Thursday, October 28, 2004
A couple days ago I heard one of my anthropology professors attempt to defend Anasazi cannibalism by explaining to us the difference between ritual cannibalism and "eating someone just because you like the way they taste". Apparently the difference is "hee-yoooge". And my mom wonders why I haven't made any friends in the anthropology department.
Right now I'm currently thinking it amazing that I have any friends at all. Already, in my two months here at East Lansing I've managed to bail out and piss off two people who for some reason had decided to act cordial towards me. Actually, one of those incidents of being a no call no show was very much out of my control, but the person still looks in the other direction when ever they see me heading into class. As for the other, twenty minutes before I decided that I'd rather be somewhere else. Both of these occassions were sort of study and/or talk about academic stuff and what not appointments. Nothing formal, really, as I'm always on time and perfectly attentive for all job interviews and meetings with academic advisors, professors, and what not.
Luckily, I've managed to come across a small writing gig here in East Lansing. Nothing that actually pays money. And nothing that will probably get read by more than, I don't know, fifty people. But, it seems like I interact with strange people a lot better when I have something to sort of distance myself from the whole scenario. Kind of like I'm filming a documentary, and I have the camera to mentally distance myself from the action. And the cool thing about writing is, I can take my camera with me wherever I go. Even if I wasn't planning on documenting the occassion, I can just take myself aside, calm down and tell myself "easy there, you can write about this in your blog, or incorporate it into your next article or essay for whatever or whoever". And, suddenly, my experience seems something less than first hand.
Although, it doesn't always work like that. And most of the time I end up deciding to write about something after the fact. I think my real point amidst all of this is that I really enjoy writing when it gives me an excuse to go out and actually live my life. And I suppose this will be it's greatest benefit up untill the day some one decides that they want me to write about me sitting around my room.
I enjoy drinking beers with my buddy Randy, because sometimes after a few beers the subject matter of the conversation changes. Him and I are both involved in local music to some extent, him currently more so than I. Friday night we were hanging out, talking about music and what not. Crack open a few beers. Ninety minutes later we were talking about Vikings. Randy knows a lot more about Vikings than I do. I know jack shit about Vikings. But, I'm fairly knowledgeable when it comes to Chin Shi Huang, the first emeror of China. We were making comparisons between whoever that guy is that is the most notorious Viking, I can't remember his name, and Chin Shi Huang. Actually, I'm kind of a new fan of Chin Shi Huang. ACTUALLY, only since Hero came out, yes I am just the kind of person to have his academic interests influenced by a wu xia film.
But, the reason I'm talking about this conversation I had with my friend Randall is because of the overall point: sometimes people seem like assholes. And why do I feel the need to discuss people seeming like assholes?
I get tired of the hippie Jesus. I suppose it's not right to say that I get tired of the hippie Jesus. But, it's those aspects of Jesus' life and teachings that Hollywood likes to cling to whilst completely ignoring all the other stuff. People love the Jesus who tells us to love our neighbors and turn the other cheek, but they don't seem horribly fond of the Jesus who called people to repent and spoke of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
I recently had a chance to sit down and read the Apocalypse of Peter. I have no idea why this was left out of the New Testament, and I'm sure the Church had very good reasons for excluding it. For those who aren't familiar: the Apocalypse of Peter is a tale of Peter and Jesus sitting down and having a conversation about what hell is like. It gets pretty graphic and disturbing at times, I even found myself looking away on a couple of incidents. I found the book to be generally unsettling. And while I'm well aware that Jesus most likely didn't say all those things he is reported to have said in the Apocalypse of Peter, I like what it represented to me. It represented an unsettling image of Jesus.
Right now I'm reading this book that analyzes Jesus' life and teachings in light of Jewish custom and law. The book makes some incredible points, of which I'm frankly astounded that no one has pointed out to me before. Take for instance, the story of Jesus' first miracle at the wedding of Cana when he turned water into wine. Now look at this particular verse a little closer:
John 2 verse 6: Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
So the jars that Jesus used when performing this miracle were the jars that were supposed to be used for ceremonial washing. Why would he do such a thing? They were at a wedding party, there were plenty of wine jugs around. So why would he go and use the jugs that were supposed to be reserved for something sacred? He was actually preventing people from following through on the proper Jewish custom, and unnecessarily so. This, when you look at it closely, is an usettling image of Jesus. (Also, you'll notice that it says six jars, each holding twenty to thirty gallons, that's a lot of wine. So while on one hand it shows an unsettling image of Jesus, you also get a pretty cool one at the same time.)
But, why is there something in me that finds something appealing in these unsettling images of Jesus? I assure you that there's a lot more to it than just spiteful feelings towards the way pop culture likes to portray Jesus ( as a hippie or one's "homeboy"), and there's more to it then my own personal capacity for being an asshole. But, I'm sorry to say, I can't go into it right now. My explanation for why I love this aspect of my Savior would entail, most likely, another post's worth of varying anecdotes and selling points. It's eight thirty, I have to go study, and tomorrow morning I have to get up earlier than usual so I can go hear Dick Cheney give a speech. That's right, the vice president is coming within fifteen miles of my abode, and since I missed him last time he was around, I'm not going to bail out on this one. So, I guess that makes this my first intentional two part post.
Pirates are, apparently, more prevelant than ever.
>>But the popular perception that sea piracy has been eliminated is far from true.
Not only has piracy never been eradicated, but the number of pirate attacks on ships has tripled in the past decade, putting piracy at its highest level in modern history. According to the International Maritime Bureau, ship owners reported 445 attacks by pirates in 2003 - almost double the number of the year before. <<
Is it horribly unctuous of me to hate terrorism yet at the same time glorify the life of the pirate?
>>Rosary beads are the hot new fashion accessory, but the Roman Catholic Church in Britain is not amused.
Pop star Britney Spears and English soccer captain David Beckham have both been photographed wearing them, prompting a surge in sales at jewelry shops and religious suppliers.<<
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
I found this little candidate selector via Feminist Mormon Housewives. It asks you seventeen questions and tells you which candidates you're most compatible with. Here are my results:
Bush, President George W. - Republican (84%)
Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (51%)
Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (38%)
Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (33%)
Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (12%)
Cobb, David - Green Party (8%)
Nader, Ralph - Independent (8%)
I feel bad about Nader coming in last. I guess the biggest flaw of this candidate selector is it's inability to factor in my fond respect for Mugsy Bogues-esque contendors.
True, he's never going to win. But, don't you just love the way he trips up the big guys.
...because it's fucked up.
I have to step outside for a fucking fire drill (what are we twelve?) and as soon as I get back I see a message over on "the forum" from my good friend Steve, alerting me to this late breaking story. Yes, apparently Lex Luger is backstage right now at the Impact taping, and will be making an appearance on the show. No way to tell what this means as far as the weeks to come, or Victory Road, are concerned. I'm just praying that they don't let him wrestle.
It's sort of odd how this promotion which has earned a reputation for it's young and athletic roster, is now targeting old guys who can't wrestle for shit.
I want to know what alternate reality this guy is living in. It sounds exquisite.
>>Many, if not most, bishops in the Catholic Church are behind Bush because -- well, hell -- he's against abortion and tells us repeatedly he stands "for a culture of life." That's just what most of the American hierarchy want to hear, and a few of the boys with red hats, wearing lots of gold, would just love to run John Kerry, a former altar boy, right out of the church and save the nation and the world from his heretical beliefs. Bush has faith. Kerry doesn't. God sent us Bush. Kerry is Satan's servant.<<
Michigan, fuck yeah!!
>>Forget Florida. And Ohio. And Pennsylvania. The next President of the United States may well be elected in Michigan.
In 2000, Al Gore carried the Wolverine State by more than 200,000 votes. This year's conventional wisdom has conceded it to John Kerry. Two weeks ago, Democratic operatives began telling reporters that Michigan was in the bag.
