Friday, March 27, 2015

Quote of the (15th) century

"Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth ... That would never be allowed."

No, that would not be allowed, because the quirky thing about America is that we can choose whether or not to go to church. Half of that, in case you missed it, is that Americans can go to any church they choose. Already! BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO. 

Anyway, Allen shouldn't want to force people to go, because isn't the point of finding a religion to give you some kind of personal, spiritual benefit? (Maybe I'm being idealistic here.) I fail to see how an amoral person who doesn't attend church being forced to do so will make that person moral. (It doesn't seem to help some people there already.) On the other hand, I can see how forcing someone to do something they don't want to do would ruin them on it forever, even if they might have been open to it on their own terms before.

Not to mention that if there was any talk of the compulsory church in question not being hers, Allen would be among the first to howl about indoctrination and the need for religious freedom because this is America, gosh-darn it!

(And why Sunday? Doesn't she know that not every religion's holy day is Sunday? What about Christians who go to church on Saturday because, say, they work on Sunday? Are they immoral? Am I overthinking this? Somehow, I doubt it.)

On the other hand, it might be worth it to see entities like the NFL, cinemas, bars and CBS Sunday Morning reclassify themselves as churches so millions of Americans can obey the law while doing what they really want to do on Sundays.

That's my hymn.

Would that be a particularly moral thing to do to our tax base? Well, who am I to judge?

If you need me on Sunday morning, I'll be either at the First Church of Bed or at the House of Tahoe. Morality!

A post about that poster

There's been debate about whether or not the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival poster is racist.

Because apparently a bunch of southerners hitched a ride in the DeLorean with Biff on his way back to 2015 from 1955 and brought their cultural barometers with them.

Seriously, there should be no debate about this. That poster is offensive. It's not even ambiguously so.  Even if the artist didn't have an ounce of racism in his heart, not one person who sees that won't immediately think of some astonishingly racist old-timey advertisement. This image does not help matters.

Only three types of people see no problem with such a caricature: 1) Older generations who grew up with such art on the regular and who have neutral or fond memories of it, regardless of their personal views; 2) Younger people unaware of the historical connotation that such art has; and 3) straight-up racists.

The first two can be helped with education and awareness. The third, well, we can try.

Context matters a lot here. South Louisiana's history, like that of much of the region around it, is one abundant with slavery and racism. It's one thing to see a riveting piece of art or read a compelling story about the era by a black artist (or by any other artist who depicts it with empathy); it's another entirely to see such from a wistful point of view. The caricature of fruit-picking, subservient blacks in the Old South is still very much a point of romanticism with many whites. There is a distinct look that such a caricature takes, a dehumanizing one that is entirely unnecessary to convey a pastoral sentiment.

So either festival organizers are ignorant of history, or they implicitly endorse said history. Either way, pulling the poster was the wise choice.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Stay out of jail and pits

Wikipedia, but for the right reasons

Your influence to last two lifetimes

Don't trip near a raging bonfire

As little Fox News as possible

Be better than your role models

Try not to break your bones

Pick only the best of battles

Understand bullies have very sad lives

Sin only in the good ways

Judge not, unless the call's obvious

Kids? Only if you want them

Not dying is a good one

All of the Atari high scores

Every Super Bowl, trust fund kid

To leave an appropriately worn corpse

Know when to hang it up

Just take good care of yourself