Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Would Jesus Drive? Because Apparently That's a Real Question These Days.

It’d be very easy to speculate on, criticize, and/or try to measure the toxic levels of smug self-importance it takes to compare one’s driving habits to Jesus Christ—and on top of that, to pridefully broadcast it on one’s own license plate. We’re going to avoid taking the easy route, though, and do our level best to take the question at face value.

So, seriously, what would Jesus drive?

To this driver (see above), the answer is clearly that Jesus would drive a hybrid car.1 We have no problem with electric cars; in general we like nifty technology, environmental friendliness, and an unquantifiable feeling that we’re Doing Something Good, and electric cars are often chock full of all three.

(Our only real beef with electric cars is their sneaky, ninja-style quietness. One of our neighbors drives one, and several times as we’ve walked obliviously across our parking lot, watching seagulls or thinking about dinosaurs,2 he’s crept around the corner on little cat wheels and could easily have crushed us to death before we heard him coming. Fortunately, he’s a very nice guy, and is also probably worried about what hitting a grown and slightly overweight man would do to his silly little car’s papier-mâché body frame.)

It’s safe to assume, though, that its potential value in vehicular homicide is not the number-one reason people drive hybrid cars—in all likelihood it’s no higher than fourth or fifth. The main reason folks drive hybrid or electric cars, just like Jesus did, is that they hate pollution and want to save the Earth.

We’re big fans of that too, for sure, and the prevailing logic is that electric cars spit out less polluting exhaust than gas-powered cars. But we’re not convinced that driving an electric car quite qualifies as a Christlike level of Earth-friendliness—after all, doesn’t 54% of U.S. electricity come from coal, a big fat gross pollutant?3

The coal-powered bicycle has done little to combat
China’s air-pollution problems.

Another 20% of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear power,4 so in a very unscientific way we could estimate that about 20% of an electric car’s power comes from nuclear power. The great thing about nuclear power is that it pollutes the Earth much, much less than coal power and is totally safe . . . except for the occasional horrifying disaster that does Earth-unfriendly damage to thousands upon thousands of square miles of plants, soil, water, and animals.5

Coal dust or radioactive contamination?
We love having options.
Contaminated water also counts as pollution, in our book.6

Don’t get us wrong. This is not to say that folks who drive electric or hybrid cars are bad people, or are doing a bad thing. They’re very likely bad in just about the exact same ratio as the regular population, and hybrid cars and their drivers are, on the whole, awfully swell, especially when they’re not sneaking up to kill us.

We merely believe that if you have the gall to compare yourself to Jesus Christ based on your driving habits, you might want to limit yourself to one of the driving options that Jesus might actually have had.

Option A.

Option B.

Is that too much to ask?

1. It’s possible that the driver is trying to tell us that Jesus would drive a Toyota, but we don’t believe that’s the case. If Jesus were to forgo an electric car, we’re positive He’d buy American.
2. We did both of these things quite a bit while playing youth soccer, since they were way more fun than playing youth soccer.
3. These folks say yes.
4. According to these folks.
5. Also humans, who are considered to be important to Jesus, and often to environmentalists.
6. One of the more chilling passages we’ve read in our six minutes of research refers to the Japanese government’s “inability to control the spread of radioactive material into the nation’s food.”

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo 2

A week or two after we posted our initial NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo card it occurred to us that, having created only one card, we had doomed our legions of bingo-crazy readers to play against each other using the exact same phrases. Folks would be filling out all the same spaces at the very same time, with only minor variations based on deafness, channel-flipping, or bathroom breaks, so virtually every bingo game would end in a tie.

While it’s heartwarming to think that such an oversight might inadvertently foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation among our readers—and, eventually, among football fans and then people of all creeds and colors from all walks of life—we think it’s a bit silly to even bother playing a game you have virtually no chance of winning. 

That’d basically be like playing for the 2008 Detroit Lions, and nobody deserves that—except maybe for the 2011 Indianapolis Colts.