They were wrong. Last Thursday, a poll in the Detroit News put President Bush ahead in Michigan by 4 points. A Knight-Ridder survey showed the race is a virtual tie. <<
Never in my life has a beer sounded so unappeasing.
>>Erich Tisch, who works at Downtown and whose beer of choice is PBR, says that in addition to its affordability -- about $16 for a 30-pack -- musicians in the punk scene like to drink the beer because "it has the reputation of being union-made."<<
And I totally love Taco Bell. But, it's just one of those things I won't allow myself to eat. Even if this comes to fruition. What I find amusing is that they actually took out an insurance policy in case they actually have to pay up on this promotional stunt. Can you do that?
I didn't want to say anything about the whole Ashlee Simpson thing, because it isn't interesting. She was hardly "caught in the act", and the only thing it really proved was that someone in the back had a vocal track on hand. There's no way to tell for sure if it was used for lipsynching or if it was used as a vocal guide. I don't see anything in this story that's remotely news worthy. But for some reason, this story has been covered by all the 24 hour news channels, there were two editorials on the happening in the State News, and she was on the front page of USA Today. And amidst all of this controversey, people are ignoring the real travesty of pop culture justice: Saturday Night Live isn't funny.
I guess the reason I decided to talk about this is because it made me realize that the rest of America is just like me. We're all completely and utterly bored with life. And we just stand around, bored, waiting for something to happen. As my life continues to play out, it seems that literally nothing ever happens. Maybe it's because the first sixteen years of my life were filled with turmoil. But my life has become a series of no events what so ever. And now I know that the rest of the country is in the same boat as me.
What gets me about it is that SNL will probably do a sketch this week making fun of the whole thing. Because, in all seriousness, none of this is real.
Oh! It's live TV, anything can happen!
I don't believe that for a second. Hours and hours and hours of planning go into these live televised events. And I am now thoroughly convinced that every single fucking thing that happens is planned. Every fake mustache that falls off. Planned. Everytime someone starts laughing at their own jokes. Planned. Nipple slips, forgotten lines, uncensored curse words. Planned. Planned. Planned.
Lorne Micheals knew that Elvis Costello was going to stop in the middle of a song and start playing a different song that no one had ever heard. He knew that Sinead O'Connor was going to rip up a picture of the Pope. In fact, he intentionally scheduled her to sing the week before Joe Pesci was scheduled to host, so then he could give an irate monologue. In fact, I'm going to go on the record and say that this whole Ashlee Simpson thing was staged.
Remember when Milli Vanilli were caught in the lipsynching act. Doesn't anyone else think it's suspicious that the tape skipped at the hook of their most popular song? There they are, performing an hour and half set. And the tape just happens to skip at the hook of their most popular song.
So why don't we all just stop paying attention and admit that life is really, really, really boring?
Monday, October 25, 2004
If anyone out there knows how the hell to vote as a Catholic, please let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to continue to blindly lend my support to the Republican party, because I feel that their policies are in the best interest of the professional wrestling business.
>>Vatican departments dealing with theology and the family, several experts said, appear to favor Mr. Bush because of his opposition to abortion. Other departments, dealing with diplomacy and poverty, tend to lean toward Mr. Kerry because of the Iraq war and the view that Mr. Bush has generally sidelined diplomacy.<<
>>Several Vatican officials said, however, that any such talk has little meaning because the church does not take sides in elections. But the statements by several American bishops that Catholics who vote for Mr. Kerry would have to go to confession have raised the question in many corners about whether this is an official church position. <<
UGHH!! UGHH!! UGHH!!!
>>While Mr. Kerry's abortion stand puts him at odds with church doctrine, several Vatican officials said they were unclear whether Mr. Bush would be in strict accordance, despite his opposition to abortion. Experts with close ties to the Vatican cited not only the war in Iraq but Mr. Bush's strong support for capital punishment, also opposed by the church. <<
UGHH!! UGHH!! UGHH!! UGHH!!!!
>>The experts note that, in church doctrine, abortion is a particular sin: that because abortion robs the innocent of life, it differs from capital punishment or war. At the same time, several experts said, this does not imply endorsement by the Vatican of the American bishops' warnings against voting for Mr. Kerry. <<
This is what it would look like if my efforts to vote as a socially conscious Catholic who respects the teachings of Church leaders were a key chain.
For crying out loud, could someone please just say something remotely conclusive!
>>Father Reese said, moreover, that the Vatican seemed worried about the divisions this bitter election has caused in the American church."When you have different bishops teaching different things, it confuses the faithful," he said. "And they don't like that.''<<
Remember when I said that I was just kidding when I made that remark about voting as a wrestling fan? Well, I sure as hell can't vote as a Catholic.
>>While Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver and Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., focused on abortion as the most important moral issue of the day, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit said the policies of President George W. Bush were "in opposition to a culture of life" despite his stand on abortion.<<
Uhh, Archbisops are supposed to be stronger than Auxiliary Bishops, right? Either way, as a faithful Catholic, it sure is comforting to see high profile Church leaders publicly disagreeing with each other.
>>"We must tirelessly hone our judgments, inform our consciences and measure each person, politician or platform according to how close they come to living the way, speaking the truth, and respecting and protecting life," Bishop Angell said.
The bishop urged "prominent figures who profess the Catholic faith" to take "great care to lead, not mislead, the faithful on any and all respect-life issues."
"Public statements and opinions which distort Catholic Church teachings can confuse the faithful, cause them great pain and promote disunity within the church," he added.<<
No need to worry about that, Your Eminence. This faithful is already confused. Luckily for me, I've already turned in my absontee ballot.
Do kick ass novelty acts get any more kick ass and any more novel than Hasidic reggae?
>>Once an ambivalent suburban child and later a troubled, drug-addled runaway, Matisyahu - born Matthew Miller - eventually found peace in Orthodox Judaism.
Now he's released a reggae album - "Shake Off the Dust ... Arise!" - that will help spread the messages of his faith.
Though he can't perform on Friday nights (in observance of the Sabbath) and won't wear glasses on stage (in case his audience includes scantily clad females), his faith's strict lifestyle hasn't prevented Matisyahu from cultivating a strong fan base.<<
This really sounds like nothing more than an hour and a half SNL sketch.
>>"I think it's been so popular because it's an age-old enjoyable thing," Kaling says. "People like celebrities parodied. Adding the layer of two girls playing them is absurd and funny. And I think Brenda and I are pretty funny, if I do say so myself."<<
She's right!! Girls playing guys! That's so fucking absurd and sidesplittingly hysterical!!
You know, all of this just goes to prove one of my hardcore convictions: women aren't funny.
Then I would know how this Buddhist monk feels about accidentally causing an anthrax scare.
>>A Buddhist monk's war on insects shut down Canada's mission in Sri Lanka on Monday, when powder he used to preserve his passport from moths triggered an anthrax scare, police said.
The bemused monk was carted off to a police station but would soon be released, Herath said.<<
UPDATE: I just looked up "bemused". And, as it turns out, the monk was bewildered.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
How grizzled and jaded do you have to be before you start praying to St. Death?
>>Deep in the heart of Mexico City's toughest neighborhood, in streets plagued by drugs and prostitution, faithful Catholics are praying to a new and fearsome saint: death itself.
They come by the dozens to the Mercy Church, a former house in the Tepito neighborhood stuffed with statues and posters of the Grim Reaper, known among the devotees as St. Death.<<
So apparently, a group of extremely grizzled laity got together and decided they were going to bestow sainthood upon a phenomenon. And not just any phenomenon, but death. They could have picked inconvenience or even illness, buth they went with death. Damn, that's grizzled.
>>The Chapel of the Most Holy Death is filled with pictures and statues of the Grim Reaper, and the altar overflows with offerings of fresh fruit, bread, cigars and tequila.
The skeletons are dressed in hooded robes, some of them covered with white lace like wedding gowns. Some wear crowns or carry a globe. All of them carry long scythes.
Outside the church, a vendor sold statues of Michelangelo's Pieta, but with Death cradling the body of Jesus instead of Mary. <<
In regards to my review of the big MTX/Ruth's Hat show back in February, and this blog in general, P.J. Sloan of Ruth's Hat (the best damn band to ever come out of Michigan and/or Canada) had this to say....
"I knew our fans were smart."
I was reading this article from the Detroit Free Press when I suddenly realized that it was talking about that stupid Catholic social teaching seminar I talked about a few days ago. It's fun to read quotes that I've actually heard in person. It makes you realize just how much gets lost in the translation from real life to journalism. Like this....
"I don't think that Bush is pro-life," said Michael Liberato, director of student faith formation at St. John. "I don't see how a position of pre-emptive war ... and someone who advocates that can be considered pro-life."
What you miss by only reading it, instead of actually being there, is just how incensed this guy was. I mean afterall, how could a guy who's pro-life possibly support the removal of a crazy, murderous dictator? Yes, this guy is in fact the director of student faith formation at the MSU student parish. I bet you didn't believe me when I said the people at St. John were morons.
But anyways, check this out.......
Michigan State graduate student Katie Wharton, a practicing Catholic, isn't sure which candidate will get her vote.
"I personally don't know what to think about this election," she said during the meeting at St. John. "I can't find a candidate that I like."
They left out the part where she said that she was probably going to end up voting for Bush. But this girl was the high light of the evening, as far as I'm concerned. Amongst all the pseudo-enlightened Catholic liberals and me playing the role of the antagonistic reactionary conservative, she was the only person there who was even remotely genuine. So I won't say anything bad about her. But Micheal Liberato is fair game, and by fair game, I mean a moron.
But, you'll notice that through out this article there's one thing obviously missing: motherfucking me! Well, that's my fault, I nicely asked the reporter in attendance to not use any of my quotes without first calling me and letting me know what quotes she was going to use. I did this because over the course of the evening I made a lot of extreme statements, mainly in an effort to piss off the people who were pissing me off. I made quite a few statements that could easily be taken out of context (hypothetical example: "I've smoked pot" said MSU senior Ron Whiting, who later added "Ughhh, I hate Canada".) I'm just a humble college student trying to wrap up his BA, I'm really not in the mood for getting harrassing phone calls because of some outlandish remarks I made to eight people in the basement of a church.
One of the newest groups is Redeem the Vote, the religious community's answer to
MTV's secular Rock the Vote. The group is touring battleground states with
Christian rock groups and voter-registration drives that organizers say are
putting the fear of God into Sen. John Kerry's supporters.
...but silly in a way that balances out the silliness of Rock The Vote, so that once again, I can take the election seriously.
I'm aware that the post below this one is ridiculous. I've decided to leave it because I think it stands as a testament to what happens when I write things as I'm thinking them and then post it without bothering to read it first. Although, I am kind of proud of the post, only because of how fast I was typing. And no, I didn't bother turning the paper in. It was just too stupid. It's a lot easier to post things on my blog without putting any thought into them first than it is to hand in a paper that I didn't put any thought into. Because then I'll just piss the dude off even more.
Although, sometimes saying things as you think them can have its moments. My good friend John is a manager at a Guitar Center in Kalamazoo. He meets a lot of famous people and what not. Saturday night he was telling us how he had met the lead singer of Coheed and Cambria, and without any thought what so ever I reply that he looks like the Cookie Monster. I then spent the next few days chuckling at how that dude looks like the Cookie Monster and how I made that remark just as I was realizing it. Also, I'm aware that this anecodte is really one of those "you had to be there" anecdotes, and by "there" I mean inside my head.
You see, sometimes thinking out loud has its moments. Most of the time it doesn't. I'm trying to take the good with the bad.
Alright, here's my challenge. I now have twenty minutes to write a phony personal statement for a job for which I have no qualifications or interest. Here's what I got so far.....
Ronald Charles Whiting
Personal Statement Final Draft
Now, once again, I find myself blogging when I should be doing school work. Ughhh.
This is one those assignments where I can't do it because my brain just doesn't seem to produce any thoughts what so ever. For example, I just finishe my first paragraph, which I will no doubt delete.....
The only reason I want this job is to get away from East Lansing. In fact, I want to get away from Michigan all together. As a student at Michigan State University, I am subject to a writing program that automatically writes “Michigan State University” whenever I attempt to write the word Michigan. Which gets really annoying. I write the word Michigan, and automatically this little square bubble pops up that says Michigan State University. I wonder if it does the same for other universities. Let’s see, Notre Da….nope nothing. Florida, nope nothing. Harv….nope nothing.
See this project has me pretty apprehensive. I handed in a rough draft and when the professor returned it to me he had written; "This was very entertaining. But hardly appropriate, even for a rough draft". Damn, is that harsh. I've now got eleven minutes to finish this assignment.
I've decided to take a different approach, here's my new first paragraph.
I am a student of anthropology. I’m not the greatest student. I’m an extremely mediocre student. In fact, most of my professors don’t have a lot of nice things to say about me. But, I’m applying for this job anyway. Because, even though I’m hardly the best man for this job, I notice that there were a lot of openings. I saw other jobs that I would be much more capable of performing. But none of them had as many openings as this job.
I've now got only eight minutes left to finish this paper.
Just finished my second paragraph, I've only got five minutes to go....
So what I’m offering is this, I noticed that there were quite a few different cities for which you needed archaeologists. While my archaeology skills may need some honing, I find that one of my greatest strengths is my ability to put up with a crappy scenario. Currently, I’m living in a crappy little dorm room on the campus of MSU. Due to a bad case of social anxiety disorder, I’ve yet to make any friends here in East Lansing. I finish class, then I go back to my room and read. I read, or I watch TV. And eventually I go to bed. Then I wake up and repeat his cycle. I’ve been living here for almost two months now, and that’s been the trend thus far.
Third paragraph with two minutes to go.
Obviously, with so many different cities to choose from, one of them has to suck. I’ve noticed a lot of different exotic locations. I noticed numerous locations in Japan. They all sound extremely exciting, and I would love to work at any one of them. But, being that I don’t have the proper qualifications for this job, I can’t imagine that you would hand just me a job working in Japan or Hawaii or some place really cool and exotic.
Fourth paragraph and my twenty minutes are up.
Now, I’m certain that some of these archaeological sites must be located in some serious dumps. So, I’m asking you to give me a job working somewhere that no one else wants to work. I’m used to spending all my time alone. I’m used to living in tight uncomfortable areas. I’m used to being bored out of my skull. So give me the location that no one else in their right mind would want. And I promise you that I will do an adequate job.
Ok, I got to get going. I'm not sure if I'll actually turn this paper in. It's too stupid. I can't tell if it's a better idea to turn in a stupid paper and get maybe one point on it, whilst pissing off the professor in the process, or not turn it in at all. I'm so fucking bored with all of this.
Did HBK actually call Benoit and Edge "master debaters" on last night's program? I wonder what Ted Dibiase and all the others are going to say about that one.
Monday, October 18, 2004
....you're Vince McMahon. I can't believe you're actually reading my blog, sir. Here's an article that illustrates your ever loosening grip on what the fans want.
"We wanted to get out of our Sunday rut. . . . This event is all about newness and its revolutionary status," McMahon said.
Did you just admit to being in a rut? That's amazing.
You know, I always wondered. After the downfall of WCW, how did your fanbase manage to diminish? You'd think that with a bunch of WCW fans with no WCW to watch, your viewership would increase by at least some fraction of the quantity of WCW fans who didn't watch your program. But, instead you have less viewers. How'd that work out?
Marvez points to the 2001 purchase by the WWE of its rival World Championship Wrestling as a golden - but lost - opportunity to achieve world domination.
"One of Vince's biggest mistakes was badly dropping the ball with the purchase of WCW, presenting its stars as second-class citizens and alienating the promotion's remaining fan base," said Marvez, also noting that McMahon failed to groom former WCW talents as possible successors to the WWE throne."
So you end up losing viewers as a result of your purchase by alienating the WCW fans who watched your show. If that had been intentional, it would have been really clever. Quick, like every chairman of a publicly traded company that's doing shitty, make some ridiculous argument for why your shittyness is actually a stock boom waiting to happen!
"Success (in wrestling) is all about being creative and having superstars," McMahon said. "The good thing about now, when we're not at the top of our game as we were a few years ago, is that it lets new stars evolve logically, just like in Hollywood."
Remarks like that leave me fairly certain that it's just a matter of time before TNA has completely taken over the market.
...although I'm still extremely amused, and oddly inspired, by this.
"A tax increase under a Kerry administration would have disastrous results for our industry," Sparxx said. "Less disposable income in the fans' pockets would hurt Pay Per View buys and live attendance, resulting in less revenue for the wrestlers themselves and promoters seeing empty arenas and having to cancel appearances and possibly even shows that had poor advance sales."
I've already said it, but I think I'll say it again: God bless Matt Stone.
"If you really don't know or you're just going to vote for George Bush because he's already in office, or you're gonna vote for John Kerry because he's on the cover of Rolling Stone, don't do that. That's lame."
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Another inherently noble Union continues to fight for the inherent rights of the inherently noble working man....
"An investigation of the Teamsters Union in Chicago turned up allegations of mob influence, kickback schemes and the secret shifting of union jobs to low-wage, non-union companies.
In addition, the report says that as recently as February, there was evidence that a Teamster foreman at a Chicago streets and sanitation yard solicited bribes from seasonal employees in exchange for full-time jobs.One Teamster said a supervisor--known to investigators but not identified in their report--told him that if he wanted full-time work he would have to pay $10,000
The report also raised questions about 726 officials meeting with alleged organized-crime associates and counted eight members with links to the mob."
How's this for maternal instincts?
"The Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon, whose 47-year-old son Christopher was born intellectually disabled, said she had to make a conscious decision to save him when he slipped beneath the bathwater as a three-year-old.
"There was a moment when I could have allowed Christopher to die when I had him at home," she said in an interview on ABC Radio yesterday.
"He had a very significant epileptic seizure - which he does at intervals - and he happened to be in the bath. I had left the bathroom and I came back in and he was under the water.
"I could have let him die, but I could not bring myself to do it."
"There was a moment of conscious choice. As I looked at him there I thought, 'no, there is something in me that demands that I preserve his life'." "
Wow, isn't it amazing how God works? There was just something in this woman compelling her to not let a three year old drown in a fucking tub. It gives me chills.
I've seen this already reported in quite a few sources. But I thought I'd point it out since I think it is, in fact, "The Greatest Fucking Thing Ever".
" It was the reporters who noticed first. Unable to call their editors while covering the weddings of the rich and famous, they asked the priest why their cell phones never worked at Sacred Heart. His reply: Israeli counterintelligence.
In four Monterrey churches, Israeli-made cell phone jammers the size of paperbacks have been tucked unobtrusively among paintings of the Madonna and statues of the saints. "
First off, you gotta love the idea of some reporter covering some rich dude's wedding, and going up to the priest afterward and saying; "Hey, why couldn't I talk on my phone during this very sacred ceremony?". Second off, what a great place to start experimenting with this wonderful technology. Next, I think they should make it a mandatory feature for all automobiles, libraries, and movie theaters.
If your goal is simply to reduce the numbers, as opposed to the long term goal of erradicating it all together, well, then I think I've figured out your next target.
"The pope, whose own Diocese of Rome has the highest abortion rate in the country, has strongly and consistently preached a pro-life message to Italians, but that has not been translated into political activism among leading Catholics."
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Apparently pork isn't meat in Italy. Man, is there anything about Italy that isn't totally awesome?
"The omnipresence of pork products is most clearly manifest in Italy's sandwich culture, where prosciutto and its relatives hide under many pseudonyms: as prosciutto cotto (cooked) and crudo (raw), coppa, cotechino, guanciale, lardo, lonza, mortadella, pancetta, porchetta, salsiccia, salumi, spalla and speck, most of them cold cuts, all made of pork.
This poses a problem not just for vegetarians but also for observant Jews and Muslims."
Ok, there's nothing funny about Jews and Muslims being tricked into eating pork. But, as for the vegetarians, that's just great.
....unless, you know, you're this chick's husband. Then it's just annoying.
Of course I'm talking about the first three hour PPV from NWA TNA. As I was telling my friends, what makes NWA TNA so awesome is the same thing that made ECW awesome. When you're doing one show a week, in the same city, you need not worry about injuries. In the WWE, when you step out to perform for a crowd, you have to take into consideration that you'll be performing at another house show two days later, and then another house show two days after that. That's not a concern in NWA TNA, when they go out there, they're not fretting over a spraining an ankle, or sustaining an especially nasty flesh wound.
Now, take this principle, and take into consideration that Victory Road will be their big chance to prove themselves. It's a guarantee that these guys will be going all out. Petey Williams vs. AJ Styles for the X Division Championship? I can not foresee a scenario in which this match doesn't absolutely blow my mind. And yeah, it sucks that the main event is going to be Jarrett vs. Hardy, but it'll be justified if it helps bring in some more viewers. Because, we want to see NWA TNA take it to the WWE.
I'm sick of seeing my favorite wrestlers (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Charlie Haas, Akio) get shitted on. I still like Triple H, but he's been Heavyweight Champion for eighteen months out of the last thirty four (via Mr. Tito) . Things have gotten so bad that Pat Patterson has left the company. Pat Patterson!! I can not recall a point in my lifetime when Pat Patterson wasn't working for the WWE. Now he's fucking out, he's sick of all the Triple H nonsense, and he's decided to bail. The bigwigs at UPN are becoming increasingly perterbed by Smackdown's lack luster ratings. And if I was running UPN, I'd be pissed, especially when it's glaringly obvious that a simple roster merger would bring ratings back up. They've got a business to run, and I don't think they'll be putting up with the WWE's poor descisions for much longer. As Mr. Tito put it, in the link I mentioned earlier.....
"I'm sure UPN is frothing at the mouth at what they might do with that 2 hour block on Thursdays."
With all of this taken into consideration, it's the perfect time for NWA TNA to swoop in and make a significant change. And I think they owe it to the fans. The fans have helped get the company to the point where they could pull off a three hour PPV. Now they owe it to them to take it to the competition and bring some good wrestling to prime time TV.
It's the perfect opportunity for us to vote with our dollars. And I'm going to be all over this one.
Dr. Frank says it's funny. I knew it had to be. Every movie those guys have ever made has been absolutely hysterical. I was going to see it this weekend, but a close friend had a family emergency. And I just couldn't go see the movie without him. So I'm going to go see it next week. And believe me, I'm chomping at the bit, I'll tell you what. Ever since I saw the terrorist puppets going "dugga dugga dugga", I knew that this was the movie for me.
The first time I ever saw BASEketball was, in all sincerity, the hardest I've ever laughed in my life. Critics blasted that movie, to the point where the South Park guys conceded to their criticisms. But, I'll insist that it's the funniest movie ever made. And if you haven't seen Cannibal The Musical.............well, just see it, at all costs.
And God bless Matt Stone for saying that there's "no shame in not voting". There is no shame what so ever. I have three very close friends who have absolutely no intention to vote. In fact, I fondly recall my buddy Ben laughing boystrously and then declaring; "Man, I was so out of it yesterday, I almost got registered to vote. Luckily, I snapped out of it". I kind of wish Ben would get registered. Because, like myself, he supports Dar Leaf. Although, he supports him because of his cool Viking-sounding name. DAR!!!!
