My Spiritual Awakening at Olive Garden

It was the night of the blood moon lunar eclipse, and much like a werewolf, I felt a powerful urge commanding me to venture into the night and troll some of the villagers. Well, maybe I was not so much like a werewolf. I felt more like Garfield the comic book cat, as this impulse came with a ravenous craving for pasta.

This happens to me frequently, as I am a devout Pastafarian, which basically means I am atheist (or agnostic, if there’s even a difference) who occasionally enjoys a good plate of spaghetti. I’m considering going on a low-carb diet and converting to the Church of Bacon in the near future, but on this particular Sunday, the Flying Spaghetti Monster tapped my shoulder with his noodley appendage and sweetly invited me to take communion.

Unfortunately, it was 8:45 pm, which in my sleepy neighborhood is considered late-night dining. Most of the restaurants were closing in 15 minutes and it normally takes me that long to locate my car keys. The nicer nearby Italian restaurants were no longer a viable option, and the only local establishment with an open kitchen was, to my dismay, an Olive Garden.

I always feel like I’m acting snobbish when I say I don’t like the Olive Garden. By no means am I a high-class dame or a nit-picky foodie, but every time I give it another chance I wind up thinking, “that food’s not very good.” That said, in our neighborhood, the Olive Garden’s parking lot is always jammed packed with cars, so clearly they must be doing something right.

I took my boyfriend to dinner and was initially impressed. There was a decent wine selection, cool décor, and the menu wasn’t silly with items like deep-fried spaghetti jalapeno poppers. Our waitress, who was bubbly and attentive, served me a nice carafe of pinot noir, accompanied by one of those cheesy logo wine glasses with grapes etched on the side to remind servers that wine goes into this glass, and ends at the bottom of the grapes. The food was still unremarkable – sweaty, salty bread sticks and college dorm spaghetti – but with the right wine, atmosphere, and company, I was at ease, and enjoyed the overall experience.

Then the waitress came back with our tab and a special hand-written card, asking me to have a blessed day and to like her Jesus page on Facebook. (I blocked the name to protect the innocent, perhaps even angelic).

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This waitress had been exceedingly friendly and provided excellent service, so I still gave her a good tip. I tried to suppress my natural liberal, knee-jerk reaction of haughty irritation, but I couldn’t help glaring at the card, and being haughtily irritated.

My boyfriend, who was raised in a very religious household and is not prone to liberal, knee-jerk reactions, was amused. “Maybe she took one look at us and just knows we’re going to hell,” he speculated.

No. This wasn’t an act of judgment. She probably gives this same card to all her diners. She was not rude – quite the opposite. This was perpetuated more in the spirit of “I’m promoting my boyfriend’s band. Please like and share their Facebook page,” but even that would elicit an eye roll from most patrons.

I imagine most customers would gruffly dismiss a “Vote for Bobby Jindal” message, annoyed a server would even consider pushing a political belief when all that was requested was some over-rated bread sticks.

This lovely server had no knowledge of my religious beliefs. She was blithely unaware that I was actively practicing communion as she slipped her message in under a ridiculously large pile of after-dinner mints.

I crossed my thumbs, bowed my fingers, and said a quiet little prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, asking Him to lay his noodley appendage upon our waitress in understanding. I prayed He would forgive this transgression, gently show her the error of her ways, and somehow stop her from delivering such messages to future patrons. Perhaps He could bless her with 30 more years of serving spaghetti and meatballs to local Pastafarians eager to feel His love in a Jesus-free Olive Garden.

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I imagine this is the kind of prayer a devout Christian would perform if, let’s say, a Muslim server asked them to follow their “For the Love of Muhammad” Twitter feed. Assuming, of course, they would only pray, and not issue a complaint to the manager. I would never issue such a complaint, though I should have left a little card on the table, inviting her to like and share my Uncouth Marie page.

Upon my return home, I looked closely at this card, reading it over and over again, until both the card and the Facebook page it promoted became my single-minded obsession.

I’ve lived in the United States for over 40 years and no one has ever once mentioned this Jesus fellow to me before. Could this be the day? The day where Jesus finally, through the divine actions of this Olive Garden server, tap me to become born again? Did God try to reach me through that pile of after-dinner mints and say “NOW you must believe in My son’s divinity and enjoy eternal life at my side. You will savor these never ending bread sticks with the weirdly chunky crusts, for they represent Jesus’s body. His blood is actually better represented by the Cavit pinot noir – you will need to upgrade your wine choice next time.”

Since this miraculous card appeared in my life, I spend every waking hour at the church and have committed the Bible to memory.

Well….. not really.

I mean, hey, it’s the Olive Garden. Not Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

And quite frankly, far more aggressive Christians have tried and failed.


Back in my early years as a retail sales girl, I had a co-worker trap me in a fitting room and coerce me to pray to Jesus. She begged out loud for Him to save my soul and help me be a better friend to my friends. This woman knew nothing about me or my friendships – she was just bat shit crazy.

She did this to other co-workers as well. Some were Christians who didn’t mind, and the rest found their own methods of escaping her lunacy without reporting it to management. Even if a Christian is acting wildly inappropriate, it sucks to be a tattle-tale or to fight back because then you end up feeling like the intolerant liberal stereotype. And yelling at someone because they want to share their love for Jesus makes you look like a total dick.

