Boinkie's Blog

Universalis

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Prayer request: The virgin is weeping

BOGOTA, Colombia, April 24 (Reuters) - Thousands of peasants are flocking to see a statue of St. Mary near a fire-spitting volcano in southwest Colombia that, they say, is weeping for lack of a village priest. "They have never sent a priest to live here, which is why the virgin is in pain," one parishioner in Genoy, a small town in Narino province, told reporters on Monday. The community has been disrupted since late last year when the government evacuated people to protect them from the nearby Galeras volcano that spit fire and threatened to erupt in November. At least 4,000 faithful have come to see the statue since the tears recently appeared. Church officials said they are investigating the case. "She is doing this because we have been abandoned," said a local peasant on TV news, pointing to tears have somehow become fixed on the statue's face. He had been living off and on in displaced persons camps, he said. A 1993 Galeras eruption killed at least 10 people.

LINK to another story on the volcano.
My adopted sons are from that town, and one has returned to live there, and runs a panderia...(coffee/bread shop).

The volcano is right above the town, which sits in a valley. It is one of the most dangerous volcanos because Pasto is only a few KM away...some of you might have seen the National Geographic story about the vulcanologists killed and injured there back in the early 1990's...
Pasto has half a million people. If a MtStHelen's type eruption occured in the wrong direction, it could kill most of them. Luckily, past eruptions haven't been that bad...

Measles

The NYTimes has a good post on measles eradification. People don't realize that Measles is a killer of children.And measles Vaccine is expensive.


The linked report is about eradicating Measles in Nepal.

Two of the confirmed deaths in Ghaziabad were the sons of a laborer, Kishore Lal. "The child was in my lap when he breathed his last," Mr. Lal said, tears spilling down his gaunt cheeks as he described the death of Ramjanak, 5, last April. Amit, the other dead son, was 3.

A month after Amit's death, Mr. Lal and his wife squatted listlessly in front of their small hut. "We don't feel like working," he said. "We don't feel like eating."

In a nearby lane, Tuntun Paswan, 32, and his wife, Ramdhana Devi, 28, also mourned the death of their son, Karan, 2. He passed away in the middle of the night in his mother's arms.

They buried the toddler, with his rattle and plastic bat, by the Hindon River.

...............................................

Good reporter. Too many people assume since kids die in theDi third world, that the people are used to it.
Every time National Geographic channel puts up a "tiger eating people" or "animals attacking people who encroach on their environment" I go up the wall...PEOPLE MATTER, you assholes.


Now, it's been twenty plus years since I left Africa, but the problem is still the same.

Measles kills malnourished kids.

But when I was there, the vaccine cost one dollar a shot. So we gave one third of the dose (which did work) which cost us 30 cents and asked the moms to pay 10 cents.

Some of them couldn't afford ten cents, so we left them work for the money.

But when we had an epidemic, some of the babies got measles, so we had to give the shot under 12 months, so the immunity was partial.

Translation: They got sick but didn't die.

Nowadays, we give "booster" shots so they kids won't get measles as teenagers for the same reason, the shot isn't perfect protection.

One family, however, was a father who belonged to a sect of African religion that believed only in faith healing. He was an SOB also, and had five wives. Wife number two had five kids, and he rarely helped her with food or money, although he helped himself to his rights (she was pregnant with twins)...and so he forbad her to have the kids go to our baby clinic.

So all five kids came in with measles, and four died...

There is a follow up to the story. The next year, the twins came into our malnutrition center, and were found to have TB...so we reported him to the local TB officer, who had him forcibly sent to the TB sanitarium for a year's treatment of his active TB.

We figure that the wife needed a year's rest from him...


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fiesta time


Yesterday we were at 2pm mass for the crowning of Mary, Divina Pastora.
LINK2

Mary, the Holy Shepherdess is the patron of our town...she is dressed in a long dress with a cape, a staff, and wearing a large brimmed straw hat.

So the Bishop came over for the Mass.

We sat in front, since Dr. Angi and my husband presented the staff...my husband contributed lots of funds to the church in the past, and Angi not only supports the church monetarily but treats the poor, including free clinic days. So although the crowning was awarded to an elderly lady, they gave the Virgin her staff...

