“I’ve always enjoyed our annual trip to see your Aunt Harriet, Uncle Ike, and cousin Mamie”, Floyd told Mabel. “Only they could possibly know that G.K. Chesterton died on June 14, 1936. They’re all members of the Chester~Belloc Debate Society.”
“Yeah,” she chimed in. “There’s only one thing I don’t get though. Of all the pets they could have gotten, why a quail?”
“Hey, you have to remember,” he explained, “Chesterton and Belloc were both distinctive. Quails are distinctive. Seen from that point of view, it fits.”
“They’re most certainly distinctive, all righty,” she agreed, as they finished eating.
Welcome back yet again to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Each week, on Wednesday, we get to pretend it’s Friday. This week’s photo prompt comes from Jean L. Hays
“You know, friend Beelzebub,” said Mephistopholes, “The rule of three controls all of reality.”
“Yes, Master,” replied his smitten servant.
“Once I plug my machine in,” exclaimed the evil genius, “The world is mine. Text, context and subtext; melody, harmony and rhythm; plot,theme and setting. I can irrevocably own mankind, each individual’s very soul. Any fool can win deliberately evil sadistic people to us. These three switches, however, merely by distorting things, can bring all those well-intentioned characters to us too. Yes, that’s all it takes. Just juggle things around so they don’t understand.”
Life is too short to let the liberals get away with anything. For as long as I can remember liberals, starting with those Norman Lear shows, have been telling us how they have decided we’re expected to run our lives. They pit the races, sexes and other demographic groups against each other, constantly perpetuating the lie that today’s generation of whites, Christians and men (all of whom they so bitterly despise) should be somehow required to be held accountable for yesterday’s evils that were perpetuated upon long-ago women and minorities. They want an entirely atheistic, materialist world where the almighty state reigns supreme over one and all. They give entirely too much credibility to famous people. They try to dictate to us all the terms by which we shall be expected to live, including sexuality, food, communication, education and storytelling. They do all they possibly can to control the narrative (entertainment industry) and didactic (education) side of how people perceive reality. They have absolutely no respect whatsoever for the right to life so how can they possibly respect liberty or the pursuit of happiness? I recently have heard and read that they are now pushing for after-birth abortion. We simply can’t possibly afford to allow this to go on.
“There are three chairs here, ladies and gentlemen,” stated the philosopher king. “They provide a space for will, intellect and memory, as well as for text, context and subtext; melody, harmony and rhythm.”
My classmates and I were all quite smitten with our philosophy professor, Michael Soupios. Reality truly is, in so many ways, broken down into threes. This particular lecture of his also quite easily highlights the distinction between the symbol and the thing itself. It’s so nice to have a professor who’s willing to explain things in simple interesting language. Not everyone can understand the overly abstract.
I suppose that I have known, since a very early age, of the inevitably of my eventual death. When I was first born I was very sick, with a life-threatening problem, and after effects that lingered all throughout my childhood, so I was constantly reminded of the risk of my early death. The earliest death that really stands out in my mind, in a concrete way, is my Uncle Gino’s when I was a twelve year old kid. As far as I know, there wasn’t any feeling of total awe at my having realized that I would, sooner, or later, be required, by definition, to die. Having always gone to Catholic schools, I was always reminded of it, but it must have inevitably struck me as just some entirely abstract factual reality. Unlike many people I simply don’t have a profoundly cathartic story to tell about how some ultimate moment of truth profoundly changed my life and perception of that specific aspect of reality. Sooner or later, each of us shall be in either Heaven (usually by way of Purgatory), or Hell. That’s the ultimate inevitable eschatological reality of the four last things. Death carries with it at least two main fears for each of us: the fear of all the physical and emotional torment that goes with the end of his life, and the fear of eternal damnation for those who go to hell. I really have to wise up and to start dealing with it in a more first hand manner very soon.
If I could have a vial of truth serum and could give it to someone, with his consent, it would have to be Barack Obama. I should like to ask Obama what he could finds so impressive about reverse discrimination, the moslems, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and all the other things that are on the liberal agenda. I don’t have any interest in guns but the more I’ve thought it through, the more I’ve come to recognize that if the government has the right to disarm forcibly the people, that’s yet another step to a totalitarian state. I should like to ask Obama by what right does he presume to think for one second that destruction of the family unit as the basic fundamental building block of society is a good thing. Liberals are notoriously distrustful of the common man. As a well-educated self-proclaimed elite, they have declared themselves more qualified than the average American to do him the big favor of running his life for him. He has even been known to have considered giving the arts and humanities a cabinet post, creating a department of culture. That would be a hideous mistake, to allow the government to dictate their terms to us in that world. When the government controls our story telling and symbolism, we’re in big trouble. It would be nice if we could have the satisfaction of an explanation for all this poisonous agenda.
