Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My Facebook Holiday Note

During this holiday season many people seem to have a problem with Christ being forgotten in Christmas and while most who know me know that I am not a fan of any religion, I find myself curiously agreeing with these people. I am fortunate to have what I think are great instincts but I often takes quite a while before I can understand my feelings enough to express them. I am learning to trust them without explanation a little more. Enough to be intuitive but not so much that I am driven by emotion without reason.
So I see fewer manger scenes and must admit this bothers me too. I want the religious symbols but I want them all. I want plenty of menorahs and dreidels. I want the pagan roots of the Christmas tree to be celebrated as well. Our cultural and spiritual customs are good when not taken too seriously. They make life rich. I even create them out of nonsense (Fake Jan Day is coming!). When my son was little it was imperative that I include a manger in with our Christmas decorations so that my son would know that this wasn't Santa Clause's birthday. I also wanted him to be able to celebrate Halloween but that practice was taken away by the very Christian community that I live in. A community which is foolish enough to feel threatened by pagan celebrations so nobody gets to have anything more specific than “Fall festival”. In my opinion that would be better named “PC Bullshit Day”. The idea that we all have to be the same in order to avoid conflict makes as much sense as buying all of your children the same gift so that nobody gets jealous. Do we really have to water life down that much? Are we really that incapable of handling our own human nature?

Well are we?

People are individuals. We also have a sense of wanting to fit in. It is a good balance, we need not mess with it. Individualism need not be feared if it is expressed with some level of responsibility for others. That said, Socialism need not be feared if applied appropriately. We need certain things to form a society. If we had to do everything for ourselves we wouldn't get very far. Try building yourself a car! In our early beginnings we found that we could get far more done if we pooled our talents. This is society, this is social, this is socialism and it's fine.
We also need to be individuals because if we don't have individual talents then what do we have to pool together? What would be the need to listen to another human being? Where would art be if everyone had the same talent? Sadly, there is a bad side to all things. The individual in his desire to be fulfilled becomes greedy and takes from others. Socialism creates frustration because it does not fulfill the individual. 

We have shown in this great country of ours that we can have it both ways. We have a blend. We have a successful blend the likes of which has never been seen before. We can combine individual talents to create social structures and we have roads and schools and many examples of socialism working well for us. Sure, all of these systems have also become corrupted and we need to fix that. But for the most part our way of life has worked well and has been adopted by many of the European countries from which we fled.

The greatest example of this freedom of the spirit is our freedom of spiritual practice. What better time to celebrate our ability to have freedom of religion than now during the holidays? To have people of different faiths spreading their own brand of joy should be the greatest thing. Sure some of these holidays are a bit of a stretch to give other cultures something akin to Christmas which is really a Pagan seasonal festival. Undoubtedly their roots are more deeply entrenched in the capitalism of Hallmark than real tradition - but so what? It's still a chance to celebrate in unique and diverse ways.
To claim that any religious symbols are an insult is just plain bad sportsmanship. Most of the intelligent atheists I know do not begrudge the symbols why should they? Well... sometimes they should ...Sometimes we all should. There is a time for religion to be seen as very offensive. That time is when religion crosses the line and gets mixed into our laws.

Then we ALL have something to fear.

The separation of church and state is in my opinion the foundation of this country It is the building block that if taken away makes the whole thing topple. (I know many people incorrectly believe is a Christian nation but I won't go into that here; please show the same restraint) It is profoundly important in keeping the peace and maintaining any freedom of religion. Without that separation you can not andshould not have freedom of religion. Without that separation any religion can, through law, be forced on another person and that is where everything becomes extremely UNHOLY!
As many of you have noticed I do drone on quite a bit about one particular religion. It is not so much the religion that is bothersome, it is that part of the religion that is not a religion at all. It is a political system that gets protected under the premise of being a religion and this is just wrong.

Political Islam represents such a perfect example of what can be wrong with religion. It is a demonstration of where that line is being crossed. It is all about crossing that line. And while the majority of people don't really practice this religion the way it is written, it is still written with the submission of all others in mind. It's very name means “submission”. It is a religion where there is no separation of church and state and it's laws are forced on non believers. There is no better example of what is wrong with religion and what needs to be stopped. I know I come off as a hate monger because I yammer on so much about this. It is not my intention to create hate. It is my effort to point the hate out. Unfortunately this becomes very much like smelling gas, you can't help but be accused of being the one who passed it.

Why is this so important? Am I being hysterical? I hope so. I really do. I would be more hopeful that I am wrong were it not for how small this fragile blue Christmas ball of a planet has become and how very easy it is just to blow the whole thing up. When certain ideologies are understood, the role of nuclear weapons takes on a greater meaning. The destruction of the planet fulfills the scriptures of more than one religion. We human beings are at a point in our evolution where we most definitely will NOT survive our religious differences and when we go, we will take the whole planet with us (which certainly wouldn't be fair to the nicer species that inhabit this place now would it?) I am not a bit happy to be of the opinion that we are at the zero hour. It is high time to start basing our morals and ethics on something more substantial and practical than myth and to take a look at the world around us with honesty unfettered by political agenda.

