Friday, September 5, 2008

You're so damn hot

I used to say that religion, like farts, is best kept private.

While it is a good slogan (if you don’t mind, I’ll just suck my own dick in front of you for a moment), it’s a piece of advice that I can’t really follow.

Sure, I don’t have a problem keeping my religion to myself, since I don’t have a religion, but, when it comes to farts, there’s nothing I like more than sharing them with others, particularly on elevators. Of course, my farts don’t ask you for money or tell you that you’re going to rot in hell for all eternity if you don’t like them, but intruding is never polite, no matter what form that intrusion takes. Even though they are both equally fun, it’s in just as poor taste to run up to a car stopped at a traffic light, drop your pants, and rub your genitals on the drivers window as it is to sneeze on the back of someone’s head in a movie theater.

I have accepted that I’m an asshole; it’s my lot in life. I don’t want to make any new friends, or be nice to anyone. I just want to challenge the existing social order until I’m either locked in jail or dead… expect me to change my opinion if I ever come into money.

The strange thing is that you will most likely never see me on a pundit show giving my expert opinion about assholes because there are enough assholes in the world, and most of them wind up pursuing careers as pundits (the rest of them get jobs as your boss); however, religious leaders are brought on television to give their expert opinion whenever there is a morality question before the public such as when a politician gets caught with a prostitute, a celebrity gets arrested for drugs, or a middle-aged minor celebrity appears in an ad wearing clothes that symbolically supports terrorism (Seriously? Rachel Ray’s scarf? That’s the most objectionable thing the news media can dig up on a woman who systematically kills vagrants then cooks them into thirty minute meals?).

Leaving aside the more important question of “Why is the news media talking about morality when they could be reporting the news” for a moment (we will come back to that), my first question concerns people’s belief that religious figures somehow have a monopoly on morality.

Morality is relative, and, while we, as a society, might share certain moral precepts, we determine our morality on a situation by situation basis. When Batman beats up his mother and sister, he’s a monster; when we do it, we had a damn good reason.

At best, a religious leader can come on television, spout a few verses of their poorly translated holy book, and then hawk whatever cheap wares they’ve come on television to sell. If the news is so interested in what religion has to say about a particular subject, then why not just throw up a few bible quotes and call it a day. It’s easy to find a quote in the Christian bible condemning or praising any manner of behaviors, and don’t worry if you need to change your position later, because there’s most likely an aphorism that contradicts the first one you used.

I know that everyone likes to point out that the hardcore religious are both pro-capital punishment and anti-abortion, but what no one ever mentions is that capital punishment is like ten abortions in one because that recently executed male prisoner could have sired thousands of children. Life begins at conception, which for any person on this planet was when, four generations back, your paternal and maternal great-great-grandfathers forgot to pull out of your paternal and maternal great-great-grandmothers.

The real question is why the media concerns itself with morality. The news media is a business that is concerned with selling product, which makes it all the more telling when you consider that there are exponentially more pedophilia stories in the news these days. It puts a whole new twist on that old adage: “Sex sells.”

Besides, why would you trust anyone who changed their given name to something like Stone, Wolf, or Bill O’Reilly? Changing your name to make yourself more marketable shows a remarkable lack of respect for authority and disdain for family values since most people receive one of their names from two people who care for and bring them into this word… the other name just comes from the dude your mom was fucking at the time. How are we supposed to trust people who use aliases in public?

For that matter, why put any faith in a religion that rebranded its mascot?

Believe me, I know plenty of carpenters named Jesus, and sure, they have got their crazy religious superstitions, but they’re generally nice guys who know where to find good bud, and they send most of their money back home to their families in Mexico. That the Christian community thinks of their savior as an English speaking white guy who can bring them eternal salvation and pancake breakfast fundraisers is just one more example of their untrustworthinessitude.

Unfortunately, pundits and religions easily dispense well meaning, but difficult to practice slogans; they look nice on t-shirts and bumper stickers but they’re damn near impossible to carry out in real life. What’s not catchy about, “If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering. And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him” or Bill O’Reilly’s favorite slogan “Shut up! Just shut up! That’s it you’re cut off!”

They both look good on a t-shirt.

Religion and punditry are two subjects onto which people can latch because they provide smarmy answers to difficult questions for people who are otherwise unable to invent their own; plus, since both subjects can easily take up a large portion of a person’s available time, it’s hard to go through a day without sharing a little bit of that with the people around you.

I have no problem with such sharing, just so long as the sharer is aware, and fully accepting of their asshole behavior; if they have good intentions, or actively want to spread the word, then fuck them.

Sometimes you’ve got to let one loose, no matter how many people are standing in the elevator with you, just don’t try to kid yourself as to what doing that makes you.

Sex Mahoney for President

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by OK Go
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