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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, April 05, 2004
    Quotes for Holy Week - 1 - In the Temple
     
    You're obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That's the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.

    From Octave Mirbeau: The Torture Garden, a radically nasty piece of work.

    One time I put this up as wallpaper on my computer at work; a tiny act of rebellion against my employers. Today I rediscovered it in an article written by Alex Cumber, Chaplain to the Goths, in the Cambridge Theological Federation newsletter we edited together in 1999. Surprised to see it there; and brought up sharp by his call for a 'radical reality check' about 'what it's all about'.