March 14, 2007

Hell, Emerson, & Oprah

A few random thoughts and link-sausages...

First, Trousered Ape imagines criminals "Ralpie & Lou" back when the three-named were honored and revered:
WORCESTER, MASS - November 16, 1863: Merchants and bankers throughout New England are breathing more easily today as a period has been put to the lawless career of notorious bandits “Ralphie and Lou.”

The outlawed couple, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 60, and Louisa May Alcott, 31, both of Concord in this State, met their deaths in a hail of lead from the firearms of the Worcester constabulary, assisted by elements of the erstwhile 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, home after service in the North Carolina theatre.
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Guinness consumption, like church attendence, is falling in Ireland. 'Nuff said.
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Ellyn's post on Oprah reminded me of a 30 Rock episode I just watched. One of the characters was asked which religion she belonged to and she replied, "I do whatever Oprah tells me."

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I'm sort of surprised by how many people joke about hell. No one jokes about getting cancer and dying a painful death. Maybe because they don't believe in it. Or maybe they see it as an impossibility for themselves. Maybe a defense mechanism - humor to defuse tension. Or perhaps just a dramatic flourish, an attention-getter.

Coming from non-believers, it's to be expected since they don't believe in an afterlife. Thus Cyndi Lauper can say she's going to hell for making fun of Catholicism. Or AC/DC can sing "Highway to Hell". Or the Pogues can sing, with relish, "If I Should Fall From the Grace of God".

The great hobo singer "Boxcar" Willie sang "Ain't Gonna Be My Day" in which he described progressively unfortunate events happening to him, culminating in St. Peter turning him away from the Gates.

Walker Percy joked about it in a letter to Shelby Foote. Mentioned a devout Catholic - I think Flannery O'Connor - and then said that two out of three of them are going to hell, and then implied Flannery wasn't one of the two.

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On a happier note, Miami Redhawk announcers feel the exhilaration. They're not 'homers' are they?

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