Showing posts with label satire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label satire. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Gay chef Tom Logan
In what his friends claim is a softening of his stance on Popes, 38-year-old gay chef Tom Logan claimed he was fine with them as long as they didn’t do any Pope stuff.
My friend Alison on Facebook made my day with the link above.
Pope Francis
Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he [Pope Francis] reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

He was responding to questions about whether there was a "gay lobby" in the Vatican.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?"

But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well," Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging 80-minute long interview with Vatican journalists.
I confess I am puzzled by the glee over Pope Francis' latest statement on gays, as I don't see the pope offering hope for any change in practice.  The pope's tone is more pastoral than previous popes, but that's about it.

From The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (My emphases)
Pope Francis states that the Catechism explains the RCC's stance on same-sexuality very well.  What then has changed?  When I see a RC bishop or priest come out as gay and remain is his position, I'll believe the church has changed its position.   When a candidate for ordination openly declares same-sex orientation and is allowed to continue the process to ordination, I will believe in change.  We shall see. 

Since I am no longer a member of the RCC, what the pope says doesn't matter very much to me one way or another. Still, I wonder because a good many gay friends of mine are pleased by the pope's words, and I do not understand the reasons for rejoicing 

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Why don't the leaders of the churches, and I don't refer only to the pope (I'm looking at you, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby), stand up for what is just and right for a change and not focus so on holding institutions together?  I'm too old and jaded to be fooled by mere soothing words that, in the end, only serve to prolong the agony of the wait for true acceptance. As My Fair Lady said, "Show me!"

UPDATE: Speaking of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
Speaking to more than 6,000 people at a conference, Archbishop Welby said the passing of the Same Sex Marriage Act had been “crushing” for the church, but was something it needed to listen and respond to.

"I spoke against it and voted against it but I listened and I heard the roar of revolution,” said the Archbishop, as he described listening to the debate on The Same Sex Marriage Act.

"It came not merely from those one would expect but from every side of the house, Conservatives, Liberals and Labour, of every age and sex.

"Those of us against the act were utterly crushed in the voting again, and again, and again.

 "There were more people who turned out to vote than the House of Lords than experienced in World War Two.

"But popular opinion is not a case for changing obedience to God...."
I'm tempted to despair.  Crushing for which church?  Certainly not for the Church of England.  With the opposition Justin saw in the House of Lords, how can he think he speaks for the church?  Does he speak for all bishops, priests, and laity in the church?  As my English Facebook friend said, "YOU are NOT God Archbishop! Surrender your arrogant ignorance now?"  I didn't say that.  I'm merely quoting my English friend. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013


With all the talk of budget cuts and austerity, affecting most severely "the least of these", rather than the 1%, or even the 10%, and whether poor people are deserving or undeserving, and whether hard-working people who labor for low wages should be given help to make ends meet in the midst of their struggles, and protecting fetuses in the womb, but showing little concern for already-born babies and children, Jonathan Swift's shocking essay titled "A Modest Proposal" returns again and again to my mind.  I could have gone on and on about the injustices in our society, but I believe I've made my point.

I brushed aside the thought of the essay, but it kept coming back, so I decided to write about it after all.  Swift's satire was quite difficult for me to reread, for it bites and bites hard.  Since I can't bring myself to quote Swift's words, I leave it to you to read or not. 

Image from Wikipedia.

Monday, March 5, 2012


You must read Adrian's post at Pluralist Speaks. He reveals to us the meaning behind the words of Archbishop Rowan Tree's speech on YouTube. Here's a sample:
Debate in the Church in England about the proposed Anglican Covenant is still going on and I admit I am getting worried, if not a little desperate. So I thought, I know, I'll go on You Tube and try to rescue the situation.

And so this is quite a desperate moment to repeat some of my points surrounding that debate and perhaps also to remind you little people of what I want.

The Covenant, as it sits, is a document that was drawn up over a period involving pretty well no one of unimportance in the Anglican Communion. The Church in England itself played virtually no part in successive drafts of the Covenant, other than the few high level contributions we up here have made over there.

This is why I have to keep saying what the Covenant is about, either me or through the UFO. Essentially, it's about going slow in the Communion. As in any argumentative family, what we do can annoy your mum, dad, sister, brother or grandparents. Well, Anglicanism has a lot of brothers and sisters and some wayward cousins. The Covenant is about not upsetting any of your brothers and sisters in terms of the Communion's life. Think about how all the arguments at bedtime could be avoided if we didn't use the bathroom, didn't go to bed or didn't stay up at night.
Now head on over there to read the rest and be enlightened.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Richard Prince - "Spiritual America"

"Sonic Nurse" by Richard Prince. Image from Wiki.

Perhaps, this is the last post that I'll milk from my few days in New York - very full days, as I look back. But that's always the case on my visits there, as I try to cram in as many activities as possible and end up exhausted.

