Saturday, 7 May 2011

5th Epistle to the Foxnewsians

Dear Foxnewsians,

Long time, no sense. Well, unless a sea-change has taken place in the offices of Fox News during the last six months. I freely admit that I finally went and got a life and stopped taking an unhealthy interest in your activities. However, I don’t want you to think that I’ve forgotten about you and so here I am to give you a hearty prod and see if my contrary opinions can’t push y’all to clutch your chests and fall to the ground in a heart-attack-domino-drop. I live both in hope and denial of the superiority of my own dialectic.

Well, I see that Mid-terms are upon us (upon you rather). However, I am nothing if not perverse and so I’m going to ignore that and turn instead to the issue of Mel Gibson.

Mel Gibson (and I think this is an matter on which we can agree some common ground) is an idiot. Mel Gibson denies that the Holocaust took place for the sole reason that his father didn’t believe in it and his father never told him a lie. Kind of like the story of George Washington, only in reverse (and just as fictional). I assume then that Mel Gibson’s father never made a mistake. I assume that Mel Gibson’s father never took the wrong turn off the freeway or backed the wrong team or incorrectly answered a trivia question or got caught in a storm without a jacket or failed to receive a hefty return on an investment. I assume that Mel Gibson’s father never died, but ascended from planet Earth to take up his position as King of the Galaxy, because according to Mel Gibson, his father was infallible and for an infallible being this would seem the only logical end. Either that or Mel Gibson’s father’s son is an idiot.

And I appreciate that to some this may seem disrespectful to the father-son relationship, an accusation which I would deny. I’m sure that Mel loved his father very much. I loved my late father too, but that doesn’t mean that I think he was perfect. He had no sense of direction whatsoever and sadly I have inherited that defect. Then again, I did also inherited his Complete Works of Shakespeare, Complete Works of Oscar Wilde and The Complete Sherlock Holmes Stories, so it’s swings and roundabouts (or whatever the equivalent American phrase is, figure it out for yourself).

Yet we all know that Mel Gibson hates Jews, we’ve all heard the tapes. And why does he hate Jews? Because they killed Jesus. Cue my eight point rebuttal:

  1. What, so people who are alive today are responsible for an alleged event that took place two thousand years ago? Well that seems a healthy and balanced view of the world (sarcasm). It’s like in this country, I know people who hate all Germans because of the war and the Holocaust, as if the people in Germany today are the same as those that were alive then and are therefore responsible for firing up the ovens. And isn’t it interesting that for someone apparently so in love with Jesus, Mel would much rather follow the Jewish creed of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” than the diametrically opposite belief that Jesus states during the Sermon on the Mount (“You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”)?
  2. Now my biblical knowledge may have a few holes in it here and there, but if I remember my New Testament correctly, it was the Pharisees that demanded Jesus be punished for blasphemy. The Pharisees were a Jewish political group that colluded with the Romans so they could retain power and influence over the poor and less influential Jews in the Empire, while living off them and keeping them subservient. So what Mel is saying is that the actions of any political group that claims to represent a clan or nation speaks for that nation entire and that any crimes committed by that group are the responsibility of all.

    Taking points 1 & 2 together, this mean that every American and Britain alive today is responsible for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and for the mistreatment of Native American tribes. Every Italian alive today is responsible for the genocide of eight million Iroquois on the island of Hispaniola that was perpetrated by Christopher Columbus and his men: Every Spaniard is responsible for the actions of the Conquistadors in Latin America. And you, Oh Foxnewsians, you yourselves are responsible for the deaths of the over one million Tibetans who have been murdered by the Chinese government and for the ethnic cleansing of Tibet’s population, which has been largely replaced by Han Chinese. And why? Because your Great Leader has media interests in China, which mouth Chinese state propaganda. The Great Leader is in cahoots with the Chinese government and as we know, that means you too are in cahoots and the perpetrators of genocide.
  3. If I remember rightly, Hitler thought something similar. And yes, I know that according to internet chat room protocol, my argument should be null and void at this point for merely invoking Hitler’s name, but in this case there is a specific correlation (as opposed to the kind of spurious links that your channel seeks to make between Hitler and Obama or the Democrats or Muslims or Orange County Waste Management or teachers or salamanders or the left handed or whoever else you’re trying to demonise in that instant before another circuit around the Fox Goldfish Bowl of News refocuses your attention on some different arbitrary target). It is my understanding that as a Christian (and not an occultist as Indiana Jones would have you believe), Hitler also thought that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus and if he killed all the Jews, God would reward him by granting him a place on His right hand side. 
  4. I wonder if Mel realises that according to the mythology that he purports to follow and believe in, it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross (or a stake in the ground or nailed to a tree or hung from and then thrown into a tree, depending on which bit of the Bible you chose to believe). According to God’s nonsensical and downright weird covenant with Adam, God would send a Messiah who would die for our sins, thereby absolving us of Original Sin. So God, an omnipotent, pantheistic being leaves temptation in the way and then is surprised when the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge is eaten. Yet while he holds Adam and Eve responsible for this, he also agrees to send a Messiah to Earth as a sacrifice (which might be taken as an admission of guilt in a court of law). If Jesus doesn’t die then there can be no forgiveness of Original Sin and the entrance to heaven remains blocked. So surely Judas, the Pharisees and the Jews are the heroes of this piece. And yet somehow this is the fault of anyone directly or indirectly related to any of the Jews living at that time. Which leads me to my next point… 
  5. That that actually includes everyone alive today. Whether you’re Jewish or not, whether you believe the world is 4.5 billion years old or 6,000, by simple application of geometric progression, you are related to everyone from that time that produced offspring. We all have two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, sixteen great, great grandparents and so on. Even assuming four generations of your family per century, going back just one millennium assumes that you are related to over a billion people. Yet given that there weren’t a billion people alive on Earth at that time, many of these direct decedents must have been one and the same person (your great-great-great-great-great-grandmother on one line of the family would also have been your great-great-great-great-great-grandmother on one, two or more lines). There is then a lot of doubling and trebling up and it turns out that we don’t need to go back very far into history before we reach a point where we are all related to a particular historical figure like Charlemagne or the Pharisees. And if their crimes are the responsibility of anyone in anyway related to them, then that includes everybody.
  6. Mel, you do realise that Jesus was Jewish, don’t you? Moreover, you do realise that most of the book that you revere as divine revelation tells the mythology of the Jewish people? So if you’re upset that Jesus was killed then you surely only have the right to be upset by his death, if it can be proved that he was the son of God and therefore the Messiah (although of course the Old Testament never says that the Messiah will be the son of God). Yet as Tom Paine pointed out back in the 18th century, if the Jews, the people whose Messiah Jesus is meant to be, if they say he’s not the Messiah (“He’s a very naughty boy” etc), then he’s not the Messiah, so what are you bitching about? In fact, if I remember rightly, in a couple of the Gospels Jesus is recorded as saying that while he is the Messiah, his sole responsibility while on this Earth is to return to God the Jews who had turned away from their faith (lost sheep, with all the implications that that metaphor implies). Gentiles need not apply. He actually said that (not in so many words, but the meaning is clear: Christianity is a club open only to Jews). It was only because the Romans needed to install a monotheistic faith upon the Empire, to implant in the minds of its population the idea that one God = one Emperor, thereby securing the imperial dictatorship of Constantine and his heir and successors after years of quasi-democratic rule, that Christianity was adopted in the first place. And yet even those censored texts that were included in The Vulgate (the Latin Bible) are quite clear on this point (well, as clear as the Bible is on anything): Jesus was a rabble rousing rabbi, fighting against the occupation of the Holy Land and the corruption of the Pharisees and that was that all he was interested in. If he came back today he would most likely be found in Gaza, railing against those same corrupt politicians.

