Sometimes, in our confusion, we have been known to turn the Other into a monster and a god. Hierophanies – where the unshowable deity shows itself – are often terrifying. Hence the double etymology of monstrare, to show and to warn. Zeus’ mutations into a plundering bull or rapacious swan epitomize this paradox. And Kali certainly knew how to scare mortals. Even the generally ‘good’ biblical God could resort to horror on occasion, as Job realized; or Abraham when commanded to kill Isaac, or Jacob when he found himself maimed at the hip after wrestling with the dark angel of Israel. Or Zechariah struck dumb by the angel Gabriel. Not to mention the tales of floods and plagues and conflagrations sent by a jealous God to fill his people with fear. Divine monstrance was not infrequently an occasion of terror. Fascinans et tremendum, as the mystics said.
Poets too have attested to this enigma of the monstrous God. W.B. Yeats captured this disturbing ambiguity of the sacred, for example, in his apocalyptic image of the ‘rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born’. A sentiment echoed by Rilke in his famous opening apostrophe to the Duino Elegies: ‘Every angel is terrible’. And one might also recall here Herman Melville’s chilling evocation of the quasi-divine, quasi-demonic whiteness of the whale, recalling at once the horror of Leviathan and the transcendence of Yahweh.
Richard Kearney (Strangers, Gods and Monsters: Interpreting Otherness)
"Don’t take a nude pic if you’re a famous woman and don’t want it leaked."
"Don’t wear a hoodie if you don’t want to be mistaken for a criminal and shot."
"Don’t get drunk at a party if you don’t want to be sexually assaulted."
"Don’t argue with a cop if you don’t want to get killed."
"Don’t walk home by yourself if you don’t want to get raped."
Victim blaming 101: Everyone should live in fear from ever doing anything.
Holy shit are people really comparing having something embarrassing happen to a celebrity to being fucking murdered because of your race?
to tumblr those two things are equally unforgivable. *eyeroll*
although as i noted last night, this is not the case when something like this happens to teen girls whose lives actually are ruined because they made a mistake at a young age and have no network of support or resources. you’ll only see tumblr up in arms when it’s some elite pop culture icon they worship.
The human phenomenon is but the sum
Of densely coiled layers of illusion
Each of which winds itself on the supreme insanity
That there are persons of any kind
When all there can be is mindless mirrors
Laughing and screaming as they parade about
in an endless dream
As long as Western liberal democracies can name “gay rights” as the new litmus test for an appropriate twenty-first century democracy, we can obsess about “anti-gay” legislation in Nigeria and say nothing about the violence and economic exploitation of the Shell Oil Company on the land and bodies of Nigerians. We can be seduced by the international gay travel industry to visit “gay friendly” (and “post-racial paradise”) Rio de Janeiro, and say nothing of the massive police violence and genocidal removal of blacks from favelas in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Is it any wonder that many people outside of the United States, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, have grown resentful of increasing threats to pull critical funding by NGOs and Western nations for not being “LGBT friendly,” while we let all other sorts of violence and exploitation (often by corporations and evangelical churches that originate within the West) go unmentioned?
it’s finally september, happy halloween