A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
And the weird just keeps on comin’. Sometimes I think common sense is a mutant gene that simply isn’t going to survive human evolution. And I’m not even talking about the Clinton/Trump dog and pony show; that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’re all kinda strange things going on under the radar in our world. Here are just three of them.
Last week, somebody (who wishes to remain anonymous) paid $45,000.00 for Truman Capote’s ashes — not all of them, mind you — just a few. It seems a bunch of stuff that had belonged to Capote was put up for auction — including his ashes. Dignity has left the building. This is pretty tawdry to begin with, but the story doesn’t end here. The ashes belonged to Johnny Carson’s ex-wife, and, apparently, on at least one occasion, they were stolen from her and later recovered. We’ve gone from tawdry to icky here, but the significance of the theft is that now there’s actually no way of tellin’ if Capote is still the occupant of the urn! So, the anonymous buyer may just have laid out 45 Grand for the earthly remains of somebody’s aunt Helen. Honestly, if I’d just done something that stupid, I’d want to remain anonymous, too.
And speaking of anonymous, a woman in Illinois, known as N.P., has launched a lawsuit against a sex toy manufacturer called We-Vibe. According to the lawsuit, she bought a Smart phone-enabled vibrator (for $170.00, no less) downloaded the App to her phone, and commenced to vibrate — several times. Unfortunately, while she was vibrating, the little machine was sending data back to We-Vibe — little tidbits like exactly when she was vibrating, for how long and at what intensity. N.P. and her lawyers think this is an invasion of privacy, and they’re absolutely right — except for one itty-bitty problem. The company didn’t do anything underhanded. N.P. bought the vibrator, set it up, checked all the boxes, agreed to the Agreements and never bothered to either read the fine print or remember that Smart phone Apps are connected to the Internet. N.P. would have a case if this were the first App ever made and nobody was aware of what Apps do. It isn’t. There are millions of Apps circling this planet. They control everything from your Toyota to your toaster, and most of them are harvesting data from you, the user. People know this — or, at least, they should — and if they want to have a “private” moment, they might want to do it offline.
But I saved the absolute best for last:
The United Church of Canada wants to get rid of one of its ordained ministers. The minister in question, Rev. Gretta Vosper, doesn’t want to go. She’s lawyered up and is fighting the dismissal. Okay, who cares? This looks like an internal church matter and not a very big one, at that. However, the thing that makes this particularly weird is Rev. Gretta Vosper is an avowed atheist. She has publicly stated, loud and long, that she doesn’t believe in God, Jesus, The Bible, church doctrine or any other religious stuff she’s ever come across. WTF? I might be over-thinking this, but it’s my understanding that the fundamental requirement of religion (every religion) is that you believe in God, or gods or some other deity or something. In fact, I imagine that’s the first question most religions ask, and if your answer is no, the second question is, “What the hell are you doing here?” Atheists don’t go to church — they’re atheists! That would be like PETA going to the circus to see the lion tamer after bellying up to a barbecue. As an atheist, Gretta Vosper should quit The United Church of Canada on principle, and if she not willing to stand by her principles — well — then she’s probably not a very good minister. So, either way, Rev. Vosper needs to hit the road.
Sometimes, I wonder just how our species came to dominate this planet.