Sunday, 14 November 2010

Overcoming Your Environment

You have no idea how from the heart this blog is, because I'm me and all:

I teach kids and can tell in a few cases by the over-the-top change in their posture whenever I have to ask them to stop talking or playing games or whatever, that they come from homes in which adults criticize constantly, unfairly and oppressively.  All I need is for the kid to put her iTouch away for the next forty minutes, and she thinks I need her to recognize that she is clearly a horrible person who will never amount to anything, and that once she has listened (to what she assumes will be a long lecture on how she is a horrible person) then of course I will not ask for anything good out of her, and will let her just sit playing games on her iTouch, as she's not going to be amounting to anything anyway.  Some kids, of course, if you say "You need to put that away" simply flash a "You caught me!" sheepish smile, and put the device away, self-esteem undiminished.  That's how it works at their house.  There is reproof, and there is the understanding that it isn't a big deal, and there is forgiveness.

  Others, though, tense right up, preparing for outright character assassination, because they're used to that, and don't expect there to need to be anything in particular that they did which brought the lecture on.   The only kids who tempt me to really come down hard are the ones who, when asked to put away the phone they're texting on, give me the old "Why are you being an asshole?  I'm just TEXTING! Now, go away!"  I always assume that it might do at that juncture to point out some simple facts.  Facts like that I am a teacher, they are a student, and that we are in my classroom in the school that hired me to talk to them, and that this is a point in time when they're supposed to be listening to me and doing as I ask so I can do my job and let the government know how they're doing.

I've been thinking a great deal lately about the environment I grew up in.  My family are all very...very.  I've been getting my  head together lately as to how they behave, and have found that my father's side of the family have some pretty predictable behaviour in conversation:
a) make an over-the-top, generalized opinion with no evidence
b) make sure no dissenting voices or other views are heard.  You can agree if you like, but briefly, and not weirdly or using any words they don't like.  If you disagree, this is proof that you are socially awkward, rude and in need of some kind of help with how you deal in groups.  If you actually get any kind of a compelling dissenting point in, then your character is attacked harder, up to and including having your sanity questioned for not getting that doing a) is How Things Go, and that disagreeing is Not Done Because There Might Be A Fight, and Anyway, Your Wrong so Shut Up Becuase You Dont Know ANYthing.

It goes just like this (for generations upon generations, regardless of age, gender or locale):

