(November 2020 earth calendar)
This is the official account of a meeting between our Lord and his only son. The audience took place in September 2020 and the minutes were taken by Cicero, a former Roman Statesman, because ‘he could write a bit’.
(Being a lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero had wheedled his way into heaven despite a sketchy C.V.)
‘Hello Father, you got a minute?’
‘Sure, my son, come and sit down. What can I do for you?’
‘It’s about our 'Earth' experiment.’
‘Aahh.’ Pause. ‘Yeees.’
‘Quite. Anyway, time for an update. As you know we created that hot swamp, then allowed a single-cell life-form to escape. From there we let evolution take its course. Well, I’ve come to report where we’re up to.’
‘Good, I’ve been wondering what happened. It was about three and a half billion earth years ago when we launched that project wasn’t it?’
‘That’s right, although we caused some confusion when I went to have a look-see a couple of thousand earth years back.’
The Lord chuckled. ‘Indeed. It took a bit of fancy footwork to get you home again.’
‘Didn’t it just. Anyhow if you remember, that first single cell divided into two. Each half then developed a nucleus and slowly, but quite distinctly, two branches developed. The first evolved into flora. There were early lichens, protozoa, ferns, corals, bacteria, and sponges for example. They all lived perfectly happily alongside each other, resolving disputes and adapting to a harmonious existence. In fact, so successful have they been that many thrive today basically unchanged in their original form.
‘Indeed,’ said The Lord, ‘some of our finest work I think.’
‘I agree. However, it’s the second branch where things seem to have gone awry. The second demi-cell evolved into fauna, animal life. Most species developed and adapted wonderfully well. Some quickly evolved into dominant creatures, a few of which continue almost unchanged to this day. Others, although thriving for millions of earth years, were unlucky and were wiped out by cosmic interference. Perhaps that was partly our fault but, well, it’s too late to worry about that now.
‘All was progressing pretty smoothly till a couple of million years ago when something called Homo Erectus appeared. They were an illogical and peculiar development and we weren’t sure whether The Prince (referring to The Prince of Darkness) had a hand in messing about with an unwilling creature’s DNA. But, despite being irregular creatures, early on, they were happy enough. They developed an opposable thumb, particularly important when playing darts and spanning an octave on the piano. Simultaneously they developed a higher intelligence than many other fauna and soon realized that they could take over. They decided they needed to dominate, rule over the other creatures, even the weak of their own kind. Naughty really don’t you think?’
‘I do detest confrontation,’ said The Lord. ‘It just seems all so…… unnecessary. Mind you, your water into wine trick seemed to be the catalyst for plenty of aggressive behaviour. Ongoing I might add. These humans seem to have a problem managing the effects of most elixirs. They tried to hide their lack of capacity by changing the original name of ‘Murder a Lot’ to ‘Merlot’, but it fails to disguise their underlying frailties.’
‘Yes, unfortunate, but despite that little, uh….. wrinkle, at the end of the day we basically let them get on with their own evolution. We can’t afford to intervene too much, it would the compromise the data. I'd hate to come to the wrong conclusions. The thought of passing on various creature’s idiocy to future worlds doesn’t bare thinking about.’
‘I suppose you’re right.’ The Lord sighed theatrically. ‘Do go on.’
‘Right, well, in our analysis so far, the real problem involves a group who call themselves human beings. The name itself suggests a life-form in some confusion. I’ve asked around and quite why the word ‘beings’ is tacked on the end nobody is sure. ‘Humans’ on its own would do perfectly well. Then humans themselves split in two and became known as humans and huwomans. Intrinsically they are the same beast with a few minor physical discrepancies. Subsequently they appear to have dropped the title huwoman. And then, inexplicably, they lumped everything under the less intelligent brand, ‘human’. Nevertheless, the point is that this branch seems to have started off as one half of a single cell, progressed to some degree, then started a major reverse. A direction in which it is still heading. Humans have evolved into something quite unpredictable, to the point of obnoxious, even reckless at times.’
‘Oh dear.’ Said the Lord, raising his white eyebrows.
‘Quite, not only do they seem hell bent on destroying all the flora, frankly the most attractive evolutionary half, but they also appear to have begun to self-destruct. I don’t know if you remember, but when humans created a thing they called an atomic bomb in the year 1945 of their calendar, I sent a memo to the disciples warning that it may be the beginning of the end of ‘Experiment Earth’. Humans had found a way to destroy themselves. And everything else indeed. They appear to have come quite close to an apocalypse a number of times but pulled back at the last moment. The threat though, remains. The whole situation is exacerbated because they insist on choosing leaders of doubtful countenance. There are a few current incumbents who simply wouldn’t have the sensitivity to survive if they lived among the sponges.’
