Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Epiphanies From My Vacation

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015


We traveled to another state for a family visit and it was an experience rich with epiphanies. Here are the ones I can remember:

1. I have zero fear of flying and no anxiety about things going wrong. I sat next to the window and enjoyed being up in the clouds. I realized that I didn’t care about the plane crashing; it was a genuine feeling of ‘So what? No problem.’ I’m aware this may not be normal thinking but it is incredibly liberating.

2. I don’t need a green crocodile handbag by Nancy Gonzalez. I have viewed this item as the holy grail of consumer goods for a long time. Don’t ask why. I planned to buy one when some nebulous project made me a million dollars. I went to look at one and when I touched it, I felt no surge of longing or quickening heartbeat, and certainly no spark of joy. Poof, the spell was broken! This frees up at least $3,000 of imaginary future money.

3. I really do wear a 32C and and not a 34B. The last time some bra lady told me to switch sizes, I refused to take her up on it. A nice, more persuasive bra lady named Vicky convinced me to make the change. It was almost like accepting Jesus into my heart only it was Vicky. Thanks, girl!

4. I am emotionally better off when deprived of media. A few days without TV or internet can tamp down one’s everyday sense of rage. One day back at home and I’m ready to fucking explode at that stupid bitch who won’t let same-sex people get married. Why do we have her?? Take her away!

5. Ice cream is more important than any other type of food. Keep your fancy entrees and give me ice cream instead.

6. Coming home from somewhere else is deeply satisfying. I love my own bed and it loves me. Even though we discovered a plumbing leak that may be catastrophic, home is where you can do what you want, where all your shit is, like your Waterpik thing and your skin products. Home is your sanctuary.

Oh and here’s one more, but this is more like a life lesson or general wisdom: If you break your baby toe, someone’s going to try to run over it with a shopping cart, and they will eventually succeed.


The Ass Age

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014


We have entered The Ass Age, and The Apocalypse is sure to follow. I would like it to hurry up.

I’m not certain about the beginning of The Ass Age. Jennifer Lopez was the precursor many years ago but no one could’ve imagined what was coming.

Astute bible students may have predicted it, though.

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

That’s just one of 143 times the word ‘ass’ appears in the bible. And as we know, Things Happen For A Reason. The Lord was warning us about the worship of asses. And in the fullness of time, it has come to pass.

Kim Kardashian is the Anti-Christ, obviously. We are suffering for her sins. I am, anyway.

That huge ass is following us everywhere, threatening to block out the sun. Maybe it’s causing Climate Change for all we know. It keeps getting bigger. It will need a wheelbarrow or crane or something if it keeps growing at its present rate.

What does that huge ass want from us?

It has already spawned disturbing imitators, especially in the art of hip-hop, who might be the Apostles. How many Apostles were there? I once has an awful wall-hanging depiction of The Last Supper that I used as a rug, but I failed to count the attendees. Were there eight? Ten?

Whatever. Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea are two, and Khloe Kardashian makes three. When we get the full cohort, the doomsday clock will strike midnight. The End Times. It will be a bummer for most of us but for others it will come as a blessed relief. No more huge asses taunting us, frightening us, swelling uncontrollably the The Blob.

We will be free.


Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

My favorite aspect of the Borat character is his antisemitism. Naturally, my appreciation of this relies on the knowledge that Sacha Baron Cohen is Jewish. And the more Jewish I feel, the more I feel at liberty to mock Jewishness. Like Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce, Sacha Baron Cohen is allowed to approach antisemitism in ways we wouldn’t tolerate from a non-Jew.

The other day, I was amazed to hear the British headmaster of the elite London boys school where Baron Cohen was a student, boasting on NPR about the school’s large population of “Jewish Boys.” Lord Jesus! In 2006, a sophisticated Brit can still regard “Jewish” as a special category! No wonder Sacha Baron Cohen is so savage about this subject!

I have a friend who has learned to try not to use the word “Jewish” to describe former girlfriends. He knows I will scream “Jewish?!?” and he knows where that leads.

