Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lazer Brody's Loony Volcano Theodicy

This hysterical attempt to tell us why the volcano erupted was brought to my attention yesterday by someone who posted it on a thread without crediting the source: Lazer Brody. We thought it was a parody. Unfortunately it isn't (unless, you're of the mind that Lazer Brody is a walking pardoy which I admit is a reasonable theory). Later edits in red

Some people think they're smart, like the British folks who run the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The day before yesterday, the senseless stuffed-shirts declared that the Western Wall and the site of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem are not part of Israel, banning Israeli Tourist adverts that included photos of these holy sites.

This is true, but misleading. What happened is some British civilian complained to the UK Advertising police about an advertisement for Israel, in which the Western Wall was identified as part of Israel. Technically, this is what experts call a PITA complaint, but it is accurate as the area has (from the perspective of the British and international law) never been annexed. The person who made the complaint is a douchy troublemaker, of course, who should have been ignored by the Standards Authority, but his point, from his perspective, is true, not false, and the action taken by the UK was harmless: they said this one particular advertisment couldn't be used again. They did not say that photos of the wall were banned, as Lazer implies. From what I understand, those photos can be used so long as no claim is made that they are "part of Israel", which, if we're being picky, technical, and well, truthful, about the perspective of International law they are not.

The bumbling Brits didn't realize that when you mess around with Jerusalem and the Wall, you mess around with Hashem.

How exactly did anyone "mess with Hashem", let alone with the city or the Wall? The British beurocrats merely requested that the Israeli Ministry of Tourism tell the truth in their ads. God loves truth. That's his "seal" as thew Rabbis say. Perhaps the Israeli Ministry of Tourism was "messing with Hashem" via their little, white, harmless lie? (No sarcasm intended: I really do think the Brits over-reacted, but at the same time, I don't think they caused any harm. Israel will just use other ads, and label the pictures in a way that does not offend the local standards.)

"Aha, Great Britain - are you so brazen to discourage tourism to My Holy City?" Hashem asks. "You question My children's right to their Father's palace? You shall not have a single tourist entering or leaving your silly Island!"

Aha, Lazer Brody - you're an over-reacting drama queen. No tourism was discouraged, and no one questioned  our right to the Temple. All they said was, "Hey, don't use that particular advertisement anymore." You are truly making a mountain out of a molehill. I understand its necessary for you to do this, because otherwise you're explanation for the volcano seems petty indeed, but wildly exaggerating the facts of the case for the purpose of defending the Israeli Ministry of Tourism's right to tell what the UK should view as little, white lies in their ads doesn't seem like the best use of your time.

So what did Hashem do?

He allowed nature to take its course with no direct intervention as per the view on How the World Works expressed by several Rishonim, but now, thanks to the influence of the Ari and the Bsht, considered to be heretical.

Hashem let a remote volcano in Iceland erupt, from the Icelandic mountain Eyjaffjalljokull, whose ash cloud grounded all air traffic above Britain yesterday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. You see, the microscopic particles which make up volcanic ash pose a threat to aircraft because they can affect visibility and get sucked into aircraft engines, causing total breakdown.

Whoops! Lazer is so desperate to show that those Rishonim mentioned above were wrong, and that God directly, and minutely controls every thing for a discernible purpose that he's committed a very significant sin of omission. The ash cloud grounded air traffic all over Europe. Silly France (Does God really think of countries containing millions of creatures made in his image as "Silly" as Lazer imagines?) Silly  France, and Silly Germany and Silly Austria and the rest of Silly Europe all were affected by the ash cloud.  What did they do to God, and Jerusalem and the Wall? Lazer doesn't say.

Silly Spain and Silly Portugal were spared I guess the sin of the inquisition is forgiven!

No one remembers when British airspace was totally closed. Such a natural phenomena as an atmospheral ash cloud is one in a zillion. But, Hashem in implementing His Divine justice is defying statistics more and more as we get closer to Moshiach.

What does defying statistics have to do with Moshiach? I see no connection. Moreover, saying that we're getting closer to Moshiach is like saying we're getting closer to tomorrow. Its always true. Thus, Lazer may have just as easily said "I continue to jot out ridiculous bits of theodicy as we get closer to Moshiach" or "DovBear continues to slap me upside the head for my stupidity as we get closer to moshiach" or, really,  anything at all.

Oh, and small correction, I'd like to see the study that says the odds on an ash cloud are "one in a zillion" I'm no mathmatician, but I think the odds are closer to "one in eleventeen-nonnillian-quintillion" Anyone want to check the figures and let me know?

Britain's air traffic service said late Thursday it was extending a ban on most air traffic until 1200GMT (8 a.m EDT) Friday, this morning. Meanwhile the financial losses and the chaos is mindboggling.

But still not as mindboggling as your dumb blog post.

Who else wants to fool around with Hashem and Jerusalem? Step up to the plate...

With deep thinkers like you around to distort facts, exaggerate events, and leave out significant details in defense of a theory on How the World Works rejected by many Rishonim, anyone would be foolish to try.

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