Burnished Bronze and Sour Cream White

Peter felt more out of place than he ever had in his entire life. Imagine him, the whiter-than-sour cream Peter Nolan in a place like Pharoah’s, a combination restaurant/coffee house/hookah bar. The décor, the smells, the smoky haze that hung in the air, it all felt so exotic.

That feeling was heightened when, as he made his way through the maze of tables, the music began to play. Not having much experience with middle eastern cultures, he thought it might be Arabic. That thought was confirmed when a woman the color of burnished bronze stepped from behind a beaded curtain. Dressed in what he supposed was an Egyptian belly dancer’s costume, she began to dance around the room, moving in ways he didn’t know humans could move. He was specifically drawn to her midriff. It was bare, with a light golden chain draped around it, and it rippled and undulated in a most pleasing manner. He was so fixated on her stomach that he forgot to find a seat and just stood there, watching as that bronzed belly rolled and waved, hypnotizing him. Just then, she noticed him and began to dance his way. Even that didn’t break Peter’s trance and he was so shy that he normally avoided attention from women like the plague. In fact, he was so transfixed, he didn’t even notice as she began to dance around him. All he could see was that stomach and the chain as it oscillated and flowed. The spell was broken as she lightly grazed her fingertips across his bare forearm and sent an electric shock up his arm and straight into his brain. He realized then that everyone was looking at him. And most of them were laughing. He sheepishly stepped away and found a table in the corner.

As he sat, sipping a coffee, he noticed her heading his way, her most recent performance over. He began to feel butterflies in his stomach. What if she sat down and wanted to talk? He wasn’t good with the talking. Especially with girls. His mother had always told him that girls were sinful creatures who only wanted one thing, his money, and they’d do anything to get it. He took a sip of coffee. She was getting closer. What would he say? He needed to know what to say so he didn’t sound stupid. He’d never find out if his mother was right if he said something stupid. And, oh god, did he want to find out if his mother was right. And, he wanted to find out with this girl. She smiled as approached his table. The butterflies in his stomach turned into California condors and he thought he was going to lose it. “Keep it together, Peter”, he said to himself. If you throw up in front of this woman, you’ll never find out what that belly can do and you’ll be a virgin the rest of your life. He calmed down enough that the moment passed and thought to himself, Okay, crisis averted. Now, what am I going to say? He realized he better come up with something quick because she was only 3 tables away. Shit, what do I say? Two tables… and closing. God damn it, he panicked. Then, it popped into his head: the perfect opening line. Just as she got to his table and he opened his mouth to deliver it, she passed right on by as he weren’t there. Damn it, he thought. Another night, no nookie.

First Trip

“You okay?” the tech asked as he leaned in over me, checking the IV. I nodded, too nervous to speak. “Okay, then,” he said as he closed the door on the isolation tank. I heard the latch on the tank’s door snick closed and then a slight click as the intercom came on. “Can you hear me?”

“Loud and clear”, I replied.

“All right,” he said. “Get ready for the joy juice.” I couldn’t hear anything, but I knew he’d pushed the button that injected a rather large dose of Ketamine into my IV. “Have nice trip.”

In the days since signing up to be a test subject for what I thought would be everyday, run of the mill psychiatric research, I had spent a lot of time in working in sensory deprivation. Hell, it was getting so that was more comfortable in the tank than I was in my own bed. I can still remember when we’d found out that astral projection wasn’t just esoteric bat shit craziness, but something actually worked; the entire lab was silent for a second, then erupted in a full-blown nerdgasm when everyone realized what we’d done. Since then, I’d traveled outside my body more times that I could count and it was the single most exhilarating experience I’d ever had.

It wasn’t long after that the government guys showed up. We’re with DARPA, they told Dr. Zemanski and we’re interested in what you’re doing here. We think it may have applications in government service and we want to give you tons and tons of cash to further your research. Okay, so they didn’t say quite that way, but that’s what happened. The money rolled in, along with all kind of new toys and a bunch of new people with new ideas; one of which we were testing today. Some guy, supposedly a bigwig neuroscientist who knew all about this stuff, heard about a claim that hallucinogenic drugs heightened the out of body experience. He pulled out the old MK Ultra data, some of the most comprehensive research on the subject, and did some math or something and the next thing I know, I’m being asked to take another trip. If he was right, the combination of the tank and the drug should take things to a whole other level. And, I was about to find out just where that level might be.

