[NetBehaviour] The Doubter's Mysteries - The Nativity of Jesus

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Wed May 8 03:18:49 CEST 2019

Hi Edward, just read the last mystery play. Things having to do with the
birth of Jesus make me uncomfortable in a different way than the OT makes
me uncomfortable. The OT comes out of mideast kingdoms, wars, tribal
legends, founding legends, flood legends; it's amazing a book could have
been assembled at all. The NT stresses an entirely different, more
'Greek'??? world that collapses back into the usual power struggles; your
innkeeper is all about that. I'm not sure how a census would have really
been conducted by the way - what's meant by returning. In the mideast there
were complex messenger systems everywhere, and messengers could have
completed a census without disruption. It's hard to read through these
texts back into the reality they seem to represent. Same with kings,
angels, innkeepers, and the like. The shepherd slang made me also a little
uncomfortable, creating a social division which I couldn't understand in a
way because, perhaps not being English?, I couldn't source out the accent.
I loved the play though and would really like to see the whole series
produced, on radio? Television? Pantomime with commentary? Shadow puppets?
It could go on for hours.

All this also reminds me of something I've been thinking about recently,
lack of community, not DIWO, but DIM, Do it Myself, when others aren't
around, aren't available. The pun DIM is deliberate; the danger is never
seeing beyond oneself, a combination of depression, isolation, and
solipsism, a condition of so many in the world today. We jump towards
coops, but if the example I've had with housing, they can also be
debilitating, political, stratified, financially enclaving, etc. - I've
seen this in practice, Davis describes the same with HOA (home owners'
associations) in California, etc. DIWO can be amazing, and DIM to me seems
a lower stratum, a lower class of being as well. But it's common and - for
example, prisoners, elderly people without families, refugees, etc. can end
up with PTSD or other illnesses as a result. So it might be valuable to
stress some sort of positive evaluation of DIM as well. Your play brings
that into focus - Jesus was for wealth distribution, Sermon on the Mount,
etc., but the results were Church hierarchies, pogroms, antisemitisms of
all sorts, etc. - dissemination below, rigidity and exclusionary
tactics/worlds above. (What I'm writing seems moronic, but ah well, it's
late, we're here as usual by ourselves, take what might be useful from
this, if anything.) Oddly, the innkeeper seems an uneasy combination of
grouping and isolation, below Herod, Herod below Jesus, Jesus above or
within (I've never been clear on this) or beneath Judaism, etc. etc.

Just some fuzzy thoughts, thanks!, Alan (writing late, we've been jammed

On Sun, May 5, 2019 at 2:50 PM Edward Picot <julian.lesaux at gmail.com> wrote:

> [image: Nativity image]
> 'The Doubter's Mysteries' are an attempt to write a short cycle of Mystery
> Plays - ie. plays based on Bible stories, like the Medieval Mystery Plays
> of York, Chester and Wakefield - from the point of view of a sceptical
> modern audience; an audience which either doesn't believe in God, or can't
> work out what he's playing at.
> There are fourteen of these plays, and the ninth is now online: 'The
> Nativity of Jesus'.
> http://edwardpicot.com/mysteries/09nativity.html (or for the full series
> so far, visit http://edwardpicot.com/mysteries)
> - Edward Picot
> http://edwardpicot.com - personal website


*directory http://www.alansondheim.org <http://www.alansondheim.org> tel
718-813-3285**email sondheim ut panix.com <http://panix.com>, sondheim ut
gmail.com <http://gmail.com>*
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