Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Return of the Christonerds!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    At the risk of going backwards in this thread (in addition to piling on more abuse to a reviewer)...

    1) Unlike the reviewer, Karl G. was self-aware enough to know he was looking for answers.

    2) Karl admired the results of Christian ideals enough become a Messiah. While this fundamentally threatens one key idea of Christianity, it also validates some of the same beliefs (esepcially the humanism that some fundamentalists have tried to erase from Christianity).

    3) Oddly, the reviewer's comment that most alienated me was the claim that Karl was boring. Even though Karl is fictional, he seems far more interesting than the reviewer.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Doc


      3) Oddly, the reviewer's comment that most alienated me was the claim that Karl was boring. Even though Karl is fictional, he seems far more interesting than the reviewer.
      It's an old trick in emotional argumentation: when you have nothing to say, or can't refute your opponent:

      - Assert that one's subjective reaction is that it's boring. (Short attention span, I say.)

      - Start chanting, "Blah blah blah..." I've come to loathe this little trick, and when I witness it, immediately conclude that the user is both intellectually dishonest as well as stupid.

      The reviewer had nothing valid or intellectually interesting to say, yet he's remarkably free with his opinions. We should thank him for sharing his wit and wisdom with us all. :twisted:

      LSN

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
        It's considered poor taste in the US to distinguish between the high and low churches, but it's the old term in England (still used by some) to distinguish between the Anglicanism of the Established Church and the protestantism of the dissenting churches (such as Baptists).
        I'm sure you're aware that the phrase "high church" is also used within the Anglican Church to distinguish between the 'smells and bells' of the 'Anglo-Catholicism' introduced by the Oxford Movement http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/tractarian.html and the 'happy-clappy' Evangelical variant, which seems to be on the increase at present through the profusion of 'Alpha courses' (an aggressive 'McDonaldised' version of Christianity, believed by many to be a new cult actually within the church).

        I find your comments fascinating, as I realise that, despite having rejected Christianity, and not having had a particularly religious upbringing, I have somehow inherited some deepseated attitudes about the Church, which bleed over into other areas of life. I somehow cannot quite accept that dissenting churches are 'real' in the same sense as the CoE - my parents used to describe such institutions as 'chapel', and in fact my Dad used to refer to the one across the road from us as 'the music hall' owing to its use for band practise by a happy clappy pop group. Having attended a funeral service led by the pastor, I found him to more closely resemble a used car salesman than what I would expect from a priest or vicar.

        Small wonder, perhaps, that when I became interested in Buddhism, it was the orthodox Theravada school which primarily attracted me - despite leanings to the more baroque Tibetan version, which more or less approximate to Roman Catholicism in its baroque and diverse elaborations of the original doctrine.

        Probably all this needs to be unpacked from my mind. Meantime, I too like to attend Evensong at a great cathedral, and luxuriate in the M R James type atmosphere. What is good about the traditional CoE is that noone is too bothered about whether you actually believe in it all or not, and, best of all, noone hassles or 'lovebombs' you. Death to the Alpha Course!
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
          Of course, it used to be said that 'God was an Englishman'. Is it now true that God is an American ?
          Mr Bowie: "God is an American": http://www.lyricsdir.com/d/david-bow...-americans.php

          :D

          Comment


          • #20
            There's a Survival International publication entitled 'Is God an American?'. It's a report on the activities of the 'Summer Linguistics Institute' aka 'New Tribes Mission' , an evangelical organisation which focuses its activities on newly discovered tribes in South America. Its role is to clear the forests before the chainsaws and bulldozers move in (it is of no concern, apparently, to the NTM if its targets die quickly from unaccustomed exposure to 'white man's' diseases, so long as their souls are saved first.) The title of the report comes from an actual question asked by one of the Indians.
            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              He's a sad example of a lot of people who turn to happy clappy evangelicanism, substituting sentimentality for moral rigour.
              I'm not a Christian myself - Jewish, actually, but I tend to find that the vast majority of happy-clappy evangelical 'born again' Christians (of whom I know a very large number), tend to maintain extremely high moral standards, and, for that matter, tend to know their theology much better than an awful lot of more staid CoE types. Personally, happy-clappy services tend to make me feel rather ill - I much prefer good old-fashioned services - but the evangelical movement has done an awful lot to instil solid moral values in a vast number of young people who otherwise wouldn't have even thought about religion. In short, don't scorn a sect just because it doesn't appeal to your aesthetic taste, and because a few fanatical, underinformed bad eggs have crossed your path.

