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You remember mental health professional Robin of Berkeley, who believes liberals are pathologically joyless because they always look depressed whenever she walks into the room, and who provides the same distance-diagnosis schtik as Charles Krauthammer, but at only half the price and a third of the credentials. Well, she’s back, and today she’s taking on the Bug Zappers of the Anti-Christ!

Deliver Us from Evil

It’s funny how trivial events somehow get seared into your brain.

Or into your column.

This one is from years ago, when I was enjoying a yogurt on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Suddenly, a large exotic bug appeared and started dancing around. Its iridescent colors caught the sun and glistened like a rainbow. A crowd formed to watch its antics in shared delight.

It’s funny how the trivial events in your life sound like they were stolen from a Warner Brothers cartoon.

Out of nowhere, a lunatic pushed through the crowd. I’d seen this guy before — paranoid, menacing. His rage toward the bug slit me like a knife.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m willing to bet that, in the 1500 year history of the English language, this is the first time anyone has written that particular sentence (at least since the Great Vowel Shift).

The insect was getting attention, people were happy, and he was out for revenge.

He’d already pithed Michigan J. Frog for a similar offense.

The man bolted through the crowd, possessed. He jumped on the bug, over and over and again. People gasped. A child cried. And then, as quickly as it began, it was all over.

This is bringing up memories — repressed, horrible memories! — of that tragic day when my Dad took me to the Flea Circus, and a lunatic stepped on the acrobats.

Silently, numbly, the crowd dispersed. The man, now triumphant, smiled hideously. I threw away the yogurt, which was now rendered tasteless.

I know exactly how you feel, Robin. I haven’t been able to touch Cheez-Wiz since I saw a hobo swat a Pacific Dampwood termite.

I’ll never forget the look of blind hatred on that man’s face. It communicated this: “I want what you have.”

“…a chitinous exoskeleton and a segmented thorax.”

And: “If I can’t have it, I’ll destroy it.”

He punctuated this threat with insane, cackling laughter, then asked, “Is that from Pinkberry? You gonna finish that?”

This random experience flashed in my mind recently when I was in a Berkeley bookstore. With my newfound interest in religion, I wanted to peruse that section.

After hunting down a clerk to unearth the tiny religion area, I perused the shelves.

That’s some pretty fierce determination. Reminds me of Caesar’s stark report to the Roman Senate on his battle with Pharnaces II of Pontus, “I came, I saw, I perused.”

In actuality, the area should have been called the Anti-Christianity Section.

While there were respectful tomes on the other religions, the Christianity section was a virtual pillorying of Jesus.

Shocking, I agree. That kind of thing has no place in a bookstore, which is supposed to cater to, even foster, an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and openness. Virtually pillorying Jesus is a pastime that’s much better left to some of the kinkier Catholic roleplay areas of Second Life.

Every book denounced him, mocked him, or reinvented him as something entirely new. There were books debunking the Gospel, with each author sounding gleeful, like a wicked child.

Now, I understand that some people reject religion. But why the venom? The contempt, the need to torpedo Christ?

Gleeful but contemptuous children always attack the Savior with venom-tipped torpedoes. We tried training sea snakes to attack him while he’s walking on water, but they’re all draftees and lack the necessary gung ho and esprit de corps, so our best strategy is to use a submarine to track the Messiah with passive sonar, running silent, running deep until he reaches the middle of the Dead Sea. Then we rise to periscope depth and fire our fish. If we’re lucky, he’ll get confused and accidentally multiply the fish so he goes up in a really big explosion.

This campaign against Christianity isn’t confined to an obscure Berkeley bookstore. And it didn’t begin with Obama. There’s been an active crusade for decades to try to destroy Jesus with Alinksy-like[sic] tactics: freeze the subject, humiliate, marginalize.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste.
I’ve been around for a long, long year,
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.
And I was round when Jesus Christ
Was subjected to Alinsky-like tactics such as freezing, humiliating and marginalizing.
Pleased to meet you!
Hope you guess my name…

“Saul Alinksy?”

