Tag Archives: commander pants

Rasputin Wants YOU! to read Whom God Would Destroy

12 Apr

Bless you, Alexis, and be cured of your haemophilia!

Or maybe that’s just my interpretation of this absolutely bizarre book trailer–and who better to have made it than the mysterious, mystical, highly heterodox Commander Pants?

The good Commander, you might recall, is the author of a delightfully blasphemous book, Whom God Would Destroy–which, as you might also recall, I reviewed a couple months ago.  If you don’t recall, you can read about the winner of the Spring 2011 Heretic Badge of Honor right here.

In any case, here’s the book trailer.  Watch and enjoy–unless you’re a person particularly susceptible to hypnosis, subliminal messages, and/or the piercing eyes of a really messed-up Russian mystic.  If you have any of the above weaknesses, you might want to click on another hyperlink, any other hyperlink, and get far away from here while you still can.  Just some friendly advice.

Bonus points to the first person to spot Rasputin.  And when I say bonus points, I mean it in the Whose Line way.

Verdict? Whom God Would Destroy, by Commander Pants

4 Mar

I hope PKD would approve.

What can I say?  This is a novel of celestial proportions.  The tag line alone (“a novel about taking reality with a pillar of salt”) had me sold on the eccentric Commander Pants’s irreverent speculative fiction novel.

The plot–a second incarnation of Jesus Christ returning to 1980s America to “infect” humanity with faith via public access television–is impudent, incredibly imaginative (bizarre might be a better word), and immaculately written.  I expected the book to be good if not exactly godly, but Whom God Would Destroy turned is nothing if not great.  For that, I am officially awarding Commander Pants the Scattering’s prestigious Heretic Badge of Honor for Spring 2011.  Wear it well, mysterious pseudonymous author.  Wear it well.

The best comparison I can make for the advanced SF reader would have to be Philip K. Dick’s classic The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.  Not only is WGWD in a similar league of impressive titulature, the author’s writing style has a comparable what the heck? effect.  Like PKD, CP’s novel WGWD (see what I did there?) treads the border of idiosyncratic and incomprehensible–and does so admirably well.

 
Recommendation: Devout Christians probably shouldn’t read WGWD.  No, devout Christians definitely shouldn’t read this book.  Spoiler alert: Devout Christians might start crying if they read this book.  But for the rest of us, Whom God Would Destroy is the most brilliant irreligious romp I’ve been fortunate enough to read.

Reading Time: 2-3 weeks in a busy month.

Availability: At $0.99 as an ebook, WGWD is a blasphemous bargain.  This is one of the highest-quality indie books I’ve reviewed on the Scattering, and far and away the most entertaining.  You can get it (really, get it) at this link to Amazon.

Warning: Religion Can Be Dangerous to Your Health (review: Whom God Would Destroy)

4 Mar

This cult and flu season, be careful what you’re carrying.

Turn on the History Channel this month and you’ll have no trouble finding any number of Lenten specials on the mysteries of the Life of Jesus.  Or on the mysteries of The Da Vinci Code.  Or that really bizarre 2000 adaptation of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  But my favorites of all the sensational religion specials have always been those that deal with the “missing years” of Jesus of Nazareth’s childhood.  All the canonical gospels leave major holes in the narrative, and it’s almost as if they’re hiding something…

Like the possibility that baby Jesus didn’t just sit on Mary’s lap and smile for the Renaissance artist paining him?  Anyone looking for some vaguely sacrilegious reading for Easter need look no farther than the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, one of those fun apocryphal texts written by fun-loving Christians of the 2nd or 3rd centuries.  Thomas has some interesting insight into those missing years.  Apparently, a side effect of befriending li’l Jesus was, disturbingly often, death or serious maiming.  Wikipedia tells us this:

The text describes the life of the child Jesus, with fanciful, and sometimes malevolent, supernatural events, comparable to the trickster nature of the god-child in many a Greek myth. One of the episodes involves Jesus making clay birds, which he then proceeds to bring to life, an act also attributed to Jesus in Qur’an 5:110; although in the Quran it is not attributed to him as a child.

In another episode, a child disperses water that Jesus has collected, Jesus then curses him, which causes the child’s body to wither into a corpse, found in the Greek text A, and Latin versions. The Greek text B doesn’t mention Jesus cursing the boy, and simply says that the child “went on, and after a little he fell and gave up the ghost,” (M.R. James translation).

