This is the winning entry in the J&M script-writing competition. Sastra’s entry stood out from among a strong field for its combination of profundity and brevity. Congratulations, Sastra! Your signed book will be winging its way to you soon.
The competition was much harder to judge than I’d imagined. Honourable mentions go to Darwin Harmless, Max Saturation, Matthew R, Alejandro, Phil A, Linda A, E Jackson, and Preston McD.
Thank you to all who entered!
BTW, a few people suggested leaving the last panel blank, which does create quite an eloquent silence, but as it didn’t involve any writing – and many people had the same idea – it was arbitrarily disqualified as an entry.
CHEAP BOOKS: Lulu is offering 30% off on books until Dec 17 with the code
Have I mentioned there’s a new J&M collection out?
Congrats Sastra, it’s a good one!
To define a melodious sound
Takes a skill, somewhat profound
Music like religion
Requires a smidgeon
Of silence to wrap noise around.
Bloody hell, NBH. You deserve a prize for that one!
and another Well done! for Nassar.
That’s actually really good. Maybe this should be an annual thing?
It seems to me that the NBH of late is a totally different person from the one posting “limericks” in the early days of J&M. Maybe he’s a body double… Or he has learned by practise.
Oh, I forgot to say that this must be one of your best, NBH!
Thanks so much, everyone! Now I want you to all just sit there and imagine how elaborate, eloquent, and everlasting my continued expressions of appreciation for Jesus and Mo and Author must surely be.
Congratulations, Sastra, you captured the essence of theology.
Congrats to both Sastra and Nassar
Congratulations, Sastra. That’s brilliant. And thanks for the honourable mention, Author. Finally, yes, NBH seems to have found his muse, a far cry from the early days. Well done, Nassar.
To the nominees and the winner : hijabs off !
I’m not surprised that Sastra won. She’s always good for the pithy yet concise comment or response on all the blogs I’ve seen her post at.
Shastra must have studied under John Cage, most specifically his celebrated and masterful composition 4’33”. Very Zen…
Pissed off that I didn’t win, but to be fair Sastra’s entry was much better than mine. Nice one.
NBH: splendid effort this week!
Well done Sastra, NBH: fantastic.
Even if they are exaggerating the number, always possible, this is evil, sick and
In the time wasted, with the money, resources and treasures wasted in the buildings, the candles, the feeding of those parasitic cancers and the choreography of the image those demented bags of putrescent pus could have built Starships.
This is religion. Lives ruined, destroyed, wasted for absolutely fuck all.
“One hand open to help is worth far more than ten million closed in prayer.” RevJohn, 1957.
It is a tragedy that those evil fools can’t ever understand this.
Merry fucking Christmas …
Actually, though no one has asked nor cares, yes, I did do some research and found out that the “100,000” is a Photoshopped figment of the Internet’s imagination. This does not detract from the essential message, though it does make my posting rather less funny. Less of an ironic mockery of the style of the Social Justice Warrior and more like a real if short rant.
It’s sad when a Poe doesn’t work.
Imagine a ton-kilo of monks (let us call this unit a “Monkey”) taking on the vehicles of Calcutta. They start, one Summer night, with a hundred thousand toolkits and open hands not uselessly bound in prayer. They tune-up, clean-up, fix, refurbish and otherwise render less polluting every vehicle in the city. It would take a couple of nights but they could do it.
Imagine the Monkey picking up trash in Calcutta. Sweeping the streets, collecting the cow droppings. Polishing the rivers.
Imagine the Monkey fixing doors, painting walls, cleaning, de-lousing and generally improving housing in Rio. A hundred thousand monks against the slum and the sewage.
Imagine a Monkey fighting fires, rescuing earthquake survivors, rebuilding after the shock waves and the splashes, cleaning the multi-part, trans-continental Inner City. Imagine the vast, uncountable, hidden wealth of the Romans and the Desseret Church being used to help.
Imagine the Monkey starting at the Atlantic edge of the sandy bit of Africa and planting grass, trees, weeds, mosses, lichens and other greenery. Greenery begets clouds, clouds beget rain, rain begets more greenery and this leads to the live side, Luke. A wave of verdant vegetation with sheep where once were goats to ensure it isn’t eaten back to the bedrock again – as it was after Carthage fell.
Imagine a single monk with a monk’s weight of ice on his back, trudging from the cool, clear Arctic to the barren African rocks to kick-start his garden. He is followed by a line, a long pipe-line of monks. A religion’s worth of monks could hand-carry ice from the shores of the Arctic pack to the shores of Tripoli and even over the small puddle that separates Europe from the larger continent.
Imagine a Monkey descending on St. Helena, then on some otherwise useless lump of waste in the Pacific. Toolkits in hand, they build catapults and landing strips for the Earth’s first interplanetary spaceports.
Imagine the Monkey, each with a couple of pieces, assembling a SSTO machine. Then two, Then a fleet of hundreds.
Imagine the ton-kilo, ten myriads of monks, hands closed around tools, assembling a city-farm in high orbit. Then three, then fifty. Then they breed themselves and the Monkey moves on.
Imagine a Monkey-built observatory on Farside, a hollowed-out crater smoothed into a fine paraboloid and spray-painted in silver. An eye on the cosmos fifty kilometres across. Another listening in gamma, x-ray and U.V. and a third and fourth tasting the universe of radio. (Two, because interferometry is ever so very cool, :), even with ears larger than Belgium.) On the Moon, to a hundred thousand monks with hands closed around tools instead of clasped in empty prayer, such feats would be mere hobbies. Side-projects as they complete their real works.
Not that any telescope on the Moon or Earth could ever be useful for long. For Real Astronomy, deep, paradigm-shifting original science, one would need a few city-farms to drift into the comet clouds, far from the blinding reflections of the Zodiacal Light, the smog of Sol’s breath and the warping effect of the depressive, distorting gravity wells of Sol and Earth.
Imagine the Monkey watching city-farms fall from the cool, light grasp of Sol into the warm embrace of Proxima. Watching their handiwork take the stars.
Imagine a hundred thousand monks, hands open to help, spending their tithes and lives and efforts in helping Man.
Instead of pissing them all away in delusional garbage.
Imagine ISIS and Boko building branches of the Library instead of burning them.
Imagine how glorious Man could be with his hands clasped around his tool instead of empty of hope, work, function, use and effect.
Imagine Christmas where the churches build homes and palaces of healing instead of huge monuments to their own greed and hubris and fears.
Well, at least the silly dream can warm us a little.
Until the savages come to really bring us heat.
Merry Christmas and may our new year to come not be filled with savagery and destruction.