Monthly: scrapbook: reborn each month
(Monthly Note follows below)
If I make a vow to God and then Caesar demands a conflicting vow from me, to whom do I owe what?
I make vows to Christ, but then Christ goes and changes nature on me.
If we think that slavery is wrong but make intelligent discussion impossible, over centuries, over millennia, what understanding do we owe to Jesus?
Can the Christian who believes that God hates slavery interrupt or overrule the Christian who thinks that the Bible condones slavery? How about the Christian who thinks that God demands slavery?
If I vow to the king that I will support his monarchy with my life, and then the king accepts campaign millions from the slavers, and I have to write the speeches …?
Look at it this way: in this and that theology vows to God can’t be trumped by vows to Trump. If God tells me not to murder, at least that what I and others familiar with writings called the Bible think God commands, but the US army in colusion with a civilian draft board conscripts me and tells me to drop bombs on Afghanistan, what do I do? punt?
Here’s a real example: When Catherine turned 96 it was fairly clear that her life was over: she was blind, deaf, didn’t know who I was half the time, refused to take her vitamins any longer: the same vitamins she’s sworn by when I first recommended them to her, I called Hospice to familiarize myself with their routines. They sent a nurse once the doctor pronounced Catherine terminal: doc was right, she only lived another few months. Anyway I’d gone over the Living Will document with Catherine, she was clear: she was an atheist, she didn’t want anyone praying over her. I was not an atheist, not a normal atheist at least, but she never understood or cared to try to understand what I believed, or had done, or had said, or written. Folderol, Catherine didn’t want anybody praying over her, I pointed out her instructions to the Hospice nurse when she came. I pointed out where I had Catherine’s Living Will tacked up by the door if there was any question. I come into the bedroom, the nurse is telling Catherine that she’s praying for her, and advising Catherine to pray for herself.
Fortunately this imbecile nurse has no comprehendion with Catherine is deaf and hasn’t understood a word the nurse has said. But I take the nurse aside, I tell her that she has violated all civilized codes of behavior, she is in violation of secular principles not to enforce any particular religion. The nurse says, No, prayer is good, God is good: Catherine’s wishes have no standing, the nurse has no obligation to her office, only to her illiterate church.
OK, all that should be clear enough, never mind that maybe if I weren’t going blind myself, maybe if my own mind were holding up I could discuss the jurist points better.
Note, this is a land of choise, and Highlands County gave me a choice: if I didn’t like this nurse I could request a nurse from the competing company. If I didn’t like that nurse we were shit out of luck, there were only two companies: neither company had any understanding of secular vows. they knew that if the nurse tried to poison us I could call the police, but what could I do if the nurse refused to acknowledge her pledges, whose church taught adherence not to your vows but to its vows?
Anyway, here are a couple of analogies:
Half a year ago or so last year’s presidential election was cresting in the news. Jan was all Trump-escited. Jan, my darling, wanted to share Tump news with me. I don’t care what it is, I don’t want to hear it. Jan would tell me the Trump news. I would remind her, I didn’t want to hear it, please, spare me. She would misstate my prefernece, and give me the next moment’s Trump news. I love her, but there’s no communicating with her: not on the things culturally most important to me. She says, Well, I’m not interested; No, no: I very interested, my life is dedicated to interest; I just don’t want to hear reports from the media: reports from the earth are bad enough.
So: Jan has no more respect for preferences other than Trump dominance than Catherine’s nurse had for her nurse vows: to respect the wishes of the dying.
More to add, I’ll return.
2017 02 11 I don’t get it. Do you? Does anyone?
I don’t believe that the Middle East was any business of the Crusaders: I certainly don’t see it as my business, or your business, or the President’s business. I don’t believe that government, this or another, is capable of understanding Islamic states: or non-Islamic states.
Could Islamic states be a threat to us? I don’t doubt it, but so what? everything, anything might be a threat to us. But having invaded America from Europe, etc. what right do we have to security?
(In Elizabethan times, in Elizabethan English, “secure” meant naive, ignorant, even stupid.)
If I think you might mug me, I might think that I have a right to disarm you, kill you, stop you. And visaversa.
If I don’t trust you, or me, or Washington, or Iraq, does it follow that I have a right, or you, to extirminate humans? How about bears? sharks?
I’m 78 1/2. I spent the early 1940s worrying about Hitler and the latter 1940s worrying about A-bombs, and H-bombs. I didn’t trust MacCarthy. And I didn’t trust Ike. I didn’t trust Stalin, but Stalin, not yet, hadn’t infaded my neighborhood, except with ideas. with fear.
But you know, it doesn’t mater. Nature will get rid of what doesn’t work. Meantime we have the right to shellac each other, drop bombs, tell lies, compel school.
Now the White House can try to intimidate us to buy a blouse from Ivanka.
Good solutions have been proposed, but as always, we torture and kill the idea bearers.If MacCarthy didn’t understand what I now imagine I would have said had I been an adult in 1952, and Kennedy didn’t understand what I said in 1960, I certainly don’t expect Trump, or you, to understand what I’ve said here.
OK, I watched a bit more of the ISIS doc. The subject is now perhaps a bit less occluded to me. And I’ thinking of Hemingway, off driving an ambulance in Spain. Everybody is this ISIS movie also seems to be looking for fights. Maybe I should have too. Can I sue the church that christened me as an infant? Aren’t they responsible for subverting human nature? I see beautiful Arab women among the fighters: that might be nice to carry an assault rifle with a female hip in your face. Maybe that’s what I should do now, especially now that I’m half blind and really can’t tell friend from foe. I march up to the bunker, they blow me to hell and gone, then I don’t need a new prescription.
The Arab teen girls, one of whom had been shot six times! Dance before their attack on the mountain hold. I’m reminded of a photo of an Israeli fighter in National Geographic, some magazine: in the ’50s, maybe early ’60s. Buxom, beautiful, smiling, rippling, unforgetable. Had I been brought up in Israel, on a kibbutz, cheating, land theft, murder an everyday occurrence I maybe would never have read my own version of Jesus, and God, and peace the way I did in my actual childhood in Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. I did what I did, got what I got: could have been better, could easily have been worse. No, no. No complaints.
2017 02 01 I relate to predation, I am a predator. (And so are you.) And vegetarians are kleptocrats, no matter what displays they make about what they do and don’t eat.) I also relate to Turn the Other Cheek, and to Jesus’ sacrifice. I’ve sacrificed myself, again and again, in imitation: and the rest of the human world pretends not to notice: and such pretenses become true, by virtue of pretense.
I worshipped democracy as a child, as I was lead to do. Then, in recent decades, I turned on it, openly despise it, never mind majorities, nevr mind human opinions. I am punished by my neighbors who still pretend. What I can’t stand is a population of hypocrites who grab land but pretend they’re sacrificing on the cross, who do what they’re told by the alpha kleptocrats but pretend they’re acting in free will.
I love the Conn Iggulden novel where young Genghis, not yet Khan, gets captured, gets into his father’s murderer’s tent, grabs a sword and kills the killer! And then … And then nothing! He’s received as the khan. Someday he’ll do something, and then they’ll rip his flesh off, eat him while his heart is still beating. Genghis didn’t assassinate the khan to become kahn; he was merely being a Mongol: killing, expecting death, accepting it.
Then they’re the wonder story by Piers Anthony where the sadist torturer is sent to the planet of torture. After they’ve done Everything to him he waits for what’s next and nothing happens! He’s now their Stalin, they’re dictotor: he endured the torture, now he’s boss. He’s got no eyes, no ears, no teeth, no fingers, no balls, but he’s boss.
Anyway, I didn’t get Trump during the election process, now I really don’t get him: an executive “order” to cease immigration? We came, we tresspased: where do we get off saying what tresspasses others can commit? If we’re going to enforce rules, shouldn’t we ourselves be innocent of infractions?
Had the natives stopped us ff. 1492, if Crazy Horse had attacked Washington DC and defeated Custer there, I would understand it, I would see us seeing that we lost, that they therefore have all the rights.
Alpha crime isn’t crime.
I hope you all saw the recent article on chimps slaying an alpha chimp who had been their tyrant. Italians playing football with Il Duce’s head is one of my favorite images from modern history. I recommed that Trump and Nixon and Obama and Bush familiarize themselves with the King of the Wood: whoever kills the king is king: till his successor kills him!!!
continues: Yanking the alpha chimp off his throne, flaying him, eating parts reminds me. One of the reporters mentioned that the dead tyrant may have been trying to reclaim former status. Imagine Nixon trying to walk back into the White House after being evicted. Imagine Nixon back in the oval office, giving orders to Ford’s secretary. And I think: Hey, what might such patterns have to do with civilization’s most famous murder? What if the Temple of Jerusalem had deposed God, stripped and beaten him: now the Sanhedrin had the power but was brandishing it in God’s old name? So what if God sent Jesus to reclaim what he regarded as his?? And what if the Sanhedrin convinced Pilat that Jesus was about to take over from Caesar too?
In his dreams? Maybe, but Pilat wouldn’t pull punches if he saw his own palace slipping away.
I love that: Christianity as a dream of reclaiming lost status, rank, privilege.
2017 02 01 VA email says “Did you know that 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year?” What? Preposterous. What could they mean that we could generously guess? Maybe one of three women who die die of heart disease. That I don’t doubt; but the death rate is not 33.3% of the populaltion. It may come to be, but not now, not yet.
