Monday, September 25, 2017

Rommy Is The Mommy! She's Better Than Pastrami!

September has been my month to binge-view the not-terribly-old sci-fi series "Andromeda." This, in large part, because Lexa Doig, who played the Starship Andromeda's android avatar and holographic persona, is a majorly major celebrity crush for me. Really, come ON: Star Trek's Commander Data was allowed to experience love with human women, so why the entropy should Rommy not have been allowed to become Captain Hunt's permanent soulmate? SHE obviously loved HIM from the very core of her being, and in spite of her superior powers she genuinely revered him for his wisdom and bravery, so it would not have been a hopelessly lopsided relationship.

But no-o-o-o-o, the "Andromeda" writers had to keep Dylan Hunt unattached, even though they scarcely ever actually gave him a girlfriend anyway. And poor sweet nearly-indestructible Rommy, who DID have real emotions, was left emotionally unfulfilled, never even allowed (as far as I've seen) to SAY to Captain Hunt, "I love you."

As an indirect attempt to justify the celibacy imposed on the most appealing female in rhe series, they ran one episode showing that another High Guard captain HAD once entered a sexual relationship with his ship's female avatar. This had ended in tragedy because the High Guard's avatar androids carry top-secret information about the ships, information that must not be collected by enemies of the Commonwealth. This plot device was forced and unconvincing. Again, come ON: in an era millennia into the future, we're supposed to believe that there couldn't be a fail-safe allowing the military secrets inside Rommy's exquisitely beautiful head simply to be instantly DELETED, while Rommy's endearing PERSONALITY remained?

It could have been done easily. They chose not to do it. Fooey.

Insofar as Lexa Doig's character is concerned, I'm undecided whether to feel placated or insulted by the Dylan/Rommy scene at the end of the episode "Dance of the Mayflies." There, though STILL not permitted to pour out her cyber-heart to her beloved captain, she was permitted to come close to such a declaration. During the episode, the shortness of human life expectancy compared to sci-fi super-beings had been brought up; so, in the epilogue, Rommy could at least tell Dylan that she couldn't bear the prospect of outliving him and thus losing him. (Think Arwen and Aragorn.) Dylan, in response, went so far as to speak of love, but somewhat abstractly. This, in terms of what he and Rommy SHOULD have been to each other, was as unsatisfactory as the milktoasty peck on the cheek that he gave her in conclusion.

But apart from feeling sorry for "Andromeda's" android heroine, who is my favorite robotic-type character in all of science fiction ever, there is an aspect of the scene which I definitely LIKED, and was pleasantly surprised by: the fact that Dylan Hunt DID NOT limit himself to shallow phrases about him "living on" in Rommy's memory. Here is my approximate quote of his full speech to her about the perpetuity of love:

"You won't lose me, Rommy. Love never dies. Your body may be destroyed or your power may run out, but love goes on forever. When the universe ends and the last star burns out, the only thing LEFT will be love."

This -- I'll venture to call it a testimony -- delighted me insofar as its SPIRITUAL significance. No, Captain Hunt did not recite the whole Nicene Creed; but even his modest expression of faith flew head-on against the icy atheism that Gene Roddenberry wanted to promote. The hero's prediction of love going on forever COULD NOT POSSIBLY be right in a materialistic, mechanical universe.

And in my estimation, the value of Dylan Hunt's words IS NOT spoiled by their being addressed to an android. No one has yet invented any sort of robot that has REAL self-awareness with free will and genuine emotions; but if such a robot WERE built, my own expectation of enjoying Heaven would not be the least bit impaired by God regarding this robot as a living creature with a soul-- due to it being effectively an OFFSPRING of its human makers.

None of the science fiction *I* write will ever feature androids that really are alive and autonomous, because I don't believe there ever will be any. But if the fictitious free-willed android Rommy actually existed, I would not be denying God's Creatorship by desiring that Rommy should be considered a daughter of humans, capable of receiving the gift of saving faith. And I'm not saying this just because the actress Lexa Doig is as hot as a supernova.

When Trejo Is Tres Chic

A year or two  of years ago, cinema tough guy Danny Trejo, a Latino counterpart of Mickey Rourke, was photographed participating in a parade, carrying the flag of the United States --not inverted, and not placed beneath a Mexican flag.

Mister Trejo didn't have to do this. In the modern atmosphere of political correctness, he had nothing to gain career-wise by paying any respect to the United States. Far from it, siding absolutely with Latino supremacists of the Reconquista movement, while claiming that EVERY objection to Latino crime gangs was a racist lie, would have been the very thing to boost his popularity in all the fashionable hard-left circles. Therefore, I am inclined to cut Mister Trejo a lot of slack.

But it's hard to shrug off his 2010 blood-and-guts movie, "Machete." It's the kind of movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have made.... if Schwarzenegger had been a Mexican chauvinist whose entire concept of goodness began and ended with "whatever is to the advantage of Mexicans." Even an immigration agent played by Jessica Alba ends up shouting to a crowd that there cannot be any such thing as justice or law UNLESS Hispanics get to have everything their own way without reservations or questions.

Mister Trejo plays a Mexican Federale officer who is threatened by white supremacists on top of being entrapped by a Mexican drug cartel which has bought off most of the Federales. The hero must accordingly lead an army of low-riders to defeat the white supremacists chiefly, and secondarily the drug cartel's leader. At least the script has the cheap honesty to admit that the buying of police is endemic in Mexico; but as far as this film lets us know, the drug trade-- operating with Gringo collaborators-- is THE ONLY organized crime flowing from Latin America to the United States. There's no such thing as the Mara Salvatrucha gang, and there's no such thing as Democrat mayors of "sanctuary cities" buying Hispanic votes by aiding and abetting illegals who commit murders, robberies and rapes-- including murders, robberies and rapes in which THE VICTIMS ARE ALSO HISPANIC, go figure.

No moral ambiguity troubles the writers of "Machete." Absolutely all illegal border crossers out of Mexico are adorable dreamers who can deserve unlimited sympathy; and you'll never learn from this movie how many hospitals in the southwestern United States have been driven to bankruptcy by illegals exhausting their patient-care capacity without ever paying a cent. Anyone and everyone who has even the slightest misgivings about illegal immigration is either a monstrously violent white supremacist, or a monstrously wicked schemer who can profit somehow by oppressing poor innocent Latinos, or both.

Something else you'll never learn from this movie is the fact that the Texas Revolution did not happen because white supremacists were being imperialistic; it happened because the dictator Santa Ana denied representative government to people under his rule. That's why there were MEXICANS fighting on the TEXAN side in this revolution. It is also a fact that the later Mexican War was begun BY SANTA ANA, who was a sore loser despite the Texans having spared his life before. Santa Ana came out zero for two, and his whole country lay prostrate before the Gringo victors. But not only did the United States not attempt to occupy and possess all of Mexico, but it paid Mexico for the portion of land it did take.

However, modern Mexican administrations, particularly that of Presidente Vicente Fox, have found it wonderfully convenient to whip up anti-Gringo resentment, as a way to divert Mexican citizens from resenting their own government's failure to promote their well-being. These politicians love it when their agitators in the United States chant the misleading slogan: "We Didn't Cross The Border, The Border Crossed Us!"

The border might never have moved south if a 19th-century Mexican ruler had extended citizen rights to his subjects; and to this day there are Latino CITIZENS of the United States who DON'T WANT the United States to change into Mexico 2.0, because these loyal United States citizens understand just which society has enabled them to advance themselves by their own efforts.

All this leaves me scratching my head over why Danny Trejo would star in a movie like "Machete" --apart from the money, plus the sweet perk of being kissed onscreen by Jessica Alba and other beautiful women-- and then turn around a few years later and parade the United States flag as if he LOVED the same United States which "Machete" depicts as the embodiment of all evil. But it may be that Mister Trejo appreciates freedom of expression; appreciates this country for allowing itself to be defamed and vilified so extravagantly. His movie's own credits reveal that the state government of Texas-- a state which, if you listen to Democrats, is crowded with xenophobic racists who would regard George Wallace as being too lenient-- actually facilitated the production of "Machete."

To anyone reading my words: please tell me if you know of any motion picture produced within the borders of Mexico, BY a Mexican film studio, that portrays Mexico as overflowing with evil, sadistic bigots, while saying that GRINGOS (apart from some gangsters and crooked cops) are all adorable dreamers who can do no wrong. Or for that matter, name a major AMERICAN movie company that would have hired Mister Trejo to star in a movie which portrayed present-day Mexico-sobre-todo activists as being in the wrong....

