Typical purveyor of hetero propaganda
This question occurred to me as I was perusing the links on the WND, an Internet publication that incorporates the very soul of right-wing crackpot fanaticism. I admit I subscribe to it just so I can scrounge up material for this column. The WND never fails to provide. It is a pure cool mountain spring of gushing lunacy. It considers Karl Rove and Karl Marx ideologically indistinguishable, for example. After eight years of speculation that Obama is the Antichrist, the WND is now speculating that Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist, as if that unique position in human history could be passed on like a baton in a relay race. If you, the WND reader, are the victim of a natural disaster, you know the Federal Emergency Management Agency might pause briefly to drop off a jug of Sparkletts and a sandbag at your devastated homestead, but you firmly believe that they will be racing back immediately afterwards to resume building a concentration camp for your future incarceration, as that is FEMA's primary mission.
A few days ago, the WND urged me to explore a link to nowayborngay.org, a site that strenuously argues that there is no such thing as innate gay behavior. All gays have been converted to their way of life by "gay propaganda," which is being whispered to your children as you read this. How to protect them from being turned gay by the gay propaganda machine is the earnest purpose of nowayborngay.com. It is a process that requires constant vigilance and a fair degree of willing suspension of disbelief. If it is a concern of yours, you may click above for further information.
There was no such thing as gay propaganda in the Catholic grade school that guided my early years. In fact, there was no such thing as gay. I was, however, bombarded with heterosexual propaganda. Is that what made me grow up straight? Was my incipient gayness rendered stillborn by the barrage of pro-hetero messages I got in that long-ago recess yard? At the time, I was assured by my classmates that I was queer, which back then was not a politically incorrect term for gay, but rather the only term, because I got good grades and preferred to behave well enough to avoid regular beatings at the hands of the nuns. Were they right? Consider the power of these messages, compared to the milquetoasty nature of this sample gay propaganda, taken straight from the links of the WND:
GAY PROPAGANDA: Have you ever felt you were different from others; that you just didn't fit in? Perhaps you are different.
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "If you're different, you need to get punched out."
GAY PROPAGANDA: As everybody knows, one out of ten people are gay, so if you can’t identify the three kids in your class of thirty who are gay, you’re likely one of them.
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "We're beating up the the retard (a kid we would call autistic nowadays) at recess. If you don't help, you're a fag."
GAY PROPAGANDA: Have you ever really explored your sexual identity?
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "If you even think about sex, you're going to hell."
GAY PROPAGANDA: It’s okay to be gay.
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "Not if you want to keep your front teeth."
GAY PROPAGANDA: If you've ever in your life had trouble relating to the opposite sex, that’s a sure sign.
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "It's normal not to like girls, because they have cooties."
GAY PROPAGANDA: When you admit it, celebrate it, you’ll find a lot of caring friends who know exactly what you are going through. We will be there to help you along the way.
HETERO PROPAGANDA: "When you admit it, we're going to find out if kicking you in the testicles cures it."
GAY PROPAGANDA: You will finally fit in where you belong.
Hetero Propaganda: "You're f*cking dead."
Such was the power of these messages that several of my boyhood acquaintances, when they grew older, did what was customary then, by getting married and having kids before they decided that they were irretrievably gay and splitting forever for some anonymous metropolis. At least they didn't succumb to hetero propaganda their whole lives, as I have. Do I regret that? Well, possibly. If I were gay I'd probably have a nice relationship with a financially responsible mate, so I could write full-time instead of scribbling madly between the several day jobs that I need to keep so my offspring, of whom I am the sole support, can go to college and my girlfriend can get the minimum amount of presents and dinners she needs to avoid reconsidering the position. I would have a nice car and at least a modicum of fashion sense, both of which I currently lack. So it may be that heterosexual propaganda changed my life, and not for the better.
On the other hand, despite being told constantly by my youthful peers that gay was my lot in life, as soon as I discovered the solitary sin, it was the bra and panty ads in the Sears catalog that I turned to for inspiration, printed porn not being permitted in my mother's household and the Internet years away from being invented by Al Gore. So it may not have been the hetero brainwashing I endured in my formative years that made me straight. I could have been just born this way.
First time the WND and Lady Gaga have agreed about anything, as far as I can tell.
News Item--After topping more than 100,000 signatures on "We the People," the White House is now obligated to respond to a petition to "Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card."
The petition continues:
"He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society."
I urge both of my readers to sign this petition, as I already have. I haven't been this serious about a national movement since the petition for our nation to build its own Death Star went to the White House, although during the research for this column I discovered that there is also a petition to make the Miley Cyrus song "Party in the USA" the national anthem. I intend to sign that one as soon as I can find it.
Petitioning is part of the American way of life, as anyone who has ever tried to exit a grocery store or a Walmart knows, and the petition for getting rid of Bieber belongs on every rusty card table manned by every near-homeless petition-gatherer outside of every big-box store in America, because currently it is only an online petition.
Consider the offenses of Bieber. His recent arrest in Florida while drag-racing his half-million dollar sports car while well under the legal limit for getting a DUI is just the tip of the iceberg. He also has recently been accused of egging his neighbor's home in Calabasas, California, punching out paparazzi in Toronto and bringing an undocumented monkey into Germany. Although the last two don't really count as crimes here in the US, I don't think that anyone would disagree with me when I say both native-born and naturalized American paparazzi and monkeys deserve protection from the likes of Bieber.
What difference does it make? the liberals say. He's just a self-centered punk. The point is, he's taking work away from American citizens who are also self-centered punks. Our own surly teenagers, many of whom can't even afford to rent a Ferrari in which to take drugs and drag race, and have to borrow the family Camry in order to do so, are being kicked to the curb by Bieber and other migrant delinquents. While Congress ties itself up in knots over illegal immigration across our southern border, God only knows how many other Canadian teenage heart-throbs with hairstyles that look like a cartoon tsunami about to break across their foreheads are making their way south with eggs and monkeys clutched in their soft, white-as-snowballs hands.
It's true we need to protect hard-working Americans from the predations of illegal Latino immigrants, for national security reasons if nothing else. But we could go too far. It was just discovered recently that, here in Southern California, the last Anglo guy who actually knew how to operate a power blower died in 2012. Everybody knows that as California goes, so goes the nation. We face an epidemic of streets and sidewalks littered with leaf debris and palm fronds should we manage to deport all of the power blower talent in the country, putting ourselves in the embarrassing position of having to beg them to return.
But if we get rid of Bieber, only good things will follow. The callow criminals among our youth, currently wallowing in malaise because foreign-born Bieber has taken the national lead in minor sociopathic behavior, will perk up. No longer will they say to themselves, "Why bother egging the neighbor's mansion? Justin's already been there," or "Punch out that scrawny kid taking video? Why? He's probably still bruised from when Beiber lit him up," or "Break the speed limit while popping Xanax and smoking weed? Who cares? We'll probably never catch Justin anyway."
The responsible citizens of America will rest easier knowing that when engines get gunned and tires get screeched on the street where their children play, it's native American teen hoodlums abusing pot and pills threatening their progeny, not some prancing Canadian boy lust object.
And if you, like many other American males, youthful or not, criminal or law-abiding, with luxuriant high-rise hair or completely bald, are thinking about having sex with Justin's ex, Selena Gomez, your way just got a little easier.
Where do I sign up? is what you're suddenly thinking. It's here. Have a nice day, eh?
There's lots of people making money here, but she's not one of them
The Super Bowl, vitally important to manufacturers of nacho cheese and 36-packs of beer and most other Americans besides, is going to happen this weekend, for those of you who have recently awoken from comas and haven't heard anything about it yet. As a citizen of this nation with an Internet connection and a keyboard, I feel duty-bound to render my observations on this year's Bowl.
First off, I am completely neutral regarding the outcome of the Supe this year, as opposed to last year's, where I vaguely favored Baltimore. In the utterly irrational way of fans of sport worldwide, I did so because their quarterback is from Delaware, a state that has produced several girlfriends for me. I was completely neutral the year before last as well, but that is because I detested both teams.
Not so this year. Ordinarily I would favor Seattle, because they have never won a Super Bowl. I figure the more teams that break their schneid in the Supe, the sooner one of the two teams I have been a fan of in the past, who also share the ignominy of having never triumphed in the big game, will eventually get around to winning one, too. But having seen Peyton Manning's commercials and this skit from Saturday Night Live, I have a tough time rooting against the guy.
The big news, though, is that both teams come from states that have legalized weed. Manufacturers of high-cholesterol snack foods are tingling with excitement. No one gets the munchies for a big bowl of kale. One of the reasons I quit smoking marijuana back in my youth was that when I was stoned, I could look at a gallon bucket of nacho cheese and think fondly "I wonder if I have enough chips to get to the bottom of this?"
And I have to admit that, exactly as the bitter opponents of getting legally baked predicted, the fact that dope is legal in this year's Super Bowl states has made me toy with the idea of going to one of them and smoking it once again, although the only proactive step I have taken towards that end is to Mapquest the distance to each state border from my home. Colorado is closer by a couple hundred miles. Is that a sign I should be rooting for the Broncos? And speaking of signs, is the fact that the two teams with the highest proportion of legally stoned fans are clashing in this year's Bowl a sign from God that He loves marijuana smokers as much as the rest of us?
Perhaps, although if you want to see signs from God there's never any lack of them. The Pope was recently praying for peace in the Ukraine. As part of the solemn request, two "doves of peace" were released from the Vatican balcony at the conclusion of the Pontiff's prayer. They were immediately attacked and driven away by other birds ("birds of war"). This was interpreted by cynics on the spot as God's response to the request, i.e., "Fat chance."
What God wants us to know is both the Broncos and the Seahawks have a better chance of winning this Sunday than the Ukraine has of peace breaking out. One can only hope that on Sunday He also makes it plain what He thinks of having the Super Bowl in New York in this Year of the Polar Vortex. At the very minimum, He is going to for sure deprive us of the spectacle of sun-kissed cheerleaders flashing their tanned flesh on a balmy Sun Belt afternoon and replace it with ski-parka wearing sideline commentators trying not to scratch the icicles dripping out of their noses on camera. A tsunami of icebergs roaring up the Hudson is not out of the question.
Speaking of cheerleaders, the only fly in the ointment of this year's football jollies is this lawsuit, filed by an Oakland Raiders cheerleader, which accuses the Raiders of substantial violations of California labor law in their treatment of their cheerleaders, including making them practice for free, subjecting them to fines for violations liking bringing the wrong pom-poms to workouts and making them pay for their own hair care, makeup and breasts.
At first glance, this lawsuit might not generate much sympathy from fans of the NFL, who think they deserve having these perfectly formed young women gyrate in front of them while they sit there in a glazed stupor induced by intense tailgating, trying to ignore the gnawing feeling in their guts that their team (especially if that team is the Raiders) is doomed to once again lose. But consider the amount of cash that the bloated plutocrats that own NFL teams vacuum up every year from the sport (billions and billions) compared to what they pay the Raider's cheerleaders ($125 per game) and you realize that if you were to pay a proportionate amount of your income to have a physically perfect, scantily clad woman do the splits on your front porch during the timeouts of the football game you were watching on TV, it would cost you about 25 cents a half. I would be happy to take that deal, as would any of us, so I suppose we can't look down our noses too far at these cash-fat oligarchs, but really, shouldn't these women be paid as least as much as they could earn in an equivalent amount of time on a stripper pole?
Give them a grand a game. That way when we're watching a football team that will never win while being entertained by women we will never have, we will be able to enjoy it even more. And we do enjoy it. Don't ask us why. It's a hetero guy thing.
We'll be back to our regular selves on Monday.
Excerpted from a recent news item in the New York Times: An argument over texting at the movies ended in a cell phone user’s death on Monday afternoon when a retired police officer in the audience shot him at a theater near Tampa, Florida, the authorities said.
The police officer got angry because the man in front of him was using his phone during the previews, despite being asked to stop several times.
The man using the phone explained to the irritated man that he was simply texting his 3-year-old daughter.
The victim was identified as Chad Oulson, 43, of Land O’ Lakes, Fla. The gunman, Curtis Reeves, 71, was charged with second-degree murder. The NRA has been pretty quiet about this incident of gunplay, which occurred more than a week ago, so I called up my friend Wayne LaPierre, the gun lobby's head honcho and asked him how he felt about the Florida shooting.
Wayne was non-committal in his reply. "We have to let the courts work this one out," he said.
What, you don't think we have to arm all movie ushers in response to this tragedy, like you want to arm third-grade teachers?
"Of course that's a good idea. And if we did that, people would think twice about sticking their gum under the seats, too. But here we have a situation where a retired police captain was packing responsible heat to the movies, as any gun owner might do after that movie shooting in Colorado. He's a classic good guy with a gun and he ends up shooting a 43 year-old man with a wife and a toddler daughter. We have to ask ourselves, why?"
Why? How about the guy had a bad temper and a loaded gun? How's that for why?
"Only if we want to utterly disregard the actions of the victim. First off, he was texting in a movie theater. Every movie theater asks you to turn off your cell phone before the movie starts. So the guy was a reckless lawbreaker."
I don't think the turning off your cell phone is exactly a law, Wayne. More like a rule.
"So he's a rule breaker. Same difference. Next, he was texting during the movie previews. Everybody knows the previews are the best part of going to the movies, because most movies suck. So during the previews you can see the best parts of four or five other movies, before you settle in to watch the main movie, which probably sucks. So the guy was totally ruining everybody's cinematic experience."
Still not a capital offense, Wayne.
"Hear me out. Next, the victim threw his popcorn at the accused. Have you ever had popcorn thrown at you?"
"Well then you know what a harrowing ordeal it can be. Thoughts flash through your mind. How much extra butter can my system absorb? Is this jalapeno popcorn, which is exactly like taking pepper spray to the face, if it actually hits you in the face and a loose kernel gets you in your eye? An armed man under a popcorn attack has to decide under the pressure of the moment whether to draw his weapon or risk losing it to some dangerous creation of Orville Redenbacher."
I'm not buying it, Wayne. I think there's just too many guys with guns out there, itching to be heroes. A guy texting his three-year-old was bound to get shot sooner or later.
"Typical liberal thinking. Has it ever occurred to you that the problem might be too many three-year-olds getting text messages? Let's address that, before we encumber our Second Amendment rights. "
What if the shooter gets convicted, Wayne? What's the NRA going to say about him then?
"Once again, no one considers the actions of the victim. He made the irresponsible choice to not have a gun. If he had been strapping a gat while he was shooting off text messages, he could have texted the shooter 'Hey, I have a gun, too.' Then both men would have realized they were both good guys with guns and settled in to watch the movie as buddies, knowing that if some schizophrenic bad guy busted in with an AK-47, they would join forces and blow him to bits."
Why is it always good guys with guns versus bad guys with guns with you, Wayne? Here's an ex-cop who always figured he was a good guy, and the courts may well decide he's a bad one. It strikes me that it's only after you use your heater that people figure out which you are. Before you shoot somebody with your gun we don't know whether you're good or bad. You're just another guy with a gun.
"That's the way of the gun, my friend. Be at peace with it is. Guys with guns aren't going anywhere. Try and make us."
St. Malachy says end is near
As both of my readers know, there is nothing this column enjoys more than end of the world predictions and the bitter undertone that sometimes creeps into these usually sunny pages has lately been caused by the current lack of Doomsday prophets worthy of national media attention. This is after a surfeit of them in recent years, complete with two actual dates set for mankind's appointment with final judgment, one by ancient pagans and one by modern Christians. In the egalitarian way of the cosmos, both came to nothing.
Fortunately for our general morale around here, someone named Francis Horn has produced a video called"The Last Pope." This entertainment features babbling crackpots dressed up as academics spouting off about the medieval prophecies of one St. Malachy, the archbishop of Armagh, who died in 1148.
This Malachy, perhaps to get even for being made archbishop of a place named after the sound one makes into the bushes outside the 7-11 when one has had too many shots of Jagermeister, prophesied that there would be exactly 112 more popes after the then current Pope expired, after which Rome would be destroyed and Jesus would come to judge the world. Critics of Malachy have pointed out that he made the coward's choice of predicting the final dust-up for long after he personally would be dead, sometimes called the Mayan method by Apocalypse connoisseurs, and thus escape being roasted by the final flames and also criticism if he was wrong.
"The Last Pope" seizes upon the words of Malachy to suggest that we all get ramped up for Doomsday once again, because GUESS WHAT the current Pope's number is regarding the dead Archbishop's prophecy? If you said anything other than 112 you can stop reading this now (and probably moving your lips while you are doing so) and resume playing Angry Birds.
I am sure that the producers of "The Last Pope" do a fine job of glossing over the inconsistencies in St. Malachy's visions, the most prominent being that the Archbishop predicted that the last Pope would be named "Peter of Rome" when he is actually "Francis of Argentina." Other than having the wrong name, critics of the Church agree Francis would make a fine Last Pope, although the more severe among them point out that you could have said the same thing about any Pope in the last fifteen hundred years. Francis at least seems a kindly sort, holding out the olive branch of peace to atheists and gays and proclaiming his concern for poor people, as opposed to the policies of previous Popes, which were to burn atheists, condemn gays and bleed poor people out of their last penny so they could build statues.
