Original article posted by ravenpaine:
Although a suspicious mind is bad, still it is wrong to cling to what you shouldn’t believe in, or to fail to ask about a truth you should seek. – Dogen
I begin this final installment with two quotes that seem contradictory but are actually, possibly even, in truth, complimentary.
Hell, I’ll through two more quotes in just to get us started, after all why say the things you could say when you can have great and dead people (sometimes more great, sometimes more dead) say it for you.
One should not differentiate good and bad on the basis of taste. – Dogen
We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine. – H.L. Mencken
And one more that just occured to as exquisitely applicable.
If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know. – Louis Armstrong
Now, now we can get into a discussion about what is going on around here.
If some of you are wondering exactly what has prompted this kind of outrage I will tell you.
At least, I will tell you the short version. The long version requires hours as it covers some 12 years of my life.
The short version is limited only to the context of the American Literature class.
Several things have been said this past week that I must rail against and I don’t care what the excuses of the individual writers are the fact they said these things by mistake is possibly more damning then if they said them on purpose.
(content removed by request)
Why did I take the time to quote all of this? Particularly the last part with all of its gaps in logic and misspellings and general internetese? The answer is I want to make a point, a grand line drawn in the sand for having the courage to take a stand and fight, to challenge all takers in a no-holds barred match for the way things should be.
Socrates, as much as I believe he never existed outside of a character in Plato’s writing, chose suicide over apologizing (not really apologizing but bear with me) for trying to teach people to think for themselves. I will die likewise, I may be against martydom as a cheap cop-out but that doesn’t mean I won’t get one step away from it for my cause and live to fight and fight and fight until the mob kills me or no one exists who dares take a swing at my principles.
Modern society asks people to comprimise here and let slide there until morality and ethics are all speculative and the only applicable world view is a circular grey void. To all of which I cry bullshit! loudly and often.
Why even live in a world in which no action you take will ever matter? A world in which no pure truth can exist a world in which people walk knowingly into distaster after disaster hoping that this time won’t be as bad as the previous time.
My god people! Do you not realize that according to a great Chinese proverb “When making a chioce between two evils, one still chooses evil”?
Most, if not all, of the great scholars, teachers, artists, musicians, conquerers, monarchs, presidents, leaders, philosophers, and above all writers, were people who were so firm in their convictions and ideals that they made their ideals and convictions our ideals and convictions?
Bernard Shaw, in act III of his play Major Barbara wrote “Nothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.” Shaw’s point was that the only thing that can drive a person do doing something important is the most violent and nearly uncontrollable passion. Certainly I may be putting a little more emphasis on his statement then he would, but I place no less empahsis then it deserves.
A world in which everyone comprimises and all ideas are just as acceptable as the next are the kinds of foolish nonsense that led to Japanese internment camps in the U.S. of A. in World War II. They are the sort of cheese-headed notions that allowed every supposedly justifiable murder the world has ever seen. Do you think that Joseph Stalin was fond of comprimising a little here and there? Sure he was, and he killed millions of his own people on the way to the great comprimise.
I understand freedom, honestly, Truthfully even. I may not be a Liberetarian but I get the point of view. People should be allowed to place their own boundaries and follow their own rules as long as said rules and boundaries do as the Wiccan faith suggest “Do no harm.”
There is a limiting factor to what boundaries a person can place on themselves. Henry Rollins said it best (and I paraphrase here) you can tell someone who defends an ideal because they stand in front of it instead of hiding behind it.
Literature is a high and important pricniple, it asks a question not only of quality but of importance and history. Literature cannot simply be eveything that is written down. It cannot be defined by whomever cares to do so. Literature, above nearly all other principles teach us how to fight and what to fight for.
That is why all this bile and hatred spewed in your direction. I don’t care what you think is a great book. I don’t care who you think is a great writer or even what stupid piece of garbage supermarket romance you think is the bestest book ever, what I care about is that you, as Literature students, be able to fight for the thing that you have spent years studying.
Why the hell are you even here if not to learn what it is that moves you so, what it is that reaches into you and touches your soul or emboldens your spirit? Aren’t you the least bit curios as to the how and why of all these texts? Don’t you begin each book, or letter, or magazine, or whatever it is that you read with a sense of mystery and wonder and excitement and joy?
