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Apr. 11th, 2011

"Decisions, decisions. On the one hand, it has been hip to beatify Ghandi ever since Richard Attenborough's hagiographic pic came out 20 years ago. On the other hand, Ghandi was mortally opposed to contraception, which utterly confuses our chattering classes.

The normal scale of values in such matters is that Third World chic trumps Eurocentrism, but the sexual demands of trendy Brits and Americans trumps all. Third Worlders matter, not in themselves, but as useful clubs for members of the Chattering Classes to beat up on people in their own culture whom they dislike." - Mark Shea, http://markshea.blogspot.com/2011/04/chattering-class-conflicts.html

although I'd argue that most people only know of Gandhi as an ideal, not as the man he truly was. If one asks, "would you send Gandhi to hell?" they know nothing of Gandhi except the Western hagiographies, and even then, only through a mirror, darkly.

I would answer, "I'm sure plenty of nice people exist who think that black people are 'only a degree removed from the animal' as Gandhi said." And I am sure plenty of people love their mom, their dog, America and apple pie and also believe, as George Orwell quoted, "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."

Shea hits the nail on the head, as usual, but doesn't go deep enough. Gandhi had some good ideas, sure, but he was also capable of truly reprehensible ideas. A Jewish songwriter once wrote, "Put not your trust in Princes: nor in the sonne of man, in whom [there is] no helpe."

A few years later, another Jewish songwriter admonished us, "don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters."

Quit deifying people. As that second Jewish songwriter pointed out: You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Hagiography is only for medieval saints, with lots of awesome miracle stories and violence, not for modern men.

Though if I ever write my own autobiography, it will be an autohagiography, but that's just something else entirely. Be sure that it will involve a part where my head is cut off and I carry it around. The cephalophore saints are just that cool. Someone needs to consecrate an entire church devoted to them. I'd go to that church all of the time.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Precisely how I feel about Mother Teresa...
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
It is Orwell quoting Gandhi, I believe.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
That is very brave! I will have to look up the film.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
Oy. That's just tragic. There are wonderful people with outrageously ignorant views. What a damned shame. Thank you for sharing that, even if it is sad.

Has she changed her views at all?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, you are probably right. Well, at least I hope she isn't around African Americans very much - for their sake and hers.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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