Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ding Dong the Witch is dead

Jerry Falwell passed away, and I could have sworn I heard Munchkins singing. Falwell gave many all the reason they needed to dismiss everything and everyone on the right. Extremism breeds extremism, and Falwell was conceived during the Democratic convention of 1968, germinated during the Nixon years, and finally born from the Carter administration.

For a whole bunch of folks Jimmy Carter was the last straw. They thought they have found a smart, honest, God fearing, Sunday School teaching, American loving, wife loving, agrarian, veteran, Southern Baptist, good ole boy, but instead found out all they got was just another liberal. Falwell was one of these folks.

To Falwell's credit he decided to not just whine about it, but to take action. For the first time in a long time, he told folks that they didn't have to leave their belief system at the voting booth door, but instead should find the person that best matched those beliefs and vote for them. And in 1980 they did, and put Ronald Reagan in the White House. In my mind this is the last, and only contribution Rev. Falwell made.

That success was all Falwell needed to appoint himself the grand inquisitor. He saw an * by the word neighbor in Jesus' words "love your neighbor as yourself", and wanted to determined who was qualified. He appeared to be in a search for the devil. His favorite two were abortion, and homosexuals. If Jerry had spent half as much time worrying about the condition of the born in this country as he did the unborn, he would have ranked right up there with mother Teresa. But hating gays was Jerry's special passion, and it was something he did better than just about anyone.

Jerry found homosexuals everywhere. Sponge Bob, and Tinky Winky, are probably the best two examples of those Jerry claimed were part of the great show tunes singing menace. And gays were responsible for seemingly everything that went wrong in America. The final straw was when he tried to pin 9/11 on gays. Even Bill Graham was thinking "Damn!".

But extremism breeds extremism and Rev. Falwell helped give us Bill and Hilary, Michael Moore,, et al. Jerry forgot that they get to vote too.

I think Jerry Falwell can best be described from the words that precede the DC Talk song What if I Stumble -
[the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Best and Worst of Mother's Day

I've been trying to remember the best and worst mother's day gifts I've been a party to. I'm not a very good gift giver. The desire is there, but not the imagination to bring a good gift to fruition. On the worst side has to be anything practical like dish towels (I know, it's sad.) I'm the oldest of five and often mom ended up cooking for our family plus grandparents, plus, plus, plus, and if we were at the lake add about three more pluses. By the time she got everything cooked and cleaned, father's day was upon us. I'm sure there were really bad perfumes - Old Spice for women kind of stuff that mom grinned, accepted but thankfully never wore. Probably the best gifts were those we made as little kids that truly expressed our love before we knew how to hide behind Hallmark's sugary fakeness. I'm sure a quite afternoon was also high on the list.

I don't remember much of the mother's days during my marriage. Divorce has a way of stealing memories by burying them where they can't be found. I know that I made the practical gift mistake on more than one occasion. I remember a portable phone, but that may have been for a birthday or Christmas - still a horrid gift for the day. I know the kids wrote songs, and poems that probably rank as the best.

Listening to the radio I've been amazed at all that qualifies as a possible mother's day gift. Oil changes, lawn mowers, custom jewelry (cause if you really love her it'll cost ya), flowers of course, an ATV, boats, vacations, and a nice meal out all vie for our selection as the way we tell mom thanks. But the worst gift, the very worst gift, given or contemplated, has to be the Adult Book store that wants you to remind your mother that "she's still the sexiest mom around". Even in East Tennessee, and probably in most parts of Kentucky, that's just wrong! (Now Alabama, well...)

A Damn Fine Point

Here's a damn fine point.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'll take stupidity for $100, Alex...

In an effort to make Pacman Jones look semi-intelligent, Ricky Williams failed his latest drug screen. Pacman stopped by a New York strip club before meeting with NFL commish Roger Goodell to beg for mercy and promise that he would change his ways. Ricky was only weeks away from the end of his one year drug suspension when he again tested positive for banned substances. It's like Mother Gump always said, "Stupid is as stupid does".

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bring Back Torture!

I have long been against the death penalty, but I've changed my mind about torture. This was brought on by executives of Purdue Pharma L.P. pleading guilty to misleading the public about the addictive power of OxyContin.

According to the US Department Health and Human Services the growth of pain killer (opiate) addiction is staggering.
Over the past decade-and-a-half, the number of teen and young adult (ages 12 to 25) new abusers of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) or hydrocodone (Vicodin) has grown five-fold (from 400,000 in the mid-eighties to 2 million in 2000).
These are lives of children! Children! I think these men should be forced to spend 60 days on a Young Adult residential rehab unit and witness the youth they have stolen, experience the suffering that has been endured, and look into the eyes of family members whose loved ones have been kidnapped by addiction.

Then we'll torture them. It won't do a damn thing for them, but it'll sure make us feel better. A little electricity, some mental exhaustion, a bit of humiliation, and all will be well. And after the torture, I think some long term shame would be in order. Maybe being forced to wear a T-shirt everywhere they go for a year that says "I deal drugs to kids". Or maybe something a little more creative, like having to clean Cheryl Crow's guitars.

Actually, forget the torture and all the rest. Instead, every time an Oxy addict dies, these folks should have to fly to the funeral, and offer their condolences to the family. That's not torture. That's just sharing the hell.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Yeah, Yeah, Spider-Man 3 Whatever

I went to see Spider-Man 3 today, and its the second best Spidy I've seen. I liked it better than 2, but I still didn't think it eclipsed the original. But in my mind the whole thing was eclipsed by the preview for Across the Universe. With the Beatles as a backdrop for their lives, it follows a group of young people across the 1960's. I'm trying not to get my hopes too high. I'm still seeing a therapist about my Sergeant Pepper's disappointment. It left a deep scar in my youth. (My personal belief is that the Bee Gees were real life Blue Meanies.) Anyway, I can't wait to see Across the Universe.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Stacking on the Kewl

Brother Frank is again stacking on the kool points. He was recently interviewed about his station's conversion to HD. Not bad for a bald, fat, white boy that looks like me.

He Shared the Common Dream

Wally Schirra has died. He was one of the original 7 astronauts and the only one that flew Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. I have an uncle, John Miller, that worked for NASA developing the guidance system for Apollo, so the space program was a huge part of my childhood. My grandfather's office was covered with pictures from the moon and other NASA memorabilia that uncle John sent him. It seems lost now, but NASA was a huge bright spot during that time when when chaos, assignations, and war darkened our world. As Schirra himself said "We shared a common dream to test the limits of man's imagination and daring", and by watching Schirra and the others at NASA fulfill their dreams, we knew that the darkness of the Kennedy assignations, Vietnam war, and Watergate would not extinguish our own.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

25 Years Ago in a Knoxville Far, Far Away...

May 1st 1982 the Knoxville World's Fair opened. I remember everyone thinking millions of people were coming and tons of new hotels were built. They even renovated the Robert E. Lee Hotel in downtown Athens, TN. Mom and dad were excited about getting to go to the opening and see President Reagan. I was finishing up my freshman year of college and working at the DPA. I really didn't spend much time at the fair. I spent most of that summer on the lake, and in the darkroom, but fall brought frequent visits to the Australian pavilion. Carson Newman did not allow drinking on or off campus, so we would sing Men at Work songs down the halls of New Men's dorm as code for our down under adventures. The great debate was whether Fosters or KB (dubbed Killer Beer) was the better Australian export. The highlight of the fair for me was being in the Australian pavilion when Tennessee beat Bama for the first time in forever.

In celebration of the fair's anniversary, Gracie woman and I went to Petros for supper. Barry is trumpeting the fair, and WBIR is airing a special. It took 25 years to get that really bad techno theme song out of my head, and one commercial and the nightmare has returned. None the less, it will be fun to look back.