Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Conversations with Mysoph

Back in 1963, the great pianist Bill Evans put out a novel album called Conversations with Myself, in which he first lays down the piano parts and then overdubs his spontaneous reactions to them: the result is a pianistic conversation with himself.

Well, the following is my reflection on a series of posts on Balthasar's Theo-Drama. You're welcome to listen in, although I don't recommend it. It's just me conversing with some old tracks initially laid down in 2009: 

Drama — dramatic structure —  is a seemingly intrinsic (or at least unavoidable) way of organizing and understanding the world of experience. 

In our time, what is called "the news" is simply a dramatic structure superimposed on the events of the day, and this structure is very much an inversion and perversion of God's own dramatic structure, featuring heroes, villains, demons, sin, salvation, paradise, and other unavoidably theological categories. 

Suffice it to say that this progressive counter-drama, if it isn't penned by the Evil One, might as well be. At the very least, we can "deduce" the nature of the author by examining and deconstructing his intellectual and morally insane narrative. 

(Note also that this coprophagic narrative sees and digests only the facts it needs in order to maintain itself, which is why it is ontologically, epistemologically, and spiritually closed, and certainly leads to illness and death.)

In fact, you human beings create and inhabit narratives from the moment you can think about reality. Balthasar writes of how the child "translates its world of experience into theatrical terms, conceives things, reacts to them, in speech and in all forms of play.” As such, the dramatic structure isn't something "added to" humanness, but is an expression of  its very nature. 

Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that revelation appears fundamentally as historical action -- as doing  as opposed to, say, an abstract, atemporal doctrine that can be taken in all at once. This is why no one can or  could understand the revelation narrative until the action -- the drama -- was (or is) fulfilled. 

In any good whodunnit we don’t understand the action until we reach the end. Upon reaching it, the end illuminates what went before — as in how the New Testament unlocks the Old and reveals the telos toward which it had been groping. For Jews who reject the Christian premise, the OT nevertheless points to a messianic fulfillment that hasn’t yet occurred. Our Jewish brethren are still waiting to see how the drama turns out.

Even though the revelation narrative is essentially fulfilled with the Resurrection, it took centuries of collective reflection upon the drama to understand its nature and significance. Remember, the first Christians had no Bible to guide them; rather, only the mostly oral traditions handed on to them (2 Th). The Biblical canon was selected on the basis of this prior tradition, and in so doinga lot of fake nous (e.g., Gnosticism and other heresies) had to be discerned and excluded. 

Plenty of exegetes focus on something Jesus said, or even the totality of what he said, in the absence of the underlying dramatic structure that ties the transhistorical room together. 

But Jesus is unlike any other religious figure, about whom the facts of their lives are inconsequential to the teaching -- any more than the facts of science are determined by the personal biography of their discoverers.  One can study math or physics without getting into Einstein's birth narrative or Newton's manner of death. Gödels logic is sound despite the fact that he wasn’t.

Likewise, intimate details of the lives of Buddha or Muhammad are irrelevant to their messages. On the other hand, know them by their fruits. No sane person attempts to sneak out of the Christian west into Iran, China, or Africa.

(It occurs to me that -- in another inversion of the Christian drama -- progressives do indeed bring in details of the lives of various dramatis personae in order to negate their message -- for example, Jefferson owned slaves, therefore it is racist to say that all matter. Similarly, as a result of evangelical wokeness metastasizing its way through our educational establishment, math is racist, physics is patriarchal, and biology is transphobic.)

Under normal (non-progressive) circumstances God's truth -- or the truth he is trying to convey to us — isn't at all analogous to a scientific truth which can be handed from mind to mind in a cutandry way. What is the truth he is trying to convey? And why must it be presented as historical drama ?

Let’s begin at the top, with God’s dilemma: "how to elicit the Yes of his free partner from the latter's innermost freedom" (Balthasar).  I suppose we could say that God didn’t have any problems until man wandered onto the cosmic stage. Now what? How do you solve a problem like Eve? With one like Maria, I guess.

For Balthasar, the Theo-Drama plays out in the space of the encounter between infinite and finite freedom(s).  But how can God grant man freedom without diminishing his own? And how can man be free if God is both omni-potent and -scient?

Islam distorts the drama by denying man's freedom and attributing everything to God's omnipotence. In Islamist metaphysics there are no secondary causes at all, only The Cause. The mirror image of this is atheistic scientism, which also denies the existence man's free will, if only because "freedom" makes no sense in a world reduced to the permissible categories of material science.

