Posts Tagged ‘Friar Tuck’


Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, and Taron Egerton in Robin Hood (2018)

Marian: You call that a disguise?
Robin of Loxley: Well it fooled everybody else!

Ah great final line from Robin Hood (2018 trailer).  For long term readers and listeners you will know there is a soft spot for the legend of Robin Hood. It has shaped my outlook on life, justice, faith and humanity.

 

That all said, I must say the undertones I have been sharing for years have finally hit the forefront with the new 2018 film. From the opening sequence narration speaking of not tying us down with history that will bore, but getting to the heart of the story…to the draft notice for the Third Crusade. Get ready for a fun ride if that’s all you want from a movie…or if you want to actually engage and discuss (yes youth groups I am looking at you, as this would be a youth night or retreat movie).

Be ready to tackle real world issues. It is not simply a smash and grab thief issue.

Anyone up for a little wealth redistribution?

-Robin of Loxley

From the Holy Land where one is confronted with the atrocity of using the Lord’s Name in Vein. No we are not talking about lying, we are talking about masking the atrocities of war, land grabs, and war crimes behind the Gospel. As extremists seeking power and control, use the opiate of the masses to pacify, convert and create a banner to fight underneath.

Fear is the greatest weapon in God’s arsenal. It is why the church created Hell.

-The Cardinal

To the lies of the wealthy. Using power and wealth (the 1%) to keep the peasants/working classes subjugated. As a former Lord that was drafted and sided with the disenfranchised is reported dead and lands seized. As Xenophobia, heresy and hate are used to justify stripping what little the lowers classes have to prop up a war effort…but for which side? As espionage and collusion for a true power grab.

A power grab using the people’s faith as their greatest weapon. A weapon so that everyone will overlook what is being done to them because it is God ordained…sound like a familiar political gambit in Canada and United States of America to overlook ethical issues with leadership for the religious right states they are the Godly choice (that is using lightning bolt issues to confuse and fog the true issues of governance being for the betterment of the people, not power and control).

 

Taron Egerton in Robin Hood (2018)

In all my years of war I have never seen anything like you. -Little John

Why do legends such as the Robin Hood meta-narrative persist? Seen reincarnated, as my daughter noted, “Robin Hood is like Green Arrow”. Yes, my daughter, the creator of Green Arrow was inspired by Robin Hood, and the G.A. of my life by Mike Grell was centered on the urban hunter of social justice. It is because there is a war within us, between a Robin and a Sheriff. It is the challenge of being an authentic you that changes the world for the better, or the self that only cares about power and money.

It is the struggle of the True Self and the Shadow Self. It is seen inside a person, but also a community, a nation, and a species. It is the struggle to be better. To ensure corruption, lies, and oppression are not the rule of thumb and life, but rather the hiccups along the way. It is the struggle to put hate out of our species once and for all, and to understand that when horrible things happen whether through nature or humanity’s efforts no type of God ordains them. It is when the Sheriff is fed cosmological.

We are not powerless, we have one life. One choice.

“You’re only powerless if you believe you’re powerless”

A simple contemplation for this time in Lent, from Marian to Robin in the movie, trying to convince him to go big:

If not you, who ? If not now, when ? 

 

Want to read more of the Spirituality of Robin Hood?

Check out my new book, Soul Ripples, Coming 2019.


(a Presbyterian Cross or ) - Emblems of belief...

(a Presbyterian Cross or ) – Emblems of belief available for placement on USVA headstones and markers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STOP! Read no further until you have read Fall Out Chapter One here.

“I don’t follow.”

“After the crucifixion Judas was so racked with guilt he attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver to the Sanhedrin. They refused calling it blood money. One Gospel accounts is that he then took the money purchased a field and hung himself. A second is that he fell in the field and his entrails burst out. The culminating result being that he suicide and the church’s doctrine that taking one’s life would forever keep you away from God and in Hell was commenced.” I said.

