My take on things supernatural is based mostly on the very definition of the word. I assume that forces and conditions and whatnot exist outside the boundaries of what is known and established; however, because they are outside those boundaries, it is impossible to get any real handle on what they are, and I am resolutely skeptical of efforts to put labels on them and sell them in the marketplace of ideas. Or, as Tom Robbins put it in Skinny Legs and All:

"..The Divine was eternally in flux, forever moving, shifting shape. That was its nature. It was absolute, true enough: absolutely mobile. Absolutely transcendent. Absolutely flexible. Absolutely impersonal. It had its god and goddess aspects, but it was ultimately no more male or female than it was star or screwdriver. It was the sum of all those things, but that sum could never be chalked on a slate. The Divine was beyond description, beyond knowing, beyond comprehension. To say that the Divine was Creation divided by Destruction was as close as one could come to definition. But the puny of soul, the dull of wit, weren't content with that. They wanted to hang a face on the Divine."

One of the puny of soul wrote me yesterday, and while it would be unkind to give his name, I can't resist giving his story, which goes like this:

If you are an alien disguised as human and or have the
technology to travel physically through time I need your
help!

My life has been severely tampered with and cursed by a
very evil women of my past. 

I need to be able to:

Travel physically back in time.

Rewind my life including my age.

Be able to remember what I know now so that I can prevent 
my life from being tampered with again after I go back.

I am in great danger and need this immediately!

Only if you are an alien or have this technology please 
send me a separate email to: [address withheld]

Rotsa ruck.

Meanwhile, in keeping with its mission as a repository for the dullness of wit, MSNBC has scheduled for tonight, at least according to TV Guide, an MSNBC Reports segment on "The impact of Satan on global pop culture". Now Satan, though he has a following in some circles, seems to me to be an inarguably minor character in the enormous Judeo-Christian mythos; if life is Leave It to Beaver, then Satan isn't even Eddie Haskell. However, as the ostensible villain of the story, he gets more press than he deserves, and bored, rebellious youth buy into this stuff because they are, well, bored, rebellious youth. Were world Christianity wise, it would put aside its petty doctrinal differences, partner with Judaism, and unite under the banner of protecting intellectual property: they should trademark the names of Satan™ and Moses™ and Jesus H. Christ™ and all, and initiate contracts with suitable licensees. I wouldn't mind seeing, say, a set of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego action figures, and someday that Sanhedrin lunch box will be worth a fair chunk of change on eBay.

And just incidentally, a quick visit to MSNBC's Web site states that the MSNBC Reports segment for this date will be about, not the Satan's School for Teens stuff, but the somewhat more mundane (if no less eternal) business of prostitution. Further comment from me would obviously be superfluous.

The Vent

#258
26 August 2001

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