How The Conclave of Creepy Old Men could erode women’s reproductive rights

1 Mar

Just when you thought Opposition Leader Tony Abbott might have pulled his dessicated head in on the topic of abortion in Australia, up pops DLP Senator John Madigan to take over the megaphone.

Madigan declares himself to be “unashamedly pro-life.” Guess what, so am I except when I’m unashamedly pro euthanasia, but that’s another story. Personally, I’m not acquainted with anyone who is avowedly anti life, probably because they’d have to take their own if they were to stand by their principles.

The good Senator for Victoria also counts rabidly anti choice and former Independent Senator for Tasmania Brian Harradine, as his personal hero.

Harradine, as readers of this blog will remember, employed as his ethics advisor anti-abortion campaigner, all-round morals defender & “don’t call me a Baptist or I’ll sue you” celebrity Melinda Tankard Reist, during the period when he managed to deny women at home and abroad access to reproductive information, and the drug RU486. You can refresh your memory if you’d like to at my post, “Who would Jesus Sue?”

There is a possibility that after the next election Madigan may find himself in a situation similar to that enjoyed by Harradine – holding the balance of power in the Senate. It was this privilege that allowed the former Senator for Tasmania to impose his anti choice vision not only on Australian women, but on women in developing countries as well, in exchange for telephones for Tasmania.

Madigan’s argument, if such offensive twaddle can be dignified with the name, is that Australian women in great numbers are availing ourselves of abortions when we are unhappy with the sex of the foetus we are carrying. It happens overseas, he claims, therefore women in this country must be doing it to such a degree he has to introduce legislation to stop us.

Madigan makes these claims based on no evidence at all, but what the hell, who needs evidence, everybody knows women are lying, scheming, unhinged humans, who will do anything we like to a foetus unless a man stops us. Oh bugger, I didn’t want a boy/girl, we say, and stop off at the abortion clinic on a Friday afternoon before we go to the pub.

What women need is for our politicians to call a halt to this stupidity. I am going to make a generalisation here and say women do not, usually, take abortion lightly. It’s time creepy male politicians stopped acting as if we do. In my life I have met only one woman who regarded abortion as a form of contraception, and I didn’t find her tough radical stance convincing.

Apart from anything else, unless you’re somehow involved with the foetus a woman is carrying, what she decides to do about her pregnancy is nobody’s business but hers. There is something hideously creepy about ageing white men like Abbott, Harradine and Madigan spending so much of their time focussed on what women do with our bodies. The image of them indulging their nasty pre-occupations makes my skin crawl.

The only reason to take notice of Madigan’s “let’s have a Tea Party” anti choice views, is the concern that he might chuck a Harradine. With the anti choice Abbott in the running for PM, and the quaintly named “Pro Life Labor” conclave as well, we might find ourselves yet again fighting for our fundamental reproductive rights.

Gentlemen, there is much for you to occupy yourselves with as you progress through your political lives. Please be assured that women are very capable of making considered decisions about our reproductive health, and that we do know where to go for advice when we need it. Your obsession with our reproductive practices is impertinent, and most unhealthy.

Your obsession also insulting, however, as the man who was kicked by a donkey observed, we will, this once ,overlook the insult, upon considering its source:

Braying White Donkey

Braying Ageing White Donkey

156 Responses to “How The Conclave of Creepy Old Men could erode women’s reproductive rights”

  1. Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    It’s also time female prime ministers stopped having clandestine meetings and signing deals about who knows what with the likes of the ACL.

    (Not that it matters as much now,given her imminent demise.
    There are a few rigid policy agendas the ACL chase and abortion is top of the list,followed by gay marriage.

    And speaking of pro-life, I have witnessed more ‘so called’ Christians calling for the death penalty on the blogosphere,than I have atheists.Go figure.


  2. atomou March 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Ay, ay, JW! Old farts whose only aim in life is to foul the planet with their analities.
    But don’t forget the similarly minded old (some of them even young, too) women. A quick gander at both floors of Parliament will give you an idea of how prevalent these prehistoric views are. In my other life as an ALP candidate (twice in the 70s) I’ve met a frightening number of them. Stupidity knows no gender barriers. Truth be known, our PM wouldn’t be that far away from that -dare I say it?- misogynistic view, despite her parliamentary outrage.
    We must take care not to let our guard down on them while we shoot all our arrows at the male species. Vile creatures the both of them.
    But the best way to demolish this view, IMHO, is to somehow, shut down religious institutions because that’s where these inhumane views are born and nurtured in the greater numbers.


    • Jennifer Wilson March 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      You are quite right atomou, stupidity is no respecter of gender.
      As for the PM: perhaps her Baptist upbringing influences her views?


      • helvityni March 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

        …and Abbott is influensed by Catholic Church and Cardinal Pell…


        • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

          Yes.As I have been saying,neither is a sane choice.


      • atomou March 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

        JW, she has admitted as much one evening on Q&A when asked about gay marriage. She said her family is a conservative Baptist (academically interesting to know if she was actually baptised) and that she was influenced by them. I can only suggest that either, she’s being a dutiful daughter while her mum is still alive and she will change her views once mum is gone, or the Baptist brain washing lingers on, even though she declares an atheism – of sorts.

        We must certainly keep an eye on the conclaves but we mustn’t take it of the convent. The life-smothering blight of religion is not chauvinist.


      • doug quixote March 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

        She probably hates being called out as a Baptist because she is trying to get a united Christian front, with the Pell Catholics and the Jensen Anglicans, and the usual conservative protestant holy rollers.


      • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #

        I didnt know MTR was PM?


  3. AnnODyne March 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    agree totally and of course, JW. whenever I read “unashamedly pro-life” I cannot avoid humming Every Sperm(atozoa) Is Sacred, while thinking that the two Paddys Madigan and Harradine must think their own ejacul@te is holy water FFS.
    I just deleted 3 paras.
    I knew I wouldn’t be telling you anything you didn’t already know.

    oh dear ‘pro-life’ just pulls the pin on my brain grenade.

    Right now there is a vicious criminal on the loose in Melbourne because Plod gave him day release. One of his crimes was to rape a girl every day for 8 months. It is not his worst crime. all are against women. Moron Madigan should be squawking about this issue instead.


    • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Or about the Catholic sex abuse plague.
      Check out the last couple of posts here
      to see the cosy little cliques around the place.

      Again,probably telling you something you already know>


    • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      He’s pure red-state Tea Party, amazing ow much of our politics is now directly influenced from the USA…the down side is that normal people are now assailed with repeated visions of people dressed as condoms singing silly songs (shrugs shoulders).


  4. 8 Degrees of Latitude March 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Abortion fails the public policy test because it is (1) primarily a religious question for those who oppose it as a surgical procedure and (2) an intensely personal matter for the woman (and in many cases the man) involved.

    I too have never met a woman who views abortion as a contraceptive device: not even a radical exception (but I’ve evidently lived a sheltered life…)

    I’m not sure my own ethics, which are in no way religion-based, would allow me to terminate a healthy, viable foetus I was carrying. But since I’m male that was never going to happen and common sense therefore suggests the wisdom of retreating from a front-foot position.

    Pregnancy termination is a public policy matter only at the periphery: in relation to the expenditure of public funds on the procedure and associated aspects. The sooner politicians of all partisan persuasions, creepy, old, or otherwise, realise this the better.

    It doesn’t matter what the John Maddigans, Melinda Tankard Reists, Brian Harradines and others think, beyond their right to argue their case: Australia is a secular society, de facto by a large majority across the political spectrum and de jure in the constitutional sense.

    We should fund public health on the basis of utility, not on subjective, contested ethical and moral grounds, or in the sectarian cause of religion. And parliamentarians should always be able to exercise a conscience vote on questions that touch on ethical, moral and religious matters.


  5. paul walter March 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Saw that on FB and experienced the same intense irritation. My god, they are obstinate, these Tea Party types and so like the climate change denialists who also are wilfully ignoring of realities and facts because it doesn’t suit them.
    There are of the superstitious out there still to give critical mass to the capture of a senate seat, though.


    • Jennifer Wilson March 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      And this is the problem, in your last sentence. What to do about tht?


      • helvityni March 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

        Don’t vote climate change denialists and pro-lifers in power, thats for starters. Isn’t Abbott one of those.


      • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

        Euthanase them?
        On the previous topic re Morrison, Bianca Hall, ABC, presents figures that demonstrate that asylum seekers on temporary visas are 45 times less likely to commit a crime than the norms.


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) March 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

        Paul Walter says: “There are [enough?] of the superstitious out there still to give critical mass to the capture of a senate seat, though.”

        Did Senator Madigan become elected by securing a senate quota outright, or was he able to be elected on the basis of having done the best out of all who failed to secure a quota outright, perhaps with a level of genuine primary voting support significantly less than might otherwise be required to put a candidate into the Senate?

        If the latter, should we not more fully question the possibility of otherwise inadequate genuine electoral support being somehow ‘augmented’ sufficiently to push such candidacies over the line?

        I think that it could be the failure to consider that possibility that could be the real problem.


        • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

          Steve Fielding or Harradine all over again?
          Both the ALP right and the Tories get to tinkering busily behind the scenes long before an election, Sinodinis-style.


  6. doug quixote March 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    The same battles need to be re-fought over and over again. The conservatives and reactionaries will push back wherever they can, and perhaps this is a timely reminder for those who see no great harm in Abbott PM.

    Expect the Commonwealth under Abbott to limit funding for “family planning” wherever they can, to reduce the availability of abortion, to limit the access to contraception especially amongst the young and vulnerable. And of course to make it a requirement to have “counselling” before abortion, to make it more expensive and more difficult to get.

    And as for the “morning after” pill, forget it.

    Don’t like Labor? Get ready for a return to the 1950s.


    • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      You can not possibly have any idea what depths Gillard is prepared to plumb, since her ‘private’ deal with the ACL.If it were a close contest next time Gillard would sell her should all over again and then some.
      Get rid of Gillard and the AWU Howe type influence and your point might mean something.Until then she is 99% Abbott SO FAR!)


      • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

        “sell her soul, all over again”


        • helvityni March 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

          Hypo, there are two choices, Abbott and Gillard. Do you really think Abbott would do a better job. Can you see the Greens going to bed with someone who thinks climate change is bull-dust.We have just been told that we had the hottest ever summer since we started recording temperatures…


          • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

            You only see two choices.(in fact one,if we are being accurate) That’s your baggage,not mine.


            • helvityni March 2, 2013 at 9:32 am #

              No, Hypo, what I see is Labor and Liberal, and as I prefer Labor I don’t care if the Leader is Julia, Rudd, Combet or whoever, and I would tolerate Liberals if Turnbull was the man, but I don’t see it happening…also I don’t respect any one else on that side…
              I always thought that Brown was an honourable politician, but we don’t do green PMs as yet… 🙂


              • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 9:37 am #

                Fair comment, Helvi although they are all disappointments in some way.
                Still, who says we deserved better?


              • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 9:47 am #

                The people(labor) people who end up voting Labor out ALSO ‘preferred Labor-past tense.
                But sadly Gillard as we now know (yet some naively deny) is simply a muppet for one union and the slaughter hand who wrecked Labor.
                So as much as I’d like to agree, and to vote Labor, the matter of what the leader stands for,comes into it.Given whatever it is is totally unrecognisable as Labor, I will not license her (Howe et al) poisonous ways.


              • AnnODyne March 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

                seconded. when I told (this year) the assistant to one of the top 3 in Canberra government, that I would vote LIB if MTurnbull was #1 on 14 Sept, he replied “half of Labor would too”
                2. Anne Summers opinion piece on Julia Bashing, in SMH/Age today, is the talk of Twitter.


        • atomou March 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

          I played with the word shoulder for a minute there but realised that Abbott had the stronger offer, when it came to selling body parts and orifices, so you must have meant soul, though that too perplexed me for another second or so, wondering what made you think she had one. Still and all, a wink is as good as a nudge, what?


          • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

            She has at least two R souls.
            Hers and Howe.


      • doug quixote March 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

        You really are seriously deranged if you think Gillard is anywhere close to Abbott on this issue! She has been PM for two and a half years. Has she moved to limit abortion? Limit access to contraception? No, to the contrary if anything.

        Are you really too pusillanimous to admit this?


        • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 12:16 am #

          How do you or anyone else know where Gillard sits on anything.
          Have you been speaking to Howe?
          As an example, hours (not even) before gutting Rudd she assured him of her undying loyalty, while his enemies told her it was now or never.
          The word NO thanks never crossed her mind.
          Just because YOU cannot imagine similar things happening to appease the likes of the ACL, should the need arise shows your total political vacuum.
          The proxy PM you defend, who is out there campaigning, claims there is no campaigning going on.
          Is she for real?
          Are you?
          Are you stilling willing to bet your gonads she will win by ten seats?
          I have plenty of spare wall space to hang them, and I am rapidly becoming a gambling man.


          • doug quixote March 2, 2013 at 8:46 am #

            Gillard is very complex, as I’m sure I’ve told you before. As for “now or never” she could have said no and allowed Rudd to lead the sinking ship to electoral disaster in 2010. Rudd was a shot duck; your memory may have defects in that regard, but mine is quite clear.

            We are still six months away from the only poll that matters, and yes I think it is winnable.

            As for campaigning, Abbott has been in campaign mode since late 2009 – he can’t help himself. :

            “We wuz robbed” in 2010 – that nasty Julia pulled Kevin away just when we had him where we wanted him and then stitched up a deal with the Independents who couldn’t trust me to lie straight in bed and then we couldn’t force an election on that nasssty carbon tax precious but we will get them precious yes we will, them and their nasssty good economy and welfare, yess we will preciouss!”

            (Tony Gollum rubs hands and licks his own rump as he capers around) LOL


            • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 9:43 am #

              You lost me when you said,
              “to lead the sinking ship to electoral disaster”

              ^DQs gonads hanging on the wall……^


    • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Doug, just read of a nasty thing in NSW that backs up your case, in the removal of a requirement that notification is forwarded within 24 hours of their detention to an appropriate body, some thing which would relate to the monotonous streams of deaths in custody for that group in this country, eg Mulrunji.
      Any notion that Abbott will go soft ought to be treated with derision and any restrain left with the conservative states will immediately evaporate also. This is real- equivalent to playing with snakes on the basic that they might not be Taipans


      • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

        The argument that one exponent of toxicity should be rewarded over another is absurd.
        The structure of the parliament has also sorts of possible permeations.
        The fact that you see only two is problematic.But as I said to Helvi, not problematic to me and the tens(in not hundreds) of thousand s of voters who refuse to reward a different shade of abhorrent political opportunism.
        Where you vote motivated by fear,I (and those others mentioned) will be exercising our principles.Please don’t denigrate them by claiming Gillard has anything more redeemable left,save a big wad of cash,which will go up in flames in about 5 laps of west Sydney, to never be seen again.
        Over the months you and DQ and others have steadfastly deferred from turning the spotlight on Gillard,in any way shape of form.All you do is praise the few good things her Ministers ‘may’ have delivered.And now that you know that Howe runs the show,even less focus on her motives.
        You can never have a fair go,if you don’t even take the first step of the process, which is to have a fair appraisal.And to do that you must look at what has been done,not at what might be done.
        So please stop with the bullshit.She is a pariah who will be smashed and rightfully so.


  7. atomou March 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Sarah Hanson-Young on the Drum tonight. What a treat! Good on you Julia Baird for inviting her. Corinne, of course, should be our PM!


    • helvityni March 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

      Pity that Bob Brown is not the leader anymore, a big loss to the Greens, don’t you think. Leigh Sales was pretty rude to him the other night; he kept his cool.He would have made a good PM.


    • hudsongodfrey March 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

      Thanks for the tip. Watched it on iView. Two women with some most refreshing attitudes.


      • Jennifer Wilson March 2, 2013 at 9:17 am #

        Did you find SHY’s benign attitude to Sinodinos perplexing?


        • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 9:35 am #

          So there is a clip to gathered up sometime doing the day?.
          Nice kid the SHY, but not Bob Brown, all over the shop compared to him, or even Milne. But (if)her heart’s in the right place, she’ll get there.


          • helvityni March 2, 2013 at 9:42 am #

            Yes, she has a good heart, and she cares…even about asylum seekers, give her few years and shell be as good as Brown.It’s lovely to see some one so idealistic in politics.


        • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

          As Corrinne said it is irritating when people shrug off serious oversights as if the rules simply don’t apply to them. But I kind of Get that SHY realises that nothing is probably going to be done about it and that it is probably going to come to little more than a partisan political storm in a teacup ending with bruised reputations and slaps on the wrists all round.


  8. gerard oosterman March 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    And then in South Africa they drag a foreign man to death behind a vehicle and there is outrage while here a foreign student is tasered to death by an army of police and …all remains eerily quiet.


    • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Yes I saw that.For a parking infringement.
      (He actually died later in custody, from head wounds.Not hard to join the dots)
      South Africa hasn’t changed much,really.
      Oscar Pistorius is a legend, and there is only an outrage made of black deaths like this,if someone captures the image.


    • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      Saw the clip, what animals cops become when they become a posse.


      • Hypocritophobe March 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

        The uniform can neutralise ethnicity when there are notches on ones belt to be had.


  9. hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Honestly the people you come up against whenever you try to make any kind of pro-choice argument may have more of a problem respecting women’s choices than men’s, but basically their real problem has more to do with complete and utter distrust of anyone they disagree with. That, and the imagined right they think it affords them to intervene in matters that are none of their business.

    It has long amazed and confounded me that people who seem to want to set all kinds of limits on the manner of life and death, on the right to exercise reproductive freedom and who’s allowed to marry still can’t even manage to discern the most basic kind of limits being those between private and public morality.


    • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 3:08 am #

      Seems very much to do with an aggravation or heightening of the fight or flight instinct. Is it a reversion to the behaviours of monkeys in trees?
      It seems we cant exist out of either a real or symbolic jungle. Put in a palace, we’d defecate in the corners, just to feel at home?
      In the absence of tangible and leopardy type threats, we invent night terrors and phobias at imaginary perils hidden in the dark.
      Even tho the danger has past, we still live in fear and and manipulate others, this extending from the baseless fear.
      I think you raise an interesting question and hope others ponder it also.



      • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 9:47 am #

        I think it is something like that. It seems basically irrational, but as a rational person who knows these others are unintelligent I think we could do well to better understand the psychology of it.

        If, for example, we can say of anything from dementia to homosexuality that they rise out of something that can be naturally explained, and might even tend to do likewise with emotions as slippery as love and hate, then why not ask those questions in the broadest possible sense?

        I guess that is one direction we could take the conversation, and there are those who in fact want to go there even at the risk of finding that all of our thoughts and emotions reduce to impulses controlled by mechanisms that may one day be properly, not just understood, but found to be somewhat deterministic or absolute in nature. Even I don’t like the idea that those conclusions might be true, but I don’t know that we can rule out the possibility.

        What I do know is that far from saying we’d be thinking different kinds of things from religion in going down those paths I think the notion of possible scientific absolutism draws us down a similar path.

        Most religions, and certainly Christianity as the subject of this discussion, speak to the idea of moral absolutism that derives from a deity. There’s a world view there that says there must be a right and a wrong for every situation that is objectively discernible can be codified and used to serve a kind of greater good that often requires us to pass judgement on one another. So the problem if we derive absolutism from the deterministic impulses of a clockwork brain is that giving what they call god a lab coat and a different name doesn’t actually bring us to a different kind of conclusion about moral agency in a more subjective personal sense.

        So what I’d be wanting to point out is that the above are just reflections of two completely unproven concepts neither of which we’re anywhere near saying are even studiable. I could expand on the whole god hypothesis celestial teapot paradox, but you’re probably aware of it, and it is more important to balance that by saying that where we confuse metaphysical concepts of mind with science then I think we come up against a similar paradox. We’re giving questions we’ve identified names like the concept of mind to explain how things seem to us in the same way that god seems to people who believe in one. We know what either of these things mean in various contexts, but we may not prove or disprove either.

        And thus it is that I think we make room for the subjective expression of self, because even if it is poorly understood in any more empirical kind of fashion, we know as individuals that we value it most highly among all other aspects of our psychological sense of well being. Its why we prefer choice, understand that preference, and value it so highly that for the most part even among religious people we’re highly unwilling to take free will off the table.


        • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 9:50 am #

          Typo in the first line… others aren’t unintelligent…. obviously I hope 🙂


          • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 9:52 am #

            Typo halfway down….

            Even I don’t like the idea that those conclusions might be true, but I don’t know that we CAN’T rule out the possibility.


            • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 10:39 am #

              Divine intervention/s ?


        • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 10:10 am #

          The problem is that even ‘lay’ believers (enter the likes of Madigan) see themselves as evangelists , channelling God and issuing edicts on his behalf, which is what DQ was saying.
          “God told me so.”
          And yet they cannot explain how God knows ‘so’ much and yet really knows FA.
          And why God would choose to evolve and update.
          Some people need to drown themselves in enigmatic crap, because it beats having to think for yourself and participate, as opposed to pontificate.
          It’s easier to do a Pontius Pilate, self absolve,pay the Piper and keep on trucking.
          Why actually go the coal face and ‘get down and dirty’ healing the world when you can sponsor a cult to do it for you.
          h the cruel irony that the cults are the problem.It’s like paying a bikie to beat you up.
          Sorry, but it’s all just a wide reaching mental illness to me.Just differing levels of affliction and symptom display.


          • atomou March 2, 2013 at 10:18 am #

            We need an alien doctor. Preferably from Mars or beyond.


            • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 10:29 am #

              No.What we need is conscription for believers.Wars are the perfect place.
              And they all get to go to heaven when things go pear shaped.
              Kind of like the perpetual crusades in the Middle East, as per now.


              • atomou March 2, 2013 at 10:53 am #

                Are you gonna tell them conscripts about the heavenly virgins, too??


            • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

              Time Lord?


              • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

                Please don’t let it be the latest one.


              • atomou March 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm #



        • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 10:35 am #

          That’s a platinum reply, onya hudson godfrey.
          Must sort some stuff out and allow this to work its way through what few braincells I have left, before talking further with the rest of ewe.


      • atomou March 2, 2013 at 10:03 am #

        Paul, you’ve told a lovely Grimm brothers tale but to what purpose?
        Some problems humans face are so personal and so deeply held that it is understandable if their answers are expressed with quite some vehemence. That does not mean that they have rushed back down the tree of evolution, to become monkeys again with only the single, bipolar instinct of fight or flight guiding them.
        Some of them are very complex thinkers; though, I admit that, when it comes to the choice v pro-choice syllogisms, the argument becomes one of, “my god says so, so shut the fuck up v there is no god, so shut the fuck up.”

        It’s when that happens that we end up at a Godwin’s Law impasse. The moment god’s been mentioned the argument is over and the collocutors might as well turn their bums to one another and walk away.

        Unfortunately this happens all too often, mainly because the issue has been politicised by proxy. This issue (about life, woman’s body, woman’s choices) is not about what is right but about us (ie, the god people) wanting to sit on the throne of Parliament v them (ie the non-believers). The winner does not win the argument but the throne.

        And THAT is what it’s about, when it comes to debates about “morals” and “values,” and other such abstract notions, of which abortion is one. It’s just another proxy war conducted by the Poxytoxy People in power. There are a great many others, of course, from pollution to taxes and the blood on the battle fields is coagulating and hardening like the lava that has snuffed out Pompeii, from all these wars.

        This time however, this war has become so aggravating for the intelligent onlooker, because one of the sides has betrayed its followers, its soldiers. Gillard, who flies the flag of the atheists, is behaving more piously, more sectarian, than Abbott, whom her followers think of as a newfound Genghis Khan, their worst enemy.

        What to do?
        Turn your bum to both of them and walk away. Come back when it’s all over because the result, the conclusion, will be the same except for the fact that both sides will be diminished in energy and potency and perhaps then, you can march in and, with the swords of reason, you give them the coup de gråce.


        • atomou March 2, 2013 at 10:16 am #

          …which, of course is what Benus Dickus has done to the thronum magnum vaticanum! Turned his arse at the shits to give them all time to kill each other (much like Oedipus’ sons Eteocles and Polyneices, in Thebes):


          • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 10:22 am #

            No way.
            He just wanted to get out to avoid the crossfire, or worse still take a direct hit.
            Fear makes his sphincter palpitate as much as anyone else’s.
            That’s the design flaw in Godism.


            • atomou March 2, 2013 at 11:36 am #

              Well, yes, that too. The chance of getting hit by crossfire is very real, particularly in a roman blood bath.
              He knows his roman history very well, we are told. He knows well what happened when Hannibal and Spartacus and Actium and Phillippi and a countless other series of battles that have sent the souls of brave men to Hades and their bodies made food for dogs and for the birds of prey (Can’t contain my lapses into homerisms!) ensued in previous contests. He wasn’t going to be a part of another one.

              He’d rather be a pilgrim. I wonder what he thinks of Chaucer’s views on pilgrims – or John Wayne’s.


              • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 11:53 am #

                No way would Benny and the Duke get compared.And given he may have left for reasons of self preservation, and that his exit(stage left) was via a helicopter,
                the terms ‘chickens in choppers’ comes to mind.


        • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 10:19 am #

          Yes.Last paragraph.Good plan.

          But first, people need to see (acknowledge) the choice laid out before them.
          That’s the bit that toughens the meat on the forehead.


        • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 10:37 am #

          That, too is a remarkable reply and does help.


    • doug quixote March 2, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      If they have a religious basis for their so-called pro-life stance, and that is the vast majority of them, why are you surprised?

      Ultimately they cannot be reasoned with : “God said so, so there!”


      • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 9:48 am #

        If the can rationalise the god of the gaps then they’re willing to accept some rationality, hence see above…..


        • helvityni March 2, 2013 at 10:58 am #

          Someone was knocking on our door few minutes ago, I thought it was our neighbour asking us to look after her dog…

          Jesus, I thought when opening the door to a handsome young man , a spitting image of Jesus (i have seen pictures), who handed me an invitation to go to the anniversary of Jesus’ Death get-together that falls on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

          Looking forward to that party….


          • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

            Is there dancing on graves?


          • hudsongodfrey March 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

            Are you baking some cookies?


          • samjandwich March 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

            Helvi, i’d love you to go and tell us what it was like. Jesus is reputed to have been very handsome, but it does upset me that his death has become such a part of his history. If only he’d been able to produce lovely kitchen cabinets and pick up housewives on his way through he might ave been remembered for more than just having died a horrible death.

            Imagine, a god-endorsed line of household furniture!


  10. Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    It looks like in Howe’s world, and his apprentice Gillard, climate change is crap,too.He does hate the greens and any environmental causes, so I guess it’s to be expected

    Pretty soon there will be zero votes left for faux Labor.

    There are none so blind…..


    • atomou March 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      And did you notice in that tiny clip of Rudd doing a vox pop being accompanied by… a beardful, smiling, (cat-like) Wentworth MacCallum the Mungo? I’d love to be able to read something into this but I can’t. I don’t even know how old the clip is. If old, why put it in?


      • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

        Just finished his book Pole Dancing, on the 2007 election, but remember him best from the dark old days of Fraser, when I was on the dole, up to the library and into the old “National Times”, where the likes of him and Patrick Cook could cheer up another otherwise miserable day.


        • atomou March 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

          I must catch up with that book.
          Have you ever read the Nation Review? Sweet balm to wounded souls, back then!


          • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

            Yes, same era, that was an indie publisher (Maxwell Newton?) wasn’t it, or do I have it and the National Times mixed up? That was Ranald McDonald, when it was still Symes and people still respected the Melbourne Age.


            • atomou March 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

              The best minds of the 70s wrote for it. The most revolutionary, bravest, funniest, boldest minds -at least according and in concord to mine. Couldn’t wait for its appearance at the shops, when I could throw every other newsprint in the bin and in disgust and pick that rare glimmer of hope. It was better than the best of sex and back then I was well able to compare the one tother!


        • AnnODyne March 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

          Loved The National Times and went from place to place to find it every Sunday.
          2. it was not ‘the dole’ during Fraser PM, it was The JMFraser Musician’s Scholarship.


          • AnnODyne March 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

            oh dear I have gone over to the dark side and joined you all in getting way way off topic. gabba gabba hey

            (1932 Freaks)


          • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

            I’d have called it a wailing and a gnashing of teeth.


  11. Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    West Sydney wipe out there on my TV…..


    • paul walter March 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      You are talking about the Mariners/ Western Wanderers soccer match,or is this one of these poxed pre season matches in Aussie Rules?
      Just at Ad Utd losing at home to the Roar- what fun (pulls face).


