What would the Bronte sisters have done if they had to rely on Google for their inspiration (as opposed to their imagination)? I don’t really know why I asked that question, apart from the possibility that I’m going stir crazy. I don’t read fiction these days (it seems pointless after reading the complete Dostoevsky) so now, with a click of a button new sources of fanciful fiction can be delivered and dismissed with every passing whim. I suspect my attention span is falling prey to the internet induced desire for effortless gratification. So if somebody said I should read a particular novel to probe the depths of the human condition, I would merely say no. I’ll do a Google search instead.
This is all just a roundabout way of saying I did a Google search with the phrase ‘cure worse than problem.’ I just wanted to see what the justification is for the measures currently being taken to deal with the (so far) historically mild consequences of Coronavirus. The great thing about open ended searches of this sort is that they bring up all sorts of stuff. This is an excerpt from one of the top results of asking what could be a ‘cure worse than the problem’ -
‘Each individual case needs the careful treatment of a shepherd. Only the pastor can effectively solve this problem and it must be on an individual basis. If the pastor never deals with this phase of the work, new problems emerge. Men will wear their hair longer and longer. The music will get wilder and wilder. Soon, moving picture shows will replace the Wednesday night prayer meetings. Each deviant practice will be defended as if it had been sanctified by the desire to “make disciples.” Under the guise of providing something for the young people to do, many religious movements have provided dances and gambling games in the basements of their churches. Such a religious frock over the practice is justification enough for them. This is their solution to the problem of keeping their people out of the “dance halls” and “gambling dens.” But, any honest-hearted sinner can see the inconsistency of such a position.’
Well, thank you Apostolic Information Service! Who needs to read a whole novel to come across ‘the truth?’ It may have not occurred to this particular American evangelical quoted that every portrayal of Jesus has him wearing long hair. And a beard. And sandals. Odd then that Christ is always seen as a deviant. The source of this particular guidance is I Corinthians v14 which tells us solemnly ‘Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.’ (All run by men)
I haven't looked into whether having a long beard would upset God, but since he’s never seen without one, I guess not. So it is clear that sometimes Google searches can lead you astray when you’ve got nothing better to do. But keep an eye out for any bloke in the street with long hair—he may be a C of E vicar with gambling allowed in his crypt.