Sunday, February 18, 2007

Heifers 'n Scrota

Britney…
…Shaved her head. Stop presses! Her lost tresses, it is said, will be available on eBay.

Newsweek…
…Devoted a cover story to Girls Gone Wild, and the effect “slutty” celebs are having on today’s girls. Conclusion: not much of an effect at all, thanks to conscientious parenting. Thank you, Newsweek. And thank you for giving us the word "prosti-tots."

“Israel Sparks Riot Outside Islam's Third-Holiest Site”
Only in the Mideast would the building of a wheelchair ramp spark riots. But what I’m really wondering is: third holiest site? How do you gauge that? I can see “third oldest,” or “third tallest,” but “third holiest?” What’s the yardstick?

Wikipedia, my source for all things iffy, says:
“The expression ‘third holiest site in Islam’, however, has been sometimes erroneously used in the media to refer to other Islamic sites. These references do not necessarily represent the general view in Islam. It also does not imply the stand by any Islamic sect. While the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whose raison d'etre is to ‘liberate Al Aqsa from the Zionist occupation’, refers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in a resolution condemning Israeli actions in the city) as the third holiest site in Islam, others believe that the use of the term "Third Holiest" is driven by political motives and that Al-Aqsa mosque is not the third holiest site. Rather, its, or any other substitute's selection, is based more on politics or the rise and expansion of a certain type of literary genre, known as al-Fadhail (history of cities) than religious theory.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Wiki.

Apparently, Al Aqsa is the mosque from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. It seems that Al Aqsa’s status as third holiest site is held by Sunnis. The Shiites, on the other hand, hold Imam Ali Mosque, in Iraq, as the third holiest site. Juan Cole says that Imam Ali Mosque is actually the fourth holiest, preceded by Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.

Al Aqsa is also called Temple Mount, and Dome of the Rock. It “was the site of the first … and second Jewish temples in Jerusalem, and [will be] the site of the third and final Temple to be rebuilt with the coming of the Messiah; and as such it is the holiest site for Jews.”

More: Our physical world “was created from the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount.” It’s the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. Jacob’s vision of angels on the ladder occurred as he slept on the stone at Temple Mount. It’s where Jacob and Rebecca prayed for children. It is believed that the Ark of the Covenant may be buried on the Temple Mount grounds.

The place is so holy for Jews, in fact, that many Rabbis have decreed that they’re not allowed to enter it until the Messiah comes. “Most Orthodox rabbis … have issued prohibitions against entering the Temple Mount because of the danger of entering the area of the Temple courtyard and the difficulty of fulfilling the ritual requirement of cleansing oneself with the ashes of a red heifer.”

Red Heifer?
A flawless red heifer is a Messiah harbinger.

Sunday Telegraph:
“APRIL 15, 1997: The birth of a red heifer in Israel is being hailed by religious Jews as a divine sign that work can soon begin on building the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

“A team of rabbinical experts confirmed that the animal, born on April 15, 1997 on a religious kibbutz near the north Israeli port of Haifa, meets the correct Biblical criteria for a genuine holy cow. According to the Book of Numbers (XIX: 2-7), the animal is needed for an ancient Jewish purification ritual.

“‘Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke,’ says the fourth book of the Old Testament….”

In 1985 a group of Jewish extremists were jailed in Israel for planning to blow up the Dome. Their logic was that if the Messiah’s coming depends on a third Temple, well, build it and He will come. (The Robert Stone novel, DAMASCUS GATE, centers around a similar conspiracy.)

The red heifer was declared unclean in 1998, a white spot having been discovered thereon. (This particular heifer, by the way, was made possible in part by a cattle-breeding program set up in Israel with the help of Texas fundamentalist Christian ranchers. They, of course, believe that the heifer is a harbinger of the coming of the Anti-Christ, Armageddon, the Second Coming, and all that. Some believe that Muslims buit their mosque on the Temple’s site specifically to prevent the Jews from building the third Temple, and hence paving the way for the Messiah.)

Another red heifer was born in 2002. If the Anti-Christ is in a wheelchair, I think we'll be home free. That wheelchair ramp won't be built in our lifetime anyway.

Eminem’s Ex
Kim Mathers said in a Detroit interview of her soon-to-be-former-husband-again: “I can't stand him. He's an absolutely horrible person, and he gets worse every day. I vomit in my mouth whenever I'm around him or I hear his name.”

Kid’s book I want to read
THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, by Susan Patron, is this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal. On the first page, Lucky, a ten year old orphan girl, overhears a conversation about a dog who was bit on his balls by a rattlesnake. The word used, however, was “scrotum.” Lucky ponders: “Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much. It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”

According to the New York Times: “The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools….”

Huh? If the dog had been bit on the foot, there wouldn’t be any fuss, would there? What’s wrong with ten year old readers finding out what a scrotum is?

Dana Nilsson, teacher and librarian in Durango, Colorado, wrote on a librarian mailing list: “This book included what I call a Howard Stern-type shock treatment just to see how far they could push the envelope, but they didn’t have the children in mind. How very sad.”

What?

Reached for comment, “ Ms. Patron said she was stunned by the objections. The story of the rattlesnake bite, she said, was based on a true incident involving a friend’s dog. And one of the themes of the book is that Lucky is preparing herself to be a grown-up, Ms. Patron said. Learning about language and body parts, then, is very important to her.”

She told the Times, “The word is just so delicious. The sound of the word to Lucky is so evocative. It’s one of those words that’s so interesting because of the sound of the word.” Scrotum. Scrota! Scrotums!

Ms. Patron is herself a scrotum-free librarian in Los Angeles.

Cash or credit, no checks.
The self-styled “Author/Discoverer” James A. Conrad is offering exclusive worldwide rights to a news story for $3.5 million.

From his website: “What is ‘IT’? ‘IT, or the letters ‘I’ and ‘T,’ pronounced like the word ‘It,’ are the initials of the title of an illustrated digital document…. The 202-page, single-spaced report presents a collection of fact-based verifiable research that details the evidence for a major newly discovered national political-religious controversy in the United States. As an established author, instead of giving this discovery away for free, I have decided to offer the news story rights and all other rights to any interested global news organization, media company, religious organization, institutional collector of religious material, or private collector of religious material. Besides the general public, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam would have an interest in this information.”

His other works include THE MODEL-ACTOR’S DICTIONARY and FILMMAKER’S DICTIONARY. He’s written a screenplay about Roswell and UFOs, and he has a huge collection of Star Trek production photographs. Judging by his offer, I’d say his scrotum is made of brass.

Lock up your daughters!
Ted Haggard announced last week that he’s not gay any more. Took him a couple weeks, but he’s way over it now.

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