Monday, October 26, 2009

Modern Evangelicalism: the Vista of Church Operating Systems.

As faithful Sinners will recall my computer was recently destroyed as a result of a certain curate’s carelessness during our recent parish excursion; despite little Philip Ashey’s famous comment about “blowing things up” it’s obvious clergy today aren’t taught to take same care when handling explosives as they were in my day.

Fortunately Eric’s first compensation check has finally arrived from the Diocesean Insurance Scheme; we told them he was injured as a result of a freak thurible explosion, and since church officials everywhere are taking so much trouble to ensure there’s no doubt about parish property and infrastructure belonging to the diocese they had no choice but to accept liability. Consequently I’ve just used his money to purchase myself a magnificent new multi-media laptop as replacement for the one he ruined, parts of which were blown so high I believe they now can be officially classified as space junk.

Now I know the majority of my readers are Apple aficionados, and I’ll admit my original intention was to join you over there on the smug side of computing’s great divide. However Brother Richthofen and his friends from Seminary have spent a great deal of time pirating the software we use here at St. Onuphrius’, and abandoning all the dishonest fruits of their honest labor seemed churlish to say the least. Consequently I succumbed to the call of my unceasingly pastoral heart, and remained true to dear Bill Gate’s bloated and inaccessible (but easily hacked) vision.

Thus the World’s Greatest Doctrinal Warrior currently finds himself locked in a desperate battle with the astonishing monster known as Vista: I know I should have been more suspicious when the only good thing the salesman could say was that I’d qualify for a free copy of whatever it is that’s superseding the system I was buying, but having spent many years wrestling with Windows thought Vista couldn’t be that bad.

Dearly Beloved Sinners, it’s not often you’ll hear that I was mistaken, but on this dark instance it’s true that I most certainly was. Vista isn’t that bad – it’s worse. Much worse. If I’m told just one more time that “You don’t have permission to access that folder” when it’s something on my USB drive that I created and have used nearly every day for more than a year – and this after first responding to no less that four pop-up windows asking “Are you sure you wish to continue?” (No you hexadecimal pillock – what I’d really like to do is waste an entire day answering mindless questions from an operating system.)

Yet as I’ve been coming to grips with one of the stupidest inventions since uranium-powered cars (“Hi Hank – from up here in the traffic chopper things look pretty good on the roads this morning, with just one small freeway incident that’s reduced a third of the country to dust and looks like causing a nuclear winter which’ll to make things kind of overcast for the next twelve millennia.”) it’s occurred to me that Vista is actually exactly like today’s Evangelicalism.

Just like Vista, modern Evangelicals are a shallow pastiche of their heritage. Yesteryear’s Evangelicals may have campaigned for some rather foolish causes, such as an end to the employment of children as chimney sweeps, but they also struggled long and hard to build up parishes which at the time nobody wanted. They were once a movement which fought to proclaim Christ in the darkest of places, and which was fearless in breaking new ground; today their specialty is “upgrading” those who’ve already heard the Gospel elsewhere.

Indeed, the Evangelicals of old may have often been unwieldy, and at times quite comical, but there’s no denying that given the right circumstances, like earlier versions of Windows they did actually work. Whereas both their descendants demand a bloated infrastructure to do little more than tell everyone how much better they are than any of the alternatives. And both cases their maker’s documentation suggests they’re already redundant.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

5 comments :

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Dear Father in God,
I share your feelings towards the "Operating" "System" styled "Vista" in any of its various guises: home, office, premium. I dread to contemplate "Ultimate."

It reminds me of an extremely obsequious acolyte who insists on trying to be helpful at every stage of the liturgy, but has forgotten anything he may once have known about a server's task, but simply will not stop fussing.

I hope you settle in to this Procrustean situation ere long, and are able to continue your edifying missives unperturbed, or at least accustomed to the cursed pop-ups.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

The Pope will give you (and anyone else) a Apple computer if you do what you are told and pretend what you´re told to pretend...it´s not all that difficult, you just have to get the hang of it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father, may I suggest that you seek out the assistance of your evangelical brethren in Nigeria whose technical skills are unmatched, I am sure that Vista would be no challenge...Why just the other day I received helpful investment advice, kinds offers of assistance in dealing with banking and credit matters as well as an offer f4rom a fine barrister offering to assist me with expediting the estate of a Nigerian relative I didn't even know I had. I'm sure I can find that e-mail somewhere, I'll be glad to forward.

Fred Schwartz said...

It is called Vista because you can always see it from wherever you are, you just can't get there. I too am a Vista user.

David G. said...

...prefers the Olds Vista Cruiser himself!!