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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So, today, another war ends?

Awhile back I posted a video of a murmuration of starlings ; it showed how an entire community of individuals could move in graceful concert and create something astonishingly beautiful. I have just finished reading “In the Garden of Beasts,” by Erik Larsen. It chronicles the experience of a US embassy family, the Dodds, in Berlin during the rise of Hitler. In part, Germans becoming Nazi-fascists, is an example of how a community of people behave in concert to create something terrifying. Do you think there is something that can be called a “murmuration of evil?”

Festivals of murder and massacre in Rwanda? The rapturous faces of picnicking families celebrating at a lynching in Alabama? A school of beautiful, plump, white, children pledging allegiance to a flag or a cross? Larsen writes of how difficult it was to determine just when a society makes such a profound pathological shift. One day a shopkeeper is assaulted by two thugs; the police are called, the perpetrators are arrested and jailed, the shopkeepers wounds are compassionately attended to by his neighbors, there is a general lament and questioning of how such an unthinkable thing could have occurred. But on the next day that same Jewish shopkeeper is attacked by two brown shirted thugs, and some passers by applaud and encourage the attackers, others hurry by without pause or comment, the shopkeeper is left wounded in the street, familiar neighbors quickly shut windows and doors and ignore the plight of their former friend. There is a general and unspoken consensus that the Jewish shopkeeper is not the victim but his very being-in-the-world is a crime that demands punishment; and what are God’s people if not the very hand of God’s wrath here on earth? Is it to be hoped that the people of God are chosen to be-in-the-world as a *murmuration of love?*

So today’s reflection is from Thomas Merton: “Merely to resist evil with evil by hating those who hate us and seeking to destroy them, is actually no resistance at all. It is active and purposeful collaboration in evil that brings the Christian into direct and intimate contact with the same source of evil and hatred which inspires the acts of his enemy. It leads in practice to a denial of Christ and to the service of hatred rather than love.” It always seems so obvious after Merton writes it down! Choose wisely, a ‘murder of crows,’ or an ‘exaltation of Larks?’


Monday, December 12, 2011

I love this picture of my wonderful wife Thursday morning @ the occupy seattle encampment. Folks just waking up, hungry, cold, gray, bleak, (and a little cranky) nevertheless, the running-dogs of the capitalist imperialists are surely feeling the pressure now! But damn if that Starbucks across the street don’t look warm and cozy, and with free wifi I can catch up on my lost shopping days! Oh the reeking Irony my comrades--and then their is the lure of a hot, double, machiatto with foam, just the way I like it (or there will be hell to pay!). Let me know when they need folks to occupy MakaŹ»alae Beach in Maui! (alas, people like me may be why the Russian and French revolutions had so many problems, we still don’t know if the Jesus revolution will succeed or not, but it’s not looking good...). From Lenin on his deathbed: "I have deluded myself. Without doubt, it was necessary to free the oppressed masses. However, our methods resulted in other oppressions and gruesome massacres. You know I am deathly ill; I feel lost in an ocean of blood formed by countless victims. This was necessary to save our Russia, but it is too late to turn back. We would need ten like Saint Francis of Assisi, with ten Saint Francis’s we could have saved the revolution." Reminds me of the belief by some Jews that the world is saved and sustained by 12 Tzadiks (saints). And if they should die then the world will be destroyed. Take care, no one knows who these 12 saints are, but as you might guess they will be found among the bottom of the 99%. Obliged.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A reflection on Terrance Malick’s film: “The Tree Of Life.”

“I presume to speak to the lord, dust and ashes that I am.” (Gen 18:27)

First, let’s just cut through all the bullshit right off the bat; the *question* is an old one, old as that first ‘Homo Erectus’ that banged his head on the cave ceiling as he ran out to see what his child was screaming about and witnessed his only son, still alive and struggling and being carried away in the mouth of a saber-toothed tiger and screaming to his father for help. Now these first peoples weren’t the squeamish type, so it wasn’t just the image of his son skewered in the massive tiger’s teeth, blood running from his mouth and nose and from holes where there shouldn’t be any holes that haunts him; it was that look on his son’s face asking his father ‘how could you let this happen.‘ Maybe religion was born into the mind of the world that day when this Homo Erectus then looked...up (?) and maybe crying his first tears of sorrow asked god (like the character Mrs O’Brien ask in the movie about the death of their son) “ could you let that happen.”

