Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Nativity Story of (our) Briantology

Google "Briantology." You'll see that we're not original in our name but it is dear to us, as will become apparent in this post. Of course, The Life of Brian is the first point of departure for most upon hearing this moniker for my paternal family's gaff-religion. But, the story itself and the 'religion' itself has taken on a life of its own.

It all started last year this time when I was looking for birthday cards for my brothers, Jason and Seb; their birthdays are in April. I came across this gem: on the front cover it said, "Not satisfied with the state of religion today, Brian decided to branch out on his own"(or something to that effect). Underneath this message was a simple cartoon drawing of a man wearing glasses standing behind a lemonade-type-stand which said on it "Church of Briantology" and a jar sat on the stand: Donations Accepted. Inside the card it said something like "May the force of Brian be with you." I'm pretty sure I wet myself in the Hallmark store and bought two.

What makes this so funny is that my Dad's name is Brian, and we've always had a running conversation that often turns into joking about religion in general and spirituality in particular; such conversations usually end with the general consensus that Dad is god-like in nature, and makes Emmer and I wonder what we would do without each other to discuss this (and, keeps us all in fine eye-rolling form). One of my favourite conversations with him about this opened with him telling me that he had just "come out of the closet": he did indeed have a faith but was still trying to figure out just what it is.

When I presented the cards to my brothers, my step-mom loved the card so much that rumour has it she went around to all the Hallmark stores in the Greater Barrie Area and bought them up. The modest spreading and proselytizing of Briantology had begun.

In the meantime, Briantology is now a fairly regular topic of skype conversations between my father and me. We have already decided that Sean Connery is our first saint. Briantology does not believe that candidates for canonization need to be dead already for X number of years before nomination. Sean's three miracles are as follows:
1: Greatest James Bond ever.
2: Wearing that outfit in Highlander without losing a shred of his masculinity.
3: Regardless of how shitty the movie is that he's in, he makes it respectable. Ok, if not respectable, then it's a downright cool flick just because he's in it.

Also, I have decided that I am the President of Briantology. Dad protested this decision, saying that he should be president, until I explained to him: I am the eldest child, therefore it is my prerogative to be president; he can't be the president because he is The Brian. That satisfied his vanity. And, we decided together Briantology's motto, if it ever has a motto, will have something involving capitalism with a socialist conscious. I'm even debating adding my idea for an NGO to the Briantology mandate/manifesto: Sustained Altruism Without Politics (SAWP).

Further, the topic of Briantology was raised at a December dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant here in Jerusalem. I told my gang the story of Briantology and Daan (one of The Dutch) asked if the position of Messiah was open. I told him, "No," because I'm reserving it for my kid, since if I ever get pregnant and become a mother, it'll be a miracle. Daan is instead our first prophet; what better place than Jerusalem to find our first prophet, or rather to have our first prophet find us? Daan is balanced enough, after being here for seven months already, that he shows no signs of Jerusalem Syndrome. I would be worried about the speaking-in-tongues thing, but Daan speaks something like 12 languages and about two-thirds of them are dead languages anyway so I'm not mother-henning this one.

So, there you have it. From his modest beginnings in a farmhouse in Flesherton, ON (pronounced fleshurt-un), to his childhood in Creemore, to his highrolling life in the thriving metropolis of Barrie, Brian's spreading his word of peace, love, and, um, European football. He's a bit of a cinephile, and we forgive him his transgressions of Louis L'Amour novels. The best of Briantology is yet to come, when we publish a songbook of all popular favs rewritten with improvisational irreverence; I think the first fifty copies will come with its own glow-in-the-dark SweetBabyJesus, just for fun.

Your Friendly Brian and Humble President:


Anonymous said...

Hey. That Brian guy looks like a gnome.

Emily said...

Anonymous commenter,

That is quite the accurate observation. In fact so accurate and wise that I have concluded that it must have been written by Brian himself.

- Emily