Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lies Of The White Lotus

“The Devil lurks behind the cross.” -- anonymous.

Earlier this year, when the Catholic sex scandals were back in the news, the Catholic church’s chief exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, said that the Devil has infiltrated the Vatican.

It’s no surprise that the Devil covets all things on earth that belong to Jesus. Nor does he confine himself to churches. I’ve been listening to WTBN ‘Christian’ radio on and off for two years, and in that time the amount of actual Christian programming about the real Jesus seems to have decreased significantly. Now when I tune in WTBN I am more likely to hear some foaming conservative blabbermouth spouting wicked right wing talking points rather than anything about Jesus Christ (who is liberal, by the way. Get a dictionary and look the word up. Here, I’ll do it for you.)

Liberal, adj. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry; marked by generosity.

This past election cycle the voices of WTBN endorsed the Republican candidates, implying, by virtue of being ‘Christian’ radio, that doing so was casting a righteous vote. I don’t understand how they draw their conclusions.

Hypothetical Christian Agenda

Assisting the poor
Housing the homeless
Feeding the hungry
Educating all children
Providing health care to everyone
Peace

Very Real Republican Agenda

Tax cuts for the wealthy
Obstruct Obama
Shut down the government
War

The devil was a murderer…and a liar. John 8:44. Republicans are murderers and liars too. They spouted a pack of lies to justify launching two unnecessary wars. They claimed to be fiscally conservative while wrecking the economy with their reckless policies. They scream at Democrats about the national deficit, yet Republican presidents and congresses CREATED the deficit. They say tax cuts for the wealthy stimulate the economy. Howso? Unemployment has more than doubled since those tax cuts were first implemented nine years ago. Many Republicans call themselves Christians but are not, because they are liars, because they are of their father, the Devil. It goes on and on and on. There’s pretty much one sure way to determine if a Republican politician is lying: their lips are moving.

Yet these are the politicians WTBN endorses every election cycle, in the name of Christ.

So, the same WTBN who casts its votes for devils; that had a sponsor who declared gold is king; whose ‘Christian’ website, the unholy, hate-spewing, lying propaganda outlet townhall.com, which, among other nasties, once peddled a tee shirt emblazoned: I’D RATHER BE WATERBOARDING; whose hosts interview nazi consorters and call them ‘blessed with insight,’ and white supremacists and call them ‘historians,’ now have taken up a new cause to advocate: environmental activism is evil. That’s right, you heard correctly: environmental activism is evil. It boggles the mind. They call it the ‘green dragon.’ I heard WTBN advertise this website the other night, go see for yourself: www.resistingthegreendragon.com

That is one of the most ridiculous videos I have ever seen. In Freudian psychology, there is a phenomenon known as 'psychological projection,' which is defined as: ‘a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies their own thoughts, attributes and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world or to other people.’ The video was made by Republicans who accuse environmentalists of doing the very things they themselves seek to accomplish. Since virtually every word of the video is false or misleading, let’s call it the ‘lies of the white lotus,’ the white lotus being phony Christians and the perversion of the gospel they hold for doctrine.

Here is a verbatim transcription of the narrative of the video: “In what has become one of the greatest deceptions of our day, radical environmentalism is striving to put America, and the world, under its destructive control. This so-called ‘green dragon’ is seducing your children in our classrooms, and in popular culture. Its lust for political power now extends to the highest global levels (picture of the White House shown), and its twisted view of the world elevates nature above the needs of people, of even the poorest and the most helpless. With millions falling prey to its spiritual deception, the time is now to stand and resist.”

Here the screen is filled with several short captions: False Religion, Hurting The Poor, Endangering Human Life, Global Government, Resisting The Green Dragon.

The narrative thread resumes: “The religious and political environmental movement, what we call the ‘green dragon,’ has become one of the greatest threats to society and the church in our day. Taking care of the earth sounds like a good idea because it is a good idea. What most Christians don’t understand is that environmentalism is a whole worldview. It offers its own doctrines of God, of creation, of humanity, of sin, and of redemption. I think the fear mongering is simply a way of obtaining power. Whoever controls the environmental regulations controls the economy, controls the population. Most environmentalists want to greatly reduce human population, which is why the green movement, and the population control and reduction movements have gone hand in hand. The Green Dragon series is not simply about global warming. This is a twelve week series about properly understanding the times in which we live, and properly understanding a biblical response to the times in which we live. In this series of lectures we have some of the world’s leading Christian experts addressing one of the greatest threats that now faces society and the church. We call this resisting the green dragon.”

Now let’s go examine the content, applying the theory of psychological projection to the Republicans who made the video.

--Lust for Political Power. Republicans continually covet greater political control of the government, and to the highest levels—i.e. the White House.

--False Religion. That’s a good one. Republicans are purveyors of the white lotus, offering a selectively interpreted version of Christianity that is not the true Jesus. They exhort you to hate liberals and fear socialism when Jesus is a liberal and the kingdom of heaven socialist. That is how the Devil talks. See Isaiah 5:20. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.

--Hurting The Poor. The mention of the needs of the poorest and most helpless is utterly laughable: Republicans don’t give a flying fig about the poor. The Republican party is an aspect of corporate business models, and their only concern is for the wealthy. Republican politicians clomp upon the heads of the poor, with cold callous, like endless miles of cobblestone.

--Endangering Human Life. Ask the countless Iraqi civilians and coalition forces who were maimed in that wicked war founded on lies by Republican ‘Christians.’ The million or so more dead can't speak for themselves, but I think it safe to conjecture they'd say their lives were endangered by American Republican 'Christians.'

--Global Government. Another laugher. The Republicans accepted massive campaign donations from undisclosed sources in foreign countries this past election cycle. If the Democrats had been the recipients of the same donations, the Republicans would have been screaming Communist infiltration! Global government! Be afraid, be very afraid! But since Republicans received the money, not a peep. These campaign donations were not proffered philanthropically, so the Republicans are beholden to give something back, which will mean working together, as one, with their overseas benefactors, who influence their nations’ governments.

--Fear mongering to obtain power. Have you watched Fox News and read conservative websites in the past decade? Republicans are the shameless masters of exploiting fear to influence the vote.

--Copntrolling Environmental Regulations. It is Republicans who seek to control environmental regulation, and to remove every last one, and to destroy the earth for financial gain. The BP disaster was a direct result of Bush administration deregulation, and no Christian in their right mind would subscribe to such a wicked view. In Revelation 11:18, regarding the last judgment, it is written: …the wrath is come…and the time…to destroy them which destroy the earth. True Christians cherish creation; false Christians, the lying children of the Devil, are among those who will ravage the earth to their own destruction.

--Leading Christian experts addressing environmental activism as a threat to society and churches? They are the social and spiritual threat, being blind Republicans who seek to lead others into the pit wherein they will fall.

Disrespecting our Father by decimating our Mother, to the contamination and destruction of our children’s inheritance, does not strike me as acting righteously; and claiming thusly is a lie. And since the Devil is the father of lies, it logically follows that Resisting The Green Dragon is a work of the Devil.

I’m going to recycle some newspaper now. I know you green dragon fighting 'Christians' will say I’m being deceived by Satan, and doing his bidding, but I know better than to listen to you: the white lotus that fills your bellies fuels your lips. Nor does recycling feel evil; it feels good, and right.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Prayer for Sarah

Geez Sarah, I don't even know where to begin with what to say. Quite simply, Catholicism and Jehovah's Witnesses are false doctrines. They teach their followers many things that simply are not true. I most pity your husband, going from the one to the other.

I’ve read and studied these things extensively for years now. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover four times, and am now about halfway on my fifth time through. I'm in no way boasting, just making it clear how dearly I love the Lord and his Word.

The Catholics teach that Mary is a Virgin eternally. The Bible makes it clear that after giving birth to Jesus, Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage and had other children. Read Matthew 13:55-56. The ten commandments forbid idolatry. The Catholics churn out millions upon millions of statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints, which are idols. It goes on and on...Catholic disregard for Biblical truth is simply arrogant.

There are no 144,000 chosen that will rule with Christ. You can believe it, but it’s not true. That number comes from Revelation 7:4-8, and Revelation 14:1-4. If you read in the Bible you’ll see them clearly described as Jewish and as virgins, so you’ve got NO shot at getting there, since you're neither.

