Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sure to Offend Someone: The Easter Bonnet Problem

On Giving Good Hat

So it's Easter and who doesn't like bunnies, chocolates, estrogen, and spring? It's snowing in Bristol as I write this. If you happen to like ham, I suppose I can easily get with the bacon part of the ham. It's all so goyam, you know?

If you like to say "Happy Easter" that's cool with me 'cause everybody should be happy about something. I suppose I should start there because it'll be interesting to find out if this next bit offends you, somehow.

You've likely noticed I have a penchant for offensive religious jokes but I will insist that they need to be funny. No professional scholar of religion who can't laugh at---not just with---religion is anyone I want to hang with. (<--very awkward sentence structure, hehe...) 
Then again, I almost never hang with fellow religion scholars. They are almost to the last nicer and more likable than I am and that only sometimes bothers me. But far far far too many believe stupitshit. And this is not limited to, say, Easter.
A pal of mine who I do work for just said, in effect, and I kid you not, "Do you think you could be nicer to the people who don't really know you, people on our team?" I merely reminded him that I am not nearly as funny as I wish I were and that even my mom said once that my brother was better looking but I was smarter. This is actually true. I know I can sound unnice. I can even sound arrogant and obnoxious because I have an unwarranted amount of self-confidence when I'm not up all night gaslighting myself with imposter's syndrome.
Like the Canceled Easter joke---they found the body. Of course I made myself into a faithful child when my parents, bless them, looked at askance at my interest in religion. It took me a while to figure it out but I was interested in eastern religious bypass until I met Appa who had the most remarkable way of not trying to persuade you of anything. Appa taught by merely pointing things out and sorta'kinda'hopin' that you would come to it of your own accord. I mean I went to him lookin for Full On No Kidding Advaita Oneness Bypass and instead of merely calling Utter Bullshit on this nearly psychotic theory of yogic bypass, he merely worked his way around the edges until he landed on the core of the matter---and never once, not ever did he call it out. Like I just did. Mere name calling here, not even a worthwhile argument. But meh. That doesn't make it less bullshit. So I nearly got tossed out of Divinity School on a weekly basis and I do love me some Hindu temple and pilgrimage. You do know that it's because it's a long, strange trip into the darkest corners of our Collective Unconscious, a one way ticket to the abyss of meaning that we can only make while here, in this limited, conditioned, unfinished and always three-fourths unknown self of embodiment. Wow, that was way too serious for a post about bunnies and chocolate. WTF is wrong with me? But here's the core of this. I am reading allllll sorts of SINCERE wishes for a Happy Easter. I even have friends who can say this with a straight face. I mean, I'm all for the Durkheimian sociology of ANY holiday, just get together under some religious pretense and have a few laughs, don't invite that Trump Uncle who you never liked that much anyways (and if you did, well, it was a mistake), and get on with the food. If there's booze involved, I won't object unless it's a more serious matter for you, in which case my actual serious support and I'll pour you something vegan non-alcoholic no problem eva'. But when I get the sorta' serious Happy Easter greeting it's just f'in' weird to me. I can't separate this from the Jesus Died for Our Sins and then Didn't Really Die part 'cause I not only think that is obviously untrue to even people who say it is but because it's just a very bad myth. I'm all for a good myth---tell yerself a healthy lie for better reasons, but be careful because people will not get the joke. Next thing you know you are apologizing and blaming the interwebs for not conveying your in-person sincerities. I dunno, but people are so easily offended about f'in' everything these days. I suppose many have good reason but life I tell you is basically offensive to anyone paying attention.
Then there's the "happy easter to all those who celebrate" bit. WTF does that mean? Does it mean you like to get together with yer peeps for some food lovin'festing? Who could object to that? Does it mean you grew up with some traditions and your family was swept up in the fictions of history that could have been much better had we told other stories? Does it mean this is an allegory you can roll with? Okay, fine. You might say Jesus was supposed to be a swell guy, that he told us to love each other and not be dicks. Last I looked the people claiming the Christian mantle are mostly not like that, and never have been (but who's judging that ye be judged? John somethingsomething endzone sign here.) Anyways, I resent 2000 years of lies that have been told as literally true. Cause they really do think it's literally true. Ask our pal d'Current Pope who you may say is a swell guy 'cause he's not a Nazi like that last guy. I think their hats suck too. I dig hats. I like religions that give Good Hat. Give me some Dalai Lama banana slug hat anytime. Way better hat. All the rest is just bunnies and chocolates and I'm totally okay with that. Any you. For real.