In this week's column, the pinata of The St. Petersburg Times gives readers an inside look at the atheistic mindset in the form of a fawning obituary for author Nuala O'Faolain.
O'Faolain's tales of male-dominated Irish society as an unloved child among eight other siblings apparently serve to somehow inspire our Robyn. The initial inspiration probably comes from the implicit slavery of the womb (a turn of phrase I'm borrowing from Blumner herself) featured in O'Faolain's work, along with the author's honesty.
Interestingly, that honesty ends up in contradiction. Blumner relates how her heroine now dismisses passion, which she once saw as essential (was the dismissal passionate, I wonder?). Whereas O'Faolain calls the notion of an afterlife meaningless, Blumner directly contradicts her:
O'Faolain was wrong about an afterlife. Her perspective on being an independent woman at this time in history will live on in many memories, mine especially.As a self-avowed atheist, we can be pretty certain that Blumner does not literally believe in any afterlife. What we have, instead, is an equivocal feel-good kicker line at the end of what should be a column that leans toward nihilism. I mean, we have O'Faolain repudiating part of her earlier position (the importance of passion) and admitting that the joy left her life when she realized that time was almost up. The forward-thinking nihilist should be able to grasp that concept not long after developing consciousness, I should think.
Is this a form of pyschological denial for O'Faolain, Blumner and other atheists? Ignore one's impending death until its chronological proximity cracks through the barrier?
While I'll join Blumner in grieving O'Faolain's passing owing to the tragic nature of death according to the Christian-theistic world view, I'll note one pearl of wisdom that I might wish Blumner had lingered over longer: "What she really wished is that she had been 'a better thinker.'"