More and more, as my life experience accumulates, I find myself gravitating towards the side of darkness when it comes to that whole God vs. The Devil situation. I don’t mean this in any formal worship sort of way. I don’t do rituals of any kind, for one thing; I mean, I’m not much of a mingler, I hate line dancing, and I can barely get my act together enough to organize coffee and a bagel for breakfast in the morning, never mind any form of organized religion.
It’s just that I tend to get uncomfortable around any philosophy that demonizes the so-called “pleasures of the flesh.” I mean, criminy! Pleasures of the flesh are da bomb; that’s why they’re called “Pleasures of the Flesh.” For me, they are right up there on my list of “Sweetest Things About Being Alive.”
Hell, we basically don’t know anything about the universe beyond the walls of our body, except by means of the five juicy senses that we humans are lucky enough to have access to. Given that, I will take “Pleasures of the Flesh” over “Irritations of the Flesh,” or “Scourges of the Flesh” any day of the week. In that sense, Lucifer’s crowd has it all over the angelic set. I would be willing to wager a fairly significant amount of cash that the cocktails and canapes at an old fashioned black mass, for instance, are significantly better than the Red Rose tea and crustless cucumber sandwiches on offer at your typical church fete.
Of course, some of you will be thinking, “Ah, you poor simpleton! Sure, you’re enjoying those knee-tremblers, Belgian fries, and tequila mockingbirds right now, but just you wait! Soon enough, your ass will be grass, and, as the great Old Testament prophet Mick Jagger has correctly foreseen, Beelzebub will lay your soul to waste on account of your profligate ways. Beware, heathen!”
Well, let me counter that with the astute observation, “Meh, I don’t care. I’ll take my chances.” Let’s be real here, all that hellfire and damnation malarkey is pretty hypothetical, perhaps even more so than the possibility of wormhole-based time travel, or the chances of one of my drinking buddies picking up a round at Leopold’s Tavern tonight.
And even if it is true, and I find myself cavorting about the Other Place, I can think of worse spots to be. I can picture it, even now: sitting on an air-conditioned patio with a nice view of the Lava Pit of Lost Souls, watching the true badasses surfing the tidal waves of fire, and shooting the breeze with a bunch of my peeps. I can imagine we would have much in common. Favourite books (‘The Magus,’ The Picture of Dorian Gray’), albums (‘White Light / White Heat,’ ‘Psychedelic Jungle’), and films (‘The Godfather,’ ‘The Shining’) being just a few easy examples. I also like to think that my newfound cronies would have a respectful appreciation for my clever way with limericks and blowing smoke rings. I would be pretty surprised if we didn’t all become fast friends for all eternity, rounding out each evening with rowdy, off key renditions of favourite hymns and bawdy sea shanties.
I am convinced that conversations with the angels, by contrast, would have many awkward pauses, and I would be constantly scrambling to change the subject. Nope, I think all in all, born gambler that I am, I will be laying all my chips on red, to win.