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Animal World

November 17th, 2017

Shock Humor has Shocking Consequences

Frankengate is not going away, and Bill Clinton may be dragged down in its wake.

Al Franken, a married man, posed for a photo of himself groping (or pretending to grope, like there’s a big difference) a sleeping woman, and the photographer made the cruel photo part of a souvenir CD. Liberals have had a day to decide whether Al Franken goes under the bus, and it looks like he’s going. Valerie Jarrett, one of the most unpleasant far-left bigwigs alive, went after Franken on the web. If Jarrett is willing to do that, people who are more moderate are sure to follow.

Is it principle? Probably not. Democrats want the Senate seat Roy Moore is trying to land. If they excuse Franken, they help Moore. If they torpedo Franken, they get to look righteous, and the worst thing that can happen is that they will get a new Democrat Senator for Minnesota. Democrats tend to jump at the short-end money. Franken can be replaced, Clinton is retired, Clinton’s wife is a drag on the party, and the Alabama Senate seat means a lot to them. They’re not thinking about the many Democrats who will be eaten by sex scandals in the near future. They are happily burning their ships on the beach, with no thought of the future need for redemption.

How do I know those soon-to-be-eaten Democrats exist? Because I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. There is a huge backlog of undiscovered harassment and rape cases out there. Count on it.

The Senate is going to have an ethics investigation. I would love to see Al Franken lose his seat, but I have to ask: does it make sense to investigate a member of Congress for actions performed before he took office? Murders, sure. But workplace harassment from a professional comedian and known jerk? I’m not sure. Minnesotans knew they were electing someone immature and inclined toward indecency, so I don’t know if they would want Franken removed.

Franken is part of the SNL/National Lampoon/Harvard Lampoon/Second City black humor movement. He rose to moderate fame among people who used the crutch of shock humor to become successful. You know them. Franken, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, John Hughes, Doug Kenney, Brian Doyle-Murray, John Landis, and the rest of the crew. You can’t expect such a person to respect time-honored morals. He made his living tearing them down.

I was heavily influenced by the black humor movement. I was a sensitive, inoffensive kid, and the world abused me, so my brilliant response was to become like my abusers. I fell under the spell of black humor.

In 1978, the misguided misanthropes at The National Lampoon changed the face of movie comedy. They created a film called Animal House. It’s about a fraternity full of losers, criminals, drug abusers, sex fiends, and sadists. If you haven’t seen it, good for you, but you must live in a burrow. The “heroes” of animal house made everyone else on campus miserable. They were as offensive as possible, and they punished a college for offering them an opportunity to better themselves and become affluent. Somehow, we were supposed to sympathize. And we did. That’s the incredible thing.

I had no common sense at all in 1977. I was the product of an abusive, dysfunctional family. I was a star underachiever. The world rejected me, probably for good reason. Naturally, I thought Animal House was extremely clever. I admired the staff of The National Lampoon.

Somehow, I got admitted to an Ivy League college, and like a lot of the idiots around me, I thought the purpose of my existence was to emulate John Belushi and Tim Matheson. I thought they were great role models. I spent a whole lot of time drunk. I performed a lot of pranks. I had no respect for most instructors. I thought the school’s administrators, who were simply trying to keep the place running smoothly, were just flying monkeys. Things went about as well as you would expect. When I was caught firing rockets out of a dorm window in the middle of the night, the deans decided I needed some time off.

I don’t know if I would have made it in the absence of bad role models. My family was poisonous. They made me miserable. They raised me very badly and did not prepare me to succeed at anything. But the black humor movement certainly did not help.

I failed. The movement succeeded. Stripes, Ghostbusters, Porky’s, Neighbors, Modern Problems, Caddyshack…movie humor changed permanently. Unlike me, Al Franken survived without repenting. His star waxed. It’s remarkable that he made it to Congress without anyone important saying, “Do we really want a shock comedian in Congress?”

Anyhow, he made it, and now, somehow, we’re surprised to see that a problem in his past brought him down.

I loved the Hornblower TV series, and I remember a powerful line uttered by the protagonist: “Each of us has a maggot in our past which will happily devour our future.” Franken finally met his maggot. Millions of other men are waiting to meet theirs. Zombie crises are waiting to pop out of the grave and pull people in.

Franken’s story is scary. If I had succeeded as a humorist, I might be right where he is today. I would think of myself as a crusader for righteousness, while propagating evil. Posing for a photo like the one Franken posed for would seem hilarious to me. I would be too jaded to see the problem.

