Blog Archives - THE CATASTROPHIZER
 
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I wish I could draw.
I could have sworn there was some kind of Rob Ford crack scandal a few weeks ago. Involving Rob Ford and crack. I was reminded of this long-ago, seemingly-no-longer-discussed-by-anyone topic by the recent hijinks of Daily-Show-darling-turned-ohmygodpleaseputyourpenisaway Anthony Weiner.

Anthony Weiner was an up-and-comer (sorry) in the Democratic Party before he torpedoed (sorry) his career by having a large package and a yen for showing it to starry-eyed left-wing internet ladies. He went away for a while, and we all assumed he was spending his time off being repentant and not taking pictures of his penis. And then, just when it appeared his career was once again on the ascendant (less sorry, but going to stop now) and he was poised to become mayor of New York, it came out that he had found a new texting object of desire and a new handle—one that would add to his reputation for compulsive exhibitionism a shiny gloss of cartoonish hilarity: Carlos Danger.

I feel like in the time it's taken for Rob Ford to be associated with the smoking of crack and then to go to back to doing just what he's always done as though no one ever saw him smoking crack, Anthony Weiner has managed to show his penis, resign, repent, run for office again, and then show his penis again (I am misrepresenting the Weinergate timeline, but I think you'll find it makes my argument more convincing). It's entirely possible Weiner will fall out of favour again, redeem himself again, run for something else again, and show his penis AGAIN before we hear anything else about Rob Ford and that goddamn video.

Where did it all go? Why have we not heard anything in ages? Has nothing else turned up because Canadian journalists are not sufficiently resourceful, or because Canadian media outlets don't tend to pay people to tell their stories (about how they once smoked crack with Rob Ford)? Maybe the idea of receiving no money for the opportunity to be interviewed by Peter Mansbridge just isn't appealing to a crack dealer or user with Ford-related secrets.

Maybe discovering Rob Ford smoked crack as his crack-smoking alter ego Pascual Calamity would bring this back into the limelight. (Thank you, Slate Magazine's The Carlos Danger Name Generator.) 

 
It's extremely hot. I find that observation very interesting, because I am extremely hot. I am currently watching people on the PBS NewsHour talk intelligently about bilingual education, and the most interesting thing I have thought about them is that they do not look as though they're extremely hot.

I have no air conditioning in my apartment. Instead, I have an invisible cone of safety. The invisible cone is created by my fan, and as long I do not leave it, I am okay. Not refreshingly-cool awesome, but okay. If I shift a foot in any direction I immediately become (a) wildly irritable or (b) comically lethargic. I have to carry the fan to and then position it in front of any place I plan to settle for any length of time.

I am not alone in my cone:
(I also, naturally, cart that chair around so that it can be positioned in front of my fan so that my cat can lie on it.) I initially felt quite sorry for my cat, because he is, after all, furry, but then he insisted on my throwing his nerf ball around for a while so that he could run around vigorously after it, and I decided he was bearing up quite well.
 
A while ago, I wrote about "eldergrimming," which is what happens when an inspiring, affirming moment is ruined by an old person.

Today I was reminded that it's not just the elderly who are capable of introducing an uncomfortable note of awfulness into a pleasant situation you really didn't expect would turn awful.

I was on the streetcar and a mass of tiny children got on. I immediately thought, "I want to kill myself. Very soon, I'm going to want to die." But I soon noticed that the children were implausibly adorable and that their teenage counselor was implausibly attentive (to them, I mean) and resourceful and engaged and funny. The kids were bouncing around in a way that was still cute but on the verge of being not cute at all anymore, and the counselor asked them all the following question, which suddenly and fiercely focused them on something other than starting to no longer be cute: "If you had all the money in the world, what would you spend it on?"

