March 22nd, 2009



  • 14:38 When I look at my own LJ-friends' friends lists, a lot of the posts are mine. Does that mean I write too much, or others write too little? #
  • 14:40 Does anyone know what a good starting point is for Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys albums? #
  • 16:04 I got the Hungry Tiger Press edition of "The Visitors from Oz" today. The illustrations and design are great. #
  • 21:17 @eehouls Sorry, but I don't think that would look good on me. :P #
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Iscariot, Is Not Cariot

When you think about it, the role of Judas Iscariot in the Bible doesn't make a whole lot of sense. First of all, he follows Jesus around for about a year before ratting him out. Wouldn't there have been other opportunities before that? And why would he need to identify Jesus by kissing him? If the authorities were after him, wouldn't they know what he looked like? And John claims that Judas was the treasurer for the Apostles, so if he had only been interested in money, couldn't he have absconded with that money (not that I would imagine a group of ascetics would have all that much cash on hand)? I've even seen it suggested that the story of Judas' betrayal was simply a bit of after-the-fact anti-semitism, making the guy with the most blatantly Jewish name a villain. Even if that's the case, though, I don't think it means Jesus didn't have a disciple named Judas. In fact, according to some lists, he actually had two, and the Gospel of John sometimes refers to the other one as "not Iscariot." But what does "Iscariot" mean, anyway? The most common interpretation is that it means he came from a place called Kerios, but it's also been suggested that it means he was a member of the sicarii, a group that favored violent overthrow of the Romans (as Simon bar Kochba would later attempt). Regardless, I kind of like the idea that Judas was trying to goad Jesus into action by betraying him, which I first saw mentioned in Asimov's Guide to the Bible. The recently discovered Gnostic Gospel of Judas presents the betrayal as something Judas was told to do by Jesus himself, in order to fulfill his mission. If this is the case, I hardly think Dante's presenting him as one of the three worst sinners in history is reasonable, but we ARE talking about a guy who put his own political enemies in his version of Hell.


Okay, so, this past weekend wasn't all that eventful, but most of them aren't, so why would this one be any different? On Friday night, bethje and I watched Bubba Ho-Tep, which I enjoyed. Bruce Campbell did a good job playing old Elvis. Later that night, I had a dream that I was in high school (I guess it was high school, anyway), and the bathrooms had these weird machines that automatically dispensed soap and water, but also would sometimes play jokes and emit whipped cream or something. Also, I made some quip about zombies that I can't remember (I'm sure it didn't make any sense; dream jokes generally don't), and it ended up on T-shirts.

On Saturday, we met up with Dorothea and her boyfriend for dinner at the Olive Garden. He paid for us, which was very nice of him. And I got to see Dorothea's pets Isabella (a Pomeranian/Toy Eskimo mix who might well also have some Chihuahua ancestry) and Joey (a big gray cat who likes to spin around in an office chair).

Throughout the weekend, I've been listening to the Decemberists' new album, The Hazards of Love. The album is essentially a rock opera, something that's quite suited to the band. I enjoy it, but it'll probably take some time to fully click with me. The Decemberists have had songs that I liked immediately ("Billy Liar" and "The Chimbley Sweep" both fit into that category), but they seem not to have had quite as many in recent years. They certainly haven't lost any of their creativity or skill, though.

The Simpsons episode tonight wasn't bad, but a lot of the humor did strike me as rather juvenile. Very heavy on the bad puns, but fortunately, I tend to enjoy such things. {g} Family Guy was one of the better recent episodes, especially for the Handiquacks plot. It takes some clever writing to come up with something that bad. The Fred Savage bit was also amusing, although it kind of seemed like the show was ripping itself off. Didn't the show already reveal that Ricky Martin and Jewel were the same person? Oh, well. American Dad was also good; I tend to like the episodes where Steve and Roger work together on something.