"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."


Monday, August 29, 2005

Fetusville

Once a sperm fertilizes an egg we have a human being. If that human being dies, God forbid -- say they’re aborted by an evil teenage murderer -- that fertilized egg would go to heaven, right? Where it seems to me it would have three options. One, it can live a peaceful, carefree life in a very special place called Fetusville. Two, it can suddenly become its potential, just instantly be, say, a 25-year-old person. Or three, it can be raised by a heavenly family until he or she is an adult.

I think we’d all agree that the first scenario is absurd. In the first place, it’s obvious that Fetusville would be a natural breeding ground for hatred. It would only be a matter of time until the miscarried began to feel superior to the still-born, who would in turn learn to despise the aborted, who would wind up taking out their frustrations on the lowly stem cells. The last thing God wants in his house is class warfare.

Okay, what if they were instantly 25, then? Sounds good! Let’s do that! Wait, wait, wait. There might be a problem with that, too. What about that whole nature-or-nurture thing? I mean, they’d have their parent’s genes and chromosomes, right? But what about potty training, learning to walk and talk? What about education and socialization? Where would his or her value system or personality come from? Plus, if you think about it, without any memories or the ability to control their bladder, you might as well just make ‘em all senior citizens.

Hey, no problem. They can be raised by a nice, heavenly family. Great! Problem solved! Well, you know, I do have one question. Who, exactly, would raise these kids? The people who conceived them would be the obvious answer. But the odds are that most of those parents aren’t even couples any more. And since the vast majority of people, including the mothers of the aborted fetuses, would all be vacationing on Lake Magma, it’s obvious that many of these children would need to find new parents.

So some people in heaven are going to have a brand new baby. Great! That should make them very happy. But what about the people who don’t get a baby? Are they going to be unhappy, or jealous, unfulfilled? Of course not. Nobody is happier than anybody else in heaven. In fact, in heaven nobody is happy at all. They can’t be, because happiness couldn’t be felt, or really even imagined, in a world where unhappiness doesn’t exist. The notion of positive only has meaning as a counterbalance to negative. Take success, for another example. If every business ever undertaken made lots of money, none of them could ever be thought of as "successful." They’d just be businesses. It’s only because some businesses can and do fail that others can be seen as successful.

The ultimate example of this is life and death. Trust me, you do not want to live forever. Value is based on scarcity. I know this from personal experience. Which proves this adage, which I hope I invented because it’s really kind of cool: an unlimited amount of anything ruins it.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Garden of Eden

Cain and Abel. Got married and begat a bunch of kids. Where, exactly, did their wives come from? Had to be from Adam and Eve, right? There wasn’t anybody else around at the time. So, Cain and Abel slept with their sisters. Apparently, the Garden of Eden was in Alabama. I did not know that.

Now, I don’t want it to feel like I’m attacking the Bible here. And if you're a Christian, I certainly don’t want to destroy the happiness your faith brings you. I'm just trying to point out some of the reasons I can’t swallow that same pill. Actually, some people have criticized me for only picking on Christians. But there's a valid reason I don’t make fun of other religious groups. Basically, it’s that I don’t want to wake up one morning with a bomb strapped to my crotch.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Genesis

According to a recent poll, 65 percent of Americans believe that the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark is factual, that it actually happened. Talk about feeling like I’m from another planet. I mean, on this planet there are 65 million species of animals. A ship large enough to hold two of each of them, plus enough food to feed them for 40 days, would be so unbelievably huge it would have taken an army of Noahs many lifetimes to construct. The entire notion is absurd.

Also, since Christians -- at least fundamentalist Christians -- believe that man and the world were created by God less than 10,000 years ago, they obviously have to reject the science of carbon dating, right? But since they can’t dispute the existence of fossil remains, not only do they have to believe in dinosaurs, they have to believe that they were still around fairly recently. In fact, Biblical scholars have postulated that one entire deck of Noah’s Ark was set aside just for dinosaurs. I’m not making this up! I do have one question, though. How do you get a Tyrannosaurus rex on a boat? Actually, I happen to have an answer for this one: Put two of everything it likes to eat on the boat first. That should take care of it. If you think about it, Noah’s Ark was basically a Tyrannosaurus rex buffet.