So if he's the last Pope at least the race of Popes is going out on a high note. As for the rest of us, I have my doubts. People experience apocalyptic events at an unfortunately high rate already. Whether it is a tanker car full of liquefied natural gas blowing up at their local train depot, an earthquake that flattens all the huts in their village, or Krakatau going off in their back yard, many people have experienced, if the majority of them only briefly, the sensation that they and everyone else around them was going to die. I am sure some of them looked around for Jesus then, and He was a no-show.
So when the big blow comes, and scientists, in their dreary way of telling us things we don't want to hear, like we're all going to be replaced by robots or that we have the same chemical composition as bathtub rings, assure us it will, the one that wipes out most of humanity, whether it's during the reign of Pope 112 or Pope 1,112, I predict there is going to be no obvious divine involvement. If there's one thing for certain about God it is that He keeps His existence on the down low. If the end comes as the explosion of the Yellowstone super volcano, Jesus is not going burst out of the top of the ash cloud; if a ten-mile wide asteroid comes gunning for us from the orbit of Jupiter, the Son of God is not going to be riding it like it was the Formula One Racecar of Doom; if it's a gamma-ray burst from a nearby supernova, those death rays are not going to assume the shape of the Cross before they fry us all into protein powder.
Because once Someone's two thousand years late, you have to at least consider the possibility that He's not coming at all.
I was doing the intensive research this column requires the other day, poking around the Internet looking for interesting headlines, interspersed by the occasional image search for female celebrities who are being photographed nearly naked, when I came upon this news flash:
YOUR BRAIN IS LIKE A FISH TANK
I couldn't help but take this personally. I have long wondered about the mysterious source of my consciousness, even when attempting to extinguish it with copious amounts of fermented beverages. My brain, like everyone else's, is capable of marvelous feats, like thinking of the perfect rejoinder ten minutes after it should have been uttered, remembering things I should have done exactly when it is too late to do them and coming up with old acquaintances' names a nanosecond after I have miffed them by having to ask who they are again.
I also know it is my brain's job to boss my other organs around. Without it my heart wouldn't know when to beat or my pancreas to pancreate. My brain runs my personal plumbing without my conscious involvement, which is mostly convenient but sometimes not, as anyone who has ever done a significant number of beer bongs and then gone for a long subway ride will attest.
I am agnostic regarding the unconscious mind itself, however. Fashionable in the Freudian era, the concept of a whole separate part of my brain plotting its own way through life at cross-purposes to mine, a persona sealed beneath my consciousness, one that desires to do things that I have no interest in, like gardening or playing golf with John Boehner, does not strike me as likely.
Before I had the your-brain-is-like-a-fish-tank epiphany, I thought my brain was like a radio station, and I mean a radio station that played the same terrible songs over and over. This is because of my gray matter's fondness for earworms, which is the scientific term for having a song stuck in one's head. I always seem to have one going on. For months on end last year it was Springsteen's "Born to Run." I have no idea why my brain chose that number. I don't think I've heard it outside of my skull in twenty years. For the holiday season, my brain switched over to "Christmas in Killarney." That's a fairly esoteric Christmas song. Probably my brain chose it as a defensive measure against the assault of songs about Rudolph and Frosty that afflicted me every time I went to the drugstore.
If I insult my brain by treating it to some sleep deprivation or over-consumption of alcohol or a thoughtful combination of the two, my brain gets even by picking even worse earworms. I know what it's like to spend a morning with my skull echoing withthis tune:
Once upon a time there was an engineer
Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
He had an engine and he sure had fun
He used Good & Plenty candy to make his train run.
You'd think that would be enough to make anyone quit drinking, but so far, not. With the revelation of the fish tank theory of consciousness, there's no reason to. My brain is exactly like a fish tank, and I mean like the fish tank I used to keep when I was a boy. Seldom cleaned and wildly overgrown, thoughts slip through it with a silvery elusiveness like tropical fish through a greenish murk. Over-populating it causes previously treasured beliefs and emotions to expire and float upside-down on the surface. Incipient flashes of genius are devoured like newborn guppies by the larger, more argumentative inhabitants, like worry and daily logistics. At the least disturbance, a brown cloud is released from the underlying gravel, enveloping the entire system in a tranquil blanket of smut. Over in the corner, a toy deep-sea diver coated with layers of dark filth and bright green algae bubbles on and on.
