The World O' Crap Archive

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Where’s Ben Stein’s Money?

From the weekend box office totals at Deadline Hollywood Daily:
The only other newcomer in the Top 10 was conservative commentator Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed which makes the intelligent design argument. Playing in 1,052 theaters, the pic distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures fell over the weekend from 8th to 10th place after earning $1.2M Friday and $989K Saturday for a $2.9M weekend. But the per screen average for Friday was a low $1,145 and for Saturday $940 (and $2,830 for the entire weekend), showing there wasn’t much pent-up demand for the film despite an aggressive publicity campaign on right-wing mediaSo much for the conservative argument that people would flock to films not representing the “agenda of liberal Hollywood”. (Just for comparison purposes: left-wing Michael Moore’s most recent Sicko did $4.4 mil its opening weekend from only 441 theaters, and his Fahrenheit 9/11 did $23.9M its opening weekend from 868 venues.)
That aggressive publicity campaign may actually be to blame for the disappointing turnout, setting expectations for an action-packed, high octane rollercoaster ride of a film that no adenoidal ex-Nixon staffer could possibly satisfy. For instance, World Net Daily’s story on the film was titled: Ben Stein to battle Darwin in major film.
Now that’s a movie I’d pay to see, even if the headline turned out to be literal, and the film involved nothing more than Ben Stein rolling around on the floor with Darwin’s worm-eaten remains for 90 minutes, because I’m pretty sure he’d still get his ass kicked. Instead, we get this:
In the movie, Stein, who is also a lawyer, economist, former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he discovers – an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. Even worse, say publicists for the feature film
Well, I guess we’ll never know what was worse, because the preceding six words are the universal signal to STOP. READING.

