Flipflops and a Miter

It’s oddly comforting to know that even a Pope gets treated, in death, no differently than anyone else. First they make you a Saint (or a Devil) and take away your humanity. Nuance goes to black or to white. And then they pile portent and pith on what you’ve spoken, or they resuscitate what’s settled in order to change the nature of the Truth that was Your Life.

When Allen died—it will have been ten years ago next Wednesday—he was canonized by friends and family. It pissed me off that all those subtleties, the thousand things he thought about, the million little nuances that annoyed and delighted me, were all gone with the absolute stamp of a monoclonal remembrance.

And so the Roman Catholic Church herself turns what I’m sure at one point was a somewhat nuanced and quite human creature and manufactures a new Saint. And on a more personal note, Cardinal Poopyhead Schönhorn reverses a clear statement by Pope John Paul II and attempts to refute clarify it in more triumphal formalist fideist politically-expedient hardline terms. Yes, folks, John Paul II, the Pope of the Papists Worldwide, was not hardline enough for today’s Romans—and he just died a few months ago!

Evolution is what is at stake. Again. Good, strong Science is at stake. Again. God blessed Kansas with Holy Ignorance and the Church wants a piece of that Blessing for Herself. By drawing such a fine point on the entire matter, Schönhorn undoes what JP2 ostensibly infallibly set out to do—while preserving the ex cathedra infallability of the Office Itself. Pope Panzer must be proud, the Pernicious turned Perspicacious on his watch.

That’s a lot of alliteration by a bald Barbose blogging by blathering balefully!

No matter. If I sound bitter, it is perhaps that I have been arguing the wrong side of science, assigning the absolutist moniker to the wrong team: look at the Catholics, the Conservative Christians! They are the real relativists, redefining Science Itself to mean what they want, stealing fact and shwagging it up as ideology, and taking ideology and peddling it as Truth. Except when it doesn’t suit. Then they change the nature of Truth itself and call it Absolute while absolving themselves of their own arrogance—all in the name of Jesus.

Life is funny; there oughta be a two-drink minimum.

You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal - except my life, except my life.

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Awww, I’m the Dad!

Today is Transfer Student Orientation for Sam.

For the last hour-plus, I’ve been sitting in a too-warm room with too-burnt-orange carpeting in a low-ceilinged meeting room called the Rosa Parks Room. Earlier, Sam noted that we were sitting in the back.

I’d had to sit through a too-perky presentation with too-square cartoons cribbed and scanned and placed on an outdated PowerPoint presentation done up in canary yellow seriffed text on a light blue field.

Straight people, I swear, sometimes.

I’m here while Sam is at the student sessions two floors up in Jack Adams Hall. The man doing the preso is the director of the Career Center, and he’s giving a big verbal chuck-on-the-chin to all the “other parents” in the room, encouraging their children to stay vigilant and take the initiative in learning how to be presentable.

Parents laughing at the silliness of haircuts, tattoos and piercings. I’d have to admit that there’s no love lost between me and tattooing, but I’m more neutral than anything else. Piercings? Well, some people do look like they’ve fallen face-first into a tackle box, but a piercing isn’t the end of the world.

I guess it’s one of the things in not being a parent that makes me less affronted by body manipulation, or less adversarial to the “new generation” at all.

Though, come to think of it, I guess I can see why certain crazies come around here and call me categorically “old”. They’ve moved through their lives along a certain path that prevents them from being agonistic to “today’s youth”: they draw a line at an arbitrary age difference and stand apart. They are old, themselves, no matter what the calendar says.

I’m not saying that chronological age doesn’t figure; I’m just saying that culture plays a bigger part in affinity.

Besides, these parents are OLD!

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