Heaven

The Message in a Bullitt

[#rapeculture]

Detail of frame from Durarara!!!

The permeating sense of inevitability of Akela Lacy’s report for Politico

A Kentucky lawmaker died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday evening after facing allegations that he molested a 17-year-old girl in 2012.

Dan Johnson, a Republican state representative, shot himself on the Greenwell Ford Road bridge in Mt. Washington, Kentucky, according to the Bullitt County coroner. The apparent suicide came after his Republican colleagues called for him to step down following reports that he assaulted a young woman on New Year’s Eve of 2012.

—is its own curious, unhelpful beast. The the former self-described “pope” of Heart of Fire, later elected to the Kentucky House, was accused after the incident several years ago, but police closed their investigation without charges. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting spent seven months investigating the legislator, leading to a report Monday; on Tuesday, Rep. Johnson (R-KY49) denied the charges during a press conference.   (more…)

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A Note on Why the Internet Goes to Hell When It Dies

[#nevermind]

Did you Know? In 2009, Eminem tweeted proof that he scored 465,800 in Donkey Kong, making him one of the highest scorers in the world. [via Salon.com, 11 November 2017]The Internet—(no, I do not like Capitalizing the Word)—sees fit to inform me that—

In 2009, Eminem tweeted proof that he scored 465,800 in Donkey Kong, making him one of the highest scorers in the world.

(via Salon.com; #nevermind)

—and no, it is true I did not know this before; nor is it clear how I should feel about this information. No, seriously, other than the fact that some editor somewhere saw fit to include a trivial widget to tell me stuff like this, I had precisely no reason to care.

Meanwhile, something, something, and now for something completely different.   

Hey, how about this: If I blame Tom Clancy, how fucking smart are you?

The Only Explanation That Counts

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 16 December 2015.Explanations come and go, but this is the only one that counts: It’s Bug Martini.

And, you know, of all the things to waste the pun on, well, yeah. That’s our Adam.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 16 December 2015.

Theological Comedy

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 22 March 2015.Follow the bouncing ball. Damn. Where’d I put the ball?

Anyway, it’s pretty simple for being so complicated: The ultimate reality is called Mysterium for a reason. With me, so far? The word is “ineffable”, which means it cannot be properly expressed, which is also ironic given the number of people you might meet who have no idea what the word means. Well, okay. Almost ironic. Metaironic. Nevermindronic?

So here’s the deal: If it cannot be expressed, any expression thereof will necessarily be inadequate.

Easy enough?

Good.

A practical example: You have finite brain capacity and function. The whole of the Universe cannot fit inside your brain; you can neither witness nor calculate its entirety in any one moment.

Now stop to consider we might search out, should we be so inclined, centuries-old debates about the nature of a monotheistic godhead and whether “infinite” is inclusive enough to contain the whole of God. Think St. Augustine on crack.

An anecdotal example: An explanation of Heaven given me at a Jesuit high school had to do with our individual selves gathered ’round God’s throne in Heaven, singing hosannas throughout eternity. No, really, can you think of anything more boring?

Still, though, Zach Weiner offers a pretty good take on what would be heavenly.

The lesson, however, is this: In the end, by the totality of the godhead―to infinity, and beyond!―there is no experiential difference ‘twixt being one with God and simply being dead.

If you run it to earth, that’s what you find.

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Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 22 March 2015.

A Reminder: Funerals Are for the Living

Transgender pride

“I am disgusted. A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as Geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.”

Stacy Dee Hudson

Sometimes it bears reminding that funerals are rituals performed for the sake of the living.

James Nichols reports:

In a depressing reminder of the times in which we live and how far we still have to go to reach equality for everyone in the LGBT community, a Twin Falls, Idaho, transgender woman was presented as male in an open-casket funeral service this week.

Jennifer Gable, 32, reportedly died suddenly of a brain aneurysm while working at Wells Fargo Bank on Oct. 9. At her funeral, Gable, who legally changed her name in 2007, was reportedly not referred to as Jennifer once.

Additionally, the late Gable’s family cut her hair short and presented her wearing a suit and her obituary reportedly skipped the decade of her life she spent transitioning to live authentically as Jennifer.

There is no question, even from afar, that the proposition of refusing one’s own child’s identity in order to present them after death as something and someone other than who they really were is cruel beyond measure. It is selfish and hateful and ultimately stupid.

But it is also, such as things are, what funerals are for.

Not hatred and stupid, selfish cruelty per se, but the dead are either with God and thus otherwise preoccupied, suffering eternal punishment and thus otherwise preoccupied, or simply dead in a fucking box in the ground, in which case how their families abuse them at the memorial service just flat doesn’t matter to them.

Funerals and memorials are for the living.

That Jennifer Gable’s family apparently chose to celebrate their own desperate hatred? That is what it is. Call it what you want. But it is what they chose to celebrate, and such rituals and ceremonies are not for the dead. They are for the living.

In which case the best advice is to simply remember your friends for who they were, so that at least someone in this world still loves them.

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Nichols, James. “Jennifer Gable, Transgender Woman, Presented As Man At Her Funeral”. The Huffington Post. 24 November 2014.

Bigotry: The Next Generation

Well, now. Where to begin?

Okay, how about with an update from Winston-Salem, North Carolina:

A young demonstrator took aim at North Carolina’s Green Street United Methodist Church after its recent pledge to stop performing weddings until same-sex marriage is legalized.

The next generation of HatredAs Good As You blogger Jeremy Hooper first reported, the boy—who is not identified—stood in front of the Winston-Salem church on Easter Sunday with a placard that read, “Jesus Must Be Your Lord Or He Will Not Be Your Savior.”

“The Bible talks about the homosexuals—they’re worthy of death,” the boy proclaims, as seen in video footage of the protest which was also posted on Hooper’s site. “They’re worthy of death, and you people approve of them! That’s why you’re going to Hell without Jesus Christ. You can turn from your sin!”

He adds, “It’s time to stop sinning and follow the lord Jesus Christ!”

This is one of those good news, bad news situations. That is to say: Good news! An eleven year-old boy has awoken to his political conscience and is expressing himself! And, of course: Bad news! An eleven year-old boy has demonstrated the heritability of bigotry!

(more…)