Saturday, December 29, 2007

Devil May Care

I've always been a sucker for exorcism. There's something about a couple priests pushing up their sleeves and heading out to Georgetown to kick a little bit of demon ass. Maybe it's the romantic in me. Imagine then how delighted I was when I heard the pope had announced a "War on Satan" with the intention of setting up exorcism squads. Heart be still. I'm sure George Bush became more than a little aroused.

Apparently the Vatican is concerned about what they see as an increase in interest in the occult. That and poorly printed expiration dates on milk cartons. According to an online Catholic news service, the Vatican has introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness." Furthermore, each bishop will be instructed to have a number of priests in his diocese trained to fight demonic possession.

Why can't Jews be this cool? Why can't the rabbis band together and have squads of holy guys traveling around shaming evildoers? They could wear special uniforms so as not to be mistaken for the Hasidim. I think about these things because someone has to. If I had it my way, Jews would do communion, too. Oh sure, we couldn't do the "body of Christ" thing. We'd have to put a different spin on it. Maybe call it the "the cookie of Aunt Esther". Just thinking out loud.

Forgive me for getting off topic. I just want to tip my hat to the pope. Either Benedict is getting very cool in his old age, or very very crazy. I wonder if he has plans for dealing with cats.

Friday, December 21, 2007

How Lucky For Us All

In the last week, I've heard three people tell me that some oaf has said these hideous words to them: "You're lucky to have a job."

What an odious phrase. Consider its intent. These words are really not meant to offer comfort or congratulation. They are a club to beat someone down and to impress upon them where their station lies. It is a cautionary phrase.

Sadly, it's not only used by people in power, but by people who cling precariously to their station, to their class level, to their own employment. For them it's a phrase which comes from jealousy and bitterness, from their own insecurities.

"They're changing my health benefits."

"Really? Well, I wouldn't complain too loudly. You're lucky to have a job at all."

REALLY? Well since I'm so fortunate, why am I even accepting compensation? Hell, I should turn around and give my employer half my paycheck for being so wonderful as to let me help him make a profit. Perhaps I should elevate him to godhood and supplant the Holy Trinity with the Holy Quartet.

It astonishes me how we accept certain statements and ideas without questioning them. How we love our conditioning.

The next time some miscreant utters those words to me, no matter how well intentioned, I am going to rip open his or her shirt and bite their belly. It might not make a proper political statement, but it will be something to remember.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Every couple years I tend to slip into a reclusive state. I stay home, read, and try and avoid as much contact with the outside world as possible. When in this state, I tend to avoid the internet and become negligent in returning email. Friends who have known me for a long time tend nod their heads and mumble: "Here he goes again." Some friends give me space and some try and drag me out of my hole.

Since I am writing here, I would say it's a safe bet that I am starting to emerge from hibernation. To those who have wondered what happened to me, that is about all the useful explanation I can offer. I'm not saying I've entirely sluiced loose the cocoon, but it has serious cracks in it.

So, let me dust off the keyboard and reclaim my address at the HOUSE OF STERNBERG.