Fight the Real Enemy

A mailing list I’m on recently mentioned the notion of priests abdicating their vows of celibacy in light of the most recent charges of child abuse in the Catholic church. I responded:

I for one would hate to see the Catholic church do away with its celibacy rule. The simple fact of the matter is that the Catholic church needs dysfunction and foolishness to surive. For centuries, the Catholics made a career of finding fault with other peoples and cultures and working hard to assimilate, to purge, and to achieve political power, criticizing other religions as superstitious cults while grasping with white knuckles the notion that they were actually eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, castigating polytheists while praying to Mary, Jesus, Joseph, and anybody but the Man herself, and widely spreading the completely unhealthy philisophical view that humans are essentially sinful creatures in constant need of redemption and forgiveness. Vatican II may have allowed services to be held in English, but it didn’t reform the church’s twisted and bizarrely firm stance on birth control, a stance which does nothing to reconcile itself with the church’s even firmer stance on abortion, nor did it help to stop the church from lording over the rest of the world with an attitude toward human sexuality that is infantile and destructive. The douchebag sentiment at work here is the one that says that abstaining from fucking is a great way to become more effectively plugged in to the forming and nuturing forces of the universe. I have a suspicion that for centuries the creator has been giggling at them and wondering when they’d catch on to the fact that She put those tingly bits there for a reason, and that caging that energy is about as holy as kicking up your bare feet on a pew back during Easter service and letting a thundering fart rattle the wooden seat.

One thing that hasn’t come out of all of this yet: These latest events convince me that it’s high time for some American religious institution to extend a forgiving hand to the Rev. Sinead O’Connor for creaming the Pope on Saturday Night Live some years ago. This is, after all, precisely what she was bellering about, and while her method of protest was bizarre at best, it turns out that she was absolutely right. Let’s have a ceremony in New York City to affirm this woman’s priesthood in the church and a marketing push to welcome her back into the fickle fold of the American music industry.

The Corruption of the American O’Reilly

Last night, Fox Television aired a one-hour Bill Reilly diatribe called The Corruption of the American Child. I have a few thoughts.

Does anyone else find it ironic that this television show aired on Fox, which is presently warping the minds of young adolescent men with a show about a man who has 15 women at once vying for his hand in marriage? (It doesn’t work this way, boys. If you can find one wonderful woman to pursue you with such an intent, you’re a damned fortunate man.)

Does anyone else find it inappropriate that a show moralizing about the horrors of mass media provided hundreds of visual references to what O’Reilly considers to be the worst of it?

Did anyone else cringe when Opie and Anthony appeared as guests?* Had O’Reilly wanted a real debate, he would have gotten the real McCoy.

Generally, I disagree with O’Reilly’s hypothesis. Violence isn’t just rampant in our fictional media, it exists in our news media because it exists in our world. In these post 9/11 days, and in days when violence in Israel doesn’t even take a holiday for Pesach, it seems naive to crusade against the Insane Clown Posse. And the problem is not the appearance of sex in the media, it is American unhealthy Puritanical attitudes toward human sexuality in general. The fact that we’re supposed to avert our eyes contributes to the obsessive and sometimes destructive horniness of American culture. Besides, to chastise Hollywood like this is to do so in a vacuum—American mass media still produces a lot that is appropriate and healthy for children.

I have to say, though, I loved having the opportunity to throw rotten tomatoes at the ACLU lawyer, who took the bizarre and extreme position that a national group is entitled by the First Amendment to espouse sex with children. Wow, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

It was an interesting little show, but being a tiny cog in the machine of media, I will always cringe a little when the accusations come at us. It’s easy to blame the media for our social ills and far more difficult to examine the social, governmental, and economic causes. It has always been thus and shall always be.

*I am not a fan of Opie and Anthony. From what I know of these two, they have distilled only the most prurient aspects of the Howard Stern Radio Show for their own use. Casual listeners should not place Howard in the same class as these two morons.

A Boy And His Degas

Meanwhile, in the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” file: A conversation between my father and his six-year-old son, my little brother, about a recent trip to an art museum.

Little Brother: Dad, the girls laughed at the sculptures.

Dad: They did, Willie? Why did they do that?

Little Brother: They just have no respect for art!

    In Other News
  • Do you need an afdb?