And I’m bored of this already. I could go on, but what would be the point? It’s like when people ask what came first, the chicken or the egg. This must be a pre-Darwinian question, because clearly it was the egg. A chicken is a bird, but reptiles lay eggs, same as amphibians and fish, and they all predate birds. So it’s the egg ok? The egg came first. The egg. The chicken came a few million years later. And like the chicken and egg, Mel Gibson’s prejudice against Jews predates his justification for his hatred, which is delusional on so many levels that it would require an essay ten times this length to peel away the multiple layers of self-deceit. And anyway, as we have recently witnessed (or at least heard), his unfocussed hatred is not restricted to Jews, but flies at African-Americans and women and probably anyone else who isn’t a bigoted prick in exactly the same way that he is. In other words, deep down Mel Gibson probably hates just plain everybody. And when you hate everybody, well that’s such a very lonely place to be that it can’t rightly be called hatred anymore. What it is is fear.

Jesus said, “God is love.” And Leopold Bloom, the eponymous Jewish hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, said of hatred, “That's not a life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it's the very opposite of that that is really life.” Jesus, Bloom, Marx, Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Shylock, as much as Mel and his ilk hate and vilify Jews, they do seem to resonate throughout history and throughout literature. For a people that today represent just one quarter of one percent of the population of the planet, they’ve done well for themselves. Which leads to all kinds of conspiracies about a Jewish cabal ruling the western world. The proponents of this conspiracy are so vacuous and educationally sub-normal that even the writing of this sentence has already expended more energy than their horseshit is worth. Indeed, I have often speculated whether Judaism would have survived as a religion had not the Holy Roman Empire wanted someone to persecute as a distraction from its own sins. Did the very act of persecution reinforce the importance of Judaism in the minds of its followers and give the religion a longevity that it wouldn’t have otherwise had? If Christianity hadn’t been adopted by the Romans, would Judaism have ultimately been absorbed by Islam, which is the true successor of Judaism anyway, not Christianity, which is a pagan religion painted over with whitewash to make it look new and Eurocentric.

All of which I admit is mere speculation. But hey, what’s speculation to some is a full day’s ‘fair and balanced reporting’ to others.

You shall here from me anon.

Amused, Manchester

PS: Oh go on then, I can’t resist it. So, big surprise, Americans have replaced one set of corporate puppets with another set of corporate puppets, the status quo is preserved for the 234th year in succession and somewhere, in a BP boardroom, executives are lighting cigars off the flaming back of an oil soaked pelican and manically laughing. Less enlightened individuals refer to this state of affairs as a democracy.

“Hey, the country’s fucked.” “What do we do?” “I know, let’s vote back in the people who fucked it up in the first place.” It’s hardly surprising for a midterm president to be defeated in elections, doesn’t that happen like every four years anyway? After all, with the ‘choice’ of two alternatives that are essentially the same, the difference in votes for each ‘party’ is only ever going to be marginal. Moreover, in a country where as little as 50% bother to vote for either party, quite big changes can be affected with little actual swing from one arm of the Republican-Democratic party to the other arm of the Republican-Democratic party. A large part of the population of your country (and here too) don’t vote because they know that their interests won’t be served by either faction, but your population seems stuck in a monotonous swing from one arm to the other and back again, without anything actually changing in the meanwhile. Even when the ultra right rise up and form the Tea Party (no tea, no actual substance of any kind as far as I can see, just a bunch barely sentient reactors banging on about “No taxation without representation” while they are manipulated by multinational behemoths who already have all the representation they will ever need to ensure that they pay as little tax as is offshoredly {is that an adverb? It is now} possible), well even then all that the Tea Party can think to do is form a more militant wing of the more militant arm of the already quite right wing Republican-Democratic party.

“He not busy being born is busy dying.” sang Robert Zimmerman (to preserve today’s theme). And the more that America stands still, the more it slips from its once unassailable position, towards the historical mire that awaits all once great empires, with a dozen fledgling bullies waiting to take its place on the global stage. The Tea Party volleys and thunders, but they are like the tolling of the church bells that Keats described as the death rattle of religion, “sighing, wailing, ere they go into oblivion.” Yet as those lines were not written by an American, the patriotic and ideological adherents of the ultra right will most likely not even know his name. Which is a pity, because one of the things that the English have always done better than anyone is poetry. And of the English poets, Keats may just be the greatest.

The Sun God, Apollo

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