The Jehovah’s Witness doctrine was invented as a money making scheme by a middle aged salesman named Charles Taze Russell. He was not a good person. He’s well known for hiding his money from his wife before divorcing her. Jehovah’s doctrine is not revelation from God, it’s a crock of crap. Sorry to be so harsh on what you believe, but it’s fiction. What about the billion or so people who walked the earth between the time of Jesus and the appearance of Charles Taze Russell in the 1870s? Why were they denied the knowledge of the 144,000 chosen?

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 reads: “And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have four time predicted the end of the world (which was doubly stupid, as Matthew 24:36 reads: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.) Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT gifted with prophesy.

There are several places in the Scriptures where God issues stern warnings about altering the Word of God. Read the very last lines of the Bible: Revelation 22:18-19. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have made their own translation of the Bible which spliced in somewhere in the neighborhood of 270 references to Jehovah that aren’t in the real New Testament. Similarly they’ve removed most or all references to Hell, about which Christ spoke extensively. According to the Bible, altering scripture as the Jehovah's Witnesses have is very, very bad. And while the Jehovah’s Witnesses can teach you all day that there is no such place as Hell, they are very wrong.

I just came across this scripture, which I quite like. John 4:23: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.”

My suggestion, which I pray the Spirit will inspire you to do, is for you and your husband to read the Bible beginning to end. Forget everything you've been taught, much of which is untruth, and open it to page one and read. I try to read four or five pages each morning and let them sink in throughout the day. Do that and it should take you about a year. And if you’re using that Jehovah's Witness New World Translation place it in the garbage. Seriously. Don't even donate it to a thrift store, remove it from circulation and place it where it belongs, in the trash. It's nothing sacred, it’s rubbish. Get yourself a King James Version, or another legitimate translation.

I really hope I don’t sound harsh nor mocking--with the way I have and do live, I honestly don't believe my own salvation is guaranteed--and I’m sure you fellowship with some lovely and sincere people at your Kingdom Hall. I also hope you come to know the real Jesus, and not that strange variation the Jehovah’s have invented.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Antichrists

Chapter 21 of Drifting With Jesus

The Antichrists

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.


When the bus stopped off in Colorado Springs, Jeremy suddenly said goodbye to Oscar again and alighted. Oscar was unsurprised, and replied that given the way their paths were running, they’d probably cross again before Jeremy reached the east coast. After a light lunch Jeremy was strolling around the small downtown when he came upon a theater. He looked up at the marquee and saw that the film Jesus Camp was playing. He then checked the show times, and saw that the projector rolled in ten minutes. He nonchalantly bought a ticket and went in.

The film told the story of how Pastor Becky used her ministry and bible camp to indoctrinate children into her interpretation of Christianity. She did it with a microphone and a mix of chanting, cheers and fear. She gathered the children together and stirred them into a babbling frenzy, then began speaking in tongues. “Oh so co ho, rashal de cahalebusida….Hallelujah!” Becky forced the passion into her voice while the children looked on fearfully. “Let’s do it. Oh, we love you Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit fall. Feel His power. This is you talking, and the Holy Spirit’s going to tell you what to say. Don’t stop! Don’t stop! This is the greatest day of your life, this is the day you got saved.” Many of the children were crying.

Becky then explained herself to the narrator. “A lot of it, just in the last few years, has to do with President Bush. He’s really brought some credibility to the Christian faith. He’s been very open, blatantly open, about his faith in God.”

The children were taught that global warming is not real. And that creation was right and evolution was stupid and that science doesn’t prove anything. They were told to hold flags while laying hands on a Bible. They were shown stuffed animals that represented sin, and told that the devil was after them. They ritually smashed ceramic cups with a hammer, then cried out to Jesus through their tears. They were dressed up as soldiers and trained to be prayer warriors.

In one scene where the children were gathered, another woman brought out a life size cardboard idol of George Bush, stood it before them, and said, “Okay, we’re gonna welcome Mr. President now… say, ‘welcome President Bush…do some warfare over him. Do some war-“ As the children chanted, ‘in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name’ she started babbling in tongues. “Odda boka she code tela ma haya. Here he is, he’s come to visit us. Yes, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Tell him.” She led them. “Mr. President.”

The children repeated after her. “Mr. President.”

“One nation under God.”

“Mr. President, one nation under God,” they shouted, then the room exploded into cheers.

Toward the end of the film Ted Haggard was briefly featured. He was also referred to as Pastor Ted, and was then president of the National Evangelical Association, and peacock proud of his weekly phone calls to President Bush.

In the film, Haggard said: “We believe that the Bible is the word of God. We don’t have to have a general assembly about what we believe, it’s written in the Bible. So we don’t have to debate what we should think about homosexual activity, it’s written in the Bible.” He then exhorted his congregation to uphold a core moral code, and led them in prayer. “Father, in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus, we pray for President Bush as he’s preparing to elect a new supreme court nominee. Give us a pillar of strength that lasts forever.”

In Pastor Ted’s book, he describes his ideal Christian life. “I want my finances in order, my kids trained, my wife to love life, and good friends who are a delight…I don’t want surprises, scandals or secrets… I want the church to help me live life well, not exhaust me with endless ‘worthwhile’ projects.” Those are not exactly the selfless words one would expect to hear from a Christian.

A few months after Jesus Camp was released Pastor Ted was disgraced when regular methamphetine fueled dalliances with a gay prostitute were revealed.

After viewing the film Jeremy walked over to the library and did some research, then cobbled together a short piece of writing based on the results of his reading.

In the 2000 presidential campaign George Bush invoked the name of Christ during a debate, and said that discovering Jesus Christ “changes your heart.”

Okay, well enough, and very true. Now read and apply this scripture. Hebrews 10:26-27. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Much of the speculation about the Antichrist is based on the beast in Revelation, but while the words beast, dragon, false prophet, devil and Satan all appear in the narrative of Revelation, antichrist is not used. The word ‘antichrist’ appears only five times in the Bible, and all in the first two epistles of John, and defines itself in one scripture: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22

The word’s appearance four verses before is just as revealing. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18
So as some pastors and prophecy fanatics warn us from pulpits and in pop culture that these are the last days and the antichrist is coming, so is the first part of the scripture fulfilled; and that being so, thus also is the second, that many antichrists are now among us.

He who says he is of Christ but does abominably is a liar, and denies God, and is antichrist. How a man is abomination to God is described in lucid detail in Proverbs 6:16, where it is written: These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Therein do we find our former president described uncannily. That smug, prideful look of George Bush is as unforgettable as the lies, the bloody hands and the dreams of a dark heart—everything you would imagine an antichrist to be. He stole an election, with help from his father, and deceived many, in that so many Christians voted for him—exactly as some ‘Christians’ say will happen when the Antichrist comes.

Along with his sidekick the false prophet Cheney--who fear mongered about the falling sky while warnings were ignored and attacks launched on their watch--they roared through eight years of history and left waves of social, cultural and economic destruction still repercussing into the future and a deep wake of devastation behind, bungling everything from hurricanes to terror attacks. And just as with those disasters, it will take the fulness of time to number the dead and measure the damage.

It could be argued that Bush was worse than a Caesar—insomuch as while the Caesars persecuted the Jews, Bush not only wrought evil upon his enemies, but his OWN countrymen. Bush a Christian? In eight years did he do even one good act? One? The military invasions and the resulting bloodshed? Doling out to the wealthy from the national treasury, at the expense of the poor, and to the devastation of the world economy? Ignoring the cries of the dying when Katrina swept through? Blessing his friends who were destroying God’s earth?

A truly Christian president would have performed MANY good deeds. Bush--I can't think of one. Yet the Christian right wing, that pack of hypocrites and liars who’ve hijacked the word of the Lord to their own selfish and perverted ends, propped up George Bush antichrist as one of their leaders.

President Reagan is another of their heroes. Like Bush, Reagan professed himself Christian. Many ‘Christians’ describe him as “a great…beloved…hero.” In truth, he was one of the more evil characters in United States history. He never met a war he didn’t want to arm. As to those covert, undeclared wars he funded in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the people of Central America are largely impoverished, and predominantly Christian in the civilian regions where Reagan’s contras were planting land mines and murdering. Roughly 135,000 people died in those conflicts, and it is fair to say that innocent Christian blood was spilled in the slaughter.

Jesus said, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Can you spill Christian blood in the name of Christ? No.

Are Bush and Reagan antichrists? Two of the many prophesied by the scriptures.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Shakespeare Rejection Letters

The Shakespeare Rejection Letters

(This stand alone piece is chapter 27 of my novel, Peppercorn Cafe. You can read more about the novel and the first few chapters here.)



Dear Mr. Shakespeare,


Michael Morneau asked me to respond to your submission of Hamlet to Pyramid Publishing, which I have now reviewed.

Let me start by saying that you do show some skill in developing characters and plot. Also, the amount of carnage and blood spilled meet the quotas as set forth in the Pyramid Publishing guidelines for lurid content. That said, I do think the story needs to be reworked before it will be ready for publication.

What struck me most was that the end should have been the beginning. Give our readers the slaughter they crave right from page one. Then, rather than having Horatio and Fortinbras recounting the events in retrospect, introduce a CSI detective to reconstruct the crimes. With all the blood everywhere, it would be interesting to run the DNA to see if Hamlet, Gertrude and Claudius were actually related or not. You could also blood test Ophelia, to discover whether she really drowned or if the manner of her death was staged as a cover up to some nefarious poisoning. Are you seeing all the same potential here that I do?

Since you mention in your cover letter that you have some other ideas for stories, this could be the first in a series of detective novels, which sometimes do quite well here at Pyramid Publishing. If you decide to rework Hamlet with these thoughts in mind, please resubmit to Mr. Morneau’s office and I’ll be glad to take another look.

All best,

David Haverly
Assistant to Michael Morneau
Vice President
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Thank you very much for thinking of Pyramid Publishing as a potential publisher of your play Macbeth. After much discussion and serious consideration, we are going to have to pass. While you make use of some interesting imagery and quirky language, in the end I felt it was a confusing story that fell flat.

As a woman I was put off by your naming a character ‘Lady.’ Just last week I was walking along Fifth Avenue when this little scalawag plowed into me and then had the nerve to say: “Hey lady, watch where you’re going.” My name is not Lady, and he was the one not paying attention. Since roughly half our readers are women, we need to be mindful of and appeasing to their sensibilities, part of which is calling them by identifiable names. Consider Edna or Melissa or somesuch.

I also didn’t understand the part about Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane. Being rooted in the ground, trees can’t move. However, should you decide to rework Macbeth into something more commercially viable, the forest setting does offer a suggestion. Lately Pyramid Publishing has been doing very well with vampire and werewolf fiction. We have to give our readers what they demand, which is vampirism and lycanthropy, as well as women with recognizable names.

I do wish you well.

Molly (not Lady) Dugall
Acquisitions Editor
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I’d like to thank you for submitting your cycle of plays about the War of the Roses to Pyramid Publishing. Eight plays, that’s an impressive accomplishment! I don’t know how you kept all the Richards and Henrys straight.

As you might know, the publication of history books is a tricky business, those murky waters being colored by many shades of grey. Here at Pyramid Publishing our standard of excellence demands an excruciating degree of fact-checking and cross-referencing before we will publish anything we are comfortable calling factually accurate by branding it with the Pyramid Publishing logo. Because of this high bar whereto we strive, we can only consider history books written by authors who hold PhDs or are enrolled in doctoral programs at accredited institutions of higher learning.

Because you seem to really know your subject matter, I have enclosed a list of Pyramid Publishing approved universities whose faculty, students and alumni are qualified to write for us. Should you decide to enroll in one of these programs we will be happy to consider your plays for publication; and if you already are, please submit proof and we will proceed with your submission forthwith.


Warm regards,

Genevieve Blumquart
Acquisitions Editor
Pyramid Publishing

P.S. Did you see the film The War of the Roses? While I thought Michael Douglas’ performance left somewhat to be desired, Kathleen Turner was fabulous.


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Thank you for submitting your poetry collections to Pyramid Publishing. While at times interesting, and displaying some degree of proficiency with the language, I’m afraid I’ll have to take a pass. People stopped writing rhyming poetry years ago—think free verse, free association, and stream of consciousness. And since the only people who buy poetry books are other poets, I don’t see how we could successfully create nor carve a niche for you in the limited and highly competitive market for poetry chapbooks. You might try one of the smaller presses that specialize in that sort of thing.

Very best regards,

Lulu Pluma
Senior Editor
Pyramid Publishing

P.S. The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis are rather longish, don’t you think? I’d consider streamlining the stories by cutting a few verses here and there. Just a thought. (smile).


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to consider your play, Othello, for publication here at Pyramid Publishing. Ms. Lulu Pluma’s office forwarded it to mine.

Being in a biracial relationship—I am Latina and my husband is Irish—I was very empathetic to the plight of Othello and Desdemona and their mixed race romance. If I only had a peso for every potato enchilada and whisky soaked taco joke I’ve ever heard…. But with the advances in race relations that have taken place over the last couple generations, it is my informed opinion that the troubles publication of Othello would stir up would not be worth the sales the resulting publicity would generate, so I am going to pass.

Also, I don’t think it’s necessary to refer to Othello’s blackness by calling him a Moor. While I would prefer to call a spade a spade, we here at Pyramid Publishing refer to negroes as Persons of Color. POCs is also acceptable.

Best wishes,

Pilar McGregor
Acquisitions Editor
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Thank you for submitting Romeo and Juliet to Pyramid Publishing Romance. I’m afraid this doesn’t fit in with our current needs. To be blunt, your play could not be more diametric to what we publish. Two lovers who pine for each other only to commit suicide because they can’t be together really doesn’t make much sense. Why didn’t they simply hook up? I know families can cause problems when they disapprove of a loved one’s lover, but the Montagues and the Capulets carry it to an absurd extreme.

I also found the lack of physical description to be most annoying. While they certainly would be no less than perfect physical specimens, you could throw a muscle and a breast in here and there to satisfy the reader.

We also prefer stories starring empowering women, not just some heartsick girl like Juliet who sits around her house whining to her maiden while waiting for Romeo. Our heroines are self-possessed women with strong careers who not only know what they want from life and in their men, they TAKE it. For your future reference I have enclosed a copy of our guidelines, which you’ll find are similar to those of most publishers of romance novels. While strong writing is a plus it’s not necessary, as we are more interested in adventurous, beautiful characters having erotic encounters in exotic settings with HAPPY endings. And don’t feel obligated to limit yourself by being realistic—the sub-genres of paranormal, science fiction and time travel romances sell just as well, and often even better.

Also, if you’re going to get serious about writing romance, I’d suggest adopting a nom de plum (that’s French for ‘pen name’). At the risk of offending you, Shakespeare sounds rather…tribal. We actually have a staffer here, Amanda Van Skyhawk, who creates and assigns names for our authors whose God given names are too dull for a book cover. Should you ever reach that point in a relationship with us, she would give your moniker a makeover.

In closing I will say that from my years of experience as an editor, I’ve found that men have a great deal of difficulty writing successful romance, but should you persist in your dream, I wish you well.

Palpitatingly,

Pamela Der Hartenbrajker
President
Pyramid Publishing Romance


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Thank you so very, very much for submitting your wonderful play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, to Pyramid Publishing. I greatly enjoyed your charming drama, which only augments my regret that my employer, Pyramid Publishing, does not own the smallest imprint that will even dabble in gay and lesbian literature, wherefore I must pass on your project. The lexicon lacks sufficient superlatives to describe my admiration for your writing about Two Gentle Men—we need more courageous artists like yourself openly celebrating and embracing our lifestyle—and it is my sincerest hope that you find a brave publisher willing to introduce your work to the wider audience it so richly deserves.

I especially enjoyed the delightful device of having Julia disguise herself in the dress of a boy. Have you ever considered writing something about men dressing as women? Something that could be set to music and staged on Broadway? How about a musical with a huge cast of men singing not to and about women, but as women. Flamboyant costumes, dancing and song, men in makeup…my heart flutters just fantasizing.

I am a member of an informal group of drag queens called The Azaleas. We perform pretty regularly in the karaoke bars in the West Village, and if your visage is as appealing to the eye as your words are to the mind, I suspect I would very much enjoy being in your company. We can be found kicking it up around Christopher Street every weekend, and should you wish to come out and meet us some time, consider this a standing invitation. We usually get together for drinks at Boots and Saddle on Friday nights, and Stonewall on Saturdays.

Thank you again, and in the hope of meeting you in person some day sooner than later, I remain affectionately yours,

Benjamin Donald “Ben Don” Yurnese
Senior Editor
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I write in response to your submission of your play, Julius Caesar, to Pyramid Publishing. I’m afraid we’re not going to offer to publish it, which, to be perfectly frank, was a decision easily reached. Countless thousands upon thousands of books have been written about the Roman Empire and the Caesars over the centuries. What could you possibly have discovered that isn’t already known, and adds something worthwhile to the canon of historical writings? To this end I found your work to be a pointless exercise in futility.

A small bit of advice, should you ever find a publisher willing to collaborate with you in bringing out your book. Be sure to thoroughly check and credit your sources. While I can’t cite them specifically offhand, I did recognize several of your phrases—‘Et tu, Brute,’ ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend my your ears,’ and ‘Beware the ides of March,’ among others. Plagiarism is a legal morass for the publisher, as well as an ethical burden for any author with the least shred of conscience.

Sincerely,

Brian Hammond
Executive Editor
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Thank you very much for submitting your play, The Taming of the Shrew, to Pyramid Publishing, which I had the good fortune to have land on my desk. Whether by insulting her, or starving her, or denying her clothing, or tying her up and forcing her to ride upon a decrepit old horse, the ways in which Petruchio berates and humiliates Kate into submission make for an excellent entertainment.

Therefore, it is with sincere disappointment that I must inform you that Pyramid Publishing will not be offering to publish your play. As it went with several of my colleagues who read it, I’m afraid the average reader would misunderstand the comedy of the misogyny as a paradigm of domestic abuse instead of the parody that it really is, and that it would stir up controversy and resistance and denouncements for being politically incorrect, however unnecessarily.

Notwithstanding all that, if you’re ever available for drinks, I’m a very naughty, undisciplined girl. You can reach me during normal business hours at the Pyramid Publishing general number; all the receptionists know my extension.

With great regard,

Catherine Abruzola
Assistant Executive Vice President
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Merci for sending along King Lear to Pyramid Publishing, which I’ve now reviewed. Very interesting stuff, and I empathize on several levels. Dementia is a sensitive topic, and having worked here at Pyramid Publishing since 1939, I’ve seen more than a bit of it pass through these halls. As the mind reaches into the latter years, it flickers as it dims, like a dying fire. With Lear you capture the madness of advanced years with exceptional lucidity. Perhaps you could utilize this piece as a public service announcement on the subject.

I was also touched by the stories of the king’s three daughters. At least Lear got one flowery apple of a child in Cordelia—all three of mine are rotten to the core, like Goneril and Regan. Ever, to this very moment, it amazes me continually that my seed and Gladys’ womb produced three such wretched monsters as Melvinia, Delores and Velma. Our only consolation is that they have long been out of the nest and flown—but only after gorging their bellies full of worms, of course. But where the worm dwells, the worm turns, and so are they like upright graves walking. As the gratitude of progeny is a blessing, so is the lack thereof a ravenous disease with an insatiable appetite for the spirit. O my soul. But enough of my troubles….

As always, it was fantastic to hear from you. Next time don’t be so long between letters, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone—they dial from both ends. You really must get stateside for a New York visit someday soon. I know, I know, planes cross the pond in both directions every day. Do give my warmest regards to your latest wife.

Affectionately,

Quincy
Editor
Pyramid Publishing


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

It is my great pleasure to inform you that Pyramid Publishing has accepted your play Titus Andronicus for publication. All the tongue chopping and limb lopping made for some of the most awesome scenes of violence I have ever read. My colleagues here at Pyramid Publishing Horror unanimously agree, and we are eager to add your talent to our team.

A few minor tweaks are needed before Titus will be publishable, which we’re confident you’ll be able to apply in short order. Because most of our readers think Rome is a brand of spaghetti sauce, we want to advance him through history and into a contemporary setting. We were thinking of Baltimore. We also want him to be the psychotic product of a twisted childhood, and a serial killer named The Rampager, who is sometimes nicknamed The Baltimore Butcher. We plan to publish him in a series of graphic novels—that’s graphic as in comic books, not graphic as in violent, though they will be, to be certain. Juice him up on steroids, arm him to the teeth and cut him loose to run wild.

We especially loved the storyline where Titus baked Tamora’s murdered sons into a pie and fed them to her. This gave us a brilliant marketing idea—a series of Rampager Cookbooks entitled: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served…Curried. Or, With Chicken. Or, Ala Mode. Or, Grilled. You get the idea. This will serve the twofold purpose of introducing your character while also selling food books to our gothic/vampire/zombie/monster/mindless murder markets.

If you want to come to New York, we’d be delighted to meet you in person. And if you just want to get to work, the moment we get some acceptable stories and/or recipes from you, we have a set of contracts and checks with your name all over them. Either way, welcome aboard!

Best regards,

Pierre Boucher
Senior Editor
Pyramid Publishing Horror



Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I’ve been hearing your name chattered about the office for months now as my various colleagues discuss the many plays you’ve been submitting to Pyramid.  I’ve always wondered if you had something up my alley in your sleeve, and I was instantly piqued with intrigue when I saw your name on an envelope addressed to me.

Thank you very much for submitting your play The Tempest to the Pyramid Fantasy line for publication consideration.  In the realm of fantasy your conceit is plausible, and the character Prospero a serviceable wizard.  I also enjoyed the troll Caliban, and his drunken post modern self loathing channeled into hating his master.  The sprite Ariel was a charming idea for a character, though I thought a bit thinly executed.  I couldn’t figure it out—is Ariel male or female?  Or is the ambiguity intentional?  The character’s name itself suggests androgyny.  Interesting.

Based upon my reading—which is subjective, to be certain—there are two major problems with The Tempest.  The first is Miranda as princess.  I realize that she falls in love with the son of a king when Prince Ferdinand charms her with his boyish naiveté, but she is only the daughter of a duke.  Our readers are generally forgiving when authors take license, but that is too great a leap up social strata to even consider asking them to accept.  We are partial to overtly throne oriented material.

The second and perhaps greater problem is the inconceivable and profound lack of a dragon.  Did you not read our guidelines?  Are you unfamiliar with the contemporary authors you aspire to join?  Without a crime there can be no mystery novel, and no romance without a love affair; even as without water there is no life, so without a dragon can there be no real fantasy.  It’s immutable.  On a related note, the way your play opened in the midst of a storm was dramatically clever, and I thought you could have prolonged the drama of that dark scene by casting the long shadows of war’s fearful pall upon the land.  We must slake our readers’ eternal thirst for violence, and you could tie that back to the dragon when the enraged beast is employed as a weapon of mass destruction by one of the warring kingdoms, incinerating the other with an angry roar of fiery breath.

Those are my thoughts, and I appreciate your inspiring me to conjure and express them with your submission of The Tempest.

Fantastically yours,

Evan Doughty

Pyramid Fantasy  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goodbye Rodi

“And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Matthew 10:12-14

Goodbye Rodi, whoever you are. I don’t know you and I don’t care to, and that is why I just defriended and blocked you.

This was a difficult breakup to initiate, we being ‘brothers in Christ,’ but in the end I feel comfortable with my decision. Today is election day. Rodi voted to hate me, while I voted to love him. Since we serve two different masters, I have to obey mine.

Rodi and I only met through facebook. We have a mutual friend that suggested Rodi friend me because of my writings about Christ. Rodi says he’s a Christian, but it’s strange…every time I receive an email from one of my Christian friends, I always feel a little ping of joy in my heart before reading it. Whenever I receive communication from Rodi, I prepare myself to be outraged or annoyed or simply confused by incoherence.

Rodi is a conservative ‘Christian.’ There is very little difference between trying to converse with him and trying to converse with a rock. Last week I asked him a straightforward Yes or No question three times. He could not answer it. The question really was as direct and simple as: “Is your name spelled R-O-D-I?” And he really could not and never did answer it.

I once quoted Ezekiel in a ‘debate’ we were having. He called my argument weak. He claims he’s read the Bible, but I don’t think so. (His actual words were: 'he’s gone through it several times.') As it turned out he had absolutely no clue what he was talking about in the first place in attacking my use of the verse from Ezekiel. I think he’s afraid to actually read the Bible for the truth he knows it contains.

I once said that Christ was about love. Rodi replied not always, then quoted Matthew 10:34. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” When I asked Rodi what he thought that passage meant, he couldn’t answer me. I don’t think he understands that the sword to which Christ referred is not forged from metal and designed for murder.

The sword of Christ is the word of God as described in various places throughout Scripture. For example, Isaiah 49:2 "And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me." And Revelation 1:16 "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."

Like many conservatives, Rodi loves the part about the blood of Christ washing away sin, but the ‘do unto others’ and ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ parts he could do without. I think that much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their 144,000 chosen, and the Mormons and their great prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, Rodi believes in a derivative Jesus that simply does not exist.

Rodi strikes me as blind to the truth, and somewhat mentally ill, and that what he needs from Christ before forgiveness is first to be healed. Jesus did heal many who were blind and lunatic, and 2 Peter 3:16 certainly seems to apply to Rodi’s worldview and odd ‘understanding’ of the Bible as he babbled it to me. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

He also calls to mind the basket of figs in Jeremiah 24:2. "One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad." That metaphor describes one of the core messages of the Bible that so many conservative Christians fail to grasp. Simply put, God wants your heart. You can attend church eight days a week, tithe a billion dollars and donate to every charity under the sun, but if your heart is filled with racism and/or hatred and/or violence and/or greed and/or lies and/or corruption and/or contempt for your fellow man then you are like an apple that appears shiny and firm, but once tasted and found to be rotten is spit out and tossed.

For me to come Rodi’s rendering of Christ would require me to harden my heart. For him to come to mine would require that Rodi soften his heart. Since fruit softens as it ripens, and the goal of life is to become palatable to God....

Rodi is praying for a landslide Republican victory today. He thinks the Republican policies of well-oiled war machines and disdain for social programs is somehow Christian. He has no problem cutting monies for education and housing and infrastructure and food for the poor to build more bombs for foreign babies and to give more billions to billionaires. He thinks it's a-ok that bankers of America are lying and cheating to turn people out of their homes. He just does not get it. Rodi hates Obama. But if McCain and Palin were in power we'd probably have 23 percent unemployment, war with Iran, and Fox News blaming all that on Obama too. Don't worry, Rodi, with the direction things are taking, McCain may just live to see that glorious day of Bomb, Bomb Iran that is the stuff of his wettest nocturnal emissions.

So Rodi, when you raise your champagne glass in victory this election night I hope this lyric from Welcome to the Terrordome by Public Enemy pops into your head, (via this subliminal seed): “Traits of hate who’s celebratin with Satan?” If the Republicans win it will be a victory for SATAN. Yet more irreversible damage will be inflicted on our society, and the death knells for democracy, already ringing, will start pounding out their ominous dirge. I hope the next time you eat some homemade mango raisin gelato dipped in capitalist turd sprinkles you think of the child labor you knowingly exploited with your vote so that Americorp could expand its profit margins while raising unemployment. I hope when you complain about the deficit, again, in a few years, that you remember voting today to let REPUBLICANS add a few more trillion to it, again. I could go on and on with the specific political truths, but you don't care about the truth, you are perfectly content to let right wing propaganda poisons zombify your mind with unfounded fears and outright lies.

Rodi is an avowed capitalist. I have no problem with the concept of hard work and accompanying reward, and I work in a capitalist business on the Gulf of Mexico. Our profit margin was directly impacted by the oil spill. In order to succeed, my business needed the gulf to be left as God made it. In order to succeed BP needed to rip it up. In Rodi’s bizarre 'Christian' world BP’s capitalist rights superseded mine. Let me repeat that: BP's right to destroy God's creation for profit supplanted my right to profit from the Gulf of Mexico being left alone.

Rodi thinks his place in heaven is assured, and that until then he’s free to visit the wickedness of the Devil in the guise of self-righteous Republican misery on the rest of the world. I don’t at all feel like my salvation is guaranteed. I’ve given God plenty enough reason to reject me, and know there are no buts in the judgment of my life, and I walk through mine on my knees hoping to shape my heart into an acceptable fruit. The last line of Drifting With Jesus embodies my philosophy: “I hope to see you all in heaven, for that will mean that I am there also.”

I suggest you take one of those Bibles from the shelf, Rodi, puff off the dust, open it to page one, start with “In the beginning…” and read a few pages a day for a year or so until you’ve reached the last “amen.” It's not boring nor tedious, it's AWESOME. I have nothing further to say to you, and anything else I would say can be found between those four words.

Speaking of a poof of dust....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Basic Bible Lesson For Rodi, Who Seems Determined Not To Understand

I say it, your pastor says it, the Bible says it, and you still don’t want to hear the truth. You are obtuse. There is no other word for it. Conservatives act like Jesus Christ is some sort of get of jail free card for a life of wickedness. Do anything you want, dip your hands in the blood of forgiveness at the end and you’re good to go. Except there’s a little problem with that attitude in the Bible. Hebrews 10:26-27. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain looking for of fearful judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. It should be self explanatory, but ask your pastor if you want try and understand the scripture but then continue to ignore it if it doesn’t suit your views. You want to conform the Bible to your own weird outlook on the world rather than submitting yourself to the TRUTH of it. The Bible addresses people who do that, it doesn’t work.

I know quoting the Bible means little to you, but there it is again. Galatians 5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. It is one of the most repeated sentiments throughout the Bible, it must be REALLY important. You can tell yourself that the way you vote and the government you choose has nothing to do with that, but maybe you're just wrong. Just maybe it is a direct reflection is a cold, hard heart, which God will spit out like the fig in Jeremiah. And notwithstanding your denials, the truth is that the kingdom of God is SOCIALIST. Not the mentally twisted Glenn Beck imaginary kiss Karl Marx version that would never take root here. So how can you rail against socialism then expected to be accepted into a kingdom where that is the order?

Am I a political bigot? No, I just hate assholes who don’t give a fuck about me and my welfare and who think nothing of pissing on my joy. George Bush and Dick Cheney are a couple of hatchlings incubated under the left and right wings of Satan. They raped the earth, slaughtered innocent human beings, maimed their own soldiers and wrought immeasurable environmental, economic and social havoc and devastation at home and abroad.

You voted for them, and when that is brought up, your response is: have you seen where John Kerry docks his yacht? Ridiculous. Not just ridiculous, a pathetic response. I live on the Gulf of Mexico, and not only did their heinously irresponsible deregulations turn a beautiful body of water into a bilious toilet bowl, it has DIRECTLY impacted my livelihood. YOUR vote did that to me, I’m fucking pissed the fuck off about it, and if my detesting the wicked assholes responsible makes me a political bigot, then you’ve let Fox News redefine more words for you. And the Republican response: Oops, sorry, accidents happen. Deal with it, we’re pissed off at Obama for the moratorium.

You cannot be a child of God and choose DEVILS to rule over yourself and your NEIGHBORS. Your vote for these foul, wicked, godless human beings says screw you to me, screw you to the earth, and screw you to God himself. Yep, it does. Do you understand that much of what is going on behind the REPUBLICAN scene is continued outsourcing of jobs, much of it to China where they have no child labor laws? Those Chinese children are your NEIGHBORS. Nice show of love with your vote Rodi. Your capitalist pigvomit greedmongers profit margins are more important than your neighbors’ welfare and quality of life, both unemployed Americans at home and those children abroad who make your kitchen appliances so you can enjoy the creamy gelato of capitalism. The Conservatives don’t give the slight crap about their fellow man, so how is supporting them loving your neighbor as you are explicitly instructed to do?

Can conservatives be saved? Well, when you finally get around to reading the Bible, pay close attention—it is in there. Conservatives were alive in his day, and Jesus Christ addressed them directly. They were called the Pharisees and the Sadduccees, and they are virtually carbon copy, cookie cutter, fruit from the same tree as today’s Conservative Christians. Change right wing Jew to right wing Christian, saved by the bloodline of Abraham to saved by the blood of Christ, and the Pharisees are virtual mirror images of today’s conservatives. The Pharisees/Conservatives hated Christ, because he was constantly denouncing their cold hearted, mean spirited, hypocritical wicked ways. The Pharisees/Conservatives hated Christ so much that they conspired with Caiaphas, King Herod and the Romans to murder him. Yes, the conservatives of his day took part DIRECTLY in the murder of Christ. About them Jesus said: They have their reward. Hint, it wasn’t the kingdom of heaven. You tell me what I think, believing in the BIBLE as I do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Open Letter to Black Republican Pastors

Last week I came across this article on CNN.com. The article mentions an African American pastor named Aaron Wheeler who usually votes Republican, swung to Obama in 2008, and now, disillusioned, is planning to vote Republican again. He also mentions that he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. That inspired me.

