March 15, 2013 - March 7, 2013
. Think I'm kidding? Here's the gist from the Washington Examiner:
Kind of perfect when you think about it. A couple of over-educated
parasites whose biggest responsibilities before plunging into
electoral politics themselves were approving the menus for state
dinners and organizing White House Easter Egg Rolls. Husbands are
good for one thing and one thing only -- padding that do-nothing
resume into the appearance of accomplishment.
The MSM will love it, and the vital LGBT support will be locked up as long as the Clinton-Obama administration promises to carry over Janet Napolitano and Kathleen Sebelius, Rupaul is named Attorney General, and Madonna becomes secretary of the new Department of Marriage.
Still, I don't think it's going to happen. Michelle's media, vacation, fashion, and self-celebration schedule is far too full to permit of even token VP duties like offending everyone on a daily basis. And who wants to work for that self-important white bitch who embarrassed the hell out of everyone for a week or so with that Benghazi screw-up?
But it's fun to think about, eh? Might even force President Hillary to quit looking like a cleaning lady, which she has since becoming the most lackluster secretary of state in history, and resume the snappy coifs, pantsuits and makeup she briefly affected during the 2008 primary campaign. That would be all to the good. Her dead hair and pasty face would be such a bummer to everyone but the L's of the neo-Rooseveltian LGBT coalition that so unites contemporary lefties and libertarians.
It never hurts to dream, though. What America is all about.
. I'm going to try to set a precedent here for
future discussions of religion. Meaning, I don't think anyone can be
credible without revealing some personal history. I'm not what I
would term a believer. But I'm certainly not an atheist or what I
would call an agnostic either. I'm strongly inclined toward belief,
but I can't manage the total surrender faith seems to require. What
is that? Agnostic and leaning?
I was raised an Episcopalian, which even in my childhood was not so much a theology as an ethical code. It was about rectitude more than anything else. Praying was not submission. It was talking man to man to God, as if we were equals in some way. I was taught to look down on Catholics, the papacy, the cattle call nature of mass. They didn't get the communion wine, did they? Only the tasteless wafers while the priests drank their fill.
But I had problems with my denomination from a very early age. And nothing I could find a source for in my family. I became obsessed for no discernible reason with the problem of Judas. I couldn't find anyone who understood my quandary, so I nourished it on my own. Without Judas, there is no Christ story, no crucifixion, no sacrifice, no salvation. Jesus was a god. Judas was a man. Jesus presumably knew the prophecy he was fulfilling. He knew all along that Judas was an indispensable agent of his destiny. Yet what happens to Judas? He hangs himself in shame and his name is never given to another. Who makes the greater sacrifice? The god who knows he can defeat death and rise again? Or the mere human who knows he will be condemned for all eternity by doing what the entire force of prophecy insists he must?
As a result, I became more of a student of the history of Christianity than of scripture. I did learn scripture. In those days, you couldn't avoid it. I had courses in prep school on the Old Testament and the New Testament from an ordained Episcopal ne'er do well, whom we laughed at but couldn't indict on the basis of insincerity. He believed.
The history project was more fruitful. I found a key in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which documented an almost total collapse of faith in the 19th century. There was even a time when most seminarians believed Christ might not have lived at all, because there was so little record of his existence. Rationalism was a big thing in the 19th century, don't you know.
Back to the key, though. The Britannica noted a problem the rationalists couldn't explain away. Which leaped at me from the page. What the skeptics and cynics can't dismiss is the fact of the infectious rise of Christianity. There's no reasonable explanation for it. Something happened that catalyzed it. What?
It wasn't a political movement. It wasn't unique as a religious movement in most respects. (Resurrected gods were a cliche from Egypt's Osiris to Greece's Dionysis...) The Roman Empire was rife with messianic cults, as was Judaism. Something happened of an enormous nature that remains a mystery to this day. A man who spoke to no more than about 30,000 people in his lifetime somehow went on to transform the world. Hmmm.
So I went adventuring. Studied ancient religions from the Middle East to the Far East to the Mayans to Easter Island. Learned Latin and Greek. Studied quantum physics because it suggests consciousness is part of the nature of reality. Studied brain studies, computer technology because of its brain analogies, and even Wolfram's programming theories of evolution because I wanted to understand why something happened no one has ever been able to explain. Because I wanted to believe and nothing in my incredibly expensive education was oriented toward facilitating that belief.
