[ by Charles Cameron — a quiet weekend with no chyrons, but yasukuni, heavy metal, and three stunning headers on faith, forgiveness, and guns ]
Kamikaze, yay! As war-relate epithets go, it’s among the very finest — strongest, most halo’d with associations — from my POV as mythographer and poet:
As myth and legend, dream and imagination have it in some circles in Japan, kamikaze is spirit wind, downward-rushing, warships targeted, headlong warplanes in full nose-dive, martyrdom almost — tinged with cherry blossom and droplets of blood, patriotism, self-sacrifice ..
The controversies swirling around the Yasukuni Shrine and its inclusion of war criminals as patriotic heroes is something we’ve addressed in Zenpundit before — for both the controversy and the mythopoetics, see these excerpts:
Zenpundit, Why is the Yasukuni Shrine so controversial?
Zenpundit, Japanese self-sacrifice with intent to kill Americans
Saturday wasn’t a chyron-collecting day for me — I had the distinct pleasure of a visit from Omar Ali, and live conversation trumps Trump every time — so I don’t have many items to display here… but this one caught my eye today, Sunday, as much for the color of the header as for its provocative content:
Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem
Among bands that are said today to fall into the category of N.S.B.M., as it is often called, are ?8?8??, from Russia, whose fans have given Nazi salutes during performances; a Finnish band, Goatmoon, which has performed in front of a backdrop resembling a Nazi flag; and Der Stürmer, from Greece, which shares a name with an anti-Semitic German newspaper whose editor, Julius Streicher, was convicted during the Nuremberg trials and then executed. Those bands and others, including Stahlfront, Sunwheel, Absurd, and Dark Fury, performed in December at the Asgardsrei festival, in Kiev, where Nazi-style displays abounded.
Asgard, hoke of the Æsir in Norse mythology — sacred to some though not all Asatru in a way reminiscent of Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine..
Okay, moving along, here’s a football ref, buried in the text of Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress:
An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.
Don’t you just love quarterbacked? Like wingman and running point, it comes up all the time, but that was a stellar quarterback example in terms of paragraph content, ***** in my book.
Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve captured one of this week’s favorites yet — making an end run around Congress:
Finally, I ran across three headers with religion-connected content today (Sunday at time of writing)…
A Senator praying his party would avoid a second shutdown may well be no more than a figure of speech:
Republican Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor, asking the entire chamber to join in seeking divine intervention with Trump. “Let’s all pray that the President will have the wisdom to sign the bill, so that the government doesn’t shut down,” he said, as Washington waited, once again, on its capricious President.
Susan Glasser, the New Yorker writer, seems to take it a bit more seriously..
So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump, as members of his own party are admitting that they’ve basically given up trying.
The story here is best told in this image, the work of the artist Wendy MacNaughton recording the words of a National Portrait Gallery guard, Rhonda:
Falling on one’s knees in prayer is definitely a mark of religion, even though Obama isn’t generally considered an object of religious devotion..
And this may be the most remarkable of the three. In the guns as religion article, it’s the mother of a teen-aged son who was shot and killed — a mother who is now a US Representative, Lucy McBath — who ssuggestd gun culture is an American quasi-religion — but she’s the one described in the article as deeply religious in her opposition to gun violence, refusing the request the death penalty for the killer of her son:
We never considered pushing for the death penalty because I firmly believe that I am not the one to choose who lives and who dies. Morally and ethically, I believe that decision is left to God. We suffered so much pain and so much anguish, and I actually did not want to be the one to inflict that upon his family, and I didn’t want to be rooted in those kinds of decisions, because I truly believed that would be the noose around my neck and I would not be able to move forward to actively champion for safer gun laws and a safer gun culture, because that’s what I believed that I was given to do, and I couldn’t do that without forgiveness, and I couldn’t do that without releasing myself.
That’s a stunning level of faith and forgiveness.
Zenpundit, From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda
Zenpundit, Of martyrdom and forgiveness
Zenpundit, More from the Forgiveness Chronicles
New Yorker, The New Republican Strategy for Dealing with the Emergency That Is Trump
Atlantic, The Obama Portraits Have Had a Pilgrimage Effect
New Yorker, Lucy McBath on the “Religion” of Guns in America