REVIEW: Visiting Grandpa’s Brain- by Jason Werbeloff

Grandpa doesn’t regret donating his brain to Zoogle. But when Judgment Day arrives and the Vatican possesses the world’s largest search engine, Jesus meddles with Grandpa’s search results. And Grandpa is not impressed.

Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is an irreverent sci-fi comedy horror that will dissuade you from keeping your brain anywhere but in your head.
Okay, Jason Werbeloff, who’s been supplying you with the crack and where can I get some? Like with Werbeloff’s other short stories, Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is buzzing with so much mad energy that regardless of whether you think  Visiting Grandpa’s Brain is good or heretical, you’ll definitely never forget it.

The apocalypse seems to have randomly happened prior to this story’s beginning, and it’s never fully explained what went down… but there are zombies now. And the Vatican has castrated them and hung them from trees so they can sing beautiful falsetto choir. Because that’s just how the Vatican roll.

And speaking of The Vatican, the plot centres on the fact that they have gained control of the internet’s search engines and are now controlling the search results of the internet. And  search engines are now powered by human brains. To save on metal. Because obviously this makes perfect sense. (shut up, brain!)

So,  grandpa enlists the help of his granddaughter to help him with this task. And  the result of the ridding of the internet of Vatican control? No, it isn’t people being able to learn science from an uncensored source or being able to download porn again that doesn’t involve altar boys (Boom!) No, the result is shown as a woman being unable to read an article on religion she actually searched for. So, in effect, aren’t Grandpa and the rest of the brains censoring ideas in exactly the same way as the Vatican? Aren’t they just as corrupt?

Maybe this story was never really a criticism of religious censorship. Considering that the worst crime the Vatican are shown to have committed was turning Jesus into a web companion with the annoyance factor of Jar Jar Binks, the Duckhunt Dog and the Microsoft Paperclip combined, perhaps that was the never the point; I think this was just one big fantasy about trolling the ‘happy clappy’ ‘joy joy joy joy down in my heart’ religious fanatics who tell you Jesus is their boyfriend at every turn and make you smile and slowly back away with your coffee.

But still, the ending didn’t quite work. It would have been funnier if she unwittingly typed in an innuendo laced sentence (  I’ve met a lot of Christians who inadvertently spouted a lot of unintentially hilarious sentences) and discovered rule 34.

 Also, considering that Judgement Day seemed to have happened (as evidenced by the random zombies), doesn’t that mean that what the Bible Bashers were saying was the truth (even if they told the truth in the most annoying way possible)? Also, the Vatican  forcing people to donate their brains to search engines. Considering how anti progress, anti technology the Vatican are, isn’t this something that the Vatican would more likely condemn as heresy? I love criticising and parodying organised religion as much as the next person, butyou’ve got to do it in a way which makes sense, and  it would have been that much sharper if the critique  was actually thought throughand on the money

Okay, I think you get the picture. Nothing about this story makes actual sense and trying to find logic in this is as futile as having a conversation with the Mad Hatter after he’s been round to the visit the catipillar to pick up some ‘special tea'(and , by Mad Hatter, I mean the Pope). Visiting Grandpa’s Brain was a bizarre, fun ride. Its small downfall is that again, Werbeloff hasn’t quite managed to make the dismount with his ending, and it could have had a little more method to its madness if it thought through some of its ideas and made some legitimate parody and criticism of organised religion. For what it is though, I’m glad I read it and I enjoyed it.

RATING: 3 horrified cries from an outraged Good Woman / 5

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