Elections are of such futile import it is best to ignore the sad results of the febrile combination of the illusions of a travelling show and a horserace, yet in this case the white smoke will pronounce Pope Donald the Golden, a man of such imperious awfulness that only a couple of reasons should give him the grass crown: he is not Hillary; and the establishment of dunces, including the ludicrous mass media who were so firmly in the bag for this scoundrel’s unbearable opponent, will hopefully implode in shock and awe.
For the rest of us, it not being a mushroom cloud, as would announce Hillary, must needs suffice.
Chesterton was pretty much a scoundrel himself, starting off as a foul republican, and with his cloying devotion to Rome ( and anti-Germanic French rascality ) which today is served by the most nuttily devout Catholic blogs; but he was a great poet, and still greater romantic. And to his death he moved, as did Shaw, somewhat nearer the truth of Royalism: had all these old chaps of that generation lived another 100 years, they might have approached the throne of Legitimatism they had rejected so vehemently in press and print their whole lives.
“Out of the mouth of the Mother of God, More than the doors of doom, I call the muster of Wessex men From grassy hamlet or ditch or den, To break and be broken, God knows when, But I have seen for whom.
“Out of the mouth of the Mother of God Like a little word come I; For I go gathering Christian men From sunken paving and ford and fen, To die in a battle, God knows when, By God, but I know why.
“And this is the word of Mary, The word of the world’s desire ‘No more of comfort shall ye get, Save that the sky grows darker yet And the sea rises higher.’”
Gilbert Keith Chesterton : The Ballad of the White Horse
S. N. Behrman's magisterial life of Duveen is always a great comfort to the young, not merely from the felicity of his style.
The passion of these newly rich Americans for industrial merger yielded to an even more insistent passion for a merger of their newly acquired domains with more ancient ones; they wanted to veneer their arrivisme with the traditional. It would be gratifying to feel, as you drove up to your porte-cochere in Pittsburgh, that you were one with the jaded Renaissance Venetian who had just returned from a sitting for Titian; to feel, as you walked by the ranks of gleaming and authentic suits of armor in your mansion on Long Island—and passed the time of day with your private armorer—that it was only an accident of chronology that had put you in a counting house when you might have been jousting with other kings in the Tournament of Love; to push aside the heavy damask tablecloth on a magnificent Louis XIV dining-room table, making room for a green-shaded office lamp, beneath which you scanned the report of last month's profit from the Saginaw branch, and then, looking up, catch a glimpse of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan and flick the fantasy that presently you would be ordering your sedan chair, because the loveliest girl in London was expecting you for tea.
It was Frick's custom to have an organist in on Saturday afternoons to fill the gallery of his mansion at Seventieth Street and Fifth Avenue with the majestic strains of "The Rosary" and "Silver Threads Among the Gold" while he himself sat on a Renaissance throne, under a baldachino, and every now and then looked up from his Saturday Evening Post to contemplate the works of Van Dyck and Rembrandt, or, when he was enthroned in their special atelier, the more frolicsome improvisations of Fragonard and Boucher. Surely Frick must have felt, as he sat there, that only time separated him from Lorenzo and the other Medicis. Morgan commissioned the English art authority Dr. George C. Williamson to prepare catalogues of his vast collections. Williamson spent years travelling all over the world to check on the authenticity and the history of certain items and to supervise the work on the catalogues. The last one he completed for his patron was "The Morgan Book of Watches." For the illustrations, gold and silver leaf was used, laid on so thick that the engraved designs of the watches could be reproduced exactly. Morgan was in Rome when he received this catalogue, on Christmas Day, 1912, and he cabled Williamson, in New York, "IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK 1 HAVE EVER SEEN." It was lying by Morgan's bedside when he died in Rome, early in 1913.
Duveen boasted that he understood the psychology of his dozen biggest customers much better than his competitors did. In his peculiar semantics, "to understand psychology" meant to be able to guess how much the traffic would bear, and under that interpretation his boast was not an empty one. He always knew how to shift the interest of his customers—or, more accurately, his protégés—from their original fields of accumulation to his own, and to persuade them, moreover, that his was the more exalted. The truth was that after having spent a lifetime making money, Duveen's protégés were rich enough to go anywhere and do anything but didn't know where to go or what to do or even how to do nothing gracefully. After the Americans had splurged on yachts and horses and houses, they were stymied. There were no noble titles to be earned—or bought—and lived up to, as there were in Europe, and if they ever made an attempt to do nothing gracefully, they were hampered by the Puritanic and democratic tradition that held such a life sinful. Whenever they let themselves go, they had a feeling of guilt. Stotesbury, in a gray business suit and a high stiff collar, with a Panama hat clamped down on his head, stood in the blazing sunshine of the tremendous patio of El Mirasol, his Palm Beach home, and said to one of his architects, who had recently added a wing to it, "It cost too much for ninety days!" And when his wife spent two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars on Wingwood House, their place at Bar Harbor, he said the same thing again. He felt the same way about Whitemarsh Hall and Winoga, his two places at Chestnut Hill. A European of comparable means who spent ninety days in one of his residences would very likely have felt that whatever he had spent on it was justified, on the principle that ninety days was a segment of time that was worth enjoying even if at the end of it he went somewhere else. When the American millionaires of the era said, "I don't care what it costs," as they often did, they were silently adding, "So long as I have something to show for it." And what they had to show for it had to be at once enviable and uplifting. Duveen was like an answer to a prayer.
It is now three years since Mr. Obama was sworn in as POTUS; and if he has not been much of a president — not that much should be expected from anyone elected by the moronate; after all, it should never be forgotten that any president is merely a politician who got lucky — any sane look at those who are the very best the Republican party can put forward in competition must instill a heavy goodwill wish for the Chicago Thug to continue through a second term. Probably he won’t need much luck, since last year thanks to those interested in his progress it was ensured that he spent more than any other, and that this year he plans on breaking the magic Billion Dollar threshold.
Still, people may have too soon forgotten that his inauguration was fortuitously marred by a fortuitous assassination attempt by two fortuitous white racists who were fortuitously arrested in time, thus saving him and the nation for the benefits of the Leader’s intellect and wise guidance over the coming years: Wiggum was elected because he was African-American, highly intelligent, atheistic, young, and inspiring: plus he had rich friends — actually, he was none of these things, apart from the rich friends bit. I am not interested enough to select by race: all I can say is that the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or even Charlie Rangel would have struck me as infinitely preferable choices were one to have blackness as a decider. Integrity still means something.
Yet this incident was to be overshadowed by a far more terrifying plot, one that very nearly succeeded in overthrowing the republic, had which it had done, would have sealed America into a horrifying future as a brutal fascist terror state, ruled by the arbitrary force of the conspirators and theocratic lunatics and cynical corporate interests.
The upcoming trial with anonymous jury of the Hutaree Milita starting today, by reminding them of the agonizing events of March 2010, when a nation’s fate twisted in the wind, should awaken the United States to the perils within. To put it at the simplest interpretation of the Government’s case, these rich men, living in their trailer parks and heavily armed with powerful state-of-the-art weaponry and unlimited access to the media, planned to first kill a government law official — as yet unknown to them and undecided by them — destroy the mourners at the funeral of the first; seize the state; abolish the United Nations; ‘replace all forms of government’; and found The Colonial Christian Republic, ruled by the Radok with the assistance of the Boramander and the Zulif.
This is nothing more than naked fascism.
To counter this grave threat the state was compelled to utilise the resources of the state police to capture those behind this shadowy Catilineseque conspiracy, and smash it to bits — in a different time and world sending a bobby around to knock on the trailer door of the President of Peasmouldia and give a stern lecture would have been sufficient, but now the threat of fascist terror is too great for such simple non-mechanized methods.
Since, some of the eight conspirators have been out on bail for the last 18 months — another pled guilty to weapons charges, and may give evidence — electronically tagged to prevent escape to sympathetic countries; and an unseemly dispute has arisen concerning the accused’ lodgings for the trial; being indigent they obviously cannot afford to travel 100 miles each day for 6 to 8 weeks, and the judge says the government cannot afford to pay for hotel rooms, so she has offered to put them in unconfined jail for the duration.
Only by standing firm, and having highly-trained performing lawyers scrutinze every word of those hundreds of pages of prosecutorial evidence, can America provide a fair trial and send them away to life imprisonment: showing her utter rejection of state fascism.
The ongoing separate war the United States is waging to eradicate the Gaddafi clan by targeting it’s smallest members proceeds apace with the successful targeted killing of some more of his youngest descendants, “I Do it for the Gipper.” Wiggum murmured as he gave the order, continuing his sedulous quest to fulfil the mandates of his Republican mentors. Yet, equally impressive the Chicago Hit he ordered on the demonic bin Laden, another death foretold, actually as well as achieving the primary purpose — gaining votes from those screaming hordes who would publicly celebrate a death — was the final act in Interpol’s Warrant to capture the demonic bin Laden, which was first issued in ’98 at the request of… Libya.
One might think that however tragic the deaths on 9/11 — the destruction of the Towers sans deaths would merely be a blessing, as would be virtually every building since 1920 ( but including the deaths of all foul present modernist architects and scum bastard building workers everywhere who destroyed the old and erected the pointless vile concrete new ) — the swap of 30,000 Afghani civilians since would placate the manes of the 3000 murdered then
Anyway, for the demonic bin Laden, the present choices are: that he was either dead long ago in the Caves of Tora Bora; dead from his numerous ailments ( which included Marfan’s, kidney disease, liver disease etc. etc.); killed in Abottabad; or snatched for a life of imprisonment and torture under the auspices of the vengeful state — which has not treated those on Guantánamo, ever unclosed yet, whose guilt in much less culpable crimes than those of bin Laden was unproven, at all well. Or he may have escaped and a double killed, yet his charisma and mystique vanished.
The ‘DNA evidence’ is as valueless as anything else the propaganda machine issues, since we have to rely on, the retrieved bits actually coming from the corpse in Abottabad, the matching being done by the state who killed him, and the control sample actually having been taken from his sister’s corpse — bearing in mind that it was recently discovered that the piece of skull held by the Russians which they alleged was that of Hitler really belonged to some poor woman — and that in all reports the administration controls what information is released, and however generous they are in releasing in succession utterly different stories, this means believing in the good faith of Obama, a man rarely capable of understanding, let alone telling, truth; the Pentagon; and the various state security forces. One thing that is certain is that the corpse, real or not, was actually about his height: since the killers had omitted, understandably enough, to bring along a tape measure, one of them of a similar length lay down besides the body to provide a datum.