If you own a book in your home that you have not ruined a page of by crying into it then you are in the wrong goddamn field of study. And how can you, in good conscience, in a proper state of mind say that anything can be literature? Look beyond your petty tastes and sensibilities and ask yourself what is it that does these things to you? That, that is what we are here to study. That is what we are here to learn and to live.
No one would want to be told that their child is not only replacable but completely unimportant in the general scheme of things and in the same way I don’t want the passion of my life spat upon and left up to statements such as “Is graffiti on a bathroom wall literature? Absolutely, and some of the best I’ve ever read!”
I don’t wander around gutting puppies for my own amusement and niether should you make such shitty, ill-concieved statements about things that you obviously don’t understand.
So, take a stand, fight for what you believe, don’t comprimise in all things, and realize that, as the Barenaked Ladies have told us, surrender may mean that neither side as won, but that also means that nothing is resolved and unresolved conficlt, as history has so painfully shown us, becomes the next thousand years of hatred and death.
Finally I leave you with this last quote and an incredibly important bit to remember whenever faced with situations such as these.
Two monks were once travelling down a muddy dirty when it began to rain heavily Coming around a bend they saw a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash unable to cross the river.
“Come here, girl,” said the first monk. He lifted her above his head and carried her to the other side.
The second monk did not say anything until later that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then, no longer able to contain himself he blurted, “Why did you do that? We monks do not go near females, it is dangerous!”
The first monk turned to him and said, “I left the girl there. Why are you still carrying her?”
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all
Re: Times Like These… 3: Awkward Silence
I wonder what the removed content is? You must have taken this class with Kellers, or -soma- if you wish, sounds like her handy I want to bitch about it but I have no power to do anything about it type work.
As for graffitti on the walls of bathrooms, some of my greatest and most interesting thoughts come about when I am taking a crap, Hey between you and me, you ever been tempted to call the number that says for good time call?
Me personaly as soon as anyone tried to tell me how I am supposed to talk and behave there is hell to pay! Whether they are more “educated’ than I am or not. Not even -soma-‘s wet heated vagina is strong enough to tell me how i am supposed to behave.
So you are wicca the verse if i remember there is another “so mote it be” or pretty much let it be, I studied that way of life for a while, but I turned to the darkside of that type of energy work I do a lot of Aleister Crowley stuff now.
Here is another darker one for you by Crowley it goes like this “Do what thou Wilt, shall be the whole of the law” Myself I have a lot of different meanings towards it to me it can mean a number of things. Sort of like taking the bible to me “thou shalt not kill” means dont kill anything at all but to most it means dont kill people I am sure.
I have to tell you that with a lot of you i really do not agree with most what you say, I watch certain people and what they talk about on here, so far I agree with a good portion of your stuff and some other guy I dont know on here and a little bit of -soma- I agree with her view on religion and that is pretty much it with her, she has this whole feminist ideal going and I am nowhere near agreeing with that, last i checked i have a rather large penis its not the largest in the world but I am proud of my penis just the same, feminism takes a lot of ideas i do not agree with some I do but most i do not, the first male that says he is a feminist is straight up a homosexual, there is nothing wrong with being gay however being gay and telling me how to treat women does not go well with me.
I like your Ryans views, I know you have to kiss his ass and all but I sure the hell do not he makes me laugh, i tried to get my friends to check out his site none of them took to it asked me who the hell he was. my favorite is his thing on marriage, that made me kind of laugh, so in a sense to his views if I chose to marry Kellers whether or not she loves me back than by my freedom we are married cause i said so and no government intervention can stop that.
Religion is a touchy subject for a lot of people, I know I have been nearly shot because of my beliefe system but I am willing to die for it and no I dont want to be martyrd, in most cases i will let you be but when anger takes my soul vengance is all i crave and yes it is killing me however we all know there is a price and i am willing to pay the tole.
anyways that is all i have for now i hope you come up with cooler stuff for me to read, if you are up in the northern part of utah we should get together I know a few people you would like to meet, you might like them, I am the only one with the knack for violence most of my friends are the keen balance that is why they are there to keep me from doing something really crazy.
Re: Times Like These… 3: Awkward Silence
I’m going to make this one nice and simple: Learn to read.
by which I mean things