Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Before there was Texas

Dear Hannah,

They say that before there was Texas as we know it today there was a lush jungle.  The Ice Age had made most of the planet a wasteland but around the equator things were most livable; and some of our ancestors, before there were Indians, had apparently decided to move there.  These people who weren't quite people lived with and against the mammoth and the great American elephant and the ground sloth and made flint spears and huddled in tribes and lived to about 20.  They left little besides charred wood and primitive tools and old bones and stone statues.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

On getting older and becoming "a racist"

Dear Son,

One thing I'm looking forward to as I get older is becoming more "racist."  I consider it one of the finer joys of aging.  Children are averse to these kinds of things because they have no idea, for instance, that handing a kid named Terrell $150 of your hard earned money for CD's, even though he has a bullet scar on his leg and an affinity for bad hash, might potentially be a bad investment (note: I have personally done this).  You have to learn these things the hard way; and putting two-and-two together over a lifetime has a tendency to make you generalize about people; and if you're intelligent, most of the time you will be right.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The wages of sin

Dear Son,

The central theme of the Abrahamic religions is that the whole world went wrong because you're a turd.  All the viruses, earthquakes, stillborn children, car accidents, cancers and frumpy grumpy middle-aged women happened because a long time ago someone decided to not "do the right thing," his kid decided to not do the right thing, and we have decided to not do the right thing ever since*. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Talking about dead people

Dear Son,

The rule against speaking ill of the dead is overrated.  Like all rules it was intended to serve a purpose; and I think those purposes are 1) that if you believe in ghosts they could very well be watching you, and 2) if they have a living family the family might hate you.  For those of us concerned about #2, it's probably better to speak selectively and quietly, and for those of us concerned about #1, it's a wonder they don't live better lives in general.  If grandma and Jesus are watching you from the heavenly bleachers it's done little for humanity in general; and if the whole of our dead ancestry really is spying on us, the chance that most of us are getting the cold shoulder upon entrance to the heavenly gates is likely.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Thinking of the children

Dear Hannah,

In the history of protests there is probably nothing less inspiring than a high-schooler refusing to go to school.  It's as if the children threatened to not eat their vegetables; or as if a bad Catholic, upset with the bedrock teachings of the church, refused to go to mass.  You can refuse any number of things but you can't refuse in the funnest way possible; and if you refuse your food the response of your "oppressors" should be then don't eat your food.  It's your life; and should you choose to ruin it by getting skinny or playing hookey I say best of luck to you; and if you really want to make an impression you should douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire.  That way we know you really mean it.