I didn't think so.   ago, cinema tough guy Danny Trejo, a Latino counterpart of Mickey Rourke, was photographed participating in a parade, carrying the flag of the United States --not inverted, and not placed beneath a Mexican flag.

Mister Trejo didn't have to do this. In the modern atmosphere of political correctness, he had nothing to gain career-wise by paying any respect to the United States. Far from it, siding absolutely with Latino supremacists of the Reconquista movement, while claiming that EVERY objection to Latino crime gangs was a racist lie, would have been the very thing to boost his popularity in all the fashionable hard-left circles. Therefore, I am inclined to cut Mister Trejo a lot of slack.

But it's hard to shrug off his 2010 blood-and-guts movie, "Machete." It's the kind of movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have made.... if Schwarzenegger had been a Mexican chauvinist whose entire concept of goodness began and ended with "whatever is to the advantage of Mexicans." Even an immigration agent played by Jessica Alba ends up shouting to a crowd that there cannot be any such thing as justice or law UNLESS Hispanics get to have everything their own way without reservations or questions.

Mister Trejo plays a Mexican Federale officer who is threatened by white supremacists on top of being entrapped by a Mexican drug cartel which has bought off most of the Federales. The hero must accordingly lead an army of low-riders to defeat the white supremacists chiefly, and secondarily the drug cartel's leader. At least the script has the cheap honesty to admit that the buying of police is endemic in Mexico; but as far as this film lets us know, the drug trade-- operating with Gringo collaborators-- is THE ONLY organized crime flowing from Latin America to the United States. There's no such thing as the Mara Salvatrucha gang, and there's no such thing as Democrat mayors of "sanctuary cities" buying Hispanic votes by aiding and abetting illegals who commit murders, robberies and rapes-- including murders, robberies and rapes in which THE VICTIMS ARE ALSO HISPANIC, go figure.

No moral ambiguity troubles the writers of "Machete." Absolutely all illegal border crossers out of Mexico are adorable dreamers who can deserve unlimited sympathy; and you'll never learn from this movie how many hospitals in the southwestern United States have been driven to bankruptcy by illegals exhausting their patient-care capacity without ever paying a cent. Anyone and everyone who has even the slightest misgivings about illegal immigration is either a monstrously violent white supremacist, or a monstrously wicked schemer who can profit somehow by oppressing poor innocent Latinos, or both.

Something else you'll never learn from this movie is the fact that the Texas Revolution did not happen because white supremacists were being imperialistic; it happened because the dictator Santa Ana denied representative government to people under his rule. That's why there were MEXICANS fighting on the TEXAN side in this revolution. It is also a fact that the later Mexican War was begun BY SANTA ANA, who was a sore loser despite the Texans having spared his life before. Santa Ana came out zero for two, and his whole country lay prostrate before the Gringo victors. But not only did the United States not attempt to occupy and possess all of Mexico, but it paid Mexico for the portion of land it did take.

However, modern Mexican administrations, particularly that of Presidente Vicente Fox, have found it wonderfully convenient to whip up anti-Gringo resentment, as a way to divert Mexican citizens from resenting their own government's failure to promote their well-being. These politicians love it when their agitators in the United States chant the misleading slogan: "We Didn't Cross The Border, The Border Crossed Us!"

The border might never have moved south if a 19th-century Mexican ruler had extended citizen rights to his subjects; and to this day there are Latino CITIZENS of the United States who DON'T WANT the United States to change into Mexico 2.0, because these loyal United States citizens understand just which society has enabled them to advance themselves by their own efforts.

All this leaves me scratching my head over why Danny Trejo would star in a movie like "Machete" --apart from the money, plus the sweet perk of being kissed onscreen by Jessica Alba and other beautiful women-- and then turn around a few years later and parade the United States flag as if he LOVED the same United States which "Machete" depicts as the embodiment of all evil. But it may be that Mister Trejo appreciates freedom of expression; appreciates this country for allowing itself to be defamed and vilified so extravagantly. His movie's own credits reveal that the state government of Texas-- a state which, if you listen to Democrats, is crowded with xenophobic racists who would regard George Wallace as being too lenient-- actually facilitated the production of "Machete."

