Sunday, 27 May 2018

"T.L.:D.R." The Genesis Question Part five

Hi, Everybody!

If it's Sunday, it's Meet The Pres...um, I mean, Dave Sim and "The Genesis Question":

1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…
Courtesy CerebusDownloads.com
2 March 14

Hi Troy and Mia!

Mr. Ross' further citations for Chapter Three:

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: he excellent in power, and in judgement, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.   Job 37:23

This is a very difficult theology to actually believe and have faith in and yet I think it is as close to irrefutable as theology gets.  "We cannot find Him out".  Period. He's God.  Our brains are not large enough or intricate enough to come close to comprehension of him. 

Beyond "excellent", considering the scope of His nature, the only real hope any of us have is that he is perfect in power and in judgement and that, beyond "plenty" of justice, God is Justice itself.  "He will not afflict" is, likewise, difficult to believe as theology, particularly when we are certain that we are looking at affliction and looking at the afflicted or when we feel ourselves to be afflicted in some way. 

Affliction is an illusion for the God-fearing.  We are not afflicted. We afflict ourselves both individually and collectively and we follow in sequence generation upon generation upon generation that have likewise afflicted themselves -- and us -- individually and collectively.  That's the price of free will.  We get to choose but we also have to suffer the consequences of those choices.

The consequences don't go away. They can only be channeled into our own future and the future of others, inherited, ameliorated mostly through God's undeserved kindness of which none of us are worthy, repented of, atoned for and, ultimately, lifted off of us by God if He determines us to be worthy of His undeserved kindness (an inherent contradiction demonstrating God's mercy:  His kindness is always undeserved so none of us are worthy of it).

Since God is Justice in and of Himself there is no Court of Appeal.  We inhabit His perfect clockwork mechanism intended for us.  If the clock isn't working, that's because we've chosen to be sand in its gears instead of keeping the mechanism smoothly oiled.

Even violent, to us inexplicable and painful death is just another form of atonement, I think:  endure this now and it's like getting thousands of years of time off for good behaviour.  We see death as an end however much our theology tells us that it is actually just the beginning.  If we were able to see death and pain accurately, I think, we would have a much better understanding of both and be less inclined to inaccurately accuse God of afflicting us.  God always means the best possible for us, but often that means backing Him into a corner where only an inexplicable, violent and painful death can offer us hope for the next world.  Which we can't come near to understanding until we actually get there and see what the genuine structure of Reality -- as opposed to our "reality" -- is.

This was in beginning toward the God (2)
All through him came to be, and apart from him came to be not-however one.  Which has come to be (3)
in him life was, and the life was the light of the men (4)  John 1:2-4

I've included John 1:2 and 1:4 because it's hard to see 1:3 as a stand-alone instruction. 

The original Koine Greek, it seems to me, conveys a different sense than do the later translations.  I find this a troubling aspect of most Christian theology: the preference for the incomplete thought as long as it has a couple of "happy words" in it instead of the overall sense of what is being expressed.  It does tend to complicate things but amputating the overall gist of something in order to make it less complicated -- well, I don't think it does Christianity any great favours.

So let's start back at John 1:1:  "In beginning was the word, and the word was toward the God and God was the word."  You could write a book on what it does to the meaning to capitalize the different nouns in the sentence.  "Word" is often capitalized, but I think that's inaccurate.  If you capitalize it, you Deify it and you run into the problem of "joining gods with God" -- the primary indictment of men by God's revelation in the Koran -- at the outset.  The Word isn't God, the word is God's -- "toward the God", aligned with God, serving God's purpose.  God did not begin life as The Word, that would make The Word pre-existent to God, the parent to God.  The word, god, expresses God when it is capitalized.  That's why the word was in the beginning:  a means of giving a name, imperfectly, to what God was and is.  It's the beginning of God's creation, not God Himself.  God, by definition, doesn't have a beginning.  He either has always existed or He isn't God. 

"All through him came to be" personalizes the act of creation.  God's word, a "him" sets creation in motion.  This is "the father" (as opposed to The Father) that the Jesus of John's Gospel continually refers to.  The word isn't God and the father isn't God.  The word and the father are the means by which God sets creation in motion.  Thus everything that is comes into being subsequent to, first, God, then God's word which is the "father" the progenitor of everything that we see and know as having been physically incarnated. 

"and apart from him came to be not-however one." 

There's a double meaning there, I think, in the hyphenated Koine Greek term:  "And apart from him came to be not one" AND "And apart from him came to be however one."  This, it seems to me, expresses the concept of the meschiach, the messiah, which I believe the Jesus of John's Gospel to have been.  He is, simultaneously, the "not one" and the "however one". 

"in him life was and the life was the light of the men"

It wasn't the word and it wasn't the "father" it was the ideal creation.  Entirely subordinate to God and doing God's will and the work God gave him to do -- but not yet.  The "not-however one" is held in abeyance from the beginning of creation until his presence in the world is required as a template and a comparison:  basically God saying, "Okay, if you were all subordinate to me and obedient to me from the moment when I created with world or -- fallback position for your own epoch -- when I created Adam, this is what you would have been like."  Seminally, this is what is always going to happen.  Every sun, every planet, every asteroid, every comet, every galaxy, I infer, is issued a "not one" who is also a "however one" when they come into being.  Eventually the "not one" and the "however one" incarnates, like a living report card.  Here, here is how you are doing.  We killed ours.  Which certainly suggests to me a "D-minus" at best.  Considering where we have collectively gone from there?  Probably a collective "F". 

Every man was -- and is -- created with that "light" inside of him.  There is nothing exceptional about the meschiach in terms of content, just in what he chose to do with that content.  He fully developed the light he was given and so was able to instruct, to understand, to explain, to heal, to give life to the dead.  The Jesus of John's Gospel doesn't do anything that Elisha didn't do in 2 Kings, but Elisha isn't the meschiach, we all pretty much agree. 

according as he chose us in him before throwing down of world, to be us holy and unblemished down in sight of him in love  Ephesians 1:4

Well, yes.  Incoherent as I find Paul to be most of the time, this strikes me as someone trying to express the above while drowning in a sea of "D-minus" and "F" folks.  The "not one" and "however one" comes with a lot of equipment.  John the Baptist being a good example.  He isn't the "not one" and "however one" and says that explicitly.  But he is sent to bear witness about the "not one" and "however one".  He is the voice of one crying in the wilderness -- ONE crying in the wilderness, that's how bad the situation has gotten when it comes to true obedience to God.  And Paul follows in that tradition:  the only one enunciating the eternal verities.

I'd take issue with the idea that Christ Jesus, the meschiach, "chose us in him" but I certainly can't refute it.  That's way out of the scale of human speculation. The Jesus of John's Gospel was created by God for a specific purpose -- to be "not one" and "however one" simultaneously.  The apostles, I assume, were the apostles before they became the apostles.  Anyone who became part of the narrative were fated to become part of the narrative.  That is, I don't think there was a "Plan B" Simon Peter.    They enacted what they were going to enact, in the same way that from the time that the sun made the choices that would make it a single star instead of a binary star, the earth existed implicitly.  The earth just further enacted the choices the sun already made. 

"to be holy and unblemished", well, yes, that's what I think is the implicit promise of the meschiach.  Here's a demonstration of what "the holy and the unblemished" looks like, acts like and does.  You're not supposed to worship him, you're supposed to be like him, to be as much like him as you are capable of being.  Everything goes a lot better for you as an individual and for you as a society if you choose to do that.  But it's your choice. 

who is image of the God the invisible, firstborn of all creation, because in him it was created the all in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or governments or authorities; the all through him and into him it has been created Colossians 1:15-16

This is counterintuitive, to say the least.  How can something be an image of something that's invisible?  And yet that seems to be the obvious point of the successive incarnation.  God pre-exists and then comes the word which is "toward the God".  It expresses God's nature imperfectly but it's "toward" the God:  it's over in that direction as far as we can get with our simplified physically incarnated brains and "limited perception" brains. 

I don't think this is accurate because it suggests that Christ Jesus is the firstborn of all creation and that appears to violate the sequence of God, the word -- which is the light of the men -- and the "father".  I think all of those needed to exist before you could create the seminal obedient subject -- the "not one" and "however one".  "Thrones or lordships or governments or authorities" I think is a dog's breakfast of tangentially-related subjects which illustrate the need for John 1:  to get the sequence of creation straight.  "Thrones", "lordships", "governments" and "authorities" are corruptions, plain and simple -- the attempt to usurp God's place as Sole Authority.  "YHWH God" is translated as "Lord God" for that same reason:  to attempt to establish that the Lord is God.  God is Our Lord but the YHWH isn't God. 

It's the reason that the meschiach -- the "not one" and "however one" -- is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It's an attempt -- to me an imperfect and needlessly confusing attempt -- to try to merge human vanity (thrones, lordships, governments and authorities) with the Actual Order of Things.  In short: be as much like the Jesus of John's Gospel as you can and be as little like the "YHWH God" as you can.  As simple a distinction as between "obedience to God" and "disobedience to God" as you can get.

2 Timothy 1:9    Titus 1:2

I just noticed that Mr. Ross cited these last week, so I won't address them again.

To faith we are minding to have been adjusted down the ages to saying of God into the not out of ____s appearing the ____s being looked at to have occurred  Hebrews 11:3

Paul, it seems to me, is always TRYING to express the simpler view…and, as always, I give create credit to Christians, historically, for taking passages like this and making them into a guiding credo. 

I would respectfully suggest that it would be worthwhile to examine Hebrews 11:3 at length in this form and draw your own conclusions as to what, specifically, it is saying, rather than checking to see what the popular translation has it as saying. Personally, I found it completely incoherent and couldn't begin to suggest what it might be saying because it doesn't seem to be saying anything:  it's just a batch of "happy words" that appear to have great meaning to Paul.   

One of the problems, I'm sure, is the "compound terms" of Koine Greek.  In this passage, "we are minding", "to have adjusted down", "being looked at" and "to have occurred" are all single Greek terms. 

The Interlinear translates it as "By faith we perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God's word, so that what is beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear."  The KJV has it as "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."  Which, it seems to me, express two very different ideas (at LEAST two!)  and which, it seems to me, both mistranslate "to saying" as "the word" when there are very different Greek terms for each.  VERY theologically suspect considering how specific John's Gospel is in using the term "the word" in a very specific theological context and sequence.

Okay, back to Chapter Three, per se, having made it through Mr. Ross' biblical citations. 

Best,

Dave  

Next Time: This, continued...

TL:DR: Meditations On The Cerebus Chess Set

Hi, Everybody!

So when I took over this joint, Editor Emeritus Tim W. had a few posts in the "Kitty". I asked Dave what he wanted me to do with them, and he said I could run them.  He also said:

Ol' McVanaheim was a joke I put on the cover sheet of my Fax to Dave. "Ol' McVanaheim's Farm "We have Aardvarks!"
A wise man once said, "It is easier to ask for forgiveness then permission," and I'm of the "I do what I want, don't JUDGE me" school, so here's George's fax to Dave:
If he didn't want me to run this, he shouldn't have started selling the chess pieces...
All that being the preamble to:
Too Long: Didn't Read:
MEDITATIONS ON CEREBUS THE CHESS SET ULTIMATE SNOOZE FEST #1 (from, I think 2014? It's why I wanted to know what Dave wanted me to do with it...)
Dave Sim:
I'm going to leave it up to Tim W. as to how often he runs these installments of what I'm sure CEREBUS TV would aptly describe as a "snooze fest". Don't blame me, Tim, if you run them too close together -- or all at once -- and your viewership suddenly flat-lines.
It was naive of me to think that I could just tell George that I thought CEREBUS THE CHESS SET was a great idea... but that I wouldn't be able to participate, personally, to any great extent. The buck stops here, particularly when I get a proposed "line-up" from George which originated with Margaret Liss. As follows:
KING/Lord Julius/Cirin
QUEEN/Weisshaupt/Astoria
BISHOP/Bishop Powers/Mrs. Thatcher
BISHOP/Bishop Posey/"Vera's Prisoner"
KNIGHT/Cerebus/Red Sophia
KNIGHT/Bran Mac Mufin/Mrs. Henrot-Gutch
ROOK/Judge/Joanne
ROOK/Rick/Jaka
PAWNS - all the different Roach incarnations (including normalroach with fingers for antennae/Robed Cirinists
I admired Margaret's notion of doing a "gender dichotomy" version: basically the Patriarchy versus the Matriarchy. I think she's also done a good job of utilizing the most popular characters (which is the foundational idea of these kinds of chess sets -- basically a more-than-usually-regimented action figures collection on a checkerboard base :))
Unfortunately it strikes a bit of a sour note with my own (as usual, idiosyncratic) idea of What Chess Is.

