Monday, April 30, 2007
I was feeling better today. Trotted over to do my workout. Sun was out. Chatted with some guys I know. Moving along nicely. Pretty upbeat, which is a nice change from the last week or so.
Then comes one of the gym's patrons with his long-suffering trainer. And I couldn't blot him out.
He gabs endlessly while the trainer tries to get him to work out. And, as one of the other guys said, "If you overhear him, his conversations basically come down to, 'I'm right and you and everyone else is wrong and let me tell you why.'"
He is an exemplar of the Queen. And it just rubbed me the wrong way and actually made me a little queasy in the stomach. It's not just the style and the timbre of the voice, irritating enough, but the humorless narcissistic content of the rant and its emotional metamessage of shock and dismay and appallment at all the lower forms of life that he is so unjustly exposed to.
God, I don't want to belong to any group that he belongs to. Do they still have room with the androphiles?
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Robert D. Kaplan, an American journalist who doesn't hate America.
A committed realist with values. I used to read him when I subscribed to The Atlantic Monthly, back before Michael Kelly died and before Jack Beatty and company turned it into yet another organ of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
I have learned much from his pieces on the state of the planet (The Coming Anarchy), on the real role of the media as modern inquisitors (The Media and Medievalism) and how a Western country with a Judeo-Christian tradition like America really has to to comport itself, not forgetting its Greco-Roman past (Warrior Politics). His latest is a description of the American military (Imperial Grunts).
Too lazy to craft a further blurb this morning, so here.
In the terms of philosopher John Kekes, Jungians have turned their psychology into an ideology: a tight set of concepts that are used to interpret every situation and provide the solution to the problem it constructs. They used to laugh at unimaginative and rigid Freudians for making the Oedipal complex the source of all mental illness. Now look at them.
I suggest that they and he consider the opposition of the Mongol Khan and the Arab Caliph around 1258, when Baghdad was sacked for 40 days and lay in ruins for centuries. Shadow projections may have abounded, and certainly the Feminine was kept in a harem…but so what?
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Been in a funk the last couple of weeks. Started when I lost my glasses. Hate it when I do that.
Moved to feeling irritable and irritated, lazy, circling, centrifugal, intermittent, eremetic, wasteful, even cowardly. Unhappy with myself, unhappy with the world...despite much evidence to the contrary. I think I'm a bit cyclothymic. Try to keep it all in perspective, not fight it too much, not give in completely.... walk around the paddock with the horse but not become a centaur, though I am tempted to be the conquistador some days.
I know from my history that I marginalize myself in every group I have ever belonged to. I try not to blame the groups too much now, knowing that I always do it. Wrote a poem years ago about the cycle of my exilic longing for home and then needing to escape it.
Feeling strongly my marginality to the city, to many of my countrymen, and to the tribe of gay men. Reading Androphilia and a lot of the gaymale responses to it has not helped, but has only given more language to my edge-dwelling. I feel paradoxically closeted here in the biggest ghetto in the world...well, if not numerically biggest, symbolically.
An outsider looking down from a rocky ledge.
Hence, the title above: totem animals.
Was chatting online with my new pal BDD --a complex and unusual guy who under other circumstances would be a kind of sexual icon for me, but for whom I instead feel a combination of things: curiosity-turned-into-personal-interest, respect, admiration, puzzlement, caution, affection and sympathy. We got into discussing totem animals and, to make a middling story even shorter, I remembered the Mountain Goat, who for years back in the 80's seemed to embody my life. And lately does again. Even though we don't know each other well, BDD is a quick and clever fellow on several levels and he strongly suggested I give the Goat , Oreamnos Americanus, a close look.
The Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, is a large hoofed mammal found only in North America. Although it resembles a goat it is not a true goat, being in a different genus, related to the antelope. It resides at high elevations and is a sure-footed climber, often resting on rocky cliffs that predators cannot reach.
Not even a true goat, being in a different genus! Fits me.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tony Blankley's article, Is There Writing On The Wall? pretty well lays out the fundamental divide these days: those of us who see "radical Islam" as a major threat to the West, and those who don't.
Every political decision -- from the Iraq war appropriation vote this week, to the Patriot Act, to the status of Guantanamo Prison, to NSA intercepts, to the presidential election -- is seen through our conceptual squint of the threat or non-threat from radical Islam.
And he points out that, once your side is chosen, you hardly ever find people who change their minds. My mind on this subject is laid out at some length in my Doppenganger blog, USMale.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I’ve reworked procreation, protection and protein --others say progenitor, protector and provider--into a more vivid, if less, polite alliterative triad: men are made for fucking, fighting and feeding.
We no longer live in hunter-gatherer societies but in vastly complex communities. Men’s purposes remain rooted, I maintain, in these three functions, but how they are enacted has changed.
It’s all written in the male body: the size, muscle and phallus, the specialization indicated in the male brain, and the attitudes and tendencies of the testosterone-endowed. I would expand the triad of fucking, fighting and feeding into power, courage and skill, flowing from the male body, the male heart, and the male brain. No one will accord manhood status to a male who is typically weak, fearful or inept.
Especially in complex societies, a man can compensate for deficits in the triad by specialization. A man with valued skill need not be especially strong or brave. A man with “heart” will be forgiven physical impairment or lack of skill. And a powerful man need not prove his courage or aptitude. But even now, a “man’s man” will show abundance of all three qualities.
Came home last night after an evening of very friendly carnality, relaxed and in a better mood than I have been in for some time. Not surprising. Good give-and-take with a man of experience. The male animal is a wondrous beast.
Sat down to check my email and turned on the TV. Before I knew it, I was watching a program on Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge Communist regime in Cambodia in the 1970’s.
As my time and my memories of my evening of play and pleasure were specific, so the stories of those terrible years in “Democratic Kampuchea” were specific. Not only the grand statistics – almost 2 million killed in 5 years—but individual interviews with survivors, who told exactly what happened to them.
Not one…not one…of the leaders of that regime has ever been brought to justice. Wondrous beast indeed.
So…then I went to bed. Another night on Planet Earth.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Taken from the wire services:
WEST SACRAMENTO Apr 18 A train engineer is hospitalized after officials say he was attacked by a mob that dragged him from an Amtrak train it had forced to stop by standing on the tracks.
An Amtrak official says the engineer on the Capitol Corridor train was en route from the San Francisco Bay area and approaching Sacramento when he encountered the group of people
Officials say after the stopping the train, the engineer opened the door, was pulled off and then assaulted with rocks and bottles. The engineer was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center with head injuries and possible internal injuries.
Union Pacific police arrested one person who is a minor. They are still looking for several other suspects. The city of West Sacramento is now working with Union Pacific to try and prevent more incidents like this.
My kweschun: If the characteristics of this "group of people" may not be mentioned ---and you can likely guess why-- why can the gender of the engineer be mentioned? Might not it contribute to the sexist impression that males are stupid enough to open a door to "a mob", which included in it at least "one person who is a minor"?
Excellent article by mystery novelist Andrew Klavan in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, on how giving up leftism allows you to stop the torturous lying endemic to the progressive worldview and to truthfully describe what you see in front of you. Plus, the price you pay for no longer being nice.
"The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace."
My irritation with contrived make-believe was one of the elements that led to my tranniesmogryphikation from a respectable, if eccentric, gay man into a Sith Lord worthy of strangulation by aging Buddhist civil rights lawyers and organizers of noontime concerts in churches (see post of 3.23.07).
Someone who knows me well recently told me he gets anxious that I might...well, basically what he was suggesting was that I might soon be advocating for the return of the Confederacy. This is one of the boundary taboo memes of leftism, that everyone to your right is a bigot and a Nazi. Keeps the flock corralled. As the phrase goes, "Don't even go there".
Sunday, April 22, 2007
are the great problems of the world?
Racism. Poverty. The oppression of women. Imperialism and colonialism. Religious intolerance. Violence, especially war. Environmental degradation.
Who, according to Liberals,
is behind these evils?
Poverty? The rich, and their preferred economic system, capitalism.
Oppression of women? Males.
