Monday 15 June 2015

My book burning with Pastor Jones

Exorcism, petrol, light
Update: Yes, I actually did this, sadly got no reply

The world, or at least the saner portions of the planet, looked upon the Florida preacher with bemusement and anger as he announced his plan to fight extremism by infuriating all Muslims. His erratic behaviour during the run up to 9/11 was a train wreck, thankfully averted at the last moment.

The Pastor, from a tiny church in Gainsville, had the look of, not so much an old time preacher, but an old time drunk. In a bid to look for motivation for his increasingly bizarre behaviour, I was wondering what exactly BP had pumped into the Florida coast as something strange had got into the groundwater.

We can, however, admire a man who will stand up for what he believes in, to fight the evils of the world. Perhaps carried along by the ravings of the Tea Party and swampland talk radio, he simply picked the wrong target.

I’m going to help him out.

I’ve just posted him a copy of Eat, Pray, Love. I’m sure he can provide the petrol and matches. Together we will make a stand against this ridiculous book. I am not a cruel person, so I won’t make him read it, but I have. All of it.

This self absorbed book can be summed up with a brevity the author fails to find; Narcissists should learn to love themselves.

That is the central message. There are other messages in the book, equally unedifying. The writer is almost completely unaware of anything beyond her nose, to the extent that she rarely shows any interest in where she is, something generally considered a flaw in a travel book.

Anyway, the poor lady, not content with a good job, happy home and husband is miserable. Seems things are not going well and the couple splits up. She quickly finds a toy boy, and scares him away by being neurotically clingy and then decides to wander around the world to find herself.

Here’s how she describes herself, "I am a professional American woman in her mid thirties, who has just come through a failed marriage and a devastating interminable divorce, followed immediately by a passionate love affair that ended in sickening heartbreak."

Sadly, she had no dictionary to hand, otherwise she'd have looked up the meaning of interminable. The description is illustrative. Look at the words used to add stress; failed, devastating, interminable, immediately, passionate, sickening. Remove them and it makes more sense.
There’s 108 chapters of that.

It claims to be about spiritual enlightenment and our heroine tries for deep. Telling us that she’s "always responded to the transcendental mystics of all religions". Which is nice. A short time later she announces, “When I was nine years old, going on ten, I experienced a true metaphysical crisis. Maybe this seems young for such a thing, but I was always a precocious child”.
Must have been one Hell of a kindergarten.

Eventually she finds, in order of appearance, pizza, nirvana and a Balinese medicine man who talks like a very drunk Yoda.

Her conclusion in this tale where funny foreigners abound, indeed it has more racial stereotypes than Mein Kampf, is that you can pick and mix religions but you have to love yourself. I found the most revealing sentence to be, "I am alarmed to find in meditation that my mind is actually not that interesting a place, after all".


This is why I’m confident Pastor Jones and I will be having a bonfire very soon. Post him a copy today.

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