      • Hypocritophobe March 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

        Well paul,Gillard may be able to save herself and Howe with a shit load of pork drenched taxpayers cash and a whole lot of undeliverable bullshit promises.This of course will impact on the economy and on our social structure depending on who gets priority, and where she drives the wedges..
        So you enjoy that standard of politics, because it’s obviously right up your alley.
        How ever the election plays out I won’t be complicit in Gillard get a whiff of my vote.
        As in Castaway, if Gillard rolled up to a football (soccer) match, the only chance she would have of avoiding a spitttle waterfall and a flare up her butt, would be to find a cosy corner with the ball.
        In fact the ball would probably beat her in an election, if held today.


  12. Hypocritophobe March 8, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    Creepy old men?

    Spot the ‘Moral / s of the Story’|681%60A



  13. atomou March 14, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    And once again, politics trumped social good. Once again a creepy old codger sits on the guilted throne, paid for by the sweat of the meek and the cheese makers.

    The conclave has always been and always will be, it seems a wide open con-cleavage that shows much breast but offers little milk. That has cleaved itself from those it tells that they are there, on earth, to do the work of god, the one started that was started by his son, a character called Jesus. It has cleaved itself from day one, day one after Paul told the Greeks not to believe in their multitude of gods and to turn to the one true god, blah, blah! Of course, the greeks had no religious belief whatsoever in those gods. They merely used them as characters in their theatre, like all their other characters -archetypes now: Charlatans, and misers and pompous asses, and vindictive erotomaniacs, drunks and thieves and war mongers, etc, etc, etc, characters taken up by the Romans and the producers of teatro del arte and the theatre de l’art and the theatre de l’artea and all the theatres in the West, until theatre was snatched from the people, deformed by the shamans who followed Paul and delivered back to the people as this “Teatro dell’assurdo,” this “Teatro del grottesco.”

    “Cop this, you silly sheep!” The creepy old man in the fine weaves and stitches says in a soft, mumbly homily to the multitude below his balcony. “I am your Shepherd, nay, your Prince, nay, your King, nay, your papa! And I say unto you and bless you: ” Hear my bull! No sex except to make me more slaves, more destitute, more idolaters! Remember your station! You are the excreta of the Vaticani and I will fiddle with your children!” And many more such dignity boosting words to set them off on their path to righteousness and hypocrisy. Of piety, of tithes and of obedience and of creepy, crawly and unctuous, sycophancy.

    And, and the name he gave himself, this new papa? Standing in his glittering robes and jewels he announced that he snatched the name of the most humble, most devoted young man of the church, Francisco! St Francis, son of Bernardone, who gave away every cent of his enormous wealth, every hint of his worldly life, including his shoes and walked away naked to kiss the poor and the lepers!

    St Francis of Assissi who straddled the 12th and 13th centuries of their lord.

    The con-cleavage cannot be a more glaring insult. The Vatican more distant from its demos. The papas and the deacons it spawns more criminal.


    • atomou March 14, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Nah, the pun Guilt-gilt just doesn’t work. So it’ll have to be “guilt throne”


  14. atomou March 14, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    And, yes, I do realise that there is also a con-cleavage between organised religion and the hearts of the believers and that all organised religions are the same cleptocratic, misanthropic institutions.


  15. Hypocritophobe March 14, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    1st Nomination for Todays Song
    (Pay particular heed to; “La de da de de, la de da de da)

    Beat Goes On
    by Sonny & Cher

    The beat goes on, the beat goes on
    Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
    La de da de de, la de da de da

    Charleston was once the rage, uh huh
    History has turned the page, uh huh
    The mini skirts the current thing, uh huh
    Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh


    The grocery store’s the super mart, uh huh
    Little girls still break their hearts, uh huh
    And men still keep on marching off to war
    Electrically they keep a baseball score


    Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce
    Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss
    The cars keep going faster all the time
    Bums still cry “hey buddy, have you got a dime”



    • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Won’t get fooled again – The Who


  16. doug quixote March 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Don’t go imagining that Francis has anything to do with Francis of Assissi.

    Francis Xavier on the other hand was a co-founder of the Jesuits. He was given credit for converting more people to Christianity than anyone else. (And probably killed nearly as many, directly or indirectly.)

    Exit Ratzinger, but expect more of the same from this ageing churchman. “Social Justice” is for those who are male, heterosexual and part of the flock.

    Don’t hold your breath regarding reforms to Church teachings on contraception, abortion, celibacy, same-sex marriage etc etc etc.

    We need a wind-up petition for the RC Church; closely followed by the other Christian churches, and the whole religious establishment wherever and whatever it may be. Root and branch.


    • Hypocritophobe March 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Berlusconi has the ideal CV for the job.He must feel totally betrayed.

      When a gay female polygamist with a surrogate child outside a ‘formal’ marriage gets the ‘big job’ I will consider their job to be done.I am sure JC would approve.


    • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      They like ’em old though don’t they. Seventy Six is not exactly one’s prime.

      You get the sense that a lifetime of denial to the point where the time when you were young enough to enjoy it may mostly be past tilts their judgement against changing the rules to permit what ever it was they missed out on.


      • Hypocritophobe March 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

        He only has one lung.

        Perhaps they have gills?


  17. atomou March 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I shall raise a glass to the last pope. The pope who, from the same balcony will shout at the sheep:
    “There is no Messiah! There is no God! There never was a Jesus or a Josef! Go home! Go back to your cheese making, you poor wankers and never listen to any man who wears a dress and a dog collar… unless chaperoned by a dominatrix wielding a whip!”

    Maybe even two glasses of ouzo!


    • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      One gets the feeling that it’s probably already been done a thousand times but nobody listened….


      • atomou March 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

        Hudso, this is the den of Conservatism.
        It is a theatre of the greatest lie, presented on the most sumptuous stage. Little boys at the front. Very old boys at the back. Old boys who had never had a fuck but who had their socks filled with offerings to Onan! The Greek theatre was dedicated to the god Dionysus. These guys dedicate theirs to Onan, second son of Zeus, I mean Judah. One is very tempted to call it, Θέατρο της Μαλακίας, even if one is not Greek!


        • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

          Segue to the old joke about the cleric who showed in underwear because it’s wrong to look down on the unemployed….

          Θέατρο της Μαλακίας, loosely translated to Theatre of Malacca. I wonder could it refer to a production known as Puppetry of the penis?

          Either way, and all jokes aside, the whole thing is made up by our fellow human beings, meaning any accountability that there is most likely exists in relation to other human beings. I think we’re taught from such a young age to show deference to religion that when we do have legitimate criticisms to make of it then it were as if there’s an added layer of satisfaction we could take in bringing their hypocrisy undone. When you strip away the mystique that they tend to afford themselves and see them in a truly fallible, rather ordinary human way then being a bit of a wanker isn’t necessarily the worst criticism I’ve ever heard levelled at a bloke.

          I think we’ll agree that there are others that are a lot worse, and those should not be taken too lightly, but hoisting them by their own sexually conservative petard by calling them something of which they disapprove but frankly I could care less about doesn’t matter much to me. The real problem starts when they don’t seek release in onanism and start fiddling with their junior parishioners.


          • atomou March 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

            Malakia, wasted zoa, thus Θέατρο Μαλακίας means Theatre of Wank (or by a mere inch of a bridge, “Theatre of Wasted Life”) which, I think describe organised religion to the last ejaculation.
            As a child, growing up in my grandfather’s church, I was in perpetual awe at the theatrics of it, the constant ceremonies, the endless array of costumes and dildos, oops, I meant props and the solemn concatenation of stage business, performed at the right time, at the right place, at the right part of the day’s and season’s path. There wasn’t a day in the year when there was no solemn and sombre ceremony to be had. Every single day was the day of some saint or other, or some prophet or other or some event or other in Jesus’ life; and the Greek Orthodox Church knows how to elevate the simple peasant mind. The Byzantine music alone -and I was taught to read it very early on and to sing it with great gusto in papa’s church. Loud, crystal clear, young boy’s voice. Solo!
            But, as usual, I am running away with my own praises. The Orthodox Church has the theatre, the Catholic one has the opulence, the costumes and the art. Ours (Orthodox) is a cynical art. Heavy with egg and oil and darkness of colour and theme. Check out El Greco’s work, for a little sample.
            Where was I? Oh yes, wasted life! Turned into a very clever and frightening theatre. Still very popular, I believe, even though the believers are dying in great numbers.


            • atomou March 14, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

              Tomorrow I was supposed to have an Ancient Greek tute session with a psychiatrist friend. But no, he’s off to Sydney to see the Alexander the Great art exhibition in the Aus Museum. Alex, who, according to Plutarch, used to say, that he recognised his mortality most clearly in sleep and in intercourse, because both, pain and pleasure spring from a single fountain, which is an innate human weakness.
              Died at 32, perhaps 33.


            • hudsongodfrey March 15, 2013 at 12:11 am #

              I begin to see your point when you explain it that way.

              I may have mentioned before that we’ve Greek neighbours. This is not in itself extraordinary in Australia, but we have become very close with our neighbours and that is I think quite extraordinary. Or at least it seems so because human closeness means a lot to people.

              A couple of years ago he died suddenly, and Atheist and Buddhist as they know we are we were welcomed to a series of Greek Orthodox ceremonies in memoriam over the following months. It was both an honour to be accepted into their private mourning and to gain a little insight into the curious theatre (it is an apt word) of orthodox rites. Not that I understood a blind word, or saw it for a moment as anything other than one of those formulas we humans develop to bind community solidarity through ritual. The proof of whatever worth there was in that community was in the people and their obvious warmth for one another. The lie was as we saw in the time that has passed since was in the abilities of incantation and propitiations to heal a broken heart. We’re still working on that one… you know us humans family and friends, like everyone always does.

              Some people feel closeness in laughing together, or drinking, maybe even praying (perish the thought I be so daft), but you cry together also, and it doesn’t matter who you are, this passes for evidence that when all else fails we’ll still be as humans together in our shared experience.


              • doug quixote March 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

                I recently attended a Greek funeral and I must say I was impressed by the theatricality of it all, with the three priests singing (quite well) and a background tape providing the oomph (technical term).

                Quite a good send off. I may be tempted to make my friends and relations go through it for me 🙂


                • atomou March 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

                  DQ, not a Greek Orthodox funeral.
                  Funerals are not too theatrical. Generally, a very somber mass.
                  One priest only, usually accompanied by one, seldom two choristers, who stand in the choristers’ box and sing from there. Choristers provide responses to the priest, as if representing the people (chorus in the ancient Greek theatre)
                  But there would certainly be no oomph stuff. Nothing but the human voice.
                  Obviously, it is some sort of Greek sect though I just can’t think of which it might be. None that I know use tapes or musical instruments.


                  • doug quixote March 18, 2013 at 11:57 am #

                    If I may quote from the Order of Service : The Trisagion (“Thrice Holy”) Service . . . it went on for an hour or so. Three priests sang, as I said with a taped soundtrack.

                    St Spyridons Greek Orthodox.

                    Sombre, yes but also theatrical – the swinging of the incense, all the excellent vestments, and the timing of entrances and exits. Theatrical.


                    • atomou March 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

                      This is extremely interesting, DQ.
                      I have been a very regular attendant of the GO Church pretty much until the turn of the millenium and still attend it on special occasions, like marriages, baptisms and funerals of my extended family. I grew up in the church, my grand father being a priest, an uncle being a theologian and most of my other uncles and aunts being in close contact wit the church. I have never heard a tape or a musical instrument during any service and the thinking I grew up with, was that of scorning those religions who use them.
                      During the 70s I had a brief conversation with Archbishop Stylianos during a rather large, community event. My chat was about other matters but I was sitting at the table with him and many other dignitaries of the Greek community (in Melbourne) So, I overheard -the conversation was fairly audible- Stylianos discussing this very issue, very briefly, with another priest, whose name has completely escaped me. During that conversation, Stylianos showed the expected disdain for anything other than the human voice (he called it the “voice of god”) to be heard in an orthodox church.
                      So, I find this quite interesting. Perhaps things have changed, or perhaps only in the ST Spyridon parish?
                      Also, I find the appearance of three priests rather unusual. What were they all doing? Perhaps the dead person was someone very prominent in the Greek community?
                      The usual service is conducted by one priest and, perhaps two psalters, singing for either side of the iconostasion. These psalters might have apprentices with them, or friends of the dead who know how to read the Byzantine music.


                    • atomou March 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

                      Sorry, early 80s rather than 70s when I met with Stylianos. I was a candidate for the State ALP, bringing in John Cain…
                      Just sent an emal to my cousin (one of the theologians) in Greece, asking the question regarding non-human voice in the greek church.


              • atomou March 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

                Hudso, all good observations. Now here’s a question that might help you understand a little more about the theatre (which so far as religious theatre goes, funerals are pretty somber and reserved, minimalist shows) which you witnessed: Why is it that although one would have to travel far to hear a Latin mass one has to also travel far – in fact he’d never get there- to hear a modern Greek mass, or, I’m told, a modern arabic version or a modern jewish, rather than mostly aramaic version of mass.
                WHy have these religions resisted all efforts to make the mass as easy to understand as the new English mass?
                Can you make some educated guesses about just this one question for now: Why are the attendances in English speaking churches are falling faster than in the Greek, Muslim and Jewish halls of worship?


                • Hypocritophobe March 15, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

                  May I?
                  Perhaps when the punters actually understand how irrelevant the content is (by way of,’oh that’s what he is saying!) they head off to play golf,watch footy or go fishing?
                  Perhaps when their is no longer a ‘mystique’ it becomes less appealing.

                  A bit like ‘what fun would it be going to see the worlds best magician’ if you had a complete workshop manual on how each of the tricks worked.Let’s say that perhaps they don’t want their trade secrets revealed.After all it’s a pretty cushy lifestyle once you master the script/ure.
                  Brrrrrrrrr.The hairs on my neck just quivered.


                  • hudsongodfrey March 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

                    Mind you I love the likes of Penn & Teller. Knowing at least some of how the tricks are done isn’t such a bad thing. That way you can better admire the skill of a really slick piece of sleight of hand.

                    And even if we don’t know exactly how the bullet catch trick is done we know for 100% sure how it isn’t. Last guy that tried it that way lost his head…. literally.

                    As for the religion thing, well I already replied to Atomou, but I figure on the subject of what the punters understand then it might just have something to do with placing knowledge and belief in the real world and therefore possibly on a single continuum where “god of the gaps” arguments keep losing ground. To whit I see they’ve confirmed the Higgs Boson.

                    Cue music….
                    Another one bites the dust
                    and another one gone
                    and another one gone
                    Another one bites the dust


                    • Hypocritophobe March 16, 2013 at 11:57 am #

                      The arrogance of the church claims all dividends of science as a victory of their own god/s and indeed proof ‘it’ exists.
                      Ironically( read-deceptively) they use the direct opposite to claim that achievements which deliver science outcomes of heinous human atrocities are the work of the devil.
                      (Except of cause internal atrocities which should be covered up and denied until the perps are hidden or dead)

                      Shiny coin,boogie man.

                      An excuse for every outcome and the proof of not one.

                      I note Frank, the new pope, is worried the catholic church will become a mere charity, and nothing else.
                      We wish.


                    • hudsongodfrey March 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

                      It is true that science does not claim the achievements(?) of religion, but if we agree that somebody made religion up then what remains is the debate as to whether science or philosophy are able to explain just why we did so.


                    • atomou March 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

                      Quite so, Hypo.
                      The churchies don’t like looking at science books or scientific instruments. They prefer to read that ramblings of desert dwellers, in the grips of hunger-induced delusions.
                      It took them until I think the 70s (at least the late 20th C) to accept Galileo Galilei’s explanation of where Earth is in the Universe and where her Sun!
                      “Shit,” they said to themselves, “if the bible is wrong on where earth is, then what else is it wrong on? Nah, best kill Galileo!” They didn’t, of course, contacts in high places but they had named him a heretic and banned his books.

                      And they are extremely selective about what science they accept and what they don’t. They still feel that the condom is as treacherous as Galileo’s telescope and that God made everything only a couple of days ago, yet they had no qualms about tarring and fearing before crucifying and setting on fire, Giordano Bruno on a mere question of religious technicality.
                      Nasty pricks the lot of them!


                    • hudsongodfrey March 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

                      Mind you the logic of it, though obviously wrong today, makes a kind of sense if you’re basing your beliefs on a tradition that pre-dates the discoveries of modern science. That is to say from a time when the gaps were so many that the appeal of religion could still be linked with its ability to predict universal truths about things of a physical rather than metaphysical nature. Hence the perpetual arguments as to whether science has done away with god altogether.

                      On some sort of Deist reading of the word “God” that just connotes something like “the unknown” then maybe science hasn’t eliminated God. Elsewhere in practice the beliefs are still strong as ever, so if it is like the science fiction Matrix where things exist as long as you believe they do then we’re out of luck on that score too. But the real challenge to organised religion in my estimation is the bridge between the idea of a god and the interpretation linking this being with ancient scriptures that vary with the accident of your birth. This whopper they don’t even tackle!

                      We put faith in our ability to learn and discover things that contribute to better understanding through a science that hasn’t the slightest interest in unfalsifiable hypotheses. So I don’t think at the end of the day we should have any real problem with faith or with god for that matter. When we argue these things the last thing we always get to explain properly is that the real problems we have are with people. Namely those who hold regressive social attitudes and superstitions that do real harm to others. I need do no more in this forum than to mention Christian teaching about sexual morality for list of complaints and grievances to emerge fully formed in the minds of most readers. This is not for no reason!


                    • atomou March 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

                      I disagree on this matter only Hudso:
                      “So I don’t think at the end of the day we should have any real problem with faith or with god for that matter. ”
                      It depends, of course on what we understand by the two words, “faith” and “god.”
                      If by faith we mean the exact opposite of being certain by physical proof, then I have a big problem with it, particularly if is is so accepted that it is taught in schools and everyone is made to believe that it is enough to have faith in something and that would make it true. If people are made to believe that things that are untestable have passed objective, physical tests and experiments, then that would go absolutely against everything that humanity should be striving for: improving the lot of humans.
                      The notion that “I believe God exists, therefore he exists,” is scientific anathema and a falsity. A charlatan’s trick.
                      If, on the other hand, by the word faith, one simply means trust, then, simplistic though this interpretation might be, in linguistic terms, it is quite acceptable.
                      With the concept of “god” too, I have problems. Not only because I can neither conceive of such an entity but also because no one has yet managed to built a conception for me. Of all the catechisms I had through my life -grandfather priest, uncle theologian and a whole lot of uncles and aunts deeply involved in the church (though not necessarily believers) and by numerous people throughout my life, no one has yet convinced me that there is a god and that this god looks or feels like something or other, even if one summons Plato’s theory on ideas and forms.
                      And if I am asked on that matter, I refuse to retreat an inch, mainly because, if I were to be honest with my brain, I can’t but even if they say “let us agree to disagree,” even at that point, I feel I need to be quite apostolic and argue that they are wrong and I can’t even agree that they should leave the discussion with such an error taking space in their head, presumably also to want to be as apostolic as me and try to proselytise others! No, I won’t have that!
                      From that mere belief (that there is a god) also comes the interpretation of what this god wants and from that comes the organised religion with all its fascist demands and its endless corruption.
                      No, I won’t have either, faith, nor god!

                      When I was at Uni, we were asked -probably around the second year- by the prof of Modern Greek (who was keen to link our studies with the Classic Dept) to write something that would explain a painting (by Brugel) to a blind man. We were to point out, not only the vigour and verve of the subject but also the vigour and verve of the colours, etc, etc.
                      We objected to deaf ears.
                      In the process of doing the exercise, however, we have learnt a great deal of Greek. Lots of new words which we came to, in anxious efforts to make ourselves understandable to the imagined blind person. Finally, at the discussion after the correction of the essays we were all made to discover that, no, you can’t make a blind person see what you see and, and, and, magnificently, our prof took us to Pato’s simile of the cave, a stunning explanation of why it is impossible to teach people who are blinded, not only by vision but also by, what we now call blind faith. One of the most important, most valuable exercises I ever did and which I did with pretty much all of my Year 10 and, if time permitted, Year 11 classes.

                      I highly commend the passage in Plato’s Republic (514aff)


                    • hudsongodfrey March 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

                      It matters how you put the question of faith or use the word god. I’m just saying the since you can’t disprove the hypothesis then it simply doesn’t matter. You either expect (or pretend) certainty without evidence, or as far as I can see there’s no certainty at all. Not that I think a lack of certainty is a problem. Quite the contrary in fact, I put plenty of faith in the evidence we have and in our ability to discover and learn and be endlessly intrigued by the quest for more. And for want of any original term I call this living an examined life just as Socrates would have.

                      As for the god of Spinoza of which I spoke, otherwise a deist kind of god, or a Matrix like concept, you don’t need to read the onerous task of visualising them into it at all. In fact quite the opposite, they’re largely semantic constructs or concepts if you like. Concepts like mathematics or the relative nature of good and evil. We find them hard to explain from anything resembling first principles, but entirely reliable as means to explaining other things.

                      We don’t need to make any other leaps of faith from there to a creator god, because it explains nothing if you can’t answer who created the creator, or why we’re expected to simply make an exception to the omnipotence paradox: to be omnipotent one would have to be able to make a rock so large it was immovable and at the same time be able to move it.

                      If you’re not inclined to anthropomorphise visualise or otherwise massage your imagination to become convinced that god looks a little like Morgan Freeman then it doesn’t surprise me in the least. So of us are so constructed as to be impervious to that kind of belief. That leap of faith upon which organised religions so fondly rely doesn’t really occur to us. Moreover we’re joined by a growing number these days of people who’ve either avoided or escaped the blindness of which you spoke.

                      I take it to mean that my question, as to why the connection between the idea of a god and the interpretation linking this being with ancient scriptures that vary with the accident of your birth, is a good one. As are most that go unanswered.

                      I guess I’ll have to get a copy of the Republic and have a look as you suggest 🙂


                • hudsongodfrey March 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

                  Part of my logic goes where I think you’re headed and part of it doesn’t.

                  We tire of the familiar but an incantation in a mystical tongue appeals to the mysterious and somewhat superstitious tendencies in the assembled faithful. And let’s face it that’s where religion lives. Heck some of them will even speak in tongues to delude themselves. It’s really weird, and far more deeply embedded that I think we understand.

                  As for why the familiar vernacular tends to cause people to gravitate away from religion it could be just the lack of that appeal, and it could of course be that if something is readily understood then it is more likely to be questioned. I’ve heard several people theorise that reading the Bible from cover to cover is the quickest way to turn people off religion. Most people probably wouldn’t get too far before they had credibility problems and scarcely further before they’d moral qualms what with all the genocide, slavery, rape etc…. And that’s just the supposed good guys!

                  However at least some of that rational argument falls over that the point where we realise that the Bible’s been in English for the best part of at least 400 years and people educated well enough to read for themselves for more than a couple of generations. They’re just not doing it. What they are doing is buying a bill of goods sold to them by any number of religious hustlers, because even the image of gentle Jesus meek and mild is scarcely recognisable from the text itself.

                  Anyway if you want to summarise my analysis then I’d say it was a marketing decision on the part of the Eastern branches of Christianity.

                  What by the way do you think?


                  • atomou March 16, 2013 at 10:37 am #

                    But before I say what I think, Hudso, allow me to ask you to ruminate over this: When all these liturgies were written -of all three abrahamic religions, the language was understood by the multitude. I know for certain that the Greek was pretty much the greek of the people, the vernacular Greek, or, as it is called by the scholars who want to use fancy pansy words, “koini, or koine,” ie, “common greek.” So the attendant devotees, understood what their charlatan in the front was saying.
                    Right up, I’d say the early 20th c. the common folk could understand a good 90% of what the priest and the choristers were uttering and singing. The sermon from the pulpit, of course, was a way to make sure that they did. And then, in 1967-1974, the CIA puppets in Greece, banned the modern common language and insisted that schools taught the “Kathareuousa” language, which, to all intents and purposes, it meant the ancient Greek of Socrates, though, Socrates (i.e. Plato) was banned, along with all the tragedians and Aristophanes… Shakespeare (bloody commie bastard!) and around 200 other Greek and foreign authors!

                    So, what then does this say about mystique and wet fantasies, particularly by those people with a religious proclivity?

                    Ok, what do I think? I think enough thoughts to write several books and a lot more than several books have been written on that subject. As well, I remember during the late 60s and early seventies, when the question of vulgarising the precious Roman Catholic mass was raised and dropped and raised and dropped again but then, I think was brought in as a “temporary measure,” something which pleased many… progressives (I use the word very reluctantly, and refer you to Joel Hodge’s article on the ABC “Opinion” for a brief discussion on political terms and the church, or, more specifically, the papacy)
                    Lots of ink spilled through venom shooting pens back then.
                    Which, again raises the question, “why?” why the incomprehensible mutterings by priests, when they addressing the common folk? When they are supposed to be guiding them, proselytising the pagans and waywards?

                    Reason one is the one that both you and Hypo suggested: Mystique wins, familiarity breed boredom (before it kills the subject with contempt). We are, by and large, an amalgam of minds that are, among other things, both inquisitive and gullible. The inquisitive minds needs knowledge and knowledge is anathema for the hierarchy, no matter what that hierarchy is of: Politics, Religion, Corporation, etc; so the hierarchy, of the church, say, spins out a Bull, or a Canon (for the Greek “kanonas”, “rule”) that says things like, “books are the work of the Devil! Do not read or you’ll go to hell!” or “Ask no questions, simply believe!” This is why St John’s book begins with “in the beginning was the logos,” which almost with no exception, it is translated as “word” whereas its meaning is clear to any Greek: “reason,” “logic” “purpose,” and so what St John was saying is, the reason why god created the universe is with him and it will stay with him, and we, muddy mortals should not ask any questions.
                    Right? So, don’t be inquisitive about reasons and causes and WTFs? Just believe. Power by the hierarchy stays with the hierarchy.
                    The vulgarising of the mumbles have taken that power away from the priests and gave it to the people, which was an unwelcome occurrence for the mics.
                    The unfortunate thing, though, for the mics, was that they didn’t have any other mechanism for the muddy mortals to fall back to.

                    The Greeks did: The theatre and as we all know, theatre began in Greece and it began as a religious ceremony. It’s worth reading about its founder, a devout guy called Thespis. Too navigatory a subject for me to write about here, suffice it to write a well used phrase, “theatre is in the DNA, the blood, the milk of the Greeks.”

                    So the Greeks with their inescapable love for theatre, stayed with the church. Parents take their kids to watch the show, particularly the shows of high theatre, like Good Friday, St Mary’s, etc.
                    How many of them believe in gods and angels, is hard to calculate.
                    The mics had to use elaborately adorned gear. Gold and silver and silk and satin and a whole chest of cloths and hats and staffs to give the impression that god is a rich bastard so, do go and pray to him (beg) that he may give you some of his glittering bounty. The reverse, of course happens. You pray and pay!
                    Interestingly, the ancient Greek gods had huge buildings full of gold, with Zeus, their boss and often father, having the most.

                    I… had better shut up now.


                    • Hypocritophobe March 16, 2013 at 11:37 am #

                      Everyone has a ‘funny’ uncle who pretends to pull a shiny coin from behind the children’s ears.Religious acts are the same.
                      Some of those children never grow up.They evolve into sheeples who must have some charlatan mesmerising them,for life.
                      It wouldn’t matter what the words or ceremony was.As long as it goes over their heads and they are left in awe at having the blissful non-knowledge that magic happens.
                      Rock star adulation is more preferable.


                    • hudsongodfrey March 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

                      I’ve heard a smattering of the facts about Greek language before in connection with “koine” maybe because it could be used as a root for other words. The part about it being banned by the CIA or due to their influence is news to me. I don’t have personal recollections of politics going back that far and not having your connections with the history of the place haven’t come across accounts or this before. Even now what I can find on the internet refers to the earlier form of the language as Demotic rather than Koine.

                      Try not to mention the Bard around present company. I did it once, but I think I got away with it 🙂

                      On the question of older culture and languages if my reading of history is any good right up until quite a while after the American Revolution there virtually is no people’s history. It’s all of the elites for the elites and by the elites. America’s founding fathers and Ancient Greeks had slavery in common. So whether the Ancient Greek peasant classes spoke dialect, Koine or Kathareuousa probably informs whether they even believed in the pantheon of Gods. I wonder whether many of the ordinary folk weren’t more or less pagans or animists of some kind.

