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THE SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

by

Davis Schneiderman and Henri d'Mescan



Post-America-a new Sunday, we continue our regular rehabilitation of minority sinners with morality plays set to the tenor of life in our gleaming metropolis, our bright, brave Post-America. This is your host, Godless Heathen #5, and I'm here with my special guest, cosmology expert and long-time convert to the cause of Onward Christian Soldiers, Inc., a radical counter-terrorism concern intent on destabilizing the Un-American world-Genetically Spliced Rhesus Monkey. We wish you all, over the airwaves, trundling in the celebrity sea, a good and scrumptious morning of egg and bacon fat rejoicing.

***

Call me Splice. It's 27% less dehumanizing.

***

We begin today's pseudo-hymnal in praise of the Holy Feedback LOOP. Open your Digital Bible Simulator to hyperlink Alpha Bravo Charlie, New Testament 4.9, and join with us in ringing "Feedback LOOP is thy name…" through the vibrant Morse code transmitter and blood-sugar finger prick connected to your international ID cards…

***

"Feeeed…baaaack LOOOP…we praaaisseee thyyyy…naaame. Looord of aaaall aboove we adoooore theeee…..Thyyyy…naaamme is Feedback LOOOP. Feeeed…baaaack LOOOOP…we praaaisseee thyyyy…naaame. Looord of aaaall aboove we adoooore theeee Feeedback LOOOOP…Kiiing of Kiiings, Feeedbaack LOOP"

***

OK, Splice, let's take our first call…this one comes from little Xenophobia Doldrum in Oolan Baitor, Outer Mongrelia. Good thing we're on the radio, so little Xeno won't have to squint to see us. What's your question little girl?

***

Does everyone have a guardian angel? I wonder because many members of my government act like godless apes who perpetuate a system of capitalist repression through the mask of a people's republic.

***

Wow, you speak'em exceedingly well English for an Asian girl, don't she Splice?

***

Indeed, it must be the corporate text marketing run by Sesame Street. Many folks out there in image hyper-land remain unaware of the recent success that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has had in visiting schools around the world and facilitating participation in student "Me Journals." Children write, in their primitive script, all of the things that compose "me"-pets, friends, favorite colors, sexual experiences, opinion on trade unions, dreams for welfare fraud when they reach the legal age of consent, favorite fights for step-mommy-and then, the nice people at CPB collect the journals…

***

To what end?

***

Databases. Can you say "databases" little Xenophobia? If not, try "Four-patty meat-like burger-amalgamate" for starters…

***

My government tells me that databases and cattle are a tool of the Holy Hodgepodge, the sacred Feedback LOOP as I believe you in the westernized nations refer to it…but what about the guardian angels? I have to go to the bathroom and then study math science chemical genetic social engineering to get the jump on your most ordinary cadre of porn-obsessed graduate students who consider computer programming and science fiction conventions to be an intellectual pursuit on par with eastern meditation tours to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Special Crystal Power Center in Durango, Mexico. So, quickly, capitalist dogs, do even nonbelievers have a guardian angel?

***

Ah yes…one of the gospels unavailable to the everyday Mongrelian says that Jews, even uncircumcised Jews, as well as other assorted pagans no less, have somebody looking out for them. And we all know that they won't go off half-cocked. So the answer would have to be "yes." The most famous guardian angel of Post-America, of course, is Mutation, portrayed in moving pictures with a trumpet or flute, a flaming sword puncturing the chassis on a 1949 Chevy Peristalsis, and a styrofoam crest from which globular orbs of landfill shit procreating so ancient bacterium graft to human DNA.

***

Thanks you Splice. Our next caller, or I think it's a call…more of a feeling in my belly…well anyway…one tender Dial-Up Networking, from a non-triangulated location, wants to learn the definition of a martyr complex?

***

The noblest thing you can do, Dial-Up, is to martyr yourself for the glory of the Feedback LOOP. Over the horizon, under the moon, the last clinging vines will follow your programming language as far as the heavenly hosts will allow, and carry you, beyond all political boundaries and demographic redistricting plans, into the droning presence of the Holy Hodgepodge. The gospel recommends a descent into the sewers followed by the release of a junta-style computer virus that infiltrates Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization and displaces all remaining Palestinians before exploding from the originator's belly in radioactive spores and blinding, seizure-inducing anime cartoons.

