Thursday, January 06, 2011

Get On Board

Meet Andrew Bowen. He has decided to investigate this thing we call "religion" from the inside out, spending an entire year immersed in one religion per month. What a full-on, badass thing to do.

Then again, you might wonder why a guy in his right mind would do this. Actually, the answer to that is rather paradoxical (or at least I think it is, I'm not in his head). ONLY a person in their right mind does this.

If you read his blog from the beginning, he journals his days as he is living within the boundaries of the religion he is practicing that month. Right down to the food they (he being part of "them") eat. We (the batshit masses) can then read what he has to say and chill the fuck out the next time we sit next to a Muslim on an airplane or a Christian at a Planned Parenthood.

Juan Williams, are you listening?

Lots of countries insist that its citizens earn their right to live there. Civil service, a year in the army, or some other such hoo-ha. Since the United States is such a "melting pot" (yes I did type that with a cynical smirk), I think Andrew's mission is probably one that wouldn't kill the rest of us to try. 12 months learning that the other guy isn't going to kill us in our sleep? I think that'd be swell indeed.

Bowen calls this mission "Project Conversion: Twelve Months of Spiritual Promiscuity". I call it fucking awesome.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Monkeys with Car Keys

"All we are, basically, are monkeys with car keys."
-Northern Exposure (1990)

I read (and so should you) a great essay this week. It's all about the film (and philosophy behind) I Heart Huckabees. It's a nicely honed, much less expletive laced (than anything I am capable of producing) way of explaining (what I call) Transcendental Nihilism.

It turns out, a lot of people think this way, though they might not call it the same thing. I'd be worried about being unoriginal if, at this point, I believed it was possible to be interconnected (and I am very certain we all are) and "original". The thing is y'all, we think the same thoughts, often at the same time, but for many different reasons. Our different reasons are usually just by-products of our different experiences. Our different experiences and the cortical pruning that happens as a result, make us who we are. But, as Woody Allen's Grandma said in the classic "Northern Exposure", we're still just monkeys with car keys...sitting on the branches of infinity, chittering subconsciously into our stomach-ears.

I continue to arrive (like I said a couple of posts ago) at the same conclusion: many of our woes are caused by separation anxiety caused by the illusion that we can actually disconnect from one another. At this point, I don't even bother trying, other than earplugs.

Interdependence. It's what makes being life such a fucking hay ride. That, of course, and NyQuil.

Yes, I know I've been wearing Bossy Pants this week. I like to share fun where I find it.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy Mewes Year

More "If you haven't, you should" advice for the New Year: tune in to the Kevin Smith/Jason Mewes Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast. Each of the first ten or so, if nothing else.

Beware: this isn't your run-of-the-mill Jay and Silent Bob tale. The stories you'll hear aptly illustrate the similarities and vast differences in the lives of the real vs. film versions of both men. This isn't just what happens when Jay and Silent Bob get old. It's what happens when Jay (Jason Mewes) has a 10+ year struggle with heroin addiction, Smith's unwavering faith and loyalty to his friend (and arguably, his soul-mate), and the cast of characters surrounding them both. If the two of them ever decide to make a film based on their twisty turn down Hubert Selby Jr. Lane, it may finally get Smith the writing accolades he has so deserved for so long.

As far as the cast of characters goes, Smith's wife Jen stands out in his stories, as she did in his Too Fat to Fly tale, as the voice of reason. Sensible and supportive, she is the rare individual with a steely backbone of kindness. I think I might be somewhat in love with her too.

The great thing about this podcast is that it doesn't gloss over the illness but somehow keeps you laughing. It's difficult to put into words how rare it is to be able to grasp that level of desperation when you're trying not to spray your shorts. Or panties, in my case.

It's not child friendly. Dirty, in a John Waters kind of way (yes, you'll hear dick and fart jokes aplenty, very graphic and very descriptive) but I'd think you'd expect that by now. For all us who have been with these guys since Clerks., it'll feel like a surreal high-school reunion.