G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Crucifixion may not be that Bad but Christ is Still Suffering

Times of India February 4, 2008 reported:

“A noted literary theorist has sparked fury among Christians by uttering that the Crucifixion of Christ was not as bad as it has been painted…

…It is learnt that he said that Jesus's scourging was a "blessing in disguise" because it hastened his death.

…"If the New Testament account is to be believed it took him only three hours to die whereas a lot of those killed by this hideous mode of execution thrashed around on their crosses for days," he added.

The paper reports that Prof. T. Eagleton concluded his talk with an attack on contemporary Christianity, claiming that it had abandoned the poor and dispossessed in favour of the "rich and aggressive".

"It's horrified by the sight of a female breast but nothing like as horrified by the obscene inequalities between rich and poor," the paper quoted him as saying…”

This brought to my mind following lines:

“... म्हणजे पुन्हा यश हाच एक सत्याचा क्षुद्र निकष! त्याने प्रेमाचा व शांतीचा संदेश सांगितला, पण प्रसार झाला तो तलवारीच्या जोरावर; त्याने निरिच्छतेवर भर दिला, तर आता त्याच्या धर्माचा आधार आहे संपत्ती. हां तुला त्याचा विजय वाटतो, तसे पहिले तर त्याचे सच्चे अनुयायी एखाद्या खेड्यातील वसतीपेक्षा जास्त नसतील. पण म्हणून का त्याच्या शिकवणीचे महत्व कमी होते?”

“…So again success is the only petty criterion of the truth! He gave message of love and peace, but it spread with the force of sword; he asserted lack of desrire, but now his religion’s support is wealth. Do you think this is his victory, if seen his true followers will not exceed population of a village. But then does it reduce importance of his teachings?”

(जी ए कुलकर्णी “यात्रिक” पिंगळावेळ G A Kulkarni “The Pilgrim” from “Owl Time” 1977)

How to rationalize obscene inequalities between rich and poor? Using god - someone up there!

As long this inequality exists, Christ will continue to suffer. Remember what Steven Weinberg has said: “I have never understood why untalented people deserve less of world’s good things than other people.”


Artist: Barney Tobey The New Yorker 19 September 1959