El mal.

Gustave Doré.

Evil is first and foremost a religious notion. It means whatever a religion dislikes. Christianity assimilated various pagan deities and practices when obliged to make concessions to stubborn peasants predilections (hence the incorporation of Diana worship into Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary), but it otherwise proscribed all other and earlier deities as devils. The chief devil, Satan, is himself a composite figure. He is Lucifer, he is the Green man of pagan nature beliefs, he is the lusty goat-footed satyr who sported with nymphs in the groves of antiquity. He is, in short, the representative and personification of things the church whised people to stop liking and doing.

As Lucifer, the devil began as a grand and beautiful angel whose sin was disobedience-a frighful crime in religious eyes: for the height of virtue is unquestioning obedience to God’s will, whatever it is(even if God tells you to cut your child’s throat, as in the Abraham story). Milton liked Lucifer’s desire for autonomy and self-expression, and for his resulting rebellion against the absolutist oppresion of God; which is why the poetry of Paradise Lost soars, as if on archangels’ wings, whenever Lucifer-Milton’s tragic hero-is central to the action.

As the Green Man, satyr, or any supernatural figure not sactioned by orthodoxy as angel or saint, Satan represents forces of nature and aspects of the world which the church wishes to suppress, chief among them the appetites for sex and pleasure. To do this it employs the time-honoured trick of demonising them and making people afraid of them, portraying them as ugly and dangerous. (Governments do the same in propaganda about enemies in times of war.) And then, to sink the roots of this fear deep, the church introduces the idea of evil and the devil to children, for it knows that if it can cut early psychological scars it has a better chance of holding on to the minds thus wounded.

All religions are anxious to proselytise the young. Society seems not to see either the absurdity or the danger in the fact that pupils in one school are taught, as truths of history, that the Normans conquered England in 1066 and that Jesus is the son of God, in another that the Normans conquered England in 1066 and Jesus us not the son of God but that Mohammed received the definitive divine revelation, in a third that the Normans conquered England in 1066 and that neither Jesus nor Mohammed is of any significance besides Guru Dev-and in a fourth that the Normans conquered England in 1066 and all three of Jesus, Mohammed and Guru Dev are false distractions, attention to whom is likely to provoke God’s jealous wrath.

Yet in schools all over the country these antipathetic ‘truths’ are being force-fed to different groups of pupils, none of whom is in position to assess their credibility or worth. This is a serious form of child abuse. It sows the seeds of apartheids capable of resulting, in their logical conclusion, in murder and war, as history sickeningly and ceaselessly proves.

There is no greater social evil than religion. It is the cancer in the body of humanity. Human credulity and superstition, and the need for comforting fables, will never be extirpated, so religion will always exist, at least among the uneducated. The only way to manage the dangers it presents is to confine entirely to the private sphere, and for the public domain to be blind to it in all but one respect: that by law no one’s private beliefs should be allowed to cause a nuisance or an injury to anyone else. For whenever and wherever religion manifests itself in the public arena as an organised phenomenon, it iis the most Satanic of all things.

A.C. Grayling, The reason of the things.

Una vez que nos ha quedado claro que los Normandos conquistaron Inglaterra en el 1066, podemos decir que la religión es, sí señor, algo perteneciente al ámbito privado. Ahora bien, creo que la religión no depende de lo culto que eres: es una creencia. Y sí, la religión tiene que enseñarse en los colegios pero como parte de una asignatura que se llame historia de las religiones. El que quiera catecismo, puede ir a la iglesia que más a mano le quede.

The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the devil.
[audio:http://www.goear.com/files/sst/38a2634eb7db527378eeaf5f4fb4984a.mp3]

Versión de los Guns N’ Roses.
[audio:http://www.goear.com/files/sst3/0430db17269562faca73dc393cb3d74a.mp3]

¿Por qué soy una persona (in)útil?

Porque de las 100 cosas que debería saber hacer, pocas se me dan bien.

MORNING LIFE.

1. Sleep.
2. Make a bed.
3. Do press-ups and sit-ups.
4. Jog.
5. Eat right.
6. Scramble eggs.
7. Brew coffe.
8. Read a newspaper.
9. Wash your hair.
10. Care for your skin.
11. Shave.
12. Apply lipstick.
13. Wash your hands.
14. Shine shoes.
15. Tie a bow tie.
16. Tie a windsor knot.
17. Tie a scarf.
18. Keep a home smelling fresh.

WORK LIFE.

