Methuselah's Daughter

Musings of an immortal being

Thursday, October 30

In response to Mr. E’s comment on a previous post:

If I were insane, how would I know? You and I could sit over coffee and have a nice chat and at the end of it you might be tempted to tell me you were fairly certain I was off my rocker, but would I be able to believe you? In my case I have lots of history to look back on and that gives me some perspective on myself. I can look back and say “Oh, my! I was certainly not thinking too clearly, was I?” It is all relative, after all.

So what about love? I have offered a few paragraphs here to describe my understanding of the nature of love and its effect on Man and I know I have mentioned that there is a difference between this love to which Man is predisposed and the Romantic Love that is the source of such joy, such excess and such sorrow. I understand that first love- I rely upon it when I try to understand you and everybody else surrounding me. The second love, let me spell it Love for clarity’s sake, is something I try to avoid. It is dangerous to me. It is madness most raw.

Just so that you do not begin to think I am talking nonsense, please understand that what follows applies strictly to me and not to others.

Love is an invitation to pain and despair. When I allow myself to fall in Love I am guaranteeing myself a painful ending, one that is not possible, but inevitable. Tell me, please, what is rational about willingly inviting such horror in to my life? Given that, is it at all surprising that I have only had Love in my life four times?

Each time, I fooled myself in some way.

The first time was easy- when I confessed to him that his slave was immortal, he nodded and pronounced me Diana for he had encountered me as a huntress in the wilderness. Somehow my lack of chastity did not deter him in his conviction. When over the next few years our mutual foolishness made itself clear he ordered me bound hand and foot and forced me to watch as he opened his veins and bled to death. He believed he was doing the right thing.

I was none too eager to repeat that experience, but I did, three more times, the last being my Jeremy, whom I have discussed at some length. Each time I told myself that I could grasp those brief years of delirium, that the pain waiting at the end would be bearable, that this time I was far too mature to allow the inevitable to scar me so. Each time I was wrong. Oh, to be certain with the passage of time the pain eased, to be replaced with a certain rueful recognition of my own foolishness, but the memory of those times…

Only the last time came close to breaking the pattern, but I begin to suspect that there is more to play from that episode in my life. Jeremy is not through with me yet.

So, Love lures me with the promise of decades of joy and blinds me to a century of pain in payment. Self-delusion indeed. Do not seek to find flaws here, instead recognize that what I say of myself does not apply to all- it cannot for reasons I do believe I have made explicit.

Monday, October 27

Well, this has certainly been an invigorating twenty-four hours or so. I must express my thanks to Dean Esmay for his kind words regarding my thoughts offered here- praise is always that much sweeter when it comes from one you respect. As for the readers he has sent to this humble site, I believe their comments speak for themselves. Quality shows, people. Of all the accusations hurled at me over the years “I would suppose that you have a doctorate in either philosophy or history” certainly takes the prize for most unexpected and delightful.

I am not usually a political writer, but I find the subject immensely seductive due both to the immediacy of the topics and the fervor of those who willingly delve in to the debate. Somehow I doubt I shall be able to remain silent on these topics as the season progresses.

Saturday, October 25

I am so terribly sorry. I did promise no more politics until the new year, but that persnickety Dean Esmay has been posting things that make me go "hmmm." So, with that said:

These assorted assertions regarding lying to the public and the reflexive disdain for the current President are unusual only if one fails to take in to account the unique nature of the approaching election season. Consider: this is the first election in three decades or so where you have both a state of war and an incumbent seeking reelection without even token opposition within his own party. Throw in the spectre of the Florida fiasco and we have set the stage for an interesting (i.e. contentious and divisive) election. Add to that the unprecedented access to broad audiences that until recently were essentially denied to the extremist fringes and it becomes certain that a circus is in the offing.

It seems to me that in the long run this process of extreme rhetoric could conceivably transform itself in to a positive outcome. Let us be honest and admit that the fanatics on both sides of the spectrum have become essentially interchangeable. This was not always so easy to discern as the fringes were so effectively marginalized in the past- they made their voices heard at the political rallies and in the caucuses, but otherwise held no firm political power. The information age has made the sound-byting of the outrageous profitable for the media companies and the political entities seemed to be content to allow the hot-heads to take to the airwaves in excoriating their opponents, assuming that the old dynamic was still in play and that their words would not have any method of sticking to the eventual nominee or his party. In doing this the parties both exposed their ugly underbellies to the light of day and could now be forced to deal with their Anti-American, Anti-Constitutional and Anti-democratic elements by either openly embracing them and admitting that their causes were concomitant with their own, or by openly marginalizing them.

It seems to me that the conservatives got a head start on this process and have been slowly isolating the worst actors on the religious right from the centres of power. They still have their problems, and by no means have overcome them; however, with the advent of the war those close to the President have had the opportunity to make an even bolder move to increase this separation, the current anti-abortion legislation notwithstanding. There are those who see the upcoming procedural ban as the “nose of the camel” and fail to understand that while a majority of their countrymen support the ideal of a woman’s right to choose, they also see the need for some sort of line to be drawn and they look to the government and the courts to draw it. Taken in that light this current affront to leftist sensibilities becomes nothing more than another small step in the completely American process of defining a consensus that both sides will eventually be forced to live with and within.

The liberals in this nation are facing a far more acute problem; however, the benefit of the acute is that it can often be dealt with swiftly. Whereas the conservatives are incrementally marginalizing their fanatics, the left may yet be able to excise theirs in a single political season. Unfortunately, the cost of taking advantage of this opportunity is likely a humiliating defeat in 2004. The danger is that the more rational elements of the left might fail to see that opportunity and act upon it in which case they are doomed to the political outlands until either the economy once again succumbs to the business cycle or the conservatives egregiously overstep themselves. One of the necessary elements of a recovery is to stop fearing the defection of the Greens and their ilk. Those fanatics have already left the party and will continue to field candidates who theoretically sap strength from the Democratic candidates. The Democrats are not capable of placating that faction without thoroughly alienating the centrist voters they need to win the Presidency. By attempting to straddle the fence they achieve the worst of all possible outcomes, hence their current sorry state. The same logic applies to the other fringe groups that have been categorized by commentators on the right as the “victim movements”, or some such. The left in the presumptive form of the Democratic Party must find a way to separate themselves from these factions and return rhetorical control of the political argument to more reality-based hands, or else must face the unpleasant prospect of a long stretch in the wilderness likely ending in the dissolution of the extant party structure in favor of something more workable.

I understand that the above seems particularly harsh in regards to the left whilst affording the conservatives somewhat of a pass; however, both analyses have bearing upon their opposite numbers. The fanatics still exist within the power structure of the Republican Party and there is no guarantee that this gradual marginalization will continue. One of the requisite factors for success in this endeavor is a resurgent and credible force on the left, shorn of its fanatic fringe elements and capable of bringing a coherent and believable message to the voters. The same is true of the Democratic Party: one of the reasons it faces such dire straights is that for some time the Republicans were essentially no threat. The lack of a credible political opponent let the poison of factionalism and fanaticism scar the soul of a great and majestic institution. Had the right been unable to articulate a message that resonated with the bulk of the voting population the left would still be ensconced in the throne room, and the rot would have continued to spread.

The thrust of all this is nothing new: in America the left and the right need each other to survive. The American people need both to be viable, honest and trustworthy. Both parties must abandon the deplorable practice of assuming that their own failures are the result of trickery on their opponents’ part. And finally, both parties must learn to trust the people.

That final requirement is likely to be the most difficult. Throughout the extraordinarily brief history of this nation the various iterations of the political opposites have harbored a foundational distrust of the voters. This was not always so blatant, particularly when the vote was restricted to male property owners, but it has always been thus. This distrust of the voters has been the driving force behind the various manifestations of the parties that sought to shape the course of the American Experiment. This is the paradigm which must come to an end, for failing that this interesting experiment in self-rule could very well collapse, and what replaces it is doubtful to be to anyone’s liking.

