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Sunday, March 29, 2015

243. Sin

“So what did he preach on?”

“Sin.”

“Is that all?”

“He was agin’ it.”

We both cracked up. No matter how many times C.W. and I do that old Will Rogers skit, with him of course shaped like Will himself, we get tickled as we reenact Calvin Coolidge’s wife asking him about his trip to church.

We soon got down to serious business, though. The media was full of news about states, including ours, passing laws against what they feel is the sin of being gay. C.W.wondered why our state legislature thought it is a sin.

“Because the Bible says it’s so,” said one of our state’s senators—as C.W. described him: “A strange looking little fellow with a goatee that looks like it might slide off to the floor at any moment.”

So here we were, in our living room pondering the concept of sin in more detail. How did it take its origin or rise?” C.W. asked.

“It originated,” I said, in the book that so many of our local species claim to observe.”

“This?” He picked up a worn copy of a King James version.

“That’s the one.”

“So when, in this process, did sinning start in earnest?”

“Well,” I said, “there is the issue of ‘original sin’ which I guess is the granddaddy of them all.”

“And that sin involves?”

“Having sex,” I said.

“So it was forbidden for your species?”

“Quite so, it seems.”

“But,” he said, “ain’t that sorta like telling a chick that it’s sinful to peck its way out of the egg.”

“I guess you might put it that way.”

“Any other long standing sins? I mean the ones that could really get you a spiritual butt-whipping?”

“Well,” I said, “we’re not supposed to kill.”

“Not supposed to …” he had begun to take notes but stopped in mid-sentence. “You’re kidding.”

“Nope.”

“But your species in this country has been at war constantly this time for uh …” he consulted some notes. “Twelve years.”

“More or less.”

“With not only no end in sight but lining up a couple more?”

“Our junior senator seems to hope it’s so.”

“Wouldn’t it put more milk in the bucket to aim some laws toward stopping war?”

“Maybe so,” I said, “but some of us seem to like it?”

He took a deep breath. “Hit me again,” he said.

“We are supposed to honor our parents, otherwise we are sinning big time.”

“What?” He picked up the Bible and began turning pages, “Where oh where is it?” he muttered to himself, “Here,” he said, “In what you call ‘The Gospel of Luke,’ your Fearsome Father’s favorite son says, ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.’ Now what the heck?”

“Some things in that book we take more seriously than others,” I said, rather weakly.

He made a note. “Anything else?”

“Adultery.”

“And the Fearsome Father’s take on that?”

“He’s agin it.” I said. We both smiled.

“What about this King David, whom your religion regards so highly?”

“What about him?”

He opened the Bible. “Reads like the crack of dawn wasn’t safe when he was on point.”

“Stop it,” I said.

“But tell me,” he said, turning very serious, “Where will I find the stricture against one of worst sins that we Falloonians could imagine. We treasure our children,” He added, handing me the Bible.

“And that is?” I prepared to begin searching.

“Purposefully inducing primal fears, nightmares, and post-traumatic stress disorder in young children.”
“Doing what?”

“You know what I mean,” he said, his face gray and hard.

“No,” I said, “I don’t think I do.”

“This practice that your species seems not only to condone but encourage during the rearing of children”

What does it say about the power of your religion
if you must have the government enforce it? - C.W.
“And that is?”

“The practice of taking those precious young things into a dark room and telling them that the Fearsome Father might just, if they displease them, hurl their bodies into a fiery pit for all eternity where they will writhe and scream in constant agony forever and ever.”

I couldn’t speak.

“When are your lawmakers going to deal with that?”

“I don’t know how we could,” I said.

“Maybe you could put a monument forbidding it on your state capitol grounds.”
 
Check out some ads. Big Dope threatens to cut my allowance.
- C.W.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bigotry

Dear Friends and Followers:

Big Dope is still sleeping so I take these moments to share a few thoughts that I plan to include in my next report to the Falloonian Elders. They don’t think I have been paying enough attention to your politics, so I have been slipping away and watching the legislature in Big Dope’s home state. I find the process bewildering or perplexing to the point of making me unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding. (Editor’s note: He means “confusing.”

The most interesting escapades I observed involve what I am calling in my report as “Bigotry Support Laws.” These seemed to be proposed for the purpose of legitimizing bigotry against outsiders whom the sponsor of the legislation doesn’t trust. There also seems to be a fear of changing conditions in your sociological evolution to which the sponsor is unable to adjust. Myself, I find these changes and trends one of the few positive indicators within the behavior order of your species. But then I am not a legislator.

The sponsors of such bills often seem to be in what Big Dope humorously refers to as “panic mode” as if the changes, such as the acceptance of a loving relationship between members of the same sex, would threaten the sponsor’s own safety.

Now, none of this is new. My study of the history of your species tells me that bigotry has been a dominant feature of your behavior patterns for ages.

Therein lies the irony of this current behavior.

Oddly, the supporters of Bigotry Support laws (I’ll just call them BS laws for short) feel that the chances for passage improve to the extent that they are presented as supporting what you call “religious freedom.”

How idiotic, if you don’t mind my saying so.

These BS laws are, to one familiar with the nature of our galaxy, a direct result of over four billion years of what you call "evolution." Consider the distrust of strangers. It is obviously a remnant of the ancient impulse of your developing species to band together in tribes for mutual protection.

The fear? The individual organism on the ancient savannah who wasn’t stressed and kept alert by constant fear of predators would be the first one eaten. Fear is a prime motivator for your behavior, and when it doesn’t exist, you can develop BS legislation to support it as an artificial motivator..

And the panic exhibit by BS legislators is nothing more than the old “flight or fight” syndrome writ large.

So, the passage of BS legislation certainly doesn’t derive from your literary figure who said, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Oh no, BS legislation could not be further in intent than that.

It more closely matches, I believe and shall report accordingly, the words of the English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson who spoke of “Nature, red in tooth and claw.”
 
I would hope that you will eventually realize
that bigotry can take you to dark places
to where you should not return. - C.W.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

242. Promises

“So you’re telling me,” he said, “that this is all coming about over the ownership of land?”

“Pretty much.” I dread questioning like this since I know he is practicing what he calls ‘The Dead Greek’ method of debate.  He even appeared as Socrates, complete with robe and beard.

“And these feelings are new or old—this obsession with owning the land?”

“Old by our standards,” I said. “It goes back nearly 3,000 years.”

“Odd,” he said. We were taking a break from the spring rains to walk in the woods of our farm. ”So the land must be very productive.”

“Not really,” I said. “It is arid and prone to be rocky.”

“Oh,” he said. “So its value lies in its beauty?”

“Not particularly.”

“So your species finds it worth fighting over for what reason?”

I thought. “Some of it does have oil.”

“And that was useful for what, say 3,000 years ago?”

I stopped and pretended to admire a young white oak sapling.

He continued. “Would you say this obsession is rational or irrational?”

“It seems,” I said, “that the people involved, the current inhabitants, believe they were given the promise of ownership some time back.”

“Ah,” he said, picking up a piece of dried cow manure and examining it. As if it provided some clue, he turned to me. “A promise from some legal entity that controls ownership records I suppose?”

“Uh, no.”

“No? Who made this promise?”

“Their god, so their written records say.”

“Their god is a real estate agent?”

I ignored him.

“Tell me,” he said. “Why, being half way around the world, has your country become so mired in this ownership dispute?” He tossed the cow manure toward me. I let it fall to the ground.

“It’s complicated,” I said.

“Is it of such importance that the future of your country depends upon it?”

“Some think so.”

“Ah,” he said. “The land contains a valuable resource vital to your way of life?”

“Uh,”  I said, “not exactly. Actually the other side has the most valuable resource.”

“And that is?”

“Remember the oil I mentioned?”

“Yes, that resource that had no value?”

“It has value now,” I said.