We have so many people who are committed to small thinking. We think with our egos, more concerned with being right than finding the truth. We think in terms of political parties. We think in terms that separate us in the hopes of being "better than". We will eagerly acknowledge the threat of Sarah Palin on the separation of church and state. I would agree with that but then why completely look the other way when it comes to something so much more threatening? It is like watching somebody standing on a chair to avoid a mouse in the room while ignoring the rabid dog that is poised to pounce. Just because there are many religious right wingers who are against Islam because it threatens Christianity's monopoly on faith does not mean that there is not a threat to everyone from POLITICAL Islam. This attitude is suicidal and take a good look at where this has gotten the other half of Western civilization: Europe (AKA Eurabia).

Violence ensues in Norway from political Islam being offended by Christmas lights but streets are illegally blocked off in France for Islamists to conduct their prayers. Danish children are not allowed to put any symbols of their country's flag on their clothing or backpacks because it will offend immigrants and they will get beaten up. This is human nature at it's most revolting. On one hand you have the offensive arrogance of a barbaric ideology seeing how far it can get by using intimidation. On the other hand you have the spineless who allow this to happen. The leaders of these countries are like weak parents who allow burglars into their homes and offer them a chance to rape their children in the hopes that they will be satisfied and go away. Both are examples of a disgusting failure to reach the higher levels of the human spirit. This is not about right and left, it is much bigger than that, it is about right and wrong. And unless we can get ourselves united in some way as human beings first and political parties and religions second, we don't stand a chance.

In view of mankind's inability to handle religion in a manner that makes it beneficial, it's more than tempting to say that it ought to be done away with entirely. We need to base our ethics and morals on something more appropriate than ancient man made myth and superstition. Charming as it can be, it isn't doing us any good.

Still, I hope we don't really need to do that. I hope that we can be grown up enough to handle religious freedom. Taking away a person's faith is an act of cruelty and many people actually DO use it for good! We just need to take our religions and keep them to ourselves. If everyone can take their own spiritual practice, be it Christian, Hindu, Wicca, quantum mechanics, non political Islam, etc. and let those beliefs create inside them a link to a higher self where we are all united, there would be no need to proselytize, we would be together. We might actually learn to love each other and we might survive ourselves.

In the mean time, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka , Joyful Kwanzaa and above all: REASON'S GREETINGS.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Joe Schmurlo Incident

In the late 80’s I got a job as a graphic artist for a company called BJ Designs which was located in Malibu. The company operated from a house on Pacific Coast Highway right across the street from the beach and Alice’s Restaurant. It was really an idyllic situation in an idyllic location. In the beginning it was just me and one other artist named Bill. We got along great and became very good friends. He was often amazed at how far the sickness went in my sense of humor and I loved how he kept me laughing with jokes about dismemberment, birth defects and other tasteless fodder that I so enjoy. He was a very talented artist who used a lot of humor in his work; he treated me like his little sister. We happily toiled in a small bedroom of the house that had been turned into an art department with an ocean view. The only access to our little world was a sliding glass door and Bill made sure he had a spot at the window for the view. He wasn’t as concerned about seeing the ocean as he was seeing anyone coming towards our office. He had been the only artist and he had the gig worked out to his satisfaction. The company had no idea what it took to make the designs that he churned out and the less they knew, the less they could ask of him. I tried my best to keep things as lazy as they had been and certainly didn’t want to ruin his cushy deal by demonstrating how productive an artist actually could be. Try as I might, you can’t halt progress; the company was doing well and expanding and I was just the beginning of hiring new artists. Soon we would have an actual art department, and in time, a couple of go getters would ruin everything and set new standards for our performance. For now things were still sweet but the first step of progress was at hand: we needed a Stat camera.

