Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Left Behind Series (or, Why is the Left so Intellectually and Spiritually Behind?)

Why is it that the the smartest people are often the most unintelligent? Why is academia full of presumably bright people with such foolish or shallow ideas? And why do so many of them think the same way? Why are they so predictable? (And please, I am speaking of generalities here; I am well aware of the exceptions.)

Academia seems to be a culture, like the MSM, that is simply so permeated with the leftist worldview -- and all of its many hidden assumptions -- that it is utterly blind to those assumptions. And because academics mostly associate with their own psychoclass, they come to regard their worldview as normative instead of an aberration -- even an illness of the soul. Thus, they may not be so much arrogant as clueless. And the more elite the university, the more predictable they are. For example, professors at so-called "elite" universities are much more likely to be irreligious than those from junior colleges and state universities. It's like a Darwinian process of natural selction, in which the dark academic environment selects only the metaphysically blind, who are somehow able to "see" there, like those fish at the bottom of the sea.

I've mentioned before that I have a relative by marriage who is a renowned historian. I remember once having a conversation with him in which I brought up the obvious innate differences between male and female nature. Not only did he disagree with me, but he insisted that I show him the data that I relied upon to arrive at this conclusion. There seems to be a sort of mental disability that can afflict the overly-educated person, so that he can no longer understand certain things that have always been known -- and in a way, cannot not be known. Something interferes with the "naturally supernatural" process of direct "internal" knowing, and must be replaced from the outside with "data" or an empirical study. I suppose it's analogous to someone who only ate processed food. Eventually they would lose their taste for natural foods. Compared to a fried academic Snickers bar, an intuitive apple just won't do.

I think it is entirely fair to say that the vast majority of academic "product" is merely junk food for the mind (as always, we are speaking of the humanities, or subhumanities, to be exact). No, I don't have a study to prove that, but how would one go about doing so, anyway? Let's just say that for me, most academic books and papers are so tedious, or tendentious, or narrow, or poorly written, or frankly perverse, that a normal person would want nothing to do with them.

For example, most of the psychology journals I see are so dopey as to be laughable. And I mean that literally. (Let me say at the outset that there are a number of excellent psychoanalytic journals, but psychoanalysis is not exactly an academic discipline but a clinical one; it only becomes stupid in the hands of academics.) I don't subscribe to any of the big journals in my field. In fact, I'm not even a member of my professional association, the American Psychological Association, because it's just a front for a totolerantarian gang of leftist activists. But I do see some of the journals laying around the office, and I do occasionally flip through them for a laugh. To say that they are shallow does not even begin to address the problem. Virtually every issue has some big study about multiculturalism and the need for what is called cultural competence.

I just picked up one of these journals the other day, and read an article that was one of a multi-part series on cultural competence. This one had to do with cultural competence toward Muslim patients... wait, I mean clients... no, consumers of mental health services. (This shifting name for the object of clinical attention is another obnoxious artifact of the PC virus -- as if we can make a sick person well by calling him a "consumer" instead of a "patient.") Among other things, I learned that, in dealing with Muslims -- especially Shia Muslims -- one must be sensitive to their core value of martyrdom.

Now this is fascinating, because the idea is presented absolutely without irony or self-awareness. Yes, the PC impulse is a totalitarian one, but it doesn't feel that way to the person infected with it. Rather, I am sure they simply feel earnest. They are merely following their "do-gooder" impulse to provide me with the information I need to assist Muslim consumers of mental health services to be better martyrs. The idea that a cultural belief or practice can be a priori sick is unknown -- even unthinkable -- to them. This particular writer has been so thoroughly brainwashed by political correctness, multiculturalism, and moral relativism, that she has no idea how far gone she is -- or how very much in need she is for a kind of ideological psychotherapy that is unavailable to her -- unless she were lucky enough to stumble upon a Dr. Sanity, or ShrinkWrapped, or Theodore Dalrymple. I'm sure there are others, but the fact that we know their names tells you how rare and exceptional they are.

Speaking of insular, take a look at a comment made by that atheistic tool, Sam Harris. I bring it up because it demonstrates how beautifully the idiotarianism of atheism merges with the idiotarianism of leftism (yes, I realize that there are some atheistic conservatives, but they are obviously in the minority). With reference to the Islamic threat, Harris said that Europe has been "very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."

And why are those who recognize the threat fascists? Because they are not politically correct liberals. There is no connecting of the dots, no mental ability to see the causal nexus between the inherent foolishness of leftism and their blindness to the threat of radical Islam. Harris' mind "cannot go there," very much like the perennially clueless New York Times, which often publishes variations on the theme of "Crime Down Despite Increase in Prison Population."

I am very fortunate, because I entered my masters program (1982) before these toxic and dysfuntiuonal ideas had permeated academia. Moreover, I completed my PhD at a private training institute with a strong psychoanalytic orientation, so I am one of those apparently rare individuals who has a PhD in the humanities without ever having had to seriously contend with the obnoxious PC brainwashing.

A magazine such as Psychology Today represents stupidity squared, because it mostly boils down the nonsense of academia for a semi-literate audience, in the same way that Time or Newsweek purvey idiotarian liberal conventional wisdom to the 8th grade mass-mentality.

In fact, Psychology Today recently published an article entitled The Ideological Animal that enters the realm of the "beyond stupid." I mean this literally, for a stupid person is merely stupid, but it takes real intelligence to push past the limits of stupidity into something beyond it. I know this may sound "rash" or polemic to some, but the effect of bad ideas during the 20th century alone was utterly catastrophic. Both Marxism and fascism were not just ideas, but entire systems of thought carefully worked out by intellectuals.

We are surrounded by bad ideas and their toxic consequences. A free marketplace will tend to eliminate bad ideas -- or at least it has a chance to -- whereas in academia or government, since they are free from market discipline, bad ideas can become entrenched and almost impossible to eliminate, as in the educational establishment, or the state department, or our tax system, or social security. In each case, any person with common sense can see the problem, and yet, there is nothing we can do about it. A bad idea, like a mind parasite, becomes like a living entity with its own momentum and its own desire to go on being.

Let's spend a moment looking at this Psychology Today article, which tries to explain the underlying psychological reasons for why someone would be conservative. Right away there's a tipoff, because it's literally inconceivable that hordes of leftist academics would set themselves the task of trying to understand the problem of leftism. What is its dark, seductive appeal? How do people fall into its clutches? Why is it mainly a disease of the emotionally immature and the under- and overeducated? Why is it so rampant in academia? Is it worse if the particular academic has had no real-world experience with any environment outside academia? Can a simple course in basic economics serve as a sort of innoculation? Is leftism a substitute religion? Is it widely associated with narcissistic personality disorder, since studies (as if those with Coon Vision require one) show that this is true of Hollywoodenhead celebreties and nitwitterati, who are said to be "narcissistic, vain, and lacking in real-life skills”?

Look at the assumptions with which the author begins: "We tend to believe our political views have evolved by a process of rational thought, as we consider arguments, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions. But the truth is more complicated." Yes, it may be more complicated, but this does not mean that the problems and issues are not susceptible to rational analysis. That is, just because some people -- or many people, it doesn't matter -- come to conservatism for emotional reasons, it hardly means that they are wrong.

Let's just take one example, the commonsense understanding that men and women are different in some fundamental ways. The person hasn't thought this through in any rational or explicit way. Rather, it's just "obvious" to him.

On the other hand, the over-educated liberal knows better. He knows that gender is just a social construct. Give a boy dolls to play with, and he'll grow up feminine. Give a girl guns, and she'll grow up macho.

Let's pause on this one for just a second, for this is a deeply evil, abusive, even monstrous notion. My 21-month old son is such a boy. I mean, I hate to say it, but he's more manly than I am. And he came out this way. The idea that my wife and I have somehow culturally "programmed" him to make him this way is just so nutty as to be beyond stupid. And the idea of doing anything to mitigate or weaken (as opposed to channel) this delightful male energy strikes me as a horror. His best friend is a little girl next door who is two months older, so I've watched her grow up from the outset. In her case, her feminine energy couldn't be more obvious, and is equally delightful. And when they interact, one sees all of the seeds of the beautiful complementarity between male and female, even at this young age. My son shows off for her with daring and dangerous stunts, tries to make her laugh, and does a little "mating dance" while she coyly bats her big eyes at him.

So I'm a fascist and I'm primitive. What can I say?

This is going to be a long day for me, so I suppose that I will have to de-deconstruct that Psychology Today article tomorrow. I also wanted to get into a couple of particularly dense comments left by the troll "reliapundit," for his inarticulate cluelessness inadvertantly inspired some thoughts about on the relationship between Spirit and language.

50 Comments:

Anonymous juliec said...

From the article:

"Liberals are messier than conservatives, their rooms have more clutter and more color, and they tend to have more travel documents, maps of other countries, and flags from around the world. Conservatives are neater, and their rooms are cleaner, better organized, more brightly lit, and more conventional. Liberals have more books, and their books cover a greater variety of topics. And that's just a start. Multiple studies find that liberals are more optimistic."

Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes.

There.

Books?! I can barely move through my house without tipping over a stack somewhere. Poor liberals, they must be absolute packrats, whose homes are a maze of collected souvenirs, books, maps and other colorful, shiny objects.

Optimists? I consider myself quite a happy person, in general - they must be absolutely glowing with good cheer and happy thoughts about the future.

Pray tell me, where might I find such delightful creatures?! If all this is true, they must stand out from the rest of us depressive neatniks like beacons of joy and sparkly sunshine. I'd love to breathe the sweet air where they are standing...

Oh, wait - it's just a gigantic cloud of smug.

I'll just stay over here, thanks.

1/23/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob, you wrote "for a stupid person is merely stupid, but it takes real intelligence to push past the limits of stupidity into something beyond it. I know this may sound "rash" or ....."

Well, if you are rash, at least you have some company. And to me, this statement points to the "scope, and the danger" of what is spreading throughout this country.

Perhaps this could rest our souls a bit: www.thrillingwonder.blogspot.com/2007/01/in-flight-photography.html. (HT: Pajamas Media) These images reminded me of many things folks express around here, and I thought some of you might enjoy seeing them.

1/23/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous San Jose Jack said...

Bob, your take on the humanities was very true for me. In the course of obtaining my MA in English, I had to stumble through an unbelievable wasteland of written absurdity and tedium (only in the part where literary criticism and theory articulated with my studies--because the actual works of literature were wonderful).

All of my effort to cling to the madates of Horace (inform and/or entertain!)in writing my own papers was met with only grudging acceptance. I was not conforming to the "academic style."

Damn I'm glad I'm outta there.

Now, the part about men and women being innately different I'll buy, but probably not the extent that you do.

Out here in Silicon Valley, the womenfolk are monetarily very powerful and they don't behave like you'd expect. They play hard-ball at work and at home. They'll seduce and then leave men, and they don't mind a bit.

There isn't much difference between men and women when any limits to female achievement are removed, in my opinion. They'll take any role a man does, and do it like a man. And it isn't coercion--these ladies are the happiest I've ever seen anywhere. They are thriving in this mileiu.

1/23/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I do find it hard to believe that these women are "happy" in any way that I would recognize, but your experience is your experience. I personally believe they are likely compensating for what they actually want, as is true of most people.

But of course, there are exceptions. Masculinity/femininity is on a contiunuum, so members of each sex obviously exist at the margins. No doubt there are some women who are more masculine than some men. I certainly wouldn't want to marry one of them, but then, they wouldn't want to marry me, either. In any event, I am speaking of norms and of spiritual archetypes, not of "outliers," who will always exist by the very nature of things.

1/23/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Walt, your photo link was cut off - and is definitely worth a look - so try this instead:
In-Flight Photos

I flew out of Santa Barbara in a little plane once years ago into clouds much like these photos and was overwhelmed with the beauty. I've never forgotten it.

1/23/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

At the risk of offending the distaff commenters, I have found that women managers tend to be less loyal and more untrustworthy than men. It seems a very denial of what I thought femininity meant. Everything is "what have you done for me today?" Long term contributions are ignored or minimized. They also play short term coporate games with far less conscience than most men.

1/23/2007 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

A primary mark of a fool is missing the obvious. It is part of absolute relativity. If anything is absolute or obvious, there's no way to spin it. And EVERYTHING deserves spin -- that's the underlying truth of political correctness.

Institutional foolishness.

BTW, the Bible has a lot to say about fools. Its worth a search.

1/23/2007 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm, I recall a story where a young girl was bought fake pearls-- she loved those pearls. After a while (when she got older) her dad went to her one night and asked for her pearls. She wouldn't give them away. So he went the next night, and the next; she would offer something of greater and greater value to him instead of the pearls each time, and he would decline.

Eventually, when he came in to ask for the pearls, she was crying. He asked why she was crying, and she said, here are my pearls, you can have them.

So, he took the pearls away, and reached in his pocket and retrieved a small jewelry box. From it, he removed and gave to her real pearls.

---

It's almost like, from the outset, we've been given a few real pearls-- but some would throw them away for fake ones. Your idea about the innate difference in the sexes-- a real pearl. To approximate that idea through studies -- or to come up with a different idea whether by fiat or deception -- fake pearl.

Dad keeps askin' for our fake ones. Are we gonna give 'em up?

By the way-- made a SuDoKu simulator online here: His Name is Enigma.

Be kind to him; and let me know if you experience problems getting him to respond to you.

I know he works in Firefox 2, but I'm not certain about IE. (Working on it.)

If he gets hit too heavy I'll take him down.

1/23/2007 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous sawdust said...

It's no mystery why the academic world is so far to the left. Back in the 60's, I believe it was, the Communists gave us their plan for world domination. They would infiltrate the media, the Churches, the universities, and politics, after which we would fall "as a rotten apple from the tree". To a great extent, they succeeded, and the remnants of that success linger with us today, long after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin wall.


Hillary Clinton, inded a large segment of the Democratic party are Socialists, though they will never admit it. They have no faith in freedom, to them the government is the only solution to any problem.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been born a white male, in the US, in the latter half (well, 1948, actually) of the 20th century. I don't belive that anyone born before or since, anywhere in the world, had or will have it any better. If that sounds pessimistic, it was meant to.

1/23/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

George D's comment makes me think of Jung's work on the contrasexual archetypes, the animus(M) and the anima(F). Jung concluded in brief that a woman who finds masculinity primarily within her own role may become "animus-ridden" -- likely to have many of the vices of men (harsh, overlogical, detached) and few of the gorgeous virtues. The obverse is true of the "anima-ridden" male, one avoidant or hostile to a relationship to a woman other-than-mama -- weak, whining, resentful, whimsically opportunistic, factional, but seldom reliably supportive to anyone. A review of one's own experience will test the existence of examples of each, along with the compassionate conclusion that maturation is very hard for everyone.

At different stages, I've seen myself as the Existential Heroine striding down the big-city street in staccato boots; and a more conventional-role wife. There's probably room for both, but it's sometimes tricky finding sequential space and a willing&suitable partner for the second in the wake of too narrow an investment in the first.

Comparative happiness -- I'd hesitate to put the final word on that before all is said and done.

In the last 25 years of personal coaching, I've seen a big change in the psycho-demography of my women clients. Early on, we tended to work with meaningful metaphors, values, world-views, to quickly accomplish illuminating, quite deep, structural change-work. Now? Not so much. "How I feel," necessarily transient and not much of a foothold, is paramount in reported experience, with little interest in or tools to accomplish responsible autonomy.

I can't be sure where the cause of the difference in generations lies -- I may be out-of-touch in some basic fashion -- but it's so drastic I'm tapdancing toward other professional venues.

1/23/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger dicentra63 said...

Wacademia's ills could be remedied in short order if only two important (and utterly missing) virtues were adopted and practiced: humility and gratitude.

But they never will be.

There's such a thing as "wet-fish syndrome." Fish don't know they're wet because they've never been out of the water. Similarly, Lefties are unaware of their own biases and deviations because everything in their environment confirms their worldview.

Having been raised religious in the late 20th century, I was always aware of the contrasts between the secular and religious worldviews. My secular colleagues, however, have no idea what the world looks like from my perspective.

They're wet fish. I, however, aspire to be a duck: familiar with both realms, needing to operate in the water because that's where I am right now, but who also doesn't actually get wet when I dive.

1/23/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You misunderstand Sam Harris. He hates religion in general as you all know, and islamism i particular. Here is a quote:

"Let's take the extreme case, honor killing in the Muslim world. Imagine the psychology of a man who, upon hearing that his daughter was raped, is inspired not to console her, not to seek immediate medical and psychological treatment for her, but to kill her. This is an honor-based, shame-based psychology. You cannot name a Muslim country to my knowledge where it doesn't happen. It even happens in the suburbs of Paris. It falls right out of the theology of Islam."

This is hardly politically correct.

I think he gives a good description of the situation here in Europe. He doesn't says that anyone who criticize muslims are fascists. He says that the fascists sees the situation much more clearly because their vision are not blurred by politically correct dogma. They "speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe". The result of this is a rise of fascism, neo nazism and narrow minded nationalistic parties all across Europe. And the big losers are the muslims. It's the familiar pattern of political correctness hurting the people it is trying to help.

About men and women. All serious scientists agree that there are big differences between men and women. Different brain structure, different hormones and so on. It's not science vs "common sense". It's between two different kind of science. The first kind of science is looking at the evidence: men and women are different. The second kind already knows that men and women are the same. They don't need evidence.

1/23/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

Cinnamon Stilwell seems to be a perfect example of the liberal who's been hit over the head by reality.

juliec is right on target. Here's another whopper: "Liberals are more likely to like classical music and jazz, conservatives, country music."

Is this the sort of thing that passes for serious research nowadays?

[Aside: That's a nice example of zeugma, but I really think there should be a semicolon after "jazz". Two points off.]

That article looks mostly like a feeble attempt to say, "Look, we liberals are OK after all". (I've been using what I consider a more accurate term, "progressive", rather than liberal. As GB pointed out, the truly liberal Founding Fathers would not recognize the crowd that have usurped that word (along with a couple of others).

You can see photos of these "delightful creatures" at places like

Impeach Beach

Scroll down for more photos of these "helicopter-worshippers" (as one smart-alec put it).

I got as far as page 2 when I had the "Berkeley lady"'s experence - I lost it. This is drivel. On the other hand, it is drivel of the highest order, and we should give them something for that.

I'm sure that it is mere coincidence that the studies mentioned on p.2 were both done by Berkeley professors. (I hesitate to descend further into ad hominem arguments.)

Maybe the Psychology Today story has a happier, more balanced ending, but my hip-boots are insufficient to wade through that Stygian muck.

Walt's photo link is great. Stunning and beautiful photos. The setting reminds me of one of the classic poems to come out of WW II - High Flight, by Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee, No 412 squadron, RCAF. It affects my soul much the same way the photos do - only more so.

1/23/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Anonymous:

That's a fair point about Harris's, distaste for Islam, but I question the judgment of a man who conflates Islam with Christianity and who doesn't understand the leftist pathology of political correctness -- as if you could have the one without the other. If you say "stop being politically correct," you are effectively saying "stop being a leftist." Harris seem to be nothing more than a rationalist, something that humans will never be, because we are so much more than our reason. He is simplistic, to say the least.

And just recently I heard an academic on the Denni sPrager show who absolutely insisted there were no differences between men and women. And how about the Summers kerfuffle at Harvard?

1/23/2007 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

janis pegina:
"makes no nevermind to me"
was all s/he wrote.

1/23/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

It's a case of the fake pearls, anon. While strategically speaking, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend', intellectually/philosophically speaking, that is not a basis for correctness of any kind.