I repeated the phrase and performed the hand movement that had been planted in my subconscious to automatically induce a hypnotic state. As I did, I felt the drugs begin to kick in. The Ketamine would induce sleep paralysis (for my protection) and, more importantly, open my mind and let me access the portion of my brain that allowed to me travel outside my body. And this time, not just travel, but actually do things. Real, physical things.

The “K” began to take hold and I felt the vibrations that signaled the beginning of the process of separating my consciousness from my body. Then came the high-pitched whine that let me know I was ready. I went to take the first step away and all of sudden I flew up and out of the tank, hovering for a moment on the ceiling. Holy shit, that was strong! In all my trips, I had never felt anything like that.

After a minute to get my shit together, I stretched out and aimed for the door. This first trip wasn’t going to be a long one, just get out and about and see if I could actually make things happen. Opening the door would be the big test. Of course, I had no need to open the door; when you’re projecting, walls and doors are no barrier at all. But, if I could open it in front of a group of observers still in the physical realm…, well, that would be a major step in the program. It would validate all the time, effort and funding that gone into it and Dr. Z would be very happy. And, when Dr. Z was happy, everyone was happy.

Getting to the door was nothing, By this stage of the game, I was an expert at moving around a room while traveling etherically. Once I got there, though, that’s when things got serious. With the enhanced hypnogogic state induced by the ketamine, tapping the part of my brain that made my consciousness concrete was much easier than I expected. I looked down at where my hand should be and sure enough, it began to manifest. I was only supposed to do my hand and open the door, but it felt so good that I kept going. Before I knew it, a entire body was standing there at the door, in front of the assembled scientists. But, it wasn’t my body. Well, it was and it wasn’t. It looked familiar, but it didn’t appear…, well, substantial. It was sort of like a solid shadow. For all of that, it looked a whole lot better than my physical body did. Muscular but not like a body builder, it was lean and athletic; like it could outrun that trouble that came its way, but fight like hell if it couldn’t. I looked down at the hand and the fingers, my fingers I realized, and smiled. This was beyond cool.

After spending a few moments appreciating this new and improved me, I reached out for the door knob, expecting my hand to pass right thru like it had every other time I had tried to touch something while projecting. But, it didn’t. It wrapped around the knob. I stood there for a second, not believing what I was feeling. My god, I was in the astral plane and touching something in the physical! No one had ever done this before! My mind relayed the command to turn the knob and the hand in front of me obeyed. The door opened effortlessly. I turned to look at Dr. Z and his colleagues. Most of the other scientists were stunned, a couple of mouths even hung open. No one thought we’d actually be able to pull this off. No one except Potter, the government guy whose idea this was. He’d been certain from the start and now wore an incredibly satisfied smile. He looked at the technician and said, “That’s enough for now. Bring her back.”

No, I thought (speaking hadn’t been worked out yet), I want to stay. But, the tech pushed in the drug that would counteract the “K” and bring me back down. I felt it flow in and, in seconds, my strong, beautiful shadow body began to fade. As the effects increased, I felt my consciousness being pulled back into the tank and my physical body and, then, in a rush, I was back.

They opened the tank and helped me out. It took me a minute to steady myself and, when I did, I turned and saw Dr. Zemanski standing there, Potter right beside with that smug smile still plastered across his face. “Well, Samantha,” Dr. Z asked, “how was it?”
I was shaking from the exhilaration I felt. I reached out and grabbed his arm and said, “More! Send me back. I’ve got to have more!” And, then, I promptly passed out.

Rain On Car Windows

“You sure you wanna do this?” he asked. “You don’t have to. We can find another way.”

“No,” she snapped. Then, softer, “Sorry. We’ve been over this and over this. There is no other way.”

He sighed heavily, “I know. I just… I just… never thought I’d be part of something like this.” He dropped his head onto the steering wheel. “How the fuck did we end up here?”

She turned in her seat to look at him. “Does it matter?” she asked. “We’re here and this is our only way out. Believe me, if there were another option, I’d be all over it.” She shifted back and stared out the windshield at the rain that sluiced down in buckets.

Suddenly, he sat up and said sharply, “No! You’re not doing this. I am not going to be the guy who allows his girl to do something like this because he was irresponsible.”

He reached down to start the car, but she was quicker and snatched the keys out of the ignition.

