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Narrative/Journal nostalgia Uncategorized

Evening At Home

Stumbled on this little gem, brewing in the depths of my “drafts” folder, one of 119 forgotten or half-realized old posts. You deserve to read it. It deserves to be read

Watching Wonder Woman with my wife–stir fry & folding TV trays in the living room.Ares

Her: (dismissively) I’m not fully buying Remus Lupin as “Ares, God of War”

Me: (distractedly, Gal Gadot is on the screen) Can’t wait until the Lupine bloom.

Her: What?!

Me: Huh?

Her: David Thewlis. He’s too wistful to be a twisted Greek God of War.

Me: Oh. You knew it would be him, though? Famous actor with a phony limp, helping out our heroes for no reason? If he wasn’t the bad guy, it’s a throwaway role and  they would have hired a cheaper actor. Besides, he rocks a cool look for a villain.

Her: (Incredulous look.)

Me: My grandfather rocked that look as long as I knew him. Mustache, a boar’s bristle brush, and a dab of pomade.

Grandpa 1981ish Crop
This old guy kicked furious Nazi ass. What have you done with your life?

Her: What’s a boar’s bristle brush? Is that really a thing?

Me: Exactly, but that’s what the hipsters say I should have–along with something called beard oil–in my daily beard maintenance ritual.

Her: You don’t even have a daily washing ritual.

Me: Right. All that fussing is anathema to the purpose of facial hair. I’ve51hj0uQBLoL._AC_ got a free range beard. My grandfather looked sharp, though. Business suits at work, cardigan sweaters at home. Knee-high dress socks, even with shorts. In the garden he looked just like Higgins from Magnum, P.I.–the real Magnum, P.I. with the moustache and Higgins isn’t some pleasant, pint-sized blonde.

Her: It sounds like he stuck in the 1940’s and just stayed there.

Me: Exactly. He nailed it early. Kept it nailed. Like Higgins–they both kicked Nazi ass in Africa.

Her: Except Higgins wasn’t real.

Me: He was based on a real person. Probably my grandfather.

Her: (shakes her head) Are we dull? Is this–we’re dull, aren’t we?

Me: Not a chance. We have inconspicuous depths is all.

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fiction

Porch Missionary

A knock on the door last week, too damned early in the morning…a woman with pamphlets, a forced smile, and a bible.
“Hello, I’m spreading the good word about a 3-day conference in–”
“Is this a god thing?”
“Why yes, it’s a 3-day conference in–”
“We’ve already got a grail!”
“What?”
“Never mind. You have encyclopedias?”
“But…what? It’s a 3-day…”
“Vacuum cleaners? Brushes? I could use a good brush! Steaks?”
(Confused) “Ummm?”
“You don’t have any of those?”
She shook her head.

“Can you get students to paint my house real cheap?”
“I don’t think you understand.”
(Leaning into her space a little bit.) “Are you implying I’m stupid? That I can’t possibly understand? That’s hurtful, from where I’m standing. I think I do pretty well with what I’ve been given: the best that I can. You don’t need to be mean about it.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to–”
“Maybe you should just try the neighbors; they’re real zealots. I hear they drowned a witch, last place they lived. They definitely burn books–religiously, you might say–and other things. ”
A wink.
“What?”
“It’s a pun. I told you I was smart. Not that I’m an angel myself. I’ve danced a bunch and, between you and me, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of owls.”
“Owls?”
“Yup. Owls” A nod. “That just between you and me, mind.”
A step back, almost certainly subconsciously. She looks over her shoulder at the street–no backup there–and no witnesses–and turns back to me, squints a little, then backs to the edge of the porch stairs before spinning towards the street. A hand on the railing, and she’s gone. Down the rickety stairs, scurrying away, glancing worriedly over her shoulder, she skitters up the street.
I wave heartily, call after her, “Good luck! Have a blessed day!”

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Commentary Uncategorized

Evangelicals LOVE Trump No Matter Who & How Often He’s Slipped The Schmeckle

trump-melania-and-stormy-daniels
This is a photo-shopped composite picture–Fake News!–but it’s useful here. A picture worth a thousand words and all that..and it certainly got your attention.

The Washington Post just threw us an interesting article on the unwillingness of Evangelicals to condemn Donald Trump for his serial philandering, ultimately explaining the moral hypocrisy on white christian nationalism, irrational fear of islam, and a certain cold-tempered pragmatism that suggests they would excuse the excesses of Satan himself, should the devil suddenly call out for a Pro-Life, Anti-Gay, Unfettered Second Amendment political campaign platform.

It is a compelling argument and quite worthy of the 3 minutes it takes to read, but by no means but by no means should we regard the seeming disconnect between values and conduct as purely related to racial and religious identity and all their attendant fears and bigotries.

