Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Get Ready for the Future: It is Martyr

Crime in most previous ages had been a localized phenomenon and had apparent and comprehensible causes in the human passions of greed, lust, envy, jealousy, and the like; never has there been anything more than a faint prefiguration of the crime that has become typical of our own century, crime for which the only name is one the avant-garde today is fond of using in another Nihilist context: ‘absurd.’

That was the future orthodox monk, Father Seraphim Rose, writing in the early 1960s. He saw what was coming -- the same Future foreseen by the poet Leonard Cohen:

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

How do we measure what happened yesterday? What have we done with our scale? I don't pretend to know exactly what motivated the mass murderer, but I think it is safe to say that he felt victimized by someone or something, and therefore entitled to lash out -- as indeed all victims feel entitled to do. I can only say that there will only be more absurd lashing out if we continue our inexorable slide into nihilism, the only alternative to theism.

This is not a "false dualism" unless one views the situation in a perfectly myopic temporo-centric manner, just because we're not "all the way there" yet; one has only to extrapolate from the trends of the past 40 years. In other words, leftist assumptions inevitably lead to nihilsim, and they know it. It's just a matter of time before we live in the time of the martyrs -- not the old martyrs who were true victims, but the misappropriation of that existential category for the purposes of instinctual expression -- i.e., sex, violence, or general envious acquisitiveness under cover of a "progressive agenda" -- for no one is more greedy and acquisitive than the leftist who believes he is intrinsically entitled to the fruits of another's labor. But his victimhood is a convenient way to conceal his soul-destroying envy from himself -- and even to convert what is a soul-illness to a political virtue.

I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder

It's very easy to discuss evil in the abstract, much more difficult when it is concrete and in your face. As usual, opinions will diverge along the fault and nobody's-fault lines of liberal and leftist, true liberals emphasizing the importance of character and values, leftists arguing that it is just a matter of taking away the guns. The latter is fanciful, while the former, as always, is the only way for mankind to collectively survive, either with or without guns.

It is true that guns don't kill people, but what if they proliferate in a society that has, in the course of a couple generations, elevated the category of victimhood to an exalted status (which simply gives bullies a free pass to be so), indoctrinated people from the earliest age that their feelings are particularly important, and denigrated any religious barrier that stands in the way of the expression of the most base impulse? You shall not judge is one of the Ten Commandments of Nihilism.

Then you have a problem. Again, I don't know much about what happened yesterday, but I'm guessing that the MSM will be quick to determine how the perpetrator was a victim, because they believe that where there is evil, there is a victim -- and therefore, no evil at all. It certainly sounds like this man regarded himself as a victim whose feelings of victimization were sufficiently important to justify homicide. But everyone is a victim if you only search hard enough. Therefore, our sociopathy should be understandable. We're only lashing out at the cosmic injustice of it all.

Make no mistake: if you teach people to think in this disgusting way, you will engender more sociopathy, because people will regard society as the immoral oppressor that has victimized them. Victimhood is the gateway to morally sanctioned violence, always. This is why it is so evil to teach the leftist psychology of victimhood. It is not just soul-corrupting to the individual who buys into it, but toxic to the society, which cannot function if the individuals who compose it regard themselves as victims of it.

The language of the left is always framed in terms of victimhood. Analyze their discourse and there is always a victim buried in it. Always. I mentioned a recent email correspondence with a liberal who greatly admired my book. I told him up front that if he were aware of my politics, he would despise me which he soon enough did. All I had to do was spell out my beliefs, and the conversation literally ended with fuck you, which is where any conversation with a true believing leftist must end -- either there or with bullets and chains. In the polarized leftist world, there are only victims and victimizers, falling straight along party lines. Thus, all of the leftist victimizers are entitled to their bullying because they are victims. I hardly have the power of Al Sharpton, whose only power is the power of victimhood conferred upon him by his supposed white victimizers.

Victimhood is one of the important paving stones on the pathway down to leftist nihilsim. Hitler was a victim. Arafat was a victim. The Columbine shooters were victims. Islamic terrorists are victims. Once you have embraced the language of victimology as legitimate -- instead of the language of absolute values and standards -- then you have no defense against the victims you have empowered. All they have to do is play the victim card, and you can have no response. Only in this way can monsters such as an Arafat receive the highest honor European leftists can confer, instead of being taken out back and shot through the head.

Once you replace the language of absolute values with the psychology of victimhood, then you will have created a society in which its citizens are not mature enough to possess weapons. The weapons will have to be confiscated by the sort of heavy-handed state our founders never envisioned, since they presumed a virtuous citizenry steeped in Judeo-Christian principles. I just have to laugh -- to keep from crying -- when someone says (and it doesn't have to be a moonbat -- increasingly, it is simply what "sophisticated people" believe) that ours is not and was not intended to be a "Christian nation." Of course it was. Our founders were not that stupid. These superior men were the opposite of leftists; they were true liberals, and it is a presumption of classical liberals that one can never use the word freedom without responsibility, or right without obligation, or entitlement without debt.