Franken probably thinks he’s a fine human being. When you succeed, you are less likely to question yourself. He probably thinks he’s the victim of a right-wing operation, and maybe he is, but he should be blaming himself, not the enemies who threw his own filth back at him.

I don’t want to go out like that. I keep praying for God to judge and correct me privately so I don’t have to be humiliated publicly. I haven’t raped anyone or exposed myself to a coworker, but I am not in a position to cast the first stone.

Churches don’t talk much about repentance or accepting blame. They talk a lot about money. Some talk about “social justice.” Some are obsessed with getting us to condone sexual perversion. They don’t think about the primary purpose of life: we are supposed to become like God in our hearts. Accepting blame is the key. Until you admit fault, the door to freedom will remain locked, and you will continue to beat your head against it to no constructive end.

When did Jesus come? After John came and preached repentance. What does that tell you?

This stuff is important. God won’t necessarily chase you down and tell you what to do. You need to go after him, and if no one is teaching you, how will you know what to do?

I know a kid who is being bullied in school. It makes me think of my own childhood. Bad people defeated me all the time, and I had no idea what to do. I accepted it as my lot. God did not come to me and help.

You can’t tell your kids God will look after them, unless you have some reason to believe it. If the groundwork isn’t there, God may do little or nothing for them.

When I was a kid, I was tormented by demons all the time. They gave me nightmares, including nightmares that continued when I was awake. I felt their presence. I saw one. I had no one to defend me. Foul spirits visited me all the time, but I never heard from God. He didn’t come into my room to comfort me. He never spoke to me in an audible voice, saying, “Your parents let you down. They haven’t taught you. But I love you, so here I am to do their job.” I never got a visit from God until I was 24 years old! I could have died before that. I could have gone to prison. All sorts of bad things could have happened.

Am I criticizing God? Of course not. I’m pointing out that God doesn’t help everyone automatically. You have to look for him. He will let you suffer and die if you don’t make a move, and it will be your fault, not his.

This ruined world is very, very far from heaven. It is not God’s main concern. This world is one level above hell, and hell’s stink has soaked through the ceiling, into our midst. God is far away, in a clean and orderly place, surrounded by righteous beings. We can’t expect him to spend all his time here, in a place that stinks, any more than we can expect free people to spend their lives in filthy prisons. God is rejected here. He is contemned and insulted. He is under no obligation to live here. The crucifixion was a gift. He didn’t owe us anything.

God will let your children be abused, unless you get to know him. He will not prevent them from being raped or killed. We chose to ruin this world, and now we and our children have to live with the consequences. If you want things to work, you have to get with God’s program. There is a limit to what he will do for you when you’re out of his will. He already came to this disgusting placed and let us torture him to death. What more should we expect?

I don’t like this planet. I hate Miami because it’s a sleazy place full of vile people, and I’m very glad I’m in Ocala now, but it’s still part of the earth. The more I learn about God, the more I dislike the earth, and the more eager I am to leave. If a being as evil as I am hates this place, imagine how God feels.

Satan didn’t create hell. God did. Satan doesn’t put people in hell. God does. God is love, but he is also justice. You have to keep that in mind. There is a lot at stake, and you may not get help unless you apply.

God’s justice is no joke. It is the hardest rock in existence.

American values are revolting and toxic. We sin so much, we can’t recognize sin when we see it. We have no idea what righteousness looks like. All this is true, but we still have the brass to say things like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Who are these good people? I don’t know any. The earth is a ghetto full of fatherless ignoramuses. No one has taught us how to live, so we flounder in failure and foolishness.

When you call yourself good, you tell God, “Stop helping me,” and he obeys. You’re taking the cake out of the oven before it’s done.

I don’t want to provoke God by rejoicing in the downfall of people like Franken and Harvey Weinstein. Their problems are not gifts to me. They are warnings regarding my own faults.

My advice is to deemphasize asking God for favors. Start asking him to help you confess to him and repent. Remember that your primary obligation is to be changed. God created us in order to reproduce. Pride is like thalidomide. It keeps us stunted.

When we change, we’re not doing God a favor. He doesn’t need anything from us. He doesn’t need us, period. It’s all for us. It’s all selfish. You will never make him owe you.

I guess I’ll sit back and see who falls next. I hope it’s not me.

One Response to “Animal World”

  1. Walt Says:

    “Pride is like thalidomide. It keeps us stunted.” Well said . . .