Dear Black Republican Pastor,

I recently read about one of you, and was troubled by a couple things. Quite simply, how on earth do you vote Republican? How? They are the party of lying, racist hypocrites.

As a black man, you are supporting the party that harbors the vast majority of racists in America. Many of them are the great great grandchildren of slave owners, and while the laws have changed, their hearts have not. Those are the attitudes they continued to instill in their children for a century after Abolition--you need only look back at how their parents were treating your parents when you were a child--and those are the attitudes many continue to instill to this day. They call themselves Republicans and Tea Partiers, and you vote for them to rule over you. I find it utterly mystifiying.

As a ‘man of God,’ how on earth do you vote Republican? Do you actually read the Bible, or just wield it and thump it? For the most part, Republicans are lying hypocrites, and God hates liars and hypocrites (look it up--I can give you the specific Bible verses if you need them). Whether they’re screaming about the need to pay down the deficit (a deficit which they created, look it up) then planning on increasing it with continued tax breaks for the wealthy--their only promise and their only concern--or screaming that abortion is murder while dropping their pro life bombs on babies across the globe, or saying that now is not the time to address immigration then blaming the federal government for inaction on immigration, they are HYPOCRITES. I could go on and on--how they 'plan' to create jobs to replace the jobs they destroyed and outsourced, and how the government is too big when it bloated by ten percent during the Bush administration--the hypocrisies are shameless and neverending. They are afraid to face the TRUTH, which is why they fabricate their own phony facts.

So you finally voted for Obama to clean up the mess that YOU made with your votes over the years, then when he can’t clean it up in a day, you become disillusioned and plan to vote for his enemies who have been knocking the mop out of his hand for two years. That'll move government forward. (And if you somehow think Jesus would be OPPOSED to health care for everyone, then you need to go look up the verses where HE HEALED THEM ALL (Matthew 12:15), non believers included (Luke 17:11-19).) Yet you now plan to vote for the racist hypocrites who want to repeal health care for everyone. How is that Christian?

Can you see how God might be looking down at you and saying: What exactly do you want, Black Republican Pastor? I give you everything you ask. You vote Republican, and you get Republican oil spills, Republican economy, Republican unemployment, Republican wars, Republican oligarchy and its accompanying Republican contempt for the impoverished. And now with their new Contract on America the Republicans have promised to continue governing EXACTLY as they did when they were in power, so if that’s how you vote, that’s what you’re going to get. Don’t choose those politicians then cry out to God when they oppress you. If the Republicans take over and fulfill their one promise, more money for the wealthy, then shut down government by holding superfluous hearings about members of the Obama administration (when the entire Bush administration deserves to be incarcerated for crimes against humanity, at home and abroad) while America continues to suffer, don't you DARE to complain--you will have gotten exactly what you asked for.

You may have been in attendance when Martin Luther King Jr. marched, but you weren’t with him---not if you spent your life empowering his enemies with your vote. You were just another onlooker at a civil rights rally. And when you stand there in the voting booth this November with your finger poised again on the Republican lever, take a moment and listen carefully in the quiet: that sound you'll hear is Satan laughing in your face.

Why I Stopped Attending Tampa Bay Rays Games

After reading about Evan Longoria and David Price whining and complaining about attendance at Rays games, I decided to write all this down and post it here on my blog. Not one word is invention nor exaggeration.

I moved to Florida in October 2003, and to St Petersburg in November 2004. I went to three or four Rays' games in 2006, and following the bush league manner in which I was treated by Rays management in August 2006 I swore never to attend another game. I have not. From my perspective, the management of the organization is a comedy of errors acted out by a cast of boneheads and bozos.

In 2006 my friend and neighbor bought a single season ticket for the Rays. She had some extra Red Sox tickets she had previously purchased, and treated me and few other of her friends to some random games throughout the season. Then in August she came to me and another neighbor and invited us to that evening’s Rays' game. She explained that the Rays management had invited her to a ‘wine and dine’ in a luxury box to try and get her to commit to season tickets for 2007. She told us not to eat, because they had promised her food and drinks aplenty would be provided.

When we arrived we were brought to an obstructed view box deep in the right field side line. It was like watching the game through an oversized slit. We couldn’t see much—fly balls would appear for a moment on the way up, and then again for a moment on the way down before disappearing back onto the field, most of which we couldn’t see.

There was no food and no drink. After two innings, realizing the screw up, a Rays rep explained to us that it was just that, a screw up. He apologized, then said, and I quote: “I think there are some diet cokes in the fridge in the corner.” There weren’t, just a single bottle of water, which he handed to us. About the fourth inning he came and brought us to a better vantage to watch the rest of the game—actually, to be able to see the game. It was, well, utterly absurd, and a golden opportunity squandered by the moron Rays rep. It would have taken so precious little to wow us--were I the rep I would have been able to do it for about two dollars--but instead we left the building muttering about morons and badmouthing the Rays.

And if management in some way thinks I’m making this up, go ahead and check your records. Her name was Terry, she was a huge Red Sox fan from New Hampshire, and her seat was near the third base dugout, directly behind Dick Vitale’s seats. I haven't seen her in a couple years, and for all I know she may still be sitting there.

But the amateur shitshow continues.

In 2008 I worked for a restaurant that had gotten permission from the Rays to give out coupons at Spring training games. So one day my coworker and I went and did just that. We were only allowed to hand out coupons outside the stadium, and only between innings. Fair enough, and we fully respected that. It was about the seventh inning of a blowout, and we asked if we could go in and watch a couple batters while waiting to hand out coupons. At first the security woman we asked was boggled by the request then she simply freaked out. She got on the radio with more security, they called around to more security and fifteen minutes later—after we had told her not to bother, and we were sorry to have asked—she informed us that we could go to the top of the tunnel and watch, but no further. You’d think we had asked to go on the field and solicit autographs while the game was in progress. Again, just freaking ridiculous. And another squandered opportunity to give my coworker and I a taste of the product and make us fans.

A month later I happened to turn on my radio just as a Rays game was beginning. The announcers, whose names I forget, began EATING DOUGHNUTS the very moment the broadcast began. 'Mmf, mf…somemfone…brought us a box…mfmf…of doughmfmfnuts. mmf..delmmflicious....pflitchim tomay fo da Ways...' It was beyond amateur. Have you ever heard someone eating while talking on the radio? It's not just unprofessional, it's disgusting. And I could not believe what I was hearing. They had all morning to stuff as many omelets and doughnuts down their gullets as they desired, but they waited till the moment the microphones were turned on to start munching. I was turned off, and did turn it off and haven’t listened again. I kid you not.

Word on the street is unanimous—the cowbells are HORRIBLE. Worst idea ever. The New Coke of event attendance. I’ve heard fans talk about them, and no one has ever said anything remotely approving. The perception is that they're still in the stands to this day, and if you think someone wants to drop a hundred bucks on parking, tickets and overpriced weenies and beer only to run the risk of getting stuck next to some drunken yahoo screaming and whacking a bell in their ear for three hours, well, that’s Rays management for you. Trust me, that godawful idea has cost you untold ticket sales.

Even today, I went on to the official Rays website and sent them a note through their contact form. (If you didn't get it, well, that's the Rays.) I said that if they emailed me I’d be happy to tell them why I refuse to go to games. Here’s a page of Web Design 101. You DO NOT default your website to start playing music or making any sound the moment someone clicks on it. It's obnoxious and annoying. Most people are listening to radio or music or watching television while browsing the internet, as was I this afternoon. So, after clicking to the Rays official website and being bombarded by an online replay of some Rays game that conflicted with what I was already listening to, I had to immediately click off the site, turn down my speakers, then go back and search for the very tiny ‘Contact Us’ button hidden at the bottom. What an annoyance. And as of now, about seven hours later,(well, now it's over two days) no one from the Rays has responded to my offer to tell them why some people don’t go to their games, which is further testimony to the incompetence of Rays’ management.

If you’re hiring, send me an email. I’ll come in for an interview. I've worked in pr and service all my life. You are bumbling a potentially lucrative business. Even I could have gotten 12,000 fans in to see the possible division clinching game last night. But you wouldn't even consider me, because you’re the Rays.

An exchange might go something like this:

PR Expert: "Hey Tampa Rays, you should listen to this guy Bob and put him on payroll. He has years of experience and wisdom in dealing with and pleasing the public, and any salary you might pay him would yield ten, twenty, fifty or a hundredfold in increased revenue."

TB Rays: "Yeah, right. In case you haven't seen our ticket sales, it's pretty obvious that we know what we're doing. Thanks anyway."

We know, it's not management. It's the outdated stadium, and the parking, and the neighborhood, and the local apathy, and the economy, and every other excuse under the sun. Not anything to do with management. Except, if the inhospitable ways I was treated are extrapolated to Rays' employee interactions with other locals over the years, then 12,000 attendance the other night really should come as no surprise. Hold it in the light--you are a JOKE.

And if you go to another city, as is speculated, and take this team—-this MANAGEMENT team with you--you won’t be leaving the problem behind, you’ll be bringing it along. Because you’re the Rays management team...the inept, incompetent, bumbling Rays management team.

Now get out there and vote for the criminal Rick Scott and the ultra right wingnut teabag sucking Rubio and the rest of the Republican ticket so they and their felonious cronies in congress can hammer the Republican wrecking ball on the economy a few more times, and outsource a few hundred thousand more jobs, and in the coming years nobody will have a nickel of disposable income to waste on your silly baseball team.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Are The Pharisees

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadduccees—then understood they how he bade them not beware of the leaven of the bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadduccees. Matthew 16: 6-12

The Pharisees were an ancient Jewish sect that bear many resemblances to today’s compassionate, conservative, right wing, fundamentalist, evangelical Christians. Pharisee means separate, and describes one who keeps away from impure people and things, to be more righteous, better to commune with holy God. They were obsessed with the law, moral purity, and outward shows of faith, but were so strict they made hypocrites of themselves, and were used for examples by Christ.

The very first mention of the Pharisees in the Bible is in Matthew (3:7-9), when they are watching John baptize in the Jordan, who...when he saw many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O brood of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Viper describes false ‘Christians’ who lie, and are not what they call themselves, and many more who expect to come to reward, and will not. And just as the Pharisees thought that being in the bloodline of Abraham guaranteed their salvation, so do they say of being Christian today.

The Pharisees were a political force, and respected as authorities of Jewish law. The Sanhedrin was a council of 71 sages mostly comprised of Sadducees and Pharisees, before whom Caiaphas conducted the trial of Jesus. The Sadducees were concerned with matters of the temple while the Pharisees with obedience to the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, also known as the Pentateuch); and while they were sworn enemies on account of these differences, they were able to put those aside for a moment and come together in condemning Christ to death.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Such are the self-righteous moral authorities who preach the very Bible they disregard and disobey. Some boast the sanctity of marriage while committing adultery; some rail against homosexuality and get caught in the act, and some decry pornography while the thoughts of their hearts, minds and souls are pornographic.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments.

And strut their faith, which should be private, and wear it proudly upon their sleeves.

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues.

And crave celebrity, and seek the spotlight on their faces, and to be approved and beloved by men.

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

And other titles, like doctor, or pastor, or Phd.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

And woe to you evangelicals, who give the wrong example of what it is to be in Christ, and who lead anyone that follows you astray into oblivion.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

And woe to you fundamentalists, whose voting blocs empower the lawmakers that enable the banks to ravenously consume homes, and who publicly proclaim yourselves to be Christian over and over, and invoke God in earshot of everyone. You will get yours.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Woe to you evangelicals, who rejoice in finding and claiming converts, thinking it diminishes sin while increasing reward, when in truth all you’ve really done is find others to share in your ultimate misery.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

And woe to you fundamentalists, who wage passionate fights for the right to pray in school, yet neglect the schools themselves; who tithe to the penny, and raise vast sums of money and campaign vigorously for changes in marriage laws instead of domestic violence and the needs of children who are victims thereof. Who indignantly fight for the right to display the ten commandments in public, while in private are thieves and adulterers and blasphemers.

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

Tell that to someone who uses Christianity to try and prosper themselves, and they will deride you too.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Sanctimony testifies unto itself.

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

They’re not going in, neither anyone who is no better.

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Like fundamentalists who point out the faults and measure the sins of others.

`And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

And hold at fault they who associate with them.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

So do they call on Christ, and are seen coming and going in church, while their hearts are prideful, gluttonous, greedy and violent.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

And if they live not in Christ, they are already dead.

The Pharisees believed strongly in the resurrection of the dead even before Christ; they are alive and thriving in America today. And since it is repeated in the gospels, it bears repeating here: beware the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Congressman and The Lepers

WHAT IF REPUBLICANS WERE PRESENT AT THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST

Miracle Number Three -- Jesus Heals Ten Lepers

Luke 17:12-19 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?


The nine in question had fled into the nearby hills, where they were accosted by a strange man. His flesh was orange, and he waved what looked like a rapier with a knobbed tip. “You must be the groundskeepers,” he said. “Have you seen a top flite four? I’ve been spraying my three wood all day.”

“Ay, Diablo!” one of the lepers cried, and they cowered in fear.

The man introduced himself. “Congressman John Boehner, eighth district, Ohio. Say, you guys look awfully pale considering you work in the sun. Have you ever considered artificial pigmentation techniques?”

They shrunk further away as another one said: “Diablo! Es Diablo!”

Congressman Boehner pulled some business cards out of a cigarette pack and offered them to the lepers. “Give me a call, I can help. I have a great tanning booth. It’s Brazilian. I bought it when Obama implemented that idiotic tanning tax. I’ll cut you a deal. And if you’re in a real hurry I’ve got some dynamite spray on products.”

The lepers cried out “Diablo!” again then turned and ran back toward Jesus.

Boehner pulled a ball out of his pocket, dropped it on the ground, propped it up on a good lie, then whacked it with a seven iron onto the green.

“I wonder if those guys were illegals,” he pondered aloud, then answered himself. “Naw, too white.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sarah's Death Panel -- Decider, Executioner

WHAT IF REPUPLICANS WERE PRESENT AT THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST

Miracle Number Two – Lazarus Raised From The Dead


John 11:42-43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Just then Sarah Harpycrite, a prominent Republican, stepped forward and said: “No, no, no! Wait, wait, wait! What is going on here?”

One of the astonished onlookers said: “The master just brought him back from the dead! He’s been in that tomb four days. Truly is Jesus the Christ!”

“Is that so?” she said to Lazarus. “And who, may I ask, is your health insurer?”

“Whatever that is, I don’t have one,” he answered. “I’m a poor man, I have nothing. But I have life, God be praised!”

“So you’re just going to go back to sucking on Uncle Sam’s teat—that’s your plan, isn’t it?” Sarah smarmed. “Why don’t you do the world a favor, and just stay dead? Weren’t you happier where you were anyway? Isn’t that where all you dreamers want to be? Why don’t you go prepare it for him, he’ll be coming right along, woncha Jesus?” she said more than asked, and with a wrenching wink that could break glass.

“I do have loved ones I would like to see again,” Lazarus explained.

“Sob, sob, sob!” Sarah harped. “Don’t we all. Ya know what, it’s time to put a stop to this government interference with its ‘wah wah wah’ death regulations.” She hefted up a large rock and whacked him in the head with it. “Since you’re already dead, I can’t get in trouble for killing you. And if you’re already dead, then you’re a--die, zombie!” She shrieked and leaped on him, then whipped herself into a frenzy and pummeled him with the small boulder.

Everyone looked to Jesus for his response. He stood staring, then slowly said: “He was never dead and shall live forever: God had caused a sleep to be upon him, that he might become an example for all.”

“And I made him just that,” Sarah proudly declared. She clapped the imaginary dust off her hands, then blew the imaginary smoke off her pistol of a fingertip, and strutted off into her oblivion. The dumbstruck, slackjawed witnesses watched her departure in awe while Jesus kneeled down and ministered to Lazarus.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What If Republicans Were Present At The Miracles Of Christ?

Miracle Number One—Thousands Fed With A Few Loaves and Fishes

Matthew 15:34-36. And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples—

Just then two older, white-haired men stepped forward and intervened. Let’s call them Newt and Judas Lieberman.

“Hold on a moment, everybody,” Newt said. “There seems to be enough to go around, but before you eat we have to get a few things straight.” He turned to a couple of lads that were standing nearby and said: “You boys, run and get some plastic bags and a scale, and you’ll eat for a discount. Hurry!”

“Why hurry?” one of the boys answered. “Because the people are starving?”

“No,” Newt replied. “If the fish spoil in the sun they’ll be worthless. Now go!” He turned and addressed the crowd: “Before anyone gets any ideas, you should know that a hundred Roman soldiers are about five minutes away and marching toward us.”

“We are non-violent people gathered in peace,” one of the disciples explained.

“Good, that simplifies the matter of crowd control,” Newt replied.

"Excuse me," the disciple meekly said; "but this is our food."

"Is it now?" Newt replied. "Do you have soldiers backing you up? I think not. My food."

"Uh, Newt," Judas Lieberman quietly said. "Wouldn't it be more expeditious to just sell sandwiches rather than weighing and bagging everything?"

“Good idea! What’s the going price of a fish sandwich in Galilee these days?” he asked the disciple.

The disciple was utterly bewildered, and mumbled: “I don’t know, half a shekel?”

Newt rubbed his chin and contemplated for a few moments, then said: “Very well, taking into consideration the circumstances, the rule of supply and demand, and the clear lack of competition, I think we can fairly expect to get a shekel a sandwich. The line forms in front me.” Then he lowered his voice and said to Judas Lieberman: “You fill the bread, I’ll collect it.”

“You always make me get my hands dirty,” Judas Lieberman complained.

“They are your people,” Newt answered. “And knowing how finicky they are about their food, they’ll be more apt to buy knowing that it was handled by a fellow Jew.”

“Uh, these people don’t have any money,” the disciple explained. “They are the poor children of God. We've been nurturing their souls, and were about to nourish their bodies.”

Newt’s face scrunched into a twisted visage of contempt. “Do they think free market means free eats and free rides for freeloaders? Whose sardines are these anyway?”

“Our Lord and master provided them,” the disciple revealed, pointing Jesus out.

“Newtie Patootie,” Judas Lieberman whispered in his ear, “that’s the famous Nazarene who’s been working wonders and miraculously healing the sick about Israel of late. I'm not a believer myself, but I have heard the tales.”

“Is he now?” Newt said. He approached Jesus and looked him up and down. “Do you have your fishing license?” he asked. Jesus stared back in silence. Newt continued. “Because if you don’t, that’s a violation of the law, and you’ve been cheating the government of tax revenue. Answer me.” Jesus continued to stare back in silence. The Roman soldiers appeared, and several gathered behind Newt and Judas Lieberman.

“Very well,” Newt said to Jesus. “Even if you do have your license, you’ve obviously exceeded the legal catch limit, so one way or another you’ve broken the law. Boys, arrest and take him to jail. We’ll let a judge sort out the charges.” Two apprehended Christ, and Newt instructed the other soldiers to disperse the crowd, eat their fill of fish and bread, and throw the leftovers to the dogs. Then he turned to the people and shouted: “And the rest of you, get out of here! Go get jobs and feed yourselves! You hang around with your hands stretched out--you claim in prayer, but I see the truth through your lie. You’re waiting for someone to hand you something for nothing. You lazy slobs make me sick! Go on, before I command a slaughter!”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rick Warren's Blindness

Rick Warren was temporarily blinded earlier this week, when the toxic ooze of a firestick plant got in his eyes while gardening. He was hospitalized overnight, and his burning eyes swollen shut for at least a day before receding. I pray for you, Rick. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I was harkened to a famous blinding in the Bible—when Saul was stricken for three days on the road to Damascus. He was a Jew from Tarsus who had delighted in persecuting the followers of Jesus Christ. He encouraged the mob that stoned Stephen, the first martyr to die for Jesus. In his blindness he saw the glory of the light, changed his name to Paul, and through much suffering, which he counted all joy, planted the church in the world.

It’s very basic New Testament.

In November 2006, after a trip to Syria, while commenting on Christian Muslim coexistence in that nation, Rick Warren stated: “In fact, you know Saul of Tarsus—Saul was a Syrian. St. Paul, on the road to Damascus, had his conversion experience, and so Christians have been here the longest, and they get along with the Muslims, and the Muslims get along with them. There's a lot less tension than in other places.”

Tarsus is in TURKEY.

On April 7, 2009, on The Larry King Show, Warren famously lied: “I am not an anti-gay, or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have been, never will be. During the whole Proposition Eight thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop Eight was going.”

In a prominent video supporting prop 8 that ran during the election cycle of 08, Rick Warren said: “Now, let me just say this really clearly: we support Proposition Eight, and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition Eight. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear.”

In December of 2008, Pastor Warren presented George Bush with the first International Medal of PEACE, in recognition of his contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Giving George Bush warlord a PEACE award in the name of Christ. Words fail me there.

Treating his eyes back at home, Warren tweeted: “May God use this pain for His Glory.”

Here’s your chance to emulate Paul, Rick.

With renewed eyes you should read that Bible you thump. You’ll see therein God doesn’t like lying, and if you truly aspired to a heart like Christ, you wouldn’t endorse and campaign to elect the devils you exhort with implications that it’s Godly to vote in. It’s not. It’s not very Christian to wage war, destroy the earth, deprive the poor to enrich the wealthy, who oppose health care for everyone, who condemn the innocent with lies, who enable banks to steal wealth and wield it against the victims to also steal their homes. Many of your chosen candidates are very evil men and women, liars who call themselves Christian but are not.

Don’t you see them for who they really are? Don’t you SEE what they’ve done to America and the world? Are you still BLIND?

If so you have a cold and hard heart like Pharaoh and I pray for you, Rick, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Is Sharron Angle Another Phony Christian?

“I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives, and that He can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.” Sharron Angle, The Bill Manders’ Show, 780 KOH, in January 2010.

I watched Sharron’s June 29th interview on Face to Face with Jon Ralston.

You confuse me, Sharron.

You say you’re pro life and pro death penalty. It’s pretty basic English, it’s one or the other, you can’t be both.

Sharron said: “Those who commit heinous crimes should pay the consequences, and where there is innocent life, I’ll always err on the side of innocent life.” Have you seen the spate of dna exonerations of long term inmates who were innocent all along? Don’t those innocent lives count into your definition of ‘innocent?’ Or if the courts so decide, must they die? God said: Vengeance is mine, I will repay. Who are you to usurp God's authority?

Sharron takes the position that global warming is not real. Thousands of scientists and researchers and academics have provided reams of proof that it is real, but Sharron, who may not even know what the periodic table is, says otherwise.

Sharron revised her previously stated position of eliminating Social Security into revamping it as a privatized system. And Medicaid and Medicare, and all health care for that matter, still must go. How very Christian. Yours is one of the compassionate hearts Jesus wants to people his kingdom.

She claims her role as Senator is not to create jobs, then blames Harry Reid for not creating jobs, when he actually used the stimulus to bring lots of jobs to Nevada. All that being true, Sharron is lying (not very Christian). She said “a census part time job is not a job. People want a job that has benefits, that has a future, that is something they can count on to pay their mortgage.” Immediately after that she said that she would have voted against extending unemployment benefits because it discourages people from taking low paying menial jobs, and we need to get back to work. Again, which is it?

Even after the oil disaster you want to eliminate all corporate and environmental regulations, making it still easier for the wicked ones who savage God’s creation. Surely you’ve read the Bible, where it is written of the end of the world: Revelation (11:18), And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

If you were truly Christian those words would terrify you, and you’d distance yourself from the destroyers of the earth, not enable and be a complicit partaker of their deadly sin.

So let’s recap the Angle campaign. Innocent people should die if judged guilty by the courts. Climate change needs not be addressed, it’s not real. The elderly who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to pay into the bizarro world Angle social security system will have nothing to support them in their golden years, and no health care—from a Christian society—to ease the pains of age and provide a dignified exit from this world. Even after DESTROYING the gulf, (where I happen to live and which provided my livelihood), big business should be allowed to conduct their affairs unregulated by the government. And Americans should pipe down and lick up the crumbs of the minimum wage jobs they provide.

So, Sharron, after perpetrating all these things in the last years of your life, you plan on coming to Jesus at your death and hearing him say the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

You must really hate your children, and your country, if that’s the society and the planet you’d leave for them to inherit. I love Christ—you don’t sound like a Christian to me. You sound like one of the self-righteous morality enforcers who call themselves ‘Christian,' in the hope of receiving forgiveness for all your evils, and votes in November from likeminded liars.