Monday, July 31, 2006

From time to time I get people who tell me I should be closer with my family, that they can't be as bad as I make them out to be. Now, most of you Klubhaus Kids have heard some of the stories, and you know that Tacoma is my personal Nam. For the rest of you, who still think that nobody can be as bad as all that, I give you the following...

When I started my job back in January, I told my dad that my work email was the easiest way to get hold of me, since I'm there all day. What that means is that I still don't get any of the important family news until well after the fact, but I do get forwarded every piece of emailed outrage, ethnic humor, or perverse patriotism that lands in his AOL inbox.

Last week it was a joke, a typical "XXXX is so dumb" type gag that had been given a racist overlay. I deleted it and got on with my life.

Today, though, came one titled "How cruel." The email began with "An 8 year old child caught stealing bread in a market of Iran and he is punished in a public place, in the name of Islam!!! His arm will be crushed and will lose its use permanently. A religion of peace and love, they say? How can anyone believe them when they commit such inhuman acts?" This is followed by a set of pictures, purportedly showing this "inhuman act."

Of course, what was left out, and what I remembered seeing when this story showed up on Snopes, was the fact that it was all a bit of street magic, with the last pic showing the boy hale and hearty.

This happens with most of my Dad's emails; he forwards something he was sent, I reply with a link to the page on Snopes showing that Oliver North didn't actually warn congress about Osama Bin Laden back in 1987, or that those planes forming a flag in the sky were photoshopped, or the big one, that no, Target, like French's Mustard, is not owned by the French.

So like usual, I send on the Snopes link, with a few relevant excerpts from the article. I considered politely requesting that racist bullshit be sent to my home email rather than work, but thought the better of it.

A little later comes the response from Fundamentalist Brother:

"I figured it was staged. That doesn't change my course of action though.
We must still slay the infidels in the name of OUR God. Fervor is important, facts don't matter."

Slay the infidels in the name of our god. And people wonder why I won't go into his house.

So, yeah, maybe there are families out there that are worth being a part of, but mine is not one of them. Any sense of family values I once had died the day I had to say to my brother, "can you please not point that gun at me?"

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

That ain't my God, baby.
He would have a response to that, too. He once told me, referring to Arthur C. Clarke's "The Nine Billion Names Of God," that "There is ONE name for God and nine billion names for Satan."

Oh, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer is demonic.
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