631. Duration (XII)
I was shown the film The Silent Scream at school—and when it was shown I hunkered down in my seat and sulked, rolled my eyes with my whole body; yet I had no real comeback, except passive aggression. Over the years, I went back and forth on the abortion issue—sometimes I thought The Silent Scream was a useful film, even a good film. Eventually, I concluded it is the opposite; it is an anti-religious film—and it is an anti-religious film because it is manipulative. Now, it is effective manipulation—even the title, The Silent Scream, remains potent. Yet Catholics speak about “the sacred heart”, and the sacred heart means that you do not manipulate—it means that you speak the inner truth; and inner truth is not an attempt to manipulate other people to swave the bwabies.
My adolescent passive aggression was an indirect response, due to my subordinate position as a pupil, to aggression enacted against me. Emotional manipulation is violence—Gandhi was a violent man. It is an attempt to violate the psyche and twist you inside to do what the other person wants. It is more insidious than direct physical coercion because it often invites a physically violent response from the victim—a victim who is then demonised.
When I was a child there were women, Kurdish refugees, who used to stand on the street and shove a photo album filled with mutilated bodies—victims of gas attacks and Saddam’s torturers—under your face. “Miissstteeer, look at my wouunnndds.” These people are repulsive; and they are also anti-spiritual—for them the death of their relatives is a means to an end, to manipulate you for money or to lobby your government to send weapons to the Kurds. If they were more intelligent, they would do as the Jews do and make slick films about their massacres to tug the heart strings—why Žižek described Schindler’s List as Jurassic Park with Nazis instead of dinosaurs. He refused to see it as anything less than what it was: a sentimental Hollywood thrill-ride made to manipulate a mass audience in a cynical way.
The non-Catholic counterpart to The Silent Scream is By the Grace of God—a film about homosexual rapist priests; of course, they never put it like that—they call it “paedophilia” to conceal the reality of the act, so that you think heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally represented in this perversion. By the Grace of God turns the manipulation the other way, against the Catholic Church—it “gives a voice” to the “helpless unheard victims of abuse”, just as The Silent Scream “gives a voice” to the “helpless unheard foetus”. Yet, really, if you are a man and you were buggered by a priest just find him and kill him—if what you say is true, no court will give you a harsh sentence and you will be regarded favourably by the public. “Um, errr, that’s a bit nutty. You see, I’m more into appearing in emotionally manipulative documentaries where people feel sorry for me…”
It is high status to be powerless and play the victim—to manipulate and distort the sacred heart. Reality: I do not care about your babies, I do not care if you were buggered by a priest, I do not care about Halabja, I do not care about the holocaust. Take your repulsive wounds away from me, stop doing violence to reality for your own egotistical ends.
Yesterday, I said that people who work in transgender clinics know in their hearts it is all a game, all a lie; and I can see some preacher with a Bible outside a transition clinic calling out, “Search your hearts. In your hearts you know this is untrue.” Well, not like that: aside from the fact that “search your heart” is a telenovela cliché (“Search your heart, Raimundo.” “Aiii, caramba.”), people like that—often seen outside abortion clinics—are manipulators too; they do not speak the inner truth.