Moore: Pacifists dont know what there talking about.  Canadian soldiers have DIED and people need to shut up if they havent served there country.
Me: I think many Canadian soldiers have been sent to die by people who were willingly, cynically sacrificing their lives for really no good purpose.  This is what people who were actually there felt, in what they wrote on the subject.
Moore: What?!  Until youve served in the military you have no right to comment on anything about the wars or soldiers or politics or the government or anything!  You can sit back in your armchair reading your books and saying whatever you want but you have no right to comment.  You arent qualified to comment on it at all and should shut your mouth because your you and know nothing.  Thats what my grandpa always told me anyway and its true so listen to me when I tell you it.
Me: I see how your idea of a discussion works.  I'm just saying I don't trust rich and powerful men.  I learned that attitude from Jesus.
Moore: And now you're comparing yourself to Jesus?!  I honestly cant believe that!  You need professional help. Who are you to talk anyway?  Everyone knows what YOUR like!   End of conversation.  Thats it for me.  You arent qualified to comment on it at all and should shut your mouth because your you and know nothing.  Thats what my mother always told me anyway and its true so listen to me when I tell you it.
Me: Canadian WWI general Arthur Currie said...
Moore: And I don't care WHAT you read in one of your books.  Just because youve read some books does NOT give you the right to talk about OUR boys who are the best in the world and not support them and criticise them.  If you havent stood alongside them then what gives you the gall to criticise them right now when they truly need our support the most?!  You need to shut your mouth because you dont know anything.   Thats what my father always told me anyway and its true so listen to me when I tell you it.
Me: I'm not criticising them, I'm criticising the needless waste of their lives, and suggesting we need to support them by making sure they're never needlessly put into harm's way, and so on.  "Friendly fire" has always been a big problem.  There are numbers on record to talk about that.
Moore: Well everyone knows your an intellectual bully who wont listen and I dropped out of high school in grade 10 because my teacher was mean to me but your not qualified to comment about OUR BOYS in any war at all.  You just cant.  Your one of those bullying grade 10 teachers like the one who made me drop of out high school who should just shut up because they know nothing.  You should be ashamed but you cant fell shame becuase your you.
Me: Well, according to our government (which I don't trust much) and recognized by our military, which I am apparently not to criticise, I am officially and professionally qualified to stand up in front of a hundred or so teenagers each day all year and explain to them what happened during the world wars, and what the people who were there had to say about things, and to share their views.  Their views, overwhelmingly, were that battles like the Somme and Passchendaele were senseless, obscene losses of human life for no real reason, and that the actions of the governments during the first world war led directly to Hitler and the second world war, and that we need to be very careful we don't repeat those mistakes of the past.
Moore #2: You ARE a bully.  An intellectual bully.  That's what you are, clearly.   You really do need to shut your mouth because you quite obviously don't know anything, as everyone well knows.   That's what my father always told me and I place a great deal of stock in what my father says, as you should yours.  End of conversation.  That's it for me, as you are clearly incorrigible without professional help.
Moore #3: yes your a bully that's what you are and like all teachers you cant stand to here when your wrong which you are but you cant here it you need to shut your mouth because you dont know anything thats what my grandmother always told me anyway and its true so listen to me when I tell you it end of conversation thats it for me :(
Smith-Moore: Yes. Why can't you listen?  You're wrong and we're right. Get professional help before it's too late.
Moore: You  need profesional help.  Everyone knows.  You teachers are all bullies.  You have no right to talk about military stuff.   End of conversation.  Thats it for me.  You need to just shut up.   Thats what my uncle always told me anyway and its true so listen to me when I tell you it.  I cant take ennymoore of this so im leaving.  You should be ashamed to act this way.  Thats it for me im done
Me: I have sought professional help.  His assessment was that I had no serious problems apart from making myself and others miserable (in the manner of, apparently, all of my relatives), by obsessively and continually pointing out every person and every thing that I ever think is "wrong" in any way, and then having that done back to me, and not being able to handle emotionally anyone thinking I'm wrong about something or saying I don't get to talk, which seems to be a problem with all of us, even the rest of you who aren't teachers.
Moore #4: I saw a professional one time, too.  She told me a bunch of things, but she never asked me first what she should have asked me, which was "Do I care what she thinks?" which I didn't.  Professionals know nothing.  So that's that.
Moore: You need to shut up about us and about stuff you dont know about.  You should just shut up because you know nothing.  That's what my wife tells me and its true.  We all need to shut up if we dont know anything.
Moore #2: Yes.  You're wrong, so you need to shut up.  And seek professional help.

(and on and on, for a needless amount of time, like the precise opposite of C.S. Lewis' dufflepuds in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

My church was just like that too.  "You have no right to voice your opinion.  Who are you to talk?  Great men who are now long dead said Important Things We're Not Even Able To Conceive Of in these dark times, and fought for your right to believe and say what you knew from their writings to be right.  Now shut up about what those old guys said because you have NO RIGHT to even quote them, let alone pretend to understand them, or we'll make you wish you had."

So, in my environment, the thing was that you didn't get to talk unless you agreed, quite respectfully and briefly, with the old men, or with whoever spoke first, which was supposed to be the oldest of the men.  Otherwise, no.  Not if you were a woman, not if you were young, and DEFINITELY not if you were liberal or educated.  This is because the thing to do is to agree.  We all have to say the same thing or shut up.  We do not discuss, and we shut up or we'll "fight."  It's ugly.

And now I've seen this all over the internet.  Someone says something wildly opinionated, with little or no real evidence, and then if anyone says "I disagree.  What about..." the next response involves:
a) a personal attack rather than any dealing with any of the points.
b) a complaint about "Don't *I* get to have an opinion?" (when what they're clearly saying is "Don't I get to have an unchallenged opinion which no one is to do anything but agree, briefly, with?")

It is almost impossible not to stupidly respond in stupid kind to that sort of thing.  It is almost impossible not to get caught up in it and have a slogging criticism/abuse-fest in which you can lob in anything at all, even if you continually contradict what you said only a few lines earlier, and especially if you're guilty of what you're accusing the other people of.  Often, people pull out The Big Gun, which is mentioning Hitler or the Nazis, as in "That's what the Nazis said too..." (the argument equivalent of "That's what she said..." and no less a burn rather than a genuine argument that can really go anywhere good).  This, clearly, is a cheap shot, and yet it is very hard not to go there, especially when discussing, let us say, attitudes about war, soldiers, tolerance, or, in fact, the Nazis.  In fundamentalist Christian circles, the Big Gun is atheism or Catholicism. "That's what Catholics say, too."  (ergo, your an idoit so shut up becuase you dont no anything)

My grandfather always told me to shut up because I didn't know anything. He'd told my father the same thing. It didn't work with him either. My father told me the same thing.  Here I am blogging about it anyway.  No doubt my great-grandfather had told my grandfather the same thing.  He continues to live out his last years spouting abuse and negative personal judgements as well.  He may never have said anything supportive or kind to or about me, but he sure did tell me to shut up when I needed to be told to shut up.  (like the time I decided to have a bible discussion with my friends and he said "I heard what you did!  You need to SHUT UP about the bible because you don't know anything!")  It didn't work, clearly, and I have this problem where, whenever anyone says a) I'm wrong and b) I need to shut up becuase c) I don't no ennything, I makes me REALLY MAD and I always seem to engage, even if it's not a good idea, like Marty McFly being called "Chicken."  It's stupid, and it's a button of mine.  Maybe I should simply have a button made and wear it.  It would simply say "I'm wrong sometimes.  Deal with it."

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from" [this crap]? 

(there is an answer, but Who Am I to mention him, and Who Am I to try to act like him, right?  Because Christianity isn't simply about repeating what Jesus said and thought and felt and did, right?  It's about shutting up and submitting to the older men in your Christian community, because you dont know ennything and should shut up, right?  That's what those old guys said to do, isn't it?  To shut up?  I clearly remember them saying that loudly and frequently to everyone when they were speaking for hours and hours on the virtue of silence.  That's how it works, right, and it does work, and it makes everything better?)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

this is what I have come up with to use as narration on an introduction to Victorian literature Video I'm making for my Grade 11 class

The Victorian Novel: A Bit Of A Good, Hard Slog
What makes a book boring and difficult to focus upon for the modern reader?
  • Being very long, yet with very little happening
  • Being very slow-moving, with many pages before something happens
  • Having extremely long, complicated sentences with a lot of big words
  • Being full of endless conversations with very little happening
  • Having lengthy descriptive passages with very little happening
  • Having a large number of characters, not all of which play much of a role in what’s (slowly) happening
  • Using an extremely formal tone, with a very large vocabulary required to understand what’s happening.
  • Being extremely interested in manners and propriety and behaviour,
  • Being focused, quite often, more upon ideas than upon events
  • Purposely attempting to be very eloquent, rather than very dramatic or very exciting
  • Having an obvious moral lesson, and protagonists who are well-behaved and virtuous to (and past) the point of being prissy, preachy or annoying

This is a pretty accurate description of a Victorian novel.  Victorian novels today are deeply admired for their eloquence, and also find themselves almost irresistible targets for parody.  After all, the more serious and eloquent someone is trying to be, the more fun it is to make jokes. 
Books have evolved and developed over the years to be continually ever more attention-grabbing and concise, and more and more accessible to weaker and weaker readers.  The vocabulary required to read J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer is miniscule (tiny) compared to the one required to read Charles Dickens, who is redoubtable, even sesquipedalistic in his verbiage.

The 1800s saw the novel come into prominence as the dominant form of literature in the Western world.  This was due in part to the sudden proliferation of literacy in Great Britain and her colonies.
Victorian novels (written predominantly in English, and generally, in the British Isles in the 1800s when Queen Victoria held sway) fell chronologically and stylistically between literature of the Romantic period on the one hand, and the realism movement which characterized 20th century work on the other.

(to word that in a less eloquent and stuffy way and one more cynically calculated to delight and astound a more modern audience:
In the 1800s, books were suddenly a big thing.  Big as Blu-Ray and XBOX, no doubt.
The fact that suddenly almost everyone could read probably really helped out with that, right?
Victorian novels are called that because Victoria was queen that century.  
Victorian novels aren’t quite like the Romantic ones people had before that.  
They’re also not exactly like the realistic ones in the 1900s.)

