Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jesus doesn't like Country Music

I try to avoid country music. I try to avoid anything that makes the wrinkles in my brain smooth over, which is why I don't watch Desperate Housewives or talk to my neighbor. Somethings just make you dumber. I actually had to teach myself how to ride a bike again after trying to have a conversation with an uncle and when I hear country music on a distant radio I get a sudden urge to eat paint and make out with my sister.

Over the past few years I have been subjected to country music in the workplace, in stores or even in the occasional diner and in each instance I couldn't fathom something more objectionable. Maybe getting poked in the eye, but only if it scratched the cornea. I despise country music. No offense to old souls like Willie Nelson who is more of a folk artist than a country star and there was a time when country didn't have this in-your-face red state mentality, but to this day I can only name about 15 country songs I find redeeming and they are all at least 25 years old. Most of those songs aren't really country at all. Crazy is more of a jazz number and Walking after Midnight was only country because a white girl couldn't sing a black song and get away with it. Today it would be R&B.

Now, the uber-patriotic garbage spewed by clowns like Toby Keith has been replaced with bible-thumping Jesus music. Last year's American Idol winner, Carrie Underroos, has topped the hick charts with Jesus take the Wheel. Other artists have cranked out similar odes to the messiah as well with the sub-genre of redneck gospel seeming to peak right now. The quickest path to the top of the country charts runs right through the sacred heart of Jesus Christ.

Somehow, I don't think Jesus would be cool with that. This isn't some accident like Spirit in the Sky, Nashville is printing money by dropping the biggest name in western society, besides John Lennon that is. What we are seeing is a very conscientious decision to convert Christ into cash. Cha-Ching! Jesus loves me this I know, for my investments seem to grow. With each word I sing to thee, another royalty is sent to me.

The irony is so thick it's a wonder they can even breath. First of all, Jesus was against mixing money with religion. He committed his only documented act of aggression when he turned over tables and ran the merchants out of the temple. Now these country music hacks are writing songs about him and topping charts. They can tithe all they want, but Jesus wasn't the kind of guy who would be interested in 10%. Jesus wasn't not about the money, he was vehemently opposed to money. I don't expect much out of country singers because if they were smart they would have gotten that job managing the local Circle K, but can you spell sin? Here's a hint: I just spelled it.

But it goes deeper. Even if you took Jesus out of country music and showed the guy some respect by not profiteering off of him, he'd still be perturbed with country music. It's the type of values that are represented in country music that Jesus would have found disheartening. Jesus was a tolerant man who encouraged people to mind their own business. Judge not lest ye shall be judged...ring a bell? He didn't support the government nor did he support religious authority. Jesus was clearly an outspoken liberal. If he were alive today, he'd be labeled an America-hating pinko communist just like the Dixie Chicks and John Kerry.

Country, both the musical genre and the fan base, proved how narrow-minded and intolerant it was when the Dixie Chicks took a pre-concert shot at George W. Bush. Country fans were outraged and they gleefully burned their CD's and sent the girls death threats. Country music luminaries like Toby Keith piled on and took shots at the Dixie Chicks because it was a great opportunity to sell more records. Sadly, the free-willed legacy of country icons such as Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson was ignored while moronic fans and greedy artists circled their wagons around a provincial philosophy of me right, you wrong.

Jesus wouldn't be feeling it. If he does take the wheel, he'll crash into a wall to put himself out of the misery of being stuck in a car with some country singer who just doesn't get it. Carrie Underwood won American Idol because she's blond and her ass looks good in tight jeans. Don't sing about Jesus, paint on a pair of pants, squeeze into a belly shirt and shake what your momma gave you. It's got to be less of a sin to sell sex than it is to sell Jesus.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Sports that Aren't

Barry Bonds will quickly ease past Babe Ruth in the record books this spring. Nobody cares. Barry's on steroids and everybody knows it, but even without the steroids Barry is a surly jerk who disgraces the game with his selfishness and his arrogance. He could hit 800 home runs and nobody would care. Yes, he's a marvelous athlete but he's a jackass. The sooner he falls off the face of the earth the better. He's got about 2000 fans who love him, but most of them don't know a thing about baseball. If they did, they'd hate Bonds too. Charles Manson has fans too. More than Barry. That doesn't make him a hero, does it? How many rings does Barry have? None. Is it his fault? You bet. And everybody in baseball thinks it's funny.

