Category Archives: Crazy

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.” — Henry Miller

GOD, THE BULLY

Now I ask you, are the hardcore Christian fundamentalists of this holy land just angling to become a satire of themselves?

I mean, honestly, if a funny person were to write a skit lampooning them, wouldn’t she, say, have them battling anti-bullying laws because, hell, it’s mostly homosexuals who are being bullied so who cares?

Wouldn’t that make a comedy audience roar with laughter? They’d say, How hilarious! How could that ever happen?

“Hah! That’d Never Happen In Real Life!”

But that’s precisely what is happening in America today.

In two weeks, on Friday, April 20th, high school students across the country will participate in the Day of Silence, during which they’ll remain mum from morning until night to protest bullying. And, of course, the prime targets for bullies in elementary, middle, and high schools are gays or kids who exhibit even the slightest hint that they may be too effeminate (in the case of boys) or tomboyish (girls).

Day Of Silence

Now, what kind of lunatic would find a problem with an anti-bullying campaign?

Answer: the lunatics who populate the USA’s god parties.

Groups such as Mission America, the Illinois Family Institute, the American Family Association, Citizens for Community Values, Faith 2 Action, the Liberty Counsel, Save California, and others have responded with their own anti-anti-bullying action to take place on the Day of Silence.

The god-ists are calling their action the Day of Dialogue.

And that’s weird because if there’s one thing the theocrats seem most allergic to, it’s dialogue.

“Go Ahead And Kick The Crap Out Of ‘Em — They’re Gay.”

Yup, the fundamentalist Christians are falling back on their old woe-is-us canard, you know, the one where the whole world is trying steal away their rights to worship god as they please and discriminate against anybody they think god hates?

They’re saying the Day of Silence not only is fascist, natch, but it promotes the gay, lesbian, and transgender lifestyle.

Perhaps I’m giving people too much credit, but I would think nobody is so deranged that they’d believe there’s really a group of people trying to push teenaged kids into getting their genitals surgically altered.

“Please Don’t Let Them Make Us Cut Off Our Penises.”

Oh, alright, I am giving people too much credit.

I suppose the only question I have for these pious folk is where in your Bible does god say, Be an asshole in my name?

I SMELL A RAT

I just happened to be going through the Modern Library‘s lists of the 100 best fiction and nonfiction books. The ML puts out two lists for each category, one chosen by the organization’s board, the other open to the public.

The board has chosen James Joyce’s “Ullyses” as the greatest English language novel. That’s cool, even though I don’t have the spare 150 years to be able to read and decode Joyce’s inscrutable stylings. The board also tabs “The Education of Henry Adams” by Henry Adams as the finest nonfiction book. Again, cool, even though I haven’t read it nor do I plan to.

James Joyce

After all, I have to get through cracked.com every day; I am a man of letters, you know.

Anyway, these are tomes that have been celebrated by the best and the brightest for decades and, while I don’t necessarily genuflect before “experts,” I’ll defer to them in this case.

Funny thing is, the public’s lists vary wildly from the board’s. In fact, the public’s greatest nonfiction book does not even appear on the board’s entire list of 100. And four of the public’s top ten fiction books were penned by an author the board saw fit not to name anywhere on its list.

These idiosyncratic choices all are the fruits of one author’s feverish mind. The public has called Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” the greatest work of nonfiction in the English language. On top of that, two books about Rand and her post-traumatic stress disorder nightmare philosophy also made the public’s top ten.

“Welcome To My Nightmare.”

Not bizarre enough for you? Four of Rand’s endless novels make the public’s top ten greatest fiction works. Four!

Rand famously riposted to an editor, who’d advised her to apply an eraser to huge swaths of her rambling prose, that no one edited the Bible.

The Bible, as in the word of god.

As Woody Allen once said, you have to pattern yourself after somebody.

Methinks Rand’s acolytes stuffed the ballot box, no?

CRAZY

“Crazy” was penned by a then-struggling young songwriter named Willie Nelson in 1961. According to legend, he pitched it to Patsy Cline‘s husband, Charlie Dick, at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville one night over drinks.

