A very old man dies, the 'world' holds its breath

dominic

Beast of Burden
and having given you the certified satanist alan cabal, i now give you the bill donohue of the catholic league --

March 3, 2005
NEW YORK PRESS JOKES ABOUT POPE’S DEATH

On the cover of the March 2-8 edition of the New York Press, a free New York weekly, there is a picture of Pope John Paul II. The story is titled, “THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT THIS MAN DYING—OR IS THERE?” The story contains 52 of the most crude and vulgar jokes about the pope’s death.

Catholic League president William Donohue released the following statement about this story today:

“There are many in our society who have long been threatened by the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially those which address sexual ethics. Take the New York Press, for example. Its celebration of libertinism leaves it squarely at odds with the sexual reticence favored by Catholicism. It also leaves it squarely at odds with nature, which explains why attending funerals is not an uncommon experience for those who work there. But like a dopey dog who doesn’t recognize his master, they plod along never learning from the wisdom the Catholic Church has to offer. And, of course, they hate the pope. Which makes sense: he is the one man whose commitment to the truth has literally driven them over the edge.”

The Catholic League is the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.
 

dominic

Beast of Burden
dominic said:
taibbi's underlying argument hits many of the same points that k-punk makes . . . . or perhaps taibbi's not that sharp a critic and i'm merely reading k-punk into taibbi

i hope nobody thinks that i'd ever put taibbi in anywhere near the same class as k-punk

i mean only that the sentiments that inform k-punk's highly developed critical position are also present in taibbi's gutter sniping -- and whereas i admire, if not always agree, w/ k-punk, i do feel considerable contempt for what i take to be taibbi's intellectual sloth, lack of eros, and lack of style -- though to be fair to taibbi that's the alternative press industry standard -- why the alternative press doesn't raise the bar in light of the high calibre of writing & argument on many blogs is beyond me

and yet to be honest i also get a real frisson from the gutter sniping, the savagery of some the attacks they've launched against people -- the way they make everything personal -- so contrary to k-punk's method, for whom everything is structural

and i think that in this instance taibbi chose the right battle and used effective tactics -- i.e., appalling lack of respect for the pope and for the catholic church -- i.e., the very fact that taibbi could not be bothered to make an argument, that he had not even enough respect to do that much, is what makes the piece so effective -- and the roman church is built on respect for authority, respect for tradition, respect for the dead -- again, it does seem to me that there's an argument making its way through the 52 statements, and the argument seems to me very k-punkian

indeed this post by k-punk from last fall is highly relevant ----------- http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/004254.html

even the cheap imitation of hunter s. seems almost somehow an effective device, given the simultaneity of his and the pope's death -- hunter s. as the inversion of the pope
 
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dominic

Beast of Burden
dominic said:
but i agree w/ cabal that koyen regime lacked serious journalistic purpose

actually i take that back -- they've done several really good cover stories -- and w/ more political bite than stuff that village voice does, i.e., controversial pieces, not affirmation of received opinion

and i do like a lot of zaitchik's stuff, and i don't say that merely out of loyalty

and the story by the woman who enjoys getting black eyes was an interesting insight into the masochist mindset -- not merely a delectable tale for libertine readers, as cabal suggests

and their film reviewer armond white is quite good
 

jimet

Active member
anyway anyone got any jokes yet ?

Well, apart from the fact that Bono is clearing his diary in case he gets the job...
 

henrymiller

Well-known member
k-punk:
I'll brush aside the blanket reverene - this, for a man who headed an institution which has knowingly and systematically covered up child abuse in every place that it has any significant influence, and whose stated views on contraception have led to misery and death in Africa...

dominic, this isn't particularly structural, otm as it might be.
 

egg

Dumpy's Rusty Nut
enjoyed this one man debate, ta! and similarly enraged by blanket 'lovely pope' coverage.

have visited wonderful catholic monasteries etc and am reminded of the church's patronage of some incredible art

independent on sunday had some nice voxpops putting the other side more concisely than most editorial comment could have hoped to do.
 

k-punk

Spectres of Mark
It would be pointless to reheat the Passion of the Christ discussion --- accusing the film of anti-semitism is one (unfounded) thing (as I said, it is quite clearly an attack on established authority, power and wealth, which happened to be Judaic AND Roman in that context), but it strkes me as particularly odd to say that the film is full of 'superstition' - there are almost no supernaturalistic elements, all we are being asked to believe is that is possible not to give up on your ethical principles, that there ARE people who would rather die than submit to power and authority. What is superstitious about that?