My tactic was to lie and say I was Jewish. That seemed to stop her, though I was always nervous she would actually ask me questions about Judaism, as I was uninterested in layering up the bullshit.


Just a couple of weeks ago, I encountered a bunch of aggressive Christians who wanted to, yet again, harsh my mellow. I took about a dozen of my Hoosier friends to Cincinnati’s incredible Oktoberfest, where 500,000 drunks line the streets to drink craft beer, eat fantastic German food, listen to tuba music, and lock arms in the world’s largest chicken dance. My friends, being the bad ass super drinkers that they are, were already three sheets to the wind upon arrival.

We chicken danced, purchased funny hats, joyously clinked beer mugs, and then stumbled into a group of Christians who adamantly wanted to warn us about the dreaded hell fire each of us would inevitably face for imbibing alcohol. These Christians were decidedly not joyous. In fact, they seemed rather irritated at having to explain their position to extremely intoxicated people.

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume these Christians were not specifically invited by the City of Cincinnati to hold court in the middle of Oktoberfest and shame festival-goers for behavior heavily endorsed and encouraged by the festival planners. These Christians crashed the party and then had the nerve to insult the guests to their face. That’s very rude. A good party crasher blends in, is kind to party-goers, and sneaks off with a few refreshments. Apparently, these people didn’t read Emily Post’s Etiquette book.

Drunken revelers from all faiths lined up for the chance to either yell at these zealots, or to slur drunken logic in a calm, rational, “I hope I don’t vomit on your shoes” manner. My friends and I gathered around one zealot in particular, whom I will call “Lil Rod,” as that was the singular name tattooed down his arm in what appeared to be prison ink. I’m not sure if this tattoo was meant to indicate his name, a beloved/departed friend, his favorite gangsta rapper, or his own diminutive penis. I just know the Bible frowns upon tattoos, but on that point, I’ll digress.

Lil Rod wore an expression of calm indifference, trying not to get injured or be clawed at by the mob. His eyes, sometimes getting as big as saucers, almost seemed to blink in Morse code “get me out of here,” as he rotely relayed his hell fire messages. One Christian drunk seemed incredibly agitated that Lil Rod would dare demonize him on behalf of their mutual lord and savior. I thought it was going to come to blows as this particular Christian was quite aggressive and mean-looking, even in lederhosen and an alpine hat.

One of my girlfriends took her turn with Lil Rod, giving up on logic quickly and then asking him if he was okay. She was genuinely concerned, as he looked like a captive who rightfully feared for his safety. Ultimately, after a “please don’t touch me” request, Lil Rod was gracious enough to pose with my friend, though he refused to smile.

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My friends all encountered this Christian mob. It was a very sobering experience. We all stopped drinking right then and there in deference to their noble efforts.

That night, after all my guests returned to my home, we formed a prayer circle, tearfully asking Jesus to forgive us and save us from eternal damnation. We each took turns emptying beer cans out into the street while reciting the Lord’s prayer. We burned a Dos Equis cardboard cut-out of The Most Interesting Man in the World in effigy. Bottles of whiskey, bourbon, and vodka were crushed. The only bottle that remained was some Cavit pinot noir, which we shared with some shitty Olive Garden bread sticks in communion.


Look, I’m happy for anybody who finds purpose and meaning in their life in any capacity, be it through Jesus, the Old Testament, Allah, science, witch covens, yoga, family, or simply the love of a loyal houseplant.

My personal belief is that humans discussing the origins and meaning of the universe are very much like goldfish in a small fishbowl discussing the origins and meaning of the entire Earth. While such conversation can be intriguing and a great way to pass the hours, they have no idea what they’re talking about and never will. It is my humble opinion that as an extremely limited being, unable to see all the colors, hear all the sounds, or even use half of my brain’s capacity, I will never understand the world or the meaning of life, because I am clearly not meant to. The universe is probably much weirder than I can ever possibly imagine, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I don’t need any more answers.

Nor do I need any more warnings about what hell fire will burn my eternal soul should I make a single misstep during my nano-second of a lifespan. I just want to enjoy my life, face my own consequences, and let the truth reveal itself to me if and when it’s ready.

If you, the zealot, can agree to simply leave me alone and let me enjoy my spaghetti without a side of religion, I will agree never to come into your church with a giant sign and start shouting about how drinking is cool. I will never pass you a card that invites you to visit a satanic Facebook page. Most importantly, I will never stand on a street corner and scream about your transgressions through a bull horn in an effort to publicly demean you for victimless crimes and various bad habits.

That would be rude, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster hates rudeness.

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Why My Ovaries May Force Me to Vote for Hillary

For the record, I am not a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

While I don’t think she will lead our country to ruin, I certainly don’t think she will usher in a new dawn of prosperity. Hillary is the establishment. She’s lackluster. She will bring more of the same – unconvincing speeches about how she’s one of the people, agendas that prioritize the needs of lobbyists over those of her constituents, and of course, legislation bottle-necked by a divided Congress that she’s certainly not capable of uniting.

She’s stiff, phony, and uninspiring. Nobody really wants to have a beer with this woman. But here’s a fun fact that may prompt you to jump on the Hillary bandwagon: She’s the only candidate running with a reasonable shot at winning the 2016 presidential election who also has a vagina.

Let me repeat: She has a vagina.

