Monday, October 13, 2014

A Word of Silence

In honor of Indigenous People's Day there will be no post today, since indigenous Americans didn't have writing. Besides, I have to leave for work. So, open thread. Feel free to put in a request for a future topic, or to point out anything I've left out so far.


Blogger Paul Griffin said...

Following on Magister's comment yesterday, while I agree that Aristophanes' speech in the Symposium does not have carry much theological weight for all sorts of reasons, it is the one I remember the best and love the most. The spirit of his plays was captured so well in that speech, raucous absurdity and silliness that always points to something well beyond itself. He was never absurd simply for the sake of absurdity, and frankly I find his particular method of communication more effective than any of the other speakers, including the author. Now if only he had taken the time to write that follow-up to The Frogs: The Raccoons.

10/13/2014 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

I feel for the pre-Indigenous who were brutally removed from their lands by the Indigenous.

10/13/2014 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hmm...I feel like somethin' Italian today.

10/13/2014 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Ciao time!

10/13/2014 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Sausage is good. That's what we're having. With sweet peppers.

I'd bring you some, but it would be all funky and unappetizing by the time it got there...

10/13/2014 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous neal said...

Um, we had writing, and the wheel. Post deluge refugees deciding to go another way, do not blow it up.

Not animals. Just transmitted memory another way, with books buried. You moderns even think that animals are stuck, and they do not create. That is funny.

The thing is, there is always a new "we are human, and everything else is subject to interpretation".

Now, that intial sentience is something to be shared. Now, that is human.

Be careful that the virtues do not overtake the vices in the wrong way. You will create something you cannot live with.

You see, there are hobos, and pilgrims, and dirty smelly people, that literally live by faith. The only difference is that some are not what you think, and that is a hard choice. Not the luxury of a warm bed, and a job, and food to eat.

They cry to God, and do not blame. And the rest get educated, and do not live. Deserving has nothing to do with it. Call out what you will. Books stay like ashes, just most buried, some in great lines and carvings.

10/13/2014 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

That's almost like writing, but not quite.

10/13/2014 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Little Mary Sunshine said...

Oh, well. At least it isn't a pasted in rave about the necessity of baptism.

10/13/2014 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbus was terrible.

10/13/2014 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Yummm Cheddar!

10/13/2014 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Happy Columbus Day Anonymous. :)

10/13/2014 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here you go.

10/13/2014 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Somehow, the more the left hates itself and the west, the greater the moral merit -- a race to the cosmic bottom disguised as "progress." It reminds me of those crazy masochistic Muslims who whip themselves with chains.

10/13/2014 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Precisely: "The explorer who discovered America has become controversial because the very idea of America has become controversial."

10/13/2014 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Just so. I wonder, has there ever in history been a generation so determined to flagellate themselves (or at least cause other people to do so) in the name of wrongs perpetrated hundreds of years in the past? Was there some faction of Caesar-era Romans who insisted on decrying the disappearance of the Etruscans, or did the Anglo-Saxons develop a habit of rending their clothes and wearing hair shirts in the name of the lost druids of old?

I freely acknowledge that Columbus was probably a great big jerk. At the same time, I have my doubts that that is a complete description of history, just as I have grave doubts that the slaves held by some of the founding fathers should be the sole metric by which we measure their accomplishments. Further, I refuse to go running through the streets wailing about how awful it all is that we're here now. Many of my ancestors were either here "first" or brought over against their will. It sucks that things happened that way, but I can't be entirely sorry because I know their lives weren't entirely awful - in fact, they enjoyed a lot of the benefits of civilization, even while dealing with many of the drawbacks - and without them, I wouldn't exist. Without America as it was and is, I am not possible.

So hate all you want, Anon, but I think tonight I'll raise a glass to Colombus. He may have been an asshole, but he changed history in such a way that the whole world can now, five centuries on, bitch about him on the internet. Hear, here.

10/13/2014 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Peyton said...

I agree with Anonymous -- Columbus was terrible. Now, Dayton was another matter. And Cincinnati was absolutely amazing, no matter how you spell it!

10/13/2014 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


10/13/2014 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

As I remarked to an offspring just now, on working through recorded TIVO's, "How is it that only the darkest shows tell a good story? Be mindfull."

10/13/2014 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... the name of wrongs perpetrated hundreds of years in the past?

I think we can agree that everything Columbus did, good or bad, was roughly the same distance in the past, so if we celebrate one it seems proper to condemn the other.

So hate all you want, Anon, but I think tonight I'll raise a glass to Colombus. He may have been an asshole, but he changed history in such a way that the whole world can now, five centuries on, bitch about him on the internet. Hear, here.

By those standards, you could raise a glass to Stalin.

10/13/2014 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Hey anon, I love America and no amount of whining by you or others of your ilk will change my heart. And since today is an open racoonapalooza I think I'll post a music video titled "American Kids". It's an American toe tapper.

10/13/2014 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anon, I'm sure this will be wasted on you but I'm going to respond anyway:

Even positing that everything that guy at The Oatmeal wrote about Columbus is a clear and precise view of the man, everything he did, and everything he stood for (which is a pretty big stretch, since as far as I know Inman isn't a historian, he posits all this as *his* ideas and cites no sources, and is an atheist who has a raging boner for Tesla - so yeah, totes legit!), I would still celebrate Columbus Day.

Here's why: It's not about Columbus the man, it's about being glad that someone - or rather, some bunch of people, since he didn't make the journey alone - had balls enough to sail around the globe and find what was there, and as a result of that voyage and its attendant publicity, America was born. Was there a lot of ugliness and atrocity? Absolutely. But even though he may have meant much of it for evil, I strongly believe God meant it for good. And for a while at least, even though it was never remotely perfect, I do believe America was the closest thing the world ever had to heaven on earth.

Now if you want to make a good case for the other explorer who should get the credit, then by all means, start a petition to have the name legally changed. I really don't care; it's the spirit of the day that matters, and it is that which most people are celebrating when they talk about Columbus Day.

Back to the Rome comparison, I don't know how many Romans fervently believed that their city and empire was literally founded by a man who was suckled by a she-wolf, or what they thought about all of their history. But again, I doubt they spent much time or energy climbing up on pedestals and ranting that the founding of Rome was a lie, and really Romulus and Remus were a couple of jerks who cheated and murdered and eviled their way into starting a settlement, and thus Romans ought to be ashamed.

10/14/2014 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

The reaction against Columbus is yet another example of how tedious and shrunken these political scolds on the left really are.

If we held out for examples of perfect human beings and perfectly-known and controlled consequences, we'd accomplish nothing.

Viva Columbus, warts and all.

10/14/2014 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Anyway, according to Sipp the most important thing to know about him is that he was Portuguese.

10/14/2014 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I agreed with the Oatmeal site on at least one point: Columbus Day is a recent mistake. Like MLK day, the designated hitter, and cargo shorts.

10/14/2014 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger James Sheives said...

I've heard "God's plan" described as a meandering river i.e it's going to eventually reach it's planned destination, but man in his fallen state cause it to twist and curve and get side-tracked along the way. However, this sounds an awful lot like the progressives view of predestination. The final destination being completely different of course, but still the same idea.

10/14/2014 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

For all I know, it was never part of the plan for Europeans to come to the Americas, period. Pretty big space between the two places, after all. But having done so, God is pretty good at turning lemons into lemonade and destruction into creation for any who try to live according to his plan.

Anyway, in hindsight it all looks like a conspiracy.

10/14/2014 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

God's plan for earth is pretty straightforward.

We are supposed to create the bright destiny of mankind.

I figured that out a long time ago.

I think we need to use some variation of burkean conservatism to get there.

10/14/2014 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know who invented Columbus day -- for all I know, it might have been for reasons of political pandering to garner the Italian vote -- but the main idea behind it for the average person -- before political correctness -- was simply, "hey, isn't America great? Why not celebrate the guy (from civilization) who discovered it!" And an even more important purpose is to have a founding myth that contributes to the idea that we are "one people." But the left feeds on divisiveness, so that simply won't do. Job one for them is to divide Americans against each other, so this is petty tactic is just part of the overall strategy of hate.

10/14/2014 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I didn't see anonymous' asinine comments before I wrote that, but you'd think a so-called progressive would be the first to avoid the historical fallacy of anachronism.

10/14/2014 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Just as the modern materialist is fixated upon denying what is virtuous and good, in favor of 'raising up' what is newer, more stimulating, titillating, lewd and prurient, he is by the same turn of mind determined to not see the best that man can be. He is unable to tolerate or recognize the significance of what it took to cross the oceans, or what it has meant to the world that America came to be, because he can direct his attention only to what is least and brutish in man.

He looks at Columbus and can only see the worst in him and the worst consequences of his actions, because he cannot and will not see what is best in man at all, because it doesn't come from, and won't be found in, the materialist mind.

Our aninnymouse will not look for or appreciate Progress because he refuses to see what it requires. Despite his self flattering assessment, he cannot move forward because he entirely denies that direction.

He is, simply put, Pro-Regressive.

10/14/2014 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

"Motion toward unlimited human license" is one way to define progress, I suppose.

"To wrest a realm of freedom from the realm of necessity," in Marxian terms.

