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Loyal Son awakens

Robert Singer | Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Resurrection will soon be a celebrated topic, so imagine if the statue with outstretched arms on God Quad could see and think. Unfrozen in time and displaced across the world, His perceptions might seem a little skewed – or be uniquely undistorted.

Here’s what might pass through His, um, stoned head:

“The scene is strange, and the climate is fierce, as cold as nails. I assume I am far from the West Bank, given the many magnificent temples and the prosperous inhabitants who hail from ‘The North Face.’ By my best estimate, I am in a thriving Roman capital near the northern border.

“The daily parchment tells tales of bitterness between Caesar and the local populace. ‘Jenkins’ – as Caesar is popularly known here – is in a perpetual struggle to satisfy the demands of various sects. He appears intent on maintaining stable relations with neighboring empires. Whether Caesar is banning unpopular artistic rituals, ignoring the cries of a peculiar minority who protest the visit of an esteemed emperor from a distant land or denying legal rights to an ostracized group of people, his objective is to stave off foreign criticism at any cost.

“Maintaining order within his empire appears to be another of Caesar’s goals. Even though many citizens live in primitive, cramped living quarters, Caesar lavishly outfits his Praetorian Guard who wear emblems of ‘NDSP’ with self-propelled chariots, allowing these elite soldiers to make up in mechanized mobility what they lack in personal fitness.

“I believe a society is judged on how it treats the least of its people. This city, however, seems to have a confusing policy toward its most unfortunate inhabitants. Lepers appear to be quarantined in two separate prisons, one known as ‘Bond Hall’ and the other as ‘Fitzpatrick.’ Although they must serve a painful duration of servitude by drafting scrolls and making mind-numbing measurements, they are eventually cured of their affliction and go on to hold respected positions in society.

“In the temple – crowned with a summit of gold and peaked with a hallowed statue – a number of scribes busy themselves with money changing activities. The site bears vague resemblance to Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem; high priests who dwell in a chamber called the ‘Office of Financial Aid’ appear to extort profits from those who seek to enter the synagogues for moral instruction.

“Curiously, in chambers designated for the rabbis to share their wisdom, a miniature replica of a torture device adorns the walls. I must attribute this custom to the populace’s fascination with violence. Indeed, it is the only possible explanation for the overwhelming popularity of the two intersecting planks of wood designed to accommodate an impaled human body.

“Most important to the inhabitants is a spectacle of violence put on weekly for one season of the year in the public forum. It must be the gladiatorial games I have heard about from Rome. The most imposing inhabitants put on shiny pieces of armor and crash into one another at high speeds.”

Unfortunately, statues are silent spectators in reality. But what better way is there to commemorate a resurrection than to celebrate some of the qualities – thought and observation – that made Him fully human?