Sunday, December 27, 2009
I do have a right to expound on my belief that religions man-made institutions that are highly founded on judgementalism and hypocrisy in order to maintain a weak individual's sense of self-worth and allay those individual's fears of death and failure.
That's some deep shit. Wow, my left eye just went blind after that thought. Boy, oh boy, am I ever going to offend and alienate some people this time around. Better to not get my hopes up, though. Enlightenment is a fickle and elusive bitch.
Why do I have this right, you might ask? Because I once was a great student of the Bible, Christianity and world religions. I was so engrossed with this topic that I was at the cusp of entering the ministry. I was also on the very frayed edge of being an evangelical Christian with grandiose, with absolutely no uncertainty, opinions and surety of the Rapture, Revelation and those poor souls who were at the the bowling alley on Sunday morning being hell-bound while I was tallying my number of crowns I'd receive when I passed through the gates of Heaven (which I now call Cancun). Yes, it's true, I swear. I went to church. I sang in the choir. I mentored youth (collective gasp). I even served as something called a 'Stephen Minister' and served on my church's pastor/parish committee that had such important tasks as seeking out and hiring the best and holiest of men and women to work for his-highestness.
Of course, I was Methodist so the standards weren't as high as, say, Baptists or Mormons, but still, I was engrossed in making heaven my home and the home of my fellow believers. The rest of ya were simply shit outta luck. Sorry. It's just the way it was and still is to many out there. Jesus only handed out so many golden tickets and not everyone gets one. I traded mine in for some wool socks and a prescription for anti-depressants. Not a bad trade if I do say so myself.
First-hand experience with the hypocrisy of so-called pious, saved Christians can been seen every day of the week but is nowhere more evident than on Sunday, both inside and out of the places of misguided worship. By the way, I am singling out Christians because I don't have experience being Jewish, Muslim, Mormon (I don't consider this fucked-up cult to be Christian) or a Scientologist. Although, sometimes I think the Scientologists are a bit closer to the real deal than the others. However, they're still screwy and outta whack. Wait, all of a sudden I relate. I might need to check into this Scientology thing, after I make millions of bucks so I can remain a faithful follower of Xenu, of course.
But yes, if you want to see hypocrisy and judgementalism at their finest/lowest points, visit most any church on Sunday morning, observe the actions and smiles of just a couple of the most obviously 'saved' individuals, just a sampling. Then if you still want entertainment throughout the day, shadow one of those smarmy individuals throughout their daily activities and tally the sins that they will be praying over for forgiveness during that one to two hour time period the following Sunday morning. I say one to two hours but you Baptists, Jehovahs Witnesses and Catholics can substitute six to twelve hours or three to four days, whichever you prefer.
I think the final turning point in my conversion to reality happened on one such divine Sunday morning. I had been gradually opening my eyes to the absurdity of beliefs and practices based upon writings originated by humans and handed down by humans for quite a while but this particular morning was the final nail in my gout-riddled foot (catch the upside-your-head christian reference?).
Wait, let me first clarify that humans, not God, Vishnu, Joe Smith or Xenu wrote, edited, abbreviated and propogated the Bible. Inspiration comes from many things. Experiences, emotions, fears, etc. inspire motivation to do anything imaginable. I'm motivated to write this due to my disdain for the hypocrisy I've personally seen and experienced in my own life, so there. Until I see a Bic fine point pen engraved with the name "YWWH", "God" or "The Biggest Guy" I'm maintaining my stance that God didn't write the Bible and one man's own desire for imposing his individual beliefs on others inspired the sandal-wearing, cave-dwelling dude afraid of cliff-diving pigs to first pick up a sharp stick dipped in lamb's blood and charcoal to first jot down those words.
The moment happened during the once-a-month rite of commitment called 'Communion'. My then-family and I stood in line, patiently waiting for those ahead to be handed a small but tasty morsel of Hawaiian loaf bread before dipping said morsel into a chalice/grail/goblet filled with Welch's grape juice. Welch's, the healthy choice for the life-giving blood of salvation. My son, then maybe eleven or twelve years old, stood nervously waiting his turn to partake of the bread. The kid had no clue what this rite was all about but he was a growing boy and hadn't eaten breakfast. The perturbed folks sitting on either side of us in the pew can attest to his hunger as it was voicing itself in tongues. So here is my son, he is handed a larger than normal hunk of fresh and moist Hawaiian loaf, says 'Thank You' after being told, 'The body of Christ, broken for you,' (he's thanking them like he would the lunch lady behind the school cafeteria counter), and then, it happened, like heavenly lightning from above or diaharrea after a heavy mexican meal. He shuffled to the cup and without hesitation or malice, drops his bread into the cup of community, virus-laden grape blood. Heaven forbid. It's straight to hell for you, boy. At least that is what the ever-smiling holder of the cup conveyed with her look of annoyance and shock.