Now, as I've made clear on this blog already, I'm pulling for Bush. Afterall, with how crazy and awesome he's been over the past four years, imagine how crazy and awesome he'll be once he no longer has to worry about getting re-elected. Is it me, or do these people suddenly get personalities once becoming president is no longer a concern? I loved seeing Bush Sr. on TV calling Micheal Moore an ass. Dole went from being Dole to some sort of sex icon. Clinton, obviously was even more fun to watch once he no longer had to worry about getting re-elected.
I think something snapped in my brain during that last debate. Both those guys were so horridly dull that Kerry makes one some what self-debasing joke about his rich wife and I'm lauging my ass off, grateful to finally be slightly amused by something. I guess I've realized that these past two months of paying more attention to politics than I usually do, has left me not only bored with the TV I've been watching, but bored by own thoughts. And I count on those to keep me amused through out the day.
At first I kind of thought of myself as voting as a Catholic. I suppose that's still kind of true, when it comes to the values I take into consideration when voting. But, when push comes to shove, I vote as a pro-wrestling fan, in that I'm fairly conservative and easily bored.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Here's a recent essay from Dr. Bob Gottfried, on the shortcomings of religion. Dr. Gottfried's the author of the book Shortcut To Spirituality. And with a book title like that, he must be filled to the brim with insight.
"The truth is that we do not need religion to develop spiritually. Religion is not the goal; it is just a tool."
Yeah, I can agree with you there to some extent.
"Many people find it difficult to accept, but in fact religion is a human invention. Spirituality on the other hand is a universal, godly existence that is the core of life and not at its edge."
Ya lost me.
"Let me ask you a question: How does religion try to force us to become better people?” Isn’t it through promoting fear, shame, and guilt? I know this from personal experience, as well as from numerous patients whose fear and guilt, created by their own religions, made them feel miserable, ill, unhappy, inhibited, repressed, and at times almost insane.
Yes, mental illness can begin in religion. A disorder named Scrupulosity is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. People experiencing this disorder are obsessed with sins, morality, and religion in general. Also, a phobia named peccatiphobia is associated with committing sins."
You know, now they're also saying that caffeine withdrawal is a disease.
"Fear, guilt, shame--is this what spirituality is all about? Obviously not. "
Why is that obvious? Because those are bad feelings, and spirituality is exclusive to good feeling?
"I believe that the big discrepancy between religion’s offering and spiritual teachings’ focus gave rise to the New Age movement. It’s also the reason why many people moved from traditional religions to Eastern practices such as Buddhism and Hinduism. "
I thought people converted to Buddhism and Hinduism because they realized that the New Age movement was bullshit.
"Clergy of all denominations would want you to believe that this is how things have always been and how they should remain, but we all know that even what seems to be a “full proof” system can be challenged. Communists, as an example, thought that their power would exist forever. But they were wrong"
HEY! Great example!!
"Many women have pointed out to me that the percentage of women volunteering for the different Catholic Church activities is very high. Why is assuming significant lay responsibility acceptable but becoming a priest is not?"
Afterall, didn't the apostle serve dinner whilst the women sat around listening to Jesus teach?
"Unfortunately, we can point to the private lives of priests and church leaders as a testament to what can happen when people are forced to repress their innate sexual desires."
Yeah, I'm not sure how many people are aware of this, but priests actually go threw all eight years of seminary, their vows, and finally their ordination, with a fucking gun to their head.
"People must question religious leaders who only preach and promise, and begin to look for genuine teachers instead."
You mean like you?
Uhhh, yeah. I too thought Bush kind of pussied out on the Roe v. Wade question.
"The quote isn't from Clinton, of course. It's from our pro-life President George Bush, in last night's debate. That's the closest he came to promising any action to stop abortion.
Thirty years ago, a pro-life presidential candidate would have-- and in fact did-- promise to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion altogether. In that time, the pro-life candidate has won 5 out of 7 elections. Yet we keep losing ground, and now the pro-life candidate doesn't dare to hint at opposition to Roe. What's gone wrong?"
Though, I do think he at least hinted at opposition to Roe v. Wade. Also, I've heard this argument from quite a few sources: A Democrat gets elected, yada yada yada, even though they're pro-choice, there's fewer abortions. I'm not going to dismiss this argument by any means. But, as a guy who blogs about professional wrestling, of all things, it involves way more thought and research then I'm willing to put into political shit. And I'm aware that people on both sides want to "reduce the number" (I put parentheses there, because that seems to be the big phrase that keeps getting thrown around) of abortions. But, as a Catholic convert who was brought up fairly conservative, I don't have a lot of fat to chew on the abortion issue: I want it outlawed.
Over the past couple of years I’ve become somewhat of a Scrabble enthusiast. Every week I meet for coffee with my good friend Caleb, and we sit down and enjoy a rousing game of Scrabble. We’ve actually become quite competitive with each other, and fairly equal. He can’t spell for shit and he’s dyslexic, not to mention Dutch. But, he’s really good at math and strategy. Both of which are equally important to the game as spelling. I suck at math and have no sense of strategy whatsoever. But, I know how to spell and I have a better than average vocabulary.
For as long as I can remember my mom has always been asking me to play Scrabble with her. Ever since I was twelve and decided that I didn’t really want to play Scrabble with my mom. But sure enough, a rainy afternoon would roll around, and my mom would ask me if I wanted to play Scrabble. I never really wanted to. So I rarely ever did.
So over the past two years, I had become a regular Scrabble player and some what of a serious Scrabble player. My excuse for not playing Scrabble with my mom changed. No dictionary. I can’t play Scrabble without a Scrabble dictionary. I’d play a word like “aa” or “ut”. And most likely she would say something like; “That’s not a word”.
I’d say; “Yeah huh.”
And then it’d turn into this thing.
So, I had my excuse for not playing Scrabble with my mom. I would play Scrabble with total strangers that I came across in the local coffee shop. But, I wouldn’t play Scrabble with my own mother. Because I was taking the game too seriously. Previously I had no enthusiasm for Scrabble and thus didn’t want to play with my mom. Then I had become so utterly enthralled with Scrabble, and so competitive, that I didn’t want to play Scrabble with my mom.
One weekend, whilst visiting home, my mother asked me to play Scrabble with her. Since I’m always playing with Caleb and other various people at the local coffee shop, why don’t I play against her? I told her it was because there was no dictionary around the house. I can’t play Scrabble without a Scrabble dictionary.
When I was visiting home again, a few weeks later, I went into her room to grab a pair of scissors. Whilst looking a round I noticed a copy of the official Scrabble dictionary sitting on her stand. My mom had gone out and forked over the fourteen dollars to buy a Scrabble dictionary. She was serious about this shit. Suddenly my whole perspective on the scenario changed, and I felt like somewhat of a dick. Obviously, spending time with her son playing a stupid board game meant a lot to this woman. And I had to be an ass about it.
I didn’t wait for her to ask me if I wanted to play Scrabble. I went ahead and told her that I noticed she picked up a copy of the Scrabble dictionary, and I was ready to go as soon as she was. Before we played I showed her some of the more unusual words in the Scrabble dictionary, as though I was trying to explain to her why I had been such a shitty son.
I totally schooled her. And I suppose I could be proud of it, assuming that my intentional strategy was to spend a decade denying her someone to play Scrabble with, spend two years getting good at it whilst she wasn’t around, and then proceeding to dominate the Scrabble board. But, that wasn’t intentional. I was really much more of an unintentional asshole.
