The TL:DR Bible: Ecclesiastes 7-12


Chapter 7:

  • A good reputation is better than good medicine.
  • Your death day is better than your birthday.
  • It’s better to wallow in darkness and sadness because you’re going to die.
  • The wise man is miserable while the fool distracts himself with pleasure.
  • It is better to be wise than a fool.
  • Be happy in your prosperity, but remember in the time of affliction that God is responsible for both.
  • And you’re going to die and be forgotten and have no knowledge of what comes after you.

I’ve lived a long time. I’ve seen the good man die young and the rat bastard live a long life. So don’t be overly good, alright? You’re going to ruin your life with rules and regulations and just be a tight ass. And don’t be overly evil. It will probably catch up to you and also ruin your life. Try to live your life so you’re on the passing side of the curve.

Nobody’s perfect. And don’t let everyone’s words affect you. Your slave might curse you, but you’ve cursed other people. Also, watch out for whores.

 

Chapter 8:

Smart people obey the king unquestioningly. Obey. Me.

Look, even though it looks like evil people live long and prosperous lives, I’m sure it’s better to fear God and live a righteous life because those wicked people will get their comeuppance any day now. Yep… any day now… still waiting, Lord… still waiting… it’s not going to happen, is it? Sigh…

Yeah, good men are killed by evil men. Evil men are killed by good men. It’s all pretty pointless.

Eat well, drink heavily, be happy, and distract yourself from your impending death.

No matter how much we try to figure things out, we’re not going to figure everything out.

 

Chapter 9:

We’re pawns in a cosmic game. Not knowing what will come to us on any given day.

One fate awaits everyone. This is an evil that one fate awaits us all. It’s better to be alive, I guess, because there’s still hope, but if you die, that’s it. You don’t know anything. You’re dead and forgotten.

So go eat, drink, and try to be happy. God is cool with that. Wear nice clothes, practice good hygiene and love women, because your days are few and numbered.

Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, because death.

Wisdom is better than foolishness, but no one listens to or remembers the wisdom of the poor man.

Wisdom is better than an army, but one fuck up fucks everything up good.

 

Chapter 10:

Idiots fuck things up, but people love stupidity and honor it… and make it president… Oh, God… we really did it, didn’t we?

Karma might be a bitch.

Wisdom might be better than stupidity.

 

Chapter 11:

  • Throw your bread on the water and you’ll find it again after a few days… but then it will be gross and soggy and probably half-eaten by ducks. But you’ll have that soggy duck bread, by God.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Rain clouds rain.
  • Where ever a tree falls, there it is. (You think Solomon is high or just fucking with us at this point?)
  • You don’t know shit… so get out there and work…
  • If you live a long life, remember the bad times… there will be a lot of them… you’re gonna die…
  • Hey, young people, go out and have fun and enjoy being young, but God’s totally going to beat the hell out of you for it. But be happy anyway. You’re only young once.

 

Chapter 12:

But try to remember God when you’re young… before you die… and decay… and return to dust… it’s all pointless.

I guess you should try to be religious in case God is going to judge us all… whatever.

The TL:DR Bible: Ecclesiastes 4-6


Chapter 4:

So I looked around and saw all of the evil and injustice in the world. I heard the cries of the oppressed and saw that no one cared or was able to comfort them. So I envied the dead who are at peace. Better yet, it’s better that we were never born, so we wouldn’t have seen the evil in this world.

Competition is empty and pointless.

I watched a man without a family. He worked hard to acquire wealth and goods and never stopped to enjoy them. He never asked himself why he was getting all of this money when he never stopped working to spend a little. His life is empty.

It’s better to have a good friend than to be alone. If you’re alone, no one will help you. If you have a good friend, if one of you is in the trouble, the other can lend a hand.

Governments come and go. Trusting in politics is empty and pointless.

 

Chapter 5:

Be careful around God. Don’t offer pointless worship. Don’t speak hastily and make a vow you don’t intend to fulfill. If you make a vow, fulfill it.

If you see oppression and injustice, don’t be shocked at it. Chances are good politicians are covering one another’s asses to cultivate this result.

Money is emptiness. You’re going to leave this world without it.

Eat, drink, and try to enjoy your work for as long as you’ve got. If you have money, enjoy it. At least being rich might distract you from the impending inevitable death coming for you.

 

Chapter 6:

So I’ve seen a man acquire much wealth, but he never got to enjoy it because it was plundered by a foreign invader. This is a great evil in life.

If a man has 100 sons, but none of them care enough to honor him with a proper burial, it would be better if he had never been born.