And even if the event is broadly true, whilst the raid was a credit to the hit squad, killing a bewildered old man was evidently preferred to capture, as execution of the unrighteous; especially since they said that anything less than utter submission — difficult to manage for the least alarmed when being shot at — didn’t qualify as surrender, and that attempting to retreat, as was the demonic bin Laden before he was rubbed out proved resistance. Since when they killed this sick old fellow crawling on the floor, in front of his 12 yr-old daughter, he seemed incapable of a fight to the death with tooth and nail, being unguarded and unarmed, which seems extraordinary carelessness on the part of a supervillain.
While this affair reminds one of the horrifying 2004 murder of Shiekh Yassin, which temporarily changed my internet signatures to:
‘If you could have heard the old man scream as he fell, and the noise of his bones upon the pavement !’
[ from The Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts by RLS ]
I have to kill a 67-yr-old man Considering he’s paraplegic, should I choose a knife fight ? Or as he’s blind, it might be pistols at dawn: in order to demonstrate my sheer fighting courage perhaps I should use a helicopter gunship when his wheelchair is exiting morning prayers.
the mention of dreary old Adolf may as well include here my very favourite joke, as told in Germany in late ’45, and perhaps almost relevant in this matter:
When they found the Führer’s body, there was a little note attached: ‘I was never a Nazi.’
Down in the Valley
And with all this cavilling, the fact remains the aging prisoner in Abottabad was wistfully planning yet more wacky mayhem: his computer files, as released by the administration showed his meticulous planning for a new atrocity. “…was looking into trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge.”; yet worse, this was to be specifically aimed at Amtrak’s 805 km per hour trains — which I’ll assume can cross the continent in three and a half hours — no doubt as the doleful plumes of smoke rose from the valley below the opera-glass gazing conspirators would toss their tophats into the air and fondle their waxed moustaches whilst cackling fiendishly.
For someone who hated America so, I’m guessing he had very little idea of daily life in America; let alone Amtrak.
And at the last the final question remains: What sort of person is terrified by a weird old loony such as bin Laden ?
As President Wiggum details yet another bombing of a muslim country for their own good --- I swear, part of America's current mission policy statement is to rain death from the clouds upon each and every country in the world, in turn and prolly ending up with themselves --- it can't hurt to visit one of my favourite passages, from Herbert Gorman's magnificent 1947 fictionalization of L'Affaire Boulanger, Brave General, painting the general's unfortunate -- in consequence --- visit to Prince Napoleon's Chateau at Prangins, in the canton of Vaud [ Obit ]. When did a Plon-Plon benefit anyone ? Suitable no doubt since Obama shares with Georges his amiable nullity, combined even yet with the fading aura of one also once claimed as messiah who brought death and dictatorial misery as travelling companions.
Yanks of a liberal disposition now try to disassociate themselves and Bush-Lite from any suspicion of Obamamania, claiming that it was their opponents who fastened the unreal expectations of a new dispensation upon the reputation of a remarkably shifty candidate and soon to be dilettante president, yet none who actually lived through November of '08 will forget the revolting genuflections and hosannas which accompanied that victory; like Boulanger, who twisted in turn to solicit support from correct legitimists and the slippery factions who composed the body politic of the corrupt Third Republic, orleanists, bonapartists, socialists, clericals etc. etc., all realising in turn that he lacked spirit to do good for any, and not even for himself, the president courted foolishly his alleged enemies for bi-partisan support without having much of a plan for even the semblance of victory. As to whether being a hollow man is better than being a criminal worshipped war-lord, I can't say; but trying to be both is a respectable recipe for disaster.
As Gorman includes: In Politics one insisted to the last that one's party was winning, and when one's party did not win one spent the the next week inventing extraneous excuses for the defeat. The simple fact that one's party had lost because it had not received as many votes as the other fellow's party was never a conclusive explanation in itself. Politics, it appeared, was a constant self-justification. If I had done that, if I had done this, if the question had been properly presented, if my agent in that particular place... if the funds had been distributed as... if... if... if... Ah, that was politics. It was an absurd game of chess with crazy moves and cheating antagonists who stole your pawns when you were not looking. There was more politics, she thought, in republics than there were in kingdoms or empires for the simple reason that in republics there was no definitive iron hoof to stamp it out. That was good. So everybody said. The People spoke. Sometimes they spoke in a dozen clashing voices and nothing was resolved, or, if was resolved, it took a long time and the resolution lost a part of its strength. Like the American Congress. A wilful minority in that Paradise of democracy could indefinitely obstruct the will of the majority. That was called rule by the people. It sounded more like rule by the sediment that was too clotted to go down the drain. It held back everything.