Imperialism and colonialism? The WhiteWestern nation-state.
Religious intolerance? Christianity.
Violence, especially war? The military and the martial male mind-set.
Environmental degradation? Consumerism in the developed world.
So, if you want to know who the great enemy of the world for Liberals is,
you have the elements for a profile:
A white, capitalist, male, patriotic,
Christian, pro-military Western consumer.
Remind you of anyone?
Pretty simple, huh? (Or, in my fading Canadian, "eh?")
So it only makes simple sense, that anyone who has the least interest in the future of our species and our planet, --who wants to be good, caring, conscious, enlightened and progressive, etc. -- would adapt the obvious antidotes to this great evil:
redistributionism vs. capitalist-caused poverty
feminism vs. male oppression of women
transnationalism vs. nationalist imperialism
pacifism vs. violence, guns and the military war-machine
secularism vs. rightwing Christian intolerance
environmentalism vs. Western, esp. American, consumerism.
Pretty simple, huh? (Or, in my fading Canadian, "eh?")
PS. To any of my Tighty Righty colleagues who find themselves puzzled by BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), I offer the above as a clue to the cultural complex that may be involved. This outline is a step in fulfilling my promise of Dec 27 2006 --which you no doubt recall-- to elaborate on the Seven Pillars of Progressive Liberalism. More proof that, pardoning the blasphemous comparison, "the wheels of USMale grind slowly, but they grind exceeding......slow."
PPS. In the interest of full..well, tactical...disclosure, I admit that I fall prey to BDS when W starts talking about Mexican immigration.
I was at a party last night. A rare event for the usually introverted USMale. Guys from the gym, not too large an event.
I have been overhearing the conversations of some of these guys for years. My gym is rather small, so it doesn't take much to pick up these things. Yesterday, for example, while I was chatting with a guy, another fella asked if he could join in because it sounded interesting. Happens all the time. (So if you think I am defensively explaining why I am not an eavesdropper...)
Anyway, I have heard these guys go on about Bush and Co. at length. Again, as common as rain in January. I think they even subscribe to some of the nuttier conspiracy theories. So I should not have been surprised when one of them responded to a playful challenge to his veracity by saying, "Get me a Bible. I'll swear on it. I'll swear on the Quran."
At moments like this, I have to repress my response. Even here, writing it, I can feel a rush that I cannot allow to finish. It's partly a problem with being an intuitive and also with being, frankly, very intelligent and able to process a great deal of information very rapidly. It's like suddenly producing a little book, all written, but what you see at first is the book closed, with the cover and title visible.
Anyway, here's a San Francisco homosexual offering to prove his truthiness by swearing on the book which creates the Muslim Sharia regime that would have him executed.
Maybe Jack Malebranche is right. Maybe I should resign my membership in the gay community and convert to androphilia.
Afterthought. One of the interminable Egyptology shows on the History Channel reminds me that when the Muslims attacked Egypt in the 7th century, as part of the Jihad that ate up large swaths of the Christian world in a mere century...remember now, jihad is an internal spiritual struggle, nothing so crass and crusaderish as "holy war" to conquer the infidels...the Arabs were able to accomplish this largely because the Egyptians helped them. Egypt was part of the Roman Byzantine Empire --had been since Cleopatra's death-- but when the Empire became Christian, the Egyptians and the Greeks parted ways theologically, asserting Monophysite and Chalcedonian Christologies, respectively. The Monophysite Egyptians hated their fellow Christian Chalcedonian Greeks so much, that they colluded with the Arab conquest. And the history of Christianity in Egypt shows what price they paid. Sound familiar?
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Here’s some high-level musing for you. Well, if not high level, at least kinda abstract.
“What if the world needs to be
pretty much the way it is?”
What if most of the things we agonize about are the unpleasant results of a process which needs to be much as it has always been in order for anything at all to work?
I remember being struck by St. Paul’s assertion that “the last enemy is death”. Of course, much religion is an attempt to overcome death. But without death, the universe could not exist. Death is a requirement of its existence. Certainly this is the case on earth. It is personally inconvenient, of course, but it is a structural requirement for life. This reminds me of another musing I had, in another life…
“What if, in order to enjoy what you love most,
you must accept and even embrace,
what you most hate?”
