Monday, February 27, 2012

Brve Nw Wrld

Many of you may remember that I had a side blog called "Wierd" (this is the way the word "weird" was spelled by many of my Wheeler High School friends back in the 70's. For some reason, this word appeared a lot in my yearbook.) The theme of the blog is growing up in East Cobb County, Georgia in the 70's. But, as the Lord said, a man cannot serve two blogs. I wrote only two pieces. One was about me getting stuck in my locker in Jr. High School. Here's the other one. It is about texting.

One of the biggest differences between now and the 70’s is that back then nobody was in a social network, unless you counted school, home and church.

The whole idea of everybody walking around with a phone in their pocket was as Twilight Zone to us as moving spoons with your mind. Having a phone that was a combination typewriter, camera, and computer would have been too ‘far out’ (another 70’s phrase) for us to comprehend.

But today, every kid walks around with their head bent down typing away with their thumbs. I think that we should call the kids born in the 90’s "Generation Thumbs", because they use their thumbs to crank out messages. Our basic thumb messages were “Thumbs Up” (good), “Thumbs Down” (bad), and “Thumbs Sideways” (give me a ride and I hope you are not a criminal).

Kids think it is funny when one of us (old people) just can’t understand the concept of the camera phone that you can type on and look at the internet. When we were coming up, computers took up entire buildings if not city blocks or entire states like Rhode Island.

We were the test monkeys for the computerized tests that determined your future. You had to use a number 2 pencil because a number 1 pencil was just not good enough. Shut up! Fill in the bubble that represents the right answer, but do not have a smudge outside of the bubble. This would cause the computer to explode. I always use my deficient bubble filling out skills to explain my SAT score.

There was band back in the 70’s called Bread and it was your 1.0 soft rock band. They had a ton of hit records back then, most not making a lot of sense like “Baby, I’m A Want You” and “If”. I’m convinced a lot of 33-39 year old people are alive today due to the Providence of God and David Gates singing “If a picture paints a thousand words then why can’t I paint you?”

David Gates was the lead singer of Bread. Mr. Gates had a high tenor voice. He was also from Oklahoma. After Bread had their day in the sun, Gates took his bread (sorry), I mean, dough (can't help myself) and bought a cattle ranch to become a working cowboy. Can you imagine at the end of long hard day punching cattle, all of the cowboys are around the campfire and the cook says, "Mr. Gates, why don't you sing up a song?". Gates gets his guitar and starts singing, "It don't matter to me if you really feel that you need some time to be free.."

Bread's most hilarious song was “Diary”. Pardon me while I write in brackets for my younger readers. [ A diary was a journal people used to keep to write down their innermost thoughts. Now we call it a "blog".] “Diary” was about this guy who finds a girl’s diary “underneath a tree and started reading about me”. The song meanders along about how great this was until he got to the part where he realized she wasn’t writing about him.

Young people today would have no idea what that would be like. They announce their relationships on Facebook. If “Diary” came out today it would be called “iPhone”and you would hear: “I found your iPhone underneath the tree where you were texting about me”

One thing that bothers me is how superior young people think they are when it comes to texting.

Back in the 70’s, you still had to learn how to write a letter and communicate a response with properly spelled words. Even the hippie teachers taught it.("Hey Man, I know it is Fascist, but like, we got to know what you mean, you know”?) Now you just write in a way that you think Prince would like.

A friend of mine wrote a text to her son one day. It took her almost an hour to complete it. It went like this:

Taylor Tyler
4545 Bonnie Meadow Road
Mayretta, GA 30065

Dearest Taylor,

I would like to take this opportunity to express to you my joy as to having a son as brilliant as you. People stop me in the store to tell me what a great young man you have become and soon look forward to voting for you for President.

Please be advised that we are having dinner as a family this evening and we were wondering if you would be in attendance? Dinner will be served around seven. May we set a place for you?

Again, you are a great son and your father and I pray hour long prayers of thanksgiving that you are our child.


Your Mother

This was Taylor’s response:

Thnx. No. L8er.-T

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Name Change? Amen?!

Back last October, Humor Me relayed one of the biggest issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention. Besides the one that has plagued the denomination for decades (Why do the Methodists and Presbyterians get to the restaurants before we do?).

The issue regards the name Southern Baptist and if it is a proper name to use anymore since in the minds of most Post Modern Northerners, the word “Southern” connotes eating possum barefoot in church while you are handling snakes in your Ku Klux Klan robes.

