Just as Israel Folau has been so anxious to warn homosexuals about what the Bible says is in store for them I leap, anxiously, to warn him of what the Bible says is in store for him if he's not careful.
Folau, already fabulously remunerated for playing the sports at which he excels, has just wrung an $8m "settlement" from an apologetic Rugby Australia. Already quite rich by my admittedly working-class calculations, Folau is, now, filthy rich.
He and I both seem to know the Bible rather well (although while for me it is a work of sometimes very fine fiction and excellent journalism for him it is God's truth) and so, just in case he has somehow forgotten it, I point him to Mark 10:25.
There we find Jesus the socialist giving the most famous of his many sermons condemning the greedy.
How scathing he would have been, if in Australia during the late election, of the greedy oldies in their mansions (their garages crammed with late model Winnebagos) carrying on like outraged pork chops about the possibility of losing their filthy franking credits.
Yes, in Mark 10 we find Jesus warning, graphically, that "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven". For believers like Folau this surely means to him that if he doesn't get a wriggle on and divest himself of his obscene superabundance of worldly goods he, too, like the abominable sodomites he condemns, will be going to the Hell.
But, alas, life is unfair.
There is no Hell for Folau to be consigned to, and, until he goes the way of all flesh (drifting off into oblivion), he will live the loot-cushioned life of a comfortable toff, like so many 'Christians' taking comfort from the parts of the Bible he chooses to believe in, ignoring those pesky passages that should give a sincere Christian toff sleepless nights.
Films of an ancient occasion
Who, judging by her facial expression and body language, was the most gloomy-miserable person in London on the afternoon of Friday July 3, 1970?
I bustle to explain this reference to the olden days. It is that for homework for another column in another publication I have just been looking at footage (thank you Mr YouTube!) of some of the tennis matches played by the now controversial Margaret Smith/Court in her awe-stoking heyday.
And what a strange antiquity there is about movie footage of tennis matches of yesteryear! One gets a sense of how old one is (my once pretty face is now gnarled by exposure to 74 summers) when one looks at film from one's own times (I was already a keen student of tennis during our Margaret's heyday) and those films seem to be films of ancient occasions.
And so the Wimbledon women's final of 1970 looks, now, like an ancient occasion as historically intriguing as, say, someone's flickering home movies of Sir Francis Drake playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe in 1588 (as the Armada looms), or of crowds watching Stephenson's 'Rocket' winning the 1829 Liverpool to Manchester contest for railway vehicles, or of the Kelly Gang waking up hitherto sleepy Jerilderie in February 1879.
Everyone and everything, at Plymouth in 1588, at Manchester in 1829, at Jerilderie in 1879 and at Wimbledon in 1970 is so different and so quaint.
So for instance today's tennis crowds and tennis players are exuberant, demonstrative and noisy but at the Wimbledon of 1970 the inhibited, tightly-corseted members of the crowd might as well be crash test dummies.
The players too, using absurd teeny little racquets of wood or aluminium and playing with white, fluffy tennis balls brought to the court in cardboard boxes, and even though Margaret's opponent is the famously feisty (away from the court) opponent Billie-Jean King, seem similarly inhibited as if the rules of the game prohibit any display of any emotion, so much as an unladylike gasp of exertion.
It feels an occasion of great antiquity. One half expects to see Queen Victoria in the Royal Box, and various historical figures, Shakespeare, say, (busily taking notes, for the match is giving him ripper ideas for his next play), Oliver Cromwell, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde ... their famous heads swivelling now to the left, now to the right as they follow the game's rallies.
Shakespeare would have found a famous, in-the-news-today Australian an irresistible subject for a tragedy he would have called The Tragicall Historie of Margaret, Queene of Tennis.
At Wimbledon on July 3, 1970 he would have noticed, enthralled, that the woman spending the afternoon illustrating yet again that she was the greatest female athlete of her times (she was en route to beating Billie-Jean 14-12, 11-9) was at the same time (since confirmed by her biographies) a grim, unhappy, corked-up, anxious, joyless creature, the unhappiest woman in London, finding no delight in being who and what she was.
Shakespeare, hurrying home to dip his quill and get writing while this drama was still fresh in his mind would have found this, plus the later paradoxical phenomenon of her being loved for her sporting achievements but despised for her (homophobic) beliefs, dramatically irresistible. He might never, obsessed with this subject, have got around to writing a play about the less interesting, more lightweight troubles of a Prince of Denmark.