As you can see, I haven’t had my coffee yet this morning.
Friday, April 20, 2007
"Searching for the rational or personal thread that unites my postings"?
Is the Golden Thread not obvious?
Thursday, April 19, 2007
One of my rare trips to Gagdad Bob's blog, One Cosmos, just harvested this nugget of countercultural opinion:
"If you want to speak of a spiritual pecking order, then give me James Madison over the Dalai Lama any day. One revolutionized (and helped save, but only repeatedly) the world, while the other can't even help Richard Gere think coherently. (I know, I know, you should have heard him before. Good point.)"
Yow! The Father of our Constitution over the posterboy of every softheaded Californian alive!
Rock on, Bob!
Just in case you thought I spent my time pondering the Deep Things....you didn't? Oh. OK. Never mind...I am committing CW music heresy by saying I am sick of superstar Kenny Chesney. Most of his songs are either Fun in the Sun on the Beach or Nostalgia For My Lost Youth. Ok, I got it. Zzzzzzzz. He's getting on my nerves. No wonder Renee Zellwegger divorced him for fraud.
And while I'm at it, no more Lonestar, either. Please. That voice is like fingernails on a blackboard.
To make matters worse, the otherwise droolworthy and talented Tim McGraw has crossed the line into simpering sentimentality --even for CW and even for Tim!-- with his new song about "1-2-3 my new set of wings", or some such babyfood. C'mon, Tim. Let's see a little musical muscle again.
Like Lee Ryder (grrrrrrr) and The Lost Trailers' "Why Me?". That's a video I could watch a cupla times in a row...and have.
For some demonic reason...well, no, that's sorta hysterical...for some poltergeistish reason, Blogger refused to upload most of my images yesterday. I tried lots of work-arounds, but to no avail. So I finally thought I'd try uploading a new post with a new picture, chosen at random, just to see what worked. No change.
But this morning, all the images were back. Since I have been in an uncharacteristically superstitious frame of mind of late, I decided that the last image had somehow magically unblocked Blogger's blocked cyberChi.
(Shakespeare would not be able to understand that last phrase...hmmm...I guess the language has changed. Well, consider it revenge for "bare bodkin"...I was disappointed when I found out what that really meant!).
Hence, I am keeping the image here, as a votive. It's a Catholic thang...the votive, I mean, not the men kissing...well, hmm...;-)
Saturday, April 14, 2007
prepare to pour water into the baptismal font.
Image from the November 2006 ceremony at Washington DC's National Cathedral for the installation of the new chief bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Shori.
A consideration of this picture reveals much. Would be a fascinating projective test. I will spare you details and only repeat my mutterings about Episcopalians becoming Unitarians* in drag and to ask "Is there any value truly honored by this church which is not also de rigeur among Boomer Democrats of the leftoid variety?"
Puts me in mind of another unusual liturgical moment at a capital cathedral, Notre Dame in revolutionary Paris, November 1793 almost exactly 213 years earlier:
The posting title "Vidi aquam" is part of the traditional baptismal chant repertoire, from the Vulgate translation of the prophet Ezekiel: Vidi aquam egredientem de templo a latere dextro. In full and Englished, the text is sung, "I saw water flowing from the right side of the Temple".
In the context of the aforementioned festivities, I suggest an alternate "dynamic equivalence" translation: Vidi aquam exsanguinantem de templo a latere sinistro. "I saw water haemorrhaging from the left side of the Temple".
*Some of my best friends are Unitarian.
North Korea Misses Disarmament Deadline
Saturday , April 14, 2007
The deadline for North Korea to shut down its main nuclear reactor passed Saturday with no action taken by the communist country, leaving the top U.S. nuclear negotiator to surmise that the momentum had escaped disarmament talks.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Victor Davis Hanson.
Professor of Classics, family farmer,
Hoover Institution Fellow.
His lament today:
a civilization that has become just a dream.
It is not a call for the gay community to reform. It is an announcement of his departure from that community and an invitation to others of like mind to do the same. Definitely not a plea to expand our sexual Yugoslavia into Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning and Androphile.
