Now Listening to : 6/9/06 KEXP Music That Matters Podcast
Especially recommended : at 48:27 or so, Jose Gonzalez, 'Crosses' (and a beautiful lead-in it is, too, to the Constantines' 'Soon Enough')
I believe in evil, though I never believe I'm seeing it. That is, theoretically, I would defend the existence of evil; but given concrete situations, I always find richer, robuster, realer explanations for the course of an event than 'evil', so I never fall back on mystical terminology. Instead of Satan, there's psychology and economics and misapprehension . . . and Raskolnikov? The struggle is redemption, and redemption is good; so the struggle - which births homicides and sarcasms and self-absorbed scorn - this is good and not evil. That's how theologians solve the problem of theodicy. And the problem, thereby of the existence of god. Hey, if evil has no other purpose than to convince folks that god exists: at least it's an ethos.
Dude. I know. Shocking.
Like going under. A special, awkward baptism. Have you seen 'Beowulf and Grendel'? I'm mildly miffed they played it like Christianity comes after the building of Heorot, like it's a simple response by grieving and hopeless folks to an impossible situation - I think you lose alot of the power of Grendel when you collapse his motivations into a neat little "avenging son" motif, and you lose alot of the wierd torn-up religious indecision of the narrative voice. Aside from that, though, it's very good. I've been thinking of the scenes where the mad priest baptises some of the Danes. And about that philosophical bit, "you never enter the same river twice". The river's never the same, and the river's changing you so You aren't; but the baptism. The sacrament, if it is such . . . boyfriend stays the same. All baptisms are the same baptism, no matter how solitary you feel held breathless under the water like that. There's always this element of collective identity in christianity that makes me impatient and annoyed. I'm a catholic of the confessional, not the pew.
And if god exists because there is evil, p'raps individual individuals (subjects made possible by Subject, as it althusserianly were) are also so enabled. If evil Proves God, it also proves raskolnikov. I am sometimes wicked; when I feel it in action, my wickedness, I feel also potential and responsibility. This is how I posit Neitszche when I'm defending him: advocating a visceral, personal ground for life (morality) - not a groundlessness, but not a metaground. The will is sometimes not nice. They are : different words. 'Will' lets you make different arguments, arguments I want on the table, so even when will is will-to-meanness, I'm interested.
There are mothers who've told their daughters growing up, "I'd far rather have a good person than a smart person as my girl", and I can see myself being one of those same admonishing parents - because I want the social order, not because I believe in Good. God yes, good --- well, you'd have to define it first, which is tricky. The nice thing about gods is their by-definition ineffability. It's genius, really. Good job, theologians.
All of which is to say that I apologize for my various cold disregards, but I do not regret them. Sorry, mom. P'raps you shouldn't have let me learn to read so early. In kind, though, I can afford not to resent the wicked in my others. Which puts me one up on you, Mr. Levinas-with-your-monodimensional/sexual-politics-of-the-other. So. There.