Saturday, October 21, 2006



Yesterday, Deirdre and I were discussing some of the more outlandish martyrdoms found in the Roman Canon (personal favorite: the saint who was supposedly 'thrown to the dolphins'- maybe it was the apocryphal Thecla), and I was suddenly inspired to rate possible martyrdoms, a la The Book of Ratings (now dormant). Of course, I'm not expecting to face martyrdom; but if I'm so called, I just have a few preferences about how I'd like to go.

Firing Squad

Firing Squad Goya Style
Meh. While Graham Greene's whiskey priest faced it with style, I find it hard to get excited about such an impersonal kind of death. Technology shouldn't push people farther apart, it should bring them together. B-


Impaled Becket Style
Pretty simple, pretty quick when you think about it. Only possible downside: in all sacred art, I'd have to hold my instrument of martyrdom. That might not be too bad if it were, say, a kitana, but what if I were stabbed with a spork? That would make for one weaksauce icon, holding up a fast-food utensil with a sheepish look on my face. People would think I died from eating too much mashed potatoes at KFC. C

Burned Alive

Burned Alive
Not bad, really, to share the spotlight with the Christians who made up Nero's lighting system for night games in the Coliseum. But I really couldn't top St. Lawrence's line: "I am done on this side! Turn me over and eat." I mean, that's how you get to be patron saint of cooks. Hard core. B+

Fed to Animals

Fed to Animals
Another oldie but goodie, with lots and lots of room for uniqueness. My first idea was "martyred by cute little puppies and kitties- with poison-tipped claws", which would definitely get me a lot of intercessory prayers from girls, but that only takes second place. The real thing to aim for: eaten by cloned dinosaurs. I mean, not only would every boy take "St. Patrick of Orthonormal Basis" as his confirmation saint, not only would I fulfill my lifelong dream in another way by becoming patron saint of paleontology, but I'd be depicted in stained glass windows riding a dinosaur. High fives all around in Paradisum! A+

I Disagree

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