The Parable of the Sad Man

by Kenneth Francis (April 2024)

North Beach by Freeman Sargent, early 20th C


In my opinion, the greatest pieces of short prose ever written about the living God is in the Bible, especially the Gospels. Even atheists Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens admit to the literary power of the Bible’s prose. In a commentary featured in Vanity Fair, Hitchens said: “Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something ‘timeless’ in the Tyndale/King James synthesis … For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivalled only by Shakespeare in this respect.”

Many famous musicians, both atheists and Christians, get inspiration for the lyrics of their most popular songs from the Bible. The lyrics in the international hit song of the 1960s, “Turn Turn Turn,” written partially by Pete Seeger, were taken almost verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

In contrast to the Bible, in my opinion, the second piece of short prose that is one of the greatest ever written is about the death of God: The Parable of the Madman, by German atheist philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Ironically and ostensibly, to a spiritually discerning reader, Nietzsche’s parable unwittingly proves the existence of an unvanquished God, who must logically exist and cannot be metaphorically, spiritually, or physically murdered, resulting in extinction. But the ramifications of such a ‘murder’ of God is spelt out quite clearly in Nietzsche’s parable.

His profound depressing piece about the death of God highlights the many problems that might spiritually inflict humans, as they cope in the aftermath of what we have done, we, “the murderers of all murderers.”

Nietzsche was a miserable philosopher with an incredible writing style that can only be equalled to Arthur Schopenhauer, amongst the world’s ‘great’ philosophers. He was also brutally honest about the horrors of existence without God.

When he declared the ‘death of God’ at the end of the 19th century, he penned the above parable outlining the potential serious consequences of it. To his credit, most, not all, of his predictions came to pass right up to the fallout of the spring Awakening of 2020, when spiritual 2020 vision ignited out of the dark spectre of medical and political tyranny. A time when Theodicy made its mark, where out of evil, God brings The Good.

It is likely Nietzsche was inspired, either consciously or unconsciously, by the Book of Ecclesiastes, because he was well versed in the Bible and the tone of the parable reflects the pessimism in Ecclesiastes.

The parable also reflects the writings of Theatre of the Absurd, plays which were subsequently inspired by Nietzsche. But like Samuel Beckett’s bleak Waiting for Godot, I believe Nietzsche, unwittingly, makes a case for the existence of God, as their ‘life is meaningless’ worldview is self-refuting. How? Life includes language, thus, the statement ‘life is meaningless’ is a meaningful statement that means something to the person who says it. The statement is also making a Truth claim, but Truth would not exist if life is meaningless and there is no God.

We can also see that God has not been metaphorically buried, when we observe what is happening very slowly now in the West (except for Clown Germany and the UK), amongst those with spiritual discernment; and awakened, lukewarm Catholics engaging enthusiastically with the faith, this time intellectually and not through the properly basic blind faith of fideism.

Their motive to this new awakening is probably based on acknowledging the once hidden reality of a hijacked Church, which began on October 28, 1958, and was fully infiltrated and turbocharged at the end of Vatican 2, 1965. The motive of the Great Awakening is also based, post-Lockdowns, on realising that we are wrestling not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). In other words, there is a supernatural force trying to engulf the world. Secularism ain’t working anymore. It has failed us.

There is also the death of the theologically illiterate New Atheists’ movement, which is outlined in Justin Brierley’s latest book, The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again.

 But back to Nietzsche: He believed in Darwinian survival of the fittest, meaning: Millions of years ago, a multicellular aquatic invertebrate ancestor that metamorphosed into a distant relative of SpongeBob SquarePants, very slowly crawled out of the sea and onto land, and, turning into a monkey-sponge at around a cosmic minute before midnight, evolved on the twelfth hour into a man called Michelangelo, who later painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Had he remained a sponge, he would have no doubt metaphorically wiped away the horizon, to paraphrase Nietzsche.

In a nutshell, real journalist, John Nolte, nailed it in Breitbart News, March 2024, when he wrote: “Even though the ideal Christian life is unquestionably the healthiest and most fulfilling life (whether or not you are a believer) —a life filled with fidelity to your spouse, devotion to your children, honesty, humility, service, hard work, and selflessness—demonic lunatics and bigots on the left […] want us shunned and excommunicated simply for believing 1) in God and 2) that every country should focus on being the best country it can be, and stop with this globalization nonsense.”

