Monday, December 29, 2008

...Claves Regni Cælorum...

So, tonight as I'm driving home from work, I notice an inordinately large number of cars sporting "Vote the Bible" bumper stickers left over from Election Day. Granted, I live in Texas, but still, it's a lot more than you'd think; Houston's generally a more laid back place than the traditional image of Texas would have one believe. Being a major metropolitan area, cultural melting pot and at least somewhat interesting place to science it up like a motherfucker kind of lends it a more mellow vibe. They have mega-churches and evangelical, jesus-freaky preachers, and sure they're both (churches and preachers alike) garish eyesores that rape the senses of anyone who doesn't buy in to their "BELIEVE IT OR ELSE" ethos. But there's a sense that most of the people here roll their eyes at that kind of thing. Ok, maybe not most, but enough of a percentage to where I'm not burned in effigy as a heretic on a nightly basis. Fortnightly, maybe, but I can deal with that. Hell, Harris County (the county that Houston is in) even voted Democratic in the majority last November. Not that it really matters, of course. This is America, and people can vote how they please (which is why the following is such a damn kick in the teeth).

Every now and then, shit like this will pop up and remind me that I'm technically living in the crotch of the Bible Belt. Any of us could guess at what "Vote the Bible" means, and we'd be right, but just for shits and grins, I Googled "Vote the Bible" when I got home, just to hear it in a little more soul-crushing detail. From

"Christians have the responsibility, entitlement, and the God given right to take America back from the special interests of Anti-Christian extremists. We can accomplish this most noble task by exercising our vote. In this critical and important time, Christians must not be influenced to vote for their personal political preferences or interests, political party affiliation, not their individual financial purposes, nor the pigmentation of a candidate's skin. Vote the Bible on the issues that will determine the fate of America. Vote for the candidates that are pro life, pro traditional marriage, pro prayer in private and public places, and that embrace the Judeo Christian heritage of this nation. This election year is perhaps the most important we have ever faced. With God's blessings and by encouraging our fellow Christians to collectively "Vote The Bible" we can take America back."

Pissed off yet? Check this out, from The Most Reverend Dickface Jones...I mean, Pastor Steve Fender, figurehead of

"Sometimes prevention is a greater manifestation of love than tolerance. Such as, prevention of a child from traffic or a burning fire. Some behavior should not be tolerated.
Comparing the behavior of homosexuality to the civil rights of
minorities is racism.

Squeezable Sweet Baby Ray, that's one hell of a nutjob. Leaving aside the terrible quality of the writing ("For the love of Jah-eez-us, Matilda, we MUST prevent that child from that burning fire!" Ass. ) This man is actually using the argument of racism to SUPPORT PREJUDICE! What the fuck, man?! That's like comparing oranges to oranges and then calling it the Holocaust. Ok, maybe it's not like that, but this prick makes less sense than I do, so I win.

Picking through his hate-filled garbage, one may find the thread of an argument that suggests that the struggles of the gay community are nothing like those of racial minorities. YES THEY GOOD AND FUCKING WELL ARE! Here you have a group of people who have been denied the basic rights afforded to others. They've beaten, spit on, jeered and otherwise roundly mistreated for many many years because they're different. And now they're fighting for the rights that everyone else gets by simple virtue of living in America. Or the U.K. or wherever, it's the same story (more or less; gay marriage is legal in England, last I checked. You go, Elton!) If that doesn't sound a hell of a lot like the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's, I'll suck a cock on Christmas. Are the things they've had to endure exactly the same? Not at all, but they're close enough for comparison. And saying "Jeez, man, those gay dudes sure have had to overcome a lot. So have those black dudes." Is NOT the same as saying "Jeez, man, I'm going to give this job I have available to that less qualified white dude because I sure do dislike the darkies." One is racism. One is not. Thus proving one of my long held beliefs: THE BIBLE IS NOT A FUCKING DICTIONARY AFTER ALL.

The Vote the Bible movement isn't limited to voting to deny homosexuals the right to marry or file their taxes together or receive joint health benefits. Not by a long shot. It throws in its two cents, as it always does, on liberalism, abortion, any religion that isn't Protestant, sexy entertainment, and basically anything fun at all.

