Famous Twitter user, Apple enthusiast and idiot’s thinking man Stephen Fry was this week the subject of slightly more inane internet chatter than usual as his verbose response to a theological question described a graceful arc amidst a profusion of beheadings, Ebola and water protestors, to the top of whatever collective noun is used for viral videos.
The video of Fry saying some words had stiff competition in the online news world from another which featured the fiancée of a tennis player saying some words, but the internet quickly decided that the former was far better suited to sharing on social media in lieu of opinions, especially when paired with accompanying epithets such as “Legend!” or “What a hero!”.
Videos such as this have begun to permeate and even dominate the colloquium of internet news in recent times; indeed why waste time writing lengthy articles outlining opinions and facts when the words “Watch What Happened when Noun Verb Noun” carry such inherent journalistic weight?
Given the video’s proliferation and the somewhat unflattering nature of Fry’s words concerning the individual known as God, it seemed natural to expect a reaction from the maligned party. And so it came to pass that on this week’s episode of The Meaning of Life, Gay Byrne sat down with God himself to discuss the issue, and many others besides. The following are excerpts taken from that interview.
Gay: Hello, and welcome to a very special episode of The Meaning of Life. My guest tonight has, quite literally, seen and done it all. It is of course, our Lord and Creator, God. Welcome, God. Can I call you God?
God: Of course Gay, and thanks for having me. Sorry I’m a bit late, I had to appear in a cracker in Guatemala.
– Understandable, no problem at all.
– And before we begin I have to say I’m a big fan. I never missed an episode of The Late Late when you were presenting. Of course I’m omniscient so I never miss anything.
– Of course.
– The new fella though, I don’t really care for him. I know I’m supposed to love you all equally but it’s hard sometimes, you know?
– I can imagine. So let’s get right into it then God. What do you think of Stephen Fry? Do you like him?
– Well I followed him on Twitter there a while ago, but he never followed me back. I tried to add him on Facebook too but he blocked me. It’s like he refuses to acknowledge my existence. It’s a bit mean really, I was a bit upset about it.
– From what I hear this story goes back further than his comments last week on this show.
– Yeah, there was an incident at the BAFTAs a few years back. He was presenting them for the first time and he was a bit nervous. I was there obviously, because I’m everywhere, as you know.
– So anyway, I had been drinking Schnapps all night with Jason Isaacs and Helen Mirren, and we got a bit raucous. We started shouting stuff at Stephen, innocent enough stuff to begin with, but then Helen took it up a level, and I didn’t stop it.
– So you were heckling him?
– I’m not proud of it. Those were some difficult years for me, kind of a mid-life crisis I suppose. I filled his dressing room with locusts after the show too, just for a laugh. Made the walls drip blood, that kind of thing. It was around that time he started to ignore me. I suppose I can’t blame him.
– He called you a capricious bully last week. How did that make you feel?
– Look Gay, don’t go all Oprah on me now. This isn’t Sinead O’Connor you’re talking to. Deities aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings, that’s more of a mortal thing.
– Okay, let’s talk about the book. It’s coming out next month, is that right?
– That’s right yeah, that’s what I’m here to talk about really.
– Why did you feel that now was the time for an autobiography? Do you feel your life’s work is mostly behind you now?
– Not at all Gay, it’s more that I’m sick of being misrepresented by that other book. I mean, that’s not the real me, you know.
– So this one’s called Stairway from Heaven. It’s a nice title, why did you choose it?
– I suppose I wanted to let people know that I’m not always just sitting up in my ivory tower, that I’m down here on Earth with my people too.
– Do you actually have an ivory tower up there?
– It’s a metaphor Gay. I told you before the show Heaven was off limits. Why would you bring it up?
– You’re right, I’m sorry. So what kind of time period does the book cover? Do you go right back to the start, back to your childhood?
– I don’t really get into it in too much detail, my childhood was fairly ordinary.
– Eh, okay…so the book is twelve thousand pages long. Did you think of trimming it down a bit?
– My editor at Penguin kept telling me it was too long, until I smote him. Look there’s a lot to tell, it’s 14 billion years we’re talking about here. My first draft was a page per year, so it’s been cut down a lot as it is.
– I’m sorry, just to go back, when you say ‘smote’?…
– It was a joke, Gay. I do have a sense of humour you know.
– Ha, of course. Good one, God.
– Okay, don’t go all Jonathan Ross on it Gay. Let’s move on.
– Let’s talk about the new Pope. What do you think of him?
– Hmmm. He’s alright I suppose, a bit soft maybe but that’s the modern world for you. Stephen VI, now he could pope with the best of them. Mad as a brush of course, but some man for the craic all the same.
– So Pope Francis isn’t much fun then? Do you talk often?
– I try to keep it professional, send him the odd memo about this or that. He’s a bit too friendly though, he keeps sending me links to YouTube videos and inviting me to play Candy Crush Saga.
– You don’t like the game?
– It’s not that I don’t like it Gay, it wouldn’t be fair for me to play it. I’d win every time. Because I’m omnipotent, you see.
– I see, of course. So before we finish God, can you give us any hints as to what the future holds in store for mankind?
– Well, something big’s going to go down in the year 3196, but I can’t say much beyond that without giving it away.
– Okay, you can’t give us anything a bit more short-term?
– That’s the blink of an eye in cosmic terms Gay.
– Of course, of course. Well, I’ll let you go God, I know you’re busy.
– Thanks Gay, I’ve to get back up there or the young lad’ll have the place wrecked. Take it easy, see you soon. Not too soon says you, ha?
– Ha, thanks again God.
(God disappears with a loud bang, leaving just a puff of white smoke)
– Well, that’s all for this week. Join us next time when we’ll be talking to the prophet Muhammad about privacy in the modern age. Until then, good night and God bless.