Sunday, February 12, 2006

Boys Gone Wild

Honestly, truly, I don’t write in Middle English, nor do I deliberately obfuscate.

Well, that’s not completely accurate. Once in a great while I do perhaps choose to make my words ever so slightly demanding, but only because I wish them to be understood by some but not all. For reasons having to do with nothing but self-preservation.

But I really hadn’t been thinking about freedom of speech in my last two posts, despite the fact that I have never seen more terror lurking behind words than I have, almost always, on the left, any left. Fear that one will get it wrong, offend the directorate, be tossed or shunned.

My solution, as I’ve noted here before, is to be nowhere, everywhere, invisible but, yes, ubiquitous. No comites for me, no grant money, no shadowy puppetmaster on the Other Side with deep pockets. And, being a girl, nor has my entire sense of self-worth been dependent on acceptance by an increasingly smaller number of frat boys.

So there, she flounced, giggling still.

No, it has to do with what comes after the freedom of words. The consequences of those words in a particular milieu.

Imams and Ian Paisley, papists and patriarchs, academics and artists, journalists and japes. Anyone with a pulpit, a creed and a crowd.

It can dress itself up in the robes of religion, politics, art or almost anything, but its demands are always the same. It needs untutored acolytes, ideally impressionable adolescents or disgruntled mid-lifers. And amoral scribes, “new” journalists, more than willing to toe the line on offer so they can get on the bus and shine in reflected light.

And enemies. Mother of god, they require enemies.

Catholics or Protestants, Jews or Muslims, the morally repressed or the morally profligate. Rich people or the hoi polloi, the political class or undocumented workers. The Evil Empire [any of them], the Axis of Evil, the Bad Governments, these are among the best, because they establish the connection directly, without having to tax their fan base with an intervening step. “I hate loose women [feel free to insert what you will here: Islamists; gringos; men who wear hats; Sunnis; gangstas; AMLO supporters; Quebecois, ad totally infinitum], we hate loose women, they are very, very bad, ergo we are very, very good”.

Yes, I know. The oldest boilerplate in the world, and who in the hell cares. A shaman, a charlatan, a man of steel, a general, priest, visionary. His terribly unresolved issues with Daddy, his courtiers. Drawing up a Plan, choosing a persona, practicing in the mirror, finding an Enemy, drawing a crowd.

And we know it works.

Millions slaughtered every century, tons of ink spilled writing, then revisiting, the lives of the Great Ones. But even those whose fiefdom never extends beyond their parish, classroom or subscriber list still sleep, confidently, with the angels.

So, yes, boys setting themselves up as Gods and holding forth.

I did wrack my brain for the odd second in search of one of the fairer sex for whom this scenario might apply, and I’m certain such a lady might exist. Somewhere. But, as I noted in one of my very first posts here, girls tend to work from the other way round. Starting with the domestic, the micro, weaving web and cloth, outward.

I’ve been rambling at much too much length here and find myself quite diverted. First, by boys discussing religion in the Comments, a subject I’ve been struggling with for the last few years. The object of my struggle being Boys Discussing Religion. Heatedly.

With exactly the same tone, intent and passion as, say, another has been waxing about a certain mayor of a certain large city.

I understood, at about the age of 11 I believe, that most institutionalized religious entities were nasty, horrid and dangerous things. As I learned more of the world, I realized that most political, academic, economic and cultural entities were the exact same thing. Providing forum and writ for Boys Gone Wild, as noted several paragraphs above.

One example. A boy, who has been close to me, in some ways and at some times, ever since I was 18 months old, came to visit last summer, as is his occasional wont. After several cans of lager, he leaned back in his chair, voice rising, eyes fixing, and he proceeded to rail against the Church, which, he averred, had “destroyed his life.”

Once I caught my breath, I moved to gently interrupt the tirade, which was loud enough, truly, to disturb the horses in the street. I reminded him that, as far as I could remember [and, being the only girl and the middle child in this particular unit, one can be certain that I remembered most clearly, even down to the colour of the frocks], that we had visited the inside of a church exactly once in our lives. It was an Easter Sunday, and it had entirely to do, in fact, with frocks. And bonnets. Easter bonnets. He would have been about 5 at the time.

