Last night on ABC Lateline Tony Jones spoke of the influence of the Catholic Church Insurance organisation on the church’s Towards Healing and other protocols dealing with clergy abuse of underage persons.
It turns out the CCI exercised considerable influence; the church is also funded by profits generated by CCI. Talk about the “money changers in the temple”. One spokesman, more noted for his clear intention to criticise nobody if possible, while sounding earnestly sympathetic, said that CCI people were not present at the resolution meeting between the relevant church leader and the victim; when my meeting took place with the central Qld bishop he was accompanied by an insurance person. A trusted psychologist, commissioned by the church recalled a CCI person telling a meeting he had just destroyed 40 boxes of personnel files, to which, reactions ran along the lines of “can’t remember, couldn’t have happened”. The psychological tone was complex, duplicitous, diffused, opaque.
It was almost a relief to turn to an SBS doco on The Fringe Orgasm, about non mainstream sex on film. Was it W.H. Auden who said that gay saunas were really about frightened boys huddling together in the dark? Here were people wearing naughty costumes, playing “I’m being naughty, just try & stop me” games. Of course when a continental director showed a brutal film containing an onscreen 8 minute rape, things got nasty. As for Catherine Breillat’s film The Anatomy of Hell, about a woman externalising her own loathing of her genitalia by insisting a gay man examine her in detail, it reminded me of the 1970’s in Sydney when gay men would talk of the cunt with loathing.
I think, unfortunately, Breillat is outdated & shows her lack of familiarity with the LGBT communities; community festivals, the Mardi Gras and action in common has lead many men to explore & acknowledge their bisexuality; equally the glorification of gay porn culture has developed the role of the aggressive bottom. If he were alive today, Beardsley would have drawn An Adoration of the Anus.
Furthermore, as explored in books like Armistead Maupin’s Michael Tolliver Lives, the influence of inter-gender states is more common these days. The porn star Buck Angel, a woman who has transformed her body into that of a bear daddy, without having gender corrective surgery, is celebrated. Lest our right wing religious fraternity bridle at this seeming unnaturalness, a book like Michael Bagemihl’s Biological Exuberance details the frequency of intergendered creatures in the wild.
I think I can understand why Issa hung out with naughty people: tax collectors, women of ill repute; bankers are boring by comparison.