I was reading just yesterday in Barzun’s The Dawn of Decadence of how both Luther and Calvin still situate man in a theo-drama, except that man plays no real role in it. Rather, God is solely responsible for every word and action of the drama, with no co-writing or even executive producer credit for man. Therefore, God is entitled to all the royalties. Man doesn’t earn so much as a penny from the production.

Literally, if you see what I did there. For readers living in Rio Linda, I’m talking about merit, which, for the first 1,500 years of Christianity, was thought to be a consequence of our free cooperation with God’s (free) grace, which in turn fuels the dramatic tension. It's the energy that makes the adventure go.

Conversely, Luther and and Calvin literally eradicate our free participation in the drama by making grace irresistible and salvation inalterable, rooted in God’s decree from all time. We can neither refuse nor consent to our own salvation. There’s still drama, of course, but now it revolves around wondering and worrying whether to not we are among the elect. There’s nothing we can do to effect our salvation, but this doesn’t stop them from looking for signs and hints and clues that we’re in there with God.

At this point I could easily veer into the subject of how the implicit structure of this Luthero-Calvinist doctrine applies to the woke volk of the left and their totalitarian blather about white privilege, structural racism, and the sanctity of sexual perversion.  But this conversation with myself has gone on long enough, so to be continued...

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Dusty Hill has died. I couldn’t find any evidence of religion. I shudder to think of him playing a furry guitar in hell. I’d always hoped it be that ZZ asshole who never sported a beard, that guy actually named Beard, who'd go first. Not a real full beard anyways.

I once overheard Charlie Daniels telling some fans that he’d rather fiddle in hell than serve in heaven. I went off and told them that Charlie’d get there to find out that the devil didn’t care about fiddling and really had just wanted a soul to steal. “Get over there and burn with the others, he’ll tell you!".

I was hustled out of there by a couple large guys with my feet dragging. My feelings weren’t so much hurt by the crowd that laughed when they threw me down on the pavement. What hurt my feelings was that the large guys were both black. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have shouted all that stuff about Charlie Daniels being so washed up he could only play in casinos and that he was going straight to hell.

Cousin Dupree said...

ZZ Top was the most overrated group from 1970 to 1973. Then Queen came along.

Anonymous said...

I remember when they brought Texas to America with all the live animals on stage. Had they combined to do a ZZ Queen tour back then, Freddie Mercury would've been sported a golden Stetson. And the buffalo wearing a speedo.

julie said...

But Jesus is unlike any other religious figure, about whom the facts of their lives are inconsequential to the teaching -- any more than the facts of science are determined by the personal biography of their discoverers.

Part of the reason the birth narrative matters so much is that it mirrors the events of the Crucifixion. Unfortunately, I think a lot of English translations don't make that very clear, but when you combine that with the vast number of OT references that clearly pre-figure Christ, it all starts to come into focus.

Gagdad Bob said...

Real progressivism comes to my neighborhood.

julie said...

Ha - the search is on? Why? If the value of the goods taken by each person is less than $950, nothing will happen. San Francisco-style shopping.

Leads? Yeah, we got leads...

Funny thing, when people know they can just walk in to any store and walk out with just shy of $1000 in goods, they aren't going to stick to crappy neighborhoods, they will be going to where the good stuff is. Ten years from now, we'll all need to make an appointment just to buy groceries.

Cousin Dupree said...

Nobody said reparations would be painless.

Gagdad Bob said...

More proof that math is racist: These repeated disparities show that -- despite the fact that people of color are far more likely to be the victims of hate violence -- the instances of hate violence that are actually documented by police are disproportionately those alleged to have been committed by Black people.

A fine example of the triumph of narrative over fact.

Anonymous said...

A Home Depot cashier told me their rental department lady was fired because she tried to stop a tool thief, because that was against company policy. The cashier said the thief’s description matched that of a parking lot regular she was familiar with and that he was being allowed to continue to beg for work from HD customers. I’m not sure if all that would be considered real progressivism or real capitalism.

Gagdad Bob said...

In any event, signed copies of my book are now available for $951.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gagdad, I would like to purchase a signed copy of your book. I was wondering if I could pay in installments?

Let me know.

Anonymous said...

So the thing we need to remember is narrative is more pertinent than facts.

Facts are nice. We all use them to some extent, they can be very helpful at time. But to insist on facts, or to assert facts should take precedence over other things such as inclusivity, tolerance, and LGBT rights, is not realistic.

Let's get real. Agendas are where the action is. Get an agenda, and then spin it hard. That is how things are done.

I'm surprised you didn't know this already. Pretty obvious stuff.

Anonymous said...

For instance, mathematics. Most people think 2 plus 2 equals 4.

