Reading the subtext

  • Sumo

What an ugly title! My apologies.

I’ll stick with this title, because I want to write a very quick comment. A comment to put my sensitivities to the test. Am I too sensitive? Or will I be shown as correct?

There’s a play opening in Albury in the next couple of weeks, Fractions. I’ve just read the promo card – about the size of a post-card, so the words are relatively few. It says to me, ‘A chance to bash Christianity.’

Here’s why:

  • Historical terminology
    The West is on the cusp of entering the dark ages
    Dark ages – a pejorative no longer viewed as an accurate historical term – means the time when Christianity was spreading across Europe
  • The opposition
    In Alexandria, religious fanatics pose a much larger, immediate threat
    Oh. You mean Christians? Why not call them religious terrorists?
  • The struggle
    Hypatia wants ‘to save her Library and the world from a monumental calamity of ignorance
    Which, when translated, means Christians are against reason and knowledge. The old furphy of faith and reason being enemies.
  • The lead character
    Hypatia, a brilliant mathematician and philosopher who was the first woman to be considered the greatest mind of her age.
    Of course Christianity is always anti-woman. Isn’t that the cliché view? (Strangely enough, the classical world – in which Hypatia was a solo great woman – had no such accusation levelled at it.)

These points are all, as I read the promotion, the subtext of the play. Nothing says Christianity is dumb, because everything says this. At least that’s my take.

Why put this on my blog? Why not wait until the play has its run? In one way, it would be good to get the whole performance done before commenting. The reason I haven’t is that I reckon the message is so obvious, it’s been telescoped as the usual intellectual-lite anti-God fare that I can’t understand where the drama lies.

That’s what I want to put on record. And if I end up with an omelette face, how thankful I will be.