“We’ve already had this conversation and this is it: Our only option. There…is…no…other…way!” She dropped the keys on the console between them. “Look, if I can handle this, you can handle this. Fuck, I’m the one who’s actually something. You just have to sit around and wait.”

It was his turn to stare at her. “Yeah, it’s so easy for me. Just sit around while my girlfriend is violated. And, why? Because we owe a shit load of money and I can’t keep a fucking job. It’ll be a piece of god damned cake.” He looked out the side window as the rain ran in streams down its surface. “Fuck you,” he muttered. He heard her breathe in sharply. He didn’t turn back.

“I’m sorry,” she said with a catch in her voice. “I guess I didn’t think of what this is doing to you.” Her voice trembling, she said, “Turn around.” He didn’t move. On the verge of tears, she begged him, “Turn around. Please.” He continued to peer out the window. Crying, she pleaded with him, “Won’t you please turn around!” Slowly, he turned back, but stopped short of looking at her.

“Look,” she said, as the words began to pour out of her, “This has got me on edge and I just wasn’t thinking about how it was affecting you. Can you forgive me?” He continued to stare out the windshield. “Please?” she added, a hint of desperation in her voice.

He took in a breath, held it a second and slowly let it out. “Yeah,” he finally said. “I guess we’re both having a harder time with this than we thought we would.” They sat quietly for a few minutes.

“So, you talked to Kat and she said it wasn’t so bad, right?” she asked with much less confidence than she had displayed earlier.

He nodded. “She said she was super-nervous at first, just like you. Then, they gave her a shot. After it kicked in, she just sort of floated through the whole rest of the… thing.”

She hesitated for a second, then asked, “What did Tony say?”

A sour look came over his face and he answered, “Tony didn’t say shit. He just sat there.” Then, “After a minute or two, he got and left the room. Kat told me he got some 4 Loko and got fucked up while she was in there.”

She sat there, staring at the rain on the car window and said in a voice almost too soft to hear, “You won’t do that to me, will you?”

His head whipped around. “Wha…, why the fuck would you even ask that?!?” he demanded angrily.

She flinched. There was a drawn-out pause, then she said, “Well, there was that time at I got so drunk an―”

He slammed his fist on the dashboard and snarled, “You are never going to let me forget that, are you!?” He gave a short, bitter laugh. “One time,” he said, holding up a finger. “One fucking time I leave you at a party and you just can’t let it go.”

“But, I was passed out in Tony’s bedroom!” she protested. “During one of those wild-ass parties he used to throw. Anything could’ve happened.”

“Oh, you were safe enough,” he said. “Tony doesn’t let that kind of shit happen at his parties.”

“You don’t know that,” she countered. “He can’t be everywhere.”

“Whatever,” he replied dismissively. “Nothing happened, so everything’s cool. Why do you have to bring this up every time I say I’ll do something?”

She sat there for a moment, before saying, “I don’t know. I guess I can be kind of bitch sometimes.” He nodded. She pulled her arms in across her chest, hugging her herself. “I’m sorry. I won’t mention it again.”

“It’s okay,” he said, reaching out and caressing her face. “And, don’t worry. I’ll be right outside the whole time, waiting for you.” She smiled and laid her cheek in his palm. Then, he dropped his hand onto the console and she wrapped her arm in his and pulled it in. It was a close to a hug as could be managed in the confines of the front seat.

They sat that way, in silence, for a few minutes before she asked, “What time is it?”

He glanced at the clock. “You’ve got a few minutes.” After a long pause, he asked again, “You sure you want to do this?”

“No,” she answered, “I’m not. I’m scared. Like, really, really fucking scared.”

He looked down at the floorboard. “I know. So, am I. But, what else can we do?” He exhaled. “I mean, do have any idea how bad things will get if we don’t handle this, right now?” She nodded. “I don’t even want to think of the consequences if we back out,” he said. “It will not be pretty.”

She hugged his arm tighter and said, “I know. I’ll do it. I’m just… scared, that’s all.”

“I know,” he said, “me too.”

They sat there, watching the rain as it coursed down the windows of the car. Then, the alarm on his phone began to sound. He disengaged his arm and pulled his phone out his pocket. He swiped his finger up the screen to unlock it and saw the calendar alert. “It’s time,” he said.

