In watching Charlie Brooker’s ‘You Have Been Watching’, they covered an American evangelical ‘chat show’ in the ilk of the fetid haggathon ‘Loose Women’,….’Loose Gideon’, if you will, equally idiotic but infinitely more sinister.
The excellently named Ray Comfort casually stood around musing his ‘Intelligent Design’ theory, proclaiming the undoubted proof of God in an eerie ‘fishing TV’ fashion with the banana as his prized catch. They were clearly bigot-oblivious to the comic irony of caressing the phallic fruit in a homoerotic manner akin to Graham Norton appraising a sordid prop in front of a bewildered B-List method actor.
Their central premise being that the banana is a bountiful largesse from His divine hand, so perfectly designed for human consumption in ergonomic shape it could not have possibly been due to coincidence. He did so with such unbelievable patronising smugness, it was though he was trying to teach a card trick to a chimp. Once I had finishing scoffing and chuckling at their astonishingly haughty performance with about as much valid discourse as a Kerry Katona interview, I was left a little agitated and craving more angered appraisal. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that if I was to draw an e-fit image of someone whose ‘proof’ would be less valid to my opinion, I think I may draw a picture of one of these homunculus God botherers before I would draw a demonic bestiaphile with hooks instead of feet.
Now the last thing I want to do is embark upon a contrived, much covered bout of lurid biblioclasm but I feel an overwhelming desire to vent and take issue with this, more for my own sanity than any other reason.
My first issue, the banana a much coveted and consumed fruit, although now globally commonplace is a fruit belonging to the Musaceae family which grows exclusively in countries with a tropical climate. This would lead me to ponder that if this is a foodstuff purposely ‘gift designed’ by Gods own skilled hand, why He would limit this to only specific areas of the globe baked in His own finely chiselled sunshine. Can I only then assume that this is an example of deital favouritism or, dare I say it, racism? Backhanding this sacred fruit to those of a swarthy persuasion while the rest of the sun dodging globe must slither about amongst thorn-covered shrubbery to paw helplessly at rain-sodden bilberries?
Now, clearly this is aimed at a pre-consumerist society whereby humans were responsible for sourcing their own means of survival, rather than current western methods of swanning into a giant psychedelic food hall to collect a slab of fat-trimmed flesh by crossing the palms of a reluctant miscreant with patterned paper. Much of the world has now dispensed with His seemingly transient endeavour which Comfort has so praised God for, through the gradual introduction of such treasures as pre-packed fruit salad and bags of pre-grated cheese. At this point, I feel bound by duty to re-iterate that my use of the term God is in a staunchly non-specific context. Even though I am addressing Ray Comfort’s specifically Christian ideology, I feel indebted to cover all doctrinal angles. Despite idle forays in to researching Islam, Hinduism et al, I am hopelessly ill-informed, thus bound to sway toward the Christian/catholic brand of tripe I have been exposed to my whole life.
Having said which, I am not assuming that any punctilious bias in these irreverent words would induce widespread sectarian uproar and effigies of me to start barbequing on the streets of Goa or Helmand. I am intrigued what an effigy of me would look like, my immediate wretched spectre conjures a hybrid of the infamous Litvenyenko hospital bed photograph and a blow up sex aid designed for women with a yearning lust for translucent monks.
My second point can be covered by one word only; pomegranate. I will elaborate further but I think this one word speaks the full gambit of my issues with Comfort. If the banana is unrequited evidence for the existence of God, how in babysitting Herod could he explain the existence of the pomegranate? This is a fruit which, despite having a bafflingly comical name, offers such little taste return on the laborious exertion needed that it could make the most ardent God-fearing brain eunuchs question the wisdom of any creationist ideals alone. Just to obtain a tiny piece of flesh you must open it up, sharpen a sewing kit needle, ensure you are facing due south then tweak away with such intricacy that you resemble a 19th century Bavarian watchmaker.
Where does this fit into your schedule Ray? If fruit design was so integral to God’s time-laden life creating schedule, surely even you would want to shake Him by his perfectly pressed saffron lapels and ask him what his Holy malfunction is. This isn’t the fucking Krypton Factor your sodding majesty (or whatever He prefers to be addressed – I’ve not yet had the pleasure), I just require sustenance enough to abide by Your conduct protocol and continue the species. Now, conversely, if I was Ray Comfort, my riposte would hinge around 2 central points.
Firstly, with God adopting the guise of a trendy modern parent, He realised that people dwelling in warmer climates had already been issued with His piece de resistance – the banana, so that He had to even this out by also issuing them with the polar opposite and tip the scale to ensure his undoubted all-loving neutrality.
Secondly, in similar patriarchal fashion, He thought it prudent to include in his little blueprint of earth a number of challenges in life to ensure the development of his most prized muse; in this instance to ensure that we are suitably equipped with visceral micro-dexterity so that once we reach the 20th century, we are adequately proficient at such tasks as changing the fuse in an electrical plug or weaving an intricate tapestry. In any instance, it does scream of a glaring inconsistency in his approach.
In pondering this issue, my train of thought deviated to other areas of His botanical pursuits; if the welfare of humankind was at the forefront of thinking when designing the plant life of earth, why are we surrounded by murderous bastard weeds whose seemingly sole nefarious purpose is to kill all who foolishly plunder its stock like some sort of ghoulish tree villain from a demented David Lynch film? For example – Anthora, Death Camas, American Pokeweed, Apple of Sodom (topical) and Hounds Berry, to name but a few of the more sinister. To allow us to have the comprehensive knowledge we have today of fruits, vegetables, herbs, even organic drugs, a convoluted process of ‘trial and error’ must have preceded, leaving hundreds of thousands of poor feckless nitwits in its wake.
Is God so callous that he would knowingly oversee the plight of a succession of humans dying in a revolting heap seeping poisonous ooze out of horrific lesions and vomiting themselves inside out? Not the God I’m told about. An insidious rapscallion planting deadly booby traps around which we must learn or yield the deadly consequences of naivety? I find it hard to digest that the same benevolent all-loving God would either allow such a calamitous oversight in his plans; or go to such lengths to create the banana in such detail for us, only to backhand our collective chops with his parlous and aptly dubbed ‘deadly nightshade’.
I am morbidly intrigued by the concept of an anthropomorphic God besieged by febrile insecurity, a tortured genius whose undoubted creative achievements are plagued by his inert Ying and Yang fulcrum of anger and pain. In order for Him to exist, one can only assume that he was Himself created by either a relatively scaled reproductive cycle or a divine creator further afield. I would like to imagine that our God is just one individual in a society of his own, each with their own created universes.
This would make it easier to explain world tragedies and the existence of things like diseases and Stephen Beale (Ian’s son from Eastenders, I don’t even watch it but I’ll never forgive or forget this whiny little shitkicker) as they may have simply been the result of masochistic revenge from a bad day for God. “I woke up abruptly, late, with a painfully throbbing erection, I made toast only to realise there was no butter, made tea only to realise the milk was sour, I then got stuck on a bus with afore mentioned crotch destroyer still nodding frantically like an asylum lunatic, my girlfriend is still ignoring me after I got carried away with sex talk on Thursday and called her a dishevelled wench in the heat of the moment , I’ve had a complete prick of a day so if earth thinks I’m getting out of my throne to stop a Tsunami or celebrity ice dancing they can cock off, I’m having a cigar and making some Skittle Vodka“. God c(2001).
Fruit aside, all of nature is widely considered amongst religious cabal to be equal creations of God, particularly animals and wildlife. Keen believing Darwin-agitators use the byzantine array of eclectic animal life as further credence to shun any notion of evolution. “I don’t know ’bout ya’ll, but I ain’t no monkey, I was created by Gaaawd” I recall seeing a pastor once exultantly squeal, while brilliantly harbouring the most harrowing epicanthic fold of Klingon proportions I have ever seen. While humans have been afforded by God undoubtedly the most powerful tool in the form of critical thinking and cognitive reason, the world is awash with creatures of mind boggling design existing within the farrago of ecosystems balanced by chaos, symbiosis and societal hierarchy.
In summary, ideally, Ray Comfort should have gushed about the suitability of a banana being used as a medieval bludgeoning tool (what with it having a God-handle and all), picked a particularly unripened sturdy one, and attempted to flagellate himself unconscious live on screen.