Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Few More Sure Signs of the Apocalypse

1) ATMs for Jesus.

Having realized that Americans tend not to carry cash, some pastor has created a for profit company that designs "Giving Kiosks" aka ATMs for Jesus. You must read the article, but the basic idea is to facilitate giving by installing ATM machines that allow you to use your debit or credit card to give directly to the church!

And when you give to Jesus, there are so many benefits! For example,
"At Family Church, an evangelical congregation of 700 in West Monroe, La., some members choose the kiosk because they can earn bonus airline miles when they charge their donations, accountant Kristi Young said."

This is really my favorite part of the article though, and I really like the fact that the family mentioned is named Asselin:

"Asselin and his wife normally donate to the church by writing a check. But he said they had been experimenting with the kiosk — and modifying their traditions accordingly. In the past, they would pray over their check together, asking God to ensure it is used for good works. Now those prayers are offered in the glow of the kiosk monitor."

The Bible tells of tells the story of Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple. I wonder if at the apocalypse Jesus will throw the ATMs out of the churches.

2) A Teacher Got Fired because her student saw a naked statue on a field trip to a museum.

I shit you not. This of course happened in Texas, and also of course happened at the museum where I used to work. Here's the article. There's an even better article in the New York Times (but I cannot provide the link due to the registration requirement). The complaint against the teacher actually said that "students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations."

Dear God, not only were 5th graders* exposed to actual nude statues, but there were nude art representations! Heavens to Betsy!

* Puh-lease. Does anyone actually believe that by the time a kid reaches the 5th grade, he's been totally sheltered from nudity?

Good job, Frisco, for making us seem like ignorant hicks.

Additionally, in typical namby pamby style, the museum's director doesn't decry the absurdity of this firing, talk about the first amendment, or in any way say something of substance. This is one of the most ridiculous stories I've read in some time, and this guy has an oportunity to say something profound about art, nudity, and justice and the role of the museum in our culture.

Instead, he provides the New York Times with the following:

“I think you can walk into the Dallas Museum of Art and see nothing that would cause concern,” Mr. Lane said.

Over the past decade, more than half a million students, including about a thousand from other Frisco schools, have toured the museum’s collection of 26,000 works spanning 5,000 years, he said, “without a single complaint.” One school recently did cancel a scheduled visit, he said. He did not have its name.

It's great to see the arts have such a vigorous defender. What a total pussy.

In a similarly ridiculous episode, the city of Sacramento agreed to allow a seven foot statue of Poseidon, a gift from the greek government, to be covered for a homeschooling convention. Over the course of three days, the statue was dressed in a toga, a golf shirt and khaki trousers and on day three in slacks, a dress shirt and a tie.

I like the reaction of one citizen, who makes the previously mentioned museum director look even more apathetic:

"Not all Sacramento residents were happy to see Poseidon in britches, and during the conference, the statue was repeatedly undressed. One downtown office worker, Eric Ford, was caught removing Poseidon's pants by a conference official. Ford later told the Bee, "That statue is for the whole city, not for them. You don't go to a city and decide to change the city's artwork because you think it is not appropriate." As a form of protest, Ford and a colleague later removed the necktie from Poseidon and use it to blindfold the statue."

3) Alcoholism Found To Be Cause of Pedophilia, Anti-Semitism, Sexism, and Terrible Movies.

When the going gets tough, the tought go to rehab. Disgraced Rep. Mark Foley apparently claims alcohol drove him to hit on (i.e. have an explicit IM conversation with) a 16 year old page. To prove it, he promptly checked himself into rehab after the scandal broke. Drinking and IM-ing is such a bad combo. Its so harrd to IM win yer drunkk tho dude. In case the alcohol alone didn't make him do it, he now claims he was molested as a teen.

Foley's attorney also said in a statement today that
"Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man." Wow. What a final twist of the knife -- in what I guess is a brilliant political move, Foley will help the Republican Party in its anti-gay crusade by reinforcing the stereotype that pedophilia and homosexuality are the same.

Not unlike Foley, Mel Gibson blamed alcoholism on his anti-semitic and sexist comments. Alcohol is apparently a helluva drug, and like the water that Jesus turned into wine, wine turns Gibson into a raving sugar-tit-liking-anti-semite.

Robin Williams also checked himself into rehab claiming to be "inspired" by Gibson. I'm not sure what about Gibson "inspired" him. Perhaps he feared drinking and then letting loose a few f-bombs, nanu nanus, and some racial epithets in a "funny" robot voice while fake mambo-ing across the stage? More likely, it's just an attempt to stop himself from staring in films like RV.

Addendum: When I initially wrote this, I thought congressional pages were around the age of puberty, not 17 or 18 (they looked so young on C-span!). Therefore, I mislabeled Foley as a pedophile. I was wrong -he's really just a skeezy older gay dude, no different from his skeezy straight colleagues who have also tapped congressional pages for *ahem* extra duties.

4) Four out of Ten Most Trustworthy Celebrities Turn Out To Be Black.

Again, I shit you not. According to an article/slideshow in Forbes, among the ten most trustworthy celebrities are Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Oprah, and James Earl Jones. Maybe America is progressing in terms of racial equality?

Then again, America found idiots like Rachel Ray and Ty Pennington trustworthy. And apparently, there are no trustworthy Latinos.

5) Our Cable TV is out.

I am pissed beyond belief! Cox, our aptly named service provider, cannot fix this problem until the 10th of this month. That's seven whole days from now. Welcome to the damn third world. Not only are we down to the final episodes of Project Runway (for which there is a weekly viewing party at our house) but I will also miss two weeks of Nip/Tuck, and most importantly the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. As my mother says, "I could spit nails."

Yes, it's definitely the apocalypse.

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