The Inner Struggle

“Spirited Away” and living a lie … part II

So, here is  the rest of  “Spirited Away” and living a lie …

…  back to the discussion of movies in popular progressive culture. We were talking about a secular humanist review of the movie “Spirited Away”, which describes as “a refreshing and unusual characteristic” (of this animated feature by Hayao Miyazaki) is its refusal to set up a dualistic battle between the little girl and an evil adversary. (Seriously folks, is it really “refreshing and unusual” not to differentiate between good and evil?).

All the central characters have both a light and a dark side (is this not an essential characteristic of being a human, of being a member of “Mankind”). Our heroine must overcome the forces of fear, entitlement, selfishness, gluttony, and greed within herself (aren’t these part of simply being a human being, that is possessing these evil characteristics?) as part of the blooming of her soul. (But where did the soul come from? Who created the soul?)

Little Chihiro does what spiritual seekers (humans on the path of actualizing or developing their “self”) will recognize as “shadow work” — taking back her projections (evil is just a projection), and learning to love all parts of herself, including those mirrored by others — healing both herself and those around her in the process (no God needed here since we are the pinnacle of perfection already, all we have to do is “heal” ourselves). (This is just more of the psychobabble described in C.S. Lewis’s “Bulverism“.)

The film “Spirited Away” is a follow-up to Miyazaki’s extraordinary “Princess Mononoke” (1997). Once again he has fashioned an animated feature which transports us to a mysterious and always surprising world of spirits. In Shinto folklore, everything in nature has a god living within it. For the purpose of this discussion we ask “Is the deprecation of Christian Truth as “Exclusive” supported by the mere existence of another spiritual tradition in another culture?

How do the beliefs of “Shinto” discredit the Truth of Christianity? Why is the Shinto based model for an animated feature film presented as an argument for moral relativism and against Absolute Truth? What is transcendentally “good” about beings and characters in an animated feature film being presented as vulnerable to the excesses and defilements of (presumably religious) humanity?

Yes, this film is a touching story, but in the hands of this reviewer, like a computer virus, it is hiding a deadly payload of doubt, doubt about the importance of Truth. The story of “Spirited Away” begins as Chihiro (voiced by Daveigh Chase) and her parents (Lauren Holly, Michael Chiklis) are driving to their new home. She is sulking in the back seat,  anxious about the future.

Her father takes a wrong turn, and they wind up driving through a bumpy forest road to a hillside tunnel. When her adventuresome parents decide to explore the place, Chihiro is frightened and doesn’t want to go ahead. But she follows them, and they enter what her father decides must be a deserted theme park.

When her father smells the odors of food, they follow the scent and come upon a row of restaurants and one empty one where food is piled high on the counter. Chihiro’s parents begin devouring the fare and, to their daughter’s dismay, are turned into pigs. Chihiro flees this scene and soon realizes she has stumbled into a world of spirits. A strange boy named Haku (Jason Marsden) comes to her assistance, shows her how to keep from becoming transparent in this world, and how to cross a bridge without being detected as a human.

Still, Chihiro is pretty scared. Then comes the bit when Haku has just taken Chihiro/Sen to see her parents in the pig stable, and he gives her a rice ball to eat, and she starts tearing up as she takes the first bite, and then halfway through finishing, just begins bawling from all the trauma she has accumulated over the past 16 hours or so, the overwhelming “reality”. 

This overwhelming reality is one of realizing her true situation, her true nature, and is, in reality, a vivid metaphor for man’s realization of his true relationship to God.  Truth is overwhelming. The understanding of Truth brings tears to the person that sees Truth! This is the natural reaction of every person who encounters God. It is important to understand this great little anime film is NOT about the superiority of moral relativism, it is actually about the inadequacy and unworthiness of man and about meeting God.

But in the skilled hands of this reviewer we easily lose that glimpse of Truth as we drift away into a Shinto based human centered alternate reality. Haku tells her that to save herself and her parents she needs to seek employment in a huge bathhouse that caters to all kinds of strange-looking nature spirits.

He sends her to the boiler room where the keeper, Kamaji (David Ogden Stiers), is assisted by hundreds of little soot-balls that carry coal to the furnace. They take quite a fancy to the human girl. Eventually, she meets Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette), the greedy and selfish sorceress who runs the bathhouse.

This dominating woman puts her to work as a bath-attendant but not before taking away her name and giving her a new one, Sen. She is assigned to Lin (Susan Egan), another human. Their biggest challenge comes when they must deal with the “Stink Spirit,” an incredibly foul smelling being.

Only after his bath do they discover that he is a once noble and proud River God who is filled with sludge and worthless junk. Sen also proves her mettle in her relationship with Kaonashi (or No-Face), a lonely figure who follows her around and eventually brings havoc to the bathhouse spirits by drawing out their yearning for gold.

The Japanese version of “Spirited Away”, was the most successful film ever to play in Japan, and won the coveted Golden Bear Award at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival. The English language version, which uses the same animation, was guided by executive producer John Lasseter of Pixar Studios (Toy Story), director Kirk Wise, and producer Don Ernst.

Similar in spirit to “Princess Mononoke”, this animated feature can be thoroughly enjoyed by both adults and children. This anime is truly a great little film but it fails utterly when used as a pedagogical tool teaching the religion of modern secular humanism. “Spirited Away” is a masterpiece that takes us to an unfamiliar world where we see familiar things with fresh eyes. Miyazaki provides an ongoing commentary on contemporary society in Japan with the characters of Chihiro’s gluttonous parents who are turned into pigs; Yubaba’s gigantic baby, a spoiled brat who gets whatever he wants; and lonely No-Face whose efforts to use his wealth to make others like him backfires.

But the film fails as an exercise in humanist apologetics because it is not intended for that purpose. Unlike Abrahamic religions this film is actually and truly intended as simply entertainment and viewers ARE an audience, not a Congregation of Believers.

The transformation of Chihiro from a sulky, clinging, and fearful little girl into a resourceful, loving, sensitive, and respectful person is a marvel to behold. Her most magic moment comes when she embraces Haku’s dark side which manifests as a dragon. Seriously folks? Embracing the dark side is a “magic moment”?  This feels like a desperate leap to justify a desperate lie. Oh, absolutely, Darth Vader is really just misunderstood, and I guess so were Stalin and Pol Pot. “Useful Idiots” sure seem thick on the ground around here.

In this “magic” moment, instead of turning against him, she reaches out to help him in his mission to discover his true identity. That’s what is so remarkable about Spirited Away, it acknowledges the shadow elements in everyone and works with these warps as part of the process of soul-making.

The problem with this is that we DO NOT make our own soul. Our soul is a created gift from God at the moment of conception which establishes us as human creations with person-hood. Instead of working to fix the warps the reviewer rationalizes them as normal parts of everyone. The reviewer has intentionally twisted the message of the movie. We, all humans,  are conceived with souls, they are not made by our own process of growth. The soul is what makes us human from the moment of conception and it is created by God out of his infinite love for mankind.

According to the reviewer, “Spirited Away” frees us from excluding anyone from our world and helps us to see that we are all in this together — human beings and spirits, ghouls and benevolent ghosts, dragons and No Names, good and evil, are all the same under the skin. But what about those poor benighted human beings, those poor ignorant souls who disagree with the reviewer and are still stuck in the old fashioned simplistic exclusionist paradigm where the difference between good and evil matter?

I guess it’s just “too bad, so sad” for them, right? Those poor ignorant exclusionists are just so “yesterday”  As John R. Mabry has put it: “We must not despise the rough, the dark, the empty, the flawed or the crooked. It is a package deal.” I guess we just have no choice but to take the evil with the good because they are only a difference of opinion and are really all the same.

But on what authority do we base this belief? Who says it is so, that this is truth? What about Good and Evil? What about God? What about hating the sin and the evil but loving the sinner? What about Christ on the cross, forgiving his enemies and keeping them in existence even as they were murdering Him?

I don’t know how anyone else reads this, but I find this review of “Spirited Away” deeply disturbing in its appealing attractiveness. Am I alone in seeing this review of “Spirited Away” as a covert subversion of the Truth of a Divine Source of all Good, of all Natural Law, the truth of  God as the creator of all and the source of all good expressed in His creations? Is this review not actually a hymn to the supremacy of Man as the source of truth, as the natural pinnacle of all good and the arbiter of good and evil as man’s opinion and nothing else?

Another remarkably jarring thing about this film, and the reviewers interpretation and gushing praise of the film, is that it normalizes references to the “Dragon” as a “good” entity. But in the Abrahamic Catholic tradition we have Revelation 12: 1-17:

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1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

The War in Heaven

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

The Dragon Persecutes the Woman

13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

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In Abrahamic religions the dragon is the personification of Satan, the personification of evil, and the father of lies. Color me Curious about Truth. What do I see when contemplating Truth … This modern, man centered, view of reality, this vision of man as the penultimate being and arbiter of all value, this big lie is only possible for persons who have never experienced anything greater than themselves, who are totally wrapped up in self love. And the Dragon is the Father of Lies.

This modern religion of “worship of man” is characterized and evidenced in the fundamental sterility of the modern world, and modern culture, where creativity is measured in utilitarian terms and beauty is relatively worthless except to be commoditized or weaponized.

Where are the Mozarts of the 21st century, where are the Raphaels and the Boticellis, where are the Leonardo da Vincis, the Caravaggios, and  the Rembrandts,  where are the designers of Notre Dame and Saint Peter’s, where are the modern Donato Bramantes, Michelangelos, Carlo Madernos and Gian Lorenzo Berninis?

Where are the modern secular humanist artists, musicians, and architects? Who have we got that give our secular culture greatness to rival all the greatness of the historic masters?

All the greatest achievements of history were acts of worship rendered to a greater power, a Supreme Being, who was the creator of all and we, his creations, offered our best in praise of Him. There are very few places now where man can go to experience Power and Majesty greater than himself, to gain understanding of our true place in the universe, in “creation”. One of the few remaining places is the sea, that great blue water covering most of the planet.

The sea is a place of real hunger, real thirst, real death, and real spiritual combat, one is manifestly in the hands of a greater power, a Supreme Power. It is impossible to ignore the overwhelming power of the sea and by extension, it’s Creator. In the arms of the sea man is but a puny weakling and a pompous trespasser, held in existence only by the mercy of God.

Once one has survived a hurricane in a tiny 300 foot vessel one has no doubt about man’s place in the Divine scheme of things. A hurricane at sea is the ultimate reality check and no atheistic progressive survives a hurricane at sea. Blue water sailors are believers, without question or pause.

It is vitally important to understand the sea as a place to combat the dictatorship of the secular world which is filled with idols of technology and material goods, idols of convenience and comfort, the dictatorship of the secular world dominated and manipulated by the media and relativism, a world that flees God by taking refuge in distractions and noise, in effusive self worship. In the isolation of the sea we find the Chiaroscuro between silence and noise draws out and gently reveals a vision, an image of God.

The sea is silence and isolation, a blue water sailor is a long way from safety and the comforts of home and there is no one to call when things go wrong. The experience of the sea is necessary, in order to survive this modern world and to see it for what it really is, it is absolutely necessary to have the experience of the great blue sea.

There, at sea, we get some distance from everyday events, some proper perspective about what is important, especially our own personal importance. We can flee the noise and the superficiality of a relativistic world where the self comes first. The sea is a place of the Absolute, a place of freedom.

It is no accident that the sea is a place where monotheism predominates. There are no syncretic modernists, no atheistic humanists at sea. The sea is Abrahamic and monotheistic. The sea preserves us from the multiplicity of idols that men make for themselves. In this sense, the sea is the domain of grace. Far from his preoccupations, man encounters there his Creator and his God in all His Mighty Majesty.

Great things begin and are found at sea, in silence, in power, in abandonment to a force greater than man can ever be. The sea is where God leads us in order to speak to us in a heart-to-heart conversation. A heart to heart conversation within the silence of our souls echoing the great silence of the blue sea.

Cheers

Joe

Canadian DDH in Heavy Weather

Canadian DDH in Heavy Weather

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The Inner Struggle

Naked came I …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

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20naked JobThen Job rose up, and rent his garments, and having shaven his head fell down upon the ground and worshipped,

21And said: Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.

22In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any foolish thing against God.  Job 1: 20-22

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From Job 1: 20-22 Old Testament to Luke 22: 1-13 New Testament

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SatanThe treason of Judas. The last supper. The first part of the history of the passion.

[1] Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the pasch, was at hand. [2] And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people.

[3] And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. [4] And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them.

[5] And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. [6] And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude.

[7] And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. [8] And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat.

[9] But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? [10] And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in.

[11] And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? [12] And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. [13] And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch.

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All is gift, and nothing have we here which we deserve or earn but by talents and abilities given us at birth by God the Father. And all that we earn is apportioned in goods of this world, all of which have their origin in God the Father. We do not create anything but rather are more or less talented manipulators of what the Creator made or set in motion.

Jesus betrayed by JudasSt. Luke directs our attention to the actions and motivations of Judas Iscariot, and points out that  Satan entered into Judas. Satan made use of Judas’ free will and his natural human propensity for self interest and evil.

All that follows is orchestrated by Satan using his “minions” and “useful idiots”.  The conduct of the humans  in this account and in the affairs in this world down through the ages reveals clearly what Satan desires.

Destruction, dissension, selfishness, suffering, dishonesty, suffering and misery, all the clear outcome of Satan stirring up all that is evil in the human heart.

And yet Christ has intimate and detailed knowledge of all that is to come, and Satan and humans, all creatures of the Father, have free rein because the omnipotent Father and the Son embrace that freedom in their creatures.

Satan and Judas freely decide to betray Jesus and Peter and John freely decide to obey Him. And all four of them equally prepared the Passover  in accordance with God’s will.

C.S. Lewis calls these aspects “simple good” and “complex good”. The obedience of John and Peter is simple good, the good that comes out of the evil of Satan aided by Judas is a complex good, in other words good wrought by God out of the evil of mankind.

We are all of us faced daily with exactly this choice, to obey, or to disobey, and thereby choosing our path and the next set of choices we are faced with.

Cheers

Joe

Desert walkIt is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” Tolkien, “The Return of the King

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Why Do Canadians Hate …

“Into The Shadow Realm”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”

Watching American news on the satellite, trying to get a sense of how things are unfolding to the south of us. Certain concentrations of left wing extremists are trying to whip the universe into a frothing frenzy of “Trunp” hate. The observable fact that the nation is not following is inciting them to ever higher levels of shrill rhetoric.

Mark Steyn writes,

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000-hate-crime“The object of Parliament,” observed Winston Churchill at election time in 1951, “is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.”

How’s that holding up after November 8th? The object of at least a proportion of those on the streets is to substitute fisticuffs for argument, and indeed for Parliament:  The less self-aware even chant “This is what democracy looks like!” – by which they mean not the election but the post-election riots and looting and assaults.

Some among these self-proclaimed champions of women and immigrants wish to substitute rape for argument, a cause of such broad appeal that the ideological enforcers at the monopoly social-media cartels breezily permitted the hashtag “Rape Melania” to “trend” on Twitter.

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philadelphia_furious_protesters_in_the_city_of_brotherly_loveFrom the website “Before Its News”…

…if you keep insisting that half your fellow citizens are haters, maybe you’re the hater.

…one third of the Democrats’ representation in the House now comes from just three states – New York, Massachusetts and California. That’s one reason why they’re calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.

But, absent the upending of the constitution, they have a problem.

ap-election-protests-georgia…John Oliver and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have sportingly decided, to judge from their ratings, to prioritize their politics over their comedy. But, whether or not “Love Trumps Hate”, condescension doesn’t trump anything.

For a year-and-a-half they shoveled industrial-strength coastal sneering into the path of the Trump train on a scale that would have derailed any other candidate before he got to Iowa. Instead, Trump just bulldozed through it – and so easily that he won the White House for a fifth of what Hillary spent.

If elite condescension failed to deny him the presidency, is it likely to be any more effective now that he is the president?

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings“.

a-liberal-loveinWhat “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  On Friday, in a veritable frenzy of virtue signalling, the hashtag #safetypin trended on Twitter, as dozens of people shared selfies with safety pins attached to their clothing.

“Standing together we will be safe,” one user tweeted.

The-Return-of-the-King-Smeagols-Birthday“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc.,” another said. “You are safe with me.”

That’s true in the sense that, if Matt Harrington is around and they’ve confiscated his sniper rifle, he’ll be able to borrow your safety pin and stab Trump with it.

Can you really substitute virtue-signaling for argument? Especially when it’s this lame? And, indeed, are there enough safety-pins in America for all those who feel unsafe? Or will Trump’s trade war be dealt a massive crushing defeat as cheap knock-offs from Chinese safety-pin factories flood the US market?

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Bulverism is a logical fallacy that combines a genetic fallacy with circular reasoning. (ed. One of the best current examples of Bulverism can be found at “Salon” with their articles about Trump)

The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive. The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis[1] to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates.

Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance. One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy of circular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.

(C.S.) Lewis wrote about this in a 1941 essay[2][3] which was later expanded and published in The Socratic Digest under the title “Bulverism”.[4][3] This was reprinted both in Undeceptions and the more recent anthology God in the Dock. He explains the origin of this term:[5]

You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism”.

Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — “Oh you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment”, E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument.

Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

CUT TO CANADIAN NEWS ON GLOBAL NATIONAL:

100-canadian-landscape

Canadian Landscape with the Trump Hate contaminating everything

The mood change almost gave me whiplash … The big news item appears to be that “Canadians” are fearful that “Trump Hate” is leaking over the border and contaminating Canadian Water and maybe Canadian politics as well!

As the writer above said: … what “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  One thing is undeniably true “Canadians” are ALWAYS fearful of SOMETHING … it just changes from day to day and even hour to hour. Why can’t they stay focused on our media message?

It seems that the dominant meme of the American extreme left progressives is finding fertile soil in the Great White North, eh?  And the scary part is that this is normal, especially amongst the Canadian chattering classes and the inhabitants of the media swamp.