Without a word, she reached into the back seat and grabbed a small duffle packed with all the things she’d need. She leaned over and kissed him, then got out of the car and walked through the pouring rain to the door of the building. He watched her all the way, until she disappeared inside. Then, he turned and sat there, watching the rain on the car windows.

 

 

 

 

 

Something New

Followers of The Progressive Redneck have probably noticed that posts have been few and far between of late. There’s a couple of reasons for that, the biggest one being that I just don’t have time to write 2-3 posts that are worth reading every week. The other is that what I was doing last year this time has lost a lot of its luster. You can write about the abject shittiness of the dark underbelly of politics or religion for so long before it starts to pull you down. The break from blogging forced on me by school helped me realize that it is time to do something else.

So, what am I going to do? I believe I’m going back to my first love in writing: fiction. And, I’ll give you fair warning: it won’t always be “nice”, or “polite” or even safe for work. If that’s a problem for any subscriber, send me an email and I’ll remove you from the list with no hard feelings.

As a last hurrah before I depart the Christian blogosphere, I give you this poem I wrote last night. I hope you enjoy it.

Does God Exist?
They say God is dead,
that God never existed.
They are right.
The God they talk about,
the angry, vengeful old man
sitting on a throne with
a handful of lightning bolts,
the God who despised his
creation so much that
he destroyed it with a flood,
the God so obsessed
with blood that His
very own son
had to die before
He could forgive
the humans that He
created and imbued
with free will,
that God never was
and never will be.

But, they are also wrong,
God does exist.
God exists in stardust
that, thrown asunder
by the Big Bang,
coalesced into stars,
then into planets, then
into bacteria, plants
animals and
finally, humans.
God exists because
God is the universal love
that binds all
this together and
makes us one.
As long as there is one
tiny, imperceptible. Lilliputian
scrap of love in this world,
God
will
exist.

Compassion, Trump-style

Hello, brothers and sisters. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I’ve been a little busy. And, by “a little busy”, I mean “working my butt off to get some really mediocre grades this semester”.  But, recently, something so big happened that I just had to carve out some time and write about it. 

     What could possibly pull me out of my self-imposed exile and back into the blogosphere? President Trump’s budget proposal (I throw up in my mouth a little, every time I say that), that’s what. And, let me you, it is a doozy. It increases defense spending by 54% and slashes funding for almost every other part of the federal government, including all funding for arts and cultural agencies and the block grants that support Meals on Wheels and Head Start. Naturally, a few folks have their panties in a wad over this turn of events. 

     The real brouhaha started when, at a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney if the budget wasn’t “hard-hearted”. Mulvaney replied, “No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s one of the most compassionate things we can do.” That’s right, beloved; a budget that cuts funding to programs that feed the elderly and underprivileged kids is “compassionate”. 

     Now, before we lose our collective mind over this, let’s look at Mulvaney’s reasoning. He told the press, who didn’t take his pronouncement very charitably, “You’re only focusing on half of the equation, you’re only focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus both on the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. And I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money any more.’ ‘Single mom of two in Detroit, OK, give us your money.’ We’re not going to do that anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function, and I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”  And, believe or not, I get where he’s coming from.

     This budget is remarkably compassionate. I mean, sure, Trump’s budget will impose an 82% tax hike on a single parent making $34,000 a year. But, imagine how it will relieve the burden on the long-suffering and over-taxed 1% in this country. Seriously, who deserves a break more than the ultra-wealthy?

     And, yes, this budget will eliminate programs that the single mom he mention probably relies on, like Head Start, PBS, and other silly, socialist fluff. But, come on, folks. Lord Dampnut has to get the money to build The Wall™ from somewhere. Especially, since Mexico can’t stop laughing at his claim that they’ll pay for it. 

     Besides he’s got to come up with that extra $54 billion he needs to beef up the world’s largest military. Yeah, I hear you, “We already spend more on the military than the next 8 countries combined.” Maybe. But, don’t we need to be ready in case shit pops off with the Russians? Okay, not the Russians; Uncle Vlad wouldn’t be happy about that. But, it is necessary. If only because he needs to make sure the military is equipped to protect him when the mob of screwed-over supporters arrives in D.C. with the pitchforks and torches.

     Look, I know a lot of you are still pretty pissed about this budget. I get that. But, maybe you should take Mulvaney’s advice and look at both sides of the equation. There’s the “decent human being who wants to take care the least of these” side…, and, then there’s Trump’s. I’m sure you’ll see the light eventually. 

