I was in my room reading The Enquirer today-yeah, you heard me, wanna make somethin’ of it?-and I came upon a startling article that Mickey Spillane, author of the best-selling Mike Hammer books, is now a Jehovah’s Witness. Apparently, rather than poisoning the world of literature, he now enjoys walking along his “beat” and harassing people with the word of God. He hasn’t gone crazy, he’s just begun indulging in one of our two great American pastimes, religion and football, which I like to refer to simply as “God-ball.”
Missionary work is like football in so many ways. I mean this from my rather uninformed female perspective, but, there are the guys on the field, right? Big, luggish, generally frightening in every way. These are the messengers of God. And then God is like the coach, screaming at his players what they should do, go to Bath-Sheba, no Beer-Sheba, don’t look back at your friends burning in Sodom, etc. and also to smash the other side. Bash ’em mainly because, from my deep understanding of the game, their jerseys are a different color.
It’s as if a mini-Crusade were scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The cheerleaders are the choir, and the Mic-Man is the old annoying priest that nobody really listens to, but they still indulge in the same call-and-response “Go Bears” like a slightly more rhythmic version of the Hail Mary. Infidels in the other jerseys receive the profane heckling and loud booing befitting those who are damnation-bound. Football inspires that sort of blind patriotism that religion and living in the Midwest do. For example, have you seen the movie Varsity Blues Me neither, but I saw the trailer, which is practically just as good. Many many times. “I don’t want your life!” “Only things there is, sex and football.” And so on. What the movie is based on is the pressure to conform and to be led in blind obedience on the path to glory through the beating of other young men because they grab your balls. Which is just like religion!
I mean, just like religion, but in a really homoerotic way. A really, really homoerotic way. Think of all the connotations: balls, submissive obedience, butt slapping, group showers, tight ends. Religion’s not much better on this end: altar boys, church organs, “take of my body.” The two main social institutions in this country are really just thinly disguised methods of releasing sexual tension based on an arbitrary, strict ideology. The Ten Commandments or the wishbone offense, penalties or sins, it’s all really just one big gay porn flick, isn’t it? Of course, only a society founded by Puritans would have to try and deal with these kind of secret urges with such a complicated, stupid system, so maybe I’m wrong.