November 16, 2005

A Moment of Pure Atheism

Like all good theists, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” sometimes find ourselves mired in doubt about God. Sure, our staff is chock-a-block with honest-to-goodness Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, but every once in a while we experience pangs of uncertainty about a higher being.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must say that we haven’t let such rare doubts get too far. None of us has done anything crazy like quit his job or become a Unitarian. Still, the one or two mild agnostics on staff like to smirk about our occasional restlessness regarding such questions.

And, whilst we’re being deadly honest, we may as well admit that many phenomena associated with modern life are sufficiently unpleasant that they would make the most orthodox of the orthodox worry a bit. The list of unspeakable things on God’s earth is long: Famine; pestilence; Paris Hilton; racism; Geraldo Rivera; &c.

Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must admit that, for darn near everything horrid you can name, you can find some sort of silver lining. For example, the staff computers here at Hatemonger’s Quarterly Headquarters do not recognize Geraldo in their spell-checkers. This, we feel, is a sign that Mr. Rivera has not become such an important cultural beacon to warrant the spell-checker treatment. (If only we could say the same about Oprah.)

All in all, then, the world is also replete with little pleasures and little treasures—the kinds of things that make us glad to be card-carrying deists. Who could meet Barbara Boxer and conclude that there’s no God—and that this God doesn’t have an arch sense of humor? Not us.

So far, so good. Yet, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must confess that some phenomena are so atrociously irksome, so galactically wretched, that they should make the Pope troubled. They probably don’t, but they should.

Okay, you say, give us an example. Well, dear reader, we’re glad you’ve asked for one. Frankly, we have a perfect one right beside us, and we’d love to share.

A perusal of The New York Times Arts & Entertainment section recently gave us a shock—a shock that was reasonably followed by pangs of doubt about Him. What kind of a God could allow something so abysmal? What kind of a God could warrant such large-scale suffering?

We refer, of course, to the news that Broadway will soon be home to a musical version of “Tarzan.” What’s worse—if there is anything worse—is the fact that the music and lyrics have been written by one Phil Collins.

Yes, you read that correctly: “Tarzan” the musical, with music and lyrics by Phil Collins. Hasn’t the world experienced enough suffering? Has the Good Lord not troubled us enough with feculent tunes such as “Sssudio” and “Another Day in Paradise”?

Evidently, the answer is no. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” like to think of Phil Collins as a kind of walking Book of Job. As some noxious A&R rock crooner warbled, he incessantly “takes it, to the limit, one more time.” Each song he sings, each video he makes is a new test of our faith.

And let’s not even talk about Genesis.

Posted at November 16, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack