Tuesday, June 26, 2007

God Save What, Exactly? And How?

This photo was a keeper. Apparently the UK is launching some new "hunter/killer" submarine. All fine and good, as far as defense spending goes.

But check out the goofy smile on the clergyman, happily shepherding the nuclear reactor and tomahawk missiles to sea. He's either so giddy from being next to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, or from being in the papers that he somehow missed the fact that the tenets of Christianity have nothing to do with anything "hunter/killer".

Pure irony, isn't it? Another fine example of what institutionalized religion can achieve.

I started keeping an eye out for these situations a few years ago after reading an introduction to post-modernism. While I think I learned that there must be dozens of vague and not-necessarily-compatible meanings, one thing that stuck is that in a "post-modern" world, "traditional" symbols show up in all kinds of nonsensical -- that is, to say "ironic" -- places.

One of the authors collected clippings and photos of this sort of irony. My favorite example was from a trip to Japan: in Tokyo he found a pendant with Santa Claus nailed to the cross.

Now I wonder if the Japanese pendant-maker wasn't so far off-base.