PARISHIONERS EXCLAIM, “HOLY CRAP THAT WAS LONG.”

“I’m not getting any younger as long, As you don’t get any older.”
-Green Day, “Church On Sunday”

Life is long, ask any old person and argue with any young person. For the middle-aged, ignore them and let their mid-life crisis take control. With this being said, there’s plenty of time to accomplish your lifelong dream of setting some sort of ridiculous record. We all had, or still have, a dream (please, no Martin Luther King Jr. references).

Suitcase guinnessworldrecords com
Photo courtesy of guinessworldrecords.com

That was Leslie Tipton by the way, the fastest person to enter a zipped suitcase at 5.43 seconds. I’m surprised you didn’t already know that. Another interesting fact is that the world record for reading out loud is 74 hours, 49 minutes, and 37 seconds by the King’s Dream Team, a six-member team representing the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. library in San Jose, California (Guinness, 2004). I thought we said no DMLKJ references? Whatever.
We have a new jaw-exhausting record though, but in a different category: a 53-hour sermon. In Florida, Pastor Zach Zehnder spoke for 53 hours and 18 minutes about the big guy (or girl), showing is commitment to his faith as God has to his/her people (Snyder, 2014). I grew up Catholic, still am Catholic, and will always be Catholic, so I know how long a 10-minute sermon seems at times, but over 53 hours? Can you imagine the amount of children crying, fathers getting score updates, and mothers trying to keep everyone focused? Even the hymns alone are tough to get through.

Zehnder planned 50 sermons to read back to back, from Genesis to Revelation. There were at least 10 spectators present at all times to witness the feat, serving 4-hour shifts, and he was awarded a 5 minute break for each hour. This wasn’t all for show and an obsession of one’s own voice, the church raised $100,000 for Powerhouse Recovery, an organization offering free alcohol and drug-addiction treatment (Snyder, 2014); or the addicts could have kicked the habit by sitting through a 53-hour sermon. That would scare anyone straight.
How painful that must have been on the jaw, not to mention on the mind. Speaking is a completely different animal; some people can’t stand their own voice and that’s why they write for long periods of time. Stop pointing at me. What’s better: carpel tunnel or the reduction of oxygen to the brain? Long conversations and excessive talkativeness (it’s a word) can lead to dizziness, light-headedness, loss of concentration, emotional instability, muscular tension, abnormal posture, and dehydration (Normal Breathing, 2014). Some celebrities (since they’re the only ones that matter) have even had throat disorders, but that may not be a bad thing for the public.

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Photo courtesy of fansshare.com

Records are strange, no matter the category. There will always be wonder of why someone would do such a thing, or praise for the accomplishment. Passion and purpose are key attributes for any record-holder. When people are passionate about religion, the general response is to judge and question, worry about extremists, or just ignore one of the most devoted topics in this world. You don’t have to listen to 53 hours of something, we’re not getting any younger and there are plenty of other things you could do in that amount of time, but maybe hearing a glimpse will provide a better understanding of your passions and your purpose. Then you can judge and question.

Guinness (2003). Retrieved from https://www.sjlibrary.org/guinness-world-record-reading-aloud-marathon on November 12 2014.

Normal Breathing (2014). Retrieved from http://www.normalbreathing.com/causes-talking.php on November 14 2014.

Snyder, C. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/11/pastor-attempts-world-record-breaking-53-hour-sermon/?intcmp=latestnews on November 11 2014.

ZED’S DEAD, BABY, AND ONLY PULP FICTION FANS UNDERSTAND REFERENCE

“One way or another I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha.”
-Blondie, “One Way Or Another”

With such a serious topic as rape, it’s hard to take a light approach to the heinous crime. Yet, it seems more and more have difficulty depicting the difference between right and wrong. Even when something terrible happens, we’re relating back to biblical times where one eye was sufficient enough punishment for that of one taken. Good thing literature and television has prepared us for such instances in the modern world.

In India, the father of a fourteen-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by a neighbor is facing murder charges for taking revenge on said neighbor. Oh, how we wish it was that straightforward. The father called the alleged rapist asking why he would do such a thing to his daughter. The criminal became defensive and angry, and this led to the torture (that’s right, torture). The father of the victim tied the rapist up and burned his genitals multiple times with heated tongs while strangling him. Later, the father turned himself in to local police saying his intention was never to kill the rapist (Fox, 2014). Well, we all beg to differ, and outside of an obsession with a weird fetish, the accused would probably say the same, but he’s dead, gruesomely dead. The question is, do people feel worse for the girl, the father, or the rapist? It sounds like the start to some awful joke.

Lex talionis!

Pulp Fiction Zed morethings com
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Okay, this is no joking matter, and it happens internationally and locally. In New Mexico, Carmel Guiterrez has finally murdered someone. He has been in jail nineteen times since 2002 (Perez, 2014). If someone has been arrested nineteen times, at least four times being accused of rape, then how the hell did he get out eighteen times in twelve years? The District Attorney’s office said that the pattern and evidence wasn’t enough to take to trial this go around. The man targets older women, holding sharp objects to their neck while raping them. His latest victim was beaten with a cinder block (Perez, 2014). The previous victims were even burglarized by this human decadent, yet he was still allowed to roam free. I know people are against the death penalty and New Mexico has abolished capital punishment, but if you’re preaching that someone deserves a second chance, this man had eighteen chances and look what happened. If you’re preaching that one should not play God, this man certainly decided how people should act and whether or not they should live. Maybe he should be shipped off to India for justice.

