Countdown to Finality

So, you have 26 days left until the Rapture.  Are you ready?  Made your Rapture Party Plans yet?  Have you found a home for your pet yet (that is to say, for those of you who will be leaving us)?  Have you made your Bucket List?  Get on it people!  There isn’t time to dilly, or dally, or hesitate!

Then again, utilizing a quote I heard during my recent trip to NYC (I can’t claim right to this one, but I will use the hell out of it): “Why can’t you quit?  Jesus did.”  So, maybe you shouldn’t do anything.  Just let it happen.  Heat up some queso, prop up your feet, refuse to shower and watch 26 days of television.

Hell, forward all your bills to the people at We Can Know, seeing as how they’re so up on this whole Rapture shibang.  I mean, can’t there be some type of legal spin on making plans around their May 21st date…you know, in the unlikely event that they’re wrong?

Dammit.  I just paid off my car.  Should have thought that one through a bit more.

Still, maybe this isn’t really a bad thing at all.

I feel secure that my publisher will still be around, since I know God isn’t terribly fond of Faerie worship or purple highlights, so at least Flutter will still arrive in August.  And since I’m not necessarily targeting Christians with my books (well, targeting, yes, but not in the publicity sense), then I can rest assured that my audience will still be around.  In fact, this may be a boon to the publishing industry, now that I think on it, because it will eliminate…er, I mean, remove all the people who are most traditionally likely to whine about literary content.  Vampire Porn for everyone!  Hopefully Stephanie Meyer is taken.  I can’t stomach anymore of her work.

I’m actually thinking that the bulk of people at Twitter and Facebook will still be around, so we’ll still have that.  To boot, all that Christian clutter will be gone, so no more scrolling through the rants and praise to Mr. Jesus.  Heck, little boys all over the world can roam free, safe and secure in the knowledge that their pants won’t be removed by some God-horny Man of the Cloth, so that’s good.  Then again, won’t all the Men of the Cloth who engaged in that activity still be here?  Hm.  Rule of the land!  It’s time to put these imbeciles on a remote island with a few other undesirables, and have an And Then There Were None reality show.  Given the dearth of candidates, and only 12 slots (should we remain true to the story), I’m thinking several continuous seasons of this will do fine.

Fortunately, we’ll still have this:

So that’s cool.

I’m actually feeling confident that the bulk of television shows, actors and actresses, producers, directors, musicians, writers, artists and executives will still be around, so I guess Hollywood just keeps rolling.  I mean, they didn’t stop for Pearl Harbor or 9/11, did they?  Can’t seem them seeing this any differently.  So, we’ll still have a major portion of our art intact.

This solves our energy crises, doesn’t it?  And food shortages?

Can we get back to community-based lifestyles, and weed out the box stores?  I can promise you all non-Christian based indie bookstores will still be around.  They didn’t break for Amazon or B&N, so I figure the Rapture won’t kill their inspiration either.  Should be plenty of stock and, as mentioned, better quality to choose from, so there you are.  Another win.

Looks like the recession is over.  Jobs for everyone!

May have to entertain that Trump for President thing, after all.  He’ll still be around.  I mean, it would appear that every politician is a Christian, or so they would have you believe.  Surely they weren’t lying about that.  I’ll vote for him.  Although George Clooney might be more interested now that there’s no real backlash to him running, right?  Hell, all of Hollywood might put their name in the hat if they can do so comfortably knowing that there’s no one left to call them out on their loose-running morality issues.

What else?

You know, this may very well be the greatest Litmus test in the whole of testing things that aren’t what they purport to be.  I sense a great deal of finger waggling, post Rapture, with some, “Ahhhhhh, I knew you weren’t a Christian!” in for good measure.  Playground rules apply.  Those shamed are cast into the Pit of the Unwanton Liars Who Used to Be Bullies But Are Now Just Stupid Dummy Butts.

Yeah, I’m liking this post-Rapture world.

I need to go stock up on cheese.  Feel free to do the same.  In the meantime, what did I forget?

May Showers Bring May Flowery Deaths

So, yeah.  You’re going to die soon.  Just so you know.  The people at We Can Know can even tell you when.  To the day.  Behold, the End Times:

So, I should hold off on that June Cruise deposit, yeah?

For the record, this is not a joke.  This group of 4 ministries has decided, through biblical prognostication, that the Rapture will, indeed, take place on May 21st, 2011, and that actual end of the world will occur on October 21st, 2011.  So, basically, if you’re a Christian, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  Finally, the Word will be proven true, and you will be ushered into Heaven, where you will live out your spiritual days in the warm embrace of a loving God.  Conversely, if you are not a Christian, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  All the Christians will be gone, taken from the world in a flash, leaving you with a world bereft of dogmatic Believers who like to shake bells, throw pamphlets at you, and clog up lines at Golden Corral on Sundays.  it’s the world you’ve always dreamed of.  For five months, anyway.  At which time, your little fantasy land gets gobbled up by a God who is perturbed at your sinful ways (but isn’t at all displeased with allowing Miley Cyrus to continue living, go figure).  There’s a silver lining, though.  You have the next 6 months, and 18 days to do whatever you want , and then you can repent on May 20th, find some Holy-type to dunk you in water, and smile a lot, be fine the next day, and take the G-train to Heaven.  Just a thought.

But, maybe you don’t like baths.  I don’t know.

If you’re in need of a tutorial, the folks who created the video program at Xtranormal can be thanked for letting our Christian friends make this tutorial:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yDWXNKPtNw&feature=player_embedded]

It’s not as funny as the Geico commercial.

So, where does that leave us?  Well, I’ve done the whole bath thing, and been certified Jesusian, but have since reneged on the agreement, and gotten all dirty with sin, and written books that sort of, well, mock the whole process, so I’m guessing that I’m not on the G-train.  And since it may have been a one-shot deal–I’m guessing that you can’t have two baths with Jesus in a lifetime, and sell that you’re totally serious about it this time–I have to deal with the reality that I have, give or take being stabbed in the eye, about eleven months in which to enjoy my time on this rock.  So, rather than fret about the end of the world, I’ve decided that I’m going out with a bang.  I’m sure this list will need some editing, over the period of Doom-to-be that remains, but for now, it’s a start.

  1. Listen to every Justin Beiber song until I have them memorized.  Attend concert on December 23rd at Phillips, and squeal until my voice cuts off.  Buy t-shirt.  Why not, right?  I mean, it’s not the New Kids or anything absurd like that.
  2. Contact Warner Brothers, and plead with them to move up Deathly Hallows Pt 2 to May 20th (I can just hear it now: “Yeah, I was going to get baptized, but it was either that or watch Harry Potter.  Pretty easy choice, I think.”), or to implement a post-Rapture contingency plan to ensure the release of the movie.  I’m not dying before I see how it plays out on the big screen.
  3. Find a booth at Waffle House, and stay there for 24 hours.  Eat everything on the menu.  Enjoy the next 24 hours, alternating between the toilet and the tub.
  4. Host a Rapture Party on the rooftop of the tallest building that will accept money.  Watch the Christians float into the sky, and create a pool for “number of airplanes crashing into buildings as Christian pilots are taken”.  Rig pool so that you win.
  5. Move into the largest church I can find on May 22nd.  Host readings of Apocalypse South every Sunday, readings of Flutter and Anointed every Wednesday and Friday, and change the sign outside to read: “God is good, God is Great, WTF, did I just inherit a Chruch?”  Misspell ‘church’ intentionally because Russ Marshalek will want it that way.
  6. Get a job at Starbucks (because we all know they’ll still be around), and ask to be paid in coffee.  Drink only coffee until the world ends.  Never sleep again.
  7. Begin reading the Mark Twain bio.  Put it down three days later when it becomes apparent that there isn’t enough time to finish Volume 1.
  8. Walk part of the Appalachian Trail with an ATV.
  9. Acquire the most expensive computer available (depending on availability when the looting begins).  Strip it of every program, and create a screen saver that reads, “What are you doing, Dave?”  Leave it on until the world ends.
  10. Host a “naked party”.  Invite no one.
  11. Watch every Star Wars movie in succession, enjoy them immensely, then write a 400 page letter to George Lucas detailing how much better they could have been if he hadn’t directed any of them.  Reference Empire as the platform of awesomeness that it is.  Hand deliver to the first person you encounter, and thank them for buying Statewide Rapture Insurance.
  12. Create a Twitter account for a Christian who you know has been Raptured.  Tweet from Heaven.  Tell those remaining (I just deleted, “left behind” three times…I just can’t say it.) what they need to do in order to be Saved.  Hint: it involves cheese being delivered to my chruch.
  13. Make enough Kraft Mac N’ Cheese to fill the bathtub.  Bathe in it.  Bathe in it real good.  Like it like you want it, mmmhm.
  14. Find a replica Darth Vadar costume to wear from October 18th through October 21st.  Speak only in Vadar lines, and die with your helmet off.
  15. Call the ex-wife on May 22nd, and remind her that she didn’t get Raptured either.  It goes both ways, apparently.
  16. Find some D&D goons, and suggest your chruch as a fine place for a week-long campaign.  Play all week, so that you can die knowing that you’re a rogue Elf with…
  17. Learn D&D terminology so as to better define your character before you die.
  18. Make the trek to Chicago, and find a seat in the bleachers at a sure to be empty Wrigley Field and yell, “you suck!”  Do the same in NY at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, before returning to Atlanta, and Turner Field.  Do the chop for six straight hours.
  19. Call all my friends (none of them will have taken the G-train, for sure), and let them know they don’t have to worry.  I’m still awesome.
  20. Call my Jewish friends, blame them for everything, and say, “I told you this would happen.”
  21. Find Seth MacFarlane, and thank him for being such a delightful bastard.  Let him know that you got yourself checked, and your not retarded.

This isn’t done, but I’m too impatient to save it and wait.  Who has ideas?

The First Flap

Though I don’t yet have a specific date, the next book in the Anointed trilogy (it seems to require a name of some sort to qualify it as a trilogy, if for no other reason than to amuse me and my publisher), Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, will be in stores in spring of 2011.  It still seems a long way off, but that’s the process, and I have no choice but to wait it out, nervously tapping away as the editorial process ensues, as characters and plot lines are dissected, as event dates are put together, and as the reviews and blurbs trickle in.  In the meantime, however, the preliminary jacket art is in, and I can’t help but feel like it’s headed in the right direction.

The subtitle is yet to be added.

No telling where it’ll wind up, but it definitely represents the theme of the book well.  I’ll post the changes as they are made.  Feel free to drop in your thoughts.

——–

“Bishop” Eddie Long.

Who made him a Bishop, anyway?

He made his first public statements regarding the sexual misconduct charges Sunday morning, at 8am, from the pulpit.  The mere fact that his first statements to the charges were delivered from the pulpit is more telling than anything he said.  How better to draw further attention to the “church” and bolster its reach than to have the media in attendance, broadcasting your (lack of) denial, while thousands of followers scream and holler and praise JeebusAlmighty.  It was a circus.  It was exactly right for what he is.  If you read the transcript, it’s quite obvious from the outset that he’s proud of the attention–the opportunity even–that this scandal has brought his church.

“Good morning New Birth. And good morning to all our other guests.

And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the world.

You all may be seated in the presence of the Lord.

I do want to remind folk that we’re here at 8 every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning.

And I’ll be here next week.”

The other bit that struck me was, fittingly, at the end of his presentation:

“Please hear this. Please hear this: I’ve been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing I’m gon’ fight.

And I want you to to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”

He never denies the accusations.  He never defends his actions.  He simply states that it is a hard time for him, that he’s been accused, and that he–the pastor of a mega-church–feels like David, fighting for his life against the giant, Goliath.  I believe he may have that bit backwards, however.  These young men, whether honest or deceitful, are not Goliath.  The man who deemed himself anointed by God, the “Bishop” of 25,000 people willing to put money on his name, the person that is as much a politician of faith as he is an admitted multi-national corporation, stands with far more might, and far more capable defense than young men, who are armed with nothing more than accusations, and a date in court.

—–

From the shelves of the departed Wordsmiths Books vault, I leave you with a video of the Harry Potter cover band, Draco & the Malfoys.  They were one of a few who passed through, and one of my favorites (though the Remus Lupins are right there as well).  Their performance–with the rest of the gang that day for Wizard Rock–ranks as one of my favorite memories.  If you are a Potter-head, and haven’t heard these guys, then by all means, give them a listen.

Touched by the Long hand of God

You’ve all heard this one already, so I’m not going to tread over ground that’s already been flown around the world, massaged, and molested.  But the facts are the facts (at least the facts that are being reported): Eddie Long, Pastor of the Atlanta-based mega-church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple teenage boys.  The charges imply that Long coerced the young boys into sexual relationships, and…this is where I just add, yadda yadda yadda, because what more is there to say?  Then I say, “Of course, these are simply allegations, and Justice is Blind, and ants can’t carry celery, and stuff,” which is meant to pacify you into believing that I haven’t already prejudged the pervert.

If it didn’t work, then maybe you should eat more celery.