That's probably my unconscious.
Not a Republican
A recent Pew Research Center poll found that at the present time, only 43% of Republicans believe in the theory of evolution. This number has gone down from 54% four years ago. I called my old friend, veteran political operator Joe Redstate, and asked him about this apparent drop in the number of rationalists who call themselves Republicans.
"It's a good thing," Joe said.
What, Republicans want people to drop out of their party?
"Yes, if they can't subscribe to the Five Principles of Modern Republicanism, we don't need them."
What are the five principles, Joe?
"Only a Democrat such as yourself would feign ignorance of them. We modern Republicans hold these truths to be self-evident—one, that the day every American packs a gun is the day that gun violence in America will cease, two, that letting poor people use the same health care providers as us is unconstitutional, three, that Mexicans immigrate here illegally to get welfare, four, that global warming isn't happening and five, neither did evolution.
Those are some principles, Joe.
"Believe in them or hit the road, Jack."
What would you say to a gat-packing, Mexican-detesting, self-insured, global warming denier who happens to believe in evolution? Can he still be a Republican?
"I'd say it's time to start disbelieving in evolution, buddy, or else go register with the Green Party. We don't need your kind around the GOP."
But all the scientists say that evolution happened, Joe.
"Here's the way a good Republican feels about scientists. When they are inventing stuff that helps us out, like microwaves so we can pop corn, TV so we can have FOX News, airplanes so our leaders can fly around the country frightening people into voting for them, or computer programs that help us determine that a certain birth certificate is fraudulent, then Republicans believe what scientists say. When they tell us things we don't want to hear, like global warming might make New Jersey disappear before Chris Christie can grab its electoral votes or that Republicans share a common ancestor with baboons, they're wrong."
Say you found out the doctor who cured your wife of cancer believed in evolution. How would you regard him, intellect-wise?
"Simple. When he cured the cancer, he was being a genius and when he believes in evolution he's being a moron. I don't know how any rational person could look at it any other way and still sleep soundly out night."
So whenever science makes a discovery, a Republican can decide whether he believes it or not?
"Absolutely. When scientists discover that white people invented lawns or that drilling for oil in national parks helps prevent earthquakes, I think Republicans will have no trouble hailing these advances. Unfortunately, scientists tend to discover things like polar bears can't tread water all summer or that life evolved from a bunch of random crap. When they do that, we Republicans have no choice but to say "Says who?"
So you can pick and choose what you believe about science? Sounds like what the Christians do with the Bible.
"Actually, we got the idea from those guys."
I read recently that young people are turning away from Facebook in droves. This is an abrupt reversal from as little as five years ago, where to be a young person and not to be on Facebook was just a nanogram away from not existing at all.
Today's young person, who apparently is only five years younger than the fogeys still on Facebook, prefers other social media, media unknown to those approaching the age of decrepitude, which is twenty-five or so, social media with names like, Instantme, Bitstuff, Snapchit and Twitgram, bracing, no nonsense sites where semi-naked selfies are the preferred posting and comments of more than three words are discouraged. Facebook is left to the generations whose significance is being erased by time. Mine, for example.
I started my Facebook account when my first novel was published. My publisher insisted on it; to him it was more important for one of his writers to have a Facebook page than it was for him to know whether a quotation mark should be placed outside or inside of a comma. So I obediently followed his advice. After he went bankrupt, I should have realized he had no idea what he was doing and gotten out of Facebook, but I lingered on there and now I have ninety-eight Facebook friends.
Yes, I am conscious of the inadequacy of this number. I can't seem to break a hundred, even though I accept every friend request I get. My special lady has hundreds of Facebook friends. When I asked her how she acquired them all, she said they were mostly guys she knew in high school and college. Now, she is a very attractive woman, and certainly wasn't less attractive when she was younger. I figure all her FB friends were people who wanted to sleep with her then, couldn't work up the nerve to ask and were now indulging in a form of sexual nostalgia. The conclusion I draw from this is that considerably fewer people wanted to sleep with me when I was in high school. I accept that, but still feel self-conscious about my low friend count on FB. Just the other day I got to 99 when I accepted a total stranger as my friend. I was quivering with anticipation, thinking that in only a month or so I would get another random friend request and finally break the century mark, Facebook-friend wise.
