...and I've been way too busy.
First of all...It's banned books week. Celebrate. Go out and read a book that someone says you shouldn't. Read a Harry Potter book. Read To Kill a Mockingbird. Read Catcher in the Rye (you read it...I've had to read it three different times for classes, and I hated it worse every single time, but you might like it, so read it).
This is the week that libraries promote all of the books that people complain about because they're too politically correct, or not politically correct enough, or that they're took explicit, or have too many "bad" words. The flyer I got at the library refers you to www.ala.org/bbooks, so I will, too. If that link doesn't work for you, try Googling "American Library Association". That'll probably get you there.
Over at the United Nations the other day Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, called George Bush "el diablo"...that's "The Devil" for all you non-Spanish speakers.
Now, I'm not a big Dubya fan. You'll know that if you've read this blog. Didn't vote for him. Don't trust him as far as I could throw a piano. But that "el diablo" stuff didn't set well with me. I thought about that for awhile, because it bothers me when I feel like I'm siding with him. But if finally occurred to me. It's like family. You can insult your own family all you want, but when someone outside the family does it, well, them's fightin' words. He's our president, part of our national family, and those of us who don't like him and don't agree with his policies criticize him liberally. (Get it? Liberally?...Ah, sheesh. I know it was bad. Never mind.) But when someone from outside the family starts in, it just doesn't sit right.
Anyway, Hugo was wrong. George Bush isn't the Devil.
As we all know, Dick Cheney is "el diablo".
And then there's the Pope.
First, a disclaimer. I'm not Catholic. I don't have any interested "side" in this one. But...
I don't think that anyone who hasn't read the full speech that Benedict XVI gave in Germany on Septebmer 12 has much of a place commenting on it, much less criticizing it. I've read the full text. And, yeah, you can argue, I suppose, that he could have used another example to make his point. But he did use that example. He didn't say it was what he believed. He just used it as a "for instance".
The thing is, he was arguing what I think is a really good point: that violence doesn't have any place in religion, but that reason does. In this day and age, when few enough people subject their faith to any serious reasoning and when way, way too many people think that the first thing they should do when they feel that any of their deeply held beliefs...religious or secular...has been insulted, is to go out and blow up a few buildings and kill a few people, this is a very important message that everyone needs to hear, no matter what side of the God thing you come down on.
So, you know, leave the Pope alone, on this one at least.
Oh, and one personal thing.
Some slimeball tried to steal my car the other night. Didn't get away with it, but they managed to jam the ignition all to hell and I'm going to have to have it replaced. And I've had to rent a car to get around in because the parts have to be flown in from Ohio or somewhere, and the guy who's doing the work won't be able to have it fixed until Wednesday or Thursday. Which is fine. He got out to look at it when he said he would, he's charging me a reasonable price for doing it, and I didn't have the car towed because he has a mobile service.
But it is costing me money to get it fixed, and to rent the car for several days. Just because some idiot doesn't understand the concept of "if it isn't yours, don't freaking touch it." And I've thought about it seriously. An academic exercise...the very nice police officer didn't dust my car for prints, but another car parked within feet of mine was also broken into, and Slimeball was wearing gloves, so they won't be catching him, at least for this caper...but I've decided what his punishment should be. No, not jail. Not flogging. Not having his right hand chopped off.
No. If they ever were to catch him, and let me assign punishment, I know exactly what I'd do. I'd make him write, "If it is not mine, I will not touch it" one million times. And the whole time, he'd have to listen to a continuous loop recording of Whitney Houston singing "I Will Always Love You", Celine Dion singing that horrible song from Titanic, and Britney Spears singing anything.
That'd teach him.