The End of the World as We Know it
Sunday, May 22, 2011
- We are all still here, Ca.
- Harold Camping got more people laid and drunk yesterday than any other day the whole calendar year, including New Years. I mean it was an orgiastic pow-wow that, no doubt, lasted deep into the May 21st night which had been predicted (by Camping, not the Bible) to be the world's last day.As expected
, I am eating my raisin bran and having coffee this morning the 22nd
Given the empty threat of the end of the world occurring yesterday, with Christ's return, humanity was given one more pseudo-reminder that eventually if we do not see Christ come here, we shall very probably see Him individually in relatively short order (say 10-70 years).
The overall collective response yesterday was to laugh at Camping (appropriate) then party and screw. It's generally what we do. It's like all those thousands of movies where the two strangers, placed in a dire situation that needs immediate response, find 30 minutes to get a room and bang away like crazed weasels. I mean really...how many movies have you seen that do that?
So thank you Harold Camping for giving humanity a day and night of unhindered revelry at Christianity's expense. I am sure Jesus is very happy with the press you gave Him and the riotous shit you provoked.
And for those who believed? One poor shmuck
spent $140k of his life savings plastering billboards around NYC. He was stymied when nothing happened. Funny, I wonder if his confusion about that relates to his spending the 140k? Same brain.
The guy who really NAILS
this bitch is Mark Morford
(The SF Chronicle
), who happens to be, perhaps, the best damned columnist/blogger/humorist on the planet. If you only have five minutes stop reading ME and read HIM
But turning serious now, I like Arriana Huffington's
swift bead on the week here
. It's not overstated; just simple and true.What Does Piss Me Off
I am aggravated by guys like Camping. They make my life, as a Believer, a running joke. On days like yesterday I am glad I am a practicing Zen Buddhist and an active member of AA, which is an inclusive organization that promotes spirituality and relationship with a Higher Power.Put simply:
I do not mind being ridiculed, rejected or criticized for beliefs in real differences of belief. Go ahead and raise your eyebrow at the fact I believe miracles occurred, the resurrection happened in time and space and that Jesus was, and is, Divine.
That is all fair and good. And we do not need to be in agreement. I don't judge anyone...my job is to love. If you judge me? I understand. You're problem. But it was probably because some Christian asshole got in your face with his or her own agenda at some crucial time in your life and fucked it up.
I didn't and would not do that. I doubt Jesus was terribly happy with it either. As Max Von Sydow's
character in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters
says "If Jesus came back today and saw what was done in his name?...He would never stop throwing up."
But you see we never get to a genuine discussion because of guys like Camping who almost physically attach their own insane, bizarre
, anti-biblical and perverse agendas to Jesus and His Gospel of "Good News". They make it "Bad News" immediately...which should tell us all we need to know.
I was at a meeting yesterday here in Marin and author Anne Lamott
was in attendance. I love Anne Lamott
and I have been to her church many times in Marin City. Part of me wanted to walk up and say "Hi Sis...so ready to meet Jesus today up in the air?" But she doesn't know me well enough yet.
And besides, I thought, Harold Camping is not worth the time or attention to bother a truly great woman and Christian mind with. No. I just smiled at her with her glorious dreadlocks and gave a nod.
Me? I spent the day chaste and sober. It was a beautiful day...and back at the ranch (Mill Street) the community was alive, fun, open and I had some great talks with folk. Fact is, if I had 10k in the bank right now I'd stay here another month at the very least. I am having too much fun. People are amazing if you let them be and live in love.
I wish I had a picture of this guy. I don't. But he was beautiful, tall and passionate. Derrick McGhee.
Not to be at all confused with Rich McGhee, whose surname was also Derick.
Derrick McGhee was a tall black preacher from Oakland but he had one small foible...he misspoke dispite his eloquence.
So "How you doing man?" came out "Bacdonowd!! How you doin ban!!!?"
And he listed to the right and made weird arm gestures.
I already related how Simpson was like the Starship Enterprise in it's inclusive nature...so imagine me standing 400 feet away from Rich as he walked down the very long hall and he was channeling Derrick and just got "stuck" against the wall.
He just listed right and got stuck against the wall...gawd I wish I had a picture.Maniac.
Now we have to do mp3's.
There is no other way to tell the story.
Part one will be "My Wife" which was Derrick's excuse to come to my room and spleen out for hours on end. And the coffee in a beerstein.
Part two will be a short deal on his brother and photos.
Part three will be the dinner table with Rich, Kress and myself.
Now I love this guy....do not get me wrong. He is as comic a figure as I am.
Enjoy my being named "Bacdon".
Communion. Oil on wood.
I have been studying 2 Corinthians Four and it is majestic. It inspired me to crack my old Greek books and do word study. It is marvelous what you can discover while looking like an Uber-Geek and wearing no pants at 6 a.m.
Just in verse one the whole thing utterly sways away from what you would think given Americanized Christendom.
The key word is "mercy" and it's over-arching effect on everything. You receive such a gift and so you give it.
This is contrasted with using the Word oir Gospel for "gain's sake".
I think Bono said it best when he said he first came over from Ireland, turned on a tv in America and watched our evangelists and just said "these people are fucking insane".
That sums up verse 2.
I could quote Dante "Paradiso" (xiiii, 128-130) and be dead on...but Bono nailed it better.
These people just want your money. Screw that.
Moving on...we hit a little talked about area...veiled worlds. And I am not talking the Middle East, though those folks have a way of making it ALL about them...and we are not helping.
The real issue here is "sight" (verses 3-6). Personally, I think we just need a massive unveiling.
It's touchy. I admit that...but mostly because these assholes (see above) have "adulterated" the Word. Hey...air it out...let it have it's day...see what happens.
The real issue, in these verses, is "glory".
It is what transforms us and inspires us...and not our glory...no no...we are not talking sports here...I mean God's glory.More to come...
The Best Prankster Ever..part 2
You can see why he called me "webhead".
Bible college is a ridiculous thing. We did not know this coming in.
Rich and I both came from "the streets". Broken families...insane mothers...and distant fathers.
We just wanted to learn the Bible.(It's still not a bad idea).
After we had made a pact (one that exists to this day some 27 years later) we unleashed together.
It was not all pranks. We did very hard work in our studies, Rich was an animal that way. We pulled all-nighters often and we encouraged each other in every class...relating each test to a baseball at-bat.
"How'd it go?" I'd ask.
"I tripled off the wall" Rich would say. "You?"
I homered a lot.
We had great teachers. They had second jobs to pay their bills...they were wonderful. Not just Doc, but Dr. Collard (Greek) and Wallmark (New Testament) and a man whose name will come to me (it's so close) in a bit. The finest men.
Then there were people who were completely nuts. Utterly.
Sone were students, others professors. I'll start with the profs.
Under proxy, my abnormal psychology class was overseen by Floyd Simmerson. I speak his name openly because 1) he has probably gone to meet the choir invisible by now; and 2) if not he would simply deny that he wore a polyester leisure suit to teach a college class.
In either event, I showed up one day for class and walked in and he was wearing a white polyester leisure suit. That was the warning shot. The thick belt and white shoes put me over the top.
Devan Devan Olsen (we do not know why) looked at me like "you staying?"
"Naw" I said aloud to the whole room..."Too much". And I walked away. I showed up for the final 9 weeks later and ace-d it.
In the meantime, the usual supects were all over.
Rich daily destroying Devan Devan Olsen or myself unless we had a suitible other target...and it was daily...you need to understand that.
I'll give you an example. Big mints.
I broke into Devan Devan's room and took two urinal disks and splintered them with his golf clubs (Rich has done this 2 weeks earlier and I saw his brilliance). Then I shut his window and turned up the heat (evebn though it was Spring) so-as to cook the vapors.
It was uninhabitable for a week or so.
That was just one day.
On the next day Rich had stolen Devan Devan 's truck and he walked him down the hallway talking about crime in the City and how rampant it was as he led him to the window that overlooked Devan Devan Olsen's usual parking spot.
