Thou Shalt Not!

The fastest way to make something popular is to ban it.
The fastest way to make something popular is to ban it.
I love when I read about something be banned. Why? Because I know that, within a week, everyone’s going to want one. Or to do that, or whatever. The Lambada? It became a wedding staple after if was banned. Before then? 3 people in Caracas might have heard about it. Maybe. Books? I’m pretty much caught up reading all of the ones on the banned books list and I hope you are too. The gambling ban? How’d your brackets hold up this year? The war on drugs? Billions of your tax dollars have gone into that furnace only to see drug use rise. It’s become a, modern, high tech version of Prohibition. In ten states and one commonwealth there’s even a ban on fellatio. I’m baffled as to how that’s enforced. I mean, c’mon, it’s not something you do in church.

Leading the charge of things thou shalt not do is Harold Camping who, besides having a list of stuff you shouldn’t do that far exceeds even the most literal interpretations of the Bible, now is claiming that the world will end on May 21 (leaving you only nine days to get your party favors) because we didn’t follow his list.

A Christian radio network has purchased 1,200 billboards across the United States and 2,000 overseas to warn “Judgment Day” arrives May 21.

Family Radio, based in Oakland, Calif., said five caravans have been traveling the country since October handing out flyers predicting arrival of the biblical end of times and it is now buying billboard space to augment those efforts, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Harold Camping, the 89-year-old co-founder of Family Radio, said Judgment Day will come in the form of massive earthquakes beginning at 6 p.m. May 21 and continuing until October. He said believers will be called to heaven while the unrepentant will be shamed.

Camping, who previously predicted an apocalypse in 1994, said his biblical research was not properly completed at the time and he is now certain the end times will arrive May 21.

As a theological numerologist he should know that the third times the charm, so we should be fine.

But, not all bans are so dour. In Saudi Arabia, men are banned from shopping at their local GAP in the mall. Why? Because women shop there.

Young single men in Saudi Arabia are crying foul over a shopping mall policy banning them unless they are accompanied by a female family member.

The men said shopping in the country is difficult due to the policy, which is designed to protect solo female shoppers from harassment, Arab News reported Wednesday.

“Whenever I want to go and buy anything for myself, I have to call my mother or one of my sisters to join,” said Adel Sahhaf, 26. “It’s sad that I can’t just walk into a shopping center and buy whatever I need. I have been facing refusal from many security guards to enter the mall, even in the early morning when no one is around.”

Jaber Abdullah, a security officer at a Jeddah shopping center, said the policy only applies to young men because they are seen as more likely to harass women.

Um Said, a 58-year-old mother, said the policy is unfair.

“I just hate it when my son forces me to accompany him to the shopping center just to get one item and leave again,” she said. “On the other hand, I have to take him with me when I want to shop just to avoid harassment too.”

On the other hand, some bans lead to wildly unexpected consequences. For example, British schools banned boys from wearing shorts in hot weather. So the boys wore dresses.

A British 12-year-old said he wore a skirt to class to protest his school’s dress code banning shorts for boys.

Chris Whitehead, an eighth-grader at Impington Village College, marched to school with supporters Tuesday and spent his school day wearing a skirt borrowed from his 11-year-old sister, the Cambridge News reported Wednesday.

Whitehead said the act was a protest against the school’s dress code, which bans boys from wearing shorts. He said he planned the protest after discovering the school’s anti-discrimination policy allows boys to wear skirts like their female classmates.

“I wasn’t embarrassed to wear the skirt. It was a bit of fun. It just felt like wearing shorts with a big gap in the middle,” the student said. “I realized I could use this silly loophole to my advantage. Wearing shorts is better because it keeps us cooler especially when it’s really hot.”

Robert Campbell, head teacher at the school, has promised to review the shorts policy in September.

I have to give the boys credit, when faced with a wall of stupidity, they took the enlightened path around it.

Back in 1983, Bernard Rose directed a music video for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It made the seriously uptight people at MTV blanche, mostly because there are no female actors in it (keep that in mind if you watch) and there’s a tiger. Oh, there may have been a couple of other things as well, but that was the gist of it.

Anyway, the day after it got banned it became the hottest club video in the world.

You go Bernie!

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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