Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't play along.


Fighting is the Christian thing to do.

I think that is the whole gist of this blog, and what I have been doing with my life for ten years.

Fight. Don't take it lying down. Don't take it on the chin. And never mind that other cheek.

Tell the apocalypse, "Oh yeah? come over here and say that!"

There is something about having Irish blood. During a little personal contretemps recently, a good friend here who knows me very well indeed, and who was trying to defuse things, said, "Hilary, everyone has the fight or flight response, but in you, it seems to be a little more weighted towards fight than flight."

Yeah. I guess so. What's your point?

Here is something I wrote a while ago about not giving in that I thought was worth saying again.
Several years ago, I went through a phase of reading the Greeks. I ploughed through the Odyssey and then went systematically through the plays that dealt with the aftermath of the Trojan war, the pivot around which almost all Greek literature revolves. I remember quite distinctly coming away with the impression that the very worst thing that could happen to you is to be noticed by the horrible, fickle and perverse Greek gods. It never goes well.

If Apollo hates you, you're toast. If he falls in love with you, some other god will become jealous and...toast again. Even if no one else gets upset, and you happen to fancy the village blacksmith instead of the god...you guessed it...toast. Even if some other god comes along and tries to rescue you. Look what happened to poor old Daphne. A tree!? That's the best he could do?

The theme "You can't win" is the guiding principle in Greek thought, pagan fatalism. Once you are noticed by the gods, you're toast. It was the thing that finally put me off any sort of modern revival of paganism. It isn't all sipping absinthe and dancing around trees to Enya CDs.

The whole mindset is alien to me. Gods shouldn't do bad things and problems ought to be solvable. There ought not to be traps like these and I'm infuriated when people just shrug and say, "what can you do?"

I'll tell you what you can bloody well do!

Take the case of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister to Orestes. Now there's a disaster that everyone always thinks was "fate". Inescapable. But the solution was perfectly obvious to me, a Christian and a fighty white Westerner.

Agamemnon (who in this production was not played by Sean Connery) wants to go to war with Troy. This has Artemis quite annoyed because she heard Agamemnon, after shooting a deer, boasting about how he's a better hunter even than the gods, and she has raised a lot of storms and things to prevent the fleet from setting out. He asks his soothsayers what to do and they say, sacrifice Iphigenia to the goddess.

OK, right there, Agamemnon had a chance to do the right thing, but, being a pagan fatalist, he blew it.

So he kills his daughter, the storms drop and he sails happily off into legend. But the string of events leads to disaster after disaster. He comes home, Cassandra in tow, to be greeted ten years later by a still furious Clytemnestra who murders him and poor old Cassandra (who has, herself, annoyed Apollo, if I recall, who cursed her with the worst thing I can imagine as a blogger,) and triumphs over his blood in a most grisly and exciting way. Orestes, the good son, and also an idiot, hears this and decides that in order to avenge his father he must murder his mother... which he duly accomplishes, thus incurring the wrath of the furies who pursue him to his miserable end.


Who spotted the flaw in all this?

The one thing that could have been done right from the start that would have solved everything?


It's obvious.

Kill the soothsayers.

Don't play along.

The gods are thugs. The gods are fascists. Don't grant them the moral authority. Don't be a dhimmi.

There's no such thing as fate. Fate is pagan nonsense and it's another way in which the CHRC and all their little minions, friends and relations, are opposed to the stoic manly Christian virtues. They expect everyone to just shrug, say, "it's the will of the gods" and sacrifice Iphigenia.

DO NOT sacrifice Iphigenia.

Kill the effing soothsayers and go to war anyway.

don't play along.


Zach said...

Thanks, Hilary. Needed to hear that today.

Edward said...

The concept of fate or destiny looms large in the political class of one country - Germany.
To give two examples from some years back.
Chancellor Kohl said "To oppose (EU integration is to defy fate".
In 1994 the Defence Minister addressed this thought to the then EU candidate countries of Eastern Europe. To underline his point, he said it on 1st September. The great thing about fate is that it absolves from personal responsibility.
"If integration were not to proceed, a future German government might be called upon or compelled by its own security considerations to solve the problems of the region on its own and in the traditional manner".

Anonymous said...





- Karen

Anonymous said...