Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm sorry to have to show you this: the East River Monster

But I'm doing it. I'm doing it in the interests of SCIENCE.

Things keep washing ashore - oh, not here, mind you, and I'm bloody glad, cuzzadafact that just thinking about all this makes me want to shed my skin and jump right out of it.

Y'see, well. Things wash up. . . not here, but under the Brooklyn Bridge (this time - then there were all the other times too, but we don't talk about them.)

People are saying it's just a pig, a dead pig that someone threw overboard (overboard - over what? A pig boat?). But pictured above is a closeup of its "hand", which looks distressingly. . . human.

Anyone who has seen dead cattle (and I haven't seen any lately) will be aware that after they die, they bloat up and their limbs kind of stick out every-which-way. So we can eliminate that particularly creepy effect as a normal aftereffect of being dead and decaying.

But OH, this isn't a pig. Isn't a pig. Most definitely isn'tapig.

Isn't. A. Pig.

But it's a "something", that much is certain, and theories abound: a very large dead rat; a very large dead racoon. . . some kind of  dead "canine". . . but none of those theories fit this creature's fearsome physiology.

Please hang on to something now, for I am about to show you something even worse, something that washed up on shore in 2008.

I don't know why I do this. Why do I do this? I can't help myself. I look through my fingers, but I look, my scalp prickling with horror.

This is called the Montauk Monster, and nobody knows what-the-fuck-it-is or even wants to.

What I think is happening is this: somewhere, someone is doing experiments. Before you write this off,  just think what is already possible with hybridizing, genetic engineering, gene splicing and dicing, and all that stuff.

This isn't a question of "an animal crossed with a human". "Crossed" is no word for what is happening here. Minute amounts of human genetic material are being insinuated into the genetic structure of certain animals, perhaps pigs, perhaps gigantic rodents like capybaras (except their teeth are different).

No, I don't jest because I think it's happening now and that there exist in labs or hideous farms somewhere, hybrids that contain maybe ten per cent human genes. Just to see what will happen.

So the pig has a little twist of intelligence along with his tail. Might be useful for certain research. How intelligent can a pig become? How human? Will it suddenly begin to talk in a squealy, irritating voice?

What if one gets away from the evil lab some time, such as now? What if one jumps onboard a cruise ship and someone sees it and freaks out so much he chucks it overboard?


Something scares me, scares me so much I won't bother to turn off the italics: someone is going to insist that this "thing" be genetically tested to see what it's really made of, and what percentage of it has been tampered with. What percentage of it might in fact be human.


This thing? There is no such animal. Yet here it is, right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Woody, don't leave the house.


Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book
    It took me years to write, will you take a look

The Sacred Sweater, Vol. II

Shit on a stick, did I ever have a hard time with that last post. Trying to convert the text into something my blog would accept took forever.

But I persevered, mainly because I thought this piece was so astonishing. The actual text goes on for ten pages or so, and covers most of the Bible, even the Old Testament, in which the "teacher" says all the little Hebrew boys were being slain because "those Hebrews were just breeding like rabbits".

This thing reeks of fundamentalism, not to mention racism, with even the most innocent act (knitting!) dragged in to illustrate scriptural precepts. The thing that astonishes me is how long I fell for this. I was "in" this milieu for something like fifteen years before I came to realize that somewhere along the way, it had come to mean almost nothing to me.

It wasn't so much scripture, which can be interesting if contradictory (as is Jesus). It was the people trying to convey the messages. Hardly anyone I encountered in all that time seemed to have anything more than a superficial knowledge of what this was all about.

You see, the old-time message behind the Bible is that we're basically no goddamn good, if you'll pardon the language. We're selfish and hard-hearted and besides that, we have sex! We have sex. Do you know what people actually do when they have sex? And they enjoy it. Could it be worse?

So it's very important either to not have sex, or, if we do have it, not to enjoy it due to guilt, shame and a smothering feeling of sin that will never go away.

We were always controlled by guilt, not to mention shame and a sense of fundamental unworthiness and irredeemable filth that could "only" be cleansed by Jesus. Trouble was, we had to keep doing this over and over and over again, pretty much every Sunday.

We never quite "got there," as if the goal was to become some saintly figure that no one else would be able to stand.  We always had to go against, against, against our true nature, or God wouldn't love us any more. Certainly, the pecksniffs at church wouldn't - that is, if they ever loved us in the first place.