It’s 6:27 AM. What’s Your President(-Elect) Doing?

So, the Golden Globe awards show happened. As a general rule, I wouldn’t hit a hog in the ass for an awards show. Basically, I think they’re nothing but a bunch of attention whores getting together to shout, “Look how super-cool we are! Don’t you plebes all wish you could be like us?” Every now and then, however, something amusing comes out of these publicly televised circle jerks. Sunday night was one of those times.

Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and gave an acceptance speech that people are still talking about. It was a bit long and addressed several issues, but the most interesting part was when she took the tiny-handed toddler who is about to be leader of the free world (aka Donald Trump) to task for making fun of a disabled reporter during his campaign, saying, “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Of course, the Tangerine Nightmare couldn’t let this slide and took to his favorite platform (Twitter) to respond. At 6:27 on Monday morning, he unleashed a brief and, in his mind, devastating, Tweetstorm on Streep:

There are some intriguing aspects this semi-sentient tire fire’s response: Like, it doesn’t make any sense (Streep is “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”???), it’s bullshit (he did indeed mock Serge Kovaleski and Kovaleski did not change his story), and, yet again, he disparaged the press for reporting what he said. But, perhaps the most intriguing part of it all (and by “intriguing”, I mean “utterly fucking scary”) is that the man(child) that will soon be commander-in-chief of the most potent and powerful military machine the world has ever seen has such a thin skin he can’t let anything go.

Think about it for a minute, Trump is just 12 days out from taking on what is arguably the most difficult job in the world and what’s he doing this close to his first day at work? Tweeting insults at an actress.  This isn’t a one time thing, either. Hell, just a few days ago, he was on Twitter gloating about how he got better ratings on “The Apprentice” than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And, let’s not forget his feuds with Saturday Night Live and the cast of “Hamilton”. How presidential.

But, hey, he’s just telling it like it is, right? I mean, who do these people think they are? Citizens in a country with an fundamental right to criticize the government and the politicians that run it? But, even if they are, doesn’t Trump have a right to defend himself from that criticism? So what if he’s putting up that defense instead of taking intelligence briefings, conducting press conferences, put together a cabinet; you know, the job he was elected to do?

Damn. This is going to be a long, long four years.

No Homosexual Lifestyle???

In August of last year, the darling of the progressive Christian world, John Pavlovitz, wrote a post titled Repeat After Me: “There is No Such Thing as a “Homosexual Lifestyle.”  What?!? No homosexual lifestyle? I find that hard to believe. I mean, if there’s no “homosexual lifestyle”, that means I’ve been an asshole for absolutely no reason whatsoever. That is a turn of events I just cannot accept.

Look, there are numerous places where the Bible plainly states homosexuality is a sin. Here are a few of those places:

  • In Leviticus 18:22, God told Moses that men shouldn’t lie with men as they do with women because that is an abomination. Of course, a few chapters earlier, God also told Moses that the people shouldn’t eat pork and shrimp. But, I love pork and shrimp, so I ignore that part. Thank you, God, for the miracle of proof-texting!
  • In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul said that “homosexuals” won’t “inherit the kingdom of God”. Yes, I know the word “homosexual” doesn’t appear in the Bible until the middle of the 20th century. But, the words that have been rendered as “homosexual” are slang terms and we really don’t know what they mean. But, hey, if we don’t know what Paul meant, what’s wrong with interpreting it in a way that benefits us “normal”, straight folks?
  • In Romans 1:26-28, Paul tells us that men and women gave up natural, God-ordained relations and defiled themselves with icky, same-sex shenanigans and were promptly punished for it. Sure, in the very next chapter, Paul tells us that God condemns the kind of judgement he just threw out, but that doesn’t help my case, so I’m ignoring it.

Seriously, is this man, this “pastor”, trying to tell me that my deeply held religious belief about the homosexuals, based on a Bible verses that have been few proof-texted and cherry-picked within an inch of their life, is wrong? Really?

According to Pavlovitz, “We all have a gender identity and a sexual orientation and these things all fall along a vast and complicated continuum. It is this specific combination of both how we see ourselves and who we are drawn to that form this essential part of who we are.” Oh, come on, “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”? Everyone knows God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And, Eve was always Eve, not Steve who decided he was Eve. No less an authority than the Southern Baptist Convention backs this up in their resolution “On Transgender Identity”. How could that many Baptists be wrong about something like this?