A stat camera is a camera that is at least the size of a refrigerator, you can’t just pick one up at the store; and so a salesman came to our little home by the sea. His name was Joe Schmurlo; he was a nice enough man. He showed us photos of different models and their dimensions and electrical requirements and we pretended to know what he was talking about. We hemmed and hawed and tried to ask questions that made it seem as if we knew what to ask. Eventually we chose two models for our boss to consider using the highly scientific “Eeny Meeny Miny Mo” process of selection. He left behind brochures and his business card and a couple of price estimates on letterhead stationary. He remarked many times about how lucky we were to be working with this wonderful view and the great smell of sea air. We could never have imagined an argument against such an obvious fact. It was as though we had stolen the world. Churning out work at a snail’s pace in this great location made the whole situation like a paid vacation.
“Poor guy” Bill mused as he disappeared from our view. “He’s probably getting back into a hot car and spending the rest of the afternoon stuck in traffic on the freeway.”
“Yeah, that must suck.” I gloated, feeling kind of guilty.
“And it must really suck to work for a company that makes you put your picture on your business cards.”
“What?” I looked at Bill who was holding up the business card next to his face. Yes indeed, there was the man’s picture and underneath it said “Joe Schmurlo” Bill mockingly smiled the same smile. This struck us as funny. We thought it was very odd that he had his picture on his card we wondered if his company made him do it or if it was his own queer idea. In later years it became common for real estate brokers and such to put their faces on their business cards but back then this was weird. It was weird enough that we had to do something about it.
This was before computers and Photoshop or we would never have gotten any work done. We would have done nothing but mess around making each other laugh. We only had a Xerox machine that enlarged and reduced and we had type that we set by hand. I think our fun began with Bill just taking this picture of Joe, blowing it up to an uncomfortably large size and hanging it on a wall in our office. His name underneath made it funnier. People would ask “Who is that?” We’d say “It’s Joe Schmurlo, can’t you read?” And if someone dared to ask who Joe Schmurlo was we would just roll our eyes and tell them that it was too difficult to explain, "Either you know the man and his work or you don't."
Bill and I were both big fans of wacky packages so some fake products were in order. Since Old Joe had commented on “the great sea air” at our office, I made a fake box of “Joe Schmurlo’s Sea Snacks” “taste the ocean in every crunchy bite”  of course I put his photo on the label and altered it a bit to give him a bigger smile and crumbs on his face. The next morning I arrived to find the perfect snack companion: a bottle of “Joe Schmurlo’s Sea Swill” Ah, Bill had taken an empty Pepsi bottle, filled it with some fairly vile gutter water and slapped the home made label on it. He left it on my desk.

This turned into a typical competition / gift exchange between me and Bill. He left work after me in the evenings and I got to work before him in the mornings. I would aarive at work to find another new member of the fine line of Joe Schmurlo products proudly displayed on my desk. I'd be inspired and have something ready for him by the time he came in. Tiring quickly of food stuffs we moved on to sex products. There were Joe Schmurlo condoms “inner ribbing for my pleasure - to Hell with her” and Joe Scmurlo’s “Snatch Scratch” vaginal itch cream to name a couple of our top sellers. We ended up getting the camera directly from the factory and in time found something else to amuse each other with and we sort of forgot about Joe. Time marched on as did business as usual.

Then one fine morning when I was alone at work, I went down to our office and guess who’s there? That’s right, Good Ol’ Joe Schmurlo. It had been months since we’d had any fun at his expense and I’d forgotten about him. “Remember me?” He says. He stepped up to me, continuing, “I was in the area I wanted to see how the camera is working out. Can I come in?" Not thinking, I let him into the office, OOOPS! As he looks at the new camera I can see the various Joe Schmurlo products, kind of dusty and no longer prominently displayed, but definitely noticeable. Oh dear, he HAS to be seeing the various jars and boxes with his face on them. This is horrible! He’s not saying anything but he has to be seeing this. Certainly the 12” x12” mock up of an LP, “Joe Schmurlo, Songs for Lovers Only” must have caught his eye. I continued to make small talk trying to focus his attention on our fabulous ocean view.
What the heck could he possibly think? I can’t explain this! I can’t say “We didn’t mean any disrespect with this Joe Schmurlo hemorrhoid cream or lice removal tonic.” I instantly thought of that scene in “A Guide for the Married Man” where Joey Bishop's character is found by his wife, in bed with another woman. She’s yelling at him and he just keeps saying “What woman?” all the while the girl is getting dressed and eventually leaves with him denying everything and when he says “What girl?" for the last time, she actually is gone.  Yes, that is what I'll do. I'll just ignore what he's holding in his hand and say, "What bottle of douche with your face on it? I don't know what you're talking about." Deny, deny, deny! What else could I do?

Fortunately, he never mentioned anything. He left pretty quickly as he must have been embarrassed because had to have seen something. When Bill arrived, I told him what happened and he convulsed with laughter. We then took everything down, that way if Joe called our boss and said anything, we could really just deny it all.
Of course I can’t help but feel guilt. This poor man may have spent years with this haunting him; wondering what was wrong with him that made him so worthy of our ridicule.

I’m sorry Joe. Please accept my apology and consider what we did some strange artistic compliment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life Scripted

My friend, Brian, recently unearthed some old Brady Bunch scripts while helping clear a friend's father's place. He asked me if I would like to have them to possibly auction for Precious Paws (our animal rescue charity). I eagerly accepted them and when I got them home put them in a box noticing that the one on top was “Cyrano De Brady” This is the episode where Peter, unable to come up with the right words to impress a girl he likes, enlists the help of Greg who hides in the bushes telling him what to say. I didn't have a chance to look through all of the scripts before this one had a magical influence on our household.

My son has a very androgynous look. He's a lucky boy in that both girls and guys find him attractive and at this stage he finds them both attractive too. I would predict that he will wind up being straight but have made it very clear that if he is gay, he'll get no grief from me. God knows there are enough people who think it's their duty to impose any hurtful and stupid judgements that their equally ignorant belief system may have on homosexuals. Since I will never ascribe to such a perverse misuse of human intellect, he is safe with me but I have advised him that a “don't ask don't tell” approach is simply common sense. He definitely likes girls and he currently has one that he is very interested in. In an effort to please and impress her, he agreed to go with her and other friends to a Halloween dance. This group of kids decided they want to dress up as characters from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. I was surprised that he knew what this was and then he reminded me that he'd seen the movie at the Bonaduce (as in Danny) house. The kids had gotten impatient and he never saw the whole movie. He assumed he was being asked to play the lead role which in his mind would be Frank N. Furter.

He was pretty excited about finding a corset and fish net stockings, I was surprised that he had the courage to be willing to don such a get up. But my son is quite the artist at heart and had he grown up when I did, he might have been in that whole Tiffany theater Rocky Horror scene that several of my friends actually created. I spoke to one of my friends and asked where to get a proper corset for the Frank get up. It seems the market is dominated with a one size fits only large men version that would never do for my slightly built 14 year old son. We discussed various options and when I next spoke to my son I said I was pretty confident that we could pull this off. I showed him pictures of Tim Curry as Frank and Mike said “Yeah that’s the guy, that’s Rocky”. “Well no, “ I corrected, that’s Frank. “She says she wants me to be Rocky”

But this is the star, this is Frank.

You mean Rocky isn’t the star?

No. He’s the creature Frank is making. He’s at the end of the movie.

My son said he’d find out for sure and soon came downstairs saying that he had called another girl to ask details about these costume plans. He isn't calling the girl he likes because he's too shy. “Valerie says that Liz says she wants me to be Rocky, not Frank. She says he's the one at the end of the movie. Rocky. What does he look like?”

Then I turned into Fog Horn Leg Horn. “What... I say what? Let’s get this straight Boy! That! ... I say, THAT is a whole different story!” All of my coolness about my son’s sexuality just went flying out the window and I realized there was a huge difference between “gay” and “just plain faggy ass”. “NO!! I WON'T LET YOU!” Were the next words that flew out of me. I then tried to explain. “That’s just not cool! If you’re going to go out in public wearing nothing but underwear, it needs to be cool!” I explained that dressing up as Frank was taking a big risk, it’s a brave thing to do and even if this girl decides she doesn’t think it’s cool, you will have made a strong statement that you can still feel OK about. Frank is cool. Frank is attractive to both men and women. But Rocky, well Rocky is just a TOOL in gold underpants. TOOL not COOL!

He talked to the girl’s friend who was the liaison for the whole thing. She texted back to him something about how much this girl will like him if he dresses like Rocky. OK now my fears are peaking . I realized that it was entirely possible that my son was being set up. What if they were insisting that he be Rocky just to get him to do something humiliating? And even if this was a simple oversight on their part they will surely realize what a bad move it is after about a minute. This reminded me of the time that the Billboard Awards wanted to reunite us Brady cast members as the Silver Platters. They wanted us to dress up in the old outfits and perform a song. In theory this was fine but in reality it would be glorious for about 15 seconds. The rest of the song would be sufficient time to carry us into irretrievable depths of humiliation. The same would be true for my boy.

Honey, even if she thinks it’s great, you will be stuck for the entire evening wearing nothing but a spray tan and gold underpants, it will not be pleasant; I can't let you do this. I showed him what the character looked like. He hated it. He went back and texted the friend of the girl to tell her that he wasn’t going to do it. He was willing to be Frank but not Rocky. She replied that it meant a lot to the girl he liked and I suppose she inferred that he would score points with her. He was getting frustrated with me. He wanted to give in but I knew that if he did, it would lead to years of therapy. I knew I could just put my foot down and not let him go but I wanted him to work through this. I was also getting very suspicious of any girl that would try to entice my son to go to a dance wearing nothing but gold underpants. This was making me mad! I told him that he needed to tell this girl directly that he was not going to make a fool of himself. I figured that if she was simply toying with him as I suspect that she is, she really needs to see him stand up for himself and his own dignity. Through the day we went about our regular business while we discussed the matter. While pumping gas I asked him if there was a girl she was jealous of that she thought was really pretty. He mentioned Megan Fox. I said “Tell her that you wouldn’t even dress as Rocky for Megan Fox.” I kept throwing out suggestions until we got home and he handed me his phone and said “Can you just write it?”

That seemed simple enough and so I did. In a minute or two he got a reply saying something to the effect of "you promised now you aren't going to do it, some friend you are! Now we won't include you in any more of our costume collaborations... " This pissed ME off. I discussed his reply but since my ability to word things was better... My fingers were flying as I typed another text explaining that humiliating "me" should not be a necessary element of friendship. "I'd" given a more than adequate substitution of Frank and am now more than a little disappointed in how little respect she had for “my”feelings.

