1 step forward… 2 steps back
One step forward.
On the corner of a busy intersection, next to the mall in Montgomeryville, PA, is a Commerce Bank. It wasn’t always there. There use to be a graveyard there. I remember it well because it sat across from the Burger King and I’d sit and look at it as I ate my Whoppers. It wasn’t very big and most of the graves had been there for a century or more. It always looked out of place amongst the developments and strip malls and eventually someone agreed with me because one day construction vehicles pulled up and announced that the graveyard was being ‘relocated’. As it turned out I was fortunate enough to be free the day of the big move so I sat in Burger King and ate pancakes as the sun came up, then a double cheeseburger and, as the light grew dim, a Whopper. Funny thing was … I didn’t really see anything ‘moved’. It only makes sense. Wooden coffins, especially those made 100 years ago, aren’t going to last very long in the ground. So a lot of men dug and dug and shifted earth around and at the end of the day the graveyard had become a large hole in the ground awaiting the construction of a Commerce Bank.
You might think that I’m against this sort of thing. You couldn’t be more wrong. Nothing exemplifies the lack of human understanding about our time on this planet better than our burial ritual. It’s just so painfully shortsighted. One day the Commerce Banks of the world will dig up every grave. Right now there are 6.6 billion people on the planet and it is estimated that we will pass the 9 billion mark some time around 2042. What about the year 3042? Or 10,042? Do you really think that everybody will be allocated their 5′ x 9′ plot?! Do the math. For every weepy ceremony lowering someone into a grave there will be a bulldozer tearing up that same spot 100 years (or less) later reclaiming the spot on behalf of Commerce Bank. People are just so uncomfortable with dealing with that final goodbye… so we pretend that somehow we are putting bodies ‘at rest’. Better get your shuteye quick Grandpa… I hear the sound of a high-torque hydraulic excavator headed this way.
“One day they’ll sell old headstones like collectables” I thought to myself as I washed down the last onion ring and walked out to my car amid the noise of the machines.
2 steps back.
So I get in my car last week and turn on the radio and what do I find out? They have replaced my beloved ESPN radio with a Christian station! One day I’m getting the latest news on the NFL and the next all I can get is the ‘good’ news. That was some pretty shitty news from where I sat. I was so pissed off… and, in retrospect, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Listening to religious broadcasting is awesome! Yesterday I was lucky enough to stumble upon a guy talking about evolution. It was his opinion that if you were to disprove the Book of Genesis that the entire bible would then be nothing more than a bunch of silly stories. I was with him on that. His anger wasn’t with the “antichrist” atheists and pagans. His furor was directed at the 40% of Christians that believe in both the bible AND evolution. This guy was pissed off at the “ignorant and lazy minds” of the believers who fail to see evolution as the pack of lies told by Satan. “Doesn’t Genesis clearly state how man came into being?” he raged. He scoffed at the ‘facts’ of science and then made a heartfelt plea on behalf of ‘faith’. The greatest comic minds of our times couldn’t have written better stuff. The best part came as he railed against the notion that science was slowly eating away the pillars of religion… despite the fact that science has “been proved wrong again and again”. I couldn’t make that shit up. Lol I wanted to call in and tell him that science isn’t trying to destroy religion, it’s just going about its own business trying to solve the mysteries of the universe. Religion will crumble under the weight of its own ignorance. But apparently they weren’t taking calls that day. It was a one-way conversation. A conversation you could own for free if you write in and request it along with a ‘love offering’ of no less than $20. What keeps me up at night is the fact that there are people walking among us that actually send in $20 to this guy. People who enjoy the technology and medicine that organized religion has fought so hard against for so many centuries and yet turn on their radios to hear men and women like this guy spew the most inane bullshit you can imagine. I can’t get enough of it myself!
Then, like seemingly everything in my life, it came full circle with an advertisement for burial plots. I guess we are that uncomfortable with that final goodbye…