"Randy" likes Distributed Republic

Though we don't do scheduled TV, my family has been a fan of "My Name is Earl" for the last several years. We watch the episodes at the Official NBC Show Site.

The show is about a bunch of redneck scofflaws. The main character, Earl, is on a mission to right all the wrongs of his past. Ethan Suplee plays "Randy", his little brother sidekick. Randy gets to deliver great lines--after a guest character returns from a "cavity search" at a government building security checkpoint, he asks, "Did they find any? Or have you been brushing real good?"

I ran across Ethan Suplee's blog a while ago and found out he was a fan of Thomas Jefferson, Gerald Celente, and Ron Paul. I left a comment on his site pointing him at Stefan Molyneux's great "Matrix" video. Ethan not only liked that, but also said he liked the link to Distributed Republic that was attached to my name.

Now, if we could just get him to introduce us to Nadine Velazquez from the show! Here she is in character as the illegal immigrant Catalina...

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I haven't watch My Name is

I haven't watch My Name is Earl past Season 3, I thought it became repetitive but I was an avid watcher prior to that. The show in itself is quite libertarian*, from the whole premise of the show (restitution) to many details, like immigration, drug use, etc.

I'm glad Ethan Supplee is a fan of liberty too.

*save of course for that episode when Earl tries to pay back his taxes.

I'm a big fan of the show

I like the fact that a sitcom chooses a relatively abstract concept like karma on which to base itself around.

I still need to watch the final season. Too bad it got canceled.

The show is based on an

The show is based on an abstract concept but it's restitution, not karma. Karma is used as a plot device, but the show's really about making amend, not the mystic concept of karma.

I think you're right, Arthur B.

If "karma" is supernatural, there weren't many stories with karma operating through supernatural means (though there may have been some quirky coincidences). The only episode that I remember that may have crossed the line was about bees attacking Earl to convince him to stay away from some woman he "wasn't ready for". Mostly, you got the impression that Earl's list was about the wholly natural "what goes around comes around" effect--that people were left with the emotional scars of being treated badly by Earl in his youth, they hated or feared him for it, and once Earl made amends he had more friends and felt better about himself.

That Earl called it "karma" sort of played off the character flaw that he had never understood the natural consequences of his actions until it was dumbed down into a mystic concept.

Supposedly, the show is

Supposedly, the show is based on the lead actor's religion (Scientology). I haven't seen many episodes, but I don't watch much TV in general.

Yay scientology

Prompted by that observation, I googled and read three pages about this link. A sample:

Then there's the concept of the "overt-motivator sequence". Crudely, this is what happens when a person does something bad then subconsciously causes something bad to happen to themself. It all sounds eerily like "Do bad things and it will come back to haunt you", Earl's karmic mantra. The entire series premise, in fact. So when Earl crosses something off his list of bad acts is he just clearing out his preclear closet?

Thing is, this idea that what goes around comes around (and even the idea that you punish yourself for your own misdeeds - the feeling of guilt itself is often explained as self-punishment) is not something the Scientologists invented. Maybe they have their own specific take on it, their own precise way of conceptualizing this idea, but it's obviously a largely borrowed idea, and one that a great many people have found appealing, compelling, psychologically sound, and useful.

More generally I've read a bit about Scientology and while the story of origins (xenu and all that) is beyond absurd, a lot of the ideas are borrowed and it isn't really all that unusual to find non-scientologists who believe essentially the same things.

More generally I've read a

More generally I've read a bit about Scientology and while the story of origins (xenu and all that) is beyond absurd

Note that the absurdity of the xenu story is on par with the absurdity of the old testament story. Still, I am more puzzled at believers in Xenu than believers in the Old Testament. It's probably that the more recently written the story of origin, the most obvious it should be that it's a ridiculous fabrication. Mormons in this way are more puzzling than catholic, which are more puzzling than jews, etc.