Culture vulture

Courtesy of Andre Welling

Hello, are you there, God? It’s me, Culture Vulture
First of all I’d like to thank you for the circumstances of my own little life in the physical universe. I really do love it here. This town I’m in, Chico, is, despite the long stretches of super-hot weather in summer and the equally long stretches of cold, rainy, clouded-over weather in winter, surely one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on Earth. That Bidwell Park, especially the upper part where the creek runs through those deep, rock-rimmed gorges, is as pretty as any place I’ve seen in all my years of moving around the planet—and trust me, I’ve seen some really great places.

The people here are for the most part very nice, too; it’s true I got my head kicked in and sent to the hospital by a bunch of teenaged boys in a completely random attack a few years ago, but nothing even close to that has ever happened again, and for all I know each and every one of those boys has through your divine guidance been shown the error of his ways and grown up to become an upstanding citizen or policeman or soldier or something.

Which kind of brings me to what I’m writing about.

You see, despite the pleasant circumstances of my own life for which, like I say, I am eternally grateful—especially in regard to my loving relationship with my partner, the lovely I. Daphne St. Brie—I’m pretty concerned about how things are going for most of the other people I read about in the newspaper or see on television. I mean, when the United States was attacked five years ago by people claiming to be willing to die in your service because they would be taken to paradise for performing their service to furthering your cause, I really didn’t get it. And then when our president and commander in chief, Mr. Bush, claimed that you told him to have our armed forces attack Afghanistan and, shortly thereafter, Iraq, his methods of attack included slaughtering even more innocent little children and mothers with bombs and rockets than were killed by your other servants in the planes that blew up the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and crashed in Pennsylvania.

I guess I just don’t understand what you’re trying to teach the human race, unless you’re trying to show everybody everywhere that war or any other form of violent behavior simply doesn’t work as a way of protecting peace.

The thing is, if that last guess really is your message, I don’t think it’s getting through to most people. Sure, some people like me who live in pleasant little towns and have enough to eat most of the time might get it, but even a lot of people who share my circumstances seem to think that sustaining the war is what allows them to continue living their sheltered lives. And from what I see and read in the news, the people living in the war zones, especially the kids growing up there, are taught to think that the only way to end war is to kill everybody who has ideas about how to live that differ from what their leaders’ say is the way all people should act.

So anyway, thanks again for my life, I really do appreciate it and am enjoying it as much as I possibly can. But if there’s anything you can do to convince the big leaders in the world that it would be better if they didn’t send their citizens off to kill other people to glorify your name or whatever, I think a whole lot of people would be really happy, especially the little kids (see photo) and moms.

Yours truly,

C. Owsley Rain