                      Skip forward to the modern era where we’re a bit better educated and I agree the appeal of Mystique blots out the light of reason to a degree. You only have to look at the way a lot of people argue politics, as if stating their self-interested opinions or arguing from offence matters, to know that their whining use of terms like them and they tell you they want somebody else to step in and do vast swathes of the heavy lifting on their behalf. The lights are on Ato, but nobody’s really at home. And they buy culture and religion because it has that appeal. You turns up on a Sund’y, you bows and scrapes for a bit, the Father forgives your sins for the price of a coupl’a hails Mary and you’re good to go for eternal life….. Bollocks!

                      As for Hodge, the ABC and his shoddy logic, posting late on a Friday afternoon and closed for comments before dinner time is getting beyond the pale. He reflects an attitude so riddled with inconsistencies that no amount of apologetics can conceal it. Cleverer apologists may mask their meanings with metaphysics that aren’t fit for the purposes to which they’re put, and used mainly to obfuscate the baselessness of their reasoning, at which point we’re back to “spooky language used to control primitive people”, as George Carlin described it.

                      It’s lovely to read your theories about the Greeks and their love of Theatre, and ironic to note that such a wonderful cultural heritage might land you with a vulnerability to religious hucksterism. Perhaps you’d agree the Romans had a similar system built around the notion of Bread and Circuses.

                      Interestingly though I think that some religious thinking traced through the revered Augustine, I suspect with couple of small pushes from Greek philosophy and the Golden age of Muslim thought, departs from the purely superstitious playbook and tries, quite dangerously as it turns out, to reconcile rationality with belief. The idea that if something is scientifically true then it must be consistent with religious beliefs being one that has vexed many throughout the ages…. and now I reach the point where I’ll go on forever if I continue with that digression.

                      What should come next is that the Greeks did have a rather active imagination when it came to mythology, but one that Stephen Fry reminded me in one of his pieces on YouTube consisted of Gods who were often capricious to say the very least. And yet they invented a philosophy that didn’t seem to clash nearly so often with their religion as ours does today.

                      Before I too shut up I will just wonder whether we’ve explained the Greeks’ apparent substitution of Mythology and philosophy for religion by a weakness for theatre alone, or whether the number of people who still believe in Zeus having reduced to zero isn’t a preferable thing it itself. An oft used example might yet be used to entreat them to go one God further 🙂


  18. atomou March 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Beginning with your paragraph about Greeks and their love for the theatre:
    And this why it was for Christianity to capture the Greeks and keep them captured, even though one would have thought that with all that love for enquiry –Plato, Aristotle but two examples- they would be the most difficult to sell such a bundle of nonsense –to that extreme and fundamental extend. The theatre! All the Christians had to do is say to them, “look here, there is another show happening!” and they’ve turned their heads.
    That’s all it took!

    The gods of the ancient Greeks were myths, concocted by them just as a playwright concocts characters for his plays. They didn’t believe a thing about them. Oh, they had statues of them all around the place and had festivals in their honour, or as an excuse –like we have a festival in honour of horses and whatnot, but, so far as religion goes, one could well use the word “irreverent” as a euphemism for downright “scoffer.”
    If you see the behaviour of the gods as described by all of the ancient writers beginning with Homer, you’ll see nothing more than human characters, interacting whimsically with humans. They have the very same psychological wiring in their heads. The same motives for doing anything, only, unlike the humans, they are doing it with no consequences or repercussions. Eternity, for them goes on.
    Aristophanes showed exactly what the Athenians thought of the gods. On his stage (upon which was a statue of Dionysus and on the front row of his theatre sat the priest of the same god) he had the gods looking and doing things more stupid and more crooked than those humans his co-denizens ostracized. Dionysus, I could hazard a guess, got the worse (and most hilarious) treatment from that boy!

    Jesus is an attempt by the Christians, as is Mohammed by the Islamists and Moses by the Jews, to turn the deus (etymologically, Zeus) into a (hu)Man, a sort of humble superhuman!

    Koine and Demotic is the same word. The “Common” language or the language of the “demos” the common folk. It is only a matter of academic nomenclature and taxonomy, differentiating the two in terms of a time in history. Koine for the age of the authors of the bible and such “sacred” texts; Vulgate Latin for St Jerome’s 4th C..

    The CIA puppets thought Shakespeare (Like Theodorakis and anyone with an ounce of nous and an articulate tongue) was as bad an influence to the youth of the 60s as was Socrates was to the youth of the 5th c BC. So, out he was tossed on the pile of books ready for the Fahrenheit 451 treatment.

    As for Historiographers including the “people,” the father of them and then the one after him, not long, in terms of years, did that beautifully. Herodotus travelled widely and wrote about the common folk and their bizarre stories, as well as about the kings and queens who with their pride and idiocy came to the end expected for proud and idiot kings and queens.
    The same with Thucydides, who wrote the history of the Peloponnesian War. The common soldier and the common citizen are the very same person, as is the wise or stupid general or political leader.
    Athens was like that at that time. Tragedians used metaphors to throw scorn on the fools but Aristophanes used their characters directly. Cleon, in fact, once tried to sue the poor bard out of the country. Modern Australia could learn a great deal about the importance of freedom of speech in a strong democracy; and I don’t mean simply the freedom to offend which is a parody and not a paradigm of a debate on the matter.

    What else? O, yes, Hodge. I’ve only referred to the twit because he does make the distinction between a number of words which define political positions. They don’t of course, he says, reflect the position of the clergy. In fact, constricting names like these reflect no position whatsoever. All people might be “leftist” on one issue and “rightists” on another, “conservative” or “reactionary” on yet another and “recalcitrant” on damned every other!
    I agree with your view of him.

    The Catholic Church, since St Augustine was a battle to try and explain the (non)phenomenon of Christ’s “miracles” and make it known that these were not mere “magic tricks.” Its vicars tried to tell the hoi polloi that Christ was not a magician, conjurer of illusions but a true, miracle maker, conjurer of divine interventions.
    This was not the challenge the eastern brethren had to deal with since, as we saw they had the theatre and on a theatre, it didn’t matter what you said: miracle and divine intervention was one and the same spectacle. Science, was seen in the guise of Socrates suspended in a basket from the clouds, in a play by the same name, written by Aristophanes and St Augustine could well be the Socrates of the basket since he, too, was a Platonist and a stoic.
    Philosophy and the interpretation of a god’s or many gods’ will was not a problem for them.

    No, I’d rather they still believed in Zeus but believe the way the did back then. Zeus was a fool, who was conned by Prometheus, one of the Titans, into receiving offerings of the worse part of the animal, while the mortals ate the best.

    He was also a horny bastard who couldn’t wait for a gorgeous woman (or boy, for that matter, Ganymede is but one) to be born and he’d be off, after her or him, leaving his, Hera seething with anger and jealousy behind. I’d rather they brought back that lot and they’d have no problem, either of introducing one god after another. That’s how they got to first twelve and then fourteen.


    • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 12:02 am #

      There’s a lot more to like about the Greek gods as long as you don’t take them too seriously, which is easy as far as I can tell…. All you do is move your lips a couple of seconds before the sound comes out like they did in the old Gladiator movies and you’ll never be able to take anything seriously again. 😉


  19. atomou March 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Talking of Christianity…
    A most promising filum on SBS1 tonight, 9.30. “Agora” About Hypatia ( A Coptic friend of mine was of the firm belief that Hypatia was a witch and that is why the Christians (of Egypt) murdered her. After all, Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria wouldn’t be wrong on that matter, would he? He is, after all, guided by god’s holy spirit!
    Anyhow, can’t wait. Will have to sacrifice Montalbano and the parade of gorgeous women he subjects us during every show. (Can never follow the story line). It’s how I’ve learnt the Italian I’ve learnt and how I got to love the language.


    • Anonymous March 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Will be watching.Looks like an epic worth the visuals, alone.


      • Hypocritophobe March 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        Me ^


    • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      I hope that SBS put that show on their “On Demand” pages as I missed it last night.

      What no Montalbano! Arrrghhh. Those Italians know how to mix sex and violence though don’t they. SBS has taught one to appreciate the discretionary warnings that precede a broadcast, if that is one treats terms like nudity, adult themes, coarse language, violence and sex scenes as recommendations. I try and pick films with as many as possible. Once I got the whole set! 🙂

      Good thoughts about Augustine v Theatre by the way, it does seem to make sense. I’m still waiting for Derren Brown investigates Jesus though. Having seem him reproduce the faith healer’s trick of getting people to fall over with a slight push when they’re supposedly converted, I think that would be most interesting 🙂

      Fry agreed with you that the Greek Gods were a far more attractive prospect because they’d the more accessible collection of traits according to his way of thinking. They’re just like humans with powers to abuse writ large. They’ve faults and they’re abundantly fallible. There’s also at least one or two ways to explain anything that happens in the mortal world, If anything the downside isn’t being constrained by a god given morality so much as having interminable arguments about interpretations of events given the myriad options the pantheon provides to explain them.


