August 30, 2010

My twenty-fourth brief conversation with the ghost of John Merrick

Me: “You know who I really dig? Like, lots? The Lord. The Lord, that’s who I dig.”

Merrick: “I AM NOT AN ANIMAL!”

Me: “He lifts me up. So I can climb higher than a mountain.”

Me: “I shit thee not.”

Merrick: “I AM A HUMAN BEING!”

Me: “There you go. Testify, my horribly deformed brother! I need the readers…!”*

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:46am
81 comments | Trackback

Comments (81)

  1. the Lord is my favorite

  2. A-fucking-men.

    I might still be doing this wrong.

  3. So does Merrick’s ghost hang in limbo while Michael Jackson’s estate gets settled?

  4. #1
    I’m partial to the smoke monster in ‘Lost’.

  5. Twenty-fourth huh. Is he supplying the ale yet? Like, to prove he’s a human being?

  6. This certainly doesn’t sound like Charles Johnson but perhaps you could attach pictures of yourself with the day’s paper as you compose them so that we can be sure.

  7. I just have to type an “AMEN” even though my stigmata totally fucked up my keyboard.

  8. “Jeff GoldSMITH?” Who the hell is that? (referring to link Goodbye Katherine, last para.)

  9. I don’t know, Flynn, but he’s been EXCOMMUNICATED, whoever he is…!

  10. Pustulent masses, UNITE !!!!!!!!!

  11. Whoever that squirrel is at the link, he might try reading for comprehension some time, though I guess since he took his ball and went home and won’t be back here, he might never figure that out.

  12. As for our house, we will continue to read Jack Goldberg.

  13. He has mistaken Jeff for someone who actually smites gold, perhaps.

  14. And when did you slam Beck and the 8/28 rally thinger, Mr. Goldsmith (-stein, wha’evah)? Not that I care, but if you did I missed it. Scathing, it must have been, to make mythuswhatsis drop you like a milky load from Andi Sullivan’s man-uterus.

  15. Pass the brain bleach please.

  16. This might not be real clear, I’m sneaking it in from work from my phone, a task I find challenging, but here it goes. For my part, I was just debating the idea that the rally was exclusive to those who hold different spiritual beliefs from those originating through Abraham, and the merits of having such an event in the first place. I was trying to exchange ideas, not convert anyone, silence anyone, or belittle. Obviously I need practice, debating trolls isn’t too helpful, debating Jeff is practice like a mo-fo. Anyway, I haven’t had hard feelings, I remain a fan of the site, and I hope I’ve attracted no animosity. Carry on…

  17. If we find that Goldsmith feller, he is gonna wish he had never set finger to keyboard.

    I left a bit of an explanantion, hasty tho’ it may be, over there…

  18. I’m tagged by the keyword bigot.

    Because I hate me the Jesuspeople.

  19. I thought it was that Goldheimer guy or whomever? You haven’t really been all that Jesus-hatey, ever. Maybe you need to work on that?

  20. Who’s mythusmage?

  21. No feets, you’re supposed to say that your favorite word is “The Word,” so you can be acceptably religious like Nancy Pelosi.

  22. Who’s mythusmage?

    One of the people touting the inclusivity message of Beck’s; a champion for the need of cultural discourse.

    – Just before he called me a bigot for disagreeing with him, then posted about how I’m to be removed from polite society.

    Is who.

  23. The Word!

    That’s my other favorite.

    now do your dance, do your dance, do your dance QUICK

  24. mythusmage is a cool World of Warcraft name like starlight paladin or zagreb the orc-slayer

  25. Speaking from the redneck side, Mr. G, you don’t come across as a hater,but merely someone uncomfortable with what you perceive as religious events.

    No idea how that came about, it means absolutely nothing to me. I never argue religion, what I believe is private to me, and I’ll grant that same stance to all. I’m also sure you can go on without anyone’s approval or lack thereof.

    At any rate, my kudos to you for the website and the effort, we WILL prevail, ultimately.

  26. Turnout at the rally was impressive, but I wonder how many would have opted to stay home and watch it on TV if they had known it would have been little more than tent revival.

  27. I’m not bothered at all by religious events. I’m bothered by political events that won’t admit they are political, and are presented as religious events, wherein religion is tethered to proper politics and a renewal of American values.

    And even then, I’m only bothered because the event purports to be conducted by “my side” of the political divide.

  28. I say we string up this Goldfarb fella. Got some rope, John?

  29. Is that you Tick? I’ll bet it is. Anybody wanna bet? Mr W? You game?

  30. “I’m not bothered at all by religious events.”

    Nor am I. Especially when they are billed as such. Beck had so much to offer this once-in-a-lifetime audience. He chose to “testify.” Which is fine for him, and his decision. It could have been so much more without so much choir music and bagpipes.

  31. GOLDBERG! Get in here!

  32. Interesting. I’ll presume you would have been equally bothered if it’d been the “other side’?

    And before anyone unlimbers the artillery, I’m NOT a troll. That was an honest question.

  33. #30 – what?! No love for the bagpipes?

  34. I also hate it that the rally seemed to contradict Beck’s previously-consistent message that Obama’s idea of “collective salvation” (that there is no individual salvation without collective salvation) is not only theologically questionable, but shares common threads with progressivism and communism. Yet at the rally, he argued that the only way our country can be restored (“saved”) is if everyone “turns to God” and literally gets on their knees in front of their children to pray. He’s essentially arguing that our collective salvation depends upon each individual’s. I don’t think the only way to save this country depends upon that.

  35. Winner winner chicken dinner. Hi Tick, how’s the Nov. vote looking to yez?

  36. Is this guy somehow a(nother) professor? They say tolerance comes in threes.

  37. @ # 30, So organize an event like that. Why can’t there be both?

  38. Oh, meya has her union rallies all the time Lee. It’s no biggie to her.

  39. This Josh Silverstone guy is really starting to piss me off.

  40. It could have been so much more without so much choir music and bagpipes.

    More what? He’s trying to get the religious folks, especially preachers, to start resisting “social justice” and preach freedom from the pulpits. And NO, he’s not contradicting himself about collective versus individual salvation. When he talks about “saving the country,” he’s not talking about “salvation” in a religious sense but rather about saving it from progressivism, which he continually identifies as the cancer in the body politic.

    Religion and spirituality are his wheelhouse. Other people can do the more philosophical and political stuff, too, and the people who were at Beck’s rally will eat it up. We’re all hungry for the TRVTH, whether religious, political, historical, or whatnot.

  41. “Is this guy somehow a(nother) professor? They say tolerance comes in threes.”

    “… how’s the Nov. vote looking to yez?”

    Not at all. I listen to and admire Beck. The Nov. vote is looking good to me – I hope conservative Republicans overtake both houses.

    And I wasn’t offended by the rally. There were parts I thought were very effective. Perhaps it’s a matter of taste. To me, the religious aspect of the rally was overdone – Beck used a gallon when a teaspoon would have sufficed – for me at least.

    And I don’t agree with how he framed his argument: that in order to save our country, each of us must worship, and in a manner sufficiently demonstrable to his taste. I just don’t accept that the country’s salvation necessarily depends on whether each person has been saved according to Beck’s criteria.

  42. I wonder how many would have opted to stay home and watch it on TV if they had known it would have been little more than tent revival.

    That’s how Beck has been touted it for a long time, sir. I don’t know that anyone who went thought they were sold something else.

  43. Not buying meya. But a damned nice try.

  44. “@ # 30, So organize an event like that. Why can’t there be both?”