There are many issues at play here, not the least of which is the idea that a professed man of God, who has marched against homosexuality, is accused of homosexual acts with underage boys.  I can’t gloss that one over.  There’s also the fact that we have, in Pastor Eddie Long, a man who has accumulated vast amounts of wealth, and assets, from people who are offering their very wallet’s end, simply to give unto the God they believe in.  This man, who has been quoted as saying, You’ve got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering,” has bilked these people of their meager earnings, and has done so with a sense of purpose and divine right that even the one he supposedly speaks on behalf of–that Jesus fella–did not.

Jesus wore sandals.  Just sayin’.

Eddie Long also offered up a quote that completely justified Anointed, for which I am eternally grateful. Behold:

“We’re not just a church, we’re an international corporation.”

Ah…it just smells like redemption.  I may have missed the boat.  The Christ Corporation should have replaced Timmy Christ with a handsy black preacher-man.  Oh, well.  There’s more writing yet to be had.

Is there anyone else that finds this a little creepy, in retrospect?

But, for me, the real issue is that Bishop Pastor Molester Man Eddie Long has now–whether guilty or not–joined the long line of evangelists, who preach, and thrive financially from, the supposed Word of God that they cannot possibly, or are not capable of, believing in themselves. And in doing so, he has further alienated Christianity from those who are either agnostic, atheist, or simply wavering in between.  Yes, I’ve heard countless times already that he is but one voice amongst millions.  But he is one very prominent, and visible, one.  Much like Falwell, or Graham, or Hagee, or Mr. Toothy Shine, Joel O’steen.  He is the Tom Brady, the Barry Bonds, the Kobe Bryant, or any member of Congress, of Christianity.  He is to be held at a higher standard, whether he–or you–likes it or not.  Such is our culture.  And when you have something as virulent as religion, especially one that loves to jam itself into your personal space in order to share a message you might not have even asked for, you get emotional reactions that ultimately define lives.

We look to those who have succeeded, as possible glimpses of what we can be.  Likewise, we also look at those who have succeeded, where we believe they should not have, and scrutinize their acts, analyze their words, and fill the webber-nuts up with blogs, updates, and posts about how much we disagree with them.  This is natural.  This is human.  And this is what Eddie Long, and his misbehaving band of Christians, has done: He is the nail in coffin for many, many, people who were on the fence about Prince Jeebus.  He has removed any desire that they might have had to possibly give Christianity a chance.  If they were in the back seat of the car, listening to the debate up front, they opened the door and jumped.  Is this right?  Is this fair to the entirety of a religion?  Well, hell no, but it’s reality.  Unfair stuff happens all the time.  I think that might have been omitted from the Bible, but I’m sure God would like you to know.  Shit happens, and we have to deal with it.

Christianity has to deal with this.  I don’t.  It just gives me more to write about.  And what Christians around the world should take from this simple statement, is this: Back off.  Let people find their way.  Let go of the notion that you are some holy crusade to bring people to God (and it’s important to note that the word, ‘crusade,’ has some links to The Crusades that you might want to be familiar with).  And for God’s sake–no really, He’s getting a little miffed–quit giving life to mega-church evangelical poopyheads (that was for you B).  You want people to respect you as a faith, and look to you for guidance, and perhaps even walk alongside you?  Then don’t feed the pandas.  They will eat you.

I remember watching this movie and thinking, “This is why religion sucks.”  The video’s a little wonky at first, but evens out.  For some reason, I can’t seem to find a better one.  Hmmmmm.

Mah Birfday

Today is my birthday, or, as some have called it, the anniversary of my birth.  I don’t really care how you spin it, as long as it involves cake.

It needs to involve pizza, if at all possible, as well, though a good run through at a Hibachi joint will serve as a nice substitute, if necessary (and it’s generally superfineok with me if it is).

So, what, pray tell, do I want for my birthday?  Well, I did find seasons two and three of Six Feet Under on sale, so that’s an easy Win.  I was gifted the first two seasons of Dexter, so that’s Win number two.  Hibachi?  Check.  Cake? Check…and, check, actually (Win, Win).  Tasty Coffee? Archer Farms Fudge Brownie, with Bailey’s Irish Creamer (not Bailey’s itself I am sad to say), check, and Win.  75, ooo 7th Day Adventists? Chec…wait, what?