A couple of other things.


Why is there felt to be a need to 'respect' people's religious views? Of course, ppl (even Catholics :D ) should not be persecuted, no matter not nonsense they believe. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be ridiculed and intellectually attacked. Ultimately, however, I think this culture of 'respect' is a symptom of increased secularism -- it is because white Europeans have no religious convictions that they think all religions should be accorded 'respect'. I think the crazed overkill of the coverage of the Pope is actually part of that. I cannot believe that the coverage of the death of the last pope, or indeed any other pope, has been anything like this in Britain.

It is also a symptom of an increasingly crazed faux-pietism and solemnity in the media when faced with death and disaster. It is as if the enforced consensus is what substitutes for any real shared convictions amongst people. The problem is that there is no sense of perspective: if anything the Pope's very timely demise seems to be getting more pious space in the media than the tsunami did... Since the Diana thing especially, the British media have been ratcheting up the crocodile tears production with every successive death and disaster... how far can this go I wonder?

That's partly because JP II was particularly skilled at selling his bigotry worldwide, and was a 'media pope' for a media age, but also because religion does not matter AT ALL to the white European media. For them, ethical and religious commitments are always the commitments of the other. What is mourned is precisely not someone who inspired the hacks and their readers/ viewers into 'moral' actions, but someone WHO WAS MORAL ON THEIR BEHALF. Although they describe JPII as an 'inspiring moral leader', were they 'inspired' by him to oppose contraception and abortion? Of course not....
 
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henrymiller

Well-known member
i kind of demurred at k-punk's 'this is a prostestant country' thing -- but WHAT THE FUCK is the archbishop of canterbury doing going to the pope's funeral???? it makes about as much sense as... oh fuck it. it's all bollocks. i don't want to believe it's ALL blair, but given that he has an opus dei type in the fucking EDUCATION dept...
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
It's a little like AJP Taylor's analysis of the outbreak of WWI - it was all down to European train timetables setting into motion something that was made inevitable years and years before.

The scheduling and scripts prepared for when the Pope popped his papal clogs havebeen ready to go for years. So, this sentimental blight all over our TV screens resembles a swarm of 1960s ICBMs exploding over today's shiny new out-of-town retail parks and starter homes. It's a spectacle to be enjoyed not endured.
 
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k-punk

Spectres of Mark
The Archbishop of Canterbury to attend?

LOL...

It's further proof that the Church of England is totally spineless and vacuous...

what about the fact that THE FUTURE HEAD OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND is not only going to attend, he is putting off his wedding in order to so do?
 

dominic

Beast of Burden
k-punk said:
It would be pointless to reheat the Passion of the Christ discussion

i heartily agree

k-punk said:
accusing the film of anti-semitism is one (unfounded) thing (as I said, it is quite clearly an attack on established authority, power and wealth, which happened to be Judaic AND Roman in that context)

i agree

k-punk said:
but it strkes me as particularly odd to say that the film is full of 'superstition' - there are almost no supernaturalistic elements

temptation scene in the garden -- w/ serpent

demonic figure appears several times

thunderstorm & earthquake at end

plus supernatural endurance while being whipped

k-punk said:
all we are being asked to believe is that is possible not to give up on your ethical principles, that there ARE people who would rather die than submit to power and authority

let's just say that i prefer your reading of the film over the film that i actually saw

and whatever the film's political & ethical argument, it lacked artistic merit

but again, i think we exhausted this issue last fall -- except that i had yet to see the film last fall, and so couldn't really participate in the argument -- such that i felt deprived

now that i've said my piece, i'm satisfied

k-punk said:
Why is there felt to be a need to 'respect' people's religious views? Of course, ppl (even Catholics :D ) should not be persecuted, no matter not nonsense they believe. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be ridiculed and intellectually attacked.

