Matt Walsh Writes A Useless Blog. You Deserve Better

Today is Monday, the day where I talk about “The Issues”.  Today’s issue is “Matt Walsh writes a useless blog”.  My friends, you deserve a better blogger than Matt Walsh.  I don’t like Matt Walsh because we don’t see eye-to-eye on a number of ideas.  For instance, I’m going to start this by saying this piece is an opinion piece based on a number of texts Matt Walsh has created, and if you disagree with me you can still be a good person.  If Matt Walsh were to try and make a similar disclaimer, it would have to be something like “I’m going to give you a fact piece based solely upon my biased opinion and if you disagree with me you are a heartless satanic liberal’.  Let me take a step back to justify these claims.

Matt isn’t a humorist.  I feel that is important to mention, because a humorist can write that his blog is ‘absolute truths’ or that he is a ‘professional truth sayer’ for comedic effect; Matt Walsh does both these things purely out of egotistical delusion.  Matt leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m going to show you why, along with some help from my good friend Matt Walsh, who wrote down so many condemning items for me to share.  Now some of you might be thinking “Steve, why are you doing this?”  Because you deserve better, dear reader.  Also, I hate Matt Walsh’s blog, and I think you should too.

I have a few problems with Matt’s blog that cause me to categorize his work as uninspired and unreadable.  The first is that it infests my Facebook feed, when I’d rather see articles written by intelligent people that have something meaningful to say that isn’t just a biased rant typical of a confused old man pining for the white-washed days of yesteryear.  The second problem is that he doesn’t attack actual issues, he attacks straw men that he’s constructed in his head that look nothing like the issue he’s talking about.  The third problem is that Matt lives in a fantasy world that doesn’t look anything like the actual world that we live in.  Matt’s world is one where white patriarchal Christian conservatism is always right, the Satanic liberals are always pushing an agenda of evil, and his proposed ‘solutions’ are relevant to reality.  The fourth problem is that he doesn’t understand complexity, but will always boil a complex issue to a binary stance of either ‘you are with me or against me’.

The fifth problem is that his blog is far too predictable and useless, and that’s the deal breaker for me.  Because I like to know what my friends are reading, and I hate Matt’s blog, I started playing a game called “Can I predict what Matt is going to say?”  I could almost every time without fail.  It is a very easy game to play.  Just pick whatever an elitist conservative ‘Christian’ dripping in white privilege would say, and there you go, the blog practically writes itself.  If the topic is about unarmed black teenagers being gunned down, his post basically says ‘calm down, those cops have a tough job and maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt’ (even though the facts were in by that point, and the attitudes he opposed were in fact correct, he just wanted to ignore them because the black people were right for once). If the topic is about women’s rights, feminism, abortion, or one of those other topics that is a women’s issue, his post basically says ‘bitches need to stop being so uppity and listen up to what he is about to tell them is right’.  If the topic is about suicide, his post basically says that he’s against it, even if a person’s life contains nothing but pain, that life needs to go on suffering because he’s uncomfortable about what his kids will think” or maybe it just shows his complete ignorance about mental health issues and basically says ‘if Robin Williams was right with Jesus, he wouldn’t be so depressed all the time’.  If the post is countering claims that he has white privileged, his post shows that he has no idea what white privilege is so you should shut up because Matt Walsh gets to decide what white privilege is now (which is the ultimate demonstration of white privilege).  I could go on (posts about poor people, atheists, minorities, etc) but this blog post needs to start going somewhere, and can’t just list every condemning biased post Matt has written.  There’s already a blog called What is Matt Walsh wrong about today?; you can read it for more specifics.

The one time I got it wrong was when he wrote a piece called “Sorry, but it’s your fault if you’re offended all the time”.  Without reading the piece, I assumed it was going to be his autobiography, because Matt Walsh blog is nothing but a guy whining about how he is constantly offended by some things that do matter and a lot of things that don’t matter.  Seriously, I can’t find a cheery piece that he’s written in which he’s not trying to sell tickets and make himself money at some speaking event.

[Edit: Right after writing this piece, but before posting it, Matt Walsh wrote this cheery little number about why it is so great to get married.  That’s going to be very funny when you get two paragraphs further into this blog and read how Matt Walsh wants to prevent people from getting married.]

People of the internet, you deserve a better blogger!

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I’d like to do a breakdown of a more recent article from Matt that highlights each of the 5 faults I find in his uninspired work.  This blog post of propaganda and bigotry was waiting for me in my facebook feed.  The article is called ‘There Is No Such Thing as Marriage Equality”.  This is a typical article form Matt.  Go ahead and play the game where you predict exactly what Matt is going to say.  It’s really easy.

Okay, now that you’re predictions are in, go ahead and read the article.  Or don’t.  It’s pretty much what you’d expect it to be.

Matt has two points as to why gay marriage should not be allowed:
• A relationship between two men or two women is not the same exact thing as a relationship between a man and a woman.
• Gay folks can’t have kids.

The rebuttals to these points are “so what?” and “yes they can”.  Matt’s 2000+ word argument can be countered in 5 words.  Also, both of these ‘reasons’ why gay people can’t get married are non sequiturs.

Reasoning isn’t Matt’s strong suit, but deception is.  To really understand Matt Walsh and the kind of writer he is, I feel like there are 3 things that need to happen before you can really get to the heart of his blog posts.  The first is to locate all of the straw men, then all of the non sequiturs, and finally all of the delusions.  The second thing to do is cut out all of the ‘woe is me’ and the ‘what happened to the good ol’ days of yore’ and the ‘why is everything so bad now’ which does nothing but inflate his lacking content with a whiney diatribe.  That’ll take awhile, because he has a lot of clutter in his articles. He likes to include tangential rants to reinforce that the boogeyman of liberalism is behind every problem.  The third thing you do is read what remains once all of the nonsense has been removed from his article.  In this particular post, once you cut all of the crap, you’re left with Matt Walsh saying “I don’t think gay people should get married because I don’t like it.”

Straw Man 1 – The article starts off explaining that poor little Matt is mad.  Matt is mad because marriage equality is being forced on him and he doesn’t like it.  Matt doesn’t like the fact that relationships that don’t involve him in the slightest are occurring, because Matt is a bigot who feels the need to insert his personal philosophies into peoples’ lives to rule over them as a self-entitled white conservative man.

Okay, I’m being intentionally mean, but I wanted to highlight what a straw man looks like.  I started making fun of a caricature of Matt Walsh rather than the author who wrote the article I’m talking about.  This is the kind of tactic that the actual Matt Walsh uses all the time.

Without straw manning Matt, we start off with Matt Walsh complaining that marriage equality can’t exist, therefore it shouldn’t exist, and therefore gay marriages shouldn’t be allowed.  When everyone else in the English speaking world talks about ‘Marriage Equality’, they are talking about the ability for gay people to get married to members of the same sex.  When Matt Walsh talks about ‘Marriage Equality’, he’s saying that a gay relationship isn’t the very same exact thing as a straight one, therefore it is null and void.  Good straw man, Matt!  Those things are not equal.  You get a gold star!  That’s still no reason to outlaw the real marriage equality, though.  Matt just made a bad word game, and a dangerous one at that, which I’ll explain in Straw Man 5.

Straw Men 2 & 3 –  Matt Walsh likes to insult people that don’t agree with him.  In this article, he calls those people brainless, spineless, foolish, and he doesn’t say it outright but he gets very close to calling all his detractors godless, immoral, liberal, baby-killing Satanists trying to start a religion of debauchery.  That’s not a straw man, that’s actually in his article [paragraphs 7 through 10]. You can find other similar rants against his detractors throughout his blog posts.

Specifically, in this one, he picks on people that use emoticons while communicating (which are mostly children, but I guess adults do it to) and Adam Sandler fans.  That’s interesting, because I wasn’t aware that gay tolerant people used emoticons while anti-gay marriage folks never used them at all.  Also, Adam Sandler is a conservative and that’s common knowledge.  His fans are mostly teenage and college boys.  These are folks, which in my experience, don’t really care about politics.  Odd choices to be the downfall of civilization into ‘liberalism’. Emoticons and Adam Sandlar are annoying, I’ll grant Matt that, but they are hardly indications of poor intelligence.   ;^)

Straw Man 4 – Liberalism is the constant boogeyman in Matt’s various posts.  Liberalism is a thing, but what Matt Walsh is attacking is actually just a straw man/boogeyman.  There are many folks that like to portray liberal thought in a scary way in order to inspire loyalty within their audiencesThis is well documented and it is a common tactic found amongst conservative news sources.  In this article, Matt claims that the foundation of liberal philosophy is the support of gay marriage and abortion.  I don’t think he’s trying to be funny here or exaggerate, he honestly thinks that the wellspring of liberal thought is an abortion-centric place.  Clearly this man has some issues when it comes to confirmation bias.

Straw Man 5 –  No one is arguing that a relationship between two gay people of the same sex is the same as a relationship between two straight people of different sexes.  That’s silly.  I’m sure everyone can point out the differences.  Despite this, Matt is acting as if this is the very obvious truth that everyone is blind to and that he needs to explain to his readers.

But let’s go down this rabbit hole.  Is the marriage between a white man and a white woman equal to that of a black man and a white woman?  Should one of these things be made illegal because it is not ‘equal’ to the other?  According to Matt’s logic, yes, those interracial couples have a different relationship and shouldn’t get married.

Some folks might argue ‘eh, it’s close enough’.

And that’s the million dollar answer right there: “eh, it’s close enough.”
This is the same argument used to justify gay marriage.  You’ve got two people, they are in love, they want to spend their lives together, and they want to get married.  “Eh, it’s close enough.”  Matt doesn’t want to acknowledge that there is wiggle room in where we draw the line on what is and isn’t marriage. Unfortunately for Matt, the line that used to exist is being erased and being replaced with one that does include gay couples, and the people moving the line are the Supreme Court Justices.

Straw Man 6 – Matt’s definition of marriage is weird.  Matt seems to think that there is this unchangeable and time tested definition of ‘marriage’ that every single one of us has subscribed to and it can never change or else something bad will happen.  That’s not the case, and that’s a blog post for another day, because ‘traditional marriage’ and ‘biblical marriage’ are two ideas that are horrifyingly bad in a modern context or any other historical context.

Matt thinks that there needs to be a chance for human procreation between the married individuals in order for a marriage to be legitimate.  That shouldn’t matter, but to Matt it does.  He even goes on to explain why couples that get married are selfish if they are not planning on having kids.  My overall interpretation of Matt’s thoughts is that people who can’t or aren’t planning to have kids are not in a legitimate marriage.

Hey Matt, I’m married to my wife and my marriage is fine, even though we aren’t planning on having kids.  You think my marriage is invalid or selfish?  Well screw you.  Your opinion doesn’t matter in the slightest to my wife and me.  You know whose opinion does matter?  The Supreme Court’s opinion, and they are on my side, and we are on the side of gay marriage being a reality.

Again, Matt’s narrowminded ideal of marriage would make it impossible for post-menopausal women, anyone sterile, veterans whose genitals were wounded, or couples that just don’t want kids to get married.  Matt, who also wants to restrict sexual relationships to marriage, and marital relationships to those of people having kids, also lives in the 1800’s with the Victorian Era, and he oversteps his bounds when he tries to tell you what your sexual lifestyle should be.  It isn’t surprising that Matt does this, he is a delusional man drunk on white patriarchal privilege that thinks he is in an authoritative position that can speak ‘absolute truths’ as to how you should live your life, you minority scumbag.

Non Sequitur 1 – Just because a relationship is different doesn’t mean it can’t be recognized by the state.

Non Sequitur 2 –Matt thinks that because gay people can’t have children that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.  Children have nothing to do with marriage.  When I got my marriage certificate, no one asked me if I was planning on having children with my then fiancée.   Children aren’t an issue.  That’s just Matt pretending he’s the Emporer of the Universe.

Usually it’s a bad sign if both of your points in a debate aren’t related to the argument you are trying to progress.
Matt’s Various Delusions Expressed Throughout The Piece –
•That marriage has a definition we all agree upon, and isn’t some relationship status that fluctuates wildly from culture to culture and time period to time period, starting long before the bible was even a thought
•Liberalism, the boogeyman causing everything to fall apart
•Homosexuality is an implied evil
•Homosexuality is a sign that a civilization is becoming corrupt
•That all forms of Christianity and conservatism are against gay marriage
•That the Supreme Court doesn’t get the final say, Matt Walsh gets the final say
•There is some Liberal conclave working behind the scenes to bring down all that is right with the world in some sort of Lovecraftian horror story, who won’t stop until everyone is forced to have an abortion
•Gay people are infertile, and couldn’t possibly have children via a surrogate mother, a sperm bank, or maybe even a friend of the opposite sex just willing to help out
•There is some concentrated effort by Liberals to dumb the world down in order to achieve some kind of nefarious end that involves gay people being happy
• His own self importance

So what are we left with when we remove all the crazy from Matt’s post?  Nothing relevant.  If we erase all of the tangents about a liberal conspiracy theory, all of the straw men, all of the non sequiturs, and all the delusions, then Matt Walsh’s post is simply him stating his opinion that he doesn’t like gay people and they shouldn’t be allowed to get married because it makes him feel sad.


People of the internet, you deserve a better blogger!

Getting Better At Profanity

Today is Friday, the day I talk about the issues and completely ignore that I didn’t post anything on Monday.  Today’s issue is: Using Bad Words.  A lot of people do it, but I find that hardly anyone does it correctly.  There is a certain art-form that effective swearing requires that seems to be lost on most of the populace, and I aim to correct that.  I want to live in a world where people swear and cuss and curse to their fullest potential!  No one teaches people how to swear, and that’s a shame.  It’s a great part of the human experience that all people are left to find out themselves.  So if you have children, make sure you pull up this article for them to read (and don’t let them click on any of the links).

DISCLAIMER:  It’s not often I’ll have to do this, but today’s post is SFW (Safe For Work).  I don’t swear in my posts or use overly graphic language.  Usually the links are safe to go visit, but today that will not be the case.  These kinds of clips are used in film school all the time (its where I got most of these clips), but usually when the professor is trying to talk about censorship and profanity.  I’m not taking any responsibility for any offense you take because of the links I’ve provided.  You’re a grown up, clicking those links is your decision.  You’ve been fairly warned.

Now don’t feel bad if you don’t swear well.  I didn’t realize it about myself for the longest time.  It took meeting a good friend of mine named Zed for me to realize this fault about myself.  Zed swears amazingly well.  Out of all the people in the world, Zed swears the best.  Swearing is Zed’s super power that he used to stop Loki from taking over New York.  Being friends with Zed was like being at the Buddhist temple for foul language enlightenment.  I thought I was swearing well, but Zed showed me what it was like to be one with the swearing.

Lesson 1: We need to analyze swear words.  My mother, who is probably horrified that I’d be talking about such a foul subject, draws the line of swear words very low.  It’s been hard to pinpoint because the bar goes lower every day, but I think the bar is currently set 8 words below the word “Silly”.  The FCC, a government agency mind you, thinks there are only 7 words in the English language that shouldn’t be said on the nation’s airwaves.  The range for folks does fluctuate a lot.  I’m going to use the word “Fart” for every swear word in this post, because it’s mostly neutral, is low on everyone’s list of possible swear words, but still has the shock value of legitimate swear words.  That’s the first lesson: you can’t really tell what your audience will consider to be a swear word.

Lesson 2: Swear words are completely unnecessary.  They are.  They distract from what one is trying to say.  Swear words can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb.  (He is a _____.  He is going to _____.  That guy is a ____ clown.  That guy is ______ dishonorable.  [I noticed that some of you filled in those blanks while reading this, and not all of you used the word ‘fart’.  The sentences do become funny when you fill in the word ‘fart’ in each blank, but I’m sure you see how it distracts from the original intent.])  Still, swear words are completely unnecessary.  With a decent thesaurus, you can see that swear words are lazy words.  Swear words are generally words that one with a poor vocabulary has to use in order to add emphasis to whatever it is one is saying.  When one lacks a verbose lexicon to impact communication in a fetching way, one can lazily concede to using foul language for its shock value as opposed to a better word’s gravitas.

Lesson 2, Example:
My best friend betrayed me by embarrassing me in front of all of the popular kids to become popular himself.  He is a _____.
He is a fart.                         VS                         He is a quisling.

Lesson 3: There are generally two reasons to swear:
•to communicate a feeling of anger/disappointment
•humor

A lot of people just throw bunches of swear words around ineffectively.  The reason is that swear words are generally used to communicate two ideas, and overusing them dulls their edge.  By overusing swear words to communicate an intense idea, you’re basically making everything you intend to be intense boring.  (You know that guy that describes everything as “epic”?  Yeah, don’t be that guy.)  By overusing swear words for humor, you’re basically repeating the punchline in hopes that other people will find it funny a second time around.

The greatest offenders of this are middle school boys to college boys.  While jogging at the YMCA, I often hear the high schoolers below me swearing in every single sentence they utter.  Sometimes it is the only word in the sentence.  It is to the point that their swearing is just extra white noise, just there to be there.  It becomes boring, trite, sophomoric, useless, and dumb.  I think of their language the same way I think of high school boys.

Swearing is a lot like makeup.  Less is more.  One can use makeup to add emphasis to something one wants people to see (eyelashes, lips, ect).  If one uses too much makeup, they look like a clown.  Same goes for swearing.  The trick to swearing effectively is that it needs to be a rare event.  Swearing all the time makes one look like a clown.

Swearing has a certain power to it.  If every time you use a profanity, your language loses some of its power.  A speaker that abuses vocabulary loses all of their power.  People that overuse profanities are seen as vulgar, stupid, and crass.  Seems accurate.  These folks don’t realize that they are being overly offensive for no reason (vulgar), they don’t have the vocabulary to express themselves meaningfully (stupid), and they lack the social skills necessary to talk with intelligent and refined people (crass).

So how often should you be swearing?  The answer is always the same: Less.

Reserved swearing will actually increase your swearing effectiveness.  If my mother were to suddenly drop a profanity into one of her sentences after 60 years of not swearing, I’d know that she was EXTREMELY angry at a situation.  Her profanity would catch my attention, I’d know the severity of the situation, and I’d legitmently be shocked by it.  It’d be such a landmark occurrence that I’d call my sister to let her know that it’s happened.  Meanwhile, if Snoop Dog were to swear in a sentence, we’d all know that his heart is still beating.

Lesson 4:  Rarely use a swear word as an adverb.  It’s the equivalent of using the words “very” or “really”.  Both of these words are similar to swear words in that they are lazy ways of adding emphasis.  I’m really sure some very well planned abuse of these words will really show you how very little they really add to any sentence.  ‘The man is very stupid’ is not a better sentence than ‘the man is stupid’.  The idea is to add emphasis to the insult ‘stupid’.  This is how I hear most people insert their swear words because it is easy.  An adverb can go almost anywhere in a sentence, and yet, folks tend to place their swear word right before the word they are trying to emphasize, which completely negates what they are trying to do.  Also, most swear words, when converted into adverbs, will get an ‘-ing’ ending.  This makes swear words look like verbs, and can change the entire meaning of your sentence.

Lesson 4, Example:
The man is stupid.
The man is farting stupid.

The swear word in this case was meant to emphasize how stupid the man is.  Instead, the audience is wondering how one farts stupidly.  The swear word had so much emphasis that it took over the entire sentence, graduating from an adverb to a verb.  All meaning was lost.  Even if we did away with the ‘-ing’ ending, the sentence becomes ‘The man is fart stupid’.  Now it’s just an awkward sentence.  The word ‘stupid’ is now describing the word ‘fart’.  The sentence has been ruined by adding swear words into it.

Lesson 5:  Rarely use swear words as adjectives, for the same reasons as rarely using them as adverbs. They become boring.  They change the meaning of the sentences.  They aren’t effective.  It’s easy to insert a swear word before the noun you are trying to describe, but don’t.  Any swear word used as an adjective can be replaced by the word ‘big’.

LESSON 5, Example:
The man is an idiot.
The man is a farting idiot.
The man is a big idiot.

Nothing was added with the expletive except confusion.  The man is farting in addition to being an idiot?

Lesson 6:  The F-Word has become trite.  It really has.  The moment that “WTF” became something normally said on prime time television during a news cycle, the F-Word was done.  It’s over.  The reign of the F-Word has collapsed.  Now it is only offensive for the sake of being offensive.  It’s why I’m not spelling the word out despite it being a vapid profanity.  It’s overused.  True, it is a versatile word with fitting usage as a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb.  It’s just not effective anymore.  The F-Word is so 1990’s.  There are better words now, and 99% of those are not profanities.  The F-Word has become so pathetic that most readers here think that writing “F-Word” is a good enough censorship of it.  So the F-Word shouldn’t be used unless it’s being added to be offensive just for the sake of being offensive.  Don’t use it.

Lesson 7: Never ever use a slur against someone!  This one is always a no-no.  In the digital age where everything is recorded, you don’t ever want to be caught using a slur.  This is a career ending move, and rightly so.  Wielding a swear word to hurt people will say a lot more about you than it will ever say about them, and it’ll speak volumes about you that you don’t want spoken..  The N-Word is nuclear.  If you feel the compulsion to use the N-Word, you might want to do some deep soul searching and find what you hate so much about a disenfranchised minority class in the United States.  This is one of those personal flaws that one should work out on their own time in private, not air for everyone to hear.  It’s not just racial slurs you should stay away from.  Stay away from gay/lesbian slurs, religious slurs, slurs against women, slurs against men, slurs against the disabled (physically and mentally), and whatever other bad term that can be applied to a group of people.  Even if someone uses a slur against you, don’t ever use a slur back against them (we’ll get to that in lesson 8).

You don’t want to get labeled as a bigot, and that’s exactly where using slurs will land you, because those are the kinds of words that bigots say.  Even if you are a bigot, which is a terrible thing to be, you don’t want to be exposed as one.  You keep those locked up tight, because there is a difference between offending someone with a profanity and inspiring righteous furry in someone by exposing your prejudiced hatred for a group they belong to.

Lesson 8:  Don’t swear in a fight or an argument.  In order for an argument to be constructive on your end, you have got to retain control of yourself.  Arguing is a complicated thing that requires a bunch of social manuvers and “one-up-manship”.  You’ve got to continually present you and your case better than the other person presents their case.  If you start swearing all over the place, you’ve started to present yourself poorly.  One swear will get their attention and show that you care deeply and passionately about the topic being argued over.  Persistent swearing will make you look like an out of control, vulgar, stupid, crass, and out of touch.  If you present yourself poorly, your position in the argument gets reviewed poorly, even if it is the right position.  At maximum, you get 1 swear word per argument, and even that seems high.

Lesson 9:  Despite all of my insistence to not swear in all of the previous lessons, it can still be done effectively.  Swearing is a lot like a semicolon; a person can use it to create beauty and new meaning for the sake of clarity, humor, and expressing one’s self.  Used incorrectly; and the semicolon quickly shows how bad one is at using semicolons and everyone questions their intelligence.  You have to know what you are doing in order to swear effectively.  There are times when it can be done to humorous effect.  There are times it can be done to really show upset someone is.  It’s an artform, and part of the art form is the rarity.  When done correctly it is brilliant.  When done incorrectly it makes the speaker look bad.

The Ultimate Lesson:  If you want to swear effectively, don’t.  Don’t swear at all.  Keep those profanities locked up behind your tongue.  Don’t dare utter them.  Let them sit.  Let them wait.  Let them ferment.  A person who doesn’t swear is the best at it, because the one day that you need a swear word’s power, it’ll be there for you.  Everyone will fall at your feet, because you waited, and your saved up profanities will pay exponential interest.  It’s the build up of a conservative tongue that makes a constructive swear word.

That’s the secret I learned from Zed.  Zed swears once every three years, and every time he does, the full weight of what he’s done registers to his audience.  His profanities are a thing of intense beauty because they are so farting rare.

We can only hope that my mom never decides to swear, for we would all perish in the flames of the magnificence.

The Albany Walking Suicide Brigade

Today is Friday, the day I write about The Issues.  Today’s issue is: pedestrians are dumb.  I live in New York, in an armpit of a city called “Albany”.  You may have been taught that Albany is the capital of New York, but it is not.  The Governor has fled Albany in favor of New York City.  I drive past his mansion frequently and he is never there.  The reason the Governor has fled is that Albany is home to many stupid pedestrians.

Most people are taught at a young age that they need to look both ways before crossing the street.  Even though cars are expected to be in control at all times and avoid all threats to people and property, they still have “right-of-mass”, so you make sure none are going to hit you while you borrow their street.  Sometimes there are slight variants on that advice.  When I lived in North Dakota, I’d not only look both ways while crossing at an intersection, but I’d also look for ice, because a car intending to stop at a red light might not be able to.  Albany, New York seems to have its own slight variation on crossing-the-street advice which goes something like: launch yourself into traffic until you are in the middle of the only lane, and only then do you turn and glare at whoever it is that dared to squeal their breaks at you while invading your personal space.

I don’t get it.  It’s like they have a death wish.  I actually think a lot of people in Albany want to die.  While driving in downtown Albany, folks will dart out into traffic and only then wonder if a ton of metal is about to hit them at about 40 mph.  Folks are just flinging themselves at the hood of my car.  They are sneaky about it, too.  Albany is a big fan of parallel parking, so what the pedestrians do to increase their likelihood of being hit is jump out from behind a great big van so drivers have no warning that a pedestrian is trying to commit suicide by car.  It happens at least three times per trip I take into downtown (a drive lasting only fifteen minutes [1 suicide attempt per 5 minutes]).  I wish that I could get across to you that this figure is not an exaggeration.  I sometimes think it is like the M. Night Shyamalan movie “The Happening”, where millions of movie goers wanted to commit suicide in mass because Shyamalan makes terrible movies.

The folks here in Albany are also passing it down to the next generation.  I was driving down the road, on the verge of a heart attack because killing someone is something I honestly worry about while driving in Albany, when a little girl literally leapt in front of my car.  Literally.  Not figuratively-but-I-want-to-give-it-more-credit-so-I’m-using-the-wrong-word-like-a-moron. I mean literally.  One leg outstretched fully in front of her, one fully outstretched behind her.  Her arms matched in a parallel kind of beauty that would make for a great final pose before being mangled beyond recognition.  I was going 35 mph (10 below the speed limit) when this darling little lemming leapt in front of my car.  I didn’t see her because she was small, and had picked a nice little blind spot behind a parked car to be her diving board into the afterlife.  I slammed on the breaks and smashed my fist onto my horn.  The little idiot landed and turned to see a car screech to a halt two feet from her.  She screamed and almost fell backwards from the shock of almost being made into road kill.  I’m pretty sure she peed herself.  I know I did.

This is when I lost hope, dear reader.  The girl was an idiot, sure, but all children are.  It was her mother that drove me over the edge.  This lady starts to yell at me for almost smashing her stupid child.  She launched into a tirade of verbal assaults against me that made me think I should pack up the child with me in my car and just drive straight off to social services.  “Why you honkin’ at my baby?”

“Why haven’t you taught your daughter to not play in the street?  She jumped in front of my car, and any parent worth their weight would be explaining to their kid that the street is dangerous, not yelling at the person who is actually looking out for your kid!”

“Ain’t none yo’ business how I raise my kids!”

At this point I was evaluating whether or not my car could hop the curb so I could run this mother over.  Not out of malice, mind you, this was in the best interest of the child.  Second degree murder was a sacrifice I was willing to make on the little girl’s behalf, as well as her siblings.  Besides, this is New York, no jury would ever convict me.  A jury of my peers would just shrug their shoulders and say “What did she expect?  She lived in Albany.  She was going to get run over sooner or later.”

My wife has had a similar experience, only in her case it was a kid on a bicycle that careened into traffic right in front of her.  The mother was right there with the excuse “He’s just learning”.  I’m not sure why this mother thinks that lessons are best learned in the hospital.  Maybe it’s because she is from Albany and she wants to die and she wants her kids to die because all of their friends have already died from being run over.  I don’t want anyone to die, but dear reader, these folks are wearing me down.

I think it is the glare that gets to me the most.  Pedestrians here have a glare they use when they see you screeching to a halt.  Sometimes it is a tough look that says “What are you going to do about it?  That’s right, nothing!”  Sometimes it is a dead-eyed thousand yard stare where I can’t tell if they see me at all or if they are silently pleading for this driver to have the courage it takes to end their suffering.  With so many people wanting to be run over, I’m surprised that someone hasn’t cracked under the pressure already.  It would only take one fed up road-rager who decided to once and for all grant everyone in Albany their death wish.  Someone could easily run over at least one hundred people in one night while still following all of the traffic laws including speed limits, stop signs, using turn signals, and staying in their lane.  Albany, New York is the reason why automated cars will never work, because an automated car would follow all of the laws and still manage to murder half the population.

This brings me to my next point: drivers in Albany, New York are the worst drivers I have ever seen in my life.  This could be a post all on its own so I won’t go into detail here.  I have lived in Iowa, Colorado, North Dakota, and Texas.  I have roadtripped through nearly every state in the nation.  Albany, New York has the worst drivers. (Los Angles comes in second).  Firstly, their brake pads are all worn thin from slamming on them to avoid hitting pedestrians.  Secondly, they don’t seem to know any traffic laws at all.  Thirdly, I’m convinced none of them can see over the hood of their cars because painted lines on the road mean nothing to them.  Fourthly, they seem to be under the impression that either the accelerator or the brake must be fully applied.  The list could go on and on, including the special U-turn that I’ve dubbed “The Albany” which will take you across 4 lanes of traffic, two of which are oncoming traffic, and it’ll usually involve an intersection.  These drivers are the people that these pedestrians are leaping out in front of.  There is only one conclusion:

Pedestrians in Albany want to die.

It may be time for Albany to adopt a law from Sarasota, Florida, where it is a $78 fine for hitting a pedestrian.

Ice Bucket Killjoys

Today is Friday, the day I talk about the issues.  Today’s issue is that there are people out there being killjoys about the Ice Bucket Challenge.  In case you’ve been living in such a way that you could find this obscure blog but miss the social phenomenon that has taken over every form of social media and the news, the Ice Bucket Challenge was a fun publicity stunt designed to raise a lot of money and awareness about ALS research.  The idea is that if you get challenged by someone, you have to send $100 to ALS research.  If you don’t have $100 or don’t want to send $100, you can instead dump a bucket of ice water on your head and send only $10 instead.  Then you chain letter 3 other folks and make them do it.  It seems that most folks opted for the ice bucket and then sent the $100 anyway.  As a publicity stunt it worked wonders!  Celebrities got involved, the public got involved, and for the month of August it was all the rage.  There were more than 739,000 new charitable donors and raised $41.8 million dollars in the space of one month (double what they got last year).

Of course, we can’t have a giant phenomenon where millions have a good time, lots of disposable income is pushed to a good cause, awareness of the terrible disease is increased, a readily replenishable resource is used, and people are temporarily discomforted for the amusement of others without the killjoys raising their voices in protest.  The killjoys are a group of folks that have to be outrageously upset about something that doesn’t impact their lives in the slightest bit.  They are obstinate gadflies who just want to poo-poo whatever it is that their pretentious ire is aimed at.  I’m not sure if it is out of spite, out of jealousy, out of a need for attention, or out of a dark soul that bemoans goodness and joy in any form, but the killjoys are here to talk bad about the Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC).  It’s just so easy to sit there, doing nothing, and complain about something while other people are out doing something.

The first thing that the killjoys latch onto is that the IBC is “wasting water”.  I’m not sure what to say about that, because the idea is really stupid.  These folks are acting as if the Conservation of Mass was not in effect, that once the water is dumped out it is gone forever.  The Earth has 321 million cubic miles of water, and even if the water from these IBCs did disappear from the universe, we’d be fine.  Of course, the water does not disappear, it rejoins the water cycle.

Maybe these folks aren’t scientifically illiterate and are more concerned that we are taking water and dumping it on the ground.  The USGA predicts that 2.08 billion gallons of water are used to irrigate all the golf courses in the US every day.  To put that in perspective, that is everyone in the United States doing the IBC with a 6 gallon bucket every single day.  Not for charity, but so that a few well-off suburban dads (mostly) can enjoy their really green playground that poor people aren’t welcome to.  Granted, most of that water for the nation’s golf courses is pulled from ponds, lakes, and it isn’t sanitized.  But that doesn’t stop Americans from dumping sanitized water on the ground all the time.  The typical American household has a sprinkler system that uses 265 gallons of water per hour.  They should only go for 15 minutes, which is literally taking sanitized drinking water and dumping it on the ground at the rate of 66 gallons every day, about 200 every week with 3 days of sprinkling.  That is, if they aren’t overwatering (which is a widespread practice).  If wasting water really offends you, start the campaign for outlawing lawn watering.

How about just dumping water down the drain?  A typical load of dishes uses 20 gallons of water if you do the dishes by hand and leave that pesky faucet on, 10 gallons of water if you are using a modern dishwasher.  3-ish gallons per toilet flush if your toilet isn’t new, 1.6 gallons per flush if it is.  A full bath can be about 40 gallons of water, a shower is 5-ish gallons per minute (Americans average a 50 gallon shower).  I haven’t even talked about washing the car, cooking food, actually drinking water, laundry, or many other water intensive activities.  A nice little water-conservative family of 4 living in suburbia USA uses about 280 gallons of water a day, 1,960 a week, and 8.4K gallons a month.  It’d be such a shame if 6 gallons of water went to a charity event.

Really, if ‘wasting’ water bothers you that much, you could instead do a charity of your own where you donate $88 dollars to buy someone with an older toilet (3-5 gallons per flush) a high efficiency toilet and another $29 on a WaterSense shower head (2 gallons per minute as opposed to the average of 8).  You’ll save about 42 gallons of water per person that uses that bathroom exclusively.  It would require effort, though, and that’s why I don’t expect the killjoys to take this idea and run with it.  It’s a shame, because I’ve got a great plan to kick-start this charity.  Let’s have folks dump 42 gallons of ice water on their heads to show how much water could be saved a day with just a donation of $117 dollars.  That’d definitely raise awareness!  Or have an Office Space moment where people take baseball bats to the old toilet.  I bet all sorts of people would watch toilet destruction videos.  Of course…then the killjoys will say that everyone is being wasteful and over-burdening already full landfills.  They just have to be offended by something.

Drinking water isn’t a precious resource in the United States.  At my current rate in New York, where everything is expensive, I can get a gallon of water out of my tap for less than a penny.  We have plenty of infrastructure that lets us convert absurd amounts of water to be safe enough to drink.  6 gallons here or there doesn’t really matter.  That’s 6 cents worth of water.  The ice costs 25 times more than the water.

The second complaint I keep seeing is that there are lots of people without drinking water, and the IBC is affecting them in some way that…um… well the killjoys never seem to finish their thought.  It’s the same thinking that an American child needs to finish their vegetables because there are starving children in China.  The thoughts aren’t related.  I’m not sure why this complaint is a thing.  Are they mad because we dumped that readily accessible resource on the ground rather than boxing it up and sending it UPS over to some unspecified thirsty individual?  Are the killjoys mad that thirsty people without access to drinking water weren’t given a plane ticket so they could come over to participate in the fun?  What is the complaint?  You might as well get mad at those kids in Alaska for throwing snowballs at each other and wasting the snow when there are kids in Hawaii that have never even seen a snowflake.  One place has the resource in droves and the other doesn’t.

I can tell you what the complaint is: Inequality exists in the world.  Inequality in the world is a very serious topic and one that troubles me often, but saying that the IBC is making it worse isn’t valid in the slightest.  It’s tragic that people don’t have access to clean drinking water, but that isn’t affected by the IBC.  Wasting water here won’t hurt or help folks over there.  Preserving water over here won’t hurt or help folks over there.  Locking up 6 gallons of water in a shrine to be revered and honored for generations to come won’t hurt or help folks over there.  Really, the “we’re wasting water when there are people that don’t have water” argument is really dumb because any resource could be used here.  If it was the “Eat 5 Poptarts” challenge, killjoys would be mad about wasting food from a place with an overabundant supply of food.  If we did a “stay awake all night” challenge, folks would be mad because insomniacs everywhere can’t get enough sleep.  Some people just refuse to let a good thing go by uncriticized because they have to be offended.  They need to be offended.

Yes, inequality exists in the world, and one of the best ways to combat that is through charityCharities like the IBC are great to combat inequality.  If you want to talk about inequality, let’s talk about the tens of thousands of individuals suffering from ALS that could greatly benefit from some very expensive research.  If you want to talk about inequality, let’s talk about people in the richest nation on earth using their iPhones and internet connections to help redistribute $41,000,000 of their throw-away change to help people that have it worse off than themselves.

Are there valid criticism of the IBC?  Actually…yes there are.  Some folks don’t like it because ALS research is sometimes done with detriment to animals.  Some folks question where the money would be going to (does it go to actual research or some CEO of a research lab?).  Some folks think that ALS is hogging all of the charitable giving (the numbers haven’t come in on this yet, so I can’t say if it is true or not, but my feeling is that the IBC generated extra giving without cannibalizing a large percentage of donations).  These folks I can tolerate, because they’ve put thought into what they are doing as opposed to throwing an immature hissy fit/temper tantrum in order to gain attention for themselves (my favorite one so far calling the IBC a Satanic Ritual).

What has the Ice Bucket Challenge done right?  More than raising $41 million for charity, it briefly made charity cool again.  For a while, people were talking about charity and giving.  They were excited about giving.  That hasn’t been a common conversation in years.  My wife and I talked about how we’d been slacking off on our giving to our charities of choice and how it would be nice to start that up again (my favorite is Heifer Project International).  The IBC brought with it a spirit of generosity that’s been sorely lacking.  It showed that we are very capable of addressing social issues if we want to.

Final thoughts?  I have a few.  I don’t have any data to back this up other than my gut feeling, but charitable people tend to be really excited about folks being generous.  It doesn’t really matter what the good cause is, charitable people are excited that other people are putting their money into the cause they care about.  If you ever find a charitable person, ask them, and they will tell you all about their charity of choice because it matters to them.  That’s why I think the killjoys really don’t have a leg to stand on, because I don’t think they give to any charities.  They don’t have a dog in this fight.  I have trouble seeing someone with a charitable heart donating hundreds of dollars to one charity and mocking and jeering someone else for donating to something else they care about.  I have trouble seeing a charitable someone missing the point so completely while saying “you’re giving to ALS?  Well I give to cancer research, and they didn’t need a stupid gimmick, so I’m better than you.”  Charitable people don’t talk like that.  Killjoys do…except for that part where they give to something else.  It really just sounds like an excuse to remain selfish.

So to you killjoys of the world, I offer you your own challenge.  You don’t have to dump water on your head or anything.  Just give a little bit of your spending cash to any charity you think is worthy.  $50 should do it.  If you are so offended by the inequality in the world that the IBC highlighted for you, I suggest giving to Heifer Project International.  If you were made aware of people without clean drinking water because of the IBC, I suggest giving to water.org.  I think the simple act of giving will change your heart a bit.  I wouldn’t put your money where your mouth is because I think that bragging about your charity is really just a self-promotional bit of advertising that still helps the cause but robs you of any personal growth you could have enjoyed.  It’s the difference between saying you care about something and proving it.  What will the challenge prove?  Not a whole lot, no one will really know that you did it, but I think it’ll change you for the better.  And if it doesn’t, you can tell me all about it and I’ll apologize to you personally for ruining the good name of killjoys everywhere.

Sandwich of Sin

Yesterday I went to my local sandwich shop, and you wouldn’t believe what I saw.  The guy in front of me bought a ham sandwich.  A ham sandwich!  There he was, in public, ordering a ham sandwich as if it was the most normal thing in the world.  So I tapped him on the shoulder and said “Hey buddy.  How about you eat your sandwich in private.  This is a town with good folks in it, and we don’t appreciate your kind around here when there are impressionable kids about.”

 

The guy had the gall to look at me confused.  “Excuse me?”

 

“No I won’t excuse you,” I was quick to retort.  “I don’t like your sandwich.  I want you to stop ordering that ham sandwich and apologize to everyone in here.”  I turned to face him, letting him know I wouldn’t back down from my stand on the issue.  I was sick and tired of people like him showing up and changing everything.

 

“Look, guy,” the pork-eater said to me, “I don’t know who you are or what your problem is.  Why do you care if I get a ham sandwich?  I’m not forcing you to eat one.  How about you have your sandwich and I’ll have mine.”

I looked down at his sandwich with revulsion, and back up at him, still revolted.  “Because I think sandwiches are sacred, and here you are profaning their sanctity.  You come into my town and try to change the definition of traditional sandwiches.  Well I’m not having it.  So why don’t you toss that sandwich away!”

 

The man looked back at the store clerk, trying to give me the cold shoulder.  I tapped him again “Hey buddy, I’m talking to you.”

 

“Leave me alone!” the bacon buffoon said.  “I didn’t call your sandwich evil.  I didn’t make up rules about you can eat!  I wasn’t even bothering you.  No, you decided to make my sandwich your business and get all riled up about it.  Stop it!  Let me eat my sandwich in peace!”

 

“Hey everyone!” I yelled to the sandwich shop.  “Look at this guy.  Take a good look.  Do you see what he’s doing?  He’s eating a ham sandwich!”

 

People started to murmur and gasp amongst themselves.  One mother took her kids by the hand and left the store.  They knew that this guy was a creep now, a sausage sinner if they ever saw one.  A couple of them moved to stand behind me.  The guy took a few steps back, something he wouldn’t do if he was ignorant of his sin.

 

“Folks” the hambo said, trying to appeal to the crowd, “this really isn’t any of your business.  I saw that you guys were eating your sandwiches and I wanted one too.  I don’t see why you guys get to eat the kind of sandwiches you like and I don’t, just because I like ham.”

 

A couple of people started to shout reasons why, but I quieted them down with a gesture before things got out of hand.  I wanted to humiliate this porker, right in front of everyone, and convict him of his shame.  “Listen.  We’ve all enjoyed sandwiches for a long time before your kind decided to show up.  We’re not going to sit by and let you just ruin that for everyone else’s sandwich!”

 

The man looked confused.  “How does my sandwich have any impact on your sandwich?”

 

Someone yelled from the back.  “It’s an abomination!  It ain’t a traditional sandwich!”

 

The man looked even more confused.  “People have liked ham for a long time, this isn’t a recent trend.  What makes your sandwich a traditional sandwich?”

 

The same man yelled from the back, “It’s the only kind of sandwich!”  Cheering erupted along with some clapping.

 

I quieted the shop down with another gesture.  I wasn’t about to let some anonymous voice from the back steal my thunder, because I felt the heat of god’s wrath being channeled through me.  “If you must know, a traditional sandwich is the kind that God set down.  In the book of Exodus, God set down the perfect example of what a sandwich should be.”  I smiled at him, because I’d committed this bible verse to memory in case I met a bacon-eater like this one.  “The people of Israel called the bread manna.  It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’  That’s what a traditional sandwich is: white bread and honey.  The way god intended!”

 

Cheering erupted from the crowd.  I sneered at the boar biter.  “And come to think of it, you aren’t eating your ham on white bread!  And that’s way more than an omer!”  The crowd started to boo and hiss at the man.

 

The swine swallower turned red.  I knew I had him, but he tried to weasel his way out of God’s word where he stood convicted.  “You do know,” he started, “that sandwiches predate the bible?  The agricultural revolution took place 16,000 years ago, and their primary crop was wheat.  Bread has been around for about that same length.  It’s part of what catapulted homo sapiens into modern people.  Sandwiches have-“

It was too late for him to go on with that liberal nonsense.  People were shouting and booing the hog hankerer.  “The bible starts at the beginning of the world, 6,000 years ago!”  yelled one man.  “It’s manna and foul!  Not manna and sow!” yelled another.  I just started to laugh, and the crowd quieted.

“Look at this guy,” I guffawed, “he thinks that monkeys were eating sandwiches before the world was created!”  Everyone burst out into hilarious laughter.

 

“I didn’t say anything like that.  Humans are homo sapiens!  Monkeys are a totally different species.”  His protests were lost in roars of laughter.  A couple of people pantomimed monkeys.  One threw a banana at the guy.  I didn’t appreciate him calling me a monkey, and neither did anyone else in the town.  Still, the pigsty guy tried to plead his case.  “Sandwiches still predate the Bible!  Many cultures had sandwiches before the Bible was written down.  If anything, the people of your god learned how to make sandwiches in Egypt!  And more than that, the Bible has many DIFFERENT kinds of sandwiches in it.  Sometimes god commands bread to be flat!  Other times it is served in loaves!  Why did you decide that this one example of manna is the perfect sandwich when it isn’t proper bread for which to make a sandwich!”

 

Another shout from the back rang out.  “Because that’s the way it’s been for hundreds of years!  Who are you to question that?”

“Whatever!” the man shouted.  “I don’t even believe in Bread God.  Why should I have to eat his ideal sandwich?  I’m not going to let a ghost from the Stone Age dictate my life choices with sandwiches or anything else!”

 

The crowd quieted.  This was something worse, an atheist and a ham eater, talking out in public as if he deserved the same rights as all of the normal people.  I could feel bile rising in my throat, but I kept my temper.  “Because, you piglet poacher, god didn’t just show us what the best, traditional, and only kind of sandwich is, but he also told us what kind of sandwiches not to eat!”

I recalled to memory a couple of verses before reciting them before everyone.  “Leviticus 11, seven and eight.  ‘And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.  You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.’  There’s also Isaiah 65.  ‘All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good…who eat the flesh of pigs…such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day!’”

 

“You’ll burn in hell if you don’t turn from your carnivorous ways!”
“God hates Pork!”
“Stop corrupting our children!”

 

“I still don’t believe in Bread God.”  The salami stranger looked exasperated.  “Why would I care that he hates pigs if I didn’t care that he likes honey?”  The oinker orderer looked confused, exaggeratedly so, like he learned in that liberal college he probably went to.  “I…still don’t believe in Bread God, even if he doesn’t like pigs.  But you do.  Didn’t Jesus die for the sins of everyone, even people that eat pigs?  There’s even a story in Acts about Peter is offered pigs to eat from god who said they were clean-“

Booing cut the man off as people yelled at him.
“Don’t you dare use the Bible if you don’t believe in it!”
“What do you know about clean animals, piggy!”
“Pigs weren’t specifically mentioned in that story, you secular swine! Only four footed unclean animals!”
“Your parents must be so disappointed in you!”
“Take Ham Reparative Therapy.  Damn the spam!”

“Listen!  Listen!” The swine-seeking stranger called out.  “The shop offers ham sandwiches, so obviously they are just fine.”

“Oh don’t you dare!” I justly accosted, jabbing my finger into his chest.  “It’s people like you, pushing your ham-eating agenda on the rest of us that have forced this good shop owner to have to carry your abomination!  I’ll have you know that we are taking this case to the highest court in the land!  There is no reason why this Bread God loving business should ever have to serve ham-eaters like you!  This shop has the right to love god and shouldn’t be forced to sink down to your level!  It goes against everything this shop believes in!”

 

The man looked confused.  “This business has a religion?  It has religious rights that trump mine and common politeness?”

 

“Don’t get clever with me!”

“I’m not!  You just said that this sandwich shop has a religion.  If anything, you’re the one that’s being silly.”

 

The people in the shop started to boo the man again.  He comes into our town, into our shop, and demands that we just treat him like everyone else, like he has a right to force us to serve him and his hellish ways.

 

“If your Bread God hates pigs so much, why did he create them?  Why did he make me in such a way that I like ham?”

 

This godless pigheaded liberal was getting on my nerves.  “No one is born liking ham!  It’s unnatural!  You turned away from Bread God and turned to sin!  You just want to do things your own way!  You want to carry out your vile cravings and snub everything that is good and right!”

 

“What do you mean it’s unnatural?  You see pig-eating in nature all the time.  Wolves, hyenas, tigers, crocodiles, larger birds, and even dingos eat pigs.  Throw a pig in the ocean and I bet a shark would eat it.  Humans have eaten pigs since ancient history.  It’s perfectly natural!  And scientists have shown that people don’t choose whether or not they like ham, it’s just the way they are.”

 

“God doesn’t make mistakes!”
“Who are you to question god?”
“Bread God didn’t make pigs, the devil did, in order to test us!”
“It’s not sinful to like ham, it’s just sinful to eat it! Abstain from ham!”

 

The man grabbed his sandwich and started to walk out of the shop.  People cheered that the abomination was finally leaving, but, just as he reached the door, he turned around.  “You guys don’t care at all about Bread God.  You just hate people like me because you are bigoted, narrow-minded, and prejudiced!  You hide behind your Bread God just so you can shrug your shoulders and say ‘it’s not me that hates you, it’s Bread God.  Take it up with him!’  And then you turn to thin air, waiting for me to talk to your imaginary friend, as if you actually expect me to carry on with your fantasy.  I won’t play this childish game with you!  I don’t follow your Bread God, and neither do you!

 

The crowd was seething in anger.

 

I stepped forward.  I wasn’t going to let him have the last word.  “What do you mean we don’t follow Bread God?  I love Bread God with all my heart and soul!”

 

“No you don’t, you miss the message completely,” the man let loose with his pigsty lie.  “I see that you are wearing mixed fabrics, which god forbids in that book of Leviticus that you quoted at me.   He calls it an abomination.  You over there, the married couple, do you force your wife to sleep in a different bed when she’s on that time of the month?  Have any of you sacrificed an animal to appease god of your sin?  Do any of you treat your wife as unclean for 33 days after she gives birth?  I’m looking at the advertising board here in the shop, and it looks like this very shop has created idols and images.  And here we all are on a Sunday, breaking the Sabbath rule.  If any of you have a vegetable garden with more than one kind of plant in it, you’re an abomination!  If you get your hair cut in the wrong way, you are an abomination!  Tattoos are an abomination!   Eating at Red Lobster is an abomination!

 

“But here you all stand, accusing me of a rule I don’t follow for a religion I don’t have, when you all are breaking MULTPILE rules from the SAME book of the Bible that you do follow.  You are all hateful hypocrites, hiding behind your Bread God so that you don’t have to come to terms with your own corrupted hearts.  You want to hold me under the law of your religion while at the same time saying that it doesn’t apply to you in the slightest.  Even if I believed in Bread God you wouldn’t accept me.  You’d say that liking ham is too big of a sin for Bread God to handle, and that’s where he draws the line.”

 

The man left the shop, got in his car, and pealed out of the parking lot.  We never saw him again.

We showed him!