"WHERERE's my TRUCK?!!!" he snarled to no avail.
Then there were the students.
When I called Rich the other night he replied "Bacdon!"
It's an old name for me...not as old as "Mac" but just as accurate.
I am Christopher, Mac and Bacdon. Those are my three Christian names.
I will tell you how I got the name "Bacdon" tomorrow...and I promise you will laugh.
Comedy & Tragedy
From Love and Death
Okay...the guy later found himself a perp...but he had the audacity to take on cosmic issues and Russian literature and do humor. Ya gotta give him that. And I defy you to watch Love and Death
and not laugh your ass off.
It may be one of the funniest unknown comedies on the planet...alongside The Survivors
and The Twelve Chairs
But back to "bidness".
There is nothing more tragic and comedic than being human.
Just pick up today's paper or go on SFgate.com and this will be bore out immediately.
It's what we report about ourselves and it is just damned true.
Think about your day and how you bounce back and forth between comedy and tragedy?
I'm not all funny...
Under my humorous veneer I am dead serious.
My friend, and pastor, Rod said the other day that I need major earmuffs where most people are deaf.Word.
It is ironic that I am the face of Maverickssurf.com and every day wave upon wave comes crashing over me. I tombstone...I follow my leash...I feel as if I am drowning. It's awful and there is no relief.
But I am not the only one by any means. There are many others and Rod was wise to remind me of that. I am far from alone... as alone as I feel. Perception and reality are sketchy to say the least.Word.
Poet William Everson wrote a prayer that he might be able to move through the "blind surf of events" and find the stone levels he knew existed. This is our challenge and it is not easy but it is real.
Who, at age 50, cries into their pillow for want of Christ? Who agonizes over ther own selfishness?
Well not me to be sure (see I cannot stop joking).
People fear the Bible because they have never read it.
I have read it...in fact I learned Greek and attempted Hebrew so I could know it better. I have two Greek commentaries on my desk at the moment.
That is not normal.
And It is very much different than you might think.It is beautiful, explosive, sweet and dangerous.
The other day my brother came to anoint me. It is an age-old tradition for Christians to anoint the sick with oil and pray for them. It's vulnerable and deep and personal. It's humbling and I am not a humble man by any means.
I asked him to read from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians...chapter four.
It is a particularly dangerous and sweet passage and later he admitted it unnerved him a bit.
So it goes.
The first few verses of the chapter are just about "coming clean".
Palms exposed and raw like Jesus.Word.
The next session (yes, you may have to read it) is apexed by the glory of Christ. You either see it or you do not, If you don't look again and again and again until you do. If you still do not...pray in a raw naked way until you do. It matters.
The whole deal is "seeing behind the veil"...which is just your intuition times five spiritually.
Meanwile (moving down to verse 7) we hold this reality and love and faith in the clay pots that are our very selves.
They break...they shatter and the water seeps out. And so Paul, living under house arrest begins to unveil the red clay of our earthly truth.More tomorrow.
The Best Prankster Ever
Rich was the best prankster by far. He lived for it. He would pelt Devan Devan Olsen (we do not know why the double thing happens) with hot bagels
in the dark San Francisco morning while everyone else slept.
He was as capricious as his God has turned out to be.As Reese would say "Tree...apple...sigh."
I would sit at my desk around 2 p.m. studying Barker, Lane and Michaels
(gawd they were dry) and I would hear Devan Devan Olsens
(see above) keys sliding across the floor into the urinal.scacacacacacacacattttaaaaa
Another time (and I was witness) DDO
was in the stall of the same bathroom. He was casting inflammatory insults at Rich (he had every reason). Rich was simply brushing his teeth.More insults and more teeth brushing.
Then Rich put down his toothbrush, calmly walked over and picked up the garbage can and dumped it over the top into Devan Devan's stall.
All fell silent (I had to cover my mouth).
There was silence and then some slight rustling.