When Dick brought the song to his wife, she hated it because it was uptempo and its lyrics were spoken. Her producer re-worked it into a languorous ballad and the rest is history.

By the way, Loretta Lynn swears she remembers hearing Cline perform the song for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry while on crutches; Cline at the time was recovering from an auto accident that had nearly killed her.

The Electron Pencil:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.” — Erasmus

LOCAL WARMING

Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t these buds popping out on my front yard bushes?

MR. CLOSET SEES NO CLASSES

I’m not all that mercurial on these pages. That which I espouse or despise in November very likely will be the same in June.

But I have given the thumb to Michele Bachmann as my bete noir du jour. (Is that the French idiom equivalent of mixing metaphors?)

Anyway, Bachmann’s out and Rick Santorum’s in.

Mr. Closet (my new nickname for Santorum) justified my faith in him when he said these words during a weekend debate among candidates for the Republican nomination for president: “There are no classes in America.”

This is the socio-political analog to declaring that the world is flat. My god, Rick (or, more accurately, your god, Rick), have you visited a criminal courtroom lately? A jail? An unemployment office? A business school graduation ceremony?

I don’t think even Michele Bachmann would have had the balls to say those words (after all, somebody in her marriage has to have balls). Yes, she’s a loon. But — shock of shocks — she might not be as psycho as Mr. Closet.

I’d hate it if Ricky-girl did so poorly in tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary that he’d no longer be taken seriously as a contender. For a smart-ass like me, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Bloomington author extraordinaire Joy Shayne Laughter has nailed it. The other day she wrote to me: “Does anybody else get the feeling that the GOP nomination race has become little more than a Las Vegas lounge act? You have to have a pretty guy and a funny guy. Think Martin & Lewis.”

Martin & Lewis (Or Is It Romney &…?)

JSL says Mitt Romney is the Dean Martin guy — handsome, good hair, can carry a tune. But she thinks Ron Paul is the Jerry-like buffoon. Nah. It’s Mr. Closet.

Speaking of the man who swears he would never, ever, ever, ever kiss a man full on the lips, gently, with slightly open mouth so he might savor the taste, running his fingers through the man’s hair, feeling his heart begin to pound, sensing warmth in his…, um, oh, I mean Rick Santorum, blogger Kris Broughton on Big Think goes all Big-Mike on the not-so-cuddly Jesus-lover and gay-basher.

Broughton writes: “If these utterly myopic conservatives of the Republican Party decide to hitch their wagon to Santorum, this will be the culmination of the last three years that began with Anybody But Obama, devolved to Anybody But Romney, and is now flirting heavily with the latest Republican theme for the 2012 election season, Any Christian White Man With a Suit.”

ROMNEY’S RELIGIONS

One of the things about Mitt Romney that scares the poo out of the paleozoic wing of the Republican Party is his Mormonism.

The Mormon God, Or Gods, Or What The Hell Ever They Believe In

By the way, if you don’t know all that much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, pick up a copy of Jon Krakauer‘s terrific book, “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Krakauer, who has taken on the Pat Tillman killing and cover up in Afghanistan, his passion for mountaineering, and that “Three Cups of Tea” baloney peddler Greg Mortenson in his books, exposes the tyrannical and even homicidal side of America’s fastest growing religion.

Anyway, Roger Ebert — my hero du jour — reveals that Romney’s favorite novel is the execrable “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard.

“Battlefield Earth,” The Movie

Who knows? Maybe Romney wants the world to to think Mormonism is not so bad, if only in comparison to Hubbard’s Scientology.

L. Ron Hubbard Made Joseph Smith Look Sane

OCCUPY BLOOMINGTON GOES TO WORK

This was the scene at People’s Park Saturday at noon.

No more tents. No more signs. No more Occupiers.

Occupy Bloomington may have been evicted but that doesn’t mean the revolution’s over in South Central Indiana. Stone sculptor Amy Brier points out that OB is now working with the striking limestone workers in Bedford.

We Do Facebook So You Don’t Have To

CRAZY

Yup. Patsy Cline does her bit on the Willie Nelson-penned classic.

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