Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Some Light Relief...

... while I prepare more heathen apostasy and hyperbolic atheism in response to Ben (and hopefully some simple humanist argument to rationalise my passion):

Dead Kennedy's
This is where you belong in the annals of punk history!
You are the thinking man and pranksters punk. You are what the ideal "punk as social rebel" is supposed to be. You see the capability for amazing art that punk contains just beneath the surface. You are America's favorite underground hero and your brains are what really scares the establishment. Just don't become too "more punk than thou," because then you just become the establishment that we've spent all this time fighting against and your rebellion goes up in smoke. You're too smart to let that happen. You're the real deal.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on wild apathy

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 38% on pissed off

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on comically evil

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You scored higher than 44% on socially aware
Link: The What classic punk band are you Test written by DrLebowski on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keepin it real down south .......

Black Flag
This is where you belong in the annals of punk history!
Oh man, if people knew what was good for them, they better stay out of your way. No one knows the fury and rage that boils in your veins. Only you do and the only way to let it out is to shout at the top your lungs and barrel over anything or anyone who tells you otherwise! Someday, your wisdom will be second to none, you've lived hard and have the battle scars - inside and out, you just need to mellow out...fuck that!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 47% on wild apathy
You scored higher than 43% on pissed off
You scored higher than 8% on comically evil
You scored higher than 83% on socially aware

For some reason I want to jump off a table? .......... aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh

5:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Al -

Dead Kennedys as well. And why not? Jello is good for throwing at things.


PS Cross-noting to another article, but I agree with Ben on your rant, despite the atheism. There are times when your arguments get chucked into a good flaming and the rant begins to sound like it's feeding on its own rhetoric - oh shit, you were a Dead Kennedy man, so of course you're going to do that. ;)

Anyway, just a few simple thoughts to chuck into the pot at the wrong time and at the wrong place:

1. Who said Christianity is mono-theistic? A Catholic upbringing suggests otherwise.

2. There is a danger in all of this as treating the Bible as a clearly constructed narrative. Council of whatever, et cetera. I agree with you about the homophobic underpinnings of the Sodom story and its relevance to Christianity more generally, but hell, a lot of Christians I know just ignore the story. And why not? There's more than one Bible that people construct from the Bible. It's a collection of materials for constructing a narrative. Even with the central Jesus story at the end trying to give the whole thing a feeling of arc - you know, the way a good Buffy season gets a cool meta-narrative in the second half of the season - I'm not convinced that the Bible can't allow for a fuzzy collection of religious views - some of which don't accept the Sodom story or its implications. But sure, it'd be good if the folk who don't like the story speak up from time to time.

3. Shit, I told myself I was going to get caught up on this. You speak to him, Ben.

11:08 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hey Sixy baby! Mighta known you'd be the RRRRRRAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH! punk band. :)

Hey Phil! Ya know me; I do have a tendency to start with an opening barrage to try and blast the whole argument open, cut through all the nicey-nice crap, and voice the Devil's Advocate position "in extremis". The more entrenched the thesis, I think, the more weight you have to put behind the antithesis. I'm all for settling down after though and getting to the synthesis.

Re your points:

1. I know what you mean, but I didn't want to get into the whole fetishism in Catholicism (statues of saints, madonnas, Russian icons, that is -- fetishes in the religious sense rather than the sexual sense). So when I talk about Christianity-as-monotheism I'm talking about the monotheist-thread-in-Christianity. Maybe I should start saying "Protestantism" to be more precise.

2. I agree that the Bible isn't a clearly constructed narrative but a loose assemblage (see my last response to Trent over on that thread). BUT... those nice folks who "just ignore" the Sodom story, if they still ascribe the special status of "holy" to the Bible they're nevertheless giving their blessing to the bad along with the good. Say you read the Telegraph because you like the cartoons. You like the cartoons so much you go around spreading the word, saying this is the bestest newspaper in the world. This is a holy newspaper! This a newspaper sent from God! You do it long enough that everybody eventually takes your word on it, agreeing that, yes, this is indeed the Word of God in newspaper form. Some of them also like it for the cartoons. Others like it for the news. I come along and say, but, but, but, it's a fucking conservative rag, look at this vile little story about how asylum seekers are all benefits sponges. Isn't that just plain nasty? Isn't that just vicious prejudice? There are a number of responses you could give. 1. That story is not in fact about that and is not in fact nasty and vile. The Telegraph is not in fact a conservative rag. 2. Yeah, but not all Telegraph readers are bad people. Many of them just ignore those articles and skip straight to the funnies.

Response 1 is, I think, plain wrong. The article is vile and the paper is clearly the worst kind of conservative. The Sodom story is vile and the Bible is clearly the worst kind of conservative. Others many not agree. I'm happy to argue with them.

Response 2 is, I think, wrong in a fuzzy, warm, liberal way. It's complacent and maybe even complicit. Just because some people ignore the articles and skip to the funnies doesn't mean they all do. The articles are, in fact, the bloody point of it to a lot of people. Ignoring the venom of those articles is complacent. Going around blithely reinforcing the special status of the Holy Telegraph, treating it with reverence, exempting it from critique, and so on... that's complicit.

And you know how complacency and complicity are my two big bees in the bonnet.

4:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points - and I think response 2 covers a lot of Christians/Muslims/Jews/et cetera. But while it's reasonable to call the liberal fuzz on parts of the Bible that they don't find palatable, and also to call them on not saying how much they do find it unpalatable, I don't think that can be used to knock their views on the Bible they do like. Indeed, I'm not sure how many of the liberal fuzz actually do go around saying the Bible is 'holy' - most I know accept that it's a mixed document (and there's probably another thread to be had on how many deists are people of the Book and how many just use the Book for the occasional recipe, or to put it another way, is it a Book of God or a Book about God?). The fuzzies are living with the fact that their beliefs may be inconsistent at the edges and that their tied to a fractured narrative. Sure, some get a little psychotic and pretend that it's all part of a beautiful whole, and they and you and me just haven't quite sussed the bits that don't fit (of which, the Sodom story has to be one of the biggest). But hey, if I like the funnies in the Telegraph, I like the funnies in the telegraph - the interesting questions seem to me to be a) should I not like the funnies because the paper is the worst kind of conservative rag, and b) can I still say the Telegraph is still a cool newspaper in the context that the funnies are good (ie. I can contextualize its value on specific elements of the Book), and c) if I still like the funnies anyway, does that make me a bad person? Am I 'bad' because of what I explicitly believe, or what I appear to implicitly accept because I don't voice an objection? To be honest, I don't have easy answers to those questions, but my gut instinct is that all belief 'systems' (ha!) ends up contradicting itself in a Godelian kinda way somewhere. You can criticize folk for lacking the self-awareness to explore the edges of those contraditions - I like the funnies, but I don't like the news stories - but I don't think people can be criticized for *failing* to resolves those inconsistences.

On the other hand, there's always Jello to fall back on in debates like this:

"Blow it out your ass, Terry Dolan
Blow it out your ass, Phyllis Schlafly
Ram it up your cunt, Anita
Cos God must be dead
If you're alive
God must be dead
If you're alive."

Rambling -


4:27 pm  

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