A True Natural Look

Posted in Book Reports, Religion, The Death Penalty, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 31, 2013

This feature is about what happens to a person in the time between death and funeralization. Some people might find this feature to be in bad taste. If you are one of these people, you are encouraged to skip the text, and enjoy the pictures from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Funeral homes like to talk about service to the community. In Toledo OH recently, a funeral home greeter went a bit further. This is not one of the 13 Things the Funeral Director Won’t Tell You.

British writer Jessica Mitford went into more detail in her essay, Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain.
“Embalming is routinely performed on the recently departed, even though it is not required by law or religious custom. “The author concludes that unless the family specifies otherwise, the act of entrusting the body to the care of a funeral establishment carries with it an implied permission to go ahead and embalm.”
The copy of the Formaldehyde Curtain used today is from Hartland High School . In the study notes, it says
“First, in Mitford’s piece, carefully focus on allusion, verbs, irony, direct address, and tone. Second, reflect on your notes and thoughts; think aloud on paper; reconsider your notes; ask questions; and think about your thinking.” This essay is possibly an excerpt from Ms. Mitford’s underground classic, The American Way of Death
The essay gets off to a rip roaring start.
“The drama begins to unfold with the arrival of the corpse at the mortuary. Alas, poor Yorick! How surprised he would be to see how his counterpart of today is whisked off to a funeral parlor and is in short order sprayed, sliced, pierced, pickled, trussed, trimmed, creamed, waxed, painted, rouged, and neatly dressed-transformed from a common corpse into a Beautiful Memory Picture.”
The first step is no surprise.
Mr. John H. Eckels, president of the Eckels College of Mortuary Science, thus describes the first part of the embalming procedure: “In the hands of a skilled practitioner, this work may be done in a comparatively short time and without mutilating the body other than by slight incision-so slight that it scarcely would cause serious inconvenience if made upon a living person. It is necessary to remove the blood, and doing this not only helps in the disinfecting, but removes the principal cause of disfigurements due to discoloration.” In olden times, many people feared premature burial … being lowered into the ground without first expiring. With the removal of blood, and other soft tissue, this possibility is eliminated.
Once the blood has been drained, embalming fluid is pumped into the arteries and veins. One supplier is Hydrol Funeral Supply Company. Their catalog offers Co/Preinjection Fluids, Arterial Fluids, Cavity Fluids, Specialty Fluids, and Embalming Fluid Dyes.

One arterial fluid is Velva Glo.
“Velva-Glo offers the maximum of perfection in cosmetic and preserving results. It is formulated to give a flexible body with minimum rigidity. Velva-Glo is not a non-hardening fluid, but so designed that minimum firmness and maximum preservation is obtained. Velva-Glo’s slow action permits full distribution of the fluid before the tissues are set, insuring thorough saturation. Velva-Glo is absolutely non-coagulating. An interesting feature of this fluid is its action on the blood. Harsh, quick-acting fluids lose their potency or power after contact with the blood for several hours. This is because the formaldehyde is consumed. With Velva-Glo, tests which we have made show the formaldehyde maintains its full power after days of contact with blood, while such tests made with harsh, quick-acting fluids show the formaldehyde entirely disappears. Velva-Glo is a non-desiccating, non-burning fluid which offers the utmost in perfect embalming. While Velva-Glo is desirable for all cases, it produces exceptional results when used for women and children.”
Ms. Mitford mentions a dye, Lyf-Lyk tint.
“Lyf-Lyk Tint is easily applied with a brush. It spreads evenly and dries quickly, leaving a natural, porous, velvety appearance. Seven specially developed shades enable you to provide the proper complexion for each individual case. Lyf-Lyk Tint leaves a permanent finish that is an ideal base for powder or rouge. It is not affected by weather and will not streak or fade. It may be applied over wax or face covering. The tint is resistant to handling, but may be removed if necessary with a soft damp cloth.”
“The next step is to have at Mr. Jones with a thing called a trocar. This is a long, hollow needle attached to a tube. It is jabbed into the abdomen, poked around the entrails and chest cavity, the contents of which are pumped out and replaced with “cavity fluid.” This done, and the hole in the abdomen sewn up, Mr. Jones’s face is heavily creamed (to protect the skin from burns which may be caused by leakage of the chemicals), and he is covered with a sheet and left unmolested for a while. But not for long-there is more, much more, in store for him. He has been embalmed, but not yet restored, and the best time to start the restorative work is eight to ten hours after embalming, when the tissues have become firm and dry.”

Some of the cavity fluids are HYPOST, CAVAMINE, NITROL, SUPER-50, CAVICEL, HYTEK, THOROL, and TISS-U-TONE. Of the latter, the catalog says
“Tiss-U-Tone humectant is an accessory embalming chemical which modifies or softens the action of embalming fluid, acts as an internal tissue filler in emaciated cases and, when used externally as a massage, prevents excessive dehydration of the skin. …Tiss-U-Tone will build up the average body but where sunken spots appear around eyes and temples, HYDROL TISSUE BUILDER, injected hypodermically, should be used after embalming is completed. Tiss-U-Tone contains no formaldehyde. Tiss-U-Tone, because of its wide external use, has been made with a delightful odor which imparts a pleasing scent to the embalming room. “
Eight to ten hours after embalming, the staff prepares “Mr. Jones” for viewing. Again, a variety of chemicals and tools are available to help. An example would be HY-GLO MORTUARY COSMETICS Hy-Glo Base Cream – Blush.
“Here is a line of mortuary cosmetics unsurpassed for their NATURAL LOOK. With Hy-Glo Cosmetics, there is no need for powders, paints, special lighting or last minute touch-ups. Hy-Glo Cosmetics dry instantly, do not rub off on white shirts, dresses or casket-liners yet are water soluble and easily removed. They do not distort skin texture, but do give it the full color of life. This dramatically effective cosmetic result is achieved by first using Hy-Glo Sealer Cream. When lightly applied, the cream leaves a flexible microfilm on the skin which positively prevents the passage of air through the skin tissue, and maintains skin texture in a natural permanent state without dehydration.
One of the Hy-Glo base colors is then selected and if necessary blended with the #4 Hy-Glo tints to achieve a perfect color match. The cosmetic is applied evenly and sparingly with a short bristle brush and dries instantly. The result is a clear microscopic film which is permanent and undetectable. A small amount of #5 Hy-Glo Hilite brushed on the chin, cheeks, ears, nose and eyelids completes the job. The Hy-Glo Kit also contains shaving cream which utilizes the same microfilm principle to allow the razor to glide over the skin, eliminating razor burn entirely. No powders are necessary because the amazing Hy-Glo Cosmetics leave a true NATURAL LOOK.”

Mean As Jesus

Posted in Religion, The Internet by chamblee54 on March 30, 2013







A few weeks ago, in the post Oscar backwash, Pure Film Creative posted a piece, Enough with the Snarky, Already. On top of the text is a quote, “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.” The comment is sometimes blamed on Oscar Wilde. The Academy Awards were named for another Oscar, reliable sources tell.

The quote is of unknown origin. Sarcasm Society explains “The line clearly lacks the sparkling wit and worldliness typical of Wilde’s best quips. More importantly, the quote is not found anywhere in Wilde’s writings.” Going down the page, SS describes research into sarcasm.
Katherine P. Rankin,… assistant professor … at the University of California, San Francisco … found that people suffering from a progressive brain disease known as semantic dementia failed to perceive sarcasm.
Enough research. Too much information gets in the way of a good epiphany. When PG saw the comment about sarcasm, he was reminded of an internet Jesusmonger who does not appreciate people with different beliefs. The man has digital anger management issues, and is given to boasting about the use of sarcasm. The epiphany was that the man is just plain mean. Furthermore, many of the most visible Jesus worshipers are, at the core, mean people.

Whatever message the historic Jesus may have delivered has long ago been obscured by the meanness of his believers. People do not become kinder when the are “saved”. They find a different way to inflict pain on their neighbor. And Jesus is an excellent weapon when you want to hurt someone.

This is beginning to careen out of control. Maybe it is time to break, and let people look at pictures. There is one more quote, and it sort of fits in with this. It is from Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. If you read the post, you can get the full story.

“Look, go ahead and debate religion. Go ahead and tell Christians why what they believe is wrong. That’s totally fine and, in fact, I encourage it. A little debate and critical thinking are good for everyone. But do it intelligently. Get to know the Bible, so you actually know what you’re disagreeing with when you form an argument. Brush up on your theology so that you can explain why it’s so wrong. And have some compassion, for Christ’s sake – be polite and respectful when you enter into a debate, even when the person you’re debating with loses their cool. You want to prove that you’re better, more enlightened than Christians? Great, do it by remaining rational and level-headed in the face of someone who’s willing to stoop to personal attacks. To behave otherwise is to be just as bad as the people you’re debating.’







Dead Saturday

Posted in Holidays, Religion by chamblee54 on March 30, 2013








It is easter season. Once, it was a day to celebrate springtime, the renewal of life after the chilly winter. Then, some people who take their myths literally came into control. The story of the day is of an avatar (G-d become man), who died, and then rose from the grave.

Not only do they believe the story, but they also believe that this belief allows them to live forever. PG does not agree, and would appreciate the Jesus Worshipers a lot more if they kept their ideas to themselves. Sad to say, the believers like to talk about their beliefs. Many seem to think that the louder the talk, the more true the belief.

In the 2100 years since his life and reputed rebirth, Jesus has become quite the cult of personality. Many feel that the current Jesus has almost nothing to do with the historic Jesus. Popular Jesus is a modern day golden calf, a idol created by man. The best way to learn about Jesus is through the words and deeds of his believers. It is not always pretty.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.










Posted in History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 29, 2013

The equal sign has been in the public view this week. It means that two sides of a mathematical arrangement have the same value. This week, with arguments about gay marriage in the public eye, the equal sign has been tarted up in red and pink, and become popular on facebook. It is supposed to represent equality, as in marriage equality. At least it is not a ribbon pinned to a lapel.

On friday evening of red equality week, PG was listening to a podcast, emanating from a site called Useless Information. PG tries to use less information, which is not quite the same thing. This podcast was originally presented in November 2012, and tells the story of an Ohio man who drowns in a boating accident, only to reappear as a Nebraska sportscaster.

At the outset of the podcast, there is a quiz. In this edition, a series of math symbols are the possible answers. The question is, which one was the first to be used. The equal sign won.

Robert Recorde (born c. 1510, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales—died June 1558, London, England) invented the equal sign. In his book Recorde explains his design of the “Gemowe lines”: “…to avoid the tedious repetition of these words: “is equal to”, I will set (as I do often in work use) a pair of parallels (or Gemowe lines) of one length (thus =), because no two things can be more equal.”

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.


Posted in forty four words, Trifecta by chamblee54 on March 29, 2013






The idiot box
Does not have a lid
Some say it is a jar
Or a door left ajar
For jar heads
The boob tube
With talking heads
You can turn it off






Truman Capote

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 29, 2013

Truman Capote was a phenomenon of the TV talk show era. If he hadn’t existed, someone would have had to invent him. He was known as much for his sissy voice as his writing. Becoming famous in the late forties for “Other Voices, Other Rooms”, he worked on a screenplay for “Beat the Devil”. When he met the men accused of killing the Clutter family in Kansas, he impressed one by telling him he worked on a movie with Humphrey Bogart. These chats led to the book “In Cold Blood”, which was probably his biggest triumph. “Breakfast at Tiffanys” became a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.

He was on the Dick Cavett Show the same night as Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. After Maddox got offended and walked off the show, Mr.Capote remembered the time he ate at Maddox’s Pickrick restaurant.
“All I can say is that it wasn’t finger licking good”.
Mr. Capote was the darling of certain New York socialites. They unwisely told him some stories about their lives. In 1975 Esquire magazine published “La Côte Basque 1965”. It was a chapter from “Answered Prayers”, the book he received a large advance for and took his time writing. (It was finally published three years after his death) .The chapter published told some sordid tales about his jet set friends, who immediately ostracized him. It was a stepping stone on his road to ruin.

One chapter of “Answered Prayers” involves a dinner party in New York. Three of the guests were Dorothy Parker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Montgomery Clift. The evening never got past the cocktail hour, much to the distress of the hostess. At one point, Miss Parker was tenderly touching the face of Mr. Clift. She purred “He’s so beautiful,sensitive. So finely made. The most beautiful young man I have ever seen. What a pity he’s a cocksucker. Oh Oh, dear, have I said something wrong. I mean, he is a cocksucker, isn’t he Tallulah? Miss Bankhead replied ” Well d-d-darling, I r-r-really wouldn’t know. He’s never sucked my cock.”

In the spring of 1976, Mr. Capote gave a speech at the University of Georgia. At the time, there was a comic strip called “Don Q”, which has long been forgotten. It showed people in medieval clothes making comments on current affairs. On the day of the speech, the comic featured two characters. One was Richard Nixon. The other was as lisping little man, apparently based on Truman Capote.

The scene that evening was magic. The lecture was given on the steps of Memorial Hall, with the audience in the quadrangle in front of Reed Hall. Mr. Capote’s contract specified a pink spotlight, and a wicker chair behind the podium. Mr. Capote spoke for a while, and read a section out of “A Christmas Memory”. After a break, he returned to answer questions. The questions were written on file cards, and read by a student. The last one, and the one the reader said best typified the attitude of the evening, was “What does Johnny Carson look like in person?”

After this, Mr. Capote asked for questions from the crowd. PG raised my hand, and Mr. Capote pointed to him.
“Mr. Capote, did you see the comic strip Don Q this morning?” “No, what was it about?” ” It was about you, and Richard Nixon” “I don’t know who Don Q is, and I am beginning to not know who Richard Nixon is.”
Mr. Capote went downhill from this point on. He did a series of profiles for “Interview” magazine, which formed the basis of his last book ” Music for Chameleons”. His drinking and drug taking, always a problem, got worse. He became an embarrassment to those who once flocked to his side.

Truman Capote died in 1984.

Whenever you discuss Jack Kerouac, there is a quote by Truman Capote that gets mentioned. “That’s not writing, that’s typing”. PG thought a trip to Google city would help to show a bit of context on that quote. The first page of results, only, rule will be enforced here. The context of the original remains a mystery. ( Hey, maybe someone else made it up, and said that Capote said it. The ladies who lunch are not that clever, but Capote had big ears.)

There is a review of Going Rogue with the title, “That’s not writing, that’s someone else typing”. The nit picker has the audacity to say that the P lady gave a ghostwriter some tapes, and went off to hunt endangered species. A commenter observes “at some point in her book tour, someone will ask her a question that she won’t be able to answer because she won’t be familiar with what’s in her own book.” This post advertises downloading audio books, and copping grant money.

The Chicago Reader advertises teeth whitening chemicals with the post “That’s Not Writing, It’s Typing” It seems that someone is trashing today’s internet generation, with it’s tweets and blogs that say nothing, by comparing them to the product of Jack Kerouac. The money quote: “Kerouac survives because he (allegedly) wrote great works; the insufferable logorrhea the Beats inspired biodegrades in niche bookstores because, sensibly, nobody reads it. The Web makes things worse only in the sense that it democratically preserves the crap alongside the genius. Even more so than libraries!”

You probably know what is coming next. Yes, there is a blog titled That’s Not Writing, That’s Typing . It is written in Australia, and last had a post in 2007. The next to last post was about a trip to Dubai, and has a picture of a large hookah.

The results are a bit better at Writingortyping . It has been updated in 2011, and the lady knows how to write. Here is an example: “Overheard at our house, French steampunk edition… September 30, 2010 By Jill… Me: “So remember that trailer of that French steampunk film I showed you earlier this year?” John: “Yeah – I think so.” Me: “Well, apparently it was only in theatres on limited release and isn’t on DVD in the States at all.” John: “So, New York and L.A. basically.” Me: “Yeah probably.” John: “And Northern Maine.”

