Secular Sunday — with Late Breaking Important Suzanne News!!!
An old school, on paper, Webster’s New World definition of today’s theme:
Secular – of or relating to worldly things as distinguished from things relating to church and religion; not sacred or religious; temporal; worldly.
Ahhhh! Let me start simply, just as they like to vocalize on the local TV ads for the current wandering minstrel Monster Truck Show coming to an arena near us out here in the hinterlands, it’s — Sunday! Sunday!! Sunday!!!*
*(early MM connection S2E4, “Three Sundays”)
Sundays, growing up Catholic in western Pee-Aaaaay!, could be unsettling and unfulfilling days. There was too much to do in just twenty-four hours. It was primarily a day of leisure and it was Dad’s one full day home, away from his business, so it meant family dinner out and the pageantry and pomp of attending Mass had to be worked in there too. It was usually a major local sports day also.
In the fall and early winter in the 1970’s the Steelers commanded attention every week. As the winter days rolled into spring, the Penguins served as a middling distraction. Then the summer and fall had Pirate baseball (less of me is old enough to recall when these guys were more than a Triple A farm team dressed up and pretending to be a Major League franchise) on Sunday afternoons.
I remember 1970, my dad took me and my brother to a Sunday double header versus the Chicago Cubs; this was our first big league spectating of a live game together. Pushing through the turnstiles into the crowded concourse, we were trying not to get separated from the big guy as he said “let’s get some food” and made a dash for the nearest concession stand. It’s about twelve-thirty on a soon to be hot summer day, his one day of the week off, and Pop wanted a beer. Or two or . . . well, it was rather warm and we were there for two games and he was thirsty.
During the course of the afternoon, Dad was explaining the infield-fly rule, and telling old stories about himself and our grandfather going to games, and commenting on the overall talent of the players and the smarts and not-so-smarts of the coaches, when the umpire makes a call that brings a sudden cheer from the crowd. Of course that means the call went against the visiting Cubbies and out of the dugout bolts their manager. And in this one moment in time, this one old guy arguing about a difference of opinion triggers a reaction from my dad that became my first true revelation of his very human, very complex, personality.
He cupped his hands near his mouth to help project a loud baritone — BOOOOOOO!!!!
The partisan crowd was into it too but Dad really let loose; he stood up and it bellowed forth even better. BOOOOOO!!!
Then as the Cubs manager kicked some dirt around to convey his continued dissatisfaction with the call, I learned my father could also kick it up a notch.
“Leo-o-o! You stink! Siddown you bum! You stink!”
Dad had an apparently deep-seeded personal animosity for Leo Durocher that he could no longer suppress. He continued for a few minutes riffing on variations of this proclamation; I don’t remember the details but he kept it PG-13 I think; he never went “blue”. But he kept at it with gusto, even after Leo had disappeared, having grudgingly returned to the bench. As play began again, Dad sat down with this big Cheshire cat grin on his mug and hailed the beer vendor and told me and my brother about how he had hated Durocher from way back when, for something, something he had done when Dad was a kid. I forget the particulars. They don’t matter.
What does matter is this was my first insight into the duplicitous game we humans play with our identity and image. Until that outburst I had never seen my father act that passionately in public about anything. He ran his own business so wasn’t at home very much. Mom dished out the day-to-day discipline if needed. When he was around, Dad would stay out of the negative stuff for the most part all together, maybe play good cop once in awhile, trying to explain why Mom was so pissed and why and what I needed to do better. He was affectionate and caring, I experienced a great deal of his nice side. And every time I saw him at work he was always very controlled and professional with his customers and employees.
Of course these were the impressions of an eight year-old at the time but that was the person he projected himself to be to me up until that Leo-o-o rant, as just a fan in the crowd, when a few brews uninhibited him enough to reveal the less polished, more corporal edges of his nature; of human nature really. Needless to say, I didn’t figure this all out back then; I was no pre-teen prodigy with regard to the human psyche but the Big Guy Role Model for me was now permanently chipped; disfigured. The sinew and bone were exposed a little and some blood dripped out. I wouldn’t completely forget that. I wasn’t disgusted or disillusioned or disappointed nor scarred for life; I was thoroughly fascinated. This meant there was something more to “The World’s Greatest Dad”; something I could relate to further down the road perhaps; something more meaningful and important than the manufactured, synthetic, spotlessly white, Team America uniform the managers of our great society demand all its better players to wear, if they wish to be in the starting line-up and cash a decent paycheck.
Obviously the Sterling Coopers of Capitalism have much to do with preserving and sustaining society’s continued addiction to this bogus role model charade. There is much moola to be made doncha know; many sheep to be sheared. Observant readers now smell a Tiger Woods article coming soon. LOM will not disappoint in this regard. It will be my Xmas gift to you.
I think recognizing the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the product that rolls out of the Role Model factory in our culture is an essential skill all human beings should learn to practice and develop, the earlier in life the better.
I wish to thank Iron City beer and the enraging, but now late, Leo “the Lip” Durocher for being such inspiration to my dad and to me.
Today I realized I have to start secular Sunday on Saturday because I got delayed by mundane, worldly events this morning (leaky washing machine hoses fit the very definition of temporal items so I was being privately secular the whole fucking time), and I didn’t get to do much more than skim my favorite godless blogs. Therefore I’m just going to link you up to some of Pharyngula’s (the home page link is in the blog roll any time you want it) recent irreverence and pray to dog that’s okay with everyone this week. Ha, ha!!!!
And as bonus motivation for me to start earlier on this next time, I’m amused by the fact I will be violating the Sabbath in conducting my advance preparation for desecrating the Lord’s Day. Win-win for the non-believer!
The heretic (used as a term of admiration of course) who runs that place, PZ Myers, is currently skirmishing with Master Skeptic, the Amazing Randi, about Randi’s recent opinions about the global warming issue and the give-and-take is entertaining and interesting. Intuitively both parties should be on the same side of this topic but Randi wants to take his skepticism all the way to the end of the universe it seems and this creates some problems for PZ who prefers to work on this in a more earthly plane.
A few weeks prior, Myers also posted this explanation of why he doesn’t like the ritual thanking of the Thanksgiving season and I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with him.
The holiday spirit began to sour for me when I was around fourteen. There was always tension around Thanksgiving because my sets of grandparents would battle to see whose house the grandkids went to for dinner. The losing elders would generally get us kiddies for the primetime visit on Christmas Day as salve for the Turkey Day snub. Add to this joyously brutal competition the facts my mom’s dad did not like my father much and the economy was in a pronounced recession at a time when all five children were functioning at the peak of their most greedy egocentric potential, it’s not surprising I lost my Christmas Spirit then and there. Well I didn’t lose the Spirit figuratively as much as it was savagely beaten out of me; and while unconscious and wheezing, it was tossed in the dump with desiccated, no longer evergreens, and ached to be torched out of its misery as quickly as the Heat Miser could get to work.
That observation of the reality of basic, simple humanness later helped me reason my way into atheism, and atheism firmly grounds me in the present temporal world, so I don’t feel the need to reflexively thank an indifferent universe for the nature of my existence. I choose instead to thank my sister and her pals for coming to dinner. I thank the rest of my family and friends for tolerating the inevitable times my general human disagreeableness gets in their faces. And I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for brandishing his noodly appendage, just for laughs.
And last but not least this Secular Sunday, a word about Suzanne Farrell.
BREAKING NEWS!!! Breaking news from the Madiverse!! BREAKING NEWS!!
Aha! All you Suzanne Haters. AH-FUCKING-HA!!
She will be back in Season Four as Don Draper’s date nut bread baking, “I-have-a-dream”-speech teaching, epileptic brother-loving, in-the-dark-before-dawn running, sweet little Sally-mentoring, “I-want-to-scream” love doll and all-around excellent paramour , AND . . . get this . . . wait for it . . . hold on to something sturdy now, this will rock your Suzie-hating world but good . . . wait for it . . .
The truth lies, people, we all know this, but internet photos most certainly do not. Get used to the reality of it. It will be better if you will deal with this now. Come to terms with it or you will hate next season nine times as much as you disliked Season Three.
There’s enough disharmony in the uncaring universe, come walk with LOM into the light!
Remember this Secular Sunday evening: eat all your veggies, wash behind your ears and no praying or worshipping until after midnight! Peace.