Checking through Goodshit, as I do almost every day, I came across the aggregated item “My Hard-core Porn Obsession” by Shalom Auslander. There is so much on the news aggregators about the increase in porn on the Internet that it has become boring—I almost just scrolled right past it, but then some of the text in the aggregation summary caught my eye.
I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household in New York, where the Old Testament was believed to the literal word of the Almighty God and where we obeyed, as closely as we could, all 613 commandments elucidated within its holy pages. To us, God was not simply a concept, but a very real, everyday presence in our lives and our community. Which is to say, I know pornography. Hard-core, graphic, pornography. My father had it buried beneath his mattress. My brother had it hidden under his dresser. Pornography, like God Himself, was everywhere.
Jews, God, and pornography! Now I just had to go and have a look. Turns out the link goes to an article from November’s GQ magazine. You can see this article by clicking on the image above [Don’t forget to use Control+Click to open it in a new Tab].
But … as interesting as that article is that article is not the article that this article is about.
After reading that article I became interested in the author: Shalom Auslander. So next, using Google, I found his Web site, and from there I found other selected writings by Shalom (here). One of these writings was titled “I Miss God”. I punched the link, not necessarily intending to actually read the linked content but curious to check it out.
The link opened a PDF file [clicking on the image will take you directly to the PDF file].
The PDF contains about 13.2 pages of bolded text with line spacing of about 1.6x. So, in terms of normal non-bolded single line spaced text there is probably something like about 6.5 pages to read.
After reading the first page, which only contains 18 lines of text, I decided to read the whole document. Following is the first page (minus two lines).
This 6.5 page narrative is about the author’s decision that there is no God. His realisation that God is an invention of the only creature on the planet that has awareness of the future; that can think about and imagine the future; who cannot cope with everyone’s ultimate future. Death. No matter what he does, how he does it, where he does it, who he does it with—no matter what; he was going to die and he had no control over that outcome.
I found it a riveting read. Well written and very easy to read.
If you have five minutes, like a thought provoking read, appreciate good punctuation (brilliant use of semi-colons and em dashes), or are interested in the debate over God vs. no God, then the five minutes it takes to read this might turn out to be a rewarding and insightful five minutes.