This lady, this individual charged with the task of doling out Jesus' grape-flavored blood of salvation was and probably still is considered the most spirit-filled individual in this religious dwelling. Arms raised to the heavens as she bellows out chorus after of chorus of 'Amazing Grace' and hymns of forgiveness, this woman most likely had a bedroom in the choir room and refused to pee in the church's ladies room toilet. That's how highly visible and pious she appeared on Sunday's and every other day of the week. Then, her one look of consternation towards my well-intentioned yet starving son, would lead a salvation-seeking and piety-searching follower to suspect that he had just pissed in the baptismal font. To this day my son has no idea what glare he received from this woman bound for the easy chair at the right-hand side of Jesus himself. Knowing him, at this point in his life, he really wouldn't care. For me, it was a life-changing split-second that opened my eyes to the fallacies and hypocrisies of Christianity.
From the judgementalism shown towards those that err and attempt to live a life filled with joy but aren't 'believers' to the conditional forgiveness given to those who err, until they err again, especially if it somehow affects the reputation of the forgiver (Hi, Ex-In-Laws!) to the constant requests for 'donations', 'love offerings' and outright budget requirements, including you smart, orange-vested bucket-wielding bastards at every intersection of Northern Virginia, which screams "God needs a bigger house! Give! Give 'til it hurts!", the images and reality of the lies I'd been force-fed and expected to believe in order to achieve the ultimate reward of High-Fiving Jesus on Judgement day and shedding a lone tear a la the recycling Indian of the 1970's for the lost, poor souls of those who couldn't fit through the eye of that holy needle smacked me right between my bushy eyebrows and made way too much sense.
Of course, mania clears the mind so I have that going for me, but even now I have an ever-growing disdain and sarcastic view of religion and those who profess to have the inside scoop over those who either haven't investigated Christianity enough or those, like me, who have lived it, taught it and been saved from it. I do have my views on things spiritual and I do consider myself a spiritual person. I am also human and therefore can honestly proclaim that, yes, I can be hypocritical, judgemental and materialistic. I'll say it with my words and my mouth, not with a momentary look of pissed-offedness as I through my arms skyward and give thanks that Jesus passed on just a smidgen of his perfection to me, you know, since I didn't drop my bread and all.
Amen, and holy shitteth. Hey, the football game is on... where's my beer?
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Today, December 26th, 2009, is a gray-letter day. The blandness of the northern Virginia weather dictates the letter color. In actuality, it's a red-letter day for me because I'm foregoing the usual mindset of 'wait 'til New Years' Day to start anew' and throwing caution to the wind. Starting today, this very moment, with these very words, I am reclaiming my life, stepping outside of the box I have recently placed myself squarely in the center of and looking the future right in the face and daring it to try and corner me into a mold that I do not and will not ever fit into. That's right, Mr. Future, bring it on. And while you're bringin' it, don't turn your back on me or I'll take this swollen, gout-riddled left foot and place it squarely between your left and right 'I gotcha beat, Jeff' asscheeks.
I refuse to be beaten. I'm simply too tired to fight anymore and my 'all or nothing' state of being that I have always had has now kicked in and in it's tiredness is rearing it's beautiful, glorious manic head and is ready to go all Master Chief Halo 3 ass-kickin' bad on life. Yeah, so I have survived the most traumatic two years in my lifetime by miraculously dodging Harry, the Grim Reaper, four times, being arrested three times, going through a rather nasty divorce and most recently accepting the idea that my two children have formally disowned me and chosen the 'things' of life that their other parent can provide over the realness of life that this parent wants to provide and share with them. Pain and suffering, I banish thee to the depths of hell. Let me give you her address ....
On October 28th of this year I began a new thing, something I call a 'big boy job' and completely talked myself into believing that by doing this new thing I would be headed in the right direction and feel settled and comfortable. Damn, was I ever wrong. First, I should have known from the start that any job that requires me to wear loafers and pants with a crease down the front AND back of the legs is not going to go well. That's like trying to get a midget to ride one of those really tall old-tyme bicycles or asking an amputee to walk on stilts. It's just not a good idea to begin with. But, health insurance and a regular bi-weekly paycheck is awfully tempting when the 'ol foot starts that familiar gouty tingle and there isn't any medication left in the little brown bottle. Walking is really underrated, ya know?
