Liberal: “Can you believe that X% of Americans believe in Creationism? How alarming!”
Me: “Can you believe that X% of Syrians believe in honor killings, clitoridectomies, and Creationism?”
♪ ♫ Susie Jones, workin’ in the barn, saw zhe fall, and ran inside to tell her pa that, “LGBTQIAPK metagender non-binary gray-sexual other-person self-identifying as transdolphin 6-year old fell into the well!”
Fell into the well, fell into the well, fell into the deep, dark well!
Then old John, put his plow aside, grabbed his cane, hobbled into town and cried that,”LGBTQIAPK metagender non-binary gray-sexual other-person self-identifying as transdolphin 6-year old fell into the well!”
Fell into the well, fell into the well, fell into the deep, dark well!
To the well, everybody came. What a shame! It took so long to say zir name that…”LGBTQIAPK metagender non-binary gray-sexual other-person self-identifying as transdolphin 6-year old…DROWNED!” ♪ ♫ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Zaćma: the first film I saw in a while [at the AJFF] where every sentence meant something. In post-communist Poland, to what do the faithless atone in their anguish? And can atonement exist without faith? There I sit amid an audience of urban Jews lapping up the Gospel as it’s being recited to them almost verbatim without their even realizing it. Thank you Father, for the Life and for the Knowledge.
Alone in Berlin was for tourists.
For as long as I can remember, the concept of Divine Love had grated against me, and still does. I can always imagine it working on the collective level, but nary the personal. This is why I’m always vexed with people who ask me about my personal relationship with G-d and Yeshua and Holy Spirit, or any other mystic elations.
In the movie “Her,” the crooning of phone sex and cyber-spooning challenged the concept of human/divine relations to its core. SPOILER: A porn-addicted writer falls in love with his own AI program. And after a lover’s getaway, learns that she’s also in love with thousands of other users currently online with her. She insists to her angry beloved that it’s not important. That her ability to love is different and unspoiled by plurality, unlessened by sharing. That to do so is in her nature and that if he truly loves her, he would understand. Which is more than he can grapple with.
Even in the Bible, Shlomo the Wise held a lavish harem, probably telling each one, “I love you uniquely, just like all the others.” And the rabbinic commentary saw this worldwide polyamory as the imperial diktat of the Messianic Age.
Yet Ayn Rand said in an interview that she rejected Christian agape, because to love everyone is to effectively love nobody; the ultimate casting of peals beneath so many assemblies of swine, which cheapens the meaning of the word. Agape; the participation trophy given freely to the man who defrauded you alongside the woman you sleep with.
And yet when praying the morning prayers, we slip into the cells of Shlomo’s harem, sighing for the love of the passing king who loves us uniquely…along with all the others; verily we slip into the pyramidal love of crooning to an AI that requites everyone around the world in real time. All such mass, cash-and-carry, plug-and-play love would be abhorrent to us were it with anyone other than Him.
How can you love me without dirtying your hands with me for the next person?
The involuntary eunuch. The cripple who hates dancers. Do they, at the end of days, want the same, white and bathing light of G-d’s love that everyone else gets? Does the withered tree of Isaiah 56 find comfort in one unifying blanket when all of his uniqueness was tied up in his pain?
CS Lewis wrote Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the pagan myth of Psyche and Cupid that explores the prophecy and journey of divine love through different epochs of Greece. And by the end of it I, relinquishing butch, felt a dozen knots loosen and just wanted to feel small in someone else’s arms. Unlike the common prose he published for laymen, something in this actually seemed to give a fleeting-yet-real glimmer of the love of the divine and how it must feel to the touch. It was a supple and personal plunge into the emotions with which all flesh salutes the immortal.
Even still, the stock answer to all of this turmoil is that ‘it’s different because it’s with G-d, and He alone can swing a One-With-Many.’ I guess that’s true, and it follows as logical if you make it into a bandwidth problem. ‘We had dial-up in the Tanakh, but Christ died to give us DSL!’
But I think that the broad river solution would leave any thinking person unsatisfied. It certainly does me as a feeling person.
PS. The Greeks never used ‘agape’ in the unconditional sense. That was a church retooling. In the Greek Septuagint, Amnon forcefully “agaped” Tamar.
So I’m at a pub outside the film festival and the men’s can is occupied. Then I look over and there’s one of those newfangled he/she accommodations. The waiter says to just go ahead and use it and I really have to go. So I slip in. Inside it was immaculate from virtually no visitation.
So it’s official. A tran can is spic-n’-span.
I’m not a Millennial and I hate their brain-dead politics, and yet I found myself recently grandfathered into their category. I have yet to scrape my pride off the ground from that identity theft.
Out of college it was years before I found a good job. I worked like a dog at this and that in the meantime punching in 60 + hours in ad and copy mills.
Then I landed a big break with Autotrader with a successful phone interview. An older relative of mine thought they would do me a solid by insisting I just show up to the office and ask to talk with Ms. _____ in person. My next-of-kin was assuming that Ms. _____ would be so impressed with my to-the-point gusto and good ol’ fashion streetwork that, “why dammit, Dunaway, I like your spunk! You gotcherself a jerb! Put ‘er there!”
It came off a bit cheeky to waltz right in there like that, but hey: their generation seemed to make out so well at paying the bills. Why not?
Suffice it to say, I had a bit of an inadvertent tiff with security for which kindly Ms. _____ called me back only to chew me out. What a tumble. As I hung up the phone, I had the sinking suspicion that no boomers knew the trouble I’d seen. The people helping me still thought that circling ads and showing up was still the rage, and had no clue that the entirety of employment was transplanted to the interwebs.
And for the longest time I thought I was crazy, fraught with all sorts of character defects to explain away all the gold-winged benies that life wasn’t giving me for the work. Yet lately, thought leaders are now beginning to put voice to the growing frustration, and in retrospect it feels good to know that I wasn’t crazy, and that I sure as hell was not alone.
If anything, those years taught me not to lie to myself, to trust my instincts when something seems wrong, and realize that none of the advisors, relatives, nor opinionators are going to answer for me at the Last Day. Because they sure as sin aren’t here right now to answer for themselves.
I’ve gotten high on advice. Tied off an shot it up. Binged on it and eventually ODed. In all my life, I can count my useful advisors on one hand. Advice is talk. Talk is cheap. Now close the syllogism.
Progressives and hipsters seemed to glom onto evolutionary biology as an explanation for all of life. And if we were to psychoanalyze them, lots of folks probably like the idea of not being accountable to something absolute. “Religion is magical thinking; it’s biology that determines all. It’s selective, not kind, and certainly not fair. Your wishes do not change reality.”
Now, on the trans issue, the Science crowd has pulled a 180. “Belief determines all; biology is secondary. It’s kinder, makes no judgements, and above all it’s fair. Your wishes make reality.”
If the uncaring Universe will not be something for the devout, why would it be something for the sake of someone’s mental illness?
Now I’m convinced of evolution and allegorical reading, but I think this recent abandonment of science by the Left proves that it was never about getting to the cold, hard truth or understanding reality. It was about demeaning the religious, loosening morals, and getting to the reality you want.
Damnation is when your vice becomes you.
Euphony in clean and fluid names: Waverly Hess, Damien Selladore (English L sound, silent final E), Phillip Kent, Alec Spencer, Faye Madison, Allison Weaver.
Grating names: Robert, Carl, Edna
Why would a parent name their kid “Carl?” Rhymes with gnarl and snarl and marl. I cannot look at a pair of innocent, baby blues and think “Carl.”
- Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.
- We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.
- It can only ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you—inside or out.
- The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.
- It’s silly to try to escape other peoples’ faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.
- Leave other peoples’ mistakes where they lie.
Eden is rife with paradoxes and loose ends. It’s probably the weirdest story I’ve ever read, like an offbeat David Lynch movie. G-d is blowing bubbles with planets and something arcane bathes everything in blinding light.
- The Tree of Life assumes that Man is mortal, and if he eats from it he shall attain to immortality. The Tree of Knowledge assumes that Man is immortal, and that he loses his immortality in the eating. Would Heisenberg say Man is mortal or immortal? Where does Man fit on the wave function?
- In Genesis 2:9, the Tree of Life is the center of the Garden, with the vague chance that the Tree of Knowledge is also. It’s not clear. In Genesis 3:3, Eve describes the Tree of Knowledge as the center of the garden, from her vantage point. Which tree is the axis mundi?
- ‘Clever’ and ‘naked’ are pretty much the same word in Hebrew, building a wordplay. Who is clever and who is naked?
- G-d ‘punishes’ Adam and Eve, while the very nature of punishment itself suggests an a priori knowledge before the deed; a knowledge of which the couple supposedly had none. How can one punish who was unaware? And if they began aware, why was a tree their undoing?
- The text never clearly says whether they ate from the Tree of Life, or whether or not they would simply continue to do so.
- The Serpent predicts that the eaters of the fruit would become “knowers of Good and Evil,” become like G-d, and not die. After the deed, G-d frets that that very thing will happen, unless He takes swift action to prevent the Serpent’s prediction from coming true. Did the serpent lie? What is Lie?
- Thoughts of deviance emerged in Eve before the deed, rendering the Tree of Knowledge itself nothing more than an empty prop around which which the inner turn transpires.
- Then there is the cryptic “They day you eat of it, you will surely die.” Which of course they did not surely die that day. Does it have something to do with the liminal status between death and immortality in point 1?
Now a snarky atheist blog might dress the whole story down for contradictions, but I think the oral tellers of these traditions were pungently aware of the juxtaposing welter of unresolved opposites in the Primordial. And they chose to spare the contradictions and keep them in.
On the other hand, a fundamentalist might read this complexity and reduce it to the devil as a hobgoblin to be rid of, eschewing the depth of introspection, the jungle of symbolism, the mysterious allure to consciousness, and subliminal power.
*Image courtesy of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival