Archives For Satire

Twas the night before the Happy Holiday (formerly known as Christmas) when with much fanfare, the 21st Century Herod and his advisers bitterly proclaimed thus:

“This baby, the so called “Prince of Peace” is a Nazi, racist, and homophobic bigot. We deem him a threat to our “happy holidays”, all “religions of peace,” our entitlements, and the glorious goals of our perpetual revolution. We, the protected minority. We, the ruling class therefore command that all male Hebrew children be killed. Our dominion, our choice.”

With that they called in their keyboard warriors, social media trolls and paramilitary “peaceful protestors”, saying:

“The Christ child’s birth is nothing but a conservative, bourgeois conspiracy, comrades! According to our Intersectionality rubric, He is violence against everything we stand for, which is surely justification enough for our violent suppression.”

Legacy media, obeying the script handed to them, ran headlines demonising the Christ child. Crying in well-funded unison they whined,

“His existence as an outright repressive assault on everything we’ve built; everything we want people to believe in.”

The Bethlehem Times produced article after article arguing that this birth was,

“blasphemy against the State and that it must not go unpunished. We’ve heard of the academics; how three bourgeoisie wise-men cheated us. Traitors to our glorious academic-industrial complex, all of them!! Therefore, any who refuse to give up this child’s location should be tried and tortured; and treated like the vermin, we say they are.”

The Herodian News Network anchors ran wall-to-wall panels, with repeated 24/7 coverage, saying,

“It’s their kind that hinders us from completely implementing the tolerant and inclusive ways of our glorious leaders. The way of our glorious revolution. This child, the “Prince of peace” is a threat! He challenges us, our religion of peace, and our people. He must be found and executed!”

Celebrities even weighed in posting impromptu sing-a-longs imaging there was no heaven, stating,

“Comrades, you know that ‘State power must be exercised in all spheres, even in that of thought! For what we do is for the good of the people, we know what’s best for them, better than they know themselves.”’ 1

Academics took to Twitter hashtagging in anger that their

‘tenured collective’s survival rested on their egos and ideas dominating the higher ground in the hearts of the people. God would never come as a cisgender man! The future is female! Cancel the bigots who disagree!”

“I concur!” said another.

“This birth represents heteronormative oppression. We must rally people to take up arms against it. He who says that God became man is guilty of hatred towards women. It is said that the husband, one carpenter by the name of Joseph, has wed this woman, Mary, under strange circumstances. As it has been told to us, this Joseph is said to have been given the task of caring for the child by Angels. This only reinforces the evils of patriarchy. It will perpetuate the lies that claim healthy child-rearing at its best, involves both a man and a woman; a father and a mother. This heteronormative oppression MUST be stopped! We must cancel this Christ-child!”

I have an idea, boasted yet another,

“We’ll paint this cisgender male Christ-child, and the nativity scene itself, as evil; constructed to further the chains of bigoted societal norms.”

Blue tick accounts on social media piled on, frantically sharing and resharing that,

“The birth of the “Prince of Peace” threatens our control over what we say is peace; We must have war! War is peace! These ‘Christ-child’ breeders are an assault on ALL humanity. The State alone is the peace bringer. The State alone is the saviour of the people.”

Herod and his bureaucrats, sensing some quick political gain, sent their support, declaring:

“At the heart of this child there is a war on peace! He will stand against our truth and its phobic misrepresentations. He will not be easy to control through our mass propaganda and He will unhinge progress.”

Scientists fell in line justifying the murderous “peaceful protest” against the Christ-Child as “the betterment of humanity.”

Expert after expert filed peer reviewed papers claiming that this “Christ-child was anti-science.” That in order to do science, science mustn’t be questioned. “All must believe the science.”

Feminists staged a women’s march and rose up in their thousands, demanding that Mary be brought to heel by Herod’s men in charge, chanting:

“Hell, yes! Hell, yes! How dare this woman choose to keep her unexpected pregnancy! Worst of all, she claims to have been chosen by God! Send her to Planned Parenthood, where she’ll be re-educated in feminist healthcare and women’s rights! That child must not be allowed to live!”

Others screamed:

“How dare she stand against us and think for herself. This must not go unpunished! Think of the women who might follow her and keep the child?”

Still more, applauding the “peaceful protest” against the “Prince of Peace” cried out,

“Love is love! Her convictions and religious beliefs are phobic, sexist, and irrational. This woman’s pregnancy, and the prophecy attached to it is a farce, therefore this child’s life should be deemed not worthy of life.”

Members of the judicial community, waving their flags of virtue, also chimed in gaslighting Mary claiming she was to be held to blame for Herod’s bloodletting.

“It’s perfectly just. We cannot be to blame; we wouldn’t have had to act as we have if Mary had been willing to treat the child as a sexually transmitted disease and remove it. Thus, we decree that Mary is to wear the blame. This woman has forced Herod’s hand.”

Herod, buoyed by the support, wrote into law that,

“the decision was unanimous. Therefore, let nothing sway you.”

His soldiers were to wipe out all males up to the age of two. Making certain that the Christ-child was eliminated.

Not to be left out, the approved opposition among Herod’s theologians and poets lined the pavements with salutes, arguing that Herod was showing

 ‘great compassion. His ridding the State of this Christ-child was the liberation of his people. His chosen course was the only socially just action he could take. The birth of the Prince of peace; the Son of God, and its proclamation before everyday people would inspire ignorance, non-conformism and counter-cultural activists into disobedience. Zealots will rise. Worst of all it will inspire unity and solidarity amongst those we seek to control for their own benefit.”

The poets and theologians then sang,

“Only Herod could be called King. Only the State and the glorious leaders of the revolution can be called saviour! There can be no other!”

Herod, whose preferred pronouns were he/him, then proclaimed,

“Then let it be made known that all who disagree with us are traitors, haters and infidels! Anyone not thinking along with us is against us.”

“We’re told that the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled, that this child is a saviour.”

“But the quiet proclamation announcing the birth of a Jew; a baby boy from Judea is ethnocentric; it’s offensive to other “races”. It propagates the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, and threatens our power on the world stage.”

“Organise the outrage! Get the wheels of the State moving and manipulate the ignorant. Send out the murderous minions and shut down all this unlicensed good cheer. The party must not be seen to approve of this unsanctioned movement. Stop the early rumblings of this pathetic prophetic Jesus movement.”

And everybody said: “Long may our glorious revolution, the party who enforces it, and its leader who embodies it, reign!”


References:

Weil, S. 1936 Oppression & Liberty p.109 Routledge & Kegan Paul 1958.

First published on Caldron Pool 24th December, 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

No writer goes without giving a tongue-in-cheek, somewhat hyperbolic critique of the circles in which they sometimes find themselves. Here’s mine.


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We share pictures of books
Show off our reading pace so everyone looks.

Pat ourselves on the back for having beaten our friends to it,
Be the first to blog, tweet, and hope the bubble applies “likes” to it.

We quit our news feeds to quiet the noise.
Yet feed news feeds with the sound of our own voice.

It’s all supply and demand you see,
I post my thing and demand that you read.

Yes, we like those we think can, or may, or will, advance our career.
And only add those who can pad our stats to show off our appeal.

Heaven help the soul who seeks to participate.
This is a “community” that doesn’t reciprocate.

We’ll sit in silence and execute our higher responses
While pushing our own intellectual repertoire up your noses.

If you speak outside the paradigm, you can be sure to be hated.
(This, however, is never openly stated.)

Not publicly of course,
fans, followers and friends might just as openly disendorse us.

It would impact our numbers; steal our thunder.

Outdo, be outone, but don’t overdo the outdo, or your membership is done.

Don’t rock the boat, cause these inflated egos don’t float.

Simply, don’t! Not even with quotes.

Our prime pedestals should appear dressed prim and proper,
Should be camera ready, because we’re the only real show stoppers.

If you serve with ambition and don’t provoke our progressive suspicions,
and as long as your not seen as competition,
you’ll fit in with this cult of neo-Gnosticism.

Ode to the wall of virtual snobs.

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(©RL2016)

Image: Raphael Koh

‘Proximity & activity don’t always equal connectivity’ – Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited, p.43

ID-100221200 (1)I’ve been working on the planned posts which form a trilogy-in-sum brief on the closing part of Barth’s C.D I.II.