i agree --

and a cogent critique such as you provide is the best way to accomplish this, not that you lack for spurs and daggers

but a bit of savagery and ridicule also has its uses

k-punk said:
Ultimately, however, I think this culture of 'respect' is a symptom of increased secularism -- it is because white Europeans have no religious convictions that they think all religions should be accorded 'respect'.

yes --

nor is there any conviction in the modern enlightenment project -- o/w they'd do everything in their power to expose the pope -- cast ultimate judgment on him now that he's dead -- and expose the abusive dynamics of the god as father, pope as his highest and most devoted servant (and therefore father to the rest of us) fallacy

k-punk said:
It is also a symptom of an increasingly crazed faux-pietism and solemnity in the media when faced with death and disaster. It is as if the enforced consensus is what substitutes for any real shared convictions amongst people.

i agree

k-punk said:
religion does not matter AT ALL to the white European media. For them, ethical and religious commitments are always the commitments of the other. What is mourned is precisely not someone who inspired the hacks and their readers/ viewers into 'moral' actions, but someone WHO WAS MORAL ON THEIR BEHALF.

let's just say that no one actually wants to be moral -- and yet we all lament the loss of moral principles

we have contempt for ourselves and our leaders b/c none of us have morals

and yet the few who do have morals we think either ignorant fools (country & suburban bumpkins in middle america) or repressive authoritarians (the pope) -- and yet this contempt is expressed only in relation to the bumpkins -- not toward the intellectually dishonest pope -- perhaps b/c the pope has the last vestiges of authority, the patina of tradition -- whereas people recognize that folks out in the bible belt are in many respects modern all-too-modern, not too different from ourselves, i.e., fundamentalist christianity as a mere lifestyle choice, i.e., they're still bloated consumers
 
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dominic

Beast of Burden
dominic said:
let's just say that no one actually wants to be moral -- and yet we all lament the loss of moral principles

we have contempt for ourselves and our leaders b/c none of us have morals

i'm perhaps over-generalizing

a kind of morality informs critical thinking = intellectual probity

and there's a heroic morality that informs art, errrr, perhaps, maybe, probably not

and there's everyday common decency -- but that's not really morality, is it?

for the most part very few of us, if any, can justify the way we lead our lives -- a task that's very likely impossible at all times, not merely in our own times -- e.g., we all receive advantages that are not our due, that we have at great cost to others -- and we generally fail to make good use of these advantages, or to compensate the disadvantaged -- and this failure is not simply a function of selfishness, but of confusion over the nature of the good -- and such confusion is both (1) a product of intellectual probity, i.e., a refusal to be satisfied with inadequate solutions to deep philosophic problems (i.e., what is the best life, what is justice, what do we owe to others, and so forth), and (2) a product of the easygoing attitude that says fuck it, why bother with morality, all morality is rife w/ contradiction, there are no good answers, so i'll just live my life as i see fit, do things intuitively, follow my nose, follow my gut -- and then there's people who are not at all confused but utterly calculating, and they're the ones who rule (assuming they have certain advantages to start with, plus a certain kind of self-discipline)

xian morality could flourish only so long as men wore blinders

take off the blinders -- and you get the current situation of respect for all religions, respect for all ways of life -- respect that is nothing more than disguised contempt
 
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henrymiller

Well-known member
take off the blinders -- and you get the current situation of respect for all religions, respect for all ways of life -- respect that is nothing more than disguised contempt

RIIGHT. what 'current situation' are you referring to here? where is this 'respect' you speak of? kashmir? palestine? iraq? the tory party? i realize the theoretical capital accruing to this kind of argument -- it enables, say, slavoj zizek to get back a little of the old radical patina that academics of a certain bent enjoy, but it's total banana oil: this alleged 'respect for all ways of life' is fictitious. instead, what we have is some contempt -- and some tolerance. now it would be lovely if 'we' were all rational and so had no need for either (apparently -- what are you opposing to 'respect'?), but helas 'we' apparently aren't -- and tolerance would seem to me a better ideal than contempt.
btw i was in kracow during the funeral. it was strange, but hardly invited the hypochondriac 'no poperie' responses i've seen.
 

owen

Well-known member
now, i hate the sun as much as the next dole scrounging marxist, but their headline today is choice-

'from hitler youth....
to PAPA RATZI'
 
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