The Karl Show
Am I the only man in the world who crosses himself before he opens his bank statement?
While driving south on the 99 towards Merced last week, I noticed the following sign on one of our local Fundamentalist Freeway Churches:BACKSLIDERS COME HOME!!
I probably had less than a second to read the whole sign, but in that short moment, I was absolutely sure that it read:BACKSLIDERS GO HOME!!
Ironically, I think that my misconception is probably closer to the actual feelings of that church than the original sign. I remember when I was a charismatic/fundamentalist -- It was uncouth to welcome sinners into friendly company unless they had some serious plans to change. Perhaps a bit like uninviting your gay cousin to Thanksgiving Dinner until he repents.
"Gosh, Mabel, don't you think he would appreciate being invited over this year?"
"Maybe so, Charles," Mabel said while furiously washing the dishes, "but this is a Godly household with Godly children and a Godly dog and a Godly three-car garage and I'll be damned if your sister's sodomite son comes here and ruins everything."
"I don't think that's fair, sweeti-"
"Oh, it's fair." Mabel shot back from across the kitchen, "Unfair
would be sending our little Mikey away while that sinner is here. Mikey is turning thirteen next month you know -- thats just the age when those people try to get 'em."
"You don't seriously think tha-"
"Oh I do! They've got an agenda, Charles. You'd better believe that they have an agenda. First it was the newspapers, then Hollywood, then the United Nations -- and now it's coming to our home. Our Home
, Charles. Do you know how they spread it, Charles? They have a special ritual for converting people -- I was reading about it in World Magazine
. Made me sick, it did. Our little Mikey is just the type that they hunt for: young, impressionable, trusting..."
"I don't think Todd is like that."
"I wouldn't put it past him." Mabel said with a crooked eye towards her husband, "I know what those people are capable of, Charles. If Todd is coming for Thanksgiving than Mikey is going to my mother's house. I'm putting the dog in a kennel, too."
"No, Charles. Those people might be welcome in church, but this is a Godly home and backsliders can go back to their home until they're ready to get right with God -- and that's final."
You know what's interesting? I just wrote that little dialogue out of nowhere. As soon as I was done writing "repents" in paragraph 3, the dialogue came to me like a vision of angels on high. Maybe I can pull off this writing thing after all?
It's morning in America. Early morning to be exact.
I think I went to the Sunrise service today, but honestly I can't remember that well. I recall being very cold and seeing my friend Kirk, so I guess I really did go.
Speaking of Kirk, he's heading back to Sand Yego today. Kirk and I are best of friends, and it's always difficult to find things to do when he's not around. I'm going to miss him quite a bit.
In other news, I've made two brand new friends! Tim and Matt
are from another country called "Minnysota", but have decided to immigrate here to California. They have thick accents which makes them a bit difficult to understand sometimes -- but hopefully they'll be taking some ESL classes soon.
Funny thing about Turlock - there aren't many things to do in your spare time ('sides fightin' 'n drinkin' , o'course) but if you have a few good friends to hang out with, it makes our bright sunny days go by that much quicker.
Trish, if you're reading this, I think you should start a blagh too. It'll be fun!RANDOM UPDATE: Bene Diction takes a look at American TV news
. He gets physically nauseated, which is quite appropriate, I think.
I'm troubled today. Today is Good Friday, but I don't have many sacred thoughts to give you. I think I'm running a quart low on the Holy Spirit or something.THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW WITH VALVOLINE!
Whatever. It would be tempting to mix the sacred with the profane today. I have a few articles that I'd like to share with everybody, but I just can't. It would be like Moses wearing his sandals on holy ground. I just can't do it.
So here I am, taking my sandals off and shutting up for Good Friday.
NOAH WOULD BE PROUD
Greetings from the computer lab at Merced JC. Greetings from the DISASTER AREA that is Merced County. I don't have time to go into all the details right now, but lets just say that I almost didn't make it to school today. I came very close to stalling my car in three or four feet of water.
Also, I need a print card to print out my homework - but the student store which sells print cards is closed "on account of the rain". No, it's not an open-air student store either.
Momma said there'd be days like this.
OBLIGATORY CONTROVERSIAL POST
Yes, it's the story that you would love to stop hearing about
I think that Terri Schiavo may end up becoming the next Elian Gonzalez - and I say that not out of snarkyness or sarcasm, but sadness and fear.
My thoughts, you ask?