Afterward, there was street dancing: The bands played in the church plaza, and the groups in traditional costumes danced.

Then all the neighborhoods went down the street. Some had their saint on cars, others merely on carts, followed by the local police, barangay leaders, and kids. The parade also included the bands and the people in traditional costumes.

My main blog has lots of photos:

Right after mass we went home, changed into cooler costumes, and then went to a relatives for food...

Philippine fiestas ALWAYS have food.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Humor posts


Most of these I have posted on my mainBlog...

Sport of housewives: Extreme Ironing.-------------------->


Ratz Rocks
...

The Prayer of Jabez vs the prayer of Jeb

For Homeschoolers: A Brief history of Art and potatoes...

Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Backwash Apostasies

I ran across this poem surfing the net...go to link for the entire poem....


"Backwash Apostasies"

Come drink the muddied water,
Graze on pastures trampled down,
Follow shepherds to high places
Where I'm told new truth's been found.

The wolves are all in hiding,
Hunkered down...Their nets are set.
The oozy-goo of their "new" teaching,
Is a lure,... but they're all wet.

Modern man has now discovered,
That the Word's not really pure.
We're told still waters once reported,
Are polluted...not a cure.

The Living Water that was touted,
Is now declared a stagnant pool...
A bio-hazard murky wetland,
Dredged up in seminary school.

Now we follow these new shepherds,
Who would like to fill our cup,
With a topsy-turvy gospel...
Dirty Water..."Bottom's up!"

Ancient wisdom of our fathers,
Is now all but washed away,
By post-modern tides of nonsense,
That would flood the Truth away.

Theologians spouting theories,
And their vain philosophies...
Wading knee-deep through the shallows
Of Backwash Apostasies.
......(.the rest is at the link)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

NYTimes loves twisted "asian" movies

NYTimes lauds "ImaginAsian finds a new formula for Asian films"

Clueless formula, of course, since the "asian" is a man of Asian ethnic descent who comes from Queens...
And his formula? Abnormal/graphic sex, of course, or twisted sadistic violence... "...As chief executive, Mr. Hong oversaw January's opening of ImaginAsian Pictures, which announced the controversial Korean drama "Green Chair" as its first acquisition. The film, which unsettled American film festival audiences with its intense story of a woman and her under-age lover,...That rapid growth has drawn attention from India to Indonesia, with studios whose past dealings with American distributors have often ended with their movies re-edited, shelved indefinitely or quietly shuffled straight to video. In a business climate increasingly inhospitable to foreign films, ImaginAsian plans as many as 12 theatrical releases by the end of 2007..."

What is overlooked is that Asians have families, fall in love, love action heroes that fight for justice, etc...and enjoy films that present these themes....why should twisted films be "asian" any more than they are English or French?

What is popular over here in the Philippines are Korean soapoperas...THIS
for example...and the craze has started catching on with American viewers LINK
(the WaPo noted it HERe, but the story is no longer on the website)

Why are they popular? Because they are about families, family ties, the problems of love, loyalty, self sacrifice, and suffering...not merely about promiscuous sociopaths finding twenty three ways to make money by robbing a bank or thirty five sexual positions.

Again, we see the disconnect of elites, so if the UKTimes is to be believed, Hollywood thinks that the same people who watched Gibson's Passion and the Narnia film will enjoy films that are outright anti Christian, for example the DaVinci code, or the Pullman series...
CWN take on all this is HERE...

Films that are true to life will be "christian" even if they are "secular" or even "R" rated...Ladder 49, Man on Fire, Aliens, Tombstone, and a slew of other R rated movies may have more to teach us about love and self sacrifice than the Ten Commandments or other "religious" films...


Myself, I avoid films about twisted people...because I see people sympathetically...so I don't consider Brokeback mountain an "evil" film, for example, merely a sad one...

but then I'm the type that disapproves of many films and shows on the Disney Channel Asia, because many of them present success as a rock star as the highest aim in life...
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lileks has comments HERE:
I am amused by smart people who defend uncouthness on the grounds that it’s honest. (Hypocrisy, after all, is a cardinal sin. Or would be if there were such things.) Dennis Prager was talking today about a dance troupe whose work is mostly base and gross, complete with naughty shocking words and on-stage wanking. They were lauded by critics for their honesty, of course. (The entire cultural top-tier crew, at least in the media, has the values of a Playmate. Turn-offs: Phony people.) I have no problem with the artists, since I don’t expect much from them anymore; those who add to the sum of ugliness are welcome to do so, but they have made themselves irrelevant. I do have a problem with the critics who applaud breaking taboos and stepping over lines, because it’s the cultural establishment – whatever that is – that has celebrated and enabled the decline of art in the 20th century.No artistic standard, once erased, as has ever been replaced by a more technically demanding one.Unless you believe that it is harder for a layman to fake a later DeKooning than a J-L David.Anyway. It’s not so much the redefinition of standards that bothers me as the glee with which the old standards are trashed, and the sense that the arts have become unmoored from the larger culture.This all sounds like some joyless pinch-arsed mini-me-sized Cotton Mather looking for people who are enjoying themselves so he can wallow in his own righteous bile, eh? I’m just suggesting people govern their tongues in public, and consider that the aesthetic pleasures and artistic merit of a play with some hairy naked dude engaging in self-frottage are less than those provided by “Swan Lake.” The old Keatsian equation. Truth in beauty, and in beauty, truth.
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Peter Kreeft's discussion of Beauty mp3HERE


Heads up

Catholic comic books...

Headsup from Zadoc theroman...who says: "...Each book bears many of the hallmarks of the traditional superhero tale.
For instance, St Rose of Lima is able to protect herself from attack by two beams of light emerging from the palms of her hands. St Joan of Arc wears superhero tights underneath her thigh-length coat of armour..."

projecting evil

I just removed a post from my main blog about genocide.

It wasn't because I am not pointing out the problems of Dafur and other little publicized genocides that are ignored, but because I realized by doing so I was "projecting" my own self into the condemnation.

One of the problems of condemning evil is that too often we do it not to actually condemn evil, but because we are projecting our own sins on others.

Yes, except for a terrible tongue that upsets people and terribly hurts them, I may not "murder"....but it is indeed easier for us to point out others sins than confront our own.

Our problem is that we feel worthless, so we don't want to remember our sins.
So we get "cheap grace" types, say I'm sorry and all our sins are tossed away.
Yes, that is true. God's mercy is like that.
But too often this translates not into a life of repentence but a "get out of jail" card free...so we can go out and do the same thing and not have to feel guilt because we know we can just get rid of it again.

This is a subtle thing: You see, many people commit sins and really repent, but fall again...the difference is that they humbly repent and bring their helplessness back to God and ask for forgiveness over and over.

(Sometimes the "trick" is not to put oneself into "near occassions of sin", so we have to be honest if we re sin because we are weak, or because we decided it was okay to stray into where we are tempted)

Oh well...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Added links

I added the blogs from the local bishops.

I haven't been praying much lately, so figured people can read them.

It's the hot season.
When we go to the farm, I pray but don't blog.
When we come home, I have to put up with my passive aggressive evangelical stepson.
Right now he's flat in bed with a backache...won't take medicine. Won't see a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Won't help his poor wife, who is sick with bronchitis and has to work her gluteus maximus off.

The previous link to cat and dog theology is from a "stengthening local churches" type of pop theology that he plans to hold conferences here... most of it is aimed at poorly catechized Catholics to shake their beliefs so they can join (place narrowminded church name here)
As I wrote on my main blog: It's enough to make one an athiest.

They are finally "fixing" the roof, so everyone here is sick from the dust. So we have to stay indoors all day...of course we have ewtn, but during the day, we often don't get sound on the channel...so I download podcasts...

And it is hot season, so we have to jog at 5 am.

Oh well...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Is National Geographic deliberately undermining Christianity?

For the last month, on National Geographic channel Asia I've had to put up with constant commercials about "The Judas Gospel"...is everything we knew about Judas wrong?

The short commercial implies that there was a coverup of Judas and NOW WE KNOW.

Before then, it was short commercials about "The DaVinci Code"...again implying that the gospels were wrong.

Today they started a commercial "Hidden Gospels"....were there other Messiahs?

Is the National Geographic channel deliberatly warring against Christianity, or is it merely their advertising agency that is deliberately being provocative to get more viewers, and never mind if it deliberatly hints against Catholicism...

People just don't realize how these things are being absorbed here in the Philippines.
Here faith is deep, but often mixed with paganism (by the less sophisticated, mainly Catholics) or it is poorly understood on an intellectual level (by protestants and by Charismatics/Pentecostals of all churches).

Now these people are being told that they are wrong...and alas, they don't have the intellectual background in history to be able to know what is fantasy, what is cutting edge biblical scholarship, and what is a resurgence of anti Christian gnosticism that is going directly against the Catholic church.

Even the defenders of Christianity here get it wrong: At least two articles discussing this assumed these gospels were historically accurate, not gnostic philosophy that give little historical details...and one even said that we should stick to the bible, after saying Catholics were forbidden to read the bible...(sounds like the anti Catholic southern baptists got hold of her)...overlookin of course that if it wasn't for the Catholic idea that the church holds the story of salvation that the church was able to judge what books belong in the bible.

Jenkin's book on the Hidden Gospels is probably the best one to explain what's going on...LINK is to canada Amazon...

God loves you like a dog


Pop theology vs Hound of heaven

China's Marian Shrines

People who think Catholicism is European need to think again.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy easter

If you want a good sermon, check out Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan's sermon HERE

However the above title link is to a nutcase building an ark on a hillside in Maryland...

There is a story behind the link.

We used to have several Christian stations when I lived in the coalmining regions of Pennsylvania. Thanks to mountains, I could get a Maryland Christian radio station clearly, while the stations from Pittsburgh and Altoona were blocked.
They had some good preachers on that station (Usually I hate preachers) and good "light rock" Christian music, so often I would tune in.
And one day, I heard an inspiring message whose holiness impressed me. At the end, they gave his name, and then it occured to me it was that nutcase who was building an ark.

In his talk, he did not rant or rave about abortion or homosexuals. He did not say Jesus was going to punish us. He didn't even discuss or mention end times, let alone mention his pet project . He merely talked about the Love of God in our lives.

Even his webpage has a similar humility about the unfinished ark sitting on a hillside in a remote rural coal town:

God's instructions were simple but the task seemed enormous -- "tell the world that I love them and rebuild Noah's Ark as a sign of My love and of the soon return of Jesus!" Since that time in 1974,God has been faithful to provide ways for His message to be shared on many national and international television and radio programs.....Why? Because of curiosity about the rebuilding of Noah's Ark. They come to see what it is all about, giving us the opportunity to share the Gospel with them! ...Our prayer is that many more will come to know Jesus in a personal way!

Nutcase or prophet? We may have to wait till we reach heaven to find out...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Singularity is near...ye can be like god.

Leon Kass has an entire book discussing nuances of what it means when we enhance human beings.
It is also a major theme in science fiction.
But Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit, is a fan of Kurzweil and others preaching the utopia of living forever.
human beings will potentially enjoy the kind of powers and pleasures traditionally assigned to gods or beings in heaven: Limitless lifespans, if not immortality, superhuman powers, virtually limitless wealth, fleshly pleasures on demand, etc.

These do sound like the sorts of things that religions have promised their followers throughout human history. That leads some who invoke MacLeod's comment to contend that because Singularity enthusiasts hope for the same kinds of things that religious believers have hoped for, Singularity enthusiasts are merely adherents to a new sort of religion, the religion of science.

But as Isaac Asimov has noted, the religion of science is distinguished by one chief characteristic: "that it works."

I haven't seen much of the implications of modern technology discussed on Catholic blogs (I believe Kass is Jewish).

But the implications of what all this means is subtle, and found in the myths of Christian writers like Tolkien (Saruman and Sauron The ring gives eternal life and power) and Cordwainer Smith's wonderful stories.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Thought to ponder for those into Marian stuff

Jenkins has long written about the little covered story of huge Christian growth in the "South"...i.e. Africa, Asia, and South America.
But this part is interesting to me:

Also of interest from the talk is the fact that in most of the world the most prominent brand of Christianity is Pentecostal in form--both Catholic and Protestant. Jenkins pointed to the great reach of Filipino Catholic Pentecostal "religious orders" throughout the world, wherever Filipinos migrate; and, apparently, they migrate far and wide. I also recall Fr. Richard Neuhaus describing, in his recent book Catholic Matters, how the many Filipinos in his own New York parish church are "preternaturally devout." So the charismatic prayer group in your parish is not so odd or rare in the rest of the Christian world, but in fact appears to be the engine of global Christian growth.


I find it interesting for several reasons.
One, is because God tends to work "outside the box".
So, for example, the Catholic Bishops TV network fizzled while an obscure Italian Nun's network is shown world wide.
And the Catholic revival did not come via psychologist, modern nuns or married priests, but by laypeople in the Charistmatic and Marian movements.

Second, because at least one "visionary" (I think it's Christine Gallagher, but I might be wrong) mentioned that the "reign of the Immaculate heart" would start in the Philippines...

As a skeptical doc, I think all of this sounds crazy...

But I've been around long enough to remember when the promise of Fatima for peace and the downfall of communism thru Mary's intercession was considered delusional...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Palm Sunday

They held the Palm Sunday procession at 5 AM, with a float of Christ on a donkey being followed by thousands of singing people.

We skipped the procession and went to 6 am Mass...couldn't get in, so said the rosary outside.
Lots of people in the square outside...most were people with kids, who leave the church when the kids get restless...little girls marching proudly showing off their pretty lace decorated sox and new shoes...little boys hitting each other over the head with the palm branches...and moms keeping an eye on them, saying their prayers.

I was a pious kid, but even I got bored after about ten minutes in church...so when I had grandchildren, I was happy that they had a crying room....Father admonished us that the crying room was so kids could pay attention, not play, but of course we let them play, while praying and on and off pointing out what was going on inside the church.

Processions and festivals are one way to teach the faith...but now the "protestants" are so pure they condemn it all as "paganism"...not seeing that these things are innate in our human nature, and we can hold a procession to celebrate Jesus or the saints, or a beauty queen (in the west) or a revolution (in more fascist countries)...

God is so high above us that it is hard for simple people (including myself) to grasp...but Jesus here working as a carpenter with a mother and father make Mama Mary and Kuya Jesus just part of the family...which is what I think God had in mind when he made men, women, sex, and kids and mixed all this stuff up with love...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

the gospel of judas...

But doesn't an early document of this sort rival orthodox Christian sources, such as the four canonical Gospels?

Father Williams: Remember that Gnosticism arose in the middle of the second century, and the "Gospel of Judas," if authentic, probably dates back to the mid- to late second century.

To put a historical perspective on things, that would be like you or me writing a text now on the American Civil War and having that text later used as a primary historical source on the war. The text could not have been written by eyewitnesses, the way at least two of the canonical Gospels were. ...
Christians believe that a good God created a good world, and that through the abuse of free will, sin and corruption entered the world and produced disorder and suffering.

The Gnostics blamed God for the evil in the world and claimed that he created the world in a disordered and flawed way. Thus they champion the rehabilitation of Old Testament figures such as Cain, who killed his brother Abel, and Esau, the elder brother of Jacob, who sold his birthright for a plate of pottage.

Judas fits perfectly into the Gnostic agenda of showing that God intends evil for the world.

Q: But wasn't Judas' betrayal a necessary part of God's plan, as this text suggests?

Father Williams: Being omniscient, God knows full well what choices we will make and weaves even our bad decisions into his providential plan for the world.

In his last published book, Pope John Paul II eloquently reflected on how God continues to bring good out of even the worst evil that man can produce. ...


My comment:

Another problem with gnosticism is that you become holy by learning "secrets" which you have to study to find out.
Christians become holy by loving God and serving their neighbor...

A summary of the problem:
Jesus was God. The gnostics think he is merely an avantar, a person who sought magic spells to ascend to a higher power.

Jesus said God loved us, and the poor were valuable. Salvation was open to all, because there was a God who resembled a father, and cared for all of us. We "find" this relationship thru believing in Jesus, and show our love by our daily lives, especially in caring for those around us: our famlies and the poor...

The gnostics said this force/power could be found only by those who studied hard and discovered the hidden truths. We're the holy ones, you are slime...Too busy to do so? Well, you might get a chance next life...too bad.

of course, those really searching for God resemble the real Jesus, and the snobs and hoitytoity ones of all religions resemble the gnostics.