I know what you’re thinking. “Marie, you shouldn’t care about genitalia. You should vote for the candidate you feel is most qualified to run our nation.” And you know what? My brain TOTALLY agrees with you.

My ovaries, however, say “Fuck you. Do you know how long we’ve been waiting for this?!?”

Think my ovaries are being unreasonable? Well then please allow me to paint a picture of what it would be like if women had always dominated American politics and regularly introduced legislation affecting men’s bodies and their reproductive rights. I’m guessing every man alive when faced with the horror of this situation would immediately vote for the first viable candidate with a swinging dick – no questions asked.

So please, jump down the rabbit hole with me, and enter a world where men are the political minority.


Campaign Posturing

Imagine a world where women dominate every election season while trying to be as warm, sweet, and nurturing as possible. Instead of making appearances at local watering holes in an attempt to fit in with the “regular joes,” by talking about their favorite sports teams, candidates would customarily visit beauty salons and get mani-pedis with working-class gals while gossiping about celebrities. Instead of wanting to grab a beer with the person you elect, imagine wanting to sip some chardonnay.

How about that old tradition of presidential candidates getting dressed up in camouflage and taking their buddies on a hunting trip? How many times have you seen this macho demonstration of a candidate responsibly exercising his second amendment rights?

What if instead of hunting, the primarily female pool of candidates tried to outclass one another in book clubs? What if you saw election season pictures like this of women responsibly exercising their first amendment rights by reading and discussing controversial, thought-provoking books?

Politicians wearing hard hats, talking to construction workers, and pointing at random things is such a cliché that there are now websites dedicated to mocking this practice. What if we replaced that old chestnut with female politicians who throw on scrubs, point at random charts with nurses, and maybe even visit a few sick kids? Instead of focusing on working class men who make infrastructure improvements, politicians would finally give a little credit to working-class women who make life improvements.

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What if male body parts were legislated on by female politicians who never attended a health class?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if ignorant female politicians started expressing asinine opinions about the male anatomy? This is what I picture:

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Politicians have been fixated on female bodies for a very long time. Laws concerning female nipples, breastfeeding, and healthcare requirements are constantly being enacted. In fact, it’s quite typical that in any given year, 700+ pieces of legislation will be introduced in Congress with the intent to restrict, control, or otherwise regulate women’s reproductive rights. Congress never seems to give a rat’s ass about men’s bodies.

But what if that all changed? What if Congress and religious moderates believed that life truly began in the nut sack, and that sperm control was their sacred duty? I know some of my examples are a bit silly, but it takes two people to make a baby, yet regulations are only made against women.

Instead of groups of men like this forming a counsel on women’s health issues (true story)…

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..what if panels of women looking like this spoke to Congress about how men should be managing their various body parts and excretions?

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Here are some fun topics they could cover:

> It’s considered a lewd, sexual act to expose a man’s nipple or hairy ass crack in public.

> If a man impregnates a woman, he must live with her for the entire pregnancy, wear sympathy pregnancy pillows, and help her during the delivery.

> Vasectomies should be made illegal unless it’s a medical requirement. Why deprive even one child their right to exist on this planet?

> Men considering masturbation should be required to visit a sexual therapist or be forced to look at pictures of smiling children to remind them of the sadness of wasted sperm.

> Legislation should be made against intentionally wasted masturbatory sperm; men caught ejaculating into socks should be shamed as though they were abandoning their own offspring.

> Boys under the age of 18 must get their parent’s signature to buy condoms.

> Condoms and boner pills should never be covered under the Affordable Care Act.


What About War?

What if Congress spent all their time deciding on which diplomatic tactics to employ every time Isis beheads a reporter? What if knee-jerk cries of war were looked down upon as the irrational and overly emotional “manly” thing to do? What if sending missile and drone attacks was considered a sign of weakness, while diplomatic charm and skillful negotiation was how we showed other countries our strength?

What if we stopped spending trillion-dollar sums on failed fighter jets and instead put that money into nutritional school lunches? What if all of this sounds really naive and you were sick to fucking death of female politicians making all the rules on absolutely every freaking thing? Well that’s kind of how I feel about all our old-school cowboy candidates who hyper-focus on fire power in the information age.


A female-dominated Congress would hardly be a utopia, but there certainly needs to be more balance.

Let me be perfectly clear, I don’t think the country would operate better if it were completely run by women, but at least I would feel adequately represented. Our presidents always have to be manly and macho and cater to working class men. Politicians clearly regard women’s issues as secondary even though we comprise the majority of voters.

One day, I would love to see a world where male politicians felt obligated to take their pictures at nursing stations, beauty salons, women’s shelters, book clubs, and wine tastings. Until then, we have this:

female politicians as dudes

Gosh, doesn’t Hillary look comfortable in that picture? If it helps you to vote for Hillary, just remember the second great thing she’s got going for her.

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Let’s do this people.

Vote for Hillary’s vagina and help get more vaginas into political office.

How You’re Just Like Hitler

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Once again, people are acting appalled and butt hurt because Mike Huckabee compared Obama’s Iranian deal to the holocaust: “It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

People have been exploiting the holocaust for political arguments for decades now, so why are people still shaken by the dumb words that fall out of Huckabee’s adorably dimpled mouth? Aren’t we all used to politicians desperately sputtering out cheap sound bites during election season? At this point, haven’t we all heard Obama being compared to Hitler in at least ten different ways?

