Monthly Archives: March 2014

300, a review

The best way to watch 300: Rise of an Empire, well the way i watched it at least is simple. Get a job that requires you to work on Saturdays. Go home after work on that day and quickly realise that you would rather be anywhere in the world than indoors. Get up and leave the house with no earthly idea where to go or who you will meet when you get there. Don’t forget to grab some red wine from that bottle that was opened last week and pour it into a coke bottle. Do this because red wine looks a lot like Coca-Cola and drinking in public is illegal. Walk until you feel like getting into a matatu and then just go town. You must have faith that something will come of this. The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains said one guy who had less than 13 at his side and yet changed the world forever(take that Leonidas). Walk randomly and aimlessly into the cinema hall. Look around at the posters and think about how this is a movie you do want to watch but you need to be prepared, armed at least with a student id card and ideally with a mind altering drug coursing through your system. At this point meet an old friend from school who offers you a free ticket. Accept, walk across to the bar, get some beers and then sit down and begin watching.

First I should say this was a beautiful movie. Because of the 3 d effect they found ways to incorporate every single thing they could into it. There were flecks of dust that looked like gold floating and flowing through the movie. Dust everywhere. Everyone was photoshopped to a high sheen. So much Vaseline used on the bodies here I thin global masturbation levels may have dropped by necessity. There were some scenes that showed this version of ancient Greece in all its glory. Backdrops of such beauty and detail, a canvas in front of which the actors are working and every once in a while I’d get distracted by the mountains rising out of the mist and wondering where those roads lead and all the beautiful golden suns that were used to represent dust.

 

there follow spoilers but all these things happened thousands of years ago

I always laugh at people who rush to get to a football game on time. I always say, “hey if you miss the first five minutes then nothing else will make sense so don’t be late.” I missed the first five minutes of the movie. I spent the time looking for my seat before it hit me that I didn’t have to, I could just sit anywhere and hope that no one came to ask me to move. The first five minutes talks about the ascension of the god-king Xerxes to the throne of Persia.

After this the movie proper begins. The question going in is what the movie could possibly be about when the brave 300 are already dead well; it could be about nothing at all to do with the number or the people. The surviving Spartans are seen more in the trailer than they are in the movie. And that rousing speech from the one who survived talking about bringing the Spartans to war against the Persians? He seems to forget on the road back from Thermopylae. I wanted to see Spartans immediately. This is what I had comeback for the glory of Sparta and instead I got treated to a conference between the other Greek city states as they discussed what to do about the war. Soon it becomes clear that the two movies share the same timeline. In fact our hero visits Sparta soon after the 300 have gone to war. When Leonidas has already breached the rules of diplomacy so badly nothing could save him but an op-ed by Vladimir Putin in the New York Times. He then utters what is perhaps the best line in eh movie. “The Persians promised the Spartans something they couldn’t refuse…a beautiful death.”

Then the movie becomes what it actually was, a naval war movie. The Greek and Persian navies meet again and again and in an incredible turn of events our hero is a great naval genius. Commanding the Persian fleet is a Greek woman who turns against her nation due to act of brutality so sustained that I completely forgot who the bad guys were supposed to be. The Greeks, like America fought for freedom except for those who they had taken it away from and being both disgusted and deformed by the brutality she experienced as a sex slave the real hero of the movie moved to the Persian side. And all she wants is a man who is man enough to stand by her side and make her feel whole. None of the Persians are man enough and this leads predictably to a sex scene between her and our other hero. It’s a strange scene. They fight out their naval battle in bed. There isn’t a lot of sensuality in it. Anyone expecting the play that happened last time with lights flashing off and on will be sorely disappointed. They have sex so loudly and so violently that her guards turn and look to each other wondering about the sounds that were coming from inside. Everyone in the cinema laughed and then I thought about how strange it was. There we all were in a darkened theatre watching these two people have sex. There must have been a couple of boners in the audience, men being as visually slutty as we are. Group voyeurism at its very best was on display as we all sat and watched not just the people have sex but the people embarrassed to be hearing them and all we could do was laugh at the second level.

The fight scenes were what you would expect from a movie like 300. Lots of blood and slow motion cuts and parries and thrusts. This was mind-bending in 2007 when I had seen nothing like it before. But after Spartacus the TV show so shamelessly ripped off 300 and then pushed boundaries that movie hadn’t arrived at yet it was just a long episode of Spartacus. Beautiful though I kept being distracted by the scenery at the back and forgetting to watch what was going on screen. 3-d makes going to the cinema worth it. I love falling into those other worlds. Seeing sculptures instead of looking at paintings is a great experience.

This being a naval movie there was a chance for some difference to Spartacus and the first movie. And I remember this particular scene where our male hero is on his ship and decided to join the battle for real. He jumps in the air (these Greeks can fly if they put their minds to It.) out of nowhere a horse shows up on the rocking, rollicking, practically capsizing ship and he gets on it. He rides and cuts down Persians beautifully with curving slashes and downward strikes. He rides the horse into the ocean because he needs to get to another ship and the horse swims through the sea and the Greek Fire that burns on the ocean and in a paradox that even Greek fire would be shamed by is wielded by Persians. It gets to the other side and deposits him as he lands and takes out Persians right, left, and centre before going into the pen-ultimate boss fight with our female hero.

I’ll say the first one was much better. And I believe the third one will be too. There’s just really no reason to call that one 300 either. They are all dead at this point. Nothing wrong with watching it though, in fact highly entertaining especially if you are prepared.

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no, its not like boston legal

You can read the question here

 

Another mention happens.

 

8 months after being charged in court the trial is about to begin.

Hearings are heard after all the mentions and this one comes up. The ceo is called to give his evidence.

He is asked all the relevant questions by the prosecutor. he testifies as to how the system works, he talks about the security measures that are used, he gives evidence as to how the theft was discovered, finally he introduces pages and pages of paper evidence as to what was stolen, how much and on what days. 2 hours later, which is how long it typically takes to give evidence in chief in a complex case such as this, it is already lunchtime and the magistrate calls a break. There is another hearing later in the afternoon, a file that was opened back in 2008 and they cannot continue until the next year.

 

The almighty exchanging of diary dates pushes things forward by yet another two months, the CEO is consulted and it seems he will be gone for the whole month of March(December not being a real month in Kenya it was not used in the calculation.) April 21st for the cross-examination. Mention on March 25th.

 

Come April 25th and it seems that Justina has transferred to a different job, or being promoted, or emigrated, or died. She’s just not there anymore  and instead there is a brash young man taking her place.

“as you are a new prosecutor would you like to continue from where was left off or take evidence in chief again?”

“yes, your honour I would like to take the evidence in chief just to refresh the memory of the court and make sure that all the facts are correctly presented.”

A two hour re-run later and diaries are out yet again. June 22nd 2015 works for everyone and Lex spends the run-up to this date preparing his questions for the cross-examination. The first rough draft looks something like this.

What led you to believe Joyce was involved in the theft of the money?

How many people have access codes of the kind you described?

Wouldn’t it take a person of exceptional computational skill to perpetrate such a theft?

To your knowledge does Joyce possess such computational skill?

Did your investigations probe further into your other employees?

Do you remember a Christmas party that took place in December 2013?

Can you confirm that as the morning took over you were in a state of inebriation?

Do you remember my client turning down your sexual advances?

Would other employees at the party remember this happening?(will probably be objected to and withdrawn if not, good)

Are you punishing Joyce for this?

Then can you tell me how a woman whose computer skills are limited to office management would have the technical knowledge to rig such a complicated scheme as the one you described in your witness statement?

 

-on a side note there’s a great scene in a few good men

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hGvQtumNAY

the one with the line YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! I’m not sure how possible this can be in trial. However I have seen witnesses getting tired and angry after being cross-examined for a long time. Anyone would get tired and angry, imagine having an argument with a person who frames their questions so that a yes while being the truth points to a falsehood because you need to qualify what you are saying. You stand up in a courtroom for an hour and he endlessly needles you. Makes sure you can’t explain yourself. Makes sure you look stupid. You can hear laughs from the gallery. The whole time he looks smug calling on the magistrate to control you and you begin to think that the whole system is against you. On top of that he begins to question your sexual attractiveness. This may be something that the CEO is touchy about. Worried that women only want him for his money and this makes him dislike any imputations on his sexual attractiveness to women- there is no YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH moment though life isn’t that neat plus the truth is Joyce is guilty as charged.

 The hearing is done for the day. A mention is set for august the 10th 2015. At this mention due to the juggling of diaries no further hearing is set until October 30th when the prosecution will call its 2nd witness…. 20 months after Joyce was charged.

