Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mike Malone and the Book of Enoch

In 2010 I wrote an article for the Midnight Diner about my (then) coming novel, The Calling of Mike Malone. I've learned a lot about the book of Enoch since then, but it still formed the genesis for the story and the article sums up why. From The Midnight Diner-- Why Enoch? In August I have a novel coming out called, The Calling of Mike Malone, to be published by MuseItUp publishers. This story grew from all the years I’d spent wondering about a certain prophet in the Bible named Enoch. Why Enoch? Come on, how do you not wonder about Enoch? I can recall being five years old, driving along in the family station wagon off to church and my sisters arguing about people dying and going to heaven. My mother added that there was at least one man who didn’t die at all, a man named Enoch. I asked how he managed to skip that step and my mom said because he was translated. I sat there staring into space, my five year old head thinking, ‘Translated? To French?’ I sat back and forgot about it for awhile. But over time I noticed something about Enoch…the Bible doesn’t say much about him. From the KJV we know that he didn’t see death, that God was pleased with him, and, aside from a few blurbs in Jude, there isn’t much. So then, one day, I read the book of Enoch. No, it’s not part of regular biblical canon. My view of extra-biblical works is that you might have to take them with a grain of salt, but you can also learn things. For instance, the book of Enoch deals with the days Enoch spent judging the fallen angels. Yeah, think about that a second. This man called down God’s judgement on the angels. You know, destroy- a- city- with- the- wave- of- an- arm, smite- thousands- at- a- time, beings -of- blazing- light…angels. And yet this little human turned to them and spoke the words God gave to him say, “You’re going to hell.” Not a message I’d want to deliver. Enoch had guts. The book also introduces us to the concept that in over five thousand years the snarkiness of rebellion really hasn’t changed that much. Here’s the fallen angels deciding to go to earth and get some strange. Enoch 7 1It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. 2And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children. 3Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise; 4And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime. 5But they answered him and said; We all swear; 6And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking. 7Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of mount Armon. 8That mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, and bound themselves by mutual execrations. Unbelievable! Big bad angels about to disobey God. This section is like something out of middle school when me and a few other baddies would meet around the picnic table and talk about how we were going to steal answers from the teachers desk or something. Samyaza is like, “I’ll go do it, but I’m not going to be the only one that gets in trouble. You guys do it too or I’m out.” And like a bunch of dumb-ass punks, the fallen all agree that they’ll do it, too. Now, even if you don’t believe the book of Enoch is biblical at all, it is still a very old book and in this example alone we learn that bad guys are most believable when they are a little bit stupid. Go back and read the account again and listen for these other commonalities: They show no ability to put themselves in someone elses shoes. The ‘it’s all about me’ attitude has been embraced throughout the millennia. How else do you think Lady Gaga scraped up fans? But the implications and possible ramifications of the events in the book of Enoch are still with us. Long debates are fought in the UFO community as to whether or not the fallen are still having babies down here and if they are behind the alien abductions we hear so much about. Some religious groups, like the Mormons, insist their God lives on his own planet and spends his time making babies. Sounds down right Enockian. So coming up with a story in which a fallen angel decides to out do his brethren by creating his own personal anti-Christ and taking over not only our world, but the spiritual realm, well, it ends up sounding not so far-fetched. But then Mike Malone has to deal with the fact that his father’s greatest dream for his life is to have Mike become own his anti-Christ. And Dad doesn’t like hearing ‘No.’ The ride Mike takes after making this clear to his father becomes- an extremely dark, but fascinating adventure. One that I hope the reader will enjoy.

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