So, Sen. Paul filibustered and received brief assurances that at least there are some limits to the Obama adminstration's policy of targeted assassination. Alex Kane—in a Short Imagined Monologue, one of my favorite features at McSweeney's humor site—spells out some others. I for one would be reassured if the White House actually said this.
Recently I was telling a pastoral colleague that I have no idea how people become preachers without having first been stand-up comics. In the early 1990s when I was getting clean and sober, I worked for a few years as a stand-up comic; getting paid to be caustic on stage was cheaper than paying for therapy and had much the same result.
Much of the most delightfully silly online humor follows
a particular formula: a
single good idea that alters or plays on a pop-cultural artifact; execution
that relies on computer technology, but not too much (some simple Photoshop
work, a couple lines of code); loads of nostalgia.
Laughter was a hallmark of my family’s life as I grew up. Our family dinner table was so often marked by jokes and storytelling that we were the embodiment of those old canards about communities that know the jokes so well that all you have to do is call out the numbers and everyone laughs.
A man in his mid-30s sits in a recliner in a dark room. Bursts of light from an episode of Dancing with the Stars flash on the walls and furniture. He grasps a cold beer, and a bag of potato chips is in his lap. This man is a pastor, and he is—at this very moment—leading his flock.
At a recent theology conference I made a beeline for the book table the instant a coffee break was called. But all the volumes seemed strangely familiar. Later that night, in that famed space between dreaming and waking, the trends in Christian publishing became even clearer.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).