Sunday, May 13, 2012

God and Hockey

by Salman Hameed

I'm in transit to Istanbul, so this is just a quick nod to Shalom Auslander's article in yesterday's NYT. I loved his book (and the title) Foreskin's Lament. It is now being turned into a film and I'm looking forward to it.

Here is Auslander talking about the game 7 of Rangers and Capitols and trying his best strategy to influence God over the results (by the way, now we know that the Rangers won). I love the beginning of the article:

Religion, someone once said, is what goes through your mind as your plane taxis down the runway. It isn’t. What goes through your mind as your plane taxis down the runway is mortality. It’s aeronautics. It’s the space shuttle Columbia. 
Religion is what goes through your mind during the N.H.L. playoffs. 
Nobody is immune. Richard Dawkins himself would sit at Madison Square Garden, squeeze his eyes shut, and whisper, “Dear God, let the Rangers close this out already and move on to New Jersey.” Then, like everyone else, he’d tap the “30” on the left sleeve of his Lundqvist jersey two times, the “30” on the right sleeve three times, kiss the N of “New” on the front of the jersey and the Y of “York” and wait for God to come through. 
“I’ll never,” Dawkins would add, “write about you again.” 
That’s hope. That’s fear. That’s desperation. That’s (and I know because I’ve been there) spiritual prostitution. 
That’s religion. 
And we all do it. Mock him all you want, but the only thing that separates you and me from Tim Tebow is that Tim doesn’t seem to realize he’s supposed to be ashamed of this sort of behavior. 
So you promise to give more to charity. 
You swear off masturbation. 
You pledge to go to church or synagogue or mosque; if it’s Game 7, you might pledge to go to all three, because why take a chance. And when the Rangers take to the ice, and the referee prepares to drop the puck, you clasp your hands together and you pray: 
“Dear God,” you beseech him, “let the Rangers win and make Washington lose because the Caps totally stink and this thing never should have gone seven games in the first place so I don’t know what you were thinking but stop screwing around and get this thing over, amen.” 
For me, however, it’s a little more complicated because God hates me. I don’t mean in a mankind sense — I don’t mean in a flood-the-world, kill-all-the-firstborns way. I mean, he hates me. Personally. “Man plans,” my mother told me, “and God laughs.” That this suggests God is a punk didn’t concern her, and as it turns out, she was right. God makes things go wrong for me. They just do, oftentimes just as they seem ready to go right. One’s hopes must be raised if they are to be brutally dashed, and that, it turns out, is precisely God’s M.O. 
We don’t get along. 
Trust me. 
I’ve tried to make it work.
Oh he has definitely tried!

Check out his strategy for Rangers' win in the rest of the article


Anonymous said...

A beautiful article by P. Hoodbhoy.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful article by P. Hoodbhoy.

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