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Book Review: LOLcat Bible: In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs by Martin Grondin

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Last October, a local renegade Baptist Church made it known far and wide (really…it got international coverage) that on Halloween there would be a book burning. The books to be burned were all Bibles that were not King James Version, as well as all contemporary Christian writing, including Christian fiction, and religious books of all denominations. Also on the list were CDs and tapes of Christian music. Well, I’m all for a good bonfire, but I’m also someone who thinks it’s a major sin to write on books or dog-ear pages.

It’s just as well that I hadn’t planned on attending the big book burning, since shortly before it was to take place the local fire marshal advised the pastor of said church that it is illegal to burn books. The book burning was changed to a book shredding, and was poorly attended. Not much shredding occurred, either.

That pastor as well as Fundamentalists everywhere would do well to avoid LOLcat Bible: In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs. Somehow, a retelling of the Bible in lolcat would probably offend them, especially when they learn that the Jesus character is “Happy Cat.” Many Christians believe that God has a sense of humor; he must, look at us! I knew a pastor who always carried an illustration of Jesus laughing, and I’d like to think that all those historical religious figures agree that — at times — nothing is sacred.

LOLcat Bible: In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs is an abridged Bible translated into lolcat. It is representative of a wiki project to interpret the entire Bible into a lolcat version. I don’t know what you’d get if you put a cat and a Bible in a blender, but the LOLcat Bible  is probably an approximation of the results. Or maybe the results of crossing a Bible with a cat.

This retelling is not exactly faithful to the original works, but there is a seed of the Bible, e.g. Exodus 6: “28Itz so nise, da Bible say it twise: Ceiling Cat sez to Moses, 29‘Tawk wif Pharo teh stuf Iz tellin yu.’ 30Moses sez, ‘I no can! I just m-m-m-meow like dis. Pharo no lissen to meh. He just covur eers and sing “Lalalala! Iz no heer yu!” (In the King James Version, Exodus 6:28-30 is: “28And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,  29That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.  30And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?” Since I am not terribly familiar with the language of KJV, I’ll assume that “of uncircumcised lips” translate to “a stutterer,” since Moses has been reported to have been so afflicted.)

Those more interested in the New Testament will find parables told by “Happy Cat,” as well as other biblical events. “The Parable ov teh Niec Samaritan Dood” begins, “Happy Cat sez, ‘Wuns upon a tiem, a dood go from Jerusalem to Jericho. But OH NOES! Him get beeted up an robbed an stuf, an him almost ded. Srsly!” Of course, Happy Cat’s words are printed in red.

It might seem that a book like LOLcat Bible would appeal to non-believers, but that assumption is erroneous. Those who have some familiarity with the Bible (and I am not saying non-believers don’t, especially since I know an atheist who read the entire Bible) will get more enjoyment out  of  translations of  stories with which they are already familiar. The humor is in the comparison.

About Miss Bob Etier

  • Alan Kurtz

    I was surprised to read in your review that cats do not appear in the Bible. So I did a little Internet research. According to Jay Roni’s The Kingdom of the Cat (2000), cats were first domesticated by the Egyptians. As you mention, “Some theorize that because the Israelites hated the Egyptians so much, and the Egyptians idolized cats, they were ignored [in the Bible].” This is implausible, especially if one accepts that the Bible is the Word of God, not an expression of the Israelites’ petty prejudices. Surely God did not hate cats. If so, why would He have created them?

    Anyhow, cats in the Middle Ages became notorious as witches’ familiars, i.e., minor demons sent by the Devil to help witches in their evil work. Familiars could go where a witch couldn’t without revealing her identity. Also, the Devil himself was thought to incarnate as a black cat.

    During the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX formally decreed that cats and the Devil were linked. Consequently, nearly a thousand cats were burned in Metz, France.

    During the Renaissance, Pope Innocent VIII decreed that all cats in Christendom be killed. The methods of killing and torturing cats were said to be as gruesome as those used on humans accused of witchcraft.

    All of which suggests that there may be more than irony at work in Martin Grondin’s LOLcat Bible. The book-burning/shredding pastor you describe may be justifiably disturbed by what you call this “representative wiki project to interpret the entire Bible.” One doesn’t have to be a Fundamentalist to wonder what’s going on here. Is this harmless fun, or a sly subversion of Biblical values?