Having done more than my share of meddling I handed the phone back to Mike and told him what had transpired in his texted conversation and what “he” had said. I then left for another errand. When I got back he was beaming. He said she had apologized to him and said she was sorry for not appreciating his feelings. He was very happy. My texts did the trick. I looked at the box on the coffee table and saw the script on top “Cyrano De Brady”. I thought about life imitating art and decided that I'd better stop texting for my son lest this girl falls in love with me through my texts.

So I guess I don’t get to help my son dress up like a sweet transvestite. The kids all changed their minds and decided to dress to the theme of super heroes, Mike is happier because he's going back to his original idea of being a character from his favorite Video game franchise: Super Mario Brothers.

He's going to be Princess Peach.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Would John Think?

While in NYC I took this photograph of me at the John Lennon memorial. I was in town on business but stayed to attend the rally against the “Ground Zero Mosque”. I was even going to speak at the rally at one point. I've been fairly obsessed with the subject much to the suffering of my Facebook friends who have to put up with my rants. As I spew my disgust for Islam and seem to be fanning the fires of hate, my profile picture of me sitting in a lotus position on John's memorial seems to paint a contradictory picture. It's really not a contradiction and is a perfect symbol of where I'm at.
At the time I took the photo, I predicted those who would say that the image is contrary to my stance and “What would John think?” would be thrown at me and I wondered that myself. I know John would take the liberal position because I know that most “cool people” are liberally minded. I know this all too well as most of my friends are artists and musicians and thusly, liberals. We try not to talk too much about politics so they don't hate me too much. They don't realize that while liberally scented, I definitely list to the right. It's a fact that is better left unknown. I instinctively cringe at stances that seem overly conservative, yet find myself agreeing with many of them. I know that this is not perceived well in my circles but I can't keep quiet about it, not about this. And it's not just this mosque that has me so bothered, it's the unwillingness of the left to see beyond the obvious. It is the knee jerk silencing of the opposition with words like “Racist and xenophobe” which have lost their meaning being bantered around so carelessly. I feel that there is a definite effort to cater to Islam that is coming from our politicians. They know better but try to convince the populace that this is a matter of religious freedom. I wonder why they are doing this. Why did we spend years of my childhood vilifying communism only to lay down for Sharia? What are THEY getting out of this? And why are the left so blindly following along? Seems there's still an open spigot of free flowing Kool-aid at a hosted bar.

I am absolutely certain that if Hitler were alive today, he would have no problem doing it all over again. All that is required is that Hitler be brown and the Nazi party needs to come from countries that liberals see as being oppressed (never mind that they have oppressed themselves with their backward ways, it has to be our fault because everything is) I know that the left would pave the way for them to succeed in all of their goals. They would say that those who oppose their vision of Supremacy are bigots and racists without seeing the vision of ultimate bigotry and racism that they are enforcing. How do I know this? I know this because I'm watching it happen.

How do I convince my liberal friends? Could I convince John?

What would John think? The answer is fairly clear to me – he would NOT approve. He would not like the fact that I was here to protest the mosque. In fact he would likely say, “Git your bloody bigoted arse off me fancy Imagine mosaic! It's not meant for the likes of you!” At that point I would have no choice but to sit him down and educate him.

John: Come on, it's about religious freedom; are you going to deny them that? Give peace a chance!
Me: No, John it's really not, that's only half the story if that. This isn't just about a religion. Islam is far more than a religion, it's more of a theocracy. It is a political system that demands world domination where it will replace the legal systems of any country that it takes over.

John: But it is a religion of Peace.

Me: Where did you hear that? George Dubya? Most of the human population agrees that the man has the intellect of a potted plant but they all take his word for this? This is a guy who walked hand in hand with a Saudi Prince like they were school girls in love. He kissed the guy. The goal was to keep his promises to his oil friends that bought him his job but it is America who took it up the ass. Our dependance on foreign oil is part of what made the policies in the middle East that many say justify Islam's anger toward us. But that is not the reason why they hate us.

John: America has done plenty to justify the wrath of these countries particularly since we back Israel but find ways to profit off of both sides of that conflict. Notice I say “we” I only got my green card, I could have applied for citizenship in 1981 but some asshole shot me dead. We've done terrible things over there and it looks to me like we're still meddling.

Me: I know John, I can't justify what we've done in the past and I really know very little about what we're doing now. But I feel confident in saying that it has little to do with this issue - the basic conflict between Islam and the West. This has been going on since 1786 when Jefferson bought his copy of the Qu'ran in order to try to figure out a way to deal with the Muslim pirates who were attacking our ships for no other reason than that we didn't believe in their religion.

John Didn't some senator use that copy of the Qu'ran to be sworn into office?
Me: Yes, and it was considered to be a bridge building act of symbolism and Nancy Pelosi tried to say that Jefferson had gotten it to understand the ideology. She failed to say that in his knowledge and understanding of the Qu'ran, he realized that thee was no way to reason with these people. They would only respond to acts of war. And so we attacked. This is where the Marine's song comes from,“From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli we will -

John: Dammit Susan! Please don't sing!

Me: I'm sorry. My point is that he had concluded that they had only one gripe against us, we didn't believe in their prophet. He also concluded that the only language they could understand was battle because war is so prevalent in their scriptures.

