Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hi! My name is Richard Joyce and God asked me to write this. Not the previous sentence particularly, but this blog or web site in general. I for one am going to do what God says, even though I don't believe in Him, and He knows it (I use the masculine term for convenience, if this offends you, please feel free to substitute "She," "It," "Majestic, Mighty, All Powerful Spiritual Presence," or whatever, I don't mind, and neither does God. He told me).
I live in a box in the "Fish Offal District" of downtown Los Angeles. It's a good box, and I'm comfortable here. I've lived in this box for over five years now, and I have no intention of leaving anytime soon, especially since I just got my cable TV hooked up a couple of weeks ago. It sure is expensive, but at least I don't have to fuss with an antenna anymore. Channel 5 comes in crystal clear now, almost every time.
Anyway, I was sleeping peacefully one night, minding my own business, when God grabbed me on the shoulder, and said, "Wake up Joyce, you've got work to do."
When this kind of thing happens to me I usually attribute it to the consumption of huge quantities of malt liquor from the previous evening. However, I vaguely remembered having stopped drinking and using most mind numbing substances years previously. "Leave me alone," I cried, as I rolled over onto my side and tried to quickly return to the oblivion of sleep.
God was obstinate though, and a tad obstreperous.
"Joyce!" he cried. "Get up now! I haven't got all day."
"Go away," I replied, stubbornly digging my head deeper into my pillow.
Then he gave me a leg cramp.
I bolted upright, hopping out of my rack as if struck by a bolt of lightening (and considering the circumstances, that could have easily been the case).
There is only one sure fire remedy that I'm aware of to ease the razor like bolt of pain that usually accompanies the cramping of the lower leg. That is to put your full weight on the affected leg, standing as straight as possible, stretching the calf muscle to counterbalance the involuntary contraction. Usually this procedure quickly de-cramps the muscle, shooing away the agony almost instantaneously.
I sat back on my bed, breathing in spurts, looking up to see Morgan Freeman sitting on a sofa directly in front of me, looking back at me with what I believed to be bemused distaste.
I thought this was decidedly odd, as I don't own a sofa.
"Morgan Freeman," I stuttered, "what are you doing here?"
"I'm not Mr. Freeman," God said. "He was just the last one to have portrayed me in a movie. Damn fine actor, though."
"If you're not Morgan Freeman, than who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"Not too quick on the uptake, are you, Joyce?" He leaned closer to me and whispered, "I'm God." "Ha, ha," I replied. "You can't be God."
"Why," God asked.
"Well, for one thing... I don't believe in God."
"How do you explain the couch."
"Well... I'm not sure. This can all be some kind of elaborate joke... and you can be one of those celebrity look-a-likes..."
"Want me to prove it to you." He snapped his fingers.
"Not really..." At this point my leg began to cramp up again.
I stood up, winching. "God Damn it!" I cried.
"Watch out for what you ask for, Joyce." He snapped his fingers again and the pain in my leg disappeared immediately.
I fell back on my bed, breathless. "Jesus H Christ!" I called out clutching my offended limb.
"Still don't believe me," God Asked.
"No," I cried, "of course not. You're probably something I ate last night. Some kind of hallucination..."
God raised his fingers again.
"No, no... wait a minute. Okay, okay, let's say you're God. What do you want with me?"
"Ah, now we're getting someplace," God said. "I want you to start writing on the Internet. A blog, is what I believe they call them."
"You want me to write a blog? That's what this is about? Why would I do that. I've got enough to do," I protested.
"Downloading porn off the Internet is not what is normally called a considered career choice, Joyce."
"What? How do you know..." I gave up. "What do you want me to write about?"
"The truth, of course. I'm so tired of all the lies being spread out there, using my name to legitimize anything from pipelines, to wars. Everybody thinks I'm on they're side. The Americans think every despicable thing they do is supported by me, and it's just not true. The Muslims think that every despicable thing they do is supported by me. That's not true either. To tell you the truth, I'm not on anybody's side! The Buddhists are the only ones who give me any peace, and that's because, like you, they don't believe in me... I'm tired of every pipsqueak politician using my name to advance some petty, selfish cause, or horrendous humanitarian blunder. I'm tired of of being used to legitimize brutality, to back national aggression, to promote injustice, to sanction lifestyle choices. Do you really think I spend a lot of time worrying about homosexuals getting married?"
"Well, I imagine your quite busy..."
"You're damn right I am! I don't spend any time worrying about it. I don't care what they, or anybody else does, as long as it doesn't hurt any one."
"Seems logical to me."
"Yeah," God continued. "And don't worry about the Bible. I didn't have anything to do with that. A bunch of drunken, overzealous sheepherders came up with that one. No one asked me?"
"You're kidding? So many people think that it's your direct word," I said.
"Your right. They also believe in astrology, little green men visiting from outer space (Oh, they're out there all right, but like me, they've got better things to do than come to earth and poke people), Santa Clause, Tarot cards, ghosts, that Rush Limbaugh tells the truth..."
God tried for a small moment to hold it in, but couldn't, "...HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!"
God's laughter is infectious. I busted out too, "HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!"
God: "HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha..."
Me: "HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha..."
God: "Ha, Ha, Ha, He, He, He., He, Ha, HA, HA, HE, HE, He, He, HEeeee..."
Me: "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, HE, He, He, HA, HE, HE, Heee..."
We couldn't stop laughing. After a few moments I had to slap God on the back as he had begun a huge coughing fit.
After he recovered, somewhat, he looked at me and said, "Don't ever touch God again, Joyce."
"Oh, sorry."
"My point is, some, a lot of people believe anything! It's ridiculous." God looked at me, "That's where you come in."
"Me? What can I do?"
"Not much, admittedly. You people are so screwed up down here, it's hardly worth the bother. But I need you to try."
"Try what?"
"I don't think you're paying attention, son. I need you to spread my word through your blog..."
"Now wait a minute. I can't do that. If I start writing that God is speaking strictly through me to spread his word they'll lock me up in the looney bin so fast it will make your head spin."
"Yeah, and rightly so, HA, HA! But you don't have to tell anybody that it's really me that's telling you what to write. You just go ahead and write it, I'll help you out once in a while. I like your stuff and think you're on the right track."
"Wow, I don't know..."
"Listen," God said, "You don't really believe you're talking to me right now, do you? To the creator of all the Universes. You still don't, do you? You think you're dreaming all of this, don't you? Come on, tell God the truth."
"Well, yeah, you're right..."
"See! You're the perfect person to spread my word. A die hard atheist. I doesn't matter if you tell them that you're writing my word, or not. I don't care. Heck, as far as I'm concerned, you can tell everybody that God told you to tell them that there is no God! How do you like that?! It certainly would bring me some peace."
"Yeah, you said that already. So, you ready to get started, or what?"
"Do I have a choice?"
"Sure you do. Sure you do. Everybody has a choice. Your's is to either start writing this blog... or I'll send you to the Fiery Pit for all eternity."
"What the... now wait a minute... your kidding... aren't you?"
God continued to stare at me with that God like stare of his. He didn't look like he was kidding.
Then he busted up.
"HA, HA, HA, Ha, Ha, He, He, He... yeah, I'm kidding. If you don't believe in me, you sure don't believe in the Fiery Pit?" He became serious again, "Or do you?"
"Now wait a minute... you're, you're kidding again.. right?"
"Sure, I'm kidding," not laughing. "You'll do this for me, won't you? I highly recommend it."
"Well, if you put it that way... I guess. But boy, a lot of people are going to get real mad at me."
"So what? Tell them you're on a mission..."
"A mission... from..."
"Yes Elwood, you can tell them you're on a mission from God."
"Gee wiz! Yeah, okay, I'll do it."
God was happy. "Good, that's settled then. I've got to get going..."
"Hey, wait a minute, I've got a question, or two..."
God looked inpatient. "What is it?"
"Well, let's see, huum. Michael Shermer (Famous skeptic and sex symbol) would kill me if I didn't ask this..."
"Okay, you're God, right? Creator of everything..."
"Yeah, well..."
"Where did you come from?"
"Ha, Ha... I knew you'd ask that one. Well, the answer is quite simple. I came from..."
"...yes, yes?"
"What! How can that be? God has a mother?"
"Of course I have a mother. What did you think? That God just popped out of the non existent cabbage patch?"
"Well I had no idea... alright, but where did she come from?"
"Flunk high school biology, Joyce? She came from my grandmother."
"Right!, then where did she come from?"
"I can see where this is headed, Joyce, but I'm afraid it's mothers all the way down!"
With that, God disappeared in a flash light and a puff of smoke.
He took the sofa with him.
"Damn," I said. "I liked that sofa."
Well, that's how it is folks. I'm officially on a mission from God.
He didn't explicitly say it was okay, but I intend to use this blog to make weekday entries, as well as publish some other stuff.. short stories, my screenplay of The Day the Earth Stood Still, (more traditional than the 2008 version, I believe), and two long memoirs (serialized).
We (I) will be discussing all kinds of issues, of varying degrees of importance. Politics, economic disparity, war, homelessness, science, movies, me, the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority (Damn them!), the giant ants that live in our sewers, and serious stuff too.
As Steinbeck reminded us in "East of Eden," there are real monsters in this world. Sociopathic, narrow minded, self important, cruel, exceptionalist, selfish, brutal, inhumane, lying bastard monsters that hide (like giant cockroach monsters) behind false shields of respectability, such as religion and family values.
Don't worry, we'll talk about the Democrats as well.
Cordial and respectful comments are welcome. Profanity will not be tolerated unless it is absofuckinglutly necessary. Thank you. Rick Joyce

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