Saturday, May 25, 2013

Extreme Makeover, Brain-Dead Edition (aka “Down ‘n Out Abbey”)

One of the popular “reality shows” on U.S. network TV in recent years has been one called Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.  In this program, a needy (and supposedly deserving) family (usually one that has suffered some unforeseen misfortune) gets their house “re-habbed” by a professional crew – all, of course, gratis -- at no expense.  And during the program, the family’s “story” is told: the particulars on what type of misfortune happened to them, how they are dealing with it, and other “human interest stuff” to both entertain and inform those watching the show.

Also, you might recall, “PBS” (the U.S. Public Broadcasting System) has been airing a BBC series (called Downton Abbey) for the past three years (with another season or two in the works) – about life in an upper-class estate in Edwardian England.  Well, folks, it turns out that traddieland has its own version of both: the saga about life in a no-class rectory in “Dolanesque” America.  This “version” is, in fact, a hybrid, having elements of both Downton Abbey and Extreme Make-over.  We call it Extreme Makeover, Brain-Dead Edition – or, Down ‘n Out Abbey for short.  It is the story of how “SGG” (St. Gertrude the Great Church), through the magic of “R&R” (Relocation & Reconstruction), became the resounding travesty that it is today.  In the case of SGG, the old facility was not “re-habbed” but sold, and a new facility (in a new location) built in its place.

Heretofore, SGG’s parish was languishing in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, Ohio, in a church “way too small” for its congregation – whose school children were “crammed” into that church’s basement.  The dream was to replace all of this with both a new church structure and a new school, plus, build a new rectory and convent.  The fact that the old church had a building next door -- an “Odd-fellows” Hall -- which could be used for a school, was a moot point: what the pastor and his assistant wanted was a self-contained, brand-spanking new “campus,” complete with everything: church, school, rectory, convent – “the full Monty.”

So, an ambitious “building campaign” was started, with the church’s main benefactor (who lived in Kentucky) tapped for a million or so to get things moving.  (However, not everyone was expected to donate such a sum; an elderly widow living on a fixed Social Security income, for instance, would only be expected to cough up a measly six grand or so.)  With much exhortation (and fund-raising “techniques” that Jimmy Hoffa would’ve been proud of), the money was raised; and a parcel of land (valued at $500,000) adjoining an industrial lot was picked for the new “complex.” 

The “main benefactor” had offered them land in Kentucky “for free”; but they chose the “premium” site (which they could have sold for a profit) instead.  The reason was that the land in Kentucky, although close to most of SGG’s parishioners (the “main benefactor’s” extended family – most of whom lived in Kentucky -- comprised about half the congregation), was not near the desired “epicenter,” i.e., where most of the restaurants (frequented by the pastor and his assistant) were located. But, no matter -- with spirits high (and wallets drained), the intrepid SGG parishioners plodded forward, ready for excitement -- and exploitation!

The original plan called for an impressive, gothic-style “sermon in stone,” connected to its school by a “cloister” colonnade; and the school was to have a large gymnasium for its expected burgeoning enrollment.  Also included were a rectory, a convent, a “carriage house” -- and even a grotto.  But SGG’s sheep didn’t “sacrifice” as expected, and the “sermon” idea had to be shelved – and, instead, the gymnasium became the “church.”  Also, the “stone” used for the “church” turned out to be stone veneer (from China) – about one inch thick – which was literally hung on the building’s frame via “pins” -- to make it look “solid.”  To finish it off, a kind of epoxy caulking was applied (from a caulking gun) to serve as “mortar.”

The result was a structure where the stone not only did not support anything, but structurally detracted from the edifice – making the place not so much a “sermon in stone,” but more like an “epistle in epoxy” – but with no moxy!  But, no matter – it looked good (and, after all, in traddieland, “appearances” are what count – right?).  If there was ever a prize given for architectural blunder of the year, this baby would win it hands down (just as WHH would win its literary equivalent).  This new facility is a case study in how to transform a Taj Mahal plan into “section 8” housing.