41 Responses to “Where’s Ben Stein’s Money?”

Ben Stein to battle Darwin in major film
I’d go see that, but only if it featured jeebus riding in on a tyranosaurus rex
“…only if it featured jeebus riding in…”
The twist is that jebus proceeds to pounding the crapola outta Stein!
So much for the conservative argument that people would flock to films not representing the “agenda of liberal Hollywood”.
Which they intend to prove by aping–you should pardon the expression–the form of a Michael Moore documentary.
$1100 per screen average? Assuming four showings per day, at about $8 or $9 per ticket, that’s like 30 people at each showing.
On the bright side, you can really spread out and put your feet up.
He spoke at the University of Cincinnati’s commencement a few years ago. What was weird was that he had this old beat-up briefcase that he clutched to his chest during the whole ceremony. I believe he took it to the podium when he spoke. It was very strange.
Whenever I see or hear of another Ben Stein venture, all I can do is ask myself once again, “What is the deal with Ben Stein? Does anyone enjoy hearing from him or looking at him?” He’s just a weird, boring guy who’s made a career out of being Ben Stein. He has nothing of value to contribute, as far as I can see.
[...]nothing more than Ben Stein rolling around on the floor with Darwin’s worm-eaten remains for 90 minutes[...]
Darwin’s best work, coincidentally, was on earthworms. If he knew this was coming, Chuck would have started an extensive breeding program, creating a super-powerful Stein wrestling strain that was 12 feet long and covered in razor sharp three inch long cilia.
It would be worth it.
I got your giant posphorescent earthworm right here!
Damn elitist scientific establishment! Who do they think they are! I’m thinking I could run the particle accelerators and decode that genome thingy but the elitist scientific establishment totally won’t let me! Just because I’m a beauty school dropout!
Poor herr doktor has been spending too much time over at He needs relief!
Dude! Celeriella phosphoresces? Why has David Attenborough never mentioned this? Goddamn.
Incidentally, my partner wants to see the Ben Stein movie, but is easily propagandized. So I said okay, but we have to purchase and read (both of us, and my partner is not a reader) the Counter-Creationism Handbook first.
Because, frankly, I don’t think I can stand to walk out of that stupid movie with an atheist who is suddenly sold on ID. It’s been a shitty month already, and there are fucking limits to what I can take.
Poor herr doktor has been spending too much time over at
When my earthworm begins to phosphoresce, I know where to go.
Or you could just come over here. We could start with stir fry and see where the evening takes us. Smart is sexy, after all, and I’m still looking for someone who doesn’t have stupid discussion rules like “no inverts”. It seems a safe bet that 1.5M glowing earthworms are unacceptable conversation for my partner.
My God, what a spoilsport.
What is the deal with Ben Stein?
Stein’s the Wayne Newton of American letters. He was resurrected during the brief, then-campy fashion for the hopelessly unfashionable about the time Disco died, and, like Newton, he somehow managed to overstay his welcome by a good half-century, becoming convinced of his own popularity into the bargain. He’s a cautionary tale about American culture–embraced for his role in a movie by its fans, who were to young to know, or care, what being a Nixon apologist actually entailed–as well as a living example of how people actually believed at one time that Ronald Reagan was just a gag we were pulling on ourselves, that we’d all have a good chuckle, then go home and forget all about it.
Ronald Reagan was a gag, in an acid-reflux kind of way.
just saw Expelled; the fact that Ben Stein isn’t trying to win any popularity contests helps to validate his message… i gather that his goal is to promote free thought, especially more thinking about the worldviews that drive American academia
Yay, the trolls have learned Google. How exciting! Man, I hope patrick is getting paid to pretend “But where did life come from in the first place?” is a better question than “But where did God come from in the first place?” (Hint, patrick: Only one of those questions has anything approaching an actual answer that indicates the event is plausible at all. If Ben is willing to answer the second question in the same logically sound way scientists have answered the first question, I’ll consider believing ID.)
Meanwhile, I will back any “atheistic Darwinist” against Ben “Nixon Apologist” Stein in terms of intellectual honesty and intelligence.
I’m pretty sure Ben Stein’s “goal” is to promote….Ben Stein.
Mr. Stein is the snotty child who replies “So?” to everything he is told.
patrick’s viewpoint is laid bare if you follow the link in his name (KOG Media, “KOG” meaning “Kingdom Of God”). His post is the very definition of disingenuous. But I will say I appreciate his moderate tone and lack of “aptly named ‘World O’Crap’”-type of contribution, and I for one will not tar him with the troll brush. ;)
AnnPW, masterful quip on Reagan, BTW.
“Worldviews that drive American academia”
Yes that horrible worldview that uses facts and needing proof and the scientifc methood and peer review and logic and having to darn it know stuff rather than jabber the first thing that comes into your head and take it on faith that it’s true.
what rotten people. Long may they reign.
Perhaps Patrick would like his next medical checkup from someone who believes phrenology is good science that is suppressed by those nasty doctors with their degrees and their learning.
ID is not science. It doesn’t matter how many people with degrees and lab coats you can put in front of a camera to claim otherwise. But people who are easily impressed by authority figures (cough cough republicans) have a hard time filtering.
Well, this is a nice little piece about Stein’s mastery of all things science.
It’s just the thing for you too, Patrick.
“…as well as a living example of how people actually believed at one time that Ronald Reagan was just a gag we were pulling on ourselves, that we’d all have a good chuckle, then go home and forget all about it.”
Yes Doghouse, I remember that time as well, when the AFL-CIO machinery thought everything on the home front was sewn up, aging hippies compromised by buying organic soap products in their gated communities and I yearned to run away to New York city and join my big brother’s punk band.
