Join Me On The Back Seat Of My Car

I woke up this morning and sure, like you (or at least you if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) resented the growing confidence of Winter as it nipped at my feet but I was also pretty chuffed with myself. In fact, you could call me positively smug. Infuriatingly so. See, since the evening before, when I had a moment of clarity that us crutch-holding Christians like to call “Joy“, I have been floating around on the recognition that life is sweet.

The realisation came yesterday evening. I had taken the morning off and finished Gilead (more on that later) and started Christ The Lord- Out Of Egypt. Then I went down to the office to finish preparation for a Bible study on the book of Hosea. Hosea is the kind of document I would love to give to the countless people who think that they have “read the Bible”. It tells the story of how Hosea is asked by God to marry a prostitute called Gomer and eventually buy her out of sex slavery (after she has rejected him and run away) so that his life would be like a performance art representation of God’s love for us. Then Hosea starts talking about his country and how angry God is at Israel over the injustice, murder and invasion that they have chosen to embroil themselves in. God promises that he will rot their land like he was a maggot and then assures them that for their horrific sins (things like killing every pregnant lady in a city and setting first sons on fire to appease pagan gods) he would rip them limb from limb like a raving lion. Its so much more interesting than what people think of when the Bible is mentioned. Finally, the passage that we looked at ends with this astounding line:

For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.

Its like the entire Old Testament summed up in one sentence. Its like God’s manifesto for an end of religion and moralism and a radical revolution all in one line. So I get paid to read and think about this passage that interprets and explains the political implications of a nation in the year 733BC. Then I came home and had dinner with Dave (thanks to him for the November banner- the great Jesus kicking ass cartoon) and then my house got all filled up with friends from all around the world who came to talk and argue about Hosea. It was sweet. I have the best job in the world.

Zoomtard impersonates Christopher Lee
Back in the good old days when I didn’t have a mansion provided with my job and instead I spent my days sleeping in Ukrainian hostels and having coffee with 20 year old undergraduates, I used to have a megapass for the cinema. It meant that I could go see any movie any time and not pay any money. Instead my credit card paid a set amount every month. That is practically free, because I didn’t hand over any money.

But now I have a real job and I can’t go farting off to the cinema every time Scarlett Johansson or Hilary Swank appear in a film. So we have recently gone crazy on the internet and subscribed to an online DVD rental system. Our list of almost a hundred films include most of the Oscar best movie winners we never got around to seeing and a bunch of childhood favourites form the 1980s that I totally missed. So for example, this morning The Goonies arrived in the post and I loved it. Karate Kid is sitting on the TV waiting for a few spare hours to teach me, at last, how to do the chicken kick or whatever it is everyone used to do in the schoolyard.

So I learnt how to mimic Rocky last week and a few days ago we finally got to watch the original Wicker Man– a movie renowned as the creepiest, chillingest British movie ever until The Descent (best horror movie ever) got made. Don’t read that Wikipedia article if you haven’t seen it before because it is a delight to watch its eeriness unfold into true horror. Oh it is so good!

I was really taken with it though and I decided I was wasting my life as a Christian and so for a few minutes became a pagan cult leader. There is photographic evidence, provided below, if you couldn’t imagine me in such a role. I made my little Wicker Man sacrifice so that the god of herpes simplex would cure my cold sore and then I celebrated as it burned. It didn’t quite work.



Reliving the Wicker Man, originally uploaded by Zoomtard.

Another Thing Neuro And I Disagree On
Gilead is an amazing novel which I absolutely adored. Neuro is definitely the literature critic in our household but she couldn’t swallow the male character written by Marilynne Robinson whereas I believed it from the first page. The lead character is a dying pastor so there are lots of reflections that just take my breath away. It was the rare kind of book that got me to take out my pen and actually underline sections. I especially (surprise surprise) enjoyed the reflections on Karl Barth. Here is the best one,

When this old sanctuary is full of silence and prayer, every book Karl Barth will ever write would not be a feather in the scales against it from the point of view of profundity, and I would not believe in Barth’s own authenticity if I did not also believe he would know and recognize the truth of that, and honor it, too.

Maybe it is sentimental tosh. But I loved it.

A Call Out To The Ulaanbaatar Massive
I expect that there are a few fans of Zoomtard out there that aren’t my friends in real life (meaning being paid by my mom to invite me to parties). I never expected to get props from a Buddhist monk in Mongolia, but that is just what has happened. “Dreaming Of Danzan Ravjaa” is the weblog of an American Buddhist monk living in Mongolia. I have only ever met one Mongol before (is that even the correct term- the horror if I am wrong!) so I am pretty impressed with this internet thing Al Gore invented that someone all the way over there can read my theological sketchpad and find it amusing.

I guess there aren’t too many things vying for attention at the edge of the Gobi and so he doesn’t find large rambling texts all that boring. Anyway, what is interesting is he contrasts me to an American evangelist working in Mongolia and I come out favourably. Yay for me! Sadly, that is my dad he is talking about in that post. No. Only kidding. My dad sells plastic bags for a living. It isn’t a profitable industry but he has made it his goal to destroy the environment before his death so he is just doing the best he can.

Before I go, can we get political for a moment and give props to America’s voters for becoming sane again? And can we put an end to the terror of neoteny? Seriously, that is a new word you should learn. I read this Stephen Jay Gould article that explains Nicole Ritchie’s terrifying weight loss back in the day and it is fascinating to see it applied in this way. If you doubt it, go to the NY Times source or this photo essay for clear proof that Hollywood starlets’ weight loss is actually an evolutionary trend.

That doesn’t mean its a good thing.

Your Correspondent, Addicted to techno-trousers

One Response to “Join Me On The Back Seat Of My Car”

  1. What a life-affirming post! You’ve made me want to read Hosea and watch the Wicker Man – two impulses I’ve never hitherto had at the same time!