Remember when MacGuire and Sosa invigorated the sport with their quest for the record? Bonds is driving fans away with every dinger he hits. Yes, Sosa and MacGuire were on steroids, but they were at least engaging. Fans would happily look past Barry's massive cranium and bottle fed muscles if only he could be a little bit personable. Sadly, the steroids are only a scapegoat. If Barry's prowess were thanks to nothing but the whole grain goodness of Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats people would still hate him. Because he's an ass. Baseball isn't a sport right now. It's a bad soap opera. Desperate Gym Thugs.

The NHL playoffs are on right now. At least that's what I've been told. I know the NBA is in the midst of its post season, but only because I'm a Cavaliers fan. Yeah, I hopped off that bandwagon a few years back, but can you blame me? Shawn Kemp took up most of the room with his 350 pounds and his 47 kids from 59 mothers. It's a good thing he played the field because he sure as hell wasn't playing basketball when he came to Cleveland. I guess he dunked a few doughnuts though. Now the Cav's have Lebron James who might actually be Superman and I'll be cheering them on until they trade him for Lamar Odom and a bowl of Chicken Corn Chowder. That's the M.O. in Cleveland.

I'd like to like hockey. I watched a Stanley Cup finals once and it was pretty good, but since then I haven't been able to stay focused. It's the same crap game in and game out. They skate really hard, slap the puck back and forth and then they fight. Hockey purists say that fighting is an integral part of the game, but I thinks it's a load of crap. If you can't settle your differences within the rules of the game there's no point in playing. Since there's no point in playing, I see no point in watching. I think I can name three players who currently play in the NHL, but I can't tell you what positions they play of if they're even any good. I really look forward to the day when I can walk up to an NHL star and tell him that yes, I really do want fries with that.

At least hockey players are athletes. They can do things that nobody else can do. I can't skate backward and I know that I couldn't keep my feet if somebody nudged me, so I have to respect the athleticism. That's not true for NASCAR. I suppose all auto racing is pretty stupid, but NASCAR's key demographic makes that version of racing all the more objectionable. These people are so foul that tornadoes make a point to hit trailer parks. I don't know if there is a god, but tornadoes definitely don't like rednecks. I can see why. Tornadoes might be more effective at culling the herd of inbred morlocks if they would sneak up on the Daytona 500. The rednecks that survived would eventually die of boredom with no NASCAR to watch.

Even if there was some little part of me that liked NASCAR I wouldn't admit it because I wouldn't want to be even remotely associated with the bottom feeders who wave NASCAR flags around like Dale Earnhardt is some kind of country. To put this in perspective, I really don't like American Idol and I don't have respect for the morons who vote after each show, but I can still admit that I watch the show. I loath NASCAR. Inbred country bumpkins driving cars around a circle really fast. Whoopee!

These guys aren't athletes. Aside from wearing adult diapers they really aren't doing anything that much more impressive than I do every morning. No I don't drive 200 miles per hour, my mini van tops out at 93, but my tires are out of balance, my struts are bad and I need an alignment. I think that the mechanical difficulty I face adds about 100 miles per hour to whatever speed I'm traveling. Let's see Jeff Gordon get to my office in 25 minutes in rush hour in that death trap. See what I'm saying?

The other non-sport of the season came this past weekend. The Kentucky Derby is what NASCAR fans did before the car was invented. Now it's supposed to be classy because the patrons dress like colonel Sanders and suck down mint juleps all day. I do declare. Elves beating horses with sticks is what passes for class these days. Not impressed. What do you think those horses might do if they didn't have some 86 pound gnome whacking them with a Fiberglas whip all afternoon? Probably mosey on over to the infield and munch on some of that sweet Kentucky Bluegrass.

I don't like watching people race around a track. I can respect it because it's impressive and I can admire the hours and hours of hard work the athlete puts in to be the best he can be. Horses don't make that kind of commitment. Sure they train, but not by choice. People have to choose. Those cars don't make choices either. They just do what they're told. Frankly, sitting on your butt while something else does all the work is not very athletic. I have more respect for bowlers than I do jockeys or drivers. I wouldn't call a bowler an athlete but I have to respect the tremendous level of skill the bowler has achieved. Driving a car or riding a horse around an oval track is idiotically simplistic. It's not really very impressive.

This is really the worst time of the year for entertainment. Poorly written season finales will segue into a summer of crappy reruns and even crappier summer specials. Baseball is months away from being interesting. The intriguing teams in the NBA will get knocked out of the playoffs leaving the Pistons and Spurs slugging it out in defensive games that feature low scores and lower ratings. Sadly gas prices are too high for people to get out and explore the world for something better. What a sad state of affairs...