He also says that the Christians are holding onto “the prejudices and fears our faith inherited 3500 years ago when we didn’t know what we know now” and is “deliberately choosing to not know now; preferring religion to reality”. Well, of course we are. Otherwise we might have to change. And, if there’s one thing we don’t do very well, it’s change.

Look, the bottom line is that accepting homosexuality as innate and not a “lifestyle” is just another step onto the slippery slope that will ultimately lead Christians to live by the teachings of Jesus and start loving our neighbor and turning the other cheek. God only knows where that could lead.

2016: The Year In Review

This has been my mantra for the year.

Well, beloved, we’ve come to the end of another year, which means we’re about to be inundated with “Year in Review” posts/articles/programs. And, yes, I’m doing one, too. “Year in Review” posts aren’t what you’d call a regular feature here. Unlike my annual Thanksgiving posts, I haven’t written one of these since 2012. I’m not exactly sure why, it’s not like the past four years have been uneventful or anything. In fact, I’m not sure why I’m writing this one. Probably because I figure a post about 2016 will get some views and, like all writers, I’m a bit of an attention whore.

The consensus view seems to be that 2016 has been a rather shitty year. After all, it’s seen:

  • An orange-hued shit demon take advantage of the pain and fear of a large swath of the country to become President of the United States,
  • A bunch of idiotic yahoos in my home state of North Carolina pass an obviously discriminatory law and then commit political suicide by standing behind it in the face of overwhelming opposition both in the state and abroad,
  • The most deadly mass shooting in U. S. history, in which 49 people were killed because of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression.
  • Unarmed black men shot down by the police, mostly for the crime of just being black (that’s not new, but it was a big part of this past year).
  • An election that may have hacked by the Russians. At the very least, they influenced the voting toward the candidate they preferred.
  • And the death of a beloved celebrity every time we turned around.

Not exactly the best year on record, huh?

Still, it hasn’t been all bad. 2016 has also seen:

  • Working class people find a new (unlikely) champion in a 78 year old Jewish socialist. Now, if the Democratic Party (who likes to think of itself as “the party of the people”) would just get on board.
  • An announcement that Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman would be replacing former president (and slaveholder) Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is good because not only was Jackson was a slave owner, he was an asshole.
  • Jabba the Hut stunt double, Roger Ailes, resign as chairman and CEO of FoxNews. Ailes did so amidst a hail of accusations that he has a proclivity for making lewd remarks and/or advances to his female employees. And, punishing them when they reject him.
  • Pat McCrory lose his job as Governor of North Carolina to Roy Cooper. The best part is that McCrory engineered his own downfall with the hated HB 2, which was actually supposed to hurt his opponent, Cooper. Ain’t karma a bitch?
  • Samantha Bee debut her most excellent show, Full Frontal, on TBS. Bee, smart woman that she is, blew off the industry standard  live interview portion of the news parody format and stuck with her strength, scathing, intelligent satire. And, the television world is better for it.
  • A new Star Wars movie come out. It’s called “Rogue  One” if you’ve been living under a rock. I’m going to see this weekend and I can’t think of a better way to ring out this year.

Do these things offset losing David Bowie and Carrie Fisher in the same year? Probably not, but you’ve got to accentuate the positive. Even when the positive is not all that great.

It’s been said that 2016 has been the worst year ever. But, the truth is, it hasn’t. Not by a long shot. We’re not engaged in a global conflagration, an entire race isn’t in the process of being exterminated, there isn’t a plague killing off a significant portion of humanity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s been fun and I’d like to do it again. Just that it’s not been that bad. Hey, most of us even survived it. I’m not giving odds on 2017, though. I have a feeling it’s going to be a motherfucker.

Making Jesus Great Again

Now, that’s my kind of savior!

Since we elected Donald Trump to make America great again, I think we need to take some steps to make Christianity great, too. Now, most of you probably believe that Christianity is already great. I mean, God did answer the prayers of hundreds of thousands of Christians in giving the election to Donald Trump and all, but you have to admit, there are areas of Christianity that could use some work. Like all that non-violence talk and the stuff about money that libtards yammer on about. But, the starting point for all this has to be giving Jesus a makeover. And, boy, does he need it.

What, you don’t think we need a new Jesus? Boy, have you got your head in the sand. I mean seriously, turn the other cheek and love your neighbor? What a cuck. No, if we’re going to make this religion (and this country) great again, we need to follow a real manly man, a jacked Jesus, if you will. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to follow some little pussy who won’t even fight back.

To accomplish this makeover, we’re going to have tip over a few sacred cows. Like, for instance, the Bible. That will probably be the biggest obstacle in branding our new and improved alt-savior. Yes, I know the Bible is the pure, unadulterated Word of God and every syllable is literally true and needs no interpretation. But, seriously, we’ve been furtively working the Good Book to our benefit for centuries, what with all the proof-texting and cherry picking. All I’m saying is we stop sneaking and come out in the open.

Our most common weapon should be to just ignore the verses we don’t like and focus hard on the ones we do. Like, we just omit all those inconvenient calls to non-violence that Jesus issued and concentrate on the one that goes, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Easy peasy, right? Like I said, we’ve been doing this shit for years. And, the ones we can’t ignore just need a little tweaking; you know, sort of like Andy Schlafly did with his Conservative Bible project.

Take that “turn the other cheek” bullshit. In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” With just a little work, it becomes “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But, I tell you do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, pop that motherfucker in the face.” Now, that’s a guy I can respect!

I’m telling you, this won’t be that difficult. I mean, we already elected a thrice-divorced casino owner who has committed adultery on numerous occasions, made multiple semi-incestuous comments about his daughter and appeared on the cover of Playboy, and cited our faith for doing so. All this new movement will require is selling what’s left of our souls and giving up the few principles we have left. How hard can that be?

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Special thanks to Alaina Cobb for the inspiration and revised Bible verse. I couldn’t have done it without you, friend!

Donald Trump is the Messiah???

If you’re thinking “What the fuck?” right about now, I don’t blame you. When I heard that shit, I was stunned myself. But, it’s true; Donald Trump is the messiah…, or, more likely, the harbinger of the messiah, a la John the Baptist. Well, according to end times nut case author and lecturer, Thomas Horn, he is.

Horn bases most of his claims about Trump on the words of some Orthodox Zionist rabbis who have reconstituted the Sanhedrin and are pushing to rebuild the Temple. I’m guessing these rabbis view Horn and compatriots as useful idiots who will help them reach that end. Which probably is okay with Horn and his end times believing pals because they think the rabbis are all dirty Jews who will be cast into the lake of fire when Jesus comes back. It’s what you might call a weird evangelical/Orthodox mutual contempt society.

This insanity is way to convoluted to get into with any depth here. Basically, it sounds a lot like this clip of Cartman explaining the 9/11 attacks from South Park’s “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” episode:

Like I said, a bit much for a blog post. But, here are a few highlights:

  • The End of Days will come sometime next year. This goes back to Daniel’s “time, times, and a half a time” comment. According to an obscure 17th century interpretation of that passage, the messiah will appear and the end times will begin before September 30, 2017 (the end of the year 5777 in the Jewish calendar). Guess Jesus was just kidding with all that “thief in the night” business. What a joker.
  • Horn even goes so far as to say that, in gematria (Jewish numerology), Trump’s name actually means “messiah”. And, I guess it does, if you go down a rabbit hole that makes Alex Jones’ wildest conspiracy theories seem positively sane. If you’re a glutton for punishment and want to read the actual article, here’s a link.
  • He presents 3 bullet points that he feels point to Donald Trump, not as the messiah himself, but as John the Baptist. But, he does say that there is an ongoing effort to research Trump’s genealogy and show that he is a descendant of David. No joke on this point. I don’t think it needs one.
  • Of course, Horn tells us that this messiah the rabbis are saying is about to appear is a false messiah, the Anti-Christ. And, that he believes that Trump isn’t the Anti-Christ. Why? I’m assuming because he thinks a white, American man can’t be the Anti-Christ.
  • Trump is “God’s messenger”. What the hell kind of message God would send through an asshole like Trump, I don’t know. And, what kind of God would choose a semi-sentient hairball for their messenger doesn’t bear contemplation in my opinion.

All things considered, Horn’s pronouncements are not bad. It’s all bullshit, of course, but still not bad; for entertainment value, that is. Horn has some game in this arena, but even with all his “Trump is the messiah” talk, he’s still no William Tapley, the self-proclaimed Third Eagle of the Apocalypse and Co-prophet of the End Times. But then, who is, beloved? Who…, is.

I though it would be easier.