Question Monkey

10 Squared (100 words in 10 lines)

Where Stocki Get’s It Wrong

Stocki’s post on Geldoff

Here’s his last paragraph:…

“…The other part of his Gay Byrne interview that impacted me was his strong conviction that God doesn’t exist. I know that I am a theist and am biased but I found it hard to believe that he doesn’t believe in God considering all that he does believe in. Today, it must be even harder for him to even consider belief in a deity. Yet, I am drawn to pray for him and his girls and Peaches’ husband and children….”

When you’re brought up in a culture that equates everything good and positive as coming from your god, everything loving and righteous, every bit of good fortune. When you give thanks to him for the very food on your table. When your parents and trusted adults reinforce this and praise any of your mirroring of this, it messes with your objectivity. Everything must be interpreted and understood within this paradigm.

The idea that anything can be good without it just doesn’t fit. Stocki almost demands that Geldof be considered a believer, for how else could he be good? Next he’ll have Peaches in heaven on her father’s moral credit card. He has a tendency to do the same with art and music, he insists on mining for the presence of his deity in every artist he deems worthy (the gospel according to…). Even if they don’t know it, they are actually speaking with god’s voice or are secretly closet believers. It’s a kind of cultural land grab.

There’s a scene in ‘My big fat Greek wedding’ were the proud Greek father is educating his non-Greek soon to be son-in-law that everything important and good is basically Greek. ‘Give me a word, any word’ he challenges, ‘and I’ll show you how it originated from Greek!’ When he’s stumped with the word ‘kimono’ he still finds a roundabout way to sanctify the word as Greek.

With Stocki’s approach there’s no engagement with argument, no asking why it is a singer/artist/charity worker might think that his belief/faith is misguided. He won’t risk allowing himself to be evangelised. No genuine conversation or humility that he may have something to learn… just a quiet prayer that they will one day come to know the truth as he does.

To Be Banjaxed

I have an unusual relationship to the ski slopes
it’s not enough to call it love/hate
skiing is a drug to which I am beholden
but no, not addicted to the partaking, but to the sensation of it ending
I spend moments in genuine fear of the coming banjax
as I slide uncontrolled to the edge of the slope
every successful increase in speed is tethered to its bedfellow, Mr Possible Broken Neck
the wise man would reach the valley saying “never again”
the kicker is that the only way to taste the blessed relief
is to re-approach the jeopardy

Ultimate Conclusion

Where is your terminal?
what do you want to happen and what do you want to pursue?
if you could take a pill which made you go to sleep for a month
and in this sleep you experienced an ecstasy and a complete achievement of this dream
would it be enough?
If it could be guaranteed that your loved ones shared in it
and also achieved this perfect ecstasy and fulfilment
would you be content to die at the end of the sleep?
Is the actuality and passage of your life
more important than the actual achievement and ultimate conclusion?

Marriage

I’m happily married, at time of writing,
to a great wife who i’m lucky to have found
but if herself were to shuffle off the auld coil, triggering the inevitable rush
by the likes of Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence
the question of ‘why get married?’ might not be easily answered.
I like being married, the ceremony and structure, the family unit sharing a name
They say ‘it’s great to publicly declare your love’
but even i, not a frivolous facebook friender
would more efficiently inform people by way of a soppy status update
than any expensive wedding breakfast could

What if

what if we could stop teaching our children that they are born filled with wrongness
and unacceptable to their creator
what if we could stop thanking our deity for granting a positive moment
while not apportioning blame for a negative
what if we could debate and define moral codes
without the compromised writings of the ancients
what if we could give full credit to those who do good
without praising a spirit for allowing good to succeed
what if we stop burdening our offspring with shackling myths
what if we could accept our mortality and that of our loved ones

Mourning

most of the time when people die
i don’t actively care, and i don't think i’m alone in that
if i really take time to think about it, the list of people i would mourn
is between a baker’s dozen and a score
these are people i would think about, unprovoked
more than a year or two after their death, and still be saddened
i wouldn’t mourn people i don’t personally know
five thousand have died since i started writing this note
it would be strange and unworkable for me to be sad about that
obvious? honest? calous? apathetic?

Death

soon everyone you have ever known and loved will be dead.
they will not exist, and not care about the news or twitter.
not only will you be dead, but your children will soon die.
their children will die, and your name will be forgotten or resurface in school projects.
the alternative is hell, an eternal life, without sense of the passage of time
everyone's descendants and ascendants alive
struggling to relate to generations of family members.
trying to conduct those relationships in unique and stable ways. 
unable to grow or change, static beings, a hell, but there is death.


(Coming soon, Mourning and Marriage)

Beauty

physical beauty is a zero sum game.
ideals may vary through time and cultures
but if all are beautiful then none are.
or at least it becomes a compliment of little weight.
when Aguilera sings 'I am beautiful no matter what they say'
she misunderstands that ‘their’ opinion is central to the concept
there is of course room for personal preference and fetish
but feelings of rancour that surface when we see a pretty woman or handsome man
is because their presence forces us down a notch on the scale.
beauty is not static, it is relative and can diminish
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