This is how it went every day. There was never a day when we did not unleash something on each other.It was a sign of love, devotion and respect. If other became involved it went very very badly for them.
But Rich was the best. I got him...he got me...in fact that was how we came to bond. He and I both had an epiphany that we should join forces.
Now least you think that Devan Devan Olsen was the main recipient I need to clarify.
There was the night that Rich and DDO krept
up onto the fifth floor and unleashed an utterly huge
on some unsuspecting students. The thing was massive and I can't even remember where they got it, but I do remember that once they let it fly (downwards) they realized it could KILL.
Then there was the Dave Miller incident.
Miller, a budding journalist posted a note in the Simpson tabloid about Rich's seceret microwave oven and coffeemaker (both off limits).
Three days later Rich was in my tiny room studying with me at 2 a.m. when we heard an awful cry-out from two doors over.
"Geez! what is that?"
"Bacdon....I put a potato bug in Miller's bed," Rich said.
"Oh damn...that is nasty."
"Yeah, but as C.S. Lewis said 'It will hurt, but it won't kill.'"
This is why I made peace early with the Prankster. As you have already read I inherently knew the rules.
I struck first. Rich looked a bit like my old friend David Lubeck (Benn will enjoy this). Both of them are too beautiful to live...but that was not my deal. I photocopied up (remember, this is 1979) about 300 flyers for a "Dave Lubeck Look-alike Contest" on campus. The other pictures were of women and black men. Soon everyone on campus were calling Rich "Lubeck".
I mean everyone.
He struck back quickly by stealing my picture and doing a thing which noted my tendency to have too much hair calling me "webhead".
People laughed and pointed. No barber could help me.
After that we had lunch and decided to destroy others in a united fashion.
A classic 72 Bug. I just bought my son a 69 with a moon roof.
I moved from Simpson in 1979 to CSUS and was paired with Scott McCrae.
He was, and is, an utter rascal.
We have already established my character (and no, I am not nearly done with the Simpson stories).
We were roomates and on my first day I stopped by the CSUS bookstore and grabbed 25 "term planners" from a box so I could lace them under his covers.
It just seemed right at the time.
Scott never said a word. But the next day when I opened my overnight bin 50 term planners came spilling out on my head.
He was good.Game on.
It was a war of escalation but not without delight. I was often impressed. Scott was swift and had a sense of irony even though he was not in the Liberal Arts.
But I got him finally.
It's funny. In those days it was "no quarter" yet restrained. I feel now, these days that it's no quarter...yet damned serious.
I liked the other times more. It was fun and I didn't get nasty letters.
Anyway...I took like 800 term planners and scotch-taped them one-to-one and completely covered his Bug. When Scott came out to drive his Bug he had the world's largest and most prestigeous term planner in existence.
Hell..he could have made plans for the 24th Century given what I had provided in planning materials.
He gave it up after that. I believe the last words he said to me as he move to Draper Hall was 'Maniac".
I just Heard "Mac", but I hear that alot.
Here is to Christine, Thomas, Benn, Cayla, Sean and Michael...who are all sons and daughters to such madness. I am the only adult who admits to being unscrewed...thus can I write these things. Enjoy.
Michael...your dad is the same..he just needs the job...believe me..I've seen it. Thank God for your mother Kathy.
So...Story Number 2
In case you think I'm embellishing.
In short we put the car on blocks, rebolted the bucket seats in backwards, exchanged the headrests and armrests, Crisco-larded the windscreens, let the air out of the tires, and put a potato in the exhaust pipe.
Of course this was not enough.Mac's doctrine
must be inforced and was.
I had gotten the key from Pope Kodiac's sister Kitty. We waited until Wett had to go to Reno for Chris Fuji's ordination. Our youth pastor Dave was also alongside and as they went into the service in Reno he turned to Wettstein and said "Oh by the way...they are getting you tonight."
There was nothing he could do. He was 250 miles away, in a Presbyterian service and powerless.
Later he became an Episcopalian.
