Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lost in the rain and it's Easter Time too

This time of year was always a favorite of mine. The earth awakens, trees and flowers bloom. And, in my day, new Hollywood Spectaculars would be released, and the old ones would be shown on tv, free but for the price of a television set.  Now, you have to pay for cable, and then pay extra, to see those movies. At least in this case, we sold that part of our heritage to an American. Wonderful movies - the silent "King of Kings' in which Christ is first seen through the healing eyes of a blind man, and in which scenes of the resurrection turned from black and white to early Technicolor. Hmmmm. The 1934 Cleopatra. Or "The Sign of the Cross", a DeMille pic about which one critic wrote, "Preposterous, but the laughter dies upon the lips". Or, towards the end of the swords and sandals roadshows, an extravaganza called "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Tons of movie stars in bit parts. My favorite was John Wayne as the centurion who gets to say "Truly, this was the Son of God."

It's still the same old story...

When I was 10, "The King of Kings" was released. Directed by Nicholas Ray, its rebel with a cause was portrayed by young and handsome Jeffrey Hunter, who would later grow up to be better known as Captain Christopher Pike. Hunter was so young and beautiful that wags referred to the movie as "I was a teen age Jesus".

In this version, Barabbas and Judas were freedom fighters - the Jews were revolting. Against the Empire. The adult Jesus is first seen as He is baptised and a heavenly choir hums Miklos Roza's score, some of the best Holy music ever written.

This has been an awful Holy week. On Palm Sunday, as I was writing my blog entry, the Brooks House here in Brattleboro was petty much destroyed by fire and water. Everyone is safe. The facade is safe. But the lives the building's residents had created are gone. Also gone is the Community Radio station, whose studio was in the Brooks. I can't listen to most radio anymore, it's full of jingles, bleeps, buzzes, adverts and inanity. A cacophony of noise. Babel. And people who babble on.

Where I work, there is an ever present drone (audio not video). Kids screaming, cash registers ringing, distorted audio announcements, the sound of a hundred carpenters hammering. Do you know any carpenters? No, not them. Real folks. If they're any good at all, they're bringing in 30 some dollars an hour and oh, say, $70,000.00 per year. The average carpenter brought in $ 42,000.00 per year in 2008. Not exactly poor. A number of carpenters around here are woodworking artistes. Can you imagine having the time to carve even something simple, like a duck? Ever wonder how much Joseph, Jesus' human daddy made? Let's face it, a lot of things start to make sense if you think of Jesus as a trust fund baby. Just remember, the wise men who came to Bethlehem were from the East. The oil rich countries.

Jesus healed the sick, the blind, the lame, the crazy. At times, He was just a healing fool. And the medical and insurance industries got really bent out of shape about it. (Ominous music) He was changing the paradigm, he was dangerous. Something would have to be done. And what does this all wise holy man do? He heads right into his enemies city stronghold! Jes-us Christ! And along the way he made a stop to raise Lazarus from the dead. Beatitudeiful.

Have you ever noticed that Christ's preaching about giving is addressed to the rich and middle classes? He tells the poor to believe and they shall inherit the earth. i.e. dust, dirt. The poor will also inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Where exactly is that? It's in your heart. In other words, He isn't providing help to the poor, but is all for giving them something to believe in. Uh, huh. To keep them quiet. He is going off to His Daddy's house, the poor will remain. Always. Umm hummph. The rich are poor in Spirit, but are certainly getting everything else. The poor are strong in heart - they have to be. Otherwise, they wouldn't get thru lives of bleak emptiness. By working hard, and giving unto Caesar, they get pie in the sky.

 And if it's like everything else, the rich get lemon meringue while the poor get pot pie and 40 hours a week if they have a good union and can find a job that, being part time, hasn't already been taken by a trust funder. And those who don't work hard? They get damned to hell and eternal suffering. You don't get to die and find peace. 
Lazarus doesn't get a chance to die either. He'd already done that. He's out there somewhere, wandering around. Waiting.

I have heard that he started the Templars, who in turn started the Masons. And when the Templars were hunted down and killed, neither Lazarus nor the Templar fortune were to be found. Last I heard he got a job as an Easter Bunny at a mall, still plotting to take back and reestablish the Templar glory, a new world ordering of things. But beyond that I haven't heard much. Happy Easter, folks.