Well, we've finally completed the relocation of EGR World Headquarters to beautiful Boulder, Colorado, land of mountain zephyrs and sunny dispositions! Everything went incredibly smoothly with the move (if you overlook a couple of major fuckups on the part of the Mayflower moving agent). The Holiday Inns were well appointed, the truckstop food was yummy. We rode the ferries on the Niagara, Ohio and Mississippi rivers. We felt the booming Heartbeat of America®. Even the new job is pretty good: engaging, challenging, fraught with daily peril. Perhaps this surfeit of sheer and utter wonderfulness explains why we haven't written a bloody thing all month.
But today we awakened in a foul mood, discovered too late that the time had changed (again!), drank too much coffee, began to suspect cancer of the colon (or perhaps it's the prostate -- who can tell about these things?), and are feeling especially annoyed and irritated by all this goddam sunlight. Doesn't it ever rain around here for christ's sake? In other words, we feel positively inspired to begin writing the issue we know you've all been waiting for!
Speaking of weather and taking the Lord's name in vain, we have lately noted a pair of linked phenomena -- at least we are strongly inclined to believe they're linked, though this could be a hard one to prove. The first is the enormous and growing popularity of The Weather Channel in these United States. The second is the enormous and terrifying proliferation of TV evangelists.
The Weather Channel. Everybody's watching it. You're probably watching it right now. Or you just were, or soon will be. For clues to something, we suspect, though we're not quite sure to what.
What is it about The Weather Channel? Our first theory is too obvious to get very excited about, really. Everyone knows that watching Bob Dole "debate" Bill Clinton is about as scintillating as driving a rusty nail through your foot. Plus of course, they wouldn't let poor Rosser join their little Reindeer games. Too bad, too. At least the guy's a fucking screech. That twang!"You take your basic Weather Channel now... there's a refreshing departure from all this political claptrap. That radar scan makes you feel you're right on top of things. In control of the situation. Know what I mean?"What is it about The Weather Channel that has so captured the hearts and minds of America? We'll tell you what it is. It's that you can look at the computer-generated simulation of some tropical storm down there in the distant and mysterious Caribbean that just got upgraded to a Force-4 hurricane that's gonna blow somebody's ass off and know that, for once,
It's Not Your Fucking Fault!You take your basic Bible Thumper now... These people would not agree with that. Know what I mean? In addition to cornering the market on TV godfomercials -- and it's a big one -- the Born Again are all over the web, in case you hadn't noticed, offering to relieve you of those pitiful wages of sin you've been working for lo these many years. For instance, on a page titled WHAT ALL CHRISTIANS MUST KNOW, we learn that the "Second Law of Thermodynamics is opposite to Evolution." At first we were beside ourselves with excitement at discovering this penetrating gloss on the true nature of entropy gradient reversals (though we would have put it the other way around). However, the associated statement -- "Brontosaurus cave paintings in Zimbabwe... mean that man and dinosaurs co-existed" -- made us wonder whether our enthusiasm were not a trifle misplaced. Or at least a little premature. Oh well.
What is really concerning, though, is that a whole new kind of God Squad is coming onto television via public cable channels and paid advertisments got up to look like talk shows. Typically, these guys, and so far they're mostly guys, except of course for the inevitable and fetching little Occasion of Sin whose blouse buttons you keep watching, wondering whether they're really going to pop as she enthuses away about The Rapture -- oh come on, baby, breathe a little deeper!...
Anyway, as we were saying, these guys are all attempting to outdo Rush Limbaugh with their smarmy insider irony about the True Fate of the Damned and such. We were particularly fascinated by a fellow named Bob Enyart -- obviously a stage appellation -- who seems to be based somewhere in Indiana, but is doing a booming business in Colorado via cable. One of his favorite themes is Godless homos. For ourselves, we are much more concerned about God-fearing homos, but we'll leave that for another issue. Maybe. However, if HOMOS MAKE YOU SICK, you'll be sure to want to visit The Official Bob Enyart Live Web Site.[12/6/97 editor's note: the Enyart links we originally used here are now defunct. However, Melanie Schurr, who runs a page called Conservative Corner -- and who alerted EGR to these dead links -- encouraged us to use her link to Bob Enyart material instead (which has now, in turn disappeared -- the Christian World Online is a fast-moving kinda deal it seems). Then, mirabile dictu, Enyart's new site decided to link back to this very issue of EGR. Go see for yourself. Hint: the link to Entropy Gradient Reversals is in the AGAINST category. If that link isn't working, go to http://www.enyart.com and hunt around for "Links" -- whoever runs that site keeps changing file and directory names; we've had to update this URL at least four times now.]
One adoring fan says of Enyart: "A major part of Bob Enyart Live is the callers of the show. Callers who disagree with Bob often go to the top of the list. Watch Bob leave the liberal callers in a daze as he shoots down their arguments and reveals the Biblically-based truth with beautiful logic."
And you know, he's right. In the first installment we saw of Bob Enyart Live, he said, apropos of nothing we could discern, "Worshipping a tree is a perverse and vile thing" -- and for context with respect to this sudden non sequitur, explained that there are, in point of fact, certain African tribes (perhaps those fond of repeating booga-booga all the ding-dang day) that actually worship trees. "That's right folks," he then added, somewhat mysteriously, "first it's god, then it's lunch..." It did leave us in a daze.
But wait. It's not that simple to write this dude off. Sure he's a homophobic psycho racist, a bloodthirsty guilt-vampire of the first water. Sure he'd have us all put to death by various interestingly excruciating methods. But he's certainly not stupid ("How can this be?" we asked ourselves, without getting any answers). And most important, in a ghastly, mesmerizing sort of way, he's enormously entertaining. Kind of like watching a public hanging -- or the Mai Lai testimony. We hung on his every word for hours over several nights upon arriving in Colorado. They just don't have the real stuff like this on Connecticut cable, just the same old ho-hum tits and ass.
When we first channel-surfed across Mr. Enyart, he was going on about how Clinton and his ilk are attempting to dumb down America, an opinion with which we heartily agree, though we doubt the Democrats are exactly alone in this mission. As proof of the proposition, Enyart offers Clinton's evidently stated desire to have children be able to read by eight years old and to log onto the Internet by the time they're 12. Well, first off, says Enyart, everybody thought Einstein was a dullard because he was unable to read at age seven! "See what I mean?," he ingenuously queries his TV flock.
"Plus... plus!... why does he want kids to be able to log onto the Net by the time they're 12?" Alright, here it comes, we're thinking, the whole Devil's Workshop routine complete with stark-staring perverts and buttfuckery worthy of Sodom and Gomorrah. But no. What he actually says (Scout's honor) is "Even a carrot could log onto the Internet!" At which point we are rolling on the floor, gasping, sputtering, clawing at the air for breath, ready to make our peace with Jesus right there and then. Or take up tree worship. Something.
The point is: America is dying of boredom.
And these good sincere people really do represent salvation of a sort. All they ask for great entertainment value like this -- a carrot for godsake! -- is for you to accept Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Savior. What could be simpler, eh?
Look, we understand that people are genuinely hurting out there, that the world is full of pain and misery, that injustice and evil and all sorts of Bad Things are going down in that little piece of real estate just outside the Internet they call The Real World. Well, here's a free tip from all of us here at the EGR Editorial Board: for the most part, and just like the weather,
It's Not Your Fucking Fault!
After all, is it fair that the deepest, most intractable problems of the planet be shifted onto your already drooping shoulders, deposited like a sack of karmic dogshit on your cognitive doorstep? What, just because you got drunk as a boiled owl last night, fell down and cracked your forehead open and ended up bleeding all over that poor good-hearted hooker? Let's just say you were a bit confused.
Before we are accused of moral relativism -- Heaven forfend! -- we will admit that most people are doing all they can to maximize their suffering, in every way they can think up. According to our research department, here are just a few: wondering what other people think of you, especially your boss and co-workers (easy: they want you dead); asking whether you have any real friends (of course not); speculating as to the quintessential quality of Divine Mercy (friend, have another drink).
Now maybe you think we're taking this admittedly arcane connection between The Weather Channel and the Circuit Preachers just a bit too far. Maybe you think it's all projection -- or wishful thinking. Maybe you think we've been watching too many episodes of the X-Files. But however you think about it, think about it!
Nothing to disclaim at this time.
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Entropy Gradient Reversals CopyLeft Christopher Locke firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.rageboy.com
"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..." John Lennon
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