Bronwyn looked at me with her piercing green eyes. She is remembering the religion classes of her youth, and learning the stories and doctrine. She is looking around the section, someone’s idea of humour I gesture to the quarters throughout the blood. A quick count and yes there is thirty. “Whoever did this, using the quarters to mimic silver coins of Ancient Israel, is saying this one was a traitor.” As the tech’s lower him (I think it is a him, but the face has very delicate features) down, there is white peaking up around the collar. I motion and Bronwyn gets the tech to loosen the noose. The individual now deceased wore a classic Presbyterian collar.

“Interesting.”

Bronwyn looks up, “care to share with the rest of us?”

“Someone, possibly himself, chose death while wearing his clerical garb. The white band is commonly called a clerical neckband, but it originates out of Presbyterianism that style specifically. What we are looking at is the death of a clergy that is labelled a traitor.”

The tech pulls out the wallet and two identifications fall out. One of the deceased with a short brush cut that we found him in, and the name being listed as John Smythe, the second, a picture with longer hair and the name Joanna Smythe.

Looking at the deceased, then the two identifications Bronwyn looks to me, “hate crime?”

“Probable, if Smythe was a clergy and then transitioned.” I responded.

Bronwyn delegates some checks to people on her squad then looks at me. “Thank you.”

I ascertain a `your welcome’, but really have no clue what I had done. Nothing I had said was not available in the public sphere with very little digging, but then she like that always wants to show the gratitude piece.

We leave to make it to the Mass and my meeting with the Bishop, Bronwyn seems pleased as the case appears open and shut once they trace the trace evidence left at the scene they should be able to find the killer. Unfortunately I am not so sure as I have niggle that there is more to the story.

Mass is unique, the Bishop has been playing with the liturgy types allowable during the weekday Masses. Today we had a pre-Vatican II flashback as we went Latin for the ten of us in attendance. It is over tea, as Bronwyn waits for me, that I meat with the Bishop in the reconciliation room. The chairs aren’t as comfy as St. Clare’s had, but what can you do?

The Bishop is an old white man (what else is new in the church), in a normal clerical suit (black pants & jacket, with a black shirt with the white tab). The tea is weak, some people just should not make tea. “Your Monsignor would be talking to you but he has been recalled to the Vatican.” Ah yes, that little thing about shifting around child rapists no doubt. “But your little Anglican use parish has created quite the embarrassment for us.” Here it comes, like I really have an ability to control Satanists bursting into my building and trying to free a demon from wherever it is they are from.

“The explosion and PR fallout are nothing in comparison to what has come to light.” Well that’s new news to me. A whole building imploding is minor.  So then what is this about? “Is it true you gave the Manse to Buddhists?”

Yes, b—“ Doesn’t even await the full answer, it was done in the spirit of ecumenicism.

“That you converted much of the land to a community garden?”

“Ye—“

“That you sold church property to aid parishners in paying rents, bills and providing tuition to students?”

“Y—“

“That you are currently working with a network of Mosque houses to keep the parishners fed?”

I cannot even get the answers out even more.

“That you have let these Buddhists and Muslims preside at Mass?”

Methinks the witch hunt has come, or what was it known back in the day, oh right, the Inquisition, now it is the commission of church and doctrine or some such nonsense, but essentially attempting to route those they do not think are “holy” enough to be in “holy orders”.

“That you have provided sanctuary for refugee families’ facing deportation and as such stopped the judicial due process?”

I lean back and take a sip of the weak ass tea. The writing is on the wall. Someone in the Diocese has discovered what the land the building was on is worth. Since I am the only clergy that will work the Shire then it is me they need to get out of the way. I simply shrug and smirk.

“And the final one, that you have involved yourself in police business, outside the jurisdiction given you by your religious order or the Hoy Father?” I simply nod, they are looking for a means to railroad me, but the Order should protect me, but do I want to keep the vows?

“And the gravest of all, that you are currently living in a single female parishner’s home?” As opposed to the final one? Now we have final and gravest, what is it with these people?

I put the cup down on the coffee table. I look the old stout man in his greying bronze eyes. “And what if I am? I lost my home in the fire, she is a parishner and a friend, she offered her couch until I could get back on my feet.”