This was a new question for god too though, not that god hadn’t been anticipating that something in creation would be getting around to bringing this issue up. But god is also not the squeamish type and its hard to catch god in denial or unawares. And of course god would throw a similar question back at us further evolved, homo-whatevers, someday when god’s own begotten son was being killed by us, skewered by spikes, hopelessly struggling to get free, blood pulsing from his mouth and nose and from holes where there shouldn’t be any holes; and then at the last god’s begotten looks (up?) into his father’s face and ask ‘how could you let this happen?‘ Since then, most humans have usually just let that question be, until it was inescapable, until maybe we found our own selves skewered in the jaws of death, and then we might start asking questions for which the answers may be more painful than the silence. Until then however we usually tend to write the whole thing off as “mystery,” or else come up with really lame and offensive ideas like ‘god wants more company in heaven,’ or that ‘somebody’s getting there comeuppance for secret sins,‘ or that somehow some sort of bizarre justice is accomplished by punishing everybody in the world with pointless suffering and death for what some Eve woman did eons ago. Kinda like what the priest tells Mrs’ O’Brien at her son’s funeral in the movie: “Father Haynes: He is in God’s hands, now. Mrs. O’Brien: [not willing to let the priest off the hook so easily] He was in God’s hands the whole time. Wasn’t he?”

No, maybe it’s better to just let the question be. But then along comes Malick and “The Tree Of Life,” and starts bringing the whole uncomfortable situation up again. Like right at the opening of the movie where he starts with that scripture from Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth . . . when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for Joy?” Now WTF kind of a question is that? We weren’t anywhere, maybe we were amoebas, or maybe some other sort of squiggly carbon based life form, or maybe on some other planet, or just not invented by god yet or...and why the heck is god asking us anyway? Oh...I get it, its a rhetorical question; somebody or something called ‘satan’ burns my house down, kills all my critters, destroys my crops, murders my wives and children, and now god gets miffed when I ask why? WELL EXCUUUUSE MEEEEE!!! But then, maybe god wasn’t miffed at all, maybe god had always anticipated, even desired that question from us, maybe that’s when we all really first became ‘Children of God.‘

“And said the Lord God: Behold, Adam hath become as one of Us, knowing good and evil, and how might he not stretch forth his hand and take likewise of the tree of life, and taste, and begin to live eternally.”

So God talks to his/her selves like I do, so what? In Martin Heidegger’s “The Essence of Reasons” (that Malick translated into english in 1969 btw and that permeates the movie) Heidegger writes that “Transcendence constitutes selfhood,” and that “...transcendence can be said to denote the essence of the subject or the basic structure of subjectivity. To be a subject means to be in and as a transcending being.” And later: “....all the modes of being of entities within-the-world are founded ontologically upon the worldhood of the world, and accordingly upon the phenomenon of Being-in -the -world. From this there arises the insight that among the modes of Being of entities within-the World, Reality has no priority, and that Reality is a kind of Being which cannot even characterize anything like the world of Dasein.” Now I take all that to suggest that, first, God may not be a Kantian (but then I‘m not really smart enough to say for sure) and second, that the ‘Reality’ of Being in the world as “Being towards death” is not as transcending as ‘Being for the Other,’ not just for the created but for the Creator as well, and that the death of the Other encountered as Being transcends this ‘Reality’ (I will admit my obvious Levinasian infatuation here).

Now if, as Heidegger argues that for humans meaning precedes perception, that we move from the whole to the particular, that we “World” the world by our questioning existence then ‘The Tree of Life’ was always already a tree of death as well, and that what we could have learned from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was how to ask, how to ‘World,’ the important question, which is not what’s the *difference* between good and evil, hell, it doesn’t take an evil snake to tell us that, but rather, what is the difference between life and death. That question is the earth destroying asteroid that is hurtling itself towards us at breathtaking speed even as we speak. But it isn’t coming from ‘outer’ space this time, but from inner space, from our own hearts.

“Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.” What’s that Malick? you mean no innocent children ever get eaten up by saber-toothed tigers, or leukemia, or starve or get nailed to crosses or....? “Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.” Ok, but if I choose grace will God heal my dying son or bring his mother back to life? Will God protect my other children from all harm? “Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.” And if I do all that, if I really try, will God love me then? Will God take away this pain? Will God save me? “Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.” But where is all this ‘smiling’ and ‘shining’ to be found, mostly what I see are shit and blood and pain lording over ME! Where do I find this happiness among the wreckage of this world? “Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by.” But what if all I ever learned of love was abuse, betrayal, exploitation, indifference; what if all I see is ‘the darkening of the world, the flight of the gods, the destruction of the earth, the transformation of men into a mass, the hatred and suspicion of everything free and creative assuming such proportions through out the earth that such childish categories as pessimism and optimism have long since become absurd" (M.H.). “Mrs. O’Brien: [voice over] Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.” Forgive? forgive who? You mean forgive my friends or even harder my enemies, or maybe you mean forgive, that’s not it, you mean forgive God don’t you....

