Thursday, November 12, 2009

We never lose even when banished

My friend Father Luke has been living happily with his gf Jenifer, whose best quality from my point of view is that she appreciates a man I believe to be fine, who has overcome adversity without losing a wide streak of humanity and goodness. She posted a "poem" by her brother, whose house they have been living in (and which he has now expelled them from). I don't recognise the person he depicts in that cyber graffito, but I do recognise the type that Jenifer's brother represents: the hatred of outsiders, the anger about "different" lifestyles, the fear, the boiling resentment the fear engenders, the well of ugliness that rightwing demagogues draw on, it's all there. Jenifer seems to have the misfortune to have a cracker for a brother.

My view is that you don't have to like your sister's bf but if you love your sister, you are going to have to summon up some goodwill at least. This seems the minimum required by simple human decency. Sadly, a world in which we see Americans marching in the streets demanding that the government not give them benefits that will cost them nothing because they hate the idea of others getting them, is not overstocked in simple human decency.

I commented on Father Luke's blerg about the whole incident and I'll repeat it here. This is the bottom line for me in why we are not in a negotiation with the right wing, not in a position to compromise, but must oppose them and what they want:

The suspicion haunts crackers that others are able to love and be loved because they are finer people than the crackers, so they come to despise others. They are best combatted by continuing to love those we love fiercely and by extending to them unrelenting resistance to their worldview, which is in every way inferior to ours.


Blogger Father Luke said...

The Genius Of The Crowd - by Charles Bukowski

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art


There is much to like about that poem. A few things to dislike as well, I suppose.

But I always shine to kindnesses.

So, thanks.

- -
Father Luke

November 12, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Father Luke said...

Oh? And actually? I live in my own place across town; I only visit Jen and her kids.

If all goes well, Jenifer and the kids may move in with us here. We'll see.

Tomorrow is a funny place as weird as funhouse mirrors, Zenner.

And thanks again.

November 12, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

beware those who like Charles Bukowski.

November 12, 2009 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Don said...

People are much more complex and interesting than the shadows we see on the internet. Jenifer's fisking of her brother's little rant reveals a deep and active mind, deep and active like Father Luke's, deep and active like yours. Deep and active minds attach to characters with flaws, of course, and so we're all flawed. I suspect there is truth in *every* piece offered on this little drama. How could there not be? The only thing that's clear to me is this has nothing to do with your obsessions over righties and lefties, haters and lovers, and your love of classifying humanity into Good Guys and Bad Guys. By all means, call them crackers as if you have any right to that word, and apply it to some vague but real swath of humanity with whom you shall never compromise but must always oppose. That is YOUR role to play, my friend, opposing the Bad Guys. Why impose it on Jenifer's very real pain over her brother's betrayal? Her brother's an asshole. Fr. Luke is difficult for some people to understand. He may be an asshole, too, as am I. And we're ALL difficult to understand, right, left, and center. Except, of course, when played as shadows across the internet. Then we're simple enough to categorize, and love or hate as whim decrees.

November 13, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I think you are wrong. I think you rightards have something defective in you, that you allow greed and fear to be your guiding stars. I have long believed that you, Don, should search your soul, since you claim to have one, and ask yourself why you are a "conservative" and a racist. And I think you'll find that Jenifer's brother is not a shadow to her or Father Luke. I believe their report on the whole trustworthy.

November 13, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I didn't mean to imply it wasn't trustworthy. I believe it, only recognizing that the picture, like every picture, is incomplete.

Am I a conservative? I'm a conservative because I have a scientific / engineering approach to policy, and a liberal because I believe in individual freedom, and an anarchist at love (apparently).

Am I a racist? Easy for you to say so, you who seem to think your progression from Kernow's countryside to the beaches of India somehow cleansed you, but like many well-meaning sons of white neighborhoods you seem unable to grasp the outlook of us city boys. No one in Oakland would ever have cause to call me a racist. Why should I think you do?

I have long since understood you think us non-leftwads have something defective in us. Certainly if I was guided by greed and fear, I would. But it's also been long clear that you have blind spots and have divided the world most uncompromisingly. You don't think of me as you do because of the way I am, but rather because of the way you are compelled to see me. (And the brother, apparently, whom I don't recall giving any reason to be accused of being "right wing".)

Note, I don't mind. I keep coming back, for some damn reason.

November 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Yes, there are two sides to every story, but sometimes one of them is barely worth hearing.

You are a conservative because you fundamentally dislike and fear people. I am a liberal for the same reason, weirdly.

You are a racist by instinct. I lack the instinct and didn't need cleansing. I have lived in cities most of my adult life. You are making the mistake of thinking your casual racism is passing, but the truth is more likely a combination of keeping company with other racists and people in busy places just not being willing to cause friction by calling you on it. Whatever the reason, you are what I say you are. That you kid yourself that you "city boys" are somehow more nuanced than the rest of us is laughable. Pseudo nuance is one of the hidey holes of your type.

I do not divide the world particular uncompromisingly. It remains the case that what divides the left from the right though is a belief in commonality. I daresay you could derive that belief if you chose, but you don't choose. That's the defect. I see you as you are, Don. I don't say you're malicious. You need to read more carefully though if you cannot see that the brother is on the right. It's perfectly apparent.

And you come back because you think you're "winning". I am a nihilist as far as these things go, and have never thought there was anything to win, but I enjoy indulging fuckwits who think there is.

November 13, 2009 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Winning what? I don't gaf about that. I come back because I abhor a vacuum.

I'll take your word for it that the brother wings to the right. There's no doubt he's an asshole, and no doubt very unhappy, and works to make others unhappy too.

What I don't know is, in what way am I racist, while you are not?

Belief in commonality. All people are equal in essence. All have the same rights, or should. No one is entitled to more or less the same end result as anyone else, however. Entitled to strive ethically for it, or more, or less, of course. Just not entitled to the same end result, as that would be theft. Is that where my belief in commonality breaks away from yours?

November 13, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

No one is entitled to more or less the same end result as anyone else, however.


Just not entitled to the same end result, as that would be theft.

That's where you right wingers are delusional hypocrites.

Theft? What arrogance.

November 13, 2009 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Don, I'd say that this statement of yours pretty much indicates that you're a racist:

"...but like many well-meaning sons of white neighborhoods you seem unable to grasp the outlook of us city boys."

November 13, 2009 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Don said...

How so? When I was young I saw the diff between the kids from the mostly white areas and us. Everyone meant well, but the white-area kids tended more towards patronizing and such. Obvo exceptions abound, but when I'm called racist by someone who has no clue beyond how they interpret my words, who in other words takes a superior position without showing he's earned it, it reminds me of those old days, and the pattern fits.

So show me, $Z, how I am racist, beyond having a mild disdain for a certain class of white suburbanites.

(Ironically, my latest off the cuff blog post gives plenty of ammo, but only of course to those who continue to misunderstand. No matter: blog posts are snapshots taken on a roller coaster.)

November 14, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

the poor misunderstood racist. how tough it is to make people understand. it's not like you can just not be one and everyone knows it.

November 14, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Delusional hypocrites, hm.

The vagaries of life leave us all with differing results. Yes or no?

We are / are not entitled to a correction such that, despite those vagaries, we all end up with exactly the same quality of life. Are, or are not?

If we are, how do you accomplish that with taking from some to give to others? I mean, this is pretty basic stuff of the sort we wasted time on in that unlamented newsgroup. I have no problem with taking and giving, obvo, but you seem to be saying it's hypocrisy not to give it all until we are all exactly even.

That is the commonality that I am gathering makes me a hater if I don't support it; and yet, taken to an extreme, it is theft.

Would you agree to just ten minutes of internet per day if you knew that would guarantee ten minutes of internet per day for everyone? Why or why not?

Why am I bothering? It's that vacuum thing again.

November 14, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I believe the redistribution of wealth should apply to me if that's what you're trying to say, but the internet is not in short supply at this point.

November 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Father Luke said...

Follow up:

The Brother read Jenifer's blahg, and didn't like being "portrayed in that light".

But more importantly? Jenifer and I, and the kids are all moving into our own place together next week.

We want to announce this in our own way when the time is right, if that would be okay. In other words, congrats here will be fine, but we want to go public with it in our own way to thank those who have meant so much to us.

Thanks to all who have cared.