It turned out that my new friend only wanted to sell generic Viagra to me. I don't mean to brag, but I bank enough every month to be able to afford real Viagra, so I deleted him.
I've been guilty of deleting other people, too. It turned out that, unknown to me, several people I knew pre-Facebook were firm believers in the inevitability of a future race war in America, and were so keen on that idea that they posted updates on its progress every day on FB. I blocked them. Another friend continually expressed his opinion that the 9-11 attacks were orchestrated by the US government. His posts usually began "Everybody now realizes that the World Trade Center attacks were a false-flag operation."
Well, no. Not everybody realizes that. This friend also believed that a global groundswell in favor of world peace would begin at one point on earth and spread its spores of universal goodwill outwards from there, until all of humanity was soaking in the glow of global nice. He believed in this so firmly that he moved to that place for a few months and posted from there.
That place was SYRIA. I am not making this up. If my deleting anybody from FB was especially historically justified, that was it.
There are people I want to delete, but can't, because I like them even though they are Facebook page hogs. You know what I mean—people who post seven or eight pictures in a row, forcing you to scroll past them to determine if any of your other friends actually did or said anything interesting. One of my friends shares illustrations of her main interests in life every day. Those interests are the Bible, animals, and attractive semi-naked men. Sometimes she combines the interests, as when she posts pictures of young, semi-naked male actors portraying Christ in various movies and TV shows. These she refers to as "Hot Jesus" pics.
I went through eight years of Catholic grade school. I've seen enough pictures of Jesus, hot or not, that I feel confident I'll be able to recognize the guy if and when I eventually meet Him, which many believers assure me is inevitable and will not work out in my favor.
Other FB friends post pictures of meals they are about to eat or their cat sleeping on their sofa. You don't need to do this. I already know you eat and your cat sleeps on a regular basis. I'm not deleting you, though. I'll never break a hundred if I do.
I've been blocked myself, by my eighty-five year old Aunt Peggy. She was sick of the occasional blasphemy and bathroom humor that finds its way into this column. I'm sorry, Aunt Peg, but I don't think it's really my fault. I am only driven to scribble on those seamy subjects when the worldwide pantheon of politicians and celebrities refuse to do anything stupid for weeks on end.
Like these past two weeks. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? DID YOU MAKE A RESOLUTION OR SOMETHING?
I hope not. Otherwise, all my friends are going to be reading more stuff like this.
The Satanic Temple of New York has unveiled plans for a statue of their object of worship that they would like placed on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol, right next to a privately financed monument to the Ten Commandments. The Oklahoma Legislature has already approved the Ten Commandments monument.
A Hindu group and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, also known as the Pastafarians, have also made applications for statues illustrating their faiths' beliefs to be placed on the state Capitol grounds, but none is as far along as the Satanists' plans and certainly they have not pissed off the state legislators who approved of the Ten Commandments nearly as much.
Representative Don Armes, Republican of Faxon, said to ABC "I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland...I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here."
We could rephrase this statement in many amusing and equally accurate ways, but I'm just going to go with "This is Oklahoma, where committed Christians are such an overwhelming majority that our politicians have to suck up to us by patronizing our taste in lawn ornaments. We pay lip service to tolerance, but we advise you not to go around banging on doors asking for it, unless you want to get whacked in the face by a copy of the Ten Commandments."
Obviously the Oklahoma Legislature was so thrilled at the prospect of nailing down thousands of votes by merging their church and state that they failed to realize that they were opening the doors to the Satan statue, along with those of Zeus, Odin, Thor, Buddha and the Dudeist deity, Jeff Bridges, to be placed upon the fair grass of their Capitol.
Unfortunately, those perpetual buzzkillers, the ACLU, have sued to keep the Ten Commandments, and thus all of the other proposed monuments off the Oklahoma state turf. This is unfortunate, because the proposed Satan statue is quite an eyeful. As quoted in philly.com:
According to The Satanic Temple's application, the proposed monument features a large pentagram and “a 7-foot tall goat-headed Baphomet that sits cross-legged flanked by a child on both sides. The lap will serve as a seat for visitors."