In honor of all that I am likely to do wrong over the next ten days, and because this is my damn blog, and I can write whatever I damn well please, I would like to say that there is no greater gift on my birthday, than this:

59th General Conference Session

(I have no idea who this guy is, but I hope I get to sell him a copy of my book)

3468625879_9457578da5_m.jpg

A General Conference Session is a unique occasion. There is no moment in the life of the Church which demonstrates so vividly–so tangibly–the extraordinary way God’s Spirit is moving among us. And so I’m delighted to invite your presence and participation at the 59th Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in Atlanta, Georgia, June 23 –July 3, 2010.
Now, I do have a job to protect, so I have some boundaries, but when you have someone tell you that you shouldn’t sell books on Vampires because it is an affront to God (sadly this wasn’t said to me, or I probably would have hissed, and bitten her), it evokes a certain need to speak your mind.  Of course, on the heels of my blog about Jesus slaying vampires, I’d say that, in relation to Vampires, the Christians have very little to be worried over.  I mean, zombies, or werewolves, or emo-goth-punk-hipsters of the FU I’m Texting Generation, are far more threatening at this point.  Frankly, I think the Second Coming is on delay while Jesus polishes his skills a la Neo and the Matrix, and catches up on South Park episodes involving the Goth Gang, but the next ten days may teach me otherwise.
Also–and as a serviceable farewell for the moment–I’d like to leave you with the opening paragraph of the worst book ever written, Apocalypse South, by Kyle Watson.  If you haven’t ever read this book, do it now.  Buy it used, and read it immediately.  This is complete, and unedited by these hands.  Frankly, it wasn’t edited by any hands and is the poster child of everything that is wrong with Print on Demand technology.
“A host of demons is hovering above the crust of the earth.  They are waiting on their leader to speak to them.  None of them are speaking words to one another, only hissing and snickering has come forth from the mouths on their evil angelic faces.  Their leader is dressed in a black robe wearing a gold colored breastplate, and his demon followers are dressed in brown robes with silver colored breastplates.  The leader starts to speak when a demon asks a question.
‘Satan, since we have lost the war in Heaven, what is our next plan?’
The Leader roars like a lion before he speaks.
‘How many times have I told you to call me Lucifer and don’t you ever again say that we have lost anything.  You hear me?” Lucifer says infuriated.
Ah…that’s better.
They say you can tell everything you need to know about a book from its first paragraph.  I gave you a couple of lines of dialogue to reinforce the point.  Now, go find a copy, and read it.  Then tell everyone you know.  I’m going to make a bestseller out of this guy yet.

Awaiting the Second Coming

I finally jumped on the Netflix train again.  It’s been a few years, actually, since I last eagerly awaited the next drop from my queue, and I’ve been rebuilding my list with all of the movies I’ve wanted to see over the past couple of years, but couldn’t get to, couldn’t talk someone into going to see, or that I entirely missed because my head was buried in a quagmire of fantasy baseball.

The great thing about the process, the absolutely most wonderful piece of the Netflix pie, is that you invariably find movies you’ve never heard of, or that the filmmakers were too embarrassed to actually let you–or anyone else for that matter–know about.  These are the movies that bring me the most excitement, the greatest anticipation, because who, in their right mind, would pay actual money for a ticket to see this?

That’s right.  Jesus Christ has returned to earth to slay vampires.  What?   Where was this in the Bible?  I mean, holy hell, I’d so go to Church if this is buried in the Gospels somewhere.  Maybe I shouldn’t say, “Holy hell,” while professing a possible desire to be at church.  Hm.  Anyway, I almost feel like I’ve been robbed of a story idea here.  Vampires are the new Paris Hilton.  Wait, did I say that right?  Paris Hilton from the sex video, or Paris Hilton from that ridiculously amusing BFF show?  Is her dog the head vampire, or would that be her father?  Surely, she’s not a talented enough actress to play such a dolt while secretly converting the world to vampires.  Zombies, sure.  She’s already doing that, but I just don’t see her as the head vampire type.  If she were a character from Twilight, would she be Bella, or would she be Victoria, or would she be the fly that I splattered when I dropped the dead weight of Breaking Dawn on it?

But I digress.

I have no idea what this movie is about.  If I were to pre-EVR it, I should have to censor most of the review for sensitive ears.  Not that I’m going to.  I just should.  I could honestly think of nothing more fun that crashing a church service, and shouting, “Jesus Fucking Christ killed goddamn Vampires?  Why have you people been hiding this for so long?”

Just digest that for a moment.

So, this movie–if I dare blaspheme the slaying power of God’s “according to the Bible” son–is going to arrive soon, and I can’t remember the last non-Harry Potter movie that I was this excited to see.  It’s going to suck.  It’s going to suck so good that I may choke on my popcorn, or spill wine on Maggie (who will likely protest while licking herself into a drunk stupor), or maybe lose all sense of myself, and declare it to be the best movie ever made.

Who knows but Jesus?

And the vampires, probably.

But not Paris Hilton.  She doesn’t know most things.