Twilight was falling
Twilight was falling when the Prince, looking very much like a blown-up caricature of his august uncle, waddled into the large library with the General at his heels. "If you enter politics," he was saying, "you will soon discover it to be a nasty and merciless business. Have you a fortune ?" "Not a sou, "replied the General. "Well," said the Prince, as he thrust his hand into the front of his waistcoat, "if you run aground you will never be a stranger here." Thiébaud, who was standing by one of the glass cases of relics with Berthet-Leleux, turned smilingly towards the two men. "I have been thrilled by some of the objects in this case, Your Imperial Highness," he declared. "Look here, my General. Here are some things that will stir your soldier's heart." Boulanger advanced towards the relics eagerly, and the Prince followed, his broad face wreathed with smiles. "Yes," he said, "I intended to show you some of these sacred souvenirs. Berthet-Leleux, hand me the keys." The four men gathered before the case, while the Prince awkwardly unlocked the glass-panelled door. "There are the spurs that He wore on the return from Italy," he explained. "And there is the cockade that was in His hat the day He made them eat grapeshot at the Church of Saint-Roch. There are two of His pistols and the sash He wrapped around His middle when He drove the recalcitrant Council of the Five Hundred out of the Orangerie. And here... here..." He reached into the case and withdrew an Egyptian sabre in a gold-plated and bejewelled sheath. He extended it towards the General. "This is the sword the First Consul carried at Marengo," he said solemnly. For an instant the magic of the Cult impregnated the still air in the library. Afterwards Thiébaud swore that he heard the distant grumble of grenadier drums as the General stretched forward a respectful hand and lightly touched the hilt of the glittering weapon. "Are you sure that this is the sabre of the First Consul ?" he demanded in a hushed voice. The Prince smiled. "Do you think that this is bric-à-brac I have collected in flea-markets ?" he asked proudly. "It is a beautiful souvenir," declared the General in a reverent tone. His hand again caressed the hilt of the sword as lightly, as tenderly as though it were the upturned face of a beloved woman. Thiébaud saw the grave melancholy visage of a professional soldier to whom warfare was a religion and in whose eyes the saints wore burnished epaulets. Like the Moor in the English play his profession was his life and without it he would have no life at all... nothing, indeed, but existence. What, then ? What, then ? The journalist closed his mind to the answer. The Prince, too, observed the General's emotion and instinctively understood it. After all, he was a Bonaparte. Turning, he carefully placed the sabre back on the velvet in the open case. "General," he said, "when you have returned Alsace and Lorraine back to France I will offer you this sword." Justin entered the shadowy library with a lighted candelabra.
As elsewhere, earlier in the book, eternal truth remains for some of us outside all such montebanks of apparent power...
It was after four o'clock in the morning when the Polish waiter, leaning like an old collapsed scarecrow against the corridor wall, saw the door open and the octet emerge in a compact group. They were no longer laughing. "Remember," said Laguerre. "My dinner is tonight. You are all invited. In the meantime..." "In the meantime we have accomplished nothing," snapped Clemenceau. "We are moving to an understanding," said the General mildly. Ignace observed how Clemenceau turned a brief sour glance at the handsome gentleman with the blond beard. "Whose understanding ?" demanded the Breton abruptly. Nobody answered. As they were going down the stairs Ignace turned to Monsieur Frédéric. "They all detest one another," he remarked in a surprised tone. Monsieur Frédéric, who had been a maître d'hôtel for thirty years, shrugged his shoulders. "After all," he replied, "we live under a Republic. They have the liberty to detest one another. As for me... I am a Royalist."
And superstitious dread came to the unsuperstitious Soames; he turned his eyes away lest he should stare the little house into real unreality. He walked on, past the barracks to the Park rails, still moving west, afraid of turning homewards till he was tired out. Past four o'clock, and still an empty town, empty of all that made it a living hive, and yet this very emptiness gave it intense meaning. He felt that he would always remember a town so different from that he saw every day; and himself he would remember --- walking thus, unseen and solitary with his desire.
He went past Prince's Gate and turned. After all he had his work --- ten-thirty at the office ! Road and Park and houses stared at him now in the full light of earliest morning. He turned from them into the Park and crossed to the Row side. Funny to see the Row with no horses tearing up and down, or trapesing past like cats on hot bricks, no stream of carriages, no rows of sitting people, nothing but trees and the tan track. The trees and grass, though no dew had fallen, breathed on him; and he stretched himself at full length along a bench, his hands behind his head, his hat crushed on his chest, his eyes fixed on the leaves patterned against the still brightening sky. The air stole faint and fresh about his cheeks and lips, and the backs of his hands. The first sunlight came stealing flat from trunk to trunk, birds did not sing but talked, a wood pigeon back among the trees was cooing. Soames closed his eyes, and instantly imagination began to paint, for the eyes deep down within him, pictures of her. Picture of her --- standing passive in her frock flounced to the gleaming floor, while he wrote his initials on her card. Picture of her adjusting with long gloved fingers a camellia come loose in her corsage; turning for him to put her cloak on --- pictures, countless pictures, and ever strange, of her face sparkling for moments, or brooding, or averse; of her cheek inclined for his kiss, of her lips turned from his lips, of her eyes looking at him with a question that seemed to have no answer; of her eyes, dark and soft over a grey cat purring in her arms; picture of her auburn hair flowing as he had not seen it yet. Ah ! but soon --- but soon ! And as if answering the call of his imagination a cry --- long, not shrill, not harsh exactly, but so poignant --- jerked the blood to his heart. From back over there it came trailing, again and again, passionate --- the lost soul's cry of peacock in early morning; and with it there uprose from the spaces of his inner being the vision that was for ever haunting there, of her with hair unbound, of her all white and lost, yielding to his arms. It seared him with delight, swooned in him, and was gone. He opened his eyes; an early water-cart was nearing down the Row.
Soames rose and walking fast beneath the trees sought sanity.
