I also burned a Bible 1, a Gideon Bible 2, the Bundahishn, the Book of the Dead, the Threefold Law, The Ginza Rba, several copies of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and for good measure, The Tao of Pooh.
Surprisingly, no one died.
Okay -that’s not exactly true.
The whole Koran-and-other-superstitious-nonsense-backyard-brazier-book-burning-cum-s’mores-orgasmatron took about two hours (that’s when we ran out of marshmallows), so of course someone died.
See…to begin with, I did not do any advance social media work.
I did not create a Twitter account ahead of time and post demeaning, rabble rousing expletives aimed at the international Islamic community 4; I forgot to ring up Lisa Teachman to come video the Koran bonfire 5; I didn’t email a reporter at the Star because…well, let’s just let that comatose mutt snooze, shall we? And I didn’t notify the Pitch ’cause their lead investigative reporter is now working elsewhere.
I didn’t announce a burial for the Koran’s ashy remains, which ruled out free advertising by proxy/Phelps. And while I recently met some nice blogger-twits 6, I didn’t feel comfortable asking any of them to put their hard won celebrity at risk.
TMZ did somehow get wind of the event and sent a reporter, videographer in tow, but she left immediately she discovered Charlie Sheen was not present. 7
So, yeah – it’s my fault no one died.
However, even had I done my media due diligence, there’s no way I could have competed with the news of late – Osama bin Laden 8 was discovered living in Chicago; Charlie Sheen’s launched a preemptive strike against…well, everyone; a true cowgirl plodded into infamy, and, most obvious and obnoxiously of all, the pols started Shutting Down Government.
Which brings us back to the Koran bonfire.
The Astas just wanted to celebrate Dad’s unplanned vacation next week. Since their idea of a party requires s’mores (and the weather was agreeable) we decided to hold a minor fete in the back yard. But once we dumped the brazier’s old ashes over Nora’s truck garden we discovered a distinct lack of firewood. When Nora put the kibosh on axing her lavender bush, holy books it was.
The lawyer next door donated beer, some stale graham crackers and over a dozen copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s classic to the conflagration. The ladies across the alley tossed in the Tao Te Ching and some Dove chocolate; the New Couple in the Mustard House moseyed over to say ‘hidy!’ and, on general principles, threw in a copy of Atlas Shrugged. From there the party just blossomed until it seemed the entire block was committing sacrilege in the name of s’mores.
As overt acts of multiple heresies go, it was all very civilized.
Oh, there was some talk about the Imminent Shutdown. And everyone had an opinion. But the fact of the matter is unless you work for the Feds, as a rule you don’t have a clue as to where your tax dollars go.
This was evidenced by one young couple who agreed with a Republican proposal to cut both social security benefits and taxes for the wealthy. When asked if they knew that SSA is not part of the federal budget, they seemed taken aback; why would Congress want to cut it then?
When told that DoD spending far outstrips everything but Medicaid/Medicare, another neighbor seriously remarked: But they need that money! Don’t you know we’re involved in 3 wars?
What does one say to that? From my point of view it’s counter-productive to engage in a factual conversation with a person whose worldview depends specifically on denying facts.
Moreover, and this is the very latest from the (excuse me) big brains over at the neuroscience playground, it appears that human consciousness is identical with the neural activity in the human brain. Given that, why would one even try? The magical thinking is hard wired and, short of re-burning a person’s EPROM, never going to alter.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with a s’more.
I said fuck it and threw another Koran on the fire. Like I say, nobody died.
But then…President Obama hasn’t called yet.
- King James version. ↩
- Which is somehow different than all other bibles ↩
- More significantly at least 44 Facebook users died in the same time-frame; silver linings and all that. ↩
- Though I have one now! ↩
- Dudes; I am totally aware her forte is weather. However you’ve seen her, right? ↩
- Check Spyder for details and list of the complete cabal. ↩
- I understand she went to Westport following another story and was raped on the dance floor at America’s Pub. ↩
- Really? That cat’s still around? I thought we killed him years ago. How’d he get away, anyone remember? In fact, why are we looking for him, I forget; did he rob a 7-11 or something, cause an Amber Alert or Charlie Sheen’s breakdown? ↩