25 August 2015

From podcast to godcurse

Dear diary,

I wonder what it’s like to experience day-to-day life as a rattlesnake or a scorpion or poisonous spider. These creatures seem scary, from my human standpoint; but I bet that if I could see the world through their eyes, I’d find existence generally unremarkable. For, even the vilest organisms put their pants on one appendage at a time. And when you sting someone with your tail, I bet you feel virtue depart. Here’s a passage from St. Mark’s gospel (chapter 5):

…a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, …when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment… and straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up… and Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said: Who touched my clothes?

I quote these lines to show where I got the notion of virtue transfer­ence, which apparently can occur even without the consent of a fully clothed donor. Now, in honor of its title, I will abruptly change the subject of this non-monetized blog post.

I was listening to a group of young fellows who were discussing airline travel on a podcast. They all agreed that it is enjoyable to watch movies on long flights: they claimed that one’s focus and attention improves when screening films on airplanes. These fellows were youthful and stylish, so I paid close attention to their words. Here is one thing that caught my attention:

The ringleader said that, on his last flight, he tried watching the film The Godfather (1972); but he admitted that he couldn’t make it all the way through—it’s too long, he said—in fact, he couldn’t even get past the opening, because “nothing’s really happening—it’s just a wedding”—those were his words. Then he concluded by noting that “movies were a lot different back then—things were a lot slower.”

I just want to say that I myself love The Godfather, and I think it’s paced correctly. So there’s my two cents. But the podcast that these fellows had recorded was more than ninety minutes in duration—that’s already half the length of the movie in question.

Depending on the individual, it might be more or less difficult to earn money in life, but it has always been impossible to earn time. You have a certain amount of sand in your hourglass—once it’s gone, you’re finished. And then the hourglass gets flipped over, and time starts again. At that point, however, you’re a lizard; or some totally different vehicle that you don’t know how to drive.

Two thoughts came to mind while I was writing that last statement. First, I fear I’ve developed a habit of thinking that souls are to bodies as people are to cars. Second, I think of snakes as legless lizards. And these two thoughts bring to mind the same story from the biblical book of Genesis that I mentioned in yestreen’s entry—here’s the part that I mean (3:14):

And Yahweh God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life…

The religious fanatics who brainwashed me as a child taught us that, before God spoke the above curse words, the serpent had legs. (All its limbs vanished into thin air when the LORD finished cursing.) Thus, if snakes are fallen reptiles, then lizards are sinless snakes who kept their legs. And all humans, being wingless, are fallen angels.

But it bothers me that churchgoers call the serpent of Genesis THE DEVIL—nowhere in the story is there any indication that the being is anything other than a regular talking snake. But my brainwashers claim that THE DEVIL infested the poor snake’s body and operated it like a puppet; or like a person driving a car.

This strikes me as unfair—God’s curse, I mean—for, if THE DEVIL is the culprit of the bad action that God is cursing, then why should the poor snake and all of its children get punished?

A robber pulls his car up to a bank’s drive-thru and demands two big moneybags; then he drives away with the stolen cash. But a cop car follows him—it turns on its siren and flashes its lights—so the robber pulls over, gets out of his vehicle, and walks home, hefting his two big stolen moneybags. Meanwhile, the cop arrests the robber’s car—he puts the car on trial and throws the car in prison. Now the audience yells to the silver screen: “No! Yahweh, forget the vehicle! Go catch the bad guy!”

Talking this way about drivers and cars reminds me of how William Blake speaks of humans and clothes. The title ‘Satan’ simply means ‘adversary’; so, Blake, in his epilogue to The Gates of Paradise, uses that word to refer to the Yahweh of Genesis:

Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man

I only wish to add that my cops-and-robbers analogy is terribly flawed, for it allows a criminal to represent the serpent of Genesis, and it refers to the poor creature’s act as a genuine crime; whereas the Bible itself presents that character as simply telling the truth: far from committing any wrongdoing, all the snake says is: If the humans eat from wisdom’s tree, rather than dying on that day, they’ll become like the Gods.

And all of this is proven true, both by the narrator’s comment in verse 7 (“…the eyes of them both were opened…”), and by Yahweh’s nervous outburst in verse 22 (“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”).

So, if anyone should be represented as a criminal, it’s Yahweh God: for he told the world’s first lie, in the previous chapter of Genesis (2:16)—“The LORD God commanded Adam, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of wisdom thou shalt not eat: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

This marks the second day in a row that I have ended my confession by harping on that unlucky opening of Genesis. I hope that a few paragraphs of my own writings end up similarly bugging the heck out of souls in futurity.

2 comments:

Qualo Infinity said...

I had no idea that laundry played such an important part in that book! Maybe I should at least (one day) read the odd chapters or, better yet, see the movie...

Bryan Ray said...

hahahahaha!!—yes & I should emphasize that the book's main subject is dirty laundry, which is why its movie version is rated X, and I highly recommend it!

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