Monday, August 15, 2005

I Went to Church Last Night

Okay, I didn’t really go to church last night. But I did watch about 20 minutes worth of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Which is uncannily like going to church.

Seriously, I used to like that show. When it used to be an hour long. And was about remodeling a house. And when it had a lot less Jesus in it.

Sure, nobody comes right out and says the word “Jesus.” After all, they want to have at least the illusion of secularism, right? But I’m convinced that the only reason they went and made the show two hours long is so that they could make sure that every one of the designers, builders, home-dwellers, crew-members, passersby and family pets got to mention what a “blessing” everything is.

“We’re adding a new room over here…it’s truly a blessing that we’re able to do something like this for them.”

“We are painting the bathroom pink…what a blessing that we get to do this.”

“We are talking about what a blessing everything is…it’s a blessing to get to talk about what a blessing it is…which, incidentally, is a blessing.”

We get it! It’s a goddamned blessing. We are all in awe of the benevolence of god…and Sears.

Look, I understand that the story of the lucky family getting the makeover is important. I understand that it’s touching. I even understand that, demographically, it plays well in the heartland.

But it’s making me gag. I’m gagging on the glory of god here. And you may well say that it’s because I’m an atheist. And you’d probably be right. But I find it hard to believe that there aren’t Christians out there who are getting sick of it.

Never having to go to the Laundromat again…a miracle. A mega-capacity washer and dryer combo with programmable settings and a sweater-drying cabinet…not a miracle. A new house for a deserving family…a miracle. An unsightly behemoth so big that it’s an affront to god and the rest of the neighborhood…not a miracle.

When did this show get out of hand? Remember when they used to actually renovate the existing houses? If I were the “lucky” families to be picked in those early episodes, I’d want my blessings back.

This approach to the show gets on my last nerve. But I do think that there is merit…if they used the format for other shows. I think that they could actually breath new life into the show’s older cousin Extreme Makeover if they would use this approach.

Host: Welcome back to Extreme Makeover! It’s time for the big reveal! The Smith family hasn’t seen their matriarch and apple of their eyes, Granny, in over two months. She’s been in Los Angeles getting the makeover of her life! And now her family awaits her big moment, packed into the Regal Hotel in her hometown of Backwater, Alabama.

Intercut: Various interviews with family members.

Son, John: (holding screaming baby) I can’t wait to see my mother! I’ll bet she looks beautiful! And I have to admit, it’ll be nice to have my babysitter back.

Granddaughter, Jane: Granny always told me to be happy with myself. I’m glad that she’s finally come to her senses! I can’t wait to see her!

Host: And now, it’s time for the moment of truth. Meet…your new…Granny Smith!

A curtain slides open to reveal an extremely hot 24-year-old bikini model.

John: (through tears of joy) Oh, my god! Granny looks great! No, I mean it…really…uh…hot? Is this a blessing? Is this my…mom?!

Jane: Granny, is that you?

Host: Actually, your granny was in such bad shape that we had to kill her. But we’ve replaced her with this Hawaiian Tropics swimsuit model! What do you think?!

John: I think I’m going to hell.

Host: Truly a blessing!

My god, I hate Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Churchy, self-righteous, blessing-pointer-outers. Hey, here’s a suggestion, why not renovate a Jewish house every once in a while, huh? Buddhists got to live somewhere too. Or a Muslim’s?

Or…an atheists?

Fun Fact: The house next door to ours, the one where the dicks used to live, the house that I love…is being torn to the ground.

It’s being replaced with a block of 5, two-bedroom condos! Yeah! Bigger, better, bolder! They’ll take up all the parking and have unfettered views into our windows! Plus, we’ll have the unequalled opportunity to have five, separate sets of jerk-ass neighbors!

I can’t wait for them to begin construction. I hope they do it while I’m trying to record the Christmas Album!

Truly, a blessing. Thank you god.

P.S. It’s because I don’t believe in you, isn’t it, god?

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