Thursday, December 16, 2004
God Is A Violent Drunk
Taken individually, I like most people. Taken as a group, I hate most everybody. I believe that the more people you put in a room, the lower their collective intelligence becomes. The very best two places to observe this phenomenon have a lot in common: bars and churches.
Warning: Extremely hypocritical arrogant misanthropic snobbery and contempt for organized religion and popular culture to follow.
When I was forced to attend a Methodist church as a child I was struck stupid by the atonal braying they called hymns. It sounded like the groaning of a thousand constipated cows. These idiotic mumblings provided a common shared experience that helped everyone feel like a member of the group, together, in a mindless procession of hypnotic noise.
I have voluntarily and enthusiasticly visited many bars, and I am constantly struck by the utter lack of taste betrayed by the most popular choices selected on the jukebox. Horrible miscarriages like Kid Rock's Bawitdaba and Pink's Let's Get This Party Started are constantly trying to bleed my ears and stuff my head with shredding tinfoil. Yes, I consider myself a highbrow arbiter of taste. Sue me. Anyhow, this idiotic thumping and screeching provides the drunks a way to feel like a member of the group via a vapid mindless shared experience. God forbid they enjoy that shit independently of other people.
While engaging in their respective noises, the volume of each group rises exponentially in relation to a certain characteristic. The bar patrons get louder and louder the more booze they imbibe. The saintly ones get louder and louder the deeper their fear of the unknown, desperately reaching for a higher power to answer their longings and salve their injuries. Sorry folks, God is just Santa Claus for adults and there is nobody listening. Increasing your volume isn't helping anything. My favorites are the ones who get louder to be more holy, to ward off that which they fear, the different. I want to create a gasoline lake of fire to scorch and drown them.
Socially there are many comparisons to be made. Many profess to attend the bar to get drunk, meet people and watch sports. Many also profess to attend Sunday service to seek forgiveness, praise Jesus, and meet people. There are subtleties beneath these stated goals. It seems that people in both places are actively showing off their wardrobes, accessories, and income, via both the cost of the vehicle driven and the wife's earrings. Everybody just wants to be popular.
When I go to the bar I usually end up taking to the grizzly old bastard smoking a tobacco pipe, snapping his suspenders and muttering at a bowl of peanuts. He knows he has nothing worthwhile to say, so there's only one pretentious shithead in the conversation, me. I realize that I am just as guilty of being a fuckhead as those I lampoon. I shall continue.
Finally we have the basic physical attributes.
Wood: In a church you sit on a pew or pray before the altar. The bar is named for the polished wood your drinks are served upon, on which you lean. Both require convoluted posture.
Iconography: Bars have neon beer signs. A church is easily recognized by the numerous crosses, although perhaps the stained glass windows are a better comparison to neon. Churches have roadside signs with bible passages, bars have chalkboards with drink specials.
Other: A church offers wafer & wine, a bar offers pretzels & beer. In a Catholic church, you kneel, bow your head, and confess to the priest to purge your sins. Upon leaving the bar, you kneel and vomit to purge your sins.
1. Who do you look up to more, Jesus, or the guy who buys everyone in the bar a round? My answer: The buying guy, Jesus never did anything for me.
2. Who is more entertaining, the priest/preacher/rector, or the band/DJ? My answer: the band. Sometimes you get original music, whereas at the church it's always cover songs.
3. Do you feel you get a better reward by tipping Jesus (alms dish) or by tipping your bartender? My answer: Should be obvious by now. You can't get loaded off a sip of cheap red wine.
4. Are your favorite musicians, writers, and artists religious people? Mine are, and that baffles me. John Irving, U2, Orson Scott Card, Curt Schilling, Moby, etc. All Christians. Openly. Pisses me off. Yet they're great. I consider myself agnostic and consider religious doctrine to be arrogant posturing, a failure to recognize our human ignorance of the invisible.
5. What Would Jesus Drink? My answer: Nothing. He would smoke pot. Look at him, he's obviously a stinky fucking hippy.
6. What are the differences between Anglicans, Congregationalists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Protestants, Puritans, Episcopalians, and Universalists? Did I forget any denominations? My answer: I don't know. I am masochisticly curious.
Okay, your turn. Crucify me.
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