We have no idea where chess came from but we do know that it's unchanged in its present form from the point where it emerges into our society from the mists of antiquity which (usually) suggests to me High End/Upper Range Metaphysics.

I think it was intended to suggest the inherent problem with granting women political power.

Basically "Shall we have a Queen?" at a time when that was starting to happen with the hereditary monarchies of Europe. Which had less to do with proto-feminism (I think) and more to do with a) "So what happens when the biggest and best equipped army takes the side of the King's daughter instead of the King's son and wipes out the King's son's side of the family?" and b) "Do we really want to get, you know, into this?"

And the High End/Upper Range Metaphysics answer (it seems to me) was "Coupled with chivalry (which we've already metaphysically installed and can't UN-install at this point)? You're talking about Going Nuclear. The Queen will be more powerful than any King, bishop, knight or…whatever. And Queen vs. Queen scenarios. Let me count the ways that everyone gets wiped out just trying to get rid of one Queen, let alone both."

So, chess, it seems to me was a way of "modelling" that. And it was only an afterthought, "Actually, Gruesome & Apocalyptic as it is, this is a pretty cool game as games go."

It's not all BAD news. I would cite the historical Queen of Sheba, of 1 Kings chapter 10 in the Torah and from "The Ant" and "Saba" in the Koran…

(Saba: the ancient name for Ethiopia. Brings a whole new multi-level of meanings to the name of one of our -- Comic Art Metaphysics AND Aardvark-Vanaheim's -- transgendered cartoonists, Arn Saba: combining the name of Prince Valiant's son, Prince Arn, and the Queen of Saba from the Koran. Interesting that Arn/now Katherine was one of the last people to interview Hal Foster, PRINCE VALIANT's creator)
…is a good example of that. From sura 27 "The Ant" where the Queen of Sheba receives a letter from King Solomon:
"It is from Solomon and it is: 'In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful! Set not up yourselves against me, but come to me submitting (Muslims).'
She said, "O, my nobles, advise me in mine affair: I decide it not without your concurrence."
There's the chess quality: the Queen consulting with her "bishops" and her "knights". You also see it in Humpty Dumpty ("All the king's horses and all the king's men"). Nice idea: concurrence. But what happens when they don't concur?
They said "We are endued with strength and are endued with mighty valour. But to command is thine: see therefore what thou wilt command us."
There's the chess quality as well -- the Metaphysics which underlies chess (as I see it): there will come a point where the Queen has no idea what to do and will want to be told what to do by someone who sees more clearly than she does (i.e. not emotionally). But, if you've made her the Queen, that's "not on". "To command is thine."

The Queen muses to herself:
She said, "Kings when they enter a city spoil it, and abase the mightiest of its people: and in like manner will these also do. But I will send to them with a gift, and await what my envoys bring back."
It's a very female thing to do -- here's a nice present, please don't kill us -- but it strikes a very sour note with Solomon as an inadequate response to the presentation of monotheism (emphasized words mine):
And when ____ came to Solomon, he said, "Aid ye ME with riches? But what God hath given to me is BETTER than what He hath given you: yet ye GLORY in YOUR gifts. Return to them: for we will surely come to them with forces which they cannot understand, and we will drive them from _____, humbled and contemptible."
You can look up the rest, if you're interested. It seems to me a foundational endorsement of jihad. But, historically, there is a happy ending: Saba or Sheba converts to monotheism (granting that most of you don't think of monotheism as a happy ending). Although the pendulum swings dramatically between paganism and monotheism down to the present-day. Happy ending, unhappy ending, happy ending, unhappy ending. We're really at rock-bottom unhappy ending right now. None of us will be holidaying anytime soon in Ethiopia, I don't think. Unless you're a really, really weird infidel who thinks that getting between pagan Africans and Muslim Africans and going "Boys! boys! Is this a nice way to be?" is going to make an unhappy context happy (or even, you know, less UNhappy). I pray five times a day and fast in Ramadan and I wouldn't do it on a bet.

END OF "MEDITATIONS ON CEREBUS THE CHESS SET" ULTIMATE SNOOZE FEST #1 (Collect them all!)
 http://www.cerebusdownloads.com/index2actionFigure.html
"MEDITATIONS ON CEREBUS THE CHESS SET" ULTIMATE SNOOZE FEST #2
So the problem which presents itself with Margaret's version of CEREBUS THE CHESS SET right off the bat is twofold:
1) It's informed by Feminist Theocratic thinking (or, to me, "thinking") with female kings, male queens, female bishops, female knights.

Which to me, is like reinventing poker by making hearts and diamonds into, say, ducks and daffodils. And you can just make up any number if you're "holding a duck". The two of hearts becomes the 4/5/6/7/or 9 of ducks as needed.
It MIGHT make an interesting card game, but it would really have nothing to do with poker.

Perfectly understandable. We live in an undeclared but entirely effective Feminist Theocracy that's used to just…DOING… these things and everyone going along with it.

However, I have too much respect for what I see chess as being to just allow that view to be steamrolled by well-intentioned Feminist Theocratic thinking (that is, in my view, "thinking").
2) A major part of the point of the 6,000 page CEREBUS storyline is the form that a Feminist Theocracy WAS TAKING (1977-2004) IS TAKING (2004-2014) IS LIKELY TO TAKE (2014 to your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine).

It's undeclared, but at least until the Feminist Theocracy officially declares itself and passes laws basically "Against Dave Sim" (that is, if you actually express any idea identifying the Feminist Theocracy you can be arrested and charged for doing so: stay tuned), then I think my Mothers vs. Daughters dichotomy as documented in CEREBUS is viable. We won't admit it (for reasons presumably known to some of us who aren't talking), but This is What We Are Now, Today.

Certainly more viable than, say, Feminist Theocratic support for Palestinians (who believe in, as an example, persecuting and prosecuting homosexuals for being homosexuals: theoretically anathema to Feminism) and opposition to Israel (the only country in the Middle East with Western-style protection for homosexuality). That's "reality challenged" or, as I would put it, "nutty as a fruitcake".
My views are based in sustainable reality. This is what was actually going on 1977 to 2004 and, well, here we are. Exactly where I said we didn't want to go and most of us would agree that we didn't want to get here and didn't intend to get here and we have no idea where to go from here to get to where we want to go. Or even where that, theoretically, might be.
Conclusion, taking into account the needs posed by 1) and 2) (as you all nod off): The single dominant female piece on either side of the chessboard needs to be retained STRUCTURALLY or it isn't chess.