But if we told you 2 plus 2 equals 5, because to think otherwise would be racist, well then.

2 plus 2 would then equal 5.

That's how things work around here.

Anonymous said...

2 plus 2 actually equals 3, because we are not racist and one of those 2s were blacks with inferior IQs and they only equal 1.

Petey said...

For the left, it's simple: eliminate objectivity, and emotions fill the void; eliminate truth, and power fills it; eliminate standards, and political class privilege does.

Gagdad Bob said...

Cooncur:

--CRT is only the latest iteration of their signature move -- critical theory -- which essentially takes something worthwhile and critiques the living shit out of it for power and profit.

--California is now composed of an enormous priestly class of state and municipal workers, together with myriad quasi-independent contractors and semi-private companies which are essentially dependent upon state government contracts and largesse for their economic survival, united with extremely profitable nonprofit activists and the already fantastically wealthy using the sympathetic story of the state’s enormous homeless, poor, and immigrant population to ensure perpetual rule for themselves.

--It doesn’t matter that nothing ever gets better for this last group -- that homelessness increases exponentially, or that the poor are increasingly without decent housing, energy, education, or healthcare. The Left rules on the basis of its argument that it sees these unfortunates in a more meaningful way than those who would actually try to improve their lot.

--It’s a ridiculous argument and the only reason it has worked so well for so long is that California has enough money to spread around to all the Left’s allies who require buying off, while also boasting the largest collection of fantastically naïve and stupid people in the country.

--California’s dissident Right also knows there can be no cultural or social response to the Left other than derision and contempt.

--The differences between the Right and the Left don’t have to do with race, class, or privilege. They are separated by a fundamental disagreement on reality.

--A confident Right would see these people for what they are: a circus of talentless hacks incapable of building anything, singing for their bread with a tune of constant mockery for the genius of others who came before them

Gagdad Bob said...

Further cooncurance:

--Marxism is the most aggressively dogmatic religion in the world. Its struggle for ascendancy is a holy war in which Islam is the only serious competitor...

--To fight the Left effectively, we need to stop thinking of Marxism as a philosophical alternative to capitalism and instead think of it as a religious alternative to Christianity.

--Marxism is not anti-Christianity because belief in God is a crutch or an opiate of the masses. It simply recognizes that you cannot believe in two gods at once.

--There is a caste (“class”) system in which some are holy by virtue of their birth and others are damned for the same reason. Ordinary citizens in this religion have no role except to believe and to do as they are told.

--The idea that religion must be expelled from all public places is a lie and a fraud -- a Marxist trojan horse: The goal isn’t to expel all religion. The goal is to expel all competing religions.

Anonymous said...

Gagdad, back when you were a moonbat (what was that, the 1980's), did you have any pet causes? Did you do any social justice work?

If you were in a band, did you pen any lyrics? If so, what did those lyrics say?

Now, you may not want to go back to this misguided time in your life, but I think it is work a trip down mammary lane. You may remember a key point-

Were you getting more chicks? Yep. I thought so.

So, how to account for this is the problem. Why is moonbattery so good for scoring more chicks?

julie said...

Ugh - should have stuck to my "don't read Anonymous comments" rule, now I'm feeling nauseated. Just the thought of leftist men... *hurk*...

Gagdad Bob said...

Why is moonbattery so good for scoring more chicks?

Because the supply of trannies, lesbians, feminists & Karens is so much greater than the demand.

julie said...

Bob, earlier: --A confident Right would see these people for what they are: a circus of talentless hacks incapable of building anything, singing for their bread with a tune of constant mockery for the genius of others who came before them

From where I stand, the people of the right do see this, very clearly. Our "leadership," though, for the most part is either actively against us or essentially powerless to do do anything about it. Remember, Trump didn't lose in 2020. By some sources, not even in California, and the margin was not small. The people who did win on our side, with few exceptions, haven't been on our side for years. Decades? Anyway. Continuing to blame "the right" for just not seeing clearly is right up there with advising us to vote harder next time.

I don't know what the answers are or what is to be done, I only know that the prince of this world has been very busy lately, and not shy about revealing what he's up to.

Anonymous said...

Re your cooncurrance on Communism/Marxism:

It is pretty obvious that Communism/Marxism has been a total failure and there are now only 5 communist countries left: China, North Korea, Laos, Cuba, and Vietnam (https://www.thoughtco.com/communist-countries-overview-1435178). To my knowledge there aren't any serious moves towards communism anywhere and it is dying as it should.