After the game, my mother suggested to me that I go down to Kalamazoo and play a game of Scrabble with my grandmother, the aging matriarch of the Whiting clan. My mom used to always tell me that Grandma was incredible at the game. They used to play it all the time at family gatherings when I was young (which is probably why my mom has such a huge obsession with the game, it reminds her of happier times hanging out with my dad and his folks, and what not), and she would slaughter everyone. I told her I thought that was a great idea. And hopefully, I’ll follow through on it. I’d hate to be sitting at my grandmother’s funeral knowing that I never got to go toe to toe with her at Scrabble and knowing that I never took the time to share with her one little, stupid thing we had in common.
I've been watching the current season of Surreal Life somewhat religiously. Because, I love Flavor Flav. I actually went as Flavor Flav for the now legendary Two Stars Burning Sun Holloween party in Kalamazoo back in 2001. So I'm definitely stoked to see that he's getting his own spin-off.
But, Jackie Chan has given us Snake In The Eagle's Shadow and 36 Crazy Fists. What the hell has India given us?
Though they do have one thing in common. They both did their best work whilst under British occupation.
Whilst discussing unions with a good friend of mine who belongs to a union, I think I may have said a few things that crossed the line. Out of respect I've decided to try and avoid bringing the subject up. However, he doesn't read this blog, so I guess I'll have to use this as my haven of union ridicule. And I guess it starts now.
" Union leaders in the Swedish industrial town of Trollhattan, which is threatened by huge job losses, quit after allegations they used membership dues to buy liquor, porn and sex toys, the union said Thursday. "
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Probably my favorite thing to do here at MSU is walk around the library till I see a book title that catches my eye. I grab that book and go sit down and read it till it bores me. Then I go get a different book.
Yesterday whilst strolling through the library I walk into the section filled with books by homosexual Christian apologetics. The book that caught my eye was Queering Christ by Robert Goss. The book caught my eye because I found the title ghastly deplorable. It always seems to me that these authors who delve into the subject of homosexuality and Christianity don’t even attempt to appeal to any mainstream or right of the mainstream Christians.
First of all, remarking that as a teenager you wanted to make love to Jesus is most likely going to scare off everyone who isn’t already extremely to the left. But, I guess this guy had a pretty rough adolescence. Apparently, every time he went to Confession the priest would totally put him on a major guilt trip for having participated in circle jerks with the other neighborhood boys. By this point I’d decided that this book wasn’t really for me. But, at the beginning of one of the chapters was this quote that totally caught my attention, made by some dude named Peter Gomes:
“No credible case against homosexuality or homosexuals can be made from the Bible unless one chooses to read Scripture in a way that sustains the existing prejudice against homosexuality and homosexuals.”
Huh? Well, I instantly had to jot down this little gem. So, I did, and then abandoned the book in favor of something a little less lurid.
So, the only way to interpret the Bible as condemning homosexuality is if I choose to interpret it as condemning homosexuality? So, let’s say I wanted to apply this principle to my own personal studies of scripture, and wanted to maintain a positive attitude towards gay sex. Then anytime I’d start to interpret a passage as condemning the act, I’d have to forget it and start over from scratch. It reminds me of when I played Resident Evil 2. I got all the way to the final boss and found out that I didn’t have the proper ammo to defeat him. The only way I could possibly beat the boss, and get the ending I wanted, was to delete my memory card and start the game over.
Or maybe it’s more like that one forest in the Legend Of Zelda. You know the one. Where you enter the forest and you have three directions to choose from, up, down, and left. Every time you went in one of those directions you’d end up in the same place, and the trick was to pick the right sequence of directions. But, I could never remember the sequence. So I would just go in random directions until magically a castle would appear.
Or maybe it’s like Super Mario Brothers 2. When I played that game, I would always use either Luigi or the Princess for the first three levels. When I got to the fourth level, I would start using Toad, because he’s much more adept on slick surfaces.
Regardless of which video game analogy is more apt, I can’t imagine I’d be able to get past the first level of Romans unless I hit up, up, down, down, left, left, right, right, A, A, B, B at the start screen. That final boss is just too fucking hard. Ok, that analogy didn’t make a lick of sense. But, come on, if St. Paul isn’t the New Testament’s equivalent of the dudes from Contra, then I don’t know who is. And I still think Blades Of Steal is the greatest hockey game ever.
So then later in the day, I decided to go to the second installment in a seminar on Catholic social teaching being held at the St. John’s Uber Liberal Student Parish. The man responsible for leading the discussion eventually brought the discussion to the “hot topic” of gay marriage, a topic I was really hoping wouldn’t be brought up. When it comes to my feelings on this whole issue, I believe my best friend Caleb once put it best when he said; “You know, Chuck (my friends call me Chuck). I’ve got nothing personal against gay people, I’ve got a few gay friends. But, whenever it’s made into an issue, I’m not going to side against my religion”. The final conclusion we both seem to have kind of arrived at seems to be; “gee, I hope nobody brings it up”.
Anyways, the dude leading the discussion said that he thought the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality were totally inept and out of touch with the times. I said that having been raised Baptist, having denounced Christianity, and having come back to Christ through the Catholic Church (the point being that my train of thought had been through numerous stages regarding this issue), that I thought the Catholic Church’s teachings on this issue were just fine. I think it’s great that they make the distinction betwixt orientation and behavior. I think the Church’s teachings are as compassionate as can be without being flat out permissive of the act itself.
He then made the argument, that if people could be born with the orientation, then how could the behavior be wrong. Why would God create some one with that orientation, if the behavior were so wrong? Because, it’s not like Christianity has a doctrine to account for people being born with the potential to commit sinful acts, or anything of the sort.
And while I’m still completely befuddled by this point, he hits me with another brain teaser.
“Apart from the rule that says we can't have homosexual sex, what rules does homosexual sex actually violate?”
I then say to him; "Dude, did you just ask me what rules does homosexual sex violate apart from the rule that says we're not allowed to have homosexual sex?"
And he replies, “Yes”.
The conversation got really goofy. I was just there because of this girl, and I could tell she was amused whenever I opened my mouth and said something really conservative that pissed off all the ultra liberal Catholics in the room. And I could tell five minutes into the seminar that things were going to get pretty trite if I didn’t open my huge fucking mouth. So I did. I, for the most part, meant most of the shit I said. I just went out of my way to word it in a way that would piss off everybody in the room except that one girl and the little old lady who kept quiet the entire time.
But, there was one moment I was especially proud of.
This one guy opens his mouth and says; “Well, I have this friend who’s Native American, and his tribe doesn’t have a concept of gay and straight. Instead, they have seven different levels of sexuality”.
You know, it’s really easy to use Native Americans to reaffirm your beliefs, regardless. You have over five hundred tribes to choose from for crying out loud.
Anyways, this guy starts droning on about these levels of sexuality. Apparently, level one is like a fucking lumberjack and level seven is the submissive housewife who knows how to please her man. I wasn’t really paying attention, because as this guy was rambling on, I had come up with the perfect thing to say. I had just the right remark to piss this guy off and send the entire room into a tizzy. Finally, this guy ceases his droning. And I’ve got my chance.
“Well, there’s a reason for that,” I reply. “It’s because their culture is inferior.”
Yep. I really finagled the glaven on that one.
He then lectured me on how it was really dangerous for me to think that we were better than them. I go ahead and point out the obvious. That cultures are man made, and therefore can be given labels like superior and inferior without making inferences about ethnic superiority (just compare The Matrix to The Magnificent Butcher and try and tell me that the culture of American cinema isn’t inferior to the culture of Hong Kong cinema). Besides, if this guy had bothered to read his Bible, instead of studying select indigenous tribes that validate his worldview, then maybe he’d realize that Jesus didn't believe in cultural relativism either.
Anyways, the whole experience was miserable. Sure, it was fun antagonizing those people. And I’ll probably end up going to the third one, only because I think I might have a shot with this girl. But, spending an hour and a half having the values and beliefs my parents instilled in me, and the Catholic Church re-affirmed in me, picked apart and laughed at by fellow Catholics (we went at it on a whole slue of issues, fortunately all the gay talk only consumed about fifteen minutes of the ninety minute discussion), can be pretty exhausting.
