BarbÂ returned home today after a week and a half in Japan . . . so I’m just going to post a reprint and a small bit of news (about another reprint)Â so I can spend some extra time with her.
Yes, it’s cheating.Â But most of you probably haven’t seenÂ either the reprint or the small bit of news (about another reprint).Â And bothÂ fit in rather wellÂ this weekÂ at Eat Our Brains,Â since we’ve had posts about both religionÂ and serial killers.
The reprint is from my website.Â It’s a press release from last April:
Former Skeptic Rejects Rationalism,
Denton: “I’m Priest of Whatever You Got”
Â Â Â Â The Right Reverend Rabbi Imam Dalai Lama DentonÂ
Â April 1, 2006:Â Â Â Â Semi-obscure author Bradley Denton announced today that he has experienced an epiphany and now accepts all religious and spiritual doctrines, from all cultures and all times, as absolute truth.
Â Â Â “I’ve wasted years relying on the Three Rational Stooges of observation, evidence, and repeatable results,” he said. “And I always blindly accepted it whenever one of the Stooges poked God in the faith. But lately I’ve heard protests — with a sound like Shemp protesting one of Moe’s nose tweaks — that all people’s religious beliefs must be respected. This came as a shock to me, because I’d always postulated that all people’s RIGHTS to their religious beliefs must be respected . . . while the beliefs themselves could be acknowledgedÂ to beÂ of less value thanÂ my dog’s rawhide chewies.Â I mean,Â those things alwaysÂ make him happy.”
Â Â Â Denton’s attitude changed, he said, when he went into his back yard one morning last week and sat under one of Central Texas’s rare Bodhi trees. There, while Denton was meditating or perhaps napping, the angel Moroni appeared, wrestled Denton into submission (winning two falls out of three), took him to the top of Mount Sinai, made him pet a mummified cat, chased him around the Kaaba, fed him a piece of raw buffalo liver, smacked him upside the head with a chunk of the True Cross, and hooked him up to an E-meter.
Â Â Â “Then there was some stuff with trees, goats, jaguars, bells, rocks, pentagrams, snakes, oracles, altars, crystals, mah-jongg tiles, pyramids, burning bushes, and virgins,” Denton said. “In fact, there was a lot of stuff with virgins. But it was at the Shaolin temple, where everybody was kung fu fighting — man, those cats were fast as lightning — that I finally gave in. I signed my name in blood at the bottom of a stone tablet written in Reformed Egyptian, accepted Jesus as Lord,Â proclaimed that MohammedÂ is Allah’s messenger, repeated the word ‘om’ over and over again, paid the auditor five thousand bucks, and Bob’s your posthumously-saved uncle, I was converted and ordained. Then we had lunch at a nice little kosher deli and went home.”
Â Â Â Since then, Denton’s days have been filled with evangelism, prayer, jihad, mitzvahs, meditation, sacrifice (both animal and human), worshipful silence, choir practice, celibacy, ritual sex, persecuting the wicked, ministering to the wretched, chanting (Gregorian, Byzantine, and “other”), shunning those who wear clothing with buttons, sitting shiva, more jihad, self-flagellation, and bake sales.
Â Â Â It’s been a radical change from his former life of writing, music, family, and friends.
Â Â Â “There’s no time for any of that now,” he explained. “I’ve realized that there is no God but God,Â and He so loved the world that He gave His only eye for an eye, on account of thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, one of whom must be sacrificed on the high altar unless the oil lasts for eight days, in which case do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, for the Earth is our Mother, blessed be. Got it? Good.”
Â Â Â Soon after the above comment, Denton burned himself at the stake for heresy, but was immediately reincarnated as a middle-aged white guy with dreadful eyesight who makes a bad first impression.
Â Â Â “I almost forgot,” he added. “Ra gives life, Shiva destroys, and Hera’s a bitch. Hail Mary and Haile Selassie.”
Â Â Â Denton then fired up a spliff the size of a saxophone, slammed back a fistful of peyote, and stoned himself for heresy. He was immediately reincarnated as a middle-aged white guy with dreadful eyesight who makes a bad first impression.
Â Â Â “Aw, nuts,” he said.
Almost a year later, I’m pleased to report that my faiths are as strong as ever.
My news (about another reprint) is that Picador USA willÂ publish a new edition of my 1993 novel BLACKBURN on April 17 — complete with a new cover and new blurbs.
But inside, it’s the same Jimmy Blackburn . . . who isn’t really a serial killer, but a man with a strict moral code.
Very, very strict.
Almost, one might say . . . religious.