A week after seeing the Borat movie, I attended a bar mitzvah, only the second one I’ve ever been to. It was full of ritual and tradition that I can only describe as lovely and moving. But the spirit of Borat hovered over the proceedings. Nothing could shake my sense of seeing Jews as an outsider, even as I felt a rare connection to my ancestors.

Jews! They are just so Jewish! My grandma used to stuff her handbag with packets of saltine crackers whenever we went out to eat. If she heard that someone was sick, she couldn’t get enough details. She would always ask, “What is the doctor’s name?” meaning “Is he Jewish?”

At the bar mitzvah, the Rabbi described how the torah he was using was hundreds of years old, and had been preserved by the Nazis to use in a museum of Jewish Icons. Silly Nazis! This story and all the biblical crap about Moses and Abraham helped to remind me how much the world hates Jews. And that, of course, made me that much happier about being Jewish.

As long as some upper class British guy is still commending his school for accepting “Jewish Boys,” Borat will have a mission to accomplish. Thank god the Jews run Hollywood and the media!


*originally posted in 2006

Whole Foods Adventure

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

the didgeridoo incident-small


Whenever I walk to Whole Foods with friends, we have an adventure, and not just the one where tall thin women ram you with their shopping carts.

This time, it was a guy with an enormous didgeridoo.  We had been drinking coffee, watching the circus that is Whole Foods, Venice. My friend asked the guy if he had made his didgeridoo, and he said Yes. He added that he used it for Sound Therapy.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a documentary called Kumare, about an American-born Indian guy who decides to pose as a guru, to see if people will fall for it. Sure enough, everywhere he goes, people lap up his idiotic impersonation of a Mystic, exclaiming how they can feel his powerful energy, etc, etc. I found it depressing. People are so stupid. Or as my husband put it, more charitably, “People want someone to follow.”

Anyway, there is a Sound Healer in Kumare who uses a didgeridoo, and he looks alot like the guy at Whole Foods. “Were you in that Kumare movie?” I asked him accusingly. He seemed baffled and said no. He wanted me to sit down and let him demonstrate his therapy. He instructed me to focus on “an intention.”  I asked him if he was going to find out what’s wrong with me, secretly thinking “If he only knew!”

A handsome Black man intervened cheerfully, “Why does there gotta be something wrong with you?” He was wearing a fedora and eating a cup of Whole Foods ice cream. He looked as contented as a human being could be. I didn’t want to spoil his mood by answering him.

The Sound Therapist started blowing into his didgeridoo, moving it slowly up and down my back. It felt great! I could feel the sound waves vibrating through my body and I pretended they were evacuating evil spirits. It was extremely pleasurable.

When he was through, he asked me if I had pain in my lower back, noting that he could sense this with the didgeridoo. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I told him that while I had pain everywhere, my lower back was a place that sometimes hurt.

The truth is, my lower back is probably one of the few places where I don’t feel pain. I don’t believe in any kind of New Age healing. I don’t believe in gurus, gods, angels, the I Ching, the Secret, Tarot Cards, reiki, colonics, or anything else.

Time doesn’t heal either, as we know. But coffee is wonderful and so is Whole Foods, if you don’t buy your groceries there.

I Told You He Was a Cunt!

Monday, February 18th, 2013

It’s about time that cunt resigned. I can’t believe he’ll get immunity.

Paul Ryan: What a Fucking Cunt™!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Oh, snap! After insisting that his obsession with Ayn Rand is an “urban legend,” a tape has surfaced in which Ryan gushes about Ayn Rand’s philosophy:

“It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged.”

What an asshole. Ayn Rand? What is he, sixteen?

And then to lie about it when he’s on record, again and again, of revering her! He had to denounce Ayn Rand because Catholics don’t like her atheism. Look for Ryan to become more rabidly Catholic as the Republican convention draws near.

Anyone who makes his interns read Atlas Shrugged is not only a moron but a fucking heartless cunt.



