jesus the cynic?

It’s interesting to view Jesus scholarship over the last 50 years. Most of it seems to reflect more on the political climate of the era it was written rather than on the actual historical Jesus, i.e. by turning Jesus into “Jesus the Revolutionary”, “Jesus the Mystic”, “Jesus the Philosopher”,etc.

It’s an easy mistake to make. Arguably I make it when I refer to Jesus as a “populist” figure of the time (I don’t mean that as a compliment. I mean that in its most literal sense: Jesus was addressing working class problems in a religious/political context.) It’s very difficult to separate our biases from the subject being analyzed, especially one as controversial as the historicity of Jesus.

I think there’s a (growing) minority consensus that Jesus took some influence from the Cynics. Some quack scholars might even say he was an outright Cynic.

I think this is an interesting question. In my view, the majority of mainstream scholars, both Christian and secular, wish to paint Jesus as a figure that almost emerged from a vacuum. It makes sense actually. All of the earliest, independently attested documents (The hypothetical Q…which survives almost in its entirety between the Gospels of Matthew and Luke…the epistles of Paul, Gospel of Mark, and Josephus) make no mention of Jesus’s origins (Q and Mark both start with the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist). So an attempt to say anything about Jesus’s influences, other than that of John the Baptist, would be pure conjecture. But there are some interesting parallels between Jesus and the Cynics: Mark 6:8, the location of Nazareth and its proximity to an apparent hotbed of Cynicism, Jesus’s confrontational style and eschewing of fame and fortune, embracing of poverty, etc. etc.

But read the Cynic texts. To the Cynics, Diogenes was their “Christ figure”. They all tried to emulate him. And to be honest, he was a disgusting asshole. While Diogenes definitely had his influence, I doubt he would have accumulated very many personal followers. I mean, many might have tried to ACT like him, but there’s no way anyone could have spent more than 10 minutes around him. Jesus, meanwhile, was probably trying to do something entirely different and would have certainly disapproved of things like…I dunno…MASTURBATING and SHITTING in public.

In my humble view, the Cynic modus operandi was likely something that was in the air at the time which some itinerant and apocalyptic preachers might have adopted. But just because that aesthetic was in vogue at the moment doesn’t mean that they were practicing Cynics.

While it’s fun to speculate, the simplest explanation is probably the correct one: Jesus was an apocalyptic Jewish preacher preaching to a mostly Jewish audience.

the injustice

Posted this before and I’m posting it again 🤷‍♂️

Gotta get this blog back on track, ya know?

So I was totally smashing a milf when I said “hey baby, gotta take a shit.”

“Go use the McDonalds down the street,” she said.

So I walked down the road at 1:30am, dick still hard. I clogged the toilet and ordered some hash browns.

“That’ll be $5.50 sir,” the server said.

“$5.50?! What is this….Hardee’s?!”

charles “rowdy reggie” jackson

Charles Jackson was an author that kinda got lost in the shuffle of 20th century alcoholic writers.

His life was tragic. Naturally.

Jackson appeared to have lived a mostly closeted life. He suffered from tuberculosis, losing a lung, which led to alcohol and substance abuse. He died of apparent suicide in 1968.

Blake Bailey wrote a biography of Jackson titles Farther and Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson. Unlike every other book I talk about here, I might actually read that one.

The Lost Weekend is Jackson’s most famous work. Billy Wilder adapted it into a film in 1945. While the book was successful upon its release, it is now largely forgotten in the American canon.

The second chapter of the The Lost Weekend is probably the most harrowing description of being an alcoholic ever written. And while I thought the book was fantastic as a whole, I actually found Jackson’s second novel The Fall of Valor to be much more engrossing.

And unfortunately it’s been totally forgotten.

The Fall of Valor is about a man vacationing with his wife in Nantucket who suddenly becomes obsessed with a recently married Marine captain on leave from World War II. The blatant homosexual overtones were ahead of their time upon its release in 1946, but the novel is powerful in its exploration on the dissolution of relationships and masculinity.

Jackson’s style can get a little long winded at times, which bogged down The Lost Weekend at certain points. But it pays off in second novel. Jackson was an astute observer of human nature. He’s seen the dark side and knows what people are thinking even when they aren’t aware of it themselves. All of this comes together in a heartbreaking conclusion for The Fall of Valor.

Anywho, no jokes. That’s all I got.

Bye ✋

just phoning it in

Sorry

“Stop drinking out of the toilet,” my father told me.

Dad taught me the important lessons in life.

He’d take me to Home Depot and yell at the paint associate. Afterwards, Dad would show me the construction workers, contractors, and day laborers, and say “those are real men,” then disappear to the bathroom for a few hours.

Usually I’d cry myself to sleep when he’d come home drunk, turn the gas stove on, and threatened to burn down the house.

I’ll never forget the lessons he taught me.

Dad never said much. But finally, on his deathbed, he told me, “if I knew it would end in type II diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and coronary artery disease, I would have done everything different. I never loved your mother. You’re embarrassing to me as my son. I regret everything.”

Rip 😞

Dennis Hopper: GOAT

Phil Spector, Carrie Fisher, Stevie Nicks, and the greatest of all, Dennis Hopper, are all on the Mount Rushmore of cocaine addicts.

In case you forgot, Mr. Hopper was the star in over 104,000 films

Dennis Hopper brought an intensity to his craft that has yet to be matched. In addition to his acting, his talents also extended behind the camera as director of such unforgettable classics like The Last Movie, Colors, Out of the Blue, and Chasers (starring a peak form Tom Berenger).

The 1969 film, Easy Rider, Hopper’s directorial debut, kickstarted the “auteur” fad in Hollywood that extended throughout the 1970’s (which ended in 1983 when, again, three people were killed. And again, RIP). Sadly, the 70s saw Dennis Hopper’s acting career more or less flatline, which was likely due to his aforementioned cocaine addiction (which is unfortunate. The decline of his acting career that is. Not his crippling cocaine addiction).

However, there was a Dennis Hopper renaissance in the 1980s, with the height of his success coming in 1986 as the sadistic Frank Booth in Blue Velvet and the alcoholic Shooter in Hoosiers.

Hopper rode this newfound fame on into the 90s and 2000s, saying ‘yes’ to any script that was handed to him. Who can forget the time he fought Keanu Reeves on top of a train in Speed? Or taught Kevin Costner how to act in a bad movie for Waterworld? Or gave the greatest racist monologue in the history of film (written by Quentin Tarantino) in True Romance?

Dennis Hopper passed away in 2010.

No matter the script (remember, he was in Super Mario Bros.), no matter the personal dramas in his life, Dennis Hopper always gave it his all.

He was an actor’s actor.

He was the GOAT.

On My Nomination For The Brainstorms Award

Thank you to the wonderful, fascinating, intelligent, beautiful, outstanding, great, fun, hilarious, engaging, charismatic, smart, intelligent, super, warm, talented, and outstanding Sophie at the Starting Today blog for nominating this page for the #BrainstormsAward.

To think that people actually enjoy reading fart and cum jokes in addition to my occasional thoughts on movies and football is truly an honor.

Rules to follow for the Brainstorms Award:

1. Thank the one who nominated you

2. Tag your post with #BrainsStormsAward and follow BrainsStorms if you are willing!

3. Display the Brainstorms Award logo

4. Display the rules on your blog post.

5. Talk a bit about your blog, why you started it, what you write on and your goal for your blog.

6. Answer the five questions you have been asked.

7. Nominate five other amazing bloggers.

8. Ask them five new questions.

A Bit About This Blog

I started writing when I woke up hungover, confused, and fearing for my life in the back of a Ford Probe in Mexico. The cartel decided to let me live if I spent the rest of my life humiliating myself. Thus, this blog was born.

I try not to confine myself to any one subject. If I have a story, joke, thought, etc. fall out of my brain, I try post it here. I don’t really think of myself as a “writer” or as an artistic type really. Nevertheless I have a ton of ideas that I would eventually like to translate into a novel, screenplay, or whatever. So I like to think of this blog as “target practice”, if you will, to keep myself in the habit of writing (before the cartel uses ME as target practice 😕)

Q/A

1. What is your biggest regret and why?

When I was a young man (back in the 1940s), I stretched myself too thin. I was trying to go to college, start a career, and be a party animal all at once (being shot at by the Germans was a problem too).

I wish I focused on one thing and not be worried about everything all the time.

2. Can you do a cartwheel?

When my arthritis isn’t acting up.

3. Are you a lone wolf? Or extremely sociable and outgoing?

I believe that it was Cormac McCarthy who stated that drinking is a workplace hazard for writers. When one commits to the blogging lifestyle, there are many such hazards and obstacles. One HAS to be a lone wolf, even in social settings…even at the cost of their own mental stability.

That’s the price of art.

But as to whether I’m naturally a lone wolf or social butterfly, I guess it depends on which drugs I’m hyped up on.

4. If you could start your blog over again what would you do differently this time?

Write it on an actual computer and not on my Nokia 8110.

5. Who are your three favorite writers of all time?

God (for writing the Bible), Charles Bukowski, and Cormac McCarthy.

My Nominees

I’ve only been on here for a couple of weeks but the WordPress community has been awesome. Unfortunately I feel like a selfish bastard for not getting acquainted with very many blogs since starting here due to my manic behavior (and being in and out of jail). But I pledge to be as supportive for this community as you all have been for me.

That being said, the following blogs have stood out for their perspective, creativity, and hard work. They’re an eclectic mix of poetry, creative writing, science, and language. They all deserve a shoutout:

1. Writer of Words Etc

2. Short Wisdom

3. yaskhan

4. Foundation Operation X for languages , cultures , and perspectives

5. SHE-ensya

(Additionally, being the kind of lowbrow blog that this is, if you choose to participate in this award, don’t feel the need to give thanks or reference my page. I understand completely 😎)

Questions For The Nominees

1. If you could go back in time to prevent any disaster in history, which one would it be?

2. Which living person has the greatest influence on you?

3. What is something that you find overrated?

4. If you had the opportunity to relive your life, correcting all your mistakes, would you take it?

5. What is the routing number to your bank account?

Or

If you had to learn to play a new musical instrument, which one would you choose?

Once again, thank you to Sophie for the nomination and all of you for reading. I look forward to getting to know all of you. So feel free to comment or just say ‘hi’.

I’m not always a weirdo 😃

The Pitch: A Very Short Bio

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

They say you can’t count your chickens before they hatch.

They say you can’t shit where you eat.

They say I should seek therapy because everyone’s worried about me.

They say I have a drinking problem and that I shouldn’t mix downers with downers.

They say I have crippling debt and that I am months away from homelessness

Hi I’m James. And maybe they’re right. What do I know? Well let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born outside of a Denny’s in Scottsbluff, Nebraska in either late 1979 or 1981 depending on who you believe. I attended Norhwestern on an athletic scholarship, but was suspended for PED usage, and, in the words of the university, “cockfighting”.

So I hit the road. I hit up every strip club and drug den from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. I learned a lot about myself on that trip. I learned that sometimes growing up means putting your pants on one leg at a time. Sometimes it’s about changing your pants. Sometimes your pants just aren’t long enough and you accidentally expose your wiener.

But the most important thing in life is this: show up to court on time and pay all of your fines.

So I actually know quite a lot. And if you stick around, you might learn something too.

So stay tuned my friends….