Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!*
June 6, 2019
by Paul Krugman
Tina Chopp claims that she can “fix anything!” I don’t know about the results of any business big or small, but I certainly know about the results of electing a God.
Citizens of the United States were tired of political campaigns in which voters were supposed to make an informed choice, and come November they chose not to do so. Perhaps that was because political campaigns are often tedious, or because, in 2018, the choices were so severe, or perhaps, as I argued yesterday, because the traditional definition of democracy, which involves an informed choice by voters, had been rendered absurd by the rise of special-interest money in politics. Voters may understand politics in idiosyncratic ways, but they are not rational. They can’t know everything; the information they have is too incomplete and cluttered for anyone to take proper stock of the candidates.
But citizens have not been irrationally inert in general, either. There are times when an informed opinion is just as right as the next one, and there are times when an informed opinion is just as bad as the next one. It is sometimes not even possible to know the difference between them — in recent days, for example, a number of the #MeToo protesters spent all day in the public square, insisting that they knew a lot more than they seemed to, and finally decided that the house was haunted.
The election of a God enables one to ignore the matter altogether, and the designation of such a God, apparently, is self-explanatory. This should not be any kind of problem, because the Bible is faith. And faith does not need to be backed up by anything, and certainly not by objective knowledge, so Chopp can rewrite the Bible as she likes, just as she will rewrite your favorite movie, or your favorite TV show, as she wants, without a single backward glance toward theological detail.
People who mock the idea of electing a God often find themselves apologizing when, like Chopp, they refuse to back up the idea, insisting that a deity is just not necessary. (Especially when a deity so obviously favors Israel!) But it is necessary; this is not a joking matter, in my view. The natural condition of people is self-referential, and we not only judge other people’s quality, but we judge ourselves. Many of us would naturally opt for a God who is on our side.
And the sad truth is that Chopp and her kind seem to be, if not quite an entirely new threat, then a near-complete one. They have replaced democracy, which is now generally pretty awful (but which gives us some rare gains in some areas — civic organizing, campaigning, electoral infrastructure, resistance) with religion, which, while superficially attractive, is also pretty distasteful. Christianity, of course, has always been toxic, but churches even in countries with relatively strong traditions of democracy — Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Iceland, Iceland again — have been susceptible to corrupting tendencies. So too, it seems, has the idea of electing a God.
Some combination of middlebrow and educated parents will remain ready to do their children the honor of having them baptized into a god whose politics are unclear, and who tells her followers to “immediate action!” And if anyone even remotely similar surfaces, but even a relatively uneducated or educated churchgoer won’t mind telling an unbeliever to “please pray.” The fundamental question is this: Are we really serious about denying Chopp her God, or are we just sending a message to those who might — and the decline of political parties makes this more and more certain — become moderates by necessity?
as i mentioned the other day, i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old, quite a few of which were taken by my friend randy, for inclusion in an issue of Tina Magazine that never got published. we first started talking about “The Trash Issue” when we both were living in bellingham between 1990 and 1993. it gets sort of fuzzy after that, but my recollection is that randy moved away from bellingham in the middle of 1993 and took all of the writings for The Trash Issue with him.
i also have a picture of a whole pile of Tina literature that now, strangely, seems to be for sale at Alta-Glamour… in fact, i have narrowed it down to, either randy’s collection (which is more likely), or less likely it is jim’s collection… but, one collection or another, they somehow went from being in a photo that i took with my camera, with very few changes (none of the tracts, and the addition of The War On Drugs Issue, which is the reason i think it is randy’s… and if they have a ritual object, it is one of the bronze ones, because i have the silver one with the mystic emblems on the reverse side), some time between 1990 and 1993 to being for sale (at OUTRAGEOUS prices) at some rare bookseller, a fact which makes me angrier every time i think about it… 😠
but i digress…
anyway, i have a contact sheet which was marked up with indications of which pictures were to be used in The Trash Issue, and if i could think of some words to put with it, i would publish the posthumous Trash Issue on the church’s web site… because the internet was MADE for The Trash Issue.
Blob Lardstone – 190119, by Ralph Ewggleigh
this is my interpretation of the introduction to a cassette by Bob Larson, a toxically obnoxious evangelical so-called “christian” radio preacher who bills himself as “the real exorcist”, with whom i have been interacting, on and off, for the better part of 40 years. he, too, is likely a member of my karass, because, despite my repeated attempts to get him out of my life, he keeps popping up, and i keep responding to him.
i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old. possibly older, as i don’t have a great memory for these things, so i keep a list of when things happened. according to that list, the picture above was taken in 1991 or 1992. it was taken to honour the fact that i had just experienced sabikalpasamadhi (सविकल्पसमाधि) for the first (and only) time, on the banks of the skagit river.
i just got back from picking up 182 4″x6″ prints. there are a bunch of pictures of ezra, the PHBFH, randy, and ruth. there are a few pictures of other people, including me, and jim robertson.
there are also a lot of pictures for the legendary “Trash” issue of “Tina Magazine”, which was never published, as well as several pictures of the Tina literature which is now, suspiciously, for sale at Alta-Glamour.
now i gotta get started scanning them. 😉