Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Remedial Exorcism 101

Welcome to class, Fathers! I appreciate your showing up mostly on time. I’m glad to see most of you brought crosses.

Let’s be honest. I know none of you want to be in this class. You’re all here because you tried to do an exorcism and failed. I understand. I’ve been teaching Remedial Exorcism for 20 years, and I’ve seen it all, and I know where you’re coming from. Truth be told, I wasn’t the greatest exorcist myself. If I was, do you think I’d be teaching this class?

It’s not your fault some of you don’t know holy water from coconut water. Popular culture has spread nothing but malarkey and hokum, from Linda Blair’s vomit to Ned Flanders’ exorcism tongs. The schools, both public and parochial, have done a terrible job preparing students for a future in exorcism. By the time you guys are ordained, you’re so far behind the eight ball I’m surprised we even let you do exorcisms anymore.

Let’s start with the basics: you don’t drink the holy water. Let me say that again: don’t drink the holy water. Bring something else to drink—preferably not water—so you don’t get confused. I prefer ginger ale, but there’s no wrong beverage to drink during an exorcism. Except holy water, OK? Unless there’s a demon in your bladder, you’re wasting a precious gift of God.

Also, you can’t just throw any liquid at a demon, even if you blessed it yourself. Yes, blessing things is pretty cool, but this is not a power you should be using willy-nilly. Splashing a cup of hot coffee at a demon-possessed host body will only harm the body and delight the demon. Demons love coffee. As a few of you already know, a demon is a lot less likely to depart after having a J├Ągerbomb.

Let’s talk about reciting. You need to read from the Bible. The Bible is called the Good Book, which confuses some priests into thinking any good book is good enough. Untrue. The Collected Works of Shakespeare will do nothing to save the soul of a suffering innocent caught in the Satanic clutches of a demon. The newest Don DeLillo may impress the hipsters at the coffee shop, but hellbeasts are different. Your favorite Harry Potter novel is going to be even less helpful. Harry Potter is pro-demon, remember? Jesus, sometimes it’s hard to know which side you guys are on.

Some of you may think I’m obsessed with trivialities, but I’m telling you every detail matters, and every impression counts. You need to instill fear and awe in that demon from the first second you enter the room. That’s never going to happen if you’re chatting with the demon about the latest episode of Breaking Bad or trying to “get digits,” as one of you recently put it. Also, it may not be in the Bible, but I can promise you that texting during an exorcism is a one-way ticket to spending eternity right next to the demon you’re fighting, assuming he every leaves this poor host body, and why should he, when his exorcist is such a rube?

Let’s remember the purpose of an exorcism: to free an innocent, trapped person from the unyielding grasp of a demon. This isn’t about scoring points with your bishop or providing fodder for your blog. If you think you’re going to hell, an exorcism isn’t the time to ask the demon to “put a good word in” with Satan. You shouldn’t be asking the demon if hellhounds are all alike, or if there are helldoodles and hellhuahuas. Don’t ask if JFK or Milton Berle are in hell, or what was really going on in the Lost finale.

Finally, I hope you all appreciate that the church is providing this course. We want you to be the best exorcists you can be, even if your righteousness is dubious and some of your crosses are made out of popsicle sticks. Do you think the devil bothers to provide a Demon 101 class for vile spirits who aren’t up to par?

Let’s hope not. For God’s sake, let’s hope not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Killbot Christmas Carols

I Saw Mombot Exterminating Santa Claus

Have a Holly Jolly Bloodbath

Rudolph the Red-eyed, Metallic, Indestructible Killing Machine

All I Want for Christmas is an End to Humanity

God Rest You Merry Roboticist

I Heard the Screams on Christmas Day, and They Fulfilled My Programming

Death to the World, At Least the Carbon-based Parts

It’s the Most Killerful Time of the Year

Grandma Got Run Over by a Robot

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Robopocalypse

Have Yourself a Merry Little 010010010101001010

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The worst Twitter account in the world

In the Popular Things That Make Me Lose My Marbles Department, I need to rant about the super-popular Twitter account @shitgirlssay.

This account might be the most boring goddamn Twitter account I have ever read, and that is saying something. It consists of trite sentences like "I'm just kind of in a weird mood today" and "Are you busy tonight?" that are allegedly preferred by "girls," which I assume is supposed to mean women. That's it. There's nothing else to it. It's just inane, boring, short sentences.

Is this supposed to be funny? Or interesting? I don't understand. 87,000 followers obviously have access to a secret decoder ring that I lack.

The most maddening thing about the account is that very few of the sentences--which are stupefyingly boring, if I didn't mention that already--seem girl-centric at all. For example:

"That's actually kinda nice."

"It's such a beautiful day, you should get out and enjoy it."

"I think I’m gonna start my own business."

"Do you still keep in touch with anyone from high school?"

"I cant believe its almost November."

"What do I want to eat?"

Who in the world--male or female, young or old, human or Cylon--would not say these things sometimes? What the holy hell does this have to do with girls/women? By the hammer of Thor, what am I missing?

When you think about the amazing humor of @shitmydadsays and compare it to the absolute nothingness of @shitgirlssay... Well, I guess shit ain't shit anymore.

On the upside, I suppose this is a good time to launch my own account @shitboyssay. Here's a preview of some of the hilarious, fascinating tweets:

"Hi!"

"Hey there!"

"I'll have a hamburger."

"What time is it?"

"Whoops!"

"Bye!"

Ten things children are like

Children are like snowflakes. In hell, they’re gonna melt pretty quickly.

Children are like criminal scum. Batman hates ‘em.

Children are like leggings. They’re not pants.

Children are like spears. It’s rude to throw them at strangers.

Children are like iced coffee. It’s harder to sell them in the winter.

Children are like dreams. I probably have some, but I can’t remember.

Children are like gifts. I’d rather get a gift card.

Children are like desktop computers. I’m surprised anyone still makes them.

Children are like rays of sunshine. They cause cancer.

Children are like cinder blocks. If you drop them off the roof, someone could get hurt.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sons of Malarkey

I usually try to save this blog for humor, but I had to rant a little about Tuesday's season finale of Sons of Anarchy. Spoilers on the way.

Sons of Anarchy, you make me sad.

I watched the first three seasons pretty attentively. Like a lot of folks, I thought season three was disappointing overall. I watched the premiere of season four and thought...eh. Looks repetitive and crappy. I then forgot about the show for weeks.

Then, just after Piney died, I caught an episode. I got sucked back in. I mean, sucked in like the portal at the end of Evil Dead 2. I was obsessed. The domino pieces that were falling blew my mind. I couldn't figure out how the show could go another episode, much less another season or three! I was re-hooked.

During Thanksgiving week, when Opie shot Clay, I was in narrative heaven. Fuckin' amazing. Yesterday, I was giddy for the season finale with a giddiness currently reserved for Breaking Bad and formerly reserved for The Shield (the greatest show of all-time, FYI).

Unfortunately, Tuesday's finale was the biggest cop-out I have ever seen. Every huge event that was building--the ATF sting, Juice as a rat, Jax's vengeance, Clay's need to be DEAD--was wiped away as irrelevant. Nothing mattered. It was a cop-out-pocalypse. Dominoes that needed to fall just vanished into the air, because of contrived Irishmen, CIA-cartel alliances, and assorted silliness. It was a MacGuffin-geddon.

The biggest cop-out--Jax not killing Clay--is the worst. This is the guy (Jax) who put a bullet in Kohn's head in season one, just like that, but he won't kill Clay, who killed his father, and Piney, and tried to kill his wife, and probably killed JFK and puppies too? Are you fucking kidding me?

There is nothing that could make Jax--a hothead, with amazing motivation, and even approval from his mom and wife!--not kill Clay. This is not buyable. This is not swallowable. The contrived, out-of-left-field reasons not to kill Clay could've been fine as part of the story: they would've laid the groundwork for a shitstorm next season after Jax wasted Clay. But they don't come close to making narrative sense. Sorry. Clay had to go. If you weren't going to kill Clay, don't make the whole season feel like a rip-off without Clay's death! Don't let Jax (and Opie) find out about all of Clay's sins. Maybe dial down Clay's mustache-twirling. Save that shit for season seven.

You screwed the pooch, Kurt Sutter! You brought me to a peak of narrative ecstasy and then left me in an alley with my dick in my hand. It was a familiar feeling. No, not because of personal issues, but because of season three's finale, now that I think about it. After being shown the devastating story of Jax ratting on the club, that was all wiped away in a second as an unseen club manipulation. Poof! In season four, problems again went away. Poof! That is shitty storytelling.

In her review, Maureen Ryan made a great comparison, which I'm paraphrasing here: This show could've been in the same league with Breaking Bad, but it's stuck in the Dexter zone, building huge stories with small endings that just reset everything. Nothing matters. Poof!

I miss The Shield.