To anyone reading my words: please tell me if you know of any motion picture produced within the borders of Mexico, BY a Mexican film studio, that portrays Mexico as overflowing with evil, sadistic bigots, while saying that GRINGOS (apart from some gangsters and crooked cops) are all adorable dreamers who can do no wrong. Or for that matter, name a major AMERICAN movie company that would have hired Mister Trejo to star in a movie which portrayed present-day Mexico-sobre-todo activists as being in the wrong....

I didn't think so.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Exploding Another Pagan Book

During all of this calendar century so far, hardcore feminists have been trying to have it both ways at once: women are omnipotent goddesses, AND women are poor helpless victims of male oppression. Most recently, being goddesses has been pulling ahead in popularity.

But back in 1987, the contemporary dogma that any randomly-selected twelve-year-old girl can crush a 300-pound man was not yet fully entrenched in the popular culture; so the big emphasis for feminism still was women's victimhood and women's martyr-like moral superiority. This was the year when Riane Eisler, a neo-pagan author, first released a Herstory book titled "The Chalice and the Blade." Eisler's premise, naturally, was that the worship of a male deity automatically promotes violence and cruelty, while goddess-worship guarantees love and peace and idyllic equality, because women are the exclusive keepers of both justice and mercy.    

It was necessary for Mizzzzzz Eisler to be selective with her source material, in order to be sure of arriving at her predetermined conclusion. By dwelling on European and Mediterranean antiquity, she was able to report truthfully, or should we say HALF-truthfully, that peaceful agrarian cultures which worshiped fertility goddesses were indeed invaded and conquered by warlike tribes which worshiped male deities. She devoted many pages to the ancient "Kurgan invasion," and I have no cause to think that she falsified any part of this information, since it already supported her agenda. But she avoided consideration of Japan, which had the female deity Amaterasu at the top of its pre-Buddhist pantheon, and nonetheless generated plenty of bloodshed. She also avoided consideration of the Thuggees of India, who were motivated to commit ritual murders by their worship of the female deity Kali. AND she avoided consideration of all the Native American nations in which, by THEIR OWN admission, many tribeswomen delighted in horribly torturing defenseless captives.

Above all, Mizzzzzz Eisler had to rule out, a priori, any possibility that the God of the Bible ACTUALLY EXISTS. Men who believed in such a God were obviously terribly warped to have MADE UP such a nasty Supreme Being, whereas women show their superiority by-- not exactly making up, Eisler would contend, but giving a name to the presupposed female principle which "really" runs the universe.

Following this divine female principle, according to the author, will move humanity forward on the path of evolution, which of course (although Eisler herself is heterosexual) will entail complete acceptance of homosexuality.

The presumed closeness to the Goddess that is allegedly enjoyed by women, just because they ARE women, surely explains why millions of latest-version feminists have built on Eisler's premise, claiming quite literally to BE goddesses for no reason other than being female. Never in my life, not even once, have I met or heard of any man or boy who claimed that MERELY BEING MALE gave him a literal status of godhood for which women could have no equivalent.

This last fact is one which I've mentioned online before. At least one feminist has tried to deflect my real point by angrily retorting, "You're saying men are never arrogant!" No, I wasn't saying that; I was only saying that ONE SPECIFIC STYLE of arrogance, an arrogance which claims ACTUAL deity rank for one's own sex BECAUSE OF being that sex, while denying it to the other sex, has in my own anecdotal experience only ever been practiced by females.

But in 1987, Mizzzzzz Eisler was not yet pushing for New-Agey boasts of mortal women literally being goddesses. She was settling for their presumed across-the-board moral and spiritual superiority. Thus, near the end of "The Chalice and the Blade," she very justifiably complains against such abuses of women by men as when husbands throw away the family savings on drinking binges. Behaviors like this ARE evil and inexcusable, and Hell probably will be full of lost male souls who for all eternity have to suffer the same terrible pangs of starvation that they knowingly inflicted on their own wives and children. But Eisler chooses to believe that the very idea of a male-headed household INEVITABLY MUST produce these evils.

Okay, if any fans of Mizzzzzz Eisler see my words, I invite you goddess-worshipers to identify for me exactly what Bible verses declare that it's okay for a husband to starve his family so he can get drunk. I'll wait.

Note to everybody else: they won't be able to find any such verse. Mizzzzzz Eisler wants Christianity to be thought of as discredited because men who DON'T follow Jesus behave in ways CONTRARY to the Bible.

