if they were smart they'd weigh
Monday, December 19 2005
Everything about Home Depot is repulsive, from their policy of drug-testing their employees, to their robotic checkout machines, to their clusters of overhead surveillance cameras, to the folks with armloads of paperwork at the entranceway trying to get you to sign on to their soul-sucking membership plan, which (for all I know) is their way of drug testing their customers. As far as I can tell there is only one surveillance blindspot in the entire store, safe from the prying eyes of the black surveillance globes. It is back behind the refrigerators. That's a good place to take your shopping cart full of plumbing equipment. If they were smart they'd weigh customers entering and leaving the store. I'm sure they're working on it.
The main reason I drove out to 9W today was to pick up diced tomatoes for the chili I was planning on cooking for this, the last night of the semester for Gretchen's gig as a remedial English composition teacher. I also bought a package of organic romaine lettuce, not knowing we already had an unopened package. So in addition to the chili I also made a big bowl of salad, flavored with garlic, olive oil, Japanese rice vinegar, parmesan cheese, and a dash of salt.
This cooking effort (along with the associated dish washing) took more than an hour, and as I worked I listened to a fascinating episode of This American Life, the one called "Heretics," about the scandal that beset Carlton Pearson, an influential black pentecostal mega-preacher, after he started preaching that there is no Hell, that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that we are all bound for Heaven no matter what we do. It blew my mind. The Christianity Pearson was describing made at least as much sense as any of the others I've heard described. Why, he wanted to know, must starving babies in Africa, who would never be converted to Christianity, spend their eternities in Hell? It made no sense to him. It made more sense that everyone, even the wicked, ended up in Heaven. We all suffer on Earth, he reasoned, so why not a reward at the end of life? That's why Jesus died. The practical consequences of such a theology, of course, are that you're free to live life any way you want, and the beneficial cultural conformity resulting from a demanding religious identity is lost. And for a preacher the consequences are even more personal. Why tithe or go to church if you know you're getting into Heaven automatically? Thinking about this theology, that it even existed, made the world seem like a much friendlier, more enlightened place. It actually made me vaguely wish that I was Christian just so I could I identify with Carlton Pearson's church. If you plan to be spending an hour cooking something in the kitchen, it's a perfect soundtrack
Just because I knew I'd be having to get up early to go on a computer repair errand, I went to bed at 10:30pm.
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