I can relate to the Southern Baptist name problem because I was raised in “The Restoration Movement”. This was a movement that started in the late 1700s’ to ‘restore’ the Church back to New Testament Christianity unlike what was going on in all of the other churches. By the time I came around, The Restoration Movement fell into three groups: The Disciples of Christ (their preachers wore robes and smoked cigarettes); The Church of Christ (no instruments allowed);The Christian Church/Church of Christ with Piano.

I grew up in the The Christian Church/Church of Christ with Piano. They held the belief that they were not a “denomination” because there was no centralized authority like a Bishop or a Pope. They believed that they were “Christians only-not the only Christians”. They also believed, and this is important, that church services should end at 12:00 to give you a fighting chance at the cafeteria.

The problem came in when you would talk about religion with others."What church do you go to?” “A Christian Church”. “I know that, what are you a Baptist Christian? Methodist Christian?” “I’m a Christian Christian”. This was helpful because I rarely would get into a heated discussion about religion because this would wear people out. One time, however, I was discussing my church with someone who called it, “Oh, one of those no name generic churches”.

You don’t have that problem with the Southern Baptist Convention. Most people have an idea what a Southern Baptist church is like, unfortunately for Southern Baptists. That is why Bryant Wright , the President of The Southern Baptist Convention appointed a task force to study a possible name charge. You know something is serious when someone appoints a committee.

Have you priced renaming a denomination? It turns out that it is real expensive primarily due to the lawyers Southern Baptists would have to hire to wade through the thicket of legal hassles. On top of that, there were some who liked the name Southern Baptist like Dr Joe Aguillard, President of my dear old other alma mater, Louisiana College. Dr. Aguillard said,"As a Southern Baptist with the heritage that goes back to great-grandparents who have fought, lived and shared their whole lives regarding Southern Baptist life and as we explicate our faith in Jesus Christ through our religion, I'm very saddened that it's even being discussed. The world knows us as Southern Baptists, and I can't in any way understand what's behind this discussion”.

The cost plus people that “can’t in any way understand” the name change discussion caused Wright’s task force came up with a compromise. The denomination would keep the Southern and allow individual churches to add/or just use “Great Commission Baptist” in areas in which the word “Southern” is a no-no.

I commend Wright and his crew for coming up with a workable compromise. Now, someone say a prayer and end this thing. I’m hungry.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Religion and Politics

I decided to venture into the murky waters of polling because it seemed like a good way to make a few extra bucks. I had dreams of hearing “In the latest Al Poll, 54% of all Republicans think it is okay for Zaxby’s to charge twenty five cents for an extra Zak sauce even though they have those awful Rachel Dratch commercials”. (This is something somebody should do something about-paying for an extra Zak sauce. Not Rachel Dratch.)

I was curious as to how Newt Gingrich won forty four per cent of the Evangelical vote in South Carolina despite being married three times with each new wife getting better looking. Gingrich, a man of great intellect and talent, appears to think that a head cold is grounds for divorce. I thought maybe that my fellow Evangelicals do not like Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. (They seem to like Ron Paul even though he is a Martian.) I know a lot of my church buddies loved Dale Murphy, the former center fielder for the Atlanta Braves who is a Super Mormon.

Unlike the lamestreet- know everything media; I conducted a poll in the most scientific way I know how: I put a question on Facebook. I asked if Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is problem. Let’s face it; Mormons have some exotic beliefs about Jesus coming to America and underwear. They also have these weird standards about personal honesty, integrity, obedience to law, chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage (which would knock out a certain former Speaker of The House and a former President or two). They also do not like Coca-Cola (which knocks me out).

The first answer I got was from Bruce Burns: “For all I care, he could worship Grape-Nuts nude under a waning moon”. Of course, Bruce is referencing former President William Howard Taft who was a Grapenutian. Bruce did not elaborate and say what he would think if Romney worshiped Coco Puffs wearing a pair of gym pants under a blazing sun like Harry Truman.

I urged everyone to be free and open with their responses and not worry about being politically correct. Greg Campbell said, “If your house is on fire, you don't care what kind of prayer the fireman prayed on the way to the fire. You can witness to him after the fire. Our country is on fire and the non American, ala worshiping, Socialist, Marxist, over spending elitist goofball, is pouring foreign gas all over it. Is that un pc enough?” I took that as a “No”. The other responses were more or less the same: Mitt Romney’s religion is not a problem and we definitely don’t want to hear about that religion from somebody riding a bicycle.

