The moon was full last night, not that it had much chance to shine, covered as it was in a thick, persistent of layer of clouds. I woke in the wee hours to a muffled roar, and it took me a few moments to realize that it was the sound of big rain approaching. It continued intermittently, and briefly sprinkled upon Koko and me while we were out walking this morning.
I remembered to bring a beet and a carrot for the small white horse that lives along my route and she was pleased to get a little something more than the usual scratching between her ears, under her shaggy forelock. Snacks trump petting any day of the week.
The air was perfumed with citrus blossoms, spider lilies, horse manure and the smell of damp earth, and the street was blissfully quiet on this holiday morning. I never could understand, I told my neighbor Andy, how the secular state can legitimately celebrate a fully religious holiday like Good Friday.
Christmas is one thing, because despite its religious origins, it’s turned into more of a pageant. But there’s no way to take the Christian veneer off Good Friday, which a friend likes to call Bad Friday because it launched that whole weird myth that turned a murder into a heavenly sacrifice. Talk about spin masters.
It’s sort of like that myth of happily-ever-after. I was interviewing a man the other day and asked him if he was close to retirement. “I don’t want to retire and stay home with my Portagee wife,” he exclaimed. Added his sidekick: “I don’t think too many married men do want to stay home with their wives.”
Getting back to the Jesus-as-savior myth, Andy remarked that he’d been talking to a man who expressed his fear that Obama was trying to destroy America as a Christian nation. Where did you get the idea that America was a Christian nation? Andy asked him, to which the man replied: It’s in the Constitution. Andy reminded him that some of the founding fathers were Deists and advised him to go read the Constitution, realizing later he should have directed him to the Bill of Rights.
Not that it would have mattered, anyway, because it was obvious, Andy said, that the man was just repeating something his pastor had said.
A woman stopped by my house the other day and was offended I didn’t want to take “the invitation” she was extending to all her neighbors to attend a Son Rise Service. I wasn’t trying to hurt her feelings, but why accept something that’s gonna go straight into the recycling bin? Now if she would have been passing out chocolate bunnies, she might have gotten my attention.
The Los Angeles Times certainly got the attention of its reporters when it decided to run an ad that resembled a faux news story on its front page. And since it’s LA, the ad was for a TV series — and not even a reality show, either. Of course, papers like the Star-Bulletin have pop up ads that cover the content on their websites, but it’s not likely anybody’s gonna mistake a Pizza Hut special for news, even in this dumbed down society.
According to a report by AFP:
"The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," it said. "Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards.
"Our willingness to sell our most precious real estate to an advertiser is embarrassing and demoralizing," the petition said.
But what the reporters viewed as heresy, the financially-strapped publisher termed innovation. Looks like another crack in the myth of objective journalism.
Geez. Is nothing sacred anymore?