Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

(Homage to the brothers and sisters in Christ at Emmanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC, 2015)

Lines converged

At the front of Emanuel AME church.

UnWise Blood, brooding in the back, ran cold.

 ~~

Lines converged

As Emanuel AME-“God with us”-black brother and sisters.

Wise Blood sought the unconditional, indiscriminate embrace of the Other.

~~

Lines converged

While prayers ascended

UnWise Blood descended…into hell.

~~

Lines converged

A fine point emerged (but not from prayer),

A trajectory of bile aimed at neighbors on their knees.

~~

Lines converged and Wise Blood flowed out

Wooden cross braces could no longer bear its sacred weight.

New Life arose away from earth’s downward pull.

~~

Lines Converged

As showers of prayers began descending:

“I forgive you.” “I pray that you repent.” “May God have mercy on your soul.”

~~

Lines Converged

When I was told “White Privilege is your name.”

“You are excluded, neighbor”.

~~

Lines Converged

When credence for exclusion beget civil war anarchy,

When credence for exclusion became Dogma from a bully pulpit.

~~

Lines Converged

When Evil handed UnWise Blood the means to destroy the spiritual growth of the Other.

At twenty-one.

~~

 Lines converged

Dylann Roof emerged.

Civil War meet God.

 

 

 

© Sally Paradise, 2015, All Rights Reserved

~~~~~~

Charleston Victims Forgive the Shooter

Je Suis la Vérité

 

What is truth?

The satirical stylus?

The severing sword?

The signet of supremacy?

 

What is truth?

A cartoon, a caliphate, a Caesar?

 

“What is truth?”

Pilate asked.

A “thing of this world”

French philosopher Foucalt answered.

A “regime” of beliefs and values linked to systems of political and economic power,

A scientific, non-universal apparatus feeding into majority opinions.

 

“So you are a king, are you?”

Pilate, the truth of power, asked.

Jesus, the power of truth, answered,

“You are the one who’s calling me a king. I was born for this;

I’ve come into the world for this: to give evidence about the truth.

Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

 

“Truth!” What’s that?”

Pilate asked, but

With those words, he went back to the Foucaltians.

 

Truth is witness. Jesus said,

“We testify to what we have seen and heard from God”

 

Put down your stylus Cartoonist,

Put down your sword, Peter,

Put down your signet Freedom of Speech

And follow me.

 

For,

Je suis le Chemin, la Vérité et la Vie.

 

~~~~~~~

Sacrificial Love

 

“Without entrusting oneself to the God who judges justly, it will hardly be possible to follow the crucified Messiah and refuse to retaliate when abused. The certainty of God’s just judgment at the end of history is the presupposition for the renunciation of violence in the middle of it. The divine system of judgment is not the flip side of the human reign of terror, but a necessary correlate of human nonviolence.”

 

