Of Evil and Cows With Guns

Last Sunday (11/01/2015) was the Poetry and Music Service at the Melbourne Peace Memorial Church. My reading was the Dana Lyons classic Cows With Guns, a comical story of a cow that leads a revolution. But a special dedication also had to given on the day to those assembled, and to visitors to this site to Darren Irvine. Darren posted on the Youtube commentary concerns that the video included a scene with a pitch fork and a flaming background (at 1:15 of the video), and that his sense of humour "doesn't extend to gratuitous references to the devil (which the song author's artistic integrity should not be insulted with)".

Darren didn't appreciate reference to other songs, such as the amusing Devil Is My Friend by the Jazz Butcher, or for that matter, the insightful Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones, which I used in the past in my address at the some institution, Sympathy for The Devil: The Use and Abuse of Supernatural Evil. He also didn't appreciate the reminder that he was expressing his concerns over a particularly Eurocentric symbolic representation of a metaphysical evil, and he certainly didn't like it pointed out that Dana Lyons approved the clay animation which is available on the Cows with Guns website. So he deleted the entire thread from Youtube.

So what is the greater evil? An image of flames and pitchfork, or deleting a discussion thread from a public forum? It is a strange immaturity in our species that an apparently intelligent individual can be so concerned about an arbitrary representation of supernatural evil that they are prepared to engage in the prosaic evil of censorship. Which, with some sense of the ironic, we witness in contemporary Florida, Satanists standing up for religious freedom Or it may have been that they were so embarrassed by their error that they wished to disclaim and remove any association with it. We can certainly hope for the latter, but even if it is the case acknowledgement is still preferable.