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Archive for April, 2012

Eating God

One thing I love about Hinduism is the way gods are treated. For example, in a Hindu puja (ritual offering), people will talk about how awesome the god/goddess is, sing a little song to him/her, and offer him/her fruit and milk.

For example:

“We worship you Lakshmi, who is fragrant and adorned with various ornaments, wearing crystal jewels that are quite nice and receiving a warm, beautiful shower from elephants wearing hats. The Sun and Moon meditate on you. Without you, no ritual is possible. O! daughter of the Ocean of Milk, you are so milky.”

(Note: this is not word-for-word accurate but Google Translate wasn’t working).

.

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And then someone sings:

Oh praise you, Mother Lakshmi, embodiment of grace and charm,

Consort of Brahma, Rudra and Vishnu

You grant health and prosperity

Have some fruit and milk

So as a Hindu god, you listen to songs about yourself and eat delicious food. WIN.

My life as a Hindu god would go like this:

“Dear Nick, God of handsome, you are so charming and wonderful, your jacket is quite nice and I noticed you’re wearing matching socks today. You are smelling particularly fragrant – is that Old Spice? The Sun and Moon think you are awesome. Please give me some of your handsome.”

Oh Nick

Handsome as the mountain

Cool like the balmy ocean

I praise you

Eat some delicious pizza

Let’s not forget also that if you’re Shiva, you’re worshipped as a giant penis. Nice.

Hindus are flatterers.

Baby Jesus: "Don't eat me."

Compare this to being the Roman Catholic god:

“Our father, which art in heaven, we were such shits that you had to be nailed to a wooden cross and die in agony for our shitheadedness. Here is wafer that is your body and wine that is your blood.” THEN THEY FUCKING EAT YOU. They drink your blood and eat your body. The Catechism of the Council of Trent states: “In this sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ, and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire”. Catholics are some fucked up combination of blood-sucking vampires and flesh-eating ASSHOLES.

Doritos: the healthy alternative. To HUMAN FLESH.

Note that this is the opposite of a puja, in which food is offered to the gods. OK, Hindus eat some of the now blessed food at the end (prasad), but at least they pretend to let the gods eat some. They hold it up and close their eyes and the unspoken idea is, I feel, that the gods ate some while you weren’t looking. It’s sort of like leaving food out for Santa.

Roman Catholics serve food . . . then they eat it all. And they’re eating YOU (if you’re God). People, if you’re hungry, bring some fucking Doritos. Don’t eat God.

ASSHOLES.

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Youth

“And this is how I see the East. I have seen its secret places and have looked into its very soul; but now I see it always from a small boat, a high outline of mountains, blue and afar in the morning; like faint mist at noon; a jagged wall of purple at sunset. I have the feel of the oar in my hand, the vision of a scorching blue sea in my eyes. And I see a bay, a wide bay, smooth as glass and polished like ice, shimmering in the dark. A red light burns far off upon the gloom of the land, and the night is soft and warm. We drag at the oars with aching arms, and suddenly a puff of wind, a puff faint and tepid and laden with strange odors of blossoms, of aromatic wood, comes out of the still night — the first sigh of the East on my face. That I can never forget. It was impalpable and enslaving, like a charm, like a whispered promise of mysterious delight.”

– Joseph Conrad, Youth

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IN LATE ANTIQUITY, the resurrection of the body was a pivotal issue in Christian theology. Paul asserts that a corpse is “sown a natural body; it shall rise a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). This created a paradox for theologians, who struggled to reconcile the idea of radical transformation with the need for material continuity. Resurrection of the same material was thought necessary to conserve personal identity.

The paradox raised a theological problem more disturbing than the problem of evil: the problem of genitals. Given radical transformation, would our spiritual bodies sport sexual organs? And if so, would they remain functional?

In the middle of the debate, sometimes getting awkwardly in the way, were genitalia.

Tertullian (ca. 155-230), one of the Latin Church Fathers, penned an early and comprehensive response. He argued – paying careful attention to the re-animated genitals – that the resurrection body will be of exactly the same flesh. The resurrection body, he insisted, will contain all organs. However, genitals will be non-functional. For Tertullian, reproduction – like digestion – represented physical process and thus corruption. Genitals and mouths will therefore neither copulate nor eat. Instead, mouths will sing praises to God. Genitals will survive for the sake of beauty. Medieval scholar Caroline Bynum sums up Tertullian’s approach: “We will not chew in heaven, but we will have teeth, because we would look funny without them”. The same could be said for genitals.

