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the book of Lot
arwulf arwulfís reinterpretations of patriarchal texts
Here I go again with responsive takes. On, from and back at the Bible. Why do I persist? Well Iím fed up with the worst of it. The best of it serves to help individuals to survive and not be insane, because being insane is very sad and difficult. I love this part of any belief system. I love anything that brings you closer to divine mysteries. Real spirituality, as my mother taught me, comes very personally. It is not for the state to tamper with. Hereís the worst of it: thereís big big big money supporting belligerent actions like diesel powered "right to life" billboards, and something called War. Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to War. George W. Bush may have goofed really bad when he used the word "Crusade", but he was actually right on the money, so to speak. We are in fact involved in a Crusade. And the Inquisition never ended. It has mutated. Jesus (and Mohammed or any other religious figure) needs to be interpreted intelligently, and with harm to none, or else we are dealing with insanity. Unfortunately, most people are and have always been really lousy interpreters. Iíve tried to base my interpretations on my understanding of how the universe operates. At times, my way of handling these stories and attitudes might seem insensitive. But I have been provoked by the excesses of the heavily-funded Religious Right in this country, and I feel compelled to throw down even more ruthlessly than I did with my Psalms which appeared in this paper one year ago. I do not wish to offend anyoneís personal beliefs. I do insist that any system which oppresses women is fatally flawed and must be questioned with the sort of intensity I have used here.
During some unhappily confused period of time, definitely not in the beginning, certain men created a certain male God in their own male image. Male, very male, created they He. We are still stuck with this projected male God, who has precious little in common with the Real World on which we are attempting to live. This God is the State. Most nation states are afflicted with the warped influence of this God, who really hates Woman. This God is jealous of the Power of Woman. This God hates all who are cursed, says He, to be born out of Woman. This God is afraid of holes in the Earth, as holes are filled with darkness, and this God is afraid of the dark. This God says Hell is dark, and dark is bad. This God says keep the lights on, every light in the house, all night, all the time, because dark is bad and womb-like. This God hates wombs or anything which might remind Him of a womb. It must be frustrating to be an Icon of Narrow-mindedness, basing every move upon flat-out denial of basic cosmic truths. Frozen in fear of death, the necessary counterpoint to life, unable to recognize light as the shadow of dark, and choking with chronic denial of Original Female Design.
Whoís in control? Who maintains which controls? For the point of control is the maintenance of same. Power is often erroneously conflated with control. Real power comes from the Earth and from Life itself. Controls are often erected in direct opposition to real power. Nations do what they do in the interest of controls. Most national action seems to be exact inversion of true living power and sustained life force. Glaring example: WAR. Mass aggression typifies Male Principle running amok. Best application of Male Variant is that which honors Original Female Design. We are made for loving and honoring. Conscience is from the heart of things. Eros is power. Real power. International porno industry is merely a set of controls designed for profit on a monetary grid. Real power cannot be sold. Nor may it be purchased. Love is Power through the Umbilicus to the Great Mother. The Mother births or doesnít birth. There is no power greater than this. Attempts to control innate female power are the lowest, the most debased of all human actions. Indistinguishable from the violence of poverty and war. All the same problem: failure to sufficiently honor female power. This dooms the human species from the ground up, and on down from the skies. And thatís how they invented Armageddon.
[this here is excerpted from James H. Billingtonís "The Icon and the Axe" an interpretive history of Russian culture:]
As early as 1620, one Kievan monk had prophesied that the spread of Catholicism would lead to the coming of the Antichrist in 1666. Spyridon Potemkin developed this idea by computing that it had taken Rome a thousand years after the birth of Christ to break with Orthodoxy; six hundred more years for the White and Little Russian Hierarchies; sixty years after that for the Great Russians; and six more years for the end of the world.
The date 1666 became fixed in the popular imagination, because it contained the number 666 ó which held the key to the identity of the apocalyptical Beast. The Book of Revelation had promised that
Anyone who has intelligence may work out the number of the beast. The number represents a manís name, and the numerical value of its letters is 666
Since numbers were still written by letters in 17th Century Russia, the Russians found it easy to apply the ancient practice of gematria: adding together the numerical value of the letters in a manís name to find his "number". The early Christians had found that the Greek form of Neroís name written in Hebrew letters added up to 666; and Zizanius at the time of the forming of the Uniat Church in 1596 had started the Orthodox community speculating about the possible meaning for their plight of the figure 666. In the course of the theological crisis of the 1660s, Russians found that this magic number could be reached by adding together the numbers for the Tsar (Alexis = 104), the Patriarch (Nikon = 198), and one of Nikonís suspect foreign editors (Arsenius the Greek = 364). Later computations showed that the letters in the word for Ďfree thinkerí (volínodum) also added up to 666.
THE SALT SUTRA
Genesis the convolute. Are you ready for this? I got Louis Jordan singingSalt Pork West Virginia. Papa Charlie Jackson with Johnny Dodds, clarinet. Freddie Keppardís Jazz Cardinals up in Chicago in the nineteen twenties.