Don’t be like those losers.1 Be a winner—pick up a bingo card, find a game on TV, and kick some ass, bingo-player style.

. . . okay, we admit that we don’t have any idea how playing bingo could possibly have anything to do with the notion of “kicking ass.” But we’re willing to admit that it’s probably technically possible, and we’re sure you’ll do your best. Go get ’em, Sport.


1. That is, coordinated, strong, famous, and rich.

Previously published on December 10, 2011. Bowling in the Dark has gone green, proudly recycling old crappy content and turning it into fresh new crappy content that looks pretty much the same. Please show your support by rereading, or, alternatively, sending us a ton of money.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Vocabulary Lesson: Magic vs. Magick

Magic (no k) amazes.
Magic is one of the human race’s oldest institutions, older still than Paul Bunyan, Saint Nick, Young Earth creationism, or the yeti. Magic can be entertaining or terrifying, beloved or distrusted, but is just as undeniably a fundamental and tangible part of daily human life as the yeti.

Magic (no k) makes you laugh.

The uninitiated, then, may be a big confused by the difference between magic and magick, or even magicks, the latter spellings having gradually returned to the popular vernacular over the last several decades. The answer is fairly simple, believe it or not—serious practitioners of real magic(k) prefer to use the (k) to differentiate what they do from the kind of magic( ) that might better be described as stage magic or simply parlor tricks.

Magic, minus charisma,
looks like this.
Well-known acts like David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Penn & Teller, or Criss Angel,1
then, perform magic. Magic is an act (albeit a very skilled one), a deft mix of distraction, showmanship, sleight-of-hand, and misdirection that combine to give the impression that otherworldly powers are on display when really it’s all just humbug. The practitioners know that magic is fake, but when it’s done right, it can have a powerful effect on the imaginations of its witnesses.

Magick, unlike magic, is to be taken very, very seriously.

Magick, on the other hand, was described by noted British occultist Aleister Crowley as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” It can seem to the uninitiated to be mysterious, deadly serious, and sometimes dark, and while it’s exceedingly difficult to find credible witnesses to incidents of magick, it nevertheless has a powerful effect on the imaginations of its practitioners.

In other words, if it’s fake, but you can actually see it happening, that’s magic. If it’s 100% real, but totally made up: magick.

You wanna see magic? Pull my finger.

1. Assuming any of these folks are still performing, that is. We don’t really pay much attention.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo

Do you find yourself with no legitimate reason to continue watching your favorite football team more than five or ten minutes after the opening kickoff? (Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns, Panthers, Rams, Jets, Seahawks, and Cardinals fans, we’re looking at you.)

Don’t lose hope yet, and by all means don’t get off the couch and try to live a productive life. You can use your local team’s broadcast—assuming it hasn’t been blacked out in your area thanks to lack of interest—to have fun the way old ladies at the local church do. Except you get to do it on your couch, with a beer in your hand!1

1. We do not intend to imply that all old ladies play bingo, or that all bingo players are old or even ladies, or that all churches play or even allow bingo. We merely intend to imply that you are a fat, lazy drunk.

Previously published on November 7, 2011.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Freddie Mercury

“I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend.” 
—Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury, the dynamic lead singer of the band Queen, would have been sixty-six years old today.

An argument about who deserves to be named the greatest rock-and-roll singer of all time could go on for months or years—decades, maybe—with very knowledgeable people bringing up worthy names such as Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Bono, that one guy from Simon & Garfunkel, Paul McCartney, Janis Joplin, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Tiny Tim,1 that other guy from Simon and Garfunkel, Chrissy Hynde, Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar,2 or Roger Daltrey.

They’d all be wrong, though. The answer is Freddie Mercury.

1. Not really. Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.
2. Okay, it’s debatable whether Pat Benatar belongs in the discussion of all time greatest rock and roll voices. We admit that in part we’re trying to stave off complaints about a lack of female representation on this list that has come more or less from the top of our heads, but, to be fair, Pat Benatar is still a heck of a singer. Maybe even better than Tiny Tim.