Cue head-exploding cuteness explosion. One tiny boy said, "I would spend the money helping other people who need help." Adorable. One girl said, "I would buy Gerrard Square mall." Slightly less adorable—because more commercial and acquisitive—but still acceptable. The tiniest boy of all looked like he'd been hit by a thunderbolt of inspiration and come up with THE BEST IDEA EVER, and he shouted, "I would buy...A CAKE!"

By this point, I was smiling widely and feeling generally uplifted. I got up to leave the streetcar, still smiling in a "I am old and sophisticated, but still capable of being softened by the magic of childhood" kind of way, and a sweet-faced girl yelled:

"SLAVES! I would buy A LOT OF SLAVES!"

And then I went to the grocery store and a sweet-faced elderly woman was really mean to the cashier.
 
I was going to write something really glib and flippant about the topic I am about to introduce, but the more I looked into it, the more all the glib and flip got knocked out of me. What's left of me when those things are knocked out is mostly sadness and Bridge Mixture.

I recently started getting odd emails. Here's one of them:

Hello!

You are receiving this email from J.T who has signed up for X3watch, a personal accountability service from Triple X Church.

J.T. has identified you as their accountability partner. If you've received this email in error or you don't want to be J.T.'s accountability partner, please ask them to remove your email address from the X3watch application.

What Happens Now?

You will receive an email every week containing all possible questionable sites they may have visited on their [list devices the user runs X3watch on] devices.

This information is meant to encourage an open and honest conversation between friends and help us all be more accountable. You should also add the address reports@x3watch.com to your email address book to ensure it's not marked as spam email.

I naturally assumed Triple X Church was a made-up place that existed in order to somehow acquire my banking details. Or a real-life place that existed in order to provide people who are not me with High Anglican pornography. Either way, it was suspicious, and I CLICKED ON NOTHING. But the emails kept coming, so I finally, STILL CLICKING NOTHING, googled "XXX Church" and discovered that it's a website for religious people grappling with porn addictions.

The name of the man who suggested I might like to regularly monitor his use of pornography was included in the email (I obviously redacted it here, because I am not an animal), and as far as I can tell, he's a prominent gastroenterologist somewhere in Kansas. He's also a devout Christian and a married man, and his pornography addiction has jeopardized his relationship (he has posted comments on blogs about porn addiction and religion). The only other thing I know about him is that he probably has a trusted friend or relative with an email address remarkably similar to mine.

If I can figure out a way to no longer be a stranger's online porn accountability partner without having to correspond with someone from a Christian website or with that stranger who is right now totally unaware that some girl in Toronto is his porn accountability partner, I'll do so.  And I haven't looked at a single one of those reports, because if I wouldn't want some gastroenterologist from Kansas knowing incredibly personal things about me, I'm not going to give into the temptation to know incredibly personal things about a gastroenterologist from Kansas.

Thankfully, I found some statements on the website that allowed me to drown out my reluctant pathos attack:

"Each year, we distribute 25,000 bibles within the porn industry."

"We take the light of the gospel to the darkest of places around the world: porn shows, strip clubs, and brothels."


You can, naturally, donate money to fund their bible- and gospel-distributing endeavours. And why send your money to the world's less-dark places when you could use it to send a Christian to a strip club?

I am heartened to find myself glibbant once more.

                                  ***

This post was supposed to end after that last paragraph, but I just discovered that Triple X Church runs something called "Operation: Save the Kittens" and I think you should know about it:

"'Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten!' This notion came to us in an email by an anonymous person, and we took it to a whole new level."

A WHOLE NEW LEVEL, INDEED.

The Triple X Church thinks that masturbating (even if one distracts oneself throughout with THOUGHTS OF FRUIT) is wrong, and suggests that people make anti-masturbation pacts and remind each other not to masturbate by sending weekly emails with catchy subject headings to one another. Because the world is not all bad, they provide examples of such headings:

    * OSTK
    * Please, think of the kittens
    * Killed any kitties this week?
    * The kittens thank you for your support
    * Long Live the Kittens!


Pure awesome.