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This Day in My History

2000:  Party Time
2001:  Glow Little Glo-Worm
2002:  Officer, There's a Dead Body in my Freezer
2003:  Good News, Bad News
2004Devil Dog

2005:  Ghosts

"Artistic Differences"

Books Read in 2006
(newest books added 7/5)

"Paul & Audra's Wedding"

Paul and Audra's Wedding

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for flash version, click here

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

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Look at these videos!
Cream for your Coffee
I Miss Monica
Cool by Default
Lewis Black discusses Gay Banditos
Jesus Kicked out of the Christian Coalition
Quick Change Artists

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4th of July 2006

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16 July 2006

I'm a big fan of San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll, who writes a mostly satirical column, occasionally lapsing into the more serious, but always right on the money.

So I was really all into it when I started reading Friday's column:

The film producer Cecil B. DeMille had a formula that he used a lot, particularly in his silent movie days but also with such postwar biblical epics as "The Ten Commandments" and "Samson and Delilah." The strategy: Show a society in a state of decline, with lechery and drunkenness and women in bronze bras at every hand, and feature girls dancing with snakes and cruel leaders ordering prisoners to be tortured and raucous courtiers applauding each appalling act.

Oh, it is distressing. Oh, it is disgusting. Let us watch it some more to see how distressing and disgusting it is. Ah, but is there a person with a heart so pure that he can resist these temptations? Can humankind be saved by the noble acts of one virtuous individual? Why, yes it can, and finally all the drunks and torturers and lechers and women in bronze bras will be satisfactorily destroyed when the Red Sea floods again or the temple falls down or there is some sort of Lordly smiting.

So we get to watch the always delicious debauchery, and then we get to feel good about ourselves because we vicariously participate in the smiting of the debauchery, of which we quite naturally disapprove. So the audience gets sex and violence, and it still leaves the theater with an uplifting moral message: God is making a list and checking it twice, so beware of naughty and cling to nice.

I was sure I knew where he was heading with this column. 

Now, he would tell me, is the time for a savior to come riding in on a silver charger, or the cavalry to come riding over the hill, or the Potomac to open up and swallow up all the duplicitous, weak-willed politicians who are destroying this country.

I mean, we have all of DeMille's elements in place.  No one would deny that we are in a state of decline.  Anybody who reads the tabloids at the check-out stand knows that lechery and drunkenness have run rampant upon the land. 

There is government-sanctioned torture, if not exactly upon this land, then at least upon land that we rent.  (We do pay rent or something on all those off-shore holdings we have don't we?  Or did we just march in and set up compounds and tell the natives they had to put up with us?)

metalbra.jpg (23562 bytes)What with costume malfunctions and S&M shops we can easily get into the "women in metal bra" category and you see "dancing with snakes" on Animal Planet all the time. 

So I was all excited.  Jon Carroll was obviously privy to information I was not.  I was ready to give up titillation and debauchery as passť and get all inspired to hear the name of the Savior who was going to lead us out of all of this misery and into our new Promised Land, where no child is left behind, where all citizens are granted equal rights, where nobody is arrested on a whim and where all prisoners are allowed to know the crime for which they have been charged and to have legal representation. 

I just knew that Carroll was going to give me the name of the Savior who is going to fix Social Security and find a way for all citizens to afford medical care. 

He would reveal the name of the Savior would make all the congress critters lay aside day-long discussions of inconsequential (but vote-getting) issues and actually spend time finding out how to fix the social ills of the nation.

He would finally identify the Savior who would drive the Falwells and the Robertsons and all the other money-grubbing, homophobic preachers out of the God business and give Christianity back the name that it used to have — followers of the Christ, the man who preached love and tolerance.

We would finally all know the name of the Savior who would restore dignity to the White House...and the Savior would know how to pronounce "nuclear" and speak an extemporaneous sentence without stumbling over half the words.

This Savior would be someone of whom we could all be proud.

Nobody would want to burn a flag because we would be a proud nation once again, as the waters washed over all of those do-nothing politicians and corrupt lobbyists.

And so my eyes eagerly raced down the page waiting to find out who this savior is going to be...and what do I read?

I thought about Cecil B. DeMille when I saw "The Devil Wears Prada," which is a thoroughly amusing movie, although a fundamentally dishonest one. Here the debauchery is exquisitely modern; it's all about blind ambition, ancillary avarice and random cruelty applauded once again by courtiers. The wicked Pharaoh in this movie is played by Meryl Streep -- the villains are always the best characters -- and she rules with an iron fist inside a Daniel Storto glove.

It's a review.

A goddamn review.

It's a good review, to be sure, but it wasn't want I wanted. 

I was hoping that somehow, somewhere out there there is a Samson who is going to knock down the pillars of corruption, or a Moses who is going to lead the righteous out of the Land of Incompetence and into the Promised land.

But it's just a movie review.

And there are still 920 days, give or take a few hours, left of the current administration and no cavalry, or savior on a silver charger on the horizon waiting to swoop in restore dignity to the White House.

Now I'm more depressed than ever.



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