However, I think that definition of terminology is important. The article you referenced and you throw around the term Leftist quite frequently and one of your quotes equates leftism with Marxism. What is your definition of a leftist? Most would agree that someone who is or advocates communism is leftist. However that doesn't mean that someone who is left leaning is a communist just as someone who is right leaning isn't necessarily a fascist. There have been statements by some on this site about Democrats or Biden equaling communism which is ridiculous. Communism is terrible and should vanish from the Earth - I agree. I just don't see it being much a threat anywhere and don't see anyone advocating it.

There are plenty of things wrong in the country - some of which we agree on - many of which we very strongly don't. I don't think that trying to put a label on things one doesn't like is very productive. I think it is more productive to just state what you don't like and even be against the people who advocate what you like. Labels like left or right are too broad IMO and are a paint roller where an finer brush would be more useful. The ridiculous cancel culture and ridiculous obsession with political correctness is mostly backed by people who are Democrats. That doesn't mean that all Democrats support this.

Anonymous said...

Well at any rate, left or right, the CPC is gonna win the day, still officially atheist and marxist, while we losers debate over fake culture news.

Anonymous said...

Did I say CPC? My Chinese friend just corrected me. It's CCP. Higher IQs I guess. Atheist, marxist and all re-educationist-campy, such as they are.

I just know that Julie dreams of Chinese men, in secret.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of fake news, what I like about outfits like Fox News and Newsmax, is that the news is mostly fake. I like those places because they give me less to worry about.

Take my local news. It’s all real news. When they say it’s gonna be super hot for a few days, then badda bing it’s super hot for a few days. When they say the homeless problem is getting real bad, then badda bing I notice when driving into town that the homeless problem looks real bad.

Now take Fox or Newsmax. When they tell me the trannies are taking over, I think back over my many years of seeing literally tens of thousands of people, and I can literally count on one hand all the times I’ve actually seen a real live trannie in the flesh. When they tell me that CRT is taking over our schools, I ask the few schoolteachers I know why they’re letting this happen and they all tell me it’s just a buncha crap Fox made up because the right wing blogosphere is slow.

My point is that watching “conservative” news is comforting because it’s rarely ever based in reality. Give it a whirl.

Anonymous said...

I may have to rethink what I said about trannies.

So I’m watching women's Olympic basketball. It's the USA vs Japan. The American team is the usual collection of hard looking black chicks and white girls so tall they long since given up on ever getting dates and focus on the b-ball instead. But the Japanese team doesn’t even look like women. They all have short hair and up close, look like they belong to a J-pop boy band. They seem far too tall and coordinated to be women. Something's going on here and I may have to count these trannies on my other hand.

Anonymous said...

Now regarding the January 6th insurrection, we can all agree it seemed to lack leadership.

330 metric tonnes of food, water, weapons, medicine, and ammunition had been stealthily stockpiled near the Capitol building for use by the sedition forces. The crates, in piles, were covered by tarps. The rioters walked right by, or some cases even climbed over, the tarp-covered piles without bothering to open the crates and deploy the contents. So what happened there? Was no one notified?

All of those supplies fell into Capitol police force hands. What a waste.

Likewise two mini-subs packed with Venezualan commandos were loitering in the Potomac, waiting for the word to join the attack. The word never came, and the Venezualans went back to their Cuban staging base.

So who exactly was running this sh*t show? And how do we ensure another fiasco like it does not happen?

It was a conservative defeat, a disgrace. Not our finest hour.

julie said...

Having said what I said earlier, I'm just now reading the article about California. Spot on; all those points are part of why we don't see any reason to leave here. It's like being at the center of a ringworm infection after it starts spreading.

As to the culture war, it is happening. People on our side are creating all sorts of things, it's just that it takes a little more effort to find it.

From the article:, "The proper response is disregard, mockery, and eventual indifference to woke claims. The proper response is a quiet confidence."

Yes, this is true. And Americans are waking up. More people than ever are homeschooling, and in small communities, people are pulling together, without fanfare, to do the things that need doing.

Gagdad Bob said...

I keep telling myself that what can't go on won't go on. Reality is undefeated.

Anonymous said...

I’m curious to know how many 1%-ers are lefist or rightist?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that homeschooling and proper higher education will be all that effective. There are hundreds of intelligently presented religious-skeptic websites which didn't exist when I was young. Back then, if I had a difficult biblical question I'd just go to the priest. Today everybody goes to the web.

Anonymous said...

The California article mentioned the FDR/working man leftists of old which don’t really exist anymore, implying that proper counterbalances to any problems which result from the excesses of corporate freedoms are now nonexistent. It stated that today’s Californian leftist elites are all about using emotional diversions such as “wokeness” to maintain their elite status and power, in return for basically nothing for their supporters except for "wokeness".

