Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Genesis, Chapter 2 Say Whaaa?

Genesis, Chapter 2

Verses 2-3: I've just realized how funny the account of the seventh day in the Creation Story is. If you don't believe it's inspired by a god, as is my perspective, then maybe you imagine what I do: This poor guy has been tilling his fields all week. He's working for his dick of a brother-in-law. The only respite in his week is when he gets to work on his book! I mean, seriously, barely anyone can read these days, but this one is going to be a bestseller, he knows it. Granted, the royalties won't really compile until thousands of years later, sure. But his great-great-great-grandchildren are set, right? (Maybe I will have to flesh this out more. Right now I'm envisioning a class action lawsuit filed against god for plagiarism.)

Anyway, it's Friday night and ol' Mahalalel has been work this poor SOB like a dog. He's got blisters, callouses, funky feet, the whole nine yards. He kneels and gets ready to put a few pages down on papyrus before hitting the hay. He thinks, "Hmm, let's see, where did I leave off? Oh yes, God created the heavens and the earth and blah, blah, blah, it was pretty good. What did I have in my notes for the seventh day? Oh yes, next God needs to create the place for all the sinners to end up in. Let's see, what was my working title for this place? Oh yeah, 'Satan's Six Flags Over Tigris and Trade Show Emporium'? Nah, fuck it, let's leave that for another chapter. Ol' Mahalalel thinks he can push me around and make me work Saturdays, huh? Well not for long, buddy." He writes, " '...And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested....' And then I'll stick something in later on that refers back to this! That might fit in with that thing I'm planning by the mountain...."

Now, what if you do believe this is inspired by god and to be taken literally? Do literalists really believe that god couldn't handle a seventh day of work? I guess God is omnipotent, but he sure is a lazy fucker too, isn't he? He couldn't have come up with one more thing? One more cool little thing, right? Like maybe some automatic glitch repairs that would have covered plate shifting and plagues?

Verses 4-25: Ah, and here's the random and ridiculous retelling of the Creation Story which somehow made it past the editors. Somehow, during all of my time as a literalist Christian, I never knew that there were two creation stories told within the first breath of the Bible. I wonder how this is explained away?

Then we have what I always imagined to be the scene in which Adam stands in the middle of a humongous horde of animals and names them. When I was younger, I imagined lions, elephants, ants, dogs. I assumed that they all must have been temporarily infused with god's peace so that Adam could graciously bestow names like platypus and wombat upon them. Now that I have a better understanding of the vast array of species on the planet (and let's all keep in mind that this scene is pre-flood, okay?), I guess I should have imagined that somehow all of the underwater animals swam up the rivers just to meet Adam, every insect swarmed around him, and one of each "kind" of bird flew by to say hello.

Then, after Adam has named each and every animal ever to be in existence because evolution from "kind" to "kind" is impossible, god realizes that Adam still doesn't have a suitable partner. Oh really, god? You thought a fucking armadillo might have been helpful? Did you imagine we might have wanted to mate with the three-toed sloth? I mean, sure, it's not all that different from a couple of my ex-boyfriends, but really? Three toes? That's gross.

So now we get to the so supremely misogynistic part of the Creation Story that I'm not going to even comment on it because if I said everything I could and want to say about it, I'd be on this chapter for days. To be brief: Sleep, ribs, naked lady. Not that in that order, but it might as well have been a night at Pumps (I refuse to link to a strip club in my blog. If you want to know where it is, search for yourself, perv).

Random Notes:

1. Still no firmament. Is that not in here? Or maybe it's not in this translation? Hmm.

2. I don't have a second random note but I vaguely remember being taught that there's no point in putting a number one next to something if there's not a number two.

8 comments:

  1. It seems to me a bit egocentric to make everybody rest on the seventh day for the sole reason that the god character rested on that specific day. I think the explanation for this is that the god character is a curious person. He does not want to miss anything. He doesn’t want stuff to happen while he’s sleeping. If a jew makes a phone call on a Sunday, the god character will not be able to eavesdrop.

    This second chapter is almost entirely unnecessary to include, since as you’ve pointed out it is mainly a re-telling of the first chapter. One of the more interesting things about this chapter is the mention of the forbidden fruit. The god character gives his test subjects the option to do the wrong thing, meanwhile providing no means to arrive at the conclusion that the wrong thing is indeed the wrong thing.

    I will also comment on the fact that the god character once again forgets about reproduction. Remember, in chapter 1 he created the animals without the will to reproduce. This had to be inserted manually into animal behaviour at a later time. With the creation of humans the problem is that there is only one human, and therefore no reproduction. Once again the god character needs to go back and correct his mistake as he is suddenly reminded (perhaps by the mysterious other person) of the importance of reproduction. Without this sudden insight, the first human would have been the last human.

    Also, it is not entirely clear that the god character even at this point fully understands the process of reproduction. The woman is created not to ensure the future of the human species, but to assist the man in his daily life. Apparently there were certain tasks that the man could not undertake without the aid of another person, specifically a woman. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the female breasts were needed for some specific and very important task.

    Again, more questions than answers.

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