Tuesday, 19 May 2009
It’s the pope’s fault that I’m slowly turning into my father – old curmudgeon that he is.
You see, the grand wizard pontiff warned Muslim leaders recently not to misuse religion for political means. Which was a bit rich, to say the least. Before I knew it, I was shouting at the telly again.
I mean really, when has the Catholic Church ever restricted its meddling? Given the slightest chance, it interferes in all manner of things. Take their ‘loving and omnipotent’ god for a start, who, despite being responsible for our entire universe, would still like to micro-manage your sex life.
Only as a tactic of retreat has the Church ever attempted to restrict its interference. As it continues its inexorable decline into irrelevance for the vast majority of us, many factions of the church have retreated into the unfalsifiable territory of ‘Spirituality’ and become nothing more than a pathetic foe to the relentless force of rationality, science and human learning.
Yet the pope still pontificates upon morality like it’s his God given right to do so. Seriously, it boils my piss.
When it comes to the moral teachings of Christianity, or any religion for that matter, they are largely uncontroversial because almost any moral system must find a place for their tenets: Do to others as you would have them do to you, try to be honest, peaceful and considerate whenever you can.
Moral content peculiar to religion however, is invariably perverse, twisted and bizarre. Perhaps they are of their time – a one of violence, pestilence and poverty. Nevertheless, I struggle to understand why considering the Cormorant, Lapwing or Weasel unclean conferred any advantage to the faithful.
Religion offers nothing of specific value any more. What it does offer, distinct from other, rational codes of morality is miserable, sick and something we can do without, quite frankly.
Now mother, where did I leave my slippers?
Sunday, 10 May 2009
It saddens me how risk averse we’ve become as a society. Take cycle helmets for example. When I was a kid, we would rampage around town and country, helmetless and carefree with our hair flowing in the wind. Yes, some of us died from horrific head injuries, but the vast majority of us lived to tell the tale.
Oh how I miss my hair.
When I was eleven or so, I would spend long summer days with Taff, as he was called back then, on account of his Welsh parents, cycling all over town and not one person worried about our lack of protective headgear.
One of these wholesome days became a rite of sexual passage, when we discovered a discarded porno mag beside the road - the first I’d ever seen.
We scampered underneath a nearby motorway bridge to thumb through the rain wizened mag for gentlemen who appreciate jazz. I sat on it each time a car went past.
We giggled at the uncomfortable positions the models made with their “blow up doll” mouths and were secretly grateful for the diffusive power of humour. But my, how those beautiful women stirred me. How they mesmerised me as they stared out from the page right into my eyes - begging me to do things I did not fully understand.
We hid the magazine within a gap in the concrete bridge and made a spit on palm brotherhood pact not to return to the sequestered porno until the next day when we’d bring a bag to smuggle it into our bedrooms. Then went home for tea.
I sat at the dining table that evening cross legged, mind full of sumptuous breasts and underwear. Mother's mince pie no longer held the same attraction as it had. My internal battle to put the thing out of my mind was unbearable.
Ultimately, hormones got the better of me and I found myself pedaling full tilt back to the bridge in the evening sun. Fuck friendship I thought – this is important.
I rode past Taff, the bastard, cycling red faced and breathless in the opposite direction back into town. He even pretended not to see me. The fucker had a back pack on. It was then that I discovered that all’s fair in love, war and masturbation.
Which is another thing to lament. Because of our great, private Internet, there’s no need for paper based filth to be thrown out of car windows any more. I had built up a rather formidable collection of ‘road kill’ in my unconnected youth and regret that young men have lost this healthy incentive to cycle miles in the country.
These days I spend a lot of time running along roads trying to delay middle aged spread and haven’t come across porn for many years. Not that I’m still collecting, you understand. It’s just that I find it a sign of these modern times.
This morning as I ran, I noticed the paucity of jazz as usual, along with the plethora of beer cans, McDonalds and cigarette packs, but also plant pots, oddly. Eight of them in all - dispersed across six miles of roadside. They were each the black, thin plastic ones you get from the garden centre designed to take home your plant before being discarded once you’ve placed it in your border.
When I was old enough to cruise around in cars and throw stuff out of windows nonchalantly, I was more likely to smoke pot than to re-pot my begonias in the back seat.
The youth of today are very odd.
Wankers, you might say.