I had one of those WTF moments the other day. This particular one happened in Tesco’s car park at Danestone and involved a bumper sticker on the rear offside wing of a shiny red Ka.
As someone with a lifelong interest in things to be found outside the set of stuff most consider to comprise the rational world, this struck me as being, well, to paraphrase Pauli, not even wrong.
The first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘angel’ isn’t one of these:
Nor is it any of these:
In fact, when I hear the word “angel”, the first thing I think of is something like this:
Now I don’t know if something like that can fly, but I’m pretty damn sure that if I saw one hovering behind me in my rear view mirror, I’d be putting my foot down. Or possibly screeching to a halt at the side of the road and running for it, in the hope it was the car it wanted rather than me.
The King James Version (not the album by Harvey Danger, do pay attention at the back), describes the Angel of Revelation as being:
…clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire
This sounds more like Katamari’s King of the Cosmos, and I can’t think of anyone I’d less like to have my back in the event of a road traffic accident.
Have you played the racetrack level? In Drive mode?
Ezekiel has a bit to say about angels:
I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like topaz. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called ‘the whirling wheels’. Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Let’s be honest. That sounds more like a bad acid trip. If you had one of those following your car you’d be calling BUFORA, not feeling reassured about your personal safety.
For me one of the best depictions of angels is in the 1995 film the Prophecy, starring Christopher Walken and Elilas Koteas. The film depicts them with a modern imagery, all wings and trenchcoats, but the characterisation is what I enjoyed.
“Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?” — Thomas Daggett
“I can lay you out and fill your mouth with your mother’s faeces, or we can talk.” — Lucifer
Let’s forget, for a moment, the arrogance of assuming that God’s messengers have nothing better to do than compensate for poor driving technique. If all that’s preventing someone speeding is the worry that a supernatural entity of indeterminate appearance — a six-winged sphinx, a semi-precious flying saucer with more eyes than a scallop, a burning bush or Christopher Walken with bad hair — can’t keep up, then that person does not belong behind the wheel of a moving car in a shared public space.
If that person is advising other people the most important reason for watching their speed is the concern that said supernatural sphinx/UFO/bush/Walken won’t be able to match the pace, then he or she probably shouldn’t be allowed out unless in the company of a responsible adult.
Originally published at Singularity. You can comment here or there.