More than one person has contacted me about the MemoryHoleBlog being unavailable. Toni is one. She mentioned concerns about “withdrawal.” I know that I myself am addicted, and dearly hope that James Tracy wis going to resolve this issue quickly. I have no idea what’s going on.
This is a comment I wrote to James Tracy’s Memory Hole Blog web site, that is the culmination of a long conversation about the notion that the holocaust never happened. Go there and look at it, if you like that sort of thing. Actually, it’s pretty fascinating. There are people who think the holocaust is the number of Jews murdered by the Germans and the technique by which they got the job done. I know. You are laughing. As if.
Of course, the holocaust is the attempted removal of every single Jew the Germans could identify, as they spread across Europe, and the fact that they never went home (the Jews, that is).
So read this, the summary that came to mind after the conversation seemed complete (a few stragglers are actually coming in today, so it’s not really over, I guess).
It occurs to me that this is a lot like the Jack the Ripper saga. Everyone knows the people died, but there is endless fascination in the facts of the case; the emotional energy invested in both is extreme, and never lessens, decade after decade. “True crime” stories are riveting–at least lots of people are riveted by them.
That’s not to say these two examples are the same. With “Jack,” we know exactly how his victims died, whereas there’s apparently some dispute as to how the Germans snuffed the Jews. As for motive, the laws banning Jewishness make it not so hard to guess the WHY of the genocide; whether “Jack” was protecting a Royal from embarrassment, we might never know for sure. And we KNOW it was the Germans who committed the crime, whereas no one knows for certain who “Jack” was.
As I say, it’s the endless fascination with these two events that makes them similar.
The difference, I suppose, is that in one instance the dead people are prostitutes, whom no one cares about almost by definition, which makes the study purely for the fun of it. With the Jews of Europe, on the other hand, since it’s a case of genocide, there is a large constituency interested in getting to the bottom of it–because no one likes to see their whole family murdered, much less a large portion of one’s entire race. I think that would rankle me, too. Certainly, what I learned from “horsegirl” the other day, right here at MHB, about the English enslaving my own race, well, I can’t know exactly how the Jews feel about it but I now have a better taste of it than I did before.
Still, I’ve never been interested in “true crime.” It bores me, for the most part. It’s enough to know the crime happened, and if the accused criminal was falsely convicted. (I DO want to know who poisoned Joffrey, that little shit, though. I suspect it’s Margaery’s grandmother; she seems quite the conniver.)
This is important, if my readers wish to understand my thought (not the GOT aside). I have written here countless times that I’m certain that we can never know the names of the people behind 9/11, or indeed who is behind any of the pageants we have been treated to since. If we know their names, they are not high enough up, and thus can’t be the ones behind it. I have frequently referenced Eyes Wide Shut (which yesterday at MHB was discussed wonderfully, to my delight): the people who put on the ritual in the movie are unnamed, because the people behind these things keep the lowest of low profiles. They are content to get their New World Order; they do not wish to be congratulated for making us all slaves.
The Jews of Europe–every single one that the Germans could gain access to–were absconded with.
This is an incontrovertible fact.
Almost all of them were never heard from again. Once more: no one disputes this.
How do we know 9/11 really happened? Seven buildings named WTC were destroyed one morning, and two of them actually were turned into dust and blew away. David Copperfield didn’t pretend to do that. You can go to New York and see for yourself.
How do we know the holocaust happened? Millions of Jews, whose ancestral home was the thousands of remote hamlets strewn across all the lands Germany invaded, were abducted, and vanished from history (at least most did; some we know died in captivity, and a few survived, sporting a lovely new tattoo to remind them of it). Just like the WTC buildings in New York, you can go those towns and see for yourself that none of them are there anymore.
True crime novels, movies and television shows are big because many people are obsessed with finding out how crimes are accomplished. I am not one of those people.
I don’t care about the exact number of people who died in the WTC buildings. I WAS interested to learn that planes didn’t do it, and conventional explosives and cutting charges didn’t do it–but I wouldn’t spend a lot of effort doing primary research to find it out. I’m glad other people do that work, though. I commend them for their service.
So if the Germans didn’t use gas to murder the Jews, I’m glad to know that, too, but I don’t particularly care one way or another, any more than I care if it was Nukes or Tesla technology that turned WTC1 and WTC2 into dust. If the case is some day conclusively proven, I’ll be interested in reading about it. I like seeing things like that put to bed.
Likewise, I can’t wait to find out if the people who are obsessed with proving that it was not gas that was used to murder the old people and children, abducted from all those unmapped villages in Belorussia, discover just what tool their German captors DID use to snuff ’em.
Me, I’ll be here waiting, as I pursue my actual interests.
This article was written as a comment, a reply, rather, in an ongoing conversation at James Tracy’s Memory Hole Blog. It became quite lengthy, far too long for the comment section. It went to “moderation”–which means no one could see it until Dr. Tracy decides to publish it–which I don’t suspect he will do. I also don’t believe it has a place at MHB as a stand alone article. So I’m publishing it here.
Each and every word in the comment I am responding to is reproduced below, interleaved with my critique, bit by bit.
You ask me why I do not avert my gaze from the ugly truth about Islam, and I tell you the answer, which you apparently don’t like—even though it is based on historical fact. Then you reply with a mass of historical ignorance. This is for the benefit of the assembled multitudes, who might not know what is so terribly wrong with everything in your reply:
“Christianity and the White Man’s Burden were much bloodier events than anything in Islamic history.”
This is perhaps the most foolish bit of nonsense I have ever read. Only someone who knows nothing about what Mohammed’s savage hoards actually DID to the peoples whose lands they stole could display such ignorance. It’s all available to learn, if you wish to know what the jihad was like to its victims. I will provide a booklist upon request.
“Since they happened in the Middle Ages, they share the same timeline with Islam counted from the origin of the religion.”
This is perhaps an even more foolish. When Mohammed was creating his horrible “religion,” in the 7th century, all of North Africa, all of the Levant, and all of Asia Minor were Christian. As were Spain and Greece. The things the Mohammedans did to the peoples whose lands they stole, the means by which they forcibly converted them, are too terrible to relate here. No savagery in recorded history equals it. Nothing Christians ever did can compare with such cruelty—and that’s saying something, when you consider what the conquistadores did to the Indians. But the fact is that Christianity grew and developed peacefully, by persuasion, and Islam was born with the sword and grew relentlessly by the sword.
“After WW2, a group of European Jews, sharing almost no racial identification with Israelites of the Bible, decided to colonize Palestine and brand it Israel.”
This is hilarious. Such historical ignorance is a rare thing–but I wouldn’t preserve it if I were you; it’s not worth much. Jews had been steadily migrating to the largely unpopulated land of historical Israel since the 1870s. After WWI, when the Ottoman Empire—which had been the owner of that region—ceased to exist, the League of Nations gave Great Britain a Mandate to create a homeland for the Jews in what it called “Palestine,” which included all of what is today Israel and Jordan. The steady increase in numbers of Jews in what is today Israel was not sufficient to spill across the Jordan River, so what we today call Jordan never ended up a part of Israel. Meanwhile, as the Jews were building a country in a neglected wasteland, their enterprises attracted vast numbers of Arab migrant workers from Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, who subsequently settled down and never went home—the people we today call “Palestinians.” Nobel “Peace” Prize winning “Palestinian” terror boss, Yasser (that’s my baby) Arafat, for instance, was from Egypt. Who knew?
Meanwhile, the perfidious British were refusing to implement the Mandate they had been given–and even stopped Jews fleeing persecution during WWII from entering the land that had been set aside for them. The Brits, in fact, became even more obstreperous in this refusal in the aftermath of the War. I’ll let Wiki tell that part:
“In Poland, the Kielce Pogrom (July 1946) led to a wave of Holocaust survivors fleeing Europe for Palestine. Between 1945 and 1948, 100,000–120,000 Jews left Poland. Their departure was largely organized by Zionist activists in Poland under the umbrella of the semi-clandestine organization Berihah (“Flight”). Berihah was also responsible for the organized emigration of Jews from Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, totaling 250,000 (including Poland) Holocaust survivors. The British imprisoned the Jews trying to enter Palestine in the Atlit detainee camp and Cyprus internment camps. Those held were mainly Holocaust survivors, including large numbers of children and orphans. In response to Cypriot fears that the Jews would never leave (since they lacked a state or documentation) and because the 75,000 quota established by the 1939 White Paper had never been filled, the British allowed the refugees to enter Palestine at a rate of 750 per month.”
The British Empire was going away, and since the League of Nations was no more, what to do about the Mandate? In early 1947, shortly after the war had ended, Britain asked the newly created United Nations to propose a partition plan, dividing “Palestine” between the Jews and the Arabs who had also settled there in the first half of the 20th century. Wiki again:
“The Plan also called for the British to allow “substantial” Jewish migration by 1 February 1948.
Neither Britain nor the UN Security Council took any action to implement the resolution and Britain continued detaining Jews attempting to enter Palestine. Concerned that partition would severely damage Anglo-Arab relations, Britain denied UN representatives access to Palestine during the period between the adoption of Resolution 181 (II) and the termination of the British Mandate. The British withdrawal was finally completed in May 1948. However, Britain continued to hold Jews of “fighting age” and their families on Cyprus until March 1949.”
On 14 May 1948, the day the British were all gone, Israel declared Independence, and the United Nations recognized the new country—but the surrounding Arab countries did not, and they all attacked Israel. Israel won that war. From then on, the British no longer around to stop it, a large wave of new Jewish arrivals from war-torn Europe steadily entered Israel.
Having that in mind, one notices, when you use this ridiculous quote
” They had largely Nordic features including fair skin, light eyes and light hair (little of this being present in their Sephardic counterparts). These Ashkenazi, named for the Nordic river Rhine by which they dwelt, displaced more Palestinian diaspora in the Gulf than are currently being occupied by the Apartheid State. of Israel:
…you sound like an ignoramus. There were probably a million Jews in the land of Israel already, as WWII drew to its end—many of whom were third generation Western Jews whose grandparents were the original modern zionists. You want people to believe that the Jews were not already in the land in the years the UN was attempting to partition it between Jews and Arabs, which is obviously a ridiculous idea. You seem to think the land was devoid of Jews until after WWII ended, when a Nordic race of fake Jews arrived and took over the place (to quote you, above, “After WW2, a group of European Jews, sharing almost no racial identification with Israelites of the Bible, decided to colonize Palestine and brand it Israel.”).
Hahahaha! You are really a hoot, Peace! Those fake Jews must have been damned surprised when they got there and found the place packed to the gills with REAL Jews whom the UN was about to pronounce the owners of a new, independent, country! And they say those crafty fake Jews are smart! Ha!
“These facts, along with others, ignored by Western commentators, are largely responsible for the current state of militancy in Islam.”
More nonsense. Boko Haram, the Taliban, pretty much everything that happens in Indonesia and Pakistan and the Philippines…none of it has anything to do with Israel. Islam is inherently violent in ways unimaginable to the people who inherited Western Civilization. Fathers murder their daughters for “shaming” the family in some slight way, and feel proud about it, wherever Moslems can be found. In Egypt, 90% of women have suffered the removal of their sex organ (and since 10% of the population is Coptic Christians, that means pretty much every Egyptian woman). In Pakistan women routinely have jars of acid thrown into their faces. This, is the culture of Islam. Terrorism comes with the genetic code of the ideology (remember—it’s not a religion). Certainly, every Moslem does not succumb to the deep truth inside the evil thing that is Islam—but so what? The fact that an individual Moslem’s humanity often overcomes the internal logic of what true adherence to Islamic ideology requires only tells us that the devil is not all-powerful. Individuals can be Moslems and NOT agree to carry out the order to cut the tongues out of infidels who insist on still talking in their native language, when the hoards are ransacking the place. Bonus!
On the other hand, the Moslem Brotherhood, Al Quaida and ISIS only exist because they are creations of Western Intelligence agencies. While they are not organic, spontaneously emerging movements–and thus not anything to do with Israel in their origins–they are only possible because the people in them are Moslems. It is impossible to imagine the creation of such organizations out of Christian, or Buddhist, or Hindu populations, because those are actually religions, not violent political ideologies with terrorism at their origins; Unlike Islam, their founders did not assure their followers that by violent conquest they would one day rule the entire world. So, since these organizations did not “rise up” on their own, their existence is most assuredly NOT a response to the facts surrounding the creation of the State of Israel. They are tools of the New World Order plotters to undermine the stability of the post-WWII world order, to pave the way for a World government. As I said before, they are perfect patsies—because, being Moslems, these disaffected, hopeless, young men can feel real pride in committing acts of terrorism. By doing it, they are making Mohammed proud. What these pathetic losers need is to convert to Christianity and abandon all the cultural assumptions that make up the Moslem Mind—which many of them have in fact done, in defiance of the death decree Islam pronounces on those who attempt that happy transformation.
“Or do you believe that the creation of Israel and the supportive measures of America and the West toward it are just coincident factors and have no causality to Islamic violence (quite a conspiracy theory)?”
Since the whole basis of your presentation is founded on ignorance of the history of zionism in the decades before WWII, this question is meaningless. When you start with a false premise, expecting an answer based upon it, well, pardon me if I opt not to play the false game.
“It took a lot more looting and land grabbing by the West, and its proxy state,for the Muslims to become violent, than it took for the land grabbers from the West to become violent in their pursuit of pilfering land and other resources from the Muslims.”
Since pretty much ALL Moslem lands (i.e. everything that is not today Saudi Arabia) were stolen in the most horrifying atrocities the world has ever seen, that’s pretty funny. Ignorance is bliss, I’ve heard.
This is an essay inspired by a podcast James Tracy published at his Memory Hole Blog, where I am a frequent presence.
I publish it here now, inspired by Rich’s recent comment, which hoped I would generate some action here. I certainly will try. As I replied to him, time is a problem I am always fighting.
Another issue is that I created this site to be about the Stairway book, and have felt constrained to keep the thing somewhat tied to that theme. Much of my most inspired recent writing I have done at MHB, and not cross-posted here, because of that. I think I shall change this way of thinking, and break out of that mold I set for myself.
Another thing I shall endeavor to change is the clunkiness of this web site’s presentation. Since I put it together myself, and only learned by doing, that will be a further challenge. Pray for me on that one, everyone. I’ll need all I can get.
Here’s the piece:
Josh Hart, in his recent conversation on James Tracy’s Checkin’ It Out podcast, made some interesting offhand observations about what he called “capitalism,” and a sort of “wild west” environment he perceives as prevailing when new technologies are introduced in our era. While I am sympathetic to what I think he’s trying to say, I thought it might be helpful to explore this idea a little more closely.
It’s always nice to begin at the beginning, so I’ll try to summarize the origins of America as I understand them, and see how the country has changed fundamentally, to the point where monstrous tyrannies can be imposed upon all of us without our consent, by vast corporations, without the Federal or State governments having any interest at all in representing mere human beings. “We the People” supposedly created the Federal government, but you’d be hard pressed to see any evidence of it today, given the way Leviathan acts.
We can say that America was founded in four waves of immigration from four regions of the Island of Great Britain, as David Hackett Fischer argues so wonderfully in his book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. These were the Puritans, who went to New England; the Cavaliers (those who conformed to the Church of England), who went to Virginia; the Quakers, who went to Pennsylvania and Delaware; and the Scots-Irish (protestant Celts), who settled over the Allegheny mountains. Each of these groups came from a different part of the English Island, spoke with different accents and had always lived life very differently one from another. All were anglo/saxon or celtic protestants, but each had a VERY different notion about what protestantism was supposed to look like. For all their of similarity, they were very diverse indeed: the idea of them joining together into one nation would have seemed preposterous to them at the time.
Each of the colonies was pretty much like a distinct country, although colonies with the same folkways felt a kinship. The four folkway-groups were sufficiently separated geographically and economically that there was little strife between them in the first century of English presence in America. Meanwhile, back home, the place was in religious (which was intensely political) turmoil, what with the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, and the Restoration. This proved a very fortuitous distraction from the point of view of Liberty here in America: the British king (when there was one) was too distracted to try to govern the colonies, so we got used to taking care of ourselves. Depending upon what part of America you lived in, this was probably the freest civilized place in history. We had proved that, given a shared set of moral principles, people will naturally govern themselves; people who self-govern don’t need police to threaten to punish them if they misbehave, much less need politicians to create new laws to impose upon them.
But then again, was that America’s REAL beginning?
While we are supposed to believe that Columbus discovered America, anyone who looks into the matter quickly learns that it’s not true. The Knights Templar discovered it, in the person of Henry Sinclair (Columbus, who sailed in a direct line, as if he knew exactly where he was going, had the Templar Cross emblazoned on his sails). Look up the mysterious and amazing Roslyn Chapel, built by Henry’s grandson, which has stone carvings of plants and animals only found in America, that predates Columbus. No doubt this is the reason the estimable Francis Bacon, notably of the court of Queen Elizabeth, wrote his book about the future of America, The New Atlantis. The future use of the new continent was long brewing in esoteric minds. It was a Masonic vision of a perfected future.
So the Christians who founded America were salted with, for lack of a better term, illuminati, from the start. There was a grand plan for America that the Christians who set about building this country knew nothing about. It brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, growing together unto the End. Even as the world that Bacon flourished in was being destroyed in the chaos of English religious politics in the 17th century, America’s people were growing confident in the easiness of living happily while being truly free from state control. No one here would have noticed the Masonic “tares” growing amongst us at the time; we were just happy to be free of the strife on the other side of the Atlantic.
It was perhaps inevitable that we separate ourselves, once British overlordship was restored with the renewed stability of the British state as the 18th century unfolded. Certainly, the constitution we adopted reflected the principles of the goodness of freedom from state power we had spent a century and a half learning—a kind of point/counterpoint George III could not comprehend. The Articles of Confederation were perhaps the perfect expression of that freedom we had learned to live while England was burning: if the former colonies, now independent countries, were to bind themselves together, it would be very loosely. The new countries were on their own, in most matters of state, and they liked it that way.
But this did not sit well with the faction Bacon’s vision had set forth. James Madison, through various means, managed to convene a Convention of the American States to “fix” a couple of perceived flaws in the Articles that loosely connected them. But once convened, the conclave decided to scrap the constitution they were only to propose alterations of, and start from scratch. When they were done, had I been alive, I would have been an Antifederalist (Patrick Henry refused to be a delegate to the convention from the start, saying, quite presciently, “I smell a rat”).
The new government would have a city built for itself, carved out of Maryland and Virginia. Lest anyone wonder which “beginning” was now in charge, its streets were laid out all in Masonic symbolism, and all the buildings would harken back to pagan Greece and Rome. There would be not a hat-tip to the Judeo-Christian Mind of the Christians of Fischer’s four British folkways.
Today, it’s easy to see who won the contest between the visible and the secret founders of the new country, simply by examining the District of Columbia. Christians today, who frequently whine that they want to reclaim their country, are deluded. It hasn’t been theirs since 1787.
That delusion is understandable, though; it didn’t look that way for a long time. By the time of the Constitutional Convention most of the Northern states had gotten rid of most of their slaves, so most of America’s slaves were now in the South. If it were me at the Convention, representing a Southern state, I would have held out and demanded that every single person be counted in the census—and I would pressure every other delegate from the South to demand the same. But so desirous were they of replacing the constitution, they agreed to a compromise that would artificially elevate the population ratio of the states in favor of the North: when the census would be taken, 2/5 of the slave population would be discarded, giving rough parity between North and South in Congressional representation. A grave mistake, in my opinion.
Still, even having granted the North that handicap, the South, which alone by that point held to the little-to-no-government vision of freedom that prevailed in the 17th and 18th centuries, was able to stop at every turn the goal of building Bacon’s New Atlantis in this country. The South constituted an effective veto on that Plan, all the way up to 1860, when the ultimate agent of Bacon’s vision came to power. The Southern states exited the Union, almost immediately, knowing that if the old vision of freedom was to survive, they would have to do it on their own.
Well, the North won the War to Prevent Southern Independence. What resulted?
A consolidated Federal government no one could have imagined prior. Two new Departments, which would forever change America, were created as a result of the War: Justice and Agriculture. Justice gave the Federal government a law enforcement role in Americans’ lives, something no one could have imagined or tolerated before the War. And Agriculture created something entirely new: a way for private interests to crowd out competition by having an inside track with an increasingly powerful Federal government. Economists call it “rent-seeking,” which Wikipedia summarizes as “the manipulation of regulatory agencies to gain monopolistic advantages in the market while imposing disadvantages on competitors.” Lots and lots of Federal agencies followed over the coming decades. Freedom went the way of the dodo bird, as insider deals, made possible by the federal government, enabled cartels and monopolies to come into being, and vast oligarchic fortunes to be made.
This is in fact the “Wild West” Josh Hart bemoans. And quite rightly.
He uses the term “capitalism,” which in my opinion is also entirely appropriate, to describe this horrible state of affairs. It is a coinage of Marx, taken from the title of his most famous book, “Capital.” It describes a perversion, indeed a destruction, of the free marketplace, a place anyone can enter and challenge the established players on an even playing field. Without these federal “friends” protecting monopolists and cartels, such enterprises could never get overly large because when true competition prevails the potential size of the players is self-limiting. By definition. New entrants, with different ideas, constantly hold back the potential excesses of their competitors—unless they are artificially protected.
A good example of this is in electrical utilities. If it were not for the sham “regulation” the Federal government uses to run interference for its favored entities in that field, Tesla technology would not have been absconded with (by the Federal government, incidentally), and Josh’s vision of safe, clean, decentralized electrical power would have out-competed the paradigm that enslaves us today. Probably, Tesla’s work being a century old by now, even better technologies would have been developed by free, happy, innovators, by now, young, creative, minds unfettered by the ongoing effects of the world that Lincoln’s War bequeathed us.
The really sad part is, outside of the ill-effects of this horrible “capitalism” in squelching the widespread human happiness freedom would create, the fake “regulation” represented by these administrative agencies, inevitably, grows exponentially more corrupt, as the government functionaries supposedly doing the “regulating” discover that bending over for the interests they are supposed to oversee and limit the activities of guarantees them a fat job with those very interests once they retire from government “service.” The public be damned.
So by now, a century and a quarter after this new, horrible, system came into being, public utilities can do anything to the public, no matter how health-debilitating, and the Federal and state “regulators” run interference for them every step of the way.
This is where the “Wild West” of American lore becomes a perfectly apt metaphor.
In the aftermath of Lincoln’s War, his generals were dispatched to the lands beyond the Mississippi to eradicate the Plains Indians. These monsters had proven themselves up to the task when they effected a program of “total war” against the civilian populations of the American South. The Indians soon found out what that was like. But why?, you ask. To make way for the railroads, silly. And then cattle interests (usually one and the same, come to think of it). And timber. And mines. Those years in Washington, under Grant, were called the “Great Barbecue.” A friend in Washington could make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, because the Union Army would be at your service.
It’s only gotten worse since the West was “opened.” We are all the Plains Indians, now.
Gran Torino is about a man finally becoming a human being.
We are all trapped in our own minds, and we have a tendency to get wrapped up, like what a spider does to its prey, over time. Time, and sin, is that spider, and rarely do we escape from that accretion. We usually die inside the cocoon the death-dealer wraps us in.
Clint Eastwood plays a man who has been burdened by the events of his youth, but because he’s a man–and men don’t cry about what they did in the war–he buried it. He’s tough on the outside, but crying deep inside, all the time. No one knows this. Probably not even him.
Well, his wife dies, and he lives in a neighborhood in Detroit that has inexplicably (to him) stopped being Polish while he wasn’t paying attention. He’s now all alone (his kids have no interest in that asshole dad of theirs). One wonders what married life was like for him–although he gave his wife a great bathroom and kitchen, and the old house has gleaming wood floors, looking fabulous, so there’s that. She probably wasn’t happy, although she probably didn’t expect happiness anyway, given that world.
Anyway, Clint (Kowalski is his name in the flick) finds his island of serenity jeopardized by his wife’s passing, when his “gook” neighbors start having to be paid attention to. They are from Indochina, and he could not care less about them; he just wishes they had stayed there, wherever it is or was. Still, they are here to stay–he can’t do anything about that–and he ends up finding his humanity as he sees his way to accepting them as his neighbor.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus asks, “who was his neighbor?” Here is the passage from Luke 10:
25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.” 29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 “Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”
Clint learns neighborliness, and as he does it he learns how to face the nightmare he has had brewing inside him all his adult life. No one could be more surprised than Clint that he could be saved.
We are good at not facing such things. It’s how we make it through life. Clint’s kids have no idea who he is, because he’s been closed down all their lives, ever since he got back from Korea, where the nightmare began. He papered over his trauma, and affected a gruff exterior. His kids had no idea that the asshole was in reality a wounded soul, a true softie. So they grew up, and away. It took this chance event, these Asian aliens landing landed next door, to finally wake him up and make him human. He never saw it coming.
This is a GREAT movie.
If you don’t have a Netflix account, you are missing out on one of the greatest features of these horrible, debased, times. It is movies such as Gran Torino that demonstrate this to be the case: you can put it top of your queue, and it’s in your post a day later. Amazing.
Mark Steyn’s movie article this week is a review of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, in honor if its 10 year anniversary. In it, he reminds us that Mel did it all by himself, with his own money, and without a distribution deal to get it into theaters. Mark mentions that the film’s budget was $30 million. This made me curious about how much it made. Being as it was 100% Mel’s, I presume that he got to keep something like half of what it brought in. So I went to that handy-dandy web site, the Internet Movie Data Base, and found this page, detailing the Box office (it includes rentals, as well). The movie came out in February 2004, and the totals given accumulate through March of 2005. In America alone, over the course of that year, it brought in $371 million; rentals were $204 million.
By May of 2004, it had brought in £10 million (Britain), €20 in Italy, 117 million of whatever they use in the Philippines, and 40 million in Polish money. The haul in Russia was 91 million rubles. It was even raking it in, to a some what lesser degree, in the United Arab Emirates.
Wikipedia tells us that he spent $15 million on marketing. That, plus the $30 million it cost to make the picture adds up a rounding error, compared to what it made. The theaters had to be paid to screen it, of course, as well. But the picture made just short of a billion bucks in a year. Here’s Mark:
The headline on the Washington Post review summed it up: “‘Passion‘ Is A Gory Take On A Gentle Teacher’s Violent End”. Somebody’s confusing their Gospel withGodspell. A few days before the “violent end”, the gentle teacher had been hurling tables around in the temple. And, even if you overlook the rough stuff, rhetorically Christ was as forceful as He was gentle.
That’s the real argument over The Passion Of The Christ. It’s not between Christians and Jews, but between believing Christians and the broader post-Christian culture….
After a few hilarious insights, he gets to my point:
Strictly as a commercial proposition, Wimp Jesus is a loser: the churches who go down that path are emptying out and dying. Those who believe in Christ the Redeemer are, comparatively, booming, and ten years ago Mel Gibson made a movie for them. If Hollywood was as savvy as it thinks it is, it would have beaten him to it. But it isn’t so it didn’t. And as most studio execs had never seen an evangelical Christian except in films where they turn out to be paedophiles or serial killers, it’s no wonder they were baffled by The Passion‘s success.
Not just its success due to its subject matter; success in the face of Hollywood actively working to not allow Mel to get the thing into theaters.
This culture, the thing that replaced Western civilization, thinks that abortion is not a horror (check out this picture from the trial of America’s #1 serial killer); it thinks that Silicon Valley geniuses must be driven out of the company they founded–and whom everybody around them loves–when it is discovered that they do not endorse the redefinition of “marriage” for the first time in human history; and it thinks that Islam, the religion that has waged war on Christianity since the day Mohammed died, is peaceful, and that we are persecuting it. These features of this new civilization trump money every time, when the priorities are arranged.
Given the crudeness, the overwhelming materialism and love of money that suffuses this time of the world, the fact that these anti-Christian religious principles are more important than money might strike us as surprising, but we should not be surprised. Man is a religious being, by nature.
Jesus came to Earth, and died in our place, to make it possible for us to be a part of His family, forever. The Beatitudes, and everything that follows them in the whole Sermon on the Mount, are a roadmap, a practical guide to how we can take up and put into practice His gift to us: we can be made perfect, as the last verse of Matthew 5 tells us (the Greek word for “perfect” meaning “complete,” functioning exactly as a thing was designed to do).
Easter is about the price He paid, and also the fulfillment of His promise to give us eternal life; the Beatitudes show us the way, the gate and the very narrow path Jesus’s gift made available: all we need do is obey Him, and follow it.
Poor Mel Gibson. He made an excellent statement, by making and marketing a picture on the subject this new civilization hates the most, and he won the highest honor this civilization recognizes (the dollars) despite all that could be done to stop him. Yet he spent the next decade proving that he does not walk the Stairway to Heaven.
The good news is that he could start today (as can any of us). Maybe someone should send him a copy of my book.