I’d say that I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction about the same, though for different reasons. Right now I’m reading Longfellow’s poem, “Evangeline” and Jane Austen’s novel, “Sense and Sensibility”. I’m also reading “The Story Of A Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux. I’ve always been interested in novels and poems because they allow me to travel to other places and time frames. I can permit my imagination to get entirely out of control. A well written novel or poem also can teach interesting lessons about human nature. Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” and Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” are exceptionally good examples of this. One problem with Dostoyevsky, though, is that he tends to be exceptionally didactic. Reading something of his always makes me feel as if it’s written in the form of a thinly disguised theology and philosophy lecture.I’ve always enjoyed seeing how many different symbols I can see in various works of literature. Two of the most famous examples of symbolism in classic western literature are a bookworm character, who reads a story within the story, a convention begun by Cervantes in “Don Quijote”, and travel, begun by St. Augustine of Hippo in his “Confessions”. Among works of non-fiction, I especially enjoy biographies, and classic works of theology and philosophy. By now I’ve read very many biographies of a wide variety of famous people, including writers, politicians, musicians and saints. Although I only have thirteen credits in philosophy, and no college credits in theology, I’ve always had quite a voracious interest in those fields. As a lay Carmelite I’ve read all the Carmelite classics I’ve been able to find. Since I really like to get involved in a good debate about the culture war, reading these kinds of things keeps me well informed.
Officially, true beauty-the kind Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas referred to, is quite an objective concept. John Keats, in his “Ode on A Grecian Urn”, and Emily Dickinson, in her “I Died For Beauty,” wrongly see beauty and truth as synonymous. Of the three transcendentals, beauty, truth and goodness, all are based on an objective standard. but it’s understandable that one could see them from a subjective point of view. I recently read something in an article in Communio Magazine, that said that St. Thomas argued that it was very important to recognize truth’s subjective dimension. In its everyday usage, of course, “beauty”, outside a theology or humanities classroom, is an undeniably subjective concept. As long as that’s understood, it’s quite nice for different individuals and groups to have differing standards of what strikes them as appealing. Since I’ve always been quite obsessively interested in the humanities, this is such an interesting concept for me. Man’s understanding of a rightly ordered relationship among the transcendentals has quite dire consequences morally and ethically. A people who admire and respect ugliness in art will also admire ugliness in life in general. They will see the false as true and the evil as good.
I’ve been a lay Carmelite for most of the twenty first century. For that reason St. John of the Cross, who along with St. Teresa of Avila co-founded the Discalced Carmelites in Spain during the second half of the sixteenth century, has always been quite a favorite patron saint and mentor of mine. The problem with Sanjuanist literature, though, is that he wrote in such a dry didactic manner that it’s always been quite difficult for the average individual to understand him. Unlike Saints Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux and several other famous Carmelites, who wrote in every day language that can be understood by the common man, Saint John tended to write in a formalized style which only Carmelite Religious can be expected to recognize. I’ve read quite a lot both by and about Saint John so I know that he was quite an exceptionally easygoing and approachable man and that his writings were geared toward teaching each and every specific individual how he should live out the demands of his specific life and vocation. It provides much of the foundation for the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux. Saints such as Teresa and Therese, unlike John, wrote about common everyday occurrences and circumstances. Saint John, though, as a mystical theologian, always wrote in terms of God’s action upon the soul and his vocabulary is too thick do be dealt with except by way of extreme caution and attention to detail. In the prologue of Book I of “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel”, John writes about “love’s urgent longings”, saying that “Love is repaid by love alone”, and that “In the evening of our lives, we shall be judged by love alone”. Too many people have tried to understand John without a legitimate regard for text, context and subtext. Because of the complexity of John’s work, significant caution must be exercised in reading anything of his. Unfortunately Saint John is too frequently perceived as unapproachable and intimidating, although according to legitimate Sanjuanist scholarship he was quite a good natured gentleman. If I could have a chance to meet him in person he could teach me about all the legitimate practical application of his ideas. That way, I could really see firsthand exactly how he applied all the theory behind his ideas to his life in practice. People are too often repelled by misunderstandings of his writings but if I could meet him, he could show me exactly how it all works.