Anyway, I nailed the series of interviews with reckless bravado and a brand of salesmanship even Zig Ziglar would envy. In my feeble little mind I was certain that THIS is what I was meant to be doing. When all was said and done, I, the poster child for pre-senility, am now a manager, a by-god manager, providing in-home healthcare services to senior citizens. Shit, I should have signed up as my own first sale. Talk about irony. Don't misunderstand ... I believe that what my company does is worthy and admirable and my company is very good at what they do. I'm just the wood screw that was hired to hold together a battleship. I was the wrong choice and I did the wrong thing. Two wrongs usually don't make a right but in this case they did. I was not born for the corporate world any more than Moses was born to orate (he stutt-tt-err-ed, b-b-b-by G-g-g-god). However, like Moses, I was meant for something bigger than myself and for far too many years refused to follow my passions.
No more being submissive and licking the boot of life, not even if life is wearing a leather bustier, has green nails and a penchant for using the word 'plethora'.
Brunk children, are you listening? You aren't winning this battle for my life and soul either. Your choice to dismiss me as if I were simply the sperm donor for your future materialistic being is painful, yes, but I no longer will allow it to control me and my life from a distance. Shun my calls. Delete my texts. Ignore my voicemails. By all means, continue to neglect to contact me on Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday. I'm sure your other parent beams with misguided parental pride when you mention that I called but you didn't call back. Sure, that other parent will grimace and utter something to the effect of 'you should call', but inside, just like the antiwife, she's wringing her hands in glee and already planning out her next purchase for you in order to keep your 'love' in check. Just know this... Those choices you make today in an attempt to prove something to me will inevitably become regrets one day in the future. Me, I'm moving forward and taking the rest of my sperm with me.
Saturday, December 26th, 2009. It's my New Years' Day, a day that will live in infamy for better or for worse. I don't know if infamy can be used both ways but if a man can become a woman and some animals can have both male and female sex organs then infamy can be used for better or for worse. Maybe the word should be incorporated into wedding vows somehow ... I digress. My goals of finishing my book, ranting, raving and writing are in the forefront of my mind. My comedy aspirations are bursting from my heart and head like a spider egg sac full of creepy, crawly critters. My resignation letter is poised and ready for distribution and my war decree has been emailed to this oppressive life that has held me back for far too long. I sweat as I write this and that's a helluva positive sign. When mania knocks, I sweat. When depression slithers in, I shiver. I'm sweating like a hairy fat man in a sauna in the Sahara. Not that I remember much about that trip, but yeah, like that. The only thing I'm going to be managing from this point forward is my life and my future. If I can make some people laugh, smile and forget their problems along the way, even for a moment, along the way, I'll consider each moment a success. As I've been told, 'Do what you love and the money will follow'. Masturbation notwithstanding.
Then again, there is always a career in sperm donations ... Look out December 27th, here I come (pun intended).
Friday, December 11, 2009
Think on it. I will. If you figure something out, let me know. Otherwise, it's just a stupid segue.
For those who have never experienced this particular joy in life, thank Jesus and the seven dwarves. For those that have experienced this gift from the heavens, can I borrow your saw? Even using a dull butter knife and taking 12 hours or more to free my foot from my leg would be less painful than the misery I am barely tolerating right now.
Don't get me wrong ... there are times when I WANT throbbing appendages. The foot just isn't the appendage I'm picturing, although if the old 'foot/manhood' comparison is accurate I should maybe stop beating myself up (pun intended) and cease the Vienna Sausage jokes.
UPDATE: Okie dokie ... one day later and I wanted to verbally assault a cop, try to steal his gun and steal his doughnut just so I would stand a chance he'd pull his revolver and shoot me, preferably in the foot, to end the pain. Instead, I bit the bullet, so to speak and made a trip to the local urgent care center. There, I was promptly informed that my insurance was no good there. Bastards. So, I hobbled off in pain back to my car and pissedly drove to the nearest hospital emergency room.
One shot in the ass of Naproxen and two prescriptions later, my foot feels a bit better and my stomach is queasy from the medication but I see relief on the horizon. I'm just hoping now that the irritability lasts into Monday morning so that I can stay home again from work. Work, there's another blog for another day. Maybe today, even.
Anyway, here is the lesson learned. Gout sucks. It hurts worse than a catheter, and I've had a catheter too. Work also sucks, but in a different way. Do what you love and love what you do. Life is too short to cater to the whims and fancies of others. Well, except when some dude in scrubs holding a syringe tells to he'd like for you to drop your pants so he can give you a shot in the ass to ease your pain due to gout. Then it's okay to cater ... otherwise, no.