I don't think I mentioned, but I have more than one resolution going at the moment. Awhile ago I decided that since my office is casual and since I'd managed to find a pair of jeans that won't give me a yeast infection and since I had quite a large collection of socks and had learnt how to darn them in case of need, I would try to go for a full year without buying clothes. Instead, making anything I needed, in a sort of crash course in sewing. Three motives:
1. I'm cheap, and hordeing money like a troll these days
2. I hate clothes shopping. About nine years ago I lost a tonne of weight and suddenly everything fit, which turned shopping from an exercise in humiliation into an exercise in looking in mirrors and geeking on how cute I was. So for a few years shopping was a pleasure, an amusement, just about my favourite thing to do in an afternoon . . . but I'd say over the last three or four years - since I had that job in advertising and got convinced of the inescapable patsyness of Western consumers - almost all the charm has leaked away. I resent shopping now. I resent the processes by which the clothes were made, transported, and then marketed to me. I resent being the victim of the market-driven vagaries of fashion (witness the fucking calvary* I had to go through to get a fucking pair of jeans with no fucking spandex in them). Clothes shopping sucks.
3. There's no other way I'm going to learn to sew unless I go this sort of sink-or-swim route. I've looked for dressmaking classes here and while it's not been completely goose-egg they're all too far away for me to honestly believe I'll take the trouble to go out for lessons once a week. I can hardly drag my sorry ass up to the prison every Wednesday for our tai chi sessions and that's a three-minute walk.
Last weekend was FINALLY the diapers for some peeps in Canada who are fit to erupt their babies (in the mail, Lamie). This weekend I'll be starting on underwear. Underwear for the F-word first - he has a hankering for some silk boxers and I figure he deserves no less. And then another pair of pants and a shoulder bag for a friend who's visiting at the end of the month, whose Tuesday birthday I have forgotten until this very moment. Shit. Why are so many people born in the fucking springtime? A different pants pattern than the ones I've used so far. The F-word needs some walking-around pants and the patterns I've hitherto used are definitely pyjama pants.
*You know what's neat about Calvary, Golgotha, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre that Constantine built on top of it? It's a reclaimed temple to Aphrodite, supposedly ferreted out as both Jesus's death and burial place by Constantine's mum, Helena, despite not being anywhere close to where Jesus could have died and been buried according to the Bible. Constantine, remember, is the Roman emperor under whose rule Christianity really kicked off its transformation from a revolutionary lifestyle religion to a political weapon in the struggle to maintain an oppressive and lucrative status quo, and his mum Helena, remember, was his fucking mum; you're not going to get a more useful saint than that when you're trying to establish a new state religion. It was only 10 emperors and 50 years later that Theodosius went wholesale on the suppression of the temples and their replacement with churches. We saw a rather transparently hilarious example of Theodosius's work on our vacation in Syracuse this Christmas - the city's cathedral, seemingly hastily vomited up all over the temple of Minerva:
I sometimes hear of the Christianization of the temples and sacred sites described as some sort of evidence against Christianity (Jeebus never existed! He's a rehabilitated Mithras! etc.) - a very silly, non-apropos argument against a faith-based religion wherein it really doesn't matter if there's no proof of the man's existence and no proof of where he was born, alive, and expiring; the perfectly legitimate Christian retort to arguments like that is it really doesn't matter; I have faith. I think this is what makes the recent noisy dialogues between the faithful and vocal atheists so fucking annoying: to one group faith is great and to another faith isn't anything, so they're arguing with completely seperate rationalities, from different emotional bases, with the end result that each looks like a blithering, incomprehensible idiot to the other.
But what I do feel the Christianization of the temples indicates is that the same standard of people who were willing to wield disproportionate influence over pagan behaviour and profit from it in a very visible and material sense were (and are) also willing to control and profit from Christians - in a way that has very little to do with Christian morality, as the original writings set it out. Christians should be more careful. There are disgusting atrocities, grotesque power structures leaching off their love of God - gargoyles that they would probably find themselves too full of Christian love to support if they had a good grasp of the situation.