Eisler's fans, unable to find a Bible verse approving of men who starve their children for the sake of booze, will resort to the usual ploy: pointing at the Mosaic Law which, MANY CENTURIES BEFORE Jesus came, imposed some admittedly harsh penalties on women. But whatever was the reason for this ancient approach, Jesus changed it forever on the day when He rescued the adulterous woman from death.

And Jesus did not need Mizzzzzz Eisler, or any other goddess-worshiper, to introduce Him to the idea of mercy.

For a reprinting which occurred after the Soviet Union collapsed, Eisler appended an epilogue in which, like numerous feminists, she tried to discredit free enterprise right along with discrediting the Bible. Referring to the oligarchs who grabbed control of the Russian economy in the Yeltsin era, she pretends that their crookedness was representative of capitalism. What it REALLY represented was men who had already been powerful IN THE SOVIET SYSTEM, simply retaining their advantages in a new format. Their piracy WASN'T free enterprise, but Eisler expects us to believe that it proves the wrongness of free enterprise. You know, just like the way drunken husbands who AREN'T obeying the Bible, somehow prove that Biblical ways are all wrong.

At the end of this epilogue, there's an irony: Eisler happily relates how her work has found acceptance in Germany. You know, Germany, the country where, three decades after "The Chalice and the Blade" was first released, Angela Merkel has been showing her divine female wisdom..... by pampering Islamist invaders, who treat women in the very way that Riane Eisler condemns.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Painful Truth About How To Find Comfort

I'm exploring the minefield of love; there's a country-western song waiting to be written there, but I'll leave it to someone who can play a guitar.

WHEN DO YOU DROP A MATTER, AND WHEN IS A GOOD PURPOSE SERVED BY BRINGING IT UP AGAIN?

As in most things, human selfishness affects how we want to answer this question. None of us LIKES to be reminded of times when WE did wrong. But with incidents where we have cause to believe that we were in the right and someone ELSE did wrong, It's more complicated. There are opposite extremes available to us. Bitter, quarrelsome personalities will cling to EVERY grudge, including made-up grudges. Timid, compliant personalities think ANY sort of peace is better than ANY conflict, so they'll surrender from the start, even if they are entirely in the right.

If we were forced to choose ONLY one or the other of these extremes, then of course the teachings of Jesus would require us to be the timid peacemakers, because no good comes of a strong will that clings to false positions and enjoys feeling angry like taking a drug. But those two extremes AREN'T the only possible positions. It is possible to be gentle in spirit, yet realize that sometimes we have to insist on truth.

Narcissistic, self-worshiping spouses or friends will never become any less narcissistic by always getting their way; they'll only gain momentum in their selfishness, demanding STILL MORE indulgence. Prince Adonijah, who was the last troublemaking son of King David after Amnon and Adonijah died, is reported by Scripture as being a troublemaker EXACTLY BECAUSE he was pampered and never held accountable for his actions. A self-worshiping friend or spouse has a great lie planted in his or her deepest heart; the lie says: "I'm better than other people because I say I'm better, so true justice demands that everyone else give way to me!" This terrible self-deception WILL NOT JUST GO AWAY by itself; if it is never corrected, it will only keep getting worse and worse, right up to the moment when that person drops into everlasting Hell.

So there HAS TO BE some kind of rebuke or correction for selfishness. But specific human situations are so diverse that I can't offer an easy rule that works for every person who needs to be corrected. I can only say here that sometimes a love relationship HAS NO CHANCE of succeeding if there ISN'T some correction of the more-selfish partner. What I can do here is to point out a subtler pitfall to be avoided. It should be easy to see that a wrongdoer must be made to face his wrongness at some point or he'll never become a better person. But it is also true that sometimes an old issue needs to come to light FOR THE GOAL OF PROVING FORGIVENESS.

My first wife Mary Cecilia was a righteous, noble-hearted woman in most ways. To anyone who knew her, I say that no virtue you saw in her was fake; it was all real. But she had exactly one hidden fault which AFFECTED NO ONE BUT ME: one area of behavior where she treated me very badly, and this without justification. It simply SUITED HER PRIDE to mistreat me in this way. This one area of selfishness, a jarring note against her many good qualities, was so deeply planted in her soul that it took the long suffering of her terminal cancer to bring her finally to repentance for it. I know that she confessed this very thing to a priest we knew; she deliberately arranged her confession in such a way that the priest WAS allowed afterwards to give me a hint of what it was about. And a goodbye letter that Mary left for me added confirmation.

