2017: 40: 7

 

2017: 40: 7

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lv

People running from the shooter in Las Vegas.

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Radio New Zealand tells me that Aotearoa has the highest number of female MPs in its history: 38%.  Good,  bad?  124 years after the extension of the franchise 38% feels poor.  The reason it is that “high” at all would be some affirmative action on the part of the Greens and Labour.

Scroll through the Guardian.  Norway FA agrees to pay female internationals the same as males.  This is another story which should cheer me up, but it feels like the more appropriate reaction is: oh for fucks sake.  Like:

  • Swedish model gets rape threats after ad showing unshaved legs

Like how the Black Ferns are better than the All Blacks or “our” America’s Cup Team, but don’t get paid, or a parade until someone says a long time afterwards: “hey, maybe we should have a parade”.  Equality?  Yeah, right.

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Like the Old Testament God the Qu’ran Allah seems very insecure.  The amount of time he spends telling people to worship himself and the consequences of not doing so?  Disproportionate.  I don’t know if you’ve read the ten commandments recently but the first three are: worship me and DO NOT disrespect me or there will be hell to pay.  Allah is kind of on the same shtick.  If you’re so great why do you need to do this?  It does make me see why Jesus was so appealing.  He does this a lot less.  God is sort of a background given for Jesus who spends much more time talking about how to live and act well.

Language feels like it breaks down trying to suggest to the human mind how great god is:

“An elephant is big right?”

“Yes.”

“Well God is bigger than that.”

“Wow.”

“God is so big his footstool covers the universe.”

“Sure.  Ok.  He’s big.  I get it.”

Surah One covers a lot of worship-me-for-benefits-don’t-worship-me-at-your-peril stuff and then slips in quite a bit of detail on divorce laws.  It’s a strange place to start on your specific rules, but I like it.  I wouldn’t call it feminist, but it definitely must catch ISIS off guard every time they read it, “Read that bit about a Muslim woman’s rights in a divorce settlement al-Baghdadi.”

Which might just be a long preamble to this song:

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Which brings me to The Handmaid’s Tale.  And Wolf Hall.  And Utopia.  And the gays.

A big part of power is the idea that you are being watched.  That you are being watched when you are alone, and that you are watched internally.  That it doesn’t matter what your exterior is doing your intent is know by a higher power who will judge you.  If you go to the Greek Orthodox church on Hania Street and sit in front of the screen that protects the sanctuary you well see an eye painted there.  God’s eye.  Under his eye.

Thomas More’s world was the same as ours.  They had different names for the internal eye and the external source and the final reckoning then than some of us do now.  More’s favourite daughter kept his head pickled after it was cut off.  Her husband was buried with it.  1535 he was killed for something I can’t fathom.  For the idea of the papacy; an idea he must have known does not exist in the words of Christ who wrote nothing, built nothing, suggested nothing about the material future to his followers once he was gone.

Mark Rylance is absolutely brilliant in Wolf Hall.  I am rereading Utopia.  I read it in 1994 at university.  Even though I wrote notes in the inside cover I have no memory of reading it, or anything about it.  Rereading it has given me no real pleasure so far.

The Catholic Church maintains that it is fine to be gay just so long as you don’t act on any gay urges.  Which just doesn’t square with Jesus saying that someone who is married and looking lustfully at another has committed “adultery in their hearts” and needs to sort that shit out.  There are lots of things I like about the Sermon on the Mount but the bit where Jesus talks about the real meaning of the commandments to do with murder and sleeping around seem a bridge too far.  Taking “don’t kill” and changing it to “don’t be resentful and angry with people” is not just moving the goal posts for heaven, it’s changing the whole game.

Surveillance.  Once we are all chipped the secular state will have the power of God.  Collecting the metadata of our thoughts.

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I am collecting the metadata of my thoughts here.  Voluntarily.  Like how we all agreed to carry pocket tracking devices called smartphones.  Never mind the mote in your brother’s eye.

Just because it happened this way in my morning: three songs about Chicago.

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John-Paul

I wrote a book: https://www.seraphpress.co.nz/kaitiaki.html