Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Loster Gospel of Judas

SCENE 1: Jesus dialogues with his disciples: The prayer of thanksgiving or the eucharist

One day he was with his disciples in Judea, and he found them gathered together and seated in pious observance. When he came to his disciples, gathered together and seated and offering a prayer of thanksgiving over the bread, he laughed. The disciples said to him, “Master, why are you laughing at our prayer of thanksgiving? We have done what is right.”

He answered and said to them, “I am not laughing at you. You are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that your god will be praised.” They said, “Master, you are the son of our god.”

Jesus said to them, “How do you know me? Truly I say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me.

Jesus Speaks with Judas Privately

-Hey, uh thanks for -uh, going along with this

-For you Jesus, anything

-Yeah, well, I mean -Heh, it was kinda funny at dinner, wasn’t it

-Yes, Jesus, it was pretty funny

-I mean everybody freaked -and then, you know, everybody starts looking at Thomas and he’s like “Not me, man!”

(they laugh)

-Ha, ha, ha... (sighs). Judas, what are we doing?

-I don’t know, Master.

-Don’t start with that. Not you. (Pause) Man, can you believe it, those guys are still eating. And talking. And tripping off what I said. Where did I find these people? I mean, they’re so literal. I mean you try and explain something with a parable and and figure of speech and they just run it into the ground. I mean, I keep telling people "I-am-the-Son-of-Man."


-Judas, do you know -if the nails go through the wrists or the palms?

-I don’t know, Jesus.

-Man, nobody knows, I was asking at dinner -in a general way -and nobody knew -well, Peter, but what the hell does that guy know? He thinks he knows everything... Maybe I haven’t really thought this thing through... is it asphyxia that kills you?

-I think you die from just being, like, nailed there for a couple of days. Sometimes they break your legs.

-My legs?

-You must be strong, Jesus. For all of us.

-Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. What would I do without you, man? Seems kinda extreme though... Man, it is so weird knowing that you’re going to die. Horribly. I mean we all know we’re going to die, but man. I mean, it really makes your head go places.

-Yes, Jesus.

-Like I’ve been thinking about all kinds of things, Judas, things I never had a chance to talk about, even as a teacher. I’m free in a way. I mean, I’m gonna be dead soon, who’s gonna really care about what I really think.

-People will care Jesus. You can tell me.

- Well Judas, I’ve never told anyone this, but ...I think if a man and another man, well let’s say they’ve been partaking of drink, but if they share experiences, I don’t think it automatically makes them sodomites.

-I don’t follow you, Jesus, what are you talking about?

-Gay, Judas, I don’t think it makes them gay.


-I mean I think it’s kind of normal. Just to be a little curious.

-But Jesus, what about men who only ...experience other men

-Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re getting at. But what the hell, you know, when you really think about it, who the hell cares? I mean maybe that’s just the crucifix talking, but what’s the big deal. It’s not like they’re hurting anybody. People shouldn’t be so obsessed with what other people are doing. But nobody sees it this way, they’re always running to get their frickin’ rocks.

-I remember, Jesus.

-I mean the same goes from women who like women. I mean who hasn’t thought about that? Everybody wins there, as far as I’m concerned. Hell, we might as well let these people get married for all I care. I mean I love weddings, everybody loves weddings, right?

-Yes, Jesus.

-And rainbows, Judas, don’t forget that I love rainbows. Hell, if somebody wants to get married to his dog or a table, let him. There’s too many single dogs and tables, you know what I’m saying.

-Not really, Jesus.

-I mean, what is marriage anyway? Nobody has sex after they’re married anyway, so there’s nothing to be upset about. A bunch of guys, a dog and a table all sitting around bitching at each other, nobody getting laid -sounds like an evening at home.

-It is true, Jesus.

-Also, if a man or woman wants to get it on with someone after their dead, I don’t see a problem with it. I mean, they’re dead, right?


-I mean, sure, it’s a weird thought, but knowing I’m going to die, slowly and painfully --well, my head is going all over the place. I mean this isn’t my thing and all, and I don’t really necessarily want anybody to, you know ...but if someone did they should, like, tell someone, or ...It would be best if people wrote down that sort of thing, if they wanted it or not, had like a permission slip or something...