              Originally posted by Poetgrrl
              I wonder, was learning the Greek difficult, or was she a natural at languages? As mentioned before, I've considered learning it so I can read it for myself. Hmm...
              New Testament Greek is pretty easy - though learning Greek in general is much, much easier if you've already got some Latin. The main difficulty, or so I've found, is the fact that whereas most languages just have endings, Greek also has an array of prefixes and augments, with the augment coming between the prefix (if there is one) and the stem - or altering the stem if the first letter is a vowel. Apart from that, once you've got the hang of the alphabet, it's pretty simple - especially in this case, since the NT writers didn't go in for the vast and insanely complicated sentences favoured by the likes of Thucydides. My advice? Go for it! (I can only really recommend textbooks and grammars for Classical Greek though)

              Thinking of translations, I've clawed my way through parts of Leviticus in the Hebrew (with great difficulty - my Hebrew's is barely existent - so much dictionary work was required!), and compared my translation to the NIV, which is the version used by most of my friends. The bloody thing isn't a translation, it's an interpretation! I saw whole sentences without a single word in common with the text.
              Arma virumque cano.

              Comment


              • #22
                Well, I haven't got the novel version to hand, but I did read the original short story from New Worlds (Nآ؛ 166) again, yesterday. I can understand why Christians might become slightly miffed. A portrayal of a World where the historical Jesus is a dribbling cretin might annoy some. However, it's not true that it's a bad story. It's actually rather a good one and I can quite see why Mr M. decided to expand it into a novel, in order to explore the premise further.

                There's a rather good articulation of the then fairly new information about the history and background surrounding the New Testament stories, coming from the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls and some of the archaeology into the Essene communities of the time. When the reviewer writes, "The sheer will to self-delusion which Moorcock portrays is comforting to those who wish to deny the accuracy of the Biblical record, but simply doesn't accord with the historical or cultural reality." he's writing nonsense, frankly. Which shows that Mr M. had a better grasp of the what can be known about the "the accuracy of the Biblical record" and the "historical or cultural reality" 40 years ago, than many Christians do today. Which is very sad, it actually feels like we're going backwards.

                As to the exploration of Karl Glogauer's psycho-sexual neuroses and the interesting discourse set up between the Jungian Glogauer with his mystical, messianic compulsive mania, masochistic sexual hangups and problems, and his sexually more agressive and neurotic girlfriend, Monica, the Freudian rationalist, that explores Glogauer's compulsion to suffer and sacrifice himself in the continuance of ancient myth and prophecy in a very interesting way. And the tale is a damn sight more honest about the sexual, psychological undercurrents surrounding the the Myth of the suffering and crucifiction of Christ than The Passion of The Christ, in my IMHO.

                It's certainly not a bad, or a boring story, or mean spirited, which are perhaps the main charges laid against Behold the Man. I still remember reading the novel, about 30 years ago, then much younger and closer to my Christian roots. It came as a bit of a shock (I think I'd been expecting something a bit more like The Ice Schooner, or Dancers At The End Of Time), but it did make me think.

                The possibility that myths can become so powerful that people are driven, even feel compelled, to fulfill them, should be a warning to us all.

                So many Christians make the argument that humans wouldn't behave morally, or decently to each other, if it wasn't for the Fear of God and Religion, it's always good to be reminded that one of the important contributions of Christianity to the World was the introduction and articulation of many Humanist (even secular) arguments into religion. Even if they were probably borrowed from elsewhere (perhaps even originally making their way from Buddhist parts, along the Silk Route, to Greece Persia and the Middleast).

                It's even possible to see this story as exploring some of the Gnostic beliefs surrounding Christ's life and crucifixtion. There's certainly plenty packed in there, to give pause for thought.

                ...


                New Worlds (Nآ؛ 166) was a cracking good issue, by the way. Not only was Behold the Man the featured cover story (with a nice crucifiction cover by one K. Roberts) and another illustration inside by J. Cawthorn, there were also excellent stories by Brian Aldiss, Thomas M. Disch, The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard and an article on the work of Philp K. Dick, by John Brunner. Plus stories by, John Calder, Arthur Sellings and Charles Platt & B.J. Bayley. An excellent issue! :)

                Comment


                • #23
                  It seemed to me that Behold the Man dealt with man's need for a messiah to 'behold', in one way or another (and that messiah to be beholden to the masses). A very powerful notion, both here and in Monty Python's Life of Brian, a film which I see as some sort of companion to MM's story (LoB caused a bit of bother with the church, too, but again, I suspect only in certain quarters. ) :)

                  LoB is very funny but also very moving - Brian begging his 'disciples' to stop worshipping him, to think for themselves. Brian and Karl are both caught in the role that is demanded of them... A recurring theme that I think MM deals with particularly well!

                  He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy! :D

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by CandyFlossCow
                    It seemed to me that Behold the Man dealt man's need for a messiah to 'behold', in one way or another. A very powerful notion, both here and in Monty Python's Life of Brian, a film which I see as some sort of companion to MM's story (LoB caused a bit of bother with the church, too, but again, I suspect only in certain quarters. ) :)

                    ...

                    He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy! :D
                    Yes, I was quite struck by the similiarities, myself. :)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      :twisted: GOD told me to do it!!!!!!!
                      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Mikey_C
                        :twisted: GOD told me to do it!!!!!!!
                        The reasons for Karel's compulsion to follow in the footsteps of the mythical Christ maybe even more compelling, he believes that if he does not (re?)create the Myth, then the World he knew can never come into being. 8O

                        So, really, he does become a sort of Creator!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Anyone read 'Barefoot in the Head' by Brian Aldiss? I seem to recall it deals with these matters (I read it a great many years ago).
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Well, I read it, of course, since we ran the original stories in New Worlds. One of Aldiss's best, in my viw, though I still think the shorter stories in the magazine were even better than the book, which was expanded. It's still available in a POD version. Brian sold his entire ouevre, unfortunately, to a POD company and as a result his books are hard to find in shops now (apart from his very good latest!).

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              It seems, by the way, a sad comment on our present society that 'young people' have to find morality at souch a paternalistic source. This reflects the kind of reactionary 'morality' preached (though not by any means practised) by the Nazis, appealing to people who have lost 'leadership'. Needless to say, with my political views, I am not likely to respond positively to notions of 'leadership'. Such 'morality' carries in it the aggression I noticed many years ago in evangelistic followers of Maharaji. I let them into my house one day, because I was curious to hear what they had to say. They came with a movie camera, rearranged all my furniture to set it up (damaging a speaker cabinet in the process) then showed me a film which genuinely depressed me, since the people in it were clearly unstable, and then asked me what I thought. 'I think you're the most aggressive people I've ever met,' I said. I find much the same aggression in that kind of Christian. Indeed, I find them hard to distinguish one from another. It's the aggression which worries me. It seems to have little in common with any message of peace and enlightenment which they believe they are spreading. This aggression surely goes hand in glove with the reactionary politics of the 'New Right' and the imperial designs of those who wish to spread 'democracy' with fire and the sword. All too familiar, I fear. This is blood feuding given an idealistic gloss and hardly seems any different to the 'law' which currently rules so many of the world's ghettoes and destabilised nations.
                              I hardly see it, in essence, being much different to the blood feud which destroyed so many people in Rwanda and continues to destroy so much in the region.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                What scares me is the starry-eyed glaze of the person who is completely convinced that they have found the answer to everything and are morally obliged to convert everyone else. I have come across this with certain political groups as well. They are completely incapable of understanding why you might disagree with them - they assume that you must either be mad, deluded or have evil intentions, Echoes of this in Bush and Blair - "You are either with me or against me..."
                                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X