We don't want to go so far as the Feminist Theocracy wants to go: bishops and knights are women if you want them to be women. The same as Whoopi Goldberg can play the lead Roman slave on Broadway in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM just as accurately as Nathan Lane can. That way lies madness. Have a safe trip, if you're going, but don't say I didn't warn you about what you would find when you get there (here).

So, if we can only pick One Queen from CEREBUS on either side of the chessboard, who is she going to be and why?

This ties in with point 2): with the Cerebus Chess Set, we have to not CHANGE chess into something completely un-chess like (because, sad to say, CEREBUS is mine and I said: you want to do that, go mess with STAR WARS or something where, you know, they'll think it's the bee's knees) Over Here.

Because Dave is No Fun At All (and we take that as a given) we have to retain chess-like features while documenting the Funhouse Mirror in which we've all taken up residence since 1977 when I started talking about this stuff.

That seems to me to be a balanced way of looking at it.
Here we get to the point where I manage -- as I always seem to do -- to both bore my readers to distraction while simultaneously horrifying them, outraging them and making them indignant ("Horrified, Outraged & Indignant. I'm sorry, Mr. Horrified isn't in the office this morning, will you speak to Ms. Indignant? Please hold and I'll connect you.")

So let's postpone that by not talking about the Queen quite yet.

Let's start with the King.

Which, I agree with Margaret is Lord Julius. Which is interesting because Lord Julius is a nut. He's a nut, but he's a very WEALTHY nut. Which seems to me to be a built-in quality of any society that chooses to become a Feminist Theocracy. Who has the most money? Who is making money the fastest? Only in a Feminist Theocracy would a nut like the late Steve Jobs, as an example -- or Elvis Presley, or the Beatles -- be deemed the closest to a populist king as could be imagined.

Because the primary thing that recommends any of them is the amount of indescribable wealth they generate.

That they are treated as Great Philosophers is one of those jokes a Feminist Theocracy plays on itself. I don't think Steve Jobs ever once considered what his innovations were going to do to his society or was even remotely perturbed when -- by implication and inference -- whole industries were wiped off the map. That perfect equanimity in the face of irreparable devastation is, well, to me anyway, nutty, the opposite of Philosophy. The fact that I appear to be the only one to view it that way just makes it seem all the nuttier to me. And I sense my Metaphysical "call forwarding" clicking through to Horrified, Outraged & Indignant.

So Lord Julius becomes the king, largely because of how he is viewed by the Women Who Would Be Queens.

Another core of the Feminist Theocracy: find the guy sitting on the biggest pile of loot and get him into a) bed b) marriage. Ipso facto: we have found our king. This is where Astoria comes into the story. She's the first one to figure it out (or perhaps more important the first one to realize how to play the game That Way), so she gets Lord Julius. Temporarily. This is, again, the trick we play on ourselves: the point is the money. The guy who owns it is the guy who owns it, ergo the king. The fact that he exhibits no kingly qualities isn't even under consideration. Does Elvis DESERVE to be "The King"? Of COURSE! Look at the big pile of money he's sitting on in the music business. Who ELSE would be "The King"? So you would have a hillbilly for your King? WELL YES DUH!!
It's Al Pacino in SCARFACE. "First you get the money. Then you get the power. THEN you get the woman".

So I picture the King as being Lord Julius as a big pile of gold coins with his head and shoulders sticking up out of them. And Cerebus as an alternative King in the same motif (a bad commercial decision, but I also picture him with just his eyes and the top of his head sticking out of his pile of gold coins which is taller than Lord Julius' pile).

It's like combining chess and Monopoly. With the Cerebus Chess Set, you pick whether you want to be the race car or the flat iron. So you reveal something about yourself by your choice if you're playing the Kevillist/fading Patriarchy side of the chessboard. Do you see yourself as Cerebus or Lord Julius? Or the Cockroach (let's say)? All your gold is actually for orphans. So that makes stealing it okay.
Astoria could definitely be the Queen there. Lord Julius' Queen, Cerebus' Queen or the Cockroach's Queen. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

It distills a lot of the inner resonances of the 6,000 pages which is really want you want a chess set to do. To say something larger than just the chess set itself.
Cerebus is a caricature of Lord Julius. The Cockroach is a caricature of Cerebus.

Which brings us back to the Queen. Next time. I've put in the two hours I've allocated for this on this non-fasting day. Now I have to answer some mail.

But by way of Preview:

The problem with flat-out "wealth worship" for the Would-Be Queen is that this implies whoredom.

("Horrified, Outraged & Indignant. All of our Strong, Independent, Unflappable, Tough As Any Man, Feminist Theocracy Operators are presently clutching their pearls, gasping for oxygen, suffering dizzy spells and/or feeling sick to their stomachs. However your call IS important to us. Please hold for any available operator as soon as she can recover her delicate flower-like wits from the "vapours" which have carried her off to temporary oblivion which have been shamelessly trampled upon by this cold, insensitive meditation").

PLEASE. Get over yourselves. Well, okay. Don't.

Sorry, Tim, there goes half your viewers right there.
And that's all I got on this. I guess "Part 3" is not gonna be forthcoming...

ANYWAY:

 http://www.georgepetergatsis.com/cerebuskingchesspiece/


http://www.georgepetergatsis.com/cerebuskingchesspiece/index.html is where to go if you want Cerebus Chess in your life.

$29.99 (plus shipping and handling) (So $49.99.) per figure (Canadian, $49.99 Canadian.) per figure.

OR:

$179.94 for a set of six (King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Pawn) (plus shipping and handling) (So $269.93) (Canadian, this is Canadian.)

OR, OR:

$479.84 for a full set of sixteen (King, Queen, two Bishops, two Knights, two Rooks, and eight Pawns.) (plus shipping and handling) (George doesn't have this as an ordering option, (yet?) so I'm not sure how much S/H is.) (Canadian. This is ALL Canadian. (They put birds on their money, did you know that?))

OR, OR, OR: 

$959.68 for two full sets  (Two Kings, two Queens, four Bishops, four Knights, four Rooks, and sixteen Pawns.) (Ya know, if you wanna PLAY chess...) (plus shipping and handling) (Again, George doesn't have this as an ordering option (yet(?), maybe someday?), so I don't know how much it'll set you back.) (But we're getting into "going to see Dave and tour the Off-White House" levels of money ($900 pledge level on the Kickstarters...) just to put it into perspective...) (Canadian. Ya want it in American? $29.99 = $23.13, $49.99 = $38.56, $179.94 = $138.78, $269.93 = $208.19, $479.84 = $370.09, $959.68 = $740.18, $900 = $694.15. (All with dead white guys on the money (which is how God intended money to look...).) How about in Rupees? Well, according to Dr. Strange's assistant Wong in Avengers: Infinity War, 200 Rupees is about a buck-fifty American. So, a metric shit-ton of Rupees. (MATH IS FUN!!!) approximately...)

Ah! George kinda does have the shipping and handling (you just have to add the pieces to the cart, and adjust the quantities.) Set of 16 is $539.84. Full set of 32 is $1,019.68 (Canadian. $416.37 and $786.46 American respectively. And a metric fuck-ton of Rupees. Sooo many Rupees...)

So save your Scheckles...

Next Time: "Pesos"? Why the fuck do you wanna pay in Pesos?!? What kind of hippy-commie are you?!?!?

Friday, 25 May 2018

Circle your calendar THURSDAY, JUNE 7TH!!! (Dave's Weekly Update #236)

Hi, Everybody!

So, back on Tuesday, I instituted a new contest:
I seem to recall there's a scene with a disembodied skull in a hood with a metal bikini. Anybody remember where that's from? First person to give me volume, page and panel wins "AMOC Special Friend of the Day" status and a special mention on Friday's post.
And the winner entry is Jimmy Gownley, with
Look man... I'm on a tight deadline here. I got two more books coming out from Disney this year and a 300 page brick due at Scholastic. AND that's not even the main thing I'm working on!

So I don't have the TIME to tell you that its Going Home (Vol. 13) Page 277 panel one.

(And yes, this was just a blatant and obnoxious self-promotion, but the info is correct ;)

So Jimmy is our very first: "AMOC Special Friend of the Day":
Congratulations Jimmy, you're now an Official AMOC "Inside People"!
Suitable for framing...

Anyway,
Heeeeeere's Dave (From last week, now corrected with the glitch fixed.):


And here's THIS WEEK'S update:


Here's the link for WHERE the auctions are, not WHAT the auctions are. (Sorry, I can't find links to the items, but I'll post them when I get 'em...) Remember, JUNE 7TH, 8PM a THURSDAY. Bring money! so much money...

Next time: Some stupid crap. Is it June 7th yet?!?

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Well Equipped Bar

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

The last time we looked at Dave Sim's fourth Cerebus notebook was last October in The Deciding Vote. Yes, the notebook covers issues #41 through 44.  Along with the Wuffa Wuffa guy, I found a page on one of the Animated Cerebus stories.

On page 77 of the notebook we see the one page from the notebook for the A Well Equipped Bar:

Notebook 4, page 77
We see the main scene, a listing of what is to happen on each plate, and the one other character in the story other than Cerebus.

Animated Cerebus, plate 1
Animated Cerebus, plate 10
It even looks like on the notebook page was a piece of dialogue - "When are you gonna git a real spitoon barkeep?"

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

CIH? Cover Comparison PART TWO


Benjamin Hobbs:

It seems that one of the last projects Sandeep Atwal was working on while at AV was making print-ready versions of the approved CIH? covers submitted by readers. Here's his version of NICK CALM, AGENT OF C.O.D.P.I.E.C.E. (Based on my mock-up):

 Here's the final version I put together (also based on my mock-up), that will see print in August:
The biggest differences between Sandeep's cover and mine are the swirl's behind the figures and the inclusion of a Comic Code Authority parody logo.

ALSO!  

Last week we saw a sneak peek of three of  George Peter Gatsis' Cerebus chess pieces! George sent me an even sneakier peek at ALL SIX chess pieces! Guess which Cerebus is which piece in the comments below!

http://www.georgepetergatsis.com/cerebuskingchesspiece/
 Next week: CIH? COVER Comparison PART THREE! Unless something else comes up that's time sensitive. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

TMNCerebi, Bishop Posey, and a NEW CONTEST!!!

Hi, Everybody!

Time to get your orders in for the most fabulous thing I flogged on this blog today:
The ONLY Eastman approved Cerebus In Hell? one-shot (so far, I got a REALLY good feeling about The Unbedable Vark...)
Anyways...

Over on the Cerebus Facebook group (which I only joined to hear all the bitchin' about AMOC since the regime change...), somebody asked:
"Looking for something specific, hoping someone can help me out. Somewhere during the Church and State run, there's a scene where Cerebus commands Posey to get his mother in law or tell her something onerous, or maybe it's someone else. In any case, Posey thinks this will obviously be the death of him, which is signified by a thought bubble with a cartoon death figure. Can someone point me to the right issue or volume/page? Even better, post the page or link to it..?"
 Sure, I can do ALL sorts of stuff. (Is good to be King...)
Courtesy of CerebusDownloads.com
As you can see, it's from page 283 of Church & State 1.

There was also:
Also courtesy of CerebusDownloads.com
I seem to recall there's a scene with a disembodied skull in a hood with a metal bikini. Anybody remember where that's from? First person to give me volume, page and panel wins "AMOC Special Friend of the Day" status and a special mention on Friday's post.

Next Time: "My name's Hobbs. Ben Hobbs. Double Oh Aardvark. Licenced to Vanaheim" Yeah, I don't know what it means either...

Monday, 21 May 2018

Reading Cerebus #21: "Fluroc" Issue #18

Hi, Everybody!

"Hey kids! What time is it?"
"Time for a really quick column with no images from the book, because you're pressed for time?"
"Ya damn right!"
Courtesy of Kevin's co-worker
Kevin Kimmes:

Welcome back to “Reading Cerebus”, a some-what new (mostly) weekly column here at A Moment of Cerebus. The goal of this column is to bring a fresh perspective to the 300-issue saga of Cerebus as I read through the series for the first time and give my insights into the longest running independent comic book series of all time. Think of this as part book club, part lit-crit, and part pop culture musing. Let’s continue.

