Контент 18+ I have read, thanks to our new English-Russian translation mechanism, Artem’s blog. In Russia at the moment, where the government has suddenly, magically, relearned Religion, it is hard not to be cynical. I mean, truly, I don’t know how many poor, honest-hearted souls there are way out there in Stony Nowhere who can only watch First Channel and evaluate their whole predicament, both as Russian citizens first and spiritual individuals second (or have I got the order reversed ?) on the basis of the daily dose they are given — and how many people there are in Russian who can really think for themselves.
That sounds insulting, doesn’t it? But hang on a bit. What “thinking for yourself” means to me involves one’s capacity to reject “catechism” and strike out on your own. Fight off, if you are brave enough, the comfort zone of automatic pilot and a placid, pasted sky like that of a film studio, and plunge instead down the dark lanes that follow bubbling lagoons and lead in the direction of Hell. because I am convinced that the Road to Hell is the only possible path to genuine epiphany and revelation exists. In order to find Heaven (whatever your idea of it may be) you first have to visit at least the graying, hawklike suburbs, if not the inner city itself, of Hell.
Some of you will understand this on first reading; some of you will wonder what the fuck I am on about.
I am talking about the difference between superficial State religion and that throbbing, almost desperate desire for ‘salvation’ which many people. high and low, have experienced over these many centuries. Never was this more poignantly revealed to me that during the two months over the summer when the Krapotkonskaya Cathedral played host to a seemingly endless procession of people who wanted to kiss the bones of long-dead saint, the rest of whose bones are apparently to be found all over Russia and Europea, which forces the question, “How many bones did this guy actually have??” Ten thousand? Now that’s a lot of bones !!
And in truth, I didn’t know what to feel: contempt for their blind and all-accepting ignorance, or love and respect for the same reasons. Not ruling out, of course, that maybe, at the end of the universe, they will be proven right and I wrong.
But I can tell you this. The bones in that cathedral, whether of Saint Nick or whatever — and probably the fruit of a fraud chucklingly endorsed by our government –had nothing whatsoever to do with the devoted passion of those people.
There was something noble in it, something that, inside my own heart, it would have felt obscene to laugh at. It’s just the inner fight that I have over the idea that these overwhelmingly sincere, even life-determining emotions, are being manipulated by a pack of jackals and jackasses — to come to the point, government and highly placed “religious” officials who enrich themselves by feeding ghosts to the masses and whose hearts are really on the revenue every time.
So you have it: Stupid but Honest people manipulated by Slavering, Cynical Assholes.
The tragedy in all of this ignorance-manipulation is that the starting point is FAITH — our most ennobling emotion. Is it any surprise that governments and church-affiliated dicks rely on sincerity, naivete’, and blind faith, to better push their true motives and rotten agendas?. These ‘authorities”, with their solemn looks and long beards, and their fabulous gowns of Empire and Cathedral, have no desire to lead you to the Promised Land. Their motive is, and always has been, to Control you, to drug you first with Victory Gin and then twist your gut with Guilt-impulses. These agents of entrapment and imprisonment are vipers no less than the cobras in India.
Meanwhile, the true person, the pilgrim, the idealist, the man or woman who is prepared to stand naked before God, is treated like an enemy of the state, and usually winds up feeling the whips and fires of whatever age he or she has been condemned to live in.
They are faithful and they are made fools of. So far, so good. But God, O God, where are you?? I say, where the fuck are you??? Huh?.
But HE never answers. And THAT, I am afraid, pretty much does it for me. Or am I just a weak, superficial person who wants a ‘massage with a happy ending” every time? Is it because I demand results, results, and more results, and therefore miss the point somehow? No, I disagree, I think it is because the Religious THRIVE on their prayers not being answered, because it gives them the chance to prove how goddamn faithful they REALLY are.
That’s why the survivors of that latest American shoot’em-up in the Texas church, couldn’t wait to go back and start ‘praising the Lord.” For what, Lord? When in the hell were you while YOUR people were getting slaughtered in YOUR church? Huh, Chum?
HE just sits there on his cosmic ass waiting for the US to figure it out. And ask for FORGIVENESS. For WHAT? Having been born? Not knowing what to do?
I don’t know about you, but the tack I take is the same as with other ‘bosses”, and by now you can probably guess what that is.
I don’t mock the believers at all, though often I am moved to pity by their earnest ignorance. It is my nature, I suppose, to love the condemned and despise the executioners. (I must add here the disclaimer that, increasingly often I feel a desire to apply for the job of Official Hangman But that is no doubt because I am getting old and running out of patience.).
In a really terrific book called “Moll Flanders” (late 1600’s), Daniel Defoe has one of the women in Newgate Prison who will soon go to the gallows for the crime of theft, say: “I will swing on the string” (it means dangle on the hangman’s rope), “and hear the bell’s sing” (the bells that rang on the Monday in the month when condemned prisonsers were being taken to the site of execution), and that will be the end of poor Jenny.”
“I will swing on the string
and hear the bells sing,
and that will be the end of poor Jenny.”
In the end, I care about ‘poor Jenny’, not about the Judge who condemned her, the Hangman who performed the act, nor the God who sat on this celestial buns eating his angelic sandwich to the accompaniment of golden fiddles…
Only Jenny. That is the sum of my religion. But maybe Jenny was a whore and a thief and an alcoholic and just a bad person. Good. Hang the hell out of her, and I will pull her legs.
But, after all is considered, it is still Jenny who will haunt my mind, none of the others, including this endlessly vacationing God. Jenny, not Nobadady, will face me in the boiling hour of my morning, the lunar frost of my night when, nightmare driven, I look in the mirror…
===Eric Richard Leroy===