St. Augustine (354-430), the celebrated Latin theologian and philosopher, built on this view to formulate an even more detailed apologetic. Between Tertullian and Augustine stood Origen (ca. 185-254), who had drawn on Platonic philosophy to postulate a spiritual resurrection body. (Incidentally, it is alleged that Origen castrated himself, taking Matthrew 19:12 quite literally). Augustine rejected the idea of a spiritual vehicle, defending the traditional notion of resurrection as reassemblage of the same flesh.

Augustine had a sordid history of genital fixation. Originally a Manichaean, he led a debauched life in Carthage before fleeing to Rome to avoid his school fees (also once my plan). He converted first to Neoplatonism and later to Christianity. During his Christian years, he formulated the doctrine of original sin: original sin exists and is transmitted biologically, through semen. He was haunted by his own sexuality. In Carthage, Augustine had begged God: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet”. Indeed, he linked lust to original sin: as Bertrand Russell summarised it, “The need of lust in sexual intercourse is a punishment for Adam’s sin, but for which sex might have been divorced from pleasure”. The stirring of the first genitals was also the first act of divine retribution.

It is therefore a surprise that in The City of God Augustine has our resurrection bodies retain genitals:

I feel that theirs is the more sensible opinion who have no doubt that there will be both sexes in the Resurrection. . . . However, the female organs shall remain adapted, not to the old uses, but to a new beauty, which, so far from provoking lust, now extinct, shall excite praise to the wisdom and clemency of God.

Notice, however, that this is no ordinary vagina. It is rather a glorified vagina. Instead of exciting sexual desire, it provokes hymns. Though made of the same flesh, it has been stripped of sexuality and has undergone a radical transformation: from siren to muse. But what of the penis?

A wise internet source notes:

Augustine does not discuss the genitalia of the Redeemer, but if he thought that the organs of woman—that lowly creature and instrument of the Devil—are to be glorified in the afterlife, it is more than likely that his theological argument would allow for the male organ to achieve even higher glorification through the Incarnation.

So although women receive a glorified vagina, men might receive an even better penis. Jesus himself, we can assume, possessed such an organ after his resurrection. The modern Christian might ask, a bit facetiously: “Will I also be able to play the piano – perhaps with my super penis?” But Augustine had a serious concern: preserving hierarchical power relations in the afterlife. In fact, it stands to reason that status will also be reflected differentially along other spiritual lines. So that Pope Benedict XVI, for example, will have the best super penis; Abraham a somewhat bent version; Mohammad a controversial penis; and so on and so forth right down to Mormons.

It’s interesting to ponder that if paradise is a place where the genitals no longer stir, the case should be the opposite in hell. The genitals should be functional. Hell is a raging boner. Augustine isn’t clear on this. On one hand, endlessly stirring genitals seem have been his ultimate nightmare, and therefore a fitting plight for the worst place imaginable. On the other, he argues that resurrected bodies in hell will also be glorified, in order to survive eternal punishment. This state of glorification could imply the same negation of process that renders the genitals non-functional in heaven.

The new you

A final issue to consider is transparency. Augustine asserts that in Heaven nothing will be hidden. Caroline Bynum interprets this to mean that Augustine thought our resurrection bodies will be see-through. This must have been a reassuring comfort for people who liked the idea of glorified and non-functional genitals, but preferred the idea of glorified, non-functional and transparent genitals. Indeed, Augustine even speculates that our bodies will be weightless, and aged about the same age as Jesus at the crucifixion. This presumably also applies to the sexual organs.

Augustine’s ingenious final conclusion, then, is that we will possess genitals, but that these will be weightless, glorified, non-functional, see-through, and about 30 years old. His solution attempts to capture both the essence of radical transformation and material continuity.

Augustine’s perspective on the resurrection body cannot be underestimated. His complex and influential views lived on – to lay a firm foundation for Medieval genitals to come.

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Quickwash

THE QUICKWASH: it’s quick and it washes your clothes. So why do I find myself waiting an hour for someone else’s regular wash? The world is going to end in 256 days. I don’t have time for this shit. The Quickwash is SUFFICIENT. ALWAYS. It is ALWAYS ENOUGH.

This woman thinks you're an asshole

The regular wash goes for ONE HOUR. When the fuck do you ever wash ANYTHING for an hour? Have you ever washed a dish for an hour? If you took these shirts to the river, do you think you would scrub each one for one hour? No. But right now, all your clothes are being washed for that long. This washing machine is like a dozen tiny people individually washing one item of clothing for an hour, soaking them in river water and beating them against the rocks. That includes socks. Each of your socks is being washed for ONE. HOUR. Why do you need to wash your clothes for so long? Did your shit your pants? Let me ask you this question: have you ever taken anything out of the Quickwash and found it still soiled?

"Bitch put her laundry in for an hour again."

OK, wait. Pick one of these options. ARE YOU: washing clothing in which someone died of the bubonic plague? OR: washing your shirt, which you wore for about twelve hours, and lightly perspired in for approximately fifteen minutes on the metro? Here, I am not being generous enough. Let us suppose that your daily schedule is something like this:

9am: vigorous fifteen kilometre jog

10am: mud wrestling

1pm (you mud wrestled for three hours):  kickboxing practice

2pm: crossfit training

4pm: shit own pants

6pm: bacchanalian orgy

8pm: die of bubonic plague

9pm: better do some washing

First, you are a dirty but very active person, and I think I commend you. But I propose something outrageous: even given this schedule, excepting wine stains, the quickwash would probably STILL BE ENOUGH.

Quickwash: always a win.

Use Quickwash and this girl will emerge from your washing machine and play you a song

I wish this was inside my washing machine.

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Spring

“Spring comes into Quebec from the west. It is the warm Japan Current that brings the change of season to the east coast of Canada, and then the West Wind picks it up. It comes across the prairies in the breath of the Chinook, waking up the grain and caves of bears. It flows over Ontario like a dream of legislation, and it sneaks into Quebec, into our villages, between our birch trees. In Montreal the cafes, like a bed of tulip bulbs, sprout from their cellars in a display of awnings and chairs. In Montreal spring is like an autopsy. Everyone wants to see the inside of the frozen mammoth. Girls rip off their sleeves and the flesh is sweet and white, like wood under green bark. From the streets a sexual manifesto rises like an inflating tire, “The winter has not killed us again!” Spring comes into Quebec from Japan, and like a prewar Crackerjack prize it breaks the first day because we play too hard with it. Spring comes into Montreal like an American movie of Riviera Romance, and everyone has to sleep with a foreigner, and suddenly the house lights flare and it’s summer, but we don’t mind because spring is really a little flashy for our taste, a little effeminate, like the furs of Hollywood lavatories. Spring is an exotic import, like rubber love equipment from Hong Kong, we only want it for a special afternoon, and vote tariffs tomorrow if necessary.”

– Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers

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Breasts

DEAR GIRLS WHO TRY TO TIP ME using the upper quadrant of their breasts,

You ordered a vodka cranberry and flashed me a striking smile as I handed you your drink, leaning forward to expose the generous curves of your blossoming bosom above your low-cut shirt. Then you turned and walked away.

Oh ho ho. I see what you did there. Very sneaky.

Well, sit down and let me explain something to you.

First, how stupid do you think I am? What is this, shock and awe? Do you think I am momentarily blinded? That I am reeling back in surprise, dumbfounded by the fact that I glimpsed a fleeting hint of mammary glands? That you’re a fucking ninja? IS THIS A JEDI MIND TRICK?

A glimpse of your cleavage is not a dollar. It is not worth even half a dollar to me. In other words, it’s not even equivalent to a bad tip.

Why? I will tell you.

“Do you take Masterboob?”

PORNOGRAPHY. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this invention, but you can find it using any possible search term you can think of in Google. Including “please do not show me porn.” I can see all the goddamn breasts I want – using the miracle of Youporn. (Also: Spankwire, Porntube, Shufuni . . . While we’re on the subject, might I mention the classy Xart). This dramatically devalues your cleavage. Youporn = inflation for your boobies.

“Can I use this as a down payment?”

Also. You might not have noticed, but I am a 30 YEAR OLD MAN. I have gone past second base. I have not only seen cleavage before, I have seen BREASTS. NAKED BREASTS. I have held them in my hand. Your cleavage is NOTHING to me. Do you understand? NOTHING. But here is your real problem. Not only have I seen and touched the mamillas of strangers. I have a girlfriend. With boobs. Glorious boobs. They are perfect slightly-larger-than-a-handful C cups with ideal nipples. And these boobs mean more to me because I have an emotional connection to them. We have a relationship. It’s not just wam, bam, thank you ma’am, get her done and get her out of there. We see each other on the regular. We share things. We have feelings together. I admire them freely in their cleavage form, AND I can expose and touch them whenever I want in their naked, full form. WHENEVER I WANT. I can even do this to the NIPPLES. I GET NIPPLE. Why would I care about the upper region of your goddamn breasts?

Without nipple, you are not even in the running. And even then, my girlfriend would slap your broke ass back into your vodka cranberry/sugary shot diabetes corner before I could serve you.

So give me a fucking dollar, bitch.

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