On Monday morning, I went to the Guggenheim Museum to see an intriguing art exhibit, Richard Prince's Spiritual America. The paintings and sculptures by Prince, a contemporary artist, line the walls and spaces in the alcoves all the way up the circular ramp, from bottom to top - or top to bottom, if you go up the elevator and walk down. I walked smiling or laughing out loud throughout most of the exhibit, and I was laughing with the artist and not at him.

The exhibit includes sculptures, paintings, and rephotography, which I'll talk about later. On the floor at the ground level is the rear half of the body of a car with a sculptured front. That was my first smile, but by no means the last.

Four different versions of photographs of a VO ad were first on the wall as I began my walk up the spiral. Remember Seagram's VO? In the rephotography pieces, Prince photographs ads from magazines, removes the brand lettering, and crops or smudges to get his final work. In the case of the VO works, he left the brand name in. My first reaction to the VO pictures was, "Is this art?" As I continued on, I saw more photographs of ads, high-end furniture ads, with all the lettering and brand names removed.

Then, I came to the masterpieces of rephotography - the "Cowboys" - the Marlboro men. Some of the pictures were quite large, a few on a smaller scale, but seeing the Marlboro men all together is absolutely amazing. I remember the dissonance I felt about the Marlboro men ads when I'd see them in magazines. Here were all these manly men doing rugged work in the pure, clean air, with gorgeous Western scenery in the background, and they're selling cigarettes. All of that came flooding back into my memory, and I came to the conclusion that Prince is an artist with a keen sense of humor. I could not help smiling, as I walked through.

On one side panel was a small picture of two cowboys stooping down. They're nearly silhouettes, but not quite. One cowboy seems to be giving the other a soulful look. I thought to myself, "Brokeback Mountain!" Then, as I backtracked, the whole cowboy exhibit looked gay. When I got back to the hotel that night, I was telling Grandpère about it, and he said, "I always thought the Marlboro men were gay." He was way ahead of me.

The exhibit included paintings of panels of all one color, perhaps with a darker or lighter stripe of the same color. Across the panels were jokes with words running together and breaks in odd places, making them hard to decipher. After you take the time to read something like this, I'ma lwayski ddingabo utmywife. Ea chtimeIin trod ucehertoso meone, thesay, "Yo u'rekiddi ng", the joke is on you for putting such effort in reading a silly joke. My favorite among the jokes is this one, which I'll do without the odd letter spacing. Two psychiatrists. One says to the other, "I had lunch with my mother the other day and I made a Freudian slip. I meant to say, "Please pass the butter," and it came out, "You f**king bitch. You ruined my life".

At that one I laughed out loud. As I walked further along, one of the young museum attendants asked me if I was enjoying the exhibit. Why me? Perhaps he heard me laugh. I told him that I loved it. He said, "I feel the same way".

Moving right along to the "Girlfriend" pictures. The girlfriends are photographs of biker's girlfriends, posing provocatively on the bikes, some topless. The women do not have fashion model bodies. Theirs are not the ideals of beauty that we see on TV, in the movies, or in the fashion magazines. They are real bodies of real women that won't make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves the moment we look at them.

Then there's the "Nurses" paintings room, from which comes the example at the head of the post. The names of the "Nurse" paintings are taken from the trashy romance novels about the racy lives of fictional nurses. Below are the titles of some of the paintings, not all of which were included in the exhibit. Imagine the possibilities in the stories!

A Nurse Involved
Aloha Nurse
Danger Nurse at Work
Doctor's Nurse
Dude Ranch Nurse
Graduate Nurse
Heartbreak Nurse
Island Nurse
Lake Resort Nurse
New England Nurse
Nurse Barclay's Dilemma
Park Avenue Nurse
Piney Woods Nurse
Surfing Nurse #2
Surgical Nurse

Sometimes there's a little blood, a mask. They're somewhat threatening and spooky.

I'm leaving out a lot, including his "Hood" sculptures - that's the hood of a car, and others of his works, because this is running long and is taking me forever to write. Why do I take such time with it? Because I liked the exhibit so. In the beginning, I viewed it with mixed feelings, but I came away loving it. I'm no art critic, and I purposely did not read reviews of the exhibit before writing, since I wanted to give my impression.

The very title of the exhibit, "Spiritual America" is filled with irony. I do not know whether it was chosen by the artist or the curator, but it is apt. The American spirit thrives on fakery. The "Girlfriends" pictures serve as a jolt of reality in the midst of the fakes. Much of the exhibit is pure satire on the advertising trade, which is such a huge part of what keeps the American economy running. And now it plays a rather frightening part in our fake electoral process.

Below are links to two reviews of the exhibit.

From Patricia Zohn at The Huffington Post.

From the East Hampton Star.

Here's a link to further information on Prince's art;

From Art & Culture