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Category Archives: Religions

Quit Telling me I’m Hell-bound!

Marching Day for the Pentecostals

So what do you think motivates these people? A real need to save souls, spread the gospel, or is it to earn what I call “God Points.” These people are no different from the Catholic Church, which still peddles indulgences. The Catholic form comes in regulating behavior: say the Hail Mary ten times every day and you earn 50 years indulgence! Or something along those lines. They are some suffering from the God delusion and they are trying to push it on others. I find proselytizers annoying, but when I see a crowd like this, I can’t help but laugh.
I’ve accumulated a few funny pictures along the way, so let me present you with the Israelites and Korean Pentecostals, who take the cake for amusing cults.

Korean Pentacostals, © Russell Smith 2011

Israelites, © Russell Smith

The Israelites, © Russell Smith, 2011

So you can see the Pentecostals doing their thing, speaking in tongues, etc. Note the bullhorn near at hand. Now the Israelites got angry with me when I took their picture. Actually only one guy (the Leader?) became agitated. I responded, “Well you are the ones who are looking for attention!” “We’re not looking for attention!” They shouted back in unison, which I found a little creepy, but I said laughing, “You’ve got signs. You don’t want people to look at the signs?” “Get out of here you Devil” said The Leader? getting annoyed at my logic in the face of their outright stupidity, unpatriotic weirdness. I don’t think White people can join this cult, but you never know. There was a Black guy with the Pentecostals. I used to get super annoyed at these proselytizers, and I have them on video saying the stupidest things with me screaming abuse at them. It’s fun to watch but I’m not adding any more media to this post. Hollywood Hugs!


I told you all that the remake stank

Most remakes stink and True Grit, a Coen Brothers disaster, was no exception. Even the greasy, cheesy Oscars gave it a comprehensive thumbs down. All Coen Brothers movies get nominated f0r something, now that they are considered mainstream. They were able to wriggle out of the murky waters of “Independence”  after the glorious victory of Fargo. The Brothers Coen achieved this victory a long time ago in terms of popular culture; that is, fifteen years. To paraphrase Pop Icon David Bowie, “Five years, that’s all you’ve got!” from the ground breaking recording, “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” That means that Bros. Coen began to their slide to obscurity at the veritable turn of the century. They’ve made some crazy good movies since then, A Serious Man being a recent example. It got nominated for best picture when it came out, but nobody really thought it would win, and it didn’t. I love Coen Bros. movies, but that wasn’t one I saw at the overpriced movie theater.

Like a Bad Penny

They always turn up again†

These poor kids are being forced to stand in the hot sun holding those stupid signs. They are exposed to all kinds of riff-raff on Hollywood Boulevard. Stand on that corner for just half an hour and you will know what I mean. You, the viewer, actually gets to see a moment where some gargantuan in a bra buttonholes one of the girls whose job is to hand out signs.   Another sign holder is an elderly gentleman who is probably lonely, and an obvious target for exploitation. Did you catch those seconds where the lady and her cohort are showing this poor (economically) man how to hold the megaphone while the lady read from the Bible. I mean the Holy Bible. I hope I said it right because I don’t want some Koran-burning, Islamophobes attacking me in an alley here in Hollywood. Artistically I think this is one of the best videos I’ve ever made. Instead of treating the Sun as an enemy, I collaborated with it and allowed it to rather edit the visual effect of the video. Does that make any sense. It reminded me of that made for t.v. movie with Sally Field called Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring. The director, Joseph Sargent, has enjoyed a stunning career directing t.v. movies and series. He even directed an episode of Star Trek back in 1966.

Marketing run amok!

†Thank you, Steven King, from “It” — audiobook (2010)

Suffer the Children of Jesus Freaks

Or children under the control of Jesus Freaks?

Here is a photo of some underage kids “witnessing” for Christ.

Does he look filled with the spirit? (Click for larger image)

Unless someone is old enough to make adult decisions, like voting or getting married, they should not be asked to proselytize for their religion, especially not in Hollywood, for chrissakes! The only place worse would be downtown Los Angeles. There are already enough wackos, tweekers and mentally ill people who need medication in this ‘hood that makes it a tricky place to drag your child through. These people are taking kids and planting them in one spot, letting the dregs of Hollywood pass them by.

I’ve always been appalled at parents who force their children to go abortion clinics and harass the women who need help inside those doors. It is unconscionable on two levels, first, as I mentioned, they put the child at risk, and secondly they are impeding my progress home when they do that stuff in front of my subway stop, or at the corner that I need to cross. People stop and stare. People stop and argue. People stop and join in. The key word is STOP. When people stop, they muck up the sidewalk traffic; thereby, creating a bit of a public hazard. What if a strong earthquake hits, and people are thrown this way and that? I’d be trampled by the mob. For the women at the birth control clinic, they are being hindered from going to see their doctor. The First Amendment does not protect touching people, and blocking them from medical services that they desperately need.

What about this guy?

I’m pretty sure the man in leather was the person in charge of these kids.

He wants to save your child’s soul? (Click for larger image)

That document box on rollers was where I believe he was storing additional pamphlets, maybe a bible or two, or even other teachings.

Talk about an audible shudder! But even in the first picture, there are some adults standing around the children. Maybe some of them looked like minders, or watchers of the boys. Maybe some were their parents? Who knows? These kids are standing in the middle of a busy corner, holding with a ten foot tall sign that reads, in part, “Believe in Jesus and be Saved.” But the font is more like BELIEVE IN JESUS AND BE SAVED. Ask yourself, “Is this what the average teenager feels like doing on a warm Saturday afternoon?”

Now what I believe to be the scariest part is that there is a cult in Hollywood (not Scientology, okay) whose leader ran afoul of the law on a variety charges ranging from tax evasion to to child molestation. His cult is famous for leaving newspaper-like tracts under your car’s windshield wipers. That’s what makes me wonder about these poor kids. That man is dressed appropriately for any gay bar, even though his face would make a train switch to the dirt road and he’s built like an ice cream cone, of which I’m sure he’s hand more than a few.

What saddens me as well is that these people take advantage of our First Amendment Rights to preach in my face when I want to be left alone. I’m planning on buying a bible. I will get around to it when I can. Purely for reference purposes. My parents gave me one, a King James deluxe, with leather binding and my name embossed on the front. God only knows what happened to it.

Religiosity on the Boulevard, plus …

I can’t get enough

of the Korean Pentecostals on Hollywood Blvd. They have been making a concerted effort to make their presence known to the summer tourists and locals alike. Take a gander at this lady’s megaphone. She does have a pretty singing voice, but I don’t think she’d make the cut even to get on American Idol.

Then I espied a Scientologist passing out the Free IQ Test handout to all and sundry. One man took it, began to read it and said within earshot, “Oh, Jesus Christ!” I’m surprised he didn’t shred it into a dozen pieces and throw it into the air as a form of exorcism. What him weave his wascally way through the crowds. I had trouble keeping up, but I think he stopped to answer somebody’s question, and that afforded me time to get this shaky footage. I don’t think you can pick the guy out unless you had me standing beside you to tell you who his is.

Oh, Jesus Christ! You've got to be kidding me!

Tammy Report

For the first time ever, Tammy talks directly to the camera. Because I don’t think she’s even competent enough to give her consent to be filmed, before she became too clear in focus, I decided to train the camera on the tree trunk while I spoke with her. Brace yourself as you join me delving into the mind of a mad woman. Is it sad? Yes! For those of a more sensitive nature, don’t listen.

To say that Tammy needs help is the understatement of the Century. But she doesn’t see it that way. First of all, she claims that she’s not on drugs. I’ve seen her with my own two peepers use a crack pipe right on my doorstep. Therein lies the beginning of her downfall. She goes a day or two without sleeping from smoking crack, or crystal meth and that causes her mind to snap. Even the most even-keeled person in the world will start to lose their grip on reality if denied sleep for one or two nights. Take someone whose grasp on reality is already tenuous and give them a stimulant like crack cocaine or crystal meth, and they will go crazy before the night is through. Most social service agencies won’t even talk to you if you fail a urine test. Once Tammy has a taste of the rock, or powder, whatever, she is slamming a dozen doors in her own face. It’s a catch-22 that will lead this woman to an early grave I fear. My dear friend, David G. suffered from the same issues. As his dementia worsened, people wanted less and less to do with him. Because of his inability to live without illicit drugs, he found himself booted out of Mother Teresa’s hospice in Northeast D.C.

I miss you, David. I wish you could have done more to save yourself. I wish I could have done more to save you. I’m haunted by this unrealistic guilt. Why did David die? Why am I still alive?

Hollywood & Highland Subway platform