Thursday, December 13, 2007

Of gods, Antichrist and Canadian multiculturalism...

Bob posted this:

How many social anarchists does it take to change a light bulb?

This triggered a cerebral reaction, in the form of a chain of unlikely associations.

When I come across the word "anarchists", my mind - which is not particularly dyslexic except when forced to deal with numbers - reads it as "Antichrist". It is only when I come to the end of the sentence that I realize something does not quite make sense (though some would dispute it) and I correct the reading. It all takes a few seconds.

The term "Antichrist" has a special resonance for me. It does not conjure up dire visions of Satan or medieval heretics being burned at the stake for representing the Antichrist. It makes me think of a land-rover affectionately called 'The Antichrist" and the movie in which I encountered this feisty jeep, "The gods must be crazy".

Here are a few choice quotes:

The Reverend: [Steyn has offered the Reverend the use of his Landrover] I don't think I can handle her. I hear Mpudi calls her the Antichrist!

Steyn: What do you know about women?
Mpudi: I got seven wives, how many you got?
Steyn: Why aren't you home with your seven wives?
Mpudi: I know how to marry them. Nobody knows how to live with them.

Narrator: Even a poisonous snake isn't bad. You just have to keep away from the sharp end.

And speaking of Steyn and Antichrists, here is a timely post by Terry Glavin , a drink-soaked trot, about a case that is bound to shake up Canada's complacent multiculturalism.

And here is a more fleshy article, by same, well worth reading. And another one, here.


Update: Sidebar with Bob:

Bob is astounded at my "lateral leap". I guess he means a leap from the crazy gods to Canadian multiculturalism and its religious discontents.

"Lateral leap". That seemed like a promising path, worthy of investigation. I looked up what it means, and found an explanation of what a "Lateral pass" means:

"In American football a lateral pass or lateral, officially referred to as a backward pass, and an "onside pass" in Canadian football; is a sideways or rearward throwing of the football."

It seems a good enough term for what my better half would call a "discontinuity", which is something like a "Jump Point":

Continuous functions are of utmost importance in mathematics and applications. However, not all functions are continuous. If a function is not continuous at a point in its domain, one says that it has a discontinuity there.

What does it mean in actual terms? That there seems to be no plausible and readily obvious connection between two consecutive sets of facts or arguments.

In this case, it was the point of a fictional movie Steyn character morphing into Steyn the journalist being sued. The link is purely coincidental and nominal.

I watched an interview with Steve Martin on Charlie Rose yesterday, in which he explained that sometimes the very pointlessness, the caesura, the broken linearity, becomes the point. The point being the creation of a surprise. If we listen to music where the orchestra has been playing an allegro molto vivace, stops for 1o seconds and then continues with an andante muy triste, our instinct tells us there must be some mistake here. They must have turned to the wrong page..

Anne Carson wrote something about the essence of the error. It is the mind doubling in upon itself. I'll try to find the exact quote. That a bit like the "lateral pass" from football.

In physics, which is where "discontinuity" resides, it's a graph jumps inexplicably somewhere along the ridge line.

Well I think I've covered most of my bases. What I dare not say is that the lateral leap is a function of a poetic mind. That would be too presumptuous.

BTW, "Sideways" was a movie I also liked a lot, about a road trip, true love, and wine. But mainly, about friendship.


At 1:12 PM EST, Blogger bob said...

That's quite a lateral leap!!

At 3:29 PM EST, Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Great post.

Thanks for your onside pass to my Dissent column and so on, but I've blown a new gasket over at Trots, and I hope you'll still like me after reading it.


Post a Comment

<< Home