On Noah’s Ark

I have an itch to stick with this whole Noah’s Arc thing, since the story had a lot to do with me repudiating Christianity at a fairly young age. Having never received any religious indoctrination from my parents or grandparents, either positive or negative, I suppose it could be said I had a pretty open mind about the whole affair. I remember in grade 2, talking with kids in my class about going to church, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I asked my dad if I could go to church with some kid’s family and he said that was fine, so long as I didn’t ever expect him to go. However, when I learned that I would need to be picked up at 8 in the morning, I bailed on the whole thing. Getting up at 7 on a weekend for church? Fuck that. That is just uncivilized.

It was around that same time, when I was about seven or eight years old, that I had my first run in with old Noah. My mother was involved with some kind of hippyesque commune in a big-ass used bookstore downtown, where my sister and I would go to play with all the other hippy spawn in a mostly unsupervised free-for-all. Those were pretty awesome times. At some point we were told that, if we were interested, a lady was going to come to read stories to us. I was always down for stories, so bring it on, lady!

Unfortunately, the lady pissed me off right from the get go since she wasn’t making with the stories properly. It turned out this was the first step of some kind of Christian indoctrination, where they tell you all the pretty Bible stories. She had all these fascinating picture books, with Roman legionaries, giants, and pyramids and shit, but she was sitting there yakking on about fuckin dogma. Make with the stories, bitch! I remember thinking that if I could just get my hands on one of those story books for myself, I could cut that cunt loose. Man, she was pissing me off!

I had already pretty well sussed out by that point that adults bearing reading materials were almost always full of shit. Holding that shit up like some kind of talisman, while they piss in your ear about this or that. When I learned how to read for myself, about 90% of the adults in my life ceased to be necessary. Shut the fuck up, leave the reading material with me, and fuck off already; I’ll get back to you when I need some more.

Anyway, Christian-storyteller-lady finishes with her preamble and trots out Noah’s Arc. Oooo, look at all those cute animals lining up to get on the arc, nice as can be! Doesn’t it look cosy inside? Isn’t it lovely?

Whoa. Whoa! Hold up, lady. I’m still processing that bit right at the start, can we go back to that? Yeah, that bit where God got mad and decided to kill everyone. I know they were wicked, you said that already. How were they wicked? Just bad, huh. What did they do, exactly? What about their kids? Were they wicked too? The babies? What about all the animals that couldn’t get on the boat. Just, fuck them? If my parents are wicked, which I know they are by your standards, does that mean I’m fair game for God to murder me whenever he gets into another fit of spleen?

The parable/historical fact of Noah’s Arc is a such lightning rod because the story is so fucking stupid. It belongs in a kids’ storybook alongside Hansel and Grettle and the Gingerbread Man. The only reason that I can see why Christians don’t quietly hit the whole episode in the back of the head with a sledgehammer and bury it out behind the shed (along with such gems as stoning your daughter to death for premarital sex and David collecting hundreds of Philistine foreskins as kill trophies for the king) is that the imagery seems to make for such compelling propaganda for kids. It is a lovely image, all those animals on a big, cozy boat. With the Patriarch at the tiller while the rain lashes down outside.

Critics tend to focus on the impossibility of the whole story, and that is fun. It’s fun baiting cretinous fundamentalists; forcing them to double-down on their moronic horseshit. But from a kid’s perspective that kind of nonsense isn’t a deal-breaker. We’re reading stories about talking animals and all manner of magical stuff. A tardis boat isn’t a big stretch. It’s the heart of the story that’s important; the message that it is intended to impart.

And just what is that message again?

God gets mad and kills everyone. Everyone. Children and babies and kitty-cats and doggies are all punished for the sins of others, regardless of their own behavior. They all die and there aint shit they can do about it. Noah watches them drown. Because fuck them, that’s why.

Now, stop asking questions, submit, and blindly accept what I’m telling you. Not because it makes sense, but because I say so. You want I should rain a flood down on your ass?

Bible Stories For Today’s Youth

Noah’s Ark

So one day God was all like, “Yo, Noah, this shit is fuckin whack now. Imma flood this bitch out and kill all these trifling hos.”

So, like, Noah was all, “Dooood, that is a serious bummer, man. Can’t you just, like, stomp the worst of them bitches out and let all the kids and babies live? I mean, like, they’re all innocent and shit, right?”

And God was all, “Shut the fuck up, bitch! Are you my ho or are you a dead ho? That’s what I thought, slut. Imma kill every motherfucker on Earth, babies and kids and all. I made this cocksucker, so I can flex on it when I want. But we cool, cause you give it up just how I like it, slut. Now, what I want you to do is build a big motherfuckin boat and put your family and two of every animal on it, so’s you can repopulate this bitch once I’m done fuckin it up.”

