Apr. 16th, 2017

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1. Wasn't feeling well this weekend, so stayed home and watched the 1973 film version of Godspell and the 2013 arena staging of Jesus Christ Superstar back to back this morning. I did not watch The Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston, that many people I know do, annually, as a drinking game.

I did not know that Victor Garber (from DC Legends of Tomorrow, and Alias) starred as Jesus in "Godspell" (Lynn Thigpen was also in it along with David Haskell who died in 2000). Just in case you want to see what he was like in 1973, see video below, singing one of my favorite songs from the musical:
clips from Godspell with Victor Garber singing in the lead )

The musical is based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the Gospel that focuses mainly on the parables, and has very little of the passion. In the Stephen Schwartz musical, John the Baptist calls various people around NYC to Central Park, where he baptizes them in a fountain, and they meet Jesus, who leads them through a series of parables...in surreal story fest, where they dance around the city, across empty streets, buildings, and vacant stores. At one point they are dancing on the top of the World Trade Center, singing..."All for the Best"...which is weirdly ironic.

another clip of Victor Garber singing, this time All for the Best with David Haskell )

Jesus Christ Superstar

In direct contrast, is about everything that happened in the Gospel according to Luke, and focuses on the Passion or the persecution of Jesus. And the horror of it.

I Don't Know How to Love Him from 2013 Arena Tour
Read more... )

Gesthemane - 2000 filmed version. This is an insane song by the way. You have to have a wide range to sing it, and great control. Everyone has tried it, from Michael Crawford to Kermit the Frog (yes, really). But I like the song and the metaphors...it really talks about the human relationship with something greater, and how to do what feels impossible. Martin Luther King may well have sung a similar song, as would Joan of Arc, and various other smaller christs who found themselves sacrificed for something larger than themselves...and wondering if it even matters.

Read more... )

2. The spring brings in the oddest holidays...they are about death, freedom and rebirth. Echoing and intertwining with each other.

Passover celebrates how God freed the Jews from Egypt after thousands of years of slavery. Then due to their own stupidity, they were lost in the desert for many many more. Not fully obtaining their promised land until well into the 1950s or so it seems, and even then...it's not been exactly paradise. Perhaps because their idea of paradise and God's isn't quite the same? It can be realized of course...

Easter celebrates how God freed or attempted to...humanity from the slavery of the material world and its demands. Issuing humanity to a paradise...through death and sacrifice. Except this round instead of killing and torturing the enemy, because that apparently sent the wrong message and didn't quite work as expected, God sacrifices himself. Hoping people figure it out. That paradise can be realized if we let go of ourselves...turn away from vengeance, eye-for-an-eye, let go of the grudges, and confess our sins, love each other...

Of course it doesn't quite work out that way.

I found myself wondering as I watched the Jesus story unfold for the millioneth time, for some reason I don't get tired of it, while I can't re-watch the Ten Commandments. (Although that could just be that particular version of it.) Anywho, I find myself wondering...what would have happened if Jesus had not been crucified? If the society around him, the Jewish Rulers and the Roman ones had chosen to ignore what he was doing and he just over time...disappeared? Would the Roman Empire have crumbled? Would we have had the Holocaust? What would have happened if Egypt hadn't enslaved the Jews? What would have happened if the Jews hadn't worshipped false idols when they came out of Egypt? What would have happened if the stories...both the Passover one and the Jesus one...had ended differently? Would we still be telling them today? Would we need to?

And more importantly why are they still told? Why do they still have resonance over 2000 years since their inception? Neither story was written when it happened. Neither is completely true. Memory can be embellished, and certain items are lost in translation. But the endings are true. Recorded data shows that. The Jews did leave Egypt and were freed, most likely by the Prophet Moses. And Jesus was a prophet and teacher, who was crucified on a cross by Rome for insurrection against the state.

cut because I'm not sure if this will piss folks off or not...and it is rather long. Because I'm trying to figure something out for myself and I do that best when I write about it in my journal. I do not pretend to be an expert...this is just me figuring stuff out. )

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