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Promo: Who is your God?

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As we fade in, the camera pans the scene of a common suburban street. Everyone on the street is dressed formally, and it seems like they're all heading in one direction. Obviously, this is Sunday, and the townspeople are attending their local church. Children are running across the grass at play. Parents are converging in front of the steps. Couples are comparing the clothes of other couples. Suddenly, we hear a voice over...


"Let me tell you a story. It's about a young, confused man, who one day came to a conclusion that he didn't quite understand. He sat at his desk, trying to get his mind back to that moment of clarity that had just escaped it. For that one moment, he knew the answer, or at the very least, was convinced that he had known it. Now, he only wished to remember what it was."


The scene fades into action that correspond to the words to follow. For the sake of imagery, pretend that whatever picture they inspire in you is the picture you see onscreen.


"It was about life, and how meaningless it all really is. He is just one of over six billion people on this one of trillions of planets in one of an innumerable amount of galaxies. He is nothing but a single dot upon a dot inside a swirl in what is generally nothingness, surrounded by something we can't even comprehend.


So, why is it that he lets others, just as insignificant as he, drive him into such depressed states of being?


All life is meaningless unless we give it something to mean. Each one of us, as insignificant as we are, is able to at least give some kind of meaning to our lives. But if, in the end, they all end and are forgotten (with the exception of a few influential individuals), what's the point?


What's the point of being depressed? Of being happy? Why should we get excited or sad, lonely or aroused? Why do we use words like "arouse" when we can just use the word we use around our friends? Why do we use texts like this to make ourselves feel better about our condition? And why do we even make comments such as the last one? And why... you see where this is going, don't you?"


The view changes and we now see the back of a chair. Presumably, the man sitting in it has been speaking.


"There seems to be one aspect of life that keeps about 90% of us alive. That same thing, however, has caused more death and destruction than any other in the recorded history of our existence - religion. Everything about religion seems to be classified in a section of our understanding of the world that says we can't challenge the beliefs of someone with whom we disagree. When politics, philosophy and sciences are debatable, religion is, very often, not. But why? Why, instead of throwing a rock or going "boom" can't a Muslim come up to a Jew and peacefully discuss the differences between their own irrational beliefs? Why do some people torture themselves by wearing multiple layers in 90 degree weather, and then proceed to starve until the sun sets? And can someone please explain to me why some people think that it's for their sins today, that Mary's son got nailed to a board around two thousand years ago?"


The chair turns, but just before the face of the man is shown, the lights darken, and we see only his silhouette.


"As you probably noticed by now, I'm not a big fan of theism. That's not to say I prefer atheism instead. I'd rather hang a hammock in the agnostic forest between the two and relax on that all day. But this isn't really about me (well, to be honest, it is). It's about how we allow religion to control us in the way that we do. It's about how many days we waste on church visits and the amount of time spent with our knees on the floor facing a certain earthly location. It's about how the atheists out there are so adamantly set against religion that they're too blind to realize they've created their own. It's even about how the agnostics spend so much time writing about how correct their choice of lack of faith is. What it all comes back around to is the need for people to have something to believe in.


Religion gives life meaning, and we use it to keep ourselves relatively sane. It's not that we would otherwise lose our minds; we simply need a reason to go on with our individual lives. We all find other causes to believe in, such as family, work, and accomplishment. But it's religion that controls us otherwise normal people, and causes us to do certain things we otherwise never would. We could use our hands to pray one day, and to destroy the next, only because of what is written in a holy scripture or what is heard in a house of worship. There are certain people in this world that find themselves endlessly thinking about everything with no clear purpose, only to reach no definite conclusion other than that they've just created more questions than they had ever thought they could conceive. It's these people that use their minds to think and make some sort of conclusions about what life really is. As Nietzsche suggested, the thinker who reaches the age of reason and has a definite epiphany about life, is one who understands that man is not one of God's blunders, but that God is one of man's."


The man stands up, and again, we cannot see his face, nor his body. The only light source is behind him, and it's shining so that none of his features are visible; only his outline. He walks back and fourth in front of a wall, as if a performer on a stage. He speaks as if lecturing, or telling an anecdote to an audience. They listen.


"Looking at the suicide rate, a lot of people seem to be convinced that they are, in fact, the mistake. Once all the dealings of existentialism, religious beliefs and philosophy have made their way through, suicide often comes up as a viable way to go. The positives are certainly there: all their problems are over; they won't regret it afterward, since they won't exactly be around to do so. Sure, people will be saddened by it, but what difference does that make if the person is too dead to know? It all seems to make sense.


But as we've learned, the people who have considered suicide, but changed their minds are somehow quite satisfied with their decision. Is it because some miracle has happened that changed their perspective on life? Did they realize that by ending it, they would prevent their life from taking on any sort of meaning? Possibly. Yet it seems that more often than not, they turn to religion, find God, and live a devout life with a clear purpose. Sounds like a great solution to a very delicate problem; but is it really? To me, it seems more like an easy way out. The belief that there is some all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful omnipresent being running things around here is a bit peculiar. Even stranger is that the believer is convinced that this God is doing a good job. In a well managed universe, this guy would've been out on his ass long time ago. But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little delusion.


We live our life questioning its meaning, but we're too lazy to really do any work for it. We then die, and the only mark that most of us leave in this world is the inscription on a stone six feet above our corpse. Whatever influence we had on any one individual will fade, and the process will repeat itself. All the while the universe moves on from one point in time to another, from one generation to the next, with each trying to figure out where it is we're headed, how we started, and why we're here in the first place. We use God to try to come up with these answers, miserably failing each time. And the second we think we may be on to something, a new discovery slaps us right back into place."


Behind the man, on a projector screen, we see a reel of religious scenes. Mass, prayer services, people reading their bibles and torahs and korans. Slowly, a red tint envelops the reel, and the voice of the speaker grows more agitated.


"This isn't the kind of existence we shold be a part of. Believeing in a supreme being. We're not all gullible imbeciles, are we? We're not all brainwashed religious morons? ARE WE? Because to me, that's what life has felt like lately."


He pulls out a stack of papers from his pocket and starts tossing them, one by one towards the camera.


"One, after another, after another. Countless idiots coming after me with their message of salvation. Giving me useless pamphlets telling me how much some dead man, whose blood was spilled by the iron that pierced his flesh, gives a damn about me. ME! Why would he? Why would anybody, let alone the dead, care so much about MY salvation??"


He tosses the papers out in groups now, losing his temper with each successive throw. He throws some at the screen, which is covered in a deep red tint, and whose images now show destroyed churches, swasticas, up-side-down crosses, and other sacreligious symbols.


"None of it. I'll have NONE of it. And if THESE people feel like they can come the me with their message, then I sure as hell, the hell they're so afraid of, can do the same. You watch, now. You watch me, and see. I'll convert the masses too. I can do it. Once MY message is heard. God will no longer be feared, but STRUCK DOWN AS THE BLASPHEMY THAT HE IS!


When all is said, and people stop believing, they'll throw away their crosses and stars. Yahweh, Allah, and God himself will step down. But who, who will step up?"


All lights behind him go off, and a spotlights shines on his face. The view jumps from the lone, far camera, into one that's a closeup of his face. He's wearing a suit, but more importantly, a white mask, covering his face and identity. His eyes stare coldly at the camera. We hear one thump of the heart, and the name "Sean Atlas" appears on the screen for a moment. With Atlas still staring right into the view, the light fades, as does the scene.

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Guest Edwin MacPhisto

Sup, new JLers promoing up the wazoo.


This is another in a long list of solid promos from people who already have nicely drawn characters. I'm excited.

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Guest TheBostonStrangler

Nice, nice work. Very, very well written. You obviously have an incredible natural writing talent, and a good character developed. Here's hoping you write wrestling as well as the promos.

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Guest Thoth



Edit: That was my stunned reaction to the diatribe I just read. Go get 'em, tiger.

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