October 18, 2021
the Talent gods
In light of R. Kelly’s recent guilty verdict, let me just say: I still listen to his music. Certified bops. I sure do. I’d’ve been listening to “It Seems Like You’re Ready” all the way to the police station to file a complaint on “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number”, and “Like A Real Freak” all the way back home. People’s outrage is often egotistical and so demonstrative. Talent is from God.
What you don’t hear is people’s outrage over the machine of R. Kelly. How do pubescent girls (and boys) come to get on stage dressing provocatively and singing sexually explicit lyrics? Where is the outrage for that? Many of these parents should be in jail as well, as well as any others who helped “‘The Pied Piper’ of R&B” lure children away from their villages like the Pan Piper of lore.
The worst part of my time as an English major in long ago begone times was Literary Theory. Oh how I loathed it. Reams of paper dedicated to nonsensical drivel reconstructing deconstructing speculating, pontificating gyrating and ruminating all over the page. When I found Roland Barthes’ 1967 essay “The Death of the Author”, I rejoiced. “I Believe I Can Fly”. Sing it R. Kelly.
“The image of literature to be found in ordinary culture”, says Barthes, “is tyrannically centred on the author, his person, his life, his tastes, his passions, while criticism still consists for the most part in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of Baudelaire the man, Van Gogh’s his madness, Tchaikovsky’s his vice. The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction […]” (143).
It used to be that when I watched award shows on stations like BET, I’d see black artists go up on stage, accept their awards and immediately thank God. Not parents, grammas or grampas, brothers and sisters, husbands wives, boyfriends girlfriends, aunts and uncles or music labels. But God. When the people tried to crown Jesus as king, he went away from them back up on the mountain by himself.* Why do you call Me good? He said. No one is good but One, that is, God.* It is only in Faustian worlds in deals with the devil that they deal in the business of god-making. Where Wendy Williams is walking around New York City in hospital socks and Lil Kim is on her 7th face like Michael Jackson was on his like 10th nose. Where they drug you up and chop you up and hate you and love you the same as they build you up to turn you out and tear you down because the only god who is not God is the hatred and emptiness of Satan. False gods and their stans just don’t work. You sell your soul for an illusion. And the entertainment is in watching the destruction of it all.
In a museum, you appreciate the talent, the work, and move along. “Once the Author is removed”, says Barthes, “the claim to decipher a text becomes quite futile. To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing. Such a conception suits criticism very well, the latter then allotting itself the important task of discovering the Author (or its hypostases: society, history, psyché, liberty) beneath the work: when the Author has been found, the text is ‘explained’ – victory to the critic. Hence there is no surprise in the fact that, historically, the reign of the Author has also been that of the Critic […]” (147).
Unless R. Kelly was using his talent to sing about pedophilia or some other ridiculous baseness, I would no more look to him as a person to help me enjoy his vocal range or musical arrangements than I would to my favorite author Graham Greene to explain religion. Yet when I read Greene’s The Power and the Glory, it is when God and religion can be perfectly written and understood in a way that Greene as a conflicted agnostic Catholic could not explain it or understand it or make sense of it himself as man. For to create and enjoy creation is to enter a tabula rasa, a blank space where all is effortless, all is peace joy and perfect clarity in God. The ego, the problem that is you must die.
“We are now beginning”, says Barthes, “to let ourselves be fooled no longer by the arrogant antiphrastical recriminations of good society in favour of the very thing it sets aside, ignores, smothers, or destroys; we know that to give writing its future, it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author” (148).
The Unwitting Memoirist
*Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” Image Music Text. Translated by Stephen Heath, Fontana Press, 1977, pp. 142-48.
*John 6:14: Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
P.S. Really cool article out of Tablet Magazine that speaks to this: The Faustian Bargain Between Pandemic Scientists and the Media by (Dr.) Eran Bendavid
October 6, 2021
Don’t Let the Vampires In
When I watched Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul beseech the masses to get the COVID shot because it’s what God would want us to do, and something about being her apostles, I almost sprayed my early morning peppermint tea.
