Over the past forty-eight hours a great many people on social media reacted to my thoughts on this subject with a great deal of anger and frustration. Many of those who replied to me were perfectly sincere, believing that what I had done endangered the rights of ‘real women.’ Others were more extreme; many of whom branded me a misogynist, as a man who supported violence against women, as someone who would subject women and girls to ‘rapists,’ ‘predators,’ ‘perverts,’ ‘peeping Toms,’ ‘men in dresses,’ and ‘abusers’ in ladies’ toilets and other female-only spaces.
But how does one go about translating the theological equivalent of Donne’s “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” to an angsty teenager in 2019? How is this shared with a youngster, the product of capitalistic and atomised personal nihilism and pervasive cultural pessimism? Nothing makes me fear for the future of faith more than the thought that an uncrossable chasm has opened between the generations of our grandparents and that of their grandchildren.
Boris Johnson, our new Prime Minister, is a man who shamelessly stood in front of a bus during the Brexit referendum campaign and told voters that leaving the European Union would return £350 million every week to essential public services like the NHS; all the while knowing this was untrue. Since moving into Number 10 he has repeated over and again that his government is engaged in ongoing negotiations with its European partners, when the European parliament and commission have unequivocally stated this is not the case.
Social media – now very much “the world of trolls” – offers us what real life simply cannot, the ability to be all-sufficient. It offers us the possibility to find meaning in our undeveloped and un-self-become humanity. Behind the fiction of a social media profile we can be the men and women we want to be; the person we desire most to present to the world, without ever affecting any real change in the person who we actually are in the real world. This I will call the 'avatar,' the fictive person we create online...
What sort of moron would knowingly fill up their browsing history and hard drive with porn when they knew it would be gone over forensically by the police technical bureau and some suits from GCHQ? Only someone who knew they were protected and beyond the reach of normal consequences would do this. Think about it, this means we are looking at a culture of deviance, permissiveness, and protection at the highest level of the British government.
It’s no mystery that our Tory masters have reduced animals to things incapable of feeling pain or thinking thoughts in order to exploit nature – and profit from it – as much as they possibly can. Killing beasts and people is always about pennies, albeit millions and millions of pennies – but pennies nonetheless. Why wouldn’t they do this to animals? If you can be so cruel to a defenceless animal you can do the same to a child.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, on the other hand, is the real McCoy. He is full fat, and he might well be Britain’s first Catholic Prime Minister. In the main this is to be welcomed. In 2017 there should be no religious bar of any kind on any elected position. I would still argue that a Catholic should not be monarch, but that’s because I am of the opinion no one should be monarch.
Morality in our culture is dead. It has been suffocated out of existence as a malady of the mind, a weakness of the intellect, a modern madness; because we have been trained to self-censor and conform to the demands of a herd that has become accustomed to comfort.