Well, I don't see the issue itself in black and white terms. I don't see it as The Evil Greedy Fornicating Husband versus The Concerned Loving Parents Who Want To Save Their Daughter. Nor do I see it as The Fanatical Irrational Parents versus The Tragic Saintly Husband. There's always a lot of grey area involved in situations like this, and this case is no exception.
Thanks to 24-hour media saturation, just about everybody in the world has an opinion that they would like to share. I know people who are all over the spectrum on possible opinions. I think, in the end, that my personal opinion is largely irrelevant. I will, however, offer you an opinion on a possibly related issue. Examine the following, if you will:
1) President Bush was urgently awoken at 1:11 am to sign a Congressional bill
that would potentially keep a single brain-damaged woman from starving to death.
2) Between the time that he woke up and the time that he had breakfast (say, six hours later, around 7am) - five thousand people will have starved to death around the world. When President Bush sits down to breakfast the next day, twenty thousand will have died
I realize that life isn't a "numbers game", but honestly. Is this situation more important than world hunger - is world hunger an unsolveable problem? Or, do we only want to wake the President so he can fix the sensational, popular problems?
LINKS AND THINGS
First, a "painting" that I made.
It may take a few minutes to load.
Secondly, do you recognize some of these people?
Do you recognize yourself?
I recognize myself.
The sad thing is, most of these personality types carry over into "real life" as well. Maybe the internet is really just a microcosm (or macrocosm?) of the real world. Human insecurity writ large, if you will.
Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. Yesterday we got our first Fourth of July shipment. Granted, it was only small trinkets and doodads with American flags pasted on them, but still - the boxes said "SEASONAL - FOURTH OF JULY" on them.
I suspect we'll be getting Christmas supplies soon.
Also, while you're here, check out Fr. David's musings
on the place of the church. Quote:"In my experience, when people invoke "Anglican Tradition," they are actually saying, "What I grew up with or are comfortable with."
I think this is true for just about all traditions.
NO WORRIES!The ice cap on Mount Kilimanjaro has melted for the first time in 11,000 years.
Al Gore may have not invented the internet, but was he wrong about global warming?
AN AMERICAN PSALM FOR AN AMERICAN GOD
Hail, Mighty Dragon!
Who hath brought us
forth in painful childbirth
Who hath gone before us
and wiped the lesser ones
Let us worship you this day
in your Five-Sided Temple.
Let us sacrifice our children
and mingle their blood with oil.
A crude sacrifice.
The billowing smoke rises
ever into your black nostrils.
It pleases you to see such
purity of heart.
It pleases you too see how well
we obey. You have taught us
Hail, Mighty Dragon!
Answer not the prayers of
For they do not worship you
as we do.
Let not the cries of the innocent
reach the ears of their god.
(or any god).
Give us this day our Victory
Lead us not into weakness
for thy name's sake.
O' Mighty Dragon:
Let's make a deal!
For our Empire, our Power
and our Glory
Until the day that
you take it from us.
EVIL OVERLORD DO'S AND DON'TS
...for the purpose-driven Overlord.Here
.220. Whatever my one vulnerability is, I will fake a different one. For example, ordering all mirrors removed from the palace, screaming and flinching whenever someone accidentally holds up a mirror, etc. In the climax when the hero whips out a mirror and thrusts it at my face, my reaction will be "Hmm...I think I need a shave."
27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.
LET'S GIVE IT A TRY
I ended up not giving blood yesterday. My blood pressure was too high (for me, not for them) so I asked if I could be excused at the very last minute. They literally had me strapped down and ready to go when I asked them to stop.
I ended up getting the points anyway.
Out of 500 points for the whole class.
One fifth of my total grade.
giving blood. For not
I had a long talk with the professor after class tonight. She's a nice old gal - turning sixty five next Friday, as I understand. She explained to me that her goal was not to make kids write papers or even learn a lot of names and dates - but rather just to get them interested in Art itself. Thats why she could be so liberal with extra credit, she said. We ended up talking about her past as a painter.
"I was getting famous. Richer and famous at the same time." she said, "I was actually making money, making a career out of my painting."
"Those must have been exciting times for you." I said
"Yes, Oh yes!" she cried, "The best of times. I had to stop, though. I had to stop before it consumed me."
