Sparks Near Inferno’s Gate

By the time you read this it’ll be Thursday. It’s Wednesday headed toward Thursday fast, and I am trying to exercise a way to write just to write something. For those of you who might anticipate a high level of quality writing here, bless your hearts for still holding out hope…

Because, what’s the sign say over the gate to hell in Dante’s Inferno? Come on, you know this one. … No?

“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.” The most popular translation is “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

The journey begins and to me it often looks like this:

I heard a preacher on the radio, I know that’s kind of old fashioned but sometimes I’ll hear something that’ll spark my brain in some way. Well, spark it did. I understand that everyone who reads the Bible is going to come away with something different: a specific understanding, a mystery to explore further, an interesting topic, complete confusion, and so on.

It’s Christmas, but I can’t feel it.  Not now.  I feel like Santa left sadness, disappointment, darkness, worry, rage, loneliness, pain, and helplessness behind, along with reindeer shit, in my stocking. Where are you, Christmas? Whoever wrote this song found something they celebrated at the end of the song; I’m stuck between beginning and middle:

If your reaction, to reading or to life, is complete confusion, I’m right there with you, and also I’m sorry to say that my recommendation is to read more. And so it is that with Sunday’s confusing events, and the hated translation, I hoped was butchered, I have checked the Greek. What can I say, I just have weird things that push my buttons. I went to my standard resources, and read and reread. There’s a little word tacked on at the end of Luke 2:14 in the Greek. Doggone it if there is no comma, nothing exact to explain the exact implication. It just says “eudokia.” This is one place where I think King Jim’s translators got it right, though. If there’s a comma implied, it’s SO much better for me.

Curious? Go ahead: ; dive in. Would I steer you wrong? It’s FASCINATING, really. Next stop on the rabbit trail? I went here:

In my study, I do not see any indication that “eudokia,” “good will” is conditional and implies the requirement of God’s delight in order for Him to bequeath the promise of peace. So, though the language in the translation sometimes used implies it, the original language carries no such baggage. Thank God for that. So say whatever you feel like saying, translators who want to attach boat anchors and 16 ton weights to God’s grace. People seem to delight in doing that. Like this:

You want to get into heaven? OK, work for it. Work hard and maybe you’ll earn God’s favor.

Um… How do I know if I did enough good? And …that doesn’t answer the awkwardness of the bad things still on my conscience, so how can I trust that?

I don’t think it works that way. I believe there are no such boat anchors, because of several internal reference points in the same document. You could go back to John 3:16, which starts on the foundation that God loves the world and wants to save us. You could go to Galatians 2:16 or 3:10, which pretty much close the door on us ever measuring up to any kind of approval from God by our own good work. Or Ephesians 2:9-10, which are even more clear. Or Titus 3:3-8, which interestingly enough, makes the point to call out lazy Christ-followers who say, “OK, I’ve accepted God’s grace on my faith. I believe it, so I’m all good,” and they sit and wait for the end and don’t help anyone. There’s a thread though which says it’s not our works that save us, or restore us, or bring us into any kind of relationship with God.

There’s a point to all of this, and I’ll get back to it. It has to do with this preacher guy on the radio, and he went all the way back to Genesis with something that bugged me a little. I mean, I’ve said (above) that there are as many interpretations or understandings as there are people, so maybe the guy’s entitled to his thought process. He was talking about Christmas, and how God came to Earth “in the flesh,” or “incarnate,” which is a big word that means “in the flesh.” What he was trying to get at was that Jesus, the baby who grew to become a man, came as God’s gift of John 3:16 -“God so loved the world that he gave…” Jesus was protected into adulthood, until everything was ready and he was prepared to pay for all the bad things I ever did. OK, yeah, all the bad things you ever did too. Despite all of the attempts made on his ancestors’ lives and on his own, and if you read the story you’ll see those. If Jesus’ ancestors knew about it, they’d have been scared to death for their own lives. But it happened, and Jesus was born, and lived until he was ready and until the time was right. He had to wait until Israel was under Rome’s thumb, so the message could be shared with the whole world. If it was just Israel, they would have just done this:

Under just Israel’s law, no Roman or anyone else in the world would ever know what happened except Israel. But under Roman rule, the message would be visible to Rome and to Israel, and to the world. Under just Israel’s authority, the stars themselves would make less sense.

