What If God Were One of Us? A Note on a German Version of Handel’s Messiah

Listen! What if God were one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Listen!

Listen! I strongly recommend this very strange version of Handel’s Messiah. The music is first-rate, and dancers enact a drama in a dull modern hotel. And in that drama, a man in a light colored suit is apparently in despair over a relationship and apparently commits suicide to the dismay of a German cleric.

But at the moment of the suicide the German cleric sings for thou didst not leave his soul in hell, nor didst thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.

A Brechtian Evangelist in a leather jacket rages over the meaning of this sacrifice. But, a mere cleaning lady gets it as in this selection. She gets it because she is simple and good and knows her job and she shouts for joy at the end…using sign language.

The prophets are troubled and the prophets are plagued by what is happening in the Hotel, and the Evangelist is batshit. But she gets it.

I mean, trust the Germans. The choreography is apparently influenced by Pina Bausch and the production by the old German Passion Play.

I do not care to be “Christian”. I mean, the Protestant Fundamentalists in my country have made a goddamn business out of our deepest fears and hopes, and the Catholic Bishops of my country rejected Obama’s medical care plan. The Thirty Years War proved that religion as such stinks. But at the same time, compared to most or even all stories, the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus hits the bone because we cannot all be Achilles or Siegfried but we all have to endure what He endured.

Imagine that. Each one of us!

I don’t know what happens after death but I do know this. My life is an alternating sequence of tasks, and fun things. Task, fun, task, fun, etc.:

T(0), F(0), T(1) … x(n)

We know that n is a finite integer and we “know” that x is unknown. Now, most people, with “retirement plans” try to ensure that F predominates close to n. But that is futile because Duty (cf mah homey Kant) is just a subclass of Fun given the fact that life is basically good. And you should have gotten a load of the rage of this guy in the Keys, who’d been deposited on what he thought was a deserted tropical island with his wife so they could screw under the Moon and save their marriage: we were already there and we were a scruffy bunch. The value of x at any point in the series is non-deterministic. And T can be F (not the reverse).

If you don’t know what I mean, you should have seen my old man (der Alte) rocking out, filling out tax forms.

I conclude that we should simply focus on the tasks and fun and be good like a cleaning lady.

The 2009 production of the Messiah (Klaus Guth) is available only in BluRay. So I’ll get a Blu Ray. I think that many people bought a VCR and a DVD player for a noble purpose such as working out with the great Hanoi Jane Fonda and then bought a lot of crap content. Sure wish they’d just settle on a final format but that isn’t going to happen.


Denn es wird die Posaune schallen, und die Toten werden auferstehen unverweslich, und wir werden verwandelt werden.

Denn dies Verwesliche muß anziehen die Unverweslichkeit, und dies Sterbliche muß anziehen die Unsterblichkeit.


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