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No time for love

What's God got to do with it?
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

ZO Jones is no ordinary guy. Just ask him – he'll tell you all about his murky triumphs back in the day, when beat was spelled with an upper-case "B" and men like Bukowski and Kerouac roamed the planet, mighty dinosaurs of the literary sort. But if his Brazilian Web site (GZO Jones Town) is any indication ... well, as we like to keep in mind, Dr. Jones has a way with words, never turns down a good question and hasn't missed a deadline.

Dear Dr. Jones,

I keep wondering why it is that when athletes win they thank God, and when they lose they blame anything but. What's God got to do with it, anyway?

Skeptical Person of Righteous Teams

Dear Sport,

Most people like to have a helpful deity around to make them feel like they've done all the right things. After all, you never hear a loser proclaim: "Clearly, I'm a sinner and God decided to shame and humiliate me in this meaningless sporting competition – screw Him (or Her) anyway!"

Mull this quote from "As Good As It Gets," where Jack Nicholson's romance-novelist character is asked how he writes women so well: "I think of a man, then take away reason and accountability."

Personally, I don't believe the two attributes were there to be taken away in the first place.

But where the whole concept really starts to irk me is when it's relative to the slightly more serious "game" of war ... as if God is sitting in some heavenly easy chair, making book on brutal regimes, terrorists who take down skyscrapers and those who'd invade a country with shaky evidence.

God, according to the actions of man, is a mere convenience that keeps us from having to look in the mirror.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

Whatever happens to all the prophets when their time is up? I mean, what happens when they say the world will end in 2000, and then it doesn't?

Prophet & Loss

Dear P&L,

I'll tell you something: kooky prophets must read the same textbooks as politicians, because it's all a matter of what you don't say.

Consider: if you rip the ass out of your pants, what do you do? You don't try to cover it with your hand, or say "I meant to do that!" You just pretend like nothing happened, and people don't say much.

The same tactic works for bombing the shit out of the wrong country, or any other similar shenanigans. Just ask Hank Kissinger: he kept his mouth shut for a few decades and now he's a folk hero. What it boils down to is that failed prophets should master the timeless art of spin doctoring.

When the deadline for divine apocalypse passes, just be like the proverbial church-mouse and it's likely your snafu will be forgotten, if not forgiven. Come to think of it, the reverse might apply as well. If you are right and the sky rains fire, people could be pretty pissed if you try to cover it with your hand or say "I meant to do that!"

– Jones

Examine more advice from GZO Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your problems, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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