The choice of perversity

Jesse, at his Cafe Americain, quoted John Henry Newman:

If there is not love in your action, then you have lost your way. Where there is not love, there is not life in faith. It is that simple. No love, no life.

I don’t thing JHN was referring to perverse love, the love which should not find expression.    It might be possible to see that mathematician in a more kindly light were it not for the wife he summarily “jilted” to run off to France.    It might be possible to see him in a more kindly light were it not for the girl’s age and vulnerability in a broken family, something parents refuse to take responsibility for today.  It might be possible to see him in a more kindly light were it not for his position of trust as a direct influence through position.

All of us have committed folly of some kind but folly which is based on perversity is the killer today.

JHN also says:

We are free to believe what we will, but we will be held accountable for what we believe and what we do, and the consequences of our beliefs and our unbelief.

This is not liked by a certain political/philosophical persuasion which includes the self-entitled, the aggrieved, those who feel they’re not getting enough when they’re already getting way more than their proportional share.    This persuasion believes we are not fat through our choices,  but through societal factors – a bad childhood, an “obesity gene” or whatever.    Or else we didn’t commit that crime through anything to do with our choices, they say – it was all someone else’s fault, especially the government.   Or we ended up as a single mum through forces which you couldn’t possibly understand in her special case because he was a right bastard or failed to measure up in some way and that’s his fault, not hers.   Never hers.

On the other hand, there are things which really are the government’s fault and many of us believe that anything whatever that the government touches is, by definition, going to turn to ashes. There are those of us who believe there is a global narrative, an agenda and our sinking into infantilized yet brutal, aggrieved yahoos is not all to do with our choices – it’s our unawareness of the agenda.   That single mother is part of the agenda as well, the better for the state to impose its will on private lives.

And people really are out to get us – that’s not just paranoia – the data is available.    There’s no bacon shortage or grain shortage, except what has been created – artificial scarcity and artificial prices.   When the people who determine credit also determine what is available to buy, that is our choice to believe and so something about … or not.

And why should they care for us and not their expenses, fake charities and other scams?    They don’t follow the Christian directive of “love they neighbour”, they are doing everything possible to frame it in such a way that that looks like outdated dogma, as against a rationalist nirvana.    They follow “screw over whomever you can get away with screwing over aand not have to resign over”.

When you remove these underpinning constraints on human behaviour, you’re left with excess and and as JHN noted – without love. Without real love, compassion.

Was that mathematician’s obsession with that girl love or was it perverse love?    One jilted wife says it was perversity, whatever romance the French might find in the action.    Dr Zhivago might have had his Lara but he also had his Tonya and family and perversely threw them over for another, instead of working it through with her.   That’s immaturity and irresponsibility, as the stern gospels will tell you, which is why no one wants to know.

You don’t need to explain obsessive love to me and though there’s a good case for it being unavoidable, unassailable, impossible to fight for most human beings, the man will still pick up the tab in the end.   Or the woman who goes against her better judgment in trying to tame the beast she is mesmerized by using her own fatal charm and inevitably fails miserably, bemoaning that she didn’t choose a better man.

Yesterday I cramped up at work and had to come home.   That pressurized the others.   It might have been all the eggs I ate in the previous two days, it might have been the decision to go on a “good food” diet and the digestive system didn’t like the sudden assault of fibre.   Either way I’m doubled over writing this, drinking copious water to get rid of it.   That could well have all stemmed from my poor choices.   And it means I can’t have visitors today.   Everything has consequences.

There was every reason for the unheralded team of non-stars who battled adversity to reach a a final could have thrown in in the towel in the third stanza but, as The SMH notes:

The Sydney Swans will never know how they won this premiership, except that it is the way they always win.  They won not in spite of what was against them, but because of it. There was Sydney’s abysmal record at the MCG. There were injuries.

There were other painful blows; you get the feeling that like Monty Python’s Black Knight, they would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound.

There was the idiosyncratic composition of the Sydney team. In an era in which team-building supposedly is a science, the Swans have acted on a lot of hunches.   There was the quality of the opposition.   There was the shape of the match. The free kicks ran against the Swans 27-10, incongruously.

The Swans invite attack; it allows them to play what they call slingshot football. Cool-headed defenders absorbed wave upon wave of Hawthorn attack, coiled, then sprang the ball forward.  The Swans has made an art of form of desperation, and by it, they kicked the last four goals of the season. As much adversity as was arrayed against the Swans, one phenomenon was in their favour. Not for the first time this season, Hawthorn squandered the chances it made.

As much as Sydney might not know how they won this game, the Hawks will wonder forever how they lost it. Countervailing the sundry powers against them, the Swans have one, but it is indomitable.   Condensed, it is the spirit of the Bloods.   It was the nectar of a remarkable premiership.

They’re known as the giant killers, not the giants themselves.   They decided not to lose and didn’t.   That has to be admired and yet you might well ask – why do they always do it the hard way in the first place?   Why not recruit a galaxy of stars?

Choices.