The problem is that finding the time to do it well has been more of a challenge than I anticipated – given that, and the serious issues in the news at the moment, I’m kind of avoiding finishing it.

So instead, today I’m posting some weekend G.K Chesterton lite.

For an academic, he appears free of the quest to be liked, shared or even celebrated.  Not being one to take himself too seriously, Chesterton is a reminder that serious reflection in life involves laughter, not just clinical-objective observation. More than this, he understood that the space and time we allow for laughter in our relationships is often way too small. Often, it is something temporary, lost to the impact of distraction; a casualty of circumstance.

He wasn’t fond of what he calls ’intellectual fog’[i]. (A term of his that I’m fond of, and one that pretty much describes the dangers of academic arrogance[ii]. This means anything that sucks the beauty and benefit out of reading, involving the form, content and unreasonable criticisms/suspicions applied to a text – e.g.: ad hominem, reductio ad absurdum et.al).

Most of us would agree on this point: that copious amounts of data (images) being fed through our technologically intertwined lives can weigh us down.

When this happens we should be careful to not let the intellectual fog ‘creep up the street; and put out lamp after lamp.’[iii]

In order to do this, when the time comes, we might aim at being more generous with our laughter. With the full understanding that just as the tears and sighs of broken hearts can move grief up through our lungs right towards the ears of God. Tears can also be the result of our hearts being reoriented towards joy.

In the light of Chesterton’s ability to see past his own ego and that of his peers and by employing such things as humour to do so, he, in my view, avoids being neatly packaged into any box of anti-intellectualism.

Perhaps when critics of Chesterton talk about him in this context, they might actually be missing the dry humour in some of Chesterton’s criticism of unnecessary over-sophistication.

For example:

‘I was sharply reminded that I had entered Babylon, and left England behind. The waiter brought me cheese, indeed, but cheese cut up into contemptibly small pieces; and it is the awful fact that, instead of Christian bread, he brought me biscuits.
Biscuits–to one who had eaten the cheese of four great countrysides! Biscuits–to one who had proved anew for himself the sanctity of the ancient wedding between cheese and bread! I addressed the waiter in warm and moving terms.
I asked him who he was that he should put asunder those whom Humanity had joined. I asked him if he did not feel, as an artist, that a solid but yielding substance like cheese went naturally with a solid, yielding substance like bread; to eat it off biscuits is like eating it off slates.
I asked him if, when he said his prayers, he was so supercilious as to pray for his daily biscuits. He gave me generally to understand that he was only obeying a custom of Modern Society. I have therefore resolved to raise my voice, not against the waiter, but against Modern Society, for this huge and unparalleled modern wrong.[iv]

This weekend why not take a deep breath, exhale gently, and with me, consider the reasons why the world needs to constantly be reminded of Barth’s admonition that:

‘Those who cannot sigh with others and laugh a little about themselves are warmongers[v]

Sources:

[i] Chesterton, G.K 1910, Alarms and Discussions: ‘Cheese’ Kindle Ed.441-448(‘Alarms and Discursions’ 1910, Kindle Ed. 441-448)
[ii] Chesterton, G. K. The Essential G. K. Chesterton Collection (400+ works) (Illustrated) (Kindle Ed. 2009 Loc. 7613-7614)
[iii] Ibid, ‘Science and art without morality are not dangerous in the sense commonly supposed. They are not dangerous like a fire, but dangerous like a fog. A fire is dangerous in its brightness; a fog in its dullness’
[iv] Chesterton, G. K. What I saw in America. Prohibition in Fact and Fancy: The Essential G. K. Chesterton Collection (400+ works) (Illustrated) (Kindle Ed. 2009. Locations 68335-68336)
[v] Barth, K. 1961 der götze wackelt (The Idol Wobbles – exact translation T.B.C)  Insights, (Selected by Ebherhard Busch, 2009) Westminster John Knox Press p.12
(h/t to Ben @ Faith & Theology, where I first read about Chesterton’s ‘Alarms and Discursions’)

Image credit: ‘Lighting Decor’, Courtesy of FeelArt