Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Last Testament: A Memoir by God

Authors: God & David Javerbaum
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Chapter One
1 And lo, YHWH aka Allah, having checked in on the third rock from the sun (aka Earth) and realized that it had been 1,400 years since his last written communication with humankind, decided recently that the time had come to reveal himself anew,
2 And to set the record straight on a few misunderstandings that some of his fervent followers have about him.
3 And so, YHWH aka Allah met with an agent at Simon & Schuster with whom he was pleased to arrive at mutually agreeable terms for the publication of a memoir.  He was also pleased to retain the services of an outstanding amanuensis, David Javerbaum, former head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show,
4 For lo, YHWH aka Allah believes Jon Stewart is one of the funniest comics working today, and wanted to include similarly humorous material in his memoir.
5 Having previously written prolifically in the Hebrew, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim scriptures, YHWH aka Allah limited his memoir to a brief (for him) 383 pages. Or, more likely, he is aware of the short attention spans of many 21st century readers.
6 Early in the book, YHWH aka Allah reveals that a) the first two human inhabitants in Eden were, in fact, Adam and Steve, and b) he planted all of the evidence supporting evolution. He asks, “Canst thou grasp the scope of my hoax, humanity? Can thy mortal minds absorb even a drop of the immense ocean constituting the thoroughness of thy punking?”
7 Verily, I say, woe to readers who expected YHWH aka Allah to reveal that he hates gays, and that the earth is 13.7 billion years old. Woe, indeed, to believers and nonbelievers alike, for YHWH aka Allah is more mysterious than even his followers imagined.
8 And he admits he has anger-management issues. As well as a sadistic streak.
9 Notwithstanding his sadism and anger-management issues, YHWH aka Allah has a sense of humor. In reviewing the Noahic Deluge, YHWH reveals his surprise at the following:
10 The flood took longer than he expected it would take,
11 Many people were better swimmers than he had reckoned they’d be, and
12 Human corpses are effective flotation devices.
13 These revelations underscore one of YHWH aka Allah’s most shocking confessions – he does not know everything.
14 YHWH aka Allah also reveals that he gets angry when Americans sing (incessantly, it seems), “God bless America.”  As he says, “Americans asking me for more blessings is like Tahitians asking me for sunnier days.” And lo, he has a valid point.
15 Behold: YHWH aka Allah loves sports, and even has favorite teams (the Cubs are not among them).  He nonetheless insists that he has never influenced the outcome of any game to determine a winner. His exact words are, “I do not intervene in sporting events . . . because … I care so deeply about the integrity of the game.”

Chapter Two
1 In his most poignant revelation of all, YHWH aka Allah reveals that Jesus’ sacrificial life and death were Jesus’ ideas, not his.  Before Jesus completed his self-appointed mission to rescue humankind from damnation, YHWH aka Allah considered Jesus to be the weaker of his two sons (Holy Ghost being the other one).
2 But lo, by the time Jesus ascended to heaven, YHWH aka Allah gained a new respect for the son he’d previously deemed too soft to be an effective deity. Yea, YHWH aka Allah admits without shame that he, like much of western civilization, is now Jesus-whipped.
3 YHWH aka Allah wrote briefly about Islam. He hesitated to say too much for, by his own admission, he “felt great apprehension concerning the writing of this section.”
4 Nevertheless, he dares to reveal the real reason Muhammad forbade anyone to make a likeness of his image.  Verily, in the interests of promoting book sales, I encourage thee to read the book for thyself if thou wantest to know the reason for that seemingly absurd prohibition.
5 Moving through the centuries, YHWH aka Allah reveals which of Martin Luther’s 95 theses are his favorites (sort of a Billboard Top 40) and which religions he admires (spoiler: Buddhism did not make the list).  I bid thee beware, atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers, for YHWH aka Allah warns thee to “start thinking about what thou mightest say to me on the infinitesimally off-chance that thou findest thyself standing before me. Yea, start thinking about it now, for if it ever does happen, I can promise thee this: it will be a short meeting.”
6 Thou hast been warned.
7 Suitably enough, YHWH aka Allah concludes his memoir with a day-by-day revelation of the End of the World,
8 Which is currently scheduled to occur on December 21, 2012. However, YHWH aka Allah emphasizes that Armageddon's date is open for negotiation should his memoirs sell as many copies as his previous publications.
9 Thou hast been warned.
10 Lo, with The Last Testament in hand, readers will be able to follow along each day as YHWH aka Allah brings brings about Armageddon.
11 Let’s just say St. John the Divine had no clue what he wrotest about.
12 But thou wilt - if thou buyest The Last Testament now. And if thou art looking for the perfect gift for the special people in thy life – consider buying copies for them too.
13 For lo, the world you save may be your own.
14 Thou hast been warned.

Chapter Three
The Last Testament is a light-hearted romp through many of the religious beliefs that are current today, particularly in the USA.  Believers of a conservative bent will likely find the book too irreverent for their tastes, but more liberal believers may enjoy it.  Nonbelievers will likely find it humorous, overall, but may find its length excessive.  I found the book dragged near the end, as I dutifully made my way through nearly twelve months (355 days) worth of end-times revelations.  In my view, the end-time predictions motif was not cohesive enough to sustain 355 disjointed one-liners. Generally speaking, though, the book was enjoyable. Readers who enjoy light, irreverent fare will like this book.  Readers who prefer deeper, more reflective discussions of religion and irreligion are less likely to find this book satisfying.

Thou hast been advised.