February 25, 2013
A bad world with Noam Chomsky and the UK Cardinal.
A sex scandal is engulfing a top UK Catholic priest. Allegation of this top Cardinal sharing drinking session with other priests with inappropriate behavior as a bonus will overshadow news of the flooding at the Australian Clarence River valley. Blade runner Pistorius is accused of murder and his brother of manslaughter as well as the top police prosecutor. The chance of scallywag Berlusconi returning to the top job in Italy. It just never rains but it pours.
It seems hard to come to anything redeeming this world. Where are the good news stories? Well, we lived for a long while on how Malala is showing the world to be courageous and not let being shot at in a bus remain a hindrance in wanting to attend school. She was indeed an ‘Icon of bravery’. The handing out of bravery medal for saving a drowning toddler, plus the occasional story of people with miraculous returns to life from dreadful diseases, do make headlines of sorts, but how do they weigh up against the ‘misery’ one?
Some years ago I remember reading a book called ‘the manufacturing of consent, by Noam Chomsky. While he might be best known for that book, he is lesser known for his writings about language and his theory that language is innate and that grammar and syntax ought not to restrict the language by too many rules. The innateness of language is one of the reasons why children learn languages so easily, almost effortlessly and naturally with the ability to understand and convey messages with the most eloquence and brevity which many also lose when growing up.
Why is that? How come they end up saying ‘stuff like that’ or, unable to find words to answer a question, escaping in the inane ‘you know’. No, we don’t! Perhaps the parents are mute, watching non-stop TV and with swallowing endless snack bars without uttering many words. Children do have to hear words being spoken.
We are so often surprised and entertained when the 4 year old comes up with the most astonishing observations and able to give words to it. Walking around with our dog (the incorrigible Jack Russell) Milo, he is often noticed by children in prams before they actually take notice of the adult a bit higher up, if at all. It seems that children and pets also connect better when they are still very young. Perhaps, dogs and toddlers are much closer in nature, more alert, more observant and an understanding, especially by dogs that children have much in common, including a language.
The understanding that priests, no matter how godly they are supposed to be, are without the tincture of carnality, would only escape the ignorant or the most fanatical of unquestioning believers. Why should they be excluded from that blessing or curse, depending on the acceptance of carnal pleasures or feelings of eternal misery infected by guilt and flames of promised eternal damnation?
I can well imagine the priests after a couple of lovely cold ales or stouts freeing up, letting go of the stifling and forbidden, being cloistered up for weeks, trying running away from their risible combustible erections and other forbidden mea culpa temptations to give in to what the rest of us are allowed, more or less, give free reign to.
Now years later, after all those thirty years of struggling in being good, all hell on earth now breaks loose with another hell waiting just around the corner. The poor Pope, it is all getting a bit much. He too must have had his morning glories. Perhaps, with a particular lovely nun having looked at him, oh so coyly sweetly and Virgin Mary like, in the papal eye and given rise to nature’s natural temptations.
A helicopter will soon take him away to a retirement and holiday destination south of Rome. He will still remain a catholic with a deep faith, he has promised. I wish him a few good years.
It’s not easy and we will be lucky to get out alive.
Bad news always outpaces the good.