Back in the day before media went mass, and the big time religious shows were able to shock and awe with no more than local actors, amateur comedians and clowns, stupid pet tricks, wacky costumes, scripted melodramas, flashy pyrotechnics, and feints of dizzying hocus-pocus using pulverized powders and potions, a bit player could perform a stand-up act solo, or maybe with the assistance of a fetching accessory able to mesmerize the front row of a small crowd, and come away with enough change for a decent robe, a chunk of lamb to roast, a pipe to toke, a jug of cheap wine, a magic coin.
I said “So far, so good.”
“That’s what I’m talking about.”
But then the mob organizers moved in. It did not matter one whit to them that in the multiverse nothing spiritual is organized and nothing organized is spiritual. They looked up and saw a Sun that revolved around nothing greater than a thin shadow cast on sand from a parched point of view. No contradictions, no mistakes, no unintended consequences permitted. Not even a simple acknowledgment of swarming free radicals, the fifth most basic building block of the multiverse. So they brought sharper swords to their self-serving cause, daggers with poison tips, advanced catapults and flame throwers, streamlined arrows that could go for more distance. And like any opportunistic band of leeches, they came to stay. Dues were to be paid, eternally. More was better and you better believe it full time on your knees. Learn how to let the blood suckers have their way and suck hard. Or else.
And as the rackets grew, free agents bit the dust. The desert stayed dry. Bombs bloomed instead. And the jokes weren’t so funny anymore when laughing out loud became a crime. Mandatory secrets oaths with mucho mumbo-jumbo became do or die. Or else. The pawns and the throngs were wise to learn the literal meaning of or else.
I said, “Harsh.”
The normally placid Unpaid Internet Content Provider appeared to be authentically pissed off. Or as pissed off as any irresponsibly laid back dude who has it made in the shade while sponging off of his rich mother could be. He was spewing semi-coherent spittle about an invasion of the sovereign borders of his precious website, hacked by a bunch of psychotic wackos from the middle of fucking nowhere, nut jobs with nothing better to do, which is the worst kind, because anything is surely better than nothing, who knew fucking diddly about fucking squat. It was not an attractive look spilling like that out into the open, and not only for him. Yet it had been surprisingly easy for his assailants to infect, muddle, distort, and ultimately erase his cushy existence as he previously knew it.
“Why so serious about one teeny weeny joke? No one reads it anyway.”
I said, “Well, you also said that Abraham was only faking the voices he heard so he could sneak around at night with his dick in hand and peak into the tents of the hottest chicks in the village without getting gutted by scores of irate husbands.”
“I didn’t exactly pronounce that as my literal interpretation of absolute fact. It ‘s more of a relative possibility. I don’t see how it can be ruled out out of hand though.”
“Then you said that chick magnet Jesus H. Christ was the prototypical hip and cool black African shaman laying down the funkiest grooves in town, the original Jimi Hendrix of his day, who played lead in a swinging band that made him so hot with all the peeps.”
“What’s the problem? It could be. It sounds good. That’s what role models are created for, to inspire, right?”
“Then you said that the original Muhammed was a runaway teen who was conflicted from birth because he was 3/8 Jewish, and the victim of a botched circumcision to boot, which left him too often confused about his attraction to boys, and caused the identity crisis that made him prone to fly off the handle so much of the time.”
“It makes its own sense. Sort of. Desert dwellers under harsh conditions are often prone to prostration.”
“Due to the extreme heat and aridity, you mean.”
“It’s too bad they never developed a higher grade of pharmaceuticals.”
“You know it hurts me too.”
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider, insipid though he may be much of the time, and perhaps creepy to others in his uniquely unendearing way, as well as complacent and smarmy and passive-aggressively oblivious, has never seen fit to pop a cap in any ass, never crapped on a parade or poured fuel on a fire, never loaded any dice or annexed an exurb, never beat a dead horse or set off a dire chain reaction, never smote a holy ghost or a gremlin. He knows with relative not absolute certainty that he knows next to nothing, which is as close he has been able to get while it is what it is, and how to display his odd approximation in fractured shards amid sputtered hiccups and blips.
“What the fuck,” he added, which is not a question as much as a personal declaration of independence.
I said, “You won’t get any good answer from me.”
According to much of what I have been able to tangentially glean from the teachings of HHUMH Tawny Owl during my studies at the Thee Tawny Owl Institute of High Flying and Rising Consciousness, a creature able to look up high and see no more than an adjunct of what’s down low, apart from the obvious myopia due to small inferior eyes, can hardly be referred to in a rigorous technical sense as a sentient being at all.
“Even a bunch as dumb as a covey of quail knows better than that,” the tawny owl reminds.
I said, “Maybe it’s not such a great idea to post another one like that for awhile.”
I heard “What the fuck.”