Saturday, 1 September 2001

Caricatures of Thought (2001)

From The Philosopher, Volume LXXXVIIII No. 2 Autumn 2001

Philosophical Poems as ‘Caricatures of Thought’
  
by Chengde Chen
 
 


On High-heels and Foot-binding
  The heel of a high-heel shoe is the binding of foot-binding 
It has been the same road under different feet 
The footsteps of the hundred year women's movement 
is merely an aesthetic change from the Chinese to the Western - 
turning a compelled two dimensional restriction 
into a freely chosen three dimensional bending 
The social status is raised for a shoe-heel 
while the price is walking on tiptoes for life 
Oh, the ever-suffering feet, no matter how innocent you are 
the definition of 'feminine beauty' is to deform you 
Because this is the base enabling men to stand firmly 
 

On Love and Religion
  When I am in love 
it is like worshipping 
Longing is the temple 
Kissing is Heaven and Earth 
When I am worshipping 
it is like being in love 
Praying is sweet whispering 
Enlightening is the climax of the soul 
Being in love is deifying the object 
beautifying, privileging, and immortalising 
Man and deity attract as opposite sexes 
Life is ruthless medium for both 
Love needs longing 
just as a deity must be distant 
Marriage deletes the space 
just as there is no religion in Heaven 
A deity is an eternal lover 
A lover is a temporary deity 
So, some who have failed in love 
turn to religion, which is nearby 
Love plants seeds 
The deity becomes seeds himself 
The soul is conceived 
What follows nine-months pregnancy is faith 

 
How to Prove 'Doctors are Lower than Prostitutes'
 
If we agree on two seemingly reasonable assumptions 
we can prove the morality of doctors is lower than that of prostitutes 
The first assumption is: 
in a fully commercialised society everything is a commodity 
so all professions are businesses for making money 
The second assumption is: 
making money from agony and from pleasure are different - 
the higher the degree of compulsion, the lower the morality 
Then, it follows that a doctors morality is lower than a prostitute's 
Because when a doctor says "no money, no treatment" 
he is blackmailing a person in crisis 
While when a prostitute says "no money, no sex" 
she is merely trading goods for goods 
So, a man in a white coat is not necessarily an angel 
and a tall hospital can be lower than a brothel 
Is this strange? 
But this is the new ethics of a fully commercialised society 

 

On Boxing
  The madness of the thousands around the boxing ring 
is civilisation's sincere appreciation for barbarity 
Hit him! Hit him! Hit him again! 
Let the skull be smashed by the heaviest blow 
so that the plasma bursts out at body temperature 
If the ancient fight between gladiators and lions 
had some solemn heroism of competing against nature 
then men destroying each other in modern boxing 
is only a business of turning blood reeking into profit 
But the spectators then and now belong to the same civilisation 
- enjoying others expressing your own brutish nature! 
Roars delivered by language are still roars 
Barbarity transmitted by television is still barbarity 
Cruelty with regulations is still cruelty 
except that it can be more cruel! 
When a sport is destroying 
the competition is war 
All those condemnations of violence and sympathy for the injured 
including the noble talk of the Red Cross and RSPCA 
are merely putting on an act 
The seething excitement over the boxing ring has declared loudly: 
civilisation is a false appearance, as we are still what we were!
 
 



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