Andy Kaufman has ostensibly died — because he lives, still? According to a claimed ‘daughter’ of the comedian, the persistent story of Kaufman as a father ought to override the persistent story of his known death. It is a persistence against a persistence. It is strange. The news of this has prompted a major media swell today.
“I’m not trying to prove anything,” the daughter says.
“Does he have a message?” Andy’s brother, Michael Kaufman, asks.
Andy’s brother, Michael, reacts with strength of face in this TMZ video. It is difficult to believe the video is not a joke in the spirit of Andy’s, staunchly postured; and yet, it is belief that makes the media overflow at this. Belief postures its own ardency, its own trust. The media wants to believe, and wants us to believe, too.
I wonder what the claim of Jesus Christ’s resurrection would have been like: widely seen as dead, known as dead, Jesus is revealed as alive to 12 cowering men in an upper room by Mary Magdaline. Her voice, unsure. The door locks again. The looks lock on her.
We could read the passage in the Gospel of John with such ease, though. What unease, then, Kaufman’s artificial resurrection (I use this phrase loosely) is to us, to me, in comparison to our reading. It ought not to be easy to read.
I think of doubting Thomas. I think of the implications of the one making a profession of the Christ’s rise, Mary M. I think of the 12, in desperate contemplation of the news, dismissal of the claim — the claim that claims to override one story with a newer, greater one. I think of doubting Thomas again.
Of course, the comparison of the account in the Gospel of John and the account of Andy’s Kaufman’s ‘daughter’ breaks down quickly. These are two very different events. But by the echo of one into the other: I am called to remembrance, even if subtly.