Not too different than normal, this post’s impetus is the lack of truth from any and all conservative pundits. Faithful readers will recall that, recently, my posts have explored my new understanding that John Locke’s role was as “War Inciter” (not just philosopher), as well as included some of my own hints or foreshadows of coming unrest. I don’t write these things to stake claim in knowledge of the future, but because I believe in being prepared. To be prepared for more of the same requires no writing, no thought, no words. People tell me what to do and where to be and I comply. But to be prepared for war requires definitions of terms and clearly stated objectives at the least, and these require some diary/blog entries. So here’s another.
This mask business, of late, has been effectively screaming into my ear that the real problem is psychological, not concrete. My evidence is that no one has been arrested (not for simply not complying) for not wearing a face covering at the appropriate time and place. The viral videos include ridiculous shouting matches and other nonsensical elements such as, “You don’t need those actual products to live a very, very good life! You started the fight. Admit it. And don’t start it again if you don’t want to engage in it—which would mean some obvious plan to achieve the outcome you desire.” To my thinking, this means that they—these viral videos which convey, on the surface, a great injustice to liberty—should be disregarded. They are irrelevant.
In my own out-of-my-house travels, I have noticed that there are some folks, at the number of one or two at a time in any location, who quietly go about their business without a mask. The local HyVee had a couple, both wearing clothing which was a healthy mix of biker/Proud Boy don’t-mess-with-us-today signaling, complete their shopping without a mask. Then, at a convenience store, I saw an older man (50s) pay for his gas (to probably the fourteenth 20 year old happy-to-receive-attention blondy in the last 5 years) without a mask—and it did not cause a commotion.
I include these observations in order to make my point that no one who follows the common sense indications can actually claim the mask is mandated by the government—despite the vocabulary choices of the messaging. In other words, if you don’t want to wear the mask, then you don’t have to. Experience proves that if you are confronted, nothing viral will happen if you stay silent, acknowledge to yourself that you knew it was a provocative act that you had engaged in, and then de-escalate the situation in one of the several approved methods—leave, put on a mask, tell jokes, befriend the person etc.
None of this, of course, answers the most pressing question that should be on your mind, being, “What do you do, Pete?”
I wear the mask.
“Aww, Pete, why? I thought you surely would be the one to lead us into the light and out of the darkness.”
Well, I may. But it’s not happening today. Short answer: I have some debt to take care of before I can lead. Or, since this is a diary entry, to speak freely, I have some debt to take care of before the day that my detractors believe that my illusions-of-grandeur will come crashing down.
Over the last decade I’ve worked both ends of the spectrum. I’ve had crummy minimum-wage jobs and I’ve had good-paying jobs. It’s been quite an adventure, really. But while I putzed around in the low income arena, I accrued some debt—naturally—and I’m real close to being out from under it. And on that day, couple years from now, the mask comes off.
Keep in mind, I believe that this coming or already present “fascism” and this “dictatorship” and this “socialism” that pundits warn us about can only ever have psychological power over us, and so I expect that—as stated above—I will actually just experience nothing that I haven’t already experienced living my life among you, which can be summarized as people wondering if I was homeschooled. I will likely have to arrange for some home delivery or carry out grocery options, but besides that, I don’t expect an inconvenience. (I’ll naturally do whatever work wants me to do—mask—while there because…that’s worth the money/lifestyle. Flying is pretty rewarding and I’ve done a lot more than put on a mask to achieve the trust of those who approve me for flight. This is a no-brainer.)
But I have resolved that I will gladly be one of the first to get arrested for not wearing a mask, once my affairs are in order. (I can’t stress enough that I do not believe this incarceration will ever happen.) I’ll gladly be the first because I do believe that if, in a couple years, citizens are being arrested for not wearing a mask, then the only morally correct path is inciting war. And while other more compelling writers will have emerged to incite you all into war, real folks—like me—will have to demonstrate character, resolve, perseverance, goodwill, integrity, and courage on the “street” level.
I repeat, for clarity, I believe that no state or federal agencies in the US will ever incarcerate people for not wearing masks. I believe that business owners who have complied with shutdowns and whatnot will eventually pushback and find that they are not arrested when they reopen according to whatever their instinctive, intuitive, and individual money-making strategies dictate. I believe quality of life expectations in the USA will have shifted, but not actually devolved into war. There will be a “blah” sentiment. Not the best life, but all things considered, not even close to misery, we’ll all admit, while some wear and some do not wear the mask.
To wrap it up nicely, I am frustrated that the conservative pundits are so out of touch. There is no possible future whose arrival we should fear. To prepare for war is not wrong, but that’s not what they even claim to be doing. And to prepare for living in a state of war, starts with action, not words. For me, that begins by placing my own affairs in order, preparing my own affairs, and only after I am squared away in these supposedly deteriorating political conditions will I start the fight. (If I can’t achieve “squared away” that’s either on me or the government, and if the government is the reason, that’s obviously a problem only war solves.) Finally, I believe that my lifelong ability to remain in the mainstream of life (I only wish I was homeschooled) means that when I fight, you’ll fight with me. And conversely, if I never fight, then there will be no fight.
From where I sit, then, the future is looking good.
This one’s going to put me on the map! Time to finally go viral! It’s been a long enough wait, I can assure you.
As a time capsule, then, I want to finally make written record of my interpretation of the book of Revelation’s most infamous passage. I’ll be bypassing, for the reader’s sake, all discussion of the nature of prophecy and all survey of historical interpretations. In the place of these things I will attempt to simply and eloquently write my own thoughts. Let the reader be my judge.
The passage in question:
“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
Revelation 13:18 NASB1995
My interpretation hinges on the fact that there is no indication whatsoever, anywhere, that the inspired authors of Scripture, while inspired, could do math. Accordingly, the use of the word “number” in the passage calls to mind the wrong idea. Instead, the word should be “total”. With this change, the passage reads:
“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the total of the beast, for the total is that of a man; and his total is six hundred and sixty-six.”
What’s the difference between “number” and “total”? Ready? Here it is. Number is six. (Period.) Total is six cows. Or again, number is 70 million. (Full stop.) Total is 70 million people. With me? Okay, one more then I’m moving on. Number is nine. (That’s all she wrote.) Total is nine ball players.
In my experience, some humans cannot see the distinction. For my own mind, I have not concluded yet whether I find this ability to see the distinction to be the result of nature or nurture. All I know is some people can’t see it. If this is you, if you can’t see the distinction between number and total, then this post, no matter how appealing, is not for you. Bye bye.
If, on the other hand, you see the distinction, then here’s the theological point. Contextually, the passage is clearly a warning. Lucky for us (lucky for Christians, that is), Jesus wins. So accurate interpretation of the warning is not consequential. (But we knew this already because John wrote that only some folks have understanding. I just want to record my own interpretation, because I’ve never read it anywhere and because I think the other interpretations of this passage are so moronic and childlike that they ought be cast into the lake of fire with all the other hell-born.)
The passage is a warning. And it warns of a method. How does it warn of a method? The only way possible—giving the result. This is a sticky assertion, I know. Hold on tight. And remember, it’s for fun. The interpretation does not matter.
Theologians and scholars agree that early written math in all cultures began by associating numbers to the letters of the alphabet, which otherwise recorded sounds. Roman Numerals are a slightly evolved remnant of this. To be clear, in English we might designate that the letter “A” equals a value of one, “B” , a value of two, and so on. This made for very difficult written calculations. But they were still much more efficient than having to laboriously write, “one plus one equals two.” (Easier version: A + A = B)
Our four-eyed ancestors saw something more though. They saw that a code could be developed, here, too.
Words could contain a meaning hidden to all but the intended, the “read in”, recipient. Love letters, and other private communiques could be communicated in broad daylight.
One such phrase, in Koine Greek (though not in the Bible) is, “the great beast”. Guess what its letters add up to? A value of six hundred sixty-six. But don’t miss the point. Plenty of words and phrases do, too. Quite literally, innumerable words and phrase add up to six hundred sixty-six.
But that phrase does, too. “The great beast.”
The passage’s warning is not of some creature, but of some creation—some total. What total? The total of a man. Which man? Which human? Could be me, could be you.
In other words, I believe that John told us that the beast meritorious of warning is when we mortals leave what is known as “concrete” reality (which does include the spiritual) and move to “abstract” reality (which does include “lies, damned lies, and statistics”, as Twain put it)—assuming we then base our actions on the abstract reality, to the detriment of the concrete reality.
This, of course, has never been done.
There it is. Now you know. Discuss amongst yourselves.
In our Post-Christendom/Pre-Muslim country, one of the grievances that has come to my ears, and at times come from my mouth, incessantly throughout my life has been that of false prophets’ unceasing role in the Faith. Christian belief seems to contain no stopping power when it comes to men and women seeking the available influence that accompanies predicting the future. This election cycle has proved no different.
Earnest Christians have loved talking about how some prominent-over-there (I’m sure) Africa-continent-based Prophet predicted Trump would win in 2016 even before Trump announced his entry into the contest. These believers do this, of course, with the hope of keeping the Bible alive. (“If prophecy still happens, then it surely happened in the past,” being their real claim.)
And only if you have stopped your ears and avoided all churches for the past two years could you have avoided hearing that some similarly stationed Prophet (that was right about something else recently) had pegged Trump as victorious this go-around.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, writer of the infamous-to-some-in-the-West Essays, wrote of one ancient tribes’ prophets, “…but let him to’t; for if he fail in his divination, and anything happen otherwise than he has foretold, he is cut into a thousand pieces, if he be caught, and condemned for a false prophet: for that reason, if any of them has been mistaken, he is no more heard of.”
Who among us really recoils at that treatment of false prophets?
And yet the punishment, however fitting, does nothing to allay the problem. The problem being: being right everyday is boring.
I’ll sign off today with this lie. For fun.
I feel the same today as I did yesterday.
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”.
As usual, I feel like I understand my “opponent” through and through. And as usual, despite my great efforts to understand, for my part, I feel misunderstood. This feeling besets me strongest whenever I read about myself from my “opponent’s” perspective. Upon concluding such reading, I just don’t recognize myself. So I’m asking you, dear, mask-wearing, “woke”, and godless leftist, please, argue with the real me. That’s all I ask. This “being misunderstood”, then, is the problem that this post will attempt to remedy. There are two points to be made before getting to the title claim.
Firstly, regarding masks, those in favor of mandating mask-wearing are doing an outstanding job of analogizing their reasons for wanting to bring the full force of the law into the equation. Most recently, the chorus goes: “It’s common sense, no different than speed limits.” Sticking with analogizing (or stooping down to analogizing–as if adults can’t speak plainly or understand plain speaking), my response is: “No, mask-wearing is not like speed limits. Instead, on the driving theme, mask wearing is like middle-aged men driving sports cars.” Put plainly, my belief is that a pandemic can no more be stopped by a mask than aging can be stopped by driving sexy cars.
Secondly, regarding “woke” as a label, I just learned something fascinating. Did you know that before the Civil War, abolitionists had formed firearm-less militias which trained in the middle of the night and subsequently had the nickname, the “Wide-Awakes“? Take a moment to ponder this fact. In the past, the nickname “Wide-Awakes” was applied to those who remained awake during the night hours in efforts to abolish slavery. And abolish slavery they did. Today, uneducated, over-educated, or mis-educated citizens use the label, “woke”. The difference, denoted by the linguistic variation, is staggering, to my thinking. And if I was hurt and mad and everything the “woke” folks are supposed to be, then I’d want everything to do with “Wide-Awakes” and nothing to do with “woke” if I was trying to accomplish anything, to include how my nickname came to be. My reason is simple. Nothing about being “Wide-Awake” betrays stupidity. As in, ask, “Why are you ‘Wide-Awake’?” And a perfectly sound answer would be, “Because it will take extra effort to overcome business as usual.” Whereas everything about being “woke” betrays stupidity. Ask, “What were you ‘woke’ out of?” The answer will either be a commercial truckload of bullshit or *crickets*. And so I’ll tell you. “You were woke from stupidity. And if you were stupid then, you’re probably still stupid.” Such is life.
Now for the good stuff. I want to record here an observation on the left’s prideful godlessness. The left loves being godless. Good for them. To a Christian, this godlessness is a repugnant, prideful, and foolish idea. But I realized something last night while on a walk. The left may not believe in supernatural gods, like the Christian does. But they do believe that the power typically designated to such supernatural beings is real. How do I know? Because of what they want men to do. Trump is a failure as a leader because of many things, they say. Most recently, the left is holding Trump accountable for his inability to both exorcise racism from the human heart and heal sickness–and not just of one person, but of the millions. For the great majority of history and populations, people voiced these very natural and noble requests as “prayers” to gods. Today, the godless left encourage using “votes.” The problem here, the left’s problem, is not the method or the message. The problem is the recipient. Trump can no more accomplish the left’s demands than can Zeus, Jove, or Allah. But that won’t stop the godless left from holding him accountable. This incoherence is just weird.
Men as gods. Seems like we’ve tried this before. Yes, I’m sure of it.
Hey, you! That’s right. I’m talking to you. Get with the program! With the advent of America, July 4, 1776, in this country, every man’s a king. And no man’s a god.
Two columnists I came across this last week (6/26) on the same news aggregate site ended their pieces with the exact same George Orwell quote. Additionally, a few weeks ago my very best friend had texted me the same quote. Apparently, I need to get out more.
Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
What on God’s green earth am I supposed to do with this thing? Life is not some exercise in matching up novels with reality. George Orwell’s position in history, his position in literature is in no way affected by this repetition or attempt at application. Again, what, precisely, am I supposed to do with this thing?
Is BLM the “Party”? Has ANTIFA destroyed every record and rewritten every book? I hardly think so.
And these three fellas are some of the folks I generally trust. But the uncertain times have not only affected them. All those who would pick up a pen are affected. I haven’t come across anyone, not one doggone writer, who has anything to say.
Laboriously, then, I–your Captain–will pick up the slack and write. And in so doing I hope to encourage similar thinking and behavior.
There are many, many places to start, but the one that’s on my mind is the claim, “White Silence is Violence.”
The response to this claim comes from George Washington.
Now, you don’t have to announce that you’re quoting him to use his advice. But I wanted you to know, because it is true and it does matter.
Anyhow, I recently came across the following at the end of the brief entry on his life found in Vol. 13 of the obscure, but incredible, Library of Southern Literature under the heading, “Selected Maxims of Washington”, then sub-heading, “The Best Answer to Calumny.”
The approved response to, “White Silence is Violence,” from Washington (again, you are in no way obligated to announce that detail, perhaps trivial, if you feel like it would stop up your listener’s ears) is:
To persevere in one’s duty and be silent is the best answer to calumny.
(Dictionary.com has ‘calumny’ as “a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something.”)
Jewishworldreview.com is a news site I started perusing for headlines years ago when Thomas Sowell still wrote. It’s nothing great, but the format is simple, the site loads quickly, and the viewpoints can be provocative. Last week, there was a piece by Larry Elder on the Ahmaud Arbery murder case. The editor of the site called Elder’s article “Gutsy”. This is because Elder writes that the single greatest threat to young black men is young black men. (He wrote this in response to King Lebron’s tweet.)
That’s not a gutsy move at all. I mean I guess if Elder loses something because folks find out that he is not “progressive” or “woke” then it was gutsy. But on the whole, it was more of the same. Boring.
I can do better. And I’ve been on the road all day yesterday and today and need a break, so I will take a moment and prove it.
Firstly, LeBron surely is not to be discarded because of figurative language. He felt hurt and expressed the pain. I do this all the time. Who would I be to hint that LeBron shouldn’t tweet away? (To be clear, my ex is a whore though. The two most dangerous things I’ve ever done are solo flight in an airplane only 20 hours into learning how to fly and sleeping with my ex. Let’s put it this way: If evil was an STD, the pandemic started at her home. However, if stupid was an STD, it must pass from mother to child during pregnancy, because I clearly was infected before meeting my ex.)
More importantly, however, it’s not gutsy to write something, which is perhaps a painful truth, to someone who cannot read. The Black Community cannot read. We all know this. Mr. Elder knows this. And yet Mr. Elder went off in written language, adding a statistical defense, and we’re to congratulate him for being brave? His target audience can’t read! Drop the stats and give a speech at a Baptist church on the topic and I’ll give him props. But until then, or until I hear that he does that regularly, I’m withholding my applause.
I know this because I went to a Baptist church, was married in a Baptist church, and tried to make Baptist friends for over three years. Most of my readers are friends. Want to know how many of those recently befriended Blacks read my blog? Zero. That’s why I’m not afraid to write this. They will never read it.
But whites? We read voraciously at times. We read to the point of stupidity. For example, I just found out that my ex’s dad reads this blog. I had no idea. I knew my ex-sister-in-law did, but I never would’ve guessed my ex father-in-law was a fan. It’s been nearly eight years since the end of the marriage and he still reads it! It’s stupid. Why torture himself? Because he’s white.
To be clear, you are stupid for continuing to read my blog. Just like I am stupid for believing “mother believes that parenting time is appropriate and necessary to maintain (and develop) father/daughter relationship” when I read that. Just like Blacks are stupid for not taking advantage of the chance to change their social status by simply learning how to read English. Oh well. We’re all stupid.
But I’ll tell you something. I’m never going to stop writing and I am never going to limit the topics or content. That’d be missing the point entirely. And H- deserves a fighting chance at learning the truth of why her childhood was the way it was, learning how your daughter is trading a few short years for eternal darkness, which is where she’ll be before Hell, after my daughter figures out there’s a written record.
More than that, you need to just stop reading. You’re stupid for continuing to read. This is the first and last post with you in mind. Why do this to yourself? Block the emails. Or unsubscribe.
Actually, who are we fooling? We know it’s not even you. You’d like to get on with your day, but the matriarch calls you in when it’s a juicy post. Fine. Just like how us two stupid guys were able to de-escalate things earlier, I don’t blame you. You’re not directing this madness. Tell her to stop reading. Just like she had to be told to stop bathing a nine year old. It’s disgusting.
The prophetic book of Ezekiel is widely known for one small and relatively (or arguably) minor passage about “dry bones”. Christians (myself included) love the imagery. YouTube has clips upon clips of sermon upon sermon on the passage. The trouble is that the dry bones section is ultimately a very brief part of a larger writing that is of a decidedly less hopeful tone.
The question for today, and I mean the question for April 21, 2020 during the pandemic, is, “Are we past the time of prophets?”
The question came to my mind because I watched a pair of rants by Bill Maher, and was encouraged to do so by a super-conservative blogger on a near-scary news website. Both rants by Mr. Maher were engaging, coherent, and, most importantly, timely. But I felt like a fool afterwards. Bill Maher is a joke. The words in and of Ezekiel have made it nearly 3000 years. Bill’s tone of voice will keep him going for 50+ years, but his words are ultimately empty. Take this assessment of mine together with the fact that I cannot find one commentator who I agree with, and the question came to mind, “Are we past the time of prophets?”
Ezekiel 2:7 has the LORD saying to the prophet, “But you shall speak my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.”
Naturally, there have been prophets before Ezekiel got his call. Again, that is not the question. Obviously, and despite the at times anachronistic ordering of the books of the Old Testament, there were prophets after Ezekiel died. That is not the question either. My question is, “Are we past the time of prophets?”
During the #Metoo movement of a bygone era, comedians found themselves defending their barbaric craft. I wonder if during this pandemic prophets should be defending theirs?
The LORD told Ezekiel, “…speak my words…whether they listen or not…” In so doing, one might say, the LORD gave a definition of a prophet. The prophet is going to speak. They don’t care what happens next. They may desire one outcome or another upon hearing, but they, the prophets, believe they are called to speak. The listeners’ response is always contingent on the LORD’s will. And my question is, “Are we past the time of prophets?”
Put another way, “It’s been 2000 years since the resurrection. Are we bound to support a segment of society who simply criticize, people who simply lament, people who simply know better, people who are smug, people who saw COVID coming, people who think the Bible saw COVID coming, people who think the situation is obvious? Are we bound to listen to people who would choose to hold the microphone over all other professions and at all cost? Are we bound to these people?”
I say, “No.”
I say, “Shut up.”
I say, “You’re no journalist. You’re no newsman. You’re no investigative reporter. You’re a prophet. And we are past the time of prophets.”
As I mentioned, I was recently in Judges. Then the last few days, I have been studying Thessalonians 1&2.
I don’t want to rename the Bible. Moreover, I wouldn’t be able to. The idea is ridiculous. But I would like to share what I would call it, that is, in an imaginary world.
I’d call it… Actually I can’t put it into words.
It’s something like a self-help book that teaches you how to accept happiness in your life.
“Accept Blessings”. That’s about as close as I can get. But that sounds like an military order, not a book title.
“How to Accept Blessings” might be more accurate, but now I don’t know if I would have ever picked up a book with that title.
All I’m really trying to say is that the more I read the Bible, the more I see that people around me do not know how to be happy, how to make two good decisions in a row (let alone how to add a third), and the more I see that even when life doesn’t appear to be unfolding in our favor, it is.
Put another way, the starring character, Jesus, is supposed to have said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” And you won’t find that information anywhere else but in “Accept Blessings.”
See? That’s just not powerful.
And you won’t find that information anywhere else but in “How to Accept Blessings.”
Hmm. That’s definitely worse.
I guess we’re stuck with: And you won’t find that information anywhere else but in the Bible.
In three years of Seminary coursework, I never did find myself tasked with the Old Testament book of Judges much. Helping edit a friend’s chapter-a-day devotional emails, I recently have been prompted to read it. And I’ve not been disappointed. It’s like Braveheart, Gladiator, and 300 all rolled into one.
This post is my volley into the C-O-V-I-D-1-9 written commentary foray. Setting the scene a bit, I’d say it’s probably best to picture a large post-NFL game parking lot brawl (or better yet maybe COSTCO at the toilet paper aisle) and some mesomorph man annoyingly jumping in only for cheap shots and then hopping right back out again before some seasoned ignoramus can counter-attack.
Early in the book of Judges, an account begins which involves the rare-to-scripture female protagonist. This Deborah is a prophetess who encourages the military leader, Barak, to fight a war. She then warns him, or advises him, however, that the honor (consequent to winning) will be given to a woman. Skipping ahead in the story, we learn that the defeated, fleeing king, Sisera, thinks he has found safe keeping in the house of a friend–having accepted the invitation of the friend’s wife. Picking up the story there, the Bible records, “But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, ‘Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.’ And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.”
That’s all interesting, fine, and dandy (reminded me of the antler-to-the-neck in Braveheart). But it’s just the setup. What I want us to focus on is Deborah’s (and Barak’s) celebratory song–or the last part at least. It goes:
Out of the window she looked and lamented,
The mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’
Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A maiden, two maidens for every warrior;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed work,
A spoil of dyed work embroidered,
Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?’
Mockery. Blatant, pure, and chilling mockery. Deborah goes two levels deep in her scoff. She doesn’t just mock the dead Sisera’s mother, but adds the consolation that she can imagine the “wise princesses” offering. Cold-blooded stuff.
Which brings us full-circle to the hysteria. Here’s our victory song:
You thought government was god of the universe–God in the flesh.
You thought the government could solve all problems.
You bet hearth and home on the government.
And now you’re buying *extra* toilet paper.
You don’t even know why!
And you have to explain it to your kids.
The look on your kids’ faces is judgement from your maker. They know you’re unhinged. They can’t do math. They can’t read. They wouldn’t know what critical thinking was if it hit them square in the jaw. But they know what too much toilet paper looks like.
H- said, wide-eyed and earnest, “I hope they buy some plungers too–if they’re going to be flushing all that down the pipes.”