Another child dies when Jesus curses him when he apparently accidentally bumps into him. In the latter case, there are three differing versions recorded the Greek Text A, Greek Text B, and the Latin text. Instead of bumping into Jesus in A, B records that the child throws a stone at Jesus, while the last says the boy punched him.  When Joseph and Mary’s neighbors complain, they are miraculously struck blind by Jesus.

How badass is that?  Almost makes me wish I were a Christian… almost.

In any case, as I read Whom God Would Destroy, I began to mentally refer to the book as The Apocryphal Gospel of Commander Pants.  Because, honestly, what’s more ridiculous–a second reincarnation of God coming to earth in the 1980s to create a public access tv program and New Age incense store, or junior Jesus killing kids and growing up with delusions of messiah-hood?

That first clause is pretty much the plot summary for Commander Pants’s irreverent (and that’s way too inadequate or word for the blasphemy going on) novel of the second coming of the son of God: Jeremy Christ.

For 2,000 years, Jeremy was up in Heaven–tediously bored.  He must’ve been listening to Billy Joel instead of his choirs of seraphim, too, because it would seem that the Savior got an idea that chilling with the sinners would be way more fun than crying with the saints.  In any case, he plops himself back into the body of a charismatic thirty-something and sets out to renew the earth.  But like any tragic hero, Jeremy has a few mishaps–like killing a harmless receptionist with a too-divine smile.  Though, all things considered, literally dying of happiness can’t be too bad a way to go.

Then there’s the matter of celibacy, which Jeremy finds problematic–considering that he’s inexplicably attracted to a seriously schizophrenic young woman named Abby, who happens to be the love interest of Jeremy’s first apostle, the rock on which he will build his church, a mild-mannered zealot named Oliver.  But let’s not give any divine love triangle plot points away (not that I could explain in any coherent way just what the connection between Big Macs and eternal orgasms may be).

Whom God Will Destroy is, in a word, brilliant.  In another few: hilarious, irreverent, and downright heretical.  Commander Pants’s imaginative take on religion is as ridiculous as his (her… it’s…) pen name, and the writing is true laugh-out-loud quality.  But like all good science fiction, WGWD has a social commentary, couched as it is in the blasphemous and absurd.  In my opinion, it’s this quote from one of Jeremy’s interior monologues:

Like Abraham, the booty that Oliver possessed was far more important than charisma: he had faith.  And faith was contagious.  Jeremy wanted to be a virus, and here, sitting on the floor sporting headphones and a goofy grin, was his first carrier, Typhoid Oliver.

As readers will soon discover, the resulting pandemic can be catastrophic.  Astonishingly funny, but catastrophic.

Whom God Would Destroy is available as an ebook on Amazon for $0.99.

Whom God Would Destroy, by… Commander Pants?

31 Jan

“A novel about taking reality with a pillar of salt”

Thomas Paine knows what's up

While The Lancaster Rule is in progress, I’ll be picking up the first ever ebook I received as a “gift” on Kindle.  It’s pretty exciting.  Not to mention the book is on the short list for the February 2011 Heretic Badge of Honor from the Scattering.

Written by the mysterious Commander Pants, a pseudonym (I hope) for the as-yet-unnamed “pseuper hero,” Whom God Would Destroy is a cheerful piece of literary blasphemy with this for a plot summary:

It’s 1987, and “God” decides that it’s about time he returned to Earth once more. Opening up a New Age store, he brings with him a fresh message for mankind to screw up – one tailor-made for this, the age of greed. It’s called Meism, and it extols the virtues of selfishness, having its adherents, “Do good unto others so they can feel good about themselves,” instead of that Golden Rule’s tired old message. Sadly, He runs into a few kinks he didn’t foresee…

Whom God Would Destroy; it’s about God, Big Macs, insanity and the search for the Ultimate Orgasm!

Which is all well and good for an expatriate Catholic who had a religion teacher (a strict, straight-laced, grizzled and gray-haired religion teacher) tell her class in high school that Heaven is an “infinite and eternal orgasm with Jesus.”  So infinitely disturbing.

Review forthcoming.

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