"Fluroc" - Cerebus #18
"Fluroc" - Cerebus #18
Let it never be said that Cerebus isn't cunning. It's this chestnut that's at the center of this week's reading. With Fluroc now in the control of Cerebus and the T'Gitan horde, what could possibly impede their progress on to Palnu? Why, merchants, of course!

Hail Storm...Err...Hail Stromm!

This week's tale starts off with the explanation of someone else's mythology: Stromm. Cleverly based around the Norse god of thunder, Thor, we learn the details regarding Stromm as well as his first follower, Gudre. Lions die, wine bottles are bitten, and Stromm's word is carried forth by his first disciple, Gudre. We also learn that a mighty belch from Stromm could spell the demise of half an army, so you know, no fizzy drinks for the big guy.

Also, worth noting: Having met these two in the previous issue, this all sounds like a bunch of bullshit!

Take A Look, It's In A Book

While Graus tells the tale of Stromm, Cerebus has other matters to attend to. Foremost on his list is trying to find any information that may be useful in the overthrow of Palnu. However, checking the libraries of the most well-to-do homes in Fluroc has not been turning up the information that Cerebus had hoped for.

"I Have Some Bad News For You, Gorce..."

We get a quick aside with Lord Julius at this point, as he doles out responsibility of raising an army to Gorce of Vessariat. While Julius makes plans for a hasty retreat ahead of the fall of Palnu, Gorce plans to save the city and see Julius hung out to dry in the process. If treachery was a tradable commodity, it could be the chief export of Palnu. Just sayin'.

The Plague You Say

As mentioned earlier, this issue could have been smooth sailing for Cerebus if it weren't for the unforeseen arrival of N'Gamin merchants. Then again, if that were the case, this wouldn't be much of a Cerebus story.

Always looking for ways to turn lemons into lemonade, Cerebus decides to explain away the copious amount of dead bodies laying around on a recent plague that ravaged the village. Doubling down on this story, Cerebus is even able to convince the lead merchant into believing that he himself has contracted the plague, and that Cerebus is the only person with the cure.

A short negotiation follows with Cerebus getting the merchants wares as well as the helms of the hired mercenaries who are protecting the merchants. Sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity and a cup full of blood to really sell your illusion.

Final Thoughts

This issues really felt like a bit of a world builder. We get to hear about Stromm's mythology from those that follow him, we learn a bit about the merchant culture of the area, and we learn that there is even more layers to the unrest in Palnu than originally suspected.

The issue incorporated a good amount of humor into what is not a very action packed story. This really seems like one of Dave's strengths to this point: Holding the reader's interest even during the quieter story beats. In the hands of a lesser writer, these moments can become a real drag.

Join me back here next week as I take a look at issue 19, "She-Devil In The Shadows".

Currently Listening To: Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Volume 8 - Harpur College, Binghamton, NY 5/2/1970

Kevin Kimmes is a lifelong comic book reader, sometime comic book artist, and recent Cerebus convert. He can be found slinging comics at the center of the Multiverse, aka House of Heroes in Oshkosh, WI.


Next Time: Hey wait column 21? Reading Cerebus is legal! Drinks are on it tonight!!! 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

"T.L.:D.R." The Genesis Question Part four

Hi, Everybody!

Cue Mr. Sim:
1 April 18

Hi Matt!

You must be running out of my Biblical commentaries along about now. So…
Courtesy CerebusDownloads.com
23 February 14

Hi Troy & Mia!

Chapter Three CREATION OF THE COSMOS

"The Beginning"

"Later still, scientists revived the Hindu doctrine of a universe that oscillates for infinite time through cycles of birth, death and rebirth."

Let me belabour this one at some length:

I think this is part of what we're looking at when we look at the Universe As Creation and Creation As The Universe but I think it's a little too "broad strokes" in its nature to really tell us the totality of the construct, conceptually.  What would be the point of birth, death and rebirth enacted finitely over the course of uncountable millennia for their own purpose except purposelessness?  A big fireworks display, basically that lasts for billions of years and then sputters out. 

I think, instead, it's worth considering that the Universe has a very scientific purpose which is to allow God to illustrate His own proofs on a large enough scale to satisfy every question and curiosity.  I suspect that earth-like planets are a big reason for that and that they occur infrequently.  HOW infrequently only God would know for certain but, looking at our own solar system, only around 10% of the time, at best.

(although I would suggest that there's a fourth dimensional aspect to that, as well. That the earth is able to support sentient life only with the sun in its present state and that, arguably, when the sun waxes Mars will be able to support life and when it wanes Venus will be able to support life)

Which I think is more a testimony to the flawed assumptions of God's adversary/adversaries in the construction of our own failed version of the Big Bang.

And the reason for that, I suspect, is the near-perfect balance implied by the creation of water, H2/0.  It seems to me a PART of what God is looking for/demonstrating. In the sense that the sun was a failed experiment because it didn't become the Second Big Bang, I think the earth is a consolation prize -- not Balanced, but "more balanced".

Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. 

Hydrogen, presumably, has an intrinsic nature and oxygen, presumably, has an intrinsic nature.  A planet which formed that consisted of equal parts Hydrogen and oxygen, in the main, (I would theorize) would be the incarnation of an entirely different scientific theory and would incarnate in a different form.  Or it might not incarnate, thus illustrating that hydrogen and oxygen in equal balance isn't a valid construct:  you can't make a planet out of it or, if you can, the resulting planet isn't going to incarnate anything on a smaller scale that will tell you anything. 

Hydrogen Two and Oxygen One does.  The sun wins a cigar for generating that.

Once it gets past the "form and void" chaos stage, once it gets past the dinosaurs, once it gets past the previous epochs which ended disastrously (those documented in Greek myths with its various monsters and hybrids and complete absence of morality), it gets to us.  And we're interesting because we constitute not only a mini-Big Bang -- an explosive profusion of billions of incarnations over a short period of time all in the same space/time context -- we're also AWARE and COMMUNICATIVE. 

My theory is that if you take every human being born into our AWARE and COMMUNICATIVE context, every interaction he and she have and allow that to extend over billions of years (or, I would guess  if you limit the discussion to our epoch that began with Genesis 2, thousands of years, maybe tens of thousands of years) -- "Be fruitful and multiply" -- you increase the odds that somewhere, someone will come up something that an omniscient being -- God -- hadn't considered (or, more to the point, seen illustrated umpty-ump billions of times before in other contexts).  My best guess is that most of our science and philosophy is self-aggrandizing BS and that God knows that that's going to be the near-as-dammit universal result of the experiment even in the "rare earth" context of every once in a multi-trillion tries, a sun producing a planet like us and the planet producing people like us. 

We're like an near-infinite number of chessboards where God and the earth and God and the sun and God and our closest cosmological neighbours get to enact as many questions as the earth and the sun have about the nature of Reality.  Picture billions and billions and billions of "Yes, but, what about…?" questions being posed by us and to each other over the life of our planet.  Either all of which God already knows the answer to or virtually all of which God already knows the answer to.  Some of those questions take, literally, billions of years to answer:  the initial "Yes, but, what about…?" question and each subsequent (billions upon billions) of ancillary questions:  "Yes, but, even given that that's true, what about…?" 

Which is why the Big Bang is such a wonderful creation to contemplate. 

How do You create a big enough blackboard where You can intelligently, definitively answer all of these questions?  How do You avoid the charge that You're skewing the results by saying, "I'm God and I say so.  Trust me, it would take billions of years to explain it to you thoroughly, but in the end you would see that I'm right."  Who could be satisfied with that?  And how could God avoid a glimmering of doubt?  All of the bases covered into the infinite, but enough variables that, well, IS what God is saying invariably True?  Is God skewing the results by asserting Invariable Authority even if the margin of error is microscopically small and only He is aware of how remote the possibility He might have overlooked something?

(Personally, at that point, I opt out of the chess game and grant God's omniscience and my submission to it: prayer, fasting, reading Scripture aloud, observing a Sabbath, etc. It seems silly to do otherwise given the extremely limited scope of human intellect.  God's will be done. )

How, it seems to me, is by making a blackboard/chessboard that You generate but which procreates itself based on its own theories, dividing and merging and multiplying and hurling itself outward on the centrifugal and centripetal energy generated by its own circuitous arguments. Galaxies are pretty impressive until you recognize that they are just very, very large dogs chasing their own tails.

The literal Greek term translated as "grace" is "undeserved kindness" which I think has central application here.  I can't even imagine the time and energy required to create the Big Bang, can't even imagine the time and energy required to basically set up the number of chessboards we see flung across the night sky and the number of chessboards orbiting those chessboards.  And the number of chessboards incarnating on those orbiting chessboards. And then to sit down and actively play each of those games.  "Undeserved kindness" doesn't come close to covering it: 

"Not that you deserve this -- tens of billions of years of My Time and Attention, but, okay.  Let's play some chess." 

If a…species…of progress is being made, still I think we have to be honest enough as God's creations that we look more than a little foolish at this juncture.  I mean, we still call Jupiter Jupiter -- although hopefully we now see that as "Jupiter".  How many centuries did we have to play chess with God before even coming to that pretty transparent conclusion?  "Hmmm. Maybe that 'wandering star' isn't a star at all.  Maybe it isn't the Roman God of Thunder and Lightning. Hmmm." 

Yes, okay. After centuries of playing chess and asserting that there are LOTS of Gods, we are now prepared, in our infinite human wisdom to concede the point, (some of us, most of us, at least partly):  that Jupiter the planet is not actually a God or even a god.  It's just a big bag of dust and gas that has coalesced and is revolving around the sun.  Of course we're still going to keep calling it Jupiter which is both blasphemous and insulting to God, but, hey, what else is undeserved kindness for if it isn't overlooking those kinds of things? 

My assumption is that that's only the beginning, that we (most of us, not me) continue to play chess with God and will continue to play chess with God thinking that at some point we will find a chink in God's Armour.

No, personally, I think the far safer assumption is that each thing we think we come up with that will undermine God and make God flawed in some way will be dealt with at nearly interminable (certainly relative to our lifespans) length and already has been at nearly interminable (certainly relative to their lifespans) on planets that have already existed and vanished in the supernova of their neighbouring star or will exist and vanish in the supernova of their neighbouring star and leave us in the same situation as our belief in "wandering stars" left us as we continued to adhere to it and attempt to find newer and more convoluted theories as to what those "wandering stars" or "Gods" were.

This seems to me closely attuned to the old adage, "Is God powerful enough to create a rock so big that even He can't lift it?"  Only in this case, it's "Is God intellectually powerful enough to create so many chessboards that even He can't play them all and win all the games?"  I think the answer is no, but I also think that the answer is "in order to prove that to be the case, God would need to play all of those chess games and would have to construct a Reality where his opponents had complete autonomy." 

Thus the Big Bang and thus free will.

The "Why?" of creation, of the Big Bang, is central to my own faith so, as I've said, I see the need to belabour the point of "Why?"  as I address Mr. Ross' argument(s).
Which seem to me (at least so far) to be a theological variation on Stephen Hawkings scientific theories: a lot of "What?" but very little "Why?"

As to Mr. Ross's citations early in this chapter:

Psalm 33:6-9 

We're going to be at loggerheads already with a citation from the Psalms of David since, by my reading of the Torah, David wasn't a prophet in the same sense that Saul, his predecessor wasn't a prophet ("Is Saul among the prophets?").  Nathan was THE prophet in proximity to David and corrected David and informed him when he was going to be punished for the matter with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite.  David was a favourite of the YHWH, God's adversary, for obvious reasons illustrated by Psalm 33:

By the word of the YHWH were the heavens made: and all the host of them, by the breath of his mouth.

It's worth pointing out, I think, that the Psalms are pretty neatly divided into "God Psalms" and "YHWH Psalms" -- Psalms 1-41 and 84-150 are "YHWH Psalms" and Psalms 42-83 are "God Psalms".  So, I think David was intended as an instrument of the YHWH and his Psalms as "bookending" God's context with the YHWH's context.

As to the content here?  Well, no, not according to my reading of the Torah.  Genesis 1 says that the heavens were created by God and it doesn't say anything about God creating the heavens with the breath of His Mouth.  YHWH God doesn't turn up until Genesis 2 where he breathes life into A Dam, so I would view Psalm 33 as a YHWHistic corruption:  the YHWH attempting to ret-con his/her/its self into Genesis 1.

He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as a heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the YHWH: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.  For he spake, and it was done: he commanded, and it stood fast.

As I say, I think this is just David as the YHWH's chief propagandist, the YHWH, through David, attempting to usurp God's role and stature as God. 