So. We have the Biblical teddy bear sweater, and later on in the 10 or 12 pages of this drivel she uses the term "bear" in the most groaningly punning way. We "bear with" our sorrows, etc. I have to say, though, that though I may just try that little knitting pattern, I found her theology not so much unbearable as a complete sack of shit.

Holy cow (or bear): it's the Sacred Sweater!



Knitting 103 - Teddy Bear


Contributed by:

Trinity Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI

Knitting 103 "Teddy Bear


The purpose of Knitting 103
“Teddy Bear Sweater”
is to educate the class about
all the steps
required in knitting a sweater.
The pattern was designed to
include all the parts of a regular s
ized cardigan, including a small
increase pattern on the sleeves,
a ribbed crew collar and button
plackets. They will learn the
importance of determining gauge
and blocking.
The goal is to encourage the
class: if you can knit this teddy
bear sweater, then you can knit a
person sized sweater, too!
It is a four week class.
The sweater is small enough
that they should easily be able to
finish the work from week to week

Teddy Bear Sweater,
Week One
Before people have arrived
to this
class, they should have
what size needles they need to
the correct gauge.
Talk to them about gauge.
Gauge doesn’t matter so
if you’re knitting a dishrag or a
scarf or even an
afghan. But if you’re making
something which needs to
be a certain size, like a
garment or a pillow cover,
then you need
to make sure that your
gauge in knitting
will achieve the proper

After you’ve explained all that,
then it’s time to get started!
Hand out the pattern
for week one, and get them
The Bible Study is centered
on the topic of measuring
Romans 3:19–26.
I. Introduction

•What’s the purpose of a ruler?
•Is an inch the same on one
ruler as it is
on another ruler, or are there
standards for the length of
an inch?

In religion, what would be
our “ruler”?
What do we measure
ourselves against?
(The Law, or the 10
We measure our lives against
the standard
of God’s Law. But a funny thing
once we start to measure our
Have someone read
Romans 3:19–20

II. The Law’s Gauge
Question: What is Paul saying
about when we try to
make the gauge”
against the Law’s standard?
(Nobody will
measure up.)
Paul is saying that we can
never make
the gauge of God’s law.
There are things you can
do in knitting
to manipulate the outcome of
your product.

Question: What are some
you can do? (Use a different
of needles; knit more tightly or
use another yarn)
But Paul is saying that there’s
we can do in our lives to
manipulate our
 gauge to fit God’s standard!
We will not
measure up!
Let’s suppose:
You knit a sweater, but you never
your gauge. And you have a
great time
knitting it up. But when you
get finished,
your sweater will be too large
or to small.

The same think applies with
our lives. You
may go through life never
comparing yourself
against God’s “gauge.” And you
might be as
happy as a lark. But your
gauge will still be
off! Being ignorant of the
truth doesn’t make
our true reality go away.
In fact....look at verse 20.....
it’s precisely in
measuring our gauge that we
conscious of our shortcoming.
The gauge
standard is what points
out to us the truth
about ourselves, that we
can never meet the

III. Another Gauge
Sounds like bad news, huh?
But it isn’t!
Let’s read on. Have someone
read Rom. 3:21–26.
Verse 21—A righteousness from
God apart
from the Law. Aha! There is a
new standard!
Question: And what is this
new standard of
righteousness? (Jesus)
Jesus has measured up to
the gauge of
righteousness. And the
good news is
that we’re not measured
against our gauge.
We’re measured
against his.

Vss. 23–24—Question:
Does anyone
make the gauge on their own?
No! The product of our own doings
will always
fall short. All fall short, and all
“make the gauge”
in the same way: through the
product of Jesus’
This is the good news: We don’t
make the grade. Jesus makes it.
He has “made the gauge”
and in him we meet the standard.

Teddy Bear Sweater, Week One

Romans 3:19-26
Now we know that whatever
the law says,
it speaks to those who are
under the law,
 so that every mouth may be s
ilenced, and
the whole world may be held
accountable to
God. 20 For “no human being
will be justified
in his sight” by deeds prescribed
by the law,
for through the law comes the
knowledge of
21 But now, apart from law, the
righteousness of God has been
and is attested by the law and t
he prophets,
22 the righteousness of God
faith in
Jesus Christ for all who believe.
For there is
no distinction,
23 since all have sinned and
short of the
glory of God;

24 they are now justified by his
grace as a
through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a
sacrifice of
atonement by his blood,
effective through
He did this to show his
because in his divine
forbearance he had
passed over the sins previously
26 it was to prove at the
present time that he
himself is righteous and that he
justifies the
one who has faith in Jesus.