So, Noah’s all like WOAH! God must be tweaking on some wicked ass shit. But he can’t even. So he’s like, “God, you the man! That’s shit’s the bomb! But you sure it’s possible to put two of every animal in one boat? I mean, we haven’t even invented a number for how many different kinds of animals there are. And isn’t it gonna get all fucked up when the animals have to start fuckin their sisters and shit? And my grandkids have to marry their cousins? I mean, that’s a bit off, aint it? I ask with straight up respect, Lord.”

So God’s all like, “Oh no you didn’t! You didn’t just question my all powerful might and shit! Bitch, I am God up in this motherfucker. This shit works because I say it does. Watching animals fuck their sisters is what busts my nut these days. That shit is off the hook! Your boat best be fuckin rockin when I come a knockin. You hear me? Now get on it, slut, before I decide to replace alls you with some six tittied ape bitch that can fuck itself with its tail. I’m not even joking, son. In fact, Imma whip some of them sluts up on Mars to see how I like it. You don’t even know what that shit means, yer such a stupid shit. Just get on making me my incest animal bangboat and I’ll check in later. Peace!”

And so it was. That’s just how God rolls.

Fleecing Weeaboos: The New Art of the Samurai

I was watching NHK World News a while back and came across a pretty sweet nugget. NHK is basically Japan’s CBC, but with the suck turned way down. Their World News cable network is pretty good. They run through the same stories for ten or fifteen minutes on the hour, with full news broadcasts at certain times, and otherwise run NHK educational and cultural programs that have been dubbed into English. As a bonus, the news is actually very good. International with a slight Asian focus. Just the big international stories without all the star fucking and 24-hour news cycle hysteria of American outlets and BBC.

Anyway, they had this little show about some special dojo that’s operating up in the mountains in Japan someplace, where foreigners come to learn the “true art of the Samurai.” Smelling a rat right off, I settle in for a good show. I have been made aware of this trend in Japan, in particular with “Ninja schools” which claim to teach the secret arts of Ninjitsu. Basically, they are foreign Ninja fanboy fleecing stations and are almost universally regarded as a total joke by the Japanese who are aware of them.

Oh, so you’re a ninja, huh? So you’re an Edo era spy? That’s an impressive temporal feat, I have to say.

Anyway, back to the art of the Samurai. So the camera pans into this incredibly scenic mountain home, with the zen garden and Shinto shrine. Sure enough, there are glazed looking foreign men all over the property: scrubbing cobblestones, sweeping up, and no doubt detailing sensei’s Mercedes whether it needs it or not. Then we go into the dojo, where a bunch of students in really cool looking, pseudo kendo outfits, are going through their katas with real katana.

There must have been 12 of these guys (not an Asian among them), paired up, pretending to sword fight in slow motion in a room about twice the size of a boxing ring. In a space that size there wouldn’t be room to have a proper dance class with that many people, and these guys are training sword fighting there?

I’m thinking this must be some kind of prep, but no. The narrator explains that only the senior students may participate in this training, with real katana, after several years of “rigorous training and philosophical preparation.” So this routine is the culmination of their art. This is what they aspire to do.

Then we get a one on one interview with one of the senior students. Turns out he’s in Japan doing his PHD on kabuki (Japanese traditional “opera”). Aha, me thinks. Style over substance all the way with this one; no wonder he has been attracted to this bunch. But boy oh boy, does he ever take the whole samurai thing seriously. I want to grab the guy by his meticulous kimono and tell him: you are aware that the last samurai were all using guns, right? They were soldiers, albiet in a caste, not mystical warriors who farted poetry and flower arrangements.

Finally, we get to Sensei himself. He’s going on about how his great-grandfather was one of the last of the samurai. How his family has handed down and preserved the super secret training scrolls of the art of the katana. Techniques so deadly that they must never be used. That kind of thing.

So, I was thinking, surely if these techniques are so awesome, wouldn’t you be the president of a nationwide school of kendo? I mean, it’s not like that fighting art disappeared. It’s widely practiced in a modified form as a sport. As well, doing katas and cutting bamboo mats with the real swords is a less popular, but not uncommon, martial art.

Ah, but not so fast! Sensei then explains that because his totally authentic techniques are so unbelievably, terrifyingly dangerous, before students may learn them, they must swear a sacred oath concerning a code of conduct. Rules number one and two are pretty standard: don’t talk about fight club, and don’t teach the technique. Rule number 3 was pure awesome: The practitioner must never, ever, practice the form or spar with people using other styles.

AHA! Of course. It makes so much sense. The style is so deadly that should one of its practitioners actually step into a kendo dojo to test their skills in a practical arena, they would surely kill the hapless fool who stepped before them; practice swords and pads notwithstanding.

At this point, I could only wonder which of the lucky adepts were given the great honor of tending to sensei’s daily full release massage.

One of the things I really like about the Japanese was exemplified so beautifully by how the whole little documentary was presented. Totally earnest. They let the participants tell it themselves, without any commentary calling any of it out. But edited so proficiently as to leave no question as to what is going on; it may as well have been a fucking torpedo. Truly good stuff. Artful subtlety with a unerring death blow. Now there’s your ninja at work.