Always thinking of Judas. The closest I got, not close enough, was Schroedinger's Cat, a quantum physics thought experiment that posits a cat both alive and dead in a box, existing in neither state until an observer opens the box. The live and dead state which exists before the observer looks is called a superposition of states. I had a momentary image of Jesus and Judas in a superposition of messiahs... And then I lost it.
I've never solved the problem. But I've also never lost the conviction that something happened. Something that transformed western civilization utterly in less than a third the time the ancient Egyptians preserved their Maat on the Gizeh plain. The Greeks for all their intellect didn't do it. Their Gods were just earlier versions of the amoral, rutting creeps the Romans worshipped in their thousand years of murderous rule. Plato's Cave was a prescient glimpse of existentialism, but hardly a vector of hope and individual identity.
So I keep circling and circling the Christian mystery, wishing I could find a way in. Hoping I may one day.
Why I have zero patience with so-called rationalists who wish to inform Christians how fucking stupid and backward they are.
Because I have found an application for the superposition idea. Christianity continually strives to fragment itself. Catholics. Pentecostals. Protestants of every variety, from rationalist Presbyterians whose predestination turns rationalism itself inside out to Baptists who reduce Christ's two great commandments to not drinking or dancing. The smart ones insist they're all nuts. I have a different idea.
Christianity is the greatest human story ever told because it's a story told about ourselves and its purpose is always hope. The way to understand the richness of this story and its forward thrust is to understand that all the splinters of Christianity are joined in a superposition that continuously interconnects much like the ICR of a book many people purport to understand without ever seeing it whole.
When you look inside the box, guaranteed you won't see Ayn Rand's objectivism. Which is a pale, pitiful sliver of reality divorced from everything alive and worth living for.
When you look inside the box, you'll see proof that something has happened between man and the universe. What, I'm not sure. But that's the hypnotic mystery of it all.
Best wishes and prayers to the new Pope.
. I've mentioned Ernest Shackleton a
few times here. Recommended a book about him in fact. Now I'm
recommending a documentary from my new favorite cable outlet, the
Smithsonian Channel. Shackleton accomplished a miracle in bringing
every member of his ill-fated 1914 Antarctic Expedition home alive
after the loss of their ship left 27 men stranded on the ice. But he
didn't do it alone. He couldn't have done it at all without Frank
Worsley, the sea captain who did, well, everything to get the crew
from the wrecked ship in the pack ice to Elephant Island, where they
waited for months while Worsley and Shackleton navigated an open boat across three
thousand miles of sea to... Guess you'd have to watch the whole
Please do so. Worsley isn't famous. But he should be.
Life doesn't hand out its laurels the way you think it will when you're young. No trophies for just showing up, you can be sure. And maybe not even one for the guy who pulls everybody's irons out of the fire. Something to think about. Yet history can be relentless and finally, eventually, fair. Hail, Frank Worsley.
. Funny. I tried so hard to find a
free version of the greatest comedy album I ever heard for you. Then I thought, why would I do that?
You SHOULD pay for the best comedy album you've ever heard.
Except there's no sex or profanity or scatology or anything else that has come to be humor in this country in it. Not even breasts.
But it's still so good the Amazon folks are charging for it. What is it? Peter Ustinov's one man Grand Prix race. He does it all. He's the interviewers, the drivers from every nation, all the cars and crashes, and even the crowd response. You know. What once, a long long time ago, was called talent. And funny. The way this guy puts it is exactly what I remember from when I first heard it nearly 50 years ago:
. From the Golden Age, when the cars were not
identical anorexically bony things but something like women, curved,
distinctive, and absolutely treacherous. And the drivers were
completely insane. The good old days.
Buy it or don't. I've done my duty. Told you about it.
The rest is up to you.
. Too long? Too bad. Thinking takes work.