It is not a call for a monochrome style of manhood, either. He asks each man to put himself together with his own unique combination of the physical, essential and cultural aspects of masculinity. But it’s not a totally open field. That’s part of his point: manhood is knowable, recognizable.
My own take is that manhood is by its nature controversial…because it is a challenging concept, especially in these days of the cultural Levelling Complex, where making anyone feel bad or excluded is the cardinal sin. The whole point of manhood is to set a standard which you either achieve or you don’t. You CAN fail. But, from a man’s point of view, only the possibility of real failure makes real achievement possible.
On-line comments I’ve read that respond critically or negatively to the book mostly prove his point: arch put-downs, rhetorical posing, superior throat-clearing, ad hominems…haven’t run into a serious critic who starts out entertaining the possibility that Malebranche could be on to something.
One guy huffily announced that he was in favor of cooperation instead of competition, so if that made him less a man, then the hell with manhood. God, the internet is full of stupid people.
I myself am not a man who runs around Dodge City with my finger on the trigger. But if I have to, I’ll push. And frankly, the farther from home I go, the more likely I am to downplay the cooperation. I’ll work to get a commonly agreeable outcome with my friends and family, coworkers and neighbors. With Iran? Not really.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
the Seventh Level of Hell!
Note: the Seventh Level is for The Violent against God (blasphemers),
against nature (sodomites) and against art (usurers). You can guess...
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||High|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||High|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||High|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||High|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Low|
|Level 7 (Violent)||Very High|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||High|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||Low|
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
"The liberal, and the group, nation or civilization infected by liberal doctrine and values, are morally disarmed before those whom the liberal regards as less well off than himself ...Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide."
from The Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism.
James Burnham. 1964. [ 1964!!]
In posts on Suicidalism and Gramscian Damage blogger "Lazarus Long" identified some of the most important of the memes that work to undo the West from within. In a striking synchronicity with my posting of Cold Warrior Burnham, he identifies these as part of the old Soviet propaganda arsenal. They are frighteningly accurate as descriptions of contemporary liberal responses to the Jihad and indeed to any victimist grievance. I hear variations on these themes all the time.
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
- Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
- The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.
The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.
God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep.
Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.
The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.
At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: "My Lord be with you all." Christ answered him: "And with your spirit."
He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: "Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake.
I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.
Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you.
See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image.
On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back.
See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise.
I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven.
I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.
The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager.
The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open.
The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity."
Monday, April 02, 2007
Ruminations on Iran and Britain:
Western liberals reduce all environments either to a courtroom or a classroom.
POSTSCRIPT ON EASTER MONDAY RE IRAN AND BRITAIN: I keep replaying in myhead the images of those British sailors. This is deeply saddening. The Iranians --no fools-- performed a sartorial and merchandizing castration on these soldiers and on formerly Great Britain.
If they had stripped them naked and paraded them in chains on TV, it would have been less humiliating. At least there, the acknowledgement would have floated in the background that these are dangerous enemies who must be powerfully humbled.
Instead, their uniforms were taken away and they were paraded as badly dressed European civilians, who then were given trivial Easter gifts, for which they had to express appreciation. The one woman, was, of course, scarfed, a sign of their group Dhimmification. They ceased to be soldiers and became victims of a kidnapping. The Iranians sent them home magnanimously, to world acclaim --two English bishops just praised the Islamic mercy of the regime in so doing.
But the British lion's mane was shaved right off without resistance, in view of the world, and the British bulldog was nowhere in sight. Lives were indeed saved...but something more precious was lost...dignity.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I am watching a program called "Warlords", about Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. The degree to which Roosevelt and even Churchill allowed themselves to believe that Joseph Stalin --one of the most evil tyrants in human history-- was a reasonable and decent human being with whom agreements could be made...well, it is a jawdropping example of moral, intellectual and intuitive self-deception. In hindsight, pathetic. And these were the leaders of "the greatest generation".
Comparing these men with the caliber of men (and women) who are now the leaders of the West, the heart sinks.