DEATH! Death, everywhere I look!!

It’s been an interesting week. My car broke down a week ago today.

It died while going down 494, towards St. Paul. I had it towed to the shop, even though I knew it was dead. My parents were there to give me a ride back to my apartment, kind souls that they are. I stuck the keys in the envelope and dropped it in the late-night mail slot. As I hop in the folks’ car my mom points out that the hazard lights on. D’oh! I forgot to turn them off!

So I knew the battery would be dead in the morning. I figured that would be fine since the car was dead anyway. I got the call the next morning, and waited for the news. Instead the repair guy had called to let me know that my driver’s side window had been smashed! Someone had done it during the night, apparently. The weird thing is, they didn’t steal my stereo or my sunglasses! I guess they just wanted to turn those damn hazard lights off.

Weird.

Anyway, they called later to announce that my 1988 Chevy Corsica was well and truly dead. The engine had finally crapped out.

That set off a chain of events that can only be described as “inevitable” and “stressful.” But I think the most common summary of the last week is that “it’s about damn time Tim got a new car.” Yes, that old car needed to die…

… Like Terri Schiavo.

OH! Damn! SNAP!!! I just riffed on a dead girl’s corpse! Bam!

Sorry, was that in poor taste? I have this condition where I can’t work up any energy to defend stupid societal herd-trips. It’s called: Not Caring.

It’s not that I don’t care about Terri, but I don’t care for the way we’re being manipulated. The media totally creamed their pants over this story, and I think it’s disgusting. They just used the sorry tale for their own ratings; these people don’t give a fuck about Terri Schiavo… but they know that viewers will tune in. Shit, I don’t even have a TV and I could tell we were being buried under a gigantic, stinking pile of media bullshit. I think the whole affair paints our dear mainstream media as a crew of sneaking whores, doing only what they know will titillate.

In school we’re ostensibly taught to think critically. Good thing, too, because once you get out of school, that’s the last time you’ll get to practice those skills. The Mainstream Media (MSM) encourages you to join the herd. Join the “main stream” — get out of those loony tributaries. And you certainly need to stay away from that Underground Stream. If we are the bovine herd down below, then the Media fancies itself the cowboy with a bullhorn on the ridge above. Maybe that’s why we have a cowboy for a president… of course, Bush is as much a “cowboy” as Ronald Reagan — he plays one on TV.

I find it endlessly hilarious how this blew up in the face of all the political hacks who tried to make a mint’s worth of political capital from this affair. The polls have resoundingly showed a public willing to let the feeding tubes be yanked. And so they have been. Toss a drink back for Terri Marie Schiavo, but don’t forget that she died on Feb. 25th, 1990. Whether her soul was present in the body seems to be immaterial – it had no communicative capability because of the brain damage. What freaks me out is the idea of being trapped in a body, unable to free your self (you know — your true self) from your broken body and brain. That would be worse than any prison. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and it’s more like sleeping, or you get to leave or whatever. Those are the questions I want answers to: the things that she – her soul — experienced. But that’s not what the media focused on. In their typical soulless way, they focused on the death of the body. “Oh my god! They’re killing this woman!” people screamed. If somebody had a more thoughtful take on the matter that person had a very slim chance of getting on the air. The MSM is a cesspool of fear, hatred, lingering anger, stress and stupidity… with a little depravity and slander thrown in for good measure.

Anyway, I just wanted to spew that little rant about the media’s obsessive coverage of certain events designed to get us to react emotionally and stop thinking rationally. That brings us to the third and final death of this death-filled post. Like my broken down car and Terri Schiavo, the Pope’s death was a long time coming. And once again the media has completely freaked out about the event, and is treating it like the biggest Deal EVER!

Come on people, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. The pope’s been in so many celebrity deathpools that he’s been disqualified from most. He hasn’t been a spring chicken for quite some time. Also, most of his views/policies have been deceased in most parts of the world for decades or even centuries.

I guess I don’t care too much about the obsessive coverage of the Catholic Church because it shows just how batty many of their beliefs are. If you’re a Catholic, you’re expected to believe this shit. They used to tap the dead pope on the head with a silver hammer three times and ask, “Karol, are you dead?” each time. What’s he gonna say, “Yes”?

People are entitled to their beliefs, at least in this country…. at least for now. But I’m also entitled to mine, and I think Catholics, and religious people in general are crazy.

I suppose it’s safer in the herd. But herds of cattle are shepherded by predators — cowboys, of course! People don’t think cowboys are benevolent vegetarians, do they? Cowboys are interested in cattle-safety only because they plan to eat or sell the cow later. Why would you place your future and your life in the hands of predator if you didn’t have to?

I don’t think I should even have to justify my beliefs. It’s pretty common understanding amongst cognizant adults and even children, that religion is just a funky relic of our confused and bloody past. Many of the people who realize this still attend church, if only just for the community, or the stories, or even for the donuts. But does church really work any more? Does it deliver a religious experience, or is it just a part of the marketplace, fulfilling a need with drive-thru service? (I’ve got an idea for drive-thru confessions) I think religious folk are having a harder and harder time justifying their own beliefs, even when they aren’t being overtly challenged. The religious loons will invent a challenge, and then scream and wail like they’re being horribly persecuted.

The challenge, of course, is from the depths of their own mind. Some logical part of their brain is still calling out, even after being twisted and marginalized. They know somewhere deep down inside that their views are wrong. Sure, all religions are founded on true events and true people (except for f="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology" target="_blank">Scientology – ooh!! SNAP!), and yes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But most events are so far in the past that we no longer have any meaningful frame of reference. We simply cannot know exactly what happened back then/there, and the archeological data we have is fragmentary at best.

Not that it’s not worth searching…. In fact, I believe that searching is the most important thing. It keeps your brain limber and on its toes. The problem with religion is this: The priests and evangelists offer easy answers. They give you an answer to some cosmic question and say, “It’s right here in this book.” Oh, and let’s not forget that the answer has been pre-interpreted for you. The implication is that you’re not smart enough to interpret it for yourself. There are many different interpretations to basically every single passage in the Bible. This seems straightforward, right? So why do we have a group of “Biblical-Literalists” living on this planet with us?

Honest question: How the fuck do you interpret the Bible literally? That’s just stupid! There IS no literal interpretation, because we can’t even agree on what it says! There’s many parts of the Bible that have been incorrectly translated, or are actively disputed by biblical scholars. If we don’t even know exactly what the Bible says, how the hell are we supposed to figure out what it means, literally? And why would we want to do that in the first place? Jesus talked in parables. I thought these people were supposed to be paying attention to the teachings of Christ. Yet, here we have a group of people who have deigned to give us the One True Interpretation. (Whenever you hear somebody make that claim, run. Get out of there as fast as possible. I’m serious. People who believe that are unstable and dangerous. Most of the blood spilled throughout history has been caused by people who thought they were right, and everyone one else was wrong. The followers of such people are generally ignorant, but they will gladly kill if their leader says it was ordained by God. ) These people don’t know Christ. If they did they wouldn’t go around bragging about it all the time. In my experience boasters are usually covering up some inadequacy. In this case, their fanatic zeal for evangelism and their fantasies of persecution are necessary to convince themselves that they are right.

This world can be really messed up sometimes. I think we’ve got a long way to go until we really understand life. The first thing we have to do is accept death. They are a package deal, it seems.

Just imagine if nothing died, and we would be surrounded by the hollow husks of men & beasts, still alive, but useless — and in agony. We should thank flies and worms for eating the flesh of the dead. It’s disgusting and freaky, but it is necessary to clear the way for more life.

I don’t think most people really understand the cycle of life. Most people fear death. Even the religious folk who tend to brag about how tight they are with God. Death is natural, and it can be merciful, as it was for all three of my examples: my car, Terri Schiavo, and the Pope John Paul II.

To complete the cycle, let me say a bit more about my car: I immediately started the mighty search, gearing up for the long haul if necessary. Luckily, I had put out word long before that I was in the need of some new wheels. I got hooked up with a couple of great leads by my Uncle Piper. I checked the second one out after visiting a couple local dealerships. That led to a trip down to Montgomery to test drive the car. It seemed like a great deal, so I went for it and spared myself a long search and huge car loan. I’m now the owner of a 1999 Saturn SL2.

I guess everything worked out. The cycle of life (and cars) continues.


 

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