The saddest news of the day is that Davy Jones, the lead singer of The Monkees, has died of a heart attack at 66. While The Monkees was never meant to be a “serious” band, they sold 50 million records and many of us have fond memories of watching their television show and listening to their albums as children.
In other news—and this one makes me smile—U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has ruled that Congress’s and the FDA’s attempt to obliterate cigarette packaging with graphic images of cancerous lungs is unconstitutional.
According to MSNBC: While educating the public about the dangers of smoking “might be compelling, an interest in simply advocating that the public not purchase a legal product is not,” Leon wrote in a 19-page ruling.
Right. Everyone knows that smoking isn’t good for you—but then again, there are lots of things that aren’t good for you. Smoking has been demonized to a ludicrous degree in recent years. It seems that the tobacco industry is being attacked at all times and from all angles, like a cow being devoured in the Amazon by an angry school of piranha. Personally, I think that if the non-smokers would just fuck off and mind their own business, the world would be a much better place.
In political news, Mitt Romney pulled off a couple of victories Tuesday in Arizona and Michigan; however, he nearly lost to Rick Santorum in the latter state, which is where he hails from. Wow. Talk about a setback. Romney, who will win the nomination, sure isn’t having an easy time of it—especially since he is being hounded at every turn by a twerp like Santorum. Things are so bad, in fact, that Romney has taken to passing his hat and soliciting donations like a beggar during his speeches.
Yes, the next week should be interesting. Hopefully, I have my head straightened out enough to cover the circus leading up to Super Tuesday, when ten states will hold primaries and caucuses. Frankly, I’m shocked that all four candidates are still in the race; I’m positively flabbergasted that Rick Santorum, a whiny Ned Flanders caricature, wasn’t one of the first to drop out.
And so much for that. Today was slow as far as news goes. The only other thing that I can think to mention is a lesbian who was not only denied communion at her mother’s funeral, but was repeatedly insulted by the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, who was overseeing the service at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md.
The woman, Barbara Johnson, said, “I went up [for communion]. I was standing next to my mother’s casket and he [Guarnizo] covered the bowl, and said, ‘I cannot give you Communion because you are with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.’ I stood there with my mouth open in a state of shock for—I don’t know how long.”
Certain representatives of the Church have apologized; Guarnizo has not.
Johnson remains steadfastly Catholic; she said this: “It’s very important for everyone to know that my mother loved the Catholic Church. Her life was not celebrated properly; she wasn’t treated with respect by Father Marcel. His actions have turned people. I have gotten email upon email saying, ‘I’m not going back,’ and I say, ‘Please go back, because that man does not represent the Catholic Church.’ My mother loved the Catholic Church, and if she loved it, it was good.”
Well … she’s more charitable than me—and she certainly gives the Catholic Church more credit than it deserves. Personally, I stopped paying any attention years ago to people who tell me that I’m going to go to Hell just for being me—and I’m sure not going to waste an hour of my time every week seeking some sort of forgiveness that I neither need nor want.
And so much for that, too.
Here’s your wisdom:
John T. Schmitz is the editor & publisher of Secret Laboratory; he is the founder of Maple Hills Press and has also freelanced as a writer and photographer, contributing to various local and international publications. Mr. Schmitz lives in Minnesota with his son, Calvin; he is the author of four books.
E-mail Mr. Schmitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.