No judgements, no consequences, just a sort of moral holiday. That's the left's utopia.

Of course, they don't really believe that's the goal. If it were, they would have to grant unlimited license to self-centered greedheads, too.

So what the progressive means by "freedom" is not your freedom, but the leftist's freedom to exercise power however he or she sees fit. "Moral license" or "moral duty" are just convenient mantles in which they can wrap their will to power.

That is the leftist goal. I see it every damn day.

Where can we lead peaceable, beautiful, Burkean lives?

10/14/2014 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Yep. Which is why, being the fan of brevity that I am (ahem), I simply refer to them as what they are: Pro-Regressive.

10/14/2014 08:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the main idea behind it for the average person -- before political correctness -- was simply, "hey, isn't America great? Why not celebrate the guy (from civilization) who discovered it!" And an even more important purpose is to have a founding myth that contributes to the idea that we are "one people."

I really appreciate the frank admission that you are more interested in myths than in truths. I recognize the value of political myths myself, but they have to have at least a glancing relationship with reality to work.

The US has never been "one people" (nor have even the more obviously ethnically based nations like France or Italy, for that matter, but the US even less so). A worn-out myth from 1950s grade school textbooks isn't going to make us one.

There are two ways to love America (or anything else, for that matter): pretend it's perfect, ignore the reality of it, repress its flaws. Or, you can accept it as it is, warts and all, and maybe try to fix the problem.

10/14/2014 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Please stop trying.

10/14/2014 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "The US has never been "one people" (nor have even the more obviously ethnically based nations like France or Italy, for that matter, but the US even less so)."

What it is that makes it possible for all Americans to become One people, is what your obsession with race, ethnicity and power bars you from - it's ideas.

"you are more interested in myths than in truths"


10/14/2014 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Captain Obvious said...

Once again, this from a guy who uncritically takes his history lessons from an online comics writer.

10/14/2014 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

A third way to love -- the real way -- involves neither pretending nor fixing.

10/14/2014 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


In related news, at Ace's just now...

10/14/2014 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I used to believe the same crap as anon, so I know the drill. Just a way to flamboyantly transform one's ignorance into moral superiority. See MSNBC for details.

10/14/2014 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

re Ace, that is an extremely difficult thing to do, being that leftism IS viral stupidity for low information voters.

10/14/2014 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous is far too invincibly ignorant to know that he is a viral pawn for cultural Marxism, otherwise he might resent it. If I think about it, I'm still a little resentful about how my mind was hijacked in the same way, but I suppose it's all a part of life's rich pageant.

10/14/2014 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

You can't expect people with no soul to understand anything deeper than talking points. They decry imperfection and yet offer nothing better and more often than not substantially worse. Pointing out the speck in their opponents eye while ignoring the plank in their own. I don't deny the imperfections but I celebrate the good things which on balance far outweigh the negatives and know that this country has done more good for freedom and liberty and raising the living conditions for people around the world than any other country ever has.

World history is replete with conquest and savagery and yet it is only this country that is found guilty by those who offer nothing but high horse hypocrisy. Instead of picking at the country that gives you the freedom to tear it down why don't you tell us what you would do better.

10/14/2014 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sad that they're destroying one of the greatest forces for good in world history under the pretext of "fixing" it.

10/14/2014 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

The Sultan has it right. Even if we were to replace "Columbus Day" with what it really represents - "It's Good that America Exists Day" - they would froth in rage that we would dare to celebrate our basic decency.

10/14/2014 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who are decent generally don't feel a need to celebrate it. People who are repressing their guilt, on the other hand...

And of course "they" don't in general "froth in rage" on, say, Independence Day or Abraham Lincoln's birthday, which are actually celebrations of fairly decent things.

10/14/2014 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, somehow the fact that Herbert Marcuse is Satan's spawn is somehow supposed to be an explanation/excuse of all sorts of atrocities committed a few hundred years before he drew breath? Please tell me how that works.

10/14/2014 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"People who are decent generally don't feel a need to celebrate it. People who are repressing their guilt, on the other hand..."

The unmitigated arrogance.

10/14/2014 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because he can direct his attention only to what is least and brutish in man.

That's why I read this blog, for sure.

10/14/2014 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do believe America was the closest thing the world ever had to heaven on earth.

You are out of your mind. Or perhaps just very ignorant. Not to mention blasphemous.

Or maybe you are right, the fact that Columbus created a hell for the indigenous people he slaughtered and enslaved, and his followers created another hell for the black africans who were enslaved and exploited -- all that hellishness was worthwhile, because it created a heaven for you and your kind.