Top three things I’d like to ask Bobby Knight when he appears at Olsson’s Books & Records in Arlington March 28:

3. What were you, born in a barn?

2. If you and Godzilla were in a fight, would you show him your own shit, or just throw a chair at him?

1. If you could throw a chair at any historical figure, who would it be?

Big Brother 3

Big Brother…3?

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people up into two groups, and those who do not.

Having said that, there are two kinds of people in the world, people who watch Big Brother, and people who absolutely do not understand the perceived madness of those who do.

I can see how those in that other crowd might believe it to be madness. I myself will admit to only a few of my Big Brother-related behaviors. I join show-related listserv groups. I search the Internet for updates. And yes, I have actually spent money to vote in the polls. But no, I have never jumped up around screaming to cheer on so-and-so during a head of household competition.

My point in bringing up Big Brother at this juncture: Big Brother is looking for houseguests for BB3.

While I am utterly elated that we will have another season, I do have a note of concern for the producers of this fine television program.

As we all know, MTV started the “reality television” boom with The Real World. When the show first aired, producers managed to populate its real world with real people, folks like you and me…well, with the exception of Puck. The new crews, however, have simply been pretty people, people who really aren’t very interesting.

I’m hoping CBS won’t make the same mistake. They improved production values dramatically in the second season, reducing Julie Chen’s role to focus more on the houseguests, making competitions less grueling and more fun (save except for the final HOH competition, which encouraged the three remaining houseguests to wet the bed), and placing voting powers within the house, not across the nation. I would hate to see the show turn into a place where the Kents and the Chicken Georges of the world wouldn’t stand a chance.

Thank you.


How to make a perfect chili dinner for yourself and two friends who have come over to watch the Kansas game but spend most of the evening watching the goddamn Maryland game because the morons at network would rather broadcast the rather lackluster Maryland game in your area:

First, spend four hours shopping for a Crock Pot, unless you have an appropriate one on hand. Go to Hecht’s first, and ask the saleslady to go in the back and look of a 3.5-quart Crock Pot. She will return after ten minutes and tell you that they don’t have any in stock. Get in your car, pay $1 for parking, and drive to Target on Jefferson Davis Highway. Find the location where they have every model of Crock-Pot except for the one you want, then find a salesperson who will go to the back, and explain to you that they don’t have any left in the back, either. Go to Linens and Things and Best Buy next to CostCo and have a similar experience. Finally, drive to Macy’s and find a three-quart Farberware crock. Thank goodness.

Now, here’re the groceries you need: Two cans each of pinto beans, mixed vegetables, chopped tomatoes. One twelve pack of Sam Adams Spring Ale. One six-pack each of Coke and Diet Coke, which nobody will consume. One package of chili seasoning, maybe two if you’re feeling dangerous. Grated cheese. One bag of Fritos. Three boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. Eggs. Milk. A red pepper. Sliced banana peppers. A pound o’ meat (optional). Scallions. Mushrooms. Spring squash. Salt. Pepper. Chili powder.

Drinks some beer. Brown the meat. Slice the veggies. Drink some more beer. Throw the whole mess together and stir it really really well. Make cornbread. Crock it. Eat. And don’t be neat about it. Top it with cheese. Throw the cornbread into the mess. Drink some more beer. Throw the Fritos in, too.


And oh, yeah. Go Kent. They play Indiana tonight at 7.

Homeless Cats

I know that readers’ eyes glaze over when I talk tech. So, I apologize for the past few days’ immersion in the subject. I did lose comments for awhile because Blogger is, unfortunately, not the most reliable service in the world, though it is wonderful. I believe I have reached a solution: I no longer publish directly to my index page. This leaves my blog page unaffected should Blogger decide to screw something up. Then, I can copy and paste and edit entries to my heart’s content, and republish via FTP. It adds a step, but it ensures that I can keep the page’s quality up.

Incidentally, I know I lost a post. I will see if I can retrieve it at home.

Anyway, I might as well take a moment to note that as of today, the Whitewater issue is finally closed. And yep, that DNA stain is all that ever came of it. I swear, this city is such a shitpile.

The homeless cats lady was back at Ballston yesterday. She sets up a table there from time to time with a big sign that says “HOMELESS CATS.” I still want to ask her how much she wants for them.