    That is, in part, my point. I couldn’t draw hundreds of thousands of people to the Lincoln Memorial. Beck can (and did). He had an opportunity to more fully articulate the ideological arguments that have made him wildly popular. While his books and radio shows and TV programs occasionally address religion and spirituality, it’s the constitutional and ideological stuff that has made him famous. I would have preferred that he focus on such things, not to the exclusion of religion and spirituality, but in much greater proportion to it.

  45. I just don’t accept that the country’s salvation necessarily depends on whether each person has been saved according to Beck’s criteria.

    No, you’re misreading it. He’s not telling people to go Get Saved, not in the sense that the Bible Belters would use. He’s telling people to return to the wellspring of our nation’s strength, which is God. And from then you are necessarily led to liberty and anti-tyranny and such.

    If that’s not how you get there, fine, don’t go there, but for a large number of people in this country, it is. Linking liberty and the Constitution with God’s will is not a losing proposition, given that it has worked in the past. The fire-in-the-belly fervor for the American Revolution started in the churches. Jefferson and Franklin didn’t single-handedly defeat the British: it was a large number of people who believed that tyrants were enemies of God.

    Again, if that doesn’t inspire you, that’s OK. Do what you need to do to get the fire in YOUR belly and jump in a foxhole with the rest of us.

  46. He had an opportunity to more fully articulate the ideological arguments that have made him wildly popular.

    Which he’s done over and over and over on his TV and radio shows. Why gather to DC to hear what we’ve been hearing all along? The people there already get why progressivism is a cancer: the purpose of this rally is to help people see that We Surround Them™ and to inspire to action.

    Treatises on philosophy inform but they don’t inspire. People don’t move until they’re inspired. People who went to the rally were inspired.

    It didn’t inspire you? OK, it didn’t. But please accept that others were and be glad for it.

  47. “That’s how Beck has been touted it for a long time, sir. I don’t know that anyone who went thought they were sold something else.”

    Yes, he emphasized such things as the “40 day and 40 night” challenge. No one would have been surprised to hear Beck talk about religion and spirituality. And perhaps it would not be unfair to say that I’m probably projecting, but I imagine that a lot of folks thought that it would be something more than that, given his excellent treatment of the founders and the basic founding principles.

  48. “…jump in a foxhole with the rest of us.”

    I’m already there. I’m just questioning whether gunner Beck could have used a different caliber to better effect.

  49. “No, you’re misreading it. He’s not telling people to go Get Saved, not in the sense that the Bible Belters would use. He’s telling people to return to the wellspring of our nation’s strength, which is God. And from then you are necessarily led to liberty and anti-tyranny and such.”

    I don’t think I’m misreading it at all. He’s saying and has repeatedly said that the only – only way we can turn around the fortunes of this country is to “turn to God.” I don’t disagree that that’s one way to do it; I don’t think it’s the only way, and I think couching it in those terms is unnecessary and potentially unhelpful.

  50. It’s just a metaphorical foxhole so far I think. If it were a for reals foxhole that would be very exciting.

  51. I don’t think it’s the only way

    But if you talk about the other way, the FBI shows up at your door. Which is why I’m not talking about it.

    Talking about what?

  52. Give up, angler. Dicentra will tell you how you should feel about beck’s presentation. If you don’t agree you just don’t get the universal message.

  53. metaphorical foxholes are a helluva lot safer is my feel

  54. He’s telling people to return to the wellspring of our nation’s strength, which is God.

    Personally, I think the wellspring of this nation’s strength is leave me the fuck alone, and I’ll leave you the fuck alone. But opinions vary a great deal on this, I think.

    Which is all well-aligned with leave me the fuck alone, I think.

    My relationship with God is none of anyone else’s concern. If others share that relationship, great! If not, well, that is their choice.

  55. and the idea that Mr. Clemoes might could lose his freedom for lying to a bunch of congresswhores is a lot sickening

  56. oh. That was supposed to say *Clemens*

  57. Thank you, Slart, for saying exactly what I felt.

  58. NP, SW! ;)

    Bad things have happened when organized religion and government teamed up to support each other. More succinctly and less crudely, one of this nation’s strengths is/was that it recognized (having had some experience at the short end of the government-sanctioned religion schtick) this potential and decided to hamstring it.

