In the recent chapter of my textile blog Textile Masterpieces of Ancient Peru By James W. Reid, I enthused about an exquisitely ornamented tunic and boots, but was embarrassed that they were last worn by a ritually sacrificed child in Chimu society, 1000-1460, who was fed a last meal then the child’s mouth was crammed with cocoa leaves, producing suffocation.
A recent film by Romanian director Cristian Mongiu, Beyond the Hills, is based on the following real-life incident:
In the spring of 2005, a novice nun at a remote convent in north-easternRomania heard (or thought she heard) the Devil’s voice inside her head. The convent priest’s solution was to perform an exorcism. He ordered 23-year-old Maricica Irina Cornici to be bound to a cross and gagged with a towel. Then he left her alone in a damp, dark room until the cure could take effect. She died three days later of suffocation and dehydration.
Some things just recur. How difficult is it to progress? Mongiu develops a relationship between two women, one of whom has returned from working in Germany, to begin a lesbian relationship with a classmate of her childhood.
Perhaps people, heterosexuals, think that we of the LFBT communities whinge and whine; nothing is good enough for us. A week ago, my local newspaper bothered to write about hundreds of murders in parks and along beaches in the 1970’s and 80’s, some actually, it has now been revealed, by police on poofter bashing jaunts; none of the crimes were adequately examined by police at the time.
Two days later, ABC TV ran an item about ex-gay conversion programs. Meanwhile, someone wrote that I should love myself better, when I sounded bitter about the catholic church.
As an issue we are easily dismissed. Today, I asked my middle eastern medical doctor about the repression of homosexuals in Egypt; his initial impulse was to attempt to deny the matter, then he could only say that homosexuals are disapproved of, in his home country.
Inside his office, I immediately felt as if Dr Who’s Tardis had taken me back to the past, that hideous time of my childhood when the religious repression of my upbringing combined with the hypocrisy of my local church, where the priest was slyly molesting my schoolmates, myself included.