humor, vampires

Vampires and Cracked

For a rather long time I’ve found vampires and zombies to be quite interesting for theology: zombies are of course mindless hordes consuming life around them, and often set in shopping malls so as to expose capitalism’s logic; while vampires exude a combination of consumption and eroticism. Oddly, however, while zombies are still evil, brain-eating fiends, vampires are no longer the incarnation of evil lust but just sensuality.

There is already a book on this, The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero by Susannah Clements. But equally interesting, and more entertaining, the awesome “After Hours” series by took up the discussion back in May:

humor, memory

Waiting, Not Waiting, Remembrance, and Zombies: A Very Short Christmas Meditation

There is a bit of talk going on about the virtues of waiting and not waiting. Both have their merits. And I suspect that they have different targets in mind, rather than being in simple opposition. Still, I wonder if the singular focus on whether to wait or not to wait produces a blindness. We’re missing the importance of remembrance about the radicality of the incarnation — which affirms and rejects. And for this particular conversation, remembrance would include both waiting and not waiting; remembrance shows us how to wait, but also reveals that in so many respects, the wait has also been over for a long time because the apocalyptic work of God came to live with us. Carter has recently noted the tension as well through Bonhoeffer.

Also, I wonder if we should rename this current capitalist holiday of gluttonous consumption of commodified goods. I propose zombie holiday. After all, despite the discussion about waiting or not waiting as the correct political alternative to the status quo, we can agree that “Christmas” in America is not the same thing as the Christ-mass. And zombie flicks have a great tradition of revealing and critiquing mindless consumption, which in this time of the year, revels in a a racist parody of Christian tradition — an Odin like Santa Claus (who image was originally a caricature of the Dutch) with white elves, rather than the pastor Saint Nicholas and his helper Black Peter (who Nick had liberated from slavery):

humor, modern nation-state, political theology

Speaking from the Grave

George Carlin died yesterday. He had a complex relationship with the church, and sometimes he would seem to take his criticism a bit far — like grouping all Christian faith into something he would critique — but generally I really liked the guy’s standup. He seemed like a complex and generally honest human being, which translated interestingly into his acerbic and “counter-cultural” standup.

Carlin, in the video below, disabuses the audience of a God of the Gaps (fulfilling Bonhoeffer’s projection) and the notion of the state’s benevolence, states of exception and human rights. In such a comedy routine, he tackles rather important issues that aren’t even acknowledged in much of public discourse, and he manages to do so with humor, wit, and small words. Even though I have disagreements, I find him someone worth listening to, because there is at least some truth and genuine life experience behind his observations. I find when I’m thinking over what he says, I’m thinking about a human being, not merely a punch line — as if we’re really just having a conversation. So with this in mind, I have below, a video of Carlin skewering the state and its civil religion.

Warning, Carlin uses four letter words, which may offend some. However, I find that sometimes honesty is a four letter word and in this case, he tends to use them well.

H/T for the video: Jamerica.