    So, any political movement with organized religion behind it is doomed to not get my vote or support of any kind. I don’t even trust my OWN brand of Christianity with the reins of government.

  59. “So, any political movement with organized religion behind it is doomed to not get my vote or support of any kind”

    Which “organized religion” is Beck fronting for? I don’t see or hear him, so this is new info to me. I missed the rally thngy too – too busy on the rugby pitch…owch.

  60. Something that’s been bouncing around in my head is this implication that when people find God, that this will lead them to political principles that I’d agree with.

    Believers don’t believe the same things. There are those who think God wants them to be pacifists. There are those who think God wants Sharia. There are those who think God wants to get that purple teletubby off the air because he’s a little fruity. There are those who think God is a socialist. There are those who think God is… every other thing imaginable because they think personal revelation is Truth and who cares what others think because they’ve not yet been touched.

    I prefer just speaking of the political principles themselves because then I’d know if we’re on the same page or not.

  61. The purple teletubby was kind of gay.

  62. “Which “organized religion” is Beck fronting for? I don’t see or hear him, so this is new info to me. I missed the rally thngy too – too busy on the rugby pitch…owch.”

    All if it, near as I can tell. He has allegedly re-commissioned the “Black Robes Brigade,” an army of clergy, whose ostensible mission is to spread the word of small government and low taxation to their congregations.

    So when people go to church to listen to a sermon about religion, they’ll hear a sermon about government; and when they go to a rally to listen to a speech about government, they’ll hear a speech about religion.

  63. Tinky-Winkophobe!

  64. #63 – I am looking for a serious answer, if you please – is he Baptist, Catholic, LDS, Bahia, I don’t know, and don’t too much care – but if he is fronting for some church or denomination, I’d keep that in mind when he is discussed. I guess I’d need some sort of showing he is steering things toward his denominational brethern, so to speak.
    Figures, the guy gets all high profile and I am in the flippin’ dark about him.

  65. OK, I see from pvrwc on another thread that he is Mormon. OK, I’ll keep that in mind, for what little it appears to matter.

  66. Beck’s a Mormon but I think he’s pitching this in a (small c) catholic fashion.

    Which, as I was saying at #60, doesn’t make all that much sense to me either.

  67. Which “organized religion” is Beck fronting for?

    I was speaking as a generality (as in: not against Beck in particular), but “religious” vs. nonreligious would be just as execrable a division (to me) as anything more inter-sect-ual.

    As it were. Say that three times fast.

  68. “I am looking for a serious answer, if you please – is he Baptist, Catholic, LDS, Bahia…”

    He has stated that he is Mormon. However, from everything I’ve seen, he is in no way recruiting for his particular church. He is very Christian-centric, while at the same time careful to include other organized, but different religions (sometimes to unintentionally funny affect – at the rally one speaker praised the diversity of religious representation, Christians, Jews and Muslims all coming together; and in the same sentence declared that their unity was in the name of Christ).

    From what I can tell, the organized religion aspect of his message is an effort to counter the left’s use of their pulpits to disseminate progressive themes by encouraging clergy of all organized faiths to use their pulpits to disseminate more conservative ones.

  69. I never get that Beck is fronting for a religion, more that he is comfortable with the idea of spirituality.

  70. I like this record baby but I can’t see straight anymore

  71. I don’t think it’s the only way, and I think couching it in those terms is unnecessary and potentially unhelpful.

    Time will tell. The reaction from the participants indicates that they’re fired up and ready to go.

    So to speak.

  72. Dicentra will tell you how you should feel about Beck’s presentation. If you don’t agree you just don’t get the universal message.

    Guess what, Jeff? You don’t understand Spanish and I do.

    Have I just insulted you or did I state a simple fact?