 

The second witness is the investigating officer assigned to the case. On the day of the case Lex is there, Joyce is there, the investigating officer is there. In fact it looks like it may move on today. There is one person missing though and this is the magistrate. Everyone has been sitting in court awaiting the magistrate when one of the court clerks shows up. She smiles at a few of the lawyers she knows, trades barbs and flirts them. Then she says at the top of her voice that the magistrate is away on a conference so everyone is called forward to take a date when they can have a mention on the week of November 15th. Lex rushes forward but can’t quite get there because the legal profession still has a system of seniority that seems to be a throwback to the guild systems of old. Advocates admitted before you are referred to respectfully as “my senior.” They have the privilege of introducing you to the court if they want to and in a situation where a line should be made a haphazard shamble of seniority happens. Lex you will remember has only two years as an advocate which means he is clearly a junior to almost everyone there. He takes a mention date for November the 17th.

 

This date comes and because everything closes in December the hearing is then set for January the 16th 2016. On this day the hearing goes forward. Court is packed to brimming. As they wait for their hearing there is opportunity for drama. For example there is one person in there who had been caught for being drunk and disorderly the previous day. Magistrate Mutheu recognises him,

“Prosecutor, didn’t I sentence this man to community service and ask that he clean the courtroom and arrange the evidence rooms yesterday? Am I getting so old that everything looks like it used to?”

“Yes your honour, no not that you are getting old”

“I would hope not”

“You did sentence him yesterday. It’s just….when the police went to let him out of the evidence room he seemed more drunk than when he went in. there was a smell of fresh alcohol coming off him and his pockets were bulging. The police officer searched him and the evidence room, the alcohol confiscated and intended to be used as an exhibit in court number 2 was nearly finished and in his pockets there were about 40 rolled cigarettes of marijuana. How he intended to get past in that state I cannot say, nevertheless he is here before you again.”

Soon it is hearing time. The prosecutor looks around and says, “The witness was bonded but failed to show up, he told me that he had another matter before the high court and it has been on his diary longer than this.” Hearing is pushed to April 10th. On that day it happens. The prosecutor quite competently takes the investigating officer through his evidence. The call from his OCS. The questioning of people in the mobile company offices, the matching of times of stealing and times when people were working, the strange middle of the night calls that Joyce made, the systemic striking down of evidence that it could be anything else.

The magistrate asks if cross examination can be done on the same day noting that it has been 2 years since the case was brought to court and in all that time there have only been two witnesses. Lex consents to do it in the afternoon. It has been two years since he began attending court. His clothing is different the suits are cut by a more skilled tailor from much better cloth, his potbelly has been filling up as they tend to do for Kenyan men when they begin working. His hair is fairer and thinner than when he began the case, he and Joyce have visibly developed a rapport over the time they have been together. She wants this to be over with since it has been hanging over her head for so long. The fire in her is slightly extinguished when she is in court. She knows she is guilty and the not knowing about the eventual sentence is bearing down on her. At this point her and the court clerks are good friends. The people in the registry are all customers of her’s in the new business venture she has begun. It may be ethically grey but there is nothing strictly illegal there.

 

At cross-examination Lex is able to show that there is nothing but circumstantial evidence tying Joyce to the crime. The lack of a technical expert charged with Joyce as a link between access codes and transfer of money shows through. There is also a question about strange calling habits that everyone in court takes note of. They can’t really place the quote though it seems to have come from a period in Kenyan history far, far back in their minds. The prosecutor re-directs the witness and tries to mop up the problems in his testimony however it has been a long time since the crime in question took place and he is not as sure of what he is saying as he used to be. The prosecution rests its case and Lex asks that the accused be acquitted.

 

“Your honour the charge sheet was improperly written. While the charge reads stealing by servant the particulars in the charge sheet do not constitute that crime as the people Joyce is accused of stealing from are not her employers but rather the customers of her employer. There is a wealth of jurisprudence that states that in such a situation it is not possible for the accused to put up a proper defence as she did not know what she was charged with. I contend that the charge sheet was fatally defective and presented a real prejudice to the accused in preparing her case and I ask that you dismiss this case on those grounds.”

 

This is the silver bullet. The moment he had been waiting for since the case came to him more than 2 years ago. He did not want to bring this to the attention of the court before the prosecution rested because then they could, under the criminal procedure code, amend the charge sheet to reflect the new charge.

 

“ Any response prosecutor?”

“….ummm….yes… umm since the accused had competent counsel then we cannot say she was unfairly prejudiced.”