- -
Not Homeless in Seattle,
Father Luke

November 14, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I'm glad to hear you will be making a family home FL. Let me know if you want your comment scrubbed if you want to keep it private for now.

November 14, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Father Luke said...

Naw. It may stand, Zenner. I wanted those who are participating on your blog to have an insight. I'll trust them to offer the appropriate confidences.

Anyone else reading, and not actively participating, may not have enough bearing for me to be concerned with.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

November 14, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Arleen said...

I'm sorry for what's happened with Jenifer FL, but I wish you all the best as you make a home with her, and I'm very glad that you've found love.

November 14, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I'm glad there is light, Father Luke. I hope it gets brighter.

November 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Don: ... who ... takes a superior position without showing he's earned it

There's that arrogance again. Yikes.

"earned it"


How does one go about "earning" such a "superior position".

Let alone "showing it".


November 16, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Don: we all end up with exactly the same quality of life

Who said anything about exact same?

Not moi.

Not anyone I've ever heard of, even.

It's that automatic resistance to the idea of making ANY sort of correction whatsoever for the inherent unfairness of property rights in a capitalistic society which identifies your ilk's utterly delusional hypocrisy quite clearly.

It's as though you folks actually think that you've earned those property rights fairly.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

November 16, 2009 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

It's as though you folks actually think that you've earned your _property_ fairly.

And that any percentage of it that goes to help balancing out the absurdly unfair inequities is THEFT.

Total absolute delusional arrogance.

_Especially_ when coming from so-called God-loving people.

Given who _really_ owns everything.

November 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I knew you'd come round given time.

November 17, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Sorry, Zen, but a squirrel eating a peach is still NOT stealing it from the Martians or the Orions.

November 17, 2009 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Well, you're five yards down the road at least, so hope still survives, right?

November 17, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

I haven't moved an inch.

Nor has the peach or the squirrel, and more importantly, the Martians and the Orions.

Property is not necessarily theft.


November 17, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

You'll get there. Just keep thinking. You think *some* property is theft. Now figure out why you think that and you'll realise the same reasoning will apply to all property.

It's freeing when you get there.

November 17, 2009 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

I already know why I think that "some" property is theft.

And I've already proven quite nicely w/ the peach and the Orions when it is definitely NOT theft.

You'll see it eventually. When and if you ever decide to stop being so unjustifiably certain about this matter.

And it _is_ utterly freeing.

To try to help you get there, I challenge you to make an analogy as clear as the one I have. Since you cannot do so, being as your very intelligent, you should realize before too long why your "Property *is* _Theft_" notion is total bullshit and inherently wrong.

November 17, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Theft requires two things:

1. An injured property owner.

2. Conscious awareness of same on the part of the "thief".

If I'm in a forest and a tree falls, and I eat a berry off it, who am I stealing it from?

You're very smart, Zen, but I'm smarter.

You should've never claimed that the squirrel was stealing that peach from the Martians and the Orions.

Big mistake. Small peach.

November 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Your first premise is incorrect because it includes the conclusion you hope to derive from it.

Your second premise is wrong because it assumes that the thief must agree that he is committing a crime. Laws do not require the agreement of those who break them that they exist. Ignorance of the law is no defence.

I'm afraid you're not smarter, because you do not even understand and will not think about sufficiently the bases for the things we are talking about, so you continue to say silly things and cannot stop because you refuse to think before typing and think it's somehow sufficient just to type a lot and overwhelm your correspondent simply with the volume of your bullshit.

November 17, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger $Zero said...

Where's my poker analogy?

Did you forget to approve it?

Anyway, you'll note that you still haven't been able to make a clear analogy.

My first premise is not wrong. (see also: poker analogy).

My second premise is definitely true. But it need not be when considering the Orions and the Martians.

One cannot commit theft if one is unaware of the existence of an injured property owner.

Just like one cannot cheat at poker if one does not know the rules. Duh.

Definitely smarter.

You could easily prove otherwise by providing the previous requested analogy, which you cannot, hence it's total lack of existence for several years now.

November 17, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I will pick just one stupid thing to destroy out of your comment and then this correspondence is closed:

"Just like one cannot cheat at poker if one does not know the rules."

Fools string bet all the time and have no idea they're doing anything wrong. Cheers now.

November 17, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

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