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Patty
 
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Quote Patty Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2007 at 6:14am

My husband and I couldn't agree with  you more, Servetus.  All you write about is so.  This is one reason we cherish our lives deep in the Maine woods, with a small village two miles away.  People here are considered old-fashioned and geeks.  Well, we don't care.  We watch mostly documentaries which we order from Netflix.com, and when we do watch tv it's the History Channel, Discovery, The Learning Channel, Science Channel, and of course my husband being a lover of racing, watches ESPN.  Children in Maine are for the most part quite different from kids in metropolitan areas.  They are taught the beauty of classical music, Shakespeare, the classics, and also the value of hard work!  It's not unusual to see 18 and 19 year old kids who have already mastered the art and very difficult work of being a lobersterman, and they own they Dad's "old" lobsterboat.  The Dad buys a newer one and the son makes payments to the father on the older boat.  I'm not saying Maine is perfect, but it's a far sight better than most of the other states in the US, as far as morals and ethics go.

We, in many, many instances, have the ACLU to thank for the rubbish which is now so freely available on talk radio and television.  "Freedom of speech", remember?  Girls in junior high permitted to have an abortion and/or birth control (boys too) without parental knowledge or consent....thanks to the ACLU!  And yes, Hollywood....determined to create inferiority complexes in perfectly normal women who weight over 120 lbs.  My husband's younger cousin is dying now from anorexia.  She never was obese, but decided she was too "fat" to go on a trip to Ireland.  Now she's a walking skeleton, and we know one day she will just collapse and that will be it!  She must not weight 80 lbs. 

I read book which are mainly about, well, Maine.  I love to read history books.  I like the classics, such as Jane Eyre and The Girl with the Pearl Earring.  I laughed until I couldn't breath reading "Marley and Me", by John Groghan.  Marley being a neurotic but loveable yellow Lab who caused so many unusual and extremely hysterically funny situations in their family.  My wonderful husband is a brilliant artist, and as such, I have learned to enjoy the world of art.  My favorite artist (next to my husband) is Johann Vermeer, one of the great Dutch Masters. 

I guess my question is this.....why in the name of all that is sacred, decent, and good have so many seemingly normal people strayed from what they certainly must know to be right (we nearly all have a well formed conscience) and learned to embrace and actually prefer this garbage, this world of vomit, as opposed to the multitude of excellent hobbies, adventures, intelligently decent topics in whic they could choose to partake?  I certainly don't get it!!  I am so happy that you brought it up.  It's not confined only to the US.....this devient behavior is spreading everywhere, don't you think?  What is causing human beings to become so disturbingly abnormal?

Great topic, Servie.

 

Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.
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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2007 at 1:48pm

Thanks for posting, Patty (and, again, everyone is welcome),

 

You wrote:
What is causing human beings to become so disturbingly abnormal?

 

I am not sure that a human descent into raw animality is an abnormality, but, to keep things lively, I am going to suggest that one possibility is this: a breach in the wall, or the barrier, which separates us from Gog and Magog.  That’s right.  Fr Thomas Michel, S.J., (link provided below) writes this about the remarkable if nevertheless infinitely arguable conclusions of Sheikh Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (of Turkey):  

 

“Said Nursi {foresaw} two great threats to religion, two currents of unbelief represented by the evil figures of Sufyan and Dajjal. The first, that of Sufyan, will seek to destroy the shari’a of Muhammad and will be defeated by the Mahdi from the family of the Prophet. The second, represented by Dajjal, will promote naturalist and materialist philosophy and lead to the total denial of God. Both will work through secret societies to subvert God’s reign over human hearts and eliminate the element of the sacred in social life.  It is against this second current which the true, purified Christianity, which comprises the collective personality of Jesus, will emerge [sic]. The true Christianity will reject superstition and distortion and be in unity with Islamic teachings. In effect, wrote Said Nursi, “Christianity will be transformed into a sort of Islam.””

  

Now, back even more specifically to my theme of a return to (the undesirable parts of) paganism in late Western civilization, to those who argue that because the West (generally) is technologically and scientifically advanced it must therefore be a strong, vibrant and growing civilization, the great historian at Chatham House, Arnold J. Toynbee, said this, rather early in the last century (and please note the last sentence):

 

“The radiation of any civilization may be analysed into three elements –economic, political and cultural- and, so long as a society is in a state of growth, all three elements seem to be radiated with equal power or, to speak in human rather than physical terms, to exercise an equal charm.  But, as soon as the civilization has ceased to grow, the charm of its culture evaporates.  Its powers of economic and political radiation may, and indeed probably will, continue to grow faster than ever, for a successful cultivation of the pseudo-religions of Mammon {money?} and Mars {war?} and Moloch {totalitarianism?} is eminently characteristic of broken-down civilizations ...”     

 

Mr. Toynbee also quotes W. R. Inge as saying: “Ancient civilizations were destroyed by imported barbarians; we breed our own.”

 

Serv

 

Ref:          http://www.sjweb.info/dialogo/index.htm

Toynbee, Arnold J., A Study of History, Abridgement of Vol I-VI, D.C. Somervell, Oxford University Press, New York & London, 1962, p. 405



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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 23 January 2007 at 12:31pm

I wonder if our benevolent cultural high priests of Bacchus (the so-called Roman god, small 'g', of drunkenness and orgies), priests otherwise known as the producers and promoters of M-TV, plan to bring us circus-goers (Super Bowl XLI watchers) and genuflectors to gladiators (sports worshippers) yet another barely disguised ritual in commemoration of their tutelary deity during the spectacles of half-time this year?

If anyone doubts that Bacchus is one of the presiding “geniuses” of this and many other public events, let him or her explain why it is that, at the mega grocery store I just now left (and yes, as a matter of fact, I did have to go through the check-out line and learn about Jessica getting thin for her new man and those other three celebrities having -the headlines scream- a Body Crisis!), the Madison Avenue marketing wonks had decided to create a rather impressive in-store display.  In it, a giant HDTV, highly coveted in its own right, of course, is surrounded by a jagged mountain of strategically placed 12-packs of beer.  All the while, the big screen replays in glorious color the highlights of past games.  I didn't make the association between the coliseum, booze and blood.  They did.   At any rate, I stared transfixed.

I can’t wait!  I’m all ready!  Bring on the spectacle.  “Janet Jackson,” said one of the high priests of M-TV, referring in turn to one of his most willing devotees, “got nasty.”

No kidding!  (This said in my best Jim Rome SportsTalk voice!)

Serv




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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 26 January 2007 at 11:12am

“… When the Bonnie and Clyde star [Faye Dunaway] appeared as a dishevelled, bespectacled woman with bad teeth in March 2005 [bottom photograph], fans were shocked to see how she had been affected by the ravages of time ...”

Servie’s response (in blue):  Yes!  The ravages of time are shocking and, in a properly superficial society, we should all be absolutely protected from having to be reminded of not only our own but other peoples’ mortality!

“… So it should come as little surprise that not long after this picture was taken, the 65-year-old appears to have swapped her crooked smile for a set of glossy pearly-whites ….”

It doesn’t come as a surprise.  You’re right.  And she did it all for us (her fans)!  Thank you, Faye Dunaway.

Signed:

Me, Servie, a formerly shocked fan

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showb iznews.html?in_article_id=416022&in_page_id=1773

 

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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 26 January 2007 at 1:15pm

Mr. Servetus,

Please do spare yourself a complete and utter, over the edge nervous breakdown ~ do not, I repeat, do not watch any "award shows", you know, the Oscars et. al.  where we get to see who is the "best in the world" in so many categories.  Really, sir, the silicone, botox, porcelain caps, hair extensions, latest arm/eye candy dates/mates, etc. might just drive you competely over the edge.

Not that there is anything else less "oh how I wish I hadn't seen that" junk on the tube!  Shall we toast (with water of course) all the lovely wrinkled, greying, authentic old folks out there...(this old grey mare included)?

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 26 January 2007 at 2:41pm

Yes, Ummziba, a toast with water, and thanks for your concern, but I can assure you that I went over the edge plenty of times.  Way over the edge.

 

Speaking of that one-eyed monster, television, it was my calculated misfortune to have let my shield (against cultural barbarity and disingenuousness) drop just recently and stand within earshot of our chief Imam, George W. Bush’s televised State of the Union Address.  Actually, I only had to suffer through two brief moments of that indignity because most of the time I had my stereo headphones on and was listening to good bluegrass music from Kentucky.   

 

Anyway, these are the two excerpts, or sound bytes, I heard.

Sound byte One:

“American foreign policy is more than a matter of war and diplomacy. Our work in the world is also based on a timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required …”

Servie bytes back: It might sound like the old concept of noblesse oblige, or the obligations of nobility, but this is a paraphrase of Jesus in St. Luke’s Gospel (12:48) and I hate it when my religion is hijacked, or at least commandeered, by evidently lapsed Methodists on a rampage (even if he is stating it in terms of American contributions to worldwide AIDS relief).

Sound byte Two:

“After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child. So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement. The Baby Einstein Company was born, and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales ….”

Servie bytes back:  Now that’s more like it!  I love rags to riches and millionaire stories!  They make us all proud.  Where’s Howie Mandel because I, for one, definitely want to deal!

I certainly am glad that President Bush did not follow this above success story with that rather annoying quotation, or reminder, from St. Matthew’s Gospel (19:24) about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [or woman] to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Fortunately, that one doesn’t even play in Peoria anymore!

Ok, let’s dish and see if Spanish t.v. might not sign us to an exclusive contract!

Serv

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"And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call ruling: to traffic and bargain for power—with the rabble!"  (F. Nietzsche)



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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 26 January 2007 at 11:49pm
Send a proposal Servetus. You never know.

But truthfully, the American political scene is viewed with rather less
interest over here, than a thriving petri dish. And understood far
less.

We have our own home grown problems, such as did the ex-Mayor
of Marbella send his ex-wife 90,000 euros from a secret bank
account in Gibraltar while canoodling with our most famous folk
chanteuse?

This is the stuff that keeps us awake at nights. That's if we bother
going to bed at all. Madrid has traffic jams at 3.30 in the morning:
when the bars, clubs, discos empty themselves of the night's first
batch of revellers. The 'second coming' commences around that hour
on an ordinary spring/summer night and the traffic is the result of us
all deciding where to go next and more importantly, where to park?

I think the percentage of Spaniards who actually watch TV is smaller
than the number who miraculously, spontaneously know the inner
dealings of the latest gossip theme and discuss it over morning
coffee.


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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2007 at 10:18am

The last time that I was in Spain, somewhere between Barcelona and Ibiza, I was such an avid bacchante (disciple of Bacchus) that I don’t even hardly remember being there.

 

But still, I did have time to immerse myself in the culture.  In the early ‘30’s of the last century, it might be worth noting, Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote (originally in Spanish):

 

“The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace {shall we say vulgar?} mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will ... it has come about that for the first time the European understands American life which was to him before an enigma and a mystery.  There is no question, then, of an influence, which indeed would be a little strange, would be, in fact, a “refluence,” but of something which is still less suspected, namely, of a leveling ...”

 

Spot on, Senor Ortega y Gasset, you got that one right!  Speaking of leveling and of low common denominators, I just now noticed that right there, at the check-out line in the mega grocery store, the headline of the Spanish-language version of National Enquirer, known as Mira!, had this peculiar but nevertheless highly familiar headline (with photographs, of course) and I hope I am remembering it correctly:

 

Mira!  {Look!}  Defectos de los famosos! {Defects of the celebrities, or the famous!}

 

Of course I ignored that particular photograph of the ever-present if involuntary celebrant of celebrity cellulite, Mariah Carey in the upper-right corner, but, quite frankly, almost lost my cookies (or biscuits) when I was forced to notice that inordinately large –shall we say, rather, deformed- toe on someone’s (famous somewhere in Latin America) right foot!  It's, like, how gross, como disgusto, or, as they say in Ecuador (I'm told), como atatay!

 

Serv

 

Ref:  Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, London, 1932, ISBN 0-393-31095-7, pp. 18-26



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