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Zettel Film Reviews » Dialogues with God (2) – there you go with the disapproving frown thing again

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Dialogues with God (2) – there you go with the disapproving frown thing again

Lighten up ALG, you can overdo the wrath thing you know

Lighten up ALG, you can overdo the wrath thing you know

Dialogues with God (2) (written 24th December 2004)

Happy birthday ALG. Frankly, I’ve been feeling about 2,000 years-old myself lately so I sympathise. I don’t have birthdays any more as I have begun to feel my mortality pretty keenly. There now, I’ve already got one up on you: for all your omnipotence and omniscience that’s something you can’t feel – mortality that is.

Anyway you have your Supreme Being burdens to bear: for example, you have to suffer the longeurs of a 7 week birthday from about 1st November to 25th of December. And you never get a surprise present. It’s hard to imagine what you make of this whole Christmas thing. I mean it’s not your fault, but we nicked a perfectly decent Pagan festival and hung it round your neck. Mind you it’s a bit of a moot point as to whether sincere Pagans or you yourself, feel very inspired by what we’ve done with the festival. And being at the mercy of that nice Mr Green and the British Home Stores for when your birthday celebrations start, can’t give much of a boost to your feelings of omnipotent self-esteem. Omnipotence is, as omnipotence does, I always say.

But you can’t feel too chuffed with the whole shebang surely: in your name, everything from the candle-lit sacramental beauty of the sound of Carols soaring to the rafters of a magnificent cathedral; to the latest shoot-the-sh*t-out-of-everything-that-moves over-priced computer game, with all the flatulent commercial self-indulgence in between. If you can take any pleasure in celebrating your son’s birth with Bratz and Barbie, words fail me. Boy did you put the cat among the pigeons with that bloody apple and the free will thing. We just aren’t ready for free will: we’ll die or even kill to get it, then hand it over to the first political snake oil salesman who tells us what we want to hear. And just in passing, you do know don’t you, what a load of trouble you started making Eve the one who took a bite? We guys have been milking that one for the last 2,000 years, give or take.

You know how I feel about the worship thing: me Schultz and Charlie Brown in the bewildered “good grief” corner with all the breast-beating self-hating folks in the other. Mind you, I’m not denying there are plenty of your children who should do a bit of breast-beating and self-hating: trouble is it’s usually pretty nice folks who go in for it; and all those selfish, miserable sh*ts who should, leave it to the good people to hate themselves.

Personally, I like the creatures at the top of the pile of your creation, one at a time. For me, go beyond two people and it’s all down hill. Proportionately. Nothing scares the sh*t out of me more than to see packs and herds and flocks of human beings moving casually in unison to see what mischief or mayhem they can cause. For fun. There are exceptions: get a bunch of people to a Carol Service and quite apart from an impressive and rare quietness, when they all start to sing, something special happens. Mind you, mustn’t get carried away; after all it makes a bit of difference if they launch into a hearty Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles rather than a reverent Silent Night even though I believe they’re both German. Still, don’t really like groups: thought can only take place in an individual mind; groups don’t think, they just provide a nice warm comfortable place to excuse members from the tiresome necessity to think for themselves. And sad to say ALG, that’s often as true of groups who meet in your name as any others.

But there is something about music. Of course through National Anthems and War songs etc music is abused into fostering hatred and violence but it can only do it indirectly. It is hard to be belligerent in the music itself; perhaps because it has to start out harmonious if it is to be music at all. So maybe we should make it a requirement that all political meetings about conflict and hostility should be sung. Even Ian Paisley can’t rant to music – though maybe in his case it’s touch and go. But, see it in your mind’s eye; Paisley and Adams sharing a chorus of Chitty Chitty……er no – wrong song. How about the Green Green Grass of Home?…..hmmn this is harder than I thought. And I don’t suppose old Ehud and Mahmoud are going to find much harmony in a heartfelt rendering of Jerusalem. But then again, can’t you just see Tony and Georgie, skipping hand in hand through the Camp (sic) David woods in perfect unison on a funky duet of Tiptoe Through The Tulips? It makes the heart race.

No, you know how I like paradoxes, so I’m not going to hang all the excrescence of Christmas around your neck: Jesus, that would hardly be fair; after all we’re all free willies….er…willers now, so we obviously bring something to the party, even if it is about as much good as a 5 litre party pin of Watney’s Red Barrel. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of Red Barrel? An Omniscient Being in denial? How does that work exactly? Not that I blame you mind – the only beer you never got drunk on…because you had to be pissed to drink it in the first place. Don’tya just love logic?

Sorry to get heavy but I’ve been getting a bit perplexed again lately. And you know when I get perplexed it’s time for you to let out one of those eternal sighs of yours and me to get some wet towels ready for my head. But as usual, you’re right at the heart of the problem.

It’s a little thing called creation, and what the know-all bastards down here we call scientists, have been pleased to designate, with a characteristic sense of poetry – the Big Bang. Now I’m just a Bear of Little Brain, but both sound like gibberish to me. On the whole I’m rather less pre-occupied with how the world began than with where the hell it’s going, but I can’t deny the question has a certain masochistic relish to it.

First there’s these mad people, mostly in the US (you don’t have to be mad to live in the USA, but nowadays it must help) who claim to have your unlisted number and therefore speak directly and exclusively to you. A real hot-line to God. Now, even if there’s just a grain of truth in this, you really should be ashamed of the company you’re keeping. Maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt. Can one give a Supreme Being the benefit of the doubt? Pass. Mind you it’s the Devil’s own job, if I may put it that way, to prove that you don’t speak to these nutcases. My rule of thumb is that anyone who justifies what they do on the grounds that you told them to, is either delusional or more commonly, a lying git. Occasionally you get a real lulu who is both – why he can even get himself elected President of The Unites States. Now there’s a paradox to ponder. The trouble is, these people always seem to under-estimate the opposition; no sense of malign metaphysical strategy. You see, if I was DEV (as I shall call him) my key strategy would be to make everyone believe I was you. Sell that one in and he can garner all the souls he can stomach.