Conservatives have taken great care to point out every similarity. The world’s best rapture-loving magazine offered their painstaking report on their Now The End Begins website. My right-wing uncle (and we all have one of those) posts pictures like this on his Facebook feed:

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Most comparisons are about socialist-leaning political acts many national leaders have long since committed. For example, Pierre Trudeau nationalized energy programs when he was Prime Minister of Canada in the 80s. Of course, no one thinks to compare Obama to Trudeau.

To be fair, ridiculous Hitler comparisons have been made by liberals too. When George W. Bush was in the White House, liberals loved using the N-word (Nazi). Remember when that 6th grade teacher asked her students to make charts comparing Bush to Hitler? Or how about cartoons like this?

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While I’m not a big fan of Dubya, I would never compare him to Hitler. Roughly 4,500 American troops, and anywhere up to 500,000 Iraqis (depending on which report you read/believe) have died during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I don’t think the Iraqi invasion was necessary, and the death toll is atrocious, but it’s not as though Bush set out to kill all Iraqis as a “final solution.” There were no crazy death camps. Not all acts of war are the holocaust.

Frankly, I don’t think anyone should be compared to Hitler unless they’ve spearheaded the genocide of at least 1 million innocent citizens. Take Ismail Enver Pasha, for example. He killed 2.5 million people, including 1.2 million Armenians during the Armenian Genocide. You can totally compare that guy to Hitler.

And why do we keep pointing to Hitler as the worst example of humanity? I’ll bet Stalin and Zedong are rolling in their graves – they killed way more people.

Comparing a politician to Hitler is a lazy way to get attention and an instant way to lose credibility. The time is now to change all that.


My Final Solution to Hitler Comparisons:

I have little faith that people will stop playing the Nazi card when discussing things they don’t like. As long as it gets a big reaction, people will always hit that button. So let’s take the sting out of holocaust references by incorporating them into our everyday life. Let’s start comparing EVERYONE to Hitler:

  • “Sorry you failed you math test, kid. You know, Hitler struggled in school too and then went on to run an entire country. So, you know… chin up.” (Hitler had to repeat the 6th grade and dropped out of high school without a degree.)
  • “You don’t think people should be allowed to smoke in public places? Good for you, Hitler.” (Hitler pioneered the anti-smoking movement. The scientific research he funded made the very first connection between smoking and cancer.)
  • “When I was younger, I had a Hitler-like ambition to join the priesthood.” (As a child, Hitler wanted to be a priest.)
  • “A toast to the Bride and Groom! I think you guys have an even brighter future than Hitler and Braun.” (Braun was Hitler’s mistress for 12 years until he finally decided to marry her. On the day after their wedding, the pair committed suicide.)
  • “Wow. You were REALLY efficient in organizing those files. Like, Hitler efficient.” (Nazis created highly efficient gas chambers for easy mass murders.)
  • “Oh, you attended the Rally for Medical Research on Capital Hill? You know who else held outdoor rallies? Hitler.” (Annual Nuremberg Rallies drove audiences of up to 500,000.)
  • “Damn it stinks in here. Who the hell has been farting like Hitler?” (Hitler suffered from uncontrollable flatulence and took 28 different drugs trying to fight it.)
  • “You have a very hands-off, Hitleresque supervisory style. I like that you trust your subordinates and don’t feel the need to micromanage.” (Hitler never once visited a concentration camp.)
  • “Get your elbows off the dinner table and chew with your mouths closed. I’m not trying to raise a bunch of Hitlers here.” (Hitler was reported to have poor table manners.)
  • “You buy only cruelty-free makeup? It’s kind of you to think of the animals. Very Hitler of you.” (Hitler enacted several laws to prevent animal cruelty.)
  • “Hey, why don’t you finally grow a pair, huh? Not a sad Hitler sack, but a full, manly scrotum, you big pussy!” (Hitler only had one testicle.)
  • “I regret that, like Adolf Hitler, I’ve never been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.” (When Paris fell to German occupation, French resistance fighters cut the elevator cables to the Eiffel Tower to keep Nazis and their flag off the beloved monument.)
  • “How can you possibly hate Mr. Snickelfritz? Or any cat for that matter? Look, Hitler, if you’re going to disrespect my kitty, you can just leave!” (Hitler really disliked cats.)
  • “I know it’s scary, but you’re going to have to learn how to drive. You don’t want to end up like Hitler, do you?” (Hitler never learned how to drive.)

My boyfriend wanted to get in on the Hitler fun, so I present to you:

Some of the Ways My Boyfriend Is Not Like Hitler:

  • He has a cool beard, unlike Hitler who had an ugly little mustache.
  • Unlike Hitler, my boyfriend enjoys hunting and eating meat.
  • You will never see my boyfriend drive around in a Mercedes.
  • Although I think he should totally do it, my boyfriend has never written an autobiography.
  • My boyfriend can’t paint a painting for shit.

In fact, all of these things can all be said about Cecil the Lion.

So to be clear, my boyfriend is more like Cecil the Lion than he is like Hitler.

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Why I’m Only Buying Donald Trump Products From Now On

Remember when people were allowed to have unpopular opinions without hundreds, if not thousands, of completely innocent employees losing their jobs?

