I’m Never Washing This Hand Again

Did you ever think theology could be so beautiful?

Originally uploaded by Zoomtard.

The reason is that this week I finally drummed up the courage to introduce myself to a very nice middle aged cleric and thank him for the inspiration he has been to me. Agents of Zoomtard, I finally met Bishop Tom Wright on Wednesday night at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth. I have mentioned him here a few times before so dedicated readers that you are, you will realise how big a deal this is for me. The equivalent for Neuro would be meeting Timmy Mallet, for Stigmund it would be meeting Stevie Wonder and for ann-dee it would be spending an evening with Peter Stringfellow. I plucked up the courage at the end of his lecture to interrupt his conversation with some very important elderly man who had never had sex and gush like a TCD Arts student at the feet of Damien Rice. Of course this isn’t a life-altering event. Suffice to say that I will never let water touch my right hand again.

As you can see above, I have a pretty good idea of what it is Bishop Wright said on the night. He began by explaining how when Paul stood up in a marketplace in Ancient Rome and declared that “Jesus is Lord” it would be like someone standing on a soapbox at the top of Grafton St. and declaring that Huang Province had won the Chinese Inter-provincial table tennis championships. Or as Wright put it, Paul’s annoucement to the Roman pagans was like talking to them about “A game they didn’t play being won by a team they didn’t know.

Other great quotes from the night include, “A belief that dead people didn’t rise was not discovered in the 18th Century”, “Heaven is important, but it’s not the end of the world” and most amusingly for me, a description of Jesus’ grand-nephews being dragged before Emperor Domitian. At the end of his anecdote, Wright mischieviously pretended to have remembered where he was (a Catholic seminary in front of many priests and theologians who believe that Jesus had no siblings and therefore no nephews (on account of their belief that Jesus’ mom never had sex)) and he said “Oh. You probably hadn’t realised Jesus had nephews. But Jesus had nephews”.

I have read a huge amount by Wright and have heard him speak before so I am aware of how witty, easy and winsome he is as a lecturer but he is also a scholar for the ages. His thoughts on post-modernism were a delight. Its very hard to write in a blog about how thrilled I got when he defined post-modernism as “the collapse of a shared sense of truth” and later went on to argue that the po-mo’s mission is to preach The Fall to modernity even though they lack a Gospel to follow their Fall but I was moved closer to a Pentecostal desire to clap my hands in the air and dance with joy than music could ever take me.

An Irish Comedian Makes People Laugh
Neuro and I went to see David O’Doherty last night at the Project Arts Theatre. Hear this now and hear it well, if you live in Dublin you must go see this show. We have been fans of DOD since we first saw him a lifetime ago when my job title was “Software Engineer”. That feels like a long time, even if it is only 2 or 3 years ago. But his current show, called Grown Up, is as funny as anything we’ve ever seen. I know that in Ireland today, many comedians give laughter a bad name. They somehow gain access to the media and to microphones (or “sell-out-rophones” as DOD puts it) and move you to tears without the politeness to bring you via laughter. I’m looking at you, Ed Byrne and Karl Spain. But O’Doherty is brilliant. He has a very funny segment in his show where he talks about his namesake who is a nerdy student who may well be destined to perpetual virgin status without the benefit of priestly vows or Mother-of-God-ness as an excuse. There is civil war afoot between the David O’Dohertys over the treasure that is google ranking. If you make it to the show you will understand that with this paragraph, I can no longer claim to be neutral.

Of course, you won’t see the show, since tonight was the last peformance. Shitebags. Maybe he’ll stumble across this site and be moved to offer to do a fresh performance of it in one of the many beautiful venues I have at my discretion for my loyal readers. I’ll ring the two of you if that ever happens.

In other news, Douglas Coupland came out of the closet. Doug would be my favourite contemporary author if Don Miller was ever assasinated by Jarvis Cocker. Seeing as Pulp’s lead singer is unlikely to want or need to pay a hitman to knock off a laid back lecturer in Oregon anytime soon, Coupland will be happy with second place. Its funny but I guess there are some public figures who I expect to be gay and some who surprise me when I discover it. Michael Stipe, for example, was always gay in my mind. Well, from about the time that I knew about homosexuality that is since I was singing R.E.M. songs in my sleep as a 7 year old when Green came out as a result of my older siblings. The point I’m trying to make is that I never imagined Doug Coupland to be gay while reading his novels and articles. And its weird that I am sub-consciously thinking about author’s sexuality. Do other people do this?

I’m off to France for the week. A delightful break will be had by all who are invited. My wife is invited. Our friend Ange invited us in the first place so she is also, in a master way, invited. Her boyfriend who used to work at CERN but now works in a secondary school (and there was no brain damage in between these two positions!) will also be in France. More specifically he will be with us. Wine will be drunk. Cheese will be eaten. Berets will be worn. Deoderant will be neglected. We are going native. See you later, if we make it back alive.

Your Correspondent, Dressing up as a coral reef for Halloween.

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