Mea deGrasse Culpa
Neil deGrasse Tyson refers to the “moving frontier of science” in his Inexplicable Universe. Bravo Tyson.
I take this occasion to Tyson’s sudden elevation in status in pk’s mental map of human resources. Tyson rubbed me the wrong way when I first saw him. I avoided him thereafter: a bitter disappointment to me: I like looking up better than looking down. Admiration, worship seems natural to me. I’ve read the science explainers – Asiomov, Sagan, Calder, Attenborough – for decades, have watched them on TV since Attenborough first followed his BBC Civilization with Life on Earth, wrote admiration to Sagan when Cosmos was just an announced plan. Muddlers like George Page made me puke, enlighteners like Attenborough made me Whoop.
So. I eagerly watched the first Tyson I heard of: and cringed. His style seemed retarded. Now I’m used to it, or he’s perfected it, I digest it. Brovo. Back to elevation, pejoration kaput.
Metaphysical Uncertainty: things I wondered about in college, come back to me, answered, at 78 1/2:
Given one particle, could God deduce the rest of the universe? No: part, yes, but not all. Therefore: omnipotence is impossible, not just for me, for Newton, but for God too. If logic applies to reality. If it doesn’t, if all is magic, nothing has to make sense. But talk is pretty much useless either way.
Fat Suit Deception
Girl make date via dating service, shows up wearing a fat suit. If she knows the guys who show up, it’s a practical joke, it’s up to the guys if they want to sock her in the eye. But to practice such decption on strangers, to let them walk out, betrayed, and not explain to them that they’ve been had, immorally for sure, probably illegally too, fat suit should go straight off to jail, or at least to the civil suit justice department. Boo, false fat. It’s fraud.
2017 01 21 Russell Westbrook got snubbed for the All Star starting guards. Always remember: Leo Tolstoy didn’t get a Nobel Prize for literature! and neither did Isak Dinesen! So if they didn’t get one, what can that prize be worth? It’s not that Faulkner isn’t also good, Hemingway, etc; but nobody is better than Tolstoy! Unless it’s Isak Dinesen!
2017 01 19 Gotta address: the inauguration, authority, sovereignty, God, Trump, US …
2017 01 04 My neighbor Elaine Sutphin snapped my wrinkly pic!
pk by gardenia
2016 12 24 I’m watching Good Night and Good Luck, Edward R. Murrow vs. McCarthy, vs. J. Edgar: civilization vs. honesty. US establishment is throwing its weight around, calling everybody a Communist, all unconsciounable behavior at best, now the networks are administering loyalty oaths, threatening unemployment, unemployability: only the dishonest need apply. Meantime our institutions, though they see that they’ve been threatened don’t see that they’ve been undermined. But this should surprise no one. Priests in the church get things exactly backwards, they think they represent God, that the Bible is an example of truth, not lies, not at best mistakes mistakes: CBS staff actually believes that yesterday they were clean, today they’re pressured, they have till tomorrow to decide … No, no, it was all decided long ago. Jesus wasn’t the first victim, merely the most famous.
I lived through all of that: the school, the press, the public, standing up for McCarthy, abandoning Christianity, civil values, feeling virtuous as we mislabeled everything. And now we think that there were only a few bad apples, that we survived it. We didn’t. We didn’t survive. Or we changed identity: the evil survived, grew, transformed.
2016 12 19 Do you believe in God? That’s a common questions, is it not? How common is it for the person or group asking the question to be willing (or competent) to define terms, to allow you to be clear? Unheard of, never.
“God” is, among other things, a trigger that guarantees that emotion will overwhelm reason before anything can be made half-clear.
But never mind that: I have a different question to focus on: how literal is your (or the group’s) understanding of the terms?
For example, you can not believe that Jesus is an historical figure, you can not believe that the gospels can be examined with normal reading skills, but still believe that a good man, an unorthodox teacher, someone whose life and teachings stimulated thought got sandbagged by the establishment. You can believe that the justice system, though it might honorably and truly find you guilty of speeding would prove utterly incapable of fairly judging the rebel who turned over the money tables in the temple when the frauds running those tables were cheating the poor: and God, the supposed recipient of the sacrifices. In other words, the symbol doesn’t have be be believed in literally to be believed in symbolically.
Never mind whether I believe in God. Never mind whether I believe in Jesus. Never mind whether I believe that Jesus can reasonably be distinguished from Christ. What I do believe in is human failure; what I don’t believe in is the kleptocratic institutions of civilization:
the institutions that use coercion.
If the school is compulsory it doesn’t matter what its victims believe: or think that they think.
Continues as reverse chronology: Monthly Archive
Such archives date backwards: counter chronological: today, yesterday, the day before …