The romantic era had been wildly dramatic (and quite often interested in the supernatural).  This can be seen in the work of romantic American superstar Edgar Allan Poe, who lived in the Victorian era, but wrote in the old-fashioned style of the previous, Romantic one.  It was extremely dark literature and was a response to the scientific, landscape and country-life wrecking inroads of the Industrial Revolution.  The Industrial Revolution tore up trees, knocked down castles and mansions, moved everyone into the cities, split up families, and filled the British air with coal smoke and the fields and rivers with chemicals.  The creeping, hellish factories resulted in a century of fatal and near-fatal accidents in facilities which often employed children who were sometimes literally worked to death.  This was before labour laws, and definitely before minimum wage and unions fighting for safe working conditions and fair hours.  Romantic era people wanted lovely, heroic, unrealistic stories about heroes and knights roaming green forests, by lakes inhabited by ladies swathed in gowns of shimmering samite which outshone the sun, or mysterious, dark supernatural horror stories with ghosts, vampires, tombs and curses and not a lick of science.  Sometimes, the fictional monsters, vampires, witches, ghosts and curses were meant to represent the real-world evils being genuinely caused by careless experimentation with science and technology.

The Victorian era fell squarely between the influence of this Romantic period, and a movement toward the calm, quiet everyday quality of the realism period which would follow.  Most Victorian works are a bit brightly or darkly romantic and a bit everyday realistic.

From Wikipedia: Victorian novels tend to be idealized portraits of difficult lives in which hard work, perseverance, love and luck win out in the end; virtue would be rewarded and wrongdoers are suitably punished.
Did you know...
... that the former Union Free School in Le Roy, New York, is now a museum devoted to Jell-O?
... that the first automobile in Canada was first operated by parish priest Georges-Antoine Belcourt in 1866?

Victorian novels tend to be:
  • Very long, dry, understated and wordy
  • In fact, they’re as eloquently, formally and fancily written as possible.  If you can’t understand them, rather than considering toning down the language, the author generally seems to feel that this is just too bad and you are probably dumb.
  • Mostly made up of conversations, reminiscences and/or letters, rather than events playing out in “real-time.”  Some Victorian novels are nothing more than a series of flashbacks within flashbacks.
  • Filled with people of three classes (nobility, middle class and lower or poor class) People from different classes aren’t to mix, socialize or date.  The rich own huge mansions and lands, which are often dark, creepy and decaying, and they employ a household of maids, cooks, butlers, gardeners, governesses and grooms to keep everything running.  Wandering the countryside and lurking on street corners below even these employees of the rich are beggars, gypsies, peddlers, thieves, prostitutes and street urchins.  Movement between these three classes was “not supposed” to occur, so 19th century audiences would delight in stories of a nine year prince who switched clothes with a street urchin who mysteriously looked just like him so each could try out the other’s life, or of a governess being suddenly and mysteriously left a castle in a long lost uncle’s will or a maid marrying the lord of the manor and becoming a lady, baroness, countess or the like.
  • Dark and brooding, full of disease, poverty, accidents and death
  •  Peopled by orphans, quite often due to how many women actually died in childbirth in times before Caesarean sections were commonplace
  •  Usually spiced up by a hidden secret, usually involving long-lost twins or mysterious lookalikes, amnesia, insanity, out of wedlock pregnancy, crime, secret marriages, bastard children, lost fortunes, monsters, ghosts, pirates, exiles returned from prison or Australia and nasty workhouses, orphanages or factories.
  •  Where a modern movie would try for some cheap excitement by blowing something up, the Victorian equivalent is to have a fire, which is, if you think about it, just a really, really slow explosion going off and unfolding for hours instead of a fraction of a second.  When houses were lit by candles and nightwear had long, flowing sleeves, fires were quite common.
     The Victorian era saw huge inroads in the publishing of:
    • Romantic books for and by women, like Emma, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights
    • Children’s books like Alice in Wonderland , Black Beauty, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
    • Adventure books like Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island and Kidnapped, Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Three Musketeers, Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, which inspired the Indiana Jones movies.
    • The Victorian Era also saw great inroads in the writing of Horror fiction which was gradually replaced by a mania for what came to be known as science fiction
    Books By Women, For Women
    Even today, in a stereotypical chick flick or “woman’s book,” (e.g. Bridget Jones’ Diary) the heroine must choose between two men.  The exciting one is usually a jerk.  The nice one is boring.  How to choose?
    The traditional solution, in novels, anyway, is to “tame” or “reform” the exciting boor.  Note: this works less well in real life.  Read Cosmo for further exhaustive and scientifically reliable research information.

