Archive for May 16th, 2011

Monks in a Bawdy House and The Emperor’s New Clothes

It only happened once and I honestly believe that nobody but me remembers it.

Maybe forty years ago, a group of Professional Commentators were sitting around in a Panel on national television. There was the usual set of liberals and a token Buckleyite.

A person called in and said, “But you are all saying the same thing!”

I can’t quote what was really important:

Their reaction to that statement.

All of these Professional Experts from Both Sides had a look on their faces that reminded me of the look two Medieval Theologians would have expressed if they had been having a debate about the Will of God and were immediately caught by their audience resting up from their labors in their favorite bawdy house.

The rest of the program consisted of these commentators reassuring each other that they were ALL very, very different and very, very DIFFERENT.

Their situations were very similar to that of the Medieval Theologians of different Orders. All commentators have developed opinions that are different enough to be JUST RIGHT. The Brothers in the bawdy house have dedicated their lives to developing fine points of theology that stay away from heresy and yet disagree to an extent that is JUST RIGHT.

But the whole JUST RIGHT is blown to hell when they are found with the whores. Their lives were devoted to subtle distinctions among The Righteous, and getting caught with wine in one hand a professional female’s breast in the other is like setting a bomb off in a small wooden house.

That one incident, and the REACTION to it, was a sort of confirmation of everything I devoted my life to.

And like every other Whitakerism, there is absolutely nothing new about it.

In the Emperor’s New Clothes, a story every peasant knew, everyone was warned that His Majesty would only look naked to those who were Subtle or Holy or Intellectual enough to see the clothes through this Illusion of the Ignorant.

Everybody KNOWS the story, but no one ever RECOGNIZES it when it is played right in front of them.

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