Monthly Archives: May 2013

In my quest for wisdom, I have turned to old books

From:

Webster’s Encyclopedia of Useful Information and World’s Atlas

Published: Chicago Illinois by Ogilvie and Gillett Company 1890

From chapter entitled: Multum in Parvo

Subtitle: Finger Nails As An Indication of Character

“A white mark on the nail bespeaks of misfortune.

Pale or lead-colored nails indicate melancholy people.

Broad nails indicate a gentle, timid, and bashful nature.

Lovers of knowledge and liberal sentiments have round nails.

People with narrow nails are ambitious and quarrelsome.

Small nails indicate littleness of mind, obstinacy and conceit.

Choleric, martial men, delighting in war, have red and spotted nails.

Nails growing into the flesh at the points or sides indicate luxurious tastes.

People with very pale nails are subject to much infirmity of the flesh and persecution by neighbors and friends.”

The next chapter, “How to be Handsome.”

The Horrible Things They Still Do To Jesus

Of course, it must have all started near the beginning, but where exactly? I suppose, at first, it was only in small ways—Peter using selective memories of Jesus to ease his immense guilt, and then after him, Paul, a reformed torturer/murderer using Jesus to try and purify himself.  Certainly, it gained real momentum when the new political machine they called the Catholic Church was born, and the crucified man became the mascot. It was genius marketing really—playing on such deep fears, deep shame, and deep perversions. A man unclothed, broken, beaten, and permanently staked up for public display. Oh, the emotions such an image could evoke!

Sometimes I think of what it takes to physically manufacture such a thing. These days, a slave-worker in Asian likely makes most of them, hammering the little nails into the crucified man statue—day after day—tap, tap, tap—thousands of nails into thousands of hands and thousands of feet. I wonder if she’ll ever realize that the nails should actually go into the wrists, and not the hands.

And then there was a little Polish boy I babysat as a teen. One day he pointed to the crucifix on the wall, giggled devilishly, and declared, “The Lord is barren.” At first, I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about in his less than perfect understanding of the English language, but then I realized he meant that the little crucified man was without clothes. The crucifix was a bit of naughty pornography for this boy. Out of the mouths of babes, eh? Suffering-pornography. That’s why I never will watch The Passion of the Christ. It’s suffering-pornography.

And then all because of a fluke generated by politics and the marriage problems of elite inbreds, the Church split, and Protestants were created. Eventually that little switcheroo caused branches to form in all directions…and oh, what directions…directions that, henceforth, resulted in my Sunday school teacher excitedly waving the ‘miracle photo.’ It seems she had gone to a special presentation organized by the church. The key-note speaker was a woman who had been privy to a stupendous, incredible, marvelous miracle! What started out as just an ordinary photo being taken of her and her husband turned into so much more. For when that ordinary photo was developed, POOF! Jesus appeared in the picture next to them!  The Sunday school teacher let us all have a good look at the evidence. Sure enough there was a man, a woman and a guy in a Jesus costume. I was just a kid, but even I knew that was not Jesus. What does it take to perpetrate such a crime? Thinking up the scheme, dressing up as Jesus, setting a price for the photo, going on a preaching circuit, turning Jesus into a bold faced lie—it’s horrible! And this was sanctioned by the church.

And that brings us to the Jews, oy vey! Being part Jewish myself, I really hate to have to have to say this but…added to all the horrible things being done to Jesus is a group of right-wing Jews trying to bake Him into a flavourless bit of unleavened bread. Paper Jesus, (no way as fun as Paper Mario)—a flat two-dimensional Jesus who was a good kosher boy, who wanted to FIGHT! the Romans, who was not particularly amazing in any way except in that he was a Jew. These people even claim that Jews had nothing whatsoever to do with the crucifixion. Well, that’s not true. Some Jews were obviously involved in the crucifixion, but not because they were Jews, but because they were assholes, and assholism knows no cultural nor ethnic boundaries. In nature, God created assholes at the bottom, but in man’s topsy-turvy world, assholes are usually at the top, and it was assholes at the top who were responsible for the crucifixion.

So why would these right-wing Jews have such an interest in Jesus? As it appears to me, it’s a narrative specifically designed to further galvanize the support of the right-wing Christians, who already do their own horrible things to Jesus. It’s meant to correlate and control all of the horrible things done to Jesus in the name of politics, power, money and racism.

Oh, Jesus H. Christ! Isn’t it about time You put an end to this nonsense?

…but praying aside for now, Jesus is so incredibly complicated that it’s very difficult to explain just what He is. So instead let me explain what He is not.

Jesus is nobody’s:

  • self-serving idol
  • political pawn
  • money machine
  • plasticine man
  • security blanket
  • excuse
  • medallion
  • camouflage
  • costume
  • justification
  • surety
  • mascot
  • collateral
  • military uniform
  • ‘get out of jail free’ card
  • influence peddler
  • suffering-pornography
  • a simple easy to swallow sugary elixir
  • free pre-paid ticket to Heaven
  • name-dropping name
  • fraternity or sorority pin
  • self-serving lie

…and to try and recreate Him into any of these things is just plain horrible!

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Matthew 21:28-31

A Really Short Story Inspired by the Song “I Will Survive” (by Gloria Gaynor and later a rather biting rendition by the band Cake)

Oh, it’s you.

Just stop right there, and don’t even think about crossing over my threshold. You’re not welcome here anymore.

And now I can’t believe you are giving me that look…that look like you can’t understand why…as if you have no idea what you’ve done…that ‘who me?’ look because you’re just as pure as the driven snow. Right?

No! Don’t speak! Don’t say a word. It’s no longer your time to say anything. You’ve said all you had to say before, which in the end wasn’t much at all. Empty, thoughtless, stupid words were all you knew…all you know.

You left me here. You left me in this purgatory. I thought I was going mad. What else was I to think? That’s exactly what happens when people go mad…what happened to me. What did you think I knew? You think I was on the inside? I told you I wasn’t. Did you think I knew their secrets…that I was a part of their party? I was alone. You knew that. But it didn’t stop you, did it? It didn’t make you more human and less simian.

I gave you a chance…no, I gave you every chance to prove that you were more…that you were better…that you were evolved. And each time, what happened? You didn’t change your ways. Each time you treated me as if I were your thing…your token in a monopoly game. Which one did you envision me as, the wheel barrow, the thimble, the scottie dog? Never mind. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters anymore.

And before you ask, no, it’s not just about Tootsie O’Toole who showed up at my door one day, waving that ring. The one you know I paid for, because without me you would have been a nobody. Laugh if you like, but you know that’s true even if you don’t have the guts to see it. You know a lot of things you’re not man enough to see.

I never did tell Old Toots the truth. What would be the point? She thinks you’re an American sheriff and those black licorice guns you carry are the real deal, but we know better…don’t we. We both know I’m the only sharp shooter around these parts.

The choices you made about me, didn’t you see them in the headlines? They were written there. You can’t make choices about me and not have them echo throughout this world. Those choices resounded in moments in time…words overhead…things spilling, falling, breaking, dying. Your choices were well recorded everywhere. And even when the Universe threatened to strike you down with, for God’s sake, lightning itself…even when it thundered and crashed right above your head…even with all that, still you held on to your fool’s cap like it was the Word of God. Nothing could shake you from that egotistical dream you made for yourself…that egotistical dream you made of yourself.

And now it’s too late…now that you see what happens when I pull out, it’s too late. And there are no do-overs in this world. You failed the test. That’s it. It’s done with, finished, kaput. The buzzer sounded and you didn’t have the right answer. You lost. Now, go! Go cry your heart out on Tootsie’s shoulder. And if things get real bad, you can always pawn that ring.