The reason why the odious civil rights charlatans have done so much untold damage to blacks is because they speak only the language of rights, entitlements, and victimhood. They are not liberals and therefore do not liberate. If for the past two generations they had inculcated their so-called "people" (whatever that means, but the MSM has designated the sociopathic Sharptons and Jacksons "leaders" of a people, so I'm just playing by their rules) with the the psychology of success, they would have rendered themselves obsolete by now. As it stands, their philosophy does not appeal to blacks, unless you are a racist who believes that blacks are incapable of arriving at truth. Rather, their philosophy appeals only to bitter losers, to the con-men who profit from creating more losers, and from guilt-ridden white leftist bigots who can feel good about themselves by giving the losers a pass on meeting standards they quite naturally impose on designated non-victims.

This is how you have a situation in which a Don Imus can have his career destroyed for simply imitating the language of blacks, language that white liberals otherwise celebrate as "art." You could say that most of that music is consumed by whites, which is true. Someone said -- I forget who at the moment -- that white adolescents are probably drawn to this music because they are not provided with virtuous male role models -- indeed, are not even taught from the earliest age that there is something called "manhood" which they must achieve at risk of being a failed human being -- because it speaks to their masculine sexual insecurities.

The grotesque sexual stereotyping of rap and hip-hop culture is the language of boys who are in thrall to what they denigrate. An overly aggressive or verbally abusive man is a feminized man -- which is not to say a "woman," but a man who has never left his mother behind and entered the world of moral manhood. In other words, male energy in the absence of the spiritual telos of manhood tends toward the monstrous. Whatever else yesterday's killer was, he wasn't a man. One wonders if he had one in his life -- not a biological father, which we all have -- for the time being -- but a man. Perhaps we shall see.

As Mark Steyn wrote,

"Apparently, when two hip-hoppers are up on stage doing their 'Who was that ho I saw you with last night?' / 'That was no ho, that was my bitch' shtick, they're just keepin' it real. When a white guy does it, he's just keepin' it real unlikely he'll find gainful employment again. Unless, of course, the networks are now proposing to apply the Imus standard to all performers, in which case the Grammy Awards will last 10 minutes (Best Liner Notes on a Polka Album and Best Tony Bennett Celebrity Duets CD of the Last Two Months).

"I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where a white guy can be fired for racist remarks without his employers having to prostrate themselves before clapped out professional grievance mongers and shakedown artists. But dream on. Two men who slandered the Duke lacrosse players not just as racists but as rapists (by the way, has the Rev. Jackson come through on his promise to pay for the 'victim' to go to college?) are the go-to guys when it comes to judging rhetorical excess in respect of varsity sports teams. Surely even a network president isn't such a craven squish he can go through a meeting like that with a straight face?"

I am often puzzled by this thing called "disagreement." How is it possible that all human beings don't agree with Mark Styen? What is debatable about what he said? To be unable to understand something so elementaty despite normal intelligence, there must be something wrong with the state of one's soul. It's not just that the person "does not understand." Rather, the problem is that the mind willfully "disunderstands" with all of the native intelligence at its disposal. Is this not the formula for the New York Times idiotorial page, which churns out so much intelligent stupidity, day after day?

Steyn continues:

"And saddest of all were the Rutgers basketball gals themselves. Almost a century and a half after the abolition of slavery, 40 years after the civil rights era, a group of young black women who've achieved great success went on TV and teared up because of a cheap crack by an over-the-hill shock jock. As a female correspondent to the Powerline Web site commented:

'Here are these tough women on top of the world and they are so fragile that a remark knocks them down. Hey, why wouldn't they have said 'F--- you? Who the heck is this fool Imus? We are queens of national basketball and there is no stopping us now. We can be and do anything we choose to be or do. . . . We don't need Al Sharpton to protect us. . . . ' But no, they look devastated and say they are damaged irreparably.'

"Only in America: a team of champions who think they're victims, an old white fool who talks like a gangsta rapper and multi-millionaires grown rich on race-baiting who promote themselves as guardians of civility. Good thing there are no real problems to worry about."

Exactly. In a way, these women are much more pathetic than "hos," whatever that word exactly connotes. I assume it must designate promiscuous or sexually conniving women, who do exist. But do we have a word of equal power to designate people who have been taught -- for you must be taught -- that no matter your level of achievement, you are still entitled to be a whining, aggrieved victim?

It reminded me of the baseball game of the week last Sunday evening. It was "Jackie Robinson Day," the 60-year anniversary of Robinson's breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. Once again, what was a noble triumph by an incredibly courageous man has been hijacked by guilty white liberals as an exercise in polarizing self-flagellation. Robinson's accomplishment has now been lost, as he has become a model for contemporary self-inflicted victimhood.

One of the reasons Branch Rickey specifically chose Robinson for his important mission was because of his strength of character. Rickey was looking for the very opposite of a victim, 180 degrees removed from the wimpy Rutgers girls, who, one is afraid to say, must have no earthly idea of what Robinson had to endure, and how much strength of character it took to maintain his composure in the teeth of a world of real racists, not moronic deejays who jokingly imitate the language of black rappers.

If that were all Robinson had to face, then a man of Robinson's caliber would have been unnecessary and we certainly wouldn't need to celebrate him. Any average person could have done it. That's the irony. If you really understand Robinson's accomplishment, you have to realize how far we've come in 60 years. To fail to appreciate it, you have to remain in a state of total historical ignorance and imagine that Robinson was analogous to the sociopathic Sharpton exerting his power to end the career of a moronic deejay. For one thing, Robinson didn't have that kind of power. Furthermore, if Robinson had spoken and comported himself in the manner of a lowlife such as Sharpton, the "experiment" would have failed, as it would have simply confirmed the prejudices of the bigots.

The constant commentary by the race-obsessed Joe Morgan was particularly grotesque. At one point he was going on about how there aren't enough black managers. If it is possible for there to be not enough black managers, then it follows that it is possible for there to be too many. I believe that approximately 12.8% of the American population is black. Since there are 30 major league baseball teams, that means that we should have... hold on, let me get my calculator... 3.84 black managers. Is my math correct? Anyway, there are presently two black managers, so we're off by more than one black! But there have been times that there have been too many black managers -- again, not in my opinion, as I don't really care, but if we apply the Morgan rules. Why didn't he complain about that? I don't know. I guess because he's a jackass. But he sure could play baseball. As could his teammate Pete Rose, who is guilty of far less. Between them, they're a regular martyrer's row.

I am out of time, so I have no way to elegantly wrap up this dispassionate rant. Cue Leonard:

Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder

*****

The proper attitude toward the monsters in our midst.

57 Comments:

Anonymous georged said...

My mother said she got the hang of babies by the time I came along. She was comfortable with her skills as a mother and I was a healthy calm baby who was easily satisfied. Then something happened. By the time I was five or six I had a terrible temper.

I don't really remember the temper part so well but I do remember feeling that I always needed justice and that all unfairness had to be resolved.

As a mature +50 adult I think I have the anger management thing under control viz a viz my family and my colleagues and members of my church but their are still some nagging issues of justice that I confrint every day. For example I hate being cutoff on the freeway. I hate Hilary Clinton. etc. etc. To me bad drivers and bad politicians wreak horrible injustice on me.

I suppose that I am justified in hating to be cutoff on the freeway and disliking Hilary Clinton rather intensely but at the foundation of our childish searches for justice is murderousness.

It seems like the Virginia Tech shooter was enraged about a betrayal as he saw it and decided to get even.

One of the great lessons of Christianity is that God owns justice and he commands us to mercy.

I am still a participant in the political process. The "collective" of righteous people still need to be concerned about justice but there is no doubt in my mind that I have no single "me-only" solution to achieve personal justice. It would only lead to the chaos we saw yesterday.

4/17/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I actually saw parts of the press conference when the Rutgers girls were talking about there "ordeal"... I could not believe grown women could be so pathetic as to care about what some idiot radio guy had to say as to almost being to the point of tears. It just doesn't compute.

How would they respond if faced with a real tragedy as opposed to this? Totally pathetic.

How can such hollow men as Jackson & Sharpton have any kind of influence in our society in one sense is beyond me.

Bob, do you have hope for the future or do you think that my future kids and future leader will have to grown up in a increasingly degenerate world?

4/17/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nick:

I'm doing my personal best to arrest the slide. That's all one can do. The rest is in God's hands. In the enc, we'll get what we deserve.

4/17/2007 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous MaineMan said...

Nick,

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand . . . ."

--W.B. Yeats

That poem, in its entirety, was read by the president of the college at my graduation in 1970, two or three years after the world changed for good.

4/17/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many wonderful and useful words in your post - as usual. The 10 commandments of nihilism was particularly intriguing to me. Have you or would you post on all 10? PS - I enjoy the comments section as well.

4/17/2007 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I can only say that there will be more absurd lashing out if we continue our inexorable slide into nihilism, the only alternative to theism<<

I think there is also one unprecedented factor to consider re: the slide into nihilism and chaos - there is, I'm convinced, a "quickening" at play in the world today. And, as the old saying goes, the closer one gets to the sacred, the closer one gets to the profane.

This is to say that if one is immersed in bitterness and hatred, then it is now relatively easy to connect with the ultimate source of the anti-life impulse, at which point individuality is surrendered completely and the anti-life force takes over (commonly known as "possession"). As for our bewilderment at seeing common sense and simple rationality being overridden by obvious insanity - never underestimate the metaphysical power of the anti-force to hypnotize and deceive.

The same, I think, holds true for those who cultivate spiritual ideals - the window is open for the Spirit to enter. This is the time when the "Spirit pours out on all flesh", and thus we really have a great polarization in the works. No fence-straddling, no middle ground, no "gray area" - it's one way or the other.

4/17/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

Last evening Larry King was interviewing the guy who filmed all that stuff with his cell phone. He gave a dispassionate description of where he was adn what he saw.

Then Larry asked him, "So what did you FEEL when all this stuff was going on?"

The guy replied "I can't tell you what I was feeling. I can only tell you what I did" and proceed with his account.

My hero.

4/17/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous nuggy said...

