gall and gumption

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Toilet Worship

As St. Augustine would say, there is no reason to think that God is any less present in a toilet than anywhere else -- your pocket, your pinky toe, another galaxy that we don't even know about.

1) The Dada show is on at the National Gallery in Washington. Roy at Alicublog links to some bint who finds it scandalous -- what are we at now? 90 years later?

It reminds me of a phrase that used to be commonly said about contemporary Saudi Arabia: "Hurtling from the 13th century into the 14th."

Fresh from having read this comment on the threat that Dada poses to our Way of Life,,

Nothing quite matches the hilarity of one of [National Review Online}'s professional anaesthetes calling anyone else "propagandists," but that Duchamp's urinal is the wellspring of her rage is also very rich.

2) I drop in at the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat which was, I think, the first place to report the theft, from a driveway in the city of Sonoma, of Jerry Garcia's salmon-colored toilet.

3) Also the day before, the results of a new medical study were released that found that prayer does not actually save the lives of sick people. I was particularly struck by this quotation, which I got from driftglass but which can be found lots of places.

The largest study yet on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that it provided no benefit to the recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery.

In an unexpected twist, patients who knew prayers were being said for them had more complications after surgery than those who did not know, researchers reported Thursday.

The complications were minor, and doctors surmised that they could have been caused by the increased stress on patients worried that their conditions were so bad they needed prayers.

Father Dean Marek, a Catholic priest who was involved in the research, said he wasn't surprised by the results.

"I am always a little leery about intercessory prayer," said Marek, director of chaplain services at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "What we have in mind for someone else may not be what they have in mind for themselves…. It is clearly manipulative of divine action and personal choice."[Emphasis mine - kp]

I feel that these three things are somehow all related. In the spiritual realm. In a good way.


At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Jason Harris said...

Ah yes, the mysticals mysteries of the spiritual and the gastrointestinal worlds. Can you hear the distant thunder of the watchful heavens frowning in contemplation, bending bilious brows to your blog? Or is it merely the borborygmus of the ghost of Garcia, mightily galled to find his seat is missing? How's that for a great onomatopoeic word: borborygmus?
Meanwhile, the theory has been "floated" that perhaps Jesus walked on ice, not water:
In class today we briefly discussed the definition of the word "supernatural" and it's interesting how many people tend to distinguish God from things they call supernatural, like vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. I rather pointedly emphasized that any thing "above" ("super") the natural, outside the realm of the physical laws that govern the universe has to be considered supernatural, such as "walking on water," which by definition no one can do. A student countered by saying it wasn't a person that walked on water--just God's son. Well, I rejoined, the whole reason that's considered a miracle is that it defies natural law: therefore supernatural! I think people resist categorizing their religious beliefs as supernatural because they're afraid that "natural" will then be substituted with "stition." I didn't even bring up the "walked on ice" news article, not wanting to futher muddy the waters.
There's also this other recent article suggesting the church-goers tend to live longer, but we must remind ourselves that correlation is not causation--maybe it's the red wine they drink eh?
Or maybe the social experience. There was yet another article indicating that lonely people have higher blood pressure.

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