Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Garden (Of Hell)

(Personal note: Apologies to my relative from the UK. Do not read this post. You will not like it. Go down to the next few posts and read the last two weeks or so. You will like those.)

There are few people in this world for whose intelligence I have more respect than Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna.

But, guess what?

I actually got the opportunity to tell Baron something he didn't know about today. (I know, I know, you're saying, "Woo-freaking-hoo, Pastorius. Who cares?" But, I'm so proud of myself.) Here's what I told him about; a writer named Paul Bowles.

Paul Bowles was a real freak, in my opinion.

He wrote stories from a perspective that Liberals love. Some of his stories seemed to express sympathy for pedophilia. He was good friends with Allen Ginsberg who was a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

Anyway, Bowles ended up moving to Tangier, Morocco, which has a reputation as "The City of Pedophilia."

You get the picture.

So anyway, though Bowles was a freak, he was an aesthetically brilliant writer. I, myself, write fiction, so I study all the great writers I can find. Bowles came highly recommended to me by a man I admire, so I began to read him, and, well yes, he is a great writer. He wrote a book called The Sheltering Sky, which is brilliant, and was made into a movie by the legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci.

Now, here's the thing, as I said, Liberals love Paul Bowles. Here's the kind of stuff they say about Bowles:

Bowles is one of the first western writers of fiction that treats Islam equally to European society. Islam is not merely a backdrop in which his characters find fault or get ground up in (i.e., you never get the sense that Bowles is blaming the cultures themselves for the destruction of his characters, typically they are responsible, but it really isn't anybody's 'fault' per se). This is multicultural literature at its best ...

I'm sure you see where I'm going.


Anyway, I would like you to read the following story by Paul Bowles. It is called The Garden. You tell me, does this story demonstrate multiculturalism at its best?

A man who lived in a distant town in the southern country was working in his garden. Because he was poor his land was at the edge of the oasis. All in the afternoon he dug channels, and when the day was finished he went to the upper end of the garden and opened the gate that held back the water. And now the water ran in the channels to the beds of barley and the young pomegranate trees. The sky was red, and when the man saw the floor of his garden shining like jewels, he sat down on a stone to look at it. As he watched it, it grew brighter, and he thought: "There is no finer garden in the oasis."

A great happiness filled him, and he sat there a long time, and did not get home until very late. When he went into the house, his wife looked at him and saw the joy still in his eyes.

"He has found a treasure," she thought; but she said nothing.

When they sat face to face at the evening meal, the man was still remembering his garden, and it seemed to him now that he had known the happiness, never again would he be without it.

He was silent as he ate.

His wife too was silent. "He is thinking of the treasure," she said to herself. And she was angry, believing that he did not want to share his secret with her. The next morning she went to the house of an old woman and bought many herbs and powders from her. She took them home and passed several days mixing and cooking them, until she had made the medicine she wanted. Then at each meal she began to ut a little of the tseubeur into her husband's food.

It was not long before the man fell ill. For a time he went each day to his garden to work, but often when he got there, he was so weak that he could merely sit leaning against a palm tree. He had a sharp sound in his ears, and he could not follow his thoughts as they came to him. In spite of this, each day when the sun went down and he saw his garden shining red in its light, he was happy. And when he got home at night his wife could see that there was joy in his eyes.

"He has been counting the treasure," she thought, and she began to go secretly to the garden to watch him from behind the trees. When she saw that merely sat looking at the ground, she went back to the old woman and told her about it.

"You must hurry and make him talk, before he forgets where he has hidden the treasure," said the old woman.

That night the wife put a great amount of tseubeur into his food, and when they were drinking tea afterward she began to say sweet words to him. The man only smiled. She tried for a long time to make him speak, but he merely shrugged his shoulders and made motions with his hands.

The next morning while he was still asleep, she went back to the old woman and told her that the man could no longer speak.

"You have given him too much," the old woman said. "He will never tell you his secret now. The only thing for you to do is to go away quickly, before he dies."

The woman ran home. Her husband lay on the mat with his mouth open. She packed her clothing, and left the town that mornng.

For three days the man lay in a deep sleep. The fourth day when he awoke, it was as if he made a voyage to the other side of the world. He was very hungry, but all he could find in the house was a piece of dry bread. When he had eaten that, he walked to his garden at the edge of the oasis and picked many figs. Then he sat down and ate them. In his mind there was no thught of his wife, because he had forgotten her. When a neighbor came by and called to him, he answered politely, as if speaking to a stranger, and the neighbor went away perplexed.

