Get Up! Move Faster!

“I don’t think you’re accurately accounting for the level of vanity involved in the people who translate ancient (or for that matter contemporary) texts.”

That’s what I should have said. Instead, I indulged myself in a fruitless, ground-losing defense of the character of translators. I think my big claim was, “Trust me. These people get it right!” Fizzle.

Why was I talking about translating ancient texts? Because I was talking about the unparalleled world of reading that opens to a human that learns one language—English—as being superior to the notion of achieving some sort of highly inefficient, multi-cultural divinity because of speaking two or more languages.

My partner in the conversation was, naturally, repulsed by this placement of English on a pedestal. Her devotion to sounding welcoming of all peoples and tongues was so blinding that she couldn’t even see that it’s English that gives us the access to all peoples and tongues (or at least those who have had anything to say that’s worth repeating). There’s no Arabic translation of Shakespeare spreading through the Middle East.

Oh well. Now I know. Live and learn.

Rhetorical tip o’ the day: Go with what keeps the conversation interesting and plays into putting the moron on the defense of whoever I’m trying to defend.

“You can’t blame Trump supporters for their zeal. They were beaten into stupors by white supremacists as children. A child can’t recover from that.”

“Well, you know, pro-lifers haven’t really been exposed to other ideas and cultures. Especially the ones claiming female gender. They’re basically enslaved to their holy book, incapable of escape. Pro-life is their hijab.”

“Many of the men supporting gun ownership are actually just compensating for their sterility, which they contracted due to PTSD, either from A. essentially being drafted—due to their poverty—to fight America’s illegal wars, or from B. their having witnessed gruesome animal torture on hunting trips with local hate groups at a young age.”

Yep. Those would nicely tee up even the nimblest leftist rhetorician for slaughter.

Can’t trust translators. Puuh. What an empty statement.

Unlived, Unlit, and Unstoppable

In the future, the historians will earn their daily bread by revealing what is common knowledge to those of us who have endured to this point in America’s second civil war. That is, the historians will take up—singularly—as the topic of their magnum opuses the fact that the war (itself not an immoral or criminal part of life on earth) began with wanton, unchecked criminality.

Once it became clear that the police were not going to behave according to their sworn oaths, Americans in whose veins pumped blood which was hot with rage did not line up according to some contemporary “Blue and Grey” as the Proud Boys and Antifa gangs had hoped.

In the beginning there wasn’t strategy; there weren’t plans. In the place of those things, and others, which always took much time to materialize (and only ever did at the sounding of a long suppressed cry for leadership) the baser instincts of society were unleashed. This meant, naturally, that what we now call the “war” first began as all violent crime begins—passionately. And for any crime to receive this noble description, it can only relate one shameful fact: the violence occurred among family and friends.

People, generally men, who had long felt wronged and unheard by the “man” saw an opportunity to take matters into their own hands. One can almost empathize with these previously caged animals. “Fuck it,” they said. “If there’s no chance of punishment this side of the dirt, I’ll take my chances with whatever comes on the other side.” God Will Judge became the mantra.

Who among us hasn’t heard stories of the bloody red, depressingly black, and intensely personal mayhem that occurred in the year before formal armies were announced and maps redrawn? Tell me I’m wrong. We felt comfortable among strangers—enough even to dull our senses with the poison of the month. But no one would have more than one beer with family for fear of missing the cues proffered that home-cooked meals with just arrived, uninvited distant relatives would end in bloodshed. To live in fear of your own kin? That’s a crime against heaven. And heaven has answered, surely.

Culturally speaking, this played out across the country differently. The blacks, hispanics, Chinese, mooslums, and others—by virtue of living so communally as it was—were on edge all the time (which was not too different from their prior felt experience). The whites? Well, we lived out another chapter of the story. The interstates were filled with murderous travelers. To keep up with the new reality, we put a new entry into the Merriam-Webster app entry of “road rage”. And when people stopped for what would have become road rage crimes in the recent past, this time they didn’t fight or shoot each other. Rather, they shared the stories which, like their vehicles, carried them forward by the latent power of unexploded remains of ancient demons. But most of the time no one stopped. Tailgating still caused anger, but no one stopped driving. They allowed the reflection of the bumper close behind to crystallize their vision of the future close ahead.

Here’s the point. Here’s the part that no historian will ever think to write about or investigate because a negative just can’t be proven—so they say. But I don’t need logic to tell you what I saw. The dead, the victims of these crimes of passion? They never saw it coming.

This Time I Resolve Why There Are No More Great Ideas (And This Also Explains Why Good Ideas Didn’t Ever Really Come Out Of Anywhere But The West)

I’ve had my “Great Books of the Western World” set for over two years now. Not including the Synopticons, books 2 & 3, I am on book 5, I think. Aeschylus. I think. Anyhow, the thing that has been unresolved until now is how no one else cares about these amazing books and ideas.

Finally, today, it hit me. To put it avant-garde, the reason no one cares about the “great books/ideas” is because there are too many Indians to kill this time around. Put inversely, the reason no one cares about the “great books/ideas” is because there is no vast, unexplored, unconquered, and ungoverned terra firma to be again treated like New Eden. After all, it’s “you’ve been kicked out of the Garden”, not, “You’ve been kicked out of wherever you settled after being kicked out of the Garden.”

We don’t seem to be able to think more than one step ahead.

Put another way, great ideas and great books—so says the zeitgeist—have become meaningless. We ask, “What’s the point? Where could we put them into practice and try to build up a utopia for a third time?”

“Is anyone really going to redraw European boundaries? Will untamed regions of Africa and South America and Siberia and Northern Canada really find themselves useful to man?”

“Where is the Neo New World? Or the Ultimate Final Frontier?”

“Speaking of, will it be ‘New USA’ once we’re living somewhere off earth? Or just ‘USA’?”

My step-son just finished reading about Columbus, from an author who adored Columbus—rightly so—and on no follow-on ACT/SAT-prep style reading comprehension test is Columbus:Spain::Musk:USA, no matter how many dictionaries or books I let him use.

Changing generations, my good, in fact, great friend is working on his History PhD, and in so doing writes on mountaineering and exploration. I used to think he was writing the history of mountaineering and exploration. Now I see that he is writing that mountaineering and exploration are actions and ideas which can only be found in history—like the word “homespun”. The crazy part of this aspect of my realization is that many people and cultures never climbed mountains for pleasure or explored uncharted vistas in the first place. It seems that nature is not equitable when dishing out bravery. We might say that bravery is actually unnatural. Better to hide, run, and go hungry.

In the end, despite the depressing nature of the above, I am terribly excited to have resolved this.

Stay tuned for a post about how I resolve the follow-up quandary, which is deciding how to let fellow earthlings know that they are not very nice neighbors without killing the men, raping the women, and enslaving the children. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Let’s Be Honest

Can we be honest with each other, you and me? Let’s be honest. This whole “Say Her Name” challenge chant that accompanies the now nightly tide of stupidity is an indefensible, ignorant, and superstitious holdover from Old Testament days and Old Testament locations.

I get it. The “whites” who are marching alongside the “blacks” are trying to be empathetic and sympathetic (and many other multi-syllabic words which these self-same “blacks” still aren’t certain as to whether they mean friend or foe). And in their skin-deep efforts, the “whites” are willing to go with the flow. In the meantime, the “whites”, who also like to wrap the utterance of “RBG” in a knowing look (Do you honestly believe you knew her? I know that you haven’t read one, not one, of her opinions. Stop the nonsense.)—as I was saying—the “whites” have tragically left their thinking caps at home when they pack their camelbacks for the day trip downtown. But if they knew what the “blacks” chanting “Say Her Name!” really meant to accomplish—some kind of wishful, but literal, deification of the dead #BreeWay—I have to believe that these “whites” would pack it up and head home.

