Let’s Be Honest about Paul for a Second

Paul is an asshole. He was an asshole when he was Saul and he was an asshole after the incident on the road to Damascus. He’s the only Christian whose martyrdom was probably a result of having annoyed the shit out of everyone standing within 100 yards of him, and not his religion. It’s nice of people to pretend he was crucified upside down, but I personally believe the beheading version, because who would want to listen to him gripe for the hours it takes to die by crucifixion?

Anyway, this doesn’t mean that Paul wasn’t an effective leader–effective leaders tend to be giant assholes. In fact, if I were speculating on why Paul was given the job of setting up and setting on their ways so many early churches, I would bet it was this particular personality quirk that made him stand out as an effective leader. In other words, he excelled at what he did because he was a giant asshole with a singular vision for how to set up and run the organization necessary to perpetuate a belief system.

I don’t remind you that Paul was an asshole in order to discredit the good he did. But I do remind you that, before you say, “Well, it says in the Bible…” that many books in the New Testament were written by a giant asshole and that, whenever the giant asshole says something, it needs to be weighed against the words in red. If they go along with what the words in red say, run with it. If they contradict the words in red or seem to contradict the spirit of the words in red, then just blow it off.

Or start calling your religion Paulianity, just so everyone knows where you stand.

There are No Grownups


I remember my friends’ parents turning 40. It seemed impossibly grown-up. Like, oh, there you have a house with a yard and a family and your kids are getting ready to go to college and you have thoughts and opinions about grown-up things and have insights and blah blah blah.

Tomorrow, I turn 39 and I’m kind of freaked out about it. The difference between being 15 and being 25 is so vast. It’s easy to say that you obviously are a different person at 25 than you are at 15. But, after that, there doesn’t seem to be any more great universal change. Bad things happen. Good things happen. And they refine you. But there doesn’t appear to be any more grown up you get once you’re there.

This is it. The pudding is set.

That really freaks me the fuck out. This is it. This is what me as a grown-up is.

I can’t decide if I was hoping for something better or not.

Why Do They Live There?

Last night, on Twitter, some people were asking why people would continue to live in Tornado Alley. I think this is a pretty common misconception here in the United States, that Tornado Alley is some narrow sliver of the county and the rest of us are somehow “outside of Tornado Alley.” Like it’s a real alley and shaped like one.

But here’s every tornado in the past 60 years. Shall we all go live in the Rockies? Shall everyone move to the southeastern corner of Oregon?

There is no “there” where “they” are and “we” are not.