Sunday, 22 January 2017

Why the women marched

Ladies of the world, keep calm and learn something. All that's happened is that you've been rumbled. You've been found out. One man you disapprove of is inaugurated into a position of great power and that's all it takes for you to acknowledge what you pretend is not true.  For all the world to see, you now implicitly agree to the following. 
1.White men do matter. 2. The US is a beacon to the world and it also matters. 3. Women are women. 4. The colour pink (see images of marches) is a universally recognised symbol of the female sex, never mind its appropriation by gay rights. 5. Women have traditionally learned how to do things like knit, crochet and sew, which are jolly good skills to have (see below, 'Pussy Hat Project').

The Women's March on Washington D.C. is happening January 21, 2017! The Pussyhat Project launched Thanksgiving weekend! As of now, we have 4 days to knitcrochet, and sew 1.17 million pink pussyhats. Join the movement

6. Chivalry matters; it is shameful for men to speak crudely about women. 7.  There is no 'equality'; an equal-opportunity loud mouth like Donald Trump must be shamed specifically in regards to certain  groups 8. Women discriminate against men: Trump is neither suave enough (like Bill Clinton) nor deemed sexy enough (any pop or rock star) to get away with crude boasting uttered years ago in private though the favoured men could easily have indulged in it too, probably did, probably do. 9. Feminism hates successful men; why else would it revolt against a man who is surrounded by apparently happy and empowered, intelligent and beautiful women, both in his own family and at work? A man who was voted for by women too? 10.  The infamous 'grab them' comment - presumably the biggest trigger for the marches and 'pussy hats' - was correct. Yes, I'm afraid this worldwide 'movement' of women against Trump looks like a classic instance of protesting-too-much. Any woman who denies that we women can be complete tarts for a powerful male is a liar; or who disregards that a woman will prostitute herself for any sort of power. Hence the ubiquity, after decades of feminism, of women baring their flesh and promoting their sexual availability for gain, for career, for social media status, for all of the above and just basically at the drop of a hat if it will get them some attention. This truth is sad and complicated in its origins but the mere fact that it is truth is so uncomfortable, it sits so awkwardly with the demand for sexual respect rather than the earning of sexual respect, that it must be shouted down as loudly as possible, with as much irrational anger as possible.  And that's what the marches were in a nutshell: irrational shouting and anger. You've come  a long way, baby, from wanting to be valued as rational, but it's not a way forward.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

When you're famous you can grab them

Image result for joe biden, amal clooney

Has anyone fashionable commented on this photo of soon-to-be-former-Vice-President Joe Biden and Amal Clooney at Davos? Biden is the creepiest of serial touchers and gropers in US public life, yet as far as I know hardly, if ever, gets called out for it by the bien-pensants. This proprietal double hand grip on Mrs Clooney's, and the smarmy, condescending facial expression that goes with it, is proper 'yuk' territory. It ought to make anyone's blood boil. Get your hands off her, you creep! - should be the most polite response. So what, exactly, is Mr Clooney doing there in the background? Apparently finding something else so hilarious that he sees no problem with his wife being treated this way. I'll be happy to find a follow-up photo showing Clooney breaking up the Biden grab with outraged gusto - but somehow doubt there is one.

Friday, 13 January 2017

C.H. Spurgeon quote

Extract from Spurgeon's commentary on Job 36: 2: "I have yet to speak on God's behalf' (or 'there is more to be said on God's behalf'). Very good for those of us who are "of a nervous temperament and of retiring disposition" (bless!) and, for everyone, a reminder that the personal relationship we have with God through Christ in the power of the Spirit is only one facet of a Good News of the Kingdom that is also communal, universal and eternal.

"A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but 'a city set upon a hill'; he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one's self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth which is precious to ourselves is a sin against others and an offence against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and of retiring disposition, take care that you do not too much endulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church."

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Slouchy Betty

When grunge and heroin chic became fashionable in the 1990s fashion ceased to be interesting. Who were these clothes meant for? What was meant to be appealing about the slouching posture with which they were advertised? Now Sweaty Betty, the sportswear company aimed exclusively at women, are at it too. They used to feature models who had some posture, on the whole, and looked like they could be sporty, or else models who were genuine ballet dancers or yoga practitioners - as it's impossible to fake those activities. Their current campaign poster features a woman who looks like she couldn't lift a plate of peas. And if, despite appearances, she is athletic, then why style her so hideously?Image result for sweaty betty, posters

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The all-consuming self

Leisurely browsing the magazine racks of our local Waitrose yesterday, disposable cup of free capuccino in hand, my attention was caught by a National Geographic Special Issue on "The Shifting Landscape of Gender" entitled "Gender Revolution". The cover showed a group of young people where each person was arrayed in painstakingly chosen indie chic and ink, and each labelled with their preferred gender indentity. These young people are cool, the cover implies, they are the future: get used to it. In the tier behind this Special Issue was a "Special Publication" issue, also from National Geographic, with the title: "Jesus and the Origins of Christianity". That cover was an artist's rendition of the trial of Jesus ("Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri), with the Saviour mournfully looking down and away from the baying crowd below as Pilate gesticulates towards them, those pesky Jews, asking what what to do with The Man. The unambiguous answer, as we know from elsewhere, was 'Crucify Him!'. Thus, two unrelated National Geographic covers, displayed at Headington Waitrose,  encapsulate the current state of the West. Jesus, the only sure proof against the ragings of the unchecked self, is now the only 'Other' the West does not want to know. We Westerners are now those pesky Jews yelling 'get rid of Him!'. Every other 'Other' is good and welcome, so long as it (or whatever pronoun) can shore up the self in the illusion of its own goodness. The true Other, who takes you out of your self and highlights every single flaw in your self, can go back to where He came from, thank you very much: over there, in that battle-hardened parcel of land called Israel. And frankly, He can disappear from there or thereabouts too. The origins of Christianity, and Christians, are being eliminated from the lands surrounding Israel and possibly now in Israel, and the West could care less. The irony of these juxtaposed magazines in the midst of supermarket consummables - including the disposable cup and the 'free' coffee - is that it shows up the current crop of 'rights' as fundamentally consumer-driven. Once you go beyond obvious, scientifically provable characteristics such as race and sex (i.e. male or female), everything becomes 'I want' rather than 'I am'. Gay marriage wants to consume the accoutrements of traditional marriage; transgender wants to consume the stuff aimed at the opposite sex; the make-it-up-as-you-go-along 'gender revolution' wants to pick and choose from everything and anything like there's no tomorrow. This is all behaviour, not fact (unlike race and sex). Now, 'to consume' might sound like a benign thing to do, but at root it isn't. Consumption involves destruction, is by definition destruction. Trees were destroyed to print those magazines. Fuel was burned up to deliver them, for example. That's fine, the world is a big place. Resources can be managed. The problem with 'I want' behaviour rights is that they consume society itself. In order to elevate the consumer choice of the individual to such nonsensical depths of nature, science and language as choosing your own gender identity, institutions must be laid low. Law, public order, Church, marriage, a consensus of morality - including the notion that childhood innocence is worth protecting, even a consensus on reality itself: all must feed this 'revolution'. Bizarrely, many of the institutions go along with this (like National Geographic). Or, like law, Church etc, they actively seek their own immolation out of misplaced excitement at what appears new and therefore, it is assumed, better. So what we have are right-on people who would be outraged at the destruction of a far-away habitat rejoicing in the destruction of the social and cultural habitat that made their own lives possible. Here is Merriam-Webster's entry on the verb 'to consume':

Those Synonyms and Related Words are fearsome because they testify to the harsh reality of living in the Fallen world, the world as we know it. On the other hand, the "Antonyms" and "Near Antonyms" listed here testify to all the work that needs to be done - daily, consistently, gratefully - in order to offset the one-way direction of destruction. And those are beautiful words. The aggressive colonisation of daily life by made-up 'rights' requires there to be no tomorrow. Consumer identity gone rogue prevents the possibility of sufficient renewal and replacement to hand on a sane and healthy environment to our children. My browsing episode yesterday (much briefer than this post suggests) was capped by an unassuming publication lurking at the end of the magazine rack: the Dec 2016/Jan 2017 issue of something called "BBC World Histories". Its cover story: "Has the tide of history turned against the west?" Time will tell whether it has. Meanwhile, to change metaphors, there is a terrible concerted effort in throwing the West overboard.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Favourite videos so far

On this Feast day of Epiphany, the end of the Season of Christmas, here are my favourite clips bridging 2016 and 2017:

The Queen's Christmas day message

Jordan B. Peterson's "A New Year's letter to the world"

Nabeel Qureshi's ongoing vlogs about his life, his faith, and praying to be healed of advanced cancer

Woman of faith, secular martyr, saint: awesome, all of them.