Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a long fall from electing Presidents to chastizing annonymous viewers, isn't it?

Full disclosure: I am not a Mason. Technically, as a baptized Roman Catholic, I'm not supposed to join a lodge or participate in any of its functions. In fact, I have friends who are Masons, my ex-brother in law is a Mason, and I attended a "get to know us" dinner at the local lodge last year. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Freemasons; every single one I've met has impressed me as being a fine, upstanding human being.

Full disclosure, part II: I've always been kind of interested in the political arm of Freemasonry. My Master's Thesis, which sucked two years away from my life some twenty years ago (it was researched without the help of the as-yet-uninvented internet, and typed on a computer with a very limited word processing program) was entitled The Anti-Masonic Party in Massachusetts, 1826-1835. Yes, it was a real page-turner, thanks for asking.

All this being said, this commercial inspires in me more sadness than anything else. I mean, isn't this the organization which once elected Presidents, appointed judges, manipulated the world currencies and carried out the occasional assassination? How do you go from giving Queen Elizabeth, Czar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm their marching orders to hiring a bad Ben Franklin impersonator to beg for recruits? Come on- aren't these the same guys who embedded the Secrets of the Universe in Benjamin Bannaker's blueprint for Washington, DC (you don't think that the Washington Monument is 555 ft high by ACCIDENT, do you?) So what the heck?

Back to the ad- I wish this guy had just been out front with what is obviously the subliminal message- "are you man enough to help us regain control of the planet, manipulating everything from the price of gas to the winner of the next American Idol competition along the way?" Because if he had-- Catholic Church or no Catholic Church, sign me up!!

On second thought, don't sign me up- based on that episode of The Simpsons back in the 90s, I think I'd rather join the Stonecutters. Maybe they don't control the UN or the Federal Reserve, but they've done a great job keeping the Metric System down and the martians under wraps.


  1. My dad is a Mason. He's at that honorary level of something like 33rd degree. He's been the grand pooh-bah (he hates it when I call him that) several times. A few years ago, his lodge needed one of their oft-used, frequently-copied books retyped and he thought of me. I didn't get paid for this, but I got an inside look at what goes on at one of their ceremonies. It was so boring and repetitive that I could only type five to ten pages at a time before it sucked the very life out of me.

    But, I got to see inside one of their ceremonies. ZzZzZZZZZZzz...

    The Masons have come in handy to me one time in my life. Only once. Tis a long story that took place in 1990, so I'll spare you.

    Where was I? Oh yeah, my dad's lodge...

    My dad's lodge still has two working rotary dial phones. I have video footage that I took calling my own mobile phone from the red rotary phone at the lodge a couple weeks ago.

    That's how exciting Mason life is these days (at least in this town).

  2. I know they go bowling a lot. They seemed like a nice group of rather elderly men- when they went into their meeting, I played board games with the wives until they were done.

    Then we had ice cream and played "Masonic Jeopardy."

    Very nice people. I think that organizations like these are being doomed by Facebook, cable tv, and a host of other competing leisure time activities. Plus, no one seems all that interested in running the world anymore, and I can't blame them.

  3. My dad's group doesn't bowl, but they play cards. The lodge also hosts lots of dinners/breakfasts because they're one of the larger banquet halls with the commercial kitchen available.

    They're still getting new, young people though, because my dad called my eldest (21 years old) to ask about a guy he thought she'd know from high school. Interestingly, we all knew him because he was in a martial arts class with my son. I not only knew the kid, I knew his parents.

    I have no idea if our stories about the kid and his family will have any bearing on his getting to read that coveted (retyped by me) book for his initiation ceremony. If he does, I wish him luck in not falling asleep.