    Because you saw the word “éxito” and thought it meant “exit,” and interpreted “suceso” as “success” and “embarazado” as embarrassed.

    Whereas I’m telling you that they mean “success,” “event,” and “pregnant.”

    So I guess I really crossed the line on that one. My bad.

  73. I understand English. And I understand when an event is political, even when the guy organizing it claims it isn’t.

    Because he was speaking in English, and I understand that language.

    You might think you get it on a different — and more profound — level; but if so, that kind of undercuts the universal appeal of the whole thing, doesn’t it?

  74. “Time will tell. The reaction from the participants indicates that they’re fired up and ready to go.”

    Which may prove my point, depending on your answer to my question. Would those who participated in this rally have been less fired-up and ready to go had Beck not made the establishment of a personal relationship with God a necessary prerequisite to transforming the country? And had he not done so, would others, who who share limited government principles but not the idea that there is but one path to implementing them, be similarly motivated?

  75. For my part I kind of liked “Odelay”, but had no idea that dude even went to church. I feel like I’ve missed so much.

  76. I got to listen only briefly to Beck this morning on the radio. Yes, he was still talking about his message being about turning to God.

    However, here’s what I see as the rub … and he said it specifically … it is not “God is on OUR side” but “We choose to be on God’s side”

    also, he said he was profoundly affect by these words:

    with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

    He stated that it starts there… sacred pledges from our higher selves to each other when facing extraordinary circumstances. This is the energy charge then roll up sleeves and get in there and do something.

    Yes, the God talk can be distracting especially as I’ve pointed out before, religiousity, especially Christianity, has over the last few decades become the butt of media jokes and academic shunning. And it hasn’t helped that charletons can sound just as pious. There are frauds in every human endeavor, but we pay particular attention to the religious ones.*

    *an aside…which is the true meaning behind the commandment “do not take the name of God in vain”. It has nothing to do with swearing, but in committing evil in God’s name and bringing shame and disrepute to God.

    I’m willing to keep an eye on Beck for a while longer to see if he does more than a spiritual jumpstart to his audience. I want to see if he follows through with those people who arrive at the same principles his audience has without the religiousity.

    Beck isn’t, as I’ve interpreted what I’ve heard and read, fronting for any organized religion. And I worry that some may reject in a visceral faction any alliance with people who profess their principles have religious roots. Cuz that’s what 40+ years of American education has aimed for — automatic suspicion of the motives or intelligence of anyone that believes sincerely in a higher power and names it God.

  77. “automatic suspicion of the motives or intelligence of anyone that believes sincerely in a higher power and names it God.”

    I have seen a fair amount of that, yes. Usually couched in some sort of reference to televangelists – for cover.

    But I have had Catholic and Jewish chaplains pray for me, my men and our mission – didn’t bug me, Methodist though I am… Heck, I even had the mullah at more than one place I went to help bless me. I managed not to plant a Cross of the Knights of Saint John in his chest.

  78. I have recently become addicted to Daniel Kirk’s blog. He’s a Prof. of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. A recent post regarding Glenn Beck ( at http://www.jrdkirk.com/2010/08/31/biblical-roots-of-becks-civil-religion/ ) ends

    “Yes, the civil religion of Glenn Beck has a rich, apostolic pedigree. It has behind it the apostles’ confessions, their swords, and their earnest expectations. God, the all powerful protector of the nation was their god as well. Civil religion is clearly a biblical idea.
    “Of course, Jesus responded to this idea, found in the Bible, with: “Get thee behind me Satan,” “you don’t know what you’re asking,” “put the sword away,” and “just go wait in the city until the Spirit comes and you finally understand what I’m talking about,” but that’s neither here nor there.”

  79. And, as a staunch supporter of Jeff and PW, I resent mythusmage’s accusation that Jeff has “puerile little tizzies.” Nothing little about them!

  80. God is not in the nation-protection business

    I have links

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