Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get Yer Free Blasphemy Here

So, it's that time of the year when my thoughts turn to little baby Jesus being born in Bethlehem, destined for slaughter as the ultimate sacrificial lamb so that his flock of followers can all bleat triumphantly about being "washed clean" in his blood. Sorry if I sound a bit scorful here, but that whole idea of nailing an anointed victim to a cross as a scapegoat (scapelamb?) so we all can have our "Get out of Hell free" cards --yeah, dude, that's sooooo fucking righteous. Me, I'm with Heraclitus. As far as I'm concerned, to poetically paraphrase one of that Greek philosopher's surviving fragments, these "Initiates all defiled, they try in vain / To purify themselves, bathing in blood, / As, after stepping down into the sewer, / They thought to wash their feet in mud." But, hey, who listens to us heathens and atheists these days? Richard Dawkins, Philip Pullman... these guys are "zealots in their own way", right?

Fuck that shit. Dawkins and Pullman pussy out with their atheist dismissals of the monomaniac's myth; they don't go far enough. Where's Kit Marlowe when you need him? "Jesus was a bastard, his mother was a whore, and John the Baptist was his bedfellow." Now that's what I call dissing the Deus. I mean, there's the scornful blasphemy born of disbelief, but then there's the outright metaphysical moxie of an insult that's willing to suspend disbelief in the cocksucking cuntmunching craven cur of a so-called creator just long enough to call him out for a square go, the blasphemy that tries its damnedest (forgive the pun) to be as bold as it can be, because the story being sold is so pernicious that mere denial ain't enough. It's the blasphemy that says, dude, if you believe this bullshit about sin and salvation, you should be spitting in that fucker's face instead of praying to him, because that "benevolent" bastard makes Cthulhu look compassionate.

OK, so maybe it's just me. Maybe there's just a little schizotypal strand to my psyche that gets a tad grandiose in the face of the religious, a wee bit Antichrist Superstar, Son of Sodom, Satan wants me for a sunbeam, and all that (hey, he is the Bringer-of-Light, after all). When the albeit remote possibilities of wrathful reckonings in response to your anarchist metaphysics include book-burnings, death threats and -- ultimately -- being thrown into the lake of fire on Judgement Day, and your attitude to this is, "BRING IT ON, MOTHERFUCKERS!", I'm willing to admit that this is not entirely sane. When the idea of an attempted assassination by some Westboro Baptist style nutjob is sort of appealing on account of the fact that a healed headwound would be just what you need for them to be sure you were the bona fide Beast of Revelation, well, that's not completely rational, I do confess. When your idea of playing Devil's Advocate means being prosecution attorney in the trial of God for crimes against humanity, it's safe to say we've stepped from the realm of anti-religious argument into that of messianic mission.

But, hey, someone's got to step up and give the devil his due, right?

OK, so maybe I shouldn't have watched the Narnia movies the other night. Maybe I really shouldn't have watched them in close proximity to my viewing of The Golden Compass. And maybe I really shouldn't have watched these film adaptations of Lewis and Pullman just at the time that Escape from Hell! is hitting the shelves, and with Christmas close on the horizon and all. Cause that's exactly the sort of combination of pricks and pokes that'll send a noisy Neo-Gnostic upstart like me back to a certain Krayzee Projekt they've been tinkering with for a long, long time.

See, y'all know Revelation, right? The last book of the New Testament, the one with all the Antichrist and Armageddon gubbins, all the Rapture and wrath of God malarky? You may not have read it, but you're bound to be familiar with its zany eschatological content, even if only by way of horror movies and heavy metal lyrics. Well, if you have read it, you may recall the lines where a curse is laid out on anyone that fucks around with the text. Add to the words of this book, we're told, and that's bad news, baby. Take away from the words of this book, and that's just as bad. We're talking biblical plagues, baby, a pointy reckoning upon anyone who adds to or takes away from the words of this book.

Course, it doesn't say anything about changing the order of those words.

So, yeah, strictly speaking, by the letter of the law, there's nothing at all wrong with a cut-up and fold-in rewrite of Revelation in which God is the bad guy, is there? Shit, isn't that injunction almost inviting an exploitation of the loophole? Isn't it almost like that one little path through the small print is left open precisely because it's meant to be taken? Isn't it all just a little suggestive that the secret is there to be revealed in this most inscrutable of prophecies, if one is only willing to... think outside the box, so to speak? No? No?

And so, here at the Geek Show, that's what I've been working on over the last week or two -- a rewrite of every evangelical evil-basher's favourite apocalyptic rantfest, using the exact same words as are in the original (or in the RSV translation, at least,) just splicing and dicing the sentences that they happen to be in. Not one word added, and not one word taken away, and frankly I think my version makes a damn sight more sense, even if I do say so myself. You know, I might even go so far as to say that if you were simply setting out to make sense of that scripture from an objective standpoint, trying to decipher the divine and diabolical delirium of it... well, the contradictions and confusions all click into place if you just adopt a few heretical hypotheses. Shit, the scary thing is you don't even have to change that much to flip the message; even in the original God comes across as a fucking murderous sociopath.

Still, yes, it's a completely nuts thing to do. And, no, you can't really get away from the biblical prose style given the inordinate number of occurences of the word "and", so it's not exactly in the most contemporary idiom. And, yes, the result is pretty much as profane a perversion of the so-called Word of God as you might expect. So, no, it's not the sort of thing most editors are going to touch with a barge pole given the potential to offend. So, with all that in mind, I thought I might as well just post it up as a freebie; and so you'll find it, if you should so desire, in a link to the left, under Fiction Downloads, as "violent eRa". Download and disseminate. Spread the word. If you're damned for it, well, I'll shake your red right hand and buy you a Bloody Mary at the bar at HellCon.

Anyway, it's there to be read, if you're so inclined. You're not sure about the whole "spitting in the face of God" thing? You're starting to wonder if THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! has actually finally cracked? Well, think of it as simply a promo give-away tie-in for the release of Escape from Hell!, the Revelation that our heroes might discover, say, were they to dig into the metaphysical underpinnings of their perdition. Think of it as just another fantasy prophecy, a fabricated vision of the End Times from another fold of the multiverse entirely. Think of it as maybe even a hint of what might be to come in Assault on Heaven! or Battle for the Planet of the Dead! (cause, yeah, those are the titles I have in mind for the potential sequels.) Or just think of it as a little AntiChristmas present from Uncle Hal, the Kiddie's Pal, a seasonal gift for the season of giving, a taster of a tale of tribulation, a snack of a story of sin and salvation, to chew on as you raise a glass of mulled wine in a toast to Aleistor and Anton, and try to wash away the bitter aftertaste of the blood of the Lamb.

Peace out, amigos.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But there's nothing in there?! Has a god ripped the interthingie open from a heaven and destroyed his words?

11:04 am  
Blogger paul f cockburn said...

"The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

Is someone being a tad censorious?

1:46 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hmmmm, it should work now, I think.

1:56 pm  
Blogger SeChAt said...

heh. I adore you. This morning I was thinking your thoughts, so to say, like I was yesterday, like I was the day before...bitterness and in-your-face atheism tend to happen when you're a free thinker with the vatican in your country (well, yes, I'm italian. And: sigh). What you managed to do with Revelation, I'll never thank you enough for. See you for that Bloody Mary at the counter of Lucifero. And please, be my guest: I have a reservation there from decades.

8:56 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for Escape From Hell! Got my copy today, love it.. love your writing so I now get to look forward to reading the rewrite of Revelations!

12:43 am  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

And a merry Christmas to you too. :)

And, ah, yes... the full lyrics for the intro to the (as yet unwritten) Ballad of Kit Marlowe were, if I recall correctly (and ye kind of have to imagine this as done by Shane McGowan from The Pogues):

Oh, ye can keep yer Pope
Ye can keep yer Queen
Ye can keep yer fuckin God
Cause he's never done a thing for me
And he's just a fuckin fraud
Cause Jesus was a bastard
And his mother was a whore
And John the Baptist lay with him
And fucked him on the floor
2! 3! 4!

(And I have no idea what music should kick in at that point, except that it should be loud and drunken and involve fiddles.)

2:15 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Satan ABSOLUTELY wants you for a Sunbeam.

I'm not an atheist, by any stretch, but Well said, Sir. Well said.

4:26 pm  

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