Durrell Ambassador Henry Cavill come face to face with one of the world’s rarest reptiles, as he discovers the plight of the Madagascar’s Ploughshare Tortoise first hand from experts at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey. [Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust]
the double arch in the chartreuse mountains, french alps.
very inspiring place.
FEELINGS ABOUT THIS
so here’s an interesting fact: in the entirety of genesis and exodus, monotheism is not mentioned once.
not once! not at all! not until much later does anyone say “oh yeah there is only one god, none of the others exist.”
"but cat," you say, "what about the ten commandments?" well, i say, commandments #1 and 2 read, "i am god; you shall have no other gods before me.” the micha mocha, song of joy after traversing the red sea, says, “micha mocha ba-elim adonai?” which is usually translated as “who is like you among the gods that are worshiped”, but actually translates as “who is like you, adonai, among the gods?”
so there’s historical evidence that the early hebrews were henotheistic— they worshiped el/yahwe/adonai/whatever you wanna call him, but that didn’t necessarily mean that other gods didn’t exist.
now: reread the old testament in this light. it begins with this god creating the heavens and the earth— so he’s a creator god— and making the first man and woman, adam and eve.
so adam is our ancestor. then why are judaism, christianity, and islam called “the abrahamic religions” instead of “the adamic religions”, or something like that?
because when god comes to speak to humans in the old testament, every single time he begins, “i am the god of abraham”. because it’s abraham that he made the bargain with— if you will be my people, then i will be your god— and it’s abraham’s descendants who he’s agreed to keep the bargain with.
and chapter after chapter of the tanakh is lineages— they trace back the heritage of noah, of abraham, of moses, of david. who’s this prophet’s father? who was his father’s father? what was his exact family tree?
think about this group of middle easterners, shepherds and soldiers. when they sat down to write a book, what did they want that book to do? if you were in this great ancient desert, with other tribes constantly at war with you, no stable villages, no stable homes, what would you want from your god?
you want, firstly, a god who will unite you. and, secondly, a god who will defend you.
you’re lost and lonely, and the desert is wide, and you don’t know where your family is, or even who— you want a god who promises you will always be one people. you always will be safe. and your family will be as numerous as the grains of sand, as numerous as the stars in the sky.
so here is the point:
the point of the god of the tanakh is not to be kind, or to give you comfort, or to send you to some better afterlife.
it is to be metal as hell.
c’mon y’all. turning an entire river into blood? that is super metal. splitting an ocean? metal as shit. the god of the tanakh is not meant to be loving. he is meant to be hella punk rock. (why do you think they call him “awesome” all the time?)
because the old testament isn’t a story about god. it’s a story about family. it’s a family tree, it’s a family history, it’s a family set of rules. it’s a family with a god who is not the only god, but cooler than all the other gods, and more likely to be able to defend you.
which is why the torah is not in heaven, and why there really isn’t that much emphasis in judaism on loving god— i know christians are quite big on this, i know i heart jesus stickers are a thing, but we just really never did that. it’s not about god.
it’s just about us.
MAN i love anything and everything gothic americana like think about southwestern gothic with flickering motel lights and thieves and snakes hiding in sunset deserts, but also new england gothic with deep dark woods and bodies sunk into the bottom of freezing lakes, and appalachian gothic with dirty-feet tangle-haired children and small crumbling houses and the wind whistling eerily, and even midwest gothic with lonely tractors rusting away in the sunlight and endless plains and plains of vast nothingness as far as the eye can see, florida gothic (old bones sunk into the swamp), wisconsin gothic (the town’s been snowed in for weeks now, who knows what’s happening up there), california gothic (they don’t call ‘em ghost towns for nothing), colorado gothic (something’s living up in those mountains and it only comes out at night) and of course southern gothic to rule them all, a landscape of witchery, poverty, hellfire and damnation