I was laughing about my decision to watch Exodus Gods and Kings drunk the other night with some coworkers, and most laughed with me and understood that it was a bad movie–even if a few hadn’t seen it yet, they knew. They just knew. Everyone knows Exodus is just a bad story. This position doesn’t need empirical evidence….the story is the empirical evidence. It’s no Charles Dickens masterpiece, folks. It’s a few pages of a wealthy heir growing morals upon discovering the suffering peoples have something to do with him. While the Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments adds a few extra hours of assumptions to the story (which make it quite enthralling and altogether a great story and film), I think Exodus Gods & Kings does a more honest job (albeit tongue-in-cheek) grappling this, as the film opens with him literally –not figuratively– conquering a village and slaughtering its inhabitants. But they don’t look like him, so it’s all good. Some people will blink at me, though, and simply ask, “What was wrong with Exodus Gods and Kings?” Uh, okay, lady. I don’t have seven hours free tonight, so maybe I’ll let this one go.
It never ceases to amaze me how much thought religious people try to put into a few paragraphs of a story from thousands of years ago, which has ultimately played telephone so many times before it even lands in the hands of a literate person wealthy enough to own paper and ink that it finally gets written down, and then translated and rewritten a few more dozen times until finally Europe sees it and has a meeting about it. “OMG, it’s so deep, what does it mean? There’s so many layers. It’s all about the subtext. What Jesus really means here is that it’s about our feelings, and do unto others, etc.” Ladies and gentlemen, these stories are usually stupid. Here, let me help. The Luke Multitude “parable” is about how all the town idiots didn’t have the foresight, awareness, or perhaps the wherewithal to pack a goddamned lunch when they head across town to attend a sermon. So, Jesus felt bad when his attendees voiced their bellyaching instead of going home and eating like an adult (TM) might think to do rather than inconveniencing the presenter. Jesus caves and pulls some catering out of his ass. The lesson is that if you neglect to bring a lunch and if you whine enough times with enough puppyface frowns, Greg, the office doormat, might just buy you Chipotle to avoid conflict.