Holy Moses! Is That Bush Burning?
My alarm rings just after 6 on weekday mornings, which sucks most days. Yesterday we rolled the clock forward so the alarm went off at what my body assumed was not "freaking 6" but in fact "God damn 5" in the morning. It makes a big difference. Most mornings, I could've shrugged off a priest on my local news show. This morning, I was on the stepper, stepping for all I'm worth in the semi-conscious state that permits me to exercise vigorously before I can talk myself out of it, when WABC's Lori Stokes interviewed this priest on the matter of the Pope. If the reporter was not actually Lori Stokes, I have no explanation for why I didn't leap off the exercise equipment and onto the remote. I like her. This interview was the softest soap I've ever seen. I talked this over with Mamie.
Me: So right around the 9-minute mark of my workout, he starts talking all this absolutely unbelievable, completely made-up crap about the Pope and I was thinking, 'Voodoo. Cheap parlor tricks. Nobody could possibly be buying the cheesy sleight-of-hand this charlatan's selling, could they?' His version of what's happening has as much relation to reality as those people who talk about fairies.
Mamie: Yeah? What was Father Lucky Charms saying?
Me: I wish I could tell you word for word but I was busy stepping, growling, trying to remain hydrated, assuring my cat I would soon be on the floor doing pushups, planning breakfast and some sort of outfit to wear to work that included - you know - less hypothetical clothing than last week. Wasn't it Douglass Adams who said people could only have a certain number of thoughts at the same time before some have to leave? I thought, 'Wait a second. One BILLION people believe this crap' and I forgot what he was saying.
Mamie: Exactly. Like unicorns.
This morning, I posted Johnny's straight-to-blog request, then got some angry email. Some of it was righteous. Some of it was bullshit. I conceded one point: one word in the text struck a nerve in a way that distracted from his point. I'm re-posting with that word replaced and asterisked - for which I apologize to him. I'm a free speech nut; sometimes free speech is uncomfortable for the listener. I'm also not in any way distancing myself from a frequent contributor to Poor Impulse Control just because his feelings about being a Catholic boy brought up in the Not-Acknowledged-By-the-Vatican-Catholic-Boy-Hellhole-That-Was-Boston offend people.
If you don't like what you're seeing, don't read any further. You know what you're in for.
Johnny can't contain himself:
I haven't prayed since Catholic school, but I'm praying today. I'm praying they hurry up and find something more interesting to talk about on the news than the death of the pope. First of all, I find it very hard to take the whole thing seriously, because my wife, another ex-Catholic, and I call our dogs' poops "popes," and we call pooping "making a pontiff." You can imagine the difficulty of keeping a straight face when people on the radio gas on about the worldwide impact of this pontificate. Seconal, if this idiot* weren't the so-called Holy Father, even my long-suffering still-Catholic mother would agree that, based solely on his opinions, the guy was a dumb fucking redneck, the kind of guy she and my dad held signs and protested against back in the sainted civil rights days, when even knowing black people was some kind of moral gold star, even though Floyd was their brother-in-law and if they wanted to see my mother's sister, not to mention their nieces and nephews, they were going to have to know him anyways. Do me a favor. If after I die, which shouldn't be long now, if anyone puts on a serious tone and starts talking about my great humanity and the richness of my spirit, fucking kick them in both balls. Do this in memory of me. Jesus.
A bit less than a year ago, Ronald Reagan died and I have never seen history rewritten so fast in my life. TV commentators and interviewees went boldly into science fiction with their fascinating new mantra: the poor loved the Gipper. The what? The poor loved fucking Ronald Reagan? On what planet? I tried so hard to keep a civil tongue in my head I almost bit it off. Every day, on an on, the most surreal assertions were made. At the time, I should have made a list of the most I-Want-What-That-Bastard's-Smoking arguments. Being nice made me a complete waste of the oxygen I inhaled that week.
To complete the super-nauseating 1-2 punch, WABC News played a phone interview with Nancy Reagan recorded over the weekend. I actually climbed out of the shower to hear it better, felt faint and climbed back into the shower in hopes I'd pass out and a head injury would make be forget what I'd heard. I can't think of anything more undignified than letting this crap go on even one more day. Why isn't Ron, Jr. patting her hand gently and saying, "Mom, I love you but you were always, always wrong"?
The Pope's dead. We'll have another. They're a renewable resource!
Reagan's still dead. It's not very Buddhist but: good riddance.
Nancy Reagan pretends she's relevant. Great.
When are we going to wake up from this nightmare?