Friday, July 30, 2010

Mad Lib of a Vampire: Anne Rice’s Status Updates, Helpfully Taken Out of Context

Novelist Anne Rice posted some buzzworthy status updates earlier this week. She went right past the "Religious Views" field (which likely now reads "It's complicated") and tweeted a press release. Opinions undoubtedly range widely on her choice of words and even whether, in a cosmic sense, they can actually mean what she intends them to mean. But anthropologically speaking, I think there's a lot going on here worth chewing on. And I can't think of a better way to chew on them--to deconstruct her comments as an artifact of the zeitgeist--than by reproducing them as a MadLib.

My friend Rebecca occasionally reminds me of MadLibs; it's all the rage on the other side of the building where I work, and she'll be posting a fun one to our common blog Strangely Dim sometime next week. So all props to Rebecca for getting this in my head again just at the right time. You know how it works: each blank below is filled in by a word you choose in advance.

Paragraph A
1. noun
2. proper noun
3. adjective
4. noun
5. verb
6. noun
7. noun (opposite of #4)

Paragraph B
1. proper noun
2. adjective
3. adjective
4. noun
5. adjective
6. noun
7. noun
8. noun
9. proper noun (same as #1)
10. noun
11. adjective

For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a ______. I’m out. I remain committed to ________ as always but not to being “________” or to being part of __________. It’s simply impossible for me to “_________” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous _____. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an _______. My conscience will allow nothing else.

I’m out. In the name of __________ I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. I refuse to be anti-____. In the name of _____ I quit ________ and being ________. Amen.


Have fun with it, but do take at least one serious pass through it. Rice was tweeting about her faith in Christ and corresponding connection to Christianity; what other "faith commitments" (whether spiritual or secular, conscious or unacknowledged) can be so subdivided? Is it even possible to talk meaningfully about Christ without dealing with Christianity? To what can we compare the people of God?

By the way, my own first paragraph (above) is admittedly a convoluted mess. Someone could make a MadLib out of that, I'm sure.

1 comment:

David A. Zimmerman said...

Today's reading from Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander: "Faith is by no means a mere act of choice, an option for a special solution to the problems of existence. It is birth to a higher life by obedience to the Source of Life: to believe is thus to consent to hear and to obey a creative command that raises us from the dead. . . . We believe, not because we want to know, but because we want to be.