“For six months, that is improper for a man who has taken vows of celibacy!”

“As opposed to the twat that was recalled for butt raping boys, or for you and the sister who have been carrying on in private for fifty years? How the hell is sleeping on her couch, and having morning tea improper you fuckin’ old fool?!”

“I have spoken to the Holy Father, and your Minister General. You Friar Tuck are a heretic, blasphemer and possible Satanist. As such, you are removed from communion with the Holy See, your vows are revoked, and your order casts you out.” Twats one and all.

I rise slowly. He throws a bag at my feet with track pants and an oversized grey hoody. I look at him as I drop my robe in front of him, standing there in my boxers. “And how much did you sell the Shire’s soul for arse clown?”

I pull on the close as he stammers “What the hell does it matter if we have claimed back the deficits you created on that land.” And the truth comes out, they have sold to the developers I have spent years scaring off. I pull on the close and storm out to the Bishop screaming I will not be welcome in any parish in the world that is in communion with the Holy See.

I mumble under my breath.

“Whatever.”

As a tear trickles down my cheek.


It feels like a hot steel blade slicing through the neck of a living chicken. Unfortunately it is neither a sensation within a chicken alive or dead, but rather what is shooting through the immortal’s scrotum. Another jerk and his arms pull upwards to the ceiling as a new IV is added to him. This one is in addition to the four drawing out spinal fluid.

The doctor with the monocle and the slight hunchback is looking on. On his left forearm they had branded Subject A. Not even a name anymore. The days have run together. He cannot remember how long he has been in here, or how long since his chalk white skin has tasted the sheen of moonlight.

He believes at one point he also had a name, but for the life of him, he cannot recollect what it is. The one behind the keyboard on the raised platform smiles as a robotic tentacle moves with a sharpened point towards his left eye. “please…stop…”

“Awww, isn’t that cute, it speaks like it is human.” The sharpened end of the tentacle plunges into his left eye and the shriek would have been deafening if the room itself was not sound proof.

*****

     Electricity singed his fur as he rolled back against the wrought iron at the back of the cage. Bare the fangs and growl. The guardsmen dressed in black and white camouflage laugh as the cattle prod hits the bottom of his paws.

The tiger-man’s fur is mangy, and moulting in certain areas. Time was running together, no idea how long he had been in the cage, or worse when they took him out of the cage to the lab room.

His feline eyes move to his right arm where a brand that simply says Subject B, but he knows at one point he had more of a name.

* * * * *

     The rain drizzled lightly on the city street. Miles above where pain reined, and names were forgotten. Names were remembered by one, standing outside of the small church, on the streets of Gothic City, as the rain drizzled. The lone figure tugs their hood up over, and the collar of their jacket.

The figure steps into the darkened church building.
It was a darkened building, but it wasn’t the first time the figure stood in this darkened church. She lowers her hood. It was her church, or at least the one she had grown up in. The one before everything went so wrong so drastically wrong. She stepped into the sanctuary with the wooden pews, and peeling linoleum.

She slips into a back pew and looks at the familiar wood carved scene of Jesus upon the cross, a San Damiano crucifix that also had many people around the out stretched arms.

The sanctuary door creaks open. Her eyes lock on the form that entered. “Tuck.” The robust form resembled a Friar Tuck from the Robin Hood legend.

“Speedster.” It had been a long time since that name had rung in her ears. At one point she had been the super speed heroine of Canada, known as the Speedster. At one point she had been a member of the team known as the Prophets.

That point ended about ten years ago.

“It’s Susan now, just Susan.”

The minister smiles as he takes a seat in the pew beside her. “Susan, what brings you here after all this time?”

That was a good question, after almost a decade why would she come back here? It had started with the dreams. She begins to tell the story to the tonsured bearded man, that she had known most of her life.

The life that she had believed she had always wanted had crumbled away due to recurring nightmares. Voices from her past crying out for help, “Clay and Tigorr, I swear they are still alive and calling for help. They are being held somewhere.”

Tuck patted her shoulder. “When we deeply care for people the grief cycle does not always end, it comes up at different points and time in our lives. We can actually believe they are still alive and speaking with us, but that is just grief. They died with Rick in the blaze.”

Susan nodded. The blaze, such a nice word for the final battle of the Prophets, only her and Jonny Power survived…or so she thought, the battle with the Dragyn that ended when Rick, PenDragon, snapped Excalibur in half and let the blaze destroy The Dragyn. The death saved Gothic City and the world, but cost so much.

“It was magic, white and black doing battle for the soul of the world. How can we be so sure that death is well dead?”

Tuck looked upon the wood carving behind the altar. Then at the woman that he has known for her whole almost 40 years. He had after all baptized her as an infant. “But there was nothing left.”

“First rule of super heroics Tuck, can’t find the body, and sometimes even if you do, don’t think they’re dead.”

“Why are you here?”

“You know why Tuck, you can reach him.”

“You’re not talking about God are you?”

“You’re a good enough priest that I know I don’t need you to talk to God.  You know who I need…” Tuck in the darkened sanctuary noted the puff under her eye.

“Power. I will see what I can do, come back tomorrow.”

Susan raised her hood up and left the sanctuary. Tuck rose and watched his disciple leave. As the building’s door closed, thunder rumbled across the sky, and a flash of lightning illuminated the darkened sanctuary.

Power. A name he had not heard spoken of for 10 years. Not since the blaze. The day the Prophets died. Speedster went into retirement. Power vanished, or so the citizenry thought. But he was still out there.

But could she be right? Could they still be alive? And if so why had they not come back to the forefront?

“Clay, Tigorr, you immortal bastards where are you?”

Tuck moved from the sanctuary to the outer foyer, grabs his rain coat and walks out into the night.

A short walk of a few blocks in the rain to a small bungalow, with lions at the picket fence entrance, the sand that replaced the grass muddied up by the rain. It always humoured Tuck that he would put in a mass sand garden in the rain capital of Canada. But that’s what one gets in the make shift Zen monastery. Occupant: One.

Tuck knocks on the door. A chime is heard, he hears rustling. The slight form of a Gandhiesque man opens the door. “Tuck.”

“Zed.”

Tuck leans in and kisses Zed. “Welcome home.” The door shuts behind Tuck as he steps inside his home, and wonders if his husband will be willing to make the call he knows he has to ask him to make.

* * * * *

     The phone was ringing. Susan exhaled slowly as she rolled over in her bed and rustled on the floor in her jeans for her Blackberry. She squinted in the early morning sunlit bedroom the number was not recognized.

“Hello?”

“Zed said you wanted to talk to me. Timmy’s on your corner 15 minutes.”

“Jonny?”

The line was dead. Susan rolls out of bed pulls on her jeans and throws on a hoody, slips into a pair of flip flops and heads out the door. Tuck does good work, or rather Tuck’s husband does good work.

The Tim Horton’s was full as usual, but he shouldn’t be hard to spot, she thinks, as he does hover around 6’ tall, bald and muscled. The eye patch over the right eye is also a dead give away.

“Jonny?”

The left eye blinks and a crooked grin forms on his lips. “As I live and breathe, you actually are alive the monk wasn’t lying.”

“Nope, not like his vows of celibacy.”

The laugh that came out of Jonny Power, former hero of Canada, was from the very toes. “True dat. So how can I help you?”

How could she word this, as they moved up the line and ordered their XL double doubles and moved to a small table in a corner. Susan noted that his usual super heroic attire had been replaced by hiking boots, jeans, a Habs hoody and leather coat. Definitely would not be recognized as the hero of a nation, the only guy that went toe to toe with Superman and came up with a draw. The one that was at the centre of the explosion of Excalibur, and all that was scratched was the loss of one eye (and six months in traction, but it kind of detracts from the story).

“It’s simple Jon, Clay and Tigorr are alive.”

* * * * *

     Subject B feels the straps dig into him. Leather, but with metal spikes that pierce his skin, a skin that normally heals but the spikes inside him hold tight so the syringe can extract samples.

The hunch backed and monocle doctor laughs.

End Part One