jesus, screech and paris

After my Wednesday post, I thought that someone in the audience would step forward and volunteer to send me a DVD compilation of Paris Hiltons home movies. Sadly, no one did that. Lots of people did, however, write in lovely, thoughtful letters about Screech and Jesus.

64% of those responding to my, Should I interview Screech? question, said that I should, even if it meant having to listen to his band, The Salty Pocketknife. (I just now sent an e-mail telling his bandmate, the guy who wrote to me a few days ago suggesting the interview, that Id be up for it. Ill keep you posted as things develop. The next issue of Crimewave could very well have interviews with both Saved by the Bells Screech and Jimmy JJ Walker. Keep your fingers crossed.)

And, quite a few people wrote in as a result of my asking, If Jesus was a carpenter, what did he build? Most of the letters mentioned that in the film The Last Temptation of Christ, he was portrayed as a builder of crosses.

I would argue that making a cross wouldnt really make you a carpenter any more than stacking one brick on top of another would make you a mason. How hard is it to make a cross? It’s like two pieces of wood and some nails, right? Am I missing something? Would that really make him a carpenter? I guess maybe if he had to cut down the trees and plane the wood and stuff. It just seems like a stretch.

Speaking of this question of mine, I did receive one unique theory in response. It came from DCs Mr. David Smallwood. Heres what he had to say:

Jesus Explained:

A carpenter inhales too much wood dust, gets a massive brain tumor, and believes hes the messiah. OK, so thats not exactly what happened in the article below, but the whole impaired reasoning and unmotivated euphoria could apply to Jesus having worked too long in the carpentry shop.

A 72-year-old carpenter presented with a 2-month history of progressive cognitive impairment. He complained of memory loss and impaired reasoning ability. His family had noticed personality changes and a deterioration in his personal care. On questioning, he had unmotivated euphoria. On physical examination, we found bilateral anosmia and epistaxis. MRI of the brain showed a large ethmoidal tumour extending to both frontal lobes through the cribriform plates (figure). Surgical resection was done a few days later and ethmoidal adenocarcinoma was diagnosed. Adenocarcinoma of the ethmoid sinuses is often associated with exposure to wood dust and is usually diagnosed in wood-workers presenting with epistaxis and/or anosmia.

Maybe theres something to it. Maybe the roots of Christianity run all the way back to the little baby Jesus inhaling sawdust off the floor his mis-measuring fathers shop.

I should have run all of these Jesus pieces together, but I decided to break them up a bit. If Id kept them together, I could have pointed out how ironic it was that Jims letter referred to the small piece of wood that the young Jesus made grow, while this bit of medical information was sent in by a man named Smallwood. Thats eerie, isnt it? Kind of like how Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy It sends a cold chill up the spine.

While were discussing Jim, my friend the professor of religion, it is worth pointing out that today he was made to feel the full extent of the reach and the power of the Crimewave empire. This morning he received an email from another academic, a fellow in Wisconsin who had tracked him down after reading his short piece on the Buddhas last meal that appears in the new issue of Crimewave. (He surely didnt think that another academic would be reading such a rag.) Then, this afternoon, as he was preparing to begin his lecture, he noticed that one of his students was wearing a Crimewave USA-produced Iggy Pop t-shirt. No doubt these two things are weighing heavily on Jims mind tonight. Perhaps he is thinking, This Mark Maynard may be more worthy of an adversary than I had reckoned.

On the subject of my learned adversaries, I have not mentioned Mr. Skinner in these updates for some time. He and I are still talking, but there has been little to share publicly. He did, however, just make me aware of a very nice collection of Masonic Lodge Art that you might enjoy.

And, because it doesnt really fit anywhere else, heres a link to an absolutely terrific collection of letters welcoming President Bush to England. The opinions of Bush that are expressed run the gambit. There are letters from famous poets, humorists, university faculty, politicians, and even a man himself accused of terrorism. Its quite good reading.

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