Friday, January 25, 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent... or Just Guilty.

A few nights ago it was my pleasure to pick up Ed at the airport upon his long anticipated return from Puerto Rico. I arrived early, so I looped around the airport roads for nearly 45 minutes as I waited for him to get his bags. We had some difficultly locating each other, so I told him to meet me at a specific exit where I had seen a sign that allowed for 5 minute parking for passenger pick-up. I pulled to the curb at said location when a man with a flashlight motioned for me to move on. I shook my head no and held up a finger to signal "wait a second." He motioned with the light more emphatically, and I again gestured in the same manner. The next thing I know, he shines the light in my face, blows on a whistle, and is pounding on my window. As I rolls the window down, he YELLS at me to produce my drivers license. I tried to explain to him that my party was meeting me here imminently, or at least to ask him where the hell I could meet him (because I was NOT looping around one more time)! However, he wouldn't even let me get a word in edgewise as he screamed that I was getting a parking ticket!! Ed arrived shortly after this initial exchange to find an outraged Craig swearing at the rent-a-cop and calling him an "asshole" among other things. I was incensed because I am rarely presented with such unreasonableness! It was only during our heated exchange that he informed me of places where I COULD park and wait for Ed. That might have been information initially offered rather than his clearly inappropriate actions. Furthermore, how can one get a ticket in a 5-minute parking zone when one has been there for less than thirty seconds?

At any rate, speaking of Puerto Rico reminds me to post some pics:


I found the following article particularly insightful and entertaining. Perspective has always fascinated me in the way it shapes our opinions and actions.


THE WORLD'S gone mad.

A major Hollywood star appears devoid of all common sense when it comes to matters of religion, and the same malady is on display in the life of a leading presidential contender.

First, there's Tom Cruise. According to the just-out unauthorized biography of Cruise by Andrew Morton, one of filmdom's biggest stars is now an enlightened leader of the sect whose members believe that deceased founder L. Ron Hubbard will soon re-emerge. Hubbard died in 1986, but Morton writes that Scientologists have detailed preparations for his return that include maintaining apartments around the world complete with some of his personal property.

Morton reports that the motto of the Church of Scientology is "We Come Back," and claims that Hubbard was expected to return 20 years after his death.

Which is why when Tom Cruise's wife, Katie Holmes, became pregnant, "True believers were convinced that Tom's spawn would be the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard," Morton writes.

Scientology issued a statement calling the book a "bigoted, defamatory assault." But, of course, these are the same people who believe that 75 million years ago an intergalactic warlord injected millions of alien souls into earth's atmosphere, that those aliens, called Thetans, continue attaching to human bodies today, and that these Thetans harbor the "false ideas" of organized religion and are the root of all the world's problems.

At least Tom Cruise is just a celluloid leader, and not, say, the chief executive of the free world.

That role is being sought by a man who adheres to a religion founded in 1830 by a farmboy named Joseph Smith. Smith told his followers that he had been visited by Jesus and charged - at age 14 - with restoring the purity of the church. One of his religion's primary texts, the Book of Mormon, was drawn from gold plates buried in the ground. Today, participants wear special undergarments to remind them of the tenets of their faith, and refrain from drinking anything with caffeine in it.

No wonder some Americans are reluctant to support Mitt Romney for president. A Gallup poll conducted in the days after Romney delivered his "Faith in America" speech found that 17 percent of voters said they wouldn't vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. That's the same result Gallup got when asking a similar question about Romney's father, Michigan Gov. George Romney, when he was running for president.

NO DOUBT THESE people are largely Christians (like me) and Jews.

We're clearly aided by an ability to spot a whopper when we hear one, a skill obviously lacking in Scientologists and Mormons. Maybe it's our grounding in the Old and New Testament that enables us to easily size up the preposterous nature of the customs that guys like Cruise and Romney follow.

I'm thinking we have certain street smarts emanating from our belief in the Good Book that's given us the ability to filter out obviously bogus beliefs.

After all, we know that the earth was created in seven days, and that the son of its creator was born to a virgin mother. Indeed, a star over Bethlehem led three wise men to the scene of Jesus' birth, and, 30 years later, he walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee.

If only the Mormons and Scientologists would take the time to read those stories - and with them learn about the great flood that Noah survived by building an ark and loading two of each animal onboard, or the drowning of Pharaoh's army after Moses parted the Red Sea - they'd surely come to their senses over the obviously fictitious lore surrounding L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith.

Heck, say what you will in this time of war with radical Islam, but not even Muslims would fall for the trappings of faith that Cruise and Romney have.

Islam, too, is founded on the sound perspective of the Koran, including the idea of 72 virgins standing ready in heaven to greet those who've achieved martyrdom.

Truly, one man's faith is another man's bunkum.

Well said! Faith is not a matter of logic, and customs and traditions certainly taint our perceptions of what is "normal." Furthermore, the candidates before us are running for President NOT Pope (or Priest)! I like Romney (among others) for his policies and his proven ability in administrative roles. I could care less about his professed religion.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oh, The Sweetest Thing

While getting ready for a New Year's Eve party, I asked Ed to choose between two shirts I was considering. He pointed at one and commented how he liked that one because I wore it at a certain recital. Because this recital occurred three years ago, and Ed isn't the type to pay much attention to such things, I incredulously asked him why he remember that. He smiled and simply stated "I had a crush on you."