In Fra Angelica’s painting of the “Annunciation of Mary” above, like so many other paintings, there is a beam of light that pierces the Virgin Mary in the heart like a meteor from heaven. In some depictions Mary is holding forth her hand to the light in a way that one could read as resisting it’s ‘invitation.’ In Reuben’s version Mary turns as if to flee and the angel poised above her seems almost ready to force her acquiescence. In Fra Angelica’s picture though, Mary seems to bend over in pain as if wounded by God’s Spirit, but she does not flee or push the angel away, instead she ‘Worlds’ a ‘Yes’ into this world and becomes the God-bearer.

So, it may be that It wasn’t Neanderthals praying Kaddish Avelim for the death of all the innocents, or cringing from God in naked fear, or our philosophical hermeneutics that made the first human to be a human a human. Maybe it’s more like in Malick’s movie, maybe it was a woman who looked into the terrifying, infinite abyss of the Helix Nebula, the ‘Eye of God,’ as we named it, and said: “ [voice over] ‘I will be true to you. Whatever comes.’ [last lines]” Obliged

Friday, October 21, 2011

This blogging business can get very snarky can’t it! This is a comment I made over at “The Politics of the Cross Resurrected” and I’ll be danged if he didn’t censor me!!! Well, i will repost it here and y’all can read their blog then mine and make up your own minds.

And I quote myself, "Hey Y’all good to pop in here at TPotCR again (but gosh darn it DanO just what did you write that got your expunged? You must have really stretched brother Craig’s forbearance to the breaking point!) Anyway, hard to believe y’all are still here engaging in this same kind of discourse, shouldn’t everyone be out occupying something? Me, I been researching Tennessee’s Williams play and movie “Suddenly Last Summer,” and I highly recommend them both (T.W. is Germany’s favorite play write you know, and those Germans are usually right about such things. Really, one could write all of Freud, Lacan, Foucault and half the Bible out of this one movie!). TW’s work, (like Beckett’s?) could be engaged as a lifelong argument with God, sort of like what the Bible itself is, only vice versa. I don’t see much evidence that God has changed many folks minds these last 6000 years though, and that makes me wonder just what God is getting out of this whole exercise (one wonders if God shouldn’t have consummated with the Cro-Magnon's instead?). “Even if one should come back from the dead they would not believe,” the gospels tell us, how much less so from a bunch of cleverly disingenuous syllogisms. “Suddenly” dramatizes this point and how we refuse to acknowledge truth, and the extremes we will go to to destroy the truths we just can’t bear to face. It is untrue, however, as these things are reckoned, that TW wrote “Suddenly” after psychiatry was unable to “cure” his homosexuality in 1957 (rumor has it he went down on ‘The Doors’ Jim Morrison at Warhol’s factory, but I digress). I would be careful about over-identifying TW with his main character ‘cousin Sebastian’ who used Kathryn Hepburn (Mrs. Venable) and then Elizabeth Taylor (Catharine Holly) to procure fresh young boys for him. That, of course, is the truth that Mrs. Venable wants Montgomery Clift (Dr. Cukrowicz) to cut out of Lizzy’s brain! Oh how often we would all like to wield our own truth expunging scalpels on one another! But apparently that’s not how Jesus rolls (or is it ?).

Mrs. Venable, Scene One:

“...but on the Encantadas we saw something Melville hadn't written about...the sand all alive as the hatched sea-turtles made their dash for the sea, while the birds hovered and swooped to attack! They were diving down on the hatched sea-turtles, turning them over to expose their soft undersides, tearing the undersides open and rending and eating their flesh....Well, now I've said it, my son was looking for God. I mean for a clear image of Him. He spent that whole blazing equatorial day in the crow's nest of the schooner watching that thing on the beach of the Encantadas till it was too dark to see it, and when he came back down the rigging, he said, Well, now I've seen Him!—and he meant God...”

I think that for a good part of my life I have felt like one of those baby turtles in a death-defying scramble for the life-saving sea while being tormented by ruthless predator-drone-angels sent by a merciless God. Truth is, I’v really been feasting on turtle tacos seasoned with pity and self-righteousness. Well, to make a long story short, cousin Sebastian perishes in an omophagic orgy; thay is, he devoured by the street children and beggars, who literally 'feed on his flesh.' Of course there is a strong reference to Christ and his "flesh being real food" and that unless we "eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no part of him," ahhh... you gotta love those writers of the "Christ soaked south." Then again, he was buggering these vulnerable youths, and taking advantage of their poverty, but to be fair he also molested rich French and Italian boys. Well, as you can imagine, in 1959 the censors of Catholic league of Decency took their own scalpels to TW (there’s nothing Catholic potentates hate more than molesting children) and they lobotomized Gore Vidal’s screenplay, but it’s still a damn good movie. Of course, things have changed for the better, nowadays one can go on one of those ‘eco tours’ and actually pay to rescue baby turtles from the seahawks and gulls! It’s really a flourishing business (see link below). We don’t know what the hungry gulls and hawks think about this (or God for that matter) but I like to think that Jesus would be pleased to have Christians pitch in and rescue some turtle tykes and maybe give his image a positive boost after the beating he’s been taking by the Gay/God-less, liberal, Hollywood media. Like this example from TW at the end of the movie: “Of course God is cruel, we didn’t need to come to the encantadas and look at the turtles to find that out. No, we’ve always known about him, the savage face he shows to people and the fierce things he shouts, It’s all we ever really see or hear of him now, nobody seems to know why, the difference is we know about him and the others don’t, that’s where were lucky....” Really, haven’t we all felt that way? “we know about him and the others don’t.” Well, great to visit again and below is a link to one of those eco tours, blessings and obliged, and see you on the beach!, Daniel."

Acapulco Tour Guides @

Oh, and just to be fair and balanced here is a link to great recipe for “Charles Brongers Louisville turtle soup’:

Monday, October 17, 2011

I found this dead bumble bee in my cardoon blossom! How did it come to die like this? Was it so overcome with the purple beauty of the late bloom and its desire for nectar that in it’s passion the bee’s tiny heart was pierced by one of the sharp spikes? Maybe that’s a pretty good way to die, but honey bees (and thus the world as we know it) are in peril, so it still seems sad to me. Dostoevsky wrote clever things like...‘beauty will save the world,‘ maybe he was right, but then he also wrote, “Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.” A lot happens in gardens that is beyond our explanations. They are sites of constant death, destruction, decay, competition; as well as rampant, unchecked fertility and an embarassing variety of unspeakable, insect and vegetable sexuality. Only by the most fascist-like discipline am I able to provisionally conquer, control and exploit this small 30x50 foot piece of ground into producing a meagre harvest for the barest needs of my own flesh. Never confuse vegetablism with peacefulness, every day in my garden is like the battle of Stalingrad, only our language makes it thus or otherwise. Bees are of a different sort though. I like to think of bees as if they were little angels sent to gather and share life’s potentiality and to set the whole machinery of life into motion. They are not responsible for how badly we muck the whole thing up, for that we usually blame the maker and the sender of the bees (and remember, bees like angels can be dangerous).

Elsewhere in Dostoevsky’s “Devils,” Terentiev asks Myshkin: "Is it true, prince, that you once said that beauty will save the world?" and then mockingly adds: "What kind of beauty will save the is an enigma.” I hate to think of that bee dying for an enigma, I want to think that she gave up her life trying to bring even more abundant life into the world, trying to make the world flourish in both beauty and bounty. Of course, the bee doesn’t belong to us, or work for us, the world is made in such a way that the bee’s lifegiving beeness (beingness--if you will forgive the Heideggerian pun) is pure gift. People are the only ones who figured out how to turn the gift of life-giving beingness into something that is bought and sold, and that can transform life’s gifts into symbolic forms of exchange, and then into a kind of death (isn’t life hoarded just a kind a kind of anticipated death?). Death can be a gift too, of course, if one’s dying makes the world flourish (and when it does maybe that’s what we would call a ‘gospel?’ the gospel of the bees?). But if our forms of life diminish beingness then our death also diminishes death’s being and it becomes a dead loss, a nothingness, evil. In “The Gift of Death,” Derrida writes that death is, “...the gift made to me by God as he holds me in his gaze and in his hand while remaining inaccessible to me, the terribly dissymmetrical gift of the mysterium tremendum only allows me to respond and only rouses me to the responsibility it gives me by making a gift of death, giving the secret of death, a new experience of death.” And what is this secret of death, this ‘fearful mystery‘ that opens up a path to a new experience in death? The dying bee in the terrible/beautiful embrace of the flower knew what it was and she sang it into being. And although I wasn’t there to hear it I am blessed by the gift of her life. Obliged.

