Virtue-gap January 3, 2009Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Darlings, what’s yours? In DWBs*? A virtue-gap being, of course, the period of clean living it takes you after a period of unclean living to put the wicked memories of debauchery and ribaldry behind you and feel that you wouldn’t look out of place and, indeed, might even cut quite a dash in a village church on a Sunday morning?
Not that, as a wicked old nullifidian – darlings, I all of a sudden got worried by the word atheist and wondered if it made me be a wanker to come out as one. That what’s-his-face Hitchens – not the one in America whom I can’t help having a crush on even though I’m probably meant to disagree with quite a lot of what he says – I might even do, possibly, but he always says it so alluringly – although he looks much worse now that he’s had all those makeovers and his teeth done. No, the sour-puss brother – is right that atheism is a belief-system in itself. I mean, I don’t think it is, but then I want my unbelief to be un- rather than actively non-, I think, and worried that if atheism is active belief in there not being a god, which I’d probably be happy to throw my lot in with, actually, then I’d still rather be labelled, when the machine in the people-labelling factory gets to that stage in its workings, just in case, say, by some, admittedly, extremely queer twist of fate, we had to be labelled according to our beliefs, with a label that meant, ‘doesn’t-much-go-in-for-that-religion-lark,’ which perhaps nullifidian suits better – I should be equating attendance of a service in a village church with the height of virtuousness. And, as tolerant and respectful of others’ belief systems as I am, sometimes, I must say my faith in a certain type of Christian wearing t-shirts with verses from the Bible was cruelly dented when I saw a walking billboard quoting Jeremiah 30:17 – King James Bible version: For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after – trying to barge into a hot-dog queue.
But I do do that equation a bit. Which is an odd virtue to have at the top of my virtue Christmas tree. That the personified height of virtue should be the type that turns up at a village church religiously – boom, boom – of a Sunday morning. This moral nirvana is located, in my head, in some corner of England I don’t know but can ascribe all the attributes of a virtuous idyll to. Probably in Lincolnshire. Near Spalding somewhere. And the church would be full of kind Lib-Dem-voting types who popped in on their old neighbours and bird-watched and wore greens and browns and whose wickedest ever misdeed was failing to enter a cake in the village fête. The men would all look like this and take The Telegraph – or would Lib-Dem-voters take something else? – and like cricket and obviously prefer rugby to football and drink real ale – but not to excess, although perhaps they’d allow themselves one half-squiffy evening three times a year – and be active in local politics and drop in on new residents of the village to make them feel welcome – probably taking along the cake they’d forgotten to enter in the village fête and a bottle of surprisingly good white wine that they’d bought when staying at their house in Brittany – and speak less-than-execrable French and be thinking of learning Spanish or Italian and think Britons’ lack of knowledge of foreign languages was worthy of despair and that knowing a few words of the local language can really open up the culture and the locals react so differently (as they are packing their goods into the removal van from the house you’ve just bought off them) and know how to use a gun, though would approve of Britain’s gun laws and would drive within the speed limit but cycle where possible and support local businesses and certainly never inhale and be an accomplished, considerate lover. (Too depressed to describe his wife now. Lucky bitch.)
But a half-logical moral idyll to create because it’s as far-removed a life from my own as I can imagine within the same cultural boundaries. And I can’t think what the perfect moral man from my other two worlds – Russia and Germany – would quite be like. Except that the Russian moral paragon would ruin things, for me, culturally, by lecturing folk on how this was moral perfection and everyone else should live like this too and the German would be proud of his beer consumption and probably like to do things in the bedroom that my Lib-Dem-voter would have to wrinkle his brow at.
Because the time of year has made me feel particularly unvirtuous. Not that I feel guilt – oh gosh. I did one of those word-cloud things for this site and, apart from me, me, me, narcissistic drivel, public masturbation, me, me, me again, the word ‘guilt’ came up. Bugger – at calendric hedonism, really, but I do see the picture of the boys from Swing Out Sister, which I carry around with me as something to aspire to at all times, slowly erasing itself like Marty’s family photo in Back to the Future. Day upon day of wanton drinking. And not doing anything virtuous, i.e. work, which would nudge my moral compass closer to Lincolnshire before you knew it.
But that’s the festivities done. No time for any more fun till the vernal equinox at the very earliest. The weekend can just jolly well skip straight past my hard-nosed threshold and hand over my fun-ration to the wonderful couple next door. (Yes, they did complain on Christmas Day, since you ask.) It’s working my fingers to the bone from now till 2017.
Though I’m not sure if it’s the current alignment of the planets or the global economic crisis meaning we have to make cuts where we can, but my 2009 virtue-gap from marauding, self-destructive, bawdy, loud-mouthed, braying arse-hole to sedate, glasses-wearing (and my vision is perfect), Schubert-listening, moralising, tutting tosser with the demeanour and sartorial acumen of a Latin teacher is now down to a single DWB*.
I shouldn’t be at all surprised if I make the 2010 New Year’s honours list.