Culture vulture



Photo By Andre Welling

Clean up that Messiah
Culture Vulture spends a perhaps inordinate amount of time contemplating the concept of the Messiah. It’s such a sweet, hopeful concept: Some third party will come along and somehow balance the books between every conscious being in the universe and then harmony will prevail from the highest to the lowest—on Earth as it is in Heaven.

It’s a tall order, but we puny humans, despite our daily struggle to wrest enough sustenance from the Earth to, well, sustain our rather precarious existence here on this mortal coil, have managed to conceive of and cherish the idea of a healing leader for as long as we’ve been conceiving and cherishing anything.

Of course not every human individual or human society agrees about what the criteria for being proclaimed or recognized as a Messiah actually is. But we all pretty much agree that upon the Messiah’s deployment of his messianic powers we will somehow be elevated beyond our current state of seemingly eternal struggle and will be granted a peace that transcends any concept of peace that we have previously experienced. Struggle and toil will cease, to be replaced by some more pleasurable form of activity.

Sounds great.

Of course, being humans most of us harbor a desire to punish those who have brought pain into our lives or the lives of those whom we love. And it’s here that good old Isaac Newton’s first law of thermodynamics, “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction,” comes into play on the metaphorical and metaphysical plane.

This becomes a pretty disturbing fulcrum for messianic speculation. Does it imply that every benevolent act is balanced by a malevolent reaction, and vice versa? That doesn’t seem like a very likely path toward peaceful reconciliation of the universe’s self-contradictory aspects. Or does it imply that in the post-Messiah universe that the laws of thermodynamics that have sustained us, apparently, forever will be suspended and replaced by a new set of parameters for interaction of individuated elements.

Heady stuff, that. Which is why Culture Vulture usually stops wondering about the potential for a Messiah to come along and solve all of our problems and starts speculating instead on what might happen if everyone capable of choice simply concentrated on improving our own collective lives. Why burden some poor Messiah with our problems when a great many of those problems could be alleviated by simply treating each other with simple human decency?

I’m not saying I don’t hope and pray every day that someone like Jesus or DNA will come along and wave his arms and speak soothing words that will make everything OK, I’m just saying that until that happens why don’t we treat each other as if the Messiah had already arrived and done the trick.

Be nice. Love each other. Help out someone less fortunate. Buy a book from DNA; he’s written one casting himself in the role of Messiah, and I spent about 30 hours last week making it look as good as possible, graphic design-wise. He promised to pay me if anybody buys one, so for Christ’s sake go to Lyon Books this Sunday and buy one. He’ll probably sign it and I’ll definitely bless your heart.