Complaints from Purgatory

The secret of Purgatory is that it’s really Hell.

No, we’re not getting pitchforked but the sleeplessness is killing us and we’re not even allowed to die. That Outer Darkness might not be so bad if there was some shuteye.

That’s why we tend to haunt the night and show up in dreams–not because we prefer the night, we’re just jealous you can sleep, that’s all.

In the daytime everyone can daydream, even us. No it’s not sleep, but it’s something. It’s hard to daydream at night–being awake at night makes you too damn focused… Forever

Jealousy is a big part of Purgatory. Naturally–we can see the whole world and can’t have any of it. Sometimes when we throw a severe tantrum we’re able to jostle a coffee cup, big deal.

Being able to watch anyone in the world while they undress for bed only adds to the jealousy.

And no, we’re not here to help–you think we give a fuck about Scrooge? We’re just mad that a super-scumbag like him could sleep soundly while ordinary scumbags like us have to endure eternal insomnia. The fact that he made it into a character-reforming experience is his business, we literally don’t give a damn.

What, you’re getting bored of all this Purgatory talk?

We’ve been exhausted by it for millennia and it’s not getting any better. Don’t even talk to me about getting tired.

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His Act Died for Your Sins

Laugh not lest ye be laughed at.

If a brother should smite thee with a humorous anecdote, reply with two stories even more self-deprecating.

Blessed are the unfunny and the dull-witted for their zingers will rip us new assholes in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are the easily confused and those who never get the joke for they shall receive the humor of God and will know when the archangels are being sarcastic. Yea, they will finally get it.

Blessed are those who suffer ethnic disparagement because of the crude, silly antics of their countrymen, for they shall have better addresses. And better countrymen.

In the beginning was the Pun and the Pun was stupid. Stupid good!

Get thee behind me, hack comedian!

Whose face is on this button? Bozo’s? Then give unto Bozo that which is Bozo’s.

But avoid the leaven of the hack comedians so that thy humor is not fluffy and airy but tough and full of substance like unleavened bread.

For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, and slippery is the surface that leadeth to cheap laughs.

And if a heckler should ruin your act, go ahead and give him your overcoat as well. The one with bubonic fleas.

Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Knock-knock, and we’re pulling your ass off the stage.

Forgive them Father, for they do not know a good joke for shit… But please kill those hecklers.

My Fake Conversion to Isislam

Shopping for religions one day, exploring all the philosophical and doctrinal differences and weighing their various defects and virtues, I decided I needed a religion with more beheadings.

A religion with more beheadings is the kind of religion you want to be a part of, that’s for sure. As the saying goes: “Faith, Hope, Charity, yet without beheadings, I am as nothing.”

It’s hard not to think about God during a beheading. It’s so moving.

What a great selling point for our religion—the Jehovah Witnesses have their pamphlets and the Protestants have their hospitals and faggy medical missionaries, but hey, we’ve got snuff films!

Snuff films which glorify God.

If the Prophet were alive today, he’d be into that kind of snuff, right?

Thousands of psychotic converts like me are inexorably drawn to the True Faith (mankind’s best hope) after seeing a video of a beheading.

You had me at the first messy knife-cut!

If only they could bring back quartering–you know, where they put a draft animal on each limb–think of all the sick-fuck converts we could win over!

Our religion will benefit greatly from drawing in all these sick-fucks who like snuff. We will be the new Elect of God, singing ancient praises of the All Mighty One, watching high-pressure blood splatter, kidnapping a wife or two…

Yeah, that’s a hell of a recruitment tool. Literally.

The Gospel of Your Pet

I think my cat is gorging and vomiting up food for the neighbors and the strays so as to “win friends and influence [peers].”

Nobody can eat FIVE cans of Fancy Feast ® a day, plus some assorted low-grade cat food for good measure. That’s $100 a month or more!

And what am I getting for it?  Cuteness?!

I stopped leaving food outside for him at night a long time ago, although I can tell that he wants me to keep doing that.  But why should I feed the ‘possums and the strays or even his own ill-conceived so-called “families”?

So what if he might have sired kittens with some “lynxy-looking” pussy?  ‘Not my problem! Those ill-conceived kittens are on their own, Buddy boy! I can barely afford you!

Even if he doesn’t have any offspring that he’s secretly trying to feed, he shouldn’t be distributing my largess to Un-Worthies—i.e., cats I don’t want to adopt, which is all of them except him. The problem really is a distributional one—the stupid cat doesn’t know how to share!

Perhaps it was the booze, but tonight I let him have a bowl of wet food outside and said: “Ok Buddy, tonight you’re the ‘rich guy’—tonight you’re the one who hosts the party and shows off and everyone ‘loves’. Enjoy it.”

Because you know damn well I ain’t doin’ this every night! Forget that!

And then I suddenly realized that this is exactly how God could feel about me or any of us if he wanted to be a hard-ass about it.

And maybe that’s why He is such a hard-ass sometimes.

Oops–I mean, “amen”–those are sort of opposites, and yet synonymous too in a strange way.

You’ve Probably Never Heard of the True Christian Charity–and Probably Never Will

Because at True Christian Charity® we distribute money and assistance the way Jesus taught.

Interviewer: What are some of the more prominent charitable projects undertaken by the TCC (the True Christian Charity) over the last few years?

TCC Representative:  I can’t say. I mean, I won’t say.

Interviewer:  Won’t say? Why not?

TCC:  Because when it comes to charitable giving, Jesus said “When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” [Matthew 6:3]. That means keep it a secret even from yourself. And Jesus often bade the recipients of his miracles to stay quiet about it. A true Christian does not publicly display their piety or their virtue [Mark 12:40].

Interviewer:  How do you make sure your gifts are going to the truly needy?

TCC:  We don’t.

Interviewer:  But you could end up giving to criminals and other un-worthies.

TCC:  “Him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also” [Luke 6:29].

 Interviewer:  What if it’s al-Qaeda?

TCC:  We hope it is al-Qaeda: “Resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also [Matthew 5:39]. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who spitefully use you, and persecute you” [Matthew 5:44]. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” [Hebrews 10:30].

Interviewer:  What are some of your future plans at TCC looking forward?

TCC:  No plans whatsoever:  “Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself” [Matthew 6:34].

Interviewer:  Is there any charitable project that TCC will not assist?

TCC:  Yes, TCC will not help anyone with their funeral expenses, no matter how destitute you might be: “Let the dead bury the dead” [Matthew 8:22].

Interviewer:  So how can people get in touch with the TCC? Do you have a website?

TCC:  No, that would be vain and boastful.

Interviewer: So how can people contact the TCC?

TCC:  In private. Alone. In your secret places where you can shut the door behind you [Matthew 6:6]. Or on mountaintops, near clean bodies of water, fishing camps, fishing holes, anything to do with fishing–that’s where many TCC staffers spend their time. But you might also find them in an IRS office or outside a whorehouse. You never know. But they’re rarely at the mall.

Interviewer: How can you identify TCC staffers?

TCC:  You can’t. We have no special vestments for even Solomon in all his regal glory could not compare to a lily [Luke 12:27]. The only way to know for sure is to hang out at the base of sacred mountains and see who comes down transfigured [Matthew 17:2].

Interviewer:  If you eschew all publicity, then why are you doing this interview?

TCC:  Because I’m a hypocrite. They’re going to shun me for sure.

Alternate Visions of Hell

Hell is an eternal cringe.

Hell is a cruel joke whose vicious punchline you don’t get at first because you are the punchline. No wait, that’s life.

Hell is embarrassing. More so than life.

Hell is both lonely and devoid of all privacy. Experience is entirely alienated and yet the suffering is all too personal. High school was nothing.

In Hell, all the negative emotions are infinitely intense and constant except for those equally painful moments when all emotions seem false and self-crushingly hollow.

The infinite remorse despair desperation loss blah-blah-blah is alleviated only by the brief festivities surrounding Satan Appreciation Week.

The climax of the festivities is the grand reinstatement of all that crushing pain and misery. Satan knows how to throw a party and he also knows how to end one.

And the black hole tour sucks. Sucks!

Satan’s under-bosses produce charts and reports to him showing their output and productivity–i.e., suffering levels. They are rewarded by being allowed to suffer a little less than everyone else. To earn this pathetic pittance their brutality knows no bounds.

And when you look on the bright side it just burns. Never look on the bright side. Never.

Half the people that show up for work on a given day in Hell might have forgotten to put their pants on. The other half laugh and point. But then a hideous beast suddenly materializes and slices them to pieces before they can barely stop laughing.

So are the pant-less people then in the clear? No, because they get attacked by the Soul Rapists.

Satanic moral of the story: better to get sliced to pieces by a hideous beast than soul-raped. So now you know.

And that’s just a Tuesday. By Thursday, the place is a total madhouse.

Finally Some Anti-Atheist Jokes

How many atheists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

–About a hundred, since only 1 in 99 will prefer the light

What did one atheist say to the other atheist in the foxhole?

–I wonder when the fighting is going to start?

How many wars have been started/caused by religion?

–Let’s take warlike America as our case study…  Answer:  NONE!

The history of America proves you don’t need religious conflict to start a good war. ‘Cuz we’re advanced.

What did the atheist say when he finally met God?

–Oh good, I was wrong

What did the True Believer say when he met God?

–Oh shit, I was really wrong!

One day, an atheist was struggling with his moral conscience over what to do in a particularly ugly situation.  Then he remembered there’s no God and no accountability so fuck it! Wheh-hew!

Why are atheists so smart?

–They’re constantly reevaluating.

Why do atheists live in cities?

–Because they’re all they got.

Why are atheists more virtuous than theists?

–Guilty conscience.

Did you hear that Science disproves God?

–Sure, just take Boyle’s law, multiply it against Bernoulli’s Principle, divide by the second law of thermodynamics, add in General Relativity and Mendel’s laws of inheritance and you’ll find a dead god in the bottom of your test-tube every time.

Alan Brech 2012

More Barely-Burlesqued Quotations and Paraphrases from a Reputedly Great History of Western Culture (Part 3)

From Jacques Barzun’s Dawn to Decadence:  500 Years of Western Cultural Life (c. 2000).  See posts from May 24th and May 30th for Parts I and II.  Annotations are printed in italics.

• When the world gets Romanticist, and becomes less Classicist, that’s when we get Tacitus back at us (pp. 9, 247, 295, and 503).

• England has not had an English king since 1066 (p. 240).

Stupid gits

• Modern manners are an amalgam of the ideals of chivalry and mercantile rigor (p. 245).

Take sneezing for instance:  the “God bless you” part is chivalrous; the failure to offer a cloth handkerchief is mercantile.

• The reasserted Divine Right of Kings in the 17th Century led to the political marginalization of divine institutions (p. 247-248).

So if we just remove the Sanctity from marriage, divorce rates would plummet.

• Absolute power is never really absolute (p. 250).

And yet so many are absolutely corrupt

• Rimbaud, like Rambo, was bent on utter destruction (p. 618-620).

• Sexual liberation and women’s emancipation were parallel and intertwined (p. 626-627).

Men just used women’s lib. to get their freak on.

• There was no such thing as antiques until the 1890’s (p. 600).

• By the 1890’s “there was no such thing as the leisure class” because “everybody is now busy at all times, even on holiday” (p. 595).

Yeah, I feel so sorry for those bastards every time I see them sweating over their I-Phones on Cape Cod.

• History is not really a science (pp. 299, 568-570, and 578). And neither is anthropology (p. 578).

• Nurses were rightly associated with drunkenness and loose morals before Florence Nightingale (p. 580).

‘Reminds me of what old Radical Bill told me back in Gainesville:  “In my vast experience, the liveliest women in bed were nurses and Jewish women.”  If only there were more Jewish nurses…

• Some Westerners became Communist for the sex (p. 747).

• One should not read beyond one’s intelligence (p. 770)

Now he tells me–on page 770!

• Hasty intellectual judgments about scholars from the past are as deplorable as hasty moral judgments about other people in the present (p. 253).

Bullshit!

What an asshole…

• Hamlet never vacillated, nor was he indecisive (p. 254).

And Lady MacBeth didn’t have a guilty conscience–she was just OCD.

• Machiavelli was not Machiavellian given his Italian origins (p. 256).

The enz justify the meanness when you’re waist-deep in guidos. Barzun anticipated The Jersey Shore by 10 years.

• The Puritans in England and America were not dour killjoys. They only shut down the theaters because of all the whores and hook-ups (pp. 261-262, and 278).

• Modern democracy originated with the Puritans (pp. 265 and 277).

Shit, that means that Romney’s a shoe-in!

• John Lilburne had prison-glow (p. 268-269). Defoe, the father of modern journalism, also had it (p. 310).

Jesus still has prison-glow…and Cross-glow… and grave-glow…

• It was the Libertarian ideas of the Puritans that led them to persecute each other and everyone else (p. 271)

So vote for Ron Paul!  

And kill everyone else!

• Just because Fundamentalists suppress free thought does not mean that they’re anti-intellectual–persecuting ideas and speech shows that you really care (p. 272).

• Both Ceaser and Cromwell were full of clemency (pp. 274 and 276).

Mao and Stalin were veritable push-overs.

• Converting to Calvinism causes deep psychological depression–e.g. Cromwell and Bunyan (p. 275).

• The old Calvinist/Protestant Head-Trip:

Step 1:  get depressed about your moral salvation

Step 2:  feel morally justified and act semi-evil

  The new Calvinist/Protestant Head-Trip:

Skip step 1  (p. 275).

• Like anti-Communism during the Cold War, “anti-Popery” in England was justified at least until the early 19th Century (p. 276).

I never realized that fragrant flowers and leaves in an open bowl could be so offensive or dangerous.

• The Puritans were big fans of dry-humping, which they called “bundling” (p. 279-281).

• The 13th Century was the real Age of Enlightenment (p. 281).

• The reason the Puritans were so uptight was because they foresaw the modern condition of materialism, atheism and Hobbesianism that so disquiets our current age (p. 282).

• Louis XIV was raised by a single mom (p. 285-286).

Shit, that means Obama’s a shoe-in!

• Nobles used to be rebels, but Louis XIV kept them in line with etiquette and entertainment.  Versailles was so polite and entertaining that “everyone was on tenterhooks” (pp. 286-288, and 296).

• Versailles was constructed to get away from the mobs and intellectuals of Paris (p. 287-288).

They could have just moved to Florida, I mean, he was the Sun King after all…

• Louis XIV could scan the crowd at Versailles and tell at a glance who was absent (p. 287).

He missed his true calling as a leader of one of those so-called “Million-man marches.”

• Louis XIV only lost his temper twice. His most severe rebuke (besides “Hey, where’s so-and-so?”) was “I was almost kept waiting!” (p. 281-291).

And that’s why he never bothered to get a driver’s license. Or vote. Or shop. Or go out on a second date.

(p. 290:  “He obtained a succession of mistresses without the use of tactics.”)

• Louis XIV’s best mistress (Athenais de Mortemart) was a Satanist. When he shacked up with a truly pious woman (Mme. de Maintenon), his kingdom went to Hell (pp. 291, and 300-301).

• The aristocrats of pre-Revolutionary France were too Germanic (p. 295).

• Modern societies have “recklessly prolonged life” (p. 525)

This from a guy who was born in 1907 and still isn’t dead.

• Regarding the disappearance of court jesters:  the increase in Rationalism at the onset of the Monarchical Age (1648–1789) meant the end of the role of “the inspired idiot” (p. 302).

BUT I’M BACK, BABY!!!

Alan Brech, 2012

Blaming Jews

I like to blame the Jews–for making me fat.  Did you know that to a Jew “No thanks, I had a late lunch” is the same thing as saying “Yes, I’d love some dinner” ?

Yes, it really is a big Jewish conspiracy.  Actually, it’s more like a Jewess conspiracy than a Jewish conspiracy. But it is huge–38 unsightly inches in my case. Ok 40… 42 at the end of a long winter.

‘Ever notice that Jewish women are constantly worried that they’re eating too much and you’re not eating enough?  It’s just so non-Golden Rule. So un-Christian!

The real difference between Reform and Conservative Judaism, on the one hand, and Hasidism on the other, is that Reform and Conservative Jewish men have figured out what their womenfolk are up to, while the Hasidic men remain blissfully clueless. And fat. Very fat.

In that sense, the Hasidim and the goyim (non-Jews) are closer to each other than either is to Reform or Conservative Judaism.

“More babkas, borscht, blintzes and brisket, honey?”

“Save it for the people whose ‘No thanks’ means ‘Yes.’ I’m staying thin. Like you.”

So no, you’re not paranoid–they really are conspiring to make you huge.

Alan Brech 2012

Scholars Gone Wild! More Barely Burlesqued Quotations from a Reputedly Great History of Western Culture

From Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (2000) with little or no distortion:

•  Kepler, the discoverer of the elliptical nature of planetary orbits, “was a practicing astrologist.” (p. 196)

He invented the elliptical writing used in modern horoscopes.

•  Newton was “a dedicated alchemist.” (p. 196)

He sure struck gold when he combined figs with shortbread.

•  Paracelsus was “hot with anger against authority.” (p. 197)

You should have seen his brother Full-On Celsus–as a little boy the Church confirmed him just so they could immediately excommunicate him, he was that bad.

•  The Catholic Church defended Galileo as long as they could. It was the rest of the public that was against him. (p. 204)

•  Pascal was too Catholic to be a mystic. (p. 215)

Jesus was too mystic to be a Catholic.

•  Science is bourgeois.  It’s just so new money. (pp. 206-207)

•  The Middle Ages were jolly, not gloomy. Feudalism was a breeze. (p. 225-226)

•  No one thought the world was going to end in A.D. 999. It’s a myth. (p. 227)

•  Dante’s beloved Beatrice was nine years old. (p. 233)

Reading his poems is now like watching Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

•  Romantic poetry and courtly love indirectly led to women’s rights. The Crusades helped too. (pp. 232-234)

My love is like an autonomous independent being 

who dependeth not on my regard for her self-worth,

nor yet the approval of any man she may be seeing

to imbue her life with meaning, or give birth

•  Medieval medicine makes a lot of sense. (p. 223)

•  In the Middle Ages, bands of graduate and undergraduate students roamed the countryside practicing anarchy. The more sedentary just preyed upon the nearby townspeople. (p. 229)

•  In the Middle Ages, there was no Middle Ages. (pp. 224-225)

If only that were also true for the Postmodern Era.

•  In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Germany and Italy caused “harm” to other European powers “by their tempting weakness.” (p. 241)

Blaming victims again? (see May 24th post below)

•  Dueling is an improvement over clan warfare, and absolute monarchs are better than dueling aristocrats (pp. 241-243)

Now here Barzun might be on to something.

Alan Brech 2012

Surprising Facts about Western Culture

Paraphrased nuggets from a really big book people say is great (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun, 2000) with occasional annotations:

• Dante was a nickname. His real name was Durante. (p. 113)

As in Jimmy?

Faust was a puppet show in England when Goethe saw it and got inspired. (p. 112)

Now if only we could make a puppet show out of Goethe’s writings, imagine what it might inspire!

• Virgil was a magician. (p. 47)

He sure pulled The Aeneid out of his ass! 

• The French Protestants provoked their own massacres. (p. 86, 113, etc.)

I’m not getting involved.

• Amerigo Vespucci really does deserve all the credit. Because he knew. (p. 104)

Don Quixote is not a novel. (p. 111)

• Da Vinci was not a “Renaissance Man.” (p. 79)

• Tolstoy proved that opera is absurd. (p. 176)

• Italians used to be considered smart. (p. 149)

• Academia started as writers workshops. In Italy! (ibid)

• Germans were once peaceful and doltish. (p. 178)  Part of being a Renaissance Person was being anti-German, euphemistically referred to as Gothic. But everyone knew you meant them.

• The Counter-Reformation was really just reform. Every society has its Inquisition, they just don’t call it that. (p. 38)

• Luther : Calvin : : Marx : Lenin  (p. 34, 37)

Ok, so then Vespucci : Columbus : : Ben Franklin : Everyone who got struck by lightning before Franklin?

• Thomas Aquinas was almost excommunicated–twice! (p. 40)

Three times could be a charm Benedictus!

And yeah, I’ve only gotten to page 200–about a quarter way in.

©2012 Alan Brech–no one can steal from Barzun the way I just did

In the beginning was the joke and the joke was Good

Brethren–and sisters–our text today is from the Book of Laughs.  Now of course the full title is: The Laughs of the Ass-postles of Christ that’s Funny as Recorded by Bobo, Loyal but Overly-Editorial Scribe to Paul, formerly Saul, formerly of Gaul, who Claimed to be from Tarsus.

So you can see why people just call it The Laughs for short. That fuckin’ Bobo! Heh heh…

Today we’re gonna sermonize from Laughs 37:10 (hike!) where we find the following wisdumb:

“On that Day of Reckoning all the boogers thou ever picked and wiped shall be mounded up high and brought down on thy dwellings and thy fields, yay, on thy chattel and thy manservants, and then shalt thou have to account for the sins of thy very un-Jewish poor hygiene–

“–But IF thou believest in the holy nose hairs of the Messiah, in the redeeming sacrifice of his Pickless Existence, then shalt thou be washed clean of thine own filthy filtrations and enter into the Holy Mansion of God which has no boogers underneath the furniture and only a few old gum wads here and there because God suffers the children–and therefore, by implication, not you…”

The point is, brethren–and sisters–is that Christianity allowed us Europeans to be the filthy pigs we were gonna be anyway. Truly a miracle!