Derelict Junction

Providing missile launch codes for foreign cryptographers everywhere.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Political Endorsement?

This might seem a but silly initially, but give it a shot:
How Jesus Would Vote?

There you'll find a Yahoo! article about a consortium of religious experts who undertook the daunting, theological question of "Who Would Jesus Vote (for)?" Pretty silly, right? But think about it, there's such an undercurrent of religious righteousness in this country that, maybe we should look at today's issues armed with the teachings of Jesus. At a presidential debate 4 years ago, when asked to name an influential philosopher, George W. Bush responded, "Christ". This isn't surprising, after all, if Republicans can wrap themselves in the flag, they must be equally adept at wraping themselves in the Shroud. Since he admittedly isn't a big "reader", one can only assume his answer meant the idea of Christ, and not his teachings.

Indeed, in the above article one author was met with jeers and laughs when he said,"If ever there were a bleeding-heart liberal, it was Jesus Christ." Now, I'm not religious (7 years of Catholic school made sure of that), but I'll go a step further. When you think of the time he lived, Jesus was very much a rebel. Here was a good Jewish kid who was given all the ancient Old Testament "An Eye for an Eye" teachings and said, "Nah, fuck that. Turn the other cheek and love thy brother."

Especially now, when the conservative right claims they're merely doing what God, Jesus Christ, would want (Bush admitted to biographers that he prayed for God's leadership after giving the order to bomb the shit out of Iraq), if we really examine the teachings (New Testament!), most of the conservative agenda is quite opposite of Christ's teachings. Of all the hotbed political issues, waging war, protection of wealth, saving the environment, abortion (I can't recall what Jesus said about abortion, but I'm sure it's in there), and gay marraige (Who, I ask, loves thy brother more than the homosexuals?), it would be easy to imagine that hippy Jesus taking the liberal perspective.

Not that I seriously seek the endorsement of Christ. In fact, after the Catholic church threatened to not serve Kerry Communion unless he changed his stance on abortion, I was really hoping he would do what any normal Catholic does when facing a real-life conflict with the church, simply pretend it don't exist. Remember, most of those brutal mobsters were devout Catholics. Think they were sweating out church teachings while performing a hit? Maybe that's what Bush is doing? Claiming to be religious while ignoring the teachings. Still, it would be fun to watch someone point out just how un-Christlike the current administration's policies are, especially given the affection they have for him.

To illustrate just who were talking about, play the Religious Right Match Game. The authors of that page (not the Religious Right), say "So Scary, They're Almost Funny", I say, "Yes-Scary, Yes-Funny."Posted by Hello

Scoring off the Elderly.

'Just have to share something before I get down to business. I was channel surfing tonight and came across one of those "List" shows on Fox Sports (yes, it's not just VH-1 doing it anymore). The theme was something like "The Most Hilarious Moments in Sports". The format is just like VH-1, where they parade out B-List celebrities (okay, maybe C) and have them comment on the events.

Coming in at #6 was 72 year old Don Zimmer of the New York Yankees getting thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox during a baseball brawl. For those who have no frame of reference, baseball brawls are a load of shit, and thankfully so. Usually, no one throws a punch, it's just a whole lot of yelling and jock-posturing. But on this occasion, the elder Zimmer charged right into All Star pitcher, Pedro Martinez. The end result: Pedro quickly and easily diverts Zimmer into the Boston grass. (Side note: the next day Zimmer apologized and said he was embarassed for the Yankees, the Red Sox, and his family.)

So the best comment on the event comes from Adam Carolla of Man Show and Love Line fame, who (I admit) I didn't like initially, but have come to realize is a genuinely funny guy. He said (paraphrasing):
"The best part of that whole thing was the look on Zimmer's face when he got up, because it's the same look any elderly person has when they slip and fall. He looked around like, 'What happened?' '-Well, you charged a world class athlete 70 years younger than you. What did you think happened? Did you think we moved your bed and you accidentally slept on the lawn?'"


It reminds me of when the Simpsons first came out. While watching an episode, my friend Connie said, "They are so brutal on the elderly!" to which I agreed and then wondered if that was right. Up until this point, the response to virtually every elderly joke in my life was, "You know, you're going to be old some day!" as if the joke would come back and seek its revenge in the nursing home. But even now as I grow old enough for sharp young people to start making fun of me, I declare elderly jokes OKAY! Sure, maybe it's a cheap laugh that appeals to my inner teenager, but I did think it funny when Stuttering John once asked Catherine Zeta Jones at a press conference, "Who's diapers do you change more, your child's or your husband's?"

Cheap laugh? Yes. But if I'm lucky enough to live to be elderly, my only hope is to be laughing right along at the Medicare and Matlock jokes. If I wake up in a nursing home surrounded by a bunch of kids who willingly showed up and like nothing more than respecting the elderly, then I'm definitely surrounded by a bunch of loser kids. And that makes me look bad! Even if I'm shitting into a bag, I don't want a bunch of socially stunted pre-teens ruining my chances with the sponge-bath nurse. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Soldiers in Apathy.