Rabbit trail #2: The sign for Israel is Pisces, the 2 fishes. (See also Mark 6:41?) The sign for Gentiles (the rest of us), is Taurus, the bull. Right between the two, hard to see hanging up there, is Aries, a ram. (See also Genesis 3:21, Genesis 22, very importantly John 1:29, and also, like a button on the end of a great piece of music, Revelation 5, and there are more, I’ll get to one or two if you can stay with me.) The Bible is a tightly woven tapestry.

This preacher on his radio show, though, said that when Jesus came to earth as a baby, it was the first time He had been in human likeness, or “in the flesh.” But the more I read it the more I wonder if God was showing us how He was going to try to save us, all along. This preacher said that when God walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8) he was not in human form. You remember Genesis 3, it’s where Adam and Eve screwed up, disobeyed God and fell, along with all their descendents including me, and took all of creation on a ripping rollercoaster ride, a twisting, screaming journey to hell in a handbasket. Try to deny it all you want, and then turn on the news. For some, the journey seems short, but on a cosmic scale it’s taking longer than 8,000 years, presuming a young earth, but that’s another can of worms and I am NOT touching it. I won’t go back. But this message, this implication, it bugged me, because the guy has no way of knowing that, and no way to back the statement up. This preacher wasn’t in the Garden with God back in Genesis 3. My Genesis 1:26 isn’t at all unclear: “Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness…”

What I’m saying is not that this preacher was necessarily wrong, or intentionally saying something to mislead. What I’m saying is we all have to dig in to the Bible for ourselves to find our own treasures. It’s important that each of us do that. My assertion is that if we ARE in the likeness of God, “in [His] image, then He must be, in highest form, the pre-image of humans.

To the point, here’s one treasure I take from my digging:

What if God was enabling the restoration of the relationship broken by Adam and Eve as the slain lamb in Genesis 3:21?

What if God was restoring the relationship broken by Abraham, as the slain lamb in Genesis 22?

What if God was enabling the restoration of His relationship with Israel through the symbols of Exodus 12?

What if God promised the possibility of restoration in Isaiah 53 (see the Lamb there in verse 7?), written 2716 or so years ago? And finally,

What if God was offering, if we believe, to restore the whole world, as the Lamb of John 1:29, sacrificed at Passover in John 19, and raised in John 20?

You don’t have to ask yourselves these questions, but I raise them for your consideration.

John wrote in maybe A.D. 90 or so, which puts it at 1926 years or less ago, and the events of John would have taken place maybe 800 years AFTER the prophecy of Isaiah 53. If you’ve followed me down the rabbit trails this far, just read the last few verses of John 20 (verses   29-31). 31 is important. How did Isaiah know 800 years early?

Because if God did that, who am I to say whether He pushed my sorry ass into this pit of despair for some restorative reason? I HATE the pit, but if there’s some value in my being here, then eventually it’ll be fine. I’d really rather not. But I get to hang out with some of you, here in the dark, and you’re pretty cool. Maybe we can walk together a while. Or just sit here, it’s better with your company.  I’m not anything like the Lamb. I just talk about Him, just like John did. I complain WAY too much to compare myself to Him. He is, if you don’t already know, “…One you do not know. He is the One who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:26-27) He can restore, or establish, a relationship with us, if I’ve read this right. I wish there were, but there’s no promise of any circumstantial changes. Only eternal changes. All it takes is our faith. I still have to walk through this shit for now, but eternally, I’ll be eternally better off than now. I feel abandoned, not that I’m nearly important enough to matter. But Jesus himself felt the same: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama Sabachthani?” (Psalm 22:1, see also Matthew 27:46; and, how did David know a thousand years early how that scene would play out?) It wasn’t just words to Jesus. It was agony far worse than I may ever know.

What if God pushed me into this pit of despair, or let the universe fucker push me, or let me fall all by myself, to encourage JUST ONE of my readers, to let me meet you, to reassure you of your beauty and incredible worth, to assert that God loves you in ways far more pure and complete and unimaginable than I am capable? To encourage you to have courage, and faith? Although I hate the test, although I hate the universe fucker for the whole journey, if you get it, you’re worth it to me. There are times when I hurt not because it sucks to be me, but because I know what you are going through and I wish I could do something that would effectively reduce your pain or just thoroughly and completely rescue you, but there isn’t anything. I pray for you, and can’t not weep.