Now, the original plan for the “cloister” and adjoining area called for a sloped roof; but Tony Cekada, SGG’s literary paper-lion and resident Expert on Everything, wanted a flat roof, to make things look more “churchy.”  Therefore, SGG’s resident yes-man, G. Whiz Kwikenderty, dutifully obliged, and a flat roof it was!  (An architectural expert from SGG’s Columbus affiliate was sent down to evaluate the roof, as well as the new facility’s general quality of construction; and he found it to be not so much appealing as it as appalling.  His remedial recommendations, of course, were ignored; and the roof was finished according to “the Blunderer’s” mandate.)  However, that design didn’t quite stand well with the laws of physics, that is, the roof leaked.  Several patch jobs were done, but to no avail; and the upshot of the whole thing is that the roof now needs to be replaced.  But – no matter – the “sheep” are “good” for it – right?

Other nifty design features included several utility systems that didn’t meet code (but somehow got “fudged” through later on), plus an innovative HVAC cost-cutting measure enabling the church’s vestibule to be used as a sauna in the summer, and a meat-locker in the winter – great for young mothers with week-old infants!  Another “nice touch” in the vestibule was a hard wooden bench for “crying room mothers” to sit on, but with no “back” to it.  Instead, there was a large picture mounted on the wall behind it, such that when someone sits on the bench, the picture’s “frame” cuts right through the sitter’s back – a design feature worthy of the Marquis de Sade.  If this arrangement still exists, it is a testament to both the pastor’s ingenuity (and depravity), and parishioners’ forbearance (and masochism).

The “church” building also includes a “social hall” (a space originally earmarked for staff offices), and private offices for the pastor and his assistant, with the dozen or so “staff” being shoe-horned into an area about the size of the pastor’s office.  The pastor’s office, of course, has an over-sized wooden desk and chair, and its own fireplace; and it and the assistant pastor’s (also large) office share a wet-bar/kitchenette and private, Roman marble full-bath (with shower), while the staff shares the social hall restrooms with the rest of the parishioners.  The pastor’s office, by the way, adjoins a windowless “sleeping” room that can be used for other activities that lend themselves to windowless rooms.

Besides the gym-turned-church, the perforated cloister, and the school, the complex also includes a 2000+ sq. ft. rectory and a similar-sized “convent.”  The rectory, an edifice whose area could ordinarily accommodate a family of six or seven, houses two occupants: the pastor and his assistant – each with his own living-room sized bedroom (and each with private bath and walk-in closet).  For some reason, the rectory has three air-conditioning systems (perhaps to give each occupant his own “climate zone,” plus a “spare”).  Because they ran out of the Chinese stone veneer, the rectory exterior was clad in stucco, to give it a half-timbered, “English” look.

The same holds true for the “convent” (The reason for the quotation marks is that it really isn’t a convent, although it was “sold” to the parishioners as such).  As it turned out, what nuns they did have were billeted in a small house (left over from their “Sharonville days”), which was inconveniently located several miles away – necessitating the nuns’ commuting to and from the “campus” to get their work done.  When they moved into the property, there were two nuns (both of whom are now gone).  What the “convent” then became, instead, was a boarding facility for visiting priests (usually from Sanborn’s swampland complex).  To round out the “campus,” there is a “carriage house” (now used for storage) and a “grotto” – but not just a grotto: in front of the grotto, there is a (roughly 10 ft. diameter) fish-pond (complete with re-circulating pump, and a dozen or so goldfish (the pastor originally wanted sixty-bucks-a-copy koi for the pond; but, fortunately, a cost-conscious worker sent to buy them substituted the cheaper fish for them.

There seems to be an ongoing problem with keeping the fish alive, however.  It is not known whether they die of “natural causes,” or if perhaps they are being decimated by the resident cats (Vivaldi, Puccini, and Caravaggio).  Another possibility, too, could be that the fish are “raffled off” to the parishioners some time during Lent.  For those who have not frequented the property in recent years, it is not known if the fish-pond is even functioning (or if it is still stocked with fish) – and, for that matter, if Vivaldi, Puccini, and Caravaggio are “still with us” (there has been no mention of their demise in The Bishop’s Corner, so we must assume that they have not yet “gone to that big cat-house in the sky”).

Anyway, getting back to the roof: rumor now has it that there is going to be a plea for money to bankroll the roof repairs now pending (even though the roof ought to be still “under warranty”).  One thing, of course, that “complicates” this is the fact that SGG still has the fifty-to-eighty-grand-a-year “school” millstone around its neck (depending on how many Lotarski kids are on the payroll), plus whatever is paid -- if any -- to the rest of their faculty.  Then there’s the “beat the clock” factor: it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the place falls apart anyway, what with the “hung on” stone veneer, the ever-leaking roof, and the overall shoddy construction techniques (and materials) employed by G. Whiz. 

We give Down ‘n Out Abbey about a generation to once again attain that “English” look (i.e., like London after the blitz).  By that time, though, the dynamic duo should have enough salted away to abscond to the Caribbean (the Bishop’s Lodge is just too pricey) -- or perhaps to some bargain resort in Thailand.  It all depends on how much parishioners’ money can be laundered with the fiscal shell game that’s been going on all these years (with SGG’s tangle of “front” corporations and shelters).  Then the onus will be on “Lurch” or “Wannabe” (or whoever turns out to be their heir apparent) to pick up the pieces (both figuratively and literally).  Perhaps by that time they’ll find someone with real construction expertise (and a priest who doesn’t try to “play architect”).

One of the many ironies of all of this is that the old Sharonville facility would now handily suffice – and last much longer than what they have now.  It is a sturdy, well-built brick facility, which would more-than-adequately meet the needs of SGG’s now greatly-diminished congregation; and the property next door (the aforementioned “Odd-fellows hall”) would have made a more-than-adequate school (which now houses only a handful of students).  Plus, the hall could have been purchased by selling the half-million-dollar lot they ended up using for the new facility – with money left over.  Another irony is that the school, in fact, turned out to be, in effect, a church-subsidized private tutoring service for the Lotarski children (most of SGG’s graduates were Lotarskis, more of whom graduated from the school than all the rest of its students combined) 

Another irony is that most of SGG’s current monetary shortfall stems from the fact that most of the original SGG congregation, including its “main benefactor,” left there in disgust – taking their money with them (the “main benefactor” heavily subsidized the school’s operation, as well as the church).  With them gone, it’s becoming a daunting task to keep the Lotarski juggernaut chugging along, and still meet the parish payroll.  The school, a sub-standard facility that has outlived its usefulness, is (as said before) a financial millstone around the pastor’s neck – who undoubtedly pines for “the good old days” at the Bishop’s Lodge, for his travel junkets to Europe and Latin America, and for the epicurean feasts at the Grand FinalĂ© et al.  For “eats,” he must now settle for Bravos – and (as he lamented in the church bulletin one Sunday) with coupons, no less!

And now, as stated earlier, rumor has it that the sheep are expected to chip in to a “roof repair fund” to pay for “Tony the Blunder’s” bone-headed mistake: his “flat roof” fiasco that must now be replaced -- a roof that is not yet ten years old.  Plus, there’s sure to be “under roof” damage to pay for as well.  Hopefully, the repair budget will be meticulously “scrutinized” so that no money erroneously finds its way into the “Bishop’s Lodge fund” or some other such pot.  And, after whatever repairs are done, we suggest that the name of the church be changed to something more appropriate (that more accurately reflects what the building represents).  Hence, we submit for the parishioners’ perusal the name “St. Dilapidatius” – the patron saint of dilapidation.

Those who “gave ‘til it hurts” during SGG’s original “building campaign” (and who fall for it again) can take solace in the fact that, by being fleeced once again, they are revalidating their “brain dead” credentials.  And for those brain-dead who had once left SGG in disgust but who have now returned – Wow! -- their “revalidation” will be doubled!: they have the satisfaction of knowing that they are 1) once again subsidizing the cult-masters’ worldly lifestyle, and 2) experiencing the masochistic thrill of knowing that they are subsidizing a mistake.  Wow, there ought to be a special party thrown for them – on April Fool’s Day!!  Perhaps, if they’re lucky, they can live to see the day when SGG’s buildings fall apart (and/or their cult-masters decamp).

To rational people, it is inconceivable how anyone with half a brain could be expected to once again bankroll what can only be described as a mistake, a blunder – especially one coming from “Tony Baloney,” whose “Schiavo” and “WHH” fiascos already establish him as the “clown prince” of blunderers.  It is even more inconceivable that people who left SGG (because they knew who and what the SGG clerics are) could be hoodwinked into not only returning there but be expected to subsidize these lepers again.  They probably returned because they can’t do without “the show” (and will overlook sodomy and sadism to get it); but we hope that they at least keep their money in their wallets this time. 

