Monday, 24 March 2008


This just in* from The Age:

More hard-hitting news from the War on Drugs here.

* Well,  actually from a couple of days ago now.

The good old days are here again

Yes,  history does go round in circles.  These days,  it's the Middle Ages that are coming back with a vengeance.  Islamaphobia is the new anti-Semitism:  after all, Arabs are Semites too - although that's hardly relevant really;  this new hatred is defined more by otherness of religion than otherness of race,  just like the old.  "Christendom" is a more meangingful concept now than it's been for five hundred years.  National borders are losing the meaning they first gained at that time,  and educated people all over the world can now again communicate in a common tongue.  And good old-fashioned medieval sin and penance are back too,  in a big way:  in response to the apocalyptic preachings of wandering prophets,  everyone is now increasingly wracked with guilt about the emissions produced by the planes that take them beyond aforesaid national borders.  But fortunately a very appropriate relief is at hand:  carbon offsets,  which are the new indulgences.  Pay your coin and wipe the blemish from your soul.

Of course,  the original indulgences never went away completely,  and neither did old-style anti-Semitism, of course.  But neither are what they once were,  and their new incarnations have taken their place.  And already there are environmental Luthers hammering their theses on the doors of airports the world over.  Next:  Reformation,  Counter-Reformation  (as airlines finally switch to carbon-free fuels),  and of course lots and lots of witch burning.  That's something else that never really goes out of style.