So, with Logos rising again on the horizon, and by replacing the words ‘Death of God,’ I give you the death of another thing dear to most humans with a sense of humour: ‘Satire.’ This has saddened many writers, especially comedians and satirists who get cancelled for trying to make people laugh at exaggerated jokes and prose. So, without further ado and with a large dollop of hyperbole and spoof, I give you…


The Parable of the Sad Man
(With Apologies to Friedrich Nietzsche)

It was soon after the Great Lockdowns in 2020 when armies of ‘wounded’ Woke Gen Z marched into their basement bedrooms traumatised after being triggered by satirical tweets from nasty far-right White Straight males and “hateful” stories from The Babylon Bee, when a sad man clutching a copy of the book, A Modest Proposal rushed out onto the street crying incessantly:


I seek satire! I seek satire!


As many vegans suffering irony deficiency (in more ways than one) staring out Starbucks’ window did not know what satire meant, the sad man provoked much laughter and distraction from the customers who were looking into their iPhones waiting to be told what the Next Current Thing was to get triggered about.

“What is it?” asked a purple-haired girl wearing a bullnose ring and a T-shirt with the slogan: I Had 10 Abortions. “Has he lost his mind?”

“Is he afraid of us?” asked an elderly woman wearing a Pussyhat who was giving up her seat for a heavily tattooed pregnant man with a beard. Thus they all yelled and laughed.

The sad man jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes and said:


Where is satire? I will tell you:
We have killed it—you and I
All of us are its murderers.

But how did we do this?

How could we drink up an ocean of Kool-Aid?

Who gave us a sponge to wipe away our sense of humour?

What were we doing when we unplugged our brains from reality and censored our words for fear of being cancelled?

Will we now have to unplug the earth from the sun to re-boot it to end all of this Woke madness?

Are we not writing unfunny PC comedy continually?

PC, inoffensive tripe by pro-Establishment whores?  

Will satirists now feel like pickpockets in a nudist Colony?

And will all ‘comedy’ scripts be State press releases ending with a PC pensive punchline?

Will we have to wear ear plugs in case a comedian makes a satirical slip, similar to the way Death Row prisoners’ arms are swabbed in case they get an infection when the Death jab is administered?

Are there still any funny people left in the world?

Are we not blinding straying, as through an infinite Pol Pot’s Cambodia without our spectacles?

Will Gen Z endure a one-hour unfunny comedy routine without constantly checking their phones for that daily hi-tech dopamine hit?

Have we entered the darkest night in comedy history?

Do we not feel the breath of airhead fact-checkers?

Will more lockdowns continually close in on us?

And with vague excuses, why is the biggest comedy festival in the world, Just For Laughs, not being held this year [2024] in Montreal, Canada, the Kafkaesque Cuckoo Land crackpot country on the planet where a satirical but funny joke might get you life imprisonment for breaking the upcoming ‘Online Harms Bill’?

Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the Alphabet Mafia who are burying words at the Altar of Hate Speech?

Do we smell nothing as yet of the decomposition of Satire?

Satire, too, decomposes.

Satire is dead.

Satire remains dead.

And we have killed it.

How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?

What was funniest and mightiest of all humour, the world has yet owned has bled to death under our PC keyboards.

Who will wipe the stain of this metaphorical ink off us?

What hilarious humour is left for to amuse ourselves?

What festivals of comedy, what bland jokes shall we have to invent, as the BBC rolls out unfunny alleged comics who threaten you to obey the Powers That Be?

Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us?

Must we ourselves not become humourless androids simply to appear worthy of it?

Will those who seek an anti-Faustian pact with God in Order to tell the Truth through humour be hated by the World, just like Jesus, who was hated first, predicted?

Will satirists have to seek asylum in Russia or Hungary in Order to have freedom to express their satirical writings?

There has never been a greater deed.

But you will not gag me: I blame it all on Johnathan Swift and Marty Feldman.


Table of Contents


Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 30 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing) and, most recently, The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd (with Theodore Dalrymple) and Neither Trumpets Nor Violins (with Theodore Dalrymple and Samuel Hux).

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


2 Responses

    1. “Like George Carlin on steroids for hemorrhoids.”
      There’s gotta be an Android app for that!

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