The Case Against What I Refer To As “Good Christian Driving”

14 12 2010

First of all, this isn’t me railing on Christianity less than two weeks before the Big, Divine, Birthday Party. No, this is about bad driving habits, particularly those of people who feel it necessary to immediately slam on the brakes and allow any vehicle that wishes to cross the road or merge into traffic no manner what is going on around them in an effort to be a nice, good, sweet person. (Incidentally, I’ve included directions so that my explanations make more sense. It might sound a little like algebra, but I promise it’s not.) I happen call this process “good Christian driving” because it reminds me of all of those small, selfless actions that the teachers of the religious instruction classes I took as a child would ask us to do around Advent and Lent. See, it’s nothing derogatory, just me reminiscing of my angelic, child-self. Ok, I’m stretching the term “angelic”, but you get my point.

The image to the left is what can, and often does, result from “good Christian driving”. Even if you’ve never been in an accident because of someone in front of you trying to get one random act of kindness closer to a spot on Heaven’s reservation list, I’m sure you can think of time that this has almost happened. Up until today, the closest I’d come to being an unintended consequence of someone’s goodwill toward others came when I was helping one of my aunts move and someone who had been given a chance to cut across into my lane of traffic drove out and nearly t-boned me because at this particular point on the road, if there is heavy traffic in the lane in front of you (northbound), you can’t see the lane you’re trying to merge into(southbound). Essentially you trust the person letting you cross in front of them and drive blindly into the southbound lane. Not good! The only thing that saved my butt, both from the car suddenly appearing in front of me and from my aunt who was following couple cars behind me was that my chronic “leadfoot-itis” had been tempered by the fact that I had all of my aunt’s glassware rather shoddily packed in the back of my car. The sound of it rattling around back there and knowing that if anything got broken in transit there would be no escape from my aunt once we got to my house for dinner clipped a good 5-10 mph off my average speed.

Today I officially became a “good Christian driving” victim. There was I nice fellow in front of me in a large pickup truck. How do I know he was nice? Well, he let several people (going east) cut through rush hour traffic on a main road (westbound) to get to a side street (northbound). He did so even after the light turned green. How kind! The issue came when, with two cars stacked up behind me now, someone missed the memo that everyone was still stopping even though the light was green and hit the gas instead of the brake. That SUV hit a car, that hit a car, that hit my car. At least one car was towed and at least one person went to the hospital. My mother, my dog, and I are all ok. My pink chariot is too, aside from a messed up back bumper which I’m not too phased by. The car drove home fine and, since I was in no way at fault, I got no ticket. On an unfortunate note, as a result of the traffic backing up from our accident, at least one more collision was caused by a similar chain of events. That’s a minimum of six cars messed up in one way or another and at least one hospitalization all because somebody thought holding up everyone on a busy road when they’re impatient to get home was a good idea.

And what happened to Saint Pickup Truck? Once I got hit – I’m certain he got to watch my mother and me whip forward and my 25 lbs dog bounce off the back of the seats – he was gone. Hell of a good Samaritan, right?

This is for you, Saint Pickup Truck, wherever you are. I have another symbolic gesture for you, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.





That’s It! Sarah Palin, Get The Hell Out Of My Living Room!

1 12 2010

TV personalities are invited into my living room. If I like them, I might grace them with my viewership and make my one woman contribution to their ratings. I might make it a point to watch a show regularly, if it appeals to me. I might even purchase episodes or DVDs. I’m even fussy about my news broadcasts because some anchors are just too damn annoying. If something isn’t entertaining to me for whatever reason, so long. I’m like Luke Skywalker and the remote is my light saber – I will use the force.

But it doesn’t always work.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to avoid the Kardashian sisters completely. They’re just everywhere. I am happy to say I don’t know much about them, but I can tell you their names and probably which are married and other useless bullfunky like that. They’re inescapable. Like football. I’m not a fan football in the NFL sense, preferring the football that actually involves a foot coming into regular contact with the ball, but I can still tell you who won the last Super Bowl. Also, because I was born in America and went to high school, I know the basic rules of the game. Some people and things are just like that. Last year, whether you wanted to or not, you got to know more than enough about John and Kate Gosselin as the nation watched their marriage crumble while the reality television cameras rolled on. In the world of politics, everybody heard all about South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and his Argentinean “soul mate” and saw John Edwards take Bill Clinton’s famous extramarital activities one step farther by insisting that he did not father a child with that woman – which was proven to be quite false indeed. We all heard so much about those events and everyone was saying “Enough! Please!” Well, I’ve reached my media saturation point with someone else.

Dear sweet God Almighty, am I so damn sick of Sarah Palin!

This begged for a picture, but I am in full Palin Overload at this point, so this is as close as I'm getting to putting her picture up here. Bullwinkle is my Sarah Palin Stand-In.

She’s highly opinionated, she’s rabidly conservative, and she is everywhere I look. She needs to get out of my living room – now – but changing the channel isn’t much help. She is mentioned in nearly every US news broadcast. (I’m so thankful we get BBC.) Turn on any Discovery Channel subsidiary and you’ll see the ad for her reality show at least six times in any given hour, so she’s effectively invaded Mythbusters. Browse the internet for anything political and there she is. Her tweets and facebook posts make news in a way many government officials who were actually elected to a particular office can only dream of. She even turned Dancing With the Stars, something else I avoid, into a battle between the right and the left. Did Bristol Palin get as far as she did because of who her mother is (because it’s certainly why she was on the show to begin with)? Did she lose because of all the Palin-haters out there furiously voting against her? Oh, the conspiracy theories abound. Then there is her position as an analyst for Fox News and her reality show fame. You can’t lob a political statement anywhere without it running into some issue she’s been pontificating about over the past few months. Add to that the fact that my own father thinks she’s the best human being to grace this planet since, I don’t know, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, maybe Jesus, and it’s official – I’m trapped. The American political discourse has turned into Palin World, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of her. Sarah Palin has been the center of national attention more times in two years than Dubya was in his eight years in the White House. Thankfully, I’m not alone in my Palin fatigue. It’s nice to know the entire country hasn’t gone mad, but it’s disappointing to think about how many people may very well be voting for “that reality show lady” in 2012.

And before people start to screech about my obvious liberal bias, let me point out that I haven’t even mentioned her views and where they differ from my own. This isn’t even about ideological stances, it’s about media overexposure. It’s like that song on the radio that you hear all day long and sooner or later you start to not like it. Sarah Palin is getting over-played fast and, with two years until the next election, I think she runs the risk of going overboard with the self promotion even with those who are more inclined to like her. Her strategy of inundating the country with all Palin all the time could backfire. She has high disapproval ratings as it is and in polls conducted by both Quinnipiac University and CNN she loses to Obama in a hypothetical election by eight points – more than his margin of victory against John McCain in 2008. That is not an insignificant thing to overcome and becoming a pop culture nuisance isn’t going to win people over, it’s just obnoxious.