Friday, July 11, 2008

A Dull Ache


Look, I�m the first to admit I tend to play the Apocalypse
card now and then, but you have to admit, the End of Days is always good for
laugh. There�s Cheney as Satan � or a close personal advisor. There�s a
crackerjack conflict going on in the Middle East where the Endtimes are
supposed begin. And last, and certainly least as a president, but at the very
top of most true-believers anti-Christ list, you got that dancin� fool, George
W. Bush. (It�s not too late to get in the �Bush Blows-up the World� pool; you
have until Jan 20.)


Granted, this entire political season has thrown all of us
off our games a bit, and I did say that when the Democratic race came down to a
black man and a white woman, things were getting a little weird, and when the
rich white woman called the black man an �elitist,� I wrote about those four
guys and their specifically colored ponies � but what�s not funny about the
Four Horsemen.


Then Obama became the presumptive nominee for the presidency
of the United States, an historic moment for our nation, so sure I tried to
milk a yuck or two out of it with a bit about one world-cleansing conflagration
� you�re rarely wrong going with the classics.


However, while I was joking, Armageddon came a knockin�, and
now I have irrefutable proof that the reign of fire is right around the corner.
So don�t go shopping for bottled water and Spam because I already bought it
all�although I�m not sure how Spam can save me from acts of divine retribution.


The sign that tells me the sword of Damocles is about to
fall is this ad that showed up in my mailbox: �A symbolic display of devotion�THE MEN�S STERLING SILVER NAIL CROSS.
Artisans have taken a symbol of Jesus� ultimate sacrifice, the nails of the
cross, and fashioned them into a sterling silver cross pendant.�


The ad is on an 8�11 inch piece of  heavy stock, complete with post paid replay card, the rest of the
text is a combination of salesmanship and evangelizing (yes, I know they�re the
same thing.)  On the whole it�s no cheesier
than those mailers trying to sell you commemorative plates or NASCAR


The reason the Sterling Silver Nail Cross flyer is a portent
of a bad end for us all is, it came packaged with my monthly copy of Playboy.


Yes, Playboy.


I�ll give you that Playboy is pretty tame, actually lame
stuff these day. �Hannah Montana� seems
lurid by comparison. Still, the magazine does show fully nude, highly
airbrushed, desexualized photos of naked women, and they do have many a bawdy
cartoon that involves comical sex acts � which, when combined would excite the
average 8th grade lad, so it�s still not on Pat Robertson�s Summer
reading list.

The answer is, unfortunately yes; I do get it for the
articles. I get better porn in my online junk mail.


The point is, Playboy, Hef�s magazine, the icon of the
sexual revolution, the magazine that used to sell those dopey �man sign�
necklaces, is shilling for a company that wants you to spend $100 on a
really tacky display of your faith. (Anyone every hear the Lenny Bruce routine
about Christ and the electric chair?) The ad is placed on top of the magazine,
you see the cross before you see the cover.


So you tell me, am I over reacting, or do you want to trade
me two cans of peaches for a can of Spam�although I�m not sure how peaches can
save me from acts of divine retribution.


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