Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Friday, March 31, 2006

Respecting Other Cultures

In free Afghanistan, the nation American soldiers died to liberate from the Taliban, a man was facing execution. His crime: converting Christianity. I'm told the man was released and has amnesty in Rome, but the Afghan legislature is still calling for his head. Father Richard John Neuhaus wrote this in his blog:

The spirited, if sometimes acidulous, Mark Steyn reflects on the Afghan clerics who are calling for the death of Abdul Rahman because he committed the capital crime of converting to Christianity. In the course of his remarks, Mr. Steyn cites one of my favorite stories about the limits of multiculturalism.

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee"–the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural: "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

If Pax Americana is to spread freedom throughout the Muslim world, we must include the right to practice one's faith among those freedoms.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Elephant Trunks

Read this scientific study before you marry a Democrat.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Buck Owens, Rest in Peace

OK, time for a disturbing admission. When I was growing up, we regularly watched Hee Haw on Saturday nights at 7pm. I know this puts a giant gaping hole in any credibility I might have with anyone, well, anywhere, but allow me to put it in perspective.

In the late 70's, the ABC network had exclusive rights to show college football. ESPN did not exist yet, and the only highlights were on the local news. ABC would show one or two games on a Saturday afternoon, and that was it. Oh, and there was a rule that a team could only be shown 5 times in two seasons, which meant, for example, that on the day in 1977 when top-5 Oklahoma played at top-5 Ohio State (a game decided on a last second field goal), because Oklahoma would exceed it's "5 times" allotment, we in Orlando saw mediocre Florida vs. awful Mississippi State.

As I mentioned, ABC would, on a good day, show two games, one starting at noon and the other at 3:30. I would watch the games, whoever was playing, religiously. The 3:30 game would often run a little past 7, and when it was over, Hee Haw came on. This is where my mom comes in.

My mom was raised in the panhandle of Florida, in the little out-of-the-way burgh of Bonifay. My mom grew up in the Depression (I had older parents than most of my peers; my parents adopted myself and my sister when they were well into their 40's), and were rather poor. One of her fondest memories growing up was going over to a relative's house on Saturday night (they didn't have their own radio) to listen to the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, TN. So when Hee Haw came on following the game, being a show that was extremely reminiscent of (and may have even had some of the same performers as) the Grand Ole Opry, there was no way that the station was going to get turned. Not if I wanted to eat anything that week, anyway.

The show was hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens, and consisted of country (long before the "Hats, Hunks, and Hardbodies" country music of today) and gospel music, and some really corny comedy skits. There was one bit that would get me and my sister to stop rolling our eyes at this "hillbilly" spectacle and listen in: the regular "Phhhtt, you were gone..." bit, in which one singer would sing the opening verse of a hard-luck love song, while another singer (usually the gust star) would stand beside him, facing away from the camera. After the verse, the other singer would turn around and they would sing the chorus together:

Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.

On the "phhht" part, they would face each other, stick out their tongues and "Phhhtttt!" know what I mean. Funny stuff when you're 10.

So in honor of Buck Owens' passing, off to do his pickin' and a grinnin' in that great Opry in the sky, I present the full lyrics to Phhhht! You Was Gone. Phhhhttt away, everyone....

"Pfft You Were Gone"

by Archie Campbell and Buck Owens

Down here on the farm the weather gets messy
Laying around with nothin' to do
When you went away, you took my cow Bessie
I miss her darling, more than I miss you

You took off your leg, your wig and your eye glass
And you shoud've seen the look on my face
I wanted to kiss, I wanted to hug you
But you were scattered all over the place

Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.

I know that you loved me, here's my way of knowing
The proofs hanging out right there on the line
When I see the snow and feel the wind blowing
Your nighties hugging them long johns of mine

The noises you made at our supper table
Your habits, my dear, were surely absurd
But how many times do I have to tell you
Soup is a dish to be seen and not heard

Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.

Remember you phoned me a-sobbin' and cryin'
The dog bit your maw, and drug her around
You said she looked pale and thought she was dying
I said "Don't worry, I'll buy a new hound."

I had six kids and you had eleven
And we had a boy, and they grew like flowers
I wish you'd come back, without you ain't heaven
'Cause your kids and my kids are beatin' up ours

Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone

I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you were gone...

Friday, March 17, 2006

For Animal Lovers

Thanks to Kristen for sending these

Thursday, March 16, 2006

In case there's any doubt that we live in an over-litigious society...

...I present the following news item:


Man Hits His Own Car Then Sues Himself
Mar 16 7:17 AM US/Eastern

LODI, Calif.

When a dump truck backed into Curtis Gokey's car, he decided to sue the city for damages. Only thing is, he was the one driving the dump truck. But that minor detail didn't stop Gokey, a Lodi city employee, from filing a $3,600 claim for the December accident, even after admitting the crash was his fault.

After the city denied that claim because Gokey was, in essence, suing himself, he and his wife, Rhonda, decided to file a new claim under her name.

City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said this one also lacks merit because Rhonda Gokey can't sue her own husband.

"You can sue your spouse for divorce, but you can't sue your spouse for negligence," Schwabauer said. "They're a married couple under California law. They're one entity. It's damage to community property."
But Rhonda Gokey insisted she has "the right to sue the city because a city's vehicle damaged my private vehicle."

In fact, her claim, currently pending at Lodi City Hall, is for an even larger amount _ $4,800.

"I'm not as nice as my husband is," she said.

I have seen the abyss. Jerry, over and out....

Monday, March 13, 2006

Father of 10 will fast for Catholic universities

One can never have too much prayer. But this story stretches the limits. It seems a father of 10, whose oldest are college age, is concerned about the dangers his children will face as they leave the nest. To remedy the situation, he is offering prayers and supplications this Lent. Joe Gill has resolved to fast for 40 days. Yes, you read that correctly. He will not consume anything but water (and presumably the Eucharist) from Ash Wednesday until the Easter Vigil. I didn’t know the human body could take that kind of abuse.

He is praying for “the intention of protecting and loving and teaching and forming our Catholic youth with the authentic teachings of Holy Mother Church.” Mr. Gill is very concerned that many Catholic universities have not followed the mandatum of “Ex Corde Ecclesiae.” And the place he chose to make his stand is the University of Notre Dame.

My reaction is mixed. Certainly, Notre Dame is an obvious choice because it is very well known. Its recent discussion of academic freedom has garnered some national press coverage. ND certainly offers a good opportunity for publicity. Furthermore, ND has not complied with “Ex Corde.” Mr. Gill’s blog links to an article that paints the Theology Department as barely Catholic. This is where I beg to differ. I’ll refer you to a previous post for a defense of ND’s Catholic character. There are certainly other schools, particularly some “in the Jesuit tradition,” that have fallen further away from the Catholicism. Mr. Gill might do more good there. But then I can’t think of a better campus than ND's to spend time fasting and praying. That being said, Our Lady’s university has drifted away from orthodox Catholicism over the years. But I am very hopeful, especially in light of Father Jenkins’ leadership, she is drifting back. Of course, we always welcome prayers.

I have a much more practical concern. Will Mr. Gill survive his 40 day ordeal? If he does, will he be in good health? He has a wife and ten children to think about. Mortification is one thing. Putting your life in danger, especially when so many depend on you, is quite another. I appreciate the prayers. But this seems a little much.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Things I've Learned From The Movies....

I’ve seen a few of these lists on the a search on “Things I’ve learned from the movies” and you’ll get quite a few hits. My favorites:

· Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are easily available and well within the price range of most people - - whether they are employed or not.

· Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one. You will know how much time you have to diffuse it, because all bombs have a large LED readout letting you know how much time there is until detonation. For best results, wait until there are less than 5 seconds left.

· The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

· If you are female, attractive, and have a nice figure, it is possible to become a world-renown expert in any hard science – nuclear fission, genetics, archaeology, biology, etc. – at the age of 24.

· You have a good chance of surviving the upcoming battle, unless you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

· Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

· It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have dispatched their predecessors.

· All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

· The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.

· Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment.

· During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

· In the future, everyone will wear more leather.

My additions:

· Any chase through city streets will eventually come upon a parade. In San Francisco, it will be a Chinese parade, complete with large dragon; in New Orleans, it will be a funeral procession.

· If you are a single woman in your late 20’s/early 30’s who has been unlucky in love, your building handyman/gardener/plumber will be a well-built (though he never goes to the gym) Renaissance man. He will play classical piano, cook gourmet meals, practice some form of non-dogmatic, non-threatening, one-with-the-cosmos spirituality, never raise his voice, and continue to make himself available to you despite your constant condescension and interest in other men.

· The star quarterback or running back on a football team will soon be the recipient of a catastrophic knee injury. His replacement, a heretofore unnoticed, rarely-used reserve, will prove to be better than the star was. Also, the star defensive player on the team will be certifiably insane.

· The best way to make a tackle in football is to launch yourself airborne at the ball carrier from approximately 15 feet away.

· Though medieval peasants all had perfect teeth (mentioned in a couple of online lists), and there was at least one gorgeous knockout of a female in every village, monks of the Middle Ages were so monstrously hideous looking as to be borderline deformed.

· There are no differences in belief between the various Christian denominations; therefore, it is customary for Evangelical Christians to have statues of the Virgin Mary in their homes.

· Americans, in all parts of the US, when eating Chinese food prefer, and are proficient in, using chopsticks.

· No matter the extent to which you have neglected your spouse and/or children, you can make things right and all is forgiven if you defend them from a space alien or giant lizard.

· When your clock-radio alarm goes off in the morning, the DJ on the radio will be just beginning a sentence.

· Every person of Asian descent, regardless of age, is proficient in marital arts; every black person in New Orleans secretly practices voodoo.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pope Favors Greater Role for Women, But Not Priesthood

ZENIT reports Pope Benedict's comments during a meeting with priests in Rome. The Pope emphasized only men can be ordained priests, but he favors a greater role for women in the governence of the Church. He reminds us of great saints who have had significant influence in the story of Catholicism, "women do much, I would dare to say, for the governance of the Church, beginning with the sisters of the great Fathers of the Church, such as St. Ambrose, to the great women of the Middle Ages -- St. Hildegard, St. Catherine of Siena -- and later St. Teresa of Avila up to Mother Teresa." Let’s not forget the Church's greatest saint is a woman.

Unfortunately, some Catholics will not be satisfied until the priesthood is open to women. A friend of my told me the church "devalues" women because it does not give them roles of leadership equal to men. This belief is too common.

I can offer the Church's sound theological reasons for an all-male priesthood. Unfortunately, those arguments tend to be unconvincing to those who feel oppressed. Those who feel powerless naturally want to seek power. Let me propose this. We need not look at Holy Orders as a call to power. True, one of a bishop's roles is to govern, but ordination is primarily a call to service. Anyone who desires to be a priest should do so out of a desire to serve God's people, and should be willing to serve in any way God wills. Everyone in the Church should look out for their neighbor. In a community governed by charity, no one should feel powerless. Indeed power should be unnecessary. Granted, we will not see that in its fullness until Christ comes again, but we should try our best.

"Deus Caritas Est" and C.S. Lewis' "Four Loves"

Thus reads the headline of a ZENIT interview with Andrea Monda. The latter compares the writings of C.S. Lewis with those of Pope Benedict XVI. He includes some highlights by both authors and gets to the core of the Christian understanding of love. He concludes, "It is true that the Spirit blows where it will: A philologist-writer of fantasies, layman and Anglican -- even if he was very close to Catholicism -- and a German Catholic theologian, today Universal Shepherd of the Catholic Church, meet, are reunited in thought and word, united by the Spirit of Love. " This interview and its subjects are well worth reading.

Monday, March 06, 2006

George Weigel wrote a brief, but good commentary on Pope Benedict's XVI first encyclical.

Friday, March 03, 2006

NutJob Watch 03/03/06: Tom Cruise

Forgive me if this post could be seen as turning this blog into a celebrity gossip site, but indulge me for a moment as I ponder "What the Hell happened to one of my favorite actors?" and "Is it possible to be this deluded?"

(culled from, a terrifically funny, though at times rather crude, celebrity site)


Rumors of a pending split between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are now being fueled by Tom's insistence that the baby should be delivered according to Scientology doctrine. Katie's friends are concerned that she has been having a tough time dealing with the proposed birthing plans which include:

1. No painkillers and no screaming:

The bizarre ritual - which Scientologists believe should be carried out to prevent children from turning mad - is nothing new to Cruise who insisted the biological mothers of the adopted children he had with Nicole Kidman have their babies in silence, according to a 2001 report in the New York Post.

John Travolta (another guy who makes millions from being a famous spokesperson for the cult) also insisted his wife, Kelly Preston, follow the same rule when she gave birth to their children. He says,

"In Dianetics, you try and keep the delivery room quiet so there's nothing recorded in the child's mind that shouldn't be there while there's pain going on."

2. Separating the baby from Katie for a couple days immediately after the birth…..

In Scientology, mother and child are separated for days after birth to reduce trauma and provide time to recover. The mother is discouraged from holding or cuddling the child. "The baby should not be bathed or chilled but should be wrapped somewhat tightly in a warm blanket, very soft, and then left alone for a day or so," Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in a Dec. 20, 1958, bulletin titled “Processing a New Mother.""

3. ….and withholding comforting and nurturing as the child grows. Scientologists are encouraged not to comfort or nurture young children because Hubbard believed a child is simply a small adult who can look after themselves from a young age.

Reading the above, you might find the thought "What kind of ridiculous horse***t is this?" gaining prominence in your thoughts.......Oh, dear readers, it's just a sampling of what the wonderful world of Scientology has to offer. The Judeo-Christian tradition has its "The Human Condition: How We Got Here" account: Adam, Eve, Garden of Eden, Snake, Sin, then "Everyone, out of the pool !!" It's rather easily digestable and packed with theological truths. Have a gander at Scientology's "The Human Condition: How We Got Here" account, and see if the terms "easily digestable" or "packed with many theological truths" come to mind:

.....the story of Xenu, the galactic tyrant who first kidnapped certain individuals who were deemed "excess population" and loaded these individuals into space planes for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth). These space planes were said to have been copies of Douglas DC-8s, except with rocket engines. He then stacked hundreds of billions of these frozen victims around Earth's volcanoes 75 million years ago before blowing them up with hydrogen bombs and brainwashing them with a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for 36 days, telling them lies of what they are and what the universe should be like and telling them that they are 3 different things: 'Jesus, God, and The Devil.' The traumatized thetans subsequently clustered around human bodies because they watched the motion picture together, making them think they are all the same thing, in effect acting as invisible spiritual parasites known as "body thetans" that can only be removed using advanced Scientology techniques. Xenu is allegedly imprisoned in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery. He is said to be still alive today.

Scientologists wait until you're fairly well along into the 'Advanced Levels' of the cult before springing this one on you. I can't imagine why.

I've always been a big fan of Tom Cruise: he does not get nearly enough credit for his acting, he's been in some of the most enjoyable films I've seen in the last 20+ years, and, in my opinion, was robbed of an Best Actor Oscar for Jerry Maguire (Geoffrey Rush won for a particularly one-note performance in Shine). Sadly, he's gone the way of Angelina Jolie and Shirley MacLaine: when I see them in a role, I don't see the character; I see the whacked-out headcase playing the character.

And another thing....with all the hot Scientologist chicks roaming around Hollywood, why does Cruise continually target Catholic women for romantic liasons? After he and Nicole Kidman split(reportedly she didn't want to convert from Catholicism nor have her kids raised in Scientology), he was linked briefly to Sofia Vergara (Catholic) and then for some time to Penelope Cruz (Catholic). Then he swooped in on Holmes, who has yet to cut the cord to her Catholicism, despite Cruise's full court press to do so. Mr. Cruise, are you trying to convert the Catholic Church to Scientology one actress at a time?

OK, I'll stop. I feel sleazier for just having written about celebrity gossip. Now, where's my latest copy of People magazine?....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Botched Abortion Lawsuit

The BBC reports a mother is suing Britain's National Health Service (NHS) for botching her abortion. Was the woman physically injured? No. Did she have unexpected medical complications? Nothing that was unusual for a pregnancy. She is asking for 250,000 pounds because the state-sponsored medical professionals failed to terminate both of her children. Stacy Dow was expecting twins, and the abortionist only managed to kill one of them. Her daughter Jayde, now four years old, survived.

Now the poor woman has to face the trauma of being a mother. Her lawsuit claims, "As a result of the failed termination the pursuer suffered loss, injury and damage. She suffered distress and anxiety upon the discovery of her continuing pregnancy.

"She required to undergo an elective C-section. She suffered pain and discomfort in consequence of surgery.

"She has the financial burden of care, upbringing and aliment of Jayde. She suffers an impediment in her ability to obtain employment in consequence of her care for the child."

The horror of it all must be too much for Ms. Dow to bear. 250,000 pounds will be little compensation for having the monumental burden of raising a child. The fact that millions of people around the world are in the same predicament should be little comfort to her. The article does not say if Ms. Dow considered adoption.

The mother worries she might have some explaining to do. She says, "I still don't know if, or what, I am going to tell Jayde when the time comes. Maybe when she is nine or 10 I will sit her down and explain it to her."

What is she going to say? "Jayde, 10 years ago I tried to have you and your twin sister killed, but at least I got some money from the government."

Pray for Stacy and Jayde dow.

Reduce Stress the Christian Way

From the internet transom:

An Angel says, "Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice."

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns .. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety ..If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it ..
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus."
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most.
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Things that need to change in the Catholic Church...

I have long been known as a loyal, orthodox, faithful Catholic. But I can remain silent no longer. Do I have an issue with teachings on abortion, artificial birth control, the practice of an all-male celibate priesthood, the role of Mary and doctrines about her (Immaculate Conception, Assumption, ever virginity, etc.), confession.....? No, I'm on board on all those. I mean the really important stuff:

++ For the love of all that is holy, could someone please hold an annual instructional seminar for priests so that they can learn to make a good sign of the cross on my forehead with the ashes on Ash Wednesday? Every year its the same damn thing:

1. The priest puts his thumb into the ash bowl (or whatever its called) and puts enough ash on his thumb to make it look like he's being fingerprinted...

2. He then places his entire hand on the top of my head like he's palming a basketball. Really, Father, there is no reason to grip my cranium; I'm not going anywhere, as I have a lot invested in the quality of cross that you place on my noggin. I'm going to be wearing it the rest of the day....

3. He then mumbles something about dust. Every priest who's ever done my yearly cross rips through the words like I do the Hail Mary sometimes: "HailMaryfullofgracetheLordiswiththee..." I don't know if you're saying "To dust you shall return" or "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" or "All we are is dust in the wind...". Enunciate, please. I know you've been doing this all day, but focus, OK?

4. He makes the vertical beam of the cross; so far so good. Now, Father, is when you lift your thumb OFF my forehead, move it to where you're going to begin the horizontal beam, THEN place it back on my forehead and make the mark. The lifting of the thumb is a crucial, but usually neglected, element of ash-cross-drawing. Without it, I end up with either a) a smudge, or b) something resembling a highway underpass diagram.

++ There needs to be a prohibition on teenage (and sometimes older) girls chewing gum at mass. If I can't bring my Diet Coke into church with me, you can't have your Hubba Bubba. I've seen girls work the gum all through mass, go to communion, then come back to their pews still jawing away. While on earth, the Body of Christ was subjected to pain, hunger, torture, and even death....I think it's fair to ask that His Body not now be subjected to Strawberry-Banana Blast....

++ While I'm on the subject of the fairer sex at mass, how about some semblance of a dress code? I'm accustomed to seeing the "March of the Scantily-Clad Jailbait" at the mall and the movies, but couldn't you young Flowers of Christ leave the exposed thongs, practically-painted-on low rise (and I mean low rise, though there's a lot more of "low" than "rise" involved) jeans**, and bare midriffs at home for one outing? And to the parents accompanying these girls...What in the Hell are you thinking? The only way a daughter of mine gets out of the house, much less to church, dressed like that is over my dead body...

** Yes, girls, I know there are boys in the congregation and I'm all for meeting someone at church and it's all part of the "game" of attraction....but really, if it's a "game" and the boys are just trying to "score", do you want to let him start with a first down at your one-yard line?

++ Okay, teenage boys, you're not off the hook, as I suspect you are the instigators/primary target of the rock n' roll music at the Teen masses. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not pining away for Gregorian chant or organ music, but the full drum kits and thumping bass just seem a llliiiittttllle out of place during participation in the life, sacrifice, and death of our Lord, don't you think? I could live with a finger-tapping entrance song or toe-tapping recessional ditty, but the "boom chicka boom boom" renditions of the "Gloria", "Hosanna", and the "Lamb Of God" have got to go. Taking something we like (rock music) and making a cheap imitation of it to wedge it into mass does not make the mass more "relevant"; it does do both rock n' roll and the mass a disservice.

++ On Palm Sunday, a pamphlet should be distributed along with the palms showing how to properly tie the palm into a cross. I end up spending the entire mass trying unsuccessfully to accomplish this feat, and still cannot manage to fashion a cross out of my palm without a stapler. I am as bad at this as priests are at making the ash cross, but at least they don't have to wear my palm non-cross around all day...

Any other suggestions from the peanut gallery?