Friday, December 28, 2012

A Message To The GOP From An Inflamed Appendix

Listen: There's a difference between useless and dangerous. I learned all about it. When you're useless they let you hang around awhile, where it's safe and warm, and no one expects you to do anything. But when you start posing a threat by causing a dull pain in the abdomen, say, or the possibility of an economic collapse... then they cut you out.

You're getting there. Believe me, I know.

In the last big race your guy couldn't win women, Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and even a lot of white men thought he was scary and out of touch. He made comments writing off almost half the country before the voting even started. Your foreign policy is to pick fights all over the world, and to treat self-criticism like it's treason or weakness. Your social policy is to treat women like their uteri are wards of the state. Your party is packed with people who want to stockpile weapons in case they need to topple the government, for chrissakes. It's packed with people who think global warming and evolution are fantasies but reparative prayer to turn gay people straight is real. You're the party of the old, the frightened, and the left behind. You're scared of the future, of the outside world, of people who look different and don't speak English. You're scared of science and resentful of anyone with a college degree. You represent every racist uncle who sends his family offensive chain emails and spoiled last Thanksgiving.

But none of these things are your real problem.

You can keep being all that, and you'll still be able to fill a huge portion of Congress with your scary, ignorant people. You'll still be able to raise money and appear on Fox. You'll be able to enjoy a comfortable uselessness for a good long time. It might even be fun, making the Dems do all the heavy lifting!

But when the whack-jobs you elected start acting like they'll destroy our credit rating or put us into a recession... that's when folks will do the surgery. Hell, some of your own guys have been saying you've gone off the deep end. This country has plenty of paranoid, heavily-armed rednecks... but they're not going to lose their jobs for you.

Believe me, if this keeps up they will chuck you Republicans out with the medical waste. And no one is going to say you didn't have it coming. Don't end up like me. I'd still be leeching resources from a healthy body if I'd behaved myself.

If you take my advice, there's no reason the GOP can't do the same.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Sincere Merry Christmas From Your Agnostic Buddy

As you may know I don't think we're being cosmically supervised. I call myself an agnostic (If you want to be an atheist there's a quota of angry YouTube videos you have to make, and I don't have the time).

But I love Christmas. Honestly I do. I like the overeating and the suburban dads trying to outdo each other with their light displays, and the creepy Rankin/Bass shows, and Rat Pack songs that always sound a little suggestive and boozy. I get a kick out of the carols. I'm astounded by the beauty of Handel's Messiah. And I especially like the goodwill toward men. I love the love. I can see the flaws, the darkness, of course. But as with springtime, Joe Biden and the work of Thomas Dolby - there is just so much to celebrate.

This, I believe, is the secret to decoding the day: Christmas is the great Rorschach test of the Christian world. Theologically it's a light sauce - Jesus wasn't actually born on the day, and it's not nearly as important as Lent and Easter. And at the same time, its lock on our culture and economy means you're going to see those decorations in every store and street corner. So each Christian faces a choice: How should I celebrate this vaguely-defined ubiquitous quasi-pagan thing with its elves and yule logs and red-suited reverse-burglar, and in the center a manger scene that just jabs right into your heart, because who could deny the sacredness of a baby? Their choices are a big, bright blinking display of what they really believe.

I've written before about the terrifying Cthulhu/Christ that Fox News prays to. But that's not the only one out there. In fact, I am surrounded by people who worship the guy who wants you to love others and respect people of all religions and try to make the world a better, grander, saner place. Their faith inspires them to do this - I know that for a fact. I think they take Jesus even more seriously than Bill O'Reilly does, shocking though that may seem. At Christmastime they are more joyous than usual. They are their better selves. Though I don't share their beliefs I am with them in so many things that I have to be happy when they are happy. I have to celebrate their celebration.

I wish you a very merry Christmas, people of faith and decency. We will have some huge challenges next year trying to get this country to respect women and gay people and keep science in schools. Maybe we can even make it so not have everyone will be wandering the streets armed with assault rifles like they're in some kind of video game.

For now I hope the season is a blessing to you. I'll probably see you at the parties, and we'll talk about it. I promise to get you drunk and say something offensive.
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