“be that as it may your honour, and thank you bwana prosecutor for the kind words, the law is as it stands and there is nothing in the opinions written by the high court and court of appeal that I have laid before you that claim lack or presence of proper counsel should be a factor in making a decision as to the defectiveness of a charge sheet. If we begin to weaken the law so that it only favours those who are unlucky enough not to have good counsel then we are discriminating against a social group, those who do have counsel, competent or not. I would like to draw the attention of the prosecutor to article 27 of the constitution that was mandated by the people of Kenya and remind him that discrimination even against those with privilege is discrimination.”

 

“I will make a ruling on this within the next three weeks.”

“Your honour I would like time to make submissions on the matter”

“I believe written submissions will suffice, have them prepared and brought to my chambers by end of business tomorrow. When can we have a court date?”

“On April the 27th your honour.”

“That is convenient for me.” Lex says

………………………………………………….

The rest is prologue maybe we don’t even have to hear any words spoken in the courtroom on that day. April the 27th 2014 and all we can see is the magistrate’s mouth moving. The joy in Lex’s  face, the disbelief in Joyce’s, the happiness of her children. The fade to black and the realisation that this is nothing at all like Boston Legal.

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is it like boston legal?

So, this year i began doing my pupillage. For those who don’t know what this is, pupillage is a mandatory apprenticeship programme all aspiring advocates must go through in order to get admitted to the bar. It’s a 6 month program that takes place after you have done your bar exams and it consists of working in a law firm that teaches you the actual skills needed to be a lawyer as opposed to what the 4 years of university and 1 year of law school have taught you. It’s not the best paid gig in the world with salaries ranging from nothing, where your pupil master may say that you are gaining experience forgetting that a while back in America there were a lot of black people who gained bales of experience in how to pick cotton-another similarity? They also had masters, to 30,000 shillings which is the high end of the spectrum and spoken about with wonder in the eyes of all other pupils, pupils being paid 16,000 shillings are much better off than most of their colleagues.

That’s not what this is about though. I got asked by a friend if court is like Boston legal, a big part of pupillage is going to court if you are working with a firm that deals with litigation (which is actually just one sector of the legal profession though the most interesting to portray in fiction so it’s the one that gets the most screen time.) the answer is not really. I can’t imagine that even in America courts are like Boston legal or that hospitals are like grey’s anatomy or white houses like Scandal. However just to highlight the differences I thought I would take all y’all through an average criminal case (completely fictionalised.)

The crime: stealing by servant contrary to section 281 of the penal code. This offence is exactly what it sounds like. Someone who has been employed steals something belonging to their employer and it is probably exactly as common as at least one person in the world thinks, especially if this is a person who has done research on the crime using control groups and avoiding pitfalls like confirmation bias in tabulating their results, let no one fault the importance of the scientific method in establishing facts.

In this scenario the lady, let’s call her Joyce has been working for a huge multinational mobile phone company. Her salary is double that of the median pupil and her responsibilities are huge. Not just at work but at home too, her son has just been admitted to university and she needs fees to help set him up. Her daughter is at that age where she begins to see things that other people have and wonder why she doesn’t have them. She’s extremely beautiful and Joyce is worried that she will find other ways to make this money if her mother can’t provide what she needs. For, you see Joyce’s daughter is a headstrong girl with a smile that could melt the heart of the last bouncer who kicked you out of a club. She always has been. Joyce has a colleague named James who comes up with a great idea to defraud the company. He is kind of a tech wizard and has found a way to take 1 cent off of every mobile money transaction for numbers ending with the digits 356, all he needs is Joyce’s access codes. This scheme will run for a short time. A month at most and net them millions. Not so much that they will immediately be caught but enough that Joyce can both take care of her son’s fees and make sure her daughter does not resort to using her beauty as a way to be comfortable. Just 1 cent from every user.

Joyce does not want to do it at first but she comes around to it. It’s not much money after all; she can hardly feel that it’s immoral to take 1 cent off of people’s transactions for one month. It could add up to maybe 10 shillings per user for the most prolific user of their money transfer system.

They get caught though because without getting caught then this would not be a story about court. Some companies will forgive employees if they return their ill-gotten gains however the new CEO of the mobile company is a vindictive man. Let’s make him short and badly shaven. Let’s give him ill-fitting suits and add a backstory of how he connived to depose his predecessor who was a tall man of a deep baritone and infinite charm. Let’s say he shouts at his employees and that he treats people as if all their worth could be tied up in what they make. Let’s also say that his company is a reflection of himself. It’s a company that we want to lose this case because that’s how Boston legal would play it. They would want you to forget that a crime had been committed and that if you root for one criminal you end up rooting for them all. Even if you are not convinced that Joyce should win, assume you are. The company then twists the arm of the government until they put their best prosecutor on the case. Which is done by assigning it to courtroom 5 which she works out of, she’s not a bad person. She’s just a believer in the necessity of justice no matter the circumstances. The reason she’s such a hardliner has something to do with her past, a secret that will come out as the story courses on, a secret that will make us both understand and almost root for her. If only she wasn’t a white knight in thrall to such a ruthless emperor as justice the corporation.