And what about birds? Can you imagine the mess that would have been made by two of every species of bird flying over this ark, perching wherever they could find room? Come on, think about it. You’ve got raptors and pterodactyls running around on a shit-covered boat the size of Rhode Island. Do you really think that happened? Really?

I actually consider Noah’s Ark to be the very first urban legend. In fact, if the Bible were written today, I’m sure the story would be very different. For example, you might have some New Yorker flush two of every animal down the toilet, where they could survive in the sewer system until the flood was over. Richard Gere could shove two of every animal up his ass. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

...Is Half the Solution

Actually, when people say "Admitting you have a problem is half the solution," what they really mean is "Realizing you have a problem is half the solution." That does make more sense… but it’s still wrong. In fact, for me, realizing I have a problem is half of the problem.

Take something like jealousy. I can be in the middle of a jealous rage, and suddenly have an epiphany: "I’m jealous because my mother was promiscuous, which has caused me to distrust women. It’s so clear. And if I act out of haste now I’ll not only make things worse, but end up hurting this person I truly love. Yeah, yeah. That makes sense… You sleazy whore!!"

See what I’m saying? Being a bastard and knowing you’re a bastard are two different things. And when those two things converge -- trust me -- it’s sheer hell.

Ultimately, when people say "Admitting (or realizing) you have a problem is half the solution," I think what they mean is, "You can’t solve a problem until you realize you have the problem." Again, not true. Say you’re in a large shopping mall. You’re buying a bunch of stuff with a credit card when your husband turns to you and says, "Honey, the interest rate is really high on this card." Well, unbeknownst to you, he’s overheard by a hoard of marauding barbarians who come rushing through the mall, knocking over displays, shoving people out of their way. As they approach, swords and axes drawn, you pull out a credit card and say, "Don’t worry. This card is based on the prime interest rate." Suddenly the barbarians stop in their tracks. See that? Problem solved, without you ever even knowing it even existed.

So, anyway, if you’re not admitting this problem to yourself you must be admitting it to someone else, right? But how does telling a friend you have, I don’t know, diarrhea, for example, help alleviate the problem? Obviously, it doesn’t. But if you’re sitting there wondering why all of this horrible stuff is squirting out your ass, and you suddenly go, "Wait a minute, this is what they call diarrhea," then you may well be on the road to solving the problem.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Admitting You Have a Problem...

"Admitting you have a problem is half the solution." No it isn’t! What does that even mean? In the first place, admitting to whom? A friend? A loved one? God? Actually, admitting something to God would be classified more as a confession. And I suppose, yes, that confession is good for the soul.

When somebody says "Admitting you have a problem is half the solution" they’re talking about admitting something to yourself, right? But is that even possible? I mean, in order to "admit" something to someone else don’t you have to have some knowledge of whatever it is you are about to admit? You can’t walk up to someone and tell them something you don’t know. So how could you tell yourself this thing you don’t know?

The whole notion of admitting something to yourself is oxymoronic. Let’s take an example of something I might admit to: I masturbate. A little embarrassing, but true. Now, do I need to admit to myself that I masturbate? No. I think I make it abundantly clear several times a week.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Your First Job in Life

There’s a big movement in psychology today that says your first priority in life should be your relationship with your spouse -- that should take priority to your relationship with your children. It’s the kind of thing that when you first hear it you think, “Geez, that can’t be right.” And there’s a reason why you think that: It isn’t right!

Have you ever had a friend who was a psychiatrist or a psychologist? If so, you must know that there are no more over-medicated, dysfunctional wackos on the planet than these people! Why would you abandon your common sense in favor of what they said about anything?!

Your first job in life -- number one -- is to love your kids with that I’d-die-for-them, I’d-die-without-them, unbelievable intensity that will provide them with the foundation they’ll need to become healthy, happy adults. Your spouse already is an adult!

Your second job in life is to socialize your kids, to give them the tools they’ll need to build their lives. Again, your spouse already has a life.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t love and support your spouse, too. Of course you should. No matter how bitter and vindictive she is.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Don't Know Much About Debauchery

I've only been to a strip club once. Turns out, I'm not a big fan. For one thing, I find it very frustrating to be sexually aroused in a room with a naked woman I'm not allowed to disappoint. I also don't like the idea of being horny with other horny men sitting all around me, especially in a room with bright colors and flashing lights. It's gross. It's like being in a bad episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse.

The guy who took me to this club is a friend of mine I'll call Mij. I'm sure he'd be embarrassed if I used his real name, so I've gone to the trouble of spelling it backwards. Mij is what I would call a sex addict. Not only does he own a lot of video porn, he has actually -- and I swear this is true -- tracked down some of his favorite porn actresses and paid them to have sex with him. He once showed me this chest he's got that's full of sex toys. It was unbelievable. My favorite was this battery-operated dildo with a little attachment at the top to stimulate the clitoris. Now, I've actually only seen two dildos in my life. One was given to me as a gag gift -- no pun intended -- and the other was this monstrosity from Mij's chest.

And when you flicked this switch on the thing, the -- what I can only hope is a grossly-oversized -- model of a penis begins to slowly rotate in slow circles, while the little attachment on top vibrates back and forth very quickly . It's actually kind of fun to try to do both at the same time, using your two forefingers. It's like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Try it right now. It's also a fun activity you can share with the kids.

Another reason I don't like strip clubs is that they make you feel like an idiot. The one time I went I was sitting at this table, nursing a six-dollar Diet Coke, when this scantily-clad woman walks up and asks if I'd like a private dance. The first thing that struck me when it happened was that this woman didn't look -- how can I put this? -- scuzzy. She looked, you know, average. The second thing that struck me was that she really wanted to give me a private dance. Out of all the gross, desperate, horny men in this room she had chosen me! Because, well frankly, there's something special about me. And though she has to take money for the dance, because that's her job, she'd do it for free if she could. 'Cause she likes me. No, no, I can tell, she really likes me!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Heaven

Name something you like. I bet it’s not in heaven. Sex? Sorry, lust is a sin. Can’t have it. Your career? Nope. There’s no money in heaven; nobody needs to work. Besides, as far as I can tell from studying the scriptures, all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all day and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first, oh, I don’t know, 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored. You like sports? Sorry, no competition allowed. Can’t have losers in heaven. Besides, no one is physically superior to anybody else in heaven. That’s not fair!

And who gets into heaven? I’m assuming that all of the people prior to the writing of the Bible have a free pass, right? They can’t be held accountable for not believing in something that hadn’t been invented yet. So, apparently there’ll be a lot of Neanderthals in heaven. As if the Republicans didn’t have enough of an advantage already.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Why All the Guilt?

Why is it that the psychologists in this country seem so intent on eliminating our sense of responsibility? You're an alcoholic? Hey, it's not your fault. It's a disease! You got a divorce? Come on, you were just doing what's best for your kids. And really, given your tragic history, who could blame you?

Whatever your history is, according to the experts, it's tragic. I'm sure that if Hitler had gone to a psychiatrist the guy would have said, "Adolf, why all the guilt? Look how you've been abused. My God, they rejected your art. They crushed your ego. It's no wonder you're killing Jews. How could you not kill Jews, holding all that pain inside?"

Friday, August 05, 2005

One Puny Little Vote

I don't vote. And I don't vote for pretty much the same reason I got a degree in philosophy, for the same reason I became a performer. I see everything on a grand scale. I'm not going to study accounting; I'm going to unravel the mystery of existence. I'm not going to sell insurance; I'm going to touch the lives of millions of people. And I'm not going to vote, because one puny little vote can't possibly make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

The problem is that I'm looking for my vote to have an effect out there in the real world. But I'm beginning to suspect that the real importance of voting is inside of me somewhere. Which, in a way, is what faith is all about.

Maybe if I voted I'd feel that I'm somehow woven into the tapestry of this country, and that working together we can accomplish great things -- maybe even elect an insensitive, mean-spirited, inarticulate elitist to the White House. Who knows?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Unintelligent Design

The most common argument for the existence of God is the argument by design. Which goes something like this (imagine I'm holding up a pocket watch):

"This watch didn't just suddenly come into existence. That's nonsense. It's extremely intricate, and was obviously designed. Therefore it had to be designed by somebody. Well, the intricacy of a watch pales compared to the intricacy of human life, right? Therefore somebody or something had to have designed us as well."

The current popular term for this is "Intelligent Design." Well, ignoring for the time being the specious logic of this argument, let's just ask ourselves if we are, in fact, all that intelligently designed.

Take procreation, for example. I have a hard time believing God sat up in heaven going, "Okay, let's see. They've gotta have sex in order to make babies, right? So let's have the man's little dangly thing there poke into that place where women don't have a dangly thing. It'll be painful, but luckily it won't last very long. Well, at least not for the man."

"Uh, sir, I've taken the liberty of naming the man's sexual organ the 'penis' and the woman's the 'vagina.' Also, I recommend that the act of sex be pleasurable, to ensure the survival of the species."

"I like it. Good thinking, Lucifer. You're gonna go far in this business."

"Also, sir, the penis appears to be a little too soft and pliable to be effectively inserted into the vaginal unit."

"Good point. Good point. Upon arousal the penis will harden. Huh?"

"Again, sorry to interrupt, but the vagina, as you in your infinite wisdom have designed it, is just a smidge too dry to facilitate insertion."

"I see. Upon arousal, the penis will harden, and the vagina will gush forth with a gooey green liquid that can be collected and used as a household cleaner."

"Interesting, but maybe a little too complicated. Why not have the vagina moisten just enough to make insertion possible?"

"Fine. Anyway, after several seconds of ecstatic pleasure, the immaculate will issue forth from the penis."

"Wait a minute, wait a minute. 'Immaculate,' I believe, is taken. Yes, here it is. We're using that to describe the birth of your son."

"Ah, yes. Little Theodore Christ. When was he to be born, again?"

"For the tenth time, Your Holiness, the birth is scheduled for the year Zero. Also, I thought we had agreed on the name Jesus."

"I don't like it. People will think he's Mexican. Anyway, in this stuff there will be millions of tiny little sperms. And just for the fun of it, lets have them all be blind and retarded. They'll swim around, bashing into the vaginal walls, totally confused. Ninety-nine-point-nine-nine percent will die before ever making it to the egg."

"You've outdone yourself again, sir."

What kind of a goofy system is that? In what way do millions of blind, retarded sperms indicate intelligent design? If I were God I'd have there be just one sperm, and it'd be huge. If you masturbated into a glass and looked in there, you'd see it swimming around like a big tadpole.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Jihad

I envy that fierce conviction that Muslims have. There's not a lot of comfort in believing that when you die it's over, and that eventually even the memory of your struggle to overcome your childhood, to understand yourself, to find some small measure of happiness on this tiny rock hurtling through space will be lost to eternity. Doesn't quite have the same ring as "living in Paradise with 72 virgins and everlasting happiness."

You know who I feel sorry for, by the way? The widow of a Jihad suicide bomber. Not only is her husband dead, he's off screwing virgins! That can't make her happy! He walks out the front door with a bomb strapped around him, and turns to her and says, "Honey, I know one day you'll join me in Paradise, but please, take your time!"

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Golden Rule Plus™

For me, one of the big problems with organized religions, like Christianity, is that they’re all about trying to make people “good.” The Church of Rick would be about making people happy. About a year ago I sat down and tried to think of all of the things in my life that have brought me real happiness over the years. I’m not talking about little pleasures like eating Doritos, or watching TV, or seeing my friends fail. I’m talking about the things that really made me hum. And I realized that they all had this one thing in common. They were all about doing the right thing.

The reason Cooper and Jack bring me so much happiness is that I can’t help but do the right thing where they’re concerned. The lure of pleasure never gets in the way of my doing what’s best for my boys. So, the basic doctrine of the Church of Rick would be the Christian Golden Rule. But with a little twist.

My best friend Dave is always telling me that I don’t love myself, so I don’t treat myself nearly as well as I should, which I’ve come to discover is actually a very common problem. So, our Golden Rule would be: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and do unto yourself as you would do unto others.”