Ok, here's my stance in a nutshell: AMERICA ISN'T "YOURS," ASSHOLE. It's ours. Mine, and yours and that guy's and that chick's and the skank at the end of the bar's, and the weird gay dude on the corner in nothing but a green speedo and roller blades's, and Barack Obama's and George Bush's and Jerry Falwell's and Kareem Abdul Jabar's and whoever else is lucky enough to hang here with us's. It's all of ours. And America, as much as it may look like it, does not have a "Judeo-Christian heritage." Yes, through much of its history, the majority of people in positions of power in America have been Christian. But that does not make this a Christian nation. It makes it a nation with Christians in it. And the moment, the fucking instant that you deny another individual a right that any other individual enjoys simply because you do not agree with his or her choice of sexual partner, or skin color, or because you think the invisible avenger you pray to could totally beat up the invisible avenger that dude's praying to, then America the way it's been promised to us is well and truly gone. Jesus himself said (The dude in the book, not the for real dude, I have no idea what he said, but I'll bet it was hardcore.) "In my father's house there are many mansions." Even in Heaven, there's room for pretty much everyone.

You think America's better than Heaven, Vote the Bible Guy? Wow.

Your move.

Don't Vote the Bible. Vote some goddamned common sense. And fuck the Most Reverend Dr. Prickface right in the mouth. Forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me...

I was reading a little about Sigmund Freud, mostly on the first chunk of his career, which can be summed up by the following: "COCAINE SURE IS GREAT, HUH GUYS?! MAN I SURE DO LOVE THIS COCAINE! I'LL BET IT'LL MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GREAT, TOO! EVERYBODY DO SOME BLOW!" Anyway, this lead to a generally poke around the psychology and psychiatry articles in Wikipedia. This, in turn, caused me to be reminded of something that had, until now, been confined to that shadowy area of my brain marked "Things That Give Me the Jibblies; A-L:" Lobotomy (Frontal). The premise behind the lobotomy is essentially this:

Dr. Prickface: Hmm....these mental patients of mine sure have been acting up a lot lately. That one over there can't stop screaming something about voices, and that one behind him has been stabbing that other one repeatedly in the neck with a fork. Wow, dude. Those are some messed up cats. I wonder if I could cut up their brains and take out the bad parts, leaving only the good parts behind. Hmmm...

Assistant: But Doctor, don't we have access to only the most rudimentary implements for cranial surgery? And only a very basic knowledge of what parts of the brain control which functions? And thus, don't we risk removing large portions of healthy, functioning brain tissue, leaving the patient not much better off than, say, an eternally tormented houseplant, locked forever in the shell of drooling sadness that was once at least a passable human being?

Dr Prickface: Only one way to make an omelette, Jimmy. Now, hand me that hacksaw. Better get some duct tape, too. And some paper towels. Science!

So the lobotomy became a common, if controversial treatment for such extreme mential disorders as schizophrenia, extreme epileptic seizures, violent, psychopathic behavior, and teenage rebellion. No, seriously. If your kid was a pain in the ass in the 30's, 40's or 50's, fuck all the "involved parenting" and "kids will be kids" bullshit. Strap that fucker down, Jackson! He won't ever get straight A's again, but at least he's stopped mouthing off. know...speaking in general. And not shitting his pants. But hey, a well behaved teenager, you must be great parents, right?

But for all the negativity, at least the lobotomy was a somewhat legit surgical procedure. It still required use of anasthesia, proper surgical tools and an operating room. Until 1946, that is. That's when Dr. Walter Frankenstein...I mean, Freeman, invented the "transorbital lobotomy," which involved...ready for it?....: SHOVING A FUCKING ICE PICK FROM HIS KITCHEN THROUGH SOMEONE'S EYE SOCKET AND SCRAMBLING HIS FRONTAL CORTEX. No, seriously, this motherfucker used an ice pick to perform brain surgery. But at least now it could be done in state mental facilities without access to an operating room or surgial tools. Or, you know, even real medical doctors. Fuck it, get the janitor, he looks like a strong dude. And they didn't even need to anaesthetize the poor fuck; Freeman suggested just electrocuting them until they passed out. Seriously.

