February 02, 2008

Lent is Nearly Upon Us: Sacrifice in the Name of Parthenogenic Geckos

Lent starts this Wednesday, which is Ash Wednesday. People will smear ashes on their foreheads and give things up. Some people will give up dessert, some will give up... well... I don't know. When I was growing up, that's what all the Catholic people I knew seemed to give up for Lent every year. Oh, it might get more specific; they might give up chocolate or daquiris, but the sacrifice always seemed to center on sweets with the exception of a couple of people who might give up watching television or, in one case I recall, buying stylish clothes every weekend. Those were the exceptions. It was mostly all about dessert. When I was a little kid, not coming from a Catholic home, I wondered why Jesus was so dead-set against desserts.

I've thought a lot about what I'm going to give up for Lent this year. Here's a hint: it isn't dessert. Nor am I going to smear ashes on my head, nor go to church. I have never attended a church service in my life and don't see any reason to start now.

What I'm giving up for Lent is superstition. I'm letting go of all notions that smearing ashes on my head helps get me into an exclusive afterlife nightclub with a bouncer at the door and the spiritual equivalent of Paris Hilton booooogeying 'til dawn inside. I've never been much of a dancer, anyhow.

I'm giving up belief in any story that involves divinely-induced parthenogenesis unless the subject matter centers upon a shark, helminth or reptile giving birth in such a manner. Eventually, I believe that humanity will come to terms with the fact that virgin births go on all the time, but the product is much more likely to be burrowing through leaf litter or pursuing a school of mackerel than it is to be manufacturing wine from water. Truly, the kingdom of Gecko is spread upon the earth, yet men see it not.

I will push aside all tales that involve rising from the dead wherein the arisen does not quest to consume brains and similar comestibles. People who come back from the dead invariably crave the flesh of the living, after all. That's just the way the world is and it's high time I gave up childish hopes that things could ever be otherwise. When a real resurrection takes place, it looks exactly like this:

I'm surrendering all inclinations to put any stock whatsoever in the words of William Donohue, because he says things like:
Planned Parenthood says it stands for choice. So do serial killers and rapists. Jeffrey Dahmer believed in choice as well.


Ah, his words are sweeter than honey, and surely I cannot ingest them at Lent. Yes, of course rapists stand for choice! Women choose to be raped... didn't you know? Sweet, sweet Bill Donohue, defender of the faith, we shall not spend this Lenten season together.

I will not think for one moment that there is any savior for we humans aside from ourselves. If I am to be saved from the travails of life, I will be the one who comes as the messiah in my own life... with a little help from my friends, of course. In the words of a poet of old:
Swung from a chandelier
My planet sweet on a silver salver
Bailed out my worst fears
'Cause man has to be his own saviour
Such fitting words for this time of year!

It won't be easy, folks. Giving up all the stories that we humans produce with such remarkable ingenuity to comfort ourselves in the face of the real majesty and awe of the universe as it is is never an easy thing. What good would this Lenten sacrifice be if it did not involve giving up such precious things? We must not trivialize this holy time by surrendering that which is easily pushed aside. Nuh-uh. It is incumbent upon us to strip ourselves bare and stand within full view of the quintessence of all existence, shivering and curious with nothing more than the most massive analytical capability in the known cosmos to sustain us.

Besides, how could I not do this? My personal relationship with Parthenogenic Geckos is on the line here!

I hope that at least a few who read these meager words will join me as we enter the time of mystical sacrifice leading up to the Deliverance of the Creme Eggs which, I insist unto thee, are best eaten frozen. Verily, frozen and cracked to bits. Mmmmmm.

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