“Uh…It’s Alinsky, actually, but, uh…Yeah. That’s right. (SIGH) Here…you win the plush panda.”

But while demonizing Christianity is nothing new, it’s reached a fever pitch since Obama came on the scene. It’s no wonder: Obama sent out clear messages from the start.


First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of placing a mildly irreverent pop-up book about Jesus in an obscure bookstore in Berkeley…

Obama’s first interview as president was for an Arab broadcaster. Then he covered up a cross at Notre Dame and was a no-show on the National Day of Prayer.

Lately, it seems like open season on Christians. The Pope has been subjected to unprecedented condemnation, with atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens plotting ways to have him arrested.

Actually, that seems more like open season on child molestation, which does sound kind of unfair, since pedophiles have traditionally been hunted in May, along with the spring gobblers.

Comedy Central plans a cartoon show mocking Jesus. On the TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David does something so offensive that I will only offer you a link.

That would be the Curb episode where Larry is taking some drug with diuretic side-effects and he pees so hard that some of the backsplash hits a portrait of Jesus over the toilet. The woman who owns it immediately assumes that the image is miraculously weeping, and Larry feels awkward about raining on her parade after golden showering her Messiah.

In the past I would simply put on my therapist cap with people like these. I’d probe their childhood for evidence of maltreatment. I’d label them as narcissists and antisocial personalities.

Which is how I plan to get therapy from Robin without paying for it — all she has to do is walk past a copy of , and she’ll be psycho-analyzing the hell out of us.

But now I have a different worldview, one that goes much deeper than just the psychological. Now I understand that this world is infused with the Divine. And that there is a competing force, one that is the polar opposite.

…a force that didn’t star in a series of John Waters films

I now have a word for that creepy feeling deep down in my gut. And I finally understand the source.

Excellent! I think we’ve made a breakthrough. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have today –

Now I see what’s really behind the campaign to banish religion; it’s to render us utterly helpless. Because after all, without God, what protection is there in this brutal world?

Sadly, grievously, I look out on my country. I see the corruption and undoing. I witness the ever-growing tsunami of hate that threatens everyone in its path.

And I see citizens oblivious to the dangers because they’re mired in the slime of moral relativism. They have no language, no hiding place, no possible way to shield their children in the deep and darkest nights.

Geez! One guys steps on a cicada, and suddenly it’s The Road.

And I see that lunatic, the one with the crazy, hollow eyes. But he’s not just on Telegraph Avenue.

“Wherever there’s a guy beatin’ up on a bug, I’ll be there…”

He’s far and wide: in the hallowed halls of Congress, in the institutes of higher learning, in basement rooms where small men troll.

I don’t care how small you are; if you can troll in your basement, you really ought to check to see if your water heater is leaking.

If you listen closely, you can hear that same diabolical cry: “I want what you have.

That’s the same diabolical cry I often hear at Baja Fresh when I order the Mahi Mahi Crispy Tacos but my companion unwisely went with the Bare Burrito.

And if I can’t have it, I’ll destroy it.”

Curiously, this is the same thing Robin says to her clients when talking about their sanity.

36 Responses to “Death Wish Meets A Bug’s Life”

“If you listen closely, you can hear the same diabolical cry:”-as what she IMAGINES is in the mind of the bug squasher.
If she’s hearing this phrase EVERYWHERE she goes, and it’s only audible to her, perhaps there’s a reason for that. I’m not qualified to diagnose what’s wrong with her, but it sounds like schizophrenia to me.

A violent/crazy/rude homeless guy in the Bay area? Gosh and golly, that’s sure unheard of.

And it’s a real shame that good, God fearin’ Xtians can’t git no books fer godly readin’ in that modern day Sodom & Gomorrah of Berkeley, California. She should come to Real Amurica, where there’s almost as many Christian Bookstores as there are payday lenders.

Her analogy would work better if the bug had been a plague carrier. Honey, people don’t want to pillory Christianity (and given Robin, it’s likely that when she sees anyone asking any questions, it translates to persecution in her mind, she seems to take shit personally) because we hate that you’re so happy. It’s because you guys are using Christianity to kill the butterflies we were enjoying.

Really, she’s got this utterly backwards. Assuming the guy wasn’t just crazy in some way (Cymbalta has me hallucinating bugs, and unfortunately it’s indoor bug season, so sometimes I’ll ignore it for ten minutes before realizing that one on my leg is, you know, real, and this makes *me* want to kill some bugs, really), it’s reasonable to assume he was religious and can’t stand watching people have fun. You know, like the Taliban’s anti-ice cream attacks. Or the “no dancing” commands of various Christian sects.

Lefties, being by and large tree-huggers, are less likely to kill random bugs just to watch kids sulk.

Sounds like somebody didn’t quite understand Men in Black. See, Robin, the bug is bent on taking over the universe, and the “crazy guy” is just a dedicated government agent trying to save us. Feel better now? Oh, and confusing your memory of a movie with your memories of real life (“Reagan’s Syndrome”) may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Perhaps you should see a doctor.

If I wanted what Christians have, I’d become a Christian. As it happens, I don’t.

Funniest thing I’ve read all week!

One of the comments posted in the original article reads: “The Lord Jesus has been supplanted and stripped of His heavenly authority…”

Most believers believe in a God and Christ which are omnipotent.

Apparently, the commenter’s “god” is rather impotent.

Who knew that humans were the real power holders in this equation?

I love bugs, but even I know that most people view them with disgust and even fear. I doubt the “maniac” was jealous of the bug’s beauty. I also doubt there was a crowd watching the bug. Hell, I doubt she was eating yogurt. Where’s the receipt, miss?

Plus, I wonder what Robin considers dismissive of Christianity. Even the most dirty fucking hippie bookstore would have a “Jesus was totally a shaman” book or something like that.

An’ it better be the long-form receipt, too.

Suddenly, a large exotic bug appeared and started dancing around. Its iridescent colors caught the sun and glistened like a rainbow. A crowd formed to watch its antics in shared delight.

Out of nowhere, a lunatic pushed through the crowd. I’d seen this guy before — paranoid, menacing. His rage toward the bug slit me like a knife.

The man bolted through the crowd, possessed. He jumped on the bug, over and over and again. People gasped. A child cried. And then, as quickly as it began, it was all over.

Pics, or it didn\’t happen Robin.

Robin of Bedlam writes: His rage toward the bug slit me like a knife.

God, I love this line because it’s so obvious that as she sat at her desk scratching around for a simile, with her brow furrowed, forefinger against her chin like a ham actor registering Deep Thought, and a light bulb flickering weakly above her head, her eyes lit upon a letter opener on the desk.

And despite the fact that a letter opener looks like a knife, letter openers do not cut– they slit.

Sure, she could have written “slit me like a letter opener” but boy would that have sounded stupid!

Robin\’s bug story reminds me of an experience that happened to me while I was enjoying a Klondike Bar on the Appian Way in Rome. Suddenly a large, exotic snake appeared and flew around the tourists, its rainbow hued wings sparkling in the sun (because it was one of those flying snakes). And then it stated singing \”I Had a Dream\” in a lovely, lilting voice. A crowd of Tibetan monks, all dressed in saffron yellow, formed around the snake, watching it in delight. Just then, Dick Cheney shot down the beautiful snake with a ray gun and then stomped its guts out. I realized I could read Dick\’s thoughts, and he had killed the snake because he was jealous of it – the snake had actually been welcomed into Iraq with flowers and sweets, you see. His hatred of the snake scalded me like a Pop Tart that has been in the toaster too long. Everyone in the crowd cried in desolation about the squished sname, and then forgot about it almost immediately. Then the jeweled snake came back from the dead, like the non-existant Jesus of Berkely – only it wasn\’t a snake anymore, it was Lindsey Lohan. Suddenly a moment of perfect enlightenment came to me, and I realized that the snake represented penis envy. And then I woke up.

Y’know, I like a lot of bugs. Not all bugs, obviously — I lived in NOLA for 12 years, and those idiots in Florida can call ‘em “palmetto bugs” alllllll the fuck that they want, but them thar is GIANT FUCKING FLYING FUCKING ***COCKAROACHES***!!!!!! But other bugs, like shiny beetles, roly-polies, butterflies, certain moths, walking-stick bugs, etc., are fun as hell.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the fuck outta watching Tommie Lee Jones blast his way out of that giant-alien-cockaroach-that-used-to-be-Vincent-D’Onofrio, too. A little something for everybody.

But this bitch seems to be on waaaayyy the fuck more dangerous shit than Cymbalta, or severely in need of some hard-core psychotropics. I rarely advocate for the pharmaceutical lobby, but this bitch is BATSHIT FUCKING CRAZY, *AND* a SHITTY excuse for a “writer”!!!

Bless your heart for taking the bullet on this one, Scott, but, um, the next time that you feel the masochistic urge to share Robin with the world, would you mind drinking a bottle of tequila first? That way, when you come to, you’ll have forgotten aaallllll the fuck about her and her batshit paranoid-schizophrenic delusions as you wrangle with that very-odd taste in your mouth. Eating the worm is completely up to you, though, depending on which odd tastes that you like in your mouth… bah-dum-bump!

but boy would that have sounded stupider!

Y’know, S.Z., if you’re going to simultaneous-post with me, could you at LEAST do really BAD, BORING comments??!?!

But noooo, you hadda be FUNNY and SICK & TWISTED in that inimitable way of yours, and make my comment even lamer than it would’ve been ordinarily.

Gee, thanks!

};-)~~~(why is the tongue all jacked-sideways?)

and then the HTML code glued the italicized parentheses to the damned tongue, totally deleting the fork of the tongue… *sigh*

It is NOT my fucking night. Fifth time that I’ve cut off my long, curly locks to donate to Pantene for adult women with cancer, and you’d THINK that I’d be GOOD AT IT BY NOW.

But nooooo… I seem to get worse at it every 2 years. Last time was okay, but this one, it’s just… well… THE BACK OF MY HEAD IS FUCKING NEKKID!!!!!!

Definitely gonna need a new wig.

Obama’s first interview as president was for an Arab broadcaster.

This is really tangential to Robin’s blatant insanity, but when are we going to let Muslims into our little monotheism club? They worship the same god as the Christians and Jews and they also made invaluable contributions to western civilization without which modern society couldn’t exist, so what’s the grounds for leaving them out?

And another thing:

these zealots are not Christian. Real Christians, I grant you, can be authentically horrid people, but they really believe the stuff, in the sense that they don’t espouse some crap that is totally extemporized for the moment. If you really think Pres. So and So is so evil and his policies are subtly different from Pres. Thus and Such, then logically you’d think both presidents were evil. And you’d think so during the Thus and Such Administration.

These people aren’t real capitalists, either. If they were, they’d favor accountability for capitalist managers who break the law. Hey, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime (of obliterating the private property and livelihoods of millions of Americans)!

In fact, they don’t believe anything except whatever is compatible with the talking points memo for the day, from News Corp.

the RW Xtains seem to take the Discworld view of Gods, that if people stop believing in them, they cease to exist…

Sorry, no Jesus for me. Not ’til he gives up the long-form birth certificate, anyway.

the martyrdom of archy. by don marquis and robin of berkeley

I hate Robin. She is so cruel and exclusionist. She just blithely shoulders her way into the discourse, nattering on about her yoghurt and how delicious and cold it was, and then how her delightful experience of it was ruined, ruined, but has she ever, ever given the smallest thought to the possibility that because I am lactose-intolerant, her recounting of this incident hurts me? I don’t even have the luxury of having my yoghurt rendered tasteless by a Berkeley maniac. What a merciless bundle of entitlement she is.

I’m so upset I can’t even start on Jesus, except that I think he was lactose-intolerant, too. Because loaves, fishes, wine? Is there a reliable accounting of milk products he may have consumed? Thanks for the nightmares, Robin.

s.z., your dreams are far more lucid than Ms. Berkley’s writing will, under any circumstance, ever be.

Did anyone ever figure out what her professional qualifications actually are? My guess (from looking at her writing) would be ‘not much’.

Thanks, Larky-poo, you gave me my first smile allllll fucking half-bald day.

And a big high-five to Woodrowfan for the Pterry ref. Ay-men.

“Because loaves, fishes, wine? Is there a reliable accounting of milk products he may have consumed?”

He did say “Blessed are the cheesemakers,” but I’m sure he meant any producers of dairy products.

“…The man bolted through the crowd, possessed. He jumped on the bug, over and over and again…”

If it really was a cicada, it had probably keept the poor homeless guy awake all night with its unending all-night noise. I know the feeling.

“The man bolted through the crowd, possessed. He jumped on the bug, over and over and again. People gasped. A child cried. And then, as quickly as it began, it was all over.”

Clearly he was just doing his part in the war against the bugs. Are you?

in basement rooms where small men troll.

Louis C.K. , but I’m not sure that’s what Robin had in mind here. Plus, he’s a pretty hefty dude, about 240 lbs.

There could be something a bit — ahem — freudian about the use of the word “slit.” Especially in conjunction with the look of blind hatred that said to her, “I want what you have.” See, it’s really an erotic fantasy of some sort that ends with a cup of yogurt, once sweet, losing its flavor.

Now you all have to go back and reread the whole goddamn thing, don’t you? Har har har . . .

I coulda lived my entire life without ever having to picture that analogy, trashfire.

If Mormon missionaries show up at your door around 7A on a Saturday, don’t wonder why.

You guys are all so exceptionally brilliant… when I read a farrago of flailing half-crocked fantasy like this, my brain goes jizzy.

This woman needs something a whole helluva lot more soothing than Christianity, that’s for sure. Somebody get her to a Zen retreat quick, before she can get that therapist’s hat on her cranium and attack again. I picture it as a malevolent cousin of the Sorting Hat: “Mm, yesss, you are a paranoid-schizophrenic-liberal-atheissssst… Slytherin for life and Jeebusjuice Potion 2x daily. Stomp, blood, crucifix, bugs, Obama, guts, Savior!!!”

Hey, I’m a paranoid schizophrenic. On behalf of my people, I refuse to claim Robin. Plus, we kind of tend to be anti-bug, really. Not pro-bug. Seriously, I have to make myself not be creeped out by bugs more and more as I get older. I want to like them, I used to like them. They’re really cool looking… But then they’re also bugs. It’s weird.

And trashfire, you owe me seventy bucks for tomorrow’s shrink visit, goddammit. I could have done nicely without that in my head. Yucko.

Dear D, my profound apologies to the PS Community – and I wasn’t trying to foist Robin on you all. Goddess Forbid! Actually I was trying to imagine what her Therapist’s Hat whispers in her ears when she’s therapeuticizin’ on some hapless client who hasn’t been washed in the Blood of the Lamb…

As for bugs: in general I can deal with the ones we get in NJ, always excepting roaches, which I haven’t had to interact with for many years. Mostly when they get trapped indoors I try to free, not squoosh them. Just try to remember: no bugs, no birds. Birds absolutely need insects and insect larvae to feed their babies. And after all, Jesus said, “Suffer the little caterpillars to come unto Me.”

D., honey, I would NEVER try to attach this TUMOR of a “woman” onto you or any other schizophrenics, but if this bitch isn’t overindulging the “demonic” voices in her utterly-unqualified, dented skull, THEN **WHAT** IS HER FUCKING PROBLEM?!??!?!

And y’know, if I could, I’d take all of your bad side-effects and other annoyances like killer zombies, etc., and SHIP THEM STRAIGHT TO ROBIN’S HOUSE. I can think of no one (except maybe Pope Panzerfaust & Dick Cheney) who deserves it more.

Hey, I’m a paranoid schizophrenic.

So am I.
No I’m not, but I am.
But I am out to get me.

Something to say?