Posted by Hello
Time to put down those opinions and decide. The world has become a complex and volatile place. No one can be faulted for standing up for what they believe is best right now. But I have reached a point that has stopped me cold in my tracks. All of my recent loud-mouth campaigning is now silent. For I no longer know where I stand. This month, a decision must be made, and that is the decision of what to care less about, The Republican National Convention (starting Aug.30), or the Olympics (starting Aug. 13th).

This really shouldn't be a problem for me. After all, I grew up in the apathetic 80's, and sat out the disillusioned 90's, so I'm an old hat at this. Still, this is a tough one. On one hand, there's the predictable patriotic posturing of the Republicans, as they desperately try to use simple, easy to understand, slogans to gain acceptence of middle America in order to push through further tax cuts for the rich. On the other hand, there's equestrian events and the USA basketball team. Tough call.

I'm going to have to go with the Olympics, and it's not because I secretly love all the country music that will wallpaper the convention. Even though the Olympics only happen once every 4 years, I feel like I've already seen them. Remember that Keri Shrug gymnast? Everyone was so amazed at her performance except people who saw the same storyline unfold with Mary Lou Retton years before, the only difference was it meant more in the 80's because the Cold War was in full swing (Bring back the evil Soviets!). What was even worse was when Chris Kattan did Shrug on SNL, that got the old apathy gland a pumpin'. I just don't think I can stomach another one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments, AGAIN.

As a sports fan, I do like seeing the less popular sports take center stage, but for many of those you're basically seeing them done no different, just faster. Say what you want about the X-Games, but every year you know you're going to see some nut-job do something incredibly dangerous that's never been tried before. The only true interest I have is seeing the USA basketball team lose, since they've done so poorly leading up to the Olympics. But we all know they'll probably steamroll the competition. Boring!

The Convention on the other hand will be vastly predictable, but I still can't deny my overwhelming compulsion to care slightly about. The presidential election is a dead heat. Even now, as Kerry seems to be pulling ahead in the key swing staes, the difference in the polls is still within the margin of error. So I will care slightly, if for no other reason, than to see how low the GOP will swoop in an attempt to woo both the easily scared and uneducated.

Patton Oswalt has a great joke about how it always amazes him when he meets poor people who support Bush. He equates that to a teenage girl who blows Michael Damian at a county fair and truly believes he's in love with her and won't forget that moment. As he puts it, "No, honey, he appreciated the blowjob, but he's not coming back. Don't fool yourself."

So even though the prime directive of the Republican Party is to desperately protect the wealth from taxation (and allow a few friendly corporations to win multi-mullion dollar government contracts along the way!), they'll be doing everything in their power (hell, yes, country music!) to seem like just you and me.

So you'll have to run solo, Colin Powell, I'll be at home caring just slightly about the Republican Convention.

Playing Catch-Up.

I've got lots to write about and will sincerely try to get to it all in the next few days, so I'm going back a little in order to catch up. Here goes... Posted by Hello

A Brief History of Wasted Time...
If we could just get those obsessed egghead physicists and cosmologists to put down their pencils and stop chasing String Theory evidence and Unified Field Theories of Everything and building gravity telephones to communicate with other dimensions, and put them to work determining something useful, like what the greatest waste of time imaginable is, we'd surely discover that arguing with you ex-girlfriend's husband is right up at the top of the list. That's precisely what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and I feel horrible just thinking of it. Let me explain, when someone you like who you hardly ever see, comes into town, stay focused on catching up! Don't give in to some long-winded Napoleonic cock-fight that no one really cares about simply out of subconscious caveman competition. That's bad enough, but when you only have a small window of opportunity to catch up, giving in to shouting matches becomes and even greater disservice. For which, I am embarrassed and truly sorry. What's worse, my ex-'s time West was regulated tighter than a stingy alcoholic priest offering up a chalice of wine to the congregation. So when it came time to take a sip, I wasted it without even putting it to my lips. In the words of evil Shatner to the trekkies, "A Colossal Waste of Time." For which, I regret.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Suspicions Confirmed.

The Hives are absurd, ridiculous, and probably the best band on the planet. 'Saw them at the Fillmore on Sunday night and they were tremendous. With the release of their last CD Tyrannosaurus Hives, and coming off the tremendous Veni Vidi Vicious, The Hives are at the top of their game right now. Although they totally play up the rock-star persona, led by the insanely entertaining Howlin' Pelle, after about five minutes you realize underneath all that affect is an earnestness sorely lacking from American hipster bands. While the Strokes excell at leading their fans in a perfect group pouting pose, The Hives will leave you dehydrated and with a grin that'll last longer than a bad sunburn. It's too bad they've taken off for the Asian and European legs of their tour, with no more American dates scheduled, but I can't imagine they won't return as soon as they can. The Hives are clearly the Beatles of madcap Swedish nutjobs, and must be seen to believed. Posted by Hello