both in terms of quality and quantity,” Languatron responds with the fact that my calling it a review “would be too kind an assertion.” Languatron often attempts to adopt his opponent’s sentence structure as a template for his own missives, but he’s not very skilled at logical responses. Instead, he goes straight for the insults. I deliberately attempted to avoid insulting Languatron ad hominem, yet Languatron seems unable to respond in kind.

Instead of bringing attention to the facts in my book which could quite frankly end careers at NBC-Universal/Sci-Fi Channel, [Stallion Cornell] engaged in naïve attacks on the structure of my book.

The only naiveté here stems from the idea that anyone at Universal could possibly care what Languatron has written. It can hardly be said that I “attacked” his structure, naively or otherwise. My complaint was with the contention that his pamphlet-length diatribe could be labeled a “book.” It’s far too short.

He states that the first three pages are blank, not realizing that two pages in the copy he downloaded (and in a manuscript) is equal to one page in a paperback book. The naivete and obliviousness in remedial paperback book construction being the first strike against [Stallion Cornell].

Strike one, indeed. It seems that every reviewer, to establish credibility, must take a course in Remedial Paperback Book Construction, lest ye fall into obliviousness. Make a note, critics everywhere. (In contrast, sentence fragments, apparently, are now considered good form.)

The third blank page is the other side of where the book begins. This is a grown man reviewing my book? Really?

No. I’m a mutant. I have three stubby arms and I have to stand on my elbows to ride the bus. And someone tell Langy and Sean Hannity that sarcasm and incredulity do not an argument make.

He never addresses the subject of the book,

Except when I do. I talk about the “shadow mechanism” and the conspiracy and the whole ball of wax.

Again, to cite Monty Python again, this is Black Knight-style arguing. “Your arm’s off! – No it isn’t!” How do you argue with someone who pretends that when his limbs are hacked off, it’s only a flesh wound?

instead he attacks my margins (margins?) claiming that the width of my margins is some sinister attempt on my part to draw out the length of my book. OK, where is the ambulance and the straight jacket for this guy?

I made no inference of sinister implications. I simply stated the book was too short to be termed a book. And I would never attack a margin that couldn’t defend itself.

My ambulance and straitjacket are in Cleveland.

Like his employer (NBC-Universal),

Lest we forget!

[Stallion Cornell] dodges, evades, avoids, denies, sweeps under the rug, and arrogantly tries to back his way out of, the truth of my book.

I also cavort, amble, fly under the radar, mince, and callously saunter my way out of the truth that his comma use makes me chuckle.

Yet he chose to somehow comment on my book and try to pass it off as a review. What [Stallion Cornell] calls his personal blog, is a steaming pile of horse [poop].

Hence the smell.

[Stallion Cornell] takes it upon himself to make it his business that I wrote a book about Universal Studios in the first place, despite his eight year long claims that he has nothing to do with Universal Studios politically, emotionally, or in terms of employment.

I like their candles, though.

He decides to review my book, and then he actually doesn’t review it. What he didn’t review he dismisses, just like anything else in life that gets in the way of [Stallion Cornell]’s ego, he dismisses.

I dismiss this.

Reading in between the lines of his blog fart that really wasn’t a review,

Lest we forget!

[Stallion Cornell] is as intimidated and as frightened about what I said about NBC-Universal as he always was.

Undeniably true, which is to say, not at all.

He saw to it that those who read his blog will never get from him what I actually said about NBC-Universal/Sci-Fi Channel.

Except where I quote him at length.

I thank him for indirectly corralling his hoodlum squad into having to purchase the book to find out exactly what I said. As this will only help the sales that I am already happy about.

What about the sales he is unhappy about?

[Stallion Cornell] is like an elderly driver on the road, on the brink of death as he approaches a green light at an intersection.

And with bowel trouble besides!

He didn’t have the energy to review my book, he didn’t have the energy to confront the issues in the book, he just made a half [arse] mention of it on his blog, drowning out what should have been a review, with his adolescent meanderings into how many pages are in my book, the length of my margins, etc.

Notice that Languatron has spent at least three times as much space talking about his margins as I did in my initial review. And it’s the width of the margins that count. The length was just fine.

After eight years o fighting me on the Internet, [Stallion Cornell] is mentally old, tired, washed up, and ever irrelevant to those who don’t have the patience for his ego.

He’s also aged, weary, decrepit, over the hill, and mean to puppies. But he loves Fresca!

