February 25, 2004 (#34), (and before ...)
Hungry little dogmas
Why did Pavlov choose to ring that bell? I supposed because he'd been to enough tedious dinner parties where the hostess kept everyone captive until she rang her dinner bell at which point the poor dear found himself drooling and wondered if he could make a dog do it too or whether this only happened to 'evolved' species. I suppose it's the same reason people drive cars named Armaggedon or such.
Not following my logic? Don't worry, it's an acquired taste along with juniper berries.
Speaking of Christ complexes... we were, weren't we? I can think of no better day to contemplate Mr. Gibson's latest film than Ash Wednesday. (I'm wearing a glitter gloss cross on my forehead... palm ashes are so last year.) The beginning of Lent. Forty days before Easter. Eighty days before the Ascension. A time for penance and reflection. And what penance indeed. If the reviews are to be believed, just sitting through 2 hours or so of Aramaic (I wonder if they got the accent right), floggings, blood and skin pulp might turn me off of chocolate for 40 days if that was my chosen path. Your penance will be to have to listen to my ramblings.
However, I come not to praise Mr. Gibson, but to ... merely point out something which struck me and I'm certain you'll be riveted with my observations, pedantically outlandish though they may be.
I wonder whether some enterprising young university student hasn't done a thesis paper comparing the Matthew Shepard story with the Christ story. First of all consider the position and the manner of death - barbed wire, crown of thorns, arms outstretched.... it's not a dead on match, but close enough to squeeze a few syllogisms out.
Then consider the result. Christ was reported to have died for the sins of mankind. Matthew Shepard initially died simply for the reason of having been gay, but in reality does he not die in some respects for all gay people everywhere? His death and the subsequent publicity it brings, keeps a reality in the face of society and allows us all to point to it as if we ourselves suffered similar brutality. Much in the same way righteous Christians everywhere see themselves as persecuted by a secular society and point to Christ's suffering.
I'm not sure where I want to go with this. You'll find this surprising, but I lack formal rhetoric training.
I suppose after war, corporate high jinks, anti-marriage, breast baring and recent more personal interaction with the secret service (to name a few) the events of late really have worn me down.
How many soldiers have died in Iraq? Are you sure? Have you seen pictures?
What is Martha Stewart accused of? A press release? Was she under oath? I wonder if any other high level government official has issued press releases or used their press liason to twist the facts a little and take the heat off? Who knows, perhaps they'll be before the swift hand of justice next. (Speaking of which, I start jury duty in a couple of weeks and I'm terribly excited!)
Anti-Marriage amendment? I can hardly surpress my surprise - yawn - I wonder when they'll catch Osama too. Anything to keep people from wondering just how are we going to pay off that debt and just what would happen if we can't....
As for breast-baring - can someone explain to me who was truly outraged? Anyone? I know that insipid creature from the facts of life knelt down in front of her television and prayed for America....
What do you suppose she was praying for?
That America would return to traditional values, return to higher morals, all worship the same god, worship in the same way, celebrate the submissive wife who actually shouldn't be allowed to have her own website and if she had been married during her earlier years shouldn't have been allowed to work.... a new car, and maybe, just a little, her own pierced nipple for a day?
As for the secret service - well, why do you suppose they call it secret. Chilling experience I hope never to relive.
Perhaps I'm getting a little carried away. Can one slur their words on a typewriter?
Well anyway getting back to Caesar... yes we were, you may not have noticed it but we were.... I do recall a little saying from my youth, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, render unto god, that which is god's."
A lovely thought, not completely confined to the concept of taxation if you are familiar with the story.
This little tidbit was used to indoctrinate myself and the other young adoring acolytes against the evil ways of the preacher more concerned with politics, the government and using his or her pulpit as a bully one rather than the religious variety. How amusing. Imagine saying one thing and doing another. I'm hard pressed to find a religious group these days that isn't more concerned with passing one law or another, or electing a certain candidate, when in actuality that particular law or candidate isn't likely to be able to save their soul, but simply make the world a more American God fearing place.
I'll let you decide what the American God is that we are trying to scare everyone with, I'm just too exhausted to expound anymore, and isn't that a nice respite for you.
As for exhaustion, in the end, has there ever been a better example in time of our political history where one administration has so exhausted it's opposition (including the opposition in its own party!) with it's daily offering of astounding and astonishing acts of consitutional and moral (yes indeed, moral) defiance so much so that utter disbelieving exhaustion sets in and completely incapacitates them. The E-bomb. Brilliantissimo.
Here's to us all having a good strong cup of coffee and getting back to work.