The huge abcess of white guilt will only be drained when blacks are upraised to rule and lead the nation. When the president, most of the cabinet, and many leading state officals are black, then that will be enough. Not before.

After one century of black rule, the crime will be paid for and equality can be given free rein.

To prevent anarchy, I suggest that law-abiding citizens arm themselves. Fear of instant reprisal is the only force that will keep the killer at bay.

4/17/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Nuggy:

It won't work. White and black liberals can't even tolerate one black secretary of state, let alone a whole government.

4/17/2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Already armed, and I can tell you, just having a weapon doesn't protect you from everything.

Was speaking to a friend from High School who has become quite a leftist, and she says this is proof that we need to get rid of ALL guns.

I said, and then what? knifings? She said, oh, not as many people would have died... We're not ready for this technology... it needs to be taken away... (By whom? By more people who also aren't ready for it? Don't you get it, WE'RE THE GROWN UPS NOW. EITHER WE ARE READY FOR THE TECHNOLOGY OR WE'RE FINISHED.)

I mean - whomever takes it away will also be regular people not ready for it. You can't get around it.

Someone should have been armed and shot him.

Alas, my blood boils at his incredible audacity - to think he is permitted to just murder people? Who does he think he is? He should have been crippled in the hand by a shooter and then hung for his crimes.

Bastard.

4/17/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Nuggy:
Give yourself a nuggy for your truly racist solution. Don't care a crap about anyone's pigment, their character matters.

You just lumped Thomas Sowell & Shelby Steele in with Jackson & Sharpton. Shame on you.

4/17/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Victimology is soul-thievery of the first order; as much a Dark Art as the Temptor himself could conjure up.

4/17/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Another angle on victimology is self-pity, the most corrosive emotional force-field out there. Closely followed by rage at being "wronged." I'm waiting to discover whether this was a spurned boyfriend connected in these ways "with the ultimate source of the anti-life impulse."

A horrible thing. Offering a fruitful structural study of how expectations intersect with Reality, requiring humility and inner flexibility lest we fall into the abyss.

This mind-virus mine field, sketched out in these terms, exempts no one. Watch and pray. "God owns justice and he commands us to mercy." Couldn't be clearer.

NB, not to be confused with supine pacifism in the face of literally murderous attack.

4/17/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous MaineMan said...

Nuggy,

I think you miss the point of Bob's post. This is truly a bucket with a hole in it. The black community has been robbed of self-worth by liberal hand-outs, so now there is an orgy of narcissism -- efforts by the failing underclasses and its guilt-ridden yet self-aggrandizing 'helpers' to get fed by momma.

It will never be enough, because it's an infantile urge and an attempt to fill up the emptiness of perceived inadequacy. Not real inadequacy, of course, because they all have it in them to feel as whole as the rest of us. But as long as the solution is "out there" (because the problem is "out there," the oppressors), the hunger will be insatiable.

4/17/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Dennis Prager is so right on. Thanks for including his link at the end of today's post. For a university president to call for a 'healing convocation' one day after this murder is beyond absurd, a dangerous passivity.

There should be a campus filled with people venting their rage - at the murderer - instead.

It is mere common sense that without anger and outrage to galvanize conscience, and despair to give voice to our need for God, acceptance, healing, and hope can never follow. But then I'm not a university president so I could be missing something. Maybe the 'convocation of healing' will be a resounding success and life will return fully to normal on Wednesday.

Or not. Instead there will be a lot of permanently confused students on campus with nowhere to turn, the ones not fortunate enough to have parents or loved ones help them through the raw reality of what happened.

These are darkening days, but I concur with Will - there is a quickening underway. There is light available for those who don't euphemize it out of existence. My responsibility is simple, to keep it in sight at all times, share it with those who are hungry, and strengthen the things that remain.

4/17/2007 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Another great piece, Gagdad. It's helped me think about the VT horrors in a more constructive way.

Per Dennis Praeger and Cosanostradamus' words about righteous anger at such times, I've always thought Psalm 109 was intended for this.

4/17/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous geckofeeder said...

The shooter left a note: The note in his dorm room included a rambling list of grievances and ended with the words “Ismail Ax” in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.
What was the persons name doing the filming? I can't find it now but it was somewhat of a red flag.

4/17/2007 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I think feminism has much to do with all of this. It is all but impossible to talk about this without offending almost everyone. But, the more one looks at where we are and from whence we came, the more it is clear that we are paying a potentially lethal price for the "liberation" of women.

No, I am not suggesting we turn back the clock on women's rights! However, we do need to fully acknowedge the costs of allowing the wholesale transformation of our society into a grotesque parody of the ancient and noble true feminine virtues.

I think most men know what I mean. And I hope most women understand that I am not a misogynist or anything like it. Je suis un homme qui amais les femmes!

The brute fact is that much of what is worst in modern culture: random male violence, slaughter of the unborn, passive capitulation to evil, widespread pornography and prostitution--the whole victimization rubric--can be largely traced back to the pernicious effects which obtained from the undermining of traditional male and female roles. Roles which had "worked" for hundreds of societies for tens of thousands of years. Today those societies which have defaced and muddied those roles are--with the exception of the US (so far)--rapidly heading toward cultural annihilation.

It's not just "leftism" that is destroying us. It is specifically the leftist version of feminism which is at the heart of our problems.

4/17/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

That's because feminism went from being a battle for equal rights - a noble, worthy and important cultural milestone - to a battle to level the playing field. It goes back again to the culture of victimization. To paraphrase them, women are "victimized" by men in so many different ways, the only way to fix it is to make everyone equally weak.

In doing so, they succeeded in turning almost everyone into sheep, leaving no sheepdogs to protect the cute fluffy innocents from the rabid wolves among us. (And after all, it's not the wolf's fault it's rabid, so we should pity it - it's a victim, too!).

4/17/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

I take that back - there were a few sheepdogs, after all:

4/17/2007 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Julie- if you do an href make sure you include 'http://' - if you don't it will assume the link is part of its 'base href' which in this case is 'https://www2.blogger.com/'

Hopefully this is a better link?

4/17/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,
Your comment to nuggy,
Nailed it! The thought of that is revolting.

4/17/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Doh! Thanks, River - usually I set the links up in wordpress, then copy and paste them here; this time I tried just entering it all by hand. Ah well, at least I was close. Thanks for putting the right one in there!

4/17/2007 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"It's not just that the person "does not understand." Rather, the problem is that the mind willfully "disunderstands" with all of the native intelligence at its disposal. Is this not the formula for the New York Times idiotorial page, which churns out so much intelligent stupidity, day after day? "

"...Thou shalt hold no other god before me..."

Isn't that what's being done? Allowing a wishedforwannabe truth to be inserted between you - yourself, your actions and thoughts - and reality?

Their personal whimtruths are allowed to override the Truth right in front of their face, and the person is choosing to do so, almost rightiously so, explicitly, blatantly knowing that they are doing so. They feel that they are standing up to the man or the System in making that choice - watch the faces of the protesters when they're calling out their invective. They know it doesn't match with what they Know, and they choose it anyway - because they've become convinced that they should.

Convinced that the little truth has been held down by the Big Truth for TOO LONG! and they're going to change things.

"The language of the left is always framed in terms of victimhood. Analyze their discourse and there is always a victim buried in it. Always."

A victim and a Victimizer to be overthrown.

Milton would have recognized it - very clearly.

4/17/2007 02:53:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Suggest not taking Nuggy seriously. Like the menacing loiterers at the mall, he's probably "just messin witcha."

4/17/2007 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I was not surprised to read that his suicide note read "It is all your fault". This illusion, that one is not responsible for one's own actions, seems to be widespread even in adults. For something that cannot possibly be true*, it certainly remains popular.

*Repeated tests show that even identical twins cannot lift each other's hand by just deciding to, while they have no problem lifting their own by the same.

4/17/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

“You caused me to do this.”
“He was troubled”.
“His writings were disturbing…macabre and twisted”.
“He was lonely…always wore sunglasses”.
“He quietly seethed with rage”.

CLEARLY, what we need is MUCH MORE GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT in identifying and appropriately dealing with those less fortunate, the unstable, the downtrodden, the victims of cold capitalism, those given to religious myths, those plagued with poor self-esteem, the homeless, those who callously say whatever they want regardless of who it offends, the closed minded, ETC. The very Constitution may need to be rewritten to meet the demands of today’s world. The framers could have never foreseen the proliferation of victims and the protections that would be required to MAKE EVERYTHING FAIR. Help us, Big Brother!

Seriously, though. Given the depths to which our society has sunk and the foolishness that passes for sound thought and judgment, the only surprise is that it doesn’t happen every day (yet).

4/17/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

Bob,

I concur that 'victimization' is a self-and-society destructive menace. It does seem, however, that there is room to acknowledge when another's remarks have genuinely hurt other people. My experience of your perspective toward African-Americans is that you are so disgusted by Al Sharpton and others you perceive as playing the victim card, that your energies of disgust block any empathy that you might otherwise feel. My first inclination toward the Imus' comments was similar to yours in that I argued it would be ridiculous for him to lose his job and that he was trying to make a funny by simply piggy backing on language that blacks very often direct at each other. Certainly, I have heard the same derogatory language often in the time I spend weekly hanging and playing ball with young men in a public-housing project in my hometown. I know from speaking with the women in the same "hood" that such language upsets many of them, even if they don't seem to protest. That said, given the history of this country, there are very different connotations to a white male slinging such expressions around than there are to hearing it from one's "own kind". From speaking to a coupld of African-America female friends who were hurt by the comments, it seems that what upsets them is the perception that white men may treat black women any 'ol way thay want to, and nobody cares. After talking with my closest African-American female friend one afternoon I spent some prayer time on it the next morning and in the process of writing her a note experienced a sensation that I refer to as "divine love" in which I AM put in touch with a combination of God's and another person's feelings. It was a deep hurt, and though I have nothing to apologize for personally for Imus' remarks, I AM very sorry that so many African American women, my friend included, had the experience of being hurt by his comments, a hurt that our living God shared in. In looking at the situation I also wonder how my response might differ if had an adopted, teenage daughter of African-American descent struggling with the social pressures so many of them contend with concerning their hair. When I observe your insensitivity toward others I often wonder whether or not you have any heart-level connections with people having an experience of the people you malign. Do you for instance have any African-American female friends? Do you think there would be any value to calling them and asking how such comments made them feel? My path has been one of being led into heart relationships with people having very different experiences of life than my own. I don't always change my opinions about things from interaction with them, but in the process I begin to discover ways to reach them with my perspective, affording some opportunity for any truths therein to sink in. Realizing truth seems in many respects to be the easier half of the battle. The harder fight is to be able to convey what we learn in ways that those God wishes to change will be recpetive to the truths we are inspired to share. No matter what pleasures I may experience from calling other people idiots, I have yet to find it an efficacious approach for drawing others higher up the vertical axis, which seems to be more of what the job is about that shouting people down. My deuce cents, make of them what you will.

4/17/2007 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Bob,
Many profound insights in today's post. I will be looking and listening to see and hear your prophesies come true.

4/17/2007 05:30:00 PM  
Anonymous bubba k said...

I have not yet encountered the note the murderer left, but have read two very short plays he purportedly wrote for a playwriting class. First, I note the striking incompetence (in terms of language usage and imagination) of one who was a senior class member. Perhaps it points to the fact that institutions of higher learning these days accept unqualified students for reasons of pure profit.

If the plays are in any way autobiographical, and I suspect they may be on any number of levels; they show a decided victimology. The youthful characters in his plays feel victimized and feel justified in behaving cruelly and having violent thoughts. I will not be surprised to learn that this young man had no real male role model.

4/17/2007 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

BP,

Did you ever ask yourself why they were hurt, since in adulthood, it is we who give others the permission to hurt us. Were you worried about how compassionate and caring you came off in the situation? Is your identity tied up with that appearence?

Teach a man to fish (transcend) and those "problems" are solved. It would seem the living God would want people to disregard comments which don't apply and move on, in strength.
I believe people haven't a clue as to how pervasive the victim mentality is. God is not looking to perpetuate victims.
Just my three cents.

4/17/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

I had read the Mark Steyn article previously, and thought it was insightful, so naturally I was glad to see it shared here today. And I agree, when Bob asked, "What is debatable about what he said?"

But there's this "additional something" that keeps showing up in these public debates. Bob described it as "...something wrong with the state of one's soul. It's not just that the person 'does not understand.' Rather, the problem is that the mind willfully 'disunderstands'...."

It's the part about "willfull" that I find the most disturbing, because it indicates "CHOOSING the wrong," on purpose.

I've owned plenty of stupid, willful choices in my time; no question. Years ago, while discussing this subject with a spiritual friend, he described it as "cooking death."

4/17/2007 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Sherman said...

Mr. gagdad bob,

A couple of weeks ago I became acquainted with your blog. Now I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Thank you for your daily words of wisdom and spiritual insight.

Your thoughts on the Virginia Tech murders were a patch of clear blue in an otherwise dark and dreary sky. I refer not to my state of mind, but to our society’s tragic “slide” into nihilism, as you call it.

By way of introduction, I am an old coot (not coon). However, I have decided to read your book sooner rather than later, which at my age is a hell of a compliment. (Frankly, up till now, I’ve had more in common with squirrels than coons, but that's neither here nor there.)

At any rate, being an old non-coon is probably the reason why I wasn’t injured in any manner, temporary or permanent, psychic or otherwise, by the mass murders at Virginia Tech. Therefore, I’m not in need of any healing, either by means of a mass convocation or a personal session of grief-therapy.

Is that wrong or insensitive or me?

Any how, I’ve lived through murders like this before and expect to survive more of the same before I crack my last nut. For heaven’s sake, the MSM is behaving as if senseless, horrifying murder is a singular event in our society. On the contrary, every day in this once great nation kids are killing kids, either actually on the streets of our cities or virtually in our home theaters and computers. Few presidents make plans to hold convocations to begin the healing process from these terrible tragedies.

I’ve heard a group of parents of some of the murdered Virginia Tech students have called for the university president to be fired. It seems he (or his campus police chief) wasn’t Godlike-enough (i.e., omnificent-enough, omniscient-enough, omnipresent-enough and omnipotent-enough) to erase misfortune and evil from these parents’ pristine experience (not to mention the worlds of their slaughtered children).

Oh well, a few firings and a few lawsuits and a plethora of public apologies seem to make all wounds – psychic or otherwise – heal nicely nowadays in modern America.

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound cynical, crotchety or unfeeling in my introductory post. My sympathies really do go out to the friends and relatives of the murdered students and faculty -- just not to the entire Virginia Tech student and faculty population.

(For the record, the only healing I’m counting on is His mercy. Hopefully, our one, true God will see to it that we Americans get it rather than “what we deserve.”)

Hello and farewell,

Sherman (Mr. Peabody’s pet boy)

4/17/2007 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Don't forget to check out the Coony Tunes in the sidebar. I'll be adding and deleting songs every day. You might just hear something that will change your life, like Dearest Darling, by sensei Bo Diddley, master of time and space.

4/17/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Big Possum, (I suppose Vittles was probably too long ago & posts too few & far between, to carry that forward)...

You are not one I wish to in anyway mock or put down, I'm taking your comment seriously, as well as my response to it.

First I've got to discard the group aspect - race, class, gender, whatever. You might feel that's discarding the whole point - which is probably a point of difference between us, I think it is, and must ultimately be seen as, completely irrelevant.

Seems to me you are portraying a prime example of the unearned guilt that victimology thrives on. Anybody would be to some degree miffed, angered, indignant at hearing someone publicly describing them in the way that Imus did. How long do they hold onto it?

Once the comment is made, do they proceed maturely or immaturely? And which should you encourage?

Do they discard such comments as meaningless muck, or indulge in the unpleasantness? Do they seek to behave as an adult, or go with the easy, and easily justifiable, hurt child role? Are they willing to allow the visible willingness of another to indulge them, as permission to wallow in the feelings of insult further?

And how responsible is it to foster or encourage an immature response, no matter how much justification there may be for it?

Would I be more likely to take offense on hearing an insult from someone I'd believed had hurt or insulted me before, over say a foolish acquaintance? Perhaps. Would I let any of my kids get away with wallowing in such easy sense of offendedness? Not at all. I'd be more severe with my oldest, less so with the youngest – and quite harsh with an adult. To allow someone to continue, or worse grow up, believing that such self indulgent behavior is acceptable, healthy or justifiable, is I think irresponsible and misguided at best.

Is that unfeeling? No, not at all - it is simply not mistaking sympathy for help or healing. Thinking further down their lives on your response to the situation - what do you think giving such comfort will lead to? Rebounding from the insult, or feeling it ever and ever more deeply?

No one is served well by providing fertile grounds for such feelings of offense to take root. Not the offended party, not the one trying to provide them with richer soil for it to develop in. What kind of crop will such a harvest reap if nurtured and brought in? I think we can look around us and see it. It's not a nourishing fruit. It's a weed and it's killing the garden that everyone depends on for their and their families lives.

This isn't any justification for Imus or any other slimer who speaks or thinks in such a way - either in person, on the radio or in their albums. They should all be rebuked and discarded. But far more damage is done by letting their poison remain, not to mention actively cultivating its affects.

4/17/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous JHoward said...

One of your best thoughts ever, Bob. I do like your work better when it's cutting and serious. Nice stuff and an honor to have you gift it to the world

4/17/2007 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,
Thanks for another great post. I'm ordering your book today.

As for Bo Diddley, I've brought him to my theatre twice in three years. He's still one ofthe hardest working men in the music business and always puts on a great show.

Doug in Alberta

4/17/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Bob, excellent, excellent post. What a great insight into the awful events of yesterday. Some thoughts of my own:

I go back to my previous posting about the orgy of wallowing in grief and "exploring the causes of violence" that followed 9/11, and that one courageous Newsweek writer who called for a renewal of "purple rage" only a day after that event. That article was the only one I could find that broke through the miasma of liberal hand-wringing and pacifist platitudes to express what I was really feeling at that moment, and furthermore, had a perfect right, even an obligation, to feel. This one article was the only one I found that week that gave me permission to be angry and want to kill bin Laden. Unbelievable. As Dennis Prager have pointed out, all this "grief counseling" that is always trumped out when events like this occur, especially at schools, is modern liberal psychology's attempt to play God and play mom and dad, something that they seem determined to prevent the real God and the real mom and dad from doing. It's also an attempt to foster the pacifist notion that its not OK to be angry, because, God forbid, that might make us focus on evil and want to fight it. Well, I say that, if Righteous Anger is good enough for my God, it's good enough for me. I won't let any "grief counselor" tell me how to feel or how to process. That's between me and Him, period.

A scary thought: I just wonder if, in some isolated safe house in Pakistan, bin Landen and al Zawahiri are watching all this take place on the international news. Most likely they are. Watching....and taking notes. Taking notes on our weaknesses...sniffing us out, like a stalking wolf...planning to, like Admiral Nimitz in WWII, "hit em where they aint". And right now, "where we aint" is not so much the lax security on our college campuses (though he may be noting that with some interest). I'm speaking of the bigger picture here; our national will to defend ourselves, our ability to see evil as it is, our ability to defend our borders, along with our logistical failures, not only at schools, but in most public places. It all comes down to whether we have the testicles to acknowledge that we are in a war for our survival, and stand up and defend this country, from without and within, or whether we don't. If not, perhaps God needs to allow us to elect Hillary Clinton, and endure 8 years of whatever disasters that brings, to shock us back to reality and re-focus us on what really matters. Problem is, what will be left of us to defend after those 8 awful years? I would much rather hold out prayerful hope that there are enough of us who have not drunk the koolaid to prevent this national surrender that hangs menacing on the horizon.

On a lighter note: no one has blamed the enormous northeaster that hit us here in the East on global warming yet.

4/17/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

BP - I would say offhand that you've been over-psychologized.

In that condition, your judgment calls make sense (but I do not believe they are right.)

It is a nasty condition of our culture these days.

PS - you don't need to be psychologized to receive or benefit from therapy when it is truly needed.

4/17/2007 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Tsebring - It isn't just them. There is a whole world of evil watching everything we do. Studying every weakness - preparing. Alliances are being formed against us that seem unimaginable, because the same evil wears a million different faces. Anyone who doesn't think they are coming for us sooner or later, is deluded. We have to build up the fire to keep the wolves away. Right now, the flame is looking pretty dim and the glowing eyes in the dark are closing in.

But, on a lighter note - you fill in the blank.

4/17/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

But the real story is in the surrounding text - look it up yourself.

4/17/2007 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Webutante said...

Wonderful, post, Bob.

Our slide towards nihilism and victimhood is being exacerbated by the global media, as civilization slides into a huge regression.

And it will continue to be characterized by unrealistic calls for laws to protect society from all risks. At the same time relativism will more and more reign as this world darkens.

When all is said and done, there is only One hope for all this.

4/17/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When all is said and done, there is only One hope for all this."

Obama?

4/18/2007 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"They are not liberals and therefore do not liberate."

True. That's why leftists have to rely on the envy of the "victims" they victimize and enslave.

It ain't the "man" keeping the black man down, it's the milquetoast metrosexuals of pacifism and the cruel feminazi femme fatales of perpetual victimization.

4/18/2007 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Unless, of course, the networks are now proposing to apply the Imus standard to all performers, in which case the Grammy Awards will last 10 minutes (Best Liner Notes on a Polka Album and Best Tony Bennett Celebrity Duets CD of the Last Two Months)."

Although I have decried the hidden dangers of polka music (see polkabotomy), it pales in comparison with the feminized male version of rap and hip hop (rapabotomy and hip hopabotomy wrapped in envy and bitterness; see- psychopath/sociopath).

A shame subculture that is rivalled only by radical jihadists.

4/18/2007 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Until I was 15 years old, I had the exact same attitude as the crazed murderer and the emotionaly wounded black girls. (Because their basic attitude is exactly the same, only their choice of weapon differs.) I thought that it was important how others made me feel. My older brother got much amusement out of this, by pushing my butons and watch me get hysterical.

Then one day in my grandfather's rocking chair I read a small tract by the Christian mystic (and former naval officer)Elias Aslaksen, where he very simply described how we always have the choice of how to act. What others did to us might inform us about them, but it does not decide what to do next. Only we can decide that. It should have been obvious, and the momet I read it, it was.

When my brother returned to push my buttons as usual, he was surprised to find that they no longer worked. Because *I had been the one pushing my buttons all along*. He recovered from that shock well enough and went on to become a psychologist. But my life changed beyond recognition. From being the archetypal bullying victim plotting revenge, I became a free man.

It goes beyond left and right or religious or atheist. Until you get this, you are a human larvae, not yet the real thing. Your birthright as a human is free will. Please don't encourage people to stay in their larval stage longer than necessary.

4/18/2007 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Magnus-
Thank you for sharing that.
I used to be like that too. It took me longer to realize it, but thank God I did.
Those are words of wisdom.
Well said!

4/18/2007 05:20:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Magnus -

Thanks for the lead. Amazon listed only 1 used copy of Aslasken's Last Messages. I look forward to reading him.

4/18/2007 05:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

What if the Beatles were Irish?

Just needed a laugh today. Blogger has vaporized the blogs I've had since 2003. Sigh.

4/18/2007 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joan, I hope you can somehow manage to recover your lost blogs.
I didn't know you had a blog. Where is it?

4/18/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Webutante said...

Yes, yes, Obama. The great white, er, black, er, Muslim hope.

What candidate better embodies the projections of a society sliding towards relative nihilism than a man who is as undefined and untried as Obama.

As yet I can find no principles he stands for (except "hope") and thus he is a man for all emotions and fades.

4/18/2007 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous barak said...

Webutante,

So can I count on you then for say, $100?

4/18/2007 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben,
I think if you look closely, the Vertical Mysterious Joan of Argghh! casts her reflections in many ways and places.

4/18/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

There are none so blind as those that will not see.

4/18/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a woman of a "certain age" (old fart and proudly so), I can say that (hopefully) tbe pendulum WILL swing back the other way. BUT I don't see it happening soon enough and this nonsense is very wearying, to say the least.

Meanwhile, all we can do is demand responsible words and actions where we can and laugh at the other jerks. Laughter is the one weapon that cannot be banned. That and my Glock!

4/18/2007 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Webutante said...

Obama my boy, I'm saving that last $100 to flee the country when you and Hillary have taken the grand prize. But I'll be sure to give you at least that much in free publicity on my blogola.And promise to enjoy every minute of it!

4/18/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Johan (cosmic swede) said...

Bob:
I couldn't agree more about the victimhood and nihilism.

"Hitler was a victim"

Maybe just a small matter in the big picture here, but I think that in the eye of the leftist - he is the only only guy who was not a victim, because he was as an fascist, an "extreme right wing"...

They always have a way to turn it around, you know.

4/18/2007 03:28:00 PM  

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