In regards to the GWOI we will need even allies such as him, but his fake pearls do nothing for the truth.

1/23/2007 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger militarybooks said...

Agreed with nearly everything you wrote. I am an attorney by trade, and do not belong to any organization except the bar (so I can keep my license). The magazines are a crock of multi-cultural (read socialism) claptrap. I too laugh aloud when I read just the shout lines.

A fine blog, sir.

1/23/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. E said...

juliec asked: "Pray tell me, where might I find such delightful creatures?"

Several months ago a conservative friend had the occasion to write:

"They live in a large metropolitican downtown area in a condo within walking distance of all their liberal friends. 40% do not own a vehicle. They subway to work. They don't own pets. If they do, it is a chihuahua. They are single. They have tried online dating. They've 'made many great friends', just not met the ONE. They detest Bush, they frequent indie films, they all have a gay friend. Their condos are IKEA writ small. They have fast metabolisms, and bad circulation. Many suffer from nervous disorders or anorexia. They eat Thai twice a week at a favorite corner restaurant just a stone's throw from the art gallery where a friend gets them in for 20% off."

1/23/2007 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous tillUrDizzy said...

mikez...

Thanks for reminding me of High Flight. I haven't read in probably 30 years. It gave be goose bumps.

I'm not much of a poem fan. Most of what is considered great poetry does not speak to me. I think they are mostly written by leftists, and that thinking just does not resonate with me.

There are good poems out there, but just like all art, if it's not leftist, it does not get the praise and adoration from the elite, and is eventually stricken from the official record of "great art".

Does anyone doubt Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" will win the awards it now nominated for, just as last year "Brokeback Mountain" won? It's no longer (if it ever was) about quality, crativity, truth, etc. Just be PC, and you win.

I have this great book called "A Treasury of the Familiar". Mine is from 1945. It has passages from the Bible, Shakespeare, the US Constitution, Mark Twain, RL Stephenson, Edgar Allen Poe, and hundreds of others. It's my most cherished book.

To answer the classic question, "What book would you want if stuck on a deserted island, this book would be my choice.

I haven't opened it in a while, but I did tonight after reading High Flight, and there was a scrap of paper with my notes from earlier years with page numbers of passages I liked.

This one seems appropriate from page 34, by Josiah Gilbert Holland

***************

God, Give Us Men!

God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office does not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; Men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting Justice weeps.

1/23/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Guy T. said...

> I have this great book called "A Treasury of the Familiar".

I'll second that recommendation. (My dad actually has three copies he keeps in different places so it's always handy.) Wonderful book.

1/23/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Another Bob said...

Bob,

I have taken advantage of the handy links
you provide to your recommended books at
Amazon. When I bought Meditations on the
Tarot, it was offered in a two-fer deal
with The Wisdom Way of Knowing.

Forgive me if someone's mentioned this
already, but it relates to your topic.

On page 7 of ~Wisdom, it says (fair use):
As Wisdom became more and more associated
with intellectual understanding, more and
more scholastic and cerebral, the
capacity to read the ancient road maps of
wholeness steadily declined. A fifteen
hundred year slide reached its nadir in
the much belittled but still benchmark
maxim of Descartes: "I think, therefore
I am." Being -- that "I _am_" presence
once so powerfully resonating from Christ
astride the waters -- has by this point become fully associated with the rational
mind. In the Wisdom tradition, the name
given to this state is _sleep_.

I paraphrase it thus: Believing
themselves to be wise, they became asleep
and babbled about their incoherent dreams.

I conjecture that sufficiently advanced
sleep is indistinguishable from stupidity.

-Another Bob

1/23/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Another Bob: I see it as part of the downward spiral:

Never gaining intellection or revelation (as they deny such things)

That makes the 'higher mind' which can in its unusual way grasp the edge of God & Truth-- asleep.

Then eventually, reason slides into slumber -- giving way to more and more empricism -- We must have studies for everything! -- and emotional thinking.

Then, finally empricism nods off with full cognitive dissonance.

What remains is not insanity, no, it is far more banal than that.

No-- men would be beasts, like as C.S. Lewis wrote of the animals who lost their speech, or in Tolkien the Treants that had forgotten their language.

For nothing but that raw feeling is left-- with no source from above to fuel it, it becomes nothing but an apatite.

'For their God is their stomachs' -- I think its in the Psalms somewhere.

1/23/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Anonymous tillUrDizzy said...

Fellow Raccoons...

I usually don't comment much, but I have been reading One Cosmos since Bob's first few months of starting this blog. I bought his book not long after that, and have read that also.

Bob does not need defending, and I'm not here to do that. Bob will defend himself when and if he feels the need to do so.

People like "reliapundit" discover this site every two or three weeks or so, read one post, and have the arrogance to think you know everything about us.

They don't, and probably will never understand the humor, satire, and real human insight that happens here.

I don't think Bob should delete any of them. Let them stand as proof to the shallow beings they are.

But don't respond! That's exactly what they want. Their only purpose in commenting is to elicit a response.
*****
Exhibit 1:
thanks for the compliment, doc' - and th admission: i intended to make you think, and did!
*****
See.. that's all they want. I employ my fellow Coons to ignore them. Let them post, and leave it up, but ignore them.

Without attention, they will go away.

DO NOT THINK you can change them. You can't. You only embolden them by responding, and especially by reacting to their taunts. The one thing they can't stand is being ignored.

Thew most common response to trolls I read here is "please go away".

Don't you understand this is exactly what they want? That is what makes them stay.

I come here because I want to read not only what Bob has to say, but more importantly to me, what all of you Coons have to say. But when the conversation devolves into attacking a troll, instead of advancing our own spirituality, I'm not interested. I quit reading.

1/23/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River,

It may be in the Psalms, but I saw
it last in Philippians 3:19
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

FWIW, Empricism is often used in the
engineering realm to prevent action, as
when a project is kept in the study phase
to prevent action that might bring about
change.

-Another Bob

1/23/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Juliec,
about the articles comments:"Liberals are messier ... have more clutter ...tend to have more travel documents, maps of other countries... Conservatives are neater, and their rooms are cleaner, ...Liberals have more books, and their books cover a greater variety of topics."

In my little 12x14 bsmt office, I've got just under 1,000 books ranging from the Great Books of the Western World to The Riddle Master of Hed fantasy series, Music scores & theory to Nautical Navigation, History to Carlos Castenada, Homer to Robert Frost, Hollywood set design to Architecture, Philosophy to Green Acres cast book, Stodards lectures of world travel (1898) to C# & XML Programing - with a fair number of them scattered open or bookmarked on my table, a 12 string acoustic guitar, couple swords, a globe, crayons (so my 7yr old can study w/me) - or as my wife says "CRAP EVERYWHERE!"

She trembles at the thought of more & messier!

1/23/2007 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

"Imagine the psychology of a man who, upon hearing that his daughter was raped, is inspired not to console her, not to seek immediate medical and psychological treatment for her, but to kill her. This is an honor-based, shame-based psychology."

There's no psychology behind the Muslim spin on this. It's economics hiding behind religion. It's primitive economics, but it's as sure as our own market parameters. When a few goats and camels is all you have and a woman is seen as a liability, economy becomes very apparent:

Daughter = Dowry
therefore, sell her.
Despoiled Daughter = Liability
therefore, kill her.

Never underestimate the Market. It is reliable because it tends toward an absoluteness. Not absolute in transcendent Truth, but in most always correctly guessing weak human nature. Muslim "honor killing" is the Market in religious drag.

In rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's, human life cannot be legal tender. (I'm guessing it was another reason to hate the Hebrew God, what with His people being told to acknowledge a woman's humanity and worth, set their servants free, forgive debts. Why, it must've rocked the local economy every 7 years.)

1/23/2007 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Arrgghh! said "Despoiled Daughter = Liability therefore, kill her. Never underestimate the Market. It is reliable because it tends toward an absoluteness."

That's one sharp eye you've got there Joan, sharp in deed.

1/23/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I'm compelled to say --

"ALL THE BEST!"

Joan - It's the difference between clay and mud.

1/23/2007 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous the drive-by poet said...

Who put me in this bed of worms? Who buried me in the dust, to become a neighbor of snakes and a banquet for worms?

Who pushed me off the high mountain, to become a companion of bloodthirsty and godless men?

My sin and Your justice, O Lord. My sin stretches from the creation of the world, and it is swifter than Your justice.

I count my sins throughout my entire life, throughout the life of my father and all the way back to the beginning of the world, and I say: Truly, the name of the Lord's justice is mercy.

I bear the wounds of my fathers on myself-wounds that I myself was preparing while I was still in my fathers—and now they have all appeared on my soul, like a spotted hide on a giraffe, like a cloak of vicious scorpions that sting me.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, open the floodgate of the heavenly river of Your grace, and cleanse me of leprous evil, so that without this leprosy I may dare to proclaim Your name before the other lepers without them ridiculing me.

At least raise me up by a head above the rotten stench of this bed of worms, to inhale the incense of heaven and return to life.

At least raise me up as high as a palm tree so I can laugh at the serpents chasing my heels.

O Lord, if there has been even one good deed in the course of my earthly journey, for the sake of that one deed deliver me from the companionship of bloodthirsty and godless men.

O Lord, my hope in despair.

O Lord, my strength in weakness.

O Lord, my light in darkness.

Place just one finger on my forehead and I shall be raised. Or, if I am too unclean for Your finger, let a single ray of light from Your kingdom shine upon me and raise me-raise me, from this bed of worms, O my beloved Lord.

-- St. Nikolai, Prayers by the Lake

1/23/2007 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Carbunkle said...

I find it interesting that you should use the title of "The Left Behind" series of books as the hook for this post.

Of course we can fully expect you to give us your comments in support of this series of books.Which are fully on the "right" side of the culture wars divide.

Perhaps you can try to explain and justify the dreadful "sanity" that produced these books.
And the dreaful "sanity" that these books cater for and help to amplify.
A dreadful "sanity" which is shared by tens of millions of Americans--at least according to a Time feature article of a couple of years ago. And of course attested to by the sheer popularity of the books themselves.
A dreadful "sanity" that is actively praying for and anticipating the coming of Armageddon.
A dreadful "sanity" which is enlivened and encouraged by the "signs" of the politics and happenings in the Middle East as indicators that "jesus" is coming and the "rapture" is going to occur any day now.
A dreadful "sanity" that is (perhaps)even actively affecting the content and purpose of USA politics in that region too.

You wont find many/any of the dreaded lefty humanist academics readings these books with gleeful anticipation -- or progressive Christians
If they read them, they will be doing so to try to understand the origins & consequences of this collective psychosis in the USA body politic.

1/23/2007 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Uncle Carby,
Aside from their perhaps not having much faith in mideast peace anytime soon, what is it you are worried they are going to do about it? Leave you behind?

When I compare them to... oh, say, the Algore global warming crowd whose faith is just as fervent, but who are actively trying to DO something to our actual lives and liberties based on their factualy fradulent fantasies... the left behinders don't leave me all that troubled.

1/23/2007 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

van, the only thing that concerns me is so-called 'Dominion' theology. As far as I can tell, there being trouble with it is mostly smoke and mirrors of the left (who want to accuse any evangelical of wanting a theocracy.)

If you look it up, if it were much of anything (which again, I don't know how many people who are Christians in power adhere to the idea) it would be very troubling.

But mostly it is smoke & mirrors. Its more or less a way of getting to call us KKK eschaton kooks without having to do so directly.

Which I'm guessing is one of the Left's fortes -- cowardice.

(It partly comes from the idea of establishing the New Jerusalem on earth w/ our own hands. You would actually have to be crazy to try.)

1/24/2007 03:55:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

tillurdizzy -
Your post says pretty much what I tried to say last Sunday, except you said it much better!

Oh, and is this a "good sign", or what?
While in a store yesterday, I happened to glance at a man with a very full head of very gray hair, and a long, braided ponytail. Right away, my brain assumed he was wearing a Coon-skin cap! (Not sure what this means....)

1/24/2007 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River Cocytus said "... It partly comes from the idea of establishing the New Jerusalem on earth w/ our own hands. You would actually have to be crazy to try."

Yeah, not seeing that being a real factor anywhere anytime soon.

The last time anyone tried to make a real go of that plan, it was those johnny come lately settlers, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock... seems like something good managed to come of that folly - reality unhindered, usually has a way of rubbing off the foolishness that may encrust the good intentions & leaving behind a polished gem.

Still... not a lot of opportunities for that new world stuff left. Maybe they'll have another go when Mars opens up for business?

1/24/2007 06:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Bob. I recently finished Heather MacDonald's book The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society. If you want some spectacular examples of mind parasites at work, read this book.

1/24/2007 06:45:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

interesting longish clear-minded post on Chicagoboyz that articulates the arrogance of this constant "test pilot" fiddling with social forms. A lot of the fiddling comes from some idea of right/fairness/justice, inchoate and full of booby-traps. The new The Elements of Justice by David Schmidtz is something I'm enjoying in that regard, looking at what we can and cannot do to further "justice," the purpose of which is to foster healthy and authentic relationship and willing cooperation in a social world. I think it's going to be an important book.