‘Oh Lord,’ Said The Lord.
‘One of the problems,’ continued Jesus, ‘was a simple piece of miscommunication. During their early development I sent an emissary to suggest the humans divided earth into regions. I believed it would not only spice up our experiment but also make it straightforward for the humans to govern themselves in more manageable groups.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, ‘region’ was misspelled as ‘religion’. Somehow L1 got added, fifty-one, uncomfortably close to fifty-two, the area where the emissary actually landed on earth. So, what they should have had was a number of individually autonomous, peaceful areas. Instead, in addition to our Christianity, they ended up with eight or nine main ‘religions’. Your counterparts, the spiritual leaders of these religions, are noble deities like yourself, utterly trustworthy and beings of peace and love. The problem is that each religion has a great many followers and within their number exist enough lunatics who want to cause trouble, which they do in the name of their chosen religion. Sadly, this drags down the venerableness of the whole shooting-match. Unfortunate phrase there, but you get my meaning. Consequently, the humans, rather than living in harmony, have battled and bickered for aeons. The only useful service that these hostilities perform is to periodically check rampant overnumbering. Of course, in reality that’s not too big a deal because we merely withhold a virulent pandemic or two. The point to it all is that it appears that these so-called ‘intelligent humans’ cannot be left to their own devices.
Not only have they developed unnerving murderous tendencies, they are also failing to develop in positive areas either. For example, they have only managed to visit another celestial body on half a dozen occasions, and each of those to their nearest neighbour. Not a great record, I think you’ll agree for a species that considers itself perceptive and resourceful. And on those occasions, so alarmed were ‘The Moonies’ at the arrival of what they described as ‘The Unhinged’, they took to their underground burrows till their unwanted visitors had departed. I can’t say I blame them. There’s every chance the locals would have been decimated and a flag plonked on the moon’s surface in claim.’
They broke for lunch here after which The Lord had a nap and Jesus went to the driving range to see if he could reproduce the miracle of a straight three-iron.
‘OK, where were we?’ asked Jesus.
'The moon had just escaped a conquering I believe.’
‘Oh yes. The other-world, cosmic adventures of the humans, undertaken with timidity and distinct lack of success on occasion, leads sweetly on to our hypotheses as to why things are deteriorating so alarmingly with the humans.’
Jesus looked out of the window lost in thought. The Lord waited patiently as his son obviously battled his demons. Dad was sympathetic because he could well understand the pressure of developing a civilization. In fact, Jesus’ mind was elsewhere. He couldn’t shake the horrors of his golf practice which culminated in a shot that fired off, inexplicably, at right angles, felling a horse in an adjacent meadow. Thankfully the nag recovered but when asked by friend and fellow swinger, Peter Apostlethwaite, how his practice had gone, Jesus replied simply, ‘Mare!’
The Lord coughed politely to return his son from wherever his mind had gone.
‘Oh, sorry father. Yes. I was about to tell you of the human’s nemesis. It transpires they have invented something called the internet. Basically, it’s a conduit along which bad news and non-intellectual garbage can circulate the globe at the speed of light. Our observers tell me, for I have neither the capacity nor will to understand the concept, that it has the potential to do some good. Unfortunately, it appears to be have taken on a persona of its own. It’s not easy to figure out who’s in charge but from what we can see it appears to be presided over by something called Karen, based in a cave in Scarborough, a settlement which unfortunately finds itself in the gloomy territory of Yorkshire. This Karen creature appears to have the ability to manipulate and alter human minds. Whenever anybody enters the internet room, not only does their personality change, they also lose whatever common sense they may have had when they arrived. It seems that humans send meaningless words and phrases on an uncharted course to be received by anyone who’s front gate happens to be open at that particular moment.
As far as we can see, the collective noun for this huge mass of words is drivel. Presumably there is a drivel depository somewhere. Humans gaze into the manufactured matrix of mayhem (namely the internet) through what we believe are plasma-boxes. They delve into this mystical library of drivel, gather words, assemble them in random order and fire them off into the unknown. The only precondition of these messages is that must be utterly meaningless. Should anything logical actually appear, so endangering the integrity of the drivel, it is immediately dispatched by something called a moderator, who we believe to be one of a group of umpires carefully monitored by Karen. We have discussed this at length and one theory is that a large proportion of humans are trying to attain the same level of intellect as a sponge. With success in some quarters it has to be said.
It’s a pity really because the vocabulary developed by humans over the centuries, in different languages too, could be used for works of beauty and interest. Sadly, it’s all been hijacked by the majority Cretin tribe. Nobody seems to know the origin of the Cretins, save to say that they inhabit every corner of planet earth. They are a powerful, if dim, body.
And, Father, it gets worse. Not only is the internet mentally divisive, but it’s also not much good physically either. We have numerous reports of humans sitting before their plasma light boxes for days on end. Their deportment is something similar to that witnessed after particularly intense battles during the religious conflicts. Humans stare into the middle distance and mumble, as if their spirit is gone and they have lost the will to live, rather like the humans we witnessed from Lancashire.
Furthermore, because they sit upright for lengthy periods, any loose flesh, pectorals and bosoms for example, drift south. It all ends up in a soggy mess around the lower torso / hip area. One of our researchers described these plasma-box devotees as, and I quote, ‘flabby digital flies trapped in a specious, synthetic web suspended in a counterfeit world.’ I gave Paul the morning off for that effort.
Another downside to this internet phenomenon is happening as we speak. Remember we sent them a pandemic a while back? Nothing earth-ending, nastier than some they’ve had for sure but not something that warranted the reaction it got. We allowed those bats to escape and before you know it there’s earth-wide panic. Thanks to the web, human’s response has gone far and above anything sensible. The problem is that one individual can fire something off into the ether. It may arrive, seemingly at random, in the plasma-box of any number of humans. It takes only a few others to get steamed up and send it to all their friends. This happens again and again. One becomes ten, becomes a hundred and so on. Before your toast has popped up a million people, in numerous regions, are banned from going for a haircut.
Can you make sense of it father because I can’t? The daft thing is that the first message in this pandemic pyramid may be erroneous! It may be nothing more than the product of some lunatic’s imagination. Compounding the felony, humans would rather soak up tasty tittle-tattle than listen to anything remotely logical. Once these falsehoods are ingrained in the human grey matter, it appears there is no reversing the process.
Finally, Father, as I know it’s getting time for your nap, I’d like to bring to your attention the incredible goings on as one region tries to elect a new leader. If you put it on the stage nobody would believe it. On the one hand, in the nutty corner if you will, we have the present incumbent who won some sort of popular vote a while ago. He’s an extraordinary specimen who is independently wealthy – of things if not mind. He makes regular, unintelligible proclamations from his Oval Orifice. He also enjoys golf, as do I, but he takes it to the extreme. Can you believe, he wears a divot on his head. Quite a fashion statement I can tell you. It flaps about in the breeze like the opening and closing of a clam. His opponent is a man nearly as old as you Father. He appears to struggle to remain awake and sometimes it’s possible to see the strings that his ‘advisors’ use to manipulate him. Frankly the whole debacle is rather embarrassing for such a large region, especially as it considers itself superior to everywhere else.
I could go on Father but just as a final point we have studied the fuel the humans use to move, if they can drag themselves away from their plasma boxes. We gave them a wonderful assortment of fresh vegetables, fruit and meat in many forms. A small fraction proportionately is eaten as intended. In other words, you can tell what they are eating by the shape and odour, like Eve’s first apple, but not as sinister. But increasingly they take these lovely raw ingredients, evolved over millions of years, mash them up and add all sorts of detritus. The resulting mush is then re-formed into a new shape and called something else. A hamburger for example usually contains beef, not ham and ‘burger’ is derived from the word for a wealthy medieval citizen. The whole thing is enclosed in two halves of an artificial bread and padded out with noxious pickles. The taste is screened by a mixture of sauces which are by-products of various industrial processes. The last thing a discerning medieval noble would be seen eating is revolting mishmash like that. Or me I might add!
In fact, what they’ve done is create the archetypal vicious circle. They eat these nutritionally bereft concoctions so have to supplement with tonne upon tonne of various extra vitamins and potions. Then they get ill and have to take medicines and balms manufactured for eye-watering profits by enormous chemical companies. Its just like a huge, revolting whirlpool spinning slowly in the cosmos. It’s hardly surprising that so many arrive at our front gate looking like they’re about to explode.
So, that’s it for now Father. To sum up, if nothing else, the experiment is fascinating. I think it’s fair to say that when things were left in peace to develop and evolve they produced some wondrous specimens. The problem came when we introduced humans. They’re making a right god’s breakfast of it. We’ve concluded that there may be less than an earth’s century left for the at its present rate of self-destruction. It’s alarming, but there it is.
‘Jesus Christ.’ Said The Lord. ‘Mary’s going to be furious. She’s just bought a ruck of shares in GlaxoSmithKline.’
‘Quite.’ Replied Jesus.
© Jo May 2020
Some daft ones