In both these cases, the justice system obviously isn’t working. Vigilantism is something that’s in the back of our minds, there’s no denying the fact that you wish misfortune on the ethically-challenged. Again, take Guiterrez as an example. Is anyone okay with the fact that he’s a serial rapist that has been in and out of jail at least nineteen times? One would ponder taking matter into their hands because the authorities are certainly doing a poor job. These aren’t speeding tickets; he’s committing real crimes over and over. There needs to be satisfactory justice stowed upon these people. However, it’s probably not the best idea to dress up like a bat and destroy the city you live in while terrorizing the unmoral, but at least your heart is in the right place.

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Photo courtesy of superherohype.com

What is actually considered bad in our society? Is having a couple adult beverages and being pulled over worse than constantly raping people? In New Mexico it seems to be according to the law. Is forcefully impregnating a fourteen-year-old girl better than being murdered as a consequence to those actions? That’s actually a tough one; you can’t really say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without being labeled a jerk. Maybe we’re all just a bunch of jerks and nothing is right, but before you act as a vigilante, make sure your plan isn’t as psychotic as the crime being punished.

Fox News (2014). Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/11/03/police-father-invites-daughters-alleged-rapist-to-dinner-then-tortures-him-to/?intcmp=HPBucket on November 6 2014

Perez, N. (2014). The many faces of an accused serial rapist. Albuquerque Journal. A1-2. November 4 2014

DESTINY VS. DYNASTY

“And bad mistakes, I’ve made a few, I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, But I’ve come through.”
-Queen, “We Are The Champions”

Baseball is the great American pastime, no matter how many people tell you it is boring. Therefore, it’s finally fitting that a Midwestern heartland team once again represents one of the leagues in the World Series. However, the underdogs, the franchise that has been absent from glory for so long, was forced to face off against a modern goliath with an even more storied past. It was a small big city verse a big city matchup.

The Kansas City Royals last won the World Series in 1985 against in-state rivals St. Louis. Since then they have failed to even make the playoffs, but finally a rebuilding plan paid off. Think of it like a furniture store that always has “going out of business” sales until they finally make a profit. The Royals are young and dangerous, and they swept the Angels and Orioles, the two best regular-season teams in the American League, on their way to an unexpected appearance for a chance at baseball’s highest honor. Their bullpen and the ability to execute efficient base-running and timely, perfectly place hits assisted in their postseason run, but momentum and confidence are equal contributors to the Royals success, becoming only the eleventh Wild Card team to reach the championship. Five before them have gone on to win the World Series.

KC ftw usatoday com
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The San Francisco Giants had won two of the last four World Series entering the championship this year. However, between their two hometowns (New York, no, not the football team), they have appeared in the World Series twenty times, winning on seven occasions. People (as in our older readers) remember the “Shot Heard Round the World” or Willie Mays’ outstanding display of defense, lasting memories from Hall of Fame players competing for a storied franchise. Yet, this year San Francisco played the role of National League underdog and became the twelfth Wild Card team to crush the dreams of other squads who built a fantastic season off of hard work and consistency only to see it washed away in a few games because of another’s momentum. With that being said, a sixth Wild Card team was set to win the World Series this year.

SF news10 net
Photo Courtesy of news10.net

The World Series started off with a ban of Lorde’s hit single, Royals, in the San Francisco area. Hopefully the ban wasn’t lifted after the final game, but this is a post about sports and not overplayed music. If you wanted to learn about baseball at an advanced level, this was the series to have watched. Bullpens were utilized to their fullest extent, bunts were placed perfectly, runners acted as thieves around the base path, defenses were positioned as if hits were scripted, but through all of the strategy, one player made the difference: Madison Bumgarner. Yes, that’s his last name, and he simply ruled the entire World Series with historical control over the Royals. His pitches were perfect, even the ones that didn’t look to be, and the Kansas City hitters were defeated psychologically by Bumgarner’s pure dominance. It will be rare to see another pitching performance like his, just like it will be rare to see two Wild Card teams battle through seven games to reach baseball’s greatest achievement. However, five of the seven games were slightly less entertaining due to the score differential. Game Three was close, and Game Seven just as tight, and the San Francisco Giants eventually hoisted the trophy into the air for the third time in five years.

SFWS darkroom blatimoresun com
Photo courtesy of darkroom.baltimoresun.com

If the Royals were destined, wouldn’t they have won? If the Giants were a dynasty, wouldn’t they have been more consistent with playoff appearances between championships? As usual, these questions will be answered next season, but for now, we’ll let the magic of momentum, the pure dominance of modern heroes, and the thrill of Game Seven settle until Spring. Well done, Kansas City and San Francisco, well done indeed.