Is she suggesting (indirectly) that the Californian left should return to FDR/working man style leftism? I’m also curious about her take on California’s own Reagan. He was after all, a big-time FDR admirer who wound up eliminating things FDR. Why would he do this?

Cousin Dupree said...

If only.

Anonymous said...

Indeed Dupree indeed. Reagan would’ve written an anti-leftist screed just like all the other anti-leftist screeds which regurgitate still more anti-leftist screeds because that’s where the money is.

Historically, humanity has always been naturally leftist but since the right’s got all the power and money that’s where all the strong not-nice men prefer to be.

Speaking of those little purple potatoes, you know what I’m talking about. They’re little, they’re purple, and they taste just like a potato but cost a helluvalot more. Purple potatoes. Are they woke? Are they wack? Is this farming freedom and liberty gone wild? Discuss.

Cousin Dupree said...

Leave Brian Stelter alone.

Anonymous said...

I’d never heard of Brian Stelter, so I went straight to the Fox News site to learn more.

In one article, he apparently wore a suit with short pants. I briefly entertained the notion that Tucker Carlson would soon be railing against the conspiracy of leftist academics needing to teach our highly impressionable children about the critical race importance of grown men wearing suits with short pants. But I nixed that thought. Then I noticed that Michael Wolff, a Jewish liberal Trump hater who makes a living off juicy conspiracies, criticized Steltzer about his media presentations.

These things seem trivial to me, in a Weekly World News sorta way. A bit like when Gateway Pundit has articles about Hillary financing the genetic engineering of liberal monkey boys, so they can drink their blood.

I’d think we’ve got far more pressing problems to solve, like understanding why Reagan turned against his hero FDR just because “the Democratic Party left me”. I mean, I’d get it if he’d said that in 1964 (the new civil rights promoting low IQ negroes), or 1969 (drug addled antiwar hippies), 1981 (really bad new wave hairstyles). But he said it way back in 1962. And nobody has ever been able to tell me what the hell he was talking about.

Personally, I think he got bought.

HRC said...

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Monica said...

Ha! Still blaming Russia? You're still a loser Hill.

Anonymous said...

Now, regarding so-called "cancel culture." Maybe it should just be called "common sense."

Point in case, statues or monuments commemorating Robert E. Lee or other Confederate leaders (Particularly Stonewall Jackson).

There is no monument at Pearl Harbor to the Japanese pilots who bombed the place. Why? Because they lost.

No plaque or stature in Galveston honors the sacrifices of the German sailors who sunk so many American ships in the gulf of Mexico. Why? Because they lost.

In this country we don't honor losers with memorials and statues. I think we can all agree on that.

Then some dumb-ass erects a statue to Robert E. Lee, or worse yet, Stonewall Jackson. Excuse me, but the Confederacy lost. Now didn't they. Right?

Some bearded yokel in Alabama coughs. "Now, I don't rightly know on that account. The South may rise again."

No, Mr. Yokel, no it will not. So when the "irratiobnal" woke folk want to take down the statue of Stonewall Jackson, does that not make perfect sense? Right?

Unless you also happen think like Mr. Yokel does the South may rise again. Here's a suggestion. Don't think that.

Anonymous said...

In this country there may a widespread, almost unconscious urge to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation and return to the custom of keeping slaves.

The idea of buying a human being and then being able to do pretty much whatever they want to that person, is stimulating to some people.

Some people are in to power and control in a big way.

Look deep into yourself. When thinking about the slave-holding of times past, doesn't part of you wonder what that experience was like? And maybe a strong curiosity about how that would feel to be the owner, or to be the slave?

Now, I'm not saying this could happen, but what if there was some social upheaval and the "peculiar institution" was re-started, what side of the divide would you be on? Would you fear to be enslaved? Or would you assess your finances to see how many slaves you could afford to purchase?

Think it over. Write your response as a comment. Thanx.

Anonymous said...

Prager had a nice video defending Robert E Lee but I cant find it anymore. Did the woke cancel culture CRT Sharia Law BLM antifa gaysexual Marxist socialist Mexican baby killer satanic blood-drinking pro-vax mark-of-the-beasting climate-cult demonically-possessed anti-freedom people have it removed?

Cousin Dupree said...

Yes, they removed it. It's one of the main reasons for the sharp decrease in black violence and criminality.

Cousin Dupree said...

That and capitalizing "Black."

Anonymous said...

When I think to myself in the inner sanctum where no other person can be privy, the slave thing gets a little ugly to where I wouldn't want people to know absolutely everything I think.