This will send a message to SGG’s clerics (and to all cult-masters) that their parishioners are not groveling boot-lickers who mindlessly reward their absurdity.  The ultimate “fix,” however, is to completely “starve the beast”: to put cult-masters like them completely out of business, for everyone’s spiritual good – including their own.  Then, stripped of worldly temptation and proclivities, they’ll perhaps renounce la dolce vita, get back to their Cistercian roots, undergo an “extreme makeover” of their own – and then, at long last, start practicing what they preach.  But, I’ll bet you -- my food stamps for your Bravo’s coupon -- that that’s not going to happen! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You Can’t Fix Brain-Dead

The “beatitudes” and “pearls of wisdom” covered in Lay Pulpit’s last article are philosophical gems of the first stamp that should warm the gizzard and tickle the cerebral cortex of even the most profoundly mentally-challenged traddie (and stimulate the regurgitation reflex in the rest of us).  Perhaps one day these “pearls” will be emblazoned in bronze, gracing the lobby of Sanborn’s Swampland Sanitarium (aka MHT Seminary) – or perhaps gracing the rolls of paper found in certain of its rooms (where they will be seen more often – and put to better use).

But such proverbial “pearls” are just generalizations.  They are no good unless accompanied by specific blueprints for action.  The well-equipped traddie must be armed with more than glowing platitudes; hence, we are here to help -- in any way we can.  Lay Pulpit has come up with an absolutely stupendous list of strategies/tactics that will help the brain-dead weather any storm that threatens to enlighten his intellect or contaminate him with moral rectitude.  If you’re championing some shady cause, or find yourself losing an argument because you have lied your way into a corner, these are some handy tricks that you can use to worm your way out.  Okay, ready?  Here we go:

1.    The “Denial” Tactic.  This is your first line of defense: simply deny everything – even if you have “lied yourself silly.”  Chances are that your opponent won’t remember the lies you told before; you can just deny having said “such-and-such” – and then pray that your opponent has “amnesia”!  This, by the way, is the defense that “Pamela” used against “Ted” (aka “the ‘Peregrine’ defense”) in their celebrated e-mail exchange.  But, of course, it didn’t work for her, so she had to go to her second line of defense, the….

2.    The “Tangent” tactic.  When one gets proved wrong -- especially with one’s own words (as “Pamela” was), then the thing to do is to change the subject, or attack some “tangential” issue.  “Pamela” tried this (read the whole article), but was eventually flushed out of her (to quote her idol, Dr. D) “hidey hole.”  This is a good tactic, but – alas! -- a temporary expedient, for it too inevitably gets “found out,” necessitating changing the subject yet again (and getting “found out” yet again), until one eventually has to resort to….

3.    The “Take toys, go home” tactic (aka the “stonewall” tactic).  In this ploy, one simply “grabs his toys and goes home,” tail between legs, slithering all the way.  “Pamela” used this as her “last stand”; she said that she had “no more time for this sort of thing,” and simply “signed off.”  This tactic is also known as “SSSS” (Slammed Shut Sphincter Syndrome), wherein the combatant assumes an “anal” posture and refuses to argue or dispute further, and simply “slams shut.”  This tactic is fraught with ignominy and embarrassment – but, nonetheless, it “gets the job done.”  Besides, “he who lies and runs away, lives to lie another day!”

4.    The “Pretend, Maybe It’ll Go Away” Tactic.  This one is a kind of hybrid of the “denial” and the “take toys/go home” tactics, wherein one not only denies, but pretends that his faux pas has never taken place.  Dr. D employed it when he removed his hatchet-job article (on Petko) from his website (and has never again referred to the fact that he had written it) – and is now hunkered down in his “hidey hole,” pretending that the “smoke” on this (and his ordination) will go away.  The former pastor of SAG (St. Albert the Great Church) also employed this tactic, when he betrayed and then left his parish, absconded to Germany, and set up shop there, pretending that all of his former chicanery had never happened.  This tactic, although seemingly effective, is still a temporary ploy, because it “catches up” with its perpetrator in time – especially if Lay Pulpit keeps bringing it back to the surface!

These tactics are known by a variety of names, but they all boil down to the same thing, following the same sequence:  first, try lying; then, when that doesn’t work, attack (and/or lie about) something else; then, when you run out of those “tangents,” grab your toys and go home – and then “keep a very low profile.”  If this sounds all too futile, take heart, because there are other “tools” or “trump cards” in the brain-dead traddie’s tool belt.  Here they are:

1.    The “Calumny and Detraction” Card.  This card, also referred to as the “traddie ‘race’ card,” is one that the brain-dead can use to stop (or at least deflect) someone’s attack on whichever guilty cult-master the brain-dead is trying to defend.  One simply has only to holler “calumny” or “detraction,” and the “attacker” will be stopped dead in his tracks.  Apparently, one cannot expose the misdeeds of another – no matter how heinous those deeds are – if it is seen as “hurting the wrongdoer’s reputation.”  No matter that the wrongdoer may have destroyed someone else’s reputation (or may have done real material harm to another), he is nonetheless entitled to his reputation – especially if he is “a man of the cloth” – which brings us to the next “card,” the….

2.    Alter Christus Immunity” Card.  This card states that “men of the cloth” are “Alter Christi” (“other Christs”), and therefore no one is allowed to “touch” them -- to criticize them or any of their actions: a kind of ecclesiastical “diplomatic immunity.”  This card works for a great multitude of traddies; and the more brain-dead the traddie, the better it works.  Clerics of any stripe (excepting Bp. Petko, of course) are considered “sacred” – “off limits” to any sort of criticism or even “confrontational behavior.”  For instance, Tony Cekada used it quite effectively (or so he thought) against any criticism of his handling of Schiavo – especially when it was a woman who was being “confrontational.”   And, of course, anyone who dared speak out against all the scandalous goings on at SGG was guilty of this sort of sacrilege as well.  For those brain-dead zombies still at SGG, this was (and still is) a most effective deterrent to any “disrespect” leveled against their cult-masters.

3.    The “Shoot the Messenger” Card.  This classic trump card, although a brainless one, is still widely used – especially by “first-timers” who have not the savvy to come up with anything more “original.”  They seem to delight in “knowing who their adversary is” and then “exposing” him by referring to him by name – all the while completely ignoring the message that the adversary is presenting.  Apparently, they think that one will be “embarrassed” at being “found out” – and that this will somehow make him “clam up” and refrain from speaking out again.  For the brain-dead, this gives them a “cat-that-swallowed-the-canary” sense of triumphant euphoria.  Unfortunately, the use of this card usually ends up with its user embarrassing himself; plus, his “sense of euphoria” is all too often erased when the “adversary” turns out to be a cat-swallowing shark.

4.    The “Profanity” Card.  Another classic: this card is also one of those “low tech” weapons used by the unschooled to “disqualify” arguments because of “improper language.”  If one uses words such as “bullshit,” he is automatically condemned as being “not Catholic” – because this is a “bad word,” boys and girls!  It’s the proverbial “aw shit” that wipes out the hundred “attaboys” -- where one “four-letter word” can cancel the beneficial effects of Aquinas’s Summa Theologica.  The use of this card was effectively illustrated in a previous Lay Pulpit article, where it also showcased one of traddieland’s finer traits: hypocrisy.

All of the foregoing tactics have been employed by the likes of Cekada and Droleskey, and even by lower life forms such as “the Neanderthal” (SAG’s former pastor) – all to no avail.  They have all brought their bean-shooters into battle, only to be met by laser-guided howitzers.  One would think that they’ve had enough, but they “keep coming back for more.”  It’s almost as if they’re taking a correspondence course in masochism, and they must keep taking the exam over and over again!

Every now and then, too, one of their inept apologists – the “pawns” in their chess game -- comes in to “run interference” for them (“Simply Catholic,” “Introibo,” or some other encephalic paraplegic), and each gets mowed down by withering machine-gun fire (an M-60 will do; one doesn’t like to waste his “howitzer” on minor nuisances).  They are the “flies” (hanging around the cult-center outhouse) that occasionally need to be swatted.  We thank them, however, for we need do a little “pest control” now and then (and we thank the cult-masters for providing the steaming heaps that attract them).

The truth is, traddieland has become a wasteland, where truth is despised and hearsay and rumor are taken as gospel, and where the innocent are condemned, and the guilty are worshipped as heroes: Anthony Cekada’s travesty on Schiavo was condoned (or even defended) by SGG’s parishioners, his pathetic “WHH” was hailed by them as a “masterpiece,” and the sick goings on at SGG were ignored by them as if they had never happened.  Yet they (and especially their “St. Albert’s” spinoffs) can nail an innocent bishop to a cross – a man who, to this day, is still shunned by many as “damaged goods” or some sort of “leper” (although, mercifully, this misconception is dissolving, as more and more people see and recognize the truth about the vicious hatchet job that Droleskey did on him).

