Archive for September 24th, 2012

Zoltar Speaks

September 24, 2012

 

I get e-mailings and catalogs from Hammacher Schlemmer, a store that offers the best, the only, and the unexpected to customers, for a high price. I think I have only bought two or three items from them, as gifts, but that is enough to put me on their mailing list for life. I can’t complain though. They do sell some interesting things, though way too expensive for me.

In their last catalog I saw Hammacher Schlemmer has Zoltar Speaks.

This is Zoltar, the classic animatronic fortune teller found in arcades, that stands 6 1/2′ tall, and augurs a spoken and printed fortune for you. Richly detailed with a handlebar mustache and beard, a gold head wrap, gold shirt, paisley vest, and jewelry, the bust of Zoltar stands in a solid wheeled cabinet of oak with birch veneers, finished in gold-and black-painted trim, and is surrounded by three panes of tempered glass. Zoltar acknowledges your presence and invites you to approach him. Once you insert a quarter (coins may be removed), Zoltar nods his head up and down as his crystal ball illuminates and he sweeps his hand back and forth. Zoltar provides 16 different spoken fortunes and dispenses one of 23 different printed fortunes in the form of a paper card; 2,000 fortune cards are included. The fortune is dispensed from the front of the cabinet. The manufacturer has confirmed that this item meets U.S. Federal toy safety standards for lead.

This is the fortune telling machine in Big that grants Tom Hanks’ wish to be big. It can be yours for only $9000.

 

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More on the Cult

September 24, 2012

 

I read this article in Investor’s Business Daily about the Obama cult after I wrote this post on the subject. There isn’t much in the editorial about the creepiness of the cult that isn’t covered elsewhere but I did think the point at the end was worth noting.

But the question is, why are so many Americans so willing to voluntarily buy into Obama’s personality cult?

Remember that will.i.am video from Obama’s first campaign?

Or the equally creepy video of elementary school students signing Obama’s praises:

“Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand

To make this country strong again

Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama.”

Or how about the endless news photos of Obama with his head centered in the middle of a circle in the background, giving him the appearance of being surrounded by a halo.

Anyone want to guess how many times a press photographer decided to snap a picture of Reagan like that?

In totalitarian countries, leaders can force their greatness on unwilling subjects because they own the press, they own the entertainment industry and they own all the schools.

It is true that totalitarian dictators can force public worship in their subjects but one truth that perhaps we don’t want to admit is that their subjects are not always unwilling to support the personality cult. Few, if any, regimes survive solely by the use of force. Most rulers, however tyrannical, do have a certain part of the population who actively support them, whether because they benefit from the regime, or they fear the alternatives, or they believe the propaganda. I have no doubt that if you were to take a public opinion poll of the German population around 1936, you would find Hitler was geniunely popular among the great majority of Germans.

Most people who have seen the videos of North Koreans mourning the death of Kim Il Jong in the most extravagant fashion assume that they are afraid of punishment. That is true, but it is possible that many of these people really did feel grief. After all, if you are told the Dear Leader is the most wonderful person in the world 24 hours a day, you begin to believe it, especially if you have no standards of comparison.

I suppose my point here is that tyrants don’t often force themselves on an unwilling people. Usually, at least some segment of the population welcomes that tyrant and is willing to give up their freedom for some benefit real or imagined. What this might say about the future of out country I am not sure but it isn’t good that a certain number of Americans are willing to subscribe to such a cult.

 

 

Diamonds and Rifles

September 24, 2012

Here is a interesting story, from a redneck point of view. There is a jeweler in Georgia who is offering a free rifle with the purchase of a diamond.

ATLANTA (AP) – A jeweler in metro Atlanta is adding some bang to the bling.

Under a new promotion, customers who buy a diamond worth $2,499 or more from D. Geller and Son will get a voucher for a free hunting rifle.

Owner Mike Geller told WSB-TV (http://bit.ly/UC5rCp ) that he got the idea after seeing a similar offer at a Missouri car dealership. He said many of his customers are hunters.

They are not actually handing out the guns at the store though.

Geller’s stores are not handing out rifles at the counter. Customers must go to a local gun dealer to redeem the voucher and follow all laws governing the purchase of firearms.

That’s no fun. I expect that Micheal Moore will show them actually handing them over the counter in a future “documentary“.


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