Veneration Disease

It is alarming in itself when compassion has to be provoked by shock. It is still more worrisome when this shock can be provoked by single image. This means that all other originals – a thousands of dead, captured in photos or not, that are steadily piling in the Middle East from American dismantling of Iraq to present day – meant nothing until media decided to consecrate one single stiff and uplift it to symbolical heaven on the ceiling of postmodern mass media cathedral. How is this possible?

Some historical events boggle the modern mind with their apparent stupidity. Admittedly, what seems apparently stupid for moderns could have very well been essentially intelligent for their ancestors, who lived through those strange occurrences which, for seemingly insignificant reasons, decided courses of civilizations and, sometimes, even indirectly brought about their downfall. Well, in the course of last few days it became crystal clear that you don’t have to be a scholar of Byzantine history and culture to realize that clash of iconoclasts and iconodoulos, which in a way decided the fate of this peculiar empire, was in fact quite sane, although bereft of happy ending. If you reflect on it now, from the vantage point provided by contemporary mass media, then it is obvious that Byzantine John Wayne was Iconoclast and that he, regrettably, hasn’t rode into the sunset. The bad guys and their adoration of Icons survived to provide the premier public religious practice of modern, atheist, West and it could very well prove to be one of the causes of it’s downfall – perhaps not actual, physical breaking apart of societies, but undoubtedly the dissolution of last vestiges of morality.

Here, we’ll scrutinize the premier Icon of the week which we’ll provisionally name “The Drowned Boy”. It represents the body of a three year old child washed upon the shores of Turkey. It’s artistic and spiritual content – the reason why it’s aesthetic appeal is consecrated as spiritually uplifting and kneeling in veneration worthy – is as follows:

The numbers associated with today’s migration crisis are huge: 4 million Syrians fleeing their country; 3 million Iraqis displaced. But it was the image of solitary child – a toddler in a red T-shirt, blue shorts and Velcro sneakers, found face-down on a Turkish beach – that shocked and haunted the world this week.” (source)

So, the shock of the week was provided by image – eikona – trumping 7 million and one real refugees and displaced people. The one added to 7 million is, of course, little Aylan Kurdi himself whose iconic representation haunts the media and social networks.

It is alarming in itself when compassion has to be provoked by shock. It is still more worrisome when this shock can be provoked by single image. This means that all other originals – a thousands of dead, captured in photos or not, that are steadily piling in the Middle East from American dismantling of Iraq to present day – meant nothing until media decided to consecrate one single stiff and uplift it to symbolical heaven on the ceiling of postmodern mass media cathedral. How is this possible?

To answer this question, let us briefly digress into a crash course in theology of Icons.

The veneration of Icons is theologically justified by all pervading supramaterial reality of the Divine, rendered by untranslatable Ancient Greek word hypostasis. Namely, the emanations of God, His energias or activities, encompass everything and are discernable in everything, but above all in beings which are consciously intended to represent Him. That way the face – prosopon – of Divine Son is a premier physical manifestation of hypostasis of the Father because it brings us, quite literally, in front of His most perfect expression which can be observed by senses, interiorized in heart and contemplated by intellect. The true Icon of Jesus, if depicted in accordance to strict and detailed cannon, can bring the faithful before His real presence, because it, again quite literally, by preserving His appearance, provides the link to His historical existence as a Divine hypostasis which consecrated the fallen world with new and everlasting hope of redemption.

Well, as always in theology, there is a question of intellectual and moral integrity and, simply put, faithfulness. Being the free science for free men, it presupposes that it’s proponent will correctly and autonomously decide upon invisible reality of what he represents and will not try to screw the people over by implanting something entirely un-Divine in the images he consecrates. So, just to mention in passing, one has to hope that Orthodox iconodoulos won’t consecrate his own patch of dirt as being so drenched in Divine energias that he can proclaim it Divine Patch of Dirt – for the sake of illustration, let’s call it: Heavenly Serbia – and then proceed to make all neighboring patches of dirt equally Heavenly by means of armored vehicles, heavy mortar fire and hordes of heavy drinking bearded angels, bearing skull & bones flags and chanting in deep voices.

As this hope has historically proven to be very slim, it is only natural to be doubly wary of Icons consecrated by such oracles as The Guardian, Huffington Post and New York Times. Namely, the presupposition of true Icon is that it puts the observer in touch with concrete actuality of it’s original. The “Drowned boy”, regrettably, does precisely the opposite. As all media images, it serves only to detach the observer from any and all reality, and capture his or hers consciousness in the vague reality of the image itself. To illustrate the point, before we indulge the vivisection of simulacra, let us recall the Holly Icon of weeks gone by: the image of American athlete Bruce Jenner; let’s call it, in accordance with Olympic ideal: “Mens sano in corpore sano”:

The image of insane human being who has undergone essential mutilation of It’s own body had been pushed down the throats of unsuspecting public worldwide, by the same media now feeding them the corpse of a Kurdish child. “Mens Sano” was intended to bring the people in touch with intended dissolution of gender and to instruct them in the proper veneration of new virtues: embracing the perverted in most literal sense of the word, having audacity to get castrated and to contemplate the ugliness with unflinching eye. “Drowned Boy”, on the other hand, contains one single instruction for the masses. It represents and proscribes Tolerance.

However, Tolerance is not a vague moral sentiment but already codified, albeit not yet implemented, legal obligation, enshrined in publicly available draft law Model European Statute for Promotion of Tolerance. Somewhat detailed depiction of this document and it’s implications was already done on Kali Tribune, so for our purpose we’ll only point out the essentials, while reader is advised to consult the detailed analysis. According to this draft law, the Tolerance is a legal redefinition and shift of the foundation of human dignity – from individual, i.e. personal, dignity towards the dignity of a group:

… respect for human dignity is based on recognition of human diversity and the inherent right of every person to be different, (…) tolerance has a vital role in enabling successful coexistence of diverse groups within a single national society” (MESPT, Preamble)

It is essential to point out that the word ‘migrant’ which now imperceptibly replaced the terms ‘immigrant’ or ‘refugee’ is also prominent in this document, written in 2012., therefore before the crisis at the EU borders even began. It is one of those terms as ‘homophobia’, ‘mysoginia’ or ‘xenophobia’ that pops out seemingly from nowhere and becomes the approved standards of public discussions. Approved by who, one may ask? Well, we won’t delve into that here, but bear in mind that it’s not you. Yours is only consent or dissent. Suffice it to point out, when ‘migrant’ is concerned, that MESPT was drafted by 5 people from private NGO, only three of them being Europeans.

Now, “Drowned boy” is put forward to incite the Tolerance in the hearts and minds – or poor excuses thereof – of European public. But this does not mean inciting the tolerance towards other peoples. It means the tolerance of other groups. There is a sublime and quite insidious difference. Namely, the mixing of various social groups in EU is intended to engineer the society in which the only dignity before the law will be precisely the dignity of a group in relation to other groups. If I am, as a person, constituted by the fact that group in which I’m dully herded is different from other groups, then my dignity is, consequently, built upon difference and not identity; it is essentially heteronomous, therefore dependant on outside definitions and re-definitions. This means that any previously cherished retreats of autonomous human being – the things we sum up as ‘intimacy’ – becomes legally obsolete, because they are defined out of relevance together with traditional understanding of personhood. The group can be anything, from ethnic group to, we could safely argue, Facebook group – that’s completely immaterial. The underlying idea is that personhood before the law is constituted by gluing fragments of other people to oneself. If it sounds too far fetched, there’s an appropriate Icon to prove the point. This is the title page of White Paper on Tolerance published by the same NGO that conceived the MESPT. We’ll call it “Holly Family”:



As is obvious to anyone of sane disposition, this is a depiction of freak show. For shadowy lawgivers of EU, however, it represents the future citizens of their social experiment. So efforts to incite the public to support the influx of “migrants” into their countries are in all probability not motivated by any semblance of moral concerns or even geopolitical reasons. It is an effort in bringing about a new step in fundamental change of humanity, turning peoples into uprooted, conflicting, genderless, heteronomous and ultimately manageable clusters of chaotic but predictable human resources. It is therefore somewhat ironic that one major victory in battle over the “hearts and minds” of public was accomplished by trumping the deaths of thousands by image of single dead individual. To quote the media Hierophants once again:

“But the message Alyan Kurdi’s photo seems clear enough: the world needs to do better in addressing migrant’s needs, safety and dignity.” (source)

Well, we must note that Alyan Kurdi was not into sending messages – poor child was probably busy enough keeping his head above the water. But his holly Icon is. Therefore, it represents something else, it is not the depiction of dead child but a fucking message, a billboard advert to tackle the “conscience” of Western public and sell them the “sense” of guilt for a price of few Facebook rants. What heaps of corpses were pilled in order for politically correct perception management experts to take such a daring, yet poignant snapshot? Big heaps, one must surmise. Because, the undersigned is convinced, contrary to all appearances, that they are unable to stand upright but are confined to crawling on their bellies like graveyard maggots whose instincts they so aptly imitate, so they need a real big pile of corpses to zero in on appropriate dead child just to get their iconostas straight. Suffering children are the mainstay of contemporary perception management – a phenomena already discussed elsewhere in more detailed manner – because they aptly provoke just the right kind of simulated compassion, but this photo excels in insidiousness and sheer audacity of it’s message. It is a Holly Icon to be venerated and, as is usual with religion of political correctness, we’ll probably soon see “Drowned Boy” T-shirts or, at least, “Drowned Boy” FB profile pictures. Of course, the dead child is not really represented by this photograph, the message doesn’t leave room for such contingency. Venerating the Icon therefore has no relation to it’s original which is devoured by coprophagus media and vomited out in appropriate form for public consumption. It is not a photo of dead child but Icon of Sacrifice of Holly Tolerance for heartless shitheads to venerate.

As for me, a somewhat cautious admirer of traditional theology of Icons, it is nothing more than a mild disappointment. Because as days go by, and holly Icons flood my eyes wherever I look, those Iconoclast crazies of old seem more and more appealing. Might be even that wicked old Byzantium could have lived on few more years if they have won the great theological battle. This empire of nowadays will not last long without iconoclasts, anyway. Because it’s Icons represent Nothing, and by destroying them it is the only thing we lose. By clinging to them, however, the simulation is strengthened in it’s drive to replace true human ability to feel anything more than self-indulgence masked as compassion. And, few years for now, everyone but a precious few will end up contracting the spiritual syphilis eating up the inborn sense of right and wrong, making room for appropriate and inappropriate.

So brothers and sisters, let us smash the Icons of infidels! Well, we can just ignore them, it amounts to same. They don’t last long, anyway. The transsexual Pantocrator reigned for few weeks, the Drowned Boy will be forgotten soon enough. But there’ll be more and more and more … And if one is not careful and watchful of what he venerates, well … he can contract a deadly and highly infectious disease.

So forget the condoms. Admittedly, there are moral condoms – that’s when one indulges in compassion over images bearing messages. As there is a safe sex, there is obviously a safe morality too. But those are provisionary and unreliable measures.

Therefore let us extend our middle fingers in a graceful gesture of renunciation towards the producers of Holly Icons, safe in knowledge that only abstinence can save as from veneration disease.

Branko Malić

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1 Response

  1. the R says:

    Another brilliant analysis by you, sir, Mr. Malic! – only wish there were more Western intellects of your intellectual-cum-cultural-cum-moral breadth and depth – to say nothing of your courage and audaciousness – attempting to uncoil and disassemble the ruses employed by our unelected Elite to hoodwink us into committing-cum-omitting those acts and behaviors that will ultimately effect the West’s utter annihilation; hope to read more of your gems in the future and suffice it to say that although I can only dream of attaining the heights of your innate-cum-learned intellect/intelligence, I am one North American – Canadian specifically – who will refuse to go quietly into the night whilst my cathedral of worship burns away!

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