Little by little the man grew healthy once more. He worked each day in the garden. When dusk came, after watching the sunset and the red water, he would go home and cook his dinner and sleep. He had no friends, because although men spoke to him, he did not know who they were, and he only smiled and nodded to them. Then the people in the town began to notice that he no longer went to the mosque to pray. They spoke about him among themselves, and one evening the imam went to the man's house to talk with him.

As they sat there, the Imam listened for sound of the man's wife in the house. Out of courtesy he could not mention her, but he was thinking about her and asking himself where she might be. He went away from the house full of doubts.

The man went on living his life. But the people of the town now talked of little else. They whispiered that he had killled his wife, and many of them wanted to go together and search the house for her remains. The imam spoke against this idea, saying that he would go and talk again with the man. And this timehe went all the way to the garden at the edge of the oasis, and found him there working happily with the plants and the trees. He watched him for a while, and then he walked closer and spoke a few words with him.

It was late in the afternoon. The sun was sinking in the west, and the water on the ground began to be red. Presently the man said to the Imam: "The garden is beautiful."

"Beautiful or not beautiful," said the Imam, "you should be giving thanks to Allah for allowing you to have it."

"Allah?" said the man. "Who is that? I have never heard of him. I made this garden myself. I dug every channel and planted every tree, and no one helped me. I have no debts to anyone."

The Imam had turned pale. He flung out his arm and struck the man very hard in the face. Then he went quickly out of the garden.

The man stood with his hand to his cheek. "He has gone mad," he thought, as the Imam walked away.

That night the people spoke together in the Mosque. They decided that the man could no longer live in their town. Early the next morning a great crowd of men, with the Imam going at the head of it, went out into the oasis, on its way to the man's garden.

The small boys ran ahead oof the men, and got there long before them. They hid in the bushes, and as the man worked they began to throw stones and shout insults at him. He paid no attention to them. Then a stone hit him in the back of his head and he jumped up quickly. As they ran away, one of them fell, and the man caught him. He tried to hold him still so he could ask him: "Why are you throwing stones at me?" But the boy only screamed and struggled.

And the townspeople, who were on their way, heard the screaming, and they came running to the garden. They pulled the boy away from him and began to strike the man with hoes and sickles.

When they had destroyed him, they left him there with his head lying in one of the channels, and went back to the town, giving thanks to Allah that the boy was safe.

Little by little the trees died, and very soon the garden was gone.

Only the desert was there.

--- Paul Bowles

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poor Paris Hilton

Ok, this may be one of the most self-indulgent and, seemingly, irrelevant posts I have ever written, but go with me on this, ok?

My ten year old daughter came to me tonight and said, "Dad, I want you to write an article about two Paris Hilton videos I saw on the internet."

Now understand, I and my wife attempt to monitor everything our kids view on TV and the internet, but, as is true with all parents, we are not with them 24 hours a day, and they see things of which we would not necessarily approve.

At that point, you just have to decide to discuss the things they have seen, and try to provide some moral context. Additionally, I am a big believer that one's children learn more from the behavior of their parents, than they do from the input they get from peer pressure, and other outside sources.

That is not to say that I am not concerned.

However, it is almost impossible to hide the true sickness of the world from your children.

So, here's the thing, as is true with many young girls, my daughter is fascinated by people like Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears.

I have attempted to explain, in as delicate terms as possible that these girls are all troubled, sad, and desperate. What's more, they are a danger to themselves and others, and you all know what I mean.

So, here's the videoes my daughter wanted me to write about. She thinks they are funny, and in a way, they are. But, in a way, they are tragic and sad.

Check this out:

Here's what my daughter said to me: "Dad, did you see how much they spent? $112,000."

And, then she began to sing the words of the accompanying song, "Jealously, it's an evil thing."

And, I said, "That's right."

And then, she said she wanted me to see this video:

Only an adult could truly understand the implications of that cartoon. My daughter's focus was on the fact that Paris said, "I'm still breaking in this nose."

She thought that was very funny. She asked me what Paris meant by that, and I told her it meant that Paris had gotten a nose job, because she thought the nose God gave her was ugly.

That Simpson's cartoon really says it all, doesn't it?

