BACK AT SCHOOL

August 28, 2006

I am back at school, which is why I haven’t been posting as regularly as before. Out of my parents garage, everything packed up and back in the dorm. My new roommate is a guy named Brett, who I caught reading Darwin’s book about his travels on the Beagle on our first day together. I’ll tell you what, I gave him a piece of my mind. Or would have, if he weren’t so much bigger than I am.

Anyway, once I get back into the rhythm of school, and I get used to my schedule at Hot Dog on a Stick, which is where I will be working starting this Wednesday, I’ll try to start posting more regularly again.

About Hot Dog on a Stick: My parents thought it would be a good idea if, since they are paying for my college education, I pay for my own food and such.

“You’re in your mid-twenties, Jon,” my dad said, “and always talking about how people have to pull their own weight, so it’s time you start pulling yours.”

Which is quite a task, as heavy as I am.

In any case, I’m still getting used to this schedule. I never imagined pulling one’s own weight could be so time-consuming.


AL GORE: BIG BABY

August 28, 2006

If he’s not traveling around, plugging his book and his movie on TV and in magazines, Al Gore is whining about the fact that the “person who has the most money to run the most ads usually wins.” I don’t disagree. It’s true. Something like 90% of the time, the candidate who spends the most money on his or her campaign wins. I just don’t get what the big deal is. That’s how oligarchical republics work! The candidate who can convince the most corporations to spend the most money on his or her campaign wins. But of course, Al Gore doesn’t like that. He would like it, one imagines, if people’s decisions were based on the substance of campaigns, and not on whose face showed up the most times in commercials on prime time. Well, give me a break.

The American people can’t be trusted to vote for the right candidate based on his or her politics.


WOMEN ARE EVIL

August 14, 2006

I met a girl at church last Sunday. Her name is Rebbecca. She was very flirtatious with her eyes. She looked at me funny when I was trying to sing hymns. It distracted me. It confused me. I am fat, I am obnoxious — I know these things, I embrace them. Why was this pretty girl giving me “the eye”?

After church, she walked up to me and she said, “Hi, I’m Rebbecca.”

“Jon Myers,” I said.

“I know. I’ve read some of your writing.”

Was this why she was talking to me?

“I was wondering,” she said, “and I know this is forward, if you might want to go out tonight.”

This had never happened to me before. Usually, I walk toward a woman — just any woman — on the sidewalk, and she quickly crosses the street, glancing at me nervously. Normally, I sit down in one of the pews in church, and everyone, women and men both, slide to the opposite side, turning the bench into a very unbalanced teeter-totter. Normally, when my mom has gatherings of friends, she makes me stay in the garage.

And yet here was this pretty girl and she was asking me out.

“Okay,” I said. “But I don’t have a job. I’m a student.”

She said it didn’t matter, she would pay.

We went out that night. And then the next night.

And then the next night.

We talked. I found myself attracted to her. Sexually. I couldn’t believe it. The guilt. I remembered Paul saying it is better to marry than to burn — but I was just burning and burning for Rebbecca with no chance of marriage in sight. Plus, I don’t think sex should be used recreationally, even if one is married. That’s what Kirk Cameron films are for: entertainment. Not sex. Wait, I meant Kirk Cameron films are for entertainment, and that sex is not for entertainment. I did not mean that Kirk Cameron films are, themselves, not for sex, though that too is true.

Where was I?

Right. I don’t think sex should be used recreationally, even if one is married. But here I was so attracted to Rebbecca, and I wanted to have sex with her. But I knew she would never permit that, despite her mild — and surely brief — infatuation with me. But then last night, we were sitting on her couch watching LEFT BEHIND: WORLD AT WAR, and she turned to me, and she said, “Jon, has anyone ever told you how sexy you are?”

“No,” I said, truthfully. “No one’s even hinted at it.”

She put her hand on my thigh.

I felt something stirring beneath my corduroy.

I swallowed.

“Well, you are. And you know what else?” she said.

“What?”

She leaned forward and kissed my mouth. I had eaten some garlic fries before we watched the movie and I was very self-conscious about it, but she didn’t seem to notice, perhaps thanks to the Altoids I had eaten afterwards.

Anyway, after kissing me she said, “I want to take your virginity.”

I stood up quickly, knocking Rebbecca over. She hit her head on the coffee table. She said the eff word. Twice. “Fuck,” she said, “what the fuck is wrong with you?”

And then I knew, I undestood completely. She was only pretending to be a Christian.

“How did you know I was a virgin?” I asked.

“My head is bleeding.”

“How did you know?”

“You wrote about it.”

“Is that the only reason you wanted to go out with me?”

“I just thought it would be funny,” she said. “You’re so self righteous. Really, you’re just such a little shit. I thought it would be funny to prove to you that you’re human too.”

“You think sin is funny!?” I shouted. The entire situation was compounded by Kirk Cameron on the television screen.

“I don’t think sex is a sin,” she said.

“Get out!” I shouted. “Just get out of here!”

“It’s my apartment,” she said.

“Fine,” I said, “then I’m leaving!”

“Good, you fat-assed little shit.”

I walked to the door, grabbed the knob, pulled. It didn’t move. The devil was holding me in here with this evil woman, holding me here, trying to make me sin. I shook the door, yanked as hard as I could, but it wouldn’t budge. Oh, darn you, Satan!

“The dead bolt, Jon,” Rebbecca said.

I stopped, unlocked the dead bolt and opened the door. I walked out. I couldn’t say anything. My face felt hot and cold simultaneously. I walked home. I couldn’t expect Rebbecca to drive me home after what happened.

When I got home, my mom was in the kitchen doing the dishes. She asked how my night went but I couldn’t even stand to tell her. I just grabbed a quart of ice cream and headed out to the garage. I forgot a spoon, but I didn’t want to see my mom — a woman — again, so I just scooped it out with my fingers. Rebbecca had fooled me. For an entire week, all I could do was think about her. I thought I might marry her and make babies. And then I found, she had no interest in me at all. She just wanted to have sex with me to prove a point.

Oh, women. They are just evil. From Eve on down. Every single one off them.

If it wasn’t a sin, I might turn gay.


MUSIC, PAVLOV & “BUSTING NUTS”

August 8, 2006

A recent study found that teens who listen to “raunchy” music are more likely to have sex. According to an AP article written by Lindsey Tanner:

Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Whether it’s hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

Songs depicting men as “sex-driven studs,” women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.

Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years as were teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

Now, of course, it could be pointed out that the majority of teens who take chastity vows start having sex within one year, which means chastity vows may be twice as dangerous as dirty music, which is why I support living in such a way as to promote flaccidity in males — smoking, eating fatty foods — because that lowers the chances that one will be able to act upon temptation. I know it has saved me from sinning on many occasions. But this piece isn’t about flaccidity enhancers. Or chastity vows. It’s about raunchy music. Music with sex. I once heard a song by a rapper called Too Short, and it had some of the dirtiest lyrics I have ever heard.

I almost bust two nuts back to back / Never seen a bitch work head like that

No wonder teenagers are stripping off their clothes and “busting nuts” all over the place. Now, I know that people might argue that correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. They might argue that teenagers who — for whatever reason — are already more likely to have sex, who already have sex on the brain, could possibly, maybe, listen to songs with lyrics about “busting nuts” and “working head” because those are subjects they’re particularly interested in, while more pure teens will listen to songs about, say, genies in bottles, who have to be rubbed “the right way.” But I don’t buy into that. People — especially teenagers — are obviously so dumb that if you plant sexual messages, subtle or otherwise, in music, and they hear it, eventually they become the sexual equivalent of the programmed hitman in The Manchurian Candidate, and start humping uncontrollably, no matter who’s there — and maybe they even do it in church.

It’s disgusting.

And that’s why I support strong government control of the music industry. Parenting, you see, is just too important to leave to parents. As a Christian nation, we must send a strong, governmental message to our sinning, Pavlovian populace.

“No!” we must shout. “You will not be busting any nuts today! And no!” we must shout. “You will not be working any head today! Working head and busting nuts is henceforth against the law, premaritally speaking, and listening to songs about such is a federal crime!”