Despite the “blacks’” most passionate and honest desire to take us back to the days when crossing the Jordan meant something, since the Resurrection, the utterance of only one name actually requires decision, actually might have consequence, and that name, as you know, is Jesus. And even here most people, Christians included, don’t really believe the good Lord is going to hold their silence against them at the Pearly Gates.

Anecdotally, I’m told that in Ethiopia if a person exclaims, “Jesus!” after dropping a dish, stubbing their toe, or hearing a loud noise, then a non-believer will often playfully retort, “Are you Pente?” They, of course, mean “of the pentecostal denomination” which is renowned for placing great value on all things uttered. I mention that here because that should get you close to understanding what the “blacks” you’re marching alongside, and posting yard signs in support of, really mean.

On the whole, in this superficially diverse movement, the “blacks” are foolish for thinking this is finally “their” moment—foolish especially for believing the “whites” who literally have nothing better to do with their time really care. And the “whites” are foolish for dropping the great legacy of skepticism and regressing to the point of ancestor worship. To be clear: Civilized man doesn’t do ancestor worship anymore. There is power in the name of Jesus (or there might be), but that’s it. No amount of chanting any other audible elixir will ever change that. So let’s be honest. You know this. Or you used to. Please remember it.

Review of Bob Woodward and Friends’ Forgettable Effort

I don’t remember who taught me to do this, maybe it’s just the way my mind works. But if I hear that, for example, some otherwise successful and prepared leader lost a battle because he underestimated his enemy, I try to live under the mindset of the other extreme. In this case, I live always overestimate my enemy. (Enemy is a bit harsh here, but it’s quick.)

What’s on my mind, today, is that the pundits won’t stop. It’s been four years of Trump and they won’t stop. They somehow believe that today is the day I’ll rise up with them in indignation that Trump lied. (“Up-played.” It’s brilliant.) But until recently I couldn’t answer the question, “Why do the pundits press on? What drives them?”

It cannot be love of country. They cannot be driven by their love of the USA because that’s what drives me. That’s what drives Trump. If I felt they loved America, then I wouldn’t care what they said, anymore than I care what Trump says. But I do care about what they say, rather I do struggle to understand how and why they continue to point out the obvious as if it isn’t obvious. And so something else must be driving them.

At first, I wanted to treat the pundits like children. Like children, I thought, the pundits just didn’t like the man. But then I remembered that underestimating my opponent can lead to disaster, so I have given up that line of thinking.

What, then, would the wisest, most educated and well-read humans who ever walked the earth (here’s the intentional overestimate) be so ate up with that they’d persevere day in and day out against Trump? That became my question.

The answer: Vanity.

If I was wise, well-read (let’s not forget camera ready and funny), and lived in the United States of America right now, I’d hate that no one noticed me. I’d be super pissed that all my brainpower was not translating to real power. Sure, I may live in opulent comfort, but I would know that if I had been alive only a few generations ago, then I would have found that my abilities would have placed real power within my grasp. I’m talking Trump-like power. I would know that I could have very likely been KING OF THE WORLD!! (Flat or not.)

But, as it stands, we all live today. Right now. And no one, not-a-me, and not-a-you, (and not the pundits—from either side) are going to live on in history. President Donald J. Trump will, though. He, in all his buffoonery and apparent lies and orange hair and every other flaw the wise and well-read (perhaps even physically fit) pundits point out unrelentingly, will live on.

Do I care that Trump lives on and I do not? Nope. But if I was as wise and well-read as my (overestimated) opponents must be, then I have to think I’d resent that despite all my education and training and ambitions, that I, daily, was proving to be impotent and forgettable.

This perspective, achieved by overestimating my opponent, allows little ol’ me to admit that this would be a hard truth to face. I could even admit that this hard truth might just drive me into an incessant, blind rage.

One Black Future

“…we ought rather to be proud of the fact that American literature can boast of at least one good, decent, Christian author who was cursed neither with self-consciousness not with false modesty, those banes of art.” — William Leigh Jr.

“SAY HIS NAME!!”

