Several months ago I stumbled across a book on Amazon. A mediocre cover, no reviews, but I flipped through it and it caught my interest: speeches by Satan defending himself, a topic close to my heart (and my research). This week, stalling on some other projects and feeling inexplicably lazy, I spent most of my time on my antique oriental couch absorbed in what turned out to be one of the greatest books I’ve read, possibly ever.
This is the review I posted on Amazon:
If you want to learn about the fall of Lucifer, the creation of mankind, and the war in heaven, you have three main sources: The Bible, Paradise Lost, and The Other Side of Evil. It is not lightly that I compare this new book with these two classics; this massive achievement is a retelling of Satan’s biography, given in first-person, explaining as it were “the ways of Satan to Men.”
Already open to the idea that Satan’s backstory needs to be fleshed out and that in Satan’s rebellion hides the truth and epicenter of the entire Christian edifice, I’ve read countless attempts to justify Satan’s rebellion and highlight the cruel tyranny of God – but most fail.
The reason … Read More »
I started writing this post a couple years ago as a response to a very silly book called “How to Profit from the coming Rapture”. Here’s the description:
“Taking the familiar form of a how-to investment guide, HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE COMING RAPTURE instructs those readers who will certainly be left behind (Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants, and many more) on how to exploit the inevitable demise of the world in order to make a tidy profit. Sure, the rivers and seas will run with blood, locusts will swarm, mountains will move all over the place, and famine will strike. But for the five billion of us left behind, the post-Rapture world will be a time of even more unique investment opportunities.
Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book. I don’t plan to. So this is not a book review. But I like the idea of the book and think it is worth discussing.
I assume the book is tongue and cheek – pointing out how ridiculous we sinners will be when the Christians are gone but we keep thinking about money, rather than turning to God.
Since Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants … Read More »
Stories have always had the magical power to give our lives meaning and perspective. Stories about how the world was created, why there is evil in the world, why we should be good even when no one is watching, and what happens after death. Around 2,000 years ago, some guys cobbled together a book of recycled pagan stories and pinned it to a Jewish cosmology of Good and Evil, resulting in the Christian Bible.
Good people go to Heaven, Bad people go to Hell.
To keep the story fresh and relevant, it needed to be constantly updated. Hell needed to consist of whatever disgusted and frightened people the most. Heaven needed to promise the needs and wants that weren’t fulfilled in this lifetime.
For much of the history of Western Civilization, Hell has been a place of torment and punishment.
Heaven needs Hell; Christians need Hell because if the alternative to heaven was simple unexistence, many people might choose it rather than grovel and live unfulfilled lives of restrained desire
The Neo-Christian fable that Hell is “merely the anguish of eternal separation from God” is a lie; because even that is too much. Giving a reward to urge people towards better things is GOOD. As … Read More »
I wish Christian books came with warning labels.
I had a strange experience recently. I downloaded a book and hated it so much that I had to get out of bed and write a scathing review, starting with the title “How did this trash get on my Kindle.”
Since I rarely write reviews, and even then feel bad giving less than 3 stars, what did this book do to piss me off?
I’ve discovered that bad reviews are all about reader expectation.
The book was Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.
—-start of review—-
I was fooled by the beautiful cover and looking forward to digging into the promise of an exciting story. Instead, I got Lee Strobel style religious zeal preached and internet meme Christian propaganda and conspiracy theory told through a thin layer of fiction.
It’s a little like the Celestine Prophecy – only the C.P. is more grounded in science and reality (which is really, really saying something).
The uncomfortable pit in my stomach grew through the first several sections, which pour out inexcusable mistake after mistake. I knew I was dealing with someone whose religious perceptions clouds their grasp on fact.
If you’re a Bible-Beater, then you’re going to love this book. It will confirms all of … Read More »
Something I’m excited to do for my next book is a make a 3D action figure/collectible.
My book basically ties contemporary superheroes to a tradition of revolutionaries that started with Prometheus and was given definitive shape in the heroic Satan of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Nearly every modern value – from free speech, human rights, civil liberties, racial and gender equality – my book argues, stemmed almost directly from the influence of Milton’s Satan on political rebels and thought leaders.
Our society is Satanic, and that’s a good thing
Giving away a book is a little boring, so I want to make a collectible toy as a giveaway for book promotion. Definitely cooler and more newsworthy.
The trick is making it.
I’ve already commissioned a talented sculpture artist to make a prototype.
Now all I need is someone to make a few hundred of them.
What I’m looking for
The cover I’ll probably go with it this one:
Because it’s simple, shocking and funny. It’s more likely to make people stop and go WTF?! – which is always a good thing.
But I’m not sure if people would get as excited about just a cheap funny toy.
I love the sculpture below of Scott Eaton. It’s moving and powerful. There’s passion and emotion … Read More »
So it’s official. In a couple of months I will pack up, sell or throw away most of my possessions and hit the circuit of cheap international cities that offer good living for internet entrepreneurs. It’s scary. I’m not quite at a comfortable, waterfall of money level but I make enough online to support myself; but getting rid of our Taipei apartment really pushes me to get my game together.
And the absolute freedom of not having a place to live will allow me to do some of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: like join Skepticon 5, one of the largest free skeptic conventions in the USA, which will be held in Springfield, MO on November 9th–11th.
This fall I plan to finish writing my next book (and PhD Dissertation) “Satan is my Hero.” But I know now that even if it’s brilliant, I can’t market it the way I want to without real, personal relationships and friends who offer support.
And that’s why I’m so excited about Skepticon 5. I’m excited because, as someone who is critical of organized religion, I often feel like I’m the sourpuss, dark cloud skeptic asshole. The people who respond to … Read More »
It’s no surprise to see the theme of political revolution in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Revolution is a no-brainer plot template that is successfully integrated in about half of all big Hollywood Hits: a corrupt totalitarian government (or the threat of one) taken down by a time of rebel freedom-fighters.
What I found a little surprising, however, was that the revolution featured in The Dark Knight Rises is the same one that has been going on around the world since September 17, 2011, in response to the crippled financial system.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a populist movement against the “1%” – the poor against the rich. An economic revolution, Marx would say, is overdue.
Is New York City the Real Gotham?
According to the Occupy Wall Street Website,
The 1% mayor of NYC is so sure he can buy anything and anyone, as easily as he bought the office of mayor, including an unprecedented third term.
In his attempt to transform our city into his own 1% fantasy land, he has created a police state: where minority citizens are daily terrorized with stop and frisk; where only the most healthy, wealthy and white are welcome, and the “unwanted” are driven … Read More »