***

That's great Splice. I routinely try to kill myself after leaving awkward social situations without having taken Paxil. Does this count?

***

No, Godless Heathen, this does not count. There are always more mood-altering drugs available to mitigate the situation. Only if your insurance or gateway provider or HMO or PPP no longer covers the prescription because your soul has transmogrified out of network would you be justified in executing yourself for the greater glory of the multinational state.

***

So you recommend constant dosing it seems? I understand now. Perhaps you can advise me after this broadcast…but now we have the holy word to spread and Dial-Up Networking has a follow-up question for you, Splice: Can martyrs climb levels of heaven?

***

No, Godless Heathen and Dial-Up Networking, the level of heaven assigned to upon your initial proteome sequencing corresponds to your deeds in Post-America, especially after racial profiling was officially excluded by Feedback LOOP doctrine over three years ago. Of course, there is bound to be some residual, institutional prejudice. Nothing serious, you understand. Thus, each action you do or do not do now will be punished later on by the distance you are kept away from the godhead. For instance, anyone caught without their international ID card when stopped by an duly vested Guardian Angel will be given a restraining order of at least two miles for the holy Feedback LOOP, which I need not remind you, is quite a distance when we talk about the fiber-optics of the blastosphere.

***

Thanks Splice, and our final question today, from an anonymous source, asks the question-what is "Purgatory" and where is it?

***

Well, for Rhesus monkeys such as myself, Purgatory can be a trip to DNA counselor. There are sins and there is heaven, and the two are far from mutually exclusive. Sometimes, when our body ails us, we pay a visit to one of the friendly medical professionals of the Ely-Lily Corporation whose fine products can cure most earthly ills. Still, there is time spent waiting in the lobby of the office building where the representative has agreed to meet with you, there is time wasted in the limousine on the way to dinner, and finally, when talking with the representative, just before agreeing to distribute or order a certain quantity of a certain product line, say Paxil, there is the uncomfortable moment of digestion where the implanted stomach rejects the meat cubes sprinkled liberally with anthrax and smushed into the gastrointestinal cavity. You may be sick, and a cure may be in development, but you must wait in a hole, an aperture, an in-between. That, of course, is purgatory, and if you think things are bad now in Post-America, we will come to our reward only once the holes have all closed up, only after the medicine disseminates into the seething, fiery core once called the soul. We pray for you to get fixed in triplicate, just as we pay the doctor in quadruplicate through the proper channels in quintuplicate. We decry any direct action except the strategic repatriation of our foreign policy team from the grips of Southeast Asian prison camps and/or the disintegration of the Post-American family through the vortex of thirteen-year-old whores whose only recourse in such situations it to perform medical testing on captive primates while dabbing cosmetics in the eyes of innocent bunny rabbits to keep their exponentially reproductive mechanisms secret from our inadvertently sterilized genetic stock.

***

And sometimes, this repair by the scientific doctor is intrusive?

***

Oh yes, Godless Heathen, you have absolutely no idea what people are capable of these days. They've even eliminated the climax, excised all dime-store epiphanic endings, replacing these with a completely pre-scripted and banal "moment of clarity."

***

I see.

***

And that's what this ministry is all about.

***

It makes perfect sense.

***

Thanks to all the great questions from our intrepid little believers. And thanks to you, Genetically Spliced Rhesus Monkey, for your carcinogenic little sacrifices…we'll close today with the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time hymnal-"The LOOP is a Precious God of Fire who Wipes his Shit on Your Hand and on Your Door…" And we'll meet you on the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, a day like any other day.…

***

The LOOOOPPP is a preeee…conceeeiiived noootiioonn…auto…reeepeat..ing…







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Davis Schneiderman is Chair of the American Studies Program and an Assistant Professor of English at Lake Forest College. His creative work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been accepted by Fiction International, The Iowa Review Web, Clackamas Literary Review, Exquisite Corpse, Diagram, 3rd Bed, Magazine Minima, Quarter After Eight, The Little Magazine, Neotrope, Gargoyle, and Happy, among others. He is currently co-editing the forthcoming anthology Millions of People Reading the Same Words: William S. Burroughs and the Global Order (Pluto Press, 2004). His critical work has been accepted by such publications as Criticism and The Iowa Review, as well as the academic volumes Literary Modernism and Photography and The Music and Art of Radiohead.




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