Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yes, But You Don't Go!

Anyone familiar with the "Go ye Heroes" song from Pirates of Penzance? The women sing words of cheer to the men marching off to war: 

MABEL: Go, ye heroes, go to glory, 
Though you die in combat gory, 
Ye shall live in song and story. 
Go to immortality!
Go to death, and go to slaughter;
Die, and every Cornish daughter
With her tears your grave shall water.
Go, ye heroes, go and die!

GIRLS: Go, ye heroes, go and die! Go, ye heroes, go and die!

Meanwhile, the men start marching off to war... but make a U-turn around the town fountain and march back to the women... who keep singing cheerfully about them heading off to die. So off they go again, only to make the same U-turn and return, obviously not as enthusiastic about their bloody demise as the women seem to be. After about three times around the fountain, AND THE WOMEN EXCLAIMING, "YES, BUT YOU DON'T GO," they finally do march off the stage - as the women sing "At last they go, at last they go!!!"


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Black Smoke Rising

Maybe if I were Catholic I would "get it" regarding the selection of a new Pope, but I'm not, and the whole ritual and hoopla seem to me to be relics of ancient history. Black smoke just rose from the Sistine Chapel! The first time I saw that "news", I thought, "How awful! The Sistine Chapel is on fire!" But apparently not. It's just the other half of the duo, Smoke and Mirrors. On balance, has Catholicism (or any major religion, for that matter) been a force for good in the world, or an excuse to change the lives of those who think differently? 

Of course there are many wonderful people of the Catholic faith, just as there are many wonderful Muslims and Hindus and Jews and Animists and Shintos and Rastafarians and Jains. As for me, religion pretty much boils down to the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Although the members of a church can provide a very positive social and support group, I don't need a church, and certainly not a males-only-need-apply pope.

This isn't intended to pi** off my Catholic Friends. It's just my personal opinion. Find comfort and guidance wherever you believe it is, but always remember The Golden Rule.