Christian Holidays – The War On Christmas: Black Friday

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Wal-Mart’s definition of “American Made”

So you’re at Wal-Mart on Black Friday getting your high quality, Chinese made presents for your kids, pondering the hilarity of a store built on the principles of only selling American made products, a “fact” which old naive stupid people still cite to this day while eating their green peas imported from Thailand. You’re still feeling pretty good from Thanksgiving dinner and not too many relatives pissed you off this year by trying to convert to you the evils of liberalism, or set you back fifty years with conservatism. Depending on which side of the dichotomy you fall on.

You’re behind one of those ladies who’s obviously in her fifties, but is trying too hard to look thirty-five. She’s managed, probably either through screaming, guile or just being here early and trampling a child to death to get one of those shitty off brand Wal-Mart TV’s that they had on “sale” but your grandfather totally got for cheaper at Sam’s three weeks ago. She looks awfully smug about it. The lady in the burka checking everyone out looks exasperated, mostly because its 5:15 in the morning and she’s had to mop up a puddle of toddler blood already.

Suddenly you hear the two words known to set off Republicans and Fox News fans from sea to shining sea from the poor muslim woman at the register, “Happy Holidays.” Then shit hits the fan. The lady in front of you yells, “Back in my day it was CHRISTMAS!” then pulls a red white and blue AR-15 out of her handbag and screams, “Lock and load bitches!” Four other gray hairs whip out AR’s and take cover behind end caps and open fire on the cashier who’s already ducked behind her register.

You hide in the women’s clothing department hoping not to get caught in the crossfire, skirmishes like this have broken out all over the country. A flashbang is lobbed out from behind the register and you manage to close your eyes and plug your ears just before it goes off. You see the cashier stand up and spray the dazed old women down with an Uzi as she retreats into the customer service department where her coworkers have already started laying down cover fire.

A few of the old women aren’t as dazed as you thought. They must have had a hard life, dealing screaming children to recover so quickly. One manages to drop a few Wal-Mart employees before she’s taken out by a frag grenade. A stray bullet incapacitates one of the other grannies.

Just when you think it’s about to be over, a few rednecks wearing bald eagle shirts come charging out of the back, unloading shotgun rounds into the Customer Service department. The Wal-Mart employees are professionals and no amount of flag waving bravado can make up for nine months working retail at $8.50 an hour. It’s over when management flanks the old ladies and forces them to surrender.

One of the old women, bloody from a piece of shrapnel from a Vizio television spits on the manager, “You may have won this battle, but the War for Christmas is far from over.”

“Ma’am, it’s Black Friday, we’ve just begun,” he replies, “By this time next year no one will even remember what your politically incorrect holiday even was.” They lead them to a back room, never to be seen again.

A few “wet floor” signs are put out and the area is taped off. The registers open again and you stagger to the front of the line. The burka wearing lady rings up your remote controlled helicopter and Sesame Street toy you had to stab a dude for.  You nod, smile and make your way back to your vehicle. It’s five thirty, you might can make it to Best Buy and get that sweet deal on that external hard drive and that crappy blu-ray movie for seventy-five cents before it gets too crazy. You sit back, exhale, and take your Glock from the glove compartment and put it in the back of your pants.

 

This is a work of parody and satire and in no way reflects any actual events, at least I hope not. Any resemblance to actual people real or imagined is completely coincidental and this work in no way reflects the author’s actual opinions about the organizations depicted herein.  

Devil’s Night – Origins

I posted a fairly in-depth set of articles on the origins of Halloween back in 2013. Hopefully that convinced a few people the holiday is not a Satanic holiday but a Christian one and most the stuff you read about it is anti-Catholic propaganda that has nothing to do with reality.

During that time I learned about a tradition called “Devil’s Night” that’s celebrated on October 30th. I had thought this was a plot device for the comic “The Crow”, or possibly just the movie. Found out this was in fact a real thing.

Origin

According to Wikipedia, Devil’s Night has its origins in the 1930’s in the United States and is typically when teenagers go out do minor acts of vandalism. Mostly this was limited to throwing eggs at houses, leaving flaming bags of animal crap on the porch, toilet papering and the like.

Some parts of the US call it Mischief Night, which I’d never heard before. I did some looking around because I’d seen this term being used in the United Kingdom. Apparently that day is November 4th, which is right before Guy Fawkes Day. In Germany they have Mischief Night on May 1st.

It looks like Mischief Night was the original name for the day in Europe and it had something do with May Day at least as far back as 1790. It’s not much of a surprise that in England they moved it to the day before Guy Fawkes Day and Germany, having nothing much like that they left it right where it was.

Whether it’s the 18th century or the 21st century the idea is the same. Children and adolescents go out on Mischief night and play tricks on their neighbors and basically get away with it.

Detroit

Devil’s Night is particularly meaningful to the people of Detroit. Since the 70’s the city would be plagued by ridiculous amounts of arson every October 30th until 1995. The mayor announced arson would not be tolerated. They made efforts to reclaim Devil’s Night and turn it into “Angel’s Night” instead.

“The Crow”, and other works of fiction, music and various types of contemporary fantasy set in Detroit often use Devil’s Night as a backdrop due to its significance to the city.

Elsewhere in the US

I vaguely remember someone telling me that the 30th of October was “The Devil’s Night” when I was in fifth grade. I’d always assumed that “Devil’s Night” was what some people called Halloween though. I never heard the term “Mischief Night” either, or the word mischief much in general. I grew up in the Texas Panhandle so this isn’t terribly surprising.

Some places in the US call it “Cabbage Night” or “Gate Night”. This is most common in the Northeast.

Is Devil’s Night Satanic?

In my opinion, not really. It looks like some people started calling it that because of all the awful things people started getting up to on the 30th. For the most part it was a celebration of mostly harmless pranks that children got up to and devolved into something darker in some parts of the world. Or perhaps, considering the holiness of Allhallows, they figured the day before much be particularly unholy. Once you start calling a thing something, people figure they can get away with almost anything, including burning Detroit to the ground on a yearly basis.

 

 

Guns, Flags, and Sacred Texts

So this stupid picture has made rounds on the ol’ social media feeds lately and I can’t help but look at the sheer stupidity of it all.

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I’m your average mostly libertarian Christian with HEAVY gnostic and deist leanings. I stress this because I don’t want anyone to think this is going to be the rant of some run of the mill Southern Baptist redneck from Amarillo trying to defend this whole thing. I do not like either of the mainstream political parties too much though I do tend to have more right-wing political leanings most of the time.

I do not know exactly who the woman in the right hand picture is but it’s been suggested that it might be a woman named Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi. She was a wealthy Palestinian woman who blew herself up in 2004 and killed four Israeli soldiers and wounded several more. She left behind two children. 

The woman on the left in Holly Fisher, an American woman whose husband is in the military. Apparently she’s got a kid who’s cardiologist was not covered under the new healthcare act here in the US and some other stuff. So she took that picture of herself and another one that’s been making rounds with herself outside of Hobby Lobby.

I notice something about both pictures though. They’re both doing things that their culture deems proper as methods of expressing their patriotism. But you know what I never see anymore? Pictures of people actually reading their holy books?

Used to the pictures of American life you’d see were these men sitting on their porch with the shotgun propped up against the house with a beverage of some sort on a table.  They’d have their boots off, maybe their wife just had finished cooking supper and a pie was cooling in the window. Both of them would be taking a well deserved break from the hard work of the day. Maybe both of them would be smoking a pipe, maybe just the man. There’d be a Bible alright, but it’d be open, worn and one of them would be reading it. It wouldn’t be brand new, clutched tightly and used like a talisman to ward off the liberals. The flag? It’d be on a pole, where it’s supposed to be.

 

Resetting the Maintenance Required Light On a 2007 Toyota Corolla S

Not really a computer tech subject but something I had to deal with recently. The maintenance required light came on my car and I was about to take it to the mechanic. Luckily I did not and decided to check it out on the internet to make sure it didn’t mean something else first.

Apparently with Toyota vehicles the “Maintenance Required” and “Check Engine” lights are two separate things. On some cars they are not. It’s basically just a mileage counter to let you know when it’s time to change your oil and filters. Now I know from the dealership as well as how my oil looks that it is nowhere near time to change my oil. Sometimes the maintenance people or whoever forget to reset this when they are done with the oil changes and likely that’s what happened in this case since I just bought it a few months ago. It’s typically not a big deal.

So I looked up how to reset the light. Apparently different Toyota models have different processes and mine has one that differs from the norm. So here’s how to reset mine if anyone is looking specifically for how to reset it on a 2007 Toyota Corolla S. If you are looking for other models this might be what you need. I’ve also added notes on what the differences I saw were for other Toyota’s so maybe you don’t have to go to a bajillion other sites and try other things.

How to Reset the Maintenance Required Light on a 2007 Toyota Corolla S

Step 1 – Turn the car on, but don’t start it. It has to be on, but not on the “Acc(essory)” position. NOTE: Some models need this to be on the accessory position. You can tell if the digital odometer readout comes on when you put the key in this position.

Step 2 – Push the button next to your odometer. This is the readout on your car that tells how many miles are on the engine. It needs to read “ODO”. NOTE: Some models need this set on “Trip A”.

Step 3 – Turn the car off.

Step 4 – Hold down the button next to the odometer.

Step 5 – Continue to hold the button down and turn the car on, but not start it. The car should beep and the readout should have a few dashes on it that will slowly decrease in number. Once the dashes count down to zero the read out will briefly display all zeros. NOTE: If your car is one that requires you to put it in the accessory position do this.

Step 6 – Release the button when the odometer returns to normal.

Success! Once you start the car, the Maintenance Required light should not be on anymore.

NOTE: If it’s the check engine light that comes on or if the Maintenance Required light comes back on pretty quick after you reset it, you should probably take it to the mechanic or back into the people who changed your oil.

Examples of Halloween Nonsense From Jack Chick

Was doing some research to prove a few of my points for my Halloween articles. Here’s one of the worst offenders for the demonization of all things entertaining and fun. Good old Jack Chick. I used to love this guy’s stuff, but it’s so full of misinformation, fabrication and outright lies you can’t really see the truth when it’s there anymore. The Muslim stuff is so bad that even when missionaries and Christian scholars on Islam gave him stuff that actually agree with, and proved the stance he wanted to take, he still went with the “Allah is a moon god” nonsense just because it was more dramatic. Continue reading “Examples of Halloween Nonsense From Jack Chick” »