Of course, you knew that we could count on President Obama to address this issue with a four hour lecture on religious tolerance. He urges us to respect each others’ opinions and realize that God has not joined any particular political party. Ha, ha, just kidding.

The President, speaking at The National Prayer Breakfast, has searched the scriptures and discovered that Jesus is a Democrat. He said that raising taxes on Millionaires and Billionaires (definition for now: families making over $250K) “coincides with Jesus' teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’” As an Evangelical I can tell you this: as soon as someone starts quoting this, hold on to your wallet because much shall be required and it never stops being required.

Then the President decided it would be okie-dokie for the Catholic Church (which includes their charities, colleges, and etc) to provide free women’s health care services such as contraception, sterilization and pharmacological abortion. I’m not certain how long the President searched the scriptures or the Constitution to discover that “women’s health rights” overrides the First Amendment to the Constitution, but you know the President is way smarter than you.

The President has offered a compromise. The Catholic Church will not have to provide insurance benefits that give free women’s health care services. It will be provided, for free, by the evil insurance companies that probably aren’t even green. This works because money grows on trees.

Oh, Lord.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Obligatory Super Bowl Review

I am required due to my membership in HA! (Humorists of America) to comment on The Super Bowl.

This is going to show my age but I remember the first Super Bowl. It came on two different channels at the same time. This is important because in that time of American history, there were not the billions of channels that there are today. On top of that, when you wanted to change a channel, you had to get up out of your seat, walk over to the TV and turn the channel yourself. There were only three networks: ABC (which showed awful shows like “The Flying Nun” which was about a Nun that would fly. It came on right after “The Yelling Preacher” and “The Deacon That Smoked Outside”), NBC and CBS.

The teams playing in the First Super Bowl game were The Green Bay Packers and The Kansas City Chiefs. Bart Starr was the quarterback for The Green Bay Packers. He looked like every dad in the subdivision. His coach was Vince Lombardi, who, to be honest, was totally insane. This is a fact: when he an assistant coach for the New York Giants, Lombardi sold life insurance in the off season. How would you like your life insurance agent to be Vince Lombardi?

The Super Bowl really began to mean something in 1969, when Joe Namath said these famous words: “I’m going to kiss you, I guarantee it”. Namath led the New York Jets to victory over The Baltimore Colts which rivaled the moon landing as the most important event in 1969.

In the early days, The Super Bowl was about the game of football. Now, it is a time when our nation comes together as one people to critique commercials. Somewhere, Don Draper is smiling.

I don’t remember much about the entertainment at The Super Bowl back in the old days. There was a singing group called “Up With People” made up of non-hippie youth which seemed to show up at every Super Bowl. These guys made Mitt Romney look like Slash. I remember UWP singing “My Beautiful Balloon” a lot.

Now there is a big hoop-de-do about The Half Time Show, particularly since Janet Jackson had a breast make a special unscripted guest appearance. For the next Super Bowl, the NFL brought out Paul McCartney and since then they have tried to make things as family friendly as possible and still seem hip. This year the star of the Half Time Show was Madonna.

I’m not sure where Madonna has been for the past couple of years. I thought she changed her name to Lady Ga-Ga. I’ve never been a big fan of hers-her music always sounded like warmed over disco music. She was always a brand: she could “sing”, “dance”, “act” and “get nekkid”. She did a lot of that in that in the early 90’s because she wanted to shock us. If she wasn’t flopping around on the floor in a wedding dress, she was wearing cone bras (“The Cone Bras” would be the good name for a band) If she wasn’t nekkid, she was kissing Brittney Spears

The best thing you can say about her Half Time performance is that she didn’t break a hip. However, since this is Madonna, something shocking happened when a rapper named “M.I.A”, who was one of the millions on stage with Madonna, flipped us the bird. The reason for the flip off is unclear; except that is was a shocking thing to do and the wardrobe malfunction had already been done.

In between the Half Time Show and the Commercials, a football game broke out. The New York Playing Football In New Jersey Giants defeated the New England Tom Bradys 21-17. Noted sports commentator Gisele Bundchen (Mrs. Tom Brady) commented: "You catch the bowl when you're supposed to catch the bowl. Mah husband cannot (real bad word) throw the bowl and catch the bowl at the same time. Ah kant believe they dropped the bowl so many times.

I think Vince Lombardi would agree with that.