Category Archives: Poky Town

Imaginary Grace

Shouldn’t Las Vegas be the one place in America free of evangelicals? After all, people visit the Big Mayberry to escape the godscreamers’ “old time religion,” their moral superiority, and as well as their judgmental natures.

But even here there is no respite from the moralizers and holier-than-thou intending to make another’s life as hellish, narrow and proscribed as theirs.

This is not a screed against religion. Multitudes find comfort, extract solace, and gain strength in the respective faiths circling the world. And what true belief doesn’t extol virtues? Each “good book” presents examples its congregants ought ideally follow.

Thankfully, though, humans are imperfect creatures. Imperfection keeps us interesting.

Therefore, worthwhile religions, aware of our mortal limitations, emphasize “should” and not “must.” There’s where evangelicalism falls far short. It insists on “must” when too many of its adherents give lip service to “trying.”

Despite recent disclosures regarding clerics abusing parishioners and church hierarchies seeking to conceal these transgressions rather than confess them, those are human fallacies. What other can we expect when “the word” is being administered by flesh and blood beings? None should believe these weaknesses are deep-seated institutional qualities.

We strive for perfection. We rarely reach it.

Lacking self-awareness and modesty, evangelicals will gladly profess their perfection. Theirs are reflections cast by broken mirrors. Who has yet come across one of these godscreamers expressing one jot of self-doubt?

Say this for recognized organized religions, most demonstrate concern for the unfortunates of their respective societies. Aside from spiritual ministering, they come through with trying to meet, or at least lessen, the material shortages of needy people. While a few focus on their own devotees, a good many more distribute succor indiscriminately.

Even agnostics should feel good about contributing to these efforts.

Organized religions’ aiding of the less fortunate has become so common, hasn’t it become part of our everyday landscape? Haven’t we come to expect various structured denominations to extend themselves in this manner?

It certainly helps when we notice because it tweaks the guilt of the more worldly. Maybe instead of buying the latest version of some indiscrete discretionary fashion or gizmo, seeing good deeds might persuade postponement of that purchase in order to donate a few bucks or useful items to a mission.

While I generally don’t endorse it, some guilt-tripping benefits society.

Is there any amount of guilt-tripping that’ll make evangelicals behave in any kind of recognizably Christian manner? Here in Las Vegas, at least, godscreamer brazenness seldom misses an opportunity to ignore the tenets it loudly professes to obey.

Forget those billboards scattered around the city promising those of us who haven’t been born again will go to hell, or like the optometrist’s ad in The Great Gatsby that a future killer perverts into “God sees everything!”; the witnesses themselves undermine their own message.

My favorites are the converts hoping to proselytize who’ve expended the best, most productive years of their lives pursuing and waylaying pleasure. Whether it was dope, demon rum, complete uncontrolled sexual abandonment – Strange. In Las Vegas downfall from gambling never rears its ugly head. – or frenzied combinations thereof, the tales behind plummeting are ever more inviting than the cure. Listening, one always gets the sense the penitent enjoyed an immense amount of fun.

But he, and it’s nearly always some guy, has seen the light. He’s wallowed in sin, seen hell, and escaped through the good fortune he ascribes to “Jeeeeee-zus!” He’s emerged to testify, hoping that will convince those who haven’t fallen all that far yet, the skeptical, the flat-out doubters, that we “can be saved!”

I have never stopped wondering if one doesn’t succumb to the menaces of fleshly corruption, must one still be redeemed? And if one is saved without having endured the rigors and perils described, does that mean one can indulge in them without undergoing redemption afterwards.

Of course now that past corruption has sapped flesh and corroded minds of those testifying, these conditions somehow allow clearer vision. Indeed, in hindsight all that licentiousness was wrong. And the wild-eyed, burnt-out figure raging nearly incoherently through a megaphone on a street corner is cluing in yet unsinged sinners about the perils they can avoid … only if they come to some unidentifiable Jesus. The one this pavement-hogging prophet yells about. A Jesus no true Christian or one possessing a solid religious background could distinguish from a charlatan.

My favorite example of evangelical deeds crashing short of lofty claims occurred sometime last year. Or perhaps the year before last. The report originally appeared in a Slow Boat Media vignette on my Facebook page. In it, congregate a mob of motorcyclists who’d seen the light, who’d accepted a version of Jesus that suited them.

