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Flatbush Flashback

A Good Book

Before I go into complete and obsessive Bloomsday on Beaver Street mode (as opposed to the quasi-obsessive mode I'm currently in), I want to get in a good word about a book that I just finished reading. It's one of those books that in a just world would be getting some high-profile media attention--because it's not only a work of genuine religious insanity, but it's funny as hell, which is where, according to a certain strain of thought, its author might end up.

The Reborn Bible 2.0: The 2nd Coming Gospel of the American Rapture, by David Comfort, is a pitch-perfect re-imagining of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, that takes us from the Garden of Eden, where George Bush Sr. and Barbara Bush are Adam and Eve, climaxes in a pay-per-view David (Geffen) and Goliath (Arnold Schwarzenegger) battle, and ends with Moses (Holy Joe Lieberman) returning to Jerusalem to reclaim the Promised Land.

Or something like that.

I can’t say that I understood everything I read (especially that one sentence in Arabic) or that I got all the Biblical references or even that I understood all the Yiddish expressions, which is a language I’m not unfamiliar with. But page after page, the book did leave me wondering: How did Comfort, who’s probably best known for The Rock And Roll Book Of The Dead, do it? I kept picturing him, confined to a monk-like cell, a 21st century prophet writing on papyrus, as he absorbed and transformed every word of the real Bible into his deranged contemporary vision of all the usual suspects who have so befouled our political discourse.

The crucifixion of Obama, which the “learned lawyer, Geraldo” is covering for Fox News, serves as a good example of Comfort’s sense of humor. “‘Does ObamaCare cover crucifixion?’” Geraldo asks, reporting from the scene. “‘Is being the messiah a pre-existing condition? Would righteous infliction of emotional distress warrant punitive damages?’”

Somehow, in an act of biblical fortitude, Comfort keeps this sort of thing up for 309 pages. Somebody had to do it.
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