It’s not as easy as it sounds, making yourself stop thinking about pedophile priests for one month. I still, as a journalist, have to at least go to Abuse Tracker a couple times a day to keep up. I’ve got a file of notes for stories when CofA starts back up in January, and it's already ten pages long.
It’s not just the subject matter, priests raping children, it’s the residual effects.
Without meaning to, without even realizing it happened, I turned into this non stop angry person. No matter what the topic, bring it up with me, I’ll start hollering at you about it. And since it’s 2009 in East Hollywood, it’s not hard to find a topic to holler about anyway.
But I bet even if I was on a terrace overlooking some island paradise, I’d still be irritated. I’ve read in a couple of the lawsuit documents, one of the damages so many pedophile priest victims experience is: “Inability to enjoy life,” or “Inability to feel pleasure.” I guess I'm not the only one with this problem. Wish I’d noticed it sooner, or all those people who have stopped calling me would still be calling me, well maybe not. I don't know if you can easily get rid of a character trait like that, when it seems to be so ingrained.
Why shouldn't I be happy in our crappy little home? It’s like that birds in the trees Scripture: They have all the peckings they need. I think it's in the New Testament.
Why do you worry about things, don't you see the birds have all the seeds they need, the plants the water to grow.
Hmm, that doesn't fly in L.A. You can’t even say that God provides water for all the plants anymore. You should see the thirsty dying palm trees that were planted decades back along Sunset Boulevard.
Religion would probably be a good business to get into right now, since people get religious when they run out of money. At age 61, I’ve watched it happen now for a few economic cycles, and I know it's true. People find God when they don't have anything else to fall back on. And He does get them through it.
Okay there’s this buzz in the “survivor community” to stop giving money to the Church. I assume this means you will still go to the Church every Sunday and stay for their after service Donuts and Coffee. You will be putting your body heat in their air conditioned building, drinking their wine, eating their Eucharist wafers.
It’s dishonest to go to a Church and not give it money. It’s like … how do I explain this.
My Catholic friends tell me that withholding donations is the best activism about pedophile priests you will get from Catholics, they'll never leave their churches. Some call it brainwashing, I don't think that's the right word for it.
A few years back I was on this anti-depressant medicine, and since I used to be an Advanced Hatha Yoga teacher back in the 1970s, I have this sensitivity, I can feel things going on in my body… it’s hard to explain and I’m getting off topic.
After being on this psychotropic, provided by L.A. County public health, I remember the feeling, and it did indeed control my mood. It was like a steel grip, a vice, was at the top of my brain and then steel-like tentacles reached out from the vice and just held
Parts of my brain were held in place, with a steel-fisted grip.
I got on the pills because Lizzie and I were living at Hope Again’s shelter for homeless women at the time. Nowadays, if you are in a shelter like that, they insist you go get on medication, I mean, I didn't need medication. I was depressed because we’d been living in our car for six months, and well, my dad was murdered in 1997 and the woman also embezzled his money, so I lost my inheritance to a murderer and was living on the street 8 years later. Yeah I was a little depressed.
I bring all this up now because as I observe people stuck-
-in that religion so bad that they don't want to give it another dime, but they'll still file in and go into a mesmerized state of prayer there at least once a week, I see that and I think of that vice like grip the Imipramine (don't think that was the drug but it came to mind) had on me.
A Steel Vice-Like Grip
It looks a lot like a zip file, when you download several documents at once into your Word folders, then go to open them, the icon will look like this vice like grip, with steel-looking tentacles wrapped around and protecting the openings to what's inside the documents.
The steel grip of Catholicism is like a zip file in their brains. Turn the icon in your computer sideways, put it on top of your head, that's what it feels like to be on anti-deperessants when you really don't need them, and it’s much the same as the grip the Church has on people who think the best way to protest against child sex abuse in the church is to stop donating to the church.
You're still walking in the church doors, you're still giving them power in numbers by your presence, you're still listening to their mind altering even hypnotizing, often untrue, sermons they preach, and then there’s that mesmerizing group prayer they do, everyone repeating the same words in a droning monotone.
Yeah, maybe Ray and Jim and Bill and Dave are all correct.
It is brainwashing, only it's a year 1300 state of the art form of brainwashing.
IT'S Dishonest to Go to a Church and then not put money in its baskets.
You're eating their Eucharist, breathing their air conditioned air
Asking the bishops to resign, or asking the pope to fire the bishops, doesn't really accomplish much either.
Those out of work bishops will not stand in any welfare office lines, they will still never drive east of La Cienega or the equivalent in whatever city they're in. Worse yet, some Catholic person with a lot of money who doesn't like the poor will instead provide the out of work bishop with a home, a stipend, a couple of servants, a car. On a beach probably in some perfect climate.
The bishops belong in prison.
The church needs to feel the full brunt of people not coming in its doors anymore. It’s an organization so full of dishonesty and filth going back probably more than a thousand years, if that's where you think you're going to find God, my hat is off to you, my friend. Good luck.
Love is the answer.
I realized it this morning, when I found yet another pile of dishes that I didn't have anything to do with, but yet, I get to wash them, the joys of living with a post adolescent with arrested development.
See what I mean. Bitch bitch bitch.
I have to work on that.
The love has to come from inside of you. Truth is, I get a certain pleasure out of washing dishes.
It’s almost a meditation.
The act of soaking a dish, carefully removing each dried on piece, rubbing the surface, feeling the surface, in every place to see that it’s totally clean, rinsing it, careful not to waste water as it’s L.A. The whole act, everything you do, is a meditation, can be done in a state of perfection.
So don’t yell about the dirty dishes, embrace them.
On that note, I'm off to work on Scream Queens season 2 all weekend this weekend. We will be swamped with work, two shows are dumping all their tapes on us on December 23rd and want them transcribed by the following Monday morning. I will be working 12-hour shifts every day, will maybe spend 2 hours doing Christmas, when Lizzie and I go to I-Hop for dinner.
The one on Sunset Boulevard, where all the musicians used to go, it will be fun.
Point is, we don't really do Christmas. We have a winter tree in the house that we've decorated. Lizzie, being in the low-price retail world, is so busy she has no time to even realize we're supposed to be depressed because we're all alone every Christmas. It’s all she’s ever experienced. She’s never had the joy of a holiday with the family, where the vodka breaks open at 9 AM and everyone is yelling at each other by noon.
When she was a kid, I did Santa as best I could, finally got tired of it and on one Christmas morning as she was going on and on about how much she loved Santa because he did all this for her, I shouted, it was me, dammit there is no Santa. I did it. I bought all these toys. Stop thanking this imaginary person and thank me, I'm the one who earned the money and then spent it on you.
She was stunned, shattered, still berates me about it to this day.
Hey, even a Stepford Single Mom can make mistakes.
She still stayed with me, even age 15 when we lived in our car on the streets of Hollywood for six months, and we never parked more than a few blocks from Sunset Boulevard the whole time. Hmm.
But imagine that, I lived in a car with a 15 year old daughter and we both lived through it. We didn't claw each other to death. Plus neitherh of us dropped into the prostitution life, which is so easily encountered all around us, she stayed with me.
We stayed together through all that.
So we can make it through another holiday season.