Oh, here is a recipe for cardoon:

3 c cream, 1 c chicken stock, 1 bay leaf, 3 lb cardoon, 1 c gruyere, grated. Put the cream, stock, and bay leaf in a large saucepan and season with salt and pepper.

Trim your cardoons, then slice them into pieces around 2 inches long. Heat the cardoons until the cream comes to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour. Remove the cardoon pieces with a slotted spoon, putting them into a gratin/casserole dish and continue to boil the cream until reduced to 3/4 c. Pour the cream over the cardoons, top with the gruyere, and bake at 350 until the top has colored a little bit, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Thank you bees.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I couldn't upload the video by these Israeli vets so I supplied a link and trust you will watch it, but first, I just found the “stat” feature on this blog and discovered that I have 6 followers! I really thought that nobody read this stuff. Turns out almost 1600 folks have popped in (I know some blogs get that many a minute but i thank each and every one of you!). Suddenly I feel a profound sense of responsibility to post something great, alas, all I have is this posting below for now, but I will be working diligently to bring y’all some good entertainment soon. Please leave a comment or at least a “like,” or a don’t like :-( so i know yo stopped by, and visit whenever you get a chance, blessings and obliged.

Ethan, Lynda and I left Israel right after the war with Lebanon ended in the fall of 2006 and none of us has returned. Ethan (who was in the IDF) will be posting his thoughts and insights about the video as well. Israel is a terrifyingly beautiful place, and there is much sorrow there. And other than a spanking New Jerusalem falling right out of the sky I do not see how God’s peace will ever reign there (and while some are expecting just that, others are sneering at the golden Dome of the Rock and plotting with high explosives!). Of course, now that Glenn Beck is bringing his wisdom to the holy land maybe there is hope? Here’s a link to Beck’s rally in Jerusalem: (Dear Brother Beck, sell crazy somewhere else, they’re all full-up). I might also add that the movie doesn’t address the settler militias which are sometimes brutal and have less controls on them than the IDF. Of course, everyone in Israel, Palestinian and Jew, has a story to tell and can articulate with rationality and great passion their own position; why their suffering is the most important, why they feel persecuted and afraid, why their rights are being infringed upon, and why they are entitled by (G-d/Allah, tenure, U.N. res. 242, common sense, holy writ, Islamic and/or Jewish prophecies, their own great historical suffering, a superior culture, historical imperative, the bones of their grandparents, etc.) to this or that patch of land. Then if you throw a pathological American Christianity into the mix, you have one politico-theologo cluster fu%#k on your hands my friends! I have no answers, of course. Perhaps we should have thrown our lot in with Barabbas and the Sicarius and their strategy of surgically whacking Romans? I reckon even Jesus may have had some second thought about that whole ‘cheek turning, love your enemies’ campaign while dragging that cross up the Via Dolorosa (for sure his followers never took it too seriously). BTW, you can rent ‘life-size’ crosses in the old city if you are a crucifixion re-enactor, and now they have little wheels on the bottom! They are not all that expensive and some folks even time share them, each one carrying it as far as one of the 14 stations of the cross, makes sense if you think about it. They have these little trucks that then haul the crosses back down to the starting place at the Lion’s or Saint Stephen’s gate--where Stephen was martyred (he was the first Christian martyr you know!). No one ever wants to carry crosses backwards from Golgotha to the Lion’s gate. Of course ‘Christian tourism’ has been big business in Israel since the time of Constantine’s mother Helena, and shops along the Via Dolorosa pay a premium rent. I used to have lunch and coffee most days at a Palestinian owned cafe close to the Damascus gate right across from station III at the Catholic-Armenian church in the Muslim qtr. (where Jesus stumbles for the first time). Seif the owner would try and teach me Arabic and we would sit and watch the endless parade of monks, nuns, the sweaty, plump, white, mid-western evangelicals, the E. Orthodox with their pompous black hats, and the weepy Latin Catholics as they all trudged up the Via. I never saw any Americans carrying crosses though, but lots of Filipinos, Mexicans, Italians and Eastern Europeans. There is always a squad of armed IDF posted right at that corner too, because a violent and deadly riot started there back in the mid-eighties. It’s also the exact spot where Haredi and other ‘Ultra-Orthodox‘ Jews coming into Jerusalem to shop or pray at the ‘Wailing Wall,’ some with big pistols tucked into their waistbands, merge with all the traffic heading up the Via to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and all the exhausted Christians heading back to their air-conditioned hotels, and weary Palestinians, who do most of the dirty work, starting their long trek ‘home,’ and all those tiny trucks hauling crosses and garbage and what not back out of the old city--no wonder Jesus stumbled there first! It’s such a dangerous confluence of irrational passions, religious ecstasies, repressed sexuality, big money, the smell of piss and the G-d whose name none dare speak, and the little-buddy of my personal god some won’t shut up about, and the war cries of the GI Joe Gaaadha, and the GOD of the loudspeaker yelling down at us from his minarets; well, you can imagine the potential dangers. But on the bright and ecumenical side, the Via Dolorosa (the way of suffering) is the only street in old Jerusalem that has one name shared by all the faiths! (true, having one name is in everybody’s financial interest and smoothes the flow of commerce, but why be cynical, they’re all full-up with that too!) Obliged and G(g)oh-dD bless you brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OK, for some reason I never write anything much on my own blog; I prefer to write on other folks blogs (see the great discussion over at ‘Jesus Radicals,‘ <’s-“preferential-option-for-the-poor”/> initiated by a trenchant and provocative posting by DanO over at “Journeying With Those In Exile” <>) But I am going to try and start posting more new stuff and cannibalizing what I write elsewhere, Starting with our trip to see Werner Herzog’s new documentary movie “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”