I don't see why anyone in Oklahoma would object to this religious display. The pentagram has long been a sacred symbol for people who like pentagrams because they are easy to draw, the state is no doubt already so lousy with goats that one more hardly makes a difference and an athletic seven-footer would be coveted by any of the state's numerous college basketball programs. And like kids who believe in Santa, anyone who believes in Satan can sit on his lap.
As for the children, they send out rather a tender message about Satan's abode. Far from being a stern place of fire and brimstone, the Satanists are trying to tell us it is an eternal day care center, where people who missed out on Heaven because they don't have the maturity or attention spans to hosanna forever and ever can frolic in a wonderland of finger-painting, construction paper gluing and bead swallowing. They can catch up on the nap times and play dates they missed on Earth, the lack of which probably caused them to act up in the first place. And as long as they are picked up by whenever eternity is over, Satan won't apply any late fees.
Eat the right cheese and you'll be dreaming of her
The British Cheese Board has announced the results of a study which indicates that eating cheese before bedtime promotes sound sleep and entertaining dreams. The Cheese Board conducted the study to refute the popular (British) misconception that eating cheese before sacking out can result in insomnia.
Participants in the study were given 20 grams of cheese before bedtime and asked to report on the quality of their sleep and dreams.
(For my fellow Americans, none of whom, like me, are familiar with the metric system, 20 grams of cheese would be equivalent to what we would call a "chunk" or a "wad.")
Not only was better sleep achieved under the influence of cheese, but our British friends found that the types of dreams enjoyed by those sleeping cheesily varied by the type of cheese consumed. Blue cheese inspired dreams of talking animals, cheddar of celebrities dancing, Leicester cheese dreams of the past, Lancaster cheese dreams of the future and Chesire a deep, unconscious slumber, as if the sleeper himself was a block of cheese.
I don't know how to translate the results of this study into the American experience. First off, here in America, Leicester and Lancaster are not cheeses—they are towns in Pennsylvania Dutch country. So we can write them right off. All of our blue cheese is used in the manufacture of dressing. We do have cheddar, which is sold in square, plastic-wrapped blocks in supermarkets and traditionally served on crackers at boozy office parties.
Also, we Americans have no fear of eating cheese before bedtime, or any time, to overcome. Many Americans refuse to eat any food offering unless it has at least some cheese on it. Certainly a pre-snooze snack of cold pizza or a whiz-and-baloney sandwich really hits the spot for me or any other natural American slob who really doesn't have anything besides that in the refrigerator when bedtime looms.
The idea of controlling things, whether it is the contents of our dreams or smaller countries or the world oil supply has always appealed to Americans, however, and I consider it my duty to explore the ramifications of the British study on this side of the Atlantic. I chose the four most common types of American cheese and after consuming them, induced sleep afterwards by a strictly scientific regimen of five cold pale ales, and recorded my dreams immediately upon awakening. Here are the results:
NACHO—Hot-blooded dreams of conquering Latin America, or at least Sofia Vergara. Faded into a fantasy of playing a carnival game that consisted of picking jalapenos out of my appetizer and flinging them into the cast of "Duck Dynasty's" beards.
PIZZA—Doomsday nightmares with this one. The moon dripped blood-red with marinara sauce, and the Four Pasta Shapes of the Apocalypse—Gnocchi, Rigatoni, Fuseli and Bow-Tie--rode across a landscape whitened by death, or possibly by really a lot of grated Parmesan.
AMERICAN—Intense musical dreams. Ted Nugent played a screaming lead guitar and performed vocally on a pulse-pounding, rock and roll version of "Talk to the Animals" (Imagine chatting with a chimpan, chimpan-zee, dude) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir covered "Back That Ass Up."
CREAM—My favorite. Sensuous dreams of easy women. Bristol Palin offered to model her entire line of "Slightly Chubby" loungewear for me personally and Courtney Stoddard tied me up and spoon-fed me tapioca topless. The stream of light-hearted sex fantasies was interrupted only by one pleasant if jarring interlude where President Obama appeared and threw in a free car detailing to anyone who signed up for health insurance.
Okay, you say, but what about other types of cheese that Americans gob down every day? Deep-fried cheese sticks, for example. Or rolled taco cheese? What about string, cottage or Danish cheese? Shouldn't these results be published in a scientific journal, or at least a nice glossy food magazine?
To these critics I say, why do I have to do all the work? Get snacking and get sleeping. Cheeseful dreams.