Thursday, September 15, 2011

Buñuel: The Milky Way, Part 2

The status quo, orthodoxy, cannot exist without heterodoxy, or heresy, nor can heresy, or heterodoxy, exist without orthodoxy, the status quo. So it is with anything mindfully human: science, politics, poetry, visual art, religion, economics, education, music, anything at all. Kicking against the pricks, as the Bible puts it (Acts 9:5 and 26:14). Or in China, say the Cultural Revolution. Or in today's US presidential race, all sorts of dogmas and heresies, nowhere more obvious than in the Republican Party. That, too, is the beauty and enduring power of Luis Buñuel's (and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière's) La Voie lactée / The Milky Way (1969) -- always relevant. Land of milk and honey, silver and gold, indeed.

American Republican Party dogmas, spearheaded by members of the self-proclaimed Tea Party, have become extremely rigid and dogmatic, so much so that deviations from their quasi-mystical texts and pledges are labelled heresies: "He is anathema!" Anyone deviating too far becomes first a "RINO" (Republican in name only"); next, barring complete resubmission to dogma, she or he is exiled, scapegoated, expelled, ejected, ridiculed.

According to today's dogma, one cannot raise taxes on the rich, who must be brightly decorated (metaphorically) with halos and honored as mystical "jobs creators."

Somehow, in society's helping the rich to become richer, to hoard their monies, some small bits of coinage will spill out, trickle down to the impoverished masses, their natural servants. 

And all will be as it should be, as is preordained, the best of all possible worlds. The Elect will rise to the top, or stay there, always!

The Environmental Protection Agency is also, to them, anathema! And so on. But the funny thing is, the Tea Party itself began as a heresy of the Republican Party; now that it's taking over, it has already become the new status quo, ripe for challenge from new heresies in the future -- hopefully the near future.

Today's Rune: Movement.


Erik Donald France said...

"The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. [They are not] ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations... But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, [in their view] the government assumes an aspect of wickedness." -- John Kenneth Galbraith, 1992.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't often think of the heterodoxy/ orthodoxy reality of the world but I should do well to keep it more firmly in mind.

Mona said...

Anything against the dominant ideology is heresy. The tables turn when yesterday's heresy becomes today's ideology. There was a time when the poor paid taxes for the rich...