Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memory of George Carlin

Carlin was one of the greats, and one of my favorites. Here's one to remember:

"The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating...

...and you finish off as an orgasm.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Snow in June? Oh, Yeah ...

We're currently relaxing at the condo in Big Sky, Montana. The plane ride? Hated it. Went smoothly, but still hated it. The pilot landed like it was his first landing - very rough, very scary. Hated it.

Montana? Love it! It's beautiful here. Here's the view from the condo.

We're planning horseback riding, a trip to Yellowstone and just doing a lot of nothing. Time is weird here - it seems like the days are as endless as the sky. That can be good and bad. I miss my animals terribly, especially my cat, George, who, I swear is just a little person in a fur coat.

But, I'm enjoying my first vacation in a long time - even though I had to go through the terror of a plane ride to get here. I'm anticipating the terror of the return flight, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy myself.

We went to a UCC church in Bozeman yesterday. Very beautiful sanctuary. The preacher was a bit ponderous for me and my vacation mates. He took about 25 minutes to tell us that no act of kindness, mercy or sympathy is ever wasted. There ya go - a sermon without all the odd, out of place illustrations.

So, now we're communing with God at the condo, amazed at some of Her best work.

It's in the 40s here this morning. Probably won't get above 60 degrees. Enjoy your heatwave East Coasters! :)

Back to relax mode ...

Monday, June 02, 2008

How Not to Use Your Faith

When I first moved to South Carolina, I was distressed and amazed at how much religious material - let me clarify, Christian material - there was displayed in places like doctor and dentist offices. After living in Atlanta for many, many years, I never saw such public displays of Christian faith in professional areas. I know that Atlanta is in the South, where proselytizing is akin to breathing, but as the "international city" it prides itself in being, such passive proselytizing in a professional atmosphere would never fly.

At a dermatologist's office several years ago in South Carolina, I saw a derogatory editorial cartoon about gays in the military posted in the waiting room. I finally snapped. When the doctor came in to the office (he was an old codger on the verge of retiring), I commented on the cartoon. I told him, "I find that cartoon in the waiting room offensive. I know many gay and lesbian people who have served this country with integrity and pride and they ought to be able to do it openly."

He grumbled something I couldn't quite understand before shoving a prescription slip in my hand and trundling out of the office. This is the same "Christian" office where I witnessed the rough treatment of an older lady. The receptionist (a sour lady if I ever met one) gave her the HIPPA forms to read and sign. The lady told the woman she couldn't read and the receptionist barked, "I haven't got time to read it for you," and slammed the glass window shut.

I sat down with the woman and read the form to her and helped her understand what she was putting her mark on. It was a stark reminder that though many say, "Lord, Lord," they have not a clue how to behave as a follower of Christ in this world.

I ran across an interesting example of this clueless and cowardly form of public proselytizing over at the site (a site for PR junkies like me). A blog post by Mark Ragan recounts his time in South Carolina and the endless number of, "Have you received Jesus as you personal Lord and Savior?" questions he was asked at inappropriate times.

He presents a video from a St. Louis television reporter, who is interviewing a public officials who shamelessly uses Jesus as a shield to avoid answering some tough questions. Have a look:

That wall of separation between church and state is about as thin as the walls in an old apartment building I used to live in. Sad.