Philosophy Sunday: God's Annual Performance Review
We here at Philosophy Sunday believe strongly in accountability. We also believe in typin' words and makin' G's. Today, we hope to combine these interests while at the same time providing an important community service.
God. We've all heard of him. Some of us have even had personal relations with him (a suspiciously large number of us, if you ask me). But what is he like, really? Does he ever get bored knowing the outcome of everything before it happens? Could he grant me magic powers right now, but chooses not to, or can he only work within the laws of nature? Just what did he find so attractive about Mary anyway? Today I hope to answer not a single one of those questions. Hell, I've already written the article, so I know for a fact that I didn't answer any of them. I don't even know why I just wrote them down.
The only question we'll be answering is one we don't even have to go to the big man himself to ask: Is God doing a good job with the world? Today, Philosophy Sunday is giving God his first ever annual performance review, in which we consider how the world's events reflect on his character and abilities, and then we make fun of him a lot. The structure of this review is simple. We'll look at a world event from the last year, and we'll decide whether it should constitute a positive or negative performance rating. Then, when we get tired of typing, we'll stop doing this. Then we'll arbitrarily decide if God is doing a good job. Let's get started!
Ok, this one is a bit of a no-brainer. It's not like I'm going to sit here and say, "Well, there was a hurricane that caused massive flooding in New Orleans displacing millions and killing thousands but at least God didn't personally kill every single one of them with a lighting bolt." No, this one is going straight into the negative column, and, quite frankly, it's going to take a lot to get the total back into the positive after this.
The only way that God could possibly excuse this one would be if he used the Lucy defense. Imagine for a second that God is like Lucy from I Love Lucy, ok? And he suddenly gets this great scheme to mess with the weather in the Gulf of Mexico and maybe, just maybe, make it better. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, and there was no way it could go wrong. But then the clouds started going a little faster than God expected and he dropped a few and they kind of clumped and started spinning around and the next thing you know Ricky Ricardo is going "Lucccccccyyyyy!!!!!" in that way that you just know means he was bottling up a lot of anger and was going to go ahead and stick her inside one of those big drums of his as soon as the cameras were off and then start kicking it over and over until the sides were cracking open and blood was starting to trickle out and the entire fucking time he’d be singing in Cuban.
Oh man, if God was Lucy and Ethel was Jesus and Ricky was Satan, I Love Lucy would be the best TV show ever made. But I still would watch Lost instead.
Rich People Become Slightly Less Rich People in Order to Help Poor People
As you probably saw in the news (or read on your RSS feed of some obscure blog you huge nerd), two of the richest men ever have devoted their lives to giving away money (to be fair, up until now they had devoted their lives to getting more money than some continents have).
Bill Gates has left his position at Microsoft to join his wife Myhusbandisfuckingloaded Gates in running an incredibly generous foundation. Meanwhile, money-making guru Warren Buffet, who could give away everything he owned right now and still have more than you’ll ever have in your entire life by next Thursday, actually did give away everything he owned. Or close to it.
Mr. Buffet just gave away $37 billion dollars, which is the largest single act of financial charity ever. That is, in case you're counting, 80% of his net-worth. That's generosity on an almost unimaginable scale, and you could be excused for wanting to throw up a few plaques with his name on them in your living room and maybe your neighbor’s front lawn. However, if there's one thing I learned from professional sports, it's that God is entirely responsible for anything good anyone ever does, so forget Buffet and Gates and we'll chalk this one directly up to God.
Good going God. You only take credit for the best.
Only a couple weeks ago, America's #1 really rich sleaze bag dropped dead of a heart attack, and I know what you’re thinking: Good for him. It's not that often that a person this completely soulless has a change of heart (ha!) and decides to give something back to society.
But we're not holding the annual People Who Died And We're All Glad awards, we're talking about God here, who, of course, killed Kenneth Lay. This is because, as you might remember, God is responsible for everything that happens unless it’s something bad that happens in which case he is not responsible for what happened. Also I guess if it happens in one of those Asian countries where they haven’t discovered God yet, then maybe that wasn’t him. But the point is that a world without Kenny is just a world with a little more love, and love is God and blah, blah, blah God gets a positive mark for this one.
Mexico may have gone too far this time. It is one thing to make cheap knock-offs of our toys, or of our movies, or of our fast food (I honestly can't understand why Taco Bell just doesn’t sue the entire country), but now they’ve gone ahead and stolen our greatest scandal of the last decade. Here, let me tell you a story:
Once upon a time there was a conservative presidential candidate, and a liberal candidate. Both were running from large, mainstream parties. Come election day, the election was so close that it was fundamentally a tie, split geographically within the country. Re-counts, legal action, and protesting followed, but eventually the conservative presidential candidate, Felipe Calderón, was declared the winner pending legal review by the Supreme Court.
OH COME ON MEXICO, who do you think you’re fooling? You didn’t even change a single detail other than giving the candidates funny names like "Felipe" and "Andrés"! When you made "¡La Pirata Loca Se Parece Como Una Chica!", we let it pass, but I'm afraid this time we might be forced to invade. If the United States can't be the most dysfunctional democracy in the free world, then what use is it to be an American?
But I have to admit that God has a wicked sense of humor for coming up with this one. Hell yeah God, I'd give you a congratulatory pat on the ass right now, but you'd probably send the angel of death to gut me and then give one of your deep belly laughs and shake your head.
I Haven't Ever Won Any Lotto Scratchers
I've been buying these things regularly for the last two years and what do I have to show for it? Not even a single lousy free second ticket, that's what. It’s not like I'm expecting much! Hell, I buy the $1 scratchers, so even if I won the jackpot I could probably spend it all on a single night out and still not have enough for tips. It's the thrill of the win I'm after, not any earthly riches. Come on, God, can't you see that?
Well, I regret to inform you that your stubborn resistance to intervening in my favor is going to leave a very big black mark on this review. A very big black mark. You think about that the next time I’m at the liquor store, and maybe I can finally win a free pack of Slim Jims or something.
Hamas Wins Election
This did not bode well for the small amount of peace that had finally found its way to Israel and sure enough we are back to flat out war six months later. If Israel is such a holy place for God (and I'd guess that any place where over half the world flocked to worship you would quickly become pretty important to you), then it doesn’t seem unreasonable to question his decision to allow pretty much constant war there.
Except, I think I have it figured out: God is basically the stereotype of a high school cheerleader, and not just because he had a baby that he abandoned at birth. No, it's because he’s only happy when people are fighting over him. Much in the same way that a cheerleader might allow the captain of the football team to catch her being railed by the track star just to stir up trouble, God threw Hamas in there just so he can sit back now and say "Oh no, guys. Oh jeez, please stop! No, don't fight over me!"
That's right, God is a big old attention needing slut, and you heard it here first.
I think we’ve gathered enough data now to make our decision. Looking over the events of the last year, and considering that question, I have concluded it doesn’t matter even the tiniest bit what I think about the issue. Or what you think about it. Or even what the pope thinks about it.
Because, honestly, even if you thought that God was doing an incompetent job of handling the world (and I think you could probably make an argument for that) how exactly do you go about giving God input? How exactly do you tell God that he has to step down and let someone else have a go? I guess what I’m saying is we kind of have to live with the dude as long as he wants to live with us. Better start trying to get on his good side now.
God, have I told you that you look great today? Just terrific. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to hear more about what a seriously great guy you are. (You’re great.)
Big thanks today to my man DocEvil for his great animated gifs that show a stunning and vivid vision of the afterlife. You the man now, doc.