Approved by the 3000 AD Episcopal Communications Council
At the beginning there was just
the Darkness and the Spirit of God.
Then God said: Let there be Channels!
And Channels were and God saw them
and saw that they were good,
and He commanded Angels
to operate them.
To make sure the Operators
were Free and Independent,
God said: Behold a Divine Pledge!
And He bestowed upon them
The First Amendment.
These were the Channels:
The Good News Channel.
The Public Education Channel.
The Divine Worship Channel.
The Family Entertainment Channel.
The Gabriel's Talk-Show Channel.
The Divine Government Channel.
The Constructive Opposition Channel.
The Channels were seven
and seven were their Operators
and they operated well.
Until Iblîs took on the likeness of a serpent
and interviewed Eve, the only woman,
living with Adam, the only man,
in the Paradise Garden Annex
just behind the apple tree.
Longing for a scoop,
he asked her questions
which would make anyone feel
shy and naked and angry,
all at the same time.
But Eve was smarter than him!
Rather than responding,
she soon convinced him
to change his programming.
That is how The Fashion Channel
was born, featuring models
wearing Impossible Things
and showing much of
the Parental Guidance Stuff
and sometimes even more.
When God saw what happened,
He summoned Iblîs to account for his deeds.
This is what Iblîs said in his defense.
God, Creator of all Channels!
It's hard for seven Channels (plus one)
to share just two units of Audience.
As for the rest of your objections,
I invoke the First Amendment,
the Solemn Pledge of Yours
which can't be breached.
God knew at once that those words
were right in form but wrong in heart.
He said: Iblîs, I am your God
and you are a nuisance to me?!
and He went to visit Adam and Eve.
He found them munching apples
while watching Under the Fig Leaf,
a new show aired by the GNC.
Upset, He asked: Why? Didn't I
forbade you to eat those apples?
With an innocent look, Eve replied:
Yes, You did, no doubt about it.
But, You see, Iblîs talked about You
last night on his Mind Expansion Show
and he made it so clear that,
whenever You said DON'T!,
what You really meant was DO!
He said eating apples was for us
the one and only way
to become a worthy image of You.
God saw that, alas, His directions would
not be understood correctly ever again.
He ruled in a mighty voice:
Adam and Eve,
I extradite you from the Paradise!
You, Adam, shall toil for daily bread,
your face covered by heavy sweat.
You, Eve, shall bear children in pain!
Your progeny shall be The Audience:
free to choose a Channel, be it Good or Bad,
but not a thing besides that!
In a side ruling, He decreed:
Let Gabriel, the Archangel,
enforce at once this sentence of Mine.
Let the show be solemn and awesome!
I want throngs of Angels, swords aflame,
and I want the condemned to wail
through hidden mikes!
He ordered Iblîs to make sure that
the show be aired live on all Channels
so all Creatures endowed with eyes might
see it and judge who was in command.
The Operators appreciated what God
has done and sang His glory.
For they knew that from then on,
God would always manifest Himself
in a spectacular way and His deeds
would all be shot-worthy.
Like a Great Flood with a Happy End.
Like a Parting of the Seas.
Like a black cloud and a lightning
slicing engraved slabs off a granite slope.
Like all of Human History.
Great shows! Great Audience!
And but a few commercials.
Stan Sýkora, Arese, March 1997