My time as a full-time philosopher was enjoyable, but not profitable. Thus, I regret to inform all my loyal readers that I must quit my work as a philosopher. I've found work as a waiter in Los Angeles. Thanks for all your support, and hopefully in the future I will be able to return to posting on my blog.
Continuing with the true fan series, I present one more of the requirements that a person must meet in order to obtain the title of “true fan.” A person must wear at least one article of clothing that shows support for his particular team while attending a game. This requirement seems like a no-brainer, but every time I go to a sporting event there are thousands of people not wearing their team’s colors. The people most guilty of this are those that sit in the most expensive seats. If you can spend $100 or more for a ticket, why wouldn’t you at least buy something to show your support?
One possible explanation is that the fans are embarrassed. When I was younger I was in the Boy Scouts and as a boy scouts I was required to wear a uniform. But I never wore my uniform in public, because I was too embarrassed. I was more concerned with what other people would think about me than showing my pride for the boy scouts. If a fan is ashamed or embarrassed to support his team then he can never gain true fan status. A true fan should be willing to take the abuse from rival team’s fans. You need to take pride in your team even when they lose. I hate to see a fan who is wearing a team’s jersey cover it up with a jacket after his team loses.
I must admit that wearing sport’s clothes is somewhat tacky. As someone who considers themselves a sophisticated dresser, I find it hard to wear a bright blue jersey supporting my Dodgers. But a true fan doesn’t need to wear his jersey to work every day. People get dressed up for sporting events. It is like going to a Halloween party and not wearing a costume. A person who doesn’t wear a costume, is not considered suave or dapper, but is looked upon as a kill joy. You need to leave your fashion sense behind when you go to a sporting event. Who cares if your yellow Steelers’ jersey doesn’t match your brown shoes?
My guess is that this is the reason that a lot of people in the expensive seats don’t wear their team’s colors. They might be taking clients to the game on business, and feel that they must still wear business casual clothes. But you must remember a true fan doesn’t have to paint his face black and gold. All you need to wear is a hat, a tie, or a polo shirt, anything that shows your support. Most clients will appreciate your passion for the game. Furthermore, I always find it more enjoyable to watch a game with someone who is invested in the outcome.
Indigent Sports Fan
Another reason someone might not wear his team’s colors is that he cannot afford it. I want to make it perfectly clear that a true fan doesn’t need to be rich. You don’t need to wear an authentic game day jersey to be a true fan. However, even the poorest fan can afford to show support for his team. If you can afford to buy a ticket, then you can afford to buy something to wear to the game. You can find cheap clothes at thrift stores, or stores like Ross or TJ-Maxx. The clothing doesn’t even need to be officially licensed or even contain the team’s logo. I find wearing a plain blue t-shirt is adequate at a Dodgers’ game.
Exception for Tattoos
A true fan that has a visible tattoo of his team doesn’t need to wear an article of clothing. However, a person that is willing to get a tattoo of the team is most likely going to be the type of person that is decked out in his team’s colors. So for all particular purposes this is not much of an exception.
Exception for Safety
I lived in the Bay Area for a couple of years, and I had the misfortune of attending an Oakland Raiders game. Although I did not wear the opposing team’s colors, I felt scared for those that did. If your physical safety is put in jeopardy by wearing your team’s colors, then you do not have to wear an article of clothing and can still remain a true fan. I’m not talking about being hit by the occasional hot dog. I’m talking about being stabbed or beaten for wearing the other team’s jersey. I cannot list certain scenarios where this exception applies, because I haven’t been to every stadium. If you know of any, please list them in the comments section. I want to say wearing a Broncos’ or Chargers’ jersey to the Oakland Coliseum would be an example. I know that wearing a Dodgers’ jersey to AT&T Park is not an example, because I’ve done this and did not feel threatened.
Exception for Spur of the Moment Tickets
If a friend gives you tickets a couple of hours before the game and you cannot get back to your house before game time, then you do not need to wear an article of clothing and can still remain a true fan. If this exception were true it would place a fan in an unusual predicament. A fan would have to decline the invitation, because he doesn’t have anything to wear to the game and would lose his true fan status. The rules are to encourage fans to attend games. Thus, an exception must be made. Some might argue that a true fan should always have a hat or shirt in his car or at the office. There is merit to this argument, but I’m more inclined to not require a true fan to always have a cap ready in the off chance that he gets tickets to the game. Another argument is that a true fan would buy something at the game to show support. I think this is true if the fan is rich and can afford it.
