Authority (Beginning)


“You’re the only person I know who’s actually read the book,” my daughter wrote. “Is this guy right?”

She included a link to an article by some Russian man, about the Bible really being a terrorist manifesto. A few years back I read the whole book – New Testament, too, to answer the question I’d gotten most often. I learned a few things, like that most folks don’t read it all no matter what classes they attend, or they’d be talking about the slapstick in I Samuel.

I read it to call my own bluff. I’d made enough harsh statements about the Bible and organized religion that I thought it was time to learn whereof I speak. “Lord no,” I wrote back intentionally. “When you take the big view the OT is mostly a breeding manual, for the healthy husbandry of people. It’s about food and water use and exercise and neighbor relations (rendering aid or judgments for the close and destruction unto the far) – all of which are most likely to produce and prosper viable offspring.”

I hit SEND and wondered when I’d see her.

She’s taking her time and traveling the planet. She stops when she must to work. Babysitting in Belgium, teaching English in Spain, telemarketing in Australia. She has plenty of time, everyone tells her, even though that’s untrue. In fact, life whips by and she’d better strike while her brain is still amazing. But I think she knows that; I haven’t kept it a secret.

Lies parents tell … to their kids (you can be whatever you want badly enough) and to themselves (what matters is quality time, not quantity). It’s not so much that they believe them; they just never think to question them.

Ach, how weird my fellows be:

I’ve never understood all the compartmentalization. Work/home, friends/family, residence/travel. There’s no natural separation to any of these. But almost everyone I know works at work and doesn’t take it home. Abandons home all weekday and travels some distance to an office that is not used at night. Sits in a trench 5/7 of their days, waiting for 2 weeks of vacation.

They should try to work at home and do personal tasks at work. Eliminate the commute, or at least walk or use public transit and read or write while riding. They won’t have to travel if they walk or ride transit around a city, watching, hearing, interacting with citizens. It’s consistently stimulating and almost always attractive.

But don’t listen to me. No one does. Seems like all my life I’ve been watching naked leaders as they stride by, their wide bare feet slapping the pavement, their asscheeks bobbling, their portliness swaying above their sex. They turn their heads from side to side like beauty queens on parade floats, and their faces take on such expressions of serious importance that all around me my fellows only see them from the neck up. “But he’s nude!” I say, or “Look: she has toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her foot!” and I might as well be a substitute teacher, for all I’m heard. No, I’m worse off than that, because the sub knows he’s being ignored; I’m often in the presence of someone who nods in apparent agreement, even comments “uh huh” or “no duh,” and doesn’t have the self-esteem to confess: “Say again? I’m sorry; I wasn’t paying attention.”

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