      • atomou March 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

        We’re not too tolerant of excessive anything, here. Too much gratuitous sex leaves both of us -even yours truly- quite cold. Too much violence also turns me off. I’m very Socratic in my appetites: everything is ok in moderation and moderation makes for peasant and, more importantly, calm calculations, ideas organised and considered calmly and objectively, away from the excessive noise and vision.
        Which brings me to last night’s Agora. It drove me mad because it was over produced, over directed, over edited (fragmented), over acted at times and under acted at other, feebly scripted…
        If I were the king of Filumland (and don’t worry I’ve sent my applications and nominations) I’d have a very strident talk with all the FX fools. Tell them that they are not, repeat NOT, THE FILUM! They are important only in their subtlety and not in their bloated presence! Agora was stuffed as a film because of the unremitting, incessant, excruciating noise (no doubt called “mood enhancing music” by the noise makers) that, like a tsunami, drowned all the dialogue and made it impossible to understand what was going on. The same with the vision. Fxs everywhere! Cuts back and forth, images that made no sense and chucked in front of you for fractions of seconds annoyed the crap out of us and I’m fairly certain, of anyone who was keen to watch a story, the story of a formidable woman, slaughtered by an ancient zealot, the slimy murderer, Bishop Cyril and his Christian thugs.
        I’d give the writers a bigger licence but watch their every line. The dialogue here was the pits. Films, like books are there to tell a story, not to exhibit nerdiness in tech tools. Tell the fucking story! Watch the old films and learn. No noise, no shitty cuts, no useless images! Just a story that moves along, undistracted by extraneous and noises and images.
        But noise and vision FX have been all the rage the last twenty years or so. Even radio and TV. News and docks are cluttered with these FXs. Speech has become drowned by the noise and the quick jerks from image to mage. Listen to ABC news radio, for example. Their theme and bridge “music” hurts the ear and the mind. You’ll switch off after five minutes. Lateline begins with five minutes of noise and goes on, quite loudly while the presenter speaks. A shocking cliché that surely has run out of its useby date!
        Shut the bloody FX booths down. Let’s listen to the words, the people, the story, the utterance, the message, not the noise

        Help me, support my efforts to bring some sanity into the audio visual world! Write to the ABC and SBS, the BBC and to all the other media on the planet that you have any contact with. Tell them I’l send Zeus around if they don’t repent and mend their ways!


        • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

          What all that without so much as a spoiler alert!


  20. atomou March 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    And don’t forget “The Paradise” at 7.30 on ABC 1.


  21. Hypocritophobe March 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Reply to HG
    hudsongodfrey March 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    In the end religion always ends up playing the same old card.
    Along the lines of;
    “The Lord moves in mysterious ways”
    which translates to’ ask your father’ syndrome.
    Anything to explain away the search for proof.

    Religion is all faith and no evidence.
    When man invented god he/she had no idea we would ever have enough spare time to ask the obvious questions about religion,which obviously leads to it’s inevitable downfall.We should have been hunting,farming,sleeping and fighting off anyone who interrupted those past times.And yet we grew.In spite of myth.
    Who could have predicted that in the time since the invention of the ‘crowd control’ we call god, that so many of those with ultra-gullible genes would have gotten together to root like rats.I blame long winters,cold nights and thunderstorms.Although I’ll bet there are still a few dedicated ‘breeding programs’ involved and remaining.Hence the reluctance for the Vatican to let the masses filter the gene pool, by way of birth control.Everything Catholic is going according to plan,thanks very much.Why would they want to diminish the endless trail of incoming revenue and compliant slaves?

    FAITH = Find an idiot to harness


    • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 12:05 am #

      apologies for the apostrophe Ato


      • atomou March 17, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        You’ll never learn, will you, Hypo! One hour detention for you tomorrow and hand me your school diary! I shall write a few words to your mum about your distracting nature!
        Inattentive and unruly little poo that you are! You know, you’ll grow up to be a real anarchist! Where would Australia be with anarchists like you all running about the place!
        Good Zeus, help me!


      • atomou March 17, 2013 at 11:13 am #

        “When man invented god…”
        Interesting rumination, Hypo.
        When man first invented god there was unshakeable proof of god’s existence everywhere: A sudden thunder, a flood, an ark floating by, a Shakespearean tempest, unforeseen calamities, a huge tree, a rushing river, famine, cornucopia, a bright comet, a child malformed, a land full of snakes (Happy St Pat’s Day to all you Leprechauns!) marvels, apparitions… All these phenomena were, in the primitive, still unlearned minds of the first homoi, were, indubitably the work of some god or other, some extra, invisible potency way beyond their reach.
        So the shaman was born. He pondered over these prodigious events and began to work out a system of propitiation: incomprehensible incantations like abracadabra, the tossing of bird bones, the reading of a sacrificed bison’s innards, or the way the blood of a sacrificed virgin washed over the altar (see Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis and Iphigeneia in Tauris,…

        His (the shaman’s) job became “official” and formal by the coming of “priests” who, if they wanted to survive in that job, had to invent more gods, “proper” gods, who would be benefactors and protectors of particular activities (harvest, child birth, sea faring, etc) or cities (Athens, Sparta, etc) and to persuade the strong men of their village to share the power. Temples and shrines were then built followed by places of gathering (ekklesia, synagogues, mosques, churches etc) where pulpits can be erected and the voice of the now specially costumed shaman to sound as if booming down from the heavens…

        As Stephen said, in Joyce’s Ulysses, “History, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” And elsewhere, “History makes me cry!”


        • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

          Oh yes I remember now.The Goddess of Feminism.
          Shaman Greer.
          Or should it be Shawoman?

          “Shaman.The shop steward for peoples consciences”,when they can’t be arsed feeling empathy, or are deprived of the ability to stand upright on their hind legs, or speak their mind..


          • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

            Don’t upset Ato by talking about Piers Ackerman all the time 🙂


    • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 10:56 am #


      • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 11:11 am #

        Now who’s an anarchist?


        • atomou March 17, 2013 at 11:26 am #

          Well, yes Hudso but it’s a diversion and a pathetic one at that. The Vatican? 500 billion? Peanuts! You want to distribute wealth fairly? Begin by shutting down the biggest den of thieves, thugs, bullies and frenzied psychos in Wall St, Then go on with Fleet St, Harbour View St (Hong Kong) and all the money streets on the planet. Shut down the oil machine, the war machine, the Big Pharma machine, the big Food machine…
          Then you might be getting to sound like a true anarchist!

          Couldn’t get the “holocaust” innuendo.


          • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 11:52 am #

            Yeah I agree that 500 Billion, if that’s the true figure is small change in the overall scheme of things, but I think you’ll also find that the economies of impoverished countries have been held to ransom for less, and in that sense (debt reduction) maybe it could do some good.

            But that’s not the only good to be done. It’s the gesture of putting works ahead of wish thinking that I’m also interested in.

            Of course the clip is a diversion and played for laughs but we can have a sense of humour as well…. can’t we?


        • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 11:37 am #



  22. atomou March 17, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Someone also please write to the producers of Insiders and tell them that Piers Akerman (love father of Andrew Bolt) makes the show totally unwatchable. A vicious turd-brain who goes on shoving his extrications right up your nose as if we have faulty ocular and olfactory systems. Piers is sickening. Broken record of broken logic and fascist fantasies played excruciatingly loudly.
    It would be a benevolent act for him and the world, if someone were to either shoot him or give him a new brain, though old horses, in the grips of unbearable pain, as Piers seem to be suffering from, will not be helped by brain replacement or rejuvenation.

    I thought it was because of my persistent missives to the said producers that Bolt was kicked out. I thought I got them all frightened with my threats to ask Zeus for mercy. But I have also sent two, so far, letters against Piers and still, alas, they’ve not mended their ways! Piers still rules!

    Please support my efforts to bring some intelligence to the show.
    Sack Piers!


    • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      You should take him fishing in a boat some time.It worked for Richo.


    • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Nah leave it alone. Anyone with a half working brain cell can see that he’s a cautionary tale!

      Like Reith on the Drum, the ignominious Mr Henderson or the mad Bolter himself. I’m thinking that with friends like these why does Abbott need enemies?

      But the worst and most odious of all is the Jones boy on Sydney radio. I’m sure that if there’s a hell then mine would be listening to that endless whining diatribe….

      There you are with the short list of folks whose ears into which to piss I would not cross an empty street were their brains afire.

      And all of them Abbott lovers…. though not in a gay way, because that would be icky!


      • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

        I doubt that intellectualism is a problem of the right, so Piers conversion rate is minimal.However I agree with Ato, that the guy is an intolerable flake.

        I simply can’t(so don’t) watch when certain line-ups are on.
        Bazza lets too many of his ‘guests’,interviewees, get away with too much anyway.(On both sides)
        Morrison got away with murder last time.
        I can’t see the point of not using the opportunity to nail an arse-hole to his beliefs when under the spotlight.No matter whose team they are on.Why else are they there?
        The Insiders may as well skip straight to the sports bit.

        Ooops off topic again.


        • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

          Well it comes back to a previous point in that you kind of can’t argue points with religious believers who’re willing to say god works in mysterious ways any more than you can with these shaman like creatures whose intellect works in mysterious ways Rupert’s wonders to perform.


      • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm #


        Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

        I see Henderson as another fishnet wearer.

        (i) I bet he is the life of the party.Herringbone jacket over mums hand knitted cardigan and all.Mr Bean with a humour bypass.


        • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

          I dunno about fishnets, but in Ato’s vernacular a starched sock wearer for sure.


          • atomou March 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

            Talking about vernacular, vulgar and vulgate Latin, doesn’t Abbott wear a cilice, a hair shirt around his inguinal area? Probably a metal one, knowing our Abbott! He looks very much like he’s wearing one, anyway, judging by his funny walk and his choked utterances.

            I’d love it if one of the pollies opposite gets so angry with him that he rushes over to him and pulls his days down. Then put the deed on You Tube!
            Then we’ll all know!


            • Anonymous March 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

              About the ‘swagger’,
              given Abbotts political heritage,I think he probably dislocated something when he extricated himself from whose ever birth canal it was he migrated from.
              I’d say both Bronny’s and Little Johnny’s ovi-positors were tricky orifices to negotiate.


              • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

                me again ^


            • hudsongodfrey March 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

              Or you could just as Pyne!


            • atomou March 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

              “pulls his daks,” not “days”
              Bloody auto correct! Infuriating! Totally unable to switch the bastard off!


              • Hypocritophobe March 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

                Uh uh.
                One word.



                • atomou March 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

                  You better talk to the Principal, if you’re gonna be like that! He’s good friends with mum!


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