Friday, September 14, 2007

God is Dead. Long Live God.

God incarnates as a young Dinka woman in Darfur, gets in deeper that he anticipated, and dies. There is a rash of priest and nun suicide followed by a period of mass nihilism. Things fall apart, but gradually, people start to notice that life is the same.

The pack of jackals that fed on God's body start speaking in Greek and Hebrew and, like Adam and Eve, suddenly attain an inconvenient self-awareness that totally screws up their lives. Humans either hate and fear them, make them into liars through their heartfelt but pathetic worship, or exploit them for profit. While Godlike, they are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. They are sad and confused, and loaded with pain and irony. They also give interviews. Eventually, the last of these dies as well.

People adapt to living in a world where the only meaning available is that which people generate for themselves. Over the years, the absurd begins to feel more and more normal.

A cult of child worship gains ground and so undermines the functioning of society that the government intervenes with the creation of the Child Adulation Prevention Agency. Their motto: Children Are Like Any Other Group of People: A Couple of Winners, A Whole Lot of Losers. Vintage children's fashion catalogues become highly contraband.

The equal validity of all epistemologies is enshrined in the constitution. Several generations pass, and the bitter debate over free will versus genetic predeterminism between the Post-modern Anthropologists and the Evolutionary Psychologists (PoMo Anthros vs. Evo-Psych's) turns to deadly world war.

Teens frenetically channel their hormonal urges into texting their virtual boyfriends and girlfriends dozens of devotional messages a day. Military recruiters stalk the halls of high schools in search of bodies.

Drugs are invented that erase memory and turn people into mindless, shallow consumers of television and trinkets while the world literally collapses around their ears. They are stupid and oblivious, but happy.

God is Dead
, the new novel by Ron Curry, Jr., is a stunningly original and darkly funny work of social satire that shows us up for the shits we are. Vonnegut was never quite this bitter, nor this funny. At least not at the same time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the 'God is Dead' theme check out Towing Jehovah by James Morrow:

God dies and his body falls into the ocean. His angels appear in the Vatican and get the pope to enlist the former captian of the Exxon Valdez to tow Gods decomposing body to a tomb in the Arctic. Meanwhile, the head of the Athiest society hears word of this, and in a last ditch effort to hide the evidence enlists a World War II aerial reenactment society to sink Gods corpse.