Monday, January 30, 2012

Serious Anonymous: For those Who Take It All All A Little Too Seriously...

Over-Serious Anonymous
12-Step Program
1. We admitted that we were powerless over seriousness -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that only by lightening up could we achieve a state of non-seriousness.
3. Made a decision to turn our constant self-criticism over to our sense of humor and learn to "lovingly and wholeheartedly" laugh at ourselves.
4. Decided to give ourselves a break once in a while, instead of constantly doing searching and fearless moral inventories of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being that our wrongs were often in our heads.
6. Were entirely ready to accept that our characters were as good as anybody else's and possibly better than most.
7. Quit harping on our shortcomings.
8. Made of list of all persons we thought we had harmed and saw that they'd forgotten all the crap we'd blown out of proportion.
9. Quit making amends for breathing air and taking up a few square feet of the planet's surface.
10. Resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to criticize ourselves at times, but would try to stick to our guns when we knew we were right.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to calm down and realize we're not responsible for everything.
12. Having experienced immense relief from these steps, we would try to carry this message to other over-serious people and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.
~Author Unknown

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Before "Epiphany" became a buzzword for the by-products of self-absorption, it was a commemoration of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child. They were also known as the Wise Men. It is thought that there were three wise men. The population of Wise Men may have fluctuated over the centuries, but by now, in the 21st century, I think it's a safe bet there are less than three.

If there was an endangered species list for wise men, the Magi would be at the top.

They have been replaced by the shrill men, the greedy men, and the con men. These men are not an endangered species, nor are they wise. They are not Magi.

They are selfish pricks. And what makes their selfishness especially odious is the pomp and self-righteousness that seems to attend their every selfish act.

Friday January 6th was the Feast of the Epiphany.

It was celebrated in my little corner of the world by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia closing a number of schools. grade schools, high schools. Sorry kids. Sorry teachers.


It was all nicely couched in what we have come to recognize as a sort of ecclesiastical double-talk, the ice coldness of the decision wrapped in a lot of pious talk.

Enough pious talk to make me want to puke.

The fact is that the Church is rich, and wants to stay rich, and closing the schools is a way to do this. If it breaks the hearts of a couple of thousand school kids and tanks a lot of dedicated teachers (most of whom unprotected by any collective bargaining, guaranteed pension or severance) so be it.

It's business. Never mind that a handful of paintings or statues or manuscripts from the Vatican could probably fund Catholic education through the rest of this millennium and into the next. You don't stay rich by giving it away.

So, I guess you could say that a lot of kids, their teachers, their parents, had an epiphany or sorts on Friday. They woke up believing in something, and they will go to bed with it gone.

All over a buck.

It would have made the Magi weep.