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Beauty and the Beast

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — samson draws honey from a lion, beauty draws a toccata from the great organ of laon cathedral ]
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Beauty is wrestling the beast:

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There’s a beast overcome and a treasure drawn forth from it in Judges 14.5-9:

Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand.. and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating..

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Lidia Ksiazkiewicz is wrestling the great organ of the Cathedral of Laon, and drawing forth from it the Toccata from Léon Boëllmann‘s Suite Gothique, opus 25:

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Honey!

Princes & saws DoubleQuote

Monday, November 19th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — not exactly a knife (or sayf) to a gunfight, but .. ]
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Here:

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The obvious MBS DoubleQuote is with Jared Kushner, as in the Medium article, Two Princes: Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Hamlet offers a third and more ambiguous choice..

When the wind is southerly, Hamlet [Act 2 Scene 2] says, I know a hawk from a handsaw — but tell me, who knows whence [John 3.8] the wind blows?

Speaking in two tongues — at least

Monday, August 27th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — sacred tongues, the split tongues of serpents, gestural languages, the languages of conflict — language itself fascinates, ne? ]
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Here’s the language of Psalm 139 in the King James Version:

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

And here, as recorded in The Atlantic‘s Mike Pence’s Outer-Space Gospel, is the VP’s language at the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council:

As President Trump has said, in his words, “It is America’s destiny to be the leader amongst nations on our adventure into the great unknown.” And today we begin the latest chapter of that adventure. But as we embark, let us have faith. Faith that, as the Old Book teaches us that if we rise to the heavens, He will be there.

and again more recently:

And as we renew our commitment to lead, let’s go with confidence and let’s go with faith — the faith that we do not go alone. For as millions of Americans have believed throughout the long and storied history of this nation of pioneers, I believe, as well, there is nowhere we can go from His spirit; that if we rise on the wings of the dawn, settle on the far side of the sea, even if we go up to the heavens, even there His hand will guide us, and His right hand will hold us fast.

So that’s our destiny — our clear and manifest destiny you might say, although it’s not clear whether drilling for oil, fracking, strip mining, or mountain top removal qualify for our destiny also, making our bed in hell..

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And our President?

His language is seldom Biblical; he prefers mob talk. Let’s begin here, with the actual and admitted prosecutor / mob analogy:

Last November, a person close to the Trump administration speaking to the Washington Post invoked a chilling metaphor. “This investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up,” the source said. “You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.” This turns out to be a perfectly apt and quite literal description not only of the investigation, but of Trump’s own ethos and organizing principles.

So many people have been dissecting Trump’s mafia-like language recently that I’ll confine myself to one headline:

One cluster:

One TV header:

One image:

and the cuttingest insult of all:

Trump may imagine that he’s Michael Corleone, the tough and canny rightful heir—or even Sonny Corleone, the terrifyingly violent but at least powerful heir apparent—but after today he is Fredo forever.

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Language games, Witty Wittgenstein would have called them, and they’re played semi-consciously at best..

Here’s another language, that of the gentlemanly art of boxing as photographed by Muybridge, Eadweard Muybridge:

and as verbally captured by the Marquess of Queensbury Rules:

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable.

2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.

3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.

4. If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

6. ..

and so on and forth.

Gentlemanly, I said — and with the approval of the Marquess, maybe Noble even.

Beach umbrellas impaling East Coast women

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — the writer is an indoors man, both literally and in GM Hopkins’ metaphorical sense ]
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The first event took place in Seaside Heights, NJ, and the second in Ocean City, MD:

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One instance, I have always argued, is a poor indicator of anything — but two instances could be early indicators of a trend.

Two beach umbrella impalings in about a week seems less than plausible by coincidence — it looks like there’s a master plan at work, and while the first umbrella pierced an ankle, the second reached the chest. It is time to take notice, and prepare appropriate defenses..

Instance #1:

A pleasant day at the Jersey shore turned into a bloody nightmare for a British sunbather when a gust of wind blew an umbrella straight through her ankle, officials said.

Margaret Reynolds, 67, of London was impaled by one of the tips of the aluminum umbrella, which turned into a projectile about 4:30 p.m. Monday in Seaside Heights, police Detective Steve Korman told The Post.

Instance #2:

OCEAN CITY, Md. — A spokeswoman for a Maryland beach town says a woman has been accidentally impaled in the chest by a beach umbrella.

Ocean City spokeswoman Jessica Waters said it happened Sunday afternoon on the beach. She says the 54-year-old woman was conscious, but that her condition is not known at this time.

A bolt-cutter was used to help withdraw the projectile from the British tourist in Instance #1, whiln a helicopter airlift to a nearby hospital was required in instance #2.

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Sources:

  • New York Post, Tourist impaled by beach umbrella on Jersey Shore
  • New York Post, Woman impaled in chest by beach umbrella
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    I am happy to re-report of the woman in instance #2, the more grievously attacked of the two:

    She was flown to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

    We wish her a speedy recovery.

    Of the woman in instance #1, I take pleasure in re-noting:

    Reynolds was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment and has been discharged.

    A satisfactory conclusion to a difficult affair.

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    The perpetrator in each case would appear to be the wind:

    Instance #1:

    A pleasant day at the Jersey shore turned into a bloody nightmare for a British sunbather when a gust of wind blew an umbrella straight through her ankle, officials said.

    Instance #2:

    Witnesses said one gust lifted the umbrella

    No winds have been apprehended at this time. John 3.8:

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:

    The Trojan War, revisited

    Saturday, June 30th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — a feminist reading — The Trojan wars resemble ISIS among the Yazidi ]
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    Rebecca Solnit is an acute, insightful writer, who first noted the genre of unlistening overtalk that came to be known as mansplaining — her example being men who praise and explain the brilliance of a book for fifteen or twenty minutes, based on having read a review, without pausing to find out they are addressing the author in question.

    During my research for incels (for an Incels & Rajneeshis post that I still hope to complete one of these days), I ran across her Guardian post, A broken idea of sex is flourishing. Blame capitalism.

    Her key expositional para, IMO, is this one:

    Feminism and capitalism are at odds, if under the one women are people and under the other they are property. Despite half a century of feminist reform and revolution, sex is still often understood through the models capitalism provides. Sex is a transaction; men’s status is enhanced by racking up transactions, as though they were poker chips.

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    That struck me, besides its meaning, for its poker chip metaphor. But it was the para immediately precesing it that I wanted to bring here to ZP, since it described the Trojan War in a way I had not seen before:

    The Trojan war begins when Trojan Paris kidnaps Helen and keeps her as a sex slave. During the war to get Helen back, Achilles captures Queen Briseis and keeps her as a sex slave after slaying her husband and brothers (and slaying someone’s whole family is generally pretty anti-aphrodisiac). His comrade in arms Agamemnon has some sex slaves of his own, including the prophetess Cassandra, cursed by Apollo for refusing to have sex with him. Read from the point of view of the women, the Trojan wars resemble ISIS among the Yazidi.

    That really brings things classical and venerable home to us, occupied as we are with the contemporary and terrible:

    The Trojan wars resemble ISIS among the Yazidi.

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    This is one of those posts where I expose my own ignorance, and pray for a lively comments section.

    What say you? Is this a misreading? Truth, already widely known? Or an original and useful, perhaps provocative, insight?


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