Steven Rage's "Pilate: A Brutal Bible Tale" - Worth getting your hands dirty for!, January 19, 2009
Look at your hands. Lines tell tales that without the right exposure live completely disguised within crevices that no amount of washing can remove. We yearn to have them clean - enough. Spend hundreds of dollars on this or that to wash ... them ... clean. But some stains never come out, no matter how much we scrub, steam, or sterilize. And what becomes of the hands that are soaked in generations of sins committed by their owners, perpetual motion of offenses against their fellow man time and time again? Isn't there something that we've all done that we just can't seem to cleanse ourselves from? And what if you were Pilate?
Steven Rage's "Pilate: A Brutal Bible Tale" explores the depths of sin, the way it stains our lives, and graphically illustrates the things we fear most. He forces us to look at true sin, true villainy, and truly offensive images of alternative realities. Sometimes it takes a shock to wake up!
Rage creates a dismal post-industrial future, a look at man defiled and in decline. Evil has arrived and this is NOT our Father's World! Dominion has been taken by those who walk as the damned, demons, Halflings, products of debauched rampages and sins against nature, and then, of course, the vampires. Sex, drugs, and broken souls are the only things of value. Life is more like a disease, and the only salvation is the right amount of Plata to numb the conscience and, if one is lucky, to bring on a cleverly disguised demise.
Introduce into this world a savior, a light for a dark world. Rejected in one life as a man, rejected in another as spiritual being, now returning in the form of woman, Immanuel returns to give God's creation another chance. Following religious folklore, parables, and beliefs, Rage presents the readers with a God who truly is the Shepherd that leaves no sheep behind. While this tale is deeply woven with the intricacies of a dark, drug-infested world ruled by evil forces, this is the story of a lost sheep. All are God's children, even the most foul creatures who by their own will have become so through their spiritual and physical copulation with the Devil, and as such, in God's mercy, still are given a chance to be saved.
All members of the passion play are present, but it is the one lost sheep that is the center of this tale. The one who by his denial of Christ, his rejected opportunity to do the honorable thing, is cursed to live as a vampire that walks century after century making the same mistakes. But is his curse to be a vampire or repetition?
Hell is repetition. Pilate is in hell. Hell has dominion over the earth, but will evil, and all those who since the birth of Christ committed sins against the innocent by turning their backs and betraying the Lamb, continue to play the same roles? Is this some predestined condition, roles for the damned that have no place for an alternate ending? What has become of free will? And if we exercise free will, does that guarantee a different ending?
Through the sheer shock of his presentation, Rage forces his readers to consider the alternatives, to look at the garbage in the streets, to see what is swept into the gutters at night right before all decent people awake to see another cleaned up version of the day. He uses tradition to break tradition, to push our imagination in ways that are uncomfortable at the least and border on the offensive at worst. Yet, in doing so, he illustrates what real love is. He gives to us a God that truly goes to the extreme, any extreme, to give the prodigal son a chance to come home.
While this not a Christian book by definition, it is a religious and philosophical tale cleverly woven in a tapestry of darkness. Horror by definition and presentation. Depths reminiscent of Dante's Inferno. Do you dare enter this world? Bravery has its rewards, and Steven Rage's "Pilate: A Brutal Bible Tale" is worth getting your hands dirty for!