John Galsworthy : Cry of Peacock, 1883 from On Forsyte 'Change
I am always stupified by an aspect of militant atheism never remarked upon: these curious little chaps so outraged and so angry at a non-existent God they devote time to refuting Him and belief in Him --- for time is the one thing they cannot afford.
Let us suppose that God does not Exist. OK then, if not thrown by eventual nothingness --- which on the contrary they gleefully embrace --- there's very little to be said; and certainly nothing of eternal value: however one may as well live one's life out as pleasantly as possible according to one's own choices. It is tough to spend half of that time labouring at a job one detests, yet this too is not a problem for them, since they enjoy whatever weird stuff they do --- such as being a professor or economist; but time runs out no matter how one uses it. If mentally unstable they may substitute Humanity as their ersatz-religion of choice, chosen solely because they happen to be human, and insist on working for and lecturing to humanity, ( and if so inclined, working for the eradication of social elements opposed to their own social philosophy of choice for the betterment of all mankind [ except those elements eradicated ] ) despite the fact that all of humanity is destined for nothingness just as much as they when time runs out. And that nothing will be left of them, their acts and thoughts, nor those of any other, when time runs out.
So let us suppose one of these: he is say, 40, that gives him roughly 40 more years of existence until he is extinguished to the point that he will never know he was extinguished or was ever alive. Not to mention that the memory of him will be as vanished as most in 10,000 years. Allowing two-thirds of time for eating, sleeping, working, worrying about money or worrying about social stability etc., that leaves 13 years of possible enjoyment. Instead he uses up this time on earth self-righteously persuading others that they will go into nothingness and unimportance with no salvation, and arguing about a deity in whom he does not believe. All the time the clock clicks to his termination and his remaining time runs out, as in a death cell. This has to be a definition of insanity: to spend the sole amount of time you will ever have, not even in anger at not going on to an afterlife, but railing against a God one thinks non-existent, hating the idea that others believe they go on, and mocking those whose faith is sure.
Karl Marx was one such, and despite his seminal work as a social philosopher and economist, all for an aim he believed he could never be conscious to see and which would end in nothingness itself, was largely inspired by early nineteenth century romantic rebellion against the God he didn't believe Existed, and Whom rationally he should not have cared about in the least, as a magnificent essay by Murray N. Rothbard I have referenced elsewhere makes clear.
Here are lyrics to Mother Nothingness ( The Triumph Of Ubbo Sathla ) from The Vision Bleak, and some of Marx's poetry from that essay: try and guess first...
Worlds I would destroy forever, Since I can create no world; Since my call they notice never
I shall build my throne high overhead, Cold, tremendous shall its summit be. For its bulwark –-- superstitious dread. For its marshal –-- blackest agony.
I shall howl gigantic curses on mankind. Ha ! Eternity ! She is an eternal grief. Ourselves being clockwork, blindly mechanical, Made to be foul-calendars of Time and Space, Having no purpose save to happen, to be ruined, So that there shall be something to ruin If there is a Something which devours, I'll leap within it, though I bring the world to ruins --– The world which bulks between me and the Abyss I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses. I'll throw my arms around its harsh reality: Embracing me, the world will dumbly pass away, And then sink down to utter nothingness, Perished, with no existence – that would be really living !
In the steaming morass Of a newborn earth Lies the formless mass Which to all gave birth
In a sea of sludge Of immense extend Lies the thoughtless mass Which is source and end
We all must follow Into her void To her fetid womb We all return
Her voiceless howl Resounds through time From primal mud And fenses foul
A limbless thing Mindless and coarse This wretches guise Is end and source
We all must follow Into her void To her fetid womb We all return
Fall through the aeons Onward to the earth in it's prime Fall through the aeons Becoming the spawn Of the great old slime
…the leaden world holds us fast And we are chained, shattered, empty, frightened, Eternally chained to this marble block of Being, … and we – We are the apes of a cold God.
After dawdling around Monaco itself, we went round to the 'Jeux' --- a large gambling-house established on the shore near Monaco, upon the road to Mentone. There is a splendid hotel there, and the large house of sin, blazing with gas lamps by night. So we saw it from the road beneath Turbia our first night, flaming and shining by the shore like Pandemonium, or the habitation of some romantic witch. This place, in truth, resembles the gardens of Alcina, or any other magician's trap for catching souls which poets have devised. It lies close by the sea in a hollow of the sheltering hills. there winter cannot come --- the flowers bloom, the waves dance, and sunlight laughs all through the year. The air swoons with scent of lemon groves; tall palm trees wave their branches in the garden; music of the softest, loudest, most inebriating passion swells from the palace; rich meats and wines are served in a gorgeously painted hall; cool corridors and sunny seats stand ready for the noontide heat or evening calm; without are olive gardens, green and fresh and full of flowers. But the witch herself holds her high court and never-ending festival of sin in the hall of the green tables. There is a passion which subdues all others, making music, sweet scents and delicious food, the plash of melodious waves, the evening air and freedom of the everlasting hills subserve her own supremacy.
When the fiend of play has entered into a man, what does he care for the beauties of nature or even for the pleasure of the sense ? Yet in the moments of his trial he must drain the cup of passion, therefore let him have companions --- splendid women, with bold eyes and golden hair and marble columns of imperial throats, to laugh with him, to sing shrill songs, to drink, to tempt the glassy deep at midnight when the cold moon shines or all the headlands glitter with grey phosphorescence and the palace sends its flaring lights and sound of cymbals to the hills. And many, too, there are over whom love and wine hold empire hardly less than play. This is no vision; it is sober, sad reality. I have seen it to-day with my own eyes. I have been inside the palace and breathed its air. In no other place could this riotous daughter of hell have set her throne so seducingly. Here are the Sirens and Calypso and Dame Venus of Tannhäuser's dream. Almost every other scene of dissipation has disappointed me by its monotony and sordidness. But this inebriates; here nature is so lavish, so beautiful, so softly luxurious, that the harlot's cup is thrice more sweet to the taste, more stealing of the senses than elsewhere. I felt, while we listened to the music, strolled about the gardens and lounged in the play-rooms, as I have sometimes felt at the opera. All other pleasures, thoughts and interests of life seemed to be far off and trivial for the time. I was beclouded, carried off my balance, lapped in strange forebodings of things infinite outside me in the human heart. Yet all was unreal; for the touch of reason, like the hand of Galahad, caused the boiling of this impure fountain to cease --- the wizard's castle disappeared and, as I drove home to Mentone, the solemn hills and skies and seas remained and that house was, as it were, a mirage.
Seventeen years ago the federal government launched a siege and final assault against a group of private citizens who had not offended outside the beliefs they held or outside the group. To validate this process a propaganda campaign of falsehoods was instituted and was continued after.
This was not a punishment: it was a warning.
Punishments there were, in plenty, for the survivors.
Now, governments will do these things, whether in Indonesia, China or the USA --- and in the absence of government private parties will do such things, as in the Bastard Feudalistic phase of Late Mediaeval period during the Wars of the Roses or in the Gilded Age of America ( when Robber Barons like the unspeakable little republicans such as Carnegie or Frick randomly slaughtered their workers, Europeans were outraged not wholly at the murderous defence of Capital --- European polities were scarcely housing or in other ways treating their lower classes well, and were not averse though profoundly reluctant to sending the troops in if the police could not contain a strike --- but at the sheer insufferability of private citizens, including corporations as private citizens in the curious Anglo-American tradition, possessing and using armed private police forces to ensure their will ). This is not so much a question of the awfulness of government power, but the inane and disgusting purpose of an individual government.
The sect remembered was a breakaway group of a breakaway ad infinitum group in the true tradition of faiths. Seventh-Day Adventists are fearfully respectable and cook delicious food in their restaurants: those who seceded, as is the common way with splinter-groups, grew loopier the further they strayed. By the time David Koresh was through his sect was the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists, the apple having rolled fairly far from the tree. Which is not to say the tenets of the Adventists are sane compared to Catholic doctrine --- and for Royalists, the Roman Catholics have always been the weak sisters to Monarchy and Western Civilisation: petty, corrupt and wilfully treacherous. For those loyal to higher powers than despicably elected mere Popes, Canossa is the Great Unforgotten as much as Kronstadt is to any decent communist. However, although their theology may not be persuasive it is at least coherent --- From the Wiki entry, all the Adventist groups share such flawed beliefs such as:
# Jesus Christ is to soon personally return to earth to gather together his elect and take them to heaven for 1000 years, after which he will return with them to this earth to dwell with them for eternity in his kingdom.
# The non-immortality of the soul. That is, the dead have no consciousness, nor being.
# There shall be a resurrection of both the just and of the unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place 1000 years later, at the close of the millennium.
# There is a sanctuary in heaven in which Christ is ministering on behalf of mankind.
# There is an investigative judgment going on in the heavenly sanctuary that began on October 22, 1844 to determine who will come forth in each of the resurrections, and who will be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Christ. That said judgment began with the records of those who had died, and would eventually pass to the living.
Etc., etc.. This stuff shares the usual delusion of religion that God is subject to human desires and whims. One may be sure that the number '1000' is relied upon as being a definite span, not too large as to be incomprehensible, not too small as to be verifiable: but to imagine God is subject to human time-tabling is not merely impious, but as vain as a mayfly suggesting the God envisaged by mayflies will judge the risen mayflies within a month.
And in the Wiki entry for the Siege itself there is piece we recognise as classic Curious Religious Americana --- we are often belaboured with the fact that America has a deeply religious base as compared with decadent Europe, just as has Dar al-Islam. And what use is that if the religion itself is utterly insane ? This has more to do with Spengler's forecast of the Second Religosity amongst the peasantry during the Imperialistic period than a deep love of the Almighty --- which involves exhumation and guns.
Following the failure of this prophecy, control of Mt. Carmel fell to Benjamin Roden, and on his death to his wife, Lois. Lois Roden considered their son, George, unfit to assume the position of prophet. Instead, she groomed Vernon Howell, later known as David Koresh, as her chosen successor. In 1984, a meeting led to a division of the group with Howell leading one faction, calling themselves the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, and George Roden leading the competing faction. After this split, George Roden ran Howell and his followers off Mt. Carmel. Howell and his group relocated to Palestine, Texas.
After the death of Lois and the probate case, Howell attempted to gain control of the Mt Carmel center by force. George Roden had dug up the casket of Anna Hughes from the Davidian cemetery and had challenged Howell to a resurrection contest to prove who was the rightful heir. Howell instead went to the police and claimed Roden was guilty of corpse abuse. By October 31, 1987 the county prosecutors had refused to file charges without proof and so on November 3, 1987 Howell and seven armed companions attempted to access the Mt. Carmel chapel with the goal of photographing the body in the casket. George Roden was advised of the interlopers and grabbed an Uzi in response. The sheriff's department responded about 20 minutes into the gunfight. Sheriff Harwell got Howell on the phone and told him to stop shooting and surrender. Howell and his companions, dubbed the "Rodenville Eight" by the media, were tried on April 12, 1988; seven were acquitted and the jury was hung on Howell's verdict. The county prosecutors did not press the case further.
While waiting for the trial, George Roden was put in jail under contempt of court charges on March 21, 1988 because of his use of foul language in some court pleadings threatening the Texas court with AIDS and herpes if it ruled in favor of Howell. The very next day, Perry Jones and a number of Howell's other followers moved from their headquarters in Palestine, Texas to Mt. Carmel Center.
The bellowed threats of God's biological warfare smiting the court seem counterproductive to getting that court to look favorably upon one's cause...
The Most Intelligent Way Possible
However the prior antics of squabbling religious fanatics was unassociated with the later event, which was orchestrated under the leadership of Miss Janet Reno. Here, I shall defer to a recent report [ Dec 2009 ] from IFS Writers: God Bless You Janet Reno --- Child Killer.
For 51 days, the ATF and the FBI held these people hostage, and then lied to Congress. I just want to let everyone know that I too, remember these Americans, these little children and old people that Janet Reno had gunned down, mutilated and burnt in the name of justice. I remember that one male report, who would come to the microphone and TV camera, and report that - there was no food for the children, or the next time, the kids were being molested, or the very next time, the kids were being held as hostages, etc. I wonder how his career is during these days. America will never forget Janet Reno and her friends that kill children, mothers and old people. I know she will live a long fruitful life. After all one day she will meet each and everyone of those victims again. And at that time, there are no laws, police and anything thing else that will save her from the raft of hell.
Janet Reno, the former attorney general in the Clinton administration, received a lifetime achievement award Friday, April 18, 2009, from the American Judicature Society, a non-partisan justice advocacy network.
Speaking slowly because of the effects of Parkinson Disease, Reno praised violence prevention programs and the current direction of the Justice Department. “Now I can look at America and think this is a nation that is responding in the most intelligent way possible to deal with violence, especially domestic violence,” Reno said.
Poor old incompetent fool, it might be more charitable to assume she, as we assume of Reagan during his presidency, so crippled pre factum that the mental damage was already there rather than it being a punishment..
Oh, Say, Can You See....
On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in America. Approximately eighty armed agents invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; six Branch Davidians and four agents were killed.
Attorney General Janet Reno asked for and received military support. The U.S. Army showed up with tanks.
After a fifty-one-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved Reno’s plan to use CS gas and break down the walls with tanks to “save the children” of those barricaded inside.
On the 51st day tanks carrying the CS gas broke through the concrete walls and entered the compound. A fire broke out, and all seventy-four men, women and children inside perished. One third of them from gunshot wounds, the rest crushed by debris or burned to death.
After the compound had burned down the ATF flag was hoisted aloft to signify ‘victory’. At Janet Reno’s award ceremony today it was only mentioned that 74 “cult members” were killed.
Still Meant Over 10 Years In Quod For Resisting Arrest
In The Davidian trial judge sentenced five Davidians to the maximum sentence of 30 years each; one to 20 years; one to 15; one to 5 years and one to 3 years. On June 4, 2000 the Supreme Court cut 25 years from 4 Davidians' sentences and 5 years from one. On September 9, 2000 Judge Walter Smith followed the Court's instructions and cut those sentences, as well as the 25 year sentence of Livingstone Fagan who had not appealed.
All were released as of July 2007.
However... Quite ordinary American prisons appear training grounds for Guantánamo: from the Wiki article...
One, Derek Lovelock, was held in McLennan County Jail for seven months, often in solitary confinement. Livingston Fagan, another British citizen, who was among those convicted and imprisoned, recounts multiple beatings at the hands of prison guards, particularly at Leavenworth. He claims to have been doused with cold water from a high-pressure hose, which soaked both him and the contents and bedding of his cell, after which an industrial fan was placed outside the cell, blasting him with cold air. He was repeatedly moved between at least nine different facilities. He was strip-searched every time he took exercise, so refused exercise.
It's very difficult to imagine what pleasure a prison guard gets from beating up inmates...
And with all sieges where the external forces have world enough and time, All You Ever Have To Do Is Wait.
Long ago, and the which I never saw, there was an English TV sitcom called It Ain't Half Hot, Mum --- which title may go a way to explain why the snobbish might avoid it --- dealing with a troop of conscripts in Burma during WWII. No-one I've met has ever averred that people there had a 'Good War'...
However, two of the cast, Mr. Don Estelle the singer, and Mr. Windsor Davies who played a Welsh Sergeant, collaborated on this rendition of Whispering Grass.
"You shock me sometimes, Jean," he said, a statement which amused her.
"You're such a half‑and half man," she said with a note of contempt in her voice. "You were quite willing to benefit by Jim Meredith's death; you killed him as cold‑bloodedly as you killed poor little Bulford, and yet you must whine and snivel whenever your deeds are put into plain language. What does it matter if Lydia dies now or in fifty years, time ?" she asked. "It would be different if she were immortal. You people attach so much importance to human life --- the ancients, and the Japanese amongst the modern, are the only people who have the matter in true perspective. It is no more cruel to kill a human being than it is to cut the throat of a pig to provide you with bacon. There's hardly a dish at your table which doesn't represent wilful murder, and yet you never think of it, but because the man animal can talk and dresses himself or herself in queer animal and vegetable fabrics, and decorates the body with bits of metal and pieces of glittering quartz, you give its life a value which you deny to the cattle within your gates ! Killing is a matter of expediency. Permissable if you call it war, terrible if you call it murder. To me it is just killing. If you are caught in the act of killing they kill you, and people say it is right to do so. The sacredness of human life is a slogan invented by cowards who fear death --- as you do."
Here by the moorway you returned, And saw the borough lights ahead That lit your face — all undiscerned To be in a week the face of the dead, And you told of the charm of that haloed view That never again would beam on you.
And on your left you passed the spot Where eight days later you were to lie, And be spoken of as one who was not; Beholding it with a heedless eye As alien from you, though under its tree You soon would halt everlastingly.
I drove not with you.… Yet had I sat At your side that eve I should not have seen That the countenance I was glancing at Had a last-time look in the flickering sheen, Nor have read the writing upon your face, “I go hence soon to my resting-place;
“You may miss me then. But I shall not know How many times you visit me there, Or what your thoughts are, or if you go There never at all. And I shall not care. Should you censure me I shall take no heed And even your praises no more shall need.”
True: never you’ll know. And you will not mind. But shall I then slight you because of such ? Dear ghost, in the past did you ever find The thought “What profit”, move me much ? Yet abides the fact, indeed, the same, — You are past love, praise, indifference, blame.
A herd of hawks hover in ten thousand li of high altitude A lonely horse is buried in Qin Sichuan's soil At this night, the cold wind is blowing the tears of the moon Wails to come at a distance, that is a cuckoo of the insomnia on the tree.
In all the immense literature about the 1939 – 1945 war, one may observe a legend in process of being shaped. Gradually, authentic memories of the war — of its boredom, its futility, the sense it gave of being part of a process of decomposition — fade in favor of the legendary version, embodied in Churchill’s rhetoric and all the other narratives by field marshals, air marshals and admirals, creating the same impression of a titanic and forever memorable struggle in defense of civilization. In fact, of course, the war’s ostensible aims — the defense of a defunct Empire, a spent Revolution, and bogus Freedoms — were meaningless in the context of the times. They will probably rate in the end no more than a footnote on the last page of the last chapter of the story of our civilization.
In the daies of Tiberius the Emperor, there was a yong Raven hatched in a neast upon the church of Castor and Pollux, which, to make a triall how he could flie, took his first flight into a shoomakers shop just overagainst the said church. The maister of the shop was well ynough content to receive this bird, as commended to him from so sacred a place, and in that regard set great store by it. This Raven in short time being acquainted to mans speech, began to speak, & every morning would fly up to the top of the Rostra or publicke pulpit for Orations, where, turning to the open Forum and market place, he would salute and bid Good morrow to Tiberius Cæsar, and after him, to Germanicus and Drusus the yong princes, both Cæsars, every one by their names: and anon the people of Rome also that passed by. And when hee had so done, afterwards would flie againe to the shoomakers shop aforesaid. This duty practised he and continued for many years together, to the great wonder and admiration of all men. Now it fell out so, that another shoomaker, who had taken the next corviners shop unto him, either upon a malicious envie that hee occupied so neere him, or some suddaine splene and passion of choller (as he would seeme to plead for his excuse) for that the Raven chaunced to meute a little, and set some spot upon a paire of his shoes, killed the said Raven. Whereat the people tooke such indignation, that they rising in an uprore, first drove him out of that street, and made that quarter of the city too hote for him: and not long after murdered him for it. But contrariwise, the carkasse of the dead Raven was solemnely enterred, and the funerals performed with all ceremoniall obsequies that could bee devised. For the corps of this bird was bestowed in a coffin, couch, or bed, and the same bedecked with chaplets and guirlands of fresh floures of all sorts, carried upon the shoulders of two blacke Mores, with minstrels before, sounding the haut-boies, and playing on the fife, as farre as to the funerall fire; which was piled and made in the right hand of the causey Appia, two miles without the cittie, in a certain plaine or open field called Rediculi. So highly reputed the people of Rome that readie wit and apt disposition in a bird, as they thought it a sufficient cause to ordaine a sumptuous buriall therefore: yea, and to revenge the death thereof, by murdering a cittizen of Rome in that citie, wherein many a brave man and noble person died, and no man ever solemnized their funerals: in that citie I say which affoorded not one man to revenge the unworthie death of that renowned Scipio Æmylianus, after he had woon both Carthage and Numantia. This happened the fifth day before the Calends of Aprill, in the yeare when M. Servilius and C. Cestius were Consuls of Rome.
[ Scipio Aemilianus being the despicable liberal Optimate, of course, and not the brilliant Africanus: so why should any honest man care about the death of the enemy of Africanus's grandsons, the admirable Gracchi ? ]
Still, I was rather under the impression that I had already included this Final Fantasy / Connie Francis mix regarding Squall and his Rinoa; but it was probably placed elsewhere; so it really should find a home here.