Sometimes, comedy is more brilliant than tragedy, even though it is, often, not appreciated as such.

Monday, August 13, 2007

"That's My Pops"

When my Dad was 72, he had a pretty severe stroke. He landed in a rehab hospital without the use of the left side of his body.

It was a sad thing to watch, but here's a funny little story that came out of it which will give you an idea of the kind of man he was.

Now, imagine him sitting on a table, with almost no clothing on, and a Filipino nurse (you'll see why the fact that she was Filipino matters to the point of the story soon enough, this has nothing to do with race) is assessing his cognitive abilities.

My Dad is sitting there, almost helpless, almost naked, he can barely sit at all, because he has no control over the left side of his body, and the left side of his face is completely slack, so he is slurring his speech.

I'm sure he felt completely and utterly humiliated.

The Filipino nurse starts asking him a bunch of questions:

Sir, what is your name?

When were you born?

How old are you?

What are your children's name's?


All normal stuff.

But, my Dad hated being asked stupid questions.

So, when one of the questions came up, he got his revenge. The question was, "Sir, who was Adolf Hitler?"

And, here was my Dad's answer:

"Adolf Hitler was a painter and a lamp-shade designer."

I fell of my chair laughing.

The Filipino nurse, not having been educated in America, had no idea of what the fuck my Dad was talking about, and so she started to try to explain to him that Hitler had actually been the leader of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Thing is, my Dad personally fought against the Nazis in WWII.

I had to explain to the nurse that this was my Dad's sense of humor. And, that he was trying to tell her that his mind was intact by showing her that he knew more than her.

Never had I been more proud of my Father.

That's my Pops. I love him. He is still with me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Turn! Turn! Turn!

I love my friend Michael. Thanks to him for reminding me of this important verse from our Lord's Word:

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--
2A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

3 Atime to kill and a time to heal;

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;

A time to be silent and a time to speak.

8 A time to love and a time to hate;

A time for war and a time for peace.

More On The Disintegration

You know, the more I think about this stuff, I think I'm going to also have to write about stuff that happened in the 80's and the 90's. Originally, I thought I could limit it to just the period of 1962-1977.

In my opinion, that is when the disintegration of our culture happened. However, part of what needs to be dealt with, in my opinion is what the result was.

Check this out:

I will eventually write about the time my Dad told me why he gave up fighting with my mother, and about why he eventualy decided to completely cede his will to my mother, and renege on his obligations to me as a father.

It is a sad story, and I want to get to it in due course.

In my opinion, most of this problem we face, this disintegration, has to do with "Women's Liberation."

Now, here's the thing; I am a believer that women ought to be able to do what they want with their lives, but the pendulum swung too far.

The Feminist Movement ended up emasculating men.

I'll tell you something funny and embarrassing. When my wife and I had kids, she said to me,

"I need you to start acting like more of a man,"

and I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about.


I learned over time.

It actually came rather naturally, but it was the first time in my life that I had ever even given the subject any thought, for Christ's sake.

That's why I believe this story is important. We are a whole generation of boys unprepared to be men.

That's why Pacifism has such a grip over our society.

Now, watch this video. Listen to the words of the singer very carefuly, as he tells the story of the father he did not have, and of how his mother spoke of that father.

Son, she said, have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothin but a...
While you were sittin home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin, sorry you didnt see him, but Im glad we talked...

Oh i, oh, Im still alive
Hey, i, i, oh, Im still alive
Hey i, oh, Im still alive

Oh really? Is he really "still alive"? Look at the pain on his face as he sings those words.

Now, check out the second verse:

Oh, she walks slowly, across a young mans room
She said Im ready...for you
I cant remember anything to this very day
cept the look, the look...
Oh, you know where, now I cant see, I just stare...

I, Im still alive
Hey i, but, Im still alive

As best as i can tell, he is talking there about his first sexual experience, and of how he felt completely unprepared for it because he was not a man ...

Do I need to say anything more, my friends?

Now, now, check this out. Listen to the conclusion of the song:

Is something wrong, she said
Well of course there is
Youre still alive, she said

Oh, and do I deserve to be?

Is that the question
And if so...if so...who answers...who answers?

Who answers? God Answers.

But, who among our generation knows that they can turn to God for the Answer?

And, how easy is it to accept that God loves you, when you have been emotionally obliterated from the beginning of your life?