So the Hindus tell the story of Krishna appearing to a hermit, and the hermit asked Krishna to show him the holiest man on earth. So they traveled. One night they stayed with a poor farmer, who fed him the best of his small food and gave them a bed, the only bed in the poor hut. The next day, Krishna told him that that poor farmer was the holiest man in the world.
(a similar story is told of St. Anthony).

As for the gnostics...alas, in prevaticanII days, many Catholics thought that only priests can be holy (which is why the Little way of StTherese was a literal godsend to the ordinary Catholics: it showed a way for ordinary people to become saints)...and nowadays, we are surrounded by so called christian sects who think if only you read the bible right and say the right words you will go to heaven. Get the words wrong, and you're toast.
Oh well...

Friday, April 07, 2006

IF it's Easter season, it must be time to bash the Christians

When I was in college, the "experts" said that the gospels were "false" because they were written 300 years later...then scholars found manuscripts dating back to 100 A.D.

And the "hidden gospels" which were really written in 300 AD (and were based on a gnosticism that became de rigeur only after 100 AD) are touted as truer than the down to earth pithy gospels everyone reads in church...

Now we are told a new "manuscript" written in Coptic, not Aramaic, dating to 300 AD gives us "insight" into the gospels...

This is being funded by National Geographic, the same guys who had an entire hour special discussing the DaVinci Code (when anyone criticizes DVC, they are ridiculed: It's only fiction...then why does it get all this attention by non fiction type people?)

Maybe the reason I am cyinical is that no Christian scholar was asked about it in the ABC article...yes, they quote an "evangelical" scholar, but he says ""Well, it would mean among other things that Jesus had some kind of death wish, for a start," Witherington said. "And it would raise some questions about his character..."

Ummm...I think that's the whole point...

So, you can say Jesus faked his death, married a slut, and said a lot of higfalutine weird things...and the MSM will report it breathlessly, along with the latest "findings" of the Jesus Seminar...

This happens every Christmas and Easter time...and my question is: Why? Why does the MSM go out of it's way to ignore and even attack the beliefs of a couple hundred million Christians every Easter?

Perhaps because it's not like Mohammed's cartoons...the MSM knows darn well that crowds of rioting Baptists won't burn down ABC news, nor will suicide bomber nuns try to bomb the NG society...

The Anchoress' comments on this are worth reading: LINK

She mentions the "Jesus didn't walk on water, he carefully balanced on thin ice" article that is making rounds.
Well, there is another explanation for this HERE...
;-)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Good for Bishop Slattery

He was our bishop before we retired to thePhilippines...CurtJestor has his article on the liturgy:

....it is critical for us as Catholics who are in the midst of a great struggle to recover our celebration of the Lord's Day to recover first our traditional and accurate understanding that individual holiness, our coming closer to God, depends directly on our appreciation of the sacrifice of the cross and the enormous gap between God's faithful redeeming love for me personally and my indifferent and inconsistent love for Him. The crucifix reveals this stark contrast.

Ugly sin but Holy People
When we look at the holy men and women whose lives have strengthened the Church here in Eastern Oklahoma­ from missionaries like Katharine Drexel and Isidore Robot, to the martyr Stanley Rother, and from His Holiness, John Paul II to the hidden saints who take their pews Sunday after Sunday in our Cathedral, churches and missions ­ we see that they had this one thing in common. All of them - by God's grace - were conscious of the ugliness of their sins and thus had grown in their appreciation of their indebtedness to God.

Convicted of their sins, nevertheless they grow in holiness. Conversely, the greatest sinners are those who wound the Body of Christ and offend the Father, but are unconscious of the gravity of their sin or unconcerned with how great a distance there is between God's love for them and their half- hearted and insipid response.

Saints are redeemed sinners because they accept God's offer of forgiveness, and moved by gratitude, become intimate with Him. Sinners remain unredeemed when they remain unaware or unconcerned by their sins, and dismissing their need for forgiveness, approach God as is they were His equal....


Read thewholethings...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Prayer study take two

Follow link to Scrappleface, who says it all....