23 October 2008

The Joy of Lust (and Wrath)

John Zmirak, that eminently readable writer, waxes eloquent on one of the deadly sins:
I don't think I'm lapsing into Gnosticism when I say that, for much of mankind, sexuality is less like a big, shiny present left for us by a loving Father than a dose of poison ivy that lasts for decades -- and it's a mortal sin to scratch. In the modern West, most of us mature so slowly that marriage before the age of 30 seems almost suicidally rash. You can't support a family on one income, and children need decades and decades of expensive education before they can move briefly out of your home -- then return to live on your couch while they "figure things out."

Things weren't always so impossible. Some of the problems here are the side-effects of technology -- by which I mean machines that help us do what we want. Which frequently blows up in our face, since
what we want -- and let me emphasize this, because it seems to be essential to understanding Creation -- is entirely beside the point.

The natural order is blithely unconcerned with our happiness; our bodies are built with the family's -- and, hence, the species' -- best interest in mind. So, by nature, we barrel bedward with all the zest of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. With the same results. Have you ever seen the battered state of those fish at the end of their selfless, frantic fight against the current, over rocks, up hills, and over dams -- their tattered skin, broken fins, and glassy stares? They look like parents emerging, drained and dazed, from Chuck E. Cheese.
Elsewhere, he ponders the eternal implications of our actions, particularly those involving another deadly sin:
As we think those actions over -- especially that one and that one, sheesh -- the silence of the grave and the infinite void sound better and better. The only part of the Last Judgment we might enjoy is the wholesale exposure of everyone else's sins. With the proper editing, that's a movie I want to see -- like a Quentin Tarantino flick that lasts for thousands of years.
Read his apologetic on massive, disproportionate retaliation here.