Love the Sackcloth, Sweetheart, Very Outre
Don't you think it was about time the Catholic church cracked down on drag queens playing female saints in religious street processions? Apparently it's been going on for years in the Philippines, but we didn't find out until now, because the guy doing St. Helena this year failed to stuff his boobs properly. I mean, come on, people, it's not all about makeup! And while we're on the subject of critical Catholic doctrinal matters, let's get that potty-mouth Gordon Ramsay, of Hell's Kitchen reality show fame, banned from Australian television.
He Heard This One
My definition of "joy" is the kids in the Jewish Miami Boys Choir, in their red vests and white shirts, many of them sporting Coke-bottle glasses, standing on a hill overlooking Jerusalem, singing an upbeat version of "Hinei Ma Tov" while doing semi-awkward Phil Collins dance moves. It's in Hebrew, of course, but the lyrics, repeated endlessly, are: "Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Near the end of the video, bursting in for harmonic counterpoint, is Yerachmiel Begun, founder of the troupe, which began in Miami in 1977 but has been Brooklyn-based for most of the past three decades, turning out Orthodox singing stars by the dozens, much like the two soloists in the video, who appear in the section right before the entire choir, in its inimitable over-the-top style, ascends into the clouds of heaven.
Rope Them Sinners
Cowboy Lee's Cowboy Adventure Camp is an intensive dude ranch with equally intensive Bible study based in the unlikely city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the 71-year-old S. Lee Homoki--the Cowboy Lee of the title, who grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona but has been in Grand Rapids since 1981, ever since a controversy over dispensationalism at Gospel Lighthouse Church of Tipp City, Ohio, caused him to resign as pastor and saddle up--holds forth on the literal promises to Israel, the literal authority of scripture, and the literal difficulties of trick roping during exotic trail rides all over the country. But before you sign up for bullwhip artistry in the tradition of Cowboy Camp graduate and world champion trick roper Andy Rotz, you might want to check out Cowboy Lee's bimonthly Truth Aflame magazine, which is billed as "unashamedly dispensational." We're not sure what that means, but we would imagine it's the circa 1840 version. Do not hold fast to the saddlehorn in case of the Rapture. Yeehaw Yahweh.
Did You Hear the One About the Imam and the Penguin?
The Archbishop of Canterbury went to the Vatican to talk to the Pope about the Muslims. Both men are experienced at making speeches about Islam which create international chaos, so they spent the first 20 minutes comparing jihad puns.
High Colonics for the Soul
Hay House, the New Age publishing empire established by the 81-year-old Louise Hay two decades ago, earned $8 million last year on revenues of $100 million, with sales of 6.3 million products, including books by Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, the psychic Sylvia Browne, "angel therapist" Doreen Virtue, and personal finance guru Suze Orman. Of course, that's not surprising, since, if you think it, you can do it. If you see it, you can realize it. If you give it power, it will give you power. If you write it, they will buy it. Free your mind and Oprah will follow.
Some People Do Worship the O.C.
The irony of Spiritual Water, the bottled water sold by Sunrise, Florida, distributor Elicko Taieb as a way to get closer to God, is that it's all about the packaging. You can choose from 11 different bottles, featuring Jesus, St. Michael, or the Virgin Mary on one side, and various prayers on the other (Fatima prayer, Serenity prayer, Guardian Angel prayer, Apostles Creed), in either English or Spanish, and meanwhile that 16.9 ounces of liquid refreshment comes from "a municipal source in Santa Ana, California." Since there's only one municipal source of water in Santa Ana, California, that means you're drinking Orange County tap water. Couldn't they at least have gone up to Lake Arrowhead and tried to make it sound like water that's not sucked out from under an asphalt parking lot?
God Banned from Car Asses
The Florida Legislature put the kibosh on the "I Believe" personalized license plate, failing to include it in the final bill reported out of committee. Opponents and proponents both made a lot of noise about church-state issues, to the point that, if I lived in Florida, I would have asked for an "I Heave" license plate.