I admit I was a bit shocked when I collected Malcolm from the hospice at lunch time today. He has given up smoking because, he tells me, had he continued to do so he would have been dead in a few days. His treatment at the moment is entirely palliative, and some of the more frightening manifestations of HIV in the central nervous system have been occurring. Nonetheless, we walked down Oxford Street and had a really nice lunch at a new Asian place (The Snake Bean) and a few beers at The Shift where The Empress, just back from Hong Kong, joined us. Malcolm paid me in advance for his Keating the Musical ticket — just in case, I suspect.
One of the regulars at South Sydney Uniting Church is norrie, who really is unique. Last month norrie, who presents real pronoun problems, was hit by a bus and survived, after which appeared this declaration of norrie’s unique lifestyle and faith.
Y’know, I was always fond of the Jesus stories and messages in Sunday School, peace and love being all important, love thy enemy, love and care for everybody, turn the other cheek, trust in divine providence, not blaming anyone for being different, not judging people’s worth based on their compliance to some authoritarian behaviour code, all that lovely peace and love stuff that meant there was just no reason for war or guns or killing or hurting people or being mean.
The grown-ups told me I was just being a naive child when I wanted to know why these principles were not being applied in the real world, where government authorities locked people up and went to war and the grown-ups made it all possible by voting for them and giving them their taxes, and everything seemed to be about getting more stuff, and protecting the stuff you had, and making sure no one stole it, with locks and keys and fearfulness, and supporting the police who attacked anyone stealing stuff.
Now Christianity has become synonymous with gay-bashing, with limiting love, and with a ferocious pre-occupation with fetal cells while real breathing humans are being bombed…
South Sydney Uniting Church not only copes with but values norrie, who once wore an “unfuck the world” t-shirt to church. I suspect many churches would not cope. Perhaps that is their loss. Read the rest of norrie’s manifesto.
But I have to admit I couldn’t be norrie, but I’m pleased to be in norrie’s circle at least to an extent. There’s a paradox though: perhaps norrie’s philosophy of government (as distinct from norrie’s many acts of love) falls down because not enough people are like norrie, and never will be. The eternal paradox of anarchism.
Link to norrie now fixed. Sorry about that. — N 7.55 pm
Malcolm just called from the hospice to thank me for yesterday, and to say he was calling a lawyer… Black humour helps: I told him yesterday to make sure he spelled my name correctly in the will, and that I had no room for his excellent book collection. He paid for lunch, by the way, insisted, on the grounds you can’t take money with you. He knows exactly what is going on, as he has been working in the field for some time. He is on oxygen now too. They told him if he collapsed they wouldn’t try too hard to revive him.