Maher Show in Review/The Jewish Jesus Issue

All elegantly put.

Re my own writing, you must have noticed over the years that I write in a kind of
instacontemperaneous stream of consciousness. Six sentences down the page
is a complete new moment. Specially with the pace of things these days.
The spinning writing style is due to the many inspirations and amazements
of contemporary reality. There’s never been so much information. I feel like
Ive really quite literally had a concussion from the coverage of the earthquake tsunami exceeding the limits, and to combine it with Libya’s wreckless mania and dread …and the rest of reality is all cast loose like the planets. It’s like a long tube lens of shock incorporating all else that bangs around in the mind – the leafs’ depressing playoff charge, the amazing articulations of american politics from bill maher show – if you can find such things online or in another source, the friday mar 18 show, tonight, courtesy my free preview of rogers tmn hbo etcet, is maher always that good? His hilarious presentation of the republican agenda in the states, so startlingly apt, as a litany of ludicrous distractions. So true, so outrageous, and for actually working with voters the incredulity is huge. So much stuff, anyhow. Maher had as first guest Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. with whom he shares the not totally rare but infrequent Jewish mother/Catholic father, a category Toronto’s Michael Coren also shares, for myself at least, all three this week revealing this. At one point Oren explains that because Maher’s mother is Jewish he is considered Jewish, and Maher says “Don’t I get to choose,” and explains that he doesn’t like religion. It’s like the apocalypse having all above such talk reeling across the dial and with commonplace profanity mixed in. Some of it dips to the more obvious: Maher summed up with the idea that republicans were morons and democrats were pussies but that when there was an international disaster all americans managed to come together behave like moron pussies. Not that I’m trying to bring hbo language values to lights’ Times Roman shores, I’m just quoting it qua its context. Where is the old serious republican version of the uptight heavies? How do Americans survive the madness of it? Maher wrapped up concluding that trying to deal with real problems in a serious adult way in america with republicans on the scene was like rooming with a meth addict.
There is seriousness in it all, but it’s not easy for it all to not play like crazed humour. Which in my writing context with the mixture of intensities of content and the stream of consciousness tendencies, makes it pretty combustible. But it is that combustible for me, so it seems natural to go with it.
In a way it’s very helpful that by fluke of timings in our correspondence, you took my comments of the theft of the Jewish religion by so called Christianity as if I was saying it to blame you! I understand that for all the beginnings of Christianity, and the hellish years with the crusades and witch hunts, that at the same time much of what is good in humanity also filled out the sails of the ‘religion’ as with the others. Until this past century people usually didn’t have a choice. Everyone was ostensibly the religion of their culture, depending where born. From intellectuals to jailbirds and grammas to servants. You live in a Christian culture or Muslim one and so on – most countries have always had some subgroups and with the better societies the more the merrier infusing the genuinely splendid diversity of Toronto where we really are all torontonians, for what good it does us!
I suppose I bring my ‘theft of relligion’ allegation here because I am accustomed
to your broad impartial historical open mindedness, and audibility of diverse points of view. It’s not a blame game, the culprits are about 4 billion people since the 300s and Constantinople. The core of the culture by any definition that I grew up in. I went to Sunday School and all the rest of it, til I managed to stir up a rebellion in my family. My Dad’s family are direct from Northern England where Grampa was an orphan introduced to child labour without choice at age 9, and only free to leave the unpaid (for him) job when he was of age, when he came to Canada. Gramma was also from the north, but coalminers, and religiously protestant. Grampa hated all of it, England, the past, religion, and the obdurate responsibilities of parenthood. He spent his evenings with his mates in those dungeon like meeting places of the hamilton protestant working class, while gramma ran the house basically on her own.
But there they were, the Christians. Grampa was interested in little but making money and expressing his anger and power, now that he had his own plumbing business. And Gramma had genuine issues with all things not protestant conservative. Imagine, this gem of female talent and power living her whole life poor suppressed under the weight of grampa’s hegemonic male plumbers income. She hated liberals, and thought the ndp were so funny she could hardly imagine. She was crazy, mostly from being mostly deaf but not acknowledging it, and nearly blind. But she raised six very substantial kids and outlived the old man, celebrating his funeral. She was genuinely happy about it, really was. And for all this the pious sense of being Christian, the only right way. My Dad was all but atheist, entirely intellectual, reading 16 500 page books if wanted to look into something, to be sure and have all the different takes on it. Gramma’s simple belief in penmanship and the importance of reading and writing spawned all that. His 16 years with the library were the most natural form a person’s life could take. So when I fiercely objected to the red faced raging fire and brimstone protestant priest at the church we wound up in moncton, new brunswick (where our family really wasn’t from, though it is where i was born) the deal came down that my dad and me would go birdwatching and exploring or building things and my brother and mother would go to church and my sister could choose whether to come with us atheists or go with my mum and brother to church. (My mother’s mostly agnostic but a fervent believer in getting the whole package then seeing what you like. So for her missing out on church would have been being left ignorant, even if you didn’t believe in god, you should at least know. “This is what everyone else believes, so you’d better know what it is.” So I don’t bring up the theft of religion notion to blame. People are winging along in their existences, more than anything. Moreso I’m applying to your legal mind. It is not plain? Religions had been previously either dazzling light shows of power, bizarre explanations for lunatic status quo, being it 90 million slaves building the pyramids or Romans global slash and burn. The monotheism and historicism and constant accumulation of knowledge in the Jewish Bible, if admittedly originating in Moses’ hallucinations, is a fine fine work and explicitly what it is, the book is pretty much the point. And the so called christians come along and say this version of Book is like the previous part of our religion. Ultimately these days I think like an artist/author rather than as a citizen or soul, so I may weigh things more to authorial rights than historical precedent, and at the same time, if 60 or so people collaborate on a book project and someone else comes along, in writer circles, and writes a novel
with the collaborations of those 60 as the prelogue, as collaborators
the collaboratars would partly think alright thats cool, we gave up authorial privilege when we agreed to collaborate open endedly together across 1000s of years. Still though, this is religion, not some anarchist art project.
The ‘old testament” isn’t the christian old testament,
it’s a strange strange rewrite of someone else’s Religion!
If christians even respect religion, they have to admit
the old testament is a modified Jewish religious text.
It starts to feel like one of the grand moot points of a closing eternity,
but also so obvious. I was probably too speedy in the previous version,
but how in what imaginable sense, is this not the case?
And how blame not the romans but ‘the jews’ for killing jesus
without giving jewish jesus the right not be blamed for killing himself?
Jesus was Jewish, so how blame the Jews? It might seem some moot point now
it is time for christians to let Jesus be Jewish.
Certainly not casting blame… Just hoping you’ll agree and help!

I was __,_._,___


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