|by Dr. Prurient |
My colleague Ross Douthat makes a wonderful, beautiful point. In these days of moral lassitude--if not outright depravity--we frequently encounter a terrible phenomenon: The failure to believe that at any moment, any action we take could could result in eternal punishment forever and ever in some horrible, never-ending after-life spent in a lake of fire and sulphur? Why else would you do something for someone else? Because it feels right? I think not.
No, you do the right thing in a state of lifelong anxiety because you know that if you don't your time in Hades will be a lot like a British boarding school--except it will be at the temperature of liquid brimstone (about 900 Fahrenheit...that's pretty hot!)
Mr. Douthat--correctly--cites the example of Tony Soprano. As a fictional character, he is an excellent guide on how to live our lives. Better yet, he's on TV, so we don't even have to buy a book. Over and over we root for Tony to finally turn it around and do the right thing and the show keeps suggesting that it's going to happen but then the producers finally screw us over and don't even give us an ending because 'that's not how reality works'. Apparently both the producers and Mr. Douthat forgot that Sopranos was a TV show. I'm sure there's a point in there somewhere.
And that point is (so that you don't have to figure it out for yourself (you see, I'm already doing a better job than The Sopranos producers)) is that every day we have to ask ourselves, "How many humans can a run through a gas chamber and still be forgiven for my sins?" Because without us asking that question, we might not be distracted long enough to realize that the question is incredibly fucking stupid. After all, who really cares about humans anyway? There are far too many of them running loose around town as it is.
Now that I think about it, maybe the real point of Sopranos was that people don't change and anyone who believes otherwise is probably fooling themselves. Hmm. Perhaps I should have written about something else.
Yours in the Great Simian,
Dr. Prurient T. Logicus