Archive | May, 2010

God was a sex addicted communist and Adam was a pussy

27 May

I’m reading the Bible. OK, I’m reading the Book of Genesis. OK, I’m reading the Book of Genesis as illustrated by R. Crumb. It’s pretty awesome. I’d never read Genesis before, and had mostly skimmed through the assigned Bible pages from Religion class. Now as an adult, with proper illustrations, I feel I’m well-equipped to state a few opinions on the significance of the text.

1. God was a communist dictator but not a very bright one

In Fordian society – of the novel Brave New World – everyone has a job, food, is mostly disease free, has plenty of sexual partners, and a monthly allowance of hallucinogens that keeps them happy and provides a nice ‘holiday’ from any stress that may arise. How lucky!

Yet we learn, as the story unfolds, that all this is only possible because people don’t have much choice. They are told what to think, what to read, how to act, and what to like – and there is no access to anything that might contradict what they’re being fed. In this society, even the family unit is no more; babies are made in labs and raised in schools by nurses who don’t give them any “love” or preferential treatment – a crazy, super controlling totalitarian regime, right?

Then you have God; He created a beautiful planet Earth in six days, and offered it to man and woman to enjoy and control. Adam and Eve ate delicious meat, smoked quality herbs, and lived a wonderful, carefree existence, courtesy of God. How Benevolent!

Except…

He planted a tree of knowledge and told Adam and Eve they could have everything, except for a fruit from this one tree.

He gives no good reason as to why Adam and Eve can’t have a fruit from a tree that looks like any other. There’s no “if you eat this you’ll die because it’s poisonous,” or “if you eat this, you’ll kill others with your poisonous farts.” It’s just “no, because I said so, and I’ve given you everything you could possibly want so do as I say or I’ll fucking kill you.”  Sounds pretty totalitarian to me.

AND, it wasn’t until Adam and Eve ate the damn forbidden fruit that they found out God had made them stupid. They had no idea they were naked! The fruit opened their eyes to the world – it let them SEE that they were naked, and so they could then DECIDE for themselves if they wanted to run around like naked hippies or cover themselves up as decent folk. God didn’t even give them the OPTION. He made them dumb and scared them shitless to keep them simple (I’ll tell you why on point #2).

Sure He gave them lots of good stuff to enjoy. Fidel Castro provided excellent health care and primary schooling to his people, but he’s still a dirty commie in everyone’s eyes. God’s a dirty commie too.

But not a very smart one. He could create ANYTHING He wanted and erase anything He wanted. Instead of stressing himself out with having to come down and check on Earth every few days and make sure Adam and Eve weren’t eating anything forbidden, He should’ve just not planted the fucking tree. He should’ve created a really high, icy, stinky mountain of knowledge. Adam and Eve wouldn’t have tried to climb it; they had better shit to do. God may be omnipotent, but He sure wasn’t very bright.

2. God was a voyeur, into bestiality and incest

Initially, God was perfectly happy  to watch man wanking away day after day, in solitude.  But when his own hand stopped sufficing, Adam became lonely and depressed. God was quick to create a bunch of new animals (I’m sure each contained a line of ‘special interest’ in its DNA – whatever God was fantasizing about that week) and watch, as Adam and Creatures tried to “get along.” When they didn’t work, He finally gave man a woman.

Not just any woman, though. God gave Adam a sister.

God knocked him out, cut him up, and stole a rib. Out of ALL THINGS He could’ve made her from (ie, dirt, same stuff he used for Adam), God chose Adam’s rib. So unless Eve was some kind of Frankenstein creature, made up of all kinds of DNA, she was Adam’s twin sister. And they were inseparable – frolicking about in their nakedness. Now we’ve all watched Blue Lagoon; it may have started all innocent-like, but sooner or later they figured out that the plug fits into the outlet and the rest is history.

He started out just looking for a bit of distraction with man; like logging into pornhub.com once or twice a week. But the more He watched, the more God liked. Masturbation, bestiality, incest… By the time Adam and Eve broke up the party with proper clothing, God was so sex addicted that he cursed them and expelled them from the Garden of Eden, like the used up sex slaves they were.

3. Adam was a pussy, the serpent was honest, and God was a self-serving liar

Adam, like a typical man, was  perfectly content with having loads of sex, hunting some game, and smoking some weed. Eve, on the other hand, wanted to know more about the world in which she lived, so she made conversation with other creatures, including a serpent.

Up until then, Adam and Eve thought that eating from the “forbidden tree” would kill them. Along comes this honest little serpent and tells them:

Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Eve not only eats it herself, but gives some to Adam. I bet it tasted the best ever.

And did they die? No. God lied.

The little serpent, who told Eve the truth, had its legs and speech taken away forever. That is harsh.

When God finally finds Adam and Eve (they were hiding from God behind some bushes, so it took a while), he asks them if they’d eaten from the forbidden tree. Adam, knowing God would find out anyway says:

The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Fucking asshole. I mean, if God had tortured him for a little bit, I could understand turning in your sister-lover. But He merely asked if they’d eaten it – Adam could’ve said “yes, I did.” But no; right away he was pointing fingers, trying to save his own ass.

I’m sure some may argue that God knew it all along that Adam and Eve would eat the damn thing anyway, and in fact, secretly WANTED them to do it. If that’s the case, why did he get so angry? Why all the punishment? And why couldn’t God have taught Adam and Eve by example, as a good parent does, instead of dangling a fucking carrot in front of them and then pretending to be shocked when they ate it? What an Ass.

I don’t buy it anyway – he was mad that the party was over, and once Adam and Eve covered themselves up, he had no use for them. Furthermore, His true colors are shown here:

after cursing them to a long life of misery, He expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden lest [Adam] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.

Basically, he just didn’t want competition. With their newfound  knowledge, it was only a matter of time till they figured out they could be like gods themselves – that wasn’t cool with God, of course, who wanted to rule everything and everyone on his own. Real nice, real nice.

“Depressing shit”

24 May

It was brought to my attention, for the umpteenth time, that I like “really depressing shit.”  According to those who know me best, I “seek this shit out.” On Friday night, these comments came about as we discussed the racial tensions in South Africa post apartheid, and I recommended everyone read the book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah.

Ishmael is a little Sierra Leonean boy  visiting his grandmother’s village  when rebel army forces invade the area. They burn houses, pillage, rape, and shoot children, women, men, the elderly. Ishmael loses his friends, is turned away by villagers who suspect he may be part of the rebel forces, and spends weeks roaming the jungle alone.  He’s eventually caught by the rebel army and forced to fight with them or be killed. Drugs keep the ‘soldiers’ awake and violent. He eventually is rescued by a UNICEF backed group, and enters rehabilitation while living with an uncle in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown. Just as the reader stops sobbing and wipes away tears, the rebel forces invade the city.  He escapes narrowly and flees to the U.S.

I couldn’t stop reading the book, even though I wanted to at times. I cried quite a bit while reading it, and I just wanted this kid – all those kids, all those people – to get a fucking break. It’s an unending, unmerciful, nightmarish torturous existence, to live in these conditions.  And that kind of war, that kind of brutality happens today. Right now, as I sit in my air conditioned office, writing this blog post.

So my friends question why I read such books, watch “depressing” movies, and read sad poetry. I’m certainly not desensitized – this stuff makes me cry, it makes me sad, and it makes me feel small and insignificant often times, as though the grandest gesture I could ever make wouldn’t put a dent on people’s suffering. So why bother?

A lot of people think that the afterlife is what will save us all and erase all the pain our “souls” feel while on Earth. I don’t believe in that. I think we are born, then we die, and that’s the end of our individual lives. And if that’s the case (sure would seem like it, what with the thousands of years humans have been on Earth in just this manner), then I want to be as aware and connected with this world as I can, while I’m here. Poverty, sickness, injustice, death, and misery exist – it’s all part of the living experience. I’m thankful for the life I have, and I don’t think it’s necessary to throw my body in front of gunfire to “feel alive” – but I also don’t want to skip the “depressing” things about life, because they are real.

It’s easier to pretend that homeless people, lonely elderly people, or even incarcerated people don’t exist. It’s all very “depressing.” But even if it makes me feel sad, and I cry a little bit when I get back to my car, I feel like a human being when I look others in the eye, when I acknowledge them as people, and engage them as equals.

I was listening to a story on the radio about elderly women in African villages who are abused, killed, or expelled from their homes on charges of witchcraft – when a child gets sick or dies, the elderly are blamed for performing spells on them out of envy for their youth.  A woman was interviewed and told of how she’d been chased out of her village – the only place she’d ever lived her entire life. She’s now living in a shelter for women with similar life stories. She recounted details and though I relied on the translator, I also listened to her voice – I heard fatigue and detachment. But beyond her sadness, what she said at the end sticks with me the most, “I have a decent life here – I have food and shelter, what more can an old woman want? But I’m happy that you’re here. In all the years since I was chased out of my village and have been living here, not once did anyone ever ask about my life. This is the first time anyone cared, and it feels good to tell my story.”

My bitch doesn’t like being touched by strangers

24 May

Hello, sunny Saturday afternoon.  We meet at the park, as I read, sitting on a long bench, facing the water. There are sounds of bickering birds and squirrels that screech from the top of trees – they warn one another of my bitch’s presence. She sits by my feet, facing the walkway. Looks calm and adorable, but have a try at petting her… vicious. Spends her minutes grooming and waiting, like a cat, until the squirrels’ve forgotten all about her and return to ground.  The furry toothy creatures venture into the open grassy field, dangerously far from the vertical safety of trees, in search of summer treats. My bitch sits and watches, her ears perfectly erect triangles, as if she could hear their munching from such a distance.

“Get it. Get the squirrel. Get it, Tori. Go!” I taunt her in a whisper, lest the squirrel hear me and dismantle my plans of watching my dog run – run as fast as her stubby legs can take her, on a mission to chase something she’ll never catch. She sets off (could give a puppy a run for its money, in all her mature glory) and seconds later, halts at the bottom of the tree – the rodent is halfway up, having started the screeching as soon as its sticky little paws got a hold of the trunk. Bitch walks around the tree, lifts a leg to pee, as though she were male, and digs nails into dirt, sweeping it backward to imprint her scent.

“My tree. My squirrel. My park. And that’s my mistress,” I think she thinks, as she struts back to the bench. Yep – I’m the mistress, and I’ve taken notice  of the dirty blond to my right. He lifts eyes off his book every time Tori dashes after some woodsy creature. Guys tend to like my bitch; she’s small, but has personality and a “real dog” bark. From a distance I like his looks. But what am I going to do; walk over and say ‘hi?’ Nope, nope.  My eyes are now on the Park Animal Undercover Protector. It’s pro-bono work, you see. Just like the guy who brings mineral water for the weeds growing by the river, the Park Animal Undercover Protector is dressed in civilian clothes, but her panoramic sight is fixed on geese, birds, ducks, and squirrels.

“No, no,” she screams.
“No, what?” I ask. Maybe I’m looking for an argument – not my fault, I haven’t spoken to anyone all day, and it’s nearly 5pm. That’s a lie. I exchanged words with the sub shop guy.
“No chasing the geese.”
“What’s that, my dog can’t chase the geese?” Oh jeez, I’m arguing with the crazy lady who feeds ducks.
“No, it’s not fair to the geese,” she says. The birds are huddled by a tree near the water, and she stands in front of them, arms out.
“I think the geese are fine. I don’t hear them complaining. I don’t think they really want you speaking on their behalf.”
“Your dog needs to be on a leash. It’s the law.”
“May be, but I don’t think it’s fair to her.”
“I’m calling the police.”

She really does take out a cell phone from her pocket, so I imagine how the call would play out:
“911, what‘s your emergency?”
“Yes, I’m at the Charles River Reservation Park and there’s a girl here with a dog off leash.”
“OK, ma’am, has the dog attacked anyone?”
“No, but it’s scaring the geese!”

No cops show up. Bummer.

Dirty blond boy is now returning from a walk he’d set on before the Park Animal Undercover Protector and I had our talk. Once I spot him, I fix my gaze back on the pages in my hands – and forget about Tori. I lift my head as I hear her growl, and grab her by the harness before her teeth connect with the boy’s ankle.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”
“No, it’s OK,” he says. His eyes are wide, and I think his voice is shaky. “It’s my fault, I tried to pet her.”
“Well, it’s not right. But yeah, she doesn’t do well with strangers, especially men. I’m really sorry.”
“It’s OK, don’t worry. I had a puppy once and he…”

I’m shushing Tori; she’s still growling at the poor boy. He won’t take his eyes off her as he starts walking away, sort of sideways-backwards.

“Anyway,” he says. “Have a good one!”
“You too.”

Suddenly she’s docile again, wagging her tail and licking my shins. Bitch.

My library stalker (a true story)

12 May

My sister and I must’ve been really hot prepubescent girls because not only were obscenities shouted at us on our way to school, we also were stalked once. It’s possible he just couldn’t help himself as he caught a glimpse of the training bra through my blouse – whatever the case, it was a pretty freaky afternoon.

Sister, friend, and I giggled and skipped down the boardwalk, stopping at kiosks to look at cheap jewelry and stolen watches up for re-sale, when one of us (not me, that’s for sure) noticed a creepy, sweaty, moustached guy on our trail. We sped up and he did too. We stopped, and he stopped. We knew we couldn’t let him get close; if he had a gun or knife, we’d be forced to stay quiet and no one would notice anything abnormal. So we went into a record store. Our girl friend was shaking, but she was to keep guard as my sister and I asked a clerk for help. I held on to her hand and kept looking back at the creep; he also came into the store, though he stayed near the door pretending to sift through records while watching us.

Hi, can you please help us? We’re walking home from school and that guy – that one over there – is  following us and he came in here too, we’re really scared, can you help?

My sister’s frightened tone is what actually scared me; up until then I’d been more curious than anything.

The guy realized what was happening and fled. We stayed inside the store for some time, then sprinted home.

These strange, scary situations taught me to be observant, I think. If I’m paying attention, I’m not caught by surprise – but if I pay too much attention, I might get a little paranoid, as I did at the library last night.

I dragged my sleep deprived zombie body to the computer station for a search on titles to take home. When I got up for a pencil, I noticed a tall outdoorsy type dude in a semi-hidden spot, checking out some girl’s pictures on Facebook. I went back to my computer, wrote down my call numbers, and headed to the magazines section. As I sat on the comfy, elderly-scented armchair reading The Paris Review, outdoorsy dude showed up. I realized he was a ginger – a tanned one – sporting very baggy mustard-colored corduroys, a windbreaker, and work boots. He picked up a newspaper and sat across from me. I chuckled out loud as I read funny bits of a Ray Bradbury interview, and I could feel his gaze on me each time. I looked up to confirm this and, while he tried to be smooth, he was a little slow in looking away.  Haha, you think I’m cute, I thought.

[Unintelligible] Mount Ida?

I’m sorry, what? I asked, as we were the only two people in the sitting area.

Is Mount Ida nearby?… near here?

You mean the college?

Yeah.

Umm, yeah, it’s in Newton. About ten minutes away.

Oh.

Oh, you are creepy, my friend, I thought. He stared intently yet expressionless, with his mouth open long after his words were spoken. His pupils looked unnaturally large.

I’d just gone back to the magazine pages when he said, Is that where you go to college? You go to school at Mount Ida?

I… am flattered. But no, I’m no longer a student. I’m 27. [Fuck, fuck! He tricked me! Why did I tell him my age?!]

I mumbled something to myself, gave him a smile and went to the reference desk to inquire about borrowing the magazines. While the librarian searched for information, I looked to the couch section; he was staring at me, mouth open, his whole face in a psychotic, catatonic state.  Not good. Must go, I thought. Turned out the ‘zines were the latest issues and I couldn’t borrow, so I had to put them back. I knew that would give him time to leave the couches unsuspectingly (or so he thought) to resume following me. Sure enough, when I got to the lobby, he was pacing back and forth, cell phone in hand. I went up the stairs and looked back; he was looking at me. I internally freaked out a bit and ran up the stairs to the third floor. I’ve been having a few too many cigarettes and not enough treadmill time, so it was disconcerting to acknowledge how screwed I‘d be if it came down to a chase situation. So I weaved in and out of aisles, back to the second floor, peered down at the lobby between columns – sniper style – and finally went back to book hunting, reassuring myself I’d lost him.

I hurried through check out and walked briskly to my car, with no sighting of the Ginger Stalker. I’m hitting the gym tonight, and maybe buying a keychain knife.

I love the nineties

11 May

I was a wee thing in a button down white shirt and navy blue pleated skirt – the school uniform – as I glued my ear to my brother’s bedroom door. He was blasting new music and I wanted to know what it was. Knocking to ask was useless; he couldn’t hear or didn‘t want to. Going in unannounced was… suicide; he’d charge to the door, screaming at me and my bad manners. Once he started locking himself in for hours, I had no alternative but to eavesdrop.

It was 1989 and I soon learned what he was listening to was Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album. It was loud, fast, dirty, and way cooler than my dad’s rock n’ roll. It was also way cooler than the Balão Mágico (Magical Balloon) shit my mom bought for me. Once the band became insanely popular my sister also got into them, and the vinyl made its way to the living room records cabinet where I had access to it. The cover was more than I could grasp at the time – a Robert Williams painting of a robot ready to avenge an innocent woman’s rape – but I stared at it for a while,  with headphones blasting the album back to back in my young and fragile ears.  Every single song was good, but Rocket Queen, the closing track, was a favorite, and still is. The bass line and guitar riff were sexy right off the bat. I had no idea what the lyrics meant, but my little cousin and I danced and karaoked to it. Once in a while I’d “borrow” my brother’s guitar to “play” along (and break strings).

Here I am
And you’re a Rocket Queen
I might be a little young
But honey, I ain’t naïve
Here I am
And you’re a Rocket Queen
I might be too much
But honey, you’re a bit obscene

I eventually found magazines in my siblings’ stuff and got a hold of translations. The lyrics made me go “Yeah!” because I could tell they were about sex. I’d yet to come across my brother’s porn but that didn’t stop me from dreaming about the guitarist. Unaware of what sex really was and that doing it with Slash might come with a side of crabs, my subconscious had me kissing and rolling around in bed with him, as adults in soap operas did. I could never actually see his face behind all the hair, but that was part of the appeal. While other little Catholic school girls crushed on Menudo (Ricky Martin’s Mexican boy band), I perused magazines for pictures of a tight jeans-wearing, whiskey-drinking, cigarette-smoking, bad boy with magical fingers.

I wanted to go to a show really bad; I envisioned myself dancing to Rocket Queen and getting picked by Slash to dance on stage. I thought I’d finally get my chance at age 9, when Guns N’ Roses were set to tour South America, playing in Rio twice. My dad promised to take my brother and sister, but apparently I was “too young.” Completely desperate and totally out of character, I threw a minor fit, but they wouldn’t budge. My dad and siblings left for the venue in early evening and mom, feeling bad for her  self-proclaimed precocious daughter, let me stay up late to catch the show live on TV. Months later, Axl successfully pissed off every band member, the group was no more, and at 18, I got a Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo instead of a Guns N’ Roses one.

Rocket Queen – featuring the drummer’s girlfriend moaning over the break, recorded as she had sex with the vocalist in the studio – is still one of my favorite tunes. It is raw and sexy and it’s possible that I do on occasion put on a 90’s type leather mini dress and dance to it at home.  I’m happy nineties fashion is in again; too bad the hipsters aren’t bringing back good music along with lycra skirts.

Mmm

8 May

I wish I were like my dog; with a bone to chew, sitting on the steps
entertained by people and cars occasionally passing by.
Interested in suburban smells and satisfied with tasteless meals.

It would come in handy on rainy days,
especially ones that come unexpectedly after weeks of sunshine.
When even inside a bright café, I can feel the weight of dark clouds.

Under the sun I make friends with people, flowers, animals, architecture.
Everything and everyone glows, colors and scents are highlighted.
I can take it all in with no effort and be happy on my own.

But after hours of rain I’m cold and annoyed.
I don’t get smiles, I don’t give them away.
My mind can’t be cleared and there’s no moment to be seized.

In fact, there are only flashbacks of yesterday to remind me
how in the end – despite all rhetoric – I’m at the mercy of sunshine.
At the very least the dog will be asleep in minutes and wake up to blue skies.
I’m wide awake with the suburban noise, harsh winds and bitter thoughts.

I like life

5 May

This is what happens when you’re me.

You’re sitting at a café, reading funny blogs, when a girl walks in and says to your waiter/bartender:

Hi, I was here earlier and left $20 to pay my bill that was only $6.95, but I didn’t have time to get change so I left, and now I’m back. I’m really hoping someone left my money aside.

OK, well I don’t have a cash register back here, but you may speak with the manager right over there by the cash register.

She walks just a few feet away and waits to talk to the tall guy in black.

At the same time, the waiter and I exchange a glance that says, dude was that chick serious?

A girl sitting two seats down from me says, very loudly, I don’t believe her. I mean, I used to work at [insert retail here] and people would do that all the time. Honestly, she’s lying.

I say in a low voice, to him, I mean, I’m not going to say that she’s lying, but, dude, that’s not a very smart move. We chuckle.

The loud girl says, seriously, that is the dumbest thing I ever heard. That’s how people are. They were burned once so they turn around and screw someone else over, like, you know what, I got screwed so I can do this. ‘Cause people are entitled… [there was more, I forget] Guilty till they can prove they’re not! I should know, I just finished law school.

You just finished law school and you’re saying your motto is guilty till proven innocent? I ask.

Yeah, she says with a smile.

And you’re gonna be a lawyer? Good lord, I hope I never need one.

It was a JOKE.

Really? It didn’t sound like a joke.

It was a joke. I was kidding. She’s really glaring at me now.

OK, well. You’re saying all that about a person who is standing right there.

She stares at me, looks back to her computer screen and says, Oh get off your high horse.

I’m not on one, I’m just… you know, trying to show you what just happened. I apologize if I was rude.

You decide you must blog about this, so you do. Then a guy sitting next to you (between you and loud girl) – the one who was standing outside the café smoking a cigarette with his laptop bag in tow as you walked up to the café entrance with your own laptop bag in tow while also smoking a cigarette; the one you end up sitting next to because there were no other empty seats at the bar, and you both pull out 10″ tiny laptops – says:

I’m sorry, I noticed earlier you were reading something about the FCC net neutrality regulations, what was that on?

Oh, I think it was CNet. Yea, here it is, It’s CNet. We go over the article together.

Somehow he’s a blogger, I’m a blogger, we start talking about blogging and hosting options, readership, getting published, Twitter, the Grub Street writing classes, NPR, The New Yorker, Goldman Sachs, British elections and the lack of a real Green Party in the US…….. Jesus Christ.

See, for every unpleasant interaction you have with a person, if you keep an open mind and open heart, you can just sit there, and good people bump into you. And then you get a little blog post out of it. Then you order a chocolate chip cookie with your coffee. You should really stop drinking four cups of coffee at 11pm. Hi, Tristan. Your blog‘s awesome.

Oh, and upon delivering the bill, the waiter says, the cookie’s on me. Seriously.

(You give him an awesome tip, obviously. OK, I’m done)