There’s a good deal of self-identification at work, as well. It is difficult to find a place so rife with illicit and immoral conduct than a protestant church. Don’t take that on my word. Statistically, despite decreasing numbers, American Evangelicals have the highest divorce rate (and highest rate of domestic violence) among all religious groupings, including non-believers (Atheists have the lowest rates).

And who can blame them? All that energy and intensity has to go somewhere, and it often goes into each other’s spouses. And why not? Forgiveness is at close at hand. They get Trump. They understand how difficult it is to keep things zipped up. God has his plan, after all. It wouldn’t happen if HE didn’t want it to (so slip out of that girdle, Mildred). Pots don’t call kettles black. Stones and glass houses. etc. etc.

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My Poetry Photo I Like

The Only God I’ve Seen

129045703_9e61fee243_oSince you asked,
the only god
I’ve seen rolled reckless
from a red, cardboard
Cracker-Jack box, elusive
from lips to lap
and mad as hell, no decoder
ring to metaphrase the sharp
sting of copper on tongue
coated in caramel
candy coating loaded
with peanuts, good,
sweet, and salty.

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Commentary Uncategorized

Jesus Took The Wheel? Should Have Tried Brakes.

A number of websites and media outlets are busily covering the story of fortunate lovers and now viral stars of the hour Arika Stovall and Hunter Hanks, whose unlikely survival of a brutal, high speed one vehicle accident has been described in outlets like CNN, Fox News, and others as “heartwarming,” “touching,” and “miraculous.”

It seems to me that that the true miracle is that Mr. Hanks who, according to Ms. Stovall, was careening down the highway at 85 miles an hour in a pickup truck, didn’t maim or kill any other innocent folks who were driving around them.

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“Three seconds. That’s how long we had from the moment we drifted off the road until the truck hit the pilar (sic) at 85mph. In three seconds Hunter had to handle a situation that would either kill us immediately or save our lives. He keeps beating himself up for my pain but he saved my life.”

Yep, heroic. But according to Ms. Stovall, her beau had help. Supernatural help.

“I’m overwhelmed at how little damage was done to Hunter and I in a wreck that should have chopped our bodies in half. I’m in awe of the presence of God in this entire situation. Every part of this experience we went through points directly to Him. The way God helped Hunter to respond exactly the way he did behind the wheel, spinning the truck exactly where it should have to be able to smash into the pilar directly in the middle of me and Hunter so we were both untouched…that doesn’t just happen. God doesn’t throw protection around like that for no reason”

tennessee-car-crash-survivors

It seems to me that a truly wise god would have tapped the brakes once or twice before the apparently reckless Mr. Hunter lost control of his vehicle and plowed into an bridge abutment, or maybe spoken to him, in a thundering voice, “Yo, asshat–slow the hell down. What’s the hurry?  You’re going to hurt someone.”

And for Ms. Stovall I offer continued good luck: this douchebag nearly killed you once, let’s hope he doesn’t do better at it the next time.

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Funny and/or Strange meme

Monday Meme: No Doubt About Santa, Though

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Commentary

Oh, God…

tumblr_mrt2ra6s2h1qhkz10o1_500

It hasn’t been the best autumn for me, as a football fan. In the opening rounds of the season, all of my favorite teams–Pitt, Oregon, IUP, the Steelers, and our local high school team are a combined 4-7, with 3 of those losses coming from the hometown boys, a bunch of great young men, many of whom I’ve known since they were in kindergarten. A presumed contender for the league championship, it has been one thing after another for them, despite playing well, culminating in the catastrophic loss of our highly touted, college-bound senior quarterback in what looks to be a career-ending injury.

It seemed like they were cursed.  Now, as it turns out, it looks like the blame goes to me for not praying enough.  Or, to be honest, not praying at all.  Or believing in any of that superstitious “Great Sky Bully” nonsense.  Apparently, God is a petty sports fan, and He keeps score.  At least, that’s what about 33% or Americans believe.

http://publicreligion.org/research/2013/01/january-2013-tracking-poll-2/#.VgFTo33LB2A

 

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Commentary Funny and/or Strange video

Sunday Sermon: Father Stephen Fry

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Quote

Wednesday Words 7/29: The Bible on Dog Vomit

churchsignYes, my religious views have been well documented across the whirled why’d web, so you’re a little surprised to see me quoting “the good book” but there’s a lot of great stuff in there, some of it resoundingly, wonderfully evocative. Like this.

Proverbs 26:11:  As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

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Commentary Funny and/or Strange video

Sunday Sermon: The Revered Rev. George Carlin

Hallelujah!