Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Dead Walk! Oh Wait, It's Just Easter.

And now for something completely different.

When I was a kid, I actually believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and the Bible. We stopped going to church when I was about 6, for several reasons, none of which are important right now. My father, who claimed he was on a path to enlightenment, studied all sorts of Eastern philosophies (too bad none of them helped - he was always an... well, we don't need to go into that here, either).

Anyway, as I grew older and made friends with various people of various faiths, I started my own spiritual journey of sorts. And I realized that most religions were all pretty much bullshit.

Religion's only true benefit, was in helping to establish a moral code for being a good person. The Ten Commandments are little more than that. The rest of the Bible, Torah and Q'uran are simply rules of order, imposed on ignorant science-less people in ancient times, so the priests and shamen could maintain a sense of control over their followers. And lets not even talk about the Bagvadhgita or The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or the numerous other "holy" books that people take for truth based on unfounded belief. For today's purposes, let's stick to the New Testament.

In the Gospel According to John, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, to the delight of Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha (not to mention the delight of Lazarus, himself). Of course, we all know the consequences of bringing the dead back to life: they will either become monsters intent on the destruction of their creator (as in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein); or they become mindless, brain-hungry Zombies intent on eating every living person with whom they come into contact. In John, Jesus attends a supper with Lazarus and his sisters six days before the Crucifixion. John makes no mention as to whether or not brains were served. Now, Lazarus had been entombed for 4 days before Jesus brought him back. I can only imagine that after four days in the desert heat, without the use modern embalming techniques, Lazarus probably neither looked nor smelled too good. But that doesn't seem to have mattered to Mary or Martha. And of course, we all know the story of Jesus' supposed resurrection after 3 days. Conveniently, Jesus was assumed into Heaven before anyone had the chance to examine Him.

Here's the thing: None of the Gospels were recorded until at least a hundred years after the events which they detail supposedly occurred. No one who was actually alive when Jesus (actually Jeshua) lived wrote a single word. And that's probably because none of them could - reading and writing were the only for the priests and scribes in those days, an most likely, none of the Disciples were capable of either. Until the Renaissance, about 1500 years after the events detailed in the New Testament, only the clergy and the gentry could read or write. The majority of poor slobs had to rely on what the clergy and the gentry told them what was written in the Gospels.

So we get fifth or sixth-hand information recorded well-after the events they describe; in languages long dead; translated from ancient Aramaic to ancient Greek to Middle-English to modern English. And we're supposed to believe them? If Snopes had existed 600 years ago, I imagine they would have had a field day with this. And don't even get me started on the Church's stealthy integration of traditional pagan holidays into Christian mythology. Just look at when Easter falls: Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the Vernal equinox. How pagan is that?

So, is Uncle Prospero an atheist? Not exactly. I know that one of the laws of physics is "Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed." I also know that the human spirit (or whatever you want to call it) is energy. When we move on (so much nicer than saying "die"), that energy has to go somewhere. I just don''t know (nor does anyone) where or what it becomes. I'd like to hope that we go on in some way. I honestly just can't imagine it's a place in the clouds where we meet "God" and get judged on the merits of the lives we've led.

Okay - enough ranting. My point is made. Do with it what you will. This pagan will go on worshiping Mother Gaea, sacrificing at Stonehenge and looking for patterns in ley-lines (yeah, right).

So, after all that, here's the Zombie Clip of the Week:

I was barely old enough to get into the theater in 1978, when Romeros' classic Dawn of the Dead was released without an MPAA rating. It played as a late show at my local $1 theatre, and I had to borrow my father's car to go, promising I would be careful (and lying when I said I was meeting friends - my friends were all too scared to go). Before the movie started, the theater manager came out and warned people about smoking during the film. Of course, that did nothing to stop several dozen folks from sparking up the joints they'd saved for just this occasion. I was probably the youngest audience member in attendance, but I was also probably the most jaded, when it came to horror movies. Still, nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of graphic violence and gore that I witnessed that night.

When all was said and done, I drove home in a daze (in part thanks to the contact high I received in the auditorium), unsure of whether I'd seen a work of genius or a work of madness. Now, many years later, I can honestly say it was both. I just knew that Tom Savini was my new hero and I would never look at a shopping mall in quite the same way again.

Okay, I know this isn't my usual Zombie Zone post. And I am truly sorry if any Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus or pagans took offense. But from what I understand, blogging is all about opinion. I don't mind if yours differs from mine. Nor should you.

I wish all my readers a Happy Easter, Passover, Ramadan or whatever. I just ask that you remember that you weren't there (nor was I), and therefore neither of us can have a truly informed opinion.


More gore, soon.

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