Unfortunately, some people have an idea of the “holy” that is merely dumb-butt stupid, and that derogatory statement is all you can say for them. This bozo’s ignorance isn’t merely laughable; it’s dangerous. The man is a twisted fool. His immaturity, in fact, suggests that no matter what his age he hasn’t earned the word “man” because he hasn’t grown up. Here’s a news flash, doofus: it’s the 21st century. But let no one misunderstand me and take my words as an attack solely on this representative of Islam. Why do I hear comments as backward and vile from fundamentalist Christian ministers and Catholic priests? Consider the comments made about America’s “sins” that came on the heels of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America, comments from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, telling us all about God’s punishment for our secular ways. Consider the satire from THE ONION I’ve already posted where Catholic officials were blaming the children for the instances of sexual abuse in the church and then forgiving them. Twisted. Mean-spirited. Dangerous. The growing chorus of voices against these related variations of stupidity is a good thing; but it needs to be louder. We need more people speaking out.
“The Vatican forgives the Beatles for saying they were ‘more popular than Jesus.’ Aren’t there more pressing apologies to attend to?”—Newsweek, April 26, 2010, p. 15 (from “The Index” on “The Culture”).
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble — “Look at Little Sister”
If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the late Stevie Ray Vaughan live or even on television, then do a search for “Stevie Ray Vaughan” here on my Tumblr and you’ll be led to my post from July 22, 2009: SRV singing “Texas Flood” live on Austin City Limits. Turn it up.
“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you!”—
While I enjoy this quotation and want to reblog it (and feel the need to add the second “n” to Hermann which I have taken the liberty to do in my post), I have to comment or I cannot simply reblog. Well, yes and no to this comment. I’ll accept “drunk” only in terms of metaphor if I’m to nod my head in agreement. Drunk on alcohol? No. Boring and worthless. I do not want to take myself out of the game. Drunk on art? Drunk on, more broadly speaking, the world of the senses and experience itself? Yes. And I disagree about the “solid citizen” idea unless I’m able to define it in the following way. Am I—as artist? as artist of my own life?—the “solid citizen” as “solid citizen” would be defined by most people in my society? Probably not, because—though I’m more “solid” than most in my love and work, far more successful than many I see who hold themselves up as “solid citizens” while they criticize my departure from their norm—I am not cowed by traditions and institutions the way the mass of men so easily seem to be. I have more respect for thinking and being an individual than most men do. So I refuse to hand over the label of “solid citizen” to these weaklings. I would suggest that I am more of a solid citizen than those who cannot or do not think for themselves, those who have calcified yet hold themselves up as “solid citizens” because they travel with the herd, because they exercise only what Bertrand Russell called “tabu morality” and define themselves as “solid” by that which they do not do. I do not know why men lose themselves to drink (nor do I celebrate it and find it amusing when they do) any more than I know why they turn their responsibility for their lives over to structures like those currently in the news for abuse within their hierarchical, secretive, and patriarchal institutions: specifically, the Catholic Church and the Church of Scientology. I don’t stop my criticism at those two institutions: line them all up. I cannot read or watch news reports about the latest round of accusations of crimes within such structures without thinking such thoughts as this one: and even now you’re not running away from such “solid” or “worthy” structures as fast as you can? You still can’t do it? Such “solid citizens,” such “wholesome, upstanding” men and women disappointment me greatly. If they were, in fact, better citizens, they would shed themselves of such nonsense. They would step up; they would stop apologizing for their affiliations; they would stop making excuses; and we could revise the notion of the “solid citizen” in such a way so that it would include creativity and courage and reason rather than a minority of us having to celebrate our contrary views and be satisfied to merely think of ourselves as the “other” instead of changing that which is rotten in the mass.