February 21, 2010: I knew it wouldn't last. Reporting emotional memories is fine for some people, but a nasty-minded cur like myself can't quell the compulsion to simply observe and criticize.
That said, how ridiculous is Ash Wednesday?! I mean, really. These people are all walking around with soot on their foreheads. It's comical. Belief is one thing, but how do you convince yourself it's in your best interests to put soot on your face and walk around in public. Doesn't that strike anyone as particularly strange?
It got me to thinking that if the Catholic church -- (these people are Catholics, right? I can't keep them straight) -- ordered everyone to rub dog feces on their foreheads, they'd do that too. Given the directive, they'd bow solemnly before the head honcho and offers words of thanks in Latin while a schmeer of foul excrement was rubbed ceremoniously below the hairline. "Go in peace ..."
Of course, to be fair, other religions do ridiculous things too, and believe me, I think they're just as stupid. One group still won't let women show their faces in public -- even the pretty ones! One group makes the children shave their heads and grow long, dangling sideburns. There are many others, but I can't think of them, nor do I possess the energy to find out about them, so you'll just have to trust me on this -- almost all religions are precariously built upon some kind of ridiculous ritual or another, and anyone who adheres to these weird practices has some small degree of moron in their soul. (No offense. You know I love all of you unconditionally.)
Someone once asked my friend Rick M. about religion. "I'll show ya my religion," he barked between pulls on a cigarette. "It's on a mountaintop."
I don't know why I find this funny, but I do. Perhaps if more people took the rituals of religion less seriously and the spirituality of humor more so, the world would be a less weird place.