We'll start with Lake:
My problem is I can see that I'm correct. I don't just believe so, I don't just like to think so. It is evident; in front of my eyes. If I despised all your values, I'd just leave. I keep harping on the God blind spot because you're all better than that (most of you are). I'm not trying to enforce my personal preference; I'm trying to get you to correct an error in your thinking. Don't you want all your beliefs to reflect reality? Isn't that kind of the point?
You've got me dead to rights on this point:
When I lay the truth out plainly, I expect others to see it as well. When they chose not to see it, I get discouraged and check out. Repeat. Plus, not everyone can stay at the computer and write five days a week. Sadly.
Not this time. Maybe persistence is the key to getting through to you all. Worth a shot. I guess.
Next up is Urthshu, who has the distinction of being the only commenter to read what I wrote. He still got it wrong:
I disagree with gay marriage opponents because I've listened. Their arguments don't pass rational scrutiny. Their gloom and doom predictions are pure gas. Unlike with drugs and alcohol with their easily forseeable negative consequences, gay marriage as such will, beyond a reasonable doubt, not have any adverse impacts. That's what I spent the whole post explaining.
The point he makes about the steady erosion of norms seems cogent. But when he tries to put gay marriage in that august company of social ills, he falls flat. Try to imagine a groom-to-be chickening out by using gay marriage as an excuse. Really imagine how that would go. "Sweetie, I've been thinking... you know how queers can get married now? Maybe we should just call this whole thing off." Absolutely absurd. Not just "on the face of it," but all the way through down to the bottom. If you'll pardon what might count as a pun.
I said Urthshu reads, but it might be closer to the truth to say he skims for gotchas. If he had read in the sense of reading to really read, he would have seen that I already answered this objection. Oh well.
Destroy it? No. I want it put in its proper place: As an individual, private concern. That Urthshu thinks this constitutes destroying religion says more about him than it does me.
On to the Boss.
A baldfaced lie. A blatant, low-down, rotten, deliberate lie. You anticipated NONE of my argument about the proper role of religion in civil society. Instead, you flung me yet another refried load of Yxom shit. Which I have refuted. But I'm happy to do so again: I benefit from the thinkers who came before me, but I'm not obligated to parrot them. We're not Chinks here. I am history's student. Not history's slave. Here's what history tell us again and again: Both the material and the intellectual status quo can and ought to be improved upon. Make sense? Great.
Another way to look at it: Who are you to drag quantum physics into Christianity? Isaac Newton didn't think it was necessary. The authors of the Gospels certainly didn't. Do you really think you're smarter than the Apostles and Augustine and Isaac Newton and all the believing Christians before you who never saw it the way you see it? Were they bumbling rubes in your eyes, because they didn't have the benefit of your crucial insight?
See how easy this game is? Are you ready to admit this line of "reasoning" is a crock?
For fuck's sake. You didn't even read my post. Gay marriage opponents aren't content to protect their churches from imposed gay marriage. They want ban gay marriage for the rest of society. Why won't you use his brain on this issue? Why do you think faith is exempt from criticism? Actually, I know why. I'll need a seperate post to dispense with it.
You were just getting warmed up then. Noticing a pull quote from ErisGuy— that perpetual nothing— you craft a whole post refuting a very quick aside I made in my essay. Why not address my main points? I can't imagine.
The jist of it seems to be that the Dark Ages weren't entirely a wash. After all, they managed some derivitive architecture and one poem. And who needs a luxury like sanitation when you're a rural people? It's like camping! And they were only so poor to begin with because of Rome and all. It's a good thing Christianity was around to pick up the pieces.
Except it didn't. As you yourself will help me show.We'll start this mini-fisk with the caption under the video, before even the main body of text begins.
You lead off with a slant that would put the Daily Show's writers to shame. What I said was, the right's theocratic urge is a problem, some conservatives have fully gone over to the theocratic dark side, and even conservatism's non-theocrats have bought into the nonsense arguments against gay marriage. It's not acceptable. And it's not a difficult take to get one's head around.
Should have stopped the post right here. Because those are the topics at hand. Instead, you focus on a very minor detail he thinks he can crush me on. Shabby.
