I will open my sermon tonight with the sad news that America died this week.
We were a nation of dreamers. Designers. Doers. When others said we couldn’t accomplish something, we achieved it.
We were a nation of plenty. Abundance. The forests, rivers, and even the depths of the earth were ours for the taking. And we used it to make ourselves better. Electricity. Refrigeration. Computers. God smiled upon the land and said “Yes. This is good. You should have these things.”
And things we had.
There was a time when we looked toward the horizon and said “we’re Americans. There is no horizon. There is no frontier. We will push further, and when we reach that point, we shall push further still. And we earned it. Because we were America. But that’s gone now.
There was something special about America. Something about the way we looked at ourselves as Americans. But we didn’t deserve it. We didn’t care enough, push hard enough, fight strong enough and now it is dead and we are all to blame. And so we need to acknowledge that, and remember that dark day we allowed the Devil to defeat the beauty of American life. January 22, 2015. The day SkyMall filed for bankruptcy.
I think I’m supposed to write another thing. Seems like it’s about time to do that. I wrote all those other things before. I think a lot of them were pretty good. I’m supposed to top that now.
That’s very ambitious.
Yeah, I got nothing.
I mean, here we are, it’s the end of the year, and I guess I’m… what, supposed to do something profound? Nope. Nothing.
I had something but… I mean it wasn’t very good. I didn’t think I should post it.
Wow. Man, I feel really guilty about this. I mean let’s put aside how awkward this is and just deal with the total disrespect I am showing you, the readers right now. I mean my year’s been great so far. Couple of good months of funny stuff, if I say so myself. Apparently that wasn’t enough of an accomplishment though so I have to come up with something else and so here we are.
Alright, everyone, settle down, I’m going to try to make this a quick staff meeting. So, I know you’ve all been asking me what’s going on with our Black Friday hours. A lot of you wanted to plan for the holiday, as well as know what time off you’re going to be able to take this year.
Okay, so, look. Here’s the deal, guys. I’m sure I don’t have to explain that it’s a bad economy out there. We haven’t had a year where we can just afford to close up shop—not when the customers want us to be open. You know how it goes, everyone—one place decides they’re going to open up early to get the first crowd in, and then everyone else has to do it, and all of a sudden management decides it would basically be losing money to keep the place closed on Thursday.
We’re all professionals here, alright? And as professionals, we all understand that the customers come first. And if the customers want to get a head start on Black Friday deals, we’re obligated to provide them. So, that in mind, Pleasant Meadows Pet Crematorium will be opening on Thanksgiving Day.
The comedian was one the most influential people in my life. He raped several people.
For the last several years of my life, I have mentally prepared myself for the death of Bill Cosby. I am a person who usually rejects dead celebrity worship, but this would be one of the rare exceptions for me. In the last ten years I have moved to multiple apartments in multiple states, packing all my belongings: computer, books, art supplies, mental bullet points on how to reflect on the death of Bill Cosby should the moment inevitably come while I’m at work one afternoon. I have lived in Atlanta for six years now and only last year remembered to buy a fire extinguisher; it was before the Atlanta move that I started thinking how I’d talk about Bill Cosby dying.
What I’m writing here is a combination of things I’ve had to think about or the last few days, and things I’ve thought about for nearly a decade. And ultimately it’s about how the former was hindered by the latter. This is, for all intents and purposes, the memorial I knew I was going to have to write about a person who is no longer in my world anymore.
Good evening, America, on this pivotal Election Night. It is 9:00 PM on the East Coast, 6:00 on the West Coast. Polls have closed in New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Louisiana. A giant spider has attached itself to the front of my head.
Ah! Mr. Reynoldson. Alright then, Logan, well then you can call me Gary. Did you find the place alright? Good. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Water? Futuristic-sounding nutrient beverage? Well alright then. This won’t be stressful at all. We have very advance hiring practices here in the year 2019, which is a very strange thing to say since there’s no important reason to emphasize that in context to the rest of this conversation, especially one between two people alone in this interview room. In the year 2019. Are you sure you wouldn’t like some colored water in an oddly-shaped glass that is perfectly normal for the present time?
Author’s Note: essays like this are a result of the creative energy fostered by the amazing Atlanta performing arts community, none more relevant to my life than the talent of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. Homeless for over a year thanks to the scourge of commercial construction progress, Dad’s has recently found a potential new home in a vacant church in Atlanta. Now all it needs is a bunch of money to buy it. Please donate to the Dad’s Garage Kickstarter today.
What’s that you’ve got there? Oh, right. One of those. An online minister certificate. Yeah, I’ve seen them before. A bunch of you have one of ’em. It’s trendy. It’s fun! You can perform weddings and stuff like that.
But you know what else it is? It’s lame. Okay, I get it; I’ve been hearing it for years now. You’re technically a priest. Congrats.
Well guess what. I can top that. In fact, I have topped that. So to all of you cool kids who think you’re so hip with your Universal Life Churches and your mail-order official licenses, I’ve got you beat. My paperwork came in this morning, and as of today, I am officially a Trappist monastery.
Oh, what a great opening question. Clearly by the banker’s box filled with all the personal items from my desk sitting here next to me, I’m doing just great.
Oh, I am? Really. Well, that’s interesting.
M-hmm. “Noticeable decrease in productivity.” Well, can’t argue with that I guess.
Oh? Do I have any questions? Actually, yes, Jim. Can I call you Jim? I’mma call you Jim.
Jimbo, have you ever watched The Shawshank Redemption?
Great movie. You know that awesome scene at the end where Morgan Freeman is facing the parole board and just gets all profound and intense with them? Good. That’s good. In that case, we can move on to why productivity is down.
It’s this, Jim. This roll of toilet paper. Right here.
Ladies and Gentlemen of this esteemed Congressional panel:
On May 28, 2014, the world lost one of the greatest minds of the last century. A writer, thinker, activist, and inspiration to millions across all races and nationalities, we were blessed as a people by the presence of Dr. Maya Angelou.
Angelou was a legend, with a career spanning more than fifty years as a writer, poet, singer, actress, dancer, public speaker, professor, lecturer, and filmmaker. Her biography required seven separate books to fully expound. She was a respected colleague of Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Upon the news of her death, President Barack Obama said of Angelou, “the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.”
Dr. Angelou’s work made one of the most significant impacts on the way we thought and felt about life in the 20th century, and there will truly never be anything like her again. With the exception, of course, of our department’s fully-operational Maya Angelou combat robot.
Fellow members of the academic community: thank you for attending. I’d just like to start by saying there are fire extinguishers located at both sides of the room.
Art, they say, is subjective. But that does not shield it from scientific analysis. I have brought you here tonight so I may discuss a great crisis in science. Arts and entertainment have violated the prior respect of accuracy and logic in a basic tenet of sciences: biology. We face a crisis, ladies and gentlemen. One that has built up over the last few decades and unless we address it I feel it will only get worse.
My report, “Comparative Mental and Cognitive Assessments In Relation To Documented Biological Anomalies in Canine Species,” means to address this very crisis. For guests of the doctoral community here tonight: I am referring, of course, to how talking dogs make no sense.