Is where I am typing this, my first trip here. I had been carefully cultivating a perfect record of living in Kansas City and never having traveled here, but we're celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday, and she loves this place. We set it up as a surprise, and when we told her, she immediately looked at me and asked, "You're
going too?" Now, at least, she knows how much I love her.
So here's a couple of notes about the experience so far and a few other items I found quite interesting:
- I know I'm not the target demographic, but the almost-solid line of billboards along Hwy 65 out of Springfield do not help sell this place at all. In case you don't know, Branson is one of the top 5 tourist destinations in the USA, the entertainment capital of Red America. Yakov Smirnoff has a theater here, though I doubt his comedy set still focuses entirely upon the Soviet Union. Although, Putin does seem to be hosting a USSR revival. Every set of performers has its own theater. It's the opposite of Las Vegas. They don't book performers because people come for gambling, people come here because they have booked performers. There is a lake nearby that is quite large and a good spot for doing lake-related things. And, there is an amusement park, apparently.
- My hotel is literally crawling with Baptists. And I don't have a single anti-Christian t-shirt. I really should learn to think ahead.
- The AP has a report today about more infighting over religious belief - well, this time, it's about a lack of religious belief. Old-school Atheists are upset over the militancy of what they call the "New Atheists" or, in the words of Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, "atheist fundamentalists." He and a few others feel that Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are ultimately harming their "movement" by calling for all-out war against religious belief and their characterizations of all who have a religious belief as idiots. If Atheists want to insist upon the idea that they can't be characterized as a group, that atheism cannot ever be considered as a type of belief, then take it from us religious folk: the best support for those statements is to not act in the opposite way. The article is about a good-old church fight, and I'm certainly not above finding it hilarious.
- Via Auguste over at Pandagon, we see that Bill Donohue has found his snit-of-the-week, this time over a chocolate Jesus that was to be displayed in a Manhatten hotel. And, predictably, the hotel has decided not to show the sculpture. I guess they didn't want to be party to "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever." As Auguste said, worse even than the Crucifixion, apparently. And Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome, Diocletian's persecution, the massacres of Christians - Roman Catholics, Mr. Donohue - in Japan and Koreas. Bad stuff, that chocolate Jesus. Maybe it was made from Hershey's and Donohue thinks they should have used something like Ghiradelli or Godiva.
The second wave of Baptists has hit the breakfast room. Time to hit some really liberal blogs with big, profane post titles.