Psalm 90:2

I don't think this verse can be examined successfully divorced from its predecessor. 
90:2 reads:  "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting, thou God" which would appear to undermine my assertion that this is a "YHWH Psalm".  Whereas if you (re)connect it to verse one, it reads:

A prayer of Moshe the man of God:  YHWH, thou hast been our dwelling place in generation and generation.  Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting thou God. 

Which, to me, just makes it another YHWHistic corruption, attributed by the YHWH to "Moshe, the man of God", relayed to David as such (without attribution from any of the Books of Moshe) and, again, intending to ret-con the YHWH into Genesis 1 and to usurp God's role and stature as God. 

The reference to "the earth AND the world" is interesting, particularly coming from the YHWH who is the earth.  I think it's probably true that the earth and the world are two different things, the latter encompassing far more, conceptually, than the former.  But I still think both would be God's creations and under God's dominion.

John 17:24

Father, which you have given to me, I am willing in order that where am I also those may be with me, in order that they may behold the glory the mine which you have given to me, because you loved me before founding of world.

I do think that the Johannine Jesus is either the Meschiach, the Messiah, or the closest approximation to it that we are likely to see.  But I do also think that he was just an instrument of God, instructed very specifically in what he was supposed to say. 

Where I would part company with Orthodox Christian belief would be in who the Father was that he is addressing here.  The Christian inference is that the Father is God whereas I believe that the Father was a creation of God, the procreative functionary of God's will (while, I'm guessing, having his own free will to choose to be the Father or not be the Father, he chose to be the Father).  One of the great unanswerable questions, for me, is -- given that God is preexistent "Which came first, the Father or the YHWH?"  Did the Father's procreative function create the seminal YHWH before the Big Bang?  Or was the Father's procreative function made necessary by the creation of the seminal YHWH who proved to be a natural contrarian and -- given that God and YHWH were the two seminal beings -- just insisted on the inverse of Reality:  YHWH created God? 

In fact, the entirety of the two Jesus narratives, the Synoptic Jesus and the Johannine Jesus, seems to me to be a parallel narrative created by God through the Father to illustrate for the seminal YHWH how he/she/it was/is supposed to be. 

The Johannine Jesus does attain to glory and attains to glory because he recognizes his subordinate position to both God and the Father.  He does the will of God and the will of God is that he do the will of the Father, which he does -- even unto death.  And he seeks to extend that to his own apostles, mirroring God's original intention with the YHWH:  as creation expands and multiplies, pass on what I instruct you to your successors so they can share in your context: the glory I will bestow on you.  And, of course, this is exactly what the YHWH didn't do, instead offering he/she/it as the Real God to his/her/its successors (as he/she/it was doing in the Psalms cited:  turning David into a YHWHist when David, by nature, was a complete monotheist and God-fearing man). 

The verse, it seems to me, hearkens back to that pre-existent-to-the-world state: the Father did the will of God and loved the Johannine Jesus that would be before the world was founded.  The Father didn't try to turn the Johannine Jesus against God and to make the Johannine Jesus worship him. 

2 Timothy 1:9
Titus 1:2

Well, with all my usual caveats about treating Paul's commentaries as scripture:

I don't think much can be discerned from 1:9 in isolation since it reads: "of the having saved us and having called to calling holy, not according to the works of us but according to own purpose and undeserved kindness, the having been given to us in Christ Jesus before times everlasting."  But, taking the single verse at face value:

I think it does point in the directions that I outlined above:  that it is another example of obedience to God and acknowledgement of God's preeminence being something of Core Value to pass on from seminal contexts to all subsequent contexts.  God in His Context, through the Father in his conext and in turn through Christ Jesus in his context "before times everlasting" gave to everyone His own purpose for them.  The purpose the YHWH attempts to subvert and usurp.  That this was all be enacted long before the earth was created and that the earth is just another enactment.  You can be like the Father and like Christ Jesus or you can be like the YHWH, but the former is a much better idea than the latter (to say the least!).

Titus 1:2 reads "upon hope of life everlasting which promised the not lying God before times everlasting".  Well, yes.  The "not-lying God" (as against the YHWH) is a good way of putting it. 

"Life everlasting" it seems to me is a double-edged sword that a lot of otherwise devout monotheists fail to examine.  Life in hell is also "life everlasting" it's just not a life that anyone would want.  But I think I'm safe in saying that "life everlasting" is the fate of every immortal soul.  Our spirit either returns to God, if we're deemed worthy, or our spirit ends up trapped in the earth's molten core depending on whether we lived a God-directed life as successors to the Father and to Christ Jesus and their obedience to God, or whether we lived a YHWH-directed life, away from God and seeking to substitute ourselves for God or other entities for God.  At which point we will get consumed by the supernova the sun turns into and collapse, ultimately, into the black hole the sun will become.  Certainly seems like hell to me. 

Revelation 21:1

And I saw heaven new and earth new; the for first heaven and the first earth went off, and the sea not is yet. 

The Interlinear translates this as "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away and the sea is no more."

The KJV has it as "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea."

Both of which seem to me to miss the sense of the original passage.  For, it seems to me, the very good reason that it's difficult to discern what the original passage is saying.  It depends on what you see in the single Greek term "went off".  I'd be inclined to retain it as is for that reason since "passed away" is only one inference of "went off".  You can just as readily say "dissipated" or "were supplanted" or "relocated themselves" without violating the literal translation of "went off". 

"The sea not is yet" is even more problematic, the original Greek conveying far more of a sense of something that will exist but doesn't exist yet as opposed to something that has ceased to exist. 

I think it's far more that water is God's chosen medium, right from Genesis 1 and that God is asserting through the revelation that when the current heaven and current earth will have "went off" (whatever that means specifically) and will have been effectively replaced (although "replaced" might be a better way of expressing it, depending on what "went off" means)  by a new heaven and a new earth, the sea, or waters (presumably "new waters") will not have yet come into existence. 

As distinct from Genesis 1 where the waters came first and then were divided into the waters above the firmament (heaven) and below the firmament (seas) and the dry land (earth) was a result of the waters being gathered into one place. 

Viewed that way, it's far more of a mystery than the flat assertions with no basis in the original text presented by the traditional translations. 

If the new heaven and the new earth come into existence without the seas next time around, where do the seas -- or, as the Revelation has it, the sea -- fit into the picture? Very Interesting Question!  With no answer until Judgement Day.

Next week:  Mr. Ross' next batch of scriptural citations. 
Best,
Dave  

Next Time: More, more, more! Or some other disco era song...