The image is from my junk mail heap: it came in an email from "Christian Family Loans". I was just about to hit the delete button when a thought occurred to me: "what would these folks have to say about Jesus snapping on the moneylenders that day in the temple?" (I think it's in the Gospel of John somewhere). So I clicked on the link in the email, figuring I could find a contact there and pose my question.
Here's what I found: a familiar-looking financial screening form beside a white, Christian-looking family underneath the CFL logo (again with the prominent cross, as in the picture above), and at the bottom, this footnote:
ChristianFamilyLoans.com disclaims any express affiliation of the Christian faith or institutions and lenders you match with are not selected based on any religious criteria.
It gave me the same kind of feeling that I get most every morning when I read the news. If you've ever seen or read the plays of Eugene Ionesco, perhaps you know this feeling. People turn into rhinoceroses; chairs are arranged and re-arranged as the thin, icy veil of societal sanity crumbles onstage, and language breaks down into schizophrenic grunts as The Bald Soprano sings.
I got this same feeling on reading about Condi's surreal experience in England:
“I know we’ve made tactical errors, thousands of them I’m sure,” Rice said at a foreign policy gathering “But history will judge whether the larger aims and decisions were correct.”
She was taken to see a British football game; the stadium was empty. She had expressed a desire to meet with Paul McCartney; but the Beatle refused to see her. Shrill, angry crowds of protesters lit upon her at every turn, all the way to the point where a scheduled visit by Condi to a mosque was cancelled due to concerns about the presence of unruly protesters. It was one bizarro moment after another, and the unfortunate Secretary of State understandably descended into psycho-babble.
Can you see the connection between Christian Family Loans' front-end advertising vs. their fine-print disclaimer, and the truly Ionescan defense raised by Condi in her discussion of the "tactical errors" made in the Iraq War? Can you also see the inevitable consequences of deceit and treachery as models for the conduct of either business or government?
Insanity inexorably isolates itself; the madness of the power-grab is inevitably exposed, naked and railing in a scrap of spam in a junk mailbox, or in a cold, rainy corner of a half-forgotten island Empire, where the bands no longer play, the stars no longer shine, and one's own words come out, shattered and demented, like the song of the Bald Soprano.