The angels in heaven seem to be OK with the suffering in hell, presumably because those sinners deserve it. Those who suffered from america's hells, well, they also must have deserved it, perhaps for the sin of not being white.

10/14/2014 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

There's no possibility to break through. Every thought is wrong and piled thick. The weight has suffocated the joy of life out of him.

Meanwhile, ain't it great to be a raccoon in America!

10/14/2014 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

lol - yes, it is!

Poor Anon. What can you do but shrug? If there's any place, any time, and any culture anywhere that ever a) existed sinlessly from its founding in harmony with both nature and man, engaging in neither murder, war, nor destruction at any point in its history or future (excluding Eden before the Fall) then certainly, I would nominate that place as being the closest that ever existed to Heaven on earth.

I won't hold my breath waiting for our Anon to come up with such a place.

Please note that I did not state that America is or even was Heaven on earth; it's just that it was heading that way for a time. If we ever defeat the virus of marxism in all its ugly and murderous permutations, survive the experience in some form, and remember that we are a nation under God, perhaps some day it will head that way again.

But again, I won't hold my breath waiting for such a future.

10/15/2014 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Odd that leftists take what is universal to depraved mankind and particularize it to America, meanwhile ignoring what is uniquely good about America, or else universalizing it to every other crappy culture. It took me a long time to uproot such institutionalized crankery from myself, so I can't say I don't understand it.

10/15/2014 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

If you're able to pin them down on it (which usually requires being in the same room and in control where their next drink comes from), you find that it comes down to hating America because it not only has the gall to think it would be good for people to be good, but dared base its government upon the same idea.

Without America the Indians could have gone on slaughtering its people on impressive stone pyramids down south, or engaging in genocide (see Pochahontas' Daddy's gig) up north, and the world could have gone right along with the islamic conquest of India, which Will Durant's History of Civilization series called "far and away the bloodiest episode in all of human history", not raising any eyebrows.

America's offense? Its existence makes evil hard to ignore.

That doesn't mean that America hasn't engaged in its share of bad conduct, only that because of its own nature, it can't hide from it.

10/15/2014 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes of course genocide and slavery have existed throughout the history of civilization. Columbus didn't invent them.

But the United States was supposed to be different, It was founded on enlightenment principles that are right there written into its founding documents. If it fails to meet its own standards, yet Americans still crow about its exceptionalism, its proximity to heaven, and its overall superiority, then yes, it deserves to have its hypocrisy highlighted.

You can't have it both ways. If America is so wonderful, then it has to live up to its standards. If it's just another country like Bolivia or Romania, then it should get off its high horse and stop the pretense.

10/15/2014 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "If America is so wonderful, then it has to live up to its standards."

I see. Say, could you define those standards for me please?

And do you agree with them?

10/15/2014 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Relativists calling for absolute standards. Or just say totalitarian.

10/15/2014 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van -- it's not exactly a mystery, right there at the beginning of the Declaration of Independencee: "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Fine ideals, only sporadically lived up to. In general it is the left that has pushed the US to live up to its ideals, while the right seems to think that the America is just another ethnic nation looking after the interests of its own group and to hell with the others.

The right opposed civil rights laws int he 60s and they oppose marriage equality now. But they love to bray about their virtue and superiority.

10/15/2014 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Cap'n Obvious said...

Speaking of myth (in the lower sense), Democrats have always opposed racial equality, then as much as now. To call southern Democrats "conservative" is absurd, since they were cheek to jowl with other big government Democrats on every issue except for race and free labor. Which is why a greater percentage of Republicans favored civili rights legislation than Democrats. If the ideal is equality before the law, Democrats have always opposed it.

10/15/2014 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "it's not exactly a mystery, right there at the beginning of the Declaration of Independencee"

Very good, you passed the bubble test!

Now, can you explain what Individual Rights are?

Hint: If you can't, or if you get it wrong, then all the rest, including your elevated sense of self, falls all apart.

10/15/2014 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and by the way - it hardly seems right to hold Columbus to American standards, given that an actual American wouldn't exist for a couple of hundred years.

This Anon is like someone who wishes to therapeutically relive his birth experience, because his actual birth - in blood and agony, as everyone's is - was painful, bloody and unpleasant, and thus his entire life is rendered ugly and brutish, no matter what good he may accomplish. It's the doctrine of original sin, applied to a nation and lacking any possibility of redemption.

10/15/2014 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, leftism IS a Christian heresy, so I don't see your point.

10/15/2014 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

It's like watching a train wreck - you want to stop but it's hard to avert your gaze. The more he says, the deeper he digs without the slightest idea he is digging his ideological grave.

10/15/2014 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

But enough about Obama.

10/15/2014 02:36:00 PM  

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