If it should come to slavery returning, I would have absolutely no fear of being a slave. I am a white male and I don't think I can or would be enslaved.

When I imagine myself as a modern day Kunta Kinte (anyone with a well-oiled imagination can imagine being someone they are not), well then. I would be worried as hell and feel it indeed possible I could be enslaved. If I was Kunta Kinte, the thought of owning a slave would never, ever cross my mind. Slavery is anathema, poison.

In a way, the passage of the myriad years between 1862 and today has not fundamentally changed anything for Americans of both colors. The descendants of the black and white persons of 1862 are truly locked into the same dynamic, one up and one down, to this day.

And you can experience that by just doing a little thought experiment.

All it would take is for a demagogue to run for POTUS on a pro-slavery platform, get a surprise win, repeal the Emancipation Proclamation, and then boom, all blacks would re-enter slavery and have their person-hood instantly revoked. All of their possessions seized. The new slave might or might not get the same owner as the rest of the family. Probably not. Boo-hoo. There goes daughter. There goes baby son. There goes grand-father.

They don't call it being "sold down the river" for nothing.

Kunta Kinte, sir, now you are not a human being, you are a possession. Because the whites said so, that's why.

Think of the massive lucre which could be extracted by taking over the confiscated black property and funds, the profuse free labor which would become suddenly available, and the profits and broker fees generated from selling the slaves to buyers. We are talking trillions here. Possibly multiple trillions.

Icing on the cake: all need for reparations off the table forever. Affirmative action, boom, gone.

We could rip the scab off of the deep 600 year-old laceration that is slavery, and just let that unhealed jagged gash bleed and bleed a never-ending cataract of gore, while we revel in this massive injustice called slavery; the injustice that was just too profitable to pass up.

Now, do I really want that? Do I want any of that horror? No, I do not.

I am not a slave to my own worst impulses, not at all. I can rise above any base impulse I have.

We are all animals, and all guilty of untold sinful thoughts and lustful urges within ourselves. But we also think noble thoughts, have pure impulses, and love truly. All of us can and do express good.

I would never vote for the return of slavery. I abhor the "peculiar institution."

And yet I am the blonde beast, the white man. This I cannot deny.


Anonymous said...

I was at the Richmond Lee monument one night when I ran into the shade of President Grant, gnawing on a cigar and loitering under a tree.

I said "Why hello President Grant, how are you sir?"

He said "I'm passably well. I came here to see old Bobbie Lee's statue. It is a grand edifice."

I said "That it is, sir."

He said "Well I suppose it might incite the rebels to rise up. I suppose it might. Do you suppose she ought to come down? I'm of two minds about it."

At that point Abraham Lincoln walked up and stated "General, I don't think it is wise to have this sited here. Our nation underwent a terrible tribulation at the hands of General Lee and he left many Federal widows in his bloody wake. Gallant though he was, I would rest easier if this memorial was not here."

"Hear, Hear" came a whispered chorus from the half-seen shades of the Federal dead from Cold Harbor, in their multitudes. "Hear, Hear."

Anonymous said...

Vonnegut’s Player Piano described a world where machines did all the work, and so everybody else (excepting the machines engineers and managers) did make-work jobs provided by the government. This was obviously to keep them from becoming mayhem-raising drunks.

Ancient Egypt came up with that idea. During those months when the Nile flooded all the fields and farmers had nothing to do but get drunk and raise mayhem, the powers that be had them build all those magnificent structures which now contribute to Egypt’s tourism industry, thousands of years later. Now that’s forward thinking!

But today all the forward thinkers are gone. When automation fully arrives, with many millions unemployed and many millions more likely arriving from South America to avoid the heat, I can’t imagine any other option besides selling oneself into slavery.

I had once imagined that people would be Matrixified into beehive-like cocoons, to live in a fantasy world with the dead liquified to be fed intravenously to the living. But I don’t think there’ll be the funds for all that. Let alone foresight or political will. And especially not with all the billionaires paying no taxes and owning all the governments.

One problem with my vision is that if machines became the preferred slaves, then the millions would likely commence a Butlerian Jihad, as seen in the Dune series universe, and destroy all the machines. It would be really nasty because most of them would be drunk. I’m not sure what would happen after that.

It seems a lot simpler to just get good at solving the problems before a drunken mob takes over.

Anonymous said...

ALL PROPHETS OF DOOM DIE TODAY AT NOON!

Uncle Rico said...

I reckon... you know a lot about... cyberspace? You ever come across anything... like time travel?

julie said...

Today's news of the eternal, Spirals and spirals, spinning through infinity.