I know you know what rounding is. As though because I didn't say roughly, I must have meant exactly. And did I say "nothing new worthwhile"? No. I said a thousand years of misery. The West doesn't start getting the major works of Aquinas until about the 1250s, and even before that crucial milestone people were still struggling to crawl out of the mire, with Scholasticism and the Magna Carta and poor Eriugena and Abelard and the list goes on. I thought saying "read for comprehension" right at the beginning would dispel misunderstandings of this kind. Maybe writing "Wilfull Stupidity" on the very next line gave you ideas. My bad.
That's exactly the story behind your failure to remember that a thing called rounding up exists. Look how much of the rest of your rebuttal you have to stake on this clownishness. It's worse than garden variety lying. It's pretending to be stupid to make a stupid point.
This is all pre-Christianity? You think this helps your thesis that humanity had no sense of individual human worth until Christianity? Did you realize you left this in the published version of the post?
Or, let's stop right fucking here. WHY DOES ROME FALL? Could Christianity's ascendency have anything to do with that? A major thrust of your political commentary is that bad ideologies cause civilizations to lose their nerve. Not seeing any parallels here? No possible correlation?
Uh, no I don't. Christianity is far better than communism, or Islam, but that doesn't mean it's good enough. Even angry ol' Dick Dawkins admitted he was grateful to be born in an Anglican culture. I'm grateful I wasn't born in some ideological toilet. That doesn't mean improvement can't or shouldn't be made.
This hypothesis explodes itself in short order. The Dark Ages predate the Muslim conquests by a few centuries; Muhammad wasn't around in 480 to cut Europe off from the Old World. The West stagnated and regressed because it chose to shun the Greek tradition. You say it didn't? Augustine disagrees:
Good thing no one listened to that guy! Imagine if he'd ended up one of the prime architects of early Christianity! OH, WAIT.
If Christianity by itself had had the power to Enlighten, it would have done so; the West had plenty of it. The Old World had no essential or catalytic piece of Christianity that the West did not (unless you can identify one). The only thing the Old World did have that Europe didn't? Greek thought. Christ didn't launch the Enlightenment. Aristotle did. When his thought was coupled with an ethos more committed than the Roman to the ideal of individual human worth. A trait that, by your own admission, predates Christianity. At best, religion was an help meet for philosophy in this instance, and nothing more. More likely is that it took (close to!) a thousand years for anyone to devise a way to rationalize free-ish thought in a doctrinal context. Wouldn't have taken as long in a freer intellectual climate, but hey, catch-22.
Spare me. If that were remotely true, you'd have admitted I'm right, and we could finally move forward.
... I said I'd been doing this for 10 years.
Gross understatement. More like 35 years that I've been writing
almost continuously about the crisis in our civilization. If you
ever wonder why I'm peremptory and impatient with Commenters. Not
pulling rank. Just explaining.
Instapunk wasn't my first blog. Before that was something called glovesoff.blogspot.com. It began in 2000, about the time of the contested George W. Bush election. It also contains a post dated 1999, which really dates to 1997, when I wrote a diary on a personal computer before I had Internet access. It was called "Writing Down America." Consider it a pre-blog blog. Desperately concerned about the direction our country was headed in.
But there was also a lot of stuff in between 1998 and 2002 that, well, overlaps. In 1998 I began work on a multimedia project that consisted of more than 3600 mouse-created graphics and approximately 350,000 words of text, conceived as a journey through a fictional realm called Shuteye Town. You clicked your way through about 40 subway stations in an underground world that had its own Internet, a huge mall, dozens of cable TV channels, a vast bookstore and movie rental establishment stocked with parodies of everything popular and admired, video games, its own Scripture (The Zeezer Bible), and a rebel world that challenged all the verities. And all of it was extensively hyper-linked as a kind of treasure hunt.
It was called Shuteye Town 1999. I finished it in time to publish it in 2000 at Amazon. Then I immediately went to work on an on-line sequel called Shuteye Nation, which was an add-on to another project I'd already been working on: BoomerBible.com. That was a site I didn't start but added extensively to when I finally got a modem. I learned about it through a site called Delphi Forums where young people had been arguing about my book The Boomer Bible long before I arrived. I joined their discussion then added large new chunks to the Boomer Bible website, including significant post 9/11 content and before that, Shuteye Nation, which was a snapshot of the end of the Clinton administration and the beginning of the Bush administration.
Where Shuteye Town 1999 was heavily graphical and occasionally mysterious in its all-encompassing scope, Shuteye Nation was a very direct satire of mass media, politics, and their principal celebrities. Not drawn but massively photoshopped. There was a Who's Who of famous Americans, a Who's Who of History, a Who's Who of Foreigners, an American Gazetteer, a Foreign Gazetteer with linked essays about topics like the paradise of Castro's Cuba, Hitler's relationship with beer, and France's relationship with boobs. There was also a slate of parody publications, including newspaper columnists, national magazines ranging from National Geographic to the Smithsonian to Time and Newsweek, and a Glossary of the language used and abused by all these entries.
Everything changed after 9/11. I added a huge new section to BoomerBible.com about the origins and pursuit of the war on Islamic terror. Which led finally to the creation of Instapunk in 2003.
The roots of all of this activity are the works I wrote about the punk writing movement. Which began with the first story I wrote that broke from the fiction conventions I'd been taught. That story sits in an old post at Instapunk. The Parade of Volumes. It was written in 1976. The conception grew and grew and took me until 1991 to deliver on, with the publication of The Boomer Bible. (Truthfully, I became a punk writer even earlier, when I wrote a rock lyric called 30 Pieces of Silver [Brizoni, take note]. It began: "Jesus, Judas, what have they done to you? Judas, Jesus, was everything to you.")
So was I idle between 1991 and 1997? No. I wrote a book-length manuscript explaining the writing philosophy, esthetics, and structure of The Boomer Bible (half of which still exists as scanned image files attached to an email I still might locate someday). That's also the period in which I acquired the material and produced the multimedia manuscript for The Naked Woman, the only full-on, take no prisoners satire of feminism, which unfortunately poisoned my reputation with print publishers and their legions of female editors. The original manuscript now sits on a Bernoulli drive in someone else's hands, but big chunks of it, including a redefinition of intelligence testing and an explanation of how to pass the computer industry's Turing test are included in Shuteye Town 1999.
It should be clear that I staked my fate on high technology early on. It should be clear, for example, that The Boomer Bible was always a hyperlinked work, even though the first chapters and verses were written on a massive Underwood manual typewriter. A lot of my work is therefore not accessible to linear print-oriented folk, and much of it is also stranded in obsolete technologies that were riskily still incubating when I used them. I have no particular beef with that. I gambled. It may yet be that most of my output can be saved and reformatted as part of the history of those who first tried to break the old barriers and do something different.
My principal point here is that if you think my takes on the contemporary scene are somehow off the top of my head, glib more than annealed by experience, you're wrong. I may be wrong in what I conclude. But I'm not just some New Media wag trying to build a reputation.
To show you how old I am and how long I've been hanging on to hope against all odds, I offer you this:
Pitiful, ain't it?
. I was going to do another post, but then I got
to thinking of all the wonder kids we have here. And I'm curious.
How close have you come to meeting the Grim Reaper? Not any more, I
tell you, but in the past I used to stare into his eyes all the
time, from a very early age. Does it matter? Probably not. But all
of you who think the only we time we stare death in the face is when
we're wearing the uniform, well, maybe not. Embarrassingly for me, a
lot of my own close calls, the ones I remember anyway, are, well,
more glamorous than not. Forgotten are all the times I drove too
hard, fought too hard, etc, and so on. I may have been in more
danger in Ithaca, NY, when some dead drunk biker townies wanted to
throw a Cornellian out of a window onto the street two floors below.
But you don't tend to think of close calls as situations you manage
to talk your way out of. So here's my surviving list:
5. Trip to Ship John Light.
What was I, seventeen? A friend I trusted launched us toward the Delaware Bay lighthouse called Ship John Light in a 12 foot Boston whaler. The water was deep, the currents were treacherous, the boat was small, the distance was long, and I had no idea why we were doing it. Afterwards, my friend told me it was the dumbest thing he had ever done in a long line of dumb things he had done. We could easily have been swept into the bay and out to sea, he said. "We were very lucky." Odd, though. I remember the whole trip. It was fun. We went round the lighthouse and back home. Not even the video above, in its much larger boat, did that.
4. Grand Corniche.
Maybe Ship John didn't scare me as it should have because I'd
already done the Grand Corniche. My dad was a WWII fighter pilot. I
was 10. Didn't realize he was afraid. He just seemed grim. Nine
hours of driving through the Alps on barely two lane roads with
gaping holes in the ancient Roman walls on the fall-to-your-death
side, while crazy Frenchmen and Italians insisted on passing on
blind corners. It looks idyllic in the tourist literature. In
reality, when we reached Menton, my Dad couldn't straighten his
fingers, He'd been absolutely certain he was going to kill jis wife
and two children, hour after hour after hour. No wonder we nearly
missed boarding our ship for home. And, oh yeah, I was scared the
whole time too. When you look to your right, there's nothing but
water, a mile below.
3. XKE flip.
Sometimes close calls happen in an instant. That's this one.
Eighteen this time. We went to Somers Point, NJ, in a Jaguar XKE
roadster. We enjoyed ourselves and came home. Good night, eh? Not so
fast. We got all the way to the quarter-mile long driveway we'd
always used as a kind of salt flats when he nodded off. The XKE
slewed left and suddenly we were mired in a ploughed field. The
state police were on the scene so quickly I still don't know how
they managed it. My friend, the driver, somehow beat the
breathalyzer, but it wasn't until the next day that the, er,
forensics brought us both up short. The tracks where the XKE went off
the road were evident. They led into a tilled but unplanted field.
Then there were the tracks where it landed. A hundred feet away. On
all fours. The goddam car flipped in midair, flying, flying, with no
top, just two dumb shitheads inside, and deposited us safely upright
in dirt. The bonnet was entirely ripped off. Landed somewhere
between takeoff and landing point. Happened so fast we never had any
sense of the flip. But we were young and dumb in those days.
2. Leonardo da Vinci
Can't remember if I've ever mentioned this one. Nearly died in a
hurricane at sea. Sister ship of the Andrea Doria, which did sink. Not going to blow it
out of proportion. No need. It was very very close. I was ten. All
the glassware was destroyed. All the passengers were disgustingly
seasick. The sick was everywhere. The name of the hurricane was
Beulah. Look it up.
1. Easter Sunday, 1972.
The worst. The most frightened I've ever been. I defied the Harvard
final club tradition of visiting rooms and polite separation. I made
it my business to see the inside of every final club enclave on
campus. I would climb any height to do it. Upper windows are rarely
locked. In this fashion, I saw the interior of the Fox, the Fly, the
Delphic, the Spee, the Owl, and even the Lampoon. Then came the
Easter morning when I found myself standing on a fifth floor railing
of the Porcellian Club. I had to stand on tiptoe to squirm through
the window into what amounted to another locked room. Never saw the
interior of the Porcellian. After which I retired from cat burglar
work. Never penetrated the AD either. Now that I'm old, I'm just
glad I didn't die from being dumb.
Yeah, I've nearly creamed myself a bunch of times in cars and motorcycles over the years, but these are the things that stand out. Hope you understand.
It's a fact. When religion walks in the door,
sanity goes out the window. I get it. People are upset about
Brizoni's attacks on God and Christianity. Fed up. And querulous
about why I don't seem to be.
A few points of order. Not everything I write pleases you, either. I've taken your shots over the weeks, months, and years, some of which have hurt me, but you don't notice because I hit back. Does anyone remember that I've blasted the Catholic Church, ridiculed fundamentalists, and even presented the bizarre hypothesis offered by some philosophers that our universe is actually a computer simulation?
Not when Brizoni comes in to attack the Judeo-Christian tradition. That's when you start getting pissed off. He's wasting our time. His posts are too long. You can't stand them even as you can't read them because they're way too long and a distraction from stuff that matters. While you forget that my stance since the election has been that almost all the political stuff doesn't matter and won't until the horse race starts shaping up for the 2014 midterms.
I understand. It offends you. It annoys the hell out of you. And my defense of this heretic against righteous criticism in the Comments is absolutely infuriating. Helk gets tarred with the same brush. Doesn't matter that he's written multiple books about quantum physics, fights the good fight against leftism on his own website, and just has a certain contrarian bent that continually erupts here, for some reason. A lot the way Brizoni erupts here. Bad bad bad. (Never mind that maybe they're here because here's where they respect the quality of the opposition they'll get. No quarter expected or given.)
A few days ago, I told you how to use the Search functions here. If you do, you'll discover that if I've ever been mean to you, it's nothing compared to how mean I've been to Brizoni and Helk. I have absolutely hammered Brizoni twice in the last week or two, but that's not enough apparently. Tipping point. A onetime commenter here emailed me to suggest that a better Christian Mission than continuing dialogue with Brizoni was to jettison him and then, even if that hurt me personally, not to let that loss affect my relations with others. Meaning him and company, I suppose. Really? My Christian Mission is to throw under the bus a man who has spent hundreds and hundreds of hours whipping my blog posts into book form, without any help at all from me, because the greater obligation I have is to be nice to everyone else?
uh, I don't think so. Guess what. My Catholic wife isn't exactly enchanted with Brizoni's atheist posts either. What does she do? She doesn't read them. She also concedes she has no idea what Helk is up to. She doesn't read his comments, either. Problem solved.
As an aside, interesting that Brizoni's unacceptable and unreadable posts draw more comments than do deliberate attempts to change the subject. Oh, that's right. Nobody wants to talk culture either. What do you want to talk about? Poor poor pitiful you? I guess telling you that 80 year old Kim Novak thinks Jimmy Stewart will be the first to greet her in heaven is completely out of the question. But maybe you could find coverage of that at the Media Research Council, where they're selling catastrophe-proof DVDs of Leave it to Beaver and National Velvet. Good luck with that. Never a female breast in sight. The way God always wanted it.
I've been doing this for ten years. Longer than most of you have been reading here. Let me remind you of the DNA of Instapunk.com. It was an outgrowth of The Boomer Bible and the punk writing movement it represented. That, rather any desire for personal anonymity, was the reason for the multiple signatories representing different punk personas -- Instapunk, LocoPunk, CountryPunk, TruePunk, etc -- which I abandoned in recent years only because of the epidemic of blog sock-puppetry and the charge that anyone who didn't use his own name was probably some coward hiding in a basement. But the premise was never intended to be nice. It was all about combat in the realms of intellect and spirit. The change has, in fact, diluted the humor, satire, and entertainment value I've been able to provide. I don't get to write the over-the-top piece as TruePunk and reassess it more reasonably as Instapunk. Part of the price we all pay for political correctness. In the past year or so, I've had to arrange artificial and somewhat stultified debate forums to accomplish what I used to simply by switching punk hats.
Brizoni battles me in the way I used to battle myself. I can't control it as well, of course, because he's his own man, thank God. And, yeah, he's got a bee up his nose about God. Fine. Who should that bother? He also has gone toe to toe with me on Ayn Rand, whom he admires and I don't, which once won him about as much support as antipathy in these very pages. He's no lefty. What else isn't he? Not a Doomsday Prepper withdrawing from civilization. Not an anti-Semite. Not a smug know-it-all who's content to see the United States of America go down in flames because things aren't going our way at the moment. And he conspicuously doesn't sit on his hands. In that respect, he's in a small company of Instapunk heroes which also includes Lake, Apotheosis, and Guy T. Among them, they are responsible for the internet's live ICR version of The Boomer Bible and the html preservation of Shuteye Town 1999. Brizoni has assembled two Instapunk books and published one in paper form. (Also Null, Winston Sith, and M, who have labored to keep alive the TBB Delphi Forum and the images and fiction of Punk City. And BalowStar, wherever he is.) If you know anything about the punks of Punk City, you know we don't leave our own behind. Not ever.
Not even when they get mad. And they all get mad. It's a punk thing.
The getting over the getting mad part is what so many are missing today. Why we're in so much trouble as a nation. Everyone gets to sulk. For a time at least. Then comes the time to quit sulking. The Baby Boomers are tremendous sulkers. The X-gens too. The Millennials, well, I'm not sure about them. I actually still have hope for them. And I love the way both Brizoni and Helk keep coming back even though they take more heat than any of you ever have and don't quit.
Because quitting is the biggest sin when lives are on the line. Unless short attention spans are.