Christmas is coming and I haven’t got anything tangibly helpful for you. I have a prayer for me, and may it be answered a thousand billion times, yes. And I have a prayer for you, and may it be answered the same, a loud resounding FUCK, YES!!

Here’s my prayer for me:

OK, I confess, that was a joke. Well, halfway. Because I really do want that for Christmas too. But here’s my real Christmas wish for me:

Here’s my prayer for you, and maybe selfishly I want a little of that for myself too. If it gets answered, the way I want, there will be enough for you to share.

I’m going to go to work when I wake up today, because if I don’t, I’ll think about it and start crying again. This time it’s not just for me. It’s for you too.

It took me a long time, but I think I know why I cried for me on Sunday: It’s because I’m broken. It hurts. And try as I may, I can’t fix it.

And I know why I’m crying for you too: I’m broken that we’re all broken, we live in a world that is killing us, slowly and painfully, and we can’t do anything much about it, except to be there as an encouragement to one another. I hate that you hurt, and I wish life treated us all SO much better.  But while we’re alive, I want us all to share an eternal hope, even if we can’t have peace for now.

Please share that hope with me.


Entitled to Feel Entitled

I never asked to be bitter.  I asked to be, to quote the movie Pride And Prejudice, “completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy.”  That is not how it has turned out.  It’s not impossible to make me happy, I just want things to be more reasonable and a bit less disastrous.  But add disaster to disaster, and unlike Job from the Bible, THIS guy, who’s a whole lot less perfect, has gotten a bitter aftertaste and can’t shake it.

I spent Sunday afternoon trying to do as little around the house as possible.  I fixed lunch for young master M, and for myself, mowed the grass, and above that, accomplished little, except I wrote a poem.  I did that first thing in the morning, so that doesn’t count.

And I ended up looking inside, which is never a good thing.

Yesterday we went to church and heard a message about marriage and family life.  What do you do when the message steps on all your toes?  And this after someone said I should quit this church (over an issue I interpreted as entitlement and dismissed).  In my marriage, I used to be happy, but I’m not and it’s gotten to where she’s tired of my rants about things falling apart.  It’s not within the realms of the impossible.  Simple, little things that would boost my confidence, iykwim, would be nice, and should be easy (see how entitled I feel about my marriage?), and should be readily afforded to me.  But they’re not.  Those little niceties aren’t afforded to me by way of reciprocation.

Math lesson:  Reciprocals are the inverse of a given number, for example the inverse of 100 is 1/100, when multiplied together, you get one.  For true unity in a marriage, I infer, that if I am giving 100, so should my wife and thereby we achieve one-ness, a unity in the marriage.  If I give less, or she gives less, the ratio is out of balance and the multiplication gets weird and doesn’t give a product of unity.

I really hate people with a sense of entitlement.  They’re selfish and demanding people, taking from others without a second thought.  I strive to be a giver but I don’t want to blow any trumpets about it when I am able to do some small thing to help someone else.  And I don’t want anyone else blowing a trumpet for me either.  It’s all about helping people.  But the more I give in certain relationships and receive less than reciprocity, the more out of balance it becomes.  I’m not keeping records except “minus one” in a certain column; this could start today and I’d be “…incandescently happy,” and we would be debt free. (Romans 13:8)

Before the message, in our small group Bible study the leader, a layman (means he’s not a professional ministry type person) did his best to facilitate discussion about Revelation 3.  In Revelation 3, a rich church was called out for being useless before God.  They weren’t cold and refreshing, ministering to the community’s immediate physical needs.  They weren’t hot and therapeutic, helping one another deal with deeper, spiritual issues.  They were enclaved, sealed off, tepid, and useless.  And yet, they believed they were doing fine.

I got my digs in about churches that don’t help when there’s a real ministry opportunity. And I was thinking about a fellow blogger who needs a few bucks more than I have, that hasn’t been met yet.  And I was thinking of myself, because when I went to them needing help (cold), they acted like, well, we could help but we’re not, and maybe unlike Job, it’s your fault you’re stuck where you are and you should be able to fix it yourself.  So they prayed empty feeling words over us and let us leave without delivering any help.  And now that we’re in need again, (but really still because it hasn’t miraculously fixed itself and another thing broke and is more costly than we can afford to replace it,) we’re gun shy about going to them again, because fuck that.  And fuck them for not helping when we asked.  Can you blame us?

And our church thinks they’re doing fine.  They think they’re doing good deeds, and maybe they are.  But I think churches should look inside before they go off on a big missions tangent helping people a million miles away, they should find out how they can help people who are already attending right there in front of them.  And help them first.

And then the message came.  The new pastor doesn’t know me or my situation.  So I can’t blame him for anything, he speaks from ignorance.  Or from divine wisdom.  He said in a marriage, your sense of entitlement shows in one of two ways:  either you’re angry, explosive, raging, or you’re bitter, internal, slow-burning.  He said bitter people withdraw and angry people explode, and both hurt other people in relationships.  I never wanted to be bitter, I wanted to be successful and encouraged on to greater success.  And then I knocked, as the text says “knock and the door shall be opened unto you,” and it didn’t. (Matthew 7:7, if you’re looking those up)

I’m bitter.  (Duh, Deon, that’s what we’ve all come to expect from reading your lunacy.)

I’m also angry.

So do I secretly harbor an inner sense of entitlement?  Yes. **EXCUSE ALERT** It’s the human condition.  But I’m not using my sense of entitlement as an excuse to be selfish and take things other people need, or withholding good from people when I can give it.

It’s my excuse:  I’m entitled to feel entitlement.  I take verses like Philippians 4:19 and believe what I think I need should be provided.  And basically, what I think I need is just money in order to be able to fix or replace things and to provide for my family.  There’s a verse for that, I Corinthians 7:33, and it’s the truth.  I am concerned about the things of the world and I want my wife to be happy.  Above that, I think I need enough money to take care of myself.  I have a major stumbling block in my way, interfering with my spiritual life, and it’s not the love of money, it’s the LACK of money.  I’ve already been thinking about this for a long time, the message was just reinforcement.  Why can’t I have it?  I’m not really learning anything from my condition of lacking.  What would really teach me a lesson is to be wealthy and be forced to deal with all the problems insanely rich people face.  Except I might be, to re-quote the movie Pride And Prejudice, “completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy.”  And then, would I be of any use to God at all?  (Maybe.  Test me in this way and see what happens, God!)

Revelation 3  says,
17 But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

I know the things I lack.  I know I’m wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked already.  But am I entitled to anything else?  Maybe not.  I’ve prayed for God to fix my money, and the way He decided to fix it was to move me from where I had enough to a place where I don’t have enough, treading water and starting to drown in debt, and I want to go back.  Not geographically.  Financially.  All the takers just say I should “just” quit and get a bigger badder job, and I’ve struggled with that because they’re not out there for the taking, at least not by me.  So thanks, God, I’ve learned a lot from being pitiful and poor, can we flip that and let me learn from being bountiful and rich?  Where’s that refined gold, eh?

Am I entitled to a miraculous rescue?  Maybe not.  People with cancer pray for health, I pray to fix certain things about me that money would answer, like my teeth.  Cancer victims hear “no,” all the time.  Am I entitled to a different answer?  People train to do this or that profession and they end up being plumbers or whatever because that’s how they can earn a decent living, or they end up homeless and divorced.  I trained to work in the ministry, and I can’t find a job worth shit.  Am I entitled to a different answer?  I should live in fear of an event like in Numbers 16, and not even try to serve a church. Everyone else has things that fall apart and they either have to fix it or do without.  Am I entitled to different treatment?

I know the right answer, but I still wish the answer was yes, damn it.  All those success preachers and the idiots who think “God helps those who help themselves” is somewhere in the Bible do.  On the playground people yell about how “it’s unfair.”  Well I want to yell because it’s fair and I want better.  Entitled?  Maybe not.  But I wish I was.  Then I’d have a better reason to bitch.

Am I bitter?  Hell yes. But should I be?   It’s been a slow progression to the low of my realization, perhaps I can start cutting the roots.  But I still think that I’d learn just as much or more in the remaining years of my life, by being enabled to “buy gold refined in the fire, so [I] can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so [I] can cover [my] shameful nakedness; and salve to put on [my] eyes, so [I] can see.”

In Isaiah 55, through the prophet You speak about buying without money, maybe Revelation 3 is presented with the same idea?  Because the church that has everything thinks they are rich and You say they are poor, so their money and mine isn’t worth enough to buy that gold, now is it?  How about you “sell” (wink wink) me some of that refined gold that brings wealth?  Instead of this waiting until four or more days after I’m already dead, God, how about You do the easier slightly less miraculous gardening thing and help me with these bitter roots and bring me back to life?


“Lies, Damned Lies, [Conspiracies, Rumors] and Statistics”

I love a good conspiracy theory.  UFOs at Roswell, the aliens are coming, the aliens are here.  US President [Insert Name Here] visited by aliens, Illuminati, Jesus returned and we all missed him, Miracle cure for cancer suppressed by the medical “industry,” Elvis is Alive (And so is his son-in-law Michael Jackson), Legendary man actually found his wife’s G-spot more than once after marriage (we all know that one’s got to be a lie), Government experimenting on children using school lunches, Wars and disease and famine caused by government and their lies to cover it up, etc.

I bet I mentioned at least one you’re curious about.  You might even believe in one or more of them. But I’m not writing about any of them.

In today’s “popular now” news feed for a minute this morning when I first logged on, and then quickly removed but still available to read, there were some amusing statistics regarding our US President, Barak Hussein Obama.  They’re just statistics about American’s opinions about him.  Frankly, it’s hilarious.  But I confess, I didn’t laugh out loud.  There’s a wikipedia article including the President’s own responses to the conspiracy theorists.

I’ve read and suspect, like a good conspiracy theorist, that in every tall tale there’s a kernel of truth.  And I’ve been taught, in a lot of old wive’s tales, there’s the possibility of a lot of truth.  But it depends on which old wife you ask.

Obama’s response to the suggestions about his citizenship is still something, shady document notwithstanding, that I question.  Obama’s response about his religious affiliation though, is pretty close to what I’d expect to hear from an evangelical Christ-follower.

Still, speculation abounds.  I’d ask his old wife if I didn’t suspect her motives couched in the answers she’d provide.  But what’s to happen in a few years, when no one cares any more?  What if?

Obama proclaims he’s a Christ-follower, but in his actions he seems to do things, in the interest of advancing popular trends, that aren’t in line with the main traditions of that faith.

From Wikipedia:

In Islam, it is essential that there exist harmony and concord between faith and deeds. Farāhī has explained this aspect in his tafsīr in the following manner:

Righteous deeds are mentioned in the Qur’ān right after faith in the capacity of an explanation … In the case of faith, the need for its explanation is obvious: the place of faith is the heart and the intellect. In matters of intellect and heart, not only can a person deceive others but also at times he himself can remain in deception. He considers himself to be a mu’min (believer) whereas actually he is not. For this reason, two testimonies needed to be required for it: a person’s words and a person’s deeds. Since words can be untrue, hence a person who only professes faith through words is not regarded as a mu’min and it was deemed essential that a person’s deeds also testify to his faith. Thus the Qur’ān said:O you who believe with the tongue! Believe through your deeds

Except I can’t find an actual citation anywhere in the actual Qur’an for that last quote.  I found it in Christianity, though, see James 2.  This Farāhī  is onto something regarding lies:  “Since words can be untrue,” though, you can call yourself a Christ-follower without even following very well, just like I do.  Or without following at all, like some others do.  I’ve known people who claimed to be one thing or another, just to increase their sales.  Or to be allowed to join a club.  Or to have sex.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist, of Jeff Dunham fame, “would kill you for a Klondike Bar.”  That one’s understandable, those Klondike bars are damn good.  And you?  I’ll let him be the judge.  Assuming another bomb doesn’t blow him further up.

I’ll leave the judgements and name calling up to you.  It’s OK.  I’ve been called worse than a nut before.  But in a nutshell, here’s a theory or a prophecy or whatever you want to call it:

::Puts on mystic headgear, Does NOT induce trance (because I don’t go for that sort of thing) ::

I foresee within a few years of Obama leaving the presidency, that he and his family will embrace the teachings of Islam and, while still advocating a certain limited tolerance with Christ-followers, will leave the Christian church entirely, after all, by his own confession he isn’t all that church-y.  The alternative to that scenario is that he will be gripped more firmly in the clutches of evangelicalism and go further toward…  naaah!!  (Although, anything is possible.)