Follow-up: Dean Esmay replies

Sunday, October 19



What magical female creature are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I came across this quiz at Etherian's Island where I shall, in a bit of coincidental magic, be guest blogging for the next few days, along with others.

I need to say something, to explain something, but I find myself reluctant. No matter how many attempts I make at putting this in to written words it comes out as somewhat arrogant and condescending. Would that I could meet with every reader who happens across this journal, sit down and explain in person- that is my personal strength. I can communicate with a gesture what I cannot describe in pages of text.

Complaining of the inadequacy of the only medium afforded me is pointless. Arrogant and condescending are all that are left me. So be it. Here is my gentlest iteration:

Do not attempt to understand me. You are by your very nature incapable of understanding me. This forum is woefully ineffective in providing you with what you would need to understand me. If you believe you understand me you are mistaken. All you have are fragments, musings, disjointed pieces and tattered remnants of the tapestry of a life too long to be fully described in a few dozen pages of digitized text. This is not your fault, nor is it mine. It simply is.

This does not give me satisfaction. It brings no joy to my heart. I began this site with the expectation that I might somehow make myself known- to test the waters as it were. I have tested those waters and found them not entirely to my liking, mostly for the reason that the waters were not what I expected them to be. I need something more concrete, more visceral, and I fear I know exactly what that something may be. I wrestle with that fear for I am above such things and they should have no hold on me. In this particular struggle I shall certainly prevail.

Finally, what I attempted to do when I began this site eventuated to be the opposite of what I seem to have accomplished. Rather than make myself known to others, I have made myself better known to me. The mirror of others’ regard is a powerful thing indeed.

Monday, October 13

The bottle sounded against the rim of my glass, a single clear ping, and then gurgled quietly as I poured. I took up the glass and brought it to my lips, tilting it back to let the clear brown liquid burn down my throat and in to my belly.

“What’s with you and whiskey?”

I turned to face Gregory and found him sitting on the bed wearing his boxers. He is young, just twenty-one, barely sentient by my standards. His hair is brown and short with golden highlights and he wears thin sideburns that cut over in to an angular fringe along his jaw, meeting a neat, severe goatee. His mouth is stern without being narrow, set in his angular jaw below his fine, straight nose. His hazel eyes are likewise quite intense; dominating his face with his high forehead- in short he radiates the aura of Angry Young Man, yet his voice is surprisingly soft and resonant, and when he smiles all that angry intensity leaves him. It is quite becoming.

“Whatever do you mean?” I replied, grinning as I refilled my glass yet again.

“I’d be on my knees if I drank as much as you.”

There was a note of concern in his voice, not overarching concern, just that little bit. It was sweet, and it made me giggle a bit before I drained the glass again. Alcohol makes me giddy, not drunk, and anything less than a steady flow of liquor has no effect on me at all. But when it has me in its grip I can be quite… impulsive.

“It fuels my madness,” I laughed and strode over to the balcony, throwing open the sliding door and stretching out, my feet and hands at the corners of the doorway, letting the cool breeze of the autumn night slide over my skin, drinking in the sight of the harbor below. “I love this view.”

“Not bad from here, either… and I’ll bet the neighbors like it, too.” He came up behind me and slid his arms about me, drawing me tightly to him. It felt wonderful, his head resting atop mine, his body warm and firm behind me, his hands tracing lines of goose bumps up my belly and over my breasts. His timing was impeccable- the warm rush from the whiskey suffused my body and I let my arms fall, melting in to his grasp as I turned to face him. I licked his chest, letting the salty flavour of his skin and sweat mix with the smoky aftertaste of the Crown Royal.

