Sunday, 10 July 2011


Seeing the climactic backyard football scene now in context does render the recommended application for St Mary's in a new light. Here is a very human film about the difficulties of life together, with emphasis given to certain stumbling blocks. I find here a certain resignation, a cynicism, in the story telling, it is knowing in its portrayal of idealisms as they run awry, and believable in its cautionary caricature of the immaturity of such communitistic ambitions.

The depiction of a liberal and unboundaried life and sexuality comes critically with a frank exploration of the chaotic consequences of such and offers no simple formula for a better way. We see here over-reactive self-definitions, the swinging away from the abusive to the permissive, an over-compensation which I cannot see being resolved in a middle ground but rather a third way yet to be found. I cannot hear another sermon about community, I do not need to be told that it is not good for trinitarian image bearers to be alone any more than I in a car crash need to be told about ambulances. If not in the atomised, alcoholic, pornographic isolation of the nuclear family and not in the blurred lawless porridge of a life communal, how shall we then live?

We are not two we are one. Goren's monistic porridge parable is a fairly precise summary of the appeal and the danger of this worldview, seen also in Buddhist Babylons, where we hedge our bets, auction our souls, sacrifice our singularity to be absorbed indistinguishably into the blurred, bland but secure depersonal soup. If we are to live together let us do so as pork cutlets, let us be discernible and delicious. I am not you and in that there is glory. God will sustain you beyond the city gates, and in that there is freedom to commune excellently, as a body more than the sum of its distinct parts.

Washing up. The chore which tidily bookends Together, it is a kind of foot washing and illustrates the degree to which a community's survival needs washing up initiators and a community's thriving needs washing up initiators and so we see a certain self-evidence to the qualification for servant leadership.

A great film onto which I have projected a tedious, moralising review. Do see this picture and feed me how we should then live. And enjoy reds washing red wine out of a red shirt.

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