No, I Don’t Have Any Green Clothes

 

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I don’t own any green clothes.  I don’t like the idea of weirdos trying to pinch me, either.

St. Patty’s Day isn’t really high on my radar of secular holidays.  I don’t drink beer, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be green.

It’s sort of depressing that someone took the guy who brought Christianity to the heathens in Ireland and turned his festival day into a drinking holiday.  I still think green beer and leprechauns would be more suitable if we were celebrating Benny Hill’s birthday, but maybe that’s just me.

I guess it’s a good thing leprechauns are white.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to make fun of them.  Or get creeped out by them.  I always looked at leprechauns as sort of creepy mini-trolls.

leprechaun

At least it’s not Hans Strudel.

hans strudel

When did German=Fruity?

The Irish have always been sort of “people who get picked on.”  Maybe it’s because a lot of them are Catholic.  Maybe it’s because they like to get drunk and fight.  But the same descriptives also apply to Italians, and nobody bothers them.

thrifty scotsman

Then there’s the Thrifty Scotsman, which is a stereotype I can understand.  My grandmother’s father immigrated (legally, may I add- Dad has his documentation) from Scotland.  My great grandfather died long before I was born, but my grandmother was one of the most thrifty people I ever knew- cutting coupons, hitting the sales, stocking up on dozens of three-pound cans of Folger’s when it was cheap,  and so forth.  That might have been because she was half Scots (her mother was German) but it might have been because she grew up in the Depression, too.

folgers-coffee-in-a-can

Grandma always had a few extra cans of Folger’s.

I don’t think I’ve had green clothes since I was old enough to buy my own clothes.  Almost everything I have is either pink, black or jeans.

Stop Misanglody, Jezebel’s First Road Trip, and Lilo’s Butt Funk

equal rightsBack in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were a lot of Americans who weren’t terribly fond of the Irish.

Misanglody (N): 1.)The condition of loathing all things white, Anglo-Saxon and/or Protestant.  2.) A rather pervasive and pernicious form of racism prevalent in the United States, generally ignored when directed against traditional white conservatives. 3.) Cracka-hating.

Granted, a lot of the fear generated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries regarding immigration to the U.S. had more to do with religion than country of origin.  Many people in this country were afraid of Catholics (because of their belief in the primacy of the pope and the fact that the Mass was said in Latin rather than in English) and were afraid the Catholics would take over.   This sounds sort of crazy today but before Vatican II, Catholics referred to other Christians (i.e. Protestants and Orthodox) as “heathens.”  Today Catholics have a more beneficent term for Protestants and Orthodox: “separated brethren.”

That’s a little nicer, but as someone who was raised in Catholicism, I will tell you that the Catholics still teach that their goal on this earth is to convert others (including Protestants and Orthodox) to Catholicism.  If you’re a Protestant or Orthodox, according to Catholics, you might be Christian, but you don’t have the Faith in its completeness.  Catholic theology is an interesting study- and as a confessional Lutheran I am not too far removed from it, but I don’t subscribe to it 100% either.  I got lost on the pope thing as well I got lost on the prayers to dead people thing.  To each his or her own, and I know a lot of Catholics that live good Christian lives, but I can’t consider myself to be a Catholic because I don’t subscribe to Catholicism 100%. That’s one of the Catholic Rules, that you agree 100% with their rules.  Which makes me a Protestant by definition. Just sayin’.

indulgencesThis was some of the same stuff Martin Luther had problems with 500 years ago.  I’m not saying all Catholics are party to the corruption, or that Protestants are scandal-free, but it’s still there.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Today most Americans aren’t particularly wicky about either Irish people (though I know a few people who aren’t really fond of Bono) or Catholics, which is a good thing.  I don’t have a problem with Catholics other than I don’t entirely agree with them, and as far as Irish people go I can’t say much, because a good number of my ancestors are English and Scots- just different parts of the same island.

cracker

Anyway, the point is that racism (as well as the myth that freedom of religion means freedom from religion) in this country should be a thing of the past.  It’s not, and it shouldn’t be, acceptable to use the “n” word or other racially derisive terms in public discourse.  But it seems to be perfectly OK to lampoon the “Cracka Nation” with impunity, and when white people say anything about it they get responses such as,

“White people don’t understand racism,”  or worse, “You can’t be racist against whites.”  Really?

I beg to differ, and hence, I bring to light the phenomenon of misanglody.

The popular culture is full of examples of the bumbling, inept WASP male and/or the ditzy WalMart queen WASP female.  Even in advertising, take notice how often the fall guy is a white guy.  To someone who only sees American culture from what they watch on TV, they might leave with the misconception that all white guys are Larry the Cable Guy (no offense to Larry the Cable Guy, but not all white men cut the sleeves off their shirts) and all white women are just like Honey Boo Boo’s mother.

not accurateI have body hair issues but even I don’t have five o’clock shadow like that.  Nor do I have three chins.

I do admit there are aspects of white culture that deserve the derision they get.  One is British cuisine.  Haggis and kidney pie do NOT sound appetizing in any remote fashion.  My ancestors may be Scots, but I can’t bring myself to eat mutton in any form.  The dogs eat mutton because that’s what’s in their dog food, but dogs lick their own butts and eat cat shit any time they get the opportunity to do so.  Just because the dogs eat something doesn’t mean it’s edible for humans.   I really don’t get the idea behind eating kidneys either.  I do eat sushi, (on the rare occasion I can afford good sushi) which might not make too much sense, but I just can’t get beyond the gross factor on haggis or kidneys.  Head cheese is another one I can’t get.  The fun fact about head cheese is that it is not cheese at all.

Haggis-001Do you eat the stomach “casing” too? Ewwwwwww!

So called “white supremacists” deserve the derision they get as well.  Hitler is not a role model.  Obama is not white, but he also is not a role model for the same reason.  Both Hitler and Obama are racists, just against different groups.  Anyone who goes around spouting hate against other races and nationalities- as opposed to pointing out faulty ideology or bad public policy- deserves to be called out for it.  I don’t believe white people are any better than anyone else, but I don’t believe we’re any worse either, unless you are taking into account that most of us can’t dance.

alcoholI couldn’t dance even when I could drink.

On another note, Miss Jezebel went on her first road trip yesterday.  I decided since I had to take Lilo to the vet yesterday to get meds for her re-occuring butt funk (seborrhagic dermatitis) that I would take Jezebel as well because she’s had a slight but lingering bit of the eye crusties and some sneezing.  So Miss Jezebel rode up to the vet’s tucked into my hoodie.  At least I have a closer estimate on her age (12-14 weeks) and have verified her gender.  Jezebel is definitely a girl.  She didn’t seem to mind the road trip at all, and was most compliant even getting eye ointment (most cats loathe this) and taking liquid Amoxicillin.  Usually I really hate giving cats either eye drops or liquids by mouth, because they normally hate it and it’s a good way to get scratched and/or bitten.  She has gotten through two doses of each without much fuss.  Let’s hope it’s that easy for the rest of the 10 days.

366So far, I can even give her meds without resorting to welding gloves again.

Lilo is the easiest creature on the planet to medicate.  She will even take Keflex without protest (getting it down Clara was an adventure, and yes, it does taste nasty) as long as it’s included in a bite of cottage cheese.  The combo of Keflex and Prednisone will clear up her butt funk, but I feel for her.  She does great with oral meds but isn’t so cool with the bath part of the treatment.  Baths were not suggested for Jezebel, which is quite fine with me.

liloallhangoutMost of the time Lilo is mellow.  Except when her butt itches.

Fire and Brimstone, Faith for the Cynical, and Unpopular Moral Absolutes

Crucifixion was not this pretty.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my life researching theology.  I am wired in such a way that it’s difficult to take anything on faith.  The way that I’m wired, I generally default to Murphy’s Law.  The sad part of that is I’m right way too much of the time when I take my own default and assume the worst.

That might have been the reason why I was terrified of everything when I was a kid.  A good deal of my unrelenting fear was justified.  I did get my ass kicked a lot.  But I also had a certain knack for imagining the worst in a situation, like when Dad’s weirdo friends thought that I enjoyed swinging upside down while being grabbed by the ankles.  All I could imagine, other than sheer terror, was the ass pilot letting go and my sorry carcass flying clean through the picture window.  I don’t like too many people grabbing at me to begin with, but add the elements of my poor balance, centrifugal force, height, and a moderately shady character, and I am good and truly freaked.   Perhaps it is a good thing that I have to be on the verge of death before I can puke.  Then again, if I would have spewed a good one (after eating Spaghetti-os or something else colorful, like lime sherbet) perhaps Dad would have prohibited his buddies from repeating this torture.

Come on down to the Baptist Tent Revival!  Music!  Fun! However, no dancing, and no liquor will be served.

In Christian traditions the Pentecostals and Baptists get a bad rap for fire and brimstone sermons, but the Pentecostals and Baptists have nothing on the old-school Catholics.  Pentecostals and Baptists could “get saved” and then they’d have a “get out of hell free” pass.  In traditional old-school Catholicism, you don’t just “get saved.”  God is keeping score, and hellfire awaits the person who Dies In Sin.  The only way to clear your slate is to go to Confession and then do whatever Penance the priest assigns you.  It was always better to get a laid back priest who would give you easy Penance.  Father Furey was everyone’s favorite because he was pretty easy on the small stuff and he had a sense of humor.  The other ones could be downright scary and mean about it and you’d be saying Hail Marys and Our Fathers for days.

Yes, you are headed straight to Hell for setting your Mom’s tape deck to the “Like a bat out of helllll!” portion of the Meatloaf tape.  And for flipping the bird at the bug eating kid at school, and for calling your sister an “asshole.”  You get to be bunkies with Beezelbub unless you say 400 Hail Marys, 1000 Our Fathers, and clean the toilet with your toothbrush every day for a month without being asked to do it.

It was usually my luck to end up with whichever priest hated kids the most.

The worst thing about Confession is that it would only be a matter of minutes before sin would rear its ugly head again.  Almost everything I did or thought could be considered a sin, so it was a vicious cycle. Sin-confess, sin-confess, etc. and so on.

Mom was really good at dragging us kids to Confession at least once a month if not more often.  I understand her logic- because if a Catholic Dies In Sin, you at the very least get time in Purgatory, and at the very worst, if you have a Mortal Sin on your scorecard, you go Straight to Hell.  And you don’t have to actually do the Mortal Sin- you just have to want to.

I can admit I never had this problem.  I always had plenty of sins on my plate.

Sins were everywhere when I was a kid.   Using swear words- even the word “fart”= sin.  Taking the last fish stick on the plate= sin,  unless you were sure no one else wanted it.  Giving my sister’s Barbies buzzcuts= definite sin.  Hanging out in the farmer’s field behind the houses across the street (even though the farmer had a 12 gauge and dogs and he and his dogs would chase kids if he saw them) was also a sin.

So by the time I was about five I was terrified of sin, and even more terrified of Mortal Sins even though at age five I had no idea what “adultery,” “fornication” and “apostasy” truly meant.  I did know if anyone was going to die with Mortal Sins, it would be me, even if it’s not even really clear to me at that point what they are, and I would probably be on the toilet, which means I’m partially naked, and being naked is a sin too.  I had some pretty scary logic as a child.

Believe me, Catholic kids were taught a lot more about hell than one might think, at least back in the day.  At least on the rare occasion Mom would let us go with Grandma to the Baptist Sunday School (it amazed me she ever did, because at that time Protestants were considered “heathens,”) we sang “Jesus Loves Me” and made crafts with popsicle sticks.  I always wondered why Jesus loved us at the Baptist church, but at the Catholic church he lived in the little gold box on the altar -when He wasn’t out making rounds with His scorecard, marking down our sins.