    Jane Austen writes “Comedy of Manners” after “Comedy of Manners”

    Jane Austen was ahead of her time.  Her novels, published just before the Victorian era properly started, were and are, hugely influential.  They were about rich people deciding whom to marry, and being extremely clever and witty and slightly mischievous in communities in which etiquette is all, and a woman without a rich husband is pretty much homeless.  Knowing how to burn someone  in front of people without just telling them to f**k right off was pretty much what her characters did.

    Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
    Two sisters are orphaned and suddenly poor.  They need to rebuild their lives, and find good men to marry.  A great deal of women gossiping and worrying about their own, and other women’s reputations occurs.  Boring, nice men, and brash, exciting jerks abound.

    Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
    Five sisters worry that they will be orphaned and poor, so set about establishing themselves as decent, attractive marriage prospects in rich society.  The protagonist is annoyed by and interested in a rich jerk, so is a jerk back, which he seems to end up liking.

    Jane Austen’s Emma
    The sarcastic, bitchy protagonist named in the title feels she is a master matchmaker, and sets about trying to hook up and marry off every single person she knows, but stay single herself.  Hearts are broken, afternoons are spoiled.  Shenanigans ensue.

    In the rural British countryside lived three sisters in the Bronte family.  There were originally six children, but after their mother died at home after a long, painful sickness, the five girls were sent away to a harsh, grim school.  As a result of poor nutrition, hygiene and heat, two of the five girls died.  All of the Brontes died before or around age thirty.  Shortly before they died, the three girls wrote novels, at first under male names.  All of these novels are highly respected today.

    Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
    An orphan girl who won’t do what she’s told or defer to “her betters” survives the most horrible foster parenting (a monstrously cruel old invalid lady) and boarding school, manages not to die of consumption like other children there, has two men to choose from (one boring, religious and nice, and the other a bit of an angry jerk, but rich and interesting).  She needs to choose one, and get married rather than merely pregnant. There are secrets, lost fortunes, abandoned children, angst, poverty and fires.

    Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (Edward Cullen’s favourite book)
    On the blasted, windy, rainy moors, a poor gypsy orphan who is an exciting jerk and a woman who is out of his social reach are passionately in love.  There is also a nice, kind, boring man who loves her who she is supposed to marry.  The gypsy jerk (Heathcliffe) is shattered by this and stomps around and carries on.  She marries the boring guy.  Eventually she gets sick and dies, and the exciting orphaned gypsy boor ends up wailing and crying and trying to dig up her corpse.  Then he becomes even more of a cruel idiot and angrily and cruelly raises his sickly, bastard son who he hates, while tormenting the daughter of his dead love.  Eventually, when the daughter is in love with someone he doesn’t approve of, he goes insane, sees the ghost of his dead love, and dies.  The end.

    Victorian Publishing Superstar Charles Dickens

    Dickens wrote mainly for magazines, publishing his stories in instalments which were later collected as novels.  He specialized in writing with huge numbers of characters and numerous and complicated subplots. He was thought very funny in his day, but then, very few things are funny for more than 15 years.

    Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
    A poor orphan escapes a workhouse (where he confounds everyone by asking “Please, sir, can I have some more” when the porridge is pretty brutal) only to fall into the clutches of a criminal who keeps a gang of child pickpockets.  Nobly, Oliver won’t turn to crime.  Executions, secrets and murders abound.

    Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield
    A half-orphaned boy is abused by his monstrous step-father, gets sent to a boarding school, must work in a nasty factory and tries to live his life.  Executions, secrets, crime and murders abound.  People go to Australia.

    Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations
    An orphan meets a criminal who later is sent to Australia and helps him escape his manacles.  The orphan lives with his abusive sister until she is beaten and becomes a brain-damaged invalid, and he loves a girl who lives with a crazy, monstrously cruel, abusive old shut-in lady.    There is darkness, cruelty, people sent to jail and Australia, and old ladies being lit on fire.

    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
    A cruel, stingy man (Ebenezer Scrooge) who does not help poor people, orphans and crippled children is visited by ghosts who convince him he’s a bit of a monster and frighten him into becoming more Christmassy.

    Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities
    Taking a break from the usual Industrial Revolution orphans, Dickens tackles some historical fiction about the French Revolution.  Several protagonists and their various families deal with the ugliness leading up to and resulting from the social upheaval caused by the lower classes overthrowing the upper class and executing them.  Lots of heads are cut off, or threatened to be cut off.  Mysterious look-alikes figure importantly.

    The Most Famous Detective Ever

    Edgar Allan Poe had pretty much invented the detective story.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took this idea and ran with it, creating the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories based upon a doctor he knew who could guess all sorts of things about people, simply by looking at them.
    With a great deal of focus upon conversations and letters, a detective (mainly from conversations he has with clients in his apartment) uncovers the facts about secret marriages, pregnancies, thefts, orphans, identical twins, brothers returned from Australia, lunatics, amnesiacs, fires and etc.

    (Holmes/House, Watson/Wilson, Cocaine-morphine/Vicodin, 221B Baker Street)

    Three Very Important Horror Novels
    Just like now, Victorian audiences liked to be amazed and terrified by scary stories.  In the real world, a real monster in the form of Jack the Ripper was slashing up prostitutes in London.  Other monsters lived only in the novels of the day.

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula
    Really the first vampire book of note.  A series of letters and conversations reveal, mostly in flashback, that a man is secretly a supernatural monster which defies scientific explanation, and has been murdering people and must be killed.  With all the people dying of consumption, who’s going to notice two little holes in someone’s neck?

    Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
    This is really a hold-over from the Romantic period, but was published in the 1800s and widely read at that time, despite it’s romantic vilification of science.  A series of letters and conversations reveal, all in flashback, that a man secretly went against the natural order of things for a man, and simply created life, something only a woman should do, and that, certainly never through science.  In so doing, he has made a monster, and it’s been murdering people and brooding over its fate, destiny and possible happiness.  It sets out to demand answers from him and ruin his life by killing everyone he loves. 

    Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyl and Mr. Hyde
    A series of letters and conversations reveal, mostly in flashback, that a man has secretly been using science to try to “cure” the bad part of himself so he can be a 100% good person. In so doing, he accidentally turns himself into a monster, which has been going around brutalizing and murdering people. 

    The Age of Science Fiction
    As the supernatural focus of the Romantic Era really and truly died out, stories with pseudo-scientific explanations for the unfolding wonderments and oddments proliferated.

    Jules Verne wrote science fiction stories such as A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which was about a new invention being then worked on, which would be called a submarine.  H.G. Wells wrote science fiction stories such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds (about a Martian invasion of Earth) and The Island of Doctor Moreau, about a scientist performing experiments upon animals to make them into grotesque animal-human hybrids.

    Wednesday, 3 November 2010

    People are Dumbasses

    So, in the gospels when Peter was with Jesus and they met Moses and Elijah in a mystical experience, he decided this was so impressive, that he should have three tabernacles (houses of worship) built on the spot.  God immediately expressed displeasure at this idea, presumably because of Peter thinking that worshipping Moses and Elijah on a par with Jesus was somehow Ok.  So, message was, no building a tabernacle to honour these patriarchs, because that would be idolatrous.

    When Peter was crucified, his followers, having learned nothing from this, built a fairly elaborate tabernacle on the spot where he was buried: Vatican City.  Not to Jesus.  Not to Moses or Elijah.  To Peter.

    Vatican City, with the Sistine Chapel; a place for all the celibate priests to be dressed in their flowing robes by altar boys, and then go worship God under a ceiling painted by a gay man who decorated it with wall-to-wall naked men.  And then have the Pope forbid Catholic married couples from using condoms, even if one of them is HIV positive.  And speak out against homosexuality.  After worshipping in the Sistine Chapel.   In his adorable little slippers, hat, rings and robes that would make Liberace blush.