I’ve been a rather bad blogger since around 2002 when, bored one day in Brussels, as one inevitably is on multiple days, I decided that I needed a forum to air my grievances, of which there were, I thought at the time, plenty. They were not, though. My energies and attention have, unfortunately or not, remained intermittent at best. The one constant throughout the four sites with which I’ve been associated, one of which I shall remain, has been the following short piece I wrote one evening in Scotland while incapacitated, if memory serves, by sharp pains whose source remains unknown but whose object was the pit of my stomach. Scotland has that effect on a good many. Tradition, being what it is, dictated that I include it on this one, too. Perhaps by not including it on the main page, such as it is, I will finally be done with it & it with me.
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Once upon a time there was a young man, he with the mad hair, unobtrusively plain face and anonymously banal wardrobe. University had treated him well, they thought. Trained in the ways of religion and liberally funded by those with the most fervent of faiths, they who considered him a favorite son of the fold, he was, one might say, blessed. And yet, he quixotically begged to any who might listen: –You there, you with the faith that runs as deep as your pockets, you must believe for me. I’m no longer sure I do. Blessed he may be, he with familial friends and a Pharisaical bank account, this studious young man was very unhappy.
His generation was called, by purple-hazed rebels with jobs and sparkle-bright smiles, the apathetic generation, a tag its constituents, they were told, always had time to resist. –You’re all wrong, this unhappy, blessed man concluded. –Mine, and so many of theirs, my peers, friends and strangers, all, is the question of sincerity. To be sincerely hypocritical, this was his unfortunate aim: to religiously embrace with passionate irreligiosity; to pursue, with a mystic’s vision and a saint’s prayer, the path of theological misunderstanding. His misplaced lot, he who wished to live a questionable sincerity, he felt was to pinch from the priestly purse the pauper’s penny, and to think of nothing but the happy injustice of it all.
And so he lived, consciously oblivious to the consequences of his actions. He said what everybody wished to hear so that he might live in such a way that nobody could or would believe. His life, in turn, was as unbelievable as his faith. Lovely words, the sacred fiction of a sincere young man’s most holy of lies. This will be, he feels, the death of him.