American architect, Walter Burley Griffin was a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright. Griffin designed Australia's capital city, Canberra. He also designed the Newman College Catholic residence at Melbourne University.
As a former student at Melbourne Uni, I retain a vivid visual memory of that building. A close friend was resident there. I remember that the very building, its design, structure and form felt magical. It was civilizing and peaceful and had a profound effect on me. It spoke to me then. It still does.
Griffin’s design combined form and function on a high level. The elements, as I understood them were:
Are these four elements not the very pillars of civilization?
By virtue of the spirituality that I perceived in the architecture of that building, it occurred to me that Catholicism couldn’t be all bad. In fact, it seemed to me that the building might redeem all organized religion. If the Pope could commission beauty of that stature, there must be some good in religion. I was so moved, I even considered conversion. Guess I wasn't the first guy to be in awe of papal erections.
I have since changed my mind. My change of perspective has nothing to do with Catholicism, Griffin or Newman College. It’s the result of watching the crash and burn of the GOP as it races full speed back to the Dark Ages-Al Qaeda-style-with all its attendant religious and social dogmatic fundamentalism.
I find myself in a reluctant alliance with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher. This “reluctance” only reflects my continuing attachment to tradition and ceremony. But things have gotten out of hand.
The church, the mosque, the temple and the synagogue have all gone nuts.
The unholy mix of fundamentalist religiosity with a right-wing political agenda is, perhaps, a potential evil as great as any in human history.
We cannot argue with God. So, if God is speaking to our elected representatives; and if they are talking back to him - then we should be afraid, very afraid.
Dick Santorum talks to God. God told him to be a "real" political and social conservative. He is also an "evangelical"; a self-appointed salesman for extremism and fundamentalism. Emphasis on - 'mentalism'. Dick wants to nuke Iran. God told him to.
QQ : 1 “AND GOD SPAKE UNTO HER....”
Up high in the sky, on a throne, sits an old man. He has a white beard. He sees all and judges all. He rewards and punishes based on fear. He seems angry. He told Michelle Bachman to run for the US presidency. Then he changed his mind.
She must have had unclean thoughts.
QQ : 2 THE PEACEFUL NATION OF SRI LANKA
A few millennia ago, here on earth, lived a chubby, Indian aristocrat. He liked to bare his very round tummy, as can be seen in the millions of images of himself in his temples. He found the truth after sitting under a fig tree for precisely forty-nine days of meditation. We can attain Nirvana by following his precepts. Those precepts however have disappeared. There is no first hand written record of his teaching. Adaptations of writings that may never have existed have resulted in a novel concept of compassionate violence and nationalistic religious zealotry. Japan was a jolly, Zen-full society when they bombed Pearl Harbour and Ceylon is just teeming with good will and harmony today.
Perhaps the lost writings are buried in upper New York State? Let's ask Mitt.
QQ : 3 AN EYE PATCH FOR NEWT?
A carpenter was born of a virgin. He died and then he came back.
The contents of his most famous sermon suggest that if your vision is tempting you to commit adultery, you should remove your eye. Ouch!
Newt Ging-grinch still has both eyes. It's a miracle!
QQ : 4 A JOB FOR GOOGLE TRANSLATE
In the 1800's an American fellow by the name of Joseph Smith found a couple of gold tablets inscribed in a language that only he could understand. Then the tablets disappeared. He said that God will return... to Missouri. Joseph proclaimed himself King.
Currently, Joe has 14 million followers world-wide. One of them may become President of the USA. Our future Prez could likely not replicate the translation, but he is gung-ho for Joe's wacky concepts...including the Missouri thing.
After forty-nine minutes of meditating under a bag of organic prunes, it was revealed to me that Mitt Romney is a very rich, nut job. We seem to regularly elect very rich, nut jobs.
Why is that?
QQ : 5 ROCK AND ROLL
A prophet has a dedicated big, black stone in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Faithful followers are required to go there. I am not sure why. Lethal stampedes, disease and pick-pocketing are an inherent part of the experience. Perhaps there are other more constructive ways to demonstrate solidarity. Seen one rock, seen 'em all.
The Bush oligarchs did their share of bowing and scraping at the feet of the keepers of the rock. Their legacy continues.
I say it's only rock & roll and I don't like it.
QQ : 6 THE EARTH IS FLAT
Put a small box on your head every morning. Cut off the end of your newborn son’s penis. God told you so. Also, wear a funny hat. There are a few really pious guys trying to force women back to the back of the bus. It’s too tempting to have them sitting with the pious. And the women are unclean about half the time. Eeew.
Endorse Dick Santorum. He is in an unholy alliance with an Israeli, right-wing faction that is so far to the right, it has fallen off the edge of the earth. (The flat earth). Anything to bring on the rapture. Go Dick!
It seems to me that bringing on the End Times, sooner than later, is not actually in the best interest of either the Israelis or the Palestinians.
QQ: 7 SMILE IF YOUR HEART IS ACHING
Members of the Cardinal Team travel to Rome. They elect some guy to be God's representative on earth and have him wear a funny hat. It helps if God's rep is a former member of Hitler Youth. Returning to home turf, team members practice celibacy-until they get it right. Altar boys are there to help.
Team cheerleaders live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. They are married to God and also wear funny hats.
Newt tells us that when he saw the big man in the funny hat smile, it was game over. The glow from the pope-mobile must have been blinding. Newt is a recent convert/ follower of this odd, Roman mythology-after trying on several others. Good for you Newt. I love to see you smile.
My question is: Is the Pontiff's smile more blissfully benign than the Dalai Lama's? Had Newt seen the Dalai Lama's smile first, would he have picked the happy guy with the belly?
"You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile" as sung by Curt Cobain.
QQ : 8 THE MULLAH SAID SO
The clitoris needs to be removed. Women need to remain entirely covered and cannot drive. If women commit adultery, they are to be buried up to their waists and stoned to death. This brings us closer to God in Africa. God, however, did not instruct us to be concerned. Like Vegas, what happens in Africa, stays in Africa.
QQ : 9 GULAG USA
Life begins at conception. Terminating a zygote is murder.
All pregnancies are to be brought to term. All women should be forced-on pain of criminal offence-to bring every pregnancy they ever have-to term.
The world needs more people.
The additional population can then help occupy the prison industrial complex. This represents fundamental job creation for the American gulag.
QQ : 10 THE GOP DECALOGUE
The new, conservative right has adopted these new ten commandments. Two gold tablets have been commissioned. They are to be written in a language nobody understands and then buried in Missouri.
GOP-DEC1 Thou shalt not terminate a zygote.
2 Thou shalt not permit government to legislate compassion.
3 Thou shalt not provide healthcare to the old and disadvantaged.
4 Thou shalt maintain an arsenal of assault weapons in each home and carry them at all times.
5 The mentally ill are criminals. No punishment is too severe.
6 All law is to be based on the Santorum/Khomeini New-Testament/Koran decrees.
7 Poverty is a crime to be punished with forced labor.
8 Illegal immigrants are to be shot on sight.
9 Global cooling is to be taught as scientific principal.
10 The old man in the sky made the earth 5000 years ago. That is absolute, undisputed fact.
It is written.
(I remember the dinosaurs ........but that was the sixties).
Engraved on my Stone Tablet. Edited by Batsheva