1/24/2007 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Dilys said "...the arrogance of this constant "test pilot" fiddling with social forms. A lot of the fiddling comes from some idea of right/fairness/justice, inchoate and full of booby-traps..."

Problem is they don't come up with, or at least don't validate their ideas based on reality, but on what they think reality should be.

Goes back to the Descartes rationalist approach that if a thought is pretty enough, then it should be true... and damn any grubby little empirical facts that might get in the way and try to prove otherwise - to heck with reality! We KNOW how it SHOULD be!

With that kind of approach, millions of deaths aren't an indicator that something's wrong with the plan in its essentials, just some minor details in implementation that still need to be worked out. "Just a little more time and few more million lives should be all it takes to work the bugs out. What?!!!"

1/24/2007 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous robert a said...

Van, Uncle C, OC:

When I compare them to... oh, say, the Algore global warming crowd whose faith is just as fervent, but who are actively trying to DO something to our actual lives and liberties based on their factualy fradulent fantasies... the left behinders don't leave me all that troubled

I guess this means you don't interpret our current administration's $9 billion per month ($300 million per day) war expenditure, not to mention some dead people, as actively DOING anything to our actual lives and liberties. There are huge numbers of humans, spiritually advanced or otherwise, who would challenge your self-imposed bliss. Enlighten me again as to why we went to Iraq, and why we are still there: Oil? End of a despot? Political gain? WMD's? Protection of human rights? Value of Human Life? Personal vendetta? Is it possible to know?

Try idealism. With all its pluses and minuses. The left has no co-opt on it. GBush has his aspirations and ideals, and he went for it, God bless him. It just didn't pan out in reality.
The changed lives from this war, which you "aren't all that worried about" don't seem to be rising above the chorus with spiritually beatific voices, trumpeting any victory of any kind. Not here in America, not over there in the Middle East.

What exactly is your criteria for "factualy fraudulent fantasy"?

Directing this value judgment only to the left's "Algorhythm" (that's al gore rhythm, get it?) undercuts any objectivity you might mean to convey, and mirrors rhetoric found on sites I wouldn't waste my time on. If you aren't trying to be objective, tell me that. Then I will understand what you are really saying.

1/24/2007 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Robert A.,

Are you seriously trying to say that we are in Iraq because Bush is trying to enact a vision of the Left Behind vision?

"Enlighten me again as to why we went to Iraq, and why we are still there: Oil? End of a despot? Political gain? WMD's? Protection of human rights? Value of Human Life? Personal vendetta? Is it possible to know?"

Is it possible to know? Yeah it is, if you pause to observe and to think. Not to waste space rehashing it here, but some hints are 911, shooting at our plans, violating treaties, the whole Tyrant thing and publicly encouraging & rewarding suicide bomber terrorists (personally that alone is enough for me, but that's just me). If you want more, I posted
my reasons here.

What is my criteria for 'factualy fraudulent fantasy'? Assertions with no verifiably supporting facts or causation to establish theories that are laughably poor and EXTREMELY selective in what facts they do and don't include to bolster them.

For the The Global Warmers, Dixie Lee Ray wrote one of the first exposes, Michael Creighton a recent one... but it really just takes a few days, or even hours, of examining what they claim TO BE & the selective 'facts' they use to support it (and those they ignore) to see that it's nothing but politico-(a)religous fervor all on its own.

"Directing this value judgment only to the left's..." not the case. I think the Left Behinder idea as a literal expectation is, to be charitable, mistaken. Any literal reading of poetry/scripture for a specific do's & don't's set of directions for herebelow behavior is highly limited & doomed. You've been here long enough to know that about me. How did you manage to work my comment into all this? Tough morning? Decaf ain't all it's cracked up to be.

1/24/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Van: The problem with prophecy is, is that it is revelation. Which means that there is no way to rationally or empirically prove it is true a priori.

This applies to the idea of revelation being literal, or what parts of it are literal, or how it even progresses temporally... the timeframes, and so on.

As a Christian, we're supposed to live our lives as though it could be any moment. Because honestly, you could be killed, and your 'world' would be over. For you, it may as well have been the eschaton.

At first you think it means you need to hurry up and be righteous, but that's just letting yourself be accused and hang under the fear of judgement.

Righteousness is a RIGHT NOW thing; which is good, because we're not guaranteed to-morrow.

So, it goes from a hurry up and be righteous thing, to a redeeming-the-time and living-in-the-now thing.

People strictly misinterpret the Maranatha! attitude. They take it as, "These people are trying to end the world!" which, it could be if you took scripture and tried to work it only empirically and rationally.

But to a believer such as myself, we do not believe that we can shape the way in which the spirit effects the material; the way the eternal comes into the temporal. Our job is simply to be receptive to Him and let him come through as he wills. Thus we say "Thy will be done."

When you live in the Now, you realise how beautiful life is; there is no way you could wish the end on upon everything with complete conviction. None of it belongs to you anyway, so who are you to decide?

That is why we say,
"Even so, Maranatha."

As for The New Jerusalem vs. The Kingdom of Heaven, they are different things. Christ refers to the Kingdom of Heaven as existing NOW. Whereas, the resurrection is always a future tense thing. The resurrection precedes TNJ.

We try to build the Kingdom of Heaven here but hope for the New Jerusalem. Thus the name 'Salem' in Massachusetts.

At least, this is how I see it very clearly coming through John's writings.

The Kingdom of Heaven is something we can build here; we are demanded to do so, in fact. But TNJ is something that is out of our hands.

And, a general P.S.- The Kingdom of Heaven is the place in which Christ rules the hearts of all its citizens. It does not a priori demand a certain type of governance, and as we have found, its realization requires a different sort of government than the Christians of many centuries were convinced that it did. The government that the founders came up with was surprisingly close to what it might take.

The old folks' problem-- they got themselves stuck in the Old Testament state model-- which by the way, was a miserable failure. It's an OBJECT lesson, sibs! (Or so says the little Jesuit on my shoulder...)

1/24/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River Cocytus said... "Van: The problem with prophecy is, is that it is revelation. Which means that there is no way to rationally or empirically prove it is true a priori."

Yes, it's something which you must consider and internalize into an internal compass to help guide your thoughts and actions in the pursuit of Truth - the only pursuit that has any hope of leading to Happiness.

Those who think that scripture or prophecy can somehow tell you the exact steps you must make every step of the way ("put left foot in position 1, move right foot to....") somehow miss the fact that that would exclude their own freely willed choices and moral sense from ever developing in their own life - which as I take it, is the goal of religion in the first place.

1/24/2007 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous robert a said...

Van, thanks.

"Are you seriously trying to say that we are in Iraq because Bush is trying to enact a vision of the Left Behind vision?"



No, I'm responding to a style of rhetoric that seems out of character for you, but seems in vogue from time to time in the comments depending upon the "criticism factor" of Bob's post. I'm encouraging a comparison of rhetoric used to cause people to jump to conclusions based on "facts".

Uncle C supported his assertion that the "left behind" crowd is a tangible force to be reckoned with. At least to my satisfaction. And I'll add, based on your comments, that the Left Behind crowd is not exactly benign. They re-elected a man with a bad plan, based purely on his choice of churches as nearly as I can figure. That's damage enough for one generation, even though it will heavily impact the next two. But that's politics & I agree to disagree with a Bush supporter, without rancor. Let's move on.

Personally I agree with what I think Uncle C is advocating, that this "Left Behind" faction is no less dangerous to a spiritually enlightened America than are Muslim extremists. Perhaps moreso, because they are already within our borders, they speak the language, and they look like everyone else. Imagine for a moment that we had our own civil war, with both sides (lefts and rights, haves & havenots, homos & heteros, men & women, genXYZZZ-ers & Boomers, Bobbleheads & Dailykussers, whoever) going at it, and one side began sanctioning the use of civilians as human shields, fighting from inside shrines and malls, kidnapping & ransom... the same tactics we decry in Iraq. Is it far fetched to assume that our own homegrown fanatics would harbor, if not become, these extreme "freedom fighters", providing funds and social camouflage in order to further their Divine Cause? Bob might say that the morally depraved islamic extremist is different from a radical fundamentalist christian from the ground up, from the source point on out. And I would agree. But I believe that any difference in ground up or inward out or even top down is erased when political fervor alchemizes into divine right. If history is to be taken seriously, blind faith in even a Christian God can turn a human into something less than...

I think Gore has supported his opinions & beliefs regarding global warming sufficiently to warrant lumping him into the same category as Bush & his reasons for going to war, rather than with the Left Outies. We each may have varying gut level responses and our own "objective" reasoning toward their conclusions, but the methodology is the same.

I could reverse the ideologies used in your last sentence and agree easier than with what you said...but I still think it would be an unjust assessment of either side.

And I suppose my actual point of all this is simply a reaction to lucid deconstruction rather than lucid construction. I never see the gain when a party or person is criticized in absentia. I always see the harm.

1/24/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous robert a said...

Van, thanks.

"Are you seriously trying to say that we are in Iraq because Bush is trying to enact a vision of the Left Behind vision?"



No, I'm responding to a style of rhetoric that seems out of character for you, but seems in vogue from time to time in the comments depending upon the "criticism factor" of Bob's post. I'm encouraging a comparison of rhetoric used to cause people to jump to conclusions based on "facts".

Uncle C supported his assertion that the "left behind" crowd is a tangible force to be reckoned with. At least to my satisfaction. And I'll add, based on your comments, that the Left Behind crowd is not exactly benign. They re-elected a man with a bad plan, based purely on his choice of churches as nearly as I can figure. That's damage enough for one generation, even though it will heavily impact the next two. But that's politics & I agree to disagree with a Bush supporter, without rancor. Let's move on.

Personally I agree with what I think Uncle C is advocating, that this "Left Behind" faction is no less dangerous to a spiritually enlightened America than are Muslim extremists. Perhaps moreso, because they are already within our borders, they speak the language, and they look like everyone else. Imagine for a moment that we had our own civil war, with both sides (lefts and rights, haves & havenots, homos & heteros, men & women, genXYZZZ-ers & Boomers, Bobbleheads & Dailykussers, whoever) going at it, and one side began sanctioning the use of civilians as human shields, fighting from inside shrines and malls, kidnapping & ransom... the same tactics we decry in Iraq. Is it far fetched to assume that our own homegrown fanatics would harbor, if not become, these extreme "freedom fighters", providing funds and social camouflage in order to further their Divine Cause? Bob might say that the morally depraved islamic extremist is different from a radical fundamentalist christian from the ground up, from the source point on out. And I would agree. But I believe that any difference in ground up or inward out or even top down is erased when political fervor alchemizes into divine right. If history is to be taken seriously, blind faith in even a Christian God can turn a human into something less than...

I think Gore has supported his opinions & beliefs regarding global warming sufficiently to warrant lumping him into the same category as Bush & his reasons for going to war, rather than with the Left Outies. We each may have varying gut level responses and our own "objective" reasoning toward their conclusions, but the methodology is the same.

I could reverse the ideologies used in your last sentence and agree easier than with what you said...but I still think it would be an unjust assessment of either side.

And I suppose my actual point of all this is simply a reaction to lucid deconstruction rather than lucid construction. I never see the gain when a party or person is criticized in absentia. I always see the harm.

1/24/2007 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

van: the keys to 'true' religion are: Faith, Hope, and Love (and as Paul would say, the greatest of these is love.) The purpose of prophecy is twofold; It is used to warn on one hand, but its main purpose is to create real Hope. The necessity for it being revelation simply is, that the Hope must be real.

To grasp real hope, since it is unseen, takes faith. This is the meaning of the phrase: "And now faith is the evidence of things unseen and the substance of things hoped for."

At the very least, it is important to know that this Faith->Hope action must in all cases be done with Love.

And that's the kicker.

1/24/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Robert A. said "Uncle C supported his assertion that the "left behind" crowd is a tangible force to be reckoned with. At least to my satisfaction."

Not to mine. Actually Uncle Carby came down on the Left Behinders solely on the basis of a play on words in the title - no argument was made for them, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find examples of Gagdad supporting any support for their literalist beliefs. So who's actually engaging in "rhetoric used to cause people to jump to conclusions based on "facts"", hmm?


"And I'll add, based on your comments, that the Left Behind crowd is not exactly benign. They re-elected a man with a bad plan, based purely on his choice of churches as nearly as I can figure. That's damage enough for one generation, even though it will heavily impact the next two. But that's politics & I agree to disagree with a Bush supporter, without rancor. Let's move on."

Not so quick, a couple little translations are in order first. "I agree to disagree with a Bush supporter, without rancor. Let's move on" translates as "Now that I've insulted you and those who supported Bush, lets pretend I didn't so I can make another point."

First, I'm not religous (reverent, but not religous, at not least in your Sam Harris-like characterization of it), not a Christian and belong to no church; but still voted for Bush - not for his policies, which (excepting the war) I mostly dislike (though less than the Leftists policies), but because I would, did, and will, take his quality of character over Gore or Kerry without hesitation.

"Imagine for a moment that ..."

