Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Jesus Camp: The Movie

Some highlights and "points of interest:"

"They [children] are so usable in Christianity," Pastor Becky Fischer, Pentecostal children's minister

"We have -- excuse me! -- but we have the truth! We've got to stand up and take back the land!" - Pastor Fischer, accompanied in the documentary's opening by children whooping and crying out for war while adorned in literal war paint

Forty three percent of Evangelicals are "born again" before the age of 13.

Quote from a video dismissing the big bang theory: "Did we come from a gob of goo? I don't think so."

"There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Jesus and those who don't."

"Warlocks are enemies of God; had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death!" - Pastor Becky Fischer

LEWIS BLACK [outtake from the Larry King show]: "You know, I'm Jewish. We -- it's our book. The Old Testament is ours. It's ours. It's not theirs. It's our book. The Christians, the book wasn't good enough for the Christians, was it, Larry?

No. They said no. This book isn't good enough for us. We've got a better book with a great new character. You're going to love this guy. And so it's our book. So let us -- if you want to know, if the Evangelical Christians really want to understand what's in the book, you know, ask us. We're everywhere."

Pastor Fischer: "Unlike McDonald's, this is not about how fast you can go through the drive-thru; you need to stay in the pot - let him simmer you in the Holy Ghost!...Take these prophecies and do what the Apostle Paul said: Make war with them! This means war! This means war! Are you a part of it or not?"

"You're not just a piece of protoplasm -- whatever that is," said one male Evangelical speaker wearing a red "LIFE" T-shirt, which matched the red LIFE stickers later secured over the children's mouths. "You look great with that tape over your mouth!" he added.

Colorado Springs has the greatest concentration of Evangelical Christians in the country.

"If you use any of this, I'll sue you," Ted Haggard, who meets with George W. Bush every week, to the camera (after granting permission for filming). "It's massive warfare every day. Let the battle begin!"

Haggard advising a burgeoning child preacher after the above speech: "Use your cute kid thing until you're 30 and then you'll have good content."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

As Houses


in this haze,
summer days
are better off
far away, but
winter without
a trace.

We’re always seeking escape
from the isolation we create –
the desolation
of your absence
is better off
than our single-celled
seizure together, untenable.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

On Leaving '07 New Orleans

Imagine going out to get your paper first thing in the morning and finding blood on your front steps. A "pulpy puddle of blood" to use my friend's exact phrasing via text message last night. Imagine then finding a torn-up, used pair of men's underwear in your garbage can, alongside requisite empty pill bottle.

Of course, being sane, you call the police. Of course, the officers need a little prompting to file a report because, in one's words, "It's not a crime."

His solution?
She should "buy a gun."

She should keep it locked and loaded.
She should hit up the ol' shooting range.
She should expect to fight for her life.
She should know better than to live alone without one.
Perhaps she should know better than to live alone at all--after all, she is a she and this is 21st century America.

Why should we--New Orleans residents past, present, future--expect more?

Why should we expect anything?

Why even recognize that the world we inhabit--a world where the nation's highest murder and incarceration figures collide with its lowest conviction rate--begets not safety but, seemingly, more violence? That the more troops we call in, the worse things get?

It's hard not to feel under siege when, well, you are, whether you're being jacked by Entergy or man with gun, taking the daily grim tour out in the East or the Lower 9th or even just looking out your window at the burned houses on your deteriorating block, when the levees are being held together by the equivalent of gum and masking tape, you're being followed down the street at night while walking your dog, pulled over by drunk police officers for d.a.w.f. (driving alone while female), criticized for leaving, exhorted for staying, pressured to come back--on and on until, for some, the post-apocalyptic, New-Orleans-on-high-voltage-crack cycle comes to one abrupt end.

Being dead's not enough, though. You must be criminalized, explained away, scapegoated by the local media and that denial-lovin segment of this Catholic city, as with the recent murder of Noizefest founder Keith Moore. In pitch-perfect "first my body, now my corpse" style, Moore was next done in by WDSU, who decided it was more important to emphasize how and why it was his own fault, i.e., the header "Deacon John's Son Killed in Drug Buy," than that the execution occurred at 3:20 P.M. in a very public, residential area. That sort of emphasis is the norm there.

Still the bodies fall and I can hear them from here and my worry for those I love is a visceral, nauseous knife in the gut and still They scream for help and still They snit when someone like experienced, if blunt, recovery czar Ed Blakely speaks out because to them his crime, of course, is being "an outsider," and still the bullets drop inside,



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fancy Cowboy and...

Grassy Knoll Guy?

Hee Haw, it's.....Crawford time!

[Photos robbed from Yahoo.com]