October 20, 2008A Letter to and response from Joe Bageant.
I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican. I hail from the great state of Vermont, with our independent Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the few sane voices in Washington. I am going to vote for Obama. There is no choice as far as I see.
Well, I made a deal with the devil last week while cutting hair in prison. Seems all the heroin addicts that have found Jesus are voting for McCain (yes, they can vote). Tormented by the fact that I am an atheist, and on my way to hell, they agreed to watch the debates with an open mind towards Obama if I in turn would read the Bible. Ha, I of course, was thinking Wine Lovers Bible, or Poisonwood Bible, or my mom's great Gardening Bible.
I am convinced they will all have changed their minds, and vote for Obama, seeing as my soul is at stake here. What do ya think? A new strategy for the left?
What are we talkin' here? How much of the Bible do you have to read? Even though the King James Version is easily among the top five achievements in English literature, it's quite a slog. It starts out like 2001 Space Odyssey, but then takes a dive into the begatting and doesn't pick up until the real killing starts. That's around Judges 19, when the Levite of Ephraim put his concubine out on the street to several hundred "lawless wildmen" in Gibeah. When she returned he then cut her up into 12 pieces and sent them out across Israel. Meanwhile, the Israelis, true to form, mobilized a force of 40,000 men to kick the wildmen's asses, and ...
Anyway, nobody but masochist zealots have actually read the entire Bible intently. Most who have read the entire Bible were asleep though 90% of it. And of those who did not sleep though it, no two ever got the same message from it. Which is the whole point of the Bible, arguing about it. So, overall, I'd say you're safe. Hell, I make up stuff that ain't in the Bible at all and have seldom been challenged (For instance, "The Holy Rod of Streptococcus"). And if challenged, you can always say, "I am of course referring to the High Correspondence to the Beza 1589 edition containing the original Textus Receptus." And if they cock an eye toward you and you suspect they are getting wise, you can accuse them of "anti-sacramental neo-gnostic theology, and refusal to recognize the clear trajectory of salvational history." And while they are thinking to themselves, "Whut the fuck?", you can storm off in a pious huff.
Bottom line: You could get away with reading Genesis, John and Revelation, the only parts anyone seems to remember anything about. That way, you manage to fuck over the devil with whom you've made a deal by giving him back most of the deal in change (unread portions.)
As to our inmates, well, you are a barber, and barbers always have the opportunity for revenge, don't they?
In art and labor,
PS: It might be good to tell fellow readers that Nancy is not an inmate (yet, but we do not know what Homeland Security has on our fair barberette, do we?). She is a community volunteer.