“[…] But how do we keep more people alive?” She lukewarmly told the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn last month. “We are not through this pandemic—I wished we were; but I prayed a lot to God during this time, and you know what? God did answer our prayers: he made the smartest men and women—the scientists, the doctors, the researchers”—[applause]—”He made them come up with a vaccine”—[more applause]—”that is from God to us.”—[Holy s**t]—”And we must say, thank you God. Thank you.” [Now motions towards chest] “And I wear my vaccinated necklace all the time”—[lifts necklace, notice it’s not a cross; it’d probably burn her chest]—”to say I’m vaccinated. All of you…yes I know you’re vaccinated; you’re the smart ones, but you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God and what God wants”—[looks particularly like a demon here]. “You know this. You know who they are. I need you to be my apostles—”
and KILL KILL KILL
Alright that’s enough, I’ve had enough. This lady wouldn’t know God if
her your life depended on it. Please also notice the flimflam of Satan. How she was never elected as governor. She was “slid in” UN-elected by the people after former governor Andrew Cuomo was conveniently accused of sexual harassment.
I bet you if you asked any 80s or 90s vampire how they got to be a vampire, they’d say, “Well”—shaking their head.
“I let ’em in. I invited ’em into the house.” Then throwing their palms to their face, shoulders heaving. “I just didn’t know that’s how vampires got in the house. Oh God!”
I blame the fake Christians. Well, the misguided ones I should say. The ones who try to make God seem like a happenin kinda chap by blasting you in the face with a bullhorn about hellfire and damnation. Or shoving Watchtowers down your throat. Or doing and saying all the wrong things that have nothing to do with the Right example of God.
If you ever watched The Lost Boys, you’ll see ‘Michael’, actor Jason Patric, invite a relatively normal-looking middle-aged guy into the house for a date with his mom. BUT TURNS OUT HE’S NOT ONLY A VAMPIRE, HE’S LIKE THEE HEAD VAMPIRE OF THE LOST BOYS!!! And do you know why he let him in? BECAUSE HE DIDN’T LOOK LIKE A FRIGGIN VAMPIRE! He complimented Michael by deferring to him as the ‘man of the house’ who could only invite him in. Lies of course. (Everybody knows proper vampire etiquette is that anybody (who lives in the house) can invite them in.) In the world, it’s the same concept: people put on suits and ties, dresses jewelry; they speak eloquently or mildly, braggadocio, meekly—sprinkle the word “God” or “expert” or “degree” in here or there, whatever you wanna hear whatever it takes. They claim victimhood and demand your sympathy. They file down their teeth, fangs disappear. Shapeshifters. You let ’em in Then BAM! They suck your blood. And give you COVID.
Having God means having discernment. Having a spiritual eye to see through the tricks and traps and flims and flams of the devil who uses the physical for those who can’t see past it. How he can use skin color, appearance, sex gender, beauty and all things, all appearances illusory, even your own mind to make you think something is real when it isn’t. He can make you think vampires like himself don’t really exist when they really do. Just not in the way you think they do. Again, I blame the Christians because they let her in. Where was she? Not at some secular sex meat pill fest rave. But a megachurch ‘Christian’ Cultural Center.
The Unwitting Memoirist
October 4, 2021
The Case Against Satan: Ray Russell
It’s interesting that when I considered myself an atheist or agnostic, that I believed in the inherent good in people. I mean, I would have to right? If people are all there is, I’d better have some hope in them otherwise I’d’ve killed myself. Then when I came into God, I recognized the evil in people, starting with myself, and now I find that it slips my mind that people can be evil. It’s the concept of praying for your enemy as a Christian. Has nothing to do with turning a cheek or being meek and weak or any of that false gospel. It’s just that to be of anger, to be of hatred is just dumb. It’s of destruction. And it’s just crazy to think that people can actually be what destroys them. They cannot see you see, and have no peace. And so you pray.
In 1968 when the movie Planet of the Apes came out, many Americans fled from movie theaters not with a deeper appreciation of the evil of oppression, but with an irrational fear of monkeys. Talk about something going right over your head. A flying monkey?
But that’s not it. Before there was an Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, there was The Case Against Satan in 1962 by Ray Russell. I read it, and found it particularly droll. But it’s a good read because it’s shocking in what it asserts: that people cannot recognize evil when they see it. We’re not talking about blatant evil, like murder or rape or pedophilia, but the more insidious kind: the subtle evil. The genesis origin evil. The build-up evil. The evil behind the evil. The anger that eventually leads to the stealing, the killing, coveting, the bearing false witness etc. The catharsis in the book comes when the Bishop escorts the parish priest to the hallway, where right on the opposite side of the door lies a possessed girl they’ve chained to the bedpost. I gasped. Not do you believe in God, the Bishop presses the bewildered priest. Do you believe in evil, in Satan?
Then in 1973, the movie adaptation of Blatty’s 1971 Exorcist came out. About a little girl named Regan who becomes increasingly belligerent. At her height, her face is pockmarked, green, her voice hoarse and taunting. She spits green bile and walks bent backward down the stairs. Her mother is a rich actress, an atheist, who at the behest of a team of defeated doctors, turns to Father Damien who has all but lost his religion, for an exorcism.
And, still, people leave the movie theater, afraid of the dark, afraid someone’s after them, afraid to turn around. It doesn’t scare them to lie to their children. It doesn’t scare them to have sex with someone they barely know. The repercussions for a child raised out of the union they were created in doesn’t phase a bit. I heard recently that YouTube is cracking down on all anti-vax content, yet it doesn’t scare them all the videos on their ‘child-friendly’ platform of people, single mothers in particular, filming pimping and exploiting their children in front of millions of strangers on camera. The unreal is scary. The scary reality? Not so much.
The father of the possessed girl in The Case Against Satan sees the parish priest about his daughter to evade psychiatrists. They might find, we find out, that the demon growing inside of his daughter comes from his sexual molestation of her. Regan’s mother is swearing, awful controlling trying to get through to Regan’s father because he hasn’t called for Regan’s birthday, while quietly and out of view Regan listens to the angry hysteria of her mother, who rolls over to find her daughter scared, sleeping in her bed later that night. My bed was shaking, she whines. Then, suddenly, Regan is swearing lying, awful out-of-control. You said you’d recently separated from her father, the doctor says. Where is her father? Father Damien asks.
In the end, the girl’s father has a heart attack and is struck by a bolt of lightning. In The Exorcist, it is the Father who is murdered by the demon before he casts the demon out of her. The more time he spends around the little girl, the more demonized he becomes. When he walks in to find that she’s killed the first priest, he wrestles the 12-year-old to the ground and begins punching her in the face. This anger, this hatred is a terribly difficult spirit to deal with if it has not been first exorcised from yourself. You’ll become it otherwise. Blinded by the darkness from within, you will not be able to see it mirrored in the world, without.
2 Corinthians 11:13
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into minsters of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
The Unwitting Memoirist
September 27, 2021
Deuteronomy: SUFFAH & DIE
Jesse Lee Peterson has a cool funny quote about God
SUFFAH AND DIE
Which is basically true. God’s like the limo driver at the airport with your name on the sign directing you to the limo. But if, say, you identify yourself to the limo driver then proceed to tell him that you’re not getting in the limo, then what can he do? You love not following direction.
It’s important to note in the Book of Deuteronomy that the Israelites being prepared to enter into the Promised Land are not the Israelites God brought out of slavery. This is a new generation from the old raggedy one that died off in the wilderness somewhere wandering for 40 years because they just wouldn’t get in the damn limo. He’s not gonna throw a sack over your head, hogtie you and throw you in the trunk and make you do something you don’t wanna do. People do that. God is of no resistance. You have the right to be wrong. You have the right to love wrong. You have the right to suffer, and to die in that suffering.
We’ve all experienced the hell of fear and anger, the Satan in ourselves and in others when being interfered with and interfering in other people’s lives. Before the Book of Deuteronomy begins, the Book of Numbers ends with a recounting. Of all that God has brought us through. Of all the idolatry, intellect and ego, the polygamy, pride homosexuality and incest, murder, the booze and the lies, slavery, sex before marriage and prostitution that we’d come to love without Him. Of all the miracles He’s performed to save us from the hell on earth we create for ourselves and re-create through our children. From the destruction of what a world looks like without God, today. All because we ate the apple and believed the snake, the ego, the intellect in the garden of our minds that whis-ssss-pered to us that we could be like god despite already having God, paradise on Earth.
The No Longer Suffering Unwitting Memoirist