Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hellfire, damnation, and looking into the heart of darkness without the help of Joseph Conrad ...

(Above: eek, no, it's not a photoshop, just an amusing angle involving a collar, a bit like that 'see a vase or see a face' routine, celebrated here).

Hell-fire an' damnation
Mother make my bed soon
For I'm sick to my heart
And I want to lay down (here).

There's something about the Calvinist-inclined mind that's strange and weirdly compelling.

Let's just sample some of the richer phrases to emerge from Michael Jensen writing for Sydney Anglicans under the bizarrely inappropriate header Love This City about civilisation - as incarnated in the city of Sydney.

Presumably most of these Anglicans live in this Sodom (or is it Gomorrah?):

... human civilisation is rooted in violence and greed, fear and desire ... (per Hobbes) life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short ... society and technology are "necessary evils" ... (the world) chills, starves, drowns, bakes and bites us ... we life with artificial developments "such as politics, government, clothes, walls, air-conditioning and food preservatives" (presumably life was simpler and better when we were cave dwellers, but hang on, even then they used fur) ... our bodies are vulnerable to violence from others and the elements ... our relationship with nature is compromised ... (we've chosen) dominion for domination out of fear ... how thin our skins, how naked our bodies, how tender our lungs.

At this point, the pond was reaching for the nearest gun in the safe. But that was just the opening.

Then Jensen moves on to Sydney ... a city with a dark heart, built on fearful desperation and greed ...

Did we mention its heart of darkness, did we mention it was founded on brutality and theft, and built on the bones of the indigenous inhabitants by the brutalised criminal classes of England (not to mention the Anglicans who came out to the colony right from the get go).

And then comes this zinger, which we quote at length because yet again the latte sippers get a going over:

Although it looks as if nature has been subdued, she periodically threatens to burn us to death in one almighty urban conflagration; and every beautiful cloudless winter’s day comes at a cost of more dryness. Will we become the first ghost city of the 21st century, as futurist Tim Flannery has suggested? The city has been synonymous with police corruption from the Rum Rebellion to Roger Rogerson. A “colourful” Sydney identity is not a snappy dresser. The city has run basically by the principle that so long as middle class voters can keep sipping their lattes and singeing their sausages and imagining that they live in a prosperous and fair society, then those that want to do evil can with relative impunity. We wake every morning to the news of another spray of bullets in the west, but who really cares? And far from being a united nations, the ethnic ghettoes of Sydney remain a visible sign of division right among us.

Oh dear absent lord, someone take me out the back and shoot me. Just allow me one last latte to sip before I go ...

What's worse, Jensen proposes to rail and rant about the soul of Sydney, and take its spiritual temperature over a series of posts entitled the "Seven Sins of Sydney", including "smutty little secrets".

What on earth would he make of life in Kabul, Homs, Beirut, Cairo, Kolkata or the slums of Johannesburg or even Alice Springs?

Well it goes to show that hellfire and damnation preaching finds a home on the strangest perches. The weirdest thing is that Jensen simultaneously and schizophrenically claims Sydney is a city he loves deeply and feels completely at home in, suggesting that its corruption might be generating a heart of darkness within him.

It seems it's a remarkable and beautiful city, prosperous and temperate (never mind the current weather), a glistening jewel (never mind the weather), delivering prosperity and delight ...

... but like a painted slut, like a wanton harlot, like a deviant filthy degraded whore - why is it always women, those tempting Eves, who are used as metaphors to express the vilest of human conditions? - the beauty is just a lipstick job, and cue the heart of darkness ...

And in the cruellest cut of all, as well as quoting Paul Kelly, Jensen quotes Tim Friedman blathering on about the city as a whore. Like the pimp he is ... (sorry, that only seems fair, what with women taking all the rap for Sydney's whorish ways).

Well we know where this is heading:

...the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8)

That's it Sydney and Sydney-siders, you whores of Babylon, you cheap painted jezebels, you're all doomed, you and your heart of darkness, doomed I tells ya ...

Phew, that felt good and cleansing, even if it did remind the pond of Akker Dakker delivering his sermons about the evils of lefties. Speaking of AC/DC, how about we sample his adjectives du jour in Carbon tax is a black cloud over local jobs?

Black clouds ... pounding the nails ... industry's coffin ... notorious scrap heap ... watch the corpse of the manufacturing industry grow cold ... tortuous duplicity ... spruikers of the global warming fraud ... destroy ... media-tart Howes ... political assassinated ... job-killing tax ... flawed assumption ... disconnected atmosphere of Canberra ... infamously lied ... fig-leaf of global warming to justify its commitment to the destruction of the Australian economy ... wilfully squandering ... destruction of our manufacturing heartland ...

Bilious bile heaped on bilish biliousness.

And yet not one mention of Tony Abbott's plan to slash subsidies for the alleged manufacturing heartland, the car industry (Crunch time for Australia's car makers). Not one mention of the current government's desire to shove money down the throat of a manufacturing sector which can't compete with China, unless everybody wants to work for Chinese wages ...

Conclusion? There's a lot of Sydney Anglican in Akker Dakker, and his love of doom-saying gloom, or perhaps a lot of AC/DC in Sydney Anglicans. Unless Akker Dakker can be explained away as the sophistry of ranting Jesuits ...

Or unless it's just more outpourings, rantings and ravings from a corporate empire once again revealed as notoriously corrupt, intent on the destruction of all ethical standards, wilfully squandering truth and justice in its greedy search for corporate power and profit.

Yep, this time it's The Sun in crisis, as you can read at The Guardian in Senior Sun journalists arrested in police payments probe.

Perhaps Michael Jensen's time might be better spent scribbling about the seven sins of News Corp. Heck, make that the thousand sins ... because surely Akker Dakker is a sin, if not a crime ...

(Below: what a relief to discover that Jesus actually had a soft spot for harlots and hookers, and possibly if he'd been able to travel cattle class to Sydney, he might have developed a soft spot for a latte by the harbour. Yes if you do it to the least of the latte sippers, then you do it unto him too).

1 comment:

  1. Dorothy, Jesus may have been liberal but some Sydney Anglicans are not


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