And if that doesn’t deter them, mandatory chastity belts for unmarried females age thirteen and up.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY #1

August 2, 2006

Today we begin a new feature called “Know Your Enemy,” in which I interview, well, the enemy. I’m a firm believer in understanding the opposition so that you can then misrepresent them with believability, and that’s why I sat down with Bora Zivkovic, who, according to his biography, is “better known online as ‘Coturnix’, [and] writes ‘A Blog Around The Clock.’” In addition to blogging, he spends a lot of time being a “Jewish atheist liberal PhD student.”

That sounds exhausting.

Bora and I met in my family’s kitchen and I had my mom make us some lemonade. I was thirsty, and I had some real “hard hitting” questions.

“Why do you hate God?” I asked, squinting at him like Jack Bauer in the interrogation room.

“Which one?” he said. “There are as many conceptions of God as there are religious people.”

I admit I wasn’t expecting that answer, otherwise I would have thought of a witty response. Instead, he continued.

“I don’t mind, really, when people imagine God as Faceless Nature or Mysterious Power or a Sweet Old Grandpa. What I have a problem with is the Angry Vengeful God who, like Big Brother (or Huge Father or Enormous Holy Ghost) watches over your shoulder all the time, making you nervous and making you do vile things to fellow human beings, animals and nature.

“I don’t hate God as I cannot hate something that does not exist, but I am deeply worried about the people who are living in a moment-to-moment fear of a spiteful, whimsical, inconsistent God who appears to be suffering from a bad case of gout, and thinking that this God is talking to them personally. When their darkest wishes from the deep subconscious flow to the surface, they think it is an order from high above and tend to act upon it — act upon their darkest wishes! That is scary.”

I could just tell that after that speech, God was itching to strike Bora down with lightning, and I’m convinced the only reason He didn’t is because father just had the roof re-tiled.

“Yeah,” I said, sarcastically, “well are there atheists in foxholes?”

“Apparently,” Bora said, “there are two meanings of the phrase, both incorrect.”

“Is that so?” I said.

“I, personally, never encountered an atheist in a foxhole, but that may be because I tend not to spend much time in them.”

“And why not?” I eyed him suspiciously.

“As skinny as I am, it is really hard to get down one of those narrow tunnels, and foxes are not very good hosts.

“Anyway, back to the two original meanings — it takes more courage to die in battle if you know there is no Heaven waiting for you, so I’d argue that atheists are braver than the believers. They truly sacrifice themselves for their country, not asking anything in return and not expecting any post-death rewards. That is as selfless as can be. That takes much more courage than dying and expecting to spend millenia sleeping with the lion and the lamb, or sleeping with a bunch of virgins.

“On the other hand, atheists, being in general more thoughtful and educated, may be more likely to question the causes and reasons for any particular war, as well as the practice of war in general. Thus, being braver would lead to more atheists joining the military, but being educated would lead to fewer atheists joining the military. As we can see from the statistics, the two effects cancel each other as the proportion of atheists in the military is equal to their proportion in the general population.”

“Oh,” I said. “So the percentages are the same as in the general population?”

Bora nodded.

“There aren’t fewer atheists in the military?”

Bora shook his head.

This was not going as well as I had thought it would.

Maybe because I was flustered, I blurted out, “What about foxes? Are there foxes in foxholes?”

“Foxes tend to live in foxholes.”

“I see,” I said. “One last question. How can you say that a natural explanation is better than a supernatural explanation when supernatural has the word ‘super’ right in it?” I knew I had him here.

“Because bigger is not neccessarily better. Why do so many Americans fall for terms like ‘super’?

“Now, if you could offer me an ‘unleaded’ explanation, or ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ or a ‘sustainable’ one, I would take a second look, but supersizing does not impress me at all.

“The term ‘supernatural’ has such a corporate sound to it, like something invented by PR guys in the smoky backrooms in order to fool us into buying their lousy unnecessary products, or to vote for their unethical, duplicitous, corrupt political candidates. Isn’t that what Intelligent Design/Creationism is all about, after all?”

I looked to the ceiling, knowing if God struck, my dad would be so mad at me. Fortunately, God waited till Bora was outside. Now, I admit, I didn’t see anything bad happen to him. In fact, he seemed pretty happy. But one doesn’t necessarily see everything that happens.

It’s the nature of the supernatural.