Art and Literature

Entries about creativity in all its forms, plus original creative material.

Billy Graham's Bible Blaster

Billy Graham's Bible BlasterBilly Graham’s Bible Blaster is an infamous fake video game that appears in an episode of The Simpsons from the 11th season that originally aired in 2000. In the episode, “Alone Again, Natura-Diddly,” longtime character and Simpsons neighbor Maude Flanders dies. Marge Simpson encourages Bart to cheer up Rod and Todd and he discovers one of their video games, Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster.

A few pixelated screen shots of the game play show a first-person shooter style game where you shoot Bibles at heathens to turn them into conservatively dressed fellows with halos.

It actually has very little to do with Billy Graham, but he does get the name recognition and shout out. You can play a simplified version of Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster on the Simpsons web site (alas, close shots don’t result in Unitarians).

The exchange of dialogue from the Bible Blaster scene:

{josquote}Look out, Bart! A gentle Baha’i!{/josquote} Bart: When I’m feeling low, you know what always cheers me up?
Todd: Is it love?
Rod: Kindness?
Bart: Ooh, tough room. Videogames! Whaddya got? “Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster?”
Rod: Keep firing; convert the heathens!
Bart: Got him!
Rod: No, you just winged him and made him a Unitarian.
Todd: Look out, Bart! A gentle Baha’i!
Bart: All right! Full conversion! Thanks guys, this really cheered me up.
Video: Second Coming! Reload, reload!
Todd: Can we play now?
Bart: We are playing. We’re a team.
Rod + Todd: Yay!

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Thanks to Baquia for the tip.

Podcast: Finding Bibi

Interview with Iranian American film maker, Bita Haidarian

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bita Haidarian, an Iranian American film maker concerning her wonderful latest film, Finding Bibi, described below:

Bita Haidarian, an award-winning Iranian American filmmaker fresh out of film school, sets off on a journey around the world to answer the big questions – who am I, where do I come from, and where can a girl find a good laser hair removalist?

Born in America to Baha’i refugee parents from Iran, Bita tells the tragic-comic story of her family coming to America, her childhood in Texas, trying to fit in, and competitive cheerleading – all part of the quest of a girl who knows more about MTV than Al Jazeera.

Read more about the film on the Facebook fan page.

In this podcast, we discuss:

  • Why Bita turned to film-making
  • Her commitment to making the world a better place
  • Exploring her passion: issues dealing with women
  • Her experiences as an Iranian Baha’i in America
  • A little bit of her childhood
  • Her experiences making the film
  • Expected release date of the film (possibly this summer)

Amongst other things!

Here’s a promo of Finding Bibi:


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A fine first biography of thinker Alain Locke

{amazon id='0226317765'}

When Philadelphia-born Alain L. Locke (1885-1954), the first African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship, wrote home to his mother shortly after beginning undergraduate life at Harvard, he didn't exactly express solidarity with his few black student peers.

According to Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth in their superb, eye-opening biography of the man they call "the most influential African American intellectual born between W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr.," Locke complained that he couldn't understand how his peers "come up here in a broad-minded place like this and stick together like they were in the heart of Africa."

Having grown up four blocks from Rittenhouse Square as a member of Philadelphia's free-born black elite - a community that, the authors write, "did not look with special indulgence on lower class people from any race" - Locke found many of his Harvard classmates "coarse," a flaw he believed his fellow black students compounded by their separatism.

{josquote}From his early postgraduate studies in Oxford and Berlin to his embrace of the Baha'i faith, vast collection of African art, and decades (from 1912 on) as a professor and head of Howard University's philosophy department, Locke more or less created the image of the black cosmopolitan emulated by black Americans from jazz artists to professors.{/josquote}

"[By] common consent," Locke wrote to his mother about dining-room habits at Harvard, black students had "unanimously chosen to occupy a separate table together. Now what do you think of that? It's the same old lifelong criticism I shall be making against our people."

Like many a philosopher, Locke knew himself that his work would celebrate cultural pluralism, both philosophically and personally. That work is now seen as the fount, in African American thought, for what came to be called "multiculturalism."

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Roger White: Applesauce

Adam & Eve by Titian (Prado Museum)

Perhaps my favourite poem by Roger White, poet laureate of the Baha’i community:


I tire, Eve, of innocence,
Let’s kiss and grow contented.
Suppose we touched, where I protrude
And you’re cunningly indented?

Oh Adam, what a sweet pastime!
I’m glad that I consented.
Tell me, dear, what shall we call
This game that we’ve invented?

With half my heart I’d call it love
And not have it repented;
The other half would name it sin
And urge it be prevented.

Had I not led you to the fruit
Guilt would be circumvented.
My punishment’s to have my crime
Eternally resented.

Spake the snake:

All Adam’s sons are cursed to woo
A maid and gently take her;
But after they’ve made applesauce
{josquote}To the degree the Bahá’í community views its artists as a gift rather than a problem will it witness the spread of the faith ‘like wildfire’ as promised by Shoghi Effendi{/josquote} They’ll like as not forsake her.
And down the centuries men proclaim:
We’ll take the pleasure, she the blame.
Let posterity lament
That mother Eve gave her assent;
In slithering wisdom I rejoice
That she gave birth to slippery choice.

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"God Tags" and Customized Dog Tags

Dog Tags Love Bits & Peaces is home of the original Baha'i Bling

"Army of Light" Dog Tag

What's on the dog tag:
"SS#" Bab's dec date: 1844 05 23
Blood Type: *see below*
Religion: BAHA'I

*blood type*

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