Freeman himself even performed his transorbital lobotomy on JFK's sister after their father complained of her being too moody. It cured her bitchiness right up, of course; with the unfortunate side effect of reducing her to a childlike imbecile, incapable of speech beyond an incomprehensible babble and unable to control her own bodily functions. No worries, though. They just locked her up for a while and claimed she'd actually been born retarded.

One good thing that came of it: in 1968, her sister Eunice founded the Special Olympics, thereby ensuring that handicapped people everywhere would get to show off their skill and athletic prowess and experience the thrill of being the best. She also secured the rest of us a special place in the deepest levels of Hell because, goddamn that shit is funny.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Come down off the cross, we can use the wood...

Just a quick one today. It's late and I'm tired.

I was watching a special on crucifixion last night. They were trying to use forensic evidence unearthed during archaeological digs and textual evidence from the bible and historians of the time and such to reconstruct exactly how the Romans would have crucified someone. Turns out, they'd probably be made to carry not the whole cross, just the crossbeam, the cross would look more like a capital T, and they'd have a nail driven through each ankle, straddling each side of the cross with their feet on a platform. Anyway, that's neat and all, but what really intrigued me were the experiments they conducted with an actual living person. This person was chosen specifically for his build, which the historians involved deemed relatively similar to the build of a 33 year old Galilean around 2,000 years ago (Yeah, the History Channel gets all Jesus crazy around Christmas, I know but at least they crank out the devil really good around Halloween. Black masses and blood orgies and whatnot. Good stuff.) Anyway, they had this dude perform various stations of the cross as depicted, well, on the walls of every Catholic church I was ever forced into as a child, to see if they were physically possible and thus historically plausible. After several tries and several different methods, they came to the conclusions I noted above. What I wonder, and I what I pose to you is this: I assume being involved with a documentary on what is essentially the Passion of the Christ, this guy is at least a somewhat practicing Christian. As such, he may or may not see it as honorable, putting himself through what Jesus himself supposedly went through. But what if for this guy, physically, it turned out to be not that big a deal after all? What if Some Dude handled crucifixion better than the supposed Son of God? Would he feel good about that? Me personally, I'd be pumped. I'd have shirts made that said "Jesus was a pussy. I got crucified and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

Friday, December 19, 2008

For a Marley, that ghost dude in Dickens didn't smoke enough weed...

Today is the 165th anniversary of the publication of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. In honor of such a monumental occasion, I've decided to get into the Christmas spirit. So, convert your beer helmets to high octane egg nog filled viking helmets of Christmas cheer because me and Charlie Dickens are about to rock your Scrooge McFace off.

It occurs to me after five minutes of lazy research, that there are a lot of horrible, horrible atrocities committed in the name of Christmas; mostly on the internet. Shame on you, internet. If Santa were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave! (ed. note: Fact check death of Santa and ability to spin in grave while alive. It seems much more likely than spinning while dead, but we don't want to look like assholes.) With that in mind, and a desire to bring back the holiday spirit of old, I bring you The Charles Dickens Memorial Naughty (the bad kind) and Nice List, 2008:



Why Japan, you ask? Well, let's for the sake of argument say that there's only one reason, and it is this: Anime Christmas Specials!

Look, I give Japan a lot of props. They gave the world Nintendo, the Discman, and the ability for Horton to hear the shit out of that Who with the power of Sony's Blu-ray technology. And probably some other things, too. Sushi, I think. But damn it, if I have to decipher why what may or may not be a boy/girl with cat ears and something that looks like a cross between a monkey and a marshmallow have to save what may or may not be Santa Claus from his robotic evil twin, I'm going to lose my Christmas Cheer-rection all at once and just start New Years early. Except instead of champagne, I'll be drinking turpentine. Thanks, Japan.

Which brings me to...


A Charlie Brown Christmas

With the exception of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I defy you to come up with something that conjures more happy yuletide memories from even the coldest of hearts than A Charlie Brown Christmas. Lights please...ahem...And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: Suck it, Japan.


Santa, why are you touching my bathing suit area?