They gather in the parking lot of the disused Huntridge Theater. There, they get their holy-holy on and make joyous noise unto Him.

Inevitably begging on the sidewalk bordering the parking lot is destitution him- or herself, a person who could really use the help of these righteous pilgrims. Well, going by how they act instead of what they profess maybe they’re not so righteous.

Although close enough for some wretch’s lice to easily vault the distance between his or her grimy dishevelment to the congregation’s neat cleanliness, the gap between belonging and being adrift so thin, the cyclists never acknowledge those who’d clearly benefit from the energy they happily prefer wasting on empty hymnals.

Such two-facedness never fails tickling my cynicism.

Living Art

Higher evolved as humans claim themselves, maybe the lower primates, four-legged creatures, and fowl have the whole relationship matrix grasped better. For the most part they answer to instinct. A time of year triggers them to couple, copulate in order to assure continuance of the species, then diverge.

Easier than what Adair endured. Continue reading Living Art

People Who Parlay

Perhaps the man/woman parlays which follow were just as bald back in New York. There, though, unlike here in Las Vegas, the couples involved are more discreet.

The Mojave Mecca’s transient nature permits the sort of convention flouting which would make proper Easterners recoil. Of course Westerners could claim by their openness they’re unbound by rank hypocrisy. Continue reading People Who Parlay

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the first time in my five years here in Nevada, the Yuletide has had a joyous feel. Not that the locals have brightened up the Mojave with glitter and approaches which correspond to the merriment derived from the period’s significance. After all, it remains bizarre seeing Christmas lights decorating palm trees. Continue reading The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For Hire

Lola and Anastasia are in “the game.” Both are “working girls.” Nice euphemisms, eh?

Las Vegas lures a lot of good-looking women with negligible abilities. Taking honest stock of themselves, and deciding what they can offer shouldn’t be wasted behind a counter for minimum wages, or making babies from the jump, these entrepreneurs have decided that marketing their sensual commodities the most viable route to happiness and fulfillment.

Well, the pursuit generally starts out with that intent. But doesn’t life invariably derail dreams? Continue reading For Hire

Little Terrors Solved

Why are children considered so precious? Human beings, after all, are animals. Higher evolved, yes, or so we’ve come to believe, but animals nonetheless.

While we have turned copulation into pleasure, the ultimate reason behind our mating is to reproduce. To continue and expand our genetic lineage. Same primal directive as every other species inhabiting this planet.

That we derive joy from procreation leaves simpler animals unencumbered with the plentitude of human dramas associated with sex. After they rut, it’s over. The male goes his way, the female hers.

Whenever human males try following that instinct there’s a hell to pay no animal can conceive. Continue reading Little Terrors Solved

Distressing Displacements

Was the summer heat so relentless in Southern Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, as it is in a Las Vegas set amidst the Mojave? Just as likely. Possibly even more so. The Sonora sits at a lower altitude. Its desert classification aside, it’s also a less arid ecosystem than the Mojave.

Youth, accompanied by more involved living, frequent insobriety, and greater disregard of nuisances like heat and lack of sleep, probably registered those Arizona Augusts on some lower discomfort scale. The escapades immersed in then must’ve somewhat negated the arduous climate.

Almost five years living in Las Vegas and I’ve learned to evade a trap that snares too many willing natives and long-time residents. I’ve managed to look through the transients, deadbeats, and bums littering the street corners and raised medians. Continue reading Distressing Displacements

First Dibs

Video poker machines and the city’s transient nature make establishing a hangout in Las Vegas difficult. The screens divert eyes and muddle hearing. A continually changing cast of barflies constantly juggles what elsewhere might be considered a roster of locals. And Las Vegas jobs with their Las Vegas schedules also add obstacles to continuity. Continue reading First Dibs

Dislocation or Resettlement?

Five years ago this week, I started the process which sped me to Las Vegas. Mine wasn’t a calculated move but one performed more through necessity. Instinctively I knew it time to leave New York because other than inertia were there any reasons to stay?

In 2013, the Quarropas I’d known, had spent my lifetime, the locale which had created me, had vanished completely. Or as I could glibly tell any Nevadans who asked, “Whatever I miss was already gone before I left.” Continue reading Dislocation or Resettlement?