I had already forgiven her in my heart for this ongoing offense against me; and I dare to be confident that the way I cared for her in her illness SHOWED HER that I forgave her and loved her. But I have cause to wish poignantly that I actually HAD spoken about it openly, to make my forgiveness unmistakable.

Six weeks or so before the end, while Mary Cecilia still was able to walk around, she came up to me in our kitchen and made a humble attempt to confess directly to me this very same evil habit that she had stubbornly and dishonestly made excuses for in the past. But she had barely begun to confess it to me before I told her, "There's no point in talking about that now." I intended my response as a way of saying it was water under the bridge, a thing to be put behind us. By this point in time, she could no more make any amends to me for what she had done than King David could have raised Uriah the Hittite from the dead, and I would never have asked her to TRY to make any amends now. May God forgive me if some part of my mind WANTED HER TO FEEL BAD about the fact that it was too late for her to undo the injury she had knowingly inflicted on me.

I probably would have felt able to go ahead and speak with Mary openly about it, if not for the fact that in the past she had played a manipulative game in this very area. That is, on several occasions over the years, she had put up a pretense of real remorse for her treatment of me: a pretense which was calculated to force me to say, "No, no, you're not a bad wife at all," because I'd be the bad guy if I didn't say that. No doubt some who read these words have encountered the same head-game from a false friend: fifteen seconds of play-acting at apology, cornering you into play-acting that no offense even happened, in order that the false friend can cut off any future possibility that you would hold him or her accountable for the bad behavior which he or she isn't really sorry for at all.

Now, my Mary Cecilia WASN'T false in her spirit; but in just this one area, affecting only me and revealed to no one else, she had allowed herself to indulge in the self-serving game of insincere apology intended only to silence legitimate rebuke. When she so belatedly DID really repent, I can say in my defense that if I had let the conversation continue, she might actually have offered to try to make some amends to me, and my accepting such an offer would have proven MORE CRUEL to her than my choice to cut the discussion short.

In the weeks we had left after that one attempt she made, I can say truthfully that I went on striving to lessen her bodily suffering, and went on giving her every sort of assurance that all her sins were forgiven. She simply HAD TO realize that I loved her unreservedly. And if she died still feeling ANY doubt of my specific forgiveness for her specific wrongdoing against me in particular.... well, she's IN HEAVEN now, the place where we shall know as we ARE known. So now she absolutely DOES know that I forgave her for that particular bad behavior. And when we meet again up there, no residual harm will remain from that forgiven sin.

Nonetheless, and even with the qualifiers I've given, I still wish that, on that evening in our kitchen, I had allowed Mary Cecilia to make what would have been her ONLY honest confession EVER made to me directly on this issue. My explicitly spelled-out forgiveness would have been an additional solace for her during that home stretch before she passed into the embrace of our forgiving Savior.

So, in conclusion: even if you don't hold a grudge for some wrong you suffered, it might be appropriate to bring the matter up one more time FOR THE VERY SAKE of making forgiveness obvious. And if you are the one who did harm, you CERTAINLY should be willing to endure the temporary embarrassment of saying, "I was wrong and you were right," in order that the wounds can truly be healed.

Truth is supposed to be spoken in love; we are told this endlessly, and usually the speaker's emphasis is ONLY on love as a sentiment. But the cause of love is not helped if truth IS NEVER SPOKEN AT ALL.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Fighting Sci-Fi With Sci-Fi (read on, you'll see what I mean)

 In all of my major works of fiction, the character who most directly represents ME is Eric Joseph Havens, the dentist who is the adoptive father of the heroic Alipang Havens. I imagine Doctor Havens, late in life, writing a lengthy memoir of his long fight against the totalitarian collectivism which lyingly disguises itself as "justice." He titles his book "They'll Call This Hate Speech." Eliot Aristede Granholm, destined to become the superhero Grey Eagle, is born about thirty-five years after Doctor Havens' death, and as a young man has the good fortune to acquire a rare surviving copy of "They'll Call This Hate Speech." It becomes an inspiration to Eliot throughout his career, for the evils of the 22nd-century "Citizoic League" that Eliot has to contend with are the SAME evils that Doctor Havens denounced and resisted in his day.

Since Eric Havens "is" me (apart from my never having been a dentist), I naturally depict him as being a reader of science fiction. And because Doctor Havens is spiritually alert enough to discern the influence that anti-God ideas have upon much of sci-fi, he includes remarks about that genre in his memoir. Here is a passage which I imagine Doctor Havens having written, and which at some point I will depict Eliot reading....

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Within my lifetime, though Cecilia and I came into the world too soon to benefit by it, we have seen the new process of telomere preservation achieving a true prolongation of human life and health. As far as anyone can tell up to now, there are no adverse physical consequences attached to the process. There are potentially two negative SOCIETAL consequences; but both of these actually are problems which already existed anyway.

One drawback is that, with some people aging more slowly, the demand that "inferior" persons (like Cecilia and me, as Pinkshirts of the old Campaign Against Hate would have declared) should "just die and get out of the way" will grow more insistent. But this demand -- ALWAYS made by those who are confident THEY won't get euthanized without their consent -- would have been made in some form no matter what. It arises from crude human selfishness, which has been around since Adam ate the wrong fruit. Francis Schaeffer dissected it superbly in his writings; I thank God that at least a few of Schaeffer's books can still be found today.

The other drawback is more subtle, but again is really something that was only intensified, not originated, by the lengthening of lifespans. I'm sorry to have to say that science fiction, a literary genre which has given me much entertainment, has contributed to enlarging this other societal pathology.

Whenever secular authors of imaginative fiction envision science increasing human life expectancy, a specific assertion is bound to be made -- either by the author, or by fans discussing his or her story. The assertion is: "Marriage was invented back when people didn't live long, so there usually wasn't much time for any married person to get tired of their spouse. But if people start routinely living longer than a century, it OBVIOUSLY will become INEVITABLE that married couples tire of each other. Accordingly, it's just UNREASONABLE to expect anyone to be faithful for life in such conditions. Marriage as a permanent contract will need to be abolished, in favor of something like renting or leasing. Having one mate for ten years, then parting by mutual agreement, then playing the singles game for twenty years, then taking another mate for five years, and so on, is SO much more logical, isn't it?"

I can virtually guarantee that every supposedly sophisticated person who argues in favor of this "reasonable" change in human behavior ISN'T REALLY thinking only about a future when life expectancy is doubled or tripled. And here I include sci-fi authors who scoffed at marriage long before the first experiments in telomere preservation. Such a person really wants permanent marriage to be devalued NOW; he or she wants permission to be fickle and faithless NOW, or at least wants to be excused from any duty to rebuke the same selfishness in others.  

REGARDLESS of how long the average human life becomes, the real issue is unchanged. If you regard a sex partner as a purely superficial accessory; if you regard a sex partner as a minor side item, like a dessert randomly selected at a buffet; if you even THEORETICALLY accept the notion that it's "okay" to discard a mate who has done you no wrong, just because you FEEL a desire "to evolve and grow personally;" then you NEVER DID grasp what God meant about two becoming one. But if you marry for real, in God's way, then your spouse ISN'T an optional convenience, and your marriage ISN'T a temporary alliance with built-in ejection seats. In a Holy Spirit-led marriage, you would no more want to discard your mate than you would ask me to extract a perfectly healthy tooth from a healthy set of gums.

Cecilia and I will not be granted the opportunity to prove, through a mortal lifespan of two or three centuries, that we would never tire of each other; but we know in our hearts that we would not. As long as we both DO exist on the mortal plane, because God united us as one, we DON'T each think of ourselves as keeping the other at arm's length. It is AS A COMBINATION that we go at life, and splitting up that combination as a willing choice by either of us is unthinkable.

I wish that some of my favorite novelists DIDN'T regard breakups as SO VERY thinkable.  

At this point, my usual detractors will scream: "You want battered wives to be trapped at the mercy of their abusers! You want to give a blank value-pulse to the worst of patriarchal oppressors! You're waging war against women!" They will know themselves to be lying when they say this; for when THEY argue for THEIR preference that marriages should be disposable, they would furiously deny any charge that they wanted to take their position so far as to hurt any innocent person. Well, dear detractors, neither do I intend MY statement of conviction to be followed so rigidly as to hurt the innocent. OF COURSE an abused spouse has a right to escape from her -- OR HIS --abuser. But the general principle I advocate remains valid, and I am not ashamed of it.

