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Offbeat – 5 April 2012

Economic intervention is definitely the way to go for people who want to feel valued and in charge, and everyone seems to have something to say, even the Pope, who has railed against wealth in spite of the revelation that he has his own custom-made cologne.


I’m not really interested in Easter this year. The gruesome spectacle of a man hanging from a cross as a backdrop for the litany of priests, citing the gory phenomenon as a reason to attend church, ascribe to their dogma and give generously, somehow just doesn’t cut it, especially when it goes hand in hand with the whole thing of Ishtar and the bunnies and eggs.
I’ll probably read a chapter from ‘The Screwtape Letters’, a couple of William Blake poems and, if I am feeling particularly religious, maybe even that TS Elliot poem with the thing about ‘the second stair’. My betting is that should see me for a couple of months. That and a bunch of chocolate eggs.
If you are an exorcist, planning an intervention on me in the face of my demonic cynicism, please don’t hesitate not to visit. Just stay at home and pray quietly. My soul will respond better to that approach and anyway, my shoulder is dodgy, so I can’t do any of those cool Linda Blair tricks from ‘The Exorcist’anymore.
As far as interventions go, I have actually been secretly hoping that some militant Catholics would show up at my gate with pitchforks and faggots, the burning wood kind, not the product of unhappy habituation in disreputable boy’s schools. All I have gotten so far is one sheepish Jehovah’s Witness and a rather unwary guy selling those paintings that are mass produced and hung in cheap, kitsch, gilt frames, proclaiming the buyer’s lack of guile when it comes to fine art.
The absence of the drooling mob of yokels disappoints me on a fundamental level. What it implies is that my mild heresies, such as ‘you don’t need interpretations of the ten commandments unless you are morally damaged’ or ‘stay home and believe in God on your own’ have gone unrecognised.
If you are a peasant farmer with a strong fundamentalist streak, perhaps you should read these columns more carefully. The absence of your mob at my gate has also deprived me of the chance to jump on the roof and do a Victor Frankenstein impression. The lack of desire to intervene on behalf of my soul tells me that you have become jaded, probably by the endless procession of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
If you are an exorcist, please note that the above was entirely ironic and, as I said, rather stay home. The same thing applies if you are a mob of fundamentalists. And, if you can’t spell, no I am not talking about someone dragging me off to the gym.
Nowadays, the only thing that seems to merit interesting use of the word ‘intervention’ is some or other economic phenomenon. To be fair, there was the whole story of rehab for stars, but that seems to have lost its shine after the depressing Amy Winehouse mess, and even Demi Moore made it through the process and press in record time after whatever she shoved up her nose disagreed with her.
The thing about cults and Moonies seems to have quietly faded away with the advent of Facebook, so no luck there. Intervention in the Middle East is self-destructive. If you don’t believe me read the press clippings for the last 20 years.
Economic intervention is definitely the way to go for people who want to feel valued and in charge, and everyone seems to have something to say, even the Pope, who has railed against wealth in spite of the revelation that he has his own custom-made cologne.
The interesting thing is that there are several interventionist camps, boiling down to ‘consume more’, ‘spend less’ and ‘just-ignore-it-and-it-will-eventually-come-right-on-its-own’. Did I forget the ‘occupy mob’, who seem to be having a lot of fun camping out and baying for blood, regardless of the apparent absence of pitchforks.
As exorcisms go, this could be a biggie. And the religious analogy is fair, because we are talking the worship of Mammon. The all inclusiveness of the desire for money means that everyone can have a go at it.
Personally, there is nothing I want to intervene in. I am staying at home in peace and quiet. Chocolate eggs and a bit of reading are the only interventions I need

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