We work to feed ourselves, but we are never full. What good is life?

We’re going to die, so what’s the fucking point?

The TL:DR Bible: Ecclesiastes 1-3


I love Ecclesiastes. Always have.

Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but I’ve always been attracted to this book of the bible because every pastor, preacher, and good Christians disavows it, while they still try to pretend that it’s the word of God.

Traditionally, it’s written by Solomon near the end of his life.

 

Chapter 1:

Life is meaningless. It is completely devoid of purpose. What do our lives profit us? Our grandparents were born, they lived, they  died. Our parents were born, lived, and died. Now we are, we live, and we will die and our children and their children and so forth forever.

The Earth continues to spin, waters continue to flow.

Life is a drudgery, a burden to us. We’re never satisfied. And when we are gone, we and all of our wisdom and works, will be forgotten.

I was a king. I set out to become the wisest and most learned man who ever lived. I’ve seen it all now. And it’s all fucking pointless.

Even wisdom is pointless. Because the smarter you are, the more you realize that there is no purpose, no point to anything.

Then Solomon put on a Smiths’ album, sat in the darkness for a while and cried.

 

Chapter 2:

So I tried to distract myself and find a point in pleasure. I drank a lot. I ate a lot. I bought nice things. I built houses and gardens and parks. I had a private forest. I bought men and women as slaves. I acquired great wealth so that I was the wealthiest man in the nation. And I bought sex slaves… a lot of sex slaves.  I spent like a drunken rock star.

And it was all pointless.

So I tried wisdom and folly. I saw that wisdom seemed better than folly, but both the wise and the fool die and end up in the grave. And both are forgotten.

So I hated life.

Then I realized that everything I had accomplished in life, I would lose when I died and it would pass on to my idiot son, Rehoboam. He did nothing for it except get lucky to be born my kid, and he’s probably going to fuck it all up.

So eat, drink, and tell yourself that it matters. Hell, even try religion.

But it’s all pointless.

 

Chapter 3:

There is a time for everything in its season. God made everything appropriate in time, and put eternity in our desires.

I know there’s nothing better than to rejoice and do good in our lifetimes. If you can eat and drink and find goodness in your life, that is a gift from God.

But everything that has been, will be.

I watched the righteous man and the wicked man. I told myself that God will judge them. But in the end, both died. Our fates are the same as the fate of beasts. Animals die, we die. We all go to the grave. There is no advantage in being a man. You don’t know what happens when we die. No one does.

So there is nothing better than for a man to be happy in his works, because death awaits us all and after that, who knows?

Happy Monday, everyone!

The TL:DR Bible: Proverbs 29-31


Chapter 29:

  • Keep fighting against the system and you will be broken.
  • Wicked rulers sow and reap a harvest of human misery.
  • Whores don’t love you, son. They love your money. Believe me, I know.
  • A good ruler is just, politicians who take large and mostly unlimited campaign contributions in the name of free speech from shadowy people and corporations in exchange for favorable legislation pervert justice.
  • Don’t buy into flattery. They want something from you.
  • Righteous people care about the poor. The wicked say the poor should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
  • You can’t win an argument with a troll.
  • If a rule pays attention to falsehood, like say believes everything he reads on hyperpartisan websites… imagine how horrible that would be…
  • God makes the sun rise on the just and the unjust.
  • A king who gives justice to the poor will be established forever… or at least until the rich flood the system with money in order to get their man on the throne.
  • Beat your child as needed.
  • When there is no idea of a common good, the people do whatever they want.
  • Beat your slaves as needed.
  • People who speak without thinking are worse than trolls.
  • Seriously, don’t go easy on your slaves or they will start thinking they’re people.
  • Your angry friend will always start a bar fight.
  • Pride goes before a fall.. yeah, I know, I sort of ran out of things to say a while ago, but no one seems to have noticed.

 

Chapter 30:

Hey, it’s a new guy speaking: Agur, the son of Jakeh

  • I don’t know anything and I’m really stupid! This is a great way to start a book of proverbs!
  • Every word of God is tested. Well, in my experience, it’s more believed unquestioningly and we don’t ask too many questions about whether or not it’s the word of God in the first place.
  • Hey, God, I just want two things: to know and speak the truth and to have enough money that I can get by.
  • Don’t speak bad about a slave or you’ll look bad?
  • There are a lot of assholes out there: disrespectful kids, hypocrites, the self-important, and the oppressor.
  • There are some people out there that will suck you dry and leave you drained.
  • I don’t understand eagles, snakes, sailing, or love.
  • Did you ever notice how whores don’t think they’re doing anything wrong?
  • Ants are cool for storing their food, hyraxes are cool because they live in the rocks, locusts are cool because of how they swarm, and lizards that seem to slip past security and live in palaces.
  • Lions are cool because they’re fucking lions, man. Roosters are cool. Male goats… and a king at the head of an army, that’s cool too.
  • Stop boasting about yourself. That’s what resumes are for.