Joyce needs a lawyer too and she gets a young lawyer because this is fiction and we have enough old people in this story already. Let’s throw in a young man fresh out of law school. This man will in fact be the author’s doppelganger in the story a version of who he is, actually just who he wants to be or who he is afraid of becoming because then there is so much more room for the author to play around with him.

Joyce is arrested on the 24th of February 2014(in criminal cases the year is extremely important.) the police were notified by none other than our CEO who was missing his own daughter’s graduation in order to look over the books of the company. Because he’s the type of man who can be found obsessively counting his money while the things that are really important slip through his hands. He suspects its Joyce with no evidence other than the fact that her access codes were put in the computer. The police are called in and they do their investigations. They obtain phone records showing that Joyce has a suspicious habit of calling people near midnight, in fact the same person over and over. The number is an unregistered number and they find that after calling this number she may send some money to another number. (This detail becomes important when during the trial Joyce’s dashing young lawyer cross-examines the policeman calling his attention to a statement by one of Kenya’s experts in mobile phone communication: a CEO of a cell company who said “Kenyans have strange calling habits”…extremely dramatic moment this, keep it in mind if I fail to mention it again.) As soon as Joyce is arrested she calls her son because their father died a while back and she has no one but her mother back in ushago who is suffering some brain disease and is only lucid as the midnight hour approaches because of the cooling effect at that time. Her son runs to town, ok takes a matatu there is such a thing as tugging too many heartstrings. He walks into the first sign for a lawyer’s office he sees. He knows enough about the legal system to know his mother needs a lawyer. He gives his sob-story to the receptionist who can tell he doesn’t have much money and turns him away. He begins to walk disheartened (he doesn’t know his mother has millions squirreled away and in a delicious twist she cannot tell him because she doesn’t want any of her children seeing her as a thief.)As he walks someone taps him on the shoulder. Here is our young lawyer hero. He was sitting in the reception of the law firm waiting for an interview when the boy came to tell his story. He heard the story and his soul wouldn’t let him stay and do the interview when there was someone here so in need of help (at this point the author substitute far surpasses everything the author could possibly be.)

The lawyer called Lex because symbolism is so very important asks the young man what the problem is and he is told that Joyce was arrested.
“My mother could not have done this and I have no idea what to do, I just have no idea, I don’t know…”
They walk to the police station and the scene changes to the next day as Joyce is being brought up for charges. She is in courtroom 5 before magistrate Mutheu. Kenyan courtrooms are bustling places, full of energy and life. In the morning when ideally everyone has to be there, the criminals, the accused, the witnesses, the police, the prosecutor, the defence lawyers and their pupils there is barely space for sitting. The magistrate sits on an upraised bench at the far end of the courtroom. It’s a tiny room, smaller than most classrooms in schools around the world. In fact at normal classroom spacing with desk mates and all it would sit maybe 20 people comfortably. In front of the magistrate and at ground level there is a small desk where sit the court clerks. They handle files for the magistrate and help her set court dates. Their desks are cluttered and while hearings go on most of them will be seen dozing because they find their workday incredibly boring. To the right of the magistrate is the witness stand. The accused are held in the dock opposite the witness stand. In front of this is a long table with chairs close to it. This table is known as the bar and only qualified advocates can sit here. After this is a bench that is usually reserved for advocates but really anyone in a suit and confidence can sit here. There are about 5 more benches after this then the door. Joyce’s matter is called; she has been informed by her son that there is an advocate willing to represent her.
“If it please the court my name is Lex appearing for the accused. I would like to make a request for bail under section 123 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The accused is a woman with deep roots in the community. A son and a daughter undertaking their education here and this is the first time she is appearing in a court of law in any capacity there is thus minimal flight risk.”
Looking harried the magistrate waits for the prosecutor to respond.
“We urge you not to give bail in this case. The accused is charged with stealing millions and the complainant rightly feels that the accused may abscond if she is allowed bail.”
“Your honour this is excessive on the part of the prosecution. The accused has an old mother who depends on only her for livelihood. In addition with the experience we all have in our criminal courts we cannot justifiably allow someone to be held for the duration of their trial.”
The magistrate then makes her ruling with minimal fuss. She speaks slowly; an octave lower than is convenient for anyone to hear what she has to say. It’s a trick she has picked up that magically means her courtroom is one of the quietest in the country.
“I must agree with the young man in all except his claim at having experience in our criminal courts unless he is referring to a career before the one he has at present. Bail is set at 50,000 shillings.”