I'm sure it's all just a coincidence.

Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe a spiral inside a donut. I suppose the hole must be God.

Homer said...

Mmmmm..... forbidden donut...

Anonymous said...

My name is Madeline and I have a forbidden donut I would would like you to eat.

jonathan said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your generosity. Several months ago I stepped in here to call you a troll but thanks to your tenacious presence here, I’ve developed some discipline in not reacting to your voluminous… er, insights. Even a troll has value in God’s grand design. So I wanted to say thanks. I also want to thank you for demonstrating to me the consequences of not actually reading important books that would challenge your whimsical premises and in time and the grace of God dispel the discharge of an intellect gone to early stagnation. But I do not want to sound too judgmental because now, with new eyes, I have seen your value and now, I can’t but love you for what you are and would not change a thing. Keep on discharging.

Anonymous said...

anon @8/01/2021 02:59:00 PM,

Well, I was at the street corner with my THE EARTH ENDS TODAY sandwich board until well past noon, waiting for that explosion, lightening bolt, and/or drunk driver. And none arrived. Did you mean tomorrow at noon?

Anonymous said...

Uncle Rico, yes I did. The problem is that it's a one way ticket. Luckily, back in ancient Egypt they gave me some magic grog which granted me an ten thousand year lifespan. Then I just had to lay low and pretend to age and die a lot, and now here we are. Thanks for the welcome back.

Oh, and Jesus says hi.

Anonymous said...

Madeline, that old gag again? Did you know that forbidden donuts were a delicacy in ancient Greece sold at street corner joke shops? They were a spinoff from a technique Abraham was revealed which spiraled round and round. The Greeks could never quite get it right though. Sometimes they put worms inside.

Anonymous said...

And finally there’s jonathan.

Which “Anonymous” troll? There’s at least four of us. Myself (the time traveler), a lesbian academic, a very angry centrist, and a snarky rightie which I suspect is yet another Cousin Dupree sock puppet.

You really don’t want to get into my discharges. My wife, sister, mother, former friends, former coworkers, former bosses, strangers in the bar, strangers on the street, ancient Egyptian farmers, friends and pharaohs, and on and on and on throughout all of non-recorded history have had to listen to my crap. Er, discharges.

I used to only ever discharge to God, but one day he appeared late at night in my bedroom as a medium sized blue flame and a loud voice boomed: “FOR THE LOVE OF MYSELF, GIVE ME A FRICKIN BREAK ALREADY! WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO AND GIVE SATAN A WHIRL?”

Luckily, I found this place.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonathan thank you for the kind word about persistent trolls. Yes, we trolls do have our place in the blogosphere's natural ecology. Without trolls you would have to endure people writing nice comments to each other and agreeing, over and over.

That would be a horror. Yes? Ever been to a real boring party? I bet you have. The kind of party that makes you grateful you brought your cell-phone?

But Jonathan, you also let us know you are not buying into the sh*t we trolls shovel around here. And we do shovel a lot. Poor Dr. Godwin. He got trolls, and they comment profusely.

There's a number of us, but you'll never sort us out. We have one thing in common: we are not buying Gagdad's schtick before we kick the tires a little bit. Now is there anything wrong with that?

Wait, oh cool, I found a donut. It says, "Do not eat." I think I'll (munch munch ooh is that a jelly filling?) put it down.

Anonymous said...

We think these menu items from a Chinese restaurant which serves notable Democrats may be some kind of conspiracy code. Suspicious.

"Wai Tu Yung" Served over noodles.

"Sum Yung Chik" Regular or extra spicy

"Won Hung Lo" Medium or large

"Cho Kon-it" Extra large only

What do you think? Anything to this?

Anonymous said...

A real boring party? What a cool idea!

First we’d need a dress code: all white and gray, with the men in baggy Dockers and the women in ankle length skirts. Flat shoes only, no makeup or jewelry, especially for the men. Sour punch with popcorn and Ritz crackers. Chaperones. The music would be that tiny handful of greatest hits from 4 Non Blondes, Nickelback, and Hootie and the Blowfish. Over and over again. All the party games would be boys over here, girls over there, played by each sex in separate rooms. A Davila aphorism contest. A game of "How much change in my pocket?" And for the grand finale, our very own jonathan would arrive to lead the group in prayer hymns.

Afterwards we'd go to moms house for her famous La Choy Chow Mein.

Anonymous said...

On a different note, I think we should go around the room and each of us talk about our wildest party ever. I’ll go first.

By the time I arrived at Jim’s house the place was rocking. I went straight to the bar and downed a bunch of beers since I had a lot of catching up to do. I think I had a bunch of peppermint schnapps as well.

Suddenly there was a loud pounding with somebody yelling: “Dude, breakfast!” I realized I’d fallen asleep in the bathroom. I saw a large pile of vomit on the side of the toilet as if somebody had missed. Slowly, I realized it had been me. So I gathered myself, opened the bathroom door and went down to the kitchen. It was now morning.

In the kitchen were the dozen others who’d stayed the night. Everybody applauded when I arrived. I got a few high fives, a couple “You da man!” finger points, and a big hug from one of the ladies. I then realized I had somebody else’s pants on.

That was when they then told me what a life of the party I’d been. Because I couldn’t remember any of it. Almost none of what they told me would be appropriate to repeat in this place.

Ok. I told my story. Now somebody else's turn.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 1970's and early 80's there was a type of party called an "orgy" after the old Roman bacchanalia. At these parties participants were supposed to strip and engage in group sex, in a large pile on the living room floor.

Upon hearing this me and my pals stated we reckoned we could handle an orgy if it came to that, but secretly we were terrified. This was waaaay out of our comfort zone. We were high school losers, never made with a lady, and we weren't sure if we wanted to meet a "missus who was ready to play."

I dodged the bullet through high-school, but my luck ran out when dating a straight-laced young Christian girl who invited me to a party. Upon arrival all seemed OK until inexplicably two young girls just took off their clothes and went at it with each other on the kitchen floor. In a matter of minutes about 6 more girls had stripped down naked (my date not included). My date was aghast, having been apparently been caught by surprise here.

At this point I rallied and was in favor of the both of us joining the activities, but in the interest of my date's mental health we left fully clothed. But I did catch an eye-full.

There's my story and I'm sticking to it. What happened later in my young life is a drunken blur.

So Gagdad, did you go to any orgies? How about you Van? 'Fess up.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of puking, I noticed the named regulars never reveal much about their personal lives here. At least nothing which could be incriminated against them. This seems wise, in a place where being seen as weak could be disastrous. Nobody wants to self-incriminate themselves in such a judgmental culture.

I self-incriminated myself at a party once.

I was trying to get close to Monica, who was finally showing interest in me after all this time. We stood in the hallway talking and we were getting closer and closer. Suddenly I felt nauseous and skillfully excused myself to the bathroom. Gaw dang. I had it bad. I was so ashamed.

I crawled out the second story bathroom window and worked my way over to the tree and climbed down. I found a bush to hide behind so I could puke in private. Sadly, as every car came and went their headlights would wash over me, exposing me in my sorry state. I even heard somebody shout: “Man, you okay?” I never went to another party again.

I developed an irrational hatred of people who could party hardy without any consequences. Later though, most of them turned out to be were assholes. So there's that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous:

I'm sorry you had certain bad times with parties involving regurgitation. Alcohol makes for a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Everything in moderation.

In regards to Ms. Monica Lewinsky, I find her attractive and would like to enjoy some of what Bill had and hopefully more. Monica has a pleasing, robust form and looks like she would be a lusty and enthusiastic partner.

But what does any of this have to do with the post? We have wandered off topic, anonymous.

What can we say about this: "At this point I could easily veer into the subject of how the implicit structure of this Luthero-Calvinist doctrine applies to the woke volk of the left and their totalitarian blather about white privilege, structural racism, and the sanctity of sexual perversion."

Now, Calvinism. The elect. It almost sounds plausible the way Calvin laid it out. But really, did it reflect God accurately? Most can't accept it.

Anonymous said...

Everything in moderation.

I'd say in wise moderation. I think the Clintons used "moderation" as a smoke screen. Dubya wore "moderation" because he thought it made him look intelligent. Plus he really did have dependency issues.

We've wandered off topic because nobody is feeding us conservative echo chamber talking points, to parse and refute. Plus I think Cousin Dupree is in the bathroom puking.

Anonymous said...

There are rumors that the libertarian elites have put their wealth and influence behind the "Stop The Steal" energies. Just like they did the Tea Party movement. The former will fade just like the latter did, when the libertarian elites find something else to push.

You speak of Calvinist doctrines having implicit influences. I'm beginning to think that culture is actually a transmogrification of whatever the elites are pushing it to be. When I think about it, the only thing that can turn something as massive as a common culture, is the use of multi pronged efforts financed by wealthy elites. The not-so-wealthy elites in places like academia or even the political arts then try to push back. But when has your average yahoo ever been able to recognize Truth? Seems everybody from Socrates to Bernays has been telling us this.

I'm not saying that Bill Watterson is in league with Satan, but that our wealthy elites probably are.