Reverend Billy’s Revelations

Issue 273

The good reverend reflects on the latest images from the James Webb Telescope and our place in the universe.

Reverend Billy Talen Aug 20, 2022

Reverend Billy, 

Have you been following the Webb Telescope and the photos of the universe it’s been taking? That’s some wild shit. That telescope will also be checking out the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars to see what’s up. Do you think there’s life throughout the universe like some scientists say? Or is Planet Earth the one and only?

 — Charles

Charles, you are the one and only.  

The Webb didn’t find another Earth and I’m glad. If you go chasing a second Earth in the sky — then you’re just a consumer looking for the next blockbuster, a thousand special effects wired to make me think that I’m not really here. No I’m in a second place that is just as real as anything I ever experienced. That’s the big lie. There is no second Earth. The recovery of the first one from the corporate toxins, over-population and the rest — that is what we should see when we are FAR-SEEING.  

All of us were dazzled by the night sky before the big telescopes were downloading the final frontier. The night sky as it was, back in the day when the pollution of profits wasn’t smogging up the joint — we saw farther in those clear nights with our one and only miraculous telescope — the naked eye. 

Reverend Billy

•   •   •

Dear Billy, 

I’ve been a fan of yours for years and have attended many of your shows. However, I just recently learned you are 72 years old! How is that possible? What fountain of youth have you discovered? My husband is 20 years younger than you, and I wish he had your vitality and stamina. 

Warmly Yours, 
Secret Admirer

Dear Secret, 

I’ll read your letter to my aching

Nine out ten of the people who are my age have now returned to the world, spreading out across the land and sea as if they are looking for something, spinning everywhere as molecules and a million invisible things that we don’t have names for.  The dead come back into us, come up at us as mushrooms and down at us like falling leaves and come into us as vibrating music. John Coltrane is in our bodies with “A Love Supreme”.  

Then of course we live in a narco-state called Consumerism and so when some of us die we are filled with chemicals and locked in coffins.  Formaldehyde is supposed to make you look younger, if a bit chalky… I wonder if I could arrange to be filled with preservatives and stuffed in a Reverend Billy pose in my pink suit, with a looping recording “Stop Shopping! Stop Shopping!”  Plant me in Time Square between the Naked Cowboy and Mickey Mouse…  Eternal youth!

 Rev Billy

Reverend Billy Talen is the pastor of the Church of Stop Shopping. Have a question for the Reverend? Email and unburden your soul.

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