Monday, 26 March 2007

We’re all animals!

We’re all animals!
From politicians and the ‘leaders’ of high society to the lowest mud farmer, we’re all animals and its time to get over it!
Just because we built some superior twig technology that allowed us the beat up the other ape dudes a few thousand years ago- this doesn’t make us superior to them, it just means we were a bit meaner, a bit more conniving, and had some pretty good anatomy that one day, allowed some to earn millions throwing small spherical objects around.
Now I ask you, are these qualities for us to admire in ourselves?
And what the hell does this have to do with what follows? Read on dear ‘only person who found my blog by mistake’, you’ll see soon enough.
For the last hundred years, religion (in the west) has been on the downslide, yet suddenly it seems to be making a come back in a big way. Well the reason for this sudden success is the oldest one there is.
Now for starters these ‘new religions’ are nothing like the old ones. Gone are the parables, and the Latin, and the monotonous sermon droned out by an aged priest in a frilly dress, whose nose shows he likes a bit too much port on the other 6 days of the week he doesn’t have to work. Instead modern Christianity is full of stage lighting and audio equipment that Bon Jovi would be jealous of. Hymns are now upbeat rock and roll tunes that the ministers backing band, choir and singers punch out to a ‘ruptured’ audience. No longer are there drone-like worker bees, sitting, kneeling or standing in their ‘Sunday’s best’, mumbling the same prayer said every Sunday since they could first walk. No more children being pinched hard and having later revenge threatened through clenched teeth by nervous parents, determined that their brats will be better behaved then the dreaded Smithson’s one pewee over. The drudgery is gone, for now all can clap along to a righteous beat (huh, righteous….get it), swaying to and fro as the rock and roll message of the Lord sweeps over us in our ‘Gee-Hee-Sus is da’ bomb’ T-shirt. Now sermons are chronicled by well-presented, good looking youngsters in clear, well manicured voices crying out their poignant messages about how they’ve suffered, and how the modern world can ruin anyone’s life, just like it did theirs… “But Gee-Hee-Sus can save us all….Now here’s the collection plate!”
It’s uplifting, joyous and in the end, exactly the same old message… which was exactly the same when it was spoken in Latin… or as the druids preached before them …or when a lamb was slaughtered to Zeus. The church is your salvation, and if you’re not with us, then you’re against HIM (pointing up at the ceiling, statue or tree-depending on the particular deity at the time). Note- I should point out here that I’m really talking about Catholicism simply because I was raised catholic. I’m sure the same thing happens in the world’s other religions; I just don’t feel it’s my place to rant about them as I was never repressed by them.
What I find really interesting is that the Catholic Church exterminated all the druids for simply being a group of yahoos who’d run around dancing and singing a little too much in their ‘mother god who can be found in all things is good’ togas. These priests could see little piety in such actions as they could only lead too one thing…. fornication…and fornication is bad!
How interesting that these new breeds are springing up everywhere, encourage everyone to sing, dance, get married and start popping out lots of junior little singers and dancers so the church can keep filling its coffers. It seems the church has finally caught on; they’re in the business of ‘bums on pewees’ and building the next army of crusaders to charge off against whatever they perceive the new threat to their ‘kingdom’ will be. The more the message changes, the more it stays the same!
Yes, I know their message is peace and love for all, but how many of the worst crimes start that way? Every dictator and mass murderer needs a bunch of people to wear the same t-shirt he does and cry out the same slogan. But people are generally sensitive to outright hatred. You can’t just stand on you’re soap box, waving your fist at the ‘purple people’ or ‘Pavlova worshipers’ and claim they’re the ones causing all your troubles. You gott’a ease into it. Start with the good and nice stuff. Make everyone feel like they really belong to something important, get them caring for the group around them, get them isolated, get them righteous…then fill them with all the bile and hatred they can take and set them lose on the world. It’s called doctrinarian boys and girls and it’s what religions are all about. Don’t believe me? For those of you that have lapsed, say it with me… “Our father who aren’t in heaven, hallowed….” heh heh, got ya’!
Do I sound cynical? Well tough…the truth often hurts, and the more hurtful, the more outraged you feel, the more likely I’m right…Oh, and if it’s really hurting that much, I’m sure there’s a ministry out whose congregation will pray your hurt away…give me an Amen brother!