And why not?  After all, Canada is a nation of facile, self-righteous, hypocritical, haters from sea to shining sea.  And nowhere are they more frantic in their hating than when it comes to hating Americans (a severely overdeveloped case of “Short-Man Syndrome”).

03-pool-of-worship

OMG I’m just SO beautiful and I’m such a nice person too …

violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet” is just about THE perfect encapsulation of how Canadian Liberals of all stripes view ANYONE who has the misfortune to disagree with them or to prefer to deal in facts rather than social media “virtue signalling“.

This sad fact is especially true when talking about Americans or “American” culture. Funny thing though, the roots of American culture are British, and the roots of Canadian culture are British, except for a few privileged minorities who owe their continued existence to the generous way that the British have always treated their enemies.

So where do we get off sneering about American culture? Those holding these violent hate filled views would do well to read Russel Kirk’s “The Roots of American Order“, of course there are a lot of facts in this great book and they don’t adapt well to social media or virtue signalling.

“Yup, huh, huh, huh, ya sure gotta admit it … Trump Hate is showing up on the Canadian scene, contaminating the worship pool. Hey, anyone wanna head over to Timmy’s, I am feeling kinda nibbly. I heard they have a new caramel covered doughnut these days.”

I watch all the usual suspects in their self-congratulatory holier than thou pontification and find I am deeply ashamed of Canadians … deeply ashamed …

Cheers

Joe

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_Of course always remember to be charitable, even though that is distinctly un-Canadian, eh?.

And of course “anyone who disagrees with ME is a “violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet”. There, I said it first, nya, nya, na nya na …  who the heck cares about facts and truth anyway, that is all just so yesterday.

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.

 

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The Inner Struggle

Workups …

… This is all just one big non-stop training exercise so that we have half a chance of learning what we need to know for real life – that is eternity.

So, WORKUPS. After a period of rest and refit, we enter into an intensive predeployment workup. The personnel have received new training, the ships get repaired, maintained and re-equiped (refitted) hopefully with newer better tools and equipment – or maybe not, if the goal of the civilian ministers and directors, the previously mentioned 5th column,  is to atrit and deplete to free up funding for their favorite pig farm.

Where the right hand is blathering about commitments and duty and Ready Aye Ready, but the left hand is strangely refusing to supply enough fuel for deployment or enough personnel to crew the ships, or … well you get the drift …

Old ditty:

We the willing, lead by the unknowing, doing the impossible, for the ungrateful,
Have done so much, with so little, for so long,
We are now expected to do everything, with nothing, forever …

Workups …, such fun, a team of highly trained saboteurs and sadists descend upon the newly minted unit with the express goal of exposing all their sins and weaknesses. And through a continuous, 24 hour a day, series of drills and simulated missions and disasters and mixed mayhem and abuse they drive the new unit, men and equipment to the outer limit of their ability to perform.

All the while timing and taking notes and punishing as they see fit until the point is reached where the unit has matured and bonded and coped with everything to meet or exceed the standards expected. This can go on for weeks, over and over and over, in the case of particularly obtuse crews. Until that magical day when you are declared fit to deploy with some expectation that you will not embarrass your masters. I remember “Hard Training, Easy Missions” from somewhere, probably imprinted at a cellular level by some screaming CPO.

And that is exactly what “Life” is. Workups and exercises until you learn the right way to conduct yourself. And the problems and challenges will keep being thrown at us until the light comes on and we learn what we are supposed to learn. Over and over, until we get it. Some get it fast, some get it slow. Some do not appear to get it at all … but we cannot observe exactly what transpires about the time of death.

I have it on good authority that God is smarter than I and He operates outside our conscious reality.  At this stage of life I am not inclined to doubt that and I put down things I don’t understand to “not having all the information” or perhaps to simply not being able to operate at that level – I am fairly certain that if I think I understand things then I really don’t. Every challenge, every nasty situation, every abusive word or difficulty, every challenge, yes, every vampire and zombie, even them, every goal and ambition, every need and want, every opportunity and failure, every joy and hurt, are all exercises in learning to sacrifice and love … selflessly.

Satan. . . the pain itself made Puddleglum’s head for a moment perfectly clear and he knew exactly what he really thought. . . ‘One word, Ma’am,’ he said, coming back from the fire; limping,. . . ‘One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have [have is in italics in the novel] only dreamed, or made up, all those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is [is is in italics in the novel] the only world. Well, it strikes as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
C.S. Lewis

Cheers

Joe

CSRdisclaimer for the nit pickers: we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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