This movie posits that Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens existed at the same time 35000 years ago and that the H.Sapiens. beat out the N.Derthals in Nature’s evolutionary contest. I can’t help but wonder as we reach the end of life as we know it on this planet, (and, coincidently, the nomination of Michele Bachman for president) if Nature badly f#%ked up and bet on the wrong horse. If so, I don’t see why we should believe in ‘Nature’ (phenomenology, Gaia, math,) any more than (G)god(s) (horoscopes, magic, Zeus). Of course, if it’s true (and I believe something like this is true) that the incarnation and death of Jesus is an eternal and consequential event, then Jesus died for the Neanderthals too. But what kind of sins are Neanderthal sins? Experts speculate that Neanderthals wore animal skins so we at least know that they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But there is no evidence of a Neanderthal tower of Babel, or salt pillars testifying to rampant buggery (or sinfully underfunding their socialist safety net) so maybe they were simply wiped out in the flood and their lack of ark building skills did them in? But were the Neanderthals responsible for their their own extinction as we will be? Seems like they were done in by by the encroaching 9000 foot deep ice sheet engulfing Europe and the competition for scarce resources with their hairless cousins with the big foreheads and better spear points. So as we witness Walter Benjamin’s ‘storm of progress’ finally overwhelm us (radioactivity form Japan, colliding with the gigantic pacific island of plastic garbage and the gulf oil spill), and Paul Klee’s “Angel of History” sorrowfully spreads it’s wings over the catastrophic pile of ruin overwhelming us; and as those last few survivors clamber to the top of this heap of wreckage still waiting for Jesus to beam them up even as the rising tide of toxic sludge reaches their nostrils; then maybe we Homo Sapiens will know how the Neanderthals felt as that last starving, and barren couple were driven from a rotting mammoth carcass by selfish and hostile homo sapiens and forced into the barren ice scape to starve. What was their prayer and did God hear it? Obliged.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frankensteining Christ In America

When in Rome I make a pilgrimage to his grave.

The American Way

I am a great American
I am almost nationalistic about it!
I love America like a madness!
But I am afraid to return to America
I’m even afraid to go into the American Express—


They are frankensteining Christ in America
in their Sunday campaigns
They are putting the fear of Christ in America
under their tents in their Sunday campaigns
They are driving old ladies mad with Christ in America
They are televising the gift of healing and the fear of hell
in America under their tents in their Sunday
They are leaving their tents and are bringing their Christ
to the stadiums of America in their Sunday
They are asking for a full house an all get out
for their Christ in the stadiums of America
They are getting them in their Sunday and Saturday
They are asking them to come forward and fall on their
because they are all guilty and they are coming
in guilt and are falling on their knees weeping their
begging to be saved O Lord O Lord in their Monday
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
and Sunday campaigns

(rest in comments, Obliged).