Lost Earring

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Last night I realized that one of my favorite earrings is missing. It so happens that I only wear one of the earrings at a time, because Keith Richards is still my fashion muse. It’s a long safety pin earring and it would look stupid to wear one in each ear.

Nevertheless, I want that missing earring! Where did it go? Why is it missing? Who would take it, besides Keith Richards?

I’ve looked everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It’s not with my other jewelry and it’s not in that little tray in the bathroom where I sometimes put my earrings.   When I looked in the tray for the third or fourth time, I recalled the story in The Boy Who couldn’t stop Washing about a woman who slashed her couches in a manic search for a lost hairbrush or something. I don’t want to be her. But I feel the seeds.

Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things, but as we all know, he never helps. You can pray your ass off but he won’t return your lost thing. I can’t even count the socks he has failed to return.

Remember when I lost my gold watch? Still missing. I have a hunch that it was stolen by a crazy Chinese nurse, but that’s a whole story on its own. This is about the earring.

I remember buying the earrings at Macy’s, where my purchase was rung up by a tired elderly black woman who was missing a critical tooth and couldn’t calculate the 20% sale discount. I bought the earrings at full price rather than give her more stress.

If I practice The Secret, will my earring manifest itself? Does Saint Anthony know about The Secret?

When I chose the image above from a rudimentary google search, I was startled by its projected violence. Can everyone see that he’s about to throw that baby into a river or cut it in half on that table? It’s so obvious! Maybe god told him to sacrifice the baby a la Abraham and Isaac, or maybe Saint Anthony is just nuts.

Maybe he’s nuts because he can’t find the lost things and he finally snapped, like the hairbrush lady with OCD.

Questions or advice, anyone?

Baptize me.

Monday, February 20th, 2012

As Whitney Houston keeps dying on TV, I am transfixed by envy, bitterness, and grief.

Her narrative has been transformed from the tragic untimely death of a dope addict to an adoring farewell to an angel. And why not? She was a person, not just a joke about crack.

I can’t help thinking about Max’s burial and the service we had at the grave. Just a small gathering of people in shock, numb or sobbing. Those who could speak talked about what Max was like and what they would miss. We shoveled some dirt and someone threw in a guitar pick. A moment later, nearly every man present stepped forward to throw in a pick. With the exception of me, we are a tribe of musicians.

Where was the big choir singing about taking him home? It isn’t fair.

I don’t believe in god but I wish I could hear about how He was waiting to hold Max in His loving arms.

This is what you get for being an unbeliever.  My husband told me that I could believe in god “if I wanted to.” I find this a preposterous notion. I do want to! Look how comforting it is for believers.

I want a church full of black Baptists, and I want them to sing their asses off, to testify that Max is an angel who was called home.   I miss him every moment that I am conscious. I try to be conscious as little as possible. I’m pretty sure that he hated Whitney’s music but he loved a good wailing gospel tune.

Maybe I can arrange something for his birthday in March. I don’t know if my heart is up to it. I’m not through with denial.

Let us play Omelette and let us say amen.

Visits From the Other Side

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

*  © Jack Bell Gallery

In the ever-changing world of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, one thing that remains consistent is a close connection with their ancestors. The ancestral spirits of the Yoruba are much more than just dead relatives, they play an active role in the daily life of the living. They are sought out for protection and guidance, and are believed to possess the ability to punish those who have forgotten their familial ties. While there are numerous ways the ancestors communicate with the living, one of the most unique is their manifestation on earth in the form of masked spirits known as Egungun.

The Yoruba believe that the transition from the realm of the living to the abode of the dead is not finite. It is just part of what African author Wole Soyinka describes as the “cyclical reality” of the “Yoruba world-view”. Each person comes to this life from the world of the unborn, through the “abyss of transition.” And each will leave again through this archetypal realm, as they make they way to the world of the ancestors.

