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The Critical Mass

One-reel nightmares

Perhaps my sleep patterns have changed. My Rapid Eye Movement phases may be overlapping my slow-wave sleep phases. But for the first time in years, I’ve been remembering my dreams when I wake up.

They’re not epic dreams. More like one-reel shorts. Or, from my perspective, one-reel nightmares. A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I was at my high school reunion, and my old classmates mistook me for a waiter at the restaurant. Maybe it was because I was wearing a white jacket. One of them handed me an empty plate. “Sure,” I said, “I’ll take care of that for you.”

Last night, I dreamed that I was told by the editors of the newspaper where I work that at noon every day I would have to stand on a highway overpass and report on traffic conditions.

I’m sure I’m ready for analysis.

The Critical Mass

The coming Zombie Clown Apocalypse

As always, conversation Saturday afternoon at Java’s at the Market came around to the Apocalypse, which now appears set in stone for Dec. 21, 2012. This is according to the Maya “Long Count” calender. I have enough free calendars coming to the house as it is, but the one from my insurance agent doesn’t depict the beheading of heretics in the court of Quetzalcoatl. So this one seems pretty authoritative.

Spencer said he’s writing a short play about the Zombie Apocalypse. John is writing one on the Clown Apocalypse. I suggested they collaborate on one about the Zombie Clown Apocalypse. “I’d rather be disemboweled by zombies than clowns,” John said.

According to tradition, he’s correct. Being torn apart by zombies means at least you’ll live on as the living dead. There’s no future in being torn to pieces by clowns. So death by zombie is the preferred demise. Provided, of course, that the zombies catch you. As is the case with mummies, we’ve all seen beautiful women in torn nightgowns racing though the dark woods while being chased by a lumbering, stumbling zombie, who’s miles behind her. But damn if she doesn’t trip over a big tree root, and suddenly, there’s the zombie!

“Clowns are much faster than zombies,” I said, forgetting how difficult it is to run in those big shoes.

“Zombies,” Dick said, “are the ultimate game of tag.”

The Critical Mass

Adolph Hitler and your appendix

The Jehova’s Witnesses stopped by the house the other day. Two women and a young kid. They waited patiently at the end of the driveway while I finished mowing the lawn, then complimented me on the fact that I was taking care of my yard. I’m not exactly sure how, but this led to a conversation about Climate Change. “Seems like things are getting worse,” I said, falling into their trap.

“The Bible tells us this is God’s way of testing his creatures,” said the younger Witness, opening her Bible, as though she was going to read me the exact passage.

 “How long will he be testing us?”

“Six thousand years.”

OK, so God and the Mayans are racing each other to the End of Days. She pressed me. “Have you heard the words, ‘The meek shall inherit the Earth?’ ”


“Here’s another one,” she said. “Not too many people know this one.” She read a psalm about how God was going to take care of all of us. Clean up all of our problems. Magic.

“Have you ever read Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance?” I asked.

“No…,” said the younger Witness.

“It tells us that we all have to do things to set this problem right. No one’s going to do it for us. The corporations sure aren’t going to do it. That’s the pr0blem I have with what you’re telling me.  You want someone else to swoop in and magically take care of everything. That’s exactly what the evil people on this planet want you to do. Wait for someone else.” I probably should have gone on for a few minutes about how the problem with faith-based thinking is it’s built on an unquestioning acceptance of its own dogmas, a faulty logic principle that reminds me of a dog chasing its tale. If your faith tells you that God created man, then he created Adolph Hitler and that useless, ready-to-explode apendix of yours. Neither was a good idea. But science gathers up the evidence and eventually reveals the truth. Science is the best ideas that man has. (It tells us how a Hitler can happen (One testicle, inferiority complex). It tells us how to deal with that appendix (Rip it out!). Science, along with our culture, is what moves civilization foreward. Those two things, as well as the poor of the world rushing into the streets to slash the throats of the rich  as they sit in their Lexus luxury sedans at a red light, leaving them to die horribly.

But I don’t think we’re quite ready for that third option.            

The older Witness waved a pamphet in my face. “Do you want a Bible Home Study session?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “You folks don’t want me.”

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