Oh the days.
It’s been a bad week. Happy to call a troll anyone who arrives here by Google to shill for a patently dishonest movie about a ginned-up controversy over an alleged theory that masquerades as objective intellectual inquiry which (of course!) has nothing at all to do with Christianity but is simply a strike against the repressive forces of fascist academia. Particularly when everything that’s wrong with that is out in the open, being blithely ignored by the movie’s producers and proponents, indicating that if they are not trolls, they are simply idiots.
I liked Ben Stein in that Seinfeld episode where he starts out as a lawyer drafting a living will and ends up being put into a coma by an errant tennis racket.
He also did some kind of book tour recently, promoting some ideas about economics that weren’t all that friendly to the Bush economic agenda. I guess even a Nixon apologist has his limits.
Put me down as a shill for the Dalai Lama. Oh, and for that singer from The Bird and The Bee, she’s really hot.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s sons are now suing the producers over using John’s song “Imagine” without permission. The producers are claiming “fair use,” which I don’t believe is mentioned in the bible.
So Devo is lost in the mists of time but we’re stuck with Ben Fucking Stein?
Take yer planet back, I don’t likey.
D. Sidhe -
May I suggest a little something to cure what ails ya? We calls it the Skeptics’ Circle:
Especially interesting just now is Blake Stacey’s post about academics who have been threatened for trying to teach science.
It comes down to this. I’m a neo-pagan and a paranoid schizophrenic with a side of psychotic episodes and with migraines and anti-migraine prescription drugs that make me hallucinate everything from zombies to rats to bugs. I am not a skeptic by habit nor especially rational by nature. It’s so much not me to be skeptical or rational that the world is basically lucky I haven’t gone totally Dr Evil yet and am wandering around trying to provoke the giant squid armies into forging an alliance with the Reptoids to force Americans into slave labor in the underground Chicklet mines for my greater glory when we install The Hubba Bubble to stave off global warming just in time to preserve only the invertebrate biosphere.
I am admittedly something of a spoilsport among my paranoid and pagan peers, often dismissing phenomena as noctilucent clouds, conger eels, or air pressure differentials, but on the other hand, I believe there are only five Elements, only four Humors, that Bush the first is responsible for the Hinkley attempt on Reagan’s life, that the Norwegian government has entered into treaties with extraterrestrials, and that eclipses carry with them the very real possibility that the Great Spider will completely suck the moon dry this time and cause devastating tidal consequences.
But even so, I accept that there are mountains of evidence that cast doubt, to say the very least, on most if not all of these beliefs of mine, and I accordingly do not insist the rest of the world, and in particular the scientific and educational portions of it, refrain from pointing out that I am wrong just so I can feel better about my religious choices and mental illnesses.
I fail to understand why IDists cannot achieve even that exquisitely minor concession to the communal reality. Either they are more mentally ill than I am, more religiously insecure than I am, or just plain damned more antisocial than I am, which seems kind of unlikely given my Chicklet mine fantasies, but I suppose it’s at least a possibility.
So which is it, Ben and patrick et al?
often dismissing phenomena as noctilucent clouds, conger eels, or air pressure differentials
I hesitate to ask what phenomenon D.Sidhe observed that could plausibly be explained in all three ways. Her life is more eventful than mine.
D. Sidhe, that damn spider worries me, too. I’m starting a letter-writing campaign to convince NASA to include a giant swatter on future Space Shuttle missions. The Canadarm(tm) can wield it if there’s need.
the Norwegian government has entered into treaties with extraterrestrials
Here D.Sidhe refers to the 1980 treaty that established the Finnish-Norwegian Transboundary Water Commission.
Finns are not from the same planet as the rest of us.
I hesitate to ask what phenomenon D.Sidhe observed that could plausibly be explained in all three ways.
Well, it was plural for a reason. But, possibly one could count the Fortean tadpoles. No, really. Just one of them, admittedly, but when tadpoles fall from the sky in any number it’s noteworthy.
Her life is more eventful than mine.
I get that a lot. I’m not sure the hallucinated antics should count, though. They’re eventful without actually being, in any real way, events. But it’s still probably a fair statement. I’m easily amused.
Here D.Sidhe refers to the 1980 treaty that established the Finnish-Norwegian Transboundary Water Commission.
Actually, I’m referring to the Aryan/Erran alien conspiracy, which I personally don’t think are nearly as benevolent as contactee Eduard Albert Meier and the “The Universe Is A Friendly Place My Child” types seem to think they are.
Again, if even I can keep a tenuous enough grasp on communal reality to understand that the crazy shit I believe is crazy shit and should not be inflicted on innocent schoolchildren, I don’t begin to understand why Ben Stein can’t. A lot of the crazy shit that isn’t taught is not being repressed by academic fascists, it’s just crazy shit with very damned little to logically recommend it.
Ben is still pissed about his “Win Ben Stein’s Money” audience drying up after Jimmy Kimmel left the show.
Aryan/Erran alien conspiracy
Is that why I can’t get any Linie akvavit in New Zealand at the moment? — the Norwegians are trading it all with alien visitors in exchange for advanced technology?
Goddamn piss-artist extraterrestrials, buying up all the best beverages.
more mentally ill, more religeously insecure, or more antisocial?
I’d say they’re all three, D. Sidhe.
Is it possible your partner just wants to see the film to mock it, a la “MST3K”?
Sadly, as they say, no. My partner thinks Ben Stein is *hilarious*. And pays precious little attention to politics or the culture wars. It’s truly pathetic.

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