O you salty dog Sweet mama see Iím tryin to get you to let me be your salty dog
They lived in a valley covered with salt. Way back, they were from Ur of the Chaldeans. Now they were in Siddim full of bitumen pits, gaaaauuughhh. Hydrocarbon in tar and crystalline crackling. The kings chased each other around and fell down into these pits La Brea style.
Disagreement is the medium of history by men. There were terrible disagreements with the kings of Sodom & Gomorrah. This God hates faggots. This God gave us the term "faggot" to imply that such people should be burned alive. This God is fear. This God fears same-sex partnerships. This God is so homophobic, He gets nauseous anytime the subject is even broached. This God wants to control everything you do. This God hates it when you fuck anybody without the right credentials. And the authors of this book were busily laying down their own uptight convictions in pompous scripts.
So write up something nasty for the Ages.
ACT ONE: GOD THE PISSED
The scene is a salty land, sorta like Utah without Mormons. Bubbling pits of matha, naphtha, petroleum itself. Volatile mineral tars. Watch for spontaneous combustion.
This God hates to be misinterpreted. This God hates you if you disobey the laws of Patriarchy. This God hates jealousy even though He is the most jealous being in the entire hierarchic universe. Great piece of dialogue between Abraham and Yahweh. Worthy of Lenny Bruce. Hereís how Wulfie hears it:
ABRAHAM: You are a square dealer. No way youíd fuck this up, because itís a serious case of divine arson. Ethics? Sure, I know you got ethics. Straight up. But tell me are you gonna fry the righteous with the wicked? If thereís fifty righteous in the city will you ace íem with the rest?
YAHWEH: Listen, if there are fifty righteous people in the city Iíll spare the whole shootiní match just on account of them. Relax. On the other hand, sit up straight. I am omnipotent and Iím looking right at you.
ABRAHAM: Iím just ashes and shit shaped into a trotting mannequin, nobody special, but Iím still talkiní to ya: what if five of the fifty righteous are fuckups? Are you gonna shoot the works and level the place over five who didnít play by the rules?
YAHWEH: Okay, okay, I will not torchthe town if I find forty five in there somewhere who measure up to my highly refined standards of morality. Got me?
ABRAHAM: What if you find forty?
YAHWEH: Iím not gonna lie to ya. I wonít do it, just for those forty I wonít burn the town down.
ABRAHAM: Donít get rank with me now, but what if there are only thirty?
YAHWEH: Stop it will you? Thirty, twenty even, Iíll ease up even for twenty. Thatís assuming you can actually locate twenty righteous citizens.
ABRAHAM: What if there are only ten righteous people in the city? Will you nevertheless...
YAHWEH: Enough already. I will not burn up the neighborhood if there are a measly ten righteous people integrated into the population, although if theyíre so righteous what are they doing living in this creepy salt lick where everybody seems to have to ignore my desert dictums? Iím gonna do Hiroshima and Nagasaki on these places because Iím really pissed and you had better get everybody the hell out of there who shouldnít oughta burn because Iím ready with primal napalm in the name of homophobia Iím ready to drop the bombs and youíd better best pay attention to the fallout. In fact, looking ahead, all of your most sacred writings will be stolen and reinterpreted over several thousand years. Additions and omissions, distortions and excisions, all of it will be My Word forever. The self-serving hand of a conscienceless manipulator many years hence will still be My Divine Word. Entire epistles composed for specific political purposes will be My Living Word, even as millions are tortured and slain because of the rotten translations and corrupt misconceptions, this apparently will also be My Divine Will. Everything in all the various mutant editions of these vastly flawed compendiums, all of it is sacred somehow for all of eternity, whatever that is. Even as a later religion will be loosely based upon the Hebrew texts and practices, even as these maniacs will turn around and demonize the very religion upon which their patchwork hybrid was grafted, all of this is my Divine Will, I guess, and you just sit tight. Try and figure it out. Just try, dancing dustball. For all the genuinely beautiful ethical truths which do exist in the teachings, there will be unimaginable violence and unspeakable cruelty inflicted upon the Earth and upon every living thing. Iím getting a complex already just thinking about it. Too bad. And as long as you deny the Eternal Feminine, your humanity will stagger out of balance and bite itself in its own ass again and again without learning its lessons. Any questions?
But Abraham had run away long ago and only the oaks heard the prophecy. So nobody got wise and still not.
But wait a minute. Whatís this about the eternal feminine? Lilith, you crazy bitch, what are you doing inside of my head, influencing my words? God dammit anyway. Canít a male deity throw his weight around in peace?
Iím everywhere, sonny boy, donít you know that yet? Act like you can curse me, you with your birthday candle dick in the wind, Iíll have to teach you some more of those lessons. You will see it all spelled out in the misfit actions of your pathetic sad-assed following.
Please, Lilith, wonít you let me be omnipotent over here? Itís my thing. Let me do my thing. I wanna do my Jealous Jehovah thing real straight without being interrupted.
Sorry junior, I cannot change the way things really are any more than you could. Everything you do is bound to serve as a malingering education for whomever survives in the long run to look back in non-linear retrospect. Go ahead and do your do. You will most certainly have some deep reckoning time with the Grandmothers, all in good time.
ACT TWO: ALIEN G-MEN INFILTRATE SODOM
Fiery forecast, and Lot was ready at the city limits, Mr. Welcome Wagon. Come-on-a-my-house and have dinner you can take a shower I got clean towels. The two auditors said nah, we really have a hankering to sleep in the street out here. But Lot convinced them the town was full of rough trade and they should shack with his family. After supper, before they could hit the hay, legend has it a whole gang of louts gathered outside and said: "We saw those two bitches you talked into staying over. Let us get a look at em for verily we are horny."
Now Lot was completely without honor and said in his best misogynistic manner: "I have two daughters, young virgins. You can rape both of them right in front of my house but donít try and have sexual relations with these aliens from outer space as they will burn you up royal." The crowd jeered. "Youíre the alien! And you can fuck your own daughters. Weíre not interested in them," roared the loudest of the loud. Then they all ate belladonna and their eyes turned inside out, and couldnít nobody find the door, just like Art Pepper and his girlfriend when they burglarized that doctorís office in L.A.
Lot went around trying to convince family members to try and sneak out the town with him. "This place will be like a can of sterno in a little while," said he. "Bull shit. Get away from us," said his in-laws. "You regarded your daughters as completely expendable. Really nauseating." Lot made a wry face and said: "Daughters are always expendable."
ACT THREE: SALT & PAPA
Now the angels of the Lord were flicking cigarette lighters in Lotís face. "Crackle crackle, get it? We suggest you leave this place at once. God, like Douglas MacArthur, wants a nuclear explosion, and then another. He gonna flick his Bic. Keep moviní. Roll íem roll íem roll íem, rawhide. Devil with a red dress on and donít look back. Youíre a ding dong daddy from Sodom and donít look back. No such thing as free will, do not look back. Single file, maintain discipline, hup hup hup." And Lot and his family did hoof it over the salty desert away from the incendiary mess which had been their town.
Now the legend seems to find Lotís wife to be extraordinarily expendable. For it is told how she looked back at smoldering Sodom and was changed into one of those strange salt stalagmites which are fairly common in that region. One might wonder what actually became of Lotís wife, she who is not even named; odd that Lot spread the story suggesting that his wife had suddenly become a mineral deposit. I believe instead that he murdered her and threw her body into one of those bituminous pits described so carefully early on in the story.What was your wifeís name? Sodium Chloride.
Reflecting upon his generous offer to the men of Sodom, his suggestion that they sexually assault his daughters rather than tamper with his alien houseguests, we might look with jaundiced eye upon the entire plot of Genesis 19:30ó19:38. It looks a Lot like he got his daughters drunk and raped them, only to distort the account in the Good Book so that it would blame the women for gettinghim drunk and forcing him to have sexual relations with them. Anyone who works with survivors of domestic violence and incest can tell you exactly what that sounds like. Lot claimed that he was not aware of what was going on. Nonsense. This is an alcoholic, wife-killing miscreant who knocked up both of his own daughters and went on to brag about the lineage they each engendered. A classic tale of besotted incestuous rape. Lotís daughters did not choose to sleep with their dad. Of this I am certain. How dare they call this the Word of God. If it is so, then the God in question represents misogyny in its very worst colors.
ORATORIO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, UNACCOMPANIED
Lot is the archetype of patriarchy gone berserk. Lotís legacy is Rape and Incendiary Bombing. The rape of Africa and the Americas. My Lai Massacre, Vietnam: archetype of Lot incarnadine. The fear you can smell in the air is the perfect byproduct of Lotís paradigm. Wickedest of all is the Terror infusing the Sexuality of all humanity. Sexual Terrorism is the Lot of patriarchal systems. Sexual Terrorism means that women perpetually face the threat of violence. Women are disproportionately exposed to and victimized by violence on the streets and in their homes. Those who have homes. This is not a separate issue from the condition of the World. When women are terrorized, often with slow and constant terror, day and night and day again, every living thing stands to suffer.
Lotís wife is the archetype of Woman-As-Victim. Of the disappearing woman, the woman buried in salt with no name left. May she be liberated from the state in which sheís been mummified for five thousand years. She has a name. We will call her by her rightful name. And no matter how frightening the ridiculous excesses, mistakes and abominations of fake hierarchic constructs may come to seem to us, may we know to stay on our path of authentic respect for the Heart of the Mother, at the center and at the perimeters of this beautiful cosmos. All systems based upon the oppression of women are doomed to burn themselves up in jet fuel.
THIS STUPID PARADIGM
ISNíT WORKING AT ALL
The world does not have to burn up
LETíS NOT DO IT
Signed Elements ©