Who knows? If Jesus doesn't return during the lifetimes of Chilena, Alipang, Melody, Harmony and Terrance [Eric and Cecilia's children in the Alipang Havens novels], perhaps my words, preserved by God's providence, will afford some encouragement to a future generation of long-lived beiievers who still want to do human love IN THE BIBLICAL FASHION.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Oatmeal Parable

   Suppose that, for some reason or other (imprisonment, maybe?), a man is forced to live exclusively on a diet of oatmeal for five years. In all that time, he never gets to eat ANY solid food other than oatmeal, oatmeal, and more oatmeal. Other men, who are exempt from this austere diet, will eat sumptuous meals within his view, mocking his deprivation.

Now imagine that the circumstances which forced infinite oatmeal upon this man finally end; at last, it is possible again for him to obtain OTHER foods. So he hurries to a restaurant, intending to order a prime rib dinner. But as soon as he places his order, the waiter frowns and tells him: "Meat, meat, meat! All you EVER want to eat is meat! You're spoiled and pampered! You're a glutton! You're obsessed with meat! You're greedy and selfish! You need to come to your senses, quit this protein-heavy meat-eating diet, and have-- some OATMEAL!!!"

Hear ye now the interpretation of the parable. There are in this world men and boys who are decent and chivalrous-- all right, so they're a minority, but they do exist. There are, I say, men and boys who are decent and chivalrous, but who simply cannot find any female interested in dating/marrying them. There ARE females who will graciously grant these rejects the privilege of becoming Superfluous Redundant Friend Number 47; and the decent males shrug and go along with it. They perform acts of service for the females whose love they wish they had, while enduring the knowledge that some other guy, by dumb luck, is getting all the romantic attention without even trying to deserve it.  

But no matter what good sports the decent males are about being kept in friend zone, if they EVER dare to express their unhappiness at being unwanted, somebody is likely to chide them: "You have an unhealthy romantic obsession! It might even be a sexual addiction! You need to quit this attitude of seeing women ONLY as objects of desire! You need to do something NEW, something you've NEVER tried before in your life: try being a FRIEND to a girl/woman!"

There can be several different reasons why a meddling busybody would thus turn the knife in the heart of a love-deprived man or boy. But whatever the busybodies' motives are, it hurts just as much for the decent man or boy who doesn't even get credit for ALREADY HAVING BEEN in friend zone, done friend zone, and gotten a dozen friendzone T-shirts.

Even so, I agree with the poem about loving people "anyway," being honest "anyway," etc. God helping me, I will try still to be unselfishly chivalrous even as advancing age makes me almost forget what romance felt like. I would rather be Colonel Brandon and NEVER get to marry Marianne Dashwood, than get to marry Marianne by being that snake John Willoughby. (No, I do not mean by this that I think EVERY man who enjoys more romantic success than I do IS a Willoughby. Sometimes good guys do get the girl, and more power to them.)

I still do friend zone just fine. I'm an expert at being a chummy-pal, and not as a deceitful pretense. (There are certainly no male-performance issues to worry about in friend zone!) Just don't try to tell me that I should consider it my highest possible delight to be only and always force-fed oatmeal.


  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Concerning the Literature of Self-Pity

Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me forbeing different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different! Poor, poor me, they hate me for being different!

Did I say that too many times? I said it BARELY ENOUGH TIMES to reflect the excessive overuse of that complaint as the plot for all sorts of stories, in print or in mass media. The uncounted armies of poor-me-I'm-different writers evidently have completely failed to notice a certain fact of life in the real world.

NOT EVERY hatred occurs because one person is different from another. It is equally possible for one to hate another precisely because THEY ARE SO MUCH ALIKE.

Think of two football jocks, exactly alike in character, who hate each other because they are competing for prestige. Think of two fashion models, exactly alike in character, who hate each other because they are competing for fame. Think of two gang leaders, exactly alike in character, who hate each other because they are competing for territory. Think of two researchers, exactly alike in character, who hate each other because they are competing for grants.

In past generations, there were plenty of stories written or filmed which DID portray rivalries between persons who were alike, hating each other BECAUSE they wanted the same things. But the present-day victim-group mentality has caused a fixation on poor-me-I'm-different stories.

And since I'm taking the trouble to point this out, I must be--different! Poor me.