A Very Sad News Story

Eight-year old kills himself after being assaulted as school: http://www.dailywire.com/news/16359/8-year-old-kills-himself-after-school-bullies-amanda-prestigiacomo

Some close friends/family have worked in rough inner-city schools, and sadly I am not surprised. The teachers are given no authority to discipline students, and the chaotic classroom quickly devolves in a Lord-of-the-Flies-type chaos, where the strong bully the weak, and the overwhelmed/harassed teachers, with their hands tied by the school, are able to do nothing except slide into clinical depression. Sexual harassment, etc all kinds of things happen right there in the school and the teachers can do nothing as they are rendered powerless by the higher-up authorities. We need to bring corporal punishment back into schools.

All this squishy feel-good childraising rhetoric, for all its Hippie/Rousseau/Romantic notions, just leads to Lord of the Flies.

In Dostoevsky’s words “Children! Children! Separately they are God’s angels, but together [in school] they are the devil.” That was from a subplot in The Brothers Karamazov, about a little boy who dies from school bullying.

The sad truth is that kids, like the rest of us, can be evil and need to be forcibly disciplined into decency. Without order, its just the Wild West all over again. And our supposedly enlightened schools became dog-eat-dog survival islands where kids learn to bully in order to survive — or don’t, and die.

 

Rest in peace, Gabriel. May God carry you in his arms to the place where he will wipe every tear from your eyes.untitled_17

Rest in peace, Gabriel. May God carry you in his arms to the place where he will wipe every tear from your eyes.

Dry academic tome’s shocking ending to preface

“Let this [book] be a tribute to those who have recognized the wrongs of this world, and to those who have wept.”

I nearly choked up. It reminds me of a line from Eugene Schwarz The Dragon, a snarky soviet-era play about a long succession of scaly dictators and craven townsfolk. A knight returns from the dead to say:

Lancelot. All right. Do you know what the Book of Sorrows is?
Elsa. No.
Lancelot. Now you will. Five years’ walk from here, in the Black Mountains, there’s an enormous cave. There’s a book lying in this cave, filled up to half. Nobody touches it, but page after page gets added to the ones written before, added every day. Who writes them, you ask? The world! The mountains, the grass, the stones, the trees, the rivers – they all see what people are doing. All the crimes are known to them, all the suffering of innocents. From branch to branch, from drop to drop, from cloud to cloud the human sorrows reach the cave in the Black mountains, and the book grows with them. If there weren’t this book in the world, all trees would die from longing, and water would become bitter. Who is this book being written for? For me.
Elsa. For you?
Lancelot. For us.
And last of all, in the Silmarillion, there is a goddess who dwells on the edge of the world:
Mightier than Estë is Nienna, sister of the Fëanturi; she dwells alone. She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor. So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began. But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. Her halls are west of West, upon the borders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom. The windows of her house look outward from the walls of the world…

Contentment

If everything is lost, thanks be to God

If everything is lost, thanks be to God
If I must see it go, watch it go,
Watch it fade away, die
Thanks be to God that He is all I have
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all
Nothing at all, only a farewell to the wind
Farewell to the grey sky
Goodbye, God be with you evening October sky.
If all is lost, thanks be to God,
For He is He, and I, I am only I.

-Julian
A Severe Mercy

To Margaret Atwood et. al.

I just saw an ad for The Handmaid’s Tale and looked it up.

I was vaguely aware it was something assigned to large swathes of public schooled kids, but I never expected something that…yrch.

First, I feel nauseous. Second, I feel furious. How dare you take the symbols of the Puritanism and the word of God, and twist it so. You sick puppy.

I believe in women’s rights but I’m ashamed to be called a feminist because of the likes of You, who sit around fantasizing about rapist men so you can enjoy feeling hateful and heroic.

You who created the campus rape culture, when you tore down all traditional propriety, and now gleefully rejoice in all the sexual carnage as you raise your new damaged generations of hurt girls who can hate on God and fatherhood and men.

So you made this mess. And of course you don’t raise a finger to fight real humans’ rights abuse around the world.