When a child comes into this world, he or she is said to carry with them aspects of a former ancestor who is reborn in the child. This is not to say they are the ancestor reincarnate, but that there are certain features of their personality and elements of inborn knowledge that come from a previous relative. When the time comes to leave this earth, it is not the end of their existence either. Yoruba scholar Bòlaji Idowu explains: “Death is not the end of life. It is only a means whereby the present earthly existence is changed for another. After death, therefore, man passes into a ‘life beyond’ which is called Èhìn-ÃŒwà—‘After-Life’”

To be remembered is to be kept alive; to remain within the Sasa period, which is the realm of the living, the unborn and the ancestors.

Once an ancestor has been forgotten, they simply slip into the vast expanse of the Zamani, where the gods, divinities and spirits dwell. As long as an ancestor remains within the Sasa period, they have the ability to help those here on earth, because the living-dead are bilingual: they speak the language of men, with whom they lived until ‘recently’; and they speak the language of the spirits and of God, to Whom they are drawing nearer ontologically. In exchange for being ritually remembered, the living-dead watch over the family and can be contacted for advice and guidance.

Each Egungun may represent a particular person, a family lineage, or a broader concept of the ancestors. When contacted at a family shrine, the Egungun who appears is generally thought to represent the ancestor who is being summoned.

The Egungun is celebrated in festivals,    and in family ritual through the masquerade custom.   Through drumming and dance, these robed performers are believed to become possessed of the spirits of the ancestors as maifested as a single entity. The Egungun then spiritually clean the community and through exaggerated acting and miming, demonstrate both ethical and amoral behavior that occurred since their last visit.

“To be remembered is to be kept alive.”

*  Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou‘s photos led me to read about this subject. Even without their spiritual significance, they are sublime.

The Eyebrow Lady

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Today I went to my favorite beauty supply shop, on a street in a wealthy community where everyone is too thin and the people sitting outside Peete’s Coffee are  talking  to their agents on their iPhones. It’s a great shop that carries every obscure brand you’ve ever heard of and the sales people leave you alone unless you want their help.

I picked out two hair products that won’t have any effect on the quality of my hair, but I enjoy the process of wasting money this way. At the counter, a woman was asking for help with her eyebrows. She was explaining that her eyebrow has a cowlick and nothing she’s tried could solve the problem.

I was fascinated. The sales person was eager to help, and obviously relished the opportunity. She suggested eyebrow gel, but the woman said that gels haven’t worked. I managed to  suppress  my urge to butt in.  Personally, I swear by Lancome eyebrow gel in Brunet. It grooms the brows nicely and makes them look nice and full.

The sales person suggested  mustache  wax to tame the problem hair. I thought this was a great idea, even though I know you can actually get eyebrow wax at Bloomingdales or somewhere. It’s probably the same stuff, right? But the woman balked at mustache wax. She changed the subject to the dark circles under her eyes but continued to  complain  about her eyebrows. They were the bane of her existence, she said bitterly.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it. “Just pull that fucker out!” I snapped helpfully. Everyone turned to look at me. The sales woman smiled and said, “You’re so funny!” the way people do when they’re shocked by your candor. The eyebrow lady whined, “No, then I’ll have a bald spot!”

Now that I was involved, I offered a barrage of solutions but the eyebrow lady shot down each one. I began to realize how agitated she was. Maybe she didn’t really want help. Now she was complaining about the concealer she’d been offered and she refused to try the moustache wax.   The sales woman turned to assist another customer and the eyebrow lady announced that she would try a department store, where “someone has the time” to give her their “complete attention.”

I realized  that  she was nuts. Not in any dramatic way, but still nuts. One of the things I love about the beauty supply store is listening to women explain what they’re looking for, in a beseeching tone that reveals their absolute belief that something will make them beautiful and happy. I find it so poignant. The belief and the hope in that beauty supply store could fill several churches.

The eyebrow lady was an anomaly that almost ruined my pleasure in wasting $42. Almost. But when she left the store, everything was restored to normal.   I was disappointed that the nail polish I wanted was discontinued: it’s called “Bring on the Bling” and I tried it on last week when my BFF was having a manicure. It was like an entire Mardis Gras in a bottle.

Thank god I can still enjoy beauty products and I’m not a crazy eyebrow lady. That is my affirmation for today.