 

Alright, Agur… you seem dumber than Solomon, which is surprising.

 

Chapter 31:

Now we hear from King Lemuel. Who is King Lemuel? We don’t know. He wasn’t mentioned in the list of losers and dumbasses in the books of Kings or Chronicles. But his mom gave him some advice that somehow made it into Solomon’s book too:

  • Don’t go out whoring around.
  • Don’t drink. But do let the depressed and the afflicted drink so they can forget their troubles.
  • Speak for the forgotten, the outcasts, the poor, and afflicted. Protect their rights.
  • Okay, here’s a final section for all the ladies in the church to aspire to be this impossible archtype of a wife who works, pops out kids and raises and homeschools them while making her husband happy, finding time to volunteer at the church, bake cookies for the woman’s group meeting, run faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings with a single bound. Let’s all gather together and study this chapter so we can list and highlight all of your personal failings like how you sometimes let dishes sit in the sing for a day or two and feed your children Pop Tarts and are too tired to have sex sometimes. This will be good for you… somehow… well, it’ll get you in a weepy mood to pray and beg God to make you better and you’ll buy my book, so that’s good.

 

Sigh… and we’re done. Yes! Woo-hoo! Next up, the book of God’s word that every literalist says we shouldn’t actually pay attention to because it’s not really God’s word even though it’s in the bible.

The TL:DR Bible: Proverbs 27-28


Chapter 27

  • Don’t boast about tomorrow because you might be dead.
  • Don’t self-promote. That’s what hype men are for.
  • Trolls are really annoying, am I right?
  • Jealousy will make people do crazy things.
  • Friends tell you when you’re wrong and when you have a booger hanging out of your nose.
  • If you were really hungry, you would eat what I MADE FOR YOU, YOU LITTLE ENTITLED BRAT!
  • Like a bird that wanders, so is the man who wanders. No, man, I am not high… you’re high… yeah… duuuuude…
  • Wise counsel makes you feel, like, really good, man.
  • Be there for your friends and family, but it’s better to go to a neighbor’s house than your brother’s house when you’re in trouble. No sense in bringing the law to your brother’s house.
  • Don’t be a dumbass, kid.
  • Wise people foresee trouble and avoid it. Naïve people trust the Wall St. Journal and buy a house with an adjustable rate mortgage in 2007…
  • Ream the hell out of anyone who cosigns a loan, kid, and blackmail a guy involved in adultery.
  • Seriously, man, bitches, am I right?
  • Here’s a verse every men’s ministry will print on T-shirts for their Men’s Retreats to encourage men to pester one another about how often they read their bible vs. how often they jerk off to pron.
  • Look, slaves, work hard, take care of me, and I will totally honor you. Maybe with a fruit basket for your birthday.
  • What’s in your heart will come out eventually.
  • If you want to see a man’s character, give him adulation and power.
  • You can beat the shit out of a troll all day, you can post links and facts and evidence and waste hours of your life debunking every fucking thing he ever says, but he won’t stop being an idiot and believing that Sandy Hook was staged.
  • Pay attention to your financial investments, kid, or the market will ream you.

 

Chapter 28:

  • If you’re doing the speed limit, you’re not going to freak out when the cop pulls up behind you.
  • Politicians are scum and destroy the land, but the wise keep trying to maintain civilization anyway.
  • Stop punching down, people. It’s not the fault of the Other. It’s probably the fault of the wealthy.
  • Good people strive against evil in any form. The wicked flatter the evil doer and admire them and faun over them.
  • The wicked practice injustice and don’t even recognize it when it happens right in front of them.
  • Walk in justice, it is better than to riches and oppression.
  • Keep company with the just, not with gluttons and the greedy that waste their wealth only on themselves.
  • Cursed is the one that makes his money off of usury and interest.
  • God hates religion without justice.
  • People who corrupt the good will be judged.
  • The wealthy man thinks he is smart. Real smart. Like the best smart guy evar. But the poor man with wisdom sees through him.
  • If you try to deny your sins, people are going to think you’re an ass. If you confess them, seek forgiveness, and stop being an ass, people will be compassionate towards you.
  • The oppressor is a devouring tyrant that consumes the poor and spreads fear.
  • The Just man will prolong his days… you know… unless the unjust rulers kill them brutally for standing against them.
  • The man deemed guilty of murder will be a fugitive all of his days… or until act three when he finds the one-armed man.
  • Better to work hard for your food than to buy a hundred lottery tickets in the hopes of getting rich.
  • If you rob your mom and dad, you’re worse than a murderer.
  • Don’t follow your heart, that’s stupid advice. Use your head and your heart to walk wisely.
  • When the wicked gain power, men hide themselves, but when the wicked are purged, the righteous flourish.

Postcards from the Post-Apocalypse


June 5th,

They killed a girl today.

No, that ain’t right.

We killed a girl today.

Susanna Shepherd. She was in my Sunday School class. I didn’t know her that well, on account of boys and girls not being allowed to play together. My brother Martin talked to her though. I think he had a crush on her and was hoping to have pa talk to her dad and arrange a marriage, but Lloyd’s dad beat ‘em to it.

We killed her on the doorstep of her parents’ house, just like Pastor Jim told us the Good Book said. He said she had ‘played the harlot’ and ‘brought wickedness to the congregation.’ She swore she was innocent. She begged us to spare her life. She said that she had never known a man until her wedding night, but Lloyd appeared with a clean bedsheet and Pastor Jim called her a liar and said the sign of her virginity would have been the blood.

Lloyd threw the first rock. I will always remember the sound of it hitting her head. I made me feel like I was going to be sick. Then Pastor Jim and then the other men joined in. Susanna cried and kept swearing she hadn’t done anything. Then a rock hit her in the side of the head and she fainted, I think. She didn’t say anything else after that.

After a while, pa handed me a stone too. I didn’t want to throw it. Pa told me it was the Lord’s will. We had to please the Lord to make sure the crops grew this year.

I threw the damn thing. It landed on her back with a thud.

I prayed to Jesus hoping she was already dead.

Pastor Jim said the Lord was pleased with us for performing his law and removing wickedness from our midst, but I can’t stop thinking about her. Maybe she was innocent. Maybe we just murdered her like Cain murdered Able. The bloody dress. Her face crushed and broken. The limp body they hung from the tree in the middle of town. The smell… the crows picking at her.

It don’t seem like a thing God would be happy over.

Don’t seem like a thing that ought to be done.

I hope I don’t see her eyes tonight

– Excerpt from The Diary of Jim Harlan, New Zion Settlement, New Canaan Confederacy

The TL:DR Bible: Proverbs 25-26


Chapter 25:

  • God conceals things, the king reveals them. OBEY.
  • The king’s heart cannot be known. TRUST.
  • Purify the silver, remove the dross. Purify my kingdom, remove the wicked.
  • Don’t elevate yourself, let others do it for you.
  • Get a lawyer if you’re going to court.
  • Don’t spill other people’s secrets or people will think badly of you.
  • Good words are more valuable sometimes than much wealth.
  • Good messengers are hard to come by, which is why I DON’T shoot them when they bring me bad news. (I’ve read the Evil Overlord list.)
  • Don’t gorge yourself on honey, or you’re gonna puke.
  • Fish and visitors smell after three days. Don’t be a smelly fish.
  • Liars are wicked. Don’t trust the untrustworthy.
  • Bless your enemy and do good to them. You’ll be blessed by God and be tormenting them with your kindness. Win-win, right?
  • Gossip stirs up anger.
  • Seriously, for the hundredth time, don’t marry a bitch.
  • If you give in to the wicked, you share in his corruption
  • A man without self-control is like a city that is defenseless.

 

Chapter 26:

  • Don’t honor fools… like by making them president, because ha ha, how disastrous would that be? Hahahahaha… ah….
  • If you magic curse someone without a cause, it just kind of floats out there in the ether?
  • It’s totally natural to beat the crap out of fools.
  • When it comes to trolls, you’re kinda damned if you do answer them and damned if you don’t.
  • Don’t use a troll as your spokesperson.
  • They seriously can’t even speak a proverb in the correct situation. They’re like lame, man.
  • Seriously, do not elect or hire or promote a troll or an idiot.
  • Fools don’t change.
  • Lazy people suck.
  • Don’t get involved in fights that aren’t your concern, you’re going to get your nose bit off.
  • People who troll and ‘prank’ you are like lunatic arsonists.
  • People aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes they’ll seem like your friend, and then shiv you in the back. What goes around will come around to them.