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CSotD: Some Harrowing Thoughts

Adam Zyglis greeted Easter with a question he might also have posed at Christmas simply by swapping the bunny for Santa.

The answers range from the obvious to the somewhat profound.

As a multicultural society we’re not inclined to embrace the religious underpinnings of any holiday, though, in closing schools, banks and post offices, we only acknowledge the Christian ones. That impacts Christmas more than Easter because, back in the days when such decisions were being made, everything was closed on Sunday anyway.

And it’s worth noting that, in cities where the Muslim population reaches a certain level, there have to be some civil acknowledgment of their holy days, if only because you suddenly lose all your bus drivers.

Meanwhile, while Passover and Easter necessarily come together, you don’t have the traffic jam of holidays seen in December, which is why the Christian Taliban goes bananas over anyone who says “Seasons Greetings” instead of “All Hail The Christian Holiday,” but, since nobody says “Happy Bunny Rabbit,” they don’t seem to mind that nobody says “Happy Easter” either.

 

Though this “Shirley and Son” from 2002 still makes me laff.

If our Christian forbears had truly been pious, we wouldn’t have all these feature writers enthusiastically explaining how rabbits and chicks and eggs came into it because they wouldn’t have, any more than evergreen trees or some obscure Turkish saint would have gotten involved in Christmas.

Getting the general population involved is important, however, and we may have perhaps inadvertantly allowed a few colored eggs to slip into the conversation while we were selling Christianity to the Franks and Gauls.

I did play the part of Beelzebub — not to be confused with Satan — some years ago, in “The Harrowing of Hell,” a Mystery Play originally part of a cycle of plays on wagons that went through the streets of York, England, at about the time French craftsmen were working on that cathedral.

It was like being in a commercial: The thing only ran a few minutes, and then the wagon would have moved on and the next one would come along, stopped, and performed the Resurrection.

If you stood in one place that day, the entire Bible would play out before your eyes.

It’s hard for us, at this distance, to understand the level of piety which accompanied all of this.

Surely, there were plenty of stonemasons who went to work on a cathedral in the morning with no more pious enthusiasm than that with which their descendants would trundle off to make automobiles, and people likely enjoyed the Mystery Plays much as if they were watching television.

Though it’s worth trying to enter their minds if only to understand the minds of people whose religion and culture remain intertwined.

Maybe instead of dropping bombs on Syria and Yemen we should be dropping chocolate eggs and stuffed animals.

Build a Disneyland right outside Mecca.

Modernize them sumsabitches until they’re as secular as we are.

 

Other kind of End Times

Meanwhile, it’s Earth Day, and if you want to join Rory in celebrating with plastic confetti, you’d better hurry, because it’s not likely to be around much longer.

Certainly, its tiny cousin glitter will probably disappear, which won’t be much of a loss to me but, since it’s still seen in the makeup of teenybops, I suppose they’ll miss it.

 

We’re still battling over water, as seen in today’s Cornered, and, while we can argue about the actual size of the Pacific Patch, and debate what harm plastics do when buried in landfills, we may never get to the bottom of why it’s okay to bottle water as long as you add sugar, carbonation and syrup.

I’ve been truly surprised to see the old argument trotted out that tap water is just as good. I really thought the Flint, Michigan, experience had disproven that lie.

I’ve lived a couple of places where the corruption of water mains made for water that tested nicely at the point where they released it, but was foul beyond drinking by the time it emerged from my taps.

Which makes me suspect I may have also lived places where the water tested fine at the release point and tasted okay at my tap but had still picked up who-knows-what horrors in between.

Not necessarily an argument in favor of bottled water, but it’s a damned good argument against the “no better than tap water” approach.

In any case, as the fellows in Cornered point out, scarcity isn’t an issue because we’re busily making more of the stuff even as we speak.

A few more years, we’ll be up to our asses in it.

 

And lest we forget

In today’s Mo, Bartender makes a typically droll remark, but her casual attitude should not be mistaken for a lack of insight.

The fact is, for all of Trump’s cheerful denial and the aiding and abetting of his loyalists, some conservative cartoonists apparently have begun to go through the details, and are adjusting their takes accordingly.

 

Nate Beeler dug down into the text deeply enough to see the numerous times Trump attempted to do something unconstitutional, illegal or simply foolhardy and was stopped by his staff, who either talked him out of it or simply failed to carry out his orders.

We’ve known all along that the Toddler-in-Chief had to be coddled with happy talk briefings and had no interest in anything in-depth, but the Mueller Report verified the persistent rumors that the White House staff was actively interfering to keep the executive branch somewhat on a level course.

Meanwhile, if today’s Mo wasn’t enough …

Telnaes offers a second vertical challenge, based on Giuliani’s bizarre assurances on Sunday talk shows that morality is not the point, that only actual criminal offenses matter and that, even then, well, they don’t really matter much at all.

There’s a bit of a Current Events* Quiz in going down this cascade and attempting to pinpoint the spot where Guiliani’s cauistry leaves off and Telnaes’s sarcasm takes over.

 

*Update: Turns out this is a 2018 cartoon. So take “current events” with a very depressing grain of salt.

 

Rudy helping Donnie helping burn his poots away …

 

Community Comments

#1 Hank Gillette
April/22/2019
@ 2:24 pm

I never thought I would live to see a spokesman for the President say “there is ‘nothing wrong’ with a campaign accepting information from Russians,” and that one of the two major political parties would support that.

Truly, we live in perilous times.

#2 mark johnson
April/22/2019
@ 7:08 pm

Yes, the Christian Taliban. I like that. Been using that term for years as it captures fundamentalism of a slightly different flavor

#3 parnell nelson
April/22/2019
@ 10:34 pm

There ain’t enough flamethrowers in the whole of America to burn all of Donny’s poots away…maybe we can reverse engineer those cancer-causing wind turbines to blow them off shore…and into outer space.

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