The next few scenes show the incredible social networking and fundraising skills of Joyce’s two children when life has them against the wall. A few thousand retweets, Facebook likes, mobile money transactions (some from numbers ending in the digits 356) later and they have raised bail. The obvious plothole is that if her children could raise money so quickly and legitimately why then did she need to turn to a life of crime. The unfortunate answer is that it’s because those two plot points though contradictory are the only way I could think to move the story forward. There probably could have been a way to resolve the contradiction. Maybe a brother who borrowed the money or a chamaa group that donated which would have made more sense but then I thought of social media first and it’s nice to have something that roots your story in the present so plothole stays.

Now the trial begins. This is the real drama. The meat of a legal story. The challenging of wits between Lex and his opponent Justina. It all begins with a mention, the date for which has been set for the 1st of April 2014. Lex finds a job in the meantime but makes time for this case. At 9 in the morning he makes his way to the courtroom, he and the client have become friends. They have had strategy meetings where she tells him the truth. However Lex as befits his name is more concerned with legality than morality. He will defend a guilty person because he believes strongly that the state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any charges they choose to bring. If any lesser standard is put forward or expected of the state then there is a chance that they will start locking up people they don’t like, people who don’t look like them and very soon there will be a woman who is about to be stoned to death and the only words that save her life are “he without sin cast the first stone.” However today he has not prepared his opening statement or his cross-examination, or really anything because he knows what a mention is.

After a few other mentions the court clerk yells out “criminal case number 356 of 2014, republic v Joyce.”
“The case is coming up for mention.”
“Is the accused present?” asks the magistrate
“My name is Lex appearing for the accused and my client is present.”
“Ok, let’s set another mention date to set the trial date, when can we do this?”
“10th may” says the court clerk.
“That date is convenient for me.” Says Lex.
“Matter set down for mention on the 10th of May. Criminal case number 908 of 2010, republic versus…”

Joyce and Lex leave. The next mention date is 40 days away.

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excerpts from the three versions of judas

I love to read because there are times it can surprise you, throw you a ball you never saw coming. Jorge Lusi Borges is one such writer. He is an Argentine writer best known for his short stories. When talking about how he writes he said,

“It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books, setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it is to pretend that those books already exist, and offer a summary, a commentary on them.”

Below are excerpts from a story called the three versions of Judas. The first excerpt sets out the first version and so on. Do me a favour and think on the end instead of offhandedly dismising it, nothing i’ve read has stayed with me longer or had a stronger effect than what’s copied below.

 

He plotted his sins with terrible lucidity. In adultery, tenderness and abnegation often play a role; in homicide, courage; in blasphemy and profanation, a certain satanic zeal. Judas chose sins unvisited by any virtue: abuse of confidence (John 12:6) and betrayal. He labored with titanic humility; he believed him -self unworthy of being good. Paul wrote: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (I Corinthians 1:31); Judas sought hell because joy in the Lord was enough for him. He thought that happiness, like goodness, is a divine attribute, which should not be usurped by men.

 

Part 2

To claim that He was man, and yet was incapable of sin, is to fall into contradiction; the attributes impeccabilitas and humanitas are incompatible. Kemnitz will allow that the Redeemer could feel weariness, cold, distress, hunger, and thirst; one might also allow Him to be able to sin and be condemned to damnation. For many, the famous words in Isaiah 53: 2-3, He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, are a foreshadowing of the Crucified Christ at the hour of His death. For some (Hans Lassen Martensen,for example), they are a refutation of the loveliness that the vulgar consensus attributes to Christ; for Runeberg ,they are the detailed prophecy not of a moment but of the entire horrendous future, in Time and in Eternity, of the Word made Flesh. God was made totally man, but man to the point of iniquity, man to the point of reprobation and the Abyss. In order to save us, He could have chosen any of the lives that weave the confused web of history: He could have been Alexander or Pythagoras or Rurik or Jesus; he chose an abject existence: He was Judas.

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