“Look to the highest of the heights of heaven, see where the stars still keep their ancient peace.” – Boethius
Against my better judgment I waded into the combox cesspool last night and into this morning. It turns out there’s only so much slander and blatant falsehoods that I can take. This experience, along with events of the day and the reaction (or lack thereof) of the general populace has reinforced my belief that the barbarians have arrived and they do not give a rat’s ass about facts or scholarship. They are merely cleaving with their words for now, but given the opportunity (and time) they will cleave with their axes.
When you wade into that muck all you do is get shit all over you.
The other day Amy Welborn wrote:
I seethed on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that “Everyone should just take a year-long break from social media and read history and make things instead.” My meaning (as I WROTE THIS ON FACEBOOK) being that the culture of quickly surveying and quickly commenting is superficial and uncreative and skews one’s perspective. I’m saying this to myself as well.
Me too Amy. Me too.
Susan, a commenter at Crisis, added this:
The only reason we have such a CONFUSED and DISORDERED society – a society of madness- is due to our separation from God; rejection (of God) is a rejection of Charity. Our world does not understand what Charity or Love means. Charity is to love God above all things, and because we love God, we love our neighbor. To Love our neighbor is to wish and do him (our neighbor) good. The good we want for our neighbor is God, for His Love brings order to our lives. RESPONSIBILITY is unheard of these days. The word itself means, to “respond”; to respond to God’s Love which He has placed in our hearts. To respond to this Love, is to look after the wellbeing of our neighbor because AND for the love of God. This means that we ALL have to be faithful to God’s law in order to love one another.
My recent sojourn into the comboxes tells me that Amy and Susan are onto something.
In an address at the Monastery of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome on May 13, 2004, Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI said:
The West … no longer loves itself; from now on it sees in its own history only what is blameworthy and destructive, whereas it is no longer capable of perceiving what is great and pure. The West reveals here a self-hatred that is strange and can only be considered pathological.
It has been disheartening and a little bizarre to watch as western civilization has turned on and cannibalized itself these past few years. It’s been leading up to this moment for decades to be sure, but in the last decade or so it has ramped up to hyper-speed. The good news is that at long last the masks are coming off. There is no more hiding behind platitudes and political correctness. People are no longer being fooled as easily. While many useful idiots remain, as history tells us they always do, the lines in the sand between good and evil are being more clearly drawn. It is becoming more difficult to remain neutral or claim ignorance. The clock is ticking. The masque is falling away.
Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.
And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
(The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe)
For months I’ve not written anything of substance. This is due, in part, to a change in careers. But mostly it’s because I stand before a whirlwind of history unfolding in such a fury that it takes my breath away. I’m afraid I’ve lost my voice, as it were. Not only do I find myself unable to offer any commentary on the news of the day, but any attempt at creativity fails me as well. It all seems so futile in the face of the darkness that threatens to overrun so many. Light remains, as does Hope. It just seems to take more of an effort from me to endure the process.
Maybe I’m just getting old.
Whatever it is I do not plan on any original writing/commentary in the near future. But I have been reading a lot in my spare time, and have collected several quotes that I’d like to share. So in the short term I plan to publish them here, perhaps with some brief reflection on each, or not. In either case I intend to continue looking towards the highest heights of heaven.