Archive for September 2nd, 2005

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FACTS

There are several standard excuses that are so classic that they have become cliches.

One is, “The check is in the mail.”

Another is, “I’m with the government. I’ve come to help you.”

But there are more. One is, “They have found that …” This is supposed to indicate that, after all the debates on a matter, someone has done some real scientific work and come up with the truth. He then expounds on what this truth leads to.

Everybody is always debating the facts. My psecialty is stringing those facts together.

Everything I do ends up being an old cliche.

In this case the cliche is, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”

I am interested in taking a line of logic, any CONSISTENT logic, and following it.

I do not end up with the facts. I do not end up with the truth. I do not end up with the opposite of the simple truth, which is Truth. If the Truth were the same thing as truth, it wouldn’t be capitalized. The Turth is what crushes simple truth, inthe name of a Higher Good.

One truth that Western man has become used to is that facts change. That is to say, Western man is the first part of the human race which has ever even glimpsed this reality.

Every other society has had an Absolute, Unchangable, Unquestionable Truth. It is rigid and it is permanent.

It is no accident that anything that is not an Absolute, Unchangable, Unquestionable Truth is called “A Moot Question.” The moot was where my Germanic ancestors argued over each question that came up. When Christianity brought in its Absolute, Unchangable, Unquestionable Truth it also brought the whole weight of Middle Eastern thought with it.

Christians had the Law in Latin translated from the Original Greek. They also had the Old Testament, which they thought was translated from the original Hebrew.

They knew nothing about the overwhelming majority of Jews in the Roman Empire who spoke and read nothing but Greek and considered the Hebrew-speaking Jews around the Holy City of Jerusalem as backward country cousins, much as most educated Moslems look upon the present regime in Saudi Arabia today.

The idea of a moot question was considered by the new Christians to be hick stuff. The words pagan and heathen mean countrified, ignorant, unsophisticated. Literate sophisiticated people knew the truth. The hicks or pagans argued about what was right in their own unlettered way.

In every society in all of history the established priesthood has declared anyone who did not know their scriptures as ignorant. The illiterate peasants argued about the truth because they did not know the Truth.

When I first entered the University of South Carolina in 1957 I happened to take freshman history in the first class a new professor straight from England had taught over here. His name was Professor Coolidge, and he retired a short time ago after over forty years of teaching at the University of South Carolina.

Professor Coolidge was quoted some American comment about “the common people.” Then he said, “Well, I wouldn’t call them COMMON.”

To an Englishman the word “common” meant the same thing as “vulgar.” It was an insult.

The word vulgar now means dirty. But the Latin version ofhte Bible approved by the Catholic Church for centuries was called the Vulgate. At that time, a Bible which was not in Greek and Hebrew was considered vulgar, that is, for general consumption.

The word common as in Commonwealth was certainly not dirty to start with, any more than the word vulgar derived from Vulgate meant dirty. But both words came to mean the same sort of thing as heathen or pagan. Writing was for church people and nobles. When they spoke of those outside the Absolute, Unchangable, Unquestionable Truth they knew, they spoke with contempt natural to anyone who thinks he is educated and no one else is.

So when you hear someone say “They have found that…” he is indicating that he is in the know and anyone who questions his Facts is a pagan.

If you know this, if you have known this for many years, it is the person who says, “They have shown that…” who is the simpleton.

But here is the important point. I have not said a single about what FACT the person was discussing when he says, “They have proven that…” I have not tried to prove or disprove what he considers a fact.

That has nothing to do with it. He probably knows the subjet far better than I do. He knows all the qualifications a true scholar would throw in. He knows what “intellectuals” call “the literature.” He knows the latest thing that Professor X said and the latest thing that X’s opponent, Professor Y said about it.

Once again, all that has nothing to do with it.

He is a fool because of his attitude. History is strewn with a hundred thousand examples of “They have shown that…” that were wrong. Every “They have shown that…” contradicts another “They have shown that…” which was totally contradictory.

In every case the person saying “They have shown that…” was just as bigoted and self-righteous as the guy saying “They have shown that…”

In my mind, there is an instant connection between the Inquisition and the person at a Yuppie cocktail party saying “They have shown there…” No Inquisitor considered himself a bigot. He was an educated and others were ignorant of the truth.

As Christianity became an instrument of bigotry and oppression in the fourth century, those who enforced it looked upon themselves as the educated and those who questioned them as heathens and pagans, in exactly the same way the Yuppie at the cocktail party believes believes he is reciting the truth, not being bigoted.

Look at all the words it took me to get here.

After all this, one can see why one could argue that the Yuppie is first cousin to the Inquisitor.

Yes, I am, too. I am looking on HIM as an ignorant pagan.

Yes, we have to go through that little game here, too. Hundreds of words and the standard little game at the end.

Have you ever had to explain a joke to somebody? If it took you all the words above to explain to somebody why a “They have shown that…” Yuppie is the same as a religious bigot, any possible humor would have vaished long, long before.

But when a Yuppie says something about relgious bigots right after he has shown the “They have proven that…” attitude, I laugh.

Having to explain the joke takes ALL the humor and fun out of it.

Even after you have explained it the humorless person says, “AH, but I have a Deep Philosophical Retort I have just come up with!”

He breathes deeply, his eyes shine, and he announces, “YOU are showing the same attitude towards HIM that You are accusing HIM of having towards others!!!”

I repeat, have you ever tried to explain a joke to somebody? They almost invariably come up with a standard line like that that everybody else comes up with.

My reaction is very much like that of a proctologist who has to hear every other patient make a joke about “a pain in the ass.”