"What do you mean?" I asked, my head tilted askew
"Painting was taking over my life. It was taking the place of my family, friends - everything. It was becoming my drug." she said, "My heroin. I knew that I had to stop or else I'd loose everything that I really
She raised her right finger towards my face and gestured me to come closer.
"I put down my brush at 40," she said, "and I haven't picked it up since."
"My life was becoming like the shadows on the wall of Plato's cave," she continued, "I had to stop, or else I would have retreated into my painting and never come back out."
At that, she lit a long, white cigarette. I thanked her for the conversation and set out for the parking lot.
Tommorow I have another extra credit assignment: buy a pizza for the Chess Club fundraiser. I get twenty points if I spend a few bucks on pizza.
Twenty points out of 500.
MEFI ROUNDUPIsrael Defense Force blacklists guys who play D&D.
Now, if only the US Military would take a clue from our Israeli friends - I won't even need to move to Canada when the draft comes!
But why would I worry about serving in Our Military? Well, for one thing, they don't take free thinkers very well:The Incentive For Silence
MeFi is a public service. Kinda like Fark but without the nudity and poor photoshop submissions.
"Do you know what time it is?"
Two hairs past a freckle.
"Thats not funny."
"Because you are not funny."
"Do you really want to know?"
"All right, then. It is because you mix old-person's humor with a kind of forced post-modern cynicism. You are like a fat, depressed version of George Burns. Like George Burns if he was fat, depressed and born in the 1980's. 'Two hairs past a freckle' indeed. God, you are asinine!"
Why do you hurt me so much, Loki? Why do you hurt me so?
"Don't worry about it, kid. I spare no one. Everybody gets me one way or the other. Do you remember Melissa?"
Uh - from 11th grade?
"So she's using Crystal Meth now."
What? Thats terrible! Did you make her do that?
"No, she chose herself; sort of. I just remind her of that choice every day."
She was beautiful once. I envied her - not for her feminine looks, of course, but the fact that she would never be mine.
"And now she envies you because you do not spend half of your income on drugs. Do you see how it works? It's the circle of hate. Or envy, I guess. Whatever. It's all the same to me."
Why do you do this, Loki? Why do you hurt us?
"Do you know whats worse than being hurt?"
Is that so? Why?
FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
- a veritable trip down computer memory lane, if there is such a thing. This fantastic model
first flew off the assembly line the year I was born - yet I remember using them throughout my school years right up until Junior High. Ah, for the days when computers were made by companies like Mitsubishi, Raido Shack, Xerox and "Videoton". Those were the days when you could program your computer to play musical notes or flash random patterns on the screen. The days when Oregon Trail and Scorched Earth were top of the line games!
Ah, yes. The good old days.
Something shocking happened in Art History class today.
Firstly, there was no test like I had mentioned yesterday. I swear, this prof has lied, forgotten or perhaps forgotten to lie about more promised tests and quizzes than I can count.
Secondly, before class could even begin, a man who bore more than a passing resemblance to William F. Buckley
grabbed the podium and made a surprisingly impassioned speech.
Apparently, March is a bad month to need a blood transfusion. For reasons not completely understood, people donate less around March than other times of the year. Blood supplies are critically low. They are especially critically low due to the bloodshed in Iraq. You see, there is a certian kind of flea that lives among the shifting sand dunes of Kuwait and Iraq. Once that flea has bitten a soldier, said soldier is no longer able to donate blood to his comrades or anybody else. Nobody knows exactly who is bitten by the flea, which means that all medical blood supplies in Iraq and Kuwait must be imported from the United States. Mr. Buckelyesque mentioned that we are currently sending over entire cargo planes packed to the brim with fresh blood for our troops.
Also, the Mad Cow crisis in Britian and Germany make their blood supplies suspect, which means that we supply plasma for those two countries as well.
Merced College is having a blood drive soon, and we the students should participate for all the enumerated reasons.
Then, Mr. Buckleyesque left the podium and our regular prof took center stage. She thanked the lookalike for his passionate speech and then threw a veritable grenade right in our laps:
Any student who participates in the blood drive will get 100 extra points.
Read that again. 100 points.
Thats the equivalent of an A+ on a regular exam.
I could barely believe my ears, so I asked her to repeat what she had just said.
100 points. For giving blood.
I'm both happy and sad about this I guess. Happy that it's the easiest 100 points that I'll ever "earn", and sad because a lot of kids are going to pass that class not knowing a single thing about Art History, but being a pint of plasma lighter.
Then again, it is a Junior College....