Of course he hunted me for a few weeks. I'd see his Suburban pull up outside the Mt. Diablo Hospital and I'd run inside. In the end there was nothing he could do. He had been had...I knew he had invaded "The Brick" and he was demoralized. Weeks later we had coffee and I convinced him to help me get Stanley.
Stanley was my best plan yet.
Tracer gun unmodified.
I just had to take the thing apart and bend the wire back so it would kick like a mule. Sure, it only fired one out of three shots...but when it did...whammo
This is another Simpson
story. And it is all true.
I was young and full of hubris (as opposed to now when I am old and full of hubris) so I had a photo outside my room that showed me with two shotguns, sunglasses, and a ridiculous semi-safari outfit befitting a Hemingway illegitimate
child. The caption read "Do you feel lucky?"
Now just to set the scene, the dorm rooms at Simpson were very small. In fact, sleeping on the top bunk you had about 3 inches of breathing room. Below was the desk and then books and it faced the door. The coffeemaker was recessed and secreted away and just made the whole dorm floor go "brown" when I used it.
Well they came for me one night. I mean...given the picture they had to.
"Mac!! boom boom boom!!! We feel LUCKY!"
I sighed. I put aside Spurgeon's Treasury of David
, took out my modified tracer gun, put on my sunglasses and braced myself.
They had Devan Devan in the hallway and he had keys. There was no reason for Devan Devan Olsen to ever have been entrusted with keys...I mean he was growing pot in the rotunda on a regular basis...still I heard them jangle and I tensed up.
I would forgive him later.
The door burst open and seven guys tried to wedge in to blast me to bits.
They had longstanding issues with other people and I was the immediate occasion.
It all happened in slow motion. The incoming tracers were impressive. Five went wide right and thwaked
into my back window. Six other went left or down. One bounced off my glasses immediately...another off my cheek, two others off my arms.
Hey...seven against one.
Meanwhile I fired...but remember...my gun only went off one out of three times.
I saw Dirk Bond (God he must have hated me), and John Sloper
but the guy
I knew wanted me dead was Skover
Now I would say that it is a strange thing to be in a Bible College where people truly hate each other...but then read today's paper about the Middle East.Skover
hated me. I did not hate him, but I recognized his glee in hating me and I thought it wrong. I mean it was not spiritually healthy for his hating me to go unaddressed.
So I addressed it.
With a tracer.
Now in retrospect Skover
was really a sweet guy. He was. Actually every one of those guys were really great...Sloper
, Bond, Clausin
...and the three others. Devan Devan Olsen is one of my favorite people...I mean who shows up to a Bible Study with a tomahawk
? ...But that is another story).
was my target as I was already dead.
It was the "glee" factor that I recognized. So I shot as the hail of tracers flooded my room (see above).
I focused and shot.
First two triggers were duds. The third kicked out wide right. The next wide left (or maybe glanced off of Sloper's
already balding head.
But the fifth....ahhhh...thing of beauty. Straight and true and it caught poor Skover
on the very awfully-nervy edge of his front tooth.
"OH GOD!" he reeled back, taking four guys with him in his agony. They spilled backwards into the hallway. I got up and slammed the door and that was that.
All ya need is one real good shot.
Too bad it doesn't happen more often.
Birds on a wire....1991.
I am also a painter...though I do not do enough. I actually spend way too much time NOT doing what I do best.
I was made to do art and theology and I just grasp at it here and there.
This little picture/painting is indicative.
Three birds on a wire. They sat outside my house on Fremont Street and I painted them.Why do people do art? Why do they paint? Why do they sing?
Have you ever wondered about that?
Because they do not have to. Not at all.
I have three little beings in front of my desk. Boo, Peanut and Cookie. As I write they are spitting seeds onto my desk. They do this with abandon. Peanut hops into the corner and looks me in the eyes as if to say "yes, you are 40,000 percent bigger than I am. But I know my place and you do not".
He has a a point.
They are adorable and sweet and a picture.
But a picture of what?
Why did those birds on a wire so capture me 16 years ago?
Why did I paint them and why do we paint?
In the small quiet moments do you ask yourself these things or is it just me?