In ancient days, the only person who could tell the King anything in public that everybody else was thinking was The King’s Fool. Even the King laughed when the King’s Fool dared to say things about him anybody else would be executed for saying.

That is the reason the king’s comedian came to be called The King’s Fool. Anybody else who said the same thing would be a fool.

It was risky profession. Man laughs at serious and tragic things. That is a survival mechanism. Man is the only animal that knows it will die. Man is also the only animal that laughs. The two go together.

I said that I laugh I laugh when a Yuppie denounces religious bigotry. Humor that must be expained does not evoke laughter. We are now several hundred words, at least, into the explanation of why I laughed.

When a King’s Fool criticised the king, nobody thught he was claiming that HE should be king instead. When I laugh at a Yuppie’s pretensions when he uses the logic of religious bigotry to denounce religious bigotry, I am not claiming that I have the Truth.

When you laugh at someone who trips over his own feet you are not saying “I have never tripped over my own feet.” In fact, it’s even funnier if you HAVE tripped over your own feet.

We laugh at jokes about death presicely because we are going to die.

I laugh at the Yuppie who is using the language of religious bigtry to denounce religious bigotry precisely because I have done the same thing over and over and will do it again.

But when I do laugh at him, I also know it would saved me a lot of years in becoming mature if someone had laughed at me when I made the same mistake.

When someone is debating the Truth or the “facts” in detail with someone else, I always want to say to them, “For God’s sake man, come up for air! In all this discussion you have totally forgotten whether what you are arguing about is reasonable, does it matter?”

I remember a woodcutting in a book written in the sixeetn century, when Luther was in the height of his rebellion against the Catholic Church. It showed a peasant woman on her kneees in prayer. On one side of her was Luther, who was pointing and shouting at her to get off her knees and learn the Truth. On the other side of her was the Pope, pointing and shouting at her to renounce Luther’s perversion of the True Word.

The author’s point was that the ultimate goal of both Luther was to get this ingorant woman off of her knees before God and up into the debate over intellectual interpretations of Divine Truth. The author thought the onjly true Christian there was the woman on her knees.

All of the Latin, the appeal to Councils, the debate over what someone in the Bible said about Faith and someone else said about works were, to this writer, MOOT. He was probably convicted of paganism by one side or the other.

He was convicted of paganism by whichever side caught him first. To both sides in any debate, the one thing they agree on is that anyone who thinks that they are off the point is not only wrong but evil.

This old, old nonsense is the foundation of what passes for political debate today. We have “both sides.” We also have everybody nodding wisely and saying that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Once again, I laugh. Now I have to launch into a tedious explanation of WHY I laugh. I have read the history of thought in many areas, but the easiest to explain is medicine. There debate among University Dcotors about how to treat what we now know are bacterial diseases.

One set of Great Authorities lived and died by the idea that you should take a pint out of the patient. Others demanded that you should take a full three pints out of the patient. If the truth were in the middle of the road, you should take over an even quart.

The truth does not lie on either side and it does not lie in the middle. But somehow the nut who says it lies in the middle is considered wise.

The white Western mind is the first in history to begin to probe the reality of the moot. We are not the first to face the fact that we don’t know. We are the first who ever based on society on the fact that we don’t know YET.

The Bible talks about building on rock or building on sand. It never occurred to any Middle Easterner that reality is built, or rather rides, on neither. Reality rides on an ever-changing sea.

Instead of being obsessed with proving the present version of facts, we must build a structure that can ride with any facts, any reality. The present version of reality and facts is what paid “intellectuals” and commentators and thinkers get paid to debate.

They all know exactly where we are right now. They know that from “the literature,” the latest article on the subject. They are all “peers” because they all call into the same category, people who know exactly where the debate stands right now.

The political religion of our day is “both sides” and “the middle of the road.” The academic religuion of our day is “peer review,” where a bunch of people who have read the same articles lately decide whether a new article fits in.

If history teaches us anything, it is that the two silliest things in the world are the middle of the road and peer review. Both will be hilarious in a decade.

Facts? Every statement of fact I make here will lack the qualifications a peer revierw scholar would demand. Every statement of fact I make not only could have books written against it, it HAS had books written against it.

But while everybody else is getting paid to look at the sea we are riding on right now with a microscope, somebody has to navigate.

Somebody has to stop trying to build on the so-called facts as we know them right now, because the one thing we know for sure is that there is something wrong with them.

Someone must stop looking at the waves and see the ocean. We don’t know what the next wave will be, but we will not stay afloat by being obsessed with the ones we see right now.

The Middle Easterner stayed within sight of the shorewhile my ancestors, the ones
they called barbarians, rose out on an ocean they could not imagine.

My ancestors were not discriminated against, like the poor little Jews. They were burned alive for being pagans.

The People of hte Middle Eastern Book were okay. But the people of the moot couldnot be tolerated.

Facts? Facts were holy to my ancestors. Their god Odin hung on the world tree Ygsdradil and lost an eye, not for Wisdom, but to know a few more FACTS. That was totally alien to any other religion on earth.

“They have found that…” indeed!

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Notice those asterisks up there?

Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

They mean this is a footnote.

All the pieces that go with those seven asterisks could be history’s longest footnote. Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

Bob’s Bob is short pieces. They are self-contained.

Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

I have always wanted to try to assemble a book with some people looking on who are interested in what I have to say.

The asterisk stuff may be long. It will be disorganized.

My last book started with these ramblings no one would recognize as having much to do with the present book. I rewrote the entrire book sixteen times.

The way I start to write a book is to start writing, and see what the book might be about.

So it begins.

******* Those seven asterisks mean that this is NOT part of the regular blog.

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