Thursday, March 27, 2014

Short Essay - 'The You Testament' and 'The Making of a Prophet'

Too many people take too many things far too seriously.

In the US and other secular nations, poking fun at Christianity is, for the most part, okay--sometimes even encouraged. However when one pokes fun at or exposes the ridiculousness of any other faith people start to get uncomfortable--it can still be done (and should be). Islam, though, is a whole other animal. There is a severe stigma attached to any sort of criticism of, or humor directed toward; Islam, the Prophet Mohamed, the Qur'an or any other aspect of the Islamic faith. This double standard is absurd, Islam is equally deserving of criticism, equally deserving of being the butt of jokes as Christianity or any other faith.

As a connoisseur, of sorts, of poorly done media I like to watch movies by Coleman Francis, I relish websites filled with under construction .gif's and low resolution cartoon mailboxes, I love to read  insane, rambling manifestos and Norman Rockwell's art amuses me as much as it turns my stomach... possibly even amuses me BECAUSE it turns my stomach. Terrible things are somehow wonderful--ineptitude is it's own sort of genius. It's beautiful that people get these things made and even better when they are confident enough in them to release them to the eyes and criticisms of the public, even better still when they stand by their creation in earnest against the deserved waves of mockery that follow.

It is on this principle that I am in awe of theology itself as much as I am repulsed by the followers of any given faith. The sheer insanity, absurdity, impossibility and terrible writing found in the Torah, the New Testament, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita or the Book of Mormon are, for me, beyond comprehension, as if Eugene Ionesco himself wrote them with the secret intention of destroying humanity altogether.

It is on that note that 'the You Testament' and 'the Making of a Prophet' exist like gifts from God*. It is wonderful that they are, themselves, nearly unplayable abominations of games and also that they exist as rogue extensions of bastardized Christianity and Islam respectively. Whether or not they are the machinations of a brilliant satirist or an earnest evangelist I can not say, I will say that his creations are the sort of thing the world needs more of.

Boundaries are obliterated here.

Terrible design, crazy interpretations of the respective source materials, bizarre mixtures of various theological ideas and all the other atrocities contained within come together in tight little packages of bizarre and compelling awesomeness.

This is what art is and this is what art can be.

The fact that 'the Making of a Prophet' was pulled from MDickie's website is both a slap in the face of art** itself as well as a nasty reminder of how deeply controversial anything but blind acceptance of Islam is.  Fortunately it is still available on Cnet and other software archives.

If MDickie came out of game development retirement with a Kickstarter campaign to make games out of the nutty tapestry of Hinduism, Shinto or Scientology I would donate, I would donate a lot (in a relative sense, I ain't*** a rich man).


“If you are going to embrace anything in your life; embrace absurdity--it's what humanity is best at.”
-(Testament of the Kraig.15:13, BMKV)



*Typically blighted with unwanted but optional software packed in.

**I wanted to put 'creation' here instead of 'art,' however SOME people view 'creation' as the exclusive domain of their god. Whatev.

***Words exist through Darwinian social usage not curated lists of what is or is not a word. Many people use and understand the word 'selfie' though, I'm sure, any self-appointed language cop would cringe at it's inclusion as a word in a dictionary. People can even understand it when it is abstracted from it's original context. For example; 'selfie' directly means a digital self-portrait photograph usually taken with a cell phone, however, if you went to an art gallery and there was an abstract fabric sculpture titled: "Selfie" you would immediately understand that it was representational of the artist that created it. Pedants always lose, suck it pedants.

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