Magnitude of Clothing
There are always those fans that excessively dress-up for a game. There are those Raiders fans that wear spiked shoulder pads and Darth Vader helmets. There are those fans that paint words on their chest, and sit shirtless in freezing temperatures. Often people remark to me that these people must be the biggest fans. However, there are no levels in true fanhood. Either you’re a true fan or you’re not. I think it is great that people wear these crazy outfits, but don’t be fooled into thinking these people are some sort of super fans. A person that wears only the team’s baseball cap can still be just as much a fan as the person who paints his face. Furthermore, you never know if these people are complying with all of the other requirements of the true fan series. For example, the person with the Darth Vader helmet might leave games early if the Raiders are losing. So don’t be awed by such extravagant displays of support.
For your reading pleasure, I’ve posted the first section of a field manual I wrote a couple of months ago for the Church of the Second Coming
Section 1.0: Introduction
It is my humble charge from the all mighty himself to collaborate with my fellow prophets in order to bring to light a field manual for the West Los Angeles area. As head prophet of the West Los Angeles chapter it is a great honor to assist you in this calling. There is no more important message than the one you will bring to the people of Los Angeles, which is that all should repent because the return of our king is nigh at hand. You will be blessed for your faithfulness and diligence in sharing this message. The purpose of this manual is to instruct you and give you the practical knowledge that you will need to be a successful prophet for the Church of the Second Coming. Before beginning the more formal part of the manual, I feel it would be advantageous for you to hear the story of how I was a paralegal at a major law firm not less than a year ago, and now I’m the head prophet of this great chapter. I also want to relate a confrontation that I had with a member of the irreverent group ALA (Atheists of Los Angeles). I’m afraid to say that many of you will come in contact with this group. In section 6 of this manual we will discuss in more detail how to confound these heathens, but it would beneficial for you to hear at the outset what type of arguments they make and how to properly confront them.
Section 1.1: My Conversion Story
We’re currently facing one of the greatest recessions in our country’s history. In California, the unemployment rate is around 11.5%. Most of us have been affected by this economy, but I felt it especially hard. Last year I was working as a paralegal for a law firm in Santa Monica. I had been working there for almost four years when I was laid off.
On September 19, 2008, a partner of the firm called me into his office and said, “Prior, you’re one the best paralegals we have but we have to let you go. Our law firm isn’t bringing in the money like it used to, and we need to make some cuts. I’m sorry for this, but we need to keep the firm afloat.” I was fired, and it was worthless to search for a job because there were no jobs out there. Fortunately the firm gave me a decent severance package, so I had enough money for the next four months.
At this point, the problem wasn’t the money, but having nothing to do. I’ve always considered myself an industrious person, and without a job I didn’t know what to do with myself. I decided that I would write an economics’ paper about the real cause of this depression (click here to see the article). The paper was published. In the paper I argued that the cause of the depression is due to all of the commemorative coins and paper bills that have been minted. Ever since the introduction of the commemorative state quarters in 1999 people have had such a fascination with the aesthetic value of money; and because of this they don’t want to spend it. Because of this spending is now down and the economy has come to a slow crawl. The paper received a lot of attention because people think it was humorous but let it be known, my prophets in training, that this is the main cause of this great depression.
I was handsomely rewarded for my essay. People visited my website—www.prioradams.com—and clicked on my adds. I was able to live off my website. However, I was still faced with the dilemma of what I should do with my time. I was a lost soul, wandering aimlessly amongst the inhabitants of Los Angeles, and the inhabitants were just as lost as me. I was depressed. I never bathed nor shaved. I spent most of my time walking the streets of L.A. with no place to go. It was during one of my walks that I found my purpose in life.
A man with a black tie, black suit, and purple collared shirt approached me, and said nothing but gave me a card which said:
The Church of the Second Coming might need you. Searching for men with beards and a spiritual side. All training included. Starting pay is 15.00/hr. Please visit us at: 15675 Wilshire Blvd, M-F 10:00-6:00I’m sure many of you received this exact same card. I don’t know about you but there was something powerful about this card. I now know that it was the power of God coaxing me to go apply for this job.
That same day I took the bus to the building and applied for a job as a prophet of the Church of the Second Coming. I will spare you the details of the hiring process because if you are now reading this manual you are fully aware of the strict hiring process, but I would like to spend some time describing my conversion to this church in hopes that it will strengthen your knowledge of the validity of this work.
At first I was skeptical about a church that was only devoted to teaching the principal of the second coming. I wondered why the church didn’t focus on the Old Testament. And why they only talked about Christ’s teachings regarding the second coming. Why is there such an emphasis on this one point of the gospel? The answer is that right now this is what we should be preparing for. The Mosaic law prepared the way for the first coming of Christ. Our church is now preparing the way for the second coming of our lord. When you are on your street corner holding your sign and prophesying that the end is near, please remember this point: you are the modern day John the Baptist paving the way for the return of our king.
Ever since I’ve accepted my job as a prophet of the Church of the Second Coming, I’ve worked without rest, delivering our important message, which is that the Lord is returning soon, and he will start a new world, where God’s rule is law. Thus, all inhabitants of Los Angeles should repent and prepare to receive him.
Section 1.2: My Conflict with the member of Atheists of Los Angeles
I was prophesying at my usual corner—Wilshire and Westwood Blvd. The date was May 23, 2009. Below is the transcript from a recording that was taken that night—I always record my prophesying for teaching purposes:
Prior Adams (“P”): For it is written that the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. And it is also written in Revelations that Jesus is coming soon. This means that. . . . .
Warner Jacobs (“W”): Don’t listen to this man—he’s a liar and a phony.
P: Such scathing accusations, without even an introduction. Before leveling such allegations, could you be so kind as to tell me who you are?
W: My name is Warner Jacobs, and I’m an associate of the group Atheists of Los Angeles. And I’m sick of you preaching such nonsense to the fine people of L.A.
P: Good sir, if I’m wrong please tell where I go astray. It’s better to be corrected than to spend life walking in error, and by correcting me I would consider you doing me a favor.
W: Please, dispense with the pleasantries. I know you hate me, and think that I will spend eternity burning in Hell.
P: I only have charity for you, and earnestly care for your eternal well being. That is why I spend every night on this corner, so that these people may avoid God’s wrath.
W: If this is true then you yourself have been deceived. And because I want you to see this and because I don’t want all those gathered here to think that the second coming is soon, I accept your challenge to prove you wrong.
P: Well then please come up to the front, and instruct these people. Obviously, you will have to forgive me if I don’t take everything you say at face value. I would be doing myself and those here a disservice if I didn’t question your views.
W: Thank you for giving me the floor. Most fanatical Christians usually don’t extend such courtesy. They mostly drown me out with yelling, so thank you. . . . . There’re a lot of problems with the Church of the Second Coming. The scripture you mentioned in Revelations chapter 22, verse 12, Jesus says “Behold, I am coming soon.” Scholars believe that Revelations was written around 70 A.D. 1,939 years has passed since Jesus said he would be coming soon. I understand that “soon” isn’t an exact measurement of time, but I don’t think that anyone could consider 2,000 years soon. If I said, “I will have your car repaired soon,” and I finished it 2,000 years later, you would think I was a liar.
P: I understand your point, but you fail to realize that the prophet Isaiah wrote that the Lord is an everlasting God. So when he says that he comes soon, for God that could be thousands of years.
W: But why would he say “soon” when talking to mortals? The Bible was written for the benefit of mankind, so his audience was humans. And he must have known that humans would interpret the word “soon” in the context of human years. Why didn’t he qualify his statement by saying, “I come soon, but when I say soon, I mean soon for a God, who is not subject to human’s concept of time?”
P: No one can fathom God’s understanding, and I will not dare opine on God’s intent. But the NIV uses the word “soon,” but the King James Version uses the word, “quickly.” Thus, a fair interpretation of the scripture would be that when Jesus comes, it will be quickly, like suddenly.
W: I don’t think that is an accurate interpretation of that scripture. Either way, you just said that the second coming will happen soon. And you sir, are no God, so when you say “soon” it must certainly mean in the next year?
P: I don’t know whether it will be next year, but I know that it will be soon.
W: Well, here is the problem: you can keep saying that the second coming is soon, and there is no way to prove you wrong. Unless you gave me a specific date, it’s hard to prove you wrong, because you can always say “it will be soon,” but no one knows when soon has passed. In fact, people have been saying that the second coming will be soon for the past two thousand years. When can we just say it is not going to happen?
P: Jesus will come like a thief in the night. No one can know the date of his return. If we all knew when he would come then we would just repent the day before.
W: If you don’t know the exact date, then why do you spend all of you time telling people that the second coming is soon?
P: It is written that when you shall see certain things then you will now that Jesus is coming soon, and many of the signs have already happened. Right before the second coming there will be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famines; Christ’s followers will be persecuted; false prophets will appear and perform miracles; the gospel will be preached to the whole world; and Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemies. All of these signs have come to pass, and that is why I know the second coming is soon.
W: All of these signs are too general. There are always wars, earthquakes, and famines. All of these things happened during World War II, so by your thinking the second coming was soon in 1945, but it has been seventy years since then. These signs have been happening for hundreds of years, and will continue to happen. You cannot honestly say that these signs are any indication that the second coming is soon.
P: What about the signs of the gospel being preached to the whole word and Jerusalem being surrounded by enemies? These are specific. It is quite amazing that because of recent advancements in technology, missionaries can share the gospel message to everyone.
W: You fail to realize that this sign is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you have enough followers then they will do everything in their power to make sure your prophecy comes true. If I were the leader of a congregation of 50,000 and I said that the Lord’s temple will be built in the Rocky Mountains, then my prophesy will most likely come true. Not because I was able to see into the future, but rather because I knew my 50,000 followers would build the temple. So it is here. The preaching of the gospel throughout the world isn’t a sign of the second coming, but just shows that there are enough Christians to make sure Jesus’ prophecies come true.
P: I understand that if you had 50,000 followers at the time of the prophecy then it wouldn’t be much of prediction, but you forget Christianity started with one man, and his teachings weren’t popular during his lifetime. Being able to foresee the popularity of Christianity is quite amazing. Also, do you think that nations are at war with Israel because of the prophecy in the New Testament? Or do you think that maybe Jesus accurately predicted the wars in the Middle East? Surely, Muslim nations aren’t hostile towards Israel, because they want Jesus’ prophecy to be correct?
W: The prophecy of Jerusalem being surrounded by hostile enemies isn’t much of a prophecy, because there have always been wars in the Middle East. You’re right that Jesus didn’t have many followers during his lifetime, and at first glance it appears that his prediction of global missionary work was remarkable. But you fail to realize there’re thousands of people who make crazy predictions every year; one of them is bound to get it right by mere chance, and when he or she does everyone is amazed. If I make the prediction that a man named Francis from Wyoming will discover the cure for cancer, and it doesn’t come true, no one will pay attention to it. But if I’m correct, then everyone will marvel and consider me a clairvoyant, when it truth it was a lucky guess. It’s also so with Jesus. He made some lucky guesses and now people think he was a prophet, when in reality he was just the person who guessed correctly.
P: You’re wrong. First, if Jesus’ prophecies were just guesses then the chances of them being correct are like a billion to one. Also, Jesus performed miracles. He walked on water, healed the sick, and rose from the tomb. If you saw someone doing these things, and then afterwards he made a prophecy about the future you will pay close attention. He wasn’t just someone who happened to guess correctly, like you said. He is our God, and as such he is all powerful, all knowing, and all good. He knows the future, and when he makes a prophecy it must be true, because he cannot lie.
W: I suppose we’re now on a different topic--you believe Jesus is God, and I believe there is no God. This is our real disagreement, and because it is getting late we must save this debate for a different day. But before I leave I want you to know the truth about the Church of the Second Coming. CSC was founded as a government program to increase consumer spending. If people believe that the second coming is soon then they will be less inclined to save their money and more inclined to spend it. This increased spending will jumpstart the economy.
P: That is outrageous, you and your paranoid conspiracy theories. Our church was founded when Jonah appeared in angelic form to the major-prophet, Brandon Cooley. Noah told Cooley that the second coming is soon, and that Cooley should preach this message to the inhabitants of earth. I’ve received a personal confirmation that this story is true. There’re also documents and witnesses that testify to the veracity of this vision.
W: All lies and forgeries perpetrated by the United States government. When did Cooley’s allege vision take place?
P: January 28, 2009
W: That is the same day the stimulus package was passed.
P: Pure coincidence
W: The stimulus package provides $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters. However, the furniture at the new headquarters was only two years old. Why would they need new furniture if their furniture was two years old? The truth is that the 248 million was used to establish your church.
P: You’re delusional. Why are you the only one that knows about this? If this were true it would be big news--the government directly violating the establishment clause. . . . Like you said, it is getting late and I still need to finish my speech on the second coming. So if you don’t mind, I must bid you farewell.
W: Thanks for engaging me in conversation. I hope that everyone will dig deeper into the founding of the Church of the Second Coming, and you will find that it is a government conspiracy. Good evening to all.
P: Thanks for your patience, please let’s continue where I left off. . . .
Note September 25, 2009:
After my conversation with Warner Jacobs, I thought he was crazy. But I kept thinking about his government conspiracy theory, so I decided to do some research. I read the transcript that Noah Cooley wrote after his vision. I read the testimonies of the witnesses, who said they say the angel as well. And I found inconsistencies. I also researched the 248 million for new furniture—and no new furniture was bought with the money. Warner Jacobs was right. The government established the Church of the Second Coming to increase consumer spending. I’ve since resigned as head prophet of the West Los Angeles Chapter and became a philosopher for hire
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Leading economists say that several events led to the current economic crisis—the bursting of the housing bubble, the high default rate on subprime and adjustable rate mortgages, over-leveraging, mortgage backed securities, and predatory lending. However, no economist has mentioned the major cause of the crisis: commemorative coins. People have been saving commemorative coins as collectibles instead of spending them. This money could be used to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Therefore, to get out of this economic crisis the U.S. Mint needs to stop making commemorative coins.
The most popular commemorative coin is the state quarters. The 50 state quarter program began in 1999 and finished in 2008. Every ten weeks the Mint would issue a new state quarter in the order the states entered the union. During these ten years, the Mint did not produce any of the regular eagle quarters. The program has been highly successful. Allen Rosenberg, the president of coinland.com said, “[t]he sheer number of people collecting (these coins) is phenomenal. There certainly is no lack of participants -- there is an enormous amount of interest.” . Furthermore, the Mint only produced 800 million of each of the first three quarters, but in 2001, the Mint produced 1.1 to 1.6 billion of each quarter. The increase in production was due to the rising popularity of the quarters.
There are no statistics available on the number of people collecting these quarters, but from the above facts it is obvious that there are thousands if not millions of people collecting state quarters. I’m one of those people. I have two complete sets of state quarters. These two sets are worth twenty-five dollars. Even though I’m unemployed and don’t have a lot of money, I will not part with my collection, because I worked hard to find each of the quarters and I’m hoping it will be worth more money in the future as a collectible. Now, let’s assume that one out of every ten people is like me and has collected two sets of the quarters (a fair assumption considering the popularity of the quarters). There are approximately 305,529,237 people in the United States. If one out every ten people is hoarding twenty-five dollars in state quarters then there are $763,823,092 not in circulation. 763 million might not seem like a lot, but when consumer spending is low—like it is now—the state quarters program certainly exacerbates the problem.
So far this essay has only dealt with the state quarters program’s effect on the economic crisis. However, the state quarters program is only one of many commemorative coins. The U.S. Mint is or plans on issuing the following commemorative coins: 2010 Quarters Program, D.C. and U.S. Territories Quarters Program, First Spouse Gold coins, Native American Gold coins, Lincoln one cent coins, Presidential Gold coins, and more. All of these programs cause thousands of people to keep their money instead of spending it. Every time someone receives a James K. Polk gold coin, he will not spend it, because the U.S. Mint has tricked him into thinking it’s a collectible that is part of a set.
When will it stop? The Mint needs to stop issuing commemorative coins, especially coins that require someone to get a complete set. The Mint should only issue plain, ugly coins and bills. That way no one will be tempted to collect the coins, and instead will spend the money and jumpstart this economy.