Anyways, after all of this, I decided to head back to my place and watch the final debate. I had a six-pack of ice cold Labatt Blue waiting for me in my mini fridge. When I’m drinking, I tend to be more honest with myself. So what did I admit to myself? That this was fucking boring as hell. So I ended up flipping back and forth between the debates and South Park. By the end of the debates, I was pretty buzzed, I found John Kerry’ s joke about his wife hysterical. I concluded that maybe I had drank too much, and then proceeded to make myself a bowl of Easy Mac.
Monday, October 11, 2004
I didn't watch wrestling in the 80's. But, I'm pretty sure the segment was called "Piper's Pit".
But, watching Roddy on Impact this week was hillarious. Especially, since the segment was pre-faced with one of my friends declaring; "The thing I love about Piper's segments is that you can never tell what the hell he's talking about".
I wish I had a transcript of Piper's speech, as it was quite incoherent. Apparently, he climbed to the top of the mountain and built a ranch. I don't know what the fuck that's supposed to mean. But, it sounded baronial.
Although I do consider it a pleasant coincidence that on the week my cable decided to go out the WWE happened to be filming Raw over in England, thus a five hour delay, thus I've already read the online spoilers. And this show looks like another stinker.
The Hurricane and Rosey were going to have a match, instead the ring was cleared by an irate Kane. Dammit, by next week I'll have already forgotten that Rosey had accidentally side slammed the Hurricane. Looks like this heel turn is going to have to start over from scratch, again.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Today at a house show in Frankfurt, Germany the Hurricane and Rosey jobbed to Eugene and William Regal.
Friday, October 08, 2004
So I'm taking this exam in my physical anthropology class yesterday. One of the questions was a short answer essay question which involved a hypothetical scenario in which a man with hemophilia married his cousin. I was supposed to draw a pedigree chart, or something, and figure out how many of their sons will get hemophilia and how many of their daughters will be carriers.
Well, I had a vague understanding of the principles, but not a real firm grasp. So my answer was going to be kind of short and not horribly lucid. So I prefaced it with the quip; "I'm a hemophiliac and I found this question offensive".
I am a hemophiliac. But, I didn't find the question offensive. I found it a bit challenging. But, not offensive, by any means. It was just a joke. A smart ass quip. And in my mind, it was obviously a joke. Incorporating incest in order to make a question about the heredity of a disease seems perfectly reasonable to me. So I thought the notion of someone getting offended at the question was funny. Which was why I made the smart ass quip. I do that every now and then on a test when I'm not capable of answering a question fully.
Well, I think you know where I'm going with this. I just received a concerned e-mail from my professor apologizing for having offended me. He wants me to visit him during his office hours so we can discuss this situation and how he can avoid offending others in the future with his insensitive exam questions.
Now I find myself in somewhat of a pickle. Do I admit to the professor that I was just being a total smart ass? Or do I try to play a long? Since I didn't do horribly well on this test (I'm guessing I got about a B-, or whatever the hell that translates into, a 2.8? I'm not sure, I still haven't figured that shit out), maybe I could use this to get him to dismiss that one question. Obviously, that would be wrong, and I'm hardly even humoring that notion.
I'm not sure, but I think this is indicative of a cultural gap that exists between us, or something. I just know that I don't want to totally piss him off. And please note my use of the word "totally".
Thursday, October 07, 2004
This guy just keeps continuing to amuse me, but not necessarily in a good way.
"During a backstage meeting after WWE officials announced how quickly WrestleMania 21 had sold out asked all of the wrestlers if they had any ideas on any ways to help improve House Show business. Snitsky raised his hand and said he didn't undertstand why they were worried about House Show business when WrestleMania 21 had just sold out so quickly. "
Three weeks ago I had one of the most exciting weeks of my life. I got to meet the Bush twins whilst they were visiting the MSU campus. I got to see an old friend I hadn’t seen in a year and half, because he’d been over fighting in the war. And I managed to get the Bush twins to sign a thank you card for my buddy who’d been fighting in the war, which made some chick standing behind me say “ahhh”. I didn’t do that because I’m an exceptionally thoughtful guy, or anything. I just thought it was a neat coincidence that the Bush twins were visiting MSU on the same week my buddy got home from the Middle East.
Anyways, after all this transpired, I tried to come on my blog and write about all this. But, I couldn’t really come up with anything to say, except “Hey! I met some famous people!”. I wasn’t looking for any sort of grand insight, but I couldn’t even think of more than six words to say. I guess that’s because hobnobbing with A-list celebrities and emotional reunions with wartime heroes is hardly my life in a nutshell. But, I think this anecdote just might be my life in a nutshell:
So on Saturday evening I decided to go to confession. Nothing serious, I suppose, just a laundry list of venial sins, and I guess I was feeling sort of stressed out due to upcoming tests. So I thought maybe the Sacrament of Reconciliation would ease my troubled mind and maybe even make studying a bit easier.
So I made the twenty minute walk all the way to St. John’s Uber Liberal Student Parish . That’s not actually the name of the parish, that’s just my jovial pet name for it, because the people at this parish are obnoxiously liberal, and coming from a small town parish I guess I find it kind of alienating. I take a seat outside of the confessional, I strolled in about fifteen minutes after the priest started hearing confessions, so I was last in line. After twenty minutes of sitting there, I’m next in line. I’m pretty nervous, as I always am before confession. The guy before me makes his way out, and so does the priest, who then presumes to up and fucking leave. I guess he just didn’t see me.
Mind you, I’m still new at this whole Catholic thing, so I don’t know what to do in a scenario like this. Plus, I enjoy the quasi-anonymity of the confessional. So what the hell am I supposed to do? Yell “Hey, priest! Get back here and listen to me!”. If I’m assertive in my efforts to confess my sins, then he’s never, ever going to forget that I’m the guy who confessed this, this, and this. Or at least that’s the way my self-conscious mind construes it.
So I sat there, sheepishly, for another twenty minutes praying, or doing whatever it is I do when I’m sitting in a church by myself. I then make the twenty minute walk back to my room. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. I just think that at this point in time, if some one were to ask me what it’s like to be me, I’d tell them that anecdote. I think it says something about the general circumstances I tend to encounter, and the way I tend to react to them.
When I made the decision to move to East Lansing, everyone told me “Oh, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll make so many friends”. I’ve been here for over a month now, and I’ve made shit for friends. Which doesn’t bother me, because that’s not why I moved here. I wanted to focus more on my studies and get a better grasp on what it is I’m doing, exactly. Which is what I’ve done. And with my current goal being to attend field school in Israel after graduation, I’ve found that I rather enjoy my new found sense of focus. And by “new found sense of focus” I think I really mean “social apathy and nothing else to do”. Which, I think is what I was going for. So….mission accomplished.
I then started thinking about the whole “making friends” process. I then realized that all of my friends fall under three categories. 1. Friends I made in junior high, before I dropped out of school. 2. Friends I made via the friends I made in junior high. 3. Wierdoes I’ve met at coffee shops. I suppose maybe I could create a separate category for friends I’ve made through my involvement with local music, but I think in all reality I could easily lump all those people under the third category.
And once I manage to make friends, I’m not a horribly great person to be friends with. I’m totally introverted, and don’t like to do anything even remotely exciting. I suffer from social anxiety and hate crowds. And I can be kind of a vindictive ass. When my best friend started dating the girl who he would eventually marry, I started acting like a huge asshole. Not so much because I was jealous that I wasn’t really his best friend anymore. But, because for the past three or four years he had helped perpetuate my sustained adolescence and now he was bailing on me to go start a family.
Fortunately, amidst all my assholery, he totally called me on it. He knew what I was trying to do and he fucking called me on it. And to this day, I guess I consider myself lucky to have a friend who wouldn’t let me go on being an asshole. And even though our lives have gone in completely different directions, we still hang out on a semi-weekly basis. I tell him about life in the academic world and in the Catholic Church, he tells me about what it’s like having bills to pay and children to provide for. It still kind of wierds me out. But, I guess it was kind of like an evolutionary adaptation. We went through some environmental pressures, and it instead of killing our friendship, it sort of weeded out some of the weaker attributes.
I guess my point in all of this is that I’m kind of a crappy friend. Being my friend is something people seem to have to work at. So, it’s not a proposition I feel comfortable offering to people. Which is fine, because I’ve got more important things to do than be your friend.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
I was just completely befuddled by the Hurricane's involvement on Raw Monday night. From the way it looks, they've decided that having the Hurricane snatch a mask from a kid in the crowd wasn't the best way to turn him heel (I could have told them that). So the way it looks now, the Hurricane will probably turn on Rosey at a later date, for accidentally hitting him with his spinning side slam, and for being an all around fuck up who's wasted the last year of his career. I suppose that would be more effective, but the simple fact is that we've already had one heel turn. But, what they've decided to do is pretend it didn't happen and now they're going to turn him heel later.
What I'm expecting to see with this heel turn, is for Shane Helms' character to acknowledge that his cartoony gimmick has cost him a certain degree of credibility and that Rosey has been holding him back for the past year. Both of which, are true to life, thus I'd love to see them surface in the story line.
I'll continue to insist that it's possible for Shane to keep the cartoony gimmick and still be considered credible and be considered a legitimate contender for the tag team championship or maybe even the I.C. championship. I just don't think that the WWE knows how to do this. And it's getting pretty clear that dropping the Hurricane gimmick is most crucial for Shane to have any sort of long term staying power in the WWE. It's just too bad that that's not his descision to make.
Although, I do anticpate that if they turn him heel there's a good chance he'll ditch the super hero gimmick. Especially after that memorable segment with Ric Flair a few months ago, when Flair said that the Hurricane gimmick had made a laughing stock out of the man Gregory Helms, or something to that effect.
Either way, a heel turn is necessary and it looks like that is what they're going to do. But, they'll probably fuck it up.
Midwest Conservative Journal pointed out this little gem, a statement on the policies of “inclusivity” at an Episcopalian church in New Jersey called the Church Of The Redeemer. MCJ already made fun of most of the stand out points, like this one; “The Nicene Creed does not speak of the relationship most people here have to Christianity. We have adopted the very first Christian creed, "Jesus is Lord," as a way to express that relationship. We have put this to music and sing it three times: "Jesus is Lord and we are the Body of Christ."
But, this was the quote that really stuck out to me…..
“Church School education teaches stories of God from our Judeo-Christian roots as well as current liberation events. Christianity is taught as our family story. Other faiths are also honored. We try to make clear to the children in the program that God is not a Christian."
Why the hell would you feel the need to tell a little kid that? What purpose could that possibly serve? It’s really one of those pointless points, I suppose. Kind of like this one button I saw on some girl’s backpack that said; “God is too big for just one religion”.
It’s a statement that I suppose I can’t disagree with in and of itself. But, the context of the statement is obviously intended to push some misguided assumption. So what if God is too big for just one religion? Does that mean we aren’t either? Obviously no. And obviously, God wouldn’t be a Christian, because it’d be kind of silly for Him to accept Jesus as His Personal Lord and Savior. All of this fails to make any point what so ever. The assertion they’re attempting to make is that religious creeds limit God and are therefore bad. But, they don’t. Religious creeds merely point out the fact that our understanding of God is limited, because we’re human. In other words; God isn’t limited to just one religion, we are.
A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend who had recently “found Christ”. I use parentheses because I always feel that that expression is kind of loaded. First off, I suppose I could make the argument that since we’re the lost sheep, it’s Christ who finds us. But, that’s not really what I have in mind. The only irk I really have with this expression is how it generally seems to be a phrase Evangelicals use as opposed to acknowledging that they had undergone some sort of conversion process. I think I’ve completely lost my train of thought….here….let me put it this way; a person who converts to Roman Catholicism will say something like “I converted to Roman Catholicism” whilst someone who converts to non-denominational, Evangelical Protestantism will say “I found Christ”. Never in my life have I heard some one say; “Hey! I converted to non-denominational, Evangelical Protestantism”.
Ok, so anyways. I’m talking to this kid. He’s a pretty close friend of mine, he’s also really young, about sixteen or seventeen. Knowing that he’d been attending the local non-denominational, Evangelical mega-church, I ask him what branch of Christianity he’s decided to practice. To which he replies something to the extent of; “I don’t want to limit myself to just one branch of Christianity”. Which was just the sort of answer I was hoping to get. The conversation ended, we went our separate ways. I went back to my limited Christianity and he went back to his expanded Christianity.
Anyways, back to original quote above. This seemed like a puzzling thing to be teaching a child, because on top of the point I already attempted to make, it’s hard enough to teach an eight year old about God. I remember in Sunday school, I was always given the egg metaphor, where the Father is the yoke, the Son is the white, and the Holy Spirit is the shell, yet it’s still just one egg. But, even as a mere child I was smart enough to see threw this faulty metaphor. And why does the Holy Spirit have to be the shell, the part you throw away? No wonder I always found the Holy Spirit to be the most befuddling part of the Trinity whilst growing up. That, and the Holy Spirit really makes more sense within the Catholic understanding than it does within the Baptist understanding. When you abide by the sola scriptora philosophy, when you believe that the fullness of truth is contained within the Bible and that the human capacity to reason is more than up to the task of deciphering this, then you eliminate about half of the Holy Spirit’s job description. Which is why, if He’s anything like me, than the Holy Spirit probably likes Protestants more than Catholics, for the same reason I liked second shift at Evergreen’s more than first shit.
On top of that, I’ve found a certain level of amusement at the extent to which various New Age philosophies have crept their way into Evangelicalism. I have an aunt who attends the local Evangelical mega-church on Sundays. And during the week she makes her living putting these goofy rocks and/or crystals on various loci on people’s bodies to cure them of their toxins, or whatever. I guess the point I’m making with all of this is that people seem extremely hesitant towards the idea of limiting themselves. People still want to expand their consciousness. Which seems odd that people are still attempting to pull this off. We have millions of people who can testify to the fact that the whole “expanding your conscience” thing isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. So why are people still looking for this? I, for one, have opted to learn from the mistakes of my hippy parents.
Amidst all of this, I’m reminded of a little anecdote my buddy Ben told me. He was talking to some guy one night whilst hanging outside of a gas station in Middleville (?).
The guy said to Ben; “Yeah, I’m a Wiccan. I’m also a Christian. Wicca doesn’t discriminate against other religions. You can be a Wiccan and a Christian”.
To which Ben replied; “Yeah, but it doesn’t work the other way”.
Anyways, back to the Church Of The Redeemer. I also wanted to point out this remark, which is significant simply for it’s pure “What the fuck?!?”-ness.
“During Lent when a confession is part of the liturgy, the priest first absolves the people and next the people absolve the priest.”
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Kaimi Wenger may be my new favorite Mormon. As she's the first person, I know of, to ask the question; "What is the religious reason for the gendered differences in ability to experience orgasm?".
I never really thouhgt about it, and as time goes on, I imagine I won't care much either. But, it's still an amusing article. Especially when she insists that Mormon "theology all but demands a God-given reason for the gender differences in orgasm ability". Yeah....uh....good luck with that.
Let's see.....house show on Friday in Portland, Maine saw the Hurricane and Rosey being the first team eliminated in a three way tag match against La Resistance and Eugene and William Regal. It seems that the Hurricane is still neither decisively heel nor face. Which is great, because dangling a character between face and heel is a great way to kill the character.