19. Manage your time.
20. Organise.
21. Handle a job interview.
22. Ask for a rise or promotion.
23. Give and receive a compliment.
24. Negociate.
25. Shake hands.
26. Make conversation.
27. Remember names.
28. Read body language.
29. Listen.
30. Improve your vocabulary.
31. Speed-read.
32. Make an educated guess.
33. Tell a story.
34. Conduct a background investigation.
35. Deliver bad news.
36. Apologise.
37. Speak in public.

HOME LIFE.

38. Balance your chequebook.
39. Create a centrepiece.
40. Understand your pet.
41. Care for a houseplant.
42. Prepare for a disaster.
43. Desing a bathroom.
44. Remove stain.
45. Do laundry.
46. Iron a shirt.
47. Sew on a button.
48. Pick produce.
49. Buy fish.
50. Paint a room.
51. Hang a picture.
52. Write a personal note.
53. Make a hot chocolate.
54. Read aloud.

WEEKEND LIFE.

55. Relax.
56. Wash a car.
57. Change a tyre.
58. change your oil.
59. Mow a lawn.
60. Arrange furniture.
61. Garden.
62. Swing a golf club.
63. Swim.
64. Hit a tennis ball.
65. Give a massage.
66. Make a martini.
67. Barbecue.
68. Build a fire.
69. Tell a joke.
70. Be a gracious host.
71. Be a good houseguest.
72. Arrange flowers.
73. Set a formal table.
74. Uncork a winebottle.
75. Taste wine.
76. Use chopsticks.
77. Make a toast.

THE BIG LIFE.

78. Breathe.
79. Stay warm.
80. Have a good posture.
81. Have a great smile.
82. Flirt.
83. Ask someone out.
84. Kiss.
85. Buy a diamond.
86. Plan a wedding.
87. Change a nappy.
88. Hold a baby.
89. Relocate.
90. House-train a puppy.
91. Create a family tree.
92. Decorate a Christmas tree.
93. Bake a chocolate chip cookies.
94. Give a gift.
95. Wrap a present.
96. Smile for the camera.
97. Take a picture.
98. Learn a foreing language.
99. Plan a trip.
100. Pack for a trip

Samantha Ettus, The experts’ guide to 100 things everybody should know how to do.

¿Y por qué escribo tanto últimamente? Porque no sigo este tipo de libros y me muevo por impulsos.

Piense en los demás… que no es difícil.

Ya de aquella se hacían este tipo de campañas que nosotros pensamos que son de “nuestros tiempos”. El problema es el poco “calado” que tiene en algunas personas. Por cierto, el enano también pudo aplicarse lo de “piense en los demás” en vez de decicarse a “manterner-tanto- limpia España”.

Y ahora uno moderno. Atención, almas sensibles: puede que el anuncio no sea de su agrado.

Buena educación.

Para mí la buena educación comienza cuando la gente se escucha y debate, no discute compulsivamente por llevar la razón.

Este fin de semana me han pasado un librito (para americanos) sobre bueno modales. Lo que me llamó la atención fue una selección de reglas de comportamiento en la sociedad victoriana (lo que uno no podía hacer)

1. No se ría de forma estrepitosa.
2. No lea cuando otros estén hablando.
3. No lea en voz alta si no se lo han pedido.
4. No hable cuando otros lean.
5. No escupa el tabaco o el chicle.
6. No se corte la uñas cuando esté acompañado.
7. No abandone la iglesia antes de que acabe el oficio.
8. No se ría o se dedique al cuchicheo en la casa de Dios.
9. No mire fijamente a un invitado.
10. No deje sin asiento a un invitado.
11. Respete a sus mayores.
12. No corrija a sus padres o mayores.
13. No acepte un regalo sin agradecerlo.
14. No sea el héroe de su propia historia.
15. No se ría de los errores de los demás.
16. No haga bromas sobre los que le acompañan.
17. No empiece a comer tan pronto como se siente a la mesa.
18. Escuche lo que le están diciendo.
19. No hable mientras alguien esté cantando o tocando un instrumento (estaría insultando a esa persona)

Uno de los capítulos recoge una serie de consejos sobre los países que se pueden visitar, sobre su cultura y maneas. Sobre España, me parece que se han quedado un poco atrasados y más, si tenemos en cuenta, que España tiene como patriminio la blasfemia. Yo la practico mucho en mis ratos libres.

España es un país muy religioso y muchos de sus habitantes se pueden sentir ofendidos si toma el nombre de Dios en vano.

Yo aún estoy esperando conseguir el tan ansiado Manual de urbanidad para señoritas de Pierre Loüys.