The history of voyeurism is a long one, but it is only in our day that this perversion has been given legitimacy, and has managed to assume its place in the center of attention alongside its beloved sister - Caring - and to pretend it has been sitting there all along. Only us old geezers still remember the days when we would banish Dame Voyeurism with cries of "Scram!" and "You should be ashamed of yourself!" and "How dare you stick your nose in?"
Nowadays, in general, the saying: "Don't stick your nose in" is politically incorrect. Because decades of brainwashing by television have turned humankind into a monster of chronic voyeurism that is certain the act of prying into each other's private business leads to a better world.
And in the name of sacred voyeurism we peep at anything that can be classified as such: at Angela Merkel's posterior, Obama's thingamabob and, previously, at Clinton's whatchamacallit and Lewinsky's thingamajig. And at the bank accounts of what's-their-name former prime ministers (not just our Olmert and Rabin, too, as you will recall ), and at the General Staff's secret documents. Because if you're going to do voyeurism, then follow it to the bitter end - and yes, also at the bodily secretions of Jesus Christ, as they were imprinted ostensibly, or not, on the famous Shroud of Turin, which is currently on display to the public for about a month.
The pope was there this week, and was photographed looking at the perforated and stained shroud, and his face lit up like that of a boy spying a sought-after toy in a store window. Poor pope. Ever since he got the job, the world's desire to peep has grown even stronger: for example, to glimpse inside his brain and see what he really thinks of us, the Jews. And of them, the Muslims. And of gays and abortion. And to take a peek inside the Church in general and expose its double standard. There's another term that's being bandied about a lot right now: double standard.
It took a while for the Vatican to understand today's rules of the game: peep and let peep. We, the Church, will let you peek at the holy shroud in which the naked body of Our Savior was wrapped after his crucifixion, and in return you will perhaps stop peeping under our hassocks and into the underpants of our pedophile priests. But even if you do not stop shoving your nose in their knickers, henceforth we are in the game; we are part of the gang, peeping and letting you peep.
Like I said, the history of Dame Voyeurism is a long one. But if until recently she followed a path in parallel to another sibling - Foolishness - now their paths have merged and they walk from hereon in hand in hand, and have been joined, as was hinted at earlier, by the third sister, Caring. For let us think together: Who the hell cares if the piece of rag that is on display in Turin as the authentic shroud of Christ is truly the thing in which Jesus was wrapped or if it belonged to somebody else? And why is it so important to go see the real thing?
And let us continue and think about this, too: Who cares that the Church, of all places, has pedophiles that did not-nice things to boys? Is pedophilia a contagious disease that might, heaven forbid, spread to other religions and affect a greater number of people than the ones who are already contaminated? Pedophilia in and of itself deserves denunciation, but the real contagious disease is the voyeurism regarding pedophilia - not pedophilia itself.
The Voyeurism family is a family with many sisters. We have yet to speak of another sister, and she is called Coming Out of the Closet. Her Royal Highness Voyeurism demands that the entire world - each and every person in it - disclose what he is hiding in his own closet and that there be infinite transparency.
And in this voyeuristic paradise we will be able to walk down the street, and there won't be any secrets in the world anymore, and folks will be made of glass, and everyone will be able to gaze inside the other and see if he/she is gay, or a lesbian, or a pedophile, or a thief, or corrupt, or a builder of buildings without permits, or an eater of non-kosher food, or a wife beater, or a harasser of other women. And it will be possible to point at him and shout: "Grab him!" And then the one who was pointed at will, in turn, shout at the next transparent person he comes across and yell: "Grab him!" And when the mob runs to grab one, the mob from the next street will fall upon the mob from the first street to grab the other.
With all the caring and transparency, and voyeurism and foolishness, there will be such a mess that only the coming of the Messiah - any messiah - will be of help. Why doesn't he come already, the Messiah? Because he knows that the moment he descends from the heavens, he'll immediately be examined to check whether he is concealing anything inside his shroud.
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