Anyhoo, back to my point. In a world where family values seem to be slipping away, where the rights of an individual are supposed to be as important as those of the whole… unless of course the ‘whole’ is a corporation (or government) that seemingly can run shotgun over anything and anyone… is it any wonder that people who feel slightly unsure of their place in society, or their ability to cope without some ‘pat on the head’ by a higher power that everything’s going to be ok, that these people are turning back to a church that’s gladly awaiting them with open arms and a catchy rock tune.
Typical pack behaviour if you ask me. Watch any wildlife documentary and you’ll notice the first thing a small, doe-eyed Dik Dik or large, menacing, heffalump does is make sure he’s got a dozen or so mates around him. With voice overs saying things like… “Though fleet of foot and skittish, the antelope’s true weapon against a world full or predators is its ability to stay in a crowd. 20 sets of eyes are more likely to see danger before it can become a real problem then one”.
After W.W.II, the church started to decline a little because the western world was apparently safe (and many soldiers I’m sure came face to face with their God out there and didn’t like what they saw). There have been very few wars fought on western soil in the last 100 years, and western society has profited from it. Even today you hear the mantra of “fight them over there and you won’t be fighting them here!”
Industry grew and even the poorest family in our society was far better off then they’d ever been before. This of course had a weathering-like effect on our belief system. Who needed to pray to a god for support when the only relief from a harsh world you needed was a 2000 bajigajoule air condition and a plasma TV?
People no longer needed to turn to god for protection…so they didn’t.
But things change. The very industries that made us rich now started making us paranoid. These businesses became corporations that were hungry for more and more wealth, and after expanding as much as they could and investing in everything under the sun, the only way they could get these vast quantities of ‘moolah’ their ‘investors’ (which was usually themselves-don’t ever fall for that one guys) were braying for, was by screwing over their employees. Lay people off, cut pay rates, more work in more hours for less money. Even today you can see the top end sharpening their knives like a 60’s dad over the Sunday roast, ready too carve away on the overcooked and thoroughly stuffed carcass of their employees.
And all this is being done under the watch of those who are supposed to protect us. Governments are being run by pals of big business. While their coffers are full of legal, undisclosed ‘donations’ from every industry group under the sun (and how is that not a bribe again?), our government undermines worker rights, pushing for individual employment contracts and fewer pay rises while destroying unions. Is this sounding familiar at all people? They’re separating the weakest from the herd, ready for slaughter by corporate hyenas that are waiting by the waters edge.
Now add to this anxiety, wandering bands of uncountable teenagers, perceived terrorism threats and huge debt, along with the constant pressure to have the new phone, the new car and the new house that’s been ‘backyard blitzed’ into shape. All this is slowly driving breadwinners insane. As the seemingly secure family life shatters around them, is it any wonder some are looking for anything that will glue these broken lives back together?
Enter the new ‘Farmhouse ministries’ and their chicken batteries of peweed drones, singing in unison to an electric guitar….and cue old British guy voice over. “ now assured that its safe to come out of the tree s for a drink, the entire flock of parishioners, skittish from their seemingly endless night with no god, move down to the watering hole to sip the ‘truthiness’ of their own, pack behaviour.”
Now to be fair, it’s not just religions that’s cashing in on all this insecurity. Suddenly everyone has to have a personal psychic along with their own trainer. Gone are the Gurus and swamis of the 60’s to be replaced with ‘life consultants’ and ‘eternal decorators’ of the new century. How else would morons like John Edward and Oprah Winfrey become some of the most influential and powerful (*shudder*) people on the planet?
In the end, because it’s all the same thing! As long as there’s people who feel they need to follow something, there’ll always be someone who wants to lead them. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, most people are morons and if someone can show them a path, any path, so that their stupidity doesn’t effect me, well I’m all for it… but it can be dangerous.
People are more than happy to gaze at some glossy rhetoric that looks great on a t-shirt or a coffee mug, yet they’re just as unlikely to glimpse the motivations behind these easy slogans because, in the end, it’s a lot safer to have a dozen set of eyes around you looking for the baying wolves at the door than just one!
It’s the most primitive, basic instinct we have. We’re all naked apes with a few well-shaped twigs with power-chords and whammy bars, beating the ground as hard as we can to scare away the big nasties.
At the end of the day we’re all animals, no better and no worse than any others out there in the wild!

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