Monday, 14 April 2014

On slavery and the Bible

This post grew out of a recent comment thread on a certain social network. Without any ado, hereunder the full text of my final response:

"Yes, let's not cherry pick at slavery alone. There are many better arguments against God and the Bible. Compared to all the other sins we can chalk up on the scoreboard, slavery is a minor point. Let's see now...

Claiming equality because everyone is equally unworthy of grace and forgiveness misses the point. We are all equally worthy of existence because we share an existence on a tiny speck of wet dust in a universe so vast that we cannot comprehend the size of it but for the abstraction of advanced mathematics. That's what makes us brothers, not that none of us are "worthy" in the eyes of a being whose existence is asserted by certain Church-sanctioned ancients. Not to mention that the splinter of crimes against humanity in even the worst type of human's eye is microscopic compared to the astronomical beam, nay, forest in the eye of the being who (by all accounts) ironically arrogates to itself the right to judge everyone else. Israelites are fond of acting like they are have been made to suffer because they are the only ones whose god exists, but fail to address the fact that their "promised land" was obtained on the orders of a supposedly-loving god who ordered them to butcher each and every man, woman and child in a land grab exponentially bigger than anything in their history.

The Bible posits the existence of and supposedly reflects the character of the Judaeo-Christian god. That is still fine, many holy books do likewise with their own notions of a divine being. Unfortunately, the character of the god of the Bible is portrayed as being a deity who is capricious, fickle, cruel, xenophobic, patriarchal, homophobic, misogynistic, genocidal, hypocritical, racist and generally bigoted being guilty of the worst sort of war crimes known to man. If you can genuinely love a god who would condemn you to everlasting damnation and suffering because you fail to believe and jump through certain ritual and spiritual hoops, that speaks much better of you than of said god. If we have any absolute moral responsibility in life, it is not to become like God but to become morally superior to God."


Monday, 3 March 2014

Lost: Packed lunch, and bits of my soul

This morning, I finally had something of a personal breakthrough as pertains taking my writing seriously. I would use all my odd hurry-up-and-wait moments, those instances where one has moments of downtime while scripts or maintenance jobs ran, to input my scribblings and scraps of poetry, prose, insights and ramblings, scattered about my notebooks of the last half-dozen or so years. So I packed every single one of my notebooks, except not into my (full) backpack. Instead, I decided to use  a special lunch bag given me some months before. Some promotional thing, whose chief attraction for purposes of notebook storage was that it was exactly the right size.

You can probably spot where this goes wrong.

I arrived at work and noted its absence, but believed myself to have forgotten it at home. I remember wondering if my lunch would go off for being left outside the fridge.

I looked for it when I got home. My room was still locked. The lunch bag was not there. Neither was it in the rest of the apartment, not even after 27 consecutive searches.

I am seldom given to fanciful language, but I feel as if a chunk of my soul had been ripped out.

Keats or somebody, asked what a poem of his meant, said: "When I wrote that poem, God and I knew what it meant. Now only God knows."

My poems are snapshots of moments and mind states gone by. They were written by a different person in a different time and place. Irreproducible and priceless to me, trash to anyone else. Who steals my purse steals trash, but who steals my words robs me of bits of my past. I had all but forgotten how it feels like to be numb yet raw. Hello again....

The bag is a teal-ish promotional item from some garage chain. The notebooks are A5 96-page ruled notebooks in spiral bound and stitched flavours. There's one A6 item with a Winnie the Pooh sticker on the back. If you're reading this and if you use public (road) transport in Cape Town's southern suburbs, and believes you might have found something... please get in touch. A reward is not out of the question. If you can't mail me, please leave a comment below.

Dinner tonight: chocolate covered in chocolatey chocolate sauce. With vodka and grapefruit juice. And a banana. Judge not.