Do you prefer books, or do you wait for the movie or cartoon? (Or: They Ain’t Makin Jews Like Jesus Anymore)


Not everybody enjoys reading – reading books I mean. Tabloids, blogs and not-so-witty texts on coffee mugs & toilet walls don’t count. Not (and pardon me for yet another atrocious pun) in my book anyway, it doesn’t.

That’s why people, half-jokingly say, “I will wait for the movie”, when others ask them if they have or will read a certain book.

Now, I wouldn’t wish to come between a non-reader and some lousy movie adaptation but I do prefer books. Not all books. Wild horses or a stable full of nubile virgins could not drag me towards anything written by Dan Brown (but then I would boycot those movies as well, of course.)

Anyway, there are some good movie adaptations of (very good) books. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, for instance, and ‘The Name of the Rose’. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, of course, and even ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Religious books and stories, however, don’t translate so well into movies. Most are too respectful, too drab and twee. The Bible has some great stories in it but there really are a Hell of a lot of terrible movies out there, that were inspired by the Book.

‘The Ten Commandments’, for instance, with Charlton Heston or, God help us, that truly dreadful movie, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’

Not that the Bible is fun to read as a whole. Most of it is quite boring, in fact – though true believers might find each and every ’smote’ and ‘begat’ endlessly fascinating, of course. As an agnost I can’t really judge that.

Still, when it comes to religion, neither Books nor movies really do it for me.

No, for me, the best medium to discuss (and to truly enjoy) religion is that of the good, old cartoon – like this one

or this one

… though this one ain’t bad either, of course.

I was tempted to end this column with a Jesus Christ Superstar clip but that would be too cruel, so I won’t. There are many more agreeable songs about God.

Like this one,

or this one,

or this

but I just have to leave you with the inimitable, incomparable and mostly incompatible Kinky Friedman:


  1. haven't checked out the vids yet. not sure i dare. i do have one i think you'll enjoy. don't know how to do the link thing but if you go to youtube and search for "jesus i will survive" posted by maxmanson, i'm sure you'll be amused.

  2. You will most certainly enjoy the Kinky Friedman clip. That I can guarantee you...

  3. I had never heard of Kinky Friedman before - I'll have to see more. I assume this is an older clip reminds me of Archie Bunker. I got lost with Janet for awhile and almost didn't come back - great stuff. I read "The name of the Rose" that book is where I learned one of my favorite Latin sayings - "Salva me ab ore leonis." I'm getting spelling errors on this & no longer have the book for reference so forgive me.

  4. I just checked: "Salva me ex ore leonis." ('Save me from the lion's mouth', for those who don't do Latin.)

    It was indeed a very old clip. He doesn't have the band anymore - though he's written a wonderful series of absurdistic detective novels. (With titles like 'The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover', 'Elvis, Jesus & Coca Cola' and 'Armadillos & Old Lace'.)