Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Weight of an Apple

David Bazan is making a production of losing his faith. Never mind that he is one of the great poets of our time; never mind that he is a groovy musician; never mind that he is a college party philosopher. Never mind that I suspect he gets drunk at breakfast. His questions are serious, and I think they are valid.

This is the man who sang a couple years ago:

"i could buy you a drink
i could tell you all about it
i could tell you why i doubt it
and why i still believe"

His doubts were recognized, but they were overpowered at that point by a stronger belief. That belief is waning, the doubt growing.

His latest CD is brilliant, even if it is brilliantly wrong. As most Bazan albums, it is a theme album, and this time it is a prolonged attack on the Garden of Eden story from the Bible.

Snippets from a few songs on it:

"You've heard the story
you know how it goes
once upon a garden
we were lovers with no clothes

fresh from the soil
we were beautiful and true
in control of our emotions
'til we ate the poison fruit

and now it's hard to be
a descent human being

wait just a minute
you expect me to believe
that all this misbehaving
grew from one enchanted tree

and helpless to fight it
we should all be satisfied
with this magical explanation
for why the living die"

"God knows
if you notice the millions of small holes
and ponder the weight of an apple
compared to the trouble we're in

then a grown man might
be tempted to question his birth-right
in front of his kids and devout wife
causing the doubt to begin
to spread like original sin"

"when you set the table
and when you chose the scale
did you write a riddle
that you knew they would fail;
did you make them tremble
so they would tell the tale;
did you push us when we fell?"

"if you knew what would happen
and made us just the same
then you, my lord,
can take the blame."

These are questions that used to plague me too, not so long ago though it seems another life.

So, how do we answer Bazan? How would you answer him?

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