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Disclaimer #1: I’ve honestly been a fan of Donald Trump for most of my adult life. I love his books, I still own many of them, as well several Trump University CD collections. I find his advice to be uplifting – nothing motivates me more than his story of Lee Iacocca crying on his phone like a big pussy over a failed real estate deal.

Disclaimer #2: I can’t really afford much of what Donald has to sell, as I am quite middle class.

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You know, just yesterday I was mocking Donald Trump for his atrocious comments about Mexicans. For those who missed them, here they are again:

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Since then, Univision dropped his Miss USA pageant, NBC dropped “The Apprentice” franchise, and now today, Macy’s is no longer selling his clothing or fragrance because 700,000 people signed a petition.

Really? A petition? Were these 700,000 lining up to buy his clothes before he made the comments? Did these petition signers want all the people who design, manufacture, and market his products to suffer financial losses because Donald Trump says dick things?

And why are people so mad that he said dick things? That’s a big reason the guy is famous (and will never be POTUS) – he’s a dick! That’s why America loves “The Apprentice.” We love watching him fire people, preferably while pretending to shoot them with his hand.

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Look, I totally understand any consumer being offended by his comments who was going to buy one of his ties and then opted not to out of disgust. That’s a first amendment right and the dollar is the ultimate vote. But a petition isn’t a vote. It’s a meaningless threat. One that takes jobs from innocent people.

Personally, I was offended by Trump’s comments. I was offended by Paula Deen’s comments, her courtroom testimonies were an insult to black people. And now the black people who worked for her lost their jobs. I’m glad I can now buy her awesome spices and cookware for dirt cheap, but it seems like a shame that such a franchise could be shattered to pieces through the assholery of one thoughtless person.

I was offended by Phil Robertson’s (Duck Dynasty) comments in his notorious GQ interview, even though that interview was developed with Drew Magary, the writer I wish I was. But you know what? Boo-fucking-hoo. So I won’t invite Phil to a gay wedding. Does that mean I want his show cancelled? Hell no. I didn’t watch Duck Dynasty before he made the comments and I still would never sign a petition to cancel a program I don’t watch because some guy I never heard of said things that pissed me off. It’s his God damned American right to piss me off.

And good for A&E for keeping Duck Dynasty going after many petitions calling for its removal. Good looking out for your producers, work crews, and all other off-camera employees who earn their living making that stupid show. I still can’t sit through an entire episode, though.

 

Foolproof Strategies for the Next GOP Candidate

Because losing elections isn’t just for liberals anymore.

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Dear Newest Republican Primary Candidate,

Welcome. Whether you’re a Christian conservative, compassionate conservative, tea-partier, birther, moderate republican, or any other shade of the GOP rainbow, your party needs you.

Despite what you’ve been hearing from the dildo and butt plug fear-mongers on CNN, the Republican party is doing fantastic, and you too have a fair chance in winning the 2016 Presidential Election, just so long as you stay the course and continue to follow the same time-tested strategies that have been serving the GOP so well since Reagan was in office.

Welcome to the Flock, Candidate. You Totally Have a Shot in Hell.

First things first. Put on a navy blue suit, slap on a flag lapel pin, stand in front of a mirror, and take a serious personal inventory. Are you incompetent to steer the United States through a crisis? Are you foreign born? Can you count to three? Is your name synonymous with frothy anal sex residue? Are you already a national punchline? Will your presence in this election embarrass the GOP and tarnish your party’s image?

The answers to these questions don’t really matter, because fuck it! You’re gonna run anyway.

Now is the time to make your message known, even if you’re up against 14 (and counting) other candidates. The more, the merrier. Heck, to demonstrate your confidence and loyalty to the party, you should convince reticent Republicans to throw their hats into the ring too. The GOP needs to be taken more seriously, and the best way to accomplish this is to replace the “we shall overcome” strategy with a “we shall overwhelm” approach.

To really clarify your position, and to give all your fellow presidential hopefuls a good forum (one could be your future running mate), push for one great big debate among ALL the GOP contenders. This is a very rough Microsoft Paint image of what I imagine for the “Great Debate.”

GOP DebateNot only will you be able to show off the superiority of your platform, you will also prove your ability to stand upright for 16 hours – a crucial skill to have when filibustering. Be sure to stretch your legs if you want to outlast Ted Cruz or Rand Paul during the final rounds of questioning.

Draw a Sharp Contrast to the Happiness Apparent in All That “Love Wins” Crap

Americans are so tired of watching gay couples hug, kiss, and weep tears of joy over this whole marriage equality thing. All that constant elation being shown on television and social media can be very taxing.

Sure, some of the stories being shared are pretty harrowing, such as those geriatric couples who’ve waited for decades to be married, or those heartbreaking stories of gay widows being denied hospital visits or death benefits, but don’t believe the hype. Clearly these millions of people are all just spreading their sinful agenda of dirty, filthy sex. The whole thing is just a thinly veiled appeal to lesbian grandma porn fetishists.

Stand out among the sea of rainbows by being dull, gray, and cranky. While most Americans are all warm and gooey with feelings of compassion and liberty, break out into an angry tirade about your personal definition of marriage and why it should lord over the lives and destinies of others.

