Friday, September 10, 2010

Me and Pastor Jones

All I’ve ever asked in my youth was that everyone — or at least everyone in the cool, desirable group — love me and be in awe of my genius. Late in my twenties, it occurred to me that I might, owing to certain increasingly undeniable personality flaws, have to settle for being universally regarded as brilliant. As the decades have flown past, I have come finally to accept that maybe the most I can hope for is local fame, or even infamy.

In this regard, I don’t see why Pastor Terry Jones, who’s become globally famous because of his intention to incinerate the Qu’ran, has all the luck. Even if he doesn’t light a match, he’ll almost certainly be offered a book deal, and be asked to pose for Playgirl. I won’t be remotely surprised if he turns up a guest judge for next season’s American Idol. He will not be able to eat a restaurant meal anywhere in the Redneck Belt without being told at the end that it was on the house. He will receive proposals of marriage and offers of fellatio from women with artificially inflated breasts, in the same way that convicted serial murderers do.

I am green with envy.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me — that is, I’m too lazy to consult Wikipedia — but I’m willing to bet that there are nearly as many Roman Catholics in the world as Muslims, and I am more than happy to offend them grievously. You may recall that, when I lived in northern California in the mid-1980s, I briefly owned a papal supplies shop, most of whose clientele consisted of delusional Catholics. If it will get me interviewed on CNN, I would be prepared to desecrate the autographed photo of Pope John Paul I proudly displayed behind the shop’s cash register, above the first dollar we took in.

Oh, Christ. You know what I just remembered? That Sinead O’Connor tore up a photo of His Holiness on Saturday Night Live several years ago. How about the Zoroastrians then? I could draw a mustache or even devil horns on a painting of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra, as in Also Spake). Or, since Zoroastrianism is known also as Mazdaism, I could snap off the antennas of a few MX-5 Miatas. I’m willing to work with you here, world media!

This just in: Donald Trump has selflessly offered to buy the building that was going to house the A-Few-Blocks-From-Ground-Zero Mosque for 25 percent more than the jihadists had offered. If the building’s owner accepts the offer, it’ll solve the problem of our great nation’s Palinists being mortally offended by Muslim insensitivity. My hunch, though, is that it’s a done deal, and that the Donald, as usual, is just showing off. But I have a wonderful idea involving him. How about if, instead of lighting Korans on fire, the Rev. Jones is offered the opportunity to burn the Donald at the stake? I think everyone would come out ahead. The Muslim World sees both that we Americans respect their holy text, but that we do burn exemplars of greed and self-aggrandizement. And we, as Americans, have to hear no more about the motherfucker, with his stupid pout and ludicrous coiffure.

In other news, I have admitted to enjoying Mad Men recently, but there’s one thing I can’t pretend to understand. Key characters are forever smoking, and then leaping into bed with each other. Said leaping, you would think, would involve what used to be known as French kissing. I remember kissing a young woman smoker in 1979, and feeling, in the words of Kim Basinger (describing her experience with Mickey Rourke while shooting 9-1/2 Weeks) as though putting my tongue into an overflowing ashtray. How, in the days when everyone chainsmoked, did anyone bear it?

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