No thanks. Hypotheticals nearly always mean 'lets pretend that something that never has and never will be possible IS, so I can pretend something that will never ever be able to make sense, DOES.'

And not surprisingly I find that your scenario is without value or merit. First such a conflict is ludicrous. Second (ok, I guess I bit) since the lefties proudly declare their lack of Values and rejection of the very idea of virtue altogether - I readily believe that they would be far more savage, disgusting and worthy of extermination for the acts they'd readily commit in all of their faux-reasoned superiority, than the Christians ever would be able to conceive of doing.

"Gore has supported his opinions & beliefs regarding global warming sufficiently to warrant lumping him into the same category as Bush & his reasons for going to war"

Sorry, but having looked into both, I find nothing to support such an equivocation - they don't equate. The objective reasons for war can be pulled up even in the MSM archives for all to see, Gore's are fantasy. Look through my blog for more details if you want them( since many of the posts extend the previous one, I'd start at the beginning).

"I never see the gain when a party or person is criticized in absentia. I always see the harm."

For one thing, this blog and it's archives hardly qualifies as criticism in absentia. These points have been made, substantiated and remade time and again. To act as if criticism of global warming enthusiasts in particular or leftists in general(and actually a fair amount of the literalist believers as well) is a shot in the dark, here in the context of this blog, is itself a shot in the dark.

But that's politics & I agree to disagree with a ? supporter, without rancor. Let's move on.

:-)

1/24/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous PJL said...

From the Pscyhology Today article

" Liberals are more likely to like classical music and jazz, conservatives, country music. Liberals are more likely to enjoy abstract art. Liberal women are more likely than conservative women to enjoy books, poetry, writing in a diary, acting, and playing musical instruments."

Oh dang looks like it must be time to clear out the CD collection. Better take Carmen out of the player and chuck it in the pile of gotta goes.

No wonder other conservative women point and laugh at me on the streets. They know I go to the local jazz concerts. No doubt I would be black listed if word of my love of opera ever got out. Umm I might avoid public stoning if I put that Mozart Cd in a Billy Ray Cyrus case.

I do have lots of books. But being a conservative I mostly use them as door stops or to balance an uneven table. I mean what else would someone do with a volume of poetry?

I do however have a pop up book of " my first handgun" Its pictures sure are purty and displayed in my well lit neat room it makes a great focal point for my shrine to David Duke.

1/24/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

tillurdizzy: Posting that poem ("God, Give Us Men!") made me think of C. S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man". Google for that - the first chapter is "Men without chests". The whole thing is online. He's talking about the dire straits of education in England - in the 1940s!, and the kind of person it's producing, and winds up that chapter with

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."

1/24/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous robert a said...

I'm not here to convince a 3rd term bush supporter that he's missing a point. It would take a better man than me to change your mind. It would take...you. Besides, I don't have any interest in getting you to think like me. I have an interest in understanding how and why you think like you do, and applying that understanding to my self. No matter how you perceive it, I am not trying to insult you. Even if I'm not as smart as you, I'm smarter than that.

I made observations and judgments regarding LB's. You applied them to yourself, because you both voted for bush. That was your leap, not mine.

I know that most Bobbists like to believe that this site and its opinions are "fair and balanced". I'm not under any such illusion. I am here because the opinions on this site are different from mine, and unlike most extreme gathering points, generally well-reasoned. Or so I believe. I am here to learn, not teach.

But I will stand on my original closing point re: criticizing in absentia. Just because the points "have been made, substantiated and remade time and again" doesn't magically make the opposing POV appear. (Unless you are counting trolls as representative of the "opposing point of view". That's as ludicrous an idea as someone equating your own faith with that of the "Chrisitan Left Behinders".)
The tone implicit here at OC is that any opposing thought or creed is not worth consideration (except from Bob's POV, objective as it always is ;) except as a jeering point. Closed minds Don't Think alike, if you know what I mean. And I don't believe you have a closed mind, but neither do I believe that you are representative of everyman here at OC.

The hook for me here is the overt and harsh criticism of those not like yourselves. I can't yet make the connection between spiritual wisdom and this prominent critical bent. But I am working on it. From time to time, I may have to ask questions. I hope I won't be made to feel unwelcome for that, even if I never do buy the requiste coon skin hat. I know where my bread is buttered.

1/24/2007 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mikez,
'Men without chests' was one of the first essays of C.S.Lewis that I read, and I was hooked and hungrily went looking for more. He's well worth finding, reading and thinking on.

1/24/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Robert A,
"...You applied them to yourself, because you both voted for bush. That was your leap, not mine."

Not because I voted for Bush, but because I was trying to figure out how and why my reply to an out of left field comment on 'left behind' people, which were in no way a subject of the post, somehow was taken by you into evaluations of Bush, Iraq, and all the rest. Anyway, seems like a misunderstanding without a point worth you or me pursuing.

To quickly touch on the rest, I think most of the Bobbleheads are here because we enjoy Bob's essays, and exploring those points and their ramifications in more depth in the commentaries - and for the sheer delight we feel with some of the insights and humor expressed in discussion with this community.

I don't think any of us come here to hear what an integralist gratuitously disagrees with our interests on or why. That's not necessarily a case of 'fair and balanced', that's interesting and not interesting.

"The hook for me here is the overt and harsh criticism of those not like yourselves. I can't yet make the connection between spiritual wisdom and this prominent critical bent."

Again, if someone comes in just to blast & preach their superior view... what's the confusion? It's not appreciated, and it's not of value - no healthy person is going to appreciate that or put up with it. I don't think you'll find a trait of the Racoon's here to be pretending to have high-holy serene detachment from mere worldly matters. We're people, and we call 'em as we see 'em. To my mind, there is more spiritual wisdom in that, than attempting to pretend otherwise.

As far as smart & smarter, that's a non-issue, and I think you know it. Speaking for myself, I think and believe as I do, because from the living, reading and thinking I've done, I think that a principled adherence to Individual Rights, Property Rights, and Objective Constitutional Law is the 'ideal' of society, best approached by the original Founders Constitution & Bill of Rights. That Science and Free Markets go hand and hand, and that all three (Liberty, Science & Free Enterprise) came into being together, and will dissappear together if any one of them is significantly breached.

And central to all three, is a recognition of reality existing, Truth being One, and that our philosophical quest to comprehend that, is the source of Western Civilization - its myths, literature & religions being essential to all we have. I think that contemplation of all these areas will inevitably lead you towards deeper insights and understanding of yourself and your relation to the spirit within and without... the Cosmos, God, what have you.

I don't think any regular here has any problems with honest relevant questions, as long as they are questions and not pronouncements disguised as questions - they are a significant part of fun here.

1/24/2007 09:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home