What am I doing back here on Earth? It could be God’s reincarnation file was hacked and I was mistakenly assigned the “Earth end of the stick.” Or perhaps it’s just an easily rectified clerical error. Either way it’s the worst do-over since Milli Vanilli got back together. How an enlightened soul like me could get conscripted (shanghaied really) into fighting this Earthly battle again is beyond me. I’m not even on anybody’s side. I’m just a shell-shocked spiritual vagrant, tramping around down here on some kind of unrevealed maneuvers. At least in the military there’s a defined mission with a clear goal and all activities support the mission. But on Earth the mission is alarmingly vague. Is it to: Live long and prosper or To relieve suffering or To do unto others before they do unto you? – I’m perplexed. The good news is I’ll never suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because I suffer from Current-Traumatic Panic Attack.
The Reviews Are In and the Show “Earth” is Underwhelming: My Reluctant Participant Critique
In the parlance of today’s computerspeak, Earth is a content-driven platform whose content is in need of rewrites and whose platform could use some shoring up. I’m looking forward to the upgrades in Build 2.0. Earth‘s meandering plot lines are better suited for rehearsals than performances. It would’ve been wise to stay in previews longer and worked out the kinks. Most of the elderly actors seems to live in a fear of falling and not being able to get up, while many of the younger cast members revel in the immediacy of spit-on-the-griddle social media moments at the expense of a more comprehensive view of life. Some of the production staff can be quite rude and commentators seem to have made an industry of highlighting just how rude the staff can be. Everyone who innocently consents to attend the worldly production of “Earth” seems to enjoy entering this theater of the absurd. However they’re soon unnerved once they discover its ghastly exit strategy – the final curtain.
And while the platform may be content-driven, there’s certainly no lack of advertisements. My God could there be any more demands on my attention? Have you seen one of those NASCAR stock cars lately? They don’t even paint them anymore. They just cover them in sponsored decals. It’s like watching a billboard going around in circles at 200 mph. NASCARs aren’t racer-driven, they’re advertiser-driven.
“Earth” tries and fails to answer the question: How are we citizens supposed to defeat our many anxieties when we’re besieged by Robert Wagner’s charming suggestion to “Consider a reverse mortgage?” A paid celebrity spokesman of such magnitude simply cannot be dismissed. We must assume he knows what he’s talking about based on our familiarity with him. C’mon now, he was in Hart to Hart and had sex with Natalie Wood, Stephanie Powers and Jill St. John – possibly at the same time. He’d never lead us astray. I can’t afford not to pay attention to this compensated mouthpiece as he reassuringly describes a complicated financial instrument he learned about in the time it took for him to read the teleprompter? Before Hart to Hart, Mr. Wagner starred in It Takes a Thief – and he’s behaving like one in tempting financially unsophisticated seniors who’ve come to admire him into a deceptively ruinous financial instrument.
It’s difficult enough trying to get beyond these kind of regular distractions to deal with our gnawing anxieties. The play “Earth” leaves precious little space to navigate through our anxieties leaving even less space for recognizing our place in God’s Kingdom. It’s all too much and this is why the lines at Disney and Fat Burger are miles long – they provide immediate and understandable relief from overwhelming confusion. Our mission on Earth may not be clear, but we know what a cheeseburger means…God-consciousness, not so much.
I give Earth 3 stars out of 5. It would get 4 stars if we could all sleep-in more. For now I rate it an underachiever with great potential. With the right score, it may even make it to Broadway.
What am I even doing here, God?
Although I was sent to a temperate outpost called California, and am bivouacked here comfortably enough, I have to pay for all my uniforms and march to the beat of my own drum. What did I sign up for? I don’t even recall giving my signature (that’s why I think I was hacked). Who’s running this show? I mean I’m here doing somebody’s bidding and yet I have to fork over my money to stay in its service. Surely there must be some mistake. Wasn’t the draft board made aware of my 4F status: An untouchable and tenured angel who’s a personal friend of not only the Dalai Lama, but Mrs. Lama too?
Why must I (a guy who’s been to the mountain) contend with all these table scraps when I know a sumptuous banquet is located in the next hall over? Motherf*ckers. Why wasn’t I given the deferment I deserve? After all, the occasional fortifying joys and the frequent dispiriting sorrows of Earth are appropriate for souls that are still evolving (young souls) and need to experience the illusion of duality. This zero-sum game of Earth is not for sagacious graduates (old souls) of my caliber who no longer choose to trade in the Manichaean predictability of cause and effect. I’ve transcended this unnecessary mess others have to live in – and yet here I am. I sometimes wish certain people were more like inert gases – colorless and odorless. And yes, of course: I realize I sound like an entitled asshole. However; Let he who is without sphincter cast the first stone.
Like many of you, I buy green bananas figuring I’ll last the week. It’s a calculated decision because I’d be devastated to die with unripe bananas on my counter or even a gas tank that’s more than ¼ full. Sure I’m a big-thinker. I possess the beatific wherewithal to encompass the multi-dimensional paradigm it all fits into. I have the Big Picture, although this Big Picture gets quite little when I’m getting a colonoscopy or changing the cat litter. But despite my lofty understanding of unseen powers, I’m expected to blithely subject myself to this galling tangle of cross-purposed desires: aka Earth. No, not when I own such a magnificent reservoir of deep understanding embodying our Lord and the Lord’s popular Minister of Information Jesus Christ. I’m just biding my time here and I’m not a good bider. Let others bide their time and spend their children’s inheritance with a shady Robert Wagner-inspired reverse mortgage. I want out, but my active imagination and needy body demand both food for thought and food for eating. So here I sit broken-hearted, came to grief and only started.
Shameful Complaints of Staggering Proportions
You’re damn right I’m disappointed I’ve been conscripted to play my part on the stage of life. And I’ve been miscast to boot. I should be on the production side of things – directing and delegating. Don’t they know I’ve got better things to do than contend with the avoidable and maddening frailties of this temporary world. I’ve moved on, but apparently my agent thinks this is an important role for me so I’m stuck in this play until my heart stops beating or the show closes (both bad exit strategies). I’m experiencing the kind of crushing disappointment Tom Selleck must have felt when he had won the soon to be iconic part of Indiana Jones, but was unable to accept it due to the contractual demands of Magnum PI. Ouch.
I Get Kind of Lost Here with Antiquated References and too Many Gags – A Case of Art Imitating Life?
Decades old Tom Selleck and Robert Wagner references served up fresh from my contemporary brain, further buttress (isn’t that what a fanny sleeps on? – a buttress) the idea that I don’t belong here. I’m better suited to bivouac (there’s that word bivouac again – what is wrong with me?) in the cool and swanky environs of the Honeycomb Hideout where I’ll gratify myself with bottomless bowls of Post’s Super Sugar Crisp cereal. Remember back in the 70’s when a bowl of Super Sugar Crisp was merely topless. But now, in the anything goes 2010’s, it’s bottomless too. If the Honeycomb Hideout is unavailable for habitation I could spend the rest of my Earthly existence tucked neatly into the sleeve of a Helen Reddy album or preferably in the ample brassiere of Charo!
My Dog Hondo Responds – He Gets it
Do shut-up David. Stop this hipster, woe-is-me screed (however entertaining it may be). At least you’ve got a human body. I’m stuck in a dog’s body. You see what I have to eat and I watch those Food Channels so I too am aware of the “sumptuous banquet located in the next hall over.” I also know what I’m missing. And while it’s true I can lick my junk, I have to be naked all the time. And forget it if I want to watch something on TV – you ever try operating the remote with a paw? So “quiet boy” and take the human curriculum you’ve been assigned by a force more knowing than your “punching-inside-a-paper-bag-essay” can ever imagine. Your majesty can exist alongside your commonplace humanity. It’s called duality dude.
And with that final articulation Hondo’s illuminated thought patterns receded into his canine skull and he went back to gnawing on his bone – at least I’m assuming that was his bone.
Well I’m Not Going to Let My Dog Have the Last Word
I say the 99% of us souls who toil in obscurity on Earth should create an Occupy Heaven movement. Why should a privileged 1% of souls be allowed to occupy the empyrean splendor of the Almighty? I’m estimating 1%. I haven’t a clue as to how many souls are in Heaven(s). I just know I’m not one of them. We worker bees who toil in ignorance here on Earth to support the chosen few who’ve penetrated the veil of duality, demand more. This scheme is as unsustainable as the Social Security Trust Fund. Do you realize at the rate the 1% are squandering our spiritual inheritance, the Heavenly Trust Fund will be bankrupt by 2037? Where’s Robert Wagner when you need him?
Maybe I Will Let My Dog Have the Last Say – “Here Hondo. Here Boy.”
David, David, David. Y’know you’re a likable master but a poor servant. You serve yourself poorly by engaging in such prima facie analysis. Hogan’s Heroes, Cheez-Its and faith will get you through. The rest is all just stuff. You already know that. If you want to serve yourself better just breathe and write funnier stories. Don’t try so hard trying to say something new. There is nothing new to say. You got that?
But what do I know. I’m a dog. You want answers talk to the cat.
Maybe I Will Let My Cat Have the Last Word. “Here kitty, kitty. Here Joanie.”
David, David, David. Really? You’re taking advice from a cat now? OK. I understand your hostility toward those who have become enlightened. It’s like they all have a backstage pass and your lanyard says “Bleachers Only.”
My only advice to you comes by way of the Food Network’s Chef de Psychologie, who says, “Don’t sweat the onions – It’s all onions.”
I Can’t Leave it at That Can I?
Oh. I don’t know. Maybe I should just get an owl. I hear they’re really wise.