The new Radio Times for the Easter period has a cover which is clearly intended to include everything that could possibly be associated with Easter. A huge Easter bunny. Lots of daffodils. Sunshine in the sky. An Easter egg peeping out of the grass.
Yes, everything to suggest Easter.
Or is there something missing? Has the artist forgotten to include some other element which might suggest Easter time? Might he (let's be bold about this) have omitted something in his cover that alluded distantly to the Crucifixion, or Resurrection, or even anyone called Jesus, or anyone called God come to that, without all of which there probably wouldn't be an Easter at all?
At which point you will expect me to engage on a stern lecture about our loss of faith and our abandonment of Christian beliefs and virtues.
And you will be wrong.
Because if the symbols of Easter are now firmly established as the bunny, the egg, the daffodil etc, then it is too late to change that, and the only thing that can be done is to build a new religion based on those symbols.
Which is why, all this week, I have been feeding into the mighty computer here at The Independent everything relevant to Easter old and new, and asked it to incorporate the new symbols of Easter into an old-style religious story that will satisfy everyone, whether modern-minded or backward-looking.
Here are the first fruits of that experiment, as printed out late last night by the computer.
"In the beginning was the Great Bunny, and the Great Bunny looked at the world, and said: 'Let there be chocolate.'
"And the whole world was covered in chocolate.
"And the Great Bunny looked upon the world, and saw that it was good.
"But there were no eggs anywhere.
"So the Great Bunny said: 'Let all the chocolate be made in the form of eggs, both big and small.'
"And lo, the chocolate was formed into the shape of eggs, ranging from the expensive luxury dark-chocolate egg to the small milk-chocolate egg, yea, even down to the tiny Smartie.
"And there was not enough chocolate in the whole world to make all the eggs, so the Great Bunny said: 'Let the eggs be hollow so that they look very big but are in fact a thin coating of chocolate round a filling of air.'
"And it was so.
"But there was no gift-wrapping anywhere to be seen.
"So the Great Bunny said: 'Let there be shiny silver foil, and big bows made out of shiny silver foil, and crinkly foil round eggs sitting in cheap pottery mugs, and huge polythene bows wrapping eggs so that they look much bigger than they are, and let the world be filled with them.'
"And it was so.
"And then the Great Bunny saw that there were no customers, and so he created the first man consumer and the first lady consumer, whom he called Adam and Eve, and put them in the Garden Centre of Eden.
"And as Adam and Eve wandered to and fro in the Garden Centre of Eden, wondering at all the shrubs and flowers and plants that the Great Bunny had created and put on sale, the Great Bunny came to them and said: 'Hear me now, Adam and Eve, you must close your eyes for a while and I shall hide many eggs in the garden centre, and after that you shall open your eyes and find as many as you can.'
"'What might be the point of this?' said Adam. 'Are there any prizes?'
"'Not prizes as such,' said the Great Bunny, 'though thou mayst get to keep the eggs you find. No, this is to set in your minds the mystery of all things, and I have set you this search for the Easter egg as a symbol of your search for truth and happiness. And chocolate, of course.
"'But most importantly of all, you must then buy each other presents for Easter, for which purpose I have created this Garden Centre.'
"And after the egg hunt was over, and as Adam went through the Garden Centre of Eden, pushing a trolley for all his purchases, he came across a bunch of primroses growing wild in a hedge, and he did pick a bunch of primroses and take them to the woman called Eve, and say: 'Look, I have picked these for you.'
"And when the Great Bunny found that Adam had not purchased any of the bouquets or floral displays on show at the garden centre, but had picked a bunch of wild flowers without paying, he was very wrathful and threw both Adam and Eve out of the Garden Centre of Eden, to which they could never return, but were condemned to wander through the world for having mortally offended the spirit of Easter."
Hmm. Well, it's a bit muddled theologically, but I think it's a good start. What do you think?Reuse content