Nor, I reminded him, had any deity ever been mentioned in our home. Ever. Not once. But he wouldn’t have it. The Church was the Scourge of all mankind, and the single abiding reason for his own misery and unquenchable fury.

It was beyond bizarre, but it reminded me of other times, other places. Another boy, a euro-boy, who suddenly went off, once upon a very last time and completely out of the blue, about American born-again Christians. The other boy, the one with such suddenly deadly serious issues with the above-referenced mayor.

The best I can make of it is that it might, perhaps, be the other side, or tarnished edge, of the coin I was trying to discuss above. The boilerplate. Every time I’ve seen this particular brand of explosive, curiously inappropriate rage [and I’m not speaking of any of the Comments, but of the examples I’ve proffered from my own life], the boys in question have been of a Certain Age and have indeed held court, albeit in widely differing venues.

I really did have a point to make when I started all this, but to hell with it.

Because I simply cannot get my mind off two other recent examples of Boys Gone Wild. The one, of course, being Dick Cheney, full of Wild Turkey one presumes, taking literal potshots at his “hunting” buddy. Not hunting, mind you, but apparently one of those stocked, skeet shooting entertainment centers for Evil Fat White Men.

The other, and I’ll tread as gently as I feel I must, had to do with a Man Wielding a Metal Folding Chair, a mouth as foul as an Irish person and a very hurried change of lodgings.

All my sympathies to the hunting partner and window in question, but, still and all, my deepest thanks to both of them for having lightened my mood, and my weekend, beyond all measure.


Spark said...

It's ok to have an enemy as long as it's in structures and not in people

Just because words get misused doesn't mean there isn't truth in them: rather, it all depends where you look. There IS an axis of evil facing us, and there IS an evil empire, a system of domination with which we must fight

Because the battle is not horizontal, with flesh, and blood and each other, but rather it's vertical, with the hierarchy, the powers, the system. And it exists because of us: it's supported [indirectly or otherwise] by us, by people..

And as a result, people have been confused with the system of powers, and so they've been demonized and/or persecuted by grand political movements. time and time again pinning their lazy critiques and their cheap zealotry on the easiest enemy they can find: the jews, the muslims, the artists, the homosexuals, the travellers, the anarchists and the freaks

And related to this tragedy, ideas relating to the true war [the universal struggle] have been consistently stolen & misrepresented. by reactionaries like Al Qaeda and Cheney for their own. Hence a 'jihad' against the decadent west, or a 'war on terror' against the rest

to bind together an internally fragmented nation behind some fictional fight against an alien 'other'

the oldest trick in the book, divide and rule so that we'll forget wht we're supposed to be fighting for: I have heard it recently said in the British Parliament: "we are now more individualised, and so more easily controllable"

Just like advertising agents, these demagogues follow in the foosteps of Adolf Hitlere by stealing the emotional truth about our war &manipulate it, repackage it to suit their own phoney ends

But our guts know where they want to go and so we must now sing a new song to show it

and here's my two penneth for the bass-line: our common enemy is capitalism and neo-liberalism, that imperial way that once crucified Christ

Any help with making it more catchy gratefully received. Who knows, maybe one day we'll get a record deal or something

Anonymous said...

Just so long as we all remain civilised :^)

Alas, long ago, I patented an infallible measuring tool to grade civilised nations. It never fails to work. What say you? You want to know the secret? Well...ok then, but you'll be sorry :^)

Just check who can kill the most people at one blow. Cain was obviously not very civilised when he bashed Abel's brains out with a rock. On the other hand the USA barbecueing 80000 Japanese at Hiroshima, that was a true demonstration of civilisation.

Nobody has yet topped this one!

You just can't beat progress I guess :^)

Comrada B said...

Querida Irl,

Boys Gone say the least! This whole thing has just gone over the top.

I "VENTURED" to agree with a particular "party" (woo) in part and only in part, concerning the issue of Religion (at their homeplate (RA! maybe, but I will never offer thy virgin self to a pontificated self-rightious sacraficial alter or pompous ass)

Yes, where was I? Religion being at the root of a great deal of the worlds ills. In short, problematic in how religion has tried to dictate our behaviour over the millenium, in the very least say's to all of us this is good and that (whatever thingy,) is bad, and of course what will happen to ALL of us if we engage in the latter. This because, I felt Lil Spark was put on the defensive for having his oppinion.