There are two sites for Truman Capote quotes They do not provide any more information about this quote, other than to repeat it. Mr. Capote was a clever man, who would be a challenge for Mr. Kerouac in a drinking contest. Mr. Capote also said “Mick Jagger is about as sexy as a pissing toad.” Brainy quotes sells digital speed plans and blackberries. There are links to quotes from “your favorite authors”, including Marilyn Monroe, Buddha, and Muhammad Ali.

The top result for *the phrase* is perhaps the most true to the style of Mr. Kerouac. It was written 27 days before 911 by Jonah Goldberg, of all people. He is trying to make it to a wedding, where he will play the underrated role of groom. He wants to get his dress shoes before he leaves town, because asking for “black loafers” in a Montana truck stop might lead to unexpected adventure. Being a thoughtful conservative, he makes the case that government intervention makes poor people poorer. The piece is written in a deadline driven frenzy, with jokes about black loafers and Truman Capote. The header ad is for Grove City College, and the Wall Street Journal.

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress

Quote Waste

Posted in History, Music, Uncategorized, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 28, 2013







There is a tasteful graphic going around. It features a quote, “Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.” John Lennon is blamed for this thought. Wikiquotes does not have this quote, at least by Mr. Ono.

An obvious comment is that being wasted is something Mr. Lennon knew. Keith Richards says this is not quite the case. On pages 261-262 of “Life”, Mr. Richards describes how Mr. Lennon would try to keep up on the drug intake, but wound up in the loo, studying the porcelain.

There was a facebook exchange about this quote. “Wikiquotes does not show this quote. I searched using wasted, wasting, and time.” ~ “Luther,the way I look at these quotes is : I like the idea they express, rather than being overly concerned with the veracity of the attribution.”

If the idea is so cool, why do the quotemongers need to attribute them to a famous person? You can find some pastoral image for the background, throw the quote up, and be inspired. Is it an authoritarian impulse to find a wise man to give credit for the cleverness? Can’t it stand on it’s on?

John Lennon spoke about being more popular than Jesus, and caught some flack as a result. Would John really want to be used as justification for someone else’s clever thought? The sense here is that all he wanted to do was play rock and roll. Let someone else be the spokesman for a generation.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.








Other Things Are Happening

Posted in Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 28, 2013







As you may have heard, lawyers are presenting arguments to SCOTUS about same sex marriage. This has gotten a lot of attention. People are talking. Facebook status photographs are being changed to graphic symbols. Preachers are reading the bible.

Not everyone is amused by this lawyer generated hoopla. A blog post came out, 6 Things That Happened While Y’all Were Preoccupied With Gay Marriage. The six things in this post are a corporate written law signed by BHO, two proposed laws in state legislatures, a rapper saying something tacky, people being arrested, and more people becoming homeless. All of these things are serious issues. Ignoring the rapper would seem a painless solution to one problem.

All of these issues are focused on the United States. It is bad enough to obsess about tax regulations that seem to benefit the wealthy. This commentary by BGD does not consider the ninety plus percent of the population that lives outside the lower forty eight. Here are a few of the things happening in the rest of the world. No facebook graphics are available for many of these issues.

1- The United States is conducting a war of choice in Afghanistan. Men, women, and children are being killed. The production of heroin is being protected. Billions of borrowed dollars are being spent in a worthless endeavor. Revenge for 911 has long ago been taken.

2- The United States is sending unmanned aircraft to conduct air slaughter of defenseless populations. These men, women, and children are residents of countries the United States is not at war with. In the case of Pakistan, we are allies. With allies like that, who needs enemies.

3- Oil products are being used without any consideration of the future. Carbon Dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere at a much faster pace than the trees of the planet can process. Oil is being extracted from increasingly more environmentally sensitive areas.

4- The government of Syria is slaughtering it’s own people. Israel takes in zero refugees.

5- Billions of narco dollars flow into criminal hands in Latin America. This money is causing problems.

6- Millions of Jesus Worshipers are about to celebrate Easter. They don’t seem to care about the neighbors, who are sick and tired of hearing about that religion.

The list could go on, ond on, and on. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This was written like H. P. Lovecraft.








Posted in forty four words, Music by chamblee54 on March 27, 2013





Anita Pallenberg,
gf of Keith Richards,
had a daughter.
They named the baby Dandelion.
Since it was a catholic hospital,
they needed a traditional name.
The middle name became Angela.
When the girl became old enough,
she told daddy
to never call her Dandy.






C.S. Lewis

Posted in Book Reports, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 27, 2013







There was a facebook link to a feature, Ayn Rand Really, Really Hated C.S. Lewis. It turns out to be verbatim droppings from Ayn Rand’s Marginalia : Her Critical Comments on the Writings of over Twenty Authors. If you are interested in details, there are the links.

Miss Rand has read more C.S. Lewis than PG. There was a copy of a CSL work at a yard sale once, which PG invested a quarter in. He read as far as the appearance of a pig named trufflehunter. Maybe it was a bad day for books, but PG put CSL down, never to make another attempt.

There was a sixth grade english teacher at Ashford Park named Mrs. Ruff. Lots of people talked about how sweet she was, but PG was not impressed. One day, between handing out mimeographed copies of poems to be memorized, Mrs. Ruff started to talk about Narnia. It was a fantastic and amazing story. With a hint of primness, she told the class that Narnia was really about Jesus.







Atheism Number Two

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 27, 2013

Whenever someone writes a book about religion, the writer pays tribute to mammon. Interviews are given, TED talks are given, and the printed donkey flogged within an inch of its life. The book of the moment is Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. The author is Alain de Botton. A chat on blogginheadstv provided background noise for a productive 53 minutes of photo editing. Thank you Library of Congress. This is a repost.

The idea is that atheists can learn a thing or two from the believers. Mr. de Botton also gave a TED Talk about this concept. TED provides a transcript, which makes the bloggers endeavor a bit easier. Quotes below,from the transcript, are in blue. Editorial comments, by the house, are in green.

One of the most common ways of dividing the world is into those who believe and those who don’t — into the religious and the atheists. And for the last decade or so, it’s been quite clear what being an atheist means. There have been some very vocal atheists who’ve pointed out, not just that religion is wrong, but that it’s ridiculous. These people, many of whom have lived in North Oxford, have argued — they’ve argued that believing in G-d is akin to believing in fairies and essentially that the whole thing is a childish game.

We may as well began by questioning the entire belief paradigm. Christians believe G-d exists, and a few other things. Atheists do not believe G-d exists. What no one seems to be questioning is whether belief is the best way to go about the G-d issue. The word gnosis (the root of agnostic) refers to having a knowledge of G-d… to feeling her presence in your soul. There are some who say that man and G-d are one and the same. When all you have is a belief… a strongly felt thought… you just might be missing most of the picture.

Christianity is a religion based on beliefs. One of the central beliefs is the notion that having the correct beliefs will cause you to be “saved”… to go to heaven when you die, instead of hell. This is a big deal to Christians, who find it difficult to deal with someone who is not as fascinated by this belief as they are.

Atheism seems to be a reaction to Christianity. If they Christians did not tell them about G-d, how would they know what not to believe in?

“they’ve argued that believing in G-d is akin to believing in fairies and essentially that the whole thing is a childish game.”
Oh my, what a terrible thing to say about faeries. Maybe faeries are not something to believe in either. Just wear the fabulous fashions, and don’t worry about that silly religion business.
Mr. de Botton laments the lack of community is atheism, and he may have a point. PG has often envied the sense of extended family that churches seem to offer. If only those pesky beliefs didn’t get in the way. Does religion fulfill a tribal need for conformity, rather than spiritual fulfillment?

“Now religions start from a very different place indeed. All religions, all major religions, at various points call us children. And like children, they believe that we are in severe need of assistance. We’re only just holding it together. Perhaps this is just me, maybe you. But anyway, we’re only just holding it together. And we need help. Of course, we need help. And we need guidance and we need learning.”

It is a common rule of public speaking… you treat children as though they were adults, and adults as though they were children. The concept of being “born again”, of having a second childhood… these are very appealing notions. Can an atheist church offer these good times? Or would it spoil the fun by treating “worshipers” as adults?

Another point about education: we tend to believe in the modern secular world that if you tell someone something once, they’ll remember it. Sit them in a classroom, tell them about Plato at the age of 20, send them out for a career in management consultancy for 40 years, and that lesson will stick with them. Religions go, “Nonsense. You need to keep repeating the lesson 10 times a day. So get on your knees and repeat it.” That’s what all religions tell us: “Get on you knees and repeat it 10 or 20 or 15 times a day.” Otherwise our minds are like sieves.

So religions are cultures of repetition. They circle the great truths again and again and again. We associate repetition with boredom. “Give us the new,” we’re always saying. “The new is better than the old.” If I said to you, “Okay, we’re not going to have new TED. We’re just going to run through all the old ones and watch them five times because they’re so true. We’re going to watch Elizabeth Gilbert five times because what she says is so clever,” you’d feel cheated.

PG listened to the embedded TED talk twice, the second time taking notes in the transcript. The idea of listening to this lecture three more times is horrific.

The other thing that religions are really aware of is: speak well — I’m not doing a very good job of this here — but oratory, oratory is absolutely key to religions. In the secular world, you can come through the university system and be a lousy speaker and still have a great career. But the religious world doesn’t think that way. What you’re saying needs to be backed up by a convincing way of saying it.

So if you go to an African American Pentecostalist church in the American South and you listen to how they talk, my goodness, they talk well. After every convincing point, people will go, “Amen, amen, amen.” At the end of a really rousing paragraph, they’ll all stand up, and they’ll go, “Thank you Jesus, thank you Christ, thank you Savior.” If we were doing it like they do it — let’s not do it, but if we were to do it — I would tell you something like, “Culture should replace scripture.” And you would go, “Amen, amen, amen.” And at the end of my talk, you would all stand up and you would go, “Thank you Plato, thank you Shakespeare, thank you Jane Austen.” And we’d know that we had a real rhythm going. All right, all right. We’re getting there. We’re getting there.

This is one issue where PG has a big, big problem. Jesus worship is an emotional affair. Powerful feelings are stirred up. This power, and fury, can be a terrifying thing if it is used against you.

In 1999, PG was working with an aggressive Jesus worshiper. One day, PG came out of the bathroom, and heard something on a radio the preacher was playing. What he heard disturbed PG. When he asked the preacher to turn his radio down, hell broke loose. The preacher turned loose the power of Jesus against PG, in righteous anger, because he wanted to play a religious radio station at work. An experience like that will give you a sense of what George Zimmerman is facing today.

This use of Jesus driven emotions is an issue in American politics today. The force and thunder of a screaming Jesus worshiper, leading his flock of angry sheep, is a terrible thing to have used against you. It is hoped that an Atheist church would be more “humanistic”.

No, we need to be polite about differences. Politeness is a much-overlooked virtue. It’s seen as hypocrisy. But we need to get to a stage when you’re an atheist and someone says, “Well you know, I did pray the other day,” you politely ignore it. You move on. Because you’ve agreed on 90 percent of things, because you have a shared view on so many things, and you politely differ… That’s what the religious wars of late have ignored. They’ve ignored the possibility of harmonious disagreement.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Jesus worshipers are notorious for interrupting you if something is said they do not like. Perhaps this is another function of the belief based religion. When you believe something, and do not understand why someone does not share your belief, you don’t have time to listen. This rudeness does not speak well for Jesus. Hopefully, atheists can be a bit better.

Conversation At Starbucks

Posted in Music, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 26, 2013








This may come as a surprise, but some of the stuff at Chamblee54 is copied from other sources. Some folks come up with things that just cannot be improved. That is why G-d invented copy paste. This story below originated at a site called World Class Stupid. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

I’ve been reading a lot about how supportive parents are to their unconventional kids these days, but I never really believed it. All the stories seemed just a little too good to be true: The dad who overhears his son talking about coming out and writes him a note that says he’ll love him no matter what. The two construction workers on the subway who proudly talk about their gay sons. The mom who walks in on her son having sex with his boyfriend and responds with a lock for his bedroom door and a note saying, “I always knew you were gay and I’m fine with it! Sorry to disturb your blowjob!”

Needless to say, I was totally surprised when I witnessed a scene that makes all of them look like Pat Boone eating cheese. I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. Get the Kleenex ready as we fade in on the local Starbucks.

I was drinking a frappuccino and listening to music when two guys in white robes and pointy hoods walked in. Despite the fact they were covered from head to toe in starched white cloth, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they were really racist, sexist Southerners — the kind of guys who snapped towels at each other in the locker room and called guys “faggot” when they listened to Erasure over and over (even the new record!).

I always ignore people in costume since they usually ask me for candy, but this time I couldn’t help myself. The tape in my Walkman jammed just as Sheryl Crowe was going to tell me what kind of a road a day is like, and I heard Guy #1 say this: “My wife wants me to stop killing squirrels, but I don’t feel right just turning them loose after I’ve cut off their skins.” It piqued my curiosity so I put a blank tape in my Walkman and hit RECORD. Ordinarily I don’t have time to waste on meaningless strangers but I figured my Yelp review could wait.

Guy #2: That don’t sound much like Wilma. She ain’t one to spoil a good hobby.
Guy #1: She wants me to spend more time with our son Ralph, who’s fifteen and plays football.
Guy #2: How is Ralph anyway? Haven’t seen him in awhile.
Guy #1: Oh, he’s good. This year he’s quarterback.

Guy #2: He’ll definitely have the girls hanging around him now.
Guy #1: Yeah if he had any time for them.
Guy #2: Focused on football?
Guy #1: Focused on terpsichory.

Guy #2: You’re shittin’ me!
Guy #1: I kid you not. Last week he told me and Betty that he wanted to join the Bolshoi Ballet.
Guy #2: Holy Jesus on the cross. I don’t see how anybody can tolerate that parade of patriarchal cliché.
Guy #1: Amirite? Amirite? I tell ya, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Guy #2: Well, it don’t surprise me none. He always seemed soft, even ignoring the tutu.

Guy #1: How’s Marvin Jr.?
Guy #2: Last week I caught him en pointe with his boyfriend doing a tour jeté. His sister told me he wants to sign with Martha Graham.
Guy #1: Hoo-wee! Well, we all saw that coming.
Guy #2: You’re the eighth person to tell me that. How’d everybody see it but me?

Guy #1: It was just a feelin’, Elbert. In their class photo he’s the only one pretending to be a tree.
Guy #2: I guess you’re right. But hell, Charlie — Martha Graham? Critics say her Bacchanale achieves a subtle, sublime lyricism but to me it looks like Jackie Chan fighting off locusts.
Guy #1: It definitely eschews the traditional vocabulary of dance.
Guy #2: Shit, Charlie. We both have kids who adore the dance. What do we do now?

Guy #1: We act like normal fathers. We say their tights don’t make their asses look fat and if anybody says their pirouettes are wobbly we jam potatoes into the exhaust pipes of their trucks.
Guy #1: Well, I guess Ralph and Marvin Jr. won’t be getting together like we thought.
Guy #2: I guess not. If they wanna be professional dancers, they’re gonna need significant others who can pay the rent. [LONG PAUSE]
Guy #2: Hey Charlie, you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?
Guy #1: I think I am, Elbert. Not here, though — at my place. I just bought a new Scriabin polonaise and all this cotton dampens the poetry of my arms.

By that point I was holding back a little tear, but then they resumed talking about squirrels. I ran home and transcribed the whole thing and posted it here. I hope it brightens your day like it brightened mine. Maybe some day I’ll post an actual copy of the tape but when I scan it it just looks like a beige stripe.