last temptation of Christ: a deeper revolution

The Last Temptation of Christ unsurprisingly stuck with me. Usually when I complete a novel, I think “hmm, that was nice” and I move on to the next thing. But Kazantzakis’s interpretation of “the Greatest Story Ever Told” is rewarding and leaves a lot to think about, especially if you’re obsessed with early Christian history.

I mean, obviously it’s not historically accurate. That’s not the point. The point is that the book brings these familiar characters to life. Jesus begins the book as a sickly carpenter before transforming into the messianic figure we’ve come to know and love. However, his humanity is emphasized. At times, Jesus comes across as a jerk with megalomaniac fantasies. This helps contextualize Jesus the man and the era he lived in.

This is best demonstrated by his relationship with Judas Iscariot. Judas is a true revolutionary with a hatred for the Romans and is often frustrated by Jesus and his message of love. Jesus feels that Judas’s revolutionary ideals don’t go far enough: the concerns for the body are temporary, Jesus wants to bring salvation to the world…Jew and gentile alike.

The various characters are often puzzled by this. This universalism is too lofty, too radical to ever be realized.

And this sort of remains true today. I’ve expressed my admiration for John Dominic Crossan views: Jesus was responding to the imperial authority of the Romans. Jesus and his followers might not thought of it in that way, but that was effectively what he was doing. I don’t think enough scholars, both Christian and secular, stop to appreciate this. Not even Bart Ehrman.

I think this is best demonstrated by the cross as the official symbol of Christianity. Jesus unquestionably died by crucifixion, perhaps the most ruthless form of punishment by the Romans. And none of the early Christian apologists deny that it happened. Stop and think about that: their very leader got “owned” by the Romans. In fact, it HAD to have happened so that he could be resurrected. So Christians took this event and chalked it up as a win for their beliefs, and a loss for the ruthless rule of the Romans.

Scholars often wonder how Paul was able to convince so many pagans to convert to Christianity (or, to be more historically accurate, his form of Christian Judaism, as Paul still thought of himself as a Jew), well maybe here’s an answer: Roman rule under the Pax Romana pissed off enough people that when they heard of a man who was resurrected after a crucifixion, conversion was a way to subtly stick it to the Romans. This could be why Paul put so much emphasis on death and resurrection in his theology.

Yes, I know there are plenty of problems with this theory, chief among these is how little the Romans are criticized in the New Testament. In fact, the Gospels explicitly blame the Jews for Jesus’s death and not the Romans, even though the Romans certainly DID execute Jesus. My response to this is that you don’t have to spend more than two minutes following populist/leftist politics before realizing that they hate each other more than they hate their opposition. It is my opinion (maybe more on that at another time) that this is fundamentally rooted in these kinds of movements. Even though the Romans were THE existential threat to life in the Mediterranean world, it would have been mainstream Judaism that were the primary theological/ideological opponents of early Christianity…even if the Jews were as much under the thumb of Roman rule as they were. This is heresy in the world of radical movements, what leftists might call “class traitors” today, and it wouldn’t take much for Christian writers to switch out Romans for the Jews in regards to who was guilty for Jesus’s death.

It is this narcissism of small differences that plague radical movements, religious and political alike, and I doubt early Christianity was any different. (See Monty Python’s Life of Brian)

It is difficult to tell if the real Jesus actually preached this message of universalism, or a peaceful coexistence of all people under one God. Crossan might, but it’s more likely this was extracted by later thinkers and is now considered the ethical message of Christianity IF people could move past their short-sightedness (maybe not under “one god”, but you get the idea).

Anyways, I’ve spent too much time on this post, forgot where I was going. The end.

“white collar”-what’s this show about?

Are some shows made to be played in the background while you do more important things?

The answer is yes.

White Collar is probably my favorite in this genre. I might’ve seen every episode. And I have no idea what it’s about…Two closeted FBI agents-one in a homosexual relationship with a conspiracy theorist, the other married to Kelly Kapowski-who conceal their feelings for one another which leads to palpable sexual tension as they investigate white collar crimes? 🤷‍♂️

If so, then the subject matter was ahead of its time.

Anyways, it’s a pretty inoffensive show. No nudity, no blood, few cuss words. Nothing grabs your attention. I put it up there with JAG, NCIS, And Matlock. It’s a good show to distract grandma from her impending death (despite the gay overtones).

I’d love to work on one of these shows.

Just Fckn Coffee!

Are you a stupid idiot?

Hi, I’m James.

I think it’s important that a brand represents its customers. Sure I’m a hack that’s scamming you by selling a completely unnecessary and stupid product, but I do so out of care and concern for your representation.

That’s why I developed Just Fckn Coffee!

No more of that liberal bullshit from Seattle called “Starbucks”. And none of that right-wing authoritarian crap from “Black Rifle Coffee”. I want to appeal to those who feel nothing, whose lives are as empty as their bank account.

Just Fckn Coffee! will give you the jolt you need to make it through one more day. Because life is hard. And there is no hope.

So next time you’re feeling numb from the overwhelming dread that is modern life, pour yourself a cup of Just Fckn Coffee!

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

writing sucks

You know what else I hate?

Time.

Whoever came up with the laws of the physics needs to pull their head out their ass. Between being a dad and full time alcoholic, I just don’t have time for anything!

But what would really help me is if some genius would invent something that could read my mind and write down what I think. I don’t give a damn about things called “ethics” or “privacy”. I just hate writing.

But anyways, I’m getting sidetracked with other projects that will hopefully see the light of day (probably won’t). So if you think I’ve been phoning it in lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

God bless 🙏

machismo

I always thought that collectively we had two choices: evolve to a Star Trek-like utopia where poverty, disease, prejudice, and war are eradicated—or take Ted Kaczynski’s advice and shun industrialized civilization altogether.

This middle ground that we’re hellbent on occupying is some bullshit though.

Heaven forbid if I call any of this out, however. Apparently my disdain for consumerism, narcissism, the eradication of public trust, and concern for unprecedented technological advancement on our psyche and relationships is no longer fashionable within Left/Right political framework.

It probably never was tbh

Where am I going with this?

Nowhere.

I’m as directionless as our collective consciousness.

The end

love at first sight

Some jackass was pounding on my door at 10:30 in the morning. I opened up and a man stuck out his hand.

“I’m Gay,” he said.

“Pardon?”

“Gayson Peters. I’m your new neighbor across the street.”

He was wearing an orange button up with khaki cargos and socks pulled all the way up to his knees.

“What do you want from me?” I asked. “Some money?”

“No. I’m inviting you to a barbecue that I’m having this afternoon.”

“Eh, I’m hungover,” I said. “Can’t make it”

“That’s okay, I’ll be serving free alcohol. Just come over and get drunk again.”

“I’ll see you this afternoon.”

I threw on a clean pair of pants (no underwear) and flipped my shirt inside out. I grabbed a bag of pretzels so that I didn’t look like a complete asshole for not bringing anything.

When I arrived, my new neighbor handed me a plate. “No thank you, Gayson,” I said, “I’m just here for the booze.”

“Please, call me Gay.”

I got really drunk. As I was hanging out in the backyard trying not to barf, a woman tapped me on the shoulder.

“Got a light sweetheart?” she asked.

I handed her my lighter. She was about 50 something. Blond hair. Definitely had a smoker’s voice.

“Have you known Gay for long?” she asked.

“Since this morning.”

“I’m his mom.”

“Excuse me,” I said.

I walked up to the hot tub and barfed my guts out. When I finished, I walked back to her.

“Sorry about that,” I said. “So you’re Gay’s mom. What’s that like?”

“He’s an asshole,” she replied. “Got any kids?”

“Probably.”

“How old are you?”

“I dunno. Somewhere between 28 and 74.”

She took one last drag from her cigarette then flicked it away. “Well this party is pretty lame,” she said. “Why don’t you come on over to my place and have some drinks? My name’s Lucinda.”

“Sure thing, Lucinda.”

Her apartment was a converted storage unit. It was littered with old Penthouse mags, newspapers, and an endless supply of glue. She stepped out of the shower and walked into the kitchen. In fact, the shower was in the kitchen.

“Sorry that my tits are flopping out,” Lucinda said. “I have no clean towels.”

“That’s okay. I haven’t had an erection in years. Too much prescription meds and internet pornography.”

She seemed to blow a sigh of relief. “Thank god,” she said. “I can’t have sex. Vag is all dried up.”

I poured a drink and raised a toast. “To my dead ass dick!” I said.

We sat down on the couch and I began flipping through the channels.

“Sorry,” Lucinda said. “But the only thing this TV picks up is Designing Women.”

I turned my head and looked deep into her eyes. “I love Designing Women,” I said.

There was some energy between us. We shared a moment.

When Major Dad came on, I had to take a shit. “Do you need any toilet paper?” she asked.

“Nope. Never used it.”

As I blew up the toilet behind paper thin walls, I though that I could spend the rest of my life with this woman.

“I clogged the toilet,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it. It ain’t going nowhere.”

I sat back down on the couch. As we laughed at Gerald McRaney’s shenanigans, I reached out to hold her hand. She rested her head on my shoulder. Then she let out the most disgusting fart.

“I need to change my underwear,” she said.

It was the happiest night of my life.

THE END

respect for Blippi

Anyone have a toddler?

So my wife got disturbed at the actor who plays Blippi, a YouTube character for kids.

“What? Did he do gay porn? Every guy has done gay porn (not me of course, I’ve never had sex),” I asked my wife.

“No. I don’t want to say. Just google it.”

So I did.

And I was glad I did. Because apparently the actor once played another character called “steezy grossman” where he made gross out videos. In one such video, he poops all over his friend.

“But it makes sense for him to poop on his friend,” I told my wife. “According to Wikipedia, the character was born as poop because his parents had anal sex. Don’t you understand art? Idiot.”

Apparently parents were pissed off about this. I don’t see what the problem is.

Has everyone forgotten about Jackass?

A dude goes into a hardware store and shits in a display toilet. It was hilarious. And if that dude started a children’s show on YouTube nowadays, no one would bat an eye!

I applaud Blippi (whatever the actor’s name). My son loves the guy. He’s got versatility.

He’s got skill, talent, a natural performer. None of us have the balls to do what he did (and does).