John Legend Proves There Is No God

It’s been a crazy busy summer.  You’d think that after being fired from my midday radio gig that I’d be lounging around with nothing to do.

Not so.

In addition to searching constantly for the right gig, I’ve been playing daddy day-care for my two amazing (and yet sometimes very high-maintenance) boys.  I also served a two-day stint as a juror for a case involving five different felony counts.  Oh, and I’m going on vacation with my family next week.  (Hell, we made our rental deposit back when I had a full-time job.  Might as well use it.)  But during the crazy roller-coaster ride that marked the last month-and-a-half, I did find time to make the following observations.  Nothing too great, just a little something to keep the ol’ SEO chugging along.  (The interwebs are filled with folks searching for things like…)

 

John Legend Proves There Is No God

It’s not just a snappy, click-bait title.  In fact, I should’ve titled this thing “John Legend Did Something Amazing to This Toddler.  You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next”  or perhaps “Doctors Hate John Legend, Because He Discovered This One Trick To Reducing Belly Fat.”  I mean, that’d start a virtual STAMPEDE to my blog.  Sadly, the simple truth is this:  I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is a God in the traditional sense, then he/she is a sadist.  Forget about the AIDS and Ebola running rampant through Africa.  Pay no attention to the clear-cutting of rainforests in the Amazon to make way for superhighways and World Cup stadiums.  Don’t fret about the changing salinity of our oceans and the unsettled nature of the over-fished and finned shark population.  No.  None of that matters.  God hates you.  I know this.  It’s the only possible explanation for hearing that GODDAM “ALL OF ME LOVES ALL OF YOU” or WHATEVER THE HELL IT’S CALLED EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR FROM THE TIME I WAKE UP UNTIL THE TIME I GO TO BED.  Seriously, I have a ska-punk station on Pandora.  Motherfucking John Legend shows up there.  Scanning your terrestrial radio dial?  Good fuckin’ luck.  And for the sake of all that is good and kind in this world, do NOT step foot into a department store or mall.  It’ll find you.  HE will find you.  John Legend.  He’s waiting.  He knows.  He’s coming for you.  For all of us.  And it’s all God’s fault.

Behold...Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Behold…Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

 

New Parking Lot Idea

Speaking of the tween-filled over-air-conditioned halls of the local mall(s), I had the greatest idea the other day.  Automakers need to add a new indicator, much like turn signals and brake lights, that would tell other motorists “I’m just straightening up, not leaving.”  Think about it: busy holiday shopping season, you’ve cruised around the entire sixty-acre parking lot with no viable parking results, when suddenly you see the flash of back-up lights and think “HALLELUJIA!!  BUILD-A-BEAR, HERE I COME!” Only to have your hopes dashed against the rocks of commerce as you realize that the silver mini-van was simply trying not to crowd the maroon Durango in the next parking stall.  Now, what if there were a pulsing blue light right below the third brake light?  A serene, lovely lamp that would tell passers-by “Move along, friend.  This spot ain’t available.”  Everyone would be much better off.  When your kids screamed “There’s one!  There’s a spot!” you could sadly shake your head and say “No, hon.  They’re just flashing blue.”  Maybe one day the technology for such an improvement in our fine American-made automobiles will exist.  Our lives will be much improved, despite the continued presence of John Legend and his death-anthem.

Sorry about the epilepsy, BTW...

Sorry about the epilepsy, BTW…

 

Sturridge.

Been watching a lot of World Cup footy, and as a Liverpool supporter was sadly not terribly shocked to see Luis Suarez go all “28 Days Later” during the tournament, as this ain’t his first buffet. His subsequent departure to Barcelona was almost a relief, although I harbored fear for the Pride of Merseyside’s continued attacking dominance.  Then I remembered that we still have Daniel Sturridge, and he started the season without Ol’ Bitey and was a forced to shoulder the goal-scoring burden pretty much all by his lonesome.  During this soccer-related reverie, it occurred to me that “Sturridge” is exactly how Charles Barkley would describe the passengers belowdecks in “Titanic.”  See, like this: “Man, all them folks wouldn’t have drowned if they hadn’t locked up them doors to sturridge.”

[INSERT "BITE TO EAT AFTER THE MATCH" JOKE HERE]

[INSERT “BITE TO EAT AFTER THE MATCH” JOKE HERE]

Chap Stick.  Hee Hee.

