Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sermon of the Storm

It is a drag not having any internet connection but it keeps me dealing with reality. And reality this last week was the storm of the decade. See, the ice storm of December '08 sounded horrible, but it wasn't a storm as much as a bad combination of weather events. This thing that rolled up the coast two days ago was a monster on wheels. Every tree that survived the '08 ice storm fell down the other night, including this fir tree that had been in my neighbor's front yard since I was a young pup playing whiffle ball. If anyone wants some free wood, bring a chain saw and have at it!

I drove home from Greenland and passed many trees on the ground. Power was out. For a moment I was living in my energy neutral utopia and then power came back on and the fry vats at McDonalds started to warm up. The oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia breathed a sigh of relief.
So I played some chess and got beaten badly until I pulled off this incredible come from behind victory. Observe I have two bishops and a queen and managed to check mate the computer with just the bishop and the queen. I was down to my very last move. It was a brief moment of vindication after getting beaten so many times.

When I sobered up enough to drive I went over to my buddy Nick's place and he insisted we drive down to Gloucester for a hamburger. I agreed and we ended up at 5 guys, a fast food style old school burger joint that gave free peanuts at the door and service with a smile. The burgers are all double patties unless you specifically ask for a junior burger. The fries are fresh cut and as big and plentiful as you would ever want. I stuffed my face with a double burger and grilled onions and tomato and fries and peanuts.
This is Nick's 2nd burger. Observe the double patties. He said, "I didn't drive all the way down here for one burger."
I could barely finish my meal.

Similarities abound to my favorite joint in L.A. In N Out Burger. The service and style were very similar. The Five Guys burger was more expensive at $5 compared to $2.49 and the fries were also about twice the price so I paid something like $10 for a burger and fries that was a round trip of about 100 miles from my house. Feel free to point out that this is insane.

Now for the real reason I'm writing today: A man sitting behind me at the burger place with his kid gave a lecture to her when she brushed all the peanut shells onto the ground. A few of my friends are parents now and what parent couldn't relate to this? I mean, even through peanut shells are meant to end up on the ground, it is still a bit of etiquette to get the majority of them to the trash. Most of my shells ended up stuck to my cashmere sweater. And the lesson here is the father was taking a moment to teach the kid to not leave trash all over the place. Anything wrong with that? This parallels with a lesson I was considering about parents trying to get their kids to eat all their food or be polite or not behave like barbarians. Well, I happen to agree with these lessons. But something has gone horribly horribly wrong in the transition from child to adult. See, America is 14 trillion dollars in debt. That's $14,000,000,000,000.
So, any wealth you think you see is like rouge on a transvestite hooker working the Tenderloin in S.F. You think you are going to get a budget hand job and all of a sudden you've got a man dick in your mouth.
My point is that America is worse than flat broke. The Man in the Van is flat broke. That's not unusual. No, America is $14 trillion in debt. It means we are paying for things like social security and schools with counterfeit money. I'm no economist, but anyone who tells you that being $14 trillion in debt is a natural and necessary means of civilized commerce IS A COMPLETE FUCKING ASSHOLE!

See, the comparison I would like to make is for all those parents out there. You have a sit down dinner with salad and some bread rolls and spaghetti. Yum! Your ideal situation is for your son and daughter to eat with some kind of respect and dignity. Now please imagine this scenario: Your son kneels on the table and scrapes all the food off your daughter's plate WITH HIS PENIS. Then he eats it all AND KILLS YOUR DAUGHTER. He proceeds to walk over to your plate and throw everything OUT THE WINDOW. Then he goes to your husband's plate and PISSES AND SHITS ON THE FOOD. Then he goes into the kitchen where HE BLOWS THE REFRIGERATOR UP.

Amused? Proud? Loving?

Well, maybe I'm wrong, but this is basically how I see the collective global conduct of Americans. $14 trillion in debt, obese, the #1 polluter, waging wars overtly and covertly WITH MONEY THAT DOESN'T EXIST. I'm frankly horrified. Ideologically, America is a complete mess. I don't know if the genius industrialist is, as Ayn Rand claims, generously pulling the common man out of the ignorant mud or if gigantic corporations have such a brilliant propaganda strategy that they make slavery appear to be a privilege. Either way, I'm gravely concerned.

God gives all things to industry. I think of that saying and the LaChance family in Quebec who embodied it perfectly. They are original pilgrims, uninfluenced by politics or the tides of power and prejudice. But how many families like that are there in the world? The family did not leave crumbs on floor of their kitchen or on the floor of the earth. God is their anchor. I would argue that nothing less spiritually proven than God can withstand the conflicting tides that are pulling at public opinion right now. Only because the idea of God has been misused so often am I a hesitant convert. Truly, nothing is sacred. The only port in the storm is the one you manufacture with a cold, selfish heart. Like the storm that came to town a few days ago, the winds will knock down trees and burn houses and blocks. What remains after such violence? The church within your soul. Call it whatever name you want but build that sanctuary strong. It's your only protection and it's the only thing that will last after the Tea Parties and the Republican Parties and the politics have been forgotten.
Emerson started out as a minister, a Unitarian Minister. Maybe that's what I will end up being, not for selfish reasons, but because propaganda must reach the masses in digestible formats. I will start my ministerial project on my 39th birthday, which is tomorrow. I don't want to be a leader of people, I want people to lead themselves. I'd rather play guitar and video games. But this essential truth can't be ignored, that storms can be caused by man or God and to protect yourself you must have a pure shelter, built not from the mortal bricks of media pundits but from the immortal blocks of spirit. This is at the heart of my campaign against Hannah Montana and her morally bankrupt clan. I have been through the wilderness and my opinion is this: you must begin to weave the protective chain mail of a strong spirit, and you must begin today if you will survive the coming storms. The pine tree in my lawn is a mere symbol of what happens to the spiritually insecure man. Your roots must go deep and no one can tell you how they grow.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.