Sunday, January 23, 2011

trains of thought this week

"Yesterday, for Hannukah, I read a story on Hannukah to my children. It says that God exists and is very nice because every time someone tries to exterminate the Jews, He lets a few of them live to tell how cool he is. It reminds me of the stories with Attila maiming a surviving guy before saying “let him live, so he’ll tell everyone what we’re capable of”. Once again, I noticed how hard it is to find children literature for non-believing children. You’ll find thousands of books on Moses, Buddha, Mahomet, Jesus, hundreds of handbooks with naive pictures savantly telling you it’s good to believe in this God of love and progress, the One that so often treats women like furniture and non-believers like heating wood. But no book for kids hints at the non-existence of God. I would love a book called “God’a jerk”, or “Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy do exist, but as far as God is concerned I’ve my doubts”, “Calvin and Hobbes are losing their religion”, “Alice pisses in the font”, “Mouloud & Moshe are fed up with the gregarious bullshit they’re stuffed with, they’d rather be pals”. Yeah, it’s a lost cause, I know. Anticlericalism for children is not trendy. I was ruminating on that because the Figaro, a daily, wanted me to write something on spirituality, after Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men), the Rabbi’s Cat…I was thinking I should tell them what a miscreant I was…And while I was mulling on all that, somewhere behind Montmartre cemetery, I tripped– a hell of a fall. It was black ice of course, but some sick part of my mind couldn’t help thinking the God of my ancesters had found the time to punish me for my blasphemy. That’s the way it is : if religious guys get you when you’re a child, you’re fucked for the rest of your life! I couldn’t be more irrational about that : a non-believer who prays all the time. Who said I had to solve such contradictions ? The older I get, the more suspicious I am of consistent people."

"I'm also slow to know what I think, and slow to know how I feel: we're talking reptile time, rock time, empires rising and then crumbling to dust. I still haven't decided how I feel about Sandinista!, for example, and I've been thinking about it on and off since 1980. I tried to mark the fitful shifts in my thinking over a period of about 12 hours in my previous post, about the memorial in Tucson, to mixed effect, I guess."

"So, I would like to start a great paper recycling phase : Bibles for comics, based on a simple principle. You go to a comics dealer with a Bible, a Koran or a Torah and in exchange, you get a good comics album. It’s a win-win operation : you rid the society of Neanderthalian concepts while boosting the comics industry. Instead of learning that man is guilty and woman’s even worse, the children would start drawing Popeye and we would all get a break. Please don’t get me wrong : I don’t want to offend anybody and I do understand the archaeological interest of shepherd’s spirituality in the Near East thirty-three, twenty and thirteen centuries ago. I’m perfectly ready to admit that the holy books all have their own way of telling us how cruel man can be, and how unable we are to put up with one another. Religion is doubtlessly very useful to appeal to our basest, SM and domineering instincts. But hey, damn it, comics can do that too, they can also convey stupidity and violence and intolerance. So please be kind and support today’s artists instead of giving your pieces of silver to God, who doesn’t get any royalties. Let’s exchange Bible for comics, our cities will be cleaner and the comics industry will feel better. "
Peppy Jo

"So here’s a question as we bury 2010 and begin to get to know 2011: are you living to die? Have you dedicated your life to a certain way of dying in the hope of something better? My advice: live as Jesus did. Forget resurrection. Live as if this were it, and if the cold tomb is disturbed some time in the future, then so be it."

"The inability to act spontaneously, to express what one genuinely feels and thinks, and the resulting necessity to present a pseudo self to others and oneself, are the root of the feeling of inferiority and weakness. Whether or not we are aware of it, there is nothing of which we are more ashamed than of not being ourselves, and there is nothing that gives us greater pride and happiness than to think, to feel, and to say what is ours...If the individual realizes his self by spontaneous activity and thus relates himself to the world, he ceases to be an isolated atom; he and the world become part of one structuralized whole."
(HT to DD)

"I'm not always articulate, and sometimes I'm just crap, but I'm never ironic."

"And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds."

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