April 05, 2005


But, as I argue over at Dissensus, the Pope Pietathon is not, of course, a symptom of resurgent Catholicism (uttunul forbid!), but quite the opposite. The reason that the future head of the Church of England and the current archbishop of Canterbury can cheerfully attend John Paul's funeral is not only the evident and well-known vacuity and spinelessness of the C of E, but also because Catholicism within white Europe has been thoroughly secularised. Being a white Catholic in Europe is now no more than a slightly sexy lifestyle choice, not a life commitment (Jesus, that's too much to ask of anyone surely... ) This is secularism's revenge upon Wojtyla, who, for all his (many) faults, at least had the virtue of bending not a jot to pomo's compulsory relativism.

cf the soon-come Catholic convert Toneeeeee, who of course simply MUST attend the Spectacle - how could he miss the [photo] opportunity to button and unbutton his jacket buttons and look determinedly grave in that carefully cultivated manner he perfected on the morning of the Diana death, whose hysterical sentimental excess has set so much of the religiose, kneejerk pieitist tone that is now de rigeur in Blair's innocynical Britain?


The contentlessness of this pietism is what makes it fit so well with the inherent and constitutive cynicism of Capital. You are not required to make a substantive commitment to definable ethical principles, only to pledge misty-eyed submission to a thoughtless, vaguely-defined consensus, whose lineaments only become apparent when scapegoats are deemed to have exceeded them ('ye have insulted the Dead! Burn, witch!') Postmodern capitalism has replaced the religious distinction between the sacred and the profane with the apparent opposition between solemn sim-seriousness (in which everything is so impossibly grave and beyond question that absolutely no levity or dissent is allowed WHATSOEVER) and leering laissez-faire lassitude and lasciviousness (c'mon, let your hair down, don't be so serious, ENJOY yourself, be sick on your shoes, don't pretend you don't want to).

Hacks on Celebrity Death Watch described Wojtyla as an 'inspring moral leader' not because there is any question of them, cynical to the bone, being inspired by him. They, naturally, won't be practising anything that Wojtyla preached - I don't imagine that many of them have thought for a moment about ceasing to use contraception or opposing abortion. Wojtyla, like the other figures canonized by postmodern media, is lauded by secularists because he was moral on our behalf. In postmodernity, morality, like belief, is always of the other.


Another interesting site for y'all: Jason Adams'
Immanent Multiplicty covers Foucault, Zizek, Badiou, Deleuze, all under the rubric of breaking 'the isolation of the academic matrix' - a genuinely noble ambition, which I'm sure we all want to support.

Posted by mark at April 5, 2005 02:43 PM | TrackBack