I found the bullhorn was more annoying than loud. Worse, for their cause, the mob’s response to the prompt felt forced. And I’d be lying if I described it as “loud”. Rather than lead you to believe that my tale centers on decibels, however, I want to say that what worried me now was the shortened breathing and seemingly even shorter attention span of the man who I just met.

And then it happened, I got slugged.

“Say it again,” he yelled at me. “Hey y’all, hold up! Look at what we got here,” he yelled to the mob.

For a moment, the mob pretended to possess enough self-control to be undeterred from their purpose.

But his second call of, “Hey y’all! Y’all ain’t gonna believe what this white boy just said,” proved as attractive to this crowd as a city block of recently renovated urban blight.

I’d straightened up at this point. And just as my composure returned, unexpectedly, I felt his knuckles against my ear again. I crouched low and stepped back for a second time. And down I stayed as I heard an angry, loud young women ask, “What’d he say?” And then what I could only describe as the voice of a future Southern Gospel preacher boomed, “We being peaceful tonight, brothers and sisters. Peaceful. Don’t hit the man. Someone help him.” In response to this great addition to the annals of stump speeches, some sort of lackey came my way, crouching to look over the extent of damage to my face.

Turning to me, the Reverend Doctor said, “Apologies for that. What’s on your mind?”

I collected my bearings, avoided shaking the battlefield surgeon’s hand, and found that I was newly surrounded by the mob.

“You’re not black,” I repeated.

With a squint that betrayed his true color, Pastor-man sharpened his eyes, hoping that his flock would disobey en masse just this once. Only the initial loudmouth proved himself deaf. And so, for the third time, something I can only describe as a mix between a slap and a wild right hook landed on the top of my skull. As I wrapped my arms around my now hunched over, asphalt-gazing head, I had to admit, my skill at recognizing the start of the contest was improving.

“Boy,” the man began, unable to withstand all temptation to civility, “I’m, ah,” he rubbed his chin and looked around as he measured the feeling of the mob. Somebody in the back shouted, “‘We!’” The future-Pastor took this correction in stride and rejoined, “Son, we,” and at this he drew a lazy circle around his head with a downward pointing finger for emphasis as he turned a circle himself, then continued, “we are gonna give you another chance to speak.” (“It’s only fair!” someone added.) “I’m praying,” he paused to let a knowing chuckle breathe, “that you use it wisely.”

Did I want to die? That’s the question I asked myself. I still don’t know the answer. I don’t think I did. But I was tired. I know I was tired. I couldn’t remember a time in my life when we weren’t forced to listen to this nonsensical bullshit, and tonight, I was simply out of energy.

“I said,” I began, “you ALL,” here I diligently added a minor clarification which I thought might help communicate my intention more clearly, “are not black.”

Not like the modern “Cirque du Soleil”-style circus, but quite like an atmosphere of the circuses of lore, or what I imagined to be how those big tops operated—always on the verge of chaos—a circus erupted.

At this, I definitely avoided what would have been the fourth blow by my initial conversant. The trouble was that my path backwards, as I mentioned, had been filled in by the mob, specifically by tightly—and remarkably scantily (considering the amount of fabric)—clothed heavyset women. Like always, these about-to-be-breaking-out rap-porn, IG Queens were, with one hand, pointing their phones at me and with the other, holding drive-thru cups out of which they sipped some sort of sugary delight through straws. All the while, their purses looked like they were enjoying the break from constant adjustments that naturally occurred while the mob wormed its way around low numbered street names.

In other words, I found my retreat blocked off by what amounted to angry, hi-tech pillows.

So his fifth punch did land. Oh well.

“You blind?! You sayin’ my skin ain’t black?”

He didn’t really leave me much time between punches 6, 7, and 8, but I continued our interview anyhow.

“No. I’m saying, ‘You are not,” I suddenly remembered the earlier point of clarity and so corrected myself, but not before number 9, “I’m saying, ‘You all are not black.’”

I stayed on my back for a moment, thinking to rest and recuperate, but was unpleasantly surprised to feel a kick to my left ear—what was up with this dude and ears?

“Let him up!” I heard a loud too-busy-for-choir-practice-but-too-good-to-not-be-in-the-church-choir-alto sing out.

Like a poor form deadlift, all back and no legs, I stood to the erect position again.

“Thank you,” I acknowledged.

No sooner than these words came out did I discover that she might have had a protein shake in her cup. Put bluntly, not ‘all fat’, as I had suspected, and I found myself pushed down, very directly, to the ground once again.

“Bitch, I don’t speak for no one but me, but I am black!” she announced.

So where are we? Right, a kick again from Don Lemon, this time to the kidney, and that makes 11.

I felt there would be another soon, so I hopped up quickly, covered the ear closest to my lately befriended investigator, and repeated, “You all are not black.”

****

“And that’s when we showed up?” Officer Jones asked.

“Yup. My own knights in shining armor. Don Quixote,” I said.

“Don who?”

“Never mind. It’s a book. Good one, too. So what’s next?”

“I think we have everything we need to finish up the paperwork for tonight,” he said. Then he continued, “Can I tell you something?”

“Shoot.”

“You’re kinda a moron.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Will you do something for me?”

I hesitated.

“Will you stop saying, ‘You’re not black’?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

“Because someone needs to tell them the truth.”

I’ve Struck It!

I’ve struck it. Eureka! I finally have a narrative that satisfies. It’s perfect. It’s coherent. It’s complete.

The American dream, the American way of life, requires agreement. It cannot be imposed. It cannot be forced.

For the last few months, like everyone else, I have been struggling with the way the fringe movements, the radicals, have somehow taken over the news cycle and captivated us all. I can’t understand how illiterate blacks (culture, not skin color) could put out a written mission statement on a website (“talk to text” maybe? Idk). And I am perplexed by the “patriot” type groups who spend their small fortunes on fingerless gloves and beard trimmers.

But now I’ve finally come across something that explains it all. (Thanks, John C. Calhoun.) America requires, as a necessary and sufficient cause, the agreement of the people.

No National Guard troops can maintain America. No police force in riot gear. No chanting, whether metered, rhyming or deity-invoking or not. No umbrellas. No N95s. No vaccines. Nope, no element of force will do the trick here in America.

Other, perhaps all other, types of government, types of countries, can be maintained through force. But not ours. Not America.

Why, then, are we seemingly headed towards disaster, month after month? Because we don’t agree to America anymore. The blacks (culture, not skin color) don’t agree to receiving gifts. The patriots don’t agree to being taught history by the illiterate blacks (culture, not skin color).

The inevitable question this realization leads to is, “How do we achieve agreement again?” And that question hinges on, “What in the world do we believe the future holds anyhow? Flying cars? Cures? Mars?”

Many educated Americans point to China as the way of the future (after all, they still wear masks on public transit—no complaints). Many blacks (culture, not skin color) point to Wakanda (or are the protests literally all going to end if a handful of policemen are in jail?).

In other words, without the future, we’re in a tight spot.

As your captain, I’d offer that the future must be a successful landing. To do that, we have to truthfully assess the condition of the atmosphere and decide if we have enough fuel to reach our original destination (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness). If not, we need to head to our alternate (the hope that our children will be the right skin color when full lawlessness officially breaks out–Rwanda-style).

To BLM: I won’t overlook lies to save a handful of American lives—not sure if this is hard to understand, but some things are more important than life. Truth is one of them.

To Patriots: I can’t commit. But please email me if you decide to change which flag means “same team”.

Flawless Execution

I do not know how Trump’s team chose “red” for their ballcaps.

I think I understand why red ballcaps became a symbol of all things evil.

I am very certain that I adore the recent and unfolding slight-of-hand in which red ballcaps have been replaced with the American flag.

And I am here today to say that the exchange was executed flawlessly.