  • the real bob

    Alan, I’m not sure if you’re serious…but one thing I am sure of is that this possibly “sly subversion” lacks subtlety. I guess checking out the website, which has much more of the “interpretation” might be helpful. Remember, though, that many people believe the Bible is “inspired by the word of God.” Who was inspired? Man, the very species that finds it difficult at times to be objective. I’ll bet there are a lot of other animals that aren’t mentioned in the Bible, though I haven’t looked up cockroaches, yet.

  • Lynn Voedisch

    Alan, was it God or nature at work who brought the Black Plague down on Europe because there were no cats around to kill rats? Hmmm? Rats hosted the fleas that carried the plague virus, and this is scientific fact. That was the upshot of killing all the cats. The Middle Age religious leaders (whom we would call superstitious fools today) just were asking for it by condemning a whole species of God’s creation.

    I find it hard to believe that a loving God approved of such behavior, just as I find it hard to believe that God approved of the Inquisition.

    May I also add that Moses, having been brought up in Egypt, was well aware of the domestic cat. So the Israelites were not ignorant of the cat’s ability to keep wheat stock free of rodents. Just because cats weren’t mentioned, doesn’t mean they weren’t there.

    Meanwhile…Bob, I simply MUST get this book. it looks like great laughs all around. Especially if it upsets the fundies.

  • the real bob

    Lynn, I’m with you on the plague thing. Of course, some “modern” thinkers might say that the plague was God’s punishment for destroying cats (like AIDS is a punishment from God). I suspect you, like me, have a fondness for cats. I think God does, too, that’s why there are so many cat lovers. Enjoy the book, it’s hilarious!

  • Alan Kurtz

    Lynn Voedisch, I don’t follow. You say the Black Plague came down on Europe “because there were no cats around to kill rats. Rats hosted the fleas that carried the plague virus, and this is scientific fact. That was the upshot of killing all the cats.”

    As far as I can tell, the Black Plague is thought to have been caused by bacteria, not a virus, although there’s some dispute about which particular bacterium is to blame. I suppose it’s possible that a virus infected Black Plague bacteria, but is that scientific fact? Wikipedia’s lengthy entry on Black Death fails to mention any virus.

    And the notion that, due to decrees by a pair of popes (whom you call superstitious fools), all the cats in Europe were systematically exterminated, like some vast feline holocaust, is a stretch. Besides, even after peaking around 1350, the Black Plague continued to savage Europe regularly until the early 19th century–hundreds of years after Europe’s kitty population would have recovered from the wrath of the popes.

    Why, then, didn’t cats prevent the Great Italian Plague (1629-1631), the Great Plague of Seville (1647-1652), the Great Plague of London (1665-1666), the Great Plague of Vienna (1679), the Great Plague of Marseille (1720-1722), the Great Plague of Eastern Europe (1738), or the Great Russian Plague (1770-1772)? What, were the cats napping through all those?

    And the real bob, I’m amazed that you claim in comment #4 that “some ‘modern’ thinkers might say that the plague was God’s punishment for destroying cats (like AIDS is a punishment from God).” That is grotesque. What “modern thinkers” would say such an ignorant thing? The only ones I know of belong to the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. They subscribe wholeheartedly to such rubbish.

  • the real bob

    Alan…exactly. Believe it or not, we’re on the same page about the “modern thinkers.” I used quotes to express irony–to emphasize that their thinking (specifically in the case of AIDS) is not modern at all. Unfortunately, they are also not limited to Topeka. Yes, it is grotesque–that’s why I’m sticking my tongue out at those who think that way. AIDS is as much a punishment for being gay as acne is a punishment for being a teenager. Acne is also not limited to a single population (teens), as any pimply old hag can tell you (well, most of us old hags don’t get THAT many zits, but we do get them). And for everyone who thinks that I’m equating acne with AIDS, puh-leeeeeeeze…it’s an analogy.

  • Alan Kurtz

    Thanks for clearing that up, Miss Bob. I completely missed the significance of your quotation marks around “modern.” But now that you explain it, I am suffused with clarity. You know, I can be a real dolt, sometimes. Please bear with me.

  • Lennon Teh Ceiling-Cat

    kso, CeilingCat leiks deh argumentz/rawr wiff agreemants! ( srsly,.. ) CeilingCat go let BasementCat knao abut dis, he leiks critzerz. kthxbai!

  • the real bob

    OMG! (is that appropriate here?) I feel so honored to be hearing from Ceiling Cat.

  • Ezekiel-Cat

    Hail der, Ceiling Kitteh!