Some capital D Douche-Bag in Maryland has caused the U.S. Postal Service to suspend its Operation Santa Claus program because he was caught trying to use it to gain access to children. You know, so he could use the image of Santa to touch them. Just so you know, Operation Santa, in which volunteers would play Santa to grant the holiday wishes of needy kids who'd written letters to the North Pole, has been going on for almost a century. Helping bring a little joy to kids whose families may have to choose between presents and heat this year. Join me now in a beautiful Christmas carol, in which we all sing of the special place in Hell reserved for this guy where he'll be raped repeatedly by that butch elf with the pointy beard who ran the toy factory in Rudolph.


Atheists like X-mas, too!

This sign was posted in a government building in Washington State, alongside a nativity scene and a Christmas tree:

Mostly, this one makes me smile because of all the anger the religious right has hurled at it. Welcome to America, kids. If you're going to stick a big ol' honkin' image of the ideology you support right up there on government land, everyone else can, too. Besides, Christmas hasn't been about Jesus since toys were invented. And now that we have video games where you can bang hookers for points, or beat someone to death with a manhole cover by shaking your arm back and forth like you're having a seizure, it doesn't look like it'll be swinging back his way for a good long while.

And I support the hell out of that. Like a wise man once said "Be good for goodness' sake." That's right, boys and girls, Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. Like most people my age, I get all my ideals in life from mid-80's sci fi movies. e-mail me some time and ask for the story of how Doc Brown and the flux capacitor got me to change my religion.

Merry X-mas everyone. And so, as Tiny Tim observed: "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need....roads."

God bless us, everyone. Right in the mouth.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Revelations 13:1, Win, Show, or Place...

Consider this: Barack Obama is the Antichrist. Seriously. Google "Revelations" + "Antichrist" and he's the first link at the top of the page. Waaaay before the porn. So, you know, it must be true. Oh, wait, never mind. I just read this guy's t-shirt standing in line at the bank (That's right, I blog on my iPhone at the bank. Don't question it, that's just how I roll.); it turns out Obama is actually the saviour of all mankind. According to the shirt in question, he's somewhere between Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus. I'm not kidding, all these people were on his shirt, and for some reason all covered in sequins. I was blinded by hope...and sequins. Something tells me that if Obama doesn't walk on water while simultaneously being portrayed by Denzel Washington in the Oscar-nominated movie/state of the union address/sermon on the mount of pure, unadulterated awesome that will inevitably follow his inauguration, then this gentleman standing in front of me will lose his mind, filling with sadness and despair the likes of which he hasn't felt since he was 9 and found out that Santa Claus was dead.

Don't get me wrong; I'm psyched that Obama won the election. For the first time since I've been able to vote, the guy that I voted for actually won; so that's got me pumped. And for the first time in the better part of a decade, the American public at large has finally seemed to really and truly step away from that snuggly little cocoon of warm, wooly fear and hatred that's kept us truckin' since the early aughts and has embraced the idea that we're all well and truly fucked and it's about time to stop bitching about it and get some serious shit done. But the level of reaction has me wary. I expected the fire and brimstone reaction from Crazy McStumpfuck and his flannel-hat-with-earflaps wearin', queer-beatin' ('cuz Gawd says it's WRONG and not 'cuz they fill us with feelins our hearts dare not dream possible!), cousin rapin' ilk, but the other side of the coin has me shaking my head, too. Maybe ten years of soul-raping disappointment from the American political system has me jaded, but it seems that any time you put all your hopes and dreams for the future on the shoulders of one man, no matter what happens, you're going to be disappointed.

Still, Barack Obama represents something we haven't had in this country in a long time: The American Dream. I'm not talking about the winning the lottery and then going in to your suck ass job and quitting by taking a shit on your boss' desk dream; that's still a beautiful impossibility. I'm speaking of the promise we're all given by virtue of living in America and taking some form of grade school history: That you will be treated fairly. That your government works for you and that it will do everything that it can to ensure that sacred responsibility is upheld and that, rich or poor, you really do have a shot at things you want (you know, except the desk-shitting).

Obama is no savior. He's just this guy, man. Smart guy, sure, but we're not going to wake up next month to puppies and rainbows forever and ever. But he might be that rarest of all politicians: the realistic idealist. He's got some big ideas, but he seems to realize it's going to actually take work and thoughtful consideration and a lot of help to get there. Let's just hope the giant clusterfuck he's walking into doesn't break him down like it has so many.

And if he is the Antichrist...still, you know. The Apocalypse. That'll be neat.