Friday, July 18, 2008

Jesus festival in Sydney

I've already pointed out in my Antipodes blog article of 2 December 2007 entitled Reenactments [display] that historical reenactments tend to bore me. The most nauseating reenactments of all are those that attempt to recreate intense suffering and torture. Fortunately, I wasn't a spectator of the Catholic reenactment of Golgotha in the streets of Sydney last night, for this tasteless drama would have surely made me break out in an itchy red rash followed by fever and vomiting. Well, almost...

That ridiculous photo really makes me sick... like the images in the old movie Mondo Cane of Italians whipping their backs, during a religious procession, until they're bloody pulp. I'm nauseated primarily by the mindlessness of the creators of such a show in the streets of Sydney, who were no doubt reimbursed royally for their artistic efforts. Their production is senseless shit, with no links whatsoever to plausible history or facts. Their patron saint, no doubt, is Mel Gibson. They're playing for the gullible gallery, to suck them in. I'm saddened to realize that there are hordes of simple folk who need to gulp down such sick visual crap in order to be able to claim that their existence has a sense. They're deluded, of course, but they'll never be educated enough to know it. So, they jubilate innocently and eagerly in this reenactment of their poor lord and would-be savior attached to a structure that reminds me of a massive concrete pylon in the expressway at Circular Quay. Back in the pioneering days, Australia donated eucalyptus trees to Israel, to clean up the coastal swamps. It's utterly ludicrous to imagine for an instant that ancient Palestine, at the epoch of Jesus, might have possessed trees capable of providing timber for such a great cross as in Sydney 2008. But who worries about facts?

The thing that disturbs me most is that compatriots in my native land as a whole, rather than just a handful of silly pilgrims, might be appreciating all this superficial papal bullshit. I'm sure there'll be descriptions, in next Monday's Sydney Morning Herald, of hedonistic papal parties in luxurious residences on the foreshores of Sydney.


  1. Hi William,

    I couldn't agree with you more. There are many people here who are quite unimpressed, even totally irritated by all this nonsensical bullshit. Amazing that the church can spend so much time and money on this bizarre celebration yet find it so difficult to apologise and to provide adequate compensation for the victims of sexual abuse by priests. One of the abusers was even officiating at the WYD events until he was spotted by some he had abused and then was subsequently removed. I was brought up a catholic and am very much "lapsed" but I don't remember this kind if stuff even going on when I was young. It's like they're getting kids worked up into some kind of "crowd fever" to brainwash them. It's not to different too all those right-wing "Hillsong Happy Clappers." We called them "God-botherers" at Uni and I think if there was a God then he/she would be cracking up at their childish antics. I won't even start on that reprehensible Pell stating that he is a climate sceptic and that we aren't producing enough children!!!!

    Gwen [from Woolgoolga/Gtafton]

  2. When the other pope came to France (more than 10 years ago) I lived in the 7th arrondissement of Paris (nearby the Champ de Mars, like now, but on the other side), rue St. Dominique, one of the main streets people used to go from the metro station to the Champ de Mars (meeting place). I think I passed the worst days of my life listening to thousands of people passing under my balcony singing/praying all day. As it was a quite hot summer, I couldn't even close my window in order to have some peace.

    According to French newspapers, BXVI (as he calls himself) wants to look like a modern pope: in the text messages he sends to people he uses "u" instead of "you". What a progress!

    Next time they should invite "Fratello Metallo" - he seems to be an open minded monk.

  3. Hey, Brother Metal is great! You're so right, Corina. On the part of the Catholic organizers of the rock-n-rolly tour of BXVI, the absence of this Italian heavy metal monk in Sydney was an inexplicable sin of omission.

  4. Hi Gwen,

    If I were to carry on believing (as was once the case) that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are private affairs concerning only the believers, I would never have become as anti-religious as I now am. I used to think that religions are clearly based upon childish nonsense and a traditional belief in magic, but that believers are happy to stick to their respective faiths, and that these naive folk do no harm. So, they should be left alone to believe in their archaic false systems.

    My attitudes changed completely after September 11, 2001 and the proliferation of would-be Muslim martyrs expecting to meet up with their personal harems of willing young virgins in Paradise. If religious junk of this kind could persuade a young idiot to blow up himself and others with a bomb attached to his belt, then clearly religion had become a terrible enemy of harmonious society as I see it. Then, on the other side, there was the nasty nonsense of George W Bush allegedly receiving military-oriented instructions from his Christian god. Meanwhile, in the Holy Land, when we observe the intense hatred that now infests the air of Hebron, say, it is time to question the humanity (in a broad social sense) of the alleged descendants of Abraham.

    To my mind, all this has become too much. Today, I look upon religion as an obnoxious virus, like Aids. Society has moved far beyond the nice harmless stage of bar mitzvah ceremonies, Sunday school confirmation lessons, head scarves to protect the intimate features of Muslim girls, etc. Religion has declared war upon intelligent society. Our defensive arms, henceforth, will be objective thinking, outspoken words (such as those of Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett), basic humanitarian morality based upon love, and Science with a capital S.