I foresee a not-too-distant future in which Christianity is all but lost, and the world is dominated by other religions, the strongest of which is Islam.  Just as in other religions, some will be peace-loving, and some will be more radical in their adherence and practical application of their beliefs.  Or, militant.

I foresee, next, in a distant future perceived as utopian, that the above militancy will become the norm, and there will be a resurgence in the popularity of public executions for crimes or perceived crimes, especially for those who regard said future as dystopian, as it was during the French Revolution.  They won’t call it radical or militant.  They’ll make people believe whoever’s getting the chop did something really really terrible.  Like try to raise their children to think a certain unpopular way.  And it’ll be the kids turning them in for it.

::Removes pretentious mystic headgear::

If you’re around to see it, I expect you to say, “Holy FUCK, Deon was right,”  share this article with a friend, and then pray to give your soul to Jesus, find a Bible, and read it until they come for you.

I thought the statistics about what people think about Obama were pretty telling about our culture here in America.  I confess I buy into some rumors, and some make me laugh.  The statistics though, they either usually intrigue me or piss me off.  The most interesting to me, here, was the shift in some opinions of people who used to believe these claimed truths about him, but have now changed their minds and believe the conspiracy theorists are right.
He’s a fascinating man and I pray for him regularly.  Whether people love him or hate him is their business.  But me, I want him and his family to always be kept safe.  I once wondered about his allegiances just because of how he handled things as Commander-in-Chief, and how our ally Israel was kind of being ignored.  But I watched a recent tweet he sent out to celebrate and acknowledge the new year’s celebration for Jewish people, and I have to say, it’s convincing.  His message was one of peace, and very commendable.  So maybe my prophecy is wrong.  Anything is possible.

After he’s done being President, I’d love to sit and just talk with him, over a beer and some nachos.  I wonder if he’d have any words of wisdom for me, after all,
Q:  “You’ve just finished being the President of the Fucking United States of America, what are you going to do next?”
A:  “I’m going to Disney World!”

No, I wonder if he’d have suggestions for how I could steer myself in more successful directions than I’ve chosen thus far.  As a politician he’s had to deal with shitty, two-faced people who can’t be trusted, he must have an eye for that and maybe he could share how to figure out who to run away from.

I want to ask about some of my own personal goals and if he might have any suggestions for my goals to have maximum impact on myself and my family in financial terms.  And I also want to encourage him, because that’s the kind of guy I am.  I like to encourage people, because no matter how fucked up my life may be, I can pray for you and I’ve got a track record of those things being answered.  Not so much my prayer for myself.  But for other people, yes.

Plus, anyone who’s been the President has been on a hell of a ride and who knows, he may be discouraged.  It hasn’t been all bad, even though it’s been a rough go.  After all, look at the mess the President inherits and has to make some sense of.  It’s not ever pretty, and it’s easier to fuck it up than to fix it.  But there haven’t been any big disasters or whatever, at least not in my own life, during these 8 years.  Others may disagree, but I’m still the same.  My income hasn’t changed, my job hasn’t changed, my opportunities haven’t increased or decreased.  So, if that’s a measurement, good job, Obama.  It didn’t change under previous presidents, either, so they did at least as well.  But dear God, please don’t give us President H Clinton (even if her first name was Jesus I wouldn’t vote for her-say it so you understand the joke.  I don’t trust her because she was involved with Watergate and Bengazi and email scandals, and Bill.  Read some history books or something.  For the record, I prayed the same prayer for the Clintons back then.) or President Moneybags “No Ugly Chicks or Mexicans” McTrumpcards.  Not that there aren’t idiots on the other side, or people who(m?) I wouldn’t trust with my nail file, but these two fairly scream “don’t vote for me!!!  Please!!

As a further unspiritual aside, as if I were waxing spiritual, the only French Revolution I want to participate in involves champagne kisses, either with my wife or a certain special blogger who beckons to me from the edges of my weird adulterous fantasies (I’ve never even seen the woman’s face).  Yup, I’m a sinner just like I always said I was.  I’ll take the champagne kisses from my champagne wishes.  You can keep the caviar dreams, that shit is nasty.  And if I’m allowed a substitution, champagne isn’t my favorite beverage.  How about some whiskey?