You see, the American man can always spot the enemy. This ability is no mutant, divine, or alien superpower, but it does seem to reside in the rushing rivers of our blood. Likewise, the enemy always knows that deep down, in the empty recesses of their heart, that they are an enemy to America. The reason the American man and the enemy cannot coexist is found in this simple fact: the enemy lies. Consequently, rather than come outright and announce their disdain for all things star spangled, they strategically and deceitfully choose to disdain abstract, absurd, and obnoxious straw men. So be it.

But, but, I say! The American flag is now back in the mix.

Until today I never really considered what it must be like to view Old Glory through the eyes of an enemy. Did the Germans really ever hate it, back in the day? Doubtful. Could Osama Bin Laden look upon the American flag-blanketed bases in his homeland without envy? Yeah, right. Even now if I imagine my Trump-hating relatives (the BLMer up the street), I have to ask myself, when they see the Red, White, and Blue, does not the same awe and wonder that pulses through my body pulse through their body, leaving only goosebumps in their wake? Surely!

All this to say I’m thinking about a tattoo. And a vinyl wrap for my truck. And a flag pole for my truck. And a few T-shirts, starring you know which object of admiration.

Flawless execution. The American man has always known. Now all do.

You never hated Trump. It wasn’t the red ballcaps that disturbed your baser passions. From birth you had it out for Truth. Then you couldn’t stand to work hard and your lack of self-control was only outdone by your envy. Later you wouldn’t accept that you were born into a world which demanded, and did not apologize for its insistence, that you accept responsibility. Afterward, you furnished any and every argument, from weak to completely unfounded, against accountability. Finally, it has been revealed that your ignorance of history is only to be silenced by your cry to change it.

Uncursed Art

“…we ought rather to be proud of the fact that American literature can boast of at least one good, decent, Christian author who was cursed neither with self-consciousness nor with false modesty, those banes of art.” — William Leigh Jr.

The NBA players are so stupid that they can’t distinguish between “boycotting” and “quitting”. You can’t boycott yourself. Or, I guess you can, but it’s called quitting. Let it be said, unsurprisingly, when times got rough, LeBron quit.

Heading into this election, I have the same feeling I had last election: Trump is going to win. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to make sense. I offer as proof the fact that so many well-to-do whites hate him.

Vice President Mike Pence is Uncle Tom. It’s remarkable to me. Whether he really is as squeaky clean as his image makes him appear, I look at Pence and see a man rewarded for simple obedience. In this way, he is a genius and I couldn’t respect him more.

I watched, for obvious reasons, Black Panther last night. The notion of Wakanda is still troubling to me. I want to be Batman. I wouldn’t mind being Superman. Wolverine would be a great superhero to embody. But I can’t get with Black Panther. His ultimate power is his hidden culture? His ultimate power is he knows that his people are better than generally perceived? More and more I find myself persuaded that the single most harmful thought to a man is the notion that his ancestors were enslaved, the notion that his “people” were a victim at some point, the notion that someone else is controlling his destiny.

Peggy Noonan is out of touch. Evidence: she pontificated about what a 12 year old would think after watching the DNC. She said, “I’d wonder if I had a chance.” Well, I spend a lot of time around two ten year olds. This is what they would think, this is what they would say after watching the DNC, “Tonight’s the night. I am going to tell him I’m gay. No, wait, I’ll say ‘LGBTQ.’ Or maybe I’ll just tell him who I ‘like’ right now.” Then the child would utter some strong, terribly heartfelt call for wearing masks, taking vaccines, and a defense of all things black, all things China, all things climate, all things women, all things equality, all things diversity, and all things safety. In other words, the 12 year old would think and speak like a child. Because they are one.

RNC vs. DNC, In A Word

The messaging is now formal and official. In this great contest for the supposed “soul” of America, tonight the RNC formally unleashed its claim. That claim: AMERICA!

This, of course, is in response to the DNC claim: INTELLIGENCE!

And so, it’s on.

Which are you going to vote for?

People who think they’re smarter than everyone?

Or people who think America’s greater than everywhere?