John: But the word Islam means “peace”.

Me: Wrong again. Islam means “submission”. Once the entire world submits to the rule of Islam there will be peace; but until that day, the Qu'ran makes it very clear that war must be waged. This war is called Jihad and it is the personal duty of every individual Muslim to wage Jihad. While many Muslims claim that their jihad is just a personal struggle within their own psyche to truly to be the best person they can be – and that's great! Others take this literally to mean that they must wage war. They strap bombs to themselves and even their children to attack the enemy. The enemy is anyone who does not accept the prophet's words as truth. They get bonus points for killing Jews. Their prophet hated Jews so they must too. It really doesn't matter much what Israel actually does or doesn't do to them, their religion commands them to hate Jews. All who don't accept Islam are called Infidels. To die waging war is an honor. Even if it is not a case of war but just spilling the blood of one non believer, spilling the blood of any infidel (even a baby) is rewarded with instant access to a heavenly paradise.
Oddly enough this paradise contains all amounts of bodily pleasure, food, wine, sex, beautiful clothing...

John: Why would those things be important or desirable once one no longer had a body? What good is sex or food if you have no physical self?

Me: It would seem that this would be frustrating. It sounds frustrating as ….well as frustrating as ..Hell! But now I'm digressing with my own theories. There is of course the famous promise that awaits all martyrs entering paradise: of 72 virgins.

John: Oh that's all wrong! I've seen it, it's just a big box of raisins All these guys crying and cursing over a box of raisins, now I know why they are so upset.. they are quite tasty but nothing to die for.

Me: Well promising young boys a brothel in the afterlife not only gets them to kill themselves but they are also willing to put up with far more in this Earthly life. It's a pretty clever way to keep the people in line when they are poor and starving and the government builds palaces for the leaders but gives nothing to the people. They are told that the more they suffer in this life, the more they will be rewarded in the next. These are not bad people. They truly believe that their suffering will end in glory.

John: Very clever! What are the women promised?

Me: It's not clear what they get in the afterlife. But it's very clear that they get a pretty crappy Earthly life, they are considered less than men in every way.

John: Yoko says 'Women is the nigger of the world” We wrote a song about it.

Me: Yes John, I saw you guus perform it on the Dick Cavett Show. In Islam woman is the insect of the world! She has almost no rights. Under Sharia law, a woman's entire body is considered a sexual organ so it must be kept covered. If a woman reveals any part of her body, it is an invitation to rape. Assuming that a man should have control over these urges is not a part of Sharia. Rape happens as though it were an involuntary act on the part of the man with the woman bearing all blame for having seduced him. Rapes occur but since a woman is required to produce four male witnesses to prove it, it is rarely punished.

John: No punishment at all?

Me: Not for the man, the woman gets punished.

John: What choo talkin bout?

Me: Great Gary Coleman impression!

John: Yeah, we've been hanging out lately. Nice guy, still obsessed with trains.

Me: Trains rock. Anyway, the woman gets charged with adultery. She may even get the death penalty and be killed by stoning. If she gets pregnant an honor killing might be in order. It is up to her father and brothers what to do with her. The mother has no control over this. The women have little say and in fact a woman can't even leave the house without a man that she is related to accompanying her.

John: What a terrible life for women. Very misogynistic society.

Me: Under Sharia, a man can have several wives.

John: Sounds like Sharia grants a far better life for men than women.

Me: Well there's a catch, it's only if the man is a Muslim. Non believers are treated almost as badly as women. Sharia Law is based on Islamic supremacy. Like Hitler believed in a superior race, Islam believes that Muslims are superior and should be treated accordingly. When Islam takes over, non Muslims have three choices: convert, live in subjugation or die. If you are a non believer you will have to pay a tax. Your word will be worth half that of a Muslim in any court of law so don't bother trying to make a case against anyone who wrongs you. If you are so stubborn that you refuse to convert to Islam you may practice your religion as long as it is “of the book” meaning Christianity or Judaism, others will not be allowed. Under Sharia you may still practice but no new churches or temples can be built nor can any existing ones be repaired. So if an old church should fall on the people inside, it will be considered Allah's will to get rid of the non believers.

John: So Islamic countries do not allow churches or temples to be built but they are allowed to build Mosques here?

Me: Yes, we have religious freedom. To them this is foolish because their religion is the only one that should be allowed. To them, Islam is the final and irrefutable word of God.

John: So the Qu'ran is taken literally?

Me: Yes and criticizing or even questioning it is a crime pushable by death.

John: Well that's one way of settling any arguments. But there are many Christians who believe in the Bible literally too?

Me: Yes, but does anyone really take them seriously? Western religion just isn't practiced in the way that Islam is and hasn't been for centuries. We've allowed for Science and reason to step in and temper our religious fervor. And Christianity was revised hence the NEW Testament.

John: But there are plenty of terrible things being done in other religions. Look at the Catholic priests molesting children.

