12 July 2008


I came to this article about the Book of Revelations and end-times enthusiasts in the Guardian expecting a trite put-down of believers and some smart-arse commentary on the final book of the Bible.

I did get a 'hook' for something that I was planning to write on another matter entirely:

"Furthermore, the mind is capable of artful compartmentalisations..."

But moreso, I found the article quite entrancing and well argued. As an avowedly secular household - well, bits of it - Chateau VVB has a popular, but unfortunately rather shallow scientific interest (as it might be described) in those who have deep beliefs and also in how books like the Bible come about, and come about their power. Maybe those bits of the Chateau should devote more time to reading and research, and less to ill-considered blogs. But that's one for another time.

There were a few bits of the article that really grabbed my attention. I particularly liked this bit:

"For many millennial dispensationalists, international peacemakers, who risk delaying the final struggle by sowing concord among nations - the United Nations, along with the World Council of Churches - have been seen as Satanic forces."

Which struck me as grasping at straws to express a political or ideological conviction rather than a religious one.

I liked the story of the Millerites - calculated the day the world would end and Jesus would return, it didn't happen, they cried for a bit and then an outside-the-square thinker amongst them decided that Jesus had returned, he simply was up in the sky somewhere. Problem solved.

And this, again reflecting what appears to be a group using religious imagery as cover for a political outcome:
"And so it came about that a cattle-breeding operation emerges in Israel with the help of Texan Christian fundamentalist ranchers to promote the birth of the perfect, unspotted red calf, and thereby, we have to assume, bring the end days a little closer."

Actually the article deserves far better than this random mud-slinging. It's undoubtedly so that end-timers will always be amongst us...until the end times. The references to Nazism, Marxism and the close brush with mortality that was the Cuban showdown between Kruschev and Kennedy - the author's comment that this incident has passed from general memory is telling. I can remember it, although being only 11 at the time and living in a country town, its importance eluded me.

So I'd be interested in what people have to say.

The compartmentalising comment I was going make was that many of us, if not most of us, have to compartentalise in order to get through, in particular, our working days.

So, for someone who has been working in economic development for quite some years now, I should be 100% behind the globalisation 'experiment' and all that goes with it.

But alas when I read in the Business Review Weekly that businesses should take advantage of the casualisation of the workforce in order to reduce their costs, I see red. Particularly when the way it is portrayed, it looks like casualisation occurred because, perhaps, workers demanded it: "For example, the casualisation of the workforce has created opportunities for managers to align their wage costs with revenue".

What, this had nothing to do with business lobbying government to change ("free up") labour market regulations? It happened all by itself? I have no doubt that some people like casual work, but the idea that thousands of people with mortgages and families would voluntarily trade security of income for - a freer lifestyle? - just defies commonsense.

Alright, it's just a magazine with deadlines rather than a considered journal, but the message is pretty clear: screw your staff and then, just when they think you're finished, do it again.

So, that's what I was originally going to write - albeit briefly - about. But the roads we follow to get where we were going are far more interesting.

The journey is the destination, yes?


Dysthymiac said...

ha! Pants and I have been saying
"the journey is The Destination" a lot lately.

"align wage costs with revenue" = screw the workers.

phil said...

"The journey is the destination": the motto of the deadline-phobic.

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