I emptied my pockets the other day and found my Strawberry (a somewhat rare flavor) Chap Stick.  I giggled, because for some reason my brain decided to say “Chap Stick” with an old-school stereotypical  Cockney accent.  See, I think that maybe in olden days, maybe during the Industrial Revolution, the term “Chap Stick” might’ve been a good slang for the male member.  “Ow, g’wan wi’ ye.  She ain’t got naught on below them petticoats.  Just wait, love, I’ll be showing ‘er me Chap Stick straight away!”  Oh, how I laugh and laugh.

 

Thank you, internet.   Thank you.

Thank you, internet.
Thank you.

 

 

Q & A, Part One

Oh, this year has been awesome so far, hasn’t it?  Man…things are happening, wheels are in motion, and ol’ Uncle Turner needs a break already.  (It sucks being old, kids.)

That’s why I decided to turn the tough part of blogging (inspiration!) over to you.  Over at my Facebook page, I asked you to ask me questions.  Nothing was off-limits, and you guys are so creatively insane and brilliantly stupid that I got some really good questions.  Too many to handle all at once, lest this be a 48-page blog entry.  Nobody wants that.  Hell, my radio consultant said the last entry was too long, so…let’s begin.

Ryan asks: Does God have feet?

An excellent question, and quantum physics teaches us that God both does and does not have feet.  Also?  This explains the dual nature of God as both male and female simultaneously.  Hence the old line about us being created “In God’s image.”  Whoa, it got really serious right out of the gate.  Let’s change gears…

"I saw two pairs of footprints, and said HOLY SHIT, GOD!! DON'T STEP ON ME!!"

“I saw two pairs of footprints, and said HOLY SHIT, GOD!! DON’T STEP ON ME!!”

Mike submits: Do you think Hollywood should do a reboot or sequel to Real Genius? And are you available to play Chris Knight, cause Val Kilmer is fat now?

I’ve covered reboots and sequels in previous blogs, and I’d be down for a sequel to this film (one of my all-time faves) if they mixed it up and made Chris the professor or even the project lead at some company.  He’s lost his way a bit, and needs a young, brilliant student to bring him back to the irreverent Chris Knight we all know and love.  Alas, I am also old and fat, so it’ll prolly end up starring Ryan Gosling somehow.

Negative, ghostrider.  The pattern is full...of donuts.

Negative, ghostrider. The pattern is full…of donuts.

From Joe: Colecovision…best gaming console ever?

Son, you know that it’s a war between NES and Sega.  A very tightly-contested war, with no clear victor.  That being said, “Buck Rogers” on the Colecovision was incredible.

My brother and I called this level "Holiday Road" and would sing the Lindsey Buckingham song from "Vacation" as we played.  True story.

My brother and I called this level “Holiday Road” and would sing the Lindsey Buckingham song from “Vacation” as we played. True story.

Brian asks: Rick Flair or Stone Cold Steve Austin ?

No question, it’s always going to be Rick Flair.  Ask me again in twenty years.  It will still be Rick Flair.  WOOOOOOOO!

One of these guys dresses with class.  The other might be Goldberg.  I can never tell.

One of these guys dresses with class. The other might be Goldberg. I can never tell.

The music-minded Tuler submits: What’s your favorite local bands?

Ft. Wayne has a surprisingly deep well of local talent.  And like most Midwestern towns, it seems like there’s a bedrock foundation of cover bands, upon which a layer of metal and blues rock lays.  Then you get all the other genres sprinkled about like feldspar. (Geology, bitches!)  I have talented friends in bands like Beneath it All and Valhalla, standout metal bands.  KTR and Downstait are great, too. I’ve always figured Left Lane Cruiser would be a huge national act by now, and it boggles my mind that they aren’t as popular as, say Cage the Elephant (I know, different styles and such.  LLC isn’t easily quantified and packaged, so there’s that.  Perhaps I should’ve compared them to Leon Redbone instead.)  But my tastes are decidedly more punk-rock in nature, so I’d say that you can’t go wrong with Flamingo Nosebleed.  They’ve had (and totally earned) the opportunity to tour with the likes of The Suicide Machines and other “national” acts.  One could make the argument that they’re more popular outside Ft. Wayne proper, which is a shame.

Okay, running out of space, so let’s have one more, hopefully from someone too drunk to stand…ah!  Perfect.

Jake asks (slurringly): If you were half man, half sausage, which half would beer man.

Every man is half sausage and half beer and beer man, beer, man.  Beer.

Yes, this stock photo exists.

Yes, this stock photo exists.

A Conversation With Ed

I was cleaning the remains of Easter Porn from the melted sole of my Chuck Taylor the other day.  Easter Porn was the name of the stick-horse belonging to my boy Joe Schultz.  Was.  See, my friends and I had decided upon first meeting EP that he had to die.  Damned horse didn’t go easily, though.  Numerous attempts on his life left him battered, scorched, and scarred…but it wasn’t until someone got the idea to douse Porny the Pony with gasoline and ignite him that he finally met his fate.  (OR DID HE?!?)  Anyway, whilst putting the flaming artificial horse carcass out with my foot, it decided that a good final act of vengeance would be to fuse itself to the sole of my shoe.  Well played, stick horse!

Anyway, as I was doing this, my friend Ed showed up, Alpine menthol cigarette between his lips, and sat down cross-legged in my driveway.  Ed was wearing his usual black long-sleeved sweatshirt, some jeans, and a pair of white athletic shoes, just as he had back in our college days.

“Problem?” he asked, smirkingly.  I explained the whole horse situation, and he chuckled.

“I love seeing you dig holes, Watson, ’cause it’s so much fun to see you dig out again.”

I would normally be annoyed, but it’s hard to stay mad at a ghost for long.  See, Ed lost his battle with MS back in 2005, but sometimes he comes by to chat, often when I need someone else to talk to or when I need a dose of reality.  That last observation is interesting, because, you know…he ain’t really there.

I changed the subject.

“So, what’s the truth about life on the other side?  How much of what we learned in church is bullshit?”

Ed took a drag of his smoke.  He always smokes menthols because he knows I won’t bum one from him.  Tricky cat, that one.  He flicked the ash off with his index finger and paused.

“It’s all bullshit.  And it’s all true.”

“Explain yourself, you spectral Jew.”

“Well, one thing I have learned is that you really can’t grasp it from your perspective.  And by that I mean that since you are trapped in that skull of yours, you can’t really appreciate what it’s like to be free.  It’s like trying to explain the concept of  algebra to a cat.  The cat knows you love it and feed it, scoop its litter box and so on, but at the end of the day, it just wants to lay down next to you and get hair all over everything.  It gives a shit about sine, cosine, tangent…just doesn’t care and doesn’t understand. Won’t understand, even if it wanted to know. Which it doesn’t.”

I scraped a little more dead horse stuffing from my shoe.

“Okay, well give me the basics.  I think I can grasp some of it, even if I don’t, you know…’get’ it.”

“Okay, the reason Western religions have been so successful is that they put God into bite-sized, human-relatable nuggets.  Stories, events, moral parables, etc.  We, or rather you, can handle that.  Doesn’t matter if it’s one God or many, like the ancient Romans or Norse.  You can identify with these supreme beings, because at the end of the day they look like you, talk like you, use language you can understand.  Even if sometimes they talk down to you, like parents to their children.”

Ed paused for another drag.  As he exhaled, he continued.

“These things’ll kill you, you know.  Anyway.  I’m not saying the idea of a consciousness or a supreme architect of the universe or whatever is totally wrong.  I’m just saying that a lot of the smaller details are complete bullshit.  There’s no ‘one’ way into heaven, and heaven ain’t like they describe it anyway.”

Now I was listening. Ed adjusted his sitting stance and went on.

“Now, the Eastern Religions have a better grasp of things.  I think those little fuckers know their place in the universe a little better.  Buddhism especially.  See, it’s all connected.  Everything.  It’s like the goddam Force.  Every single atom in the universe came from the same place, and it’s all still IN the same place.  You perceive this great gulf of space and time, but that’s not it at all.  You, me, the rice farmer in Laos?  We’re all right here in the same place.  Even better? So is your dead grandmother and Abraham Lincoln and Hitler.  Time and space are the same thing, but we’re on this log, right?  Floating along this river current.  We pass a tree on the riverbank and it passes back behind us, passes away in an actual physical sense, until we can’t see it anymore.  But it’s still there.  That tree didn’t go anywhere.”

“Okay,” I responded. “But I know for a fact that I cannot reach out right now and touch Australia.  It’s physically on the other side of the globe, Einstein.”

“So you say.  Ever heard of the double-slit experiment?”

“Yeah.  Copenhagen, right?  They shot photons through these slits and saw how they reacted.  And the scientists discovered that the photons reacted the way they expected when they were being obvserved and went batshit crazy when they weren’t observed.”

“That’s the basics of it, yeah.  Einstein called it ‘spooky behaviour’ because there really isn’t any explanation for it.  There’s no scientific reason for the laws of physics to change simply because the subjects are or are not being observed.  That’s why we need some new laws.  Quantum physics, man.  Humanity is about to uncover some of this shit and it’s going to blow the lid off of the way people see the universe. Forever.  More than understanding gravity or inertia…shit’s going to get real.”

“But how does that explain things like, well, no offense, the afterlife?  If there even is such a thing.”

“Of course there’s an afterlife.  You think this is all in your head, me talking with you?”

“Well, yeah.  I mean, I have a healthy imagination and–”

“Don’t give yourself too much credit, blog-boy.  Thoughts, matter, energy, souls…it’s all exactly the same.  Those photons in that experiment behaved that way because they were expected to.  Expected to by the observing scientists.  In other words, those men and women shaped the outcome of probability by bending it to their will.  The universe did what they told it to.  Because, and here’s the kick in the nuts…they ARE the universe.  Get it?”

“Not remotely.”

By now my brain was hurting and I had ceased cleaning my shoe. Ed explained himself.

“There are another set of experiments where they generate two identical quarks, okay?  And they separate them by some great distance.  Well, when they heat one of them, the other gets hot.  When they move one, the other moves.  They shine light on one, the other is illuminated.  This shit really happened, too.  That’s what I’m saying: those two different particles of matter were created together and are still connected.  They are essentially the same thing, in two different places.  Just. Like. You. And. Me.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Everything shares that connection, but you living types ignore it.  You come up with silly ways to explain it, things like deja vu or coincidence.  Sometimes crackpots go further with remote-viewing theories, ESP, flying saucers and such.  When you guys finally crack the language barrier, the scientific language barrier, you’re gonna see how simple it all is.  You’re living in a million different universes right now, but only perceive one.  And I think that’s what God had in mind with this whole heaven-and-earth analogy.  He wants you to understand your universe so that you can expand your mind in a way that you understand that it’s actually ALL the universes!  Heaven is just another plane of existence, and I guess so is hell: that’s why everyone’s ideas of hell are different.  Because you bring that shit with you.  Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed.  Just can’t.  So, your mind, your soul, whatever you wanna call it, it just changes states when you ‘die.’  Whatever baggage you bring with you, well…that’s what you sort of become.”

I sat there trying to wrap my mind around all of this, and knowing at the same time that Ed was absolutely right.  But I had one more question.

“So, you mentioned God.  God exists?”

“Of course it does.  God is literally in you.  Haven’t you been paying a god-damned bit of attention to anything I’ve said?  Humanity is God, and so is the Earth and the stars that make up Orion.  And yet it’s so much more.  That’s a whole ‘nother conversation, bub.  But yes, it’s real and yes, like those scientists in Copenhagen, it is aware of you.  Because it’s in you.  Aw, fuck, I ain’t got time to get into that.  You got me freewheeling and off-topic.  Yes.  Yes, there’s a God.  And yes, God is love, jackass.  I gotta go.”

I scraped the last bit of scarred pseudo-horse from my foot.  I looked up, and Ed was gone.  For now, anyway.

Editor’s note:  Edward J. Shovers and myself had a combative relationship during our college years, primarily due to chasing the same women.  But after working with him at a radio station after college, we better understood each other.  The last time I saw Ed, his Multiple Sclerosis had gotten worse, and he was having trouble getting around.  I knew that he wasn’t going to be in this world much longer.  Then, in 2005 I received word that he’d passed away in Indianapolis.  There is now a scholarship in his name for Communications students focusing on Advertising at our alma mater, the University of Southern Indiana.  I hope you liked this, Ed.  You Shakespearean-looking Jew, you!

Randomsauce With a Side of WTF and The Lord

Okay, another place holder here.  I’m working on a humdinger.  Not to brag or nuthin’, but it’ll make those Nickelback and Big Bang Theory posts look like that Seahawks-Rams game last Monday night.  But you’ll have to wait on that one, chief.  Patience…

In the meantime, I need to “purge my cache” so to speak.  My wife wants me to do an entire blog on how much I love to say “goddammit.”  I don’t know if there’s enough source material there, but we’ll give it a little test drive.  See, lots of people will tell you that “God Damn It”  is what we call “using the Lord’s name in vain.”  I have empirical  proof that this is not the case: the Episcopal priest that married my wife and me is my star witness.  He told me that every time he smashes his thumb with a hammer or his shin finds the coffee table in the dark of night, “GODDAMMIT!” is the first thing out of his mouth.  This fact in and of itself is not the support for my claim.  It’s just an awesome story, and it’s fun to imagine Father Shane in his priestly wardrobe hopping on one leg and cursing like a sailor.  Oh, in my vision he’s also staggeringly drunk.  He’s Episcopalian, after all.

Pictured: The Rectory at St. Paul's

But his argument backed up my own notions (as all good arguments do.) His rationale was that to truly “use the name of the Lord in vain” is to use His name for your own purposes.  Think “TV Evangelist.”  Or Tim Tebow compelling the Lord to get the ball across the goal line.  Or even praying to win the lottery or cure your disease.  To take it even further (and make a little more sense to me) it is also to say you speak for God, especially when you want others to do your bidding. “God told me to outlaw the gays!  And the single moms!  And the single gays!  And married ones, too!  OUTLAW ALL THE THINGS!!”  It gets worse when you get an ayatollah or other religious leader basically claiming to have a hotline to The Big Guy and The Big Guy wants you to vote for said ayatollah because basically they’re so tight that they’re totally the same person.  BFF!  Yes, claiming to be God would be a fair description of “using the name of the Lord in vain.”  I like to think  that God has more important things (COUGH! DARFUR! COUGH!) to worry about than whether you mentioned his name when you totally slice on the thirteenth.  But that’s just me.  And my priest.

Changing subject.  Why the hell is the light under the escalator green?  It’s ALWAYS green.  The color of glowing evil.  It’s like Minas Morgul is under your feet. Or the Loc-Nar. Think about that for a second.  It’s bad enough that you worry about your shoelace getting caught and ripping your goddam (!) foot off at the ankle in a spinning, whirring, jagged set of evil mechanical teeth.  Maybe there’s also a Nazgul down there.  Or worse.  If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the old trailer for “Alien.”  It was simply a space egg cracking open and evil, glowing, green light-stuff pouring out.  Fuck. That. Aliens, an eternal evil consciousness, and the Witch King are all waiting for you to fall down the goddam steps of the escalator so that they can feast on your soul.  And you’ll totally spill all of your purchases from JC Penney all over the goddam place.  Horrifying.

Third floor: bathware, linens, and the overthrow of humanity...

You guys know that I love old stuff.  I only mention it, oh, EVERY GODDAM TIME I BLOG.  But there are some old things that I don’t get.  Like when we used to think it was acceptable to go out in public in Zubaz pants and aqua socks.  And we did that shit.  Sorry, man…it was the early-nineties.

This shit actually happened.

But old expressions sometimes confuse the hell out of me.  One such turn-of-phrase is “Catch as catch can.” What the FUCK does that mean? I mean, are there other ways to say that without being confusing as hell?  Maybe someone could, oh, I don’t know…come up with some synonyms? Oh, wait! Merriam-Webster has done that for us!  How about some of these: aimless, arbitrarydesultory, erratic, haphazard, helter-skelter, hit-or-miss, scattered, slapdash, stray?

Actually, now that I think about it, I might just start using “catch-as-catch-can” instead of words like “haphazard” (which is equally ridiculous, when you think about it.)  An example: “This sure is one hell of a catch-as-catch-can clusterfuck!”  Or “The Titanic surely would still be afloat if not for that catch-as-catch-can construction!  Goddam Irish!”

"Lifeboats? You want fekkin LIFEBOATS?!"

Anyway, there’s this week’s blog, goddammit.  Sorry if it was sort of catch-as-catch-can.