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Happy Solar Festival

Xmas.pngSo, I am moved from Sydney to Brisbane, but as yet have no internet at home. I must therefore steal some of my GF’s in order to wish you all a wonderful solstice for tomorrow, and sundry other religious and ethnic festivals that may fall on or about that date. Just remember, it’s Xmas, and X is the reason for the season. At this time we celebrate the birth of X, and the fact that summer/winter will come again as a result. X remained mysterious to save us all. Something to do with the Sun, lambing (which takes place in spring, even in Palestine, so duh), fat guys in red suits, uncontrolled consumerism, and feasting on the bodies of gods. X is our personal saviour, available wholesale.

If Primus ever gets around to restoring internet I will start to post again, but my teaching load has increased infinitely (from 0 to 2/2) and so I will have to be a bit less loquacious. Expect lots of cute internet memes. Like the one below the fold…

You are old, Father Yahweh,” the fabulist said,
“And your wrath has grown harder to sell.
So I’ve written a sequel with you as the head
Where your son comes to earth for a spell.”

“In my youth,” Father Yahweh replied to young Luke,
“I was One and I shall always be.
But your tale has poor Mary knocked up by my spook!
By that count, you’ve split me in three.”

“You are old,” Luke continued, “Your foibles re food
Make you pointlessly picky on chow.
So act 10 will have Peter in visions conclude
That you’re cool with non-kosher from now.”

“In my youth,” said the lord, “I had flavor and fire.
My restrictions were worn like a brand.
Now you let people eat anything they desire?
Makes my character spineless and bland.”

“You are old, Father Yahweh,” a tax man said,
“And your rules have left too many holes.
So I’ve called it a sin: the mere thought of a bed.
We’ll make normal kids fear for their souls.”

“In my youth,” said the god, “I made sex. It was grand!
Men had slave girls and multiple wives.
Now you’ve made me the watcher of every lad’s hand —
The repressor of natural drives.”

“You are old, Father Yahweh,” the tax man accused,
“And your justice took eye for an eye,
But we noticed that principle being abused
So we’re giving forgiveness a try.”

“Enough of your cheek!” Yahweh yelled from his throne,
“Your non-canon fanfic can’t stand.”
But a meme, once ignited, has life of its own
And the retcon continued as planned.

By Virge, from here


  1. Overall I like the poem, but it does, in places, sacrifice accuracy for a cheap joke. Which is fine if it’s read and enjoyed by people who realise that it sacrifices accuracy for cheap jokes, but I would be uncomfortable to see it used uncritically as anti-religious propoganda.

    (Example: I assume “the mere thought of a bed” refers to Matthew 5:28, but that verse is somewhat more complicated in Greek than it appears in English.)

  2. John Monfries John Monfries

    what have you got against cheap jokes, FED?

    Happy festivus and new year, JW. May your teaching load and writing increase beyond count, err well……., happy new year anyway.

    Also what does 2/2 students mean? – one student?

  3. Messy Quickmas!

    By the end of the week it’ll be an X-holiday. It will have ceased to be.

  4. It’s not anti-religious; it’s critical of the changes that Christianity made to Judaism. Not the same thing unless you think that religion=Christianity.

    • I think you missed my point, which is basically a caution not to conflate a satirical poem with actual information about any given religion. If you’re ever in need of an argument against Christianity, for example, better to pick one of the many informed criticisms that can be levelled at it, and not some throw-away line from a humorous caricature. Hopefully nobody needs to be told that, but the poem is slightly more economical with the truth than I’m 100% comfortable with (I’m almost comfortable with it, just not quite), and I think the cognitive short-circuit is worth guarding against.

      I don’t think anti-religious always has to mean anti-religions-in-general, but the semantic quibble is a red herring. The poem is not anti-religious propoganda, but has the potential to be misused as such, if someone were to point to it and say, “That’s what’s wrong with your religion”.

      In other words, enjoy the humour, but not as a substitute for informed argument.

  5. jeb jeb

    “So do these creations of ours know what we do to them? Did the harpy suspect that Beagle’s book laid the foundation for her imprisonment? Do they sit around, these gods and demigods, demons and creatures, and bitch and moan about how their backstories (and indeed, their very natures) change in response to what we read and write?”

    He is using a specific example but his theme seems to be a bit broader than you suggest Roberta. Although I confess to spending only 10 min reading, so I may have missed something you have not.

    But with art, do you realy have to care that much what was intended by the writer at the end of the day unless that is you are sitting in an academic art department?

    I know playwrites do a lot of bitching and moaning about how their stories change in response to being placed in the hands of actors. As actors bitch and moan and refer to themselves as cattle when a director invites the playwrite along to rehersal.

    George Bernard Shaw went as far as to write scripts phonetically in order to maintian strict control of inflection and accent.

    A somewhat vain attempt to control the messy buisness of the interpretation of art.

    Are writers voices always as clear and direct as some of the discussion around the poem seems to suggest?

    I think you have to live with the fact that once what you create is out in the wild you have no control over it’s interpretation.

    Art is organic in that respect I think.

    I think it has to be to survive.

    F.E.D it clearly states on the tin it is not a finished work if you follow the links.

    • jeb jeb

      Same with religion. Why let the fact that a bunch of shepherds are going to bitch and moan about being placed guarding flocks out of season get in the way of selling to a crowd of non- palestinian shepherds.

      If you depend for youre income and status by placing as many bums on pews as you can, its the hook line that draws in and sells to the crowd that wins at least part of the time.

      Not the bare somewhat contradictory facts.

  6. Susan Silberstein Susan Silberstein

    X does not move in mysterious ways, unless he’s the guy who hides my socks. My husband says the one to watch out for is Jeff Vader.

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