1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol 41: Genesis, by God, as illustrated by R. Crumb

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself: Genesis? Just Genesis? That’s like only one of the books of the Bible. And yes, there are “books” in the Bible that don’t even take up 3 full pages. Genesis however, is not one of them. Genesis is easily as long as most Shakespearian plays. Plus it is illustrated by R. Crumb. That is, Robert Dennis Crumb of Fritz the Cat fame! And who better to illustrate one of the oldest stories involving sex, murder, jealousy, sex, incestuous sex, rape, slave trading, sex, pimping, sex and yes, sex!

 

Firstly, lets face it, Genesis has got some fucked up stories! We start with creation of course, where it is written that “they” (not god, but they) created the heavens and earth. Who are they? Who are these folks that god needed help from to get this planet going? I don’t know, but as the narrative continues we see Crumb’s interpretation of the devil, a bipedal lizard with arms and opposable thumbs. Crumb suggests that while there is not textual specificities that suggest the devil is a humanoid with scales, that it is implied since the god curses him to crawl on the ground. An interesting extrapolation, however, the snake may have been able to balance itself on its bottom portion to move, or may have been a winged created, rather than a bipedal one. Regardless, it is interesting to see an untraditional interpretation. Of course we then go on to see Cain murder his brother, Noah build the ark, Abraham pimp out his wife Sarah TWICE so that she could lay up with rich leaders of other lands whilst Abe got to live fat off the riches allotted him as a result of being her “brother” (aka pimp). Of course Abe isn’t a chili pimp (aka, one-whore pimp). Dude had Hagar as a concubine as well. And of course many slaves, because if god liked you, he blessed you with many slaves, and if you told them all to cut off the tip of your penis, they would listen to you… hmm. Then there is Lot, who is a cool guy that doesn’t look at explosions (a literary quip that has since been turned into a cliche by hollywood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqz5dbs5zmo ). Sodom and Gomorrah get blown up, and he does NOT look back. His wife does though, and she becomes a pillar of salt, and then Lot’s daughters get him drunk so they can fuck him, because if god likes you, he blesses you with hot incestuous daughters? Really? But of course there is Isaac, who Abe was more than happy to kill when god asked him for a sacrifice. But god called it off at the last minute. He was just joking after all. Joking or testing, I forget which. Either way it was pretty funny. And then there is Isaac, who learned from his dad not to be some lame-ass chili pimp. He had TWO wives, (Rachael and Leah) and their handmaids (each time one wife had a new kid, the other would had one of her handmaidens- who didn’t have any choice in the matter, aka rape- over to provide more kids, ‘cause they were jealous of each other and were in a competition to see who could have more kids). And how did he get a hottie like Rebekah? Isaac hook up with Rebekah by buying her affections with jewellery (lesson: I’m not saying Rebekah is a gold digger, but she ain’t messing with no broke… Hebrew?). And of course god liked Isaac, so he blessed him with lots of women and slaves. Then Jacob, his son, was of course rewarded for lying to his father and pretending to be his brother to get his brother’s blessing on his death bed. Nothing like lying to your pimp father on his death bed! And on account of the fact that Jacob plays favourites with his kids, all the brothers get together to kill Joseph (the fav) but end up selling him as a slave (slavery was of course ok in god’s eyes since that is how he rewarded the folks he liked). And Joseph can read dreams and sets up a rationing bracket in Egypt, but if you really want to learn about that one just check out the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

 

Crumbs illustrations are sitting in with his traditional style, althoug there is no overt nudity, at least not penises or vaginas, though we can often see nipple hard-ons through most shirt and there isn’t a woman drawn in the book that Russ Meyer wouldn’t cast in one of his movies. Crumb draws upon the graphic nature of the narrative and through his illustrations shows the reader that the Bible is not all angels and innocence and that even the men of god would be seen as far from Christian as most Republicans in the House of Commons and Senate are today. And god, well, he’s not all that nice either since he rewards liars and slave drivers and never mentions to his chosen men that taking on slaves and sleeping with them without eve asking for their consent is bad. But we can see here how capitalist can find a way to justify themselves in the eyes of god. Though nothing can be farther apart than the messages imparted by Jesus in the New Testament and the messages imparted by the author of Genesis: they are in fact polar opposites.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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