You can’t deny another man’s belief,(well, I can’t: as for you, I’m never quite sure whether you condemn all non-Christians to eternal damnation or just sinful Christians) so I can live and let live with these ‘Creationists’ as they are pleased to call themselves. Interesting how the more unspeakable the group, the nicer the name they give themselves: the Hitler Youth sounds a bit like a European branch of the boy scouts. (And as for the Young Conservatives……) But when the Creationists start banning books, and thought, and healthy dissent from young people trying to come to their own sense of relationship to the world, or you for that matter, I start getting angry and want to kick a few bigoted butts. But then when I look to the scientists for a bit of rigorous help and the cool low-down on how the universe really started, all I get is gibberish.

What do you think of this, from The Big Bang a recent book by Simon Singh: a very nice bloke and very bright in a mathematiciany sort of way.

“All matter and energy were condensed to a point, then there was an almighty (sic) Big Bang. The term Big Bang implies some sort of explosion which is not a wholly inappropriate analogy, except that the Big Bang was not an explosion in space but an explosion of space. Similarly, the Big Bang was not an explosion in time but an explosion of time. Both time and space were created at the moment of the Big Bang.”

Well ALG, have to tell you, this non-sense makes your story in Genesis look logically elegant. And yours has poetry. Put the first sentence beside the rest, and you have a square circle. And even you ALG, can’t make one of them.

Matter that was nowhere? Condensing that was not a process, over time, occurring in any place? To a point that is nowhere? You and I can chuckle at the unwitting reference to you in ‘almighty’ but most scientists have about as much irony in their soul as the dedicated US Creationist. You can’t measure irony so it can’t exist. Right?

Forget cosmology, look at what scientists have to say about the mind. Whatever they claim, few ever say anything about the mind (which is not their territory by the way) at all. They don’t seem to understand the concept. So they just talk a lot about the brain and mix ‘em up. A bright guy down here called Robert Winston wrote a book called The Human Mind which was almost entirely about the brain, but he didn’t seem to notice. The few things he tried to say about the mind in the book, despite its title, were pretty silly. Weird.

Lots of positive feedback on the wasp thing by the way: all on my side. Under the tyranny of the democratic vote, you lose that one ALG – wasps come out as serious design faults; definitely a Sunday afternoon creation (like the Friday car). Another waste of space apparently is the locust, which some daft digger in Australia is trying to sell in as a ‘flying prawn’ to try to get gullible folk to eat the nasty rapacious little bastards. He only needs to set up a locust ‘brand’ and he’ll have cracked it. The problem not the locust.

By the way ALG, if you can set it up so we humans get a plague of locusts, surely it can’t be beyond the wit of an omnipotent being to see that the bloody locusts get a plague of something that screws them up? Anyway in keeping with the most advanced thinking of our current culture, I have to tell you, we are no longer the miserable sinners of your creation, or the eternal supplicants to the grace of faith; we’re spiritual customers mate; and you’re supposed to listen to us – seems we’re all King’s or somethin’. A lateral displacement of the old metaphysical boot as you might say. So it’s out with the wasp, review the locust, and while you’re at it, the bloody mosquito seems like a pretty lousy joke in an eternal mind. Maybe you should take a leaf out of the book of that other Supreme Being, Tony Blair, and set up a focus group (maybe a locust group). That’ll keep you busy believe me. These groups always end up dominated by middle class attitudes so you’d better start looking around for a way to obviate the necessity for nice decent people, to go to the lav each day. It should be easy enough, after all we all know the Queen never goes, so just give us all a bit of what she’s got.

I ought to close there ALG, I know it’s a busy time for you. I’ve managed to suppress the anger I’ve felt towards you recently, just to keep lines of communication open. But it’s been a close call: especially as far the Middle East is concerned in recent years. Where the f*** were you – on holiday? A topic for another time. But I should warn you my provisional thinking on this is pretty heavy: I can only get you off the hook if you are not omnipotent. And forget that ‘part of God’s eternal plan’ stuff; no future plan, eternal or otherwise, can justify the horror and sheer inhumanity of what has been happening of late. If everything down here is just a kind of metaphysical rehearsal for the real thing in your place, what’s the point of that? You might as well de-create heaven and get us going on the real thing straight away. Anyway how is eternal life supposed to solve anything that’s important? If I can choose to sin down here but simply be eternally good in heaven, then I have the possibility of being a better human being here, than up in your place.

And the more I look at your problems, I have absolutely no aspiration to be a God. So as a great Russian writer a long time ago put it so well, the tears of one small child are too high a price to pay for some vast eternal plan. Forgive the blunt way of putting it, but if you’re all so bloody good and sinless in heaven, why not get off your celestial backsides and get down here and help us out? Never mind tears: there are beautiful, innocent kids and really good people dying down here. Screw the eternal plan – you can’t win anything worthwhile unless you are prepared to face the possibility of defeat. I’d rather be a honourable human who snuffed it trying to be better, than a guilty angel enjoying eternal bliss. Some eternity. Some bliss.

See?…it just had to come out. We’ll just have to come back to this. For now, as perhaps you are not omnipotent, and that’s a very scary thought, you qualify to share in the season of peace, forgiveness and good will to all…….even it seems, God (s).
Happy birthday.

(Zettel December 2004)

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