*Warning – This column is taking a poke at religion, God, atheists and… Humanity in general. If one experiences anger over the topic, I am sorry. Not about what I am writing, but that you never got your fair share of humor as a child.*
Comedian Ricky Gervais is “God” in the new HBO series “Afterlife.” The plot is simple. An atheist dies and ends up in heaven meeting God. Not a Christian, Jewish or Muslim God; not as the Jews Christians and Muslims understand their god. Gervais writes on his blog:
He’s a slightly different God to the one you may have seen in ‘Bruce Almighty’ and other Hollywood films. He’s an arrogant, wisecracking son of a bitch, who thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. (So another stretch for me as an actor then.) He likes atheists deep down though. Or rather he likes good atheists. He admires the fact that they were moral people even though they didn’t believe they would ever be rewarded with everlasting life.
HBO’s “Afterlife” will outrage a small minority of American Christians who believe that atheists are in league with the Devil. I think that may be a bowling league, but nevertheless a league. Let’s face it, the fact that Gervais is playing God should be funny on its own merit. Why?
Gervais is an atheist.
If you want to get a feel for Gervais’ God, watch him in his live 2010 show in Chicago. He is talking about the Iceland volcano that erupted and airlines were cancelling flights due to the volcanic ash cloud. As opposed to The Cloud that Steve Job claims he invented. The airlines and insurance companies were calling it “an act of God” and refused to refund monies for missed flights.
My question is simple. Did God make a mistake and allow someone to give this volcano a name that only those who speak ancient Scandinavian could pronounce? Or was this a joke so He could screw around with newscasters around the world, as well as late night talk show hosts who could not pronounce it? You try it; the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano. That translates to the Glacier Volcano, which is much easier to say, but then God would not get a good laugh out of it.
Here is my point. (Yes Virginia, there is a point to be made.) Humans have a need to laugh and Americans seem to have a great sense of humor. Take this show for what it is worth, a humorous look at the afterlife, which as an atheist, I know does not exist.
Damn – Here comes the hate mail.