Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Adventures of Flannelgraph Jesus

Flannelgraph Jesus has been reading some new books and visiting some new blogs. He heard something about a “secret message” he was supposed to have, and he wants to make sure it gets shared with all the people.


Flannelgraph Jesus is not sure he has the “secret message” down yet.

39 comments:

Deeapaulitan said...

You forgot - "Blessed are they who Emerge with facial hair for they shall birth a movement." or maybe - "blessed are they who sport Gotees for they shall be Blue, Like Jazz."

Chad Toney said...

Guys, get with the progrum.

Everybody knows that the Soul Patch is the new Gotee.

Greg Arthur said...

It would be helpful to know more about you so others could successfully mock you with sarcastic whit. I like your stuff, but your hidden identity doesn't say much for your use of satire which is quite good. Step up, show yourself and open yourself up for a little satire yourself.

Call Me Ishmael said...

Greg wrote, "It would be helpful to know more about you so others could successfully mock you with sarcastic whit."

How often to I get such an offer? Now there's a man who knows how to motivate!

He also wrote: "I like your stuff, but your hidden identity doesn't say much for your use of satire which is quite good."

Thank you for the compliment, but I'm not sure how anonymity either adds to or detracts from satire in any way or on any level. Is satire better when we know who wrote it? Was the 1996 political novel "Primary Colors" in any way improved when we all learned that it written by Joe Who-The-Heck-Is-He Klein?

The history of anonymous and pseudonymous satire is long and storied. One thinks especially of Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver’s Travels" in this regard, which was at first published anonymously, various now-forgotten sequels by others were published both anonymously and pseudonymously. I'd like to consider my miniscule contribution but an unworthy homage to this honorable tradition.

Greg finally wrote, "Step up, show yourself and open yourself up for a little satire yourself."

And this from someone who does not yet use even a fake picture of himself on his profile.

Well, I'm torn between disappointing you by disclosing my identity so you can discover that I'm actually a nobody, and disappointing you by declining your generous offer to roast me over a fire of my own making. But since my fear of the former is greater than my fear of the latter (I can't bear the thought of watching people try to satirize someone as boring as myself), I feel that I have no choice but to opt for the latter.

At least for now...

Liz said...

Keep the mystery. I vote no for coming clean. But I vote yes for changing the moustache into a sexier--I mean, more spiritual-- form of facial hair.

Adam said...

"Blessed are the Geeks for they shall inherit the church."
Ummm...Dude, I hate to tell you this, but you write extensively on a blog, have an avatar of Inspector Clouseau (Which is not "hip", no matter what you are telling yourself, and I realize that I may have spelled his name wrong, but that would only make me cooler for not knowing), and spent at least an hour creating the advetures of Flannel Graph Jesus in Photoshop. You, my friend, are a geek. Welcome to the club.
AE

Josh said...

perhaps you should read something before you open your mouth.

Roger Overton said...

I miss flannelgraphs. I wonder if there is space for them in the emerging church...

Greg Arthur said...

Ish,

I will work on adding a fake photo of myself sometime soon. You are actually one of my favorite bloggers, because I am very involved in the emerging church and think that satire and well thought out criticism are always the ways we grow the best. I just feel bad that you would miss out on such growth opportunities. And I sadly do not have your whit or abilities. I guess I will have to leave you only with your own commentary on yourself. If you could write some satire on yourself, or critics of Emergent, you would certainly riase yourself even higher in my book.

Blessings-
Greg

Call Me Ishmael said...

Adam: your point is well-taken.

Josh: Consider my comment (dated 03.17.06 - 10:44 am) on Carla Rolfe’s March 16 blog post, “On growing weary,” as well as much of what Carla herself said, to be my reply to you.

Roger: PowerPoint is the new flannelgraph.

Greg: Thank you very much for the kind compliment. And you’re right, of course. I should be an equal-opportunity satirist. And I really want to be. And someday (soon) I hopefully will be. But I believe something far more essential is at stake here: the word “whit” means “the smallest part or particle imaginable.” And yet I doubt that you meant to say anything like “I sadly do not have your sub-atomic particle or abilities.” I think the word you were looking for is “wit.”

Gordon Cloud said...

Dude, this is a great blog! Loved it a bunch. I will definitely be back.

Greg Arthur said...

Ish,

Thanks for correcting my spelling, darn blogspot and its lack of spell check.

Peace-
Greg

Seth Huckstead "The Petty Athanasius said...

CMI (You have to have a cool abbreviation of your "handle")

I don't understand why your identity is an issue for many-are you not just orienting yourself to your missional structure so that you will not threaten your situational condition and just using a particular speech act to tell your story-to push your personal divine missional perogitive? Are you not just trying to have a converstation?

Could not your true name be Callme and your last name Ishmael? Could you not bear a striking resemblence to the Inspector (not Gadget mind you, unless...)?

-Seth

m b redmond said...

josh said, "perhaps you should read something before you open your mouth."

I don't get it...

Andrew said...

What did he say? "Blessed are the modems?"


AC

Jon said...

No, he said "blessed are the cheesemakers"

Brian LePort said...

Hilarious!

Voice in the Wilderness said...

Those are much better than the flannelgraphs I remember as a kid!

kate said...

I must point out, dear Greg, that if your misspelling is an actual word, spellcheck won't be useful for you.
Thanks, Ishmael, for correcting him. I was trying really hard not to scream.
And, Inspector Clousseau totally rocks. Totally.

greg said...

Ish,

I'd like to second Greg A's request for you to name yourself. Gulliver's Travels was published anonymously to avoid prosecution. I suspect you needn't worry about ecclesiastical courts these days.

The reason it's a fair request is that satirists ought to make themselves apparent so that their perspective and background are fairly known. For example, if I knew you to be a five-pointer, I would know that any conversation that departs from Calvinism's hopelessly internal, inaccessible logic would be in vain. Tangentially, any critique you made from within that Calvinist system would require that I agree with the tortured logic required to embrace the five points.

In the past when I've written satire, primarily for the Wittenburg Door, my name has been clearly displayed at the top of the page. Ole Anthony and Bob Darden put their names in there as well. It's a kind of full disclosure thing. We allow ourselves to be scrutinized so that we can hopefully avoid the tendency to sneer rather than satirize. Anonymity makes sneering far easier than satirizing.

All the same, your stuff is funny. But make your positions clear and thus open yourself up to be satirized as well.

Frank Martens said...

Well I get the jokes...

Not sure I understand why you do the secret identity thing. But who cares, your points are well made.

PEACE from the South SIDE!

xblairx said...

too bad...unless i'm missing something, i just think this is in poor taste.

Deeapaulitan said...

Ishy... where have you gone??? COooome BaaAaAck!

JLF said...

Ish... have we seen the last of you? I do hope not... I'm in need of a good laugh these days, help us out! :)

r a i n e r said...

come back!

Deeapaulitan said...

See...I'm still checking!

shanana said...

missing your witicism...

wwjblog said...

I don't remember saying that stuff but it kinda sounds like Me.

sf said...

call me Ishmael, where are you??

Greg Arthur said...

Return to us Ish with your whit or wit or whet or whatever

Escher's Emulator said...

You see, Ish, I'm not the only one begging you for another serving! :)

Blessings,

Escher's Emulator (who wrote you a private email a few minutes ago)

Deeapaulitan said...

I hope to see you back soon. I don't even know if you are checking the blog still for replies, but I wanted you to know I still hadn't forgotten.
Still Waiting.

john said...

why did you stop blogging? this is great satire. more!

Robert said...

Flannelgraphs make me think of being a kid again. I get nervous when satire borders on blasphemous. But that's just me I guess. Come check out my evangelism blog at

streetfishing.blogspot.com

--Robert

ER said...

Count me in the ranks with missing your brilliant satire. May you have a blessed year and please post again.

I just hate it when people's real lives get so important that they begin to step away from why we were created...viva la blog

Dave Saunders said...

love this blog, glad to see other people are thinking in this way: www.uncontainablegeneration.wordpress.com

Paul Roberts said...

Yeah, c'mon Ish, post again! The world is merely a construct without your brilliant satire!

Anonymous said...

personally, i can do with you not blogging again.

how much dumbass "satire" do we have to put up with from folk who don't make change, just make fun of those who do?

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