We walked in silence. He stroked his chin after a while and stopped, facing me. “There is something you are not telling me.”

I sighed. I knew this would make the electrodes in his Amalgamated Scientific Synthesizer spark. “Religion is involved,” I said.

Sure enough, the smell of wires burning told me that his ASS was getting warm.

“Religion?” was all that he could manage.

“The current inhabitants of the land are culturally and spiritually connected to an ancient religion that requires, so they say, that they inhabit the area.”

“Even if inhabiting it threatens another world war?”

“Perhaps.” The smell of electrodes frying was stronger.

“So the inhabitants of your country support them because they share the same what you call religion?”

“No, only a small portion do.”

“And the rest?”

“Mostly neutral except for politicians and a group of highly energized zealots who would support the current inhabitants at any cost.”

“For what your species calls love and sympathy?” he said.

“Not exactly.” I heard the sound of sparking.

“They admire the inhabitants and their brethren in your country?”

“Nope,” a faint flume of blue smoke rose from beneath his robe. “During most of modern history they have hated and despised the culture and its people, even, until recently, depriving them of some civil rights.” More sparking.

“They want to assure their survival out of a new sense of justice?”

“Hardly. If you must know …,” I began.

“Oh, I must,” he said, interrupting me.

“Truth is, this band of fanatics in our country plans to destroy all the current inhabitants of that troubled land of which we speak on what they believe is some pre-ordained date in the future.”

I had to step away to avoid the smell of burning rubber.

“So your, uh …"
Doesn't ownership of land on a planet that is
five billion years old seem a bit strange? - C.W.

"Evangelicals,” I said.

“Whatever you call them,” he said. “They need to keep the currently chosen inhabitants alive until it is the proper time to kill them?”

“More or less.”

“For what reward?”

“Promises,” I said.

“Promises? From whom?”

“From their god. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?” I said.

“My child,” he said, “after all this time, nothing on your planet seems strange to me anymore. Now if you will allow me to take a break, my ASS needs some relief.”
 
Click on those ads. I need electrical repairs badly.
- C.W.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Prophesies

Dear Friends and Followers

 I got the biggest blow or forceful thrust with the foot out of this cartoon from my friend Lisa at
http://www.allhatnocattle.net today. (Editor’s note: he means “kick.” His Galactic Universal Translator has tricked him again.).




















See also: www.wattensawpress.com 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tales From The South

Dear Friends and Followers

Big Dope received notification today from the popular radio show "Tales From the South” that his entry My Short Life of Crime was selected from hundreds of entries to be read on the March 24th show. He’s strutting around like a rooster on steroids.

Since I have had to listen to his stories for years, I think it is only fitting that you enjoy the … uh … treat. Yeah, it’s only fair. But seriously folks, as they say on TV, it’s a pretty good story and a pretty good show. I hope to see you there.

Here is the note he received from the producers. It gives all the details.

 Thanks again for your stories. We're excited about our upcoming show on Tuesday, March 24 at Stickyz in the Rivermarket District in downtown Little Rock.

The schedule for the night is:

 * Doors open at 5pm

* Dinner is served from 5pm-7:00pm. Dinner and drinks purchased separately from admission.

 * Live music from 6:00pm-7:00pm

This show is $15.00 admission in advance, $20 at the door if seating is still available, and open to the public. All guests (except writers) MUST purchase a ticket before the show (and as soon as possible). Seating is very limited, and we tend to sell out 2-3 days before each show, so be sure to invite lots of people and to tell them to go to the website (www.talesfromthesouth.com) to purchase their tickets. The direct link for tickets for this show is: http://talesfromthesouth032415.eventbrite.com Tickets are non-refundable.

Seating is first-come, first served. Everyone will purchase dinner and drinks separately from the admission. Keep in mind that once we are sold out, there won't be any more seats.
 
For info and samples from the show, click here.

So, better hurry. This ought to be good.
Well, it sorta looks like Big Dope. - C.W.