Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ruddy Liturgically Sacrificial Hue

  • Lazyass and Futile Weekend Blogging for the Blog Days of Summer in Dead Blegsylvania. 
  • Going outside today and tomorrow though tomorrow is one of the Holiest Days in Egoslavia. 
  • Hint: one of our rescue Maine Coons is named after the birthday celebrant.
  • The Selfish Individual. On Sontag essays.
  • Desert theory, rehashed.
  • The compartmentalization of injustice.
  • Three plateaus on noise aesthetics.
  • America as Ahab though speaking as Ishmail.
  • Did a major tune-up on blogrolls, purged bleggicides, migrated hibernating blogs to Moribund, added some new joints, please check them out when they float to the top. Only bleggicides were purged; if you are not where you were and you haven't posted in at least three months you've been moved to Moribund so that when you wake up I can see the pleasant surprise.
  • Prunella's latest playlist.
  • Guess what I fell asleep to, woke up with in head. Cause yes, it occurred to me this past Wednesday to open this post for Lazyass and Futile Weekend Blogging for the Blog Days of Summer in Dead Blegsylvania with the song at the top.


Stevie Smith

The lions who ate the Christians on the sands of the arena
By indulging native appetites played what has now been seen a   
Not entirely negligible part
In consolidating at the very start
The position of the Early Christian Church.
Initiatory rites are always bloody
And the lions, it appears
From contemporary art, made a study
Of dyeing Coliseum sands a ruddy
Liturgically sacrificial hue
And if the Christians felt a little blue—
Well people being eaten often do.
Theirs was the death, and theirs the crown undying,
A state of things which must be satisfying.
My point which up to this has been obscured
is that it was the lions who procured
By chewing up blood gristle flesh and bone
The martyrdoms on which the Church has grown.
I only write this poem because I thought it rather looked   
As if the part the lions played was being overlooked.
By lions’ jaws great benefits and blessings were begotten   
And so our debt to Lionhood must never be forgotten.


  1. Happy Something or Other to Whomever. Or Whatever.

  2. 1) it seems you got to the stevie smith poem via "throbbing gristle" the band

    1b) speaking of which - i first heard of genesis p-orridge in a heavily pictorial magazine/coffee table book about tattoos, body mods, etc which i read in the early 1990s

    1c) i note that the wikipedia article on p-orridge uses "s/he" all the way through - for comparison, the article on jan morris avoids gendered pronouns until gender reassignment took place, while chelsea/bradley manning's article uses "she" for events throughout her lifespan

    2)stevie smith is worth discussing but perhaps another time

    3) her poem attributes some of the spread of christianity to damnatio ad bestias - this may be true, although of course the practice of feeding christians to lions would not have occurred if the religion were not already spreading

    4) what interests me most is that this poem reminds me of logion 7 of the gospel of thomas

    Yeshua said:

    Fortunate is the lion eaten by a human,
    for lion becomes human.
    Unfortunate is the human eaten by a lion,
    for human becomes lion.

    [Jean-Yves Leloup translation from the Coptic, into English by Joseph Rowe]

    4b) in his commentary, leloup gives both a psychoanalytic and a gnostic interpretation - if the lion stands for the libido, then "eating" it "means taming and mastering it so that it becomes humanized and ultimately transformed into a force of love" - whereas being eaten - manipulated - by it refers to being a slave to one's passions

    4c) from a gnostic perspective, "the lion is more the ego or mental activity that stalks us, devouring our attention and our true identity, which is the Self. Fortunate is the 'little me' integrated into the Self, for it has found its true place. Unfortunate is the person so devoured by ego...that he forgets the Self. Then human becomes lion (egocentric): the ego-persona co-opts and devours everything in sight."

    [quotes from The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus, Jean-Yves Leloup.]