Crossing Groom

Video number 2 from our Homeric adventure. There's something special about a place where folks are so bored that they can't think of a better use of their time than to build something huge in an area NOBODY has any reason to visit.

Well… nobody except us.

 

Reflections On Christmas

Now that the season's over, and I've had some time to process it all, I thought I'd take a look back at Christmas.

The first thing that must be said is that Christmas is utterly unavoidable. I don't care how little you care about some guy who may or may not have been born in a manger two thousand years ago- if you live in the United States, you're going to spend the last two months (or more) of every year surrounded by Christmas. 

 
 Christmas at the mall. AAAAAAAAAA!

Most of us grew up with Christmas. Dozens of little rituals and traditions (most of which having little or nothing to do with Jesus) which are so integral to our culture, that we wouldn't know what December is without them.  And I gotta admit- many of them are nice.

I like the idea that we all are supposed to give.  I dig on the lights hung up everywhere, too.  It's a pleasant way to ward off the gloom of long winter nights.  I like cookies, and the smell of pine, and getting days off from work or school to spend with loved ones. Hell- for most of the folks I know, it's the only time when they can feel comfortable getting together and singing. I like singing.

As a matter of fact, the only bit I really don't care for is the Jesus nonsense. That damned birth story makes less sense every time I hear it.  It's stupid. That all there is to it!

This year's "huh?" moment: Wise men from the East follow a star which they saw in the East and end up West of where they began? And how do you follow a star to a specific location? Was this star hovering two hundred feet over Bethlehem?  'Cause stars don't really do that. They hover light-years over everything, which means that, while one could lead you, say, North, it wouldn't be able to guide you to Winnipeg (not that anybody would want to go to Winnipeg- I was just grabbing at a random Northerly city…).

 

 From a conservative website-

who's being intolerant, again?

One thing that's really starting to grate on me is the new Christmas tradition of Fox "News" type pundits whipping their lunatic fan-base into a frothy lather over a supposed war we non-Christians are waging against Christmas. You know what, Bill O'Limbaugh? Fuck you.

First- it's obvious to anyone who uses any portion of their brain that no such war exists, this is just another tactic to keep the cowering masses scared and angry; and second- if there were to be a war, Christmas fired the first shots years ago!

The fact is that it doesn't matter how much you love your holiday- NOBODY likes to have someone else's religious nonsense shoved in their faces year after year!  I don't care how warm and cuddly you feel on Christmas, it's your holiday- not mine. Don't look all sad and dejected if I tell you I don't celebrate it, just enjoy life's diversity and leave me the hell alone!  I don't try to make you celebrate my holidays, do I? Honestly! I mean, obviously I don't have holidays… but you get my point. How much would these hypocrites HATE IT if Ramadan shit took over their stores for two months out of the year?  We would, I promise you, never hear the end of it!

Frankly, all this bullshit kind of makes the thought of actually declaring war on Christmas appealing. I'd almost be tempted to do it if A) it didn't require actual effort on my part, and B) I had any idea whatsoever what a war on Christmas even means in any kind of practical terms.

I think I'll just stick with a war on Wheat Thins. That's an enemy I know how to defeat.

How Easter Ruins Spring

As some of you know, today is Easter. Well, it is for practitioners of Eastern Orthodox christianity.  I gotta say, of all christians, the orthos are my favorite. Far from the bible literalist that American fundies turn out to be, the orthos are much more "mystical," which means that they believe in biblical metaphor and have a much less dogmatic view of things.  More importantly for my purposes, however, their bishops and such still grow really impressive beards and wear funny hats and stuff.  I love that.

I spent other Easter (or zombie Jesus day, as it's oft refered to by those unencumbered by religious respect) with my girlfriend's family. They are, of course, believers one and all and every religious holliday I get to watch the specticle of their belief paraded around. It's cute. They ply the little ones with a candy scavenger hunt, and tales of magic bunnies, and get them all giddy. Then they tell them stories of a magic man who was murdered but then came back to life. Then all the tykes get to spend the next few years trying to figure out which story their supposed to believe and why their parents lied to them about the other.

Happy Easter! 
 There, he's dead- can I have my candy now?

Honestly, I don't really object to the goofy bunny stuff (or Santa, for that matter), it's a little weird, but whatever.  What did kind of bother me was when my girlfriend's father sat everyone down and forced them to sit through a pretty gruesome Jesus snuff film.  On the day that is meant to be a celebration of Jesus' resurrection, this hour-long film spent 55 minutes showing Jesus get tortured, betrayed, beaten and bloodied with extremely sad and serious music playing in the background. Why was this ok? They would never have allowed these children to watch that kind of violence if it was happening to a real person instead of Jesus. It was horrific! 

My biggest objection to Easter, however, is this- they're trying to ruin spring!  Centuries ago, the christians got sick of watching the pagans having all the fun with their spring celebration.  So, as they did with Christmas, they took it over, and made it all about Jesus.  Well it's NOT about Jesus!  It's about renewal and birth and life and all the joys that come with spring!  That's why the rabbit is such a great symbol- 'cause rabbits are furry and nice and they have lots of sex and make babies! That's why eggs are a symbol, and fuzzy little baby chicks. It aint got shit to do with some guy getting murdered.  Actually, you can make it about Jesus if you want- just keep your focus on the idea that he came back, not on his gruesome death. That's all I'm asking! Quit being such a damned downer in my favorite season! 

Thank you.

Mormon Jesus

Ok, so having grown up mormon, there are a lot of concepts that always seemed pretty normal to me, but come across a little out there to "gentiles" (yes, mormons call non-mormons gentiles- you should hear some of the other ways they appropriate jewish culture!).  What still strikes me as funny, though, is how up in arms a lot of fundamentalists get about mormons.  The truth is that dogmatically, they all believe the same stuff.  There are some details that differ, but they're all supposed to live by basically the same rules.

That's what's so odd about the fundie response to "mormon Jesus". It's the same guy.  They all believe in those nutty stories about him in the Bible, it's just that the mo's add some wacky details to liven him up.  They don't change the message in any appreciable way, but MAN- to hear them born-agains talk, you'd think the mo's had said the man was black!  They get OUTRAGED!  

So outraged, in fact, that they spend their hard-earned money and precious time making animated films about how wrong the mo's are.  Fortunately, then somebody spends his precious time turning that animated film into this:

God bless 'em!