I must say this…not everything I read is for the purpose of learning. I read to read, I read to laugh, I read because I love seeing what the world looks like through the eyes of other people, I read because I love to see what other people can conjure up in their own imagination, I read to see what my imagination conjures up through the input of other people’s writing, I love to read because there has always been something in every book of fact or fiction that I did not know before…even if it is a word that is unfamiliar that makes me dig out my dictionary, every book teaches me something. That is what keeps me reading. If I were to go blind tomorrow I would be thankful for braille and books on CD, and MP3. Blindness would not stop me from “reading” it would only stop me from reading with my eyes. Reading, to me, is second to breathing (and any other functions needed to live such as eating and hydration).
I am usually reading more than one book at a time. One of the books I am currently reading is a book called Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. One reviewer said that “Some will no doubt call it foul, blasphemous and sacrilegious. Those people need to learn to appreciate a good joke.” I totally agree with him.
I am going to share two excerpts from the book which I think show both the humor that the author is going for and what the author portrays to be the qualities of what Christ may have been like as a child/young man:
First…the funny (beware…there is some colorful language in this book):
To get this, you have to understand that in the book “Biff” is brought back to life into current day by an angel so that he can write his “gospel” and is being forced to stay at a hotel and guarded by said angel until he completes his writings. He is fascinated at how long people live these days. Here is the excerpt that made me laugh the longest so far: (I have done some censoring of the words)
“If I do manage to escape the angel, I’m not going to be able to make my living as a professional mourner, not if you people don’t have the courtesy to die. Just as well, I suppose, I’d have to learn all new dirges. I’ve tried to get the angel to watch MTV so I can learn the vocabulary of your music, but even with the gift of tongues, I’m having trouble learning to speak hip-hop. Why is it that one can busta rhyme or busta move anywhere but you must busta cap in someones a$$? Is”ho” always feminine, and “muthaf**ka” always masculine, while “b**ch can be either? How many peeps in a posse, how much booty before baby got back, do you have to be all that to get all up in that, and do I need to be dope and phat to be da bomb or can I just be “stupid”? I’ll not be singing over any dead mothers until I understand.”
Now on a totally different note, what may be just as interesting as the author’s sense of humor is that that I think Christopher Moore did some serious study of the bible and the history and culture of the bible as well. Again, it is a work of fiction, but really, I would love for a bible scholar to read this and write about the historical and cultural accuracy of the details in the book. However…his assumption of what Christ’s personality must have been like as he was discovering how to BE the Messiah is very refreshing.
To set this up I will simply say that this is from Biff’s “gospel” in which he and Jesus have visited, by this point, two of the three wise men who came to witness Christ’s birth. (By the way, Biff calls Jesus “Joshua” saying that it is the closest translation to his Hebrew name)
Joshua reached across the table and took the old man’s hand. “You drill us every day in the same movements, we practice the same brush strokes over and over and over, we chant the same mantras, why? So that these actions will become natural, spontaneous, without being diluted by thought right?”
“Yes” said Gaspar
“Compassion is the same way” said Joshua. “That’s what the yeti knew. He loved constantly, instantly, spontaneously, without thought or words. That’s what he taught me. Love is not something you think about, it is a state in which you dwell. That was his gift”
“Wow,” I said
Yeah, I read that and thought “Wow” and so I blog…