Me: I fail to see how evil done in one religion justifies evil done in another. It's all sick and wrong. But for the sake of argument, let's look at those pedophile priests. A priest is acting on his own weakness and character defect. He is going against his religion. The priest does not have holy scriptures telling him that it's fine to do so and even instructing him on how.

John: Like Muslims do? Awe come on, you have to be kidding.

Me: No joke! Granted, most do not engage in such acts but if they want to, they will find that it is all fine an dandy according to Sharia law. A girl can be married right after birth but sexual intercourse must not take place until she reaches the ripe old age of 8 or 9. In fact there is even a special word: Mufa'Khathat which is the practice of “thighing” a child as young as an infant. Thighing is to place one's cock between the thighs of a child, girl or boy. Sodomy is OK too for girls and boys. While homosexuality is punishable by death in Islam, it's perfectly fine as long as it is NOT between two consenting adults.

John: That's bloody sick! Is there no thought of what is being done to the child?

Me: Sure there is, it is written that if during the act of sodomy one does permanent damage to the child, they must provide for them for the rest of their life, so the prophet said.

John: Their prophet approved of this?

We: Of course! He married a six year old when he was in his fifties!

John: What kind of a man was he?

Me: He was a warmongering, sadistic, murdering, epileptic pedophile of a man. This is a man who slaughtered a woman while she was breast feeding. This is a man who killed a woman's father, husband and brothers then forced her to marry him all in one day. This is a man who declared adoption illegal just so that he could have sex with the wife of his adopted son. This is the guy that is held as the perfect man that all should strive to be like!

John: If Islam is so violent and horrible as all this,why are there so many peaceful Muslims? Most of the ones I've met seem like right nice people, really good people. I can't believe they would believe in any of this stuff.

Me: Many people are here to flee from the religious oppression of their country. They see signs of Sharia coming here but they really can't speak out againt their religion, there are inumerable consequences for them if they do. Many don't even know about this stuff. Just like there are many Christians who don't really practice their faith, there are plenty of Muslims who are simply born into the traditions and don't even know what the Qu'ran says. They are taught to memorize their scriptures in Arabic so many Muslims have no idea what they say. It is important that they pray out loud so that their God, Allah , who was a Moon God, can hear them. It's not important that they know what they are saying. Look at all the Christians who are only Christian on Christmas. One of the better things about America is that we don't really believe in our religions. The drummer from the Police said that on “Politically Incorrect” I thought it was brilliant.

John: I wanted to be on that show. But some asshole shot me DEAD!

Me: I know, I'm sorry. The problem here is that if anyone decides to become more devout, they will become more violent because that is what the scriptures tell them to do: to commit Jihad. This can lead to terrorism. Jihad is taught in mosques, it may be limited to a personal struggle or it may be teaching warfare. Since non muslims are not allowed inside, we really don't know about the militant mosques until somebody accidentally detonates one of the bombs it's hiding and blows their cover, so to speak.

John: But there are extremists in every religion that can be terrorists. Look at Timothy McVeigh.

Me: Oh John! Don't make me hurt you! WHY do people bring him up?

John: Because he was a terrorist!

Me: Bullshit John! He was ONE man! He was not acting on behalf of ANY religion and he certainly didn't have a theocracy and entire countries backing him up in his plans. The people who commit terrorism for Islam are not crazy wackos who have misinterpreted their religion, they are acting according to scripture. That's the part nobody wants to believe! Geert Wilders made a short film illustrating this and for it, he is under attack, not just by Islamists but by his own country for hate speech. He was only telling the truth.

John: You fancy him don't you?

Me: Shut up John, that's not the point. It's about truth! All I want is the truth! Just give me some truth! Right John? There are forces that seek to make the truth illegal! The UN is working on a blasphemy law that would make the criticism of any religion illegal.

John: So much for freedom of speech. Back to the point, in order to prevent more violence you want to stop all mosques, right?

Me: No, just this one. Thee are over 100 mosques in New York City. We just have a problem with this one.

John: Why?

Me: Because it is going to be fifteen stories tall. Tall enough and close enough to tower over where 3000 people were murdered in the name of Islam.

John: Yes, I remember that day. Very busy day in Heaven. But what if the people building this mosque really mean it as an apology?

Me: Well the Imam and his wife who are the heads of the Cordoba Initiative which is backing this mosque have sort of said that.

John: Well little miss Hatemonger, you would rather hang on to these ancient visions of bigotry than believe him? Shame on you, this is why I didn't want you sitting on me fancy Imagine mosaic thing! Off with you now!

Me: No! I don't believe him John! Muslims have a habit of building mosques on the places that they have conquered. In fact this one was named House of Cordoba which is symbolic of how they built a mosque over a church that they conquered in Cordoba Spain.

John: Yes but it was reconquered and Christians took it back and haven't they changed the name of this mosque to Park 51?

Me: Of course they changed the name, too many people were hip to the Cordoba thing. They also changed what the web site used to say in their mission statement. It used to say that their goal was to create a "tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago."

John: You memorized that?

Me: Yeppers

John: You're crazy.

Me: No doubt. Anyway, this time of peace and harmony that they speak of was hardly peaceful or harmonious for non Muslims. Christians and Jews lived in subjugation. You know the Nazis got the idea for putting the yellow stars to mark Jews from Islam. Hitler got a lot of inspiration from Islam and had the Mufti and Muslim troops helping him. He was quite inspired by the Armenian genocide (which Turkey still refuses to acknowledge) and took it's example as proof that he could get away with what he was doing.
This subjugation is called Dhimitude non Muslims living in subjugation as second class citizens. This domination and control, is the harmony and prosperity that they have “longed for”. This is what the Cordoba Initiative is all about!

John: But the Imam has said it is not meant to be anything but a tribute. Do you think he's lying?

Me: I KNOW he's lying!

John: How?

Me: His lips are moving!

John: That's not fair, are you saying that Muslims are liars?

Me: Not exactly but they believe they have God's permission to lie. It's called Taquiyya. This is the sacred right of all Muslims to lie to non believers without any shame for being untruthful. If it advances Islam and gains the trust of the infidel, it is perfectly fine to create any falsehood. The prophet Mohammed said “Kiss your enemy's hand until you can cut it off”.

John: So you don't believe it's a cultural center?

Me: How many floors do you need for a swimming pool? Part of what will be housed in this building is the Imam's pet project: The Sharia Index Project. The SIP is dedicated to monitoring the Sharia compliance of all countries in the world while guiding the spread of Sharia law and the global domination of Islam. This is a first step in the advancement of Sharia in America. This will be in the “cultural center” I have copies of the job applications to prove it will be located here.

John: I can see why you oppose having this mosque built.

Me: No we don't oppose it being built.

John: But this is more than just a mosque, this will be a headquarters for the spread of Sharia not to mention being a symbol of Islamic victory over the West.

Me: Good job John! Of course we should oppose it, but we can't because it would make a mockery of the freedoms that we stand for. We have to extend freedom even to those who wish to destroy it. It is the high road. Besides, our government would never back us up.

John: Really what do your leaders think? How about the mayor of New York?

Me: HA! He was so quick to approve it! Way too quick! And you should have seen him scramble to keep anyone from investigating where the money for this mosque might be coming from. People are concerned that terrorist camps like Hamas might be funding it and the Imam will not admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

John: Sounds suspicious

Me: Damn right! Turns out Mayor Bloomingidiot -

John: You mean Bloomberg?

Me: Whatever, he has a Sharia Finance company in Dubai. He's kissing major Muslim ass to make that work and Obama is talking to him about becoming treasurer. Obama has also appointed Sharia finance experts.

John: I'm not familiar with Obama.

I take out my lap top John gets side tracked with how fabulous technology is today. This takes a while as he wants to see EVERYTHNG on You tube, but I eventually show him our president.

John: Wow, a black president! Well done!

Me: Yes! Isn't that wonderful? Finally a black president! Too bad he sucks.

John: So you are not saying the mosque can't be built?

Me: No, we can't; it would be wrong. We're only asking that they choose a different location; one that is further away from Ground Zero.

John: That seems a reasonable request. It's not like you're getting uppity about something stupid ...like say, cartoons. It would really be a nice gesture of peace and harmony if they would relocate.

Me: Indeed.

John: It also seems that by refusing to, they are creating a lot of trouble. Aren't they aware of the trouble they are creating?

Me: Yes but they switched it around. They say it's we who are creating the trouble, that we are racist bigots.

John: But there are 100 mosques in New York that have been running fine without incident and crimes against Muslims are the lowest of any group. How can they accuse you of being bigots?

Me: Easy, and they have the agreement of our leaders. 70% of Americans are against this and our LEADERS are telling us all that we are bigots for feeling that way. That's just weird when leaders go against the majority of the people, it's just not like how America is supposed to be. I know there are illusions but to be so blatent about letting us know that they don't give a shit what we think, it's scary.

John: OK let me get this straight, The Islamists want to rule the world with a set of barbaric laws that discriminate against non Muslims, treat women like dirt, abuse children, call for the death of homosexuals and YOU are the ones being called BIGOTS?

Me: Yep.


And with that he would take my hand and we'd grab a cab and go to the rally together and he would set everyone straight. With John's help now America is now be 100% against the location of this mosque and the Imam and his goonies are so humiliated that they run away to Dubai to live with Bloomberg who narrowly escapes being tarred and feathered. Afterward, John and I would have a beer or five. We'd invite Geert Wilders to join us. Jimmy Page would soon join us too. OK he has nothing to do with this but it's my fantasy and I might as well go all the way. We might even write an anti Sharia song together and make millions of dollars.
He just might say “I TOLD YOU to get your bloody bigoted arse off me fancy Imagine mosaic! It's not meant for the likes of you!”
Then I'd tell him to go fuck himself
...but I'd still love him.