“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.
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” 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.
Ulysses had one of the first “sex-positive” female voices in literature. Once upon a time I heard an 80 year-old man talk about obtaining a copy of the book and lying across a bed with two women while he read passages aloud. The book was contraband at the time in the U.S. He still had rapture in his eyes thinking about that moment.
The way I read through Ulysses was via a small literature class and a book of commentary. It was entirely worth the time and effort. Some chapters are songs. All the writing is melodic and voluptuous.
Ulysses also contains one of my all-time (well, two of them, but I’ll only post one here) quotes: “History…is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
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