Then found myself in the midst of a holier-than-thou-war, at this other undisclosed location (wouldn't want to out anybody) whereupon, I had the unmittigated nerve to post my oppinion. My oppinion opened with agreement to said "party" (whoopee) I guess mistaken as a 'thread' (only) and after delivering the warlike fatal blow (Quote: "I personally do not goose-step, subscribe, or give alms to any one theory/group/movement/religion...")When I was reminded of a 21 mile in and 21 mile out, hiking trip through Yosemite National Forest with the Sierra Club in the late 60's. Serene oh so lovely and we glanced out over (ironically) Peace Valley, we could see a lovely stream on the horizon which was exactly where we agreed through direct democracy was perfect to camp at and 'water' from. Well into the evening after setting camp fire and sleeping bags out, I found myself needing to 'water-the-lilies.' Right about the time my trousers dropped, (near bush's, by the stream and not in it) a rather large heard of razor-back stampeded out of the same thicket.
My friend an I (11 of age, I still needed someone to escort me to the 'lilies' who also found this most necessary basic urge to relieve herself and of course water the beautiful foilage and was damn dark and scary for a kid and I am certain the ghost stories moments earlier by the campfire didn't help)...snorting and snarling revealing thier deadly fangs. They're heading straight at us, with pants down to our ankles (and like an oppinion from the heart, referencing above said homelplate and baring it all) ran as fast we could, not the 'three-legged race, but the no-legged race'...and the only thing that kept the beasts at bay, was standing nearly in the blazing campfire, their stampede veering into the darkness, whence they came.

I am here in this lovely Parlour for many reasons. Many, many. One that come's to mind and of utmost importance in all this, is that I feel more fiercely about (than the above referenced razor-back did at having it's water source threatened or the Chihuahua's that that snip n' goose-step) is that this Parlour engages in 'honest jouranlism.' Example: when someone in here has an oppinion, it is posted in the comments section. Our lovely and gracious Parlour Mistress will then post her oppinion or not. Still other's will join in or not...sometime's in complete disagreement or not, but never ever a foray. BUT! where the honest journalism come's in is that our Mistress LEAVES THE COMMENTS IN TACT FOR ALL TO SEE, so that the gracious visitor's of the Parlour can make their own deduction of any agreement, disagreement, or even new issue brought into, shall I venture, fray. Or not.

So while I was disgusted that anyone in here be put on the defensive for their beliefs/oppinions/comments, I galiantly traipsed over to (above referenced woo! homeplate) and commented not on content found, but on 'pontificating' one's self on the subject of 'religion' and found wiggle room for "the art of goose-stepping" (looking at the prior comments section at said homeplate) and found myself having had my comment removed, my words twisted to suit the pompass and pontificated one, with no referrence point for which any other lovely visiters to razor-back land would be able to draw their own conclusions and make their own deductions.

Is it not fair and honest journalism (even when it's hokey pokey from maintsream media) to be printed and or left in tact at some readable, viewable referrence point for the reader to make their own judgement call and or deduction of what is being said, after the editorials or rebukes or in this case foray begins in reply?

I rest my case.

The recovering one who gives the leg a good shake to throw off the snipping Chihuahua's and the pontificated holier-than-thou razor-backs of the world.

aketus said...

Your comment was not removed or touched. Please see the reply. You may have overlooked it but it remains where it was placed right from the beginning, unaltered.
Someone who promotes honesty should not traipse about spreading lies. Being put on the defensive due to having an opinion is one thing, but I will not be placed into the position of having to defend myself against outright lies. Nor should I have to, considering your comment stands for all to see, and is evidence of your lie.
Irl, feel free to delete this if you find anything I've said to be offensive, but I am sure you can respect one's right to not be made out to be a censorer or dishonest.

irlandesa said...

Not to worry, darlings, have at it. As I just mentioned to a very dear friend, I have only deleted twice here.

Very much bringing me to the subject of this evening's re-post.

TripleJ said...

So do you think this was Cheney's way of telling Harry Whittington that his campaign contributions were a tad insufficient? :)

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