Displacement activity

So it seems that some of the usual suspects among the cultural great and good – Stephen Fry, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman – have signed up to a campaign in opposition to the Pope’s visit.

I’m not Catholic, not remotely religious at all in fact, but it seems obvious to me that the Catholic church AND the Catholic religion is regularly demonised by our culture (and in our culture) because it is ‘of ‘ us and therefore fair game. To that extent it is an expression of cultural self-loathing.

It’s quite impossible to conceive now of a member of the Catholic hierarchy being portrayed in a book, film or other cultural product as anything other than an agent of conspiracy. There is The Da Vinci Code of course; however even in films like The Omen, the Catholic priest is the evil-doer, the one responsible for introducing the anti-christ into the world and then covering it up. Catholicism is portrayed as synonymous with hypocrisy, and hypocrisy is now the number one sin in our society – in fact, it’s the only real sin for which one can be punished.

Most importantly, the glee with which some people have fallen on the current woes of the Catholic church, re child molestation, is evidence, I’d suggest, not of some great sense of virtue and morality on their part, but more of a sense of relief: they are too frightened to confront the rise of radical Islam, and so grab at the opportunity to portray Christianity as just as evil, just as corrupting – if not more so – than any other religion. It helps that the Catholic Church is, so to speak, Western.  

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"