-So, there should be written permission to...

-On the other hand, dead is dead, y’know? Why should anybody really care? -Judas, you don’t seem to be writing any of this down.

-I will, Jesus, I will. I’m just thinking about what you said.

-Well don’t think about it too much, buddy, I mean I just say what’s on the top of my head, Lord knows. You know me. (sighs)

I would really hate it if, you know, this whole thing, this thing we’re trying to do turned into like a, a franchise with people putting my name on stuff and making a ton of dough and misquoting me. Or arguing or fighting because of me. That would be about the worst thing I could possibly imagine. Except maybe being nailed to a piece of wood and being left to die.


No, this other thing might last longer and I'd really hate that. I’d like what we do to be a small thing, for people who really care about the things I talked about. They would just meet in little groups and help people out. No one would notice them. Nobody would ever hear of them. But, in a quiet, gentle way they would make things better. They would never speak of themselves, or try to convince anyone of anything. They would just be happy being themselves. People who wanted to could join. It would never make any money, but it would make me so happy. Hey speaking of which, did we get that t-shirt made?

-Uh, what t-shirt?

-The t-shirt I was going to wear when they hang me up there that says very clearly in bold black letters: “LOVE ONE ANOTHER, DON’T BE OBSESSED WITH THE LETTER OF THE LAW, BE REALLY TOLERANT AND OPEN AND DON’T GET ALL HUNG UP AND WEIRD ABOUT ME. LOVE, JESUS”.

-Yeah, I remember you talking about that, but we weren’t sure if whether to put it in Aramaic or Latin.

-Couldn’t it be both?

-Do you want people quoting you in Latin?

-Look, what’s the difference? This is what I’m always telling you people! “Is it kosher this, is it kosher that?” blah, blah, blah...

-Well, Jesus, I don’t think they let you wear your own t-shirt up there anyway.

-So they give you a t-shirt?

-No, they just ...they strip you and stick you up there.

-What, naked?

-Not exactly naked

-It’s cold at night, Judas... Oh, man, I have not thought this through...

Oh what the hell, it’s the thought that counts, it’s not like people are going to really care or fight a war over what I said or anything. (Sigh) You know, Judas, there’s some things I still haven’t figured out.


-Yeah, I mean, life is, life is really something. God is really something. I don’t know if I even really believe in God, I mean what does it mean to “believe in God”? Oh, don’t look shocked, I expect that from the others, but not from you. That’s why I like to talk to you. That’s why I need to talk to you. That’s why I picked you. Does it even make sense to say “God is the most important thing”? Like there could be a list of priorities? Or, like the other day, when that woman miscarried and what’s his name kept saying “Master shall we not pray for the soul of the woman and her unborn child?” and we all did, but then I started thinking: what is human life, anyway? What has a soul and what doesn’t?

-What is the answer, Master?

-I have no idea. I really hadn’t thought about it before. I mean, obviously, a baby has a soul, but I mean I’m not a doctor or anything. I’m not sure that would settle anything either.


Still talking. I’m gonna have to do this thing because after tonight I’m broke. Those guys drank all my money. (Sigh)

Look, I know a lot of what I’ve can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I mean I just get an idea and I kinda want to see where it goes. And if people get offended -well, what are they going to do re-crucify me? Anyway, it occurs to me that even “Love one another” is a little ambiguous, so I’ll try a different approach. There are three things I hate, Judas, can you remember three things?

-Yes, Jesus.

-Just three things Jesus hates, just tell people that, if anybody ever asks, “What was that guy you were always banging with, what was he really all about?” Just tell them I hated these three things.

-Okay, Jesus, what are the three things?

-Ignorance, intolerance and self-righteousness That’s it. And I’m outta here.

-Wait, Jesus, please...

-Yes, old friend?

-I have heard what you said. And I will report it faithfully on my honor. But I’m afraid that after tonight, -well after tomorrow -I’m afraid nobody’s going to believe me.

-What are you talking about? You’re Judas. I frickin’ love you, man.

now eat your Peeps

NUMBER 57, WEEK 44; WORD COUNT: 49,628

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Bride of Chocula Stripped Bare

...the most important meal of the accursed day

Owing to my recent success in reviewing Newton’s alchemy and my work in emergent genres, General Mills’ advanced
CARPA Expermental Marketing Division reecently asked me to sit in on a “catalysistic synergy session” concerning new cereals for extreme narrow band emergent demographics (XNARROWBED). Though “all intellectual property rights to notes, images, exchanges (verbal, or written) and experiences” are entirely retained by the General Mills Corporation, and, strictly speaking, we are not supposed to release any information, I have decided to reproduce my notes here as some of this material is already out on the web and my suggestions in particular were universally classed as “thinking endpoints”, so I do not believe that any of them will be employed, adopted or any way enter into production.

First of all, it’s a dark cereal. And when I say, dark, I mean DARK. It’s way darker than Count Chocula. It turns the milk black and ideally, little things that you didn’t know were in the cereal come floating to the top, like dead rats after a flood. It's like having a bowl of toner; when the spoon goes in you can’t see it. When kids show each other their tongues, they’re black and cold, like they’ve been dead a long, long time.

This is the sort of cereal that David Bowie would eat if David Bowie ate anything.

What should it taste like? Ashes. Mildew. Very faint traces of old, papery flowers. The mildew is important, because Bride of Count Chocula as a signifier is never really fresh, yet never really old. It’s ageless, like dried bones are ageless. In fact, can it have dried bones? Not like you don’t use them anyway in Sugar Crisp -yeah, right, tell me why there’s a bear on the cover.

I know you’re thinking of the Elvira thing for the cover: forget it: your cereal will look like an off brand of dildos and get pulled from the shelves in a week. Think Wednesday, the little girl in the Adams Family. It will fit better next to Chex and at the same time, it is infinitely more disturbing in its ramifications. In fact, I think there should be several Brides of Count Chocula. Because he’s that kind of guy. Sure whatever, I’m sure that the Bride of Frankenberry becomes Mrs. Frankenberry (or does she?), but I’m telling you, Chocula ain’t like that. He’s got like a stack of coffins, each with a different beautiful village girl, each with a different moral failing that let him in. Check the novel, or the movies. And he’s still looking for that perfect bride. This is all implied in the cereal.

So each Bride is different. One is blonde: this one tastes like stale cornflakes. One has brown eyes and a long neck and tastes faintly of pepper. Another is has sanguine red hair: It tastes like grape nuts and wine. But the best one has the deadest eyes and curly black locks. It tastes of nettles. It cuts your tounge. It’s got fiberglass like Skoal.

On the back of the box there is a mirror; kids watch as their reflection grows fainter and fainter as they consume the Blood of the Bride of Count Chocula -Count Chocula’s Bride Blood Feast -yes I’m going with that -they slurp up the cereal and their image vanishes as their soul withers away. I don’t know how it’s done. Something with mylar or computers, or their souls withering away.

It opens with a creak, and agonizing creak: this cereal is not going to give up its secrets easily. It’s the only cereal that does that, because it’s the only cereal that comes in a coffin shape. Because it’s the only cereal that comes in an actual wooden coffin from Romania. Like for a baby.

You want something that people are going to remember? Or do want some crap like “Yummy Mummy”, “Sir Grapefellow” or “Waldo the Wizard” that no one is going to remember? The Quaker Oats guy? Yeah , everyone remembers him. Trust me, people grow up just to get away from that guy. They stop eating breakfast entirely and starting lighting up and having a cup of black coffee, just get away from the complacent face of the Society of Friends.

This is sort of cereal people will scratch into their arm. This the sort of product that will be the only thing that somebody eats for a week before they shoot the president. This is the sort of cereal that will replace stolen eucharist at the Black Sabbath. This is the ceral that DEA agents are crunching underfoot when they raid Meth labs. Brand loyalty? This is like Fugazi or David Koresh. People won’t buy or steal anything else. Because they know they’re already dead, but cannot die.

NUMBER 56, WEEK 43; WORD COUNT: 47,922