Rant about the unfairness of judicial actions and propose completely meaningless solutions that will never stop the runaway train. Suggest amending the constitution – not in a way to refine the checks and balances established by our founding fathers, but in a way that prevents all Americans from getting gay married. Such an amendment would be easy to pass, since the LGBT community will surely want their marriages to be annulled after they’ve tried it long enough (if your name happens to be Newt Gingrich, then you know what I’m talking about).

If you choose to rally against marriage equality under the banner of Christianity, by all means, try to make your God and the Bible sound as mean, hateful, boring, and irrational as possible. It’s so terrifically inspiring to those who are not quite Christian, but could possibly be swayed. If you wish to put the fear of God into your constituents, just remind them about the time when Jesus sent a tornado to your hotel room when you committed adultery, or that time Jesus descended upon New York City and started burning down buildings with his magical fire breath when you divorced your second spouse. Or what about that angel who flew into your office and bitch-slapped you for working on the Sabbath? You have stories. Share them.

Ideally, you want to strive to be the very last person in the United States to accept gay marriage. History always looks favorably on the hold-outs.

Simplify Illegal Immigration: Stereotypes are Your Friend

Immigration is a tricky and sensitive issue about balancing resources, protecting our borders, allowing people from different countries to experience the American dream, and our nation’s never-ending dependency on cheap labor. Unfortunately, Americans don’t have time for nuance, details, or facts.

I mean, who wants to hear about how most immigrants arrive in this country legally and then let their paperwork expire? That’s not exciting. What’s exciting is sweaty people getting here on surfboards and jumping tall fences with machetes and rifles strapped to their back. A bunch of dudes who look like Danny Trejo killing every patrol guard in their paths for the privilege of raping American women and selling drugs to their children.

If you want to sound tough on border protection, it’s imperative that you demonize immigrants. The best way to do that is to paint them with a broad brush and assume they’re all criminals without offering up tangible evidence to support your accusations. If they are brown, call them Mexican. Sure, millions of illegal immigrants come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, and Brazil every year, but let’s face it, if they’re brown, they’re Mexican.

And while we’re at it, what about all those Asian illegals giving you manicures? They’re mostly brunette. Screw it, they’re all Mexican too. Especially the Filipinos. Indians are totally Mexican, as are any illegal immigrants from the magical land of Caucasia. As long as they can catch a tan, they’re Mexican. In fact, any person darker than your sweat-shop made Gap khakis is a Mexican. And you know who else is totally Mexican? Native Americans.

(Note: If accused of being racist by the liberal media, simply remind the public that racism no longer exists in this country, and that if it does, it’s only because Obama perpetuates it.)

Okay. So now you’ve assumed all immigrants are Mexican. Good. More importantly, you’ve assumed that the vast majority of Mexicans are drug mules, rapists, and other types of criminals. Check. Now all you have to do is drive that message home with the charm of a, let’s say Donald Trump, remembering not to be a total dick about it. It’s good to say things like “Some (Mexicans), I assume, are good people.” You see? Some Mexicans are good. Change your phrasing to appear more original, but keep it classy.

1076Do you know any brown people who are born in this country who oppose your conservative views? Guess what? You can label them immigrants too, just like Anne Coulter did with Nikki Haley, the American-born Governor of South Carolina, or how birthers still inexplicably label Obama a Kenyan.

Generalizing these populations is smart because illegal immigrants can’t vote, but those who fear them can. It’s not like anybody who can rightfully vote in this country has ever known, loved, been related to, hired, befriended, or worked with an illegal immigrant before. I mean, pretty much anyone who’s ever been in contact with an illegal immigrant (Mexican) has obviously been raped or robbed by them, right?

So perhaps the most intelligent way you can win the next presidency is to scare the living shit out of ignorant white folks rather than having a mature cost/benefit analysis of immigration, enabling more tax-paying immigrants to live here legally, or enforcing ethical labor practices. I mean, all that discussion sounds pretty dull. Heck, I’m falling asleep just typing this. Somebody please shout rape to wake me up.

Vow to Repeal Obamacare

Too bad Obamacare hasn’t bankrupted the country or caused the losses of millions of jobs as predicted. Sadly, 11 million people who weren’t insured before now have access to affordable healthcare, 30+ million Americans are now insured through the Affordable Care Act, and the whole thing cost taxpayers $209 billion less than projected.

It’s still a dismal failure because it’s not absolutely perfect, and it should be fully repealed, even if it causes 30 million of your future constituents to lose all their health insurance benefits. Don’t concern yourself with making the existing system better or fixing inherent shortcomings. And whatever you do, don’t propose a new plan that will inspire the country to follow a better healthcare model.

Just keep trying to convince the American people that the old way was better. Be subtle, not stupid, in your approach. Don’t try to sell the merits of pre-existing conditions or denying asthmatic children adequate healthcare. Instead, vaguely assert how great the old system was because it’s easier to revert back than to construct a better alternative.

Keep going back to the courts and try repealing Obamacare as more and more Americans sign up for its benefits. Don’t play offense and come up with a new idea. Play defense and try to keep bringing people back into the past.

But by all means, enroll in Obamacare yourself. After all, you can’t let your spouse stay employed during your campaign, so your family will need to rely on government-provided healthcare. You are forced to use this system because you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s only an entitlement when other Americans use it.

Aggressively Deny Global Climate Change

Who cares if 90% of the global population and world scientists are on board with that silly “global climate change” fairytale? Stand out from the rest of humanity and show the world just how open-minded Americans can be by continuing to debate easily observable science. Hire conflict-of-interest scientists from lobby groups and energy companies to make your points sound even more legitimate.

Make your appearances in the raising water levels of Miami, on a brown golf course in California, or in a hurricane-torn New York State, and remind people that because it still snows in your neighborhood, global climate change is just baseless hysteria. Punch an empty beehive and laugh at how great it is to have fewer flying bugs in the world that can sting you. Joke about how much warmer you wish it was in January. Make absolutely no plans to deal with future population displacement, like the ones currently being experienced in Bangladesh due to ever-rising sea levels.

If you’re a Christian GOP hopeful and generally push for social laws to be based on biblical teachings, you’ll want to use this platform to show off your reasonable secular side. This is when you should finally “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” I’m sure God is totally cool with you trashing the Earth He made, just so long as you don’t let people with matching genitals obtain legal benefits associated with relationship contracts.

This is also a good opportunity to finally tell-off that Pope guy. I mean, what does he know about science, what with his chemistry background, and all?

Let’s face it: This is your best chance to prove you’re not a religious nut job – just a candidate who strategically uses religion as a tool to win elections. Smile smugly and calmly discuss the value of jobs. You know, jobs? Jobs are those things you’re going to immediately jettison whenever one of your corporate sponsors wants to outsource their labor or modernize their facilities. Just keep repeating “jobs, jobs, jobs” until people see how rational you are.

Then all you have to do is make a joke about Al Gore, take your check from the Koch brothers, step into your Hummer, and drive away like a boss.

Because America loves leaders, dammit. Not crying, tree-hugging hippies.

When All Else Fails, Just Remember:

  • Appeal to a dying base. Don’t try to energize the younger generation.
  • If you’re young, brag about it, but don’t come up with any fresh new ideas.
  • Follow Reagan’s blueprint for everything, including cyberterrorism defense tactics.
  • Don’t focus on positive change. Focus on fear and outrage.
  • Make every press conference an “open carry” press conference.
  • Benghazi.

Please Stop Demeaning Poor People

I’m so sick of my middle class friends posting on Facebook about how all states should require mandatory drug testing for those collecting social welfare or sharing memes about if you can afford to buy booze, cigarettes, or such n’ such, that you don’t need food stamps. The worst is when basic bitch soccer moms in their North Face jackets scrutinize the purchases of shoppers paying for groceries with food stamps.

People, seriously. Get over yourselves.

welfare

Mandatory drug tests are a terrible idea because they are an added taxpayer expense that doesn’t really solve a problem. It’s no longer the 80’s people. Addiction is not the significant contributor to poverty it once was. Many welfare recipients are gainfully employed and the vast majority are sober. In fact, it’s estimated less than 2% of welfare goes to fraudulent cases and that only an average of $35 per tax payer is spent on social welfare annually anyway.

Most of the benefactors of social welfare are children. So ideas like this make children suffer even more because of their parents’ choices. Do you really want some children to go to bed hungry tonight because their mother tested positive for smoking a little dope? Don’t you think those kids have it hard enough? Or is your $35 a year so friggin’ precious?

The thing I hate most about these laws, suggestions, and memes is that it holds poor people to an unrealistic standard of excellence that nobody else is required to adhere to. Are all of your purchases perfectly sensible and disciplined? Have you no vices? Are only the most pure and sober of people worthy of your help?

As I write this today, 46.2 million Americans live in poverty. That is one in every six people in this country. Most of these are children. The average age of a homeless person is seven. Is this because Americans (particularly children) just woke up one day and decided to become lazy or drunk? No. It’s because we’re shipping good jobs overseas, replacing employees with computers, and not opening enough domestic jobs with new initiatives such as, oh I don’t know, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructures.

Most people now living in poverty aren’t just sitting around at home all day playing video games. Most have a job, even several jobs, bouncing between slave-wage gigs that cut them off at 30 hours a week to avoid paying benefits. The working poor spend their time balancing multiple jobs while raising their children. People who are thoroughly exhausted and defeated, and who pray every day that a minor car or medical issue doesn’t make them completely homeless. They’re becoming drained of long-term hope. The only pleasure they get in life are the very small things they can enjoy quickly. A drink. A cigarette. An Oreo cookie. But no, let’s be stingy and look down our noses at the less fortunate because we have it better.

Granted, I think everyone needs to be responsible for their own actions, we all need to be mindful of where we put our dollars and how we treat our bodies. I believe I deserve every dollar I have because I work very hard. But I also volunteer at homeless shelters, and I can tell you a lot of those people work a whole lot harder than I do and are more sober than I am. Most poor people I’ve met can do far more with a dollar than I’ve ever imagined.

Those in poverty have an extremely tough struggle. Every. Single. Day. Judging them does not make you superior to them, so maybe find ways to help.

And if you haven’t already, you should read this amazing essay: Poverty Thoughts

Color My World With Propoganda

Black Panther ColoredColoring Books Designed to Influence Children

A friend once told me a disturbing story about confiscating a coloring book from his children, which depicted people burning in hell for their sins. Apparently, this was a gift from their grandparent’s Pentecostal church.

Which got me thinking… It’s been a long time since I colored anything. I should totally color a picture of people burning in hell and mount it on my fridge.

Try as I might, I was unable to find any such coloring pages online. However, I did see many articles and blogs from people complaining about having to color graphic hell scenes while attending Catholic school, so I know this is a thing. Heck, it’s my new Holy Grail.

In my quest I have encountered far more perplexing coloring books, all with the goal of getting young children to buy into various religious, political, or bigoted ideologies.

Colors of Religion

I live pretty close to the Creation Museum, which features painstakingly produced exhibits and explanations for the Earth being roughly 6,000 years old. They’re even building a replica Noah’s Ark just a few miles from my home, which I imagine will be a pretty smelly indoor petting zoo. It’s not surprising that they offer activity books from Answers Magazine depicting dinosaurs and man living together, or animal marches into the ark. However, I find myself quite fascinated by this one, where the grown-up brachiosauruses sacrifice their lives for the good of their children and future existence. Why did this only happen with brachiosauruses? Wouldn’t it have been easier for Noah to transport all of the animals as babies?

For those of you who have never ventured to the Creation Museum, the dinosaur story goes like this: All animals existed in Eden, including dinosaurs. In Eden, all animals were herbivores. A T. rex would delicately nibble on grass until the day Adam sinned and ate the forbidden fruit. After Adam’s sin, the T. rex developed an appetite for Adam. Eventually, Noah managed to get a T. rex and his girlfriend onto his ark without getting digested, and the dinosaurs were saved along with all other animals. But the world was vastly different after the flood, and T. rex perished in the new climate.

Noah's Ark

This next one helps children stay safe from lecherous child predators – namely Catholic priests. The New York Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church designed this coloring book with helpful anti-molestation safety tips. I appreciate the concern for children, but this was a terrible PR move. They even made the priest in the picture look creepy. And what does the boy have his arms in? Whatever it is, they should have made it more clear in the drawing. When I look at this, I see a nervous boy being forced to massage the feet of an archbishop while a priest lies to an angel about what is transpiring.

Child Protection from Preist

If you hate heresy, you’ll love this coloring page. That space between Buddha and the tree would be a perfect place to draw a little Buddy Christ.

Hating on Budduh

What sucks about this next one is that every image I find on the inter-webs has it fairly colored already. I would have LOVED to color this little gem from a Hasidic grade school. The text translates to: “All the wild animals came to Egypt, and they devoured the Egyptians. Even from the houses the animals schlepped out the Egyptians and devoured them.”

This one is great on so many levels. I mean how cool would it be if a giraffe poked it’s head through your upstairs window, tossed your body into the street, and ate you alive while a Hasidic Jewish kid pet it peacefully as you suffered? Pretty rad if you ask me. Though it might be cooler to duke it out with that little mini Godzilla. Or whatever that green thing is supposed to be.

Animals Eating Children

Of course, when talking about religious agendas, you can’t leave out those clever Satanists, who distributed The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities to Florida Public Schools in retaliation after a Christian group received permission to distribute Bibles and other religious materials to public school students. Only in Florida.

Hail Satan

Color Blind Racism

I would love to say that this is merely a reflection of America’s troubled past, but given all the recent riots and police-caused deaths of unarmed black people, The Black Panther Coloring Book, and the story behind it, is more relevant than ever.

This coloring book was originally presented to the Black Panthers by an undercover FBI representative requesting an opportunity to publish the book on their behalf. The Black Panthers found the book to be completely disgusting and did not want any part of it. Unfazed by the rejection, the FBI, pretending to be the Black Panthers, added even more offensive drawings and mass mailed the coloring book across the United States. This freaked out white people, and convinced many of them to ignore legitimate issues affecting the black population.

On the plus side, it’s a coloring book, so you can color all the people and pigs any color you like.

Black Panther Pig Group MurderBlack Panther PigFun with Terrorism

Thanks to Really Big Coloring Books, the brain trust behind controversial works like We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom and The True Faces of Evil – Terror, your child can be constantly tormented with the fear of radical jihadists.

Luckily, your kid can make the smoke coming out of the World Trade Center bright pink. It’s fun 🙂

Towers

Just think of the silly hues your kid can use to color this sobbing boy’s hair. Grief can be whimsical if you just tap into the power of imagination.

9.11 Grief

Look at all the great burqa space being sported by that human shield. Your kid can totally design a cool print for a gal who’s forced to cover up her entire body, even in the privacy of her own bedroom.

human shield

And what kid doesn’t like to color a public execution scene. Am I right?

Execution

Of course, no coloring book is complete without a little humor and dismemberment. Just get a load of these hilarious fish.

Dead Osama Bin Laden

Political Coloring Books

Thankfully, the only politician I found that made a coloring book designed to genuinely appeal to children is Ted Cruz.

Oops. Wait. I have that wrong. Per ColoringBook.com and their disclaimers, this is not a coloring book designed to endorse Ted Cruz. No, this book is an educational tool based on a fair and objective review of a positive role model and a real-life superhero. Who happens to be Ted Cruz.

Check out this awesome coloring page where he wrestles the twin snakes of Obamacare and illegal immigration. This is gonna be my next arm tattoo.

Cruz Hydra SnakeAnd this will be my next tramp stamp.

Ted Cruz Eagle

The Gay Agenda

Last but not least, I present the coloring page that turned so many of my friends gay in the 1980s.

California RaisinsShame on you, California Raisins.

Shame on you.