Too many traddies, too, are looking for some cheap, magical way to get to heaven, following their cult-masters’ pharisaic, letter-of-the-law formulae for “finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”  The trouble is, the cult-masters (and sanctimonious pulpiteers like Dr. D) get the “gold,” while the sheep get the “rainbow” (or some other mirage).  And speaking of “Dr. D,” it’s time to put those rumors about his becoming a priest into their proper perspective.  First of all -- according to many eye witnesses, including a woman who goes by the moniker of “Peregrine” – he is a priest (she witnessed his ordination by Slupski).  But priest or no priest, the relevant point to seize here is that “a Roman collar does not turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.”  He is still a beggar who panders boring, sanctimonious swill for money – and a liar to boot.  His becoming a priest will not rehabilitate him; it will only serve to make him look even more ludicrous and irrelevant than he already is.  It is time that this loser starts making an honest living instead of catering to the brain-dead with his sanctimonious drivel.

Actually, it’s high time that ALL of traddieland’s losers get real jobs – and stop peddling Droleskeyite sanctimony, Dolanesque ostentation, or the false scholarship of arrogant, condescending know-nothings like Cekada.  Traddieland has become a place where “seminaries” are little more than “puppy mills,” turning out simplex simpletons who forget how to make holy water – or forget the words of the consecration (or where, in Slupski’s freak show, any Tom, Dick, or Harry can be made a priest – in the confessional – with no seminary training whatsoever required).  Traddieland, in short, has made itself the laughing stock of Catholicism.  It is a sick joke, except that it is not funny – it is a tragedy.  It is an embarrassment.  In short, it is not Catholic.

But these hucksters cannot function unless empowered by willing, obsequious fodder who provide the fuel for their machines.  The peasants who give their hard-earned money (and labors) to them in return for “pageantry” must learn to, first, close their pocketbooks to the cult-masters – to “starve the beast” – and then close their minds to them.  They must come to realize that the hucksters are just giving them “the show” instead of the substance.  Until that happens, traddieland will not be (or become) Catholic.  It’ll just be a futile charade of “pontifical nostalgia,” syrupy sanctimony, and wishful thinking.

But, lest the reader get the wrong impression, not all traddies are unwitting victims of their cult-masters; many are willing accomplicesco-conspirators – who know exactly who and what their hireling shepherds are.  This is certainly true at SGG, where people are fully aware of what has gone on there, but who (literally) don’t give a damn: they must have their “show” – and they’ll overlook anything and everything to get it.  The same is true for the remnant “SAG” crowd, who backed their pastor’s (and Dr. D’s) cowardly attack on an innocent man, but who are themselves too cowardly to admit it (and, so far, not one of whom has come forward to apologize to the man, either publicly or privately).  They have tried to assuage their guilt by changing their name to “St. Therese” – but it won’t wash.  A leopard cannot change its spots.

When will “traddieland” come clean?  Probably never, for it is “a ship without a rudder” (actually, more like amusement-park “bumper cars” with no steering wheels, going every which way, and getting in one another’s way).  There is no hierarchy to govern it and “keep it honest.”  There are too many self-appointed “fly-by-nighters” plying worldly agendas -- preaching “heaven” but practicing hedonism -- making (and breaking) rules as they go along, and preying on gullible parishioners with narrow minds and fat wallets.  And, in spite of the aforementioned plea for traddies to “starve” the cult-masters, it seems that this folly will continue.  Practically speaking, until some sort of restoration happens (or until God “steps in”), the parasitic cult-masters will continue their blood-sucking, until both they and their hosts inevitably die.  So, until that appropriate remedy materializes, one must hope for the best, prepare for the worst – and pray that God will spare us in the trials to come. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Brain-dead Beatitudes (and Other Pearls of Wisdom)

Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel was reprised on TV recently.  Like many of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals, it contains some of the most beautiful, uplifting music ever written; and also like the latter, it contains some of the most sorry story lines ever written.  In Carousel, the story revolves around a ne’er-do-well carnival worker who befriends (and then impregnates) a girl, whom – for good measure – he “beats up” (physically abuses), after which he kills himself.  Uplifting, huh?! (Kind of reminds me of a certain school principal’s son!).

It also reminds one a lot of “Traddieland,” where some of the most beautiful, uplifting “performances” are put on by some of the vilest vipers this side of “the nether regions.”  The similarities are striking: give them a good “show,” but play down the “dark side” of things.  Use “flowery” dialogue to pander your poison (or camouflage it in sanctimony), and the ’”dumbed down” (aka “brain-dead traddie”) audience won’t notice (or care).  Now to go along with that theme, we at Lay Pulpit think it only fitting that the brain-dead be supplied with some sort of “brain-dead precepts or axioms to live by; and we have come up with some!  We call them the “Brain-dead Beatitudes, and other pearls of wisdom.”  Are you ready?  Here are the “beatitudes”:

Brain-dead “Beatitudes”

• Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (but they must sign over the mineral rights to Danny and Tony).

Blessed are the ignorant, for they shall obtain bliss (and blessed are the abysmally ignorant, for they shall obtain bottomless bliss).

Blessed are the ignorant, for they are my main source of income.  … T. Droleskey

• Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for Work of Human Hands, for they shall be called electro-encephalic flat-liners.

• Blessed are they who give until it hurts, for we, their shepherds, shall put the hurt unto them until they give.

• Blessed are they who toil and suffer for the sake of the cult-center’s pontifical ostentation, for they shall be duly exploited – and they shall be called “children of the corn.”

• Blessed is he who seeketh the cult-master’s rod and his staff, for he shall obtain the shaft.

OK, so much for the “beatitudes.”  Here are our “pearls of wisdom”:

• “I think, therefore, I am.”  … DesCartes   “I think, therefore, I condescend.”  … A. Cekada

“I write, therefore, you snore.”    … T. Droleskey

“It is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money.   .… D. Dolan

“It is better to have gotten the wrong room at The Bishop’s Lodge, than to have never loved at all.    …. Anonymous**

** (Actually, there’s no such thing as the “:wrong room” at The Bishop’s Lodge!

“To err is human.  To do it all the time is what our curriculum is all about.”   …   D. Sanborn

“We have not turned our backs on the Infant of Prague – because I said so!    …. Your friendly board president

“We have met the cesspool, and he is us!”    … Dan, Tony, Dr, D, et al

And, as an extra-added bonus, here is some timely advice for all the brain-dead, from your friendly neighborhood cult-master and/or your favorite purveyor of “chaos”:

It’s “the show” and the sanctimony that count, boys and girls, not the sodomy and the sadism!

You don’t have to practice what you preach, as long as the “practice” is behind closed doors.

“Remember, boys and girls: reading Lay Pulpit is a mortal sin!

How dare Lay Pulpit spread all that truth about us on the internet!  Remember, boys and girls: the internet is B-A-A-A-A-A-A-D – unless it’s our website!

Remember, boys and girls: if it’s too good to be true…  believe us!

And, remember, boys and girls, ‘tis better to give than to receive – especially when we’re doing the “receiving”!

Well, folks, the list could go on – but we don’t want to make this a Droleskey-esque marathon; “the point,” so to speak, “has been made.”  The “brain-dead,” of course, really aren’t brain-dead; they’re just stubborn intransigents who are too proud to admit that they put their money on moral losers.  They don’t care if their pastors are sodomites, sophists, and/or thieves, so long as they get their “show.”  We pity them, for they – like so many of their fellows (and especially their children) who have lost the faith, will suffer the ultimate disillusionment when the truth does finally sink in for them – at which point, they may lose their faith as well.

For many of them, their thinking has become so twisted that they’ll believe (or rationalize) anything, “so long as they get their show.”  One “traddie” who lives in northwestern Ohio, for instance, recently told a neighbor of his that the “guilt” of getting raped and engaging (giving or receiving) in oral sex are one and the same (actually, Phil, they are not: in the former case, one is the unwilling victim; and in either of the latter, one is a willing participant).  God help (and forgive) this man for his sick sense of “morality”!

Hopefully, people like that will “wake up” and realize what they are doing.  For those that do “wake up,” we welcome them; and for those that don’t – well -- we will, to use St. Paul’s words once again, “dust off our feet,” leave them to themselves, and move on.