Miroslav Volf, Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation

~~~~~

Poem © SallyParadise.com, 2015, All Rights Reserved; Scripture quoted:  The Kingdom New Testament quotes by N. T. Wright as translated from koine greek.

The “Hate Watchers”

The “Hate Watchers”

Harbingers of exclusion, the “Hate Watchers.”

“Hate Watchers” stew alone, churning inside

Along fault lines long ago buried,

Until,

Projection spews ad hominem, ad hominem miasma,

miasma a lethal dose.

The “other” succumbs under the gaze of the elect,

The “Hate Watchers.”

© Sally Paradise, 2012, All Rights Reserved

*******************************************

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/08/splcs-hatewatch-gives-cover-to-hate/

 http://www.splcenter.org/blog/

Has the Dark Night Risen in You?

The recent massacre of innocent lives at the movie theatre should shock everyone back into reality.  Sadly, I doubt this will happen. Entertainment violence must go on for the sake of masses.  Liberal causes must be funded with the proceeds.

 As a kid I paid 25 cents for a Batman or Superman comic. I understood these illustrated ‘funny’ papers as fantasy narratives. The bad guys appeared as a weird assortment of surreal characters that seemed to be annoyances more than anything. I stopped buying comic books when I grew up.

 The Batman cult has evolved from fantasy comic books to serial spoofs (TV’s Adam West) to abstracted violence (Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher) to evil and chaos personified – Heath Ledger’s Joker (Christopher Nolan).  None of this is lost on the ravenous crowds who lust for more bloody entertainment.

 Teens, adults, even parents with young children come to the theatre to watch the gladiator sport of murder on the big screen. No age is immune to an addiction to violence. And the addiction is gladly reinforced by the profiteers of Hollywood.

 The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan. Auteurial vision. I see nothing but decadence from the bottom up. I will not go to see this movie out of respect for the victims. I don’t need Batman.

 Something to think about:  you know how a TV jingle or ad gets in your head and stays there?  What is lurking in your head, crouching, waiting to come out?  Will a psychotic break push you to unload the burned-in images of your anger, discontent, loneliness and rage onto others in the form of a cold-calculated bullet?

You are responsible for what you load into your heart, mind and soul. And, for what comes out.

Added:  https://sallyparadise.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-trajectory-of-jared-lee-loughner/

In memoriam, from Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony #3 “Sorrowful Songs”:

Pretense, Part 2: The World Has Become a Jerry Springer Show

The following short article was written six years ago.  Read it and take a look around today. What do you see?

Theodore Dalrymple
Law Isn’t Enough

City Journal, Autumn 2005

Recently in London a correspondent of a left-liberal Dutch newspaper interviewed me, a decent, civilized sort—one of us, in short. I am sure that he brought up his children to say please and thank you, probably in several languages.

He asked me why I had chosen recently to move from England to France. I said that I thought France was a decade or two behind Britain in cultural decline. It had maintained certain standards a little better than Britain—though, I added, I could see that it was heading in the same direction.

He asked me what evidence I had for my claim. Well, I replied, crime in France was approaching British levels; in some places, it was even worse, at least for serious crimes of violence.

Another straw in the wind was the rising number of tattooed and pierced young people on view, as well as tattoo and piercing parlors. Ten years ago, you hardly ever saw a tattooed person in France: now they are everywhere. The small and ancient town, solidly bourgeois, near where I live has such a parlor, purveying savage kitsch to young fools. Le Monde published a little while back a profile of the acclaimed French writer Ann Scott, whose work makes Baudelaire’s seem a bit like that of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Scott has a large and prominent tattoo of a swallow on her neck. Critics claim that her latest book, describing heroin addiction and lesbian love, has a terrible beauty, as well as near-emetic properties.

The correspondent asked me: what was wrong with tattooing, if that was how people wanted to adorn themselves?

I asked him whether he would have himself tattooed—whether he would be happy if his teenaged children had themselves tattooed—and if not, why not? After all, if he would not like it, he must have some inner objection to tattooing.

True, he said, but tattooing was not illegal. And since even I, who deprecated it, did not think that it should be illegal, there was nothing further to say about it. If tattooing was legal, it was thus of no social, moral, or cultural significance.

I tried to point out some of the cultural meanings of the vogue for tattooing. First, it was aesthetically worse than worthless. Tattoos were always kitsch, implying not only the absence of taste but the presence of dishonest emotion.

Second, the vogue represented a desperate (and rather sad) attempt on a mass scale to achieve individuality and character by means of mere adornment, which implied both intellectual vacuity and unhealthy self-absorption.

And third, it represented mass downward cultural and social aspiration, since everyone understood that tattooing had a traditional association with low social class and, above all, with aggression and criminality. It was, in effect, a visible symbol of the greatest, though totally ersatz, virtue of our time: an inclusive unwillingness to make judgments of morality or value.

But the correspondent’s premise that the legality of an act was the sole criterion by which one could or should judge it chilled me. It is a sinister premise. It makes the legislature the complete arbiter of manners and morals, and thus accords to the state quasi-totalitarian powers without the state’s ever having claimed them. The state alone decides what we have or lack permission to do: we have to make no moral decisions for ourselves, for what we have legal permission to do is also, by definition, morally acceptable.

Even worse than the correspondent’s implicitly totalitarian assumption was his lack of awareness of how societies cohere, and how social existence becomes tolerable, let alone pleasant. After all, the law does not prohibit rudeness, boorishness, and an infinity of unpleasant habits. But it is clear that if, for example, the prevalence of boorishness increases, life in society becomes more filled with friction and danger.

What I found so odd about the correspondent were his perfect manners and refined tastes. But so little confidence did he have in the value of the things that he valued that he seemed indifferent to the mechanism of their disappearance or destruction. This is the way a civilization ends: not with a bang but a whimper.

 (Emphasis mine)

 From this article:

 http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_4_diarist.html

 THEODORE DALRYMPLE: Anthony (A.M.) Daniels (born 11 October 1949), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is a British writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist