God Told Me to Tell You to Give Me All Your Money

Dr. J reminded me yesterday of the craziest thing our roommate did in grad school.  Shortly after I decided that I wanted to go to the publishing institute in New York, so did she.  I don’t remember how I found out, but I think Dr. J told me, as the roommate had this idea that she could just do it and somehow I wouldn’t notice.

That’s not the crazy part, though.  The crazy part is that she asked her church for the money to do it.  Not the church she’d grown up in, but the church she’d attended on and off for the two years she’d been in Winston-Salem.

And they gave it to her! 

Coble has a post today about the intriguing funds distribution that’s been done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  She makes her usual argument about how churches and other private charities are better equipped to handle the business of charity.

The only problem is that a scam artist is a scam artist and it’s no harder for a cute girl with a sob story to get a couple of thousand bucks from a church than it is for her to get football tickets from the government.

I don’t think shifting who takes care of charity is going to lessen the outrageous stories we hear about the folks who receive it milking the system.

And at least these government things come to light.  Is there anybody accountable for how the money that walks out of a church is spent?  Is there any oversight?

I don’t want to freak y’all out by agreeing with Kleinheider, but when the man says, ” Humans are rotten and deceitful by nature,” he’s pretty damn close.  I don’t think we’re rotten and deceitful, but we’re definitely selfish boogers.  Sometimes, religion helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

But handing over large amounts of funds to churches and expecting that such cash will go only to do-gooding and not to fun-having?  Seems to rely on a level of morality we’ve shown no evidence of being able to achieve.

It’s a Pop Quiz! Get Out Your Pencils.

Neil Young owns Hank Williams’s guitar.  He asks you if you’d like to play it.  You say:

a. Hank who?

b.  Hell yeah.

c.  Holy shit.  No.  What if I broke it?  But can I stand near you while you play it?

If you are one of the dinks who answered a., I’m kicking you out of America.  Seriously, if you’re the kind of person who gets to hang out with Neil Young and you don’t know who Hank Williams is, you’ve lost your right to be an American citizen.  So long, jackass.

So, yeah, I’m half watching the Neil Young DVD being premiered on VH1 old fart’s channel, and he’s explaining how he came to own Hank Williams’s guitar and how, for the musicians he meets who know who Hank Williams is, it’s a big thrill for them to see it.  Implying, of course, that her regularly meets musicians who don’t know who Hank Williams is.

Really.  Shouldn’t you have to prove just a baseline of knowledge of American culture at some point if you want to be an American citizen? 

Off the top of my head, here’s the things I think you should have to have some working knowledge of if you want to claim to be an American.

  • The Constitution
  • George Washington
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Abigail Adams
  • Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Walt Whitman
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Mark Twain
  • The Robber Barons
  • The Civil War
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Hank Williams
  • Elvis Presley
  • Babe Ruth
  • Martin Luther King
  • Malcolm X
  • Viet Nam
  • Muddy Waters
  • Madonna
  • N.W.A.

There’s probably shit I’m forgetting, but is basic cultural competence really too much to ask?

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law

Yep, I’m tossing around the Crowley references just for you, Huck.

Crowley uses “Will” in a specific way, of course.  He’s not saying, “go ahead and do whatever the fuck you want.”  He’s saying “align yourself with your true purpose (your will) and do it.”

Heh, good luck with that.

My roommate in college, though?

The first time I met her, she said, “I’m going to marry an Irishman.”

You know how many men from Ireland were living in Bloomington, Illinois in the mid-90s?  Two.  Brothers.

And she ended up married to one of them!

I should drop her an email that just says 93 and see if she answers, “Love is the law, love under will.”  It sure would explain a lot.

Why I Like Dino Better than Sinatra

I like Dino better than Frank because–and this is purely my opinion, not based on any facts whatsoever, as I know no facts about the two of them–it seems like, if you were a damsel in distress, and Dino and Frank came along to save you, after they were done, Dino might carry your picture around in his wallet and take it out every once in a while and smile to himself when he thought about you.