Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Fantastic monster

The blessed Saint Bernard of Clairvaux would probably have disapproved of the scary cyclops head that I spotted on holiday a couple of weeks ago:
What are these fantastic monsters doing in the cloisters before the eyes of the brothers as they read? What is the meaning of these unclean monkeys, these strange savage lions, and monsters? To what purpose are here placed these creatures, half beast, half man, or these spotted tigers?
Saintly Bernard might have been mollified to learn that this particular monstrous apparition neither adorns a pagan shrine, nor defiles a house of God, but serves as a hand-hold on a children's climbing wall in a playground just off the B5115, between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay. Here, thanks to the magic of my crappy phone camera, is the whole thing in context and in living colour:

St. Bernard would also have been unlikely to approve of the Darth Vader head currently adorning Washington's National Cathedral.

We do, however, know about the sort of things St. Bernard did approve of. Denouncing dissidents to the authorities, for example. Bernard had 'one of the first philosophical minds of the whole Middle Ages', Peter Abelard, brought before the pope and cardinals of the Curia on a trumped-up charge of heresy. We also know that Bernard was a hate-preacher, promoting violent jihad against the infidel and endorsing a fanatical band of armed militants. If Bernard was looking for fantastic monsters, he could have simply looked in the mirror.

In recognition of his immense piety, St Bernard of Clairvaux is the patron saint of Cistercians, Burgundy, beekeepers, candle makers, Gibraltar, Queens' College, Cambridge, Speyer Cathedral and the Knights Templar.

 Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo.