links for 2008-03-23
Morning Coffee: Free vs. Fair Trade

If Our Media Covered Judea in the Year 33...

I laughed when I got this:

I just read the Politico story. Ugh. I'm trying to imagine coverage of other world events:

Just as the followers of Jesus of Nazareth were hoping to put his conviction for treason and ignominious execution behind them, his disappearance from his tomb and periodic appearances to startled citizens threaten to thrust the embattled spiritual leader back into the spotlight.

His followers -- those who would comment at all -- expressed frustration with his latest antics. Some disputed the reliability and even mental stability of the main witness of his possible appearances, Miriam from Magdala. Others were little more optimistic: "The main reaction is 'Why? Why now?’" said one anonymous disciple. "It's just another day off message." Another said: "I'd rather Jesus showed a little more concern for his flock and a little less taste for theatrics." Few of his followers rushed to embrace their Risen Lord. This was true even of the inner circle of twelve disciples, now eleven after the mysterious and unexplained death of Judas the Dagger-Man.

Despite frequent pleas by reporters to address the issue on the record, John, the disciple Jesus loved, declined to comment at all.

Simon -- whom Jesus had earlier in a secretive and undignified ceremony renamed "Rock" and given the "keys to his kingdom" -- could not be reached on the issue of Jesus' alleged resurrection: his voice was drowned out by the repeated crowing of roosters. "Small loss" said an insider close to High Priest Caiaphas. "Why are reporters trying to quote Simon at all? We know he thrice denied in front of witnesses that knew Jesus at all. If Simon is now once again claiming Jesus as his Lord, he is nothing but a flip-flopper. Hardly a rock of faith."

Didymus Thomas was the only official disciple who would go on the record to journalists. He said that he gave the rumors of resurrection no credence at all: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails," he said, "and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Saul of Tarsus advised Jesus' opponents to cast him as an elitist. He urged rival religious leaders to respond like this:

Jesus should stop condescending to his fellow citizens. We don't need traitors to show us how to, quote, escape the dominion of sin and death, unquote, or to pretend to be superior to the rest of us mere mortals by rising from the dead.

During a brief sketching opportunity in the Antonia Fortress, Procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate assured reporters of his complete loyalty and total subservience to our current Emperor Tiberius Caesar, and showed reporters but would not distribute a legal opinion, from the Rome law firm of Scipio, Cicero, Sulla, and Yoo, stating that arbitrary arrest, scourging, crowning with thorns, and crucifixion of a guiltless God-man were well within the imperium powers of a procurator -- being derived as they were from the proconsular imperium and the maiestas of Caesar Augustus Divi Filius himself. Questions about the applicability of the Helvetic Conventions were rebutted by a spokeman who pointed out that Gaius Julius Caesar, adoptive father of the adoptive father of our current Emperor, had destroyed and enslaved the Helvetii.

Not quoted in the mainstream media accounts were others with more substantive and less spin-centric takes on Easter. Bob Somerby returned from a lenghy desert claiming to have spoken to the Paraclete, who had defended Jesus: "This is bigger than Peter's pew numbers", Somerby said the Paraclete had cooed. It also agreed that the mainstream media had never given Al Gore a fair shake.

Glenn Greenwald climbed Mt. Sinai and claims to have spoken to the Bush:

Jesus made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men...

Greenwald reported that the Star-Maker had said:

And being found in fashion as a man," YHWH went on, "Jesus humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore I have highly exalted him, and given him the name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to my glory...