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Archive for February 19th, 2018

We live in an interesting age.  Daily, it seems, the news brings details of a society in which satire no longer has a place, because reality is far sillier and stranger than anything that the mind of even the cleverest satirist could conjure into being on paper.  It is a world in which the outrageous and stultifying have become so commonplace that even the most cynical among us are left with only a barely uttered “Of course…” when presented with the latest manifestation of the counterintuitive, and cognitive dissonance.  It is a situation which has often reduced my own reactions from what might otherwise be some form of analysis to silence in the face of what would have seemed inconceivable or laughably absurd a decade ago.

The expression du jour of this is the latest round of OUTRAGE!!!111!!!eleventy!! over the shootings in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.   Once again, we were inundated with the predictable misdiagnosis of the issue, and the inevitable cries for the wrong solution.  What made this different is the added layer of “Huh?” laid over the now ubiquitous knee-jerk reaction in the form of the other hysterical outbursts of the same people slobbering out their calls for “commonsense gun control”, their hyperbolic insistence that President Trump is a fascist out to deny them all the freedoms.

This hue and cry was already turned up to 11, with the stubborn clinging to a narrative that the President “colluded” with Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election, and the shrill characterization of this imagined skullduggery as “treason”.  This, we are supposed to believe, is the reason for Hillary Clinton’s loss, and not the fact that she was a terrible candidate who couldn’t be bothered to travel to Wisconsin and Michigan, and adopt the standard pose that she actually gave a damn about being the President for the people who live there.  Under normal circumstances, this would be an inexplicable reaction, but when the candidate herself still blames everyone but herself for this failure, it would at least explain some of this reaction.  The now revealed evidence of just how many people were involved in trying to fix the outcome in her favor, and her party’s own “collusion” with the Russians in compiling a salacious and incredulous “dossier” on her competitor brings some of this into focus, and at the same time, the astonishing degree of projection, and the obvious nature of it, causes the casual observer to wonder why it is that we are still investigating the President, and how after more than a year, we have found nothing to support the claims against him, while ample evidence of his opponent doing what he has been accused of has been laid bare, with nary an eyelash bat among the chattering classes, and her supporters.

Into this environment, we have such breathless exhortations such as “Democracy Dies In Darkness” emblazoned on the mastheads of blatantly partisan newspapers, whipping their ideological kin up into great frothy declarations of how this President is a fascist and a threat to freedom.   And then, in a society where mental health issues are encouraged, and celebrated, rather than treated, for the safety of the sufferer and those around them, we have a mentally ill person lash out and kill people.

The usual suspects are as predictable as the sunrise in the East with respect to these events.  Sadly, they cannot wait until the bodies are cool to start blaming the instrumentality, rather than the perpetrator, and waving the bloody bodies in their repetitious demands that the Constitution be abrogated because people who were deliberately made helpless were killed in the condition forced upon them by the state.  The second-tier foot soldiers in this assault on freedom quickly change their protests over from “Trump FASCIST!!!111!!!” to “WE MUST BAN ALL GUNZ NAO!!!111!!  AND IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH ME, YOU HATE CHILDREN!!!111!!!”

This occurs without a single thought to the distance between the gears they have just shifted between.  Most people with normally functioning self-awareness might take the time to consider the logic of calls to disarm citizens while at the same time decrying the current administration as one characterized by fascistic tendencies so pronounced that it requires a “Resistance” and the constant drumbeat of how every action it takes will kill people.  But then, as I observed at the beginning of this piece, we live in interesting times.

It is a conundrum which I have been mulling over for a while.

And then, this morning, I read Scott Morefield’s excellent post at Townhall.com this morning, pointing out that context matters.  And it got me thinking, which then sent me back to re-read the account of Jesus’s arrest in the Gospels.  We know that the three synoptic gospels were all written for slightly different audiences, and that as a result, their accounts of the events of Christ’s life differ slightly, with emphasis on different aspects.  I myself have always been partial to the gospel of Luke, because he describes Jesus’s empathy with the human condition in a way that makes clear that he walked in the flesh, the same as you and I.

While Mathew and Mark describe Peter cutting off the ear of one of the mob come to arrest Jesus, they do not tell us which one, or what Jesus did for this man.  Luke gives us the missing details…that Peter cut off this man’s right ear, and that Jesus responded by saying “Permit even this.”, and touched the man’s ear, healing it.  All the Gospels state that at this point, Jesus chastised this crowd for not acting in this fashion, and instead sitting at his feet and listening when he was teaching in the Temple.

I can hear the more patient among you asking “Fine, fine, Blackiswhite… you have pondered something in the gospels.  This is relevant because…?”  The answer is very simple.  The mob was there to arrest Jesus because he had the temerity to present himself as who he was.   They came with the intent of causing him to answer for it, and yet he SHOWED them who he was with this simple act, and when this occurred right before their obviously lying eyes, it changed nothing.  Apparently not even the man who had his ear restored gave a second thought to what they had witnessed, and what it said about their purpose.  This speaks volumes, to know that such occurrences are not new, or that they can happen in the face of real evidence of the contrary.

And it is sad…that people can know so much, be so “woke”, and yet understand so very, very little.

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