Thursday, 13 May 2010

Paxman interviews Jesus

I’ve just come across this interesting record of Jeremy Paxman’s interview with Jesus of Nazareth, recorded in a dead BBC scroll discovered by Michael Gove (yes, that Michael Gove).

JP: So, we're months into your campaign for the role of Messiah, and what are people saying about you? Here's just some of the comments we've heard from those who've seen you close up: "A jumped-up carpenter's son who thinks he's born to rule"; "born out of wedlock, an illegal immigrant as an infant, a known associate of prostitutes, wholly incapabPaxole of leading any sort of revival in our fortunes"; and, crucially, "a man who won't give a straight answer to a straight question". How do you respond to these damning criticisms of your record so far?

JC: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

JP: So you don't deny that these criticisms have real purchase? Because we hear that the Pharisees and the Saducees, whose support you'd been counting on, are now turning against you. How can you possibly win in the country if you can't win over your own people? Aren't you just another of these failed here today, gone tomorrow prophets who've done so much harm?

JC: You have said so.

JP: And you haven't yet produced a single fact to contradict me. Your campaign hasn't got a prayer.

JC: That's one thing we do have, actually. Our Father . . .

JP: Never mind all that personal stuff, dragging your family in. People have had enough of that. They want to examine your record so far. Judas Iscariot is one of your key supporters. His name is on your campaign literature. He's been with you since the beginning. But now he says you lack the necessary zealotry to transform Judea and Samaria for the better. That's a pretty damning criticism, isn't it?

JC: He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.

JP: More than just a heel - it's a body blow. You'll need a miracle to recover now. With your supporters deserting you, and apparently even your campaign manager Peter wobbling, the real focus is now on your words. Can they be trusted? When you said recently, and I quote, "the meek shall inherit the earth", was that a firm promise?

JC: It was a prophecy.

JP: A prophecy? But what's your timetable for that? In your first term? As conditions allow? What if there's a war? Or a flu pandemic? Or a plague of locusts? Won't that wreck your plan to hand over the earth to the meek - a pledge many might say was reckless in itself given how untested the meek are.

JC: Truly, I say unto you, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven .

JP: Oh, puh-leese. Here you are, spraying pledges around, or prophecies as you prefer to call them, promising people the earth one moment and then offering entry to Heaven the next. Let's get down to brass tacks here. You're an untested figure in your thirties with no experience of life outside the cosy world of Nazareth, you come to Jerusalem and after just one Sermon on the Mount you've got people saying you're something special, but under close questioning you've shown you're clearly not as clever, funny, aggressive or well-paid as me. How on earth do you think people will follow you if you can't even get the better of me?

JC: I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

JP: Oh, come off it!

Well, He’s still got my vote.

h/t Julian Glover of The Guardian.

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