[Stallion Cornell] increasingly exists to be his own audience, a 39 year old adolescent in some ways, a 65 year old cantankerous old man in others.

On Tuesdays, he’s a frisky co-ed named Sheila.

What is remarkable about [Stallion Cornell]is his mental inability to review my book in any adult manner.

As opposed to my physical inability? And haven’t we already established that? Am I a grown man? Really?

Drowned out and mesmerized by his own prejudices, bias, and outrageous perceptions of the world,

How is one simultaneously “drowned out” and “mesmerized?” Does it involve acupuncture?

And he forgot about my bigotry, predispositions, foregone conclusions, and blatant assessments of Planet Earth.

[Stallion Cornell]
took what could have been an opportunity in reviewing my book as an objective analysis of what clearly exists within NBC-Universal/Sci-Fi Channel, and turned it into nothing more than the meanderings of a 39 year old teenager on his own personal blog.

Plus bowel jokes.

Languatron’s Book: A Review

It seems that my Internet arch-enemy, the Lex Luthor to my Superman, the Newman to my Seinfeld, the indefatigable, indomitable and incomprehensible Languatron, has written a book: “Universal Studios vs. Battlestar Galactica: How Universal Studios Mismanaged This Property To Utter Oblivion.”

Actually, to call it a “book” is to be generous, both in terms of quality and quantity. It’s less than 30,000 words in total, and while the author boasts of its formidable 100-page length, he achieves triple-digit page numbering by squeezing his margins by an extra inch and leaving the first three pages blank. As for the content, it’s essentially a “Greatest Hits” collection of everything he’s posted on the Internet for the past eight years, which is succinctly summarized by the book’s unwieldy title. The other 29,987 words of the pamphlet are spent repeating the thesis ad nauseum and disparaging anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with it.

Now there may be a few lost souls reading this who wonder who this Languatron fellow is. The answer is that he’s Andrew Fullen, a short order cook from Chicago who has also written a few other self-published works in his own name. I actually blew the $2.50 necessary to buy one of those, too – “Netherworld,” a collection of short stories, which reads like pedestrian Encyclopedia Brown fan fiction translated verbatim from its original Flemish.

Languatron first appeared on the scene circa 1999 on a few Battlestar Galactica bulletin boards, most notably the official SciFi board devoted to the original series rather than the dismal remake which debuted in 2003. He even had an article posted at BattlestarGalactica.com under his own name, which, sadly, is no longer online.

Yet somewhere around Thanksgiving 2000, Langy began to publicly pray for divine justice to be heaped out on his enemies, calling down fire and brimstone to destroy Sci-Fi channel’s upper management. It was also about this time where he began identifying those who disagreed with him, even innocuously, as lackeys of Universal Studios. It then became impossible to have a discussion with him. He dismissed even those who were sympathetic to his general thesis as corporate shills secretly hired to destroy him.

All of these traits are on display in this book, which bemoans Universal Studios’ role in destroying Battlestar Galactica for inscrutable reasons. According to Languatron, this movie studio has devoted all of its considerable resources not to film and television production, but rather to “hating” the original Galactica TV series, which has been out of production since 1979. Lest you think I exaggerate, I offer this brief excerpt, with my own emphasis added:

Universal Studios is extremely proficient at hating the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series. The very infrastructure of their entire corporation has been built upon this sad fact. They also have infinite satellite components revolving around their corporation to assist them in hating this series. This includes gullible journalists, industry insiders, studio peers, above the line producing personnel, and actors.

Not to mention caterers, gaffers, botanists, bee wranglers, Farsi instructors, lithographers, trumpeters, carnival barkers, liposuctionists, and vending machines.

This strikes me as a ridiculous assertion, as I always assumed “hating” is an activity that does not require corporate governance. Languatron provides no concrete explanation as to how this works, but he does offer a theory. Apparently, George Lucas’ failed lawsuit against Galactica in its initial run forced Universal to create a “shadow mechanism” that would derail any attempt to revive Galactica faithfully.

What is the exact form of this shadow mechanism? How does it work? Well, I must start off by stating that it does indeed exist, is in operation in full force as it always has… It is a mechanism that slowly creeps over the day to day operations of Universal Studios and makes it’s presence known when historically, attempts to revive the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series have reached a certain point. There is a comfort zone where this mechanism will allow revival attempts to chug along. When revival attempts get beyond the comfort zone, that’s when the mechanism moves in and shuts everything down.

The reader searches in vain for an intricate mechanical description of this ruthlessly efficient shadow mechanism, which one assumes is some sort of elaborate Rube Goldberg contraption with lots of gears and pulleys. Sadly, one is left to wonder how Languatron has the confidence to make such brash assertions with absolutely no supporting evidence. “How does it work?” he asks himself, and then answers by saying “it exists,” and that’s answer enough.

All is not lost, however. We do get an elaborate description of a second, more sinister “sister” shadow mechanism:

This brings us to another shadow mechanism that Universal Studios oversees. Sort of the “sister mechanism” to the one that operates within the studio itself. This one exercises mass censorship and control over the Internet of any information which casts Universal Studios and their handling of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series in a bad light. It’s a shadow mechanism that exercises absolute authority over certain Internet bulletin boards (www.Cylon.org, www.Scifi.com/Galactica, www.Stallioncornell.com/board) and absolute authority over journalists who post on-line articles.

Languatron has an interesting choice of enemies. Of the three boards Languatron cites as exercising Stalinistic control over the entire World Wide Web, two of them are decidedly pro-1978 Galactica and vigorously opposed to the recent remake, which both boards, along with Languatron, refer to as GINO, or Galactica In Name Only. Yet Languatron cannot seem to fathom the possibility that one can loathe GINO and still think Languatron is a jerk.

To read this diatribe is to enter a parallel world where the rules of logic are identical to those in the “Burn the Witch” skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In that film, a group of villagers bring a woman dressed as witch before Sir Bedevere, who then proceeds to lead them through a series of deranged logical syllogisms to determine whether or not the woman is guilty of witchcraft. The logic he employs is as follows:

1. Witches burn. Wood burns. Therefore, witches are made of wood.
2. Wood floats in water. Ducks float in water. Therefore, wood weighs the same as a duck.
3. If the woman weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood, and therefore, she’s a witch.

Witness, then, Languatron’s similar reasoning.

1. Universal Studios hates Battlestar Galactica. I, Languatron, love Battlestar Galactica. Therefore, Universal Studios is my enemy.
2. Dozens of people on the Internet are my enemies. Universal Studios is my enemy. Therefore, all of my Internet enemies work for Universal Studios.
3. Everyone I meet on the Internet hates me. Therefore, Universal Studios must be in complete control of the Internet.

And thus we see that Languatron spends all of his time on the Internet burning witches made of wood.

Nothing in this book steps off from the treadmill Lang has been running on for the past decade or so on sundry Internet billboards. The same wild-eyed theories with no evidence are recycled along with a liberal dose of personal invective. (I admit to taking sick pleasure in Languatron’s promise, in his final chapter, to “kick [my] ass to the Moon” if he ever meets me. One struggles to recall Woodward and Bernstein making similar threats to their journalistic subjects.) For the newcomer to the whole Lang experience, there may be some goofy fun in encountering a truly warped perspective for the first time. For me, a battle-hardened Lang veteran, I found the experience tedious. The only relief to be found was in his brazen contempt for the English language, as evidenced by these unvarnished excerpts, along with my editorial comments in brackets:

“Way to go Universal, you dolt!!”

[I think he meant “way to go, Universal Studios, you dolts!!” but his original sentence is open to so many more interpretations. Can a dolt truly go universal?]

“You can get the Toys-R-Us wind up version of Richard Hatch by the way, by sending in three box tops from specially marked boxes of Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles breakfast cereal.”

[One could probably, by the way, go to Toys-R-Us and just buy Richard Hatch in person.]

“The Bermuda Triangle of Death houses the existence of Ronald D. Moore’s GINO series in the most sinister way.”

[It presumably rents the existence of other television shows in semi-serious ways.]

“No form of art is being expressed by Edward James Olmos’s bad acting, and no profound subliminal statement is being uttered. ”

[I choose to believe that uttering subliminal statements is a form of art.]

“Ronald D. Moore is a man, an unremarkable man. Like all other television producers who go through it, Ronald D. Moore has made a television series that flopped.”

[Go through what? Maybe “it” was unremarkable, too.]

“Ronald D. Moore fit’s the bill quite nicely, doesn’t he?”

[“Fit’s?” Meaning what? “Fit is?” Something that belongs to Fit?]

“How is that for an effective cult, huh?”

[Huh?]

You get the idea.

Anyway, the book is available for download here. Languatron is reportedly using the proceeds of his book sales to frequent strip clubs. What he doesn’t know is that we Universal executives have already planted our agents in all of the clubs he frequents.

How’s that for a con’spiracy, huh?