Margaret Atwood and all her ilk, I am damn sick of you. You shame women beyond anything a chauvinist could have come up with. You have defiled the word feminist. You’ve made men into pigs.  Enjoy your paradise, because we both know this is exactly what you want.

Running through syrup

Sometimes life feels like running through syrup. It takes so much effort to keep on going. I guess this is why my mother insists we pay respect to the old. They’ve kept on the hard work of living for so long. It is really hard work.

A cloud was on the mind of men
   And wailing went the weather,
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul
   When we were boys together.
Science announced nonentity
   And art admired decay;
.
The world was old and ended:
   But you and I were gay;
Round us in antic order
   Their crippled vices came—
Lust that had lost its laughter,
   Fear that had lost its shame.
.
Like the white lock of Whistler,
   That lit our aimless gloom,
Men showed their own white feather
   As proudly as a plume.
Life was a fly that faded,
   And death a drone that stung;
.
The world was very old indeed
   When you and I were young.
They twisted even decent sin
   To shapes not to be named:
Men were ashamed of honour;
   But we were not ashamed.
.
Weak if we were and foolish,
   Not thus we failed, not thus;
When that black Baal blocked the heavens
   He had no hymns from us
Children we were—our forts of sand
   Were even as weak as we,
High as they went we piled them up
   To break that bitter sea.
.
Fools as we were in motley,
   All jangling and absurd,
When all church bells were silent
   Our cap and beds were heard.
Not all unhelped we held the fort,
   Our tiny flags unfurled;
.
Some giants laboured in that cloud
   To lift it from the world.
I find again the book we found,
   I feel the hour that flings
Far out of fish-shaped Paumanok
   Some cry of cleaner things;
.
And the Green Carnation withered,
   As in forest fires that pass,
Roared in the wind of all the world
   Ten million leaves of grass;
Or sane and sweet and sudden as
   A bird sings in the rain—
Truth out of Tusitala spoke
   And pleasure out of pain.
.
Yea, cool and clear and sudden as
   A bird sings in the grey,
Dunedin to Samoa spoke,
   And darkness unto day.
But we were young; we lived to see
   God break their bitter charms.
.
God and the good Republic
   Come riding back in arms:
We have seen the City of Mansoul,
   Even as it rocked, relieved—
Blessed are they who did not see,
   But being blind, believed.
.
This is a tale of those old fears,
   Even of those emptied hells,
And none but you shall understand
   The true thing that it tells—
Of what colossal gods of shame
   Could cow men and yet crash,
Of what huge devils hid the stars,
   Yet fell at a pistol flash.
.
The doubts that were so plain to chase,
   So dreadful to withstand—
Oh, who shall understand but you;
   Yea, who shall understand?
The doubts that drove us through the night
   As we two talked amain,
And day had broken on the streets
   E’er it broke upon the brain.
.
Between us, by the peace of God,
   Such truth can now be told;
Yea, there is strength in striking root,
   And good in growing old.
We have found common things at last,
   And marriage and a creed,
And I may safely write it now,
   And you may safely read.

Rage in the afternoon

I was walking down the street and ran into this “community watch alert”:

20170425_164555

I should probably add that the only reason it was torn was because I tried to peal it off unsuccessfully.

 

Is police brutality something that should be carefully monitored? Yes. But this is an anarchic attack on the concept of police itself. This sign is literally a third of a mile away from where I was when I phoned the police after hearing someone in the dark park screaming “no” at the top of their lungs about 50 times. It sounded like a sexual assault. I ran like hell till i was safely out and then phoned 911. The dispatcher sent out a policeman immediately, minutes later I was safely in my friends’ apartment, on the phone talking to a policeman as he walked  through the dark park with a gun.

In that moment, I couldn’t have loved him more if he was my own brother.

This hippie-hipster revolt against power-as-protector is intrinsically disordered. They insist all power is bad… as if shallow indignant hatred, the yapping of the protesters, is what holds back violent chaos.

There must be a place for the protector in society. Peace cannot exist without it. And yup, it’s usually male and has a gun. But the universe isn’t by default a safe space, and we should not attack the ones who make it safe for us. We might even think about thanking them.