I’m surprised that I ended up having any kind of faith at all, but that is where the grace of God comes in.

The apostle Paul, (who strikes me as a fellow rational thinker) in his letter to the Philippians, puts it as “working out your own salvation with fear and trembling…for it is God Who is at work in you.” (Philippians 2:12-13)  God, not me.  God, not inept leaders.  God, Who isn’t primarily occupied with keeping score, or for sending people to hell for having naughty fantasies about Steve Perry in spandex, or for having the bad fortune of being on the toilet and partially naked at the hour of death.  The challenge is to slow down and listen to God’s voice- not my own, and not the talking heads.  It’s not as easy as one might think.

Yes, he did have one hell of a voice!

It’s comforting for me to understand I’m not in charge, and neither is Mr. Murphy, no matter how much Murphy’s Law seems to prove itself out.

I do believe in the perseverance of the saints, though maybe not in a strictly Calvinist sense, (I’m not a Calvinist but I do agree with certain elements of Calvinism) because it’s God doing the transforming, or the saving, if you will.  It’s not about me trying to be good- because I’m not.  If I had to explain my theological position it would be that of Molinism.  God knows, but I don’t, if you take it to its Cliff’s Notes version.   It’s OK that there are some things I’m just not going to understand.

Even though I believe that salvation is by the grace of God and is not contingent upon how much penance I attempt to do, there are still absolutes.  The rules are there for a reason- mostly to act as boundaries to keep us from doing more damage to ourselves and others than we would were we left unfettered.

Anarchy always fails.  While it might sound good to have freedom from rules, when society breaks down it’s not a good thing.  Simply take a look around and see what all the drugs and violence and thievery have led to.   Free love bought society broken families, rampant VD and AIDS.  The decline of traditional social mores and the prevailing moral free-for-all where there are no absolutes has turned society into a freak show, that I can’t necessarily say is a good thing.

elysianhunter’s “Inferno” (Hell as I See It) and Its Denizens, Swamp Life, and I Need a Hobby

I believe in a literal hell.  Dante did too, although he was a far better writer than I, and his perspective on hell is distinctively colored by Roman Catholic traditions and the political intrigues of his day.  The French have a saying: “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”  The literal English translation is, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  The Cliff’s Notes English translation is a simple acronym: SSDD. (Same Shit, Different Day.) It can be not only good satire to envision the populace of hell from time to time, it can also prove cathartic.  The thought that greater punishment awaits those who offend me might keep me from throttling someone, who knows?

I’m going to start off my virtual tour of hell with Beezelbub himself, even though Ol’ Splitfoot is on a brief hiatus from life in hell, and is currently wreaking nine kinds of havoc here on earth:

As you can see, right now, Lucifer has been loosed upon the earth to deceive the masses and to gather up his minions.   He is acting swiftly, and with a vengeance, because his time is short.  I hope his time in office is very short.  My countdown to January 20, 2013 reads 626 days, 7 hours and 53 minutes as of the minute I am typing this.

Fannyzilla, at the Gates of Hell, says:  “Yoose is Skrewed!  Abandonn Yer Chezebooger! Yoose No Can Has Chezebooger No Mo!”  

The first level of hell belongs to People Who Drive Like Assholes.

You know them.  We have all been behind the idiot who doesn’t realize he is tooling all over creation with only one (barely) working tail light.  That’s bad enough, but if you rear-end the prick, the cop is going to cite you.   I’ve had more than a few ABS checks (believe me, you will know it when you lock up your brakes and engage the ABS system) because some people are too stupid to occasionally check their bulbs.  Included in this category also is the idiot who insists in staying in your blind spot and not letting you over, the rapper whose car vibrates his car, your car and the pavement at every stop light while he’s treating everyone in half the county to a hideous diatribe about cop killing and sister-rape, and the bimbo who can’t talk on the phone and operate her turn signal at the same time.

The first level people will get to spend eternity forced to sit in a Dr.s’ office waiting room whilst being bombarded with whatever swill is on daytime network TV,i.e., Oprah, Montel, Jerry Springer, Judge du Jour, and you will be surrounded by sickies who are snotting and sneezing all over you.  The worst part is, just like in Dr.s’ offices here on earth, you will wait and wait and wait and you will never be called in.

Level Two is reserved for people who fail to control their heathen rugrats in Target, Wal Mart, Kroger’s or any other public emporium where everyone must go at some point to buy survival items (such as food, hair color and toilet paper) that can’t generally be purchased online.

The punishment will fit the crime.  Level Two residents will be condemned to walk the aisles of Target for eternity, surrounded by Queen Banchee (the memorable five year old who once stood in the end of the shopping cart screaming her lungs out all over Target while her Mom just kept plodding along in an apparent Valium-induced catatonic haze) and her minions as they scream, writhe on the floor, run all over the store, throw pointy things, and generally make you forget why you went to Target in the first place.  You are doomed to wander the Target store, with these wretched urchins as your constant companions, and you never will remember that you went to Target in the first place because you were out of toilet paper.

Level Three is for corrupt politicians and bold face liars, such as those who gravitate toward pandering careers in media.

I won’t just go ahead and just say “Democrats” because there might be one or two good ones out there, and there may be a GOP’er or two that lands on the shady side.   I mean corrupt politicians on the scale of a Bill Clinton- a guy who seriously questions things like the meaning of the word “is,” and who answers to a moral dilemma by stating that oral sex isn’t really sex.   I also mean media personalities who can flat out lie to the American people and spin the truth a 180- with a straight face.   Level Three residents will be doomed to an eternity of living in a giant cat box.  Imagine if you were about the same size as a Barbie doll and you were forced to stay in the cat box forever, even when the cat, who is three times your size, drops in to drop a deuce.  On your head.  And the cat “offerings” are also your dinner.   That would be Level Three.  In life you fed people shit and expected them to eat it and like it.  Now it’s your turn.  Bon Appetit!

The Fourth Level (and this is the final level in my version of hell, because you can’t get much worse than living in a cat box and eating cat shit for eternity) is reserved for the most vile of them all.  Child molesters, rapists and murderers end up here.

Fourth Level scumbags will receive kerosene enemas 24-7, with eternally burning kerosene.  While the enemas are taking place, all will be forced to listen to the song “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” by Culture Club, and watch the accompanying video. All Boy George, all the time.

Yes, for the record, I would like to hurt him.  I’d kick him in the crotch, but I doubt if there’s anything there.

Life here in the Central Ohio swamp would be a bit nicer if we actually did see the sun once in awhile (this pic was taken last year) but the torrential rains (yes, I know May is still Monsoon season) this year are a bit much.  Poor Sheena had to drop a deuce in a driving downpour this morning.  They have the “Potty Patch” for ankle biters so they can do the deed in the house, but that’s not practical for bigger dogs who put off gallons of liquid waste and solid wastes are measured in “shovelfuls.”  For reference: a dog will eliminate ten percent of his/her body weight per day.  A 50# dog will leave 5# of waste per day.  Given that my dogs are 55#, 65# and 65#, that’s 18 1/2# of dog waste generated by my girls every day.  They are not going to use the inside of the house as their toilet.  Short of them actually using the toilet and flushing, I can’t think of any containment device that can deal with that volume of toxic waste.

Big dogs need a lean-to relief station- outside, sort of like the beer tent at a street festival, only the dogs would be more discreet in relieving themselves.  This way they’re still outside but they don’t have to stand and squat in a downpour.  I have to contemplate this one.  Everyone needs a hobby.  Keeping my dogs dry while they pinch a loaf would be a very good thing.

The Squattin’ Station.  For big dogs, so they can drop their loads outside and still stay dry.  The only thing is that in Central Ohio you would need to be sure to anchor it securely otherwise the wind will pick it up and drop it off in the next county.