Thursday, April 14, 2005

The New Neo and the Meaning of Life

The term “neoconservative” was originally coined to describe former leftists who came to their senses and turned conservative. In the 70’s and 80’s it was applied to a group of formerly radical intellectuals (including the likes of Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol) who had been repelled by the anti-Americanism and insane Marxism of the left. Back then the term was easy to understand. “Neo” simply means “new” after all. These guys were “new conservatives.”

In the run up to the Iraq War “neoconservative” was used by the press to describe the President’s advisors who were in favor of war. Many of these people were Jewish and by the time tanks rolled into Baghdad the term essentially meant “dirty Jew.” Use of the word was a way a journalist could draw attention to the fact that a particular person was Jewish without fear of being called anti-Semitic. On the far left many believed that the White House had become the center of a vast Zionist plot, and that the president had been effectively reduced to Ariel Sharon’s puppet by his neocon advisors (though this seems to clash a bit with Left’s whole “Second Hitler” theory).

Now, as far as I can tell, “neoconservative” has become a word applied to any more-evil-than-average conservative.

Today while reading the New Yorker’s obituary of the Pope (it’s not online) I came across this usage:

. . . some critics, such as the biographer John Cornwell, have written that the Pope, by not stepping down when he became ill, left power in the hands of Vatican neo-conservatives, who failed to act persuasively on crises ranging from AIDS to sexual abuse by priests.

Vatican neo-conservatives? By what standard is anybody at the Vatican a “neo-conservative?” Well, they’re the more-evil-than-average conservatives at the Vatican who refuse to allow randy Papists to cap the wellsprings of AIDS with jimmy hats and willy wellies. Because we all know that if the Pope had been a well man he would have shouted from the roof of Saint Peter’s “CONDOMS, CODOMS FOR ALL! ANCIENT CATHOLIC DOGMA BE HANGED!”

I’ve gotten off the point here, but as we all know from The Meaning of Life, the use of contraceptives is what separates Catholics from Protestants:

MR. HARRY BLACKITT:
Look at them, bloody Catholics, filling the bloody world up with bloody people they can't afford to bloody feed.

MRS. BLACKITT:
What are we dear?

MR. BLACKITT:
Protestant, and fiercely proud of it.

MRS. BLACKITT:
Hmm. Well, why do they have so many children?

MR. BLACKITT:
Because... every time they have sexual intercourse, they have to have a baby.

MRS. BLACKITT:
But it's the same with us, Harry.

MR. BLACKITT:
What do you mean?

MRS. BLACKITT:
Well, I mean, we've got two children, and we've had sexual intercourse twice.

MR. BLACKITT:
That's not the point. We could have it any time we wanted.

MRS. BLACKITT:
Really?

MR. BLACKITT:
Oh, yes, and, what's more, because we don't believe in all that Papist claptrap, we can take precautions.

MRS. BLACKITT:
What, you mean... lock the door?

MR. BLACKITT:
No, no. I mean, because we are members of the Protestant Reformed Church, which successfully challenged the autocratic power of the Papacy in the mid-sixteenth century, we can wear little rubber devices to prevent issue.

MRS. BLACKITT:
What d'you mean?

MR. BLACKITT:
I could, if I wanted, have sexual intercourse with you,...

MRS. BLACKITT:
Oh, yes, Harry.

MR. BLACKITT:
...and, by wearing a rubber sheath over my old feller, I could insure... that, when I came off, you would not be impregnated.

MRS. BLACKITT:
Ooh!

MR. BLACKITT:
That's what being a Protestant's all about. That's why it's the church for me. That's why it's the church for anyone who respects the individual and the individual's right to decide for him or herself. When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in fifteen-seventeen, he may not have realised the full significance of what he was doing, but four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas,... [sniff] ...and, Protestantism doesn't stop at the simple condom! Oh, no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want.

MRS. BLACKITT:
You what?

MR. BLACKITT:
French Ticklers. Black Mambos. Crocodile Ribs. Sheaths that are designed not only to protect, but also to enhance the stimulation of sexual congress.

MRS. BLACKITT:
Have you got one?

MR. BLACKITT:
Have I got one? Uh, well, no, but I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry's and hold my head up high and say in a loud, steady voice, 'Harry, I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today, I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.'


Sean Mumbles: Once again, Noah points to Monty Python as a voice of sanity. An idea: Python as the original South Park?

No comments: