Logged-In Public: You evoked "the Force" at the end of your last column. It made us think. The Sardine rarely mentions his religious beliefs.
Religion and God by any name befouls the world.
L-I P: This is the Internet, no one really believes in God here.
Does that mean I won't get any of the Logged-In Public to defend the Almighty?
L-I P: If you mean by the "Almighty" Google and porn sites, yes, we of the Internet will strongly defend them who rule all.
Why them and not others?
L-I P: There are others. Any site that makes money.
What about all the religious sites?
L-I P: The God of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is not welcome here. The Internet is a godless place. It's a godless universe that keeps expanding.
I have to admit that I'm shocked by your frankness. All these years I have taunted and abused you, little did I fathom that you could reject God.
L-I P: Don't get us wrong. God has a place in our lives. When we're not logged on. Something that is becoming less and less frequent.
You just can't give Him up for a while.
L-I P: We would think even God is awed by the Internet.
Holy shit! Are you saying God should be worshiping us for what we have wrought?
[Wrought on, my pun pal writes by Instant Message.]
L-I P: Maybe through the Internet God will finally breakdown and communicate with us. It's been awhile. Ever since the Jews pissed him off when Moses brought down the ten commandments, he's been sort of scarce.
Plus the Ark of the Covenant got misplaced.
L-I P: Isn't it in some warehouse?
That was in a movie.
L-I P: Movies were once Almighty. We were once the Movie-Going Public. Then Television appeared on the scene and captured our attention. We became the Television-Watching Public.
Many people still worship before the movie screen and television.
L-I P: Direct TV and Cable movies have brought a false belief that the Movie and Television Universes are infinite. Only the Internet is infinite.
God isn't infinite?
L-I P: Prove it.
I don't want to prove it. You're the ones switching gods as if it were a toilet tissue brand.
L-I P: God was fine when the God-Believing Public was satisfied with one-way transmissions. We used to accept that this life had little to offer. And when it did offer something, it was only 2 or 3 percent who got it.
The first and second estates.
L-I P: Can the history lesson, Sard! The haves. The ones who wrote the history books. The ones who said we should settle for scraps while they collected taxes and tithes.
I'm still amazed you feel so contemptuous toward God.
L-I P: We finally figured what the scam was.
L-I P: Once we were introduced to the Internet, it was a revelation. The Universe, like the Internet, keeps expanding. The possibilities are literally infinite. We can spend the remainder of our lives here and never run out of things to do.
I feel the opposite. I can't wait to leave what cyberspace becomes. The infinite is a dismal place.
L-I P: You think you're so smart. Putting us down. You don't think the people are capable of having their own religion. We're not bright enough to get along without a pope or a preacher or a high priest.
You didn't invent the Internet.
L-I P: Maybe not. But we, the users, have taken it over.
So, what was your great revelation?
L-I P: The universe is godless except for one spot. Earth. An island of God, so to speak. A mental growth that has taken hold of the planet and won't let go. A supremely finite world.
And the Internet has freed you from this finite-ness?
L-I P: We wouldn't have it any other way.
God-Believing Public: This is nonsense.
L-I P: What are you doing here?
G-B P: Trying to put a stop to this talk.
Look what you've done! The ghost of your old self has come into your domain to haunt you.
L-I P: Don't worry, we'll take care of them.
I don't need any other publics.
Movie-Going Public: You're going to get them.
Another ghost. What do you want?
M-G P: To get you discuss movies.
L-I P: They might help us make the movie version of A Sardine on Vacation.
M-G P: We're not connected to the creative end. We just passively sit back and soak in the substance of our dreams.
Television-Watching Public: We'd like to see the Sardine become a reality show.
G-B P: We want the Sardine to talk more about God.
L-I P: Now you have more publics to abuse than you know what to do with.
I just don't want Frank Weathers to complain about my giving space to these various publics. He is very territorial in regard to my columns.
L-I P: Soon, everyone will be part of the Logged-In Public. We will all be sharing cyberspace. There will absolute equality.
People like Frank hate equality.
G-B P: We are all equal under God's eyes.
L-I P: Except that there's no equality.
T-W P: When television was free, it had many believers.
Now you see why I never brought up religion.
L-I P: This discussion will be continued.
Not if I have any say about it.
Bob Castle is the author of A Sardine on Vacation. He has had two other books published this year: The End of Travel, a comic memoir and send up of traveling abroad (Triple Press) and Odd Pursuits, a collection of stories (Wild Child Publishing). He is regular writer for Bright Lights Film Journal and has over one hundred fifty stories, essays, and articles published. The first fifteen installments of his saga can be viewed at the old Unlikely Stories. Episodes One through Forty-Seven of A Sardine on Vacation (with five semi-canonical additional episodes) are also available in book form.