“You taste so good,” I murmured as I lifted my face and then found his mouth with mine. He was surprised. Surprised at his powerful response, at my animal hunger, at how quickly a casual gesture escalated in to forty minutes of exertion, sweat and pleasure. Such is life with one such as I.

“No,” he said, seizing my wrist as I reached for my bottle, “every time you open that thing we wind up in the tangle again, and I’m starving.”

“I’ll call room service…”

“Oh. man, no more steak, no more lobster- I need real food… pizza. I know just the place.”

I let him shower first as I drained the last of the Crown Royal and called the desk to have the room serviced and the bar restocked. I love good hotels- twelve-thirty in the morning and they did not even blink. Of course, they knew me at this one. I slipped in to the shower while he was getting dressed and took it first at full hot for a minute, then warm for a quick wash, then dead cold to rinse. In and out in under five minutes. My wardrobe was limited, but a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and my jacket seemed just the thing for a pizza run.

Gregory watched me tuck a half-litre of Jim Beam inside my jacket and drop five one-hundred-dollar bills on the table. I saw the disapproval there, but I countered it with a grin, and we were off.

It turned out he not only knew where to get pizza at one in the morning, he also knew where to find his friends. That saddened me; because I knew that it was likely Gregory and I were now done. I seldom survive contact with the peers in situations like this, but I was well fueled, and quite mad.

An hour later I was deep in to the discussion of Marxist theory with a child who had no clue what Marx was all about, and thought that Stalin was simply misunderstood.

“Marxism can work,” he insisted, “if it is properly applied. The Soviets and Mao were too concerned with the maintenance of power to make an honest attempt at true Socialism.”

“That’s the problem, honey,” I replied, “you don’t seem to understand that it’s all about the power. Can’t make a Marxist Utopia without holding on to the reigns of power, and it becomes the center of everything.”

“That’s an old argument,” he rebuffed me, “in a modern society…”

“You can use technology to keep tabs on the untrue,” I interrupted him. I paused to drain a glass of Stoli on ice, then continued, “It’s like this, boy: you think that Marxism can work if they just give you and yours the chance to do it because this time you’ll do it right, but, not to be crude here, that’s the political equivalent of promising not to come in my mouth. You may mean it, you may be sincere, but once things get rolling and you taste the power, all the soft caresses and teasing will turn in to a fist behind my head. Only in this case the aftermath is not a funky aftertaste and a stain on my blouse, but a mountain of corpses and a population in chains. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and fuck you if you think we ought to try it again, capice?"

Gregory intervened at that point and I let him defuse the situation, but his friend gazed upon me with eyes alight with the fire of fresh hatred. Poor child, he had no idea whom he was dealing with. I have no real political persona, but I know balderdash when it is laid at my doorstep. We left his friends and he walked me back to the hotel, but when I reached the suite, I was alone…

Sunday, October 12

I have been dreaming of late, dreaming of the sea.

I have a confession to make. Nothing earth shattering or terribly revealing, just a quirk… or perhaps more correctly a phobia: the sea terrifies me. It is not a fear of water, for swimming pools and lakes offer no problem, nor does swimming at the seashore, rather it is the open sea that contains horrors for me.

There are easy theories as to why this should be so, but the reasons run deeper and are not all clear to my understanding. I remember the first time I crossed the Atlantic, on a contract bound for the Virginia colony as an indentured maidservant. The smell is the first thing that comes to mind, but fast on the heels of that is the Sea. The certain knowledge that beyond the hull was the cold, deep, gray and merciless expanse of heaving water, like some malevolent beast hungry for my very life- I remembered how eagerly it had claimed me before, how grudgingly it had given me up. Ever since then the idea of being lost in the open sea has sent shudders down my spine. Suffice it to say that when we reached Virginia I was never so happy to be sold in all my life.

I spent seven weeks in that stinking hold, clinging to a post or huddled in the bunk I shared with four others. One of the women would force me to eat or take a little water from time to time. I doubt I slept more than an hour at a stretch. I hardly noticed that a third of the crew and half the human cargo succumbed to disease, or that I had so callously broken the neck of one young tough who thought I could benefit from his special sort of “comforting”. I cannot even begin to accurately describe my state of mind- I have never been in such a deep and prolonged state of irrational fear. Suffice it to say that since then I have ventured on to a ship only three times, and never for long voyages.

Yet here I am, dreaming of the sea. Not just waking in the morning and remembering dreams (which is something I never do), but waking in the middle of the night shaken from slumber by vivid images of the sea and myself. And I am left longing for the sight, the sound, and the smell: I ache for the Sea. Yet the sea still terrifies me.

Someday I am sure I will understand it.

Thursday, October 9

E-mail seems to be working again, though Hushmail still has their disclaimer up. I have received two messages today, though not from Loren or the Yeti. As I noted a few moments ago- you get what you pay for.

Tuesday, October 7

I am slipping in to insanity. I can feel it stealing up behind me, stray thoughts and desires, those things that make up the normal background chatter of an active mind are beginning to press their way to the fore. Irrational urges I am unable to ignore. The other day a realization that a young man had made a habit of admiring me as I took my morning latte mushroomed in to a ruthless seduction I was helpless to stop. He did not deserve this, to have me sweep in and out of his life like an emotional wrecking ball. He should have spent the weekend with his friends, spouting his silly politics, chasing after some doe-eyed freshman girl, not crashing about a hotel suite with me.

I expect better of myself, but such things have happened before. My grasp over my emotions slips, and it snowballs out of control, sometimes destructively so. At least this time it is only sex.

Monday, October 6

I encountered a new blog yesterday, and I find it quite intriguing. He moves me, deeply, because his writing is so intensely personal. Go visit The Beast.


Having had time to review everything I do believe I have been timid in my recommendation. Allow me to redress that now: Travis seems to be unwittingly engaged in the task of defining the art of being Man. That his words are so wrenchingly personal is testimony to his courage and generosity. I wept when reading his offerings, and not out of joy, or sorrow, or pity, but out of gratitude that he chose to share so much of himself. I am willing to consider that it is perhaps just a personal preference on my part, but I believe that not to be the case. I believe Travis and The Yeti and Etherian could have quite the correspondence. Would that I were a fly on the wall…

Sunday, October 5

Somebody who shall remain nameless insisted I take this personality test(Be aware that this site repeatedly asks you to install various not-so-friendly plugins- ignore them). These are rather difficult for me as I generally approach tests of any kind with the intent to obtain a specific outcome. Furthermore, several of the questions either provided no method for me to reply truthfully (Age being the first one), or simply did not apply. Still, the result was interesting, if generic.

Like just 4% of the population you are an EXPERIMENTER (Dominant Introvert Abstract Thinker). Although you're slightly shy (admit it!), you love control. When a problem comes in your way, you stomp on it swiftly and decisively. You are bothered easily by failure in others and failure in yourself. You don't like people that you don't think are intelligent. Rather than arguing with them, however, you would just as soon ignore them altogether.

In relationships, you have a strong heart. And because you're introverted, people take you as someone they can trust. But the fact is that in addition to solving problems, you like to create them. So there's a decent chance that you'll cheat on a loved one. If you do, you'll likely get away with it.

You're a good person at heart, but then again, who isn't?

I suppose I create problems simply by existing...

Saturday, October 4

Regarding Love, Hope and the nature of Man. What follows is a synthesis of two letters which are my end of an on-going correspondence with another blogger, whom I quote here only briefly as I never requested his permission to post his letters entire.


It pains me to think that my tales here might be cause for consternation amongst others- I have always assumed that I would be taken as a fanciful diversion. That I allow mystery to surround myself could be defensive, or a necessary part of the fantasy. Either way, it serves my needs and I will never make a definitive statement on it.

Regarding the nature of Man: the view of Man as animal, slave to a genetic imperative and playing at games of morality and civilization has always seemed a desperate ploy to legitimize the despicable in their own eyes. I have read your site, watching you cast out questions of moral weight, and I have refrained from commenting as I felt that by the very premise of my identity I would be somehow impure, contaminating the flow of the debate.

Modern (and by that term I refer to post-Renaissance) morality seems overly concerned with concepts of life, death, and the right of one being to place bonds of obligation, consensual or otherwise, upon another. This has become immensely intensified in the past century, as the religious and political spheres have separated to some degree. In America it is quite acute and has been for some time. This serves to de-focus the understanding of morality and how it relates to everyday life and the choices made by sentient beings. By casting morality in political terms it becomes simpler to eschew it.

Let us consider love. You recently questioned your readers regarding the relationship between sex and love, with somewhat predictable results. The problem, from my perspective, is that you muddied the real question (What is Love?) by casting it in the context of sex. A recipe for unsatisfying results. I would have asked simply this: what does love mean to you?

Let me see if I can offer a cogent answer to that question.

Love, in its simplest form is a recognition that others matter. That their tragedies are your tragedies, that their triumphs are your triumphs, that their sorrows and joys are yours as well. Love is the fundamental connection between human beings, beyond all other things. It takes many forms and it hides in many places. Suggest to your local police officer that he engages in his profession out of a fundamental love for his fellow man and he may scoff, but inside he will recognize that there is a grain of truth to it. These are small relationships. Should we be tempted to blend emotion and physics we might call this the Gravitational Force of Humanity. This small love is what makes it possible to live in towns and cities, and to pass strangers on the street without fear or confrontation. This small love fails sometimes, tragically, but overall it seems to prevail.

Let me approach this from another perspective: do you on a daily basis desire to harm others? Do you seek to place your fortunes always above those who surround you? Would you deliberately harm a man who was looking you in the eye for petty personal gain? I submit to you that a significant majority of people would not. I understand that there have been psychological tests and experiments that might seem to bear out the opposite, but put the question in the terms in which I have stated it and ask yourself honestly what the answer would be? Then ask yourself the most important question: why?

The answer is again, love. Not that you love the man you might harm, but that you yourself seek to be loved and that such an act could not only harm the love you feel from others, but that which you feel for yourself. Self-love is powerful- just ask anyone who lets it get out of control. Look at those who do abuse others, those who would take the advantage that casual harm might gain them. Look at those who clearly place themselves above others in all things. They have common traits, not the least of which being that they find themselves surrounded by people who pretend to love them, people who are motivated by the same thoughtless need for themselves as the man or woman who has clawed his way to the top across the shattered lives of his betters.

What to make of this? Nothing more than that mankind seems to be as hard-wired for love as he is for procreation. If there is no hope for you in that statement then I doubt we could profitably continue this discussion.

Love manifests itself in many ways. Sacrifice, either of a lifetime or of life itself, is the most visible manifestation. The religious leader who gives up the chance for a wife and family in order to answer to a higher calling- he acts out of love for his faith, and that is by extension a love of Man. The clichéd soldier throwing himself upon the hand grenade to save his fellows, is that not an expression of love? The doctor who daily grinds against the depredations of nature upon the human body, what motivates him? If you think lucre is all, then you do not know many doctors. And what of engineers, electricians, carpenters, dressmakers, pastry chefs, cobblers, stevedores, drovers… it is the satisfaction of being part of an overall good that drives them far more than simple greed or need. It is the understanding of that basic connection that lets one take satisfaction in a job well done, regardless if that job entails shaping the foundations of a nation or merely stacking those bails in the barn.

In the end, just about every profession practiced by men is a manifestation of that overreaching force of love: none of it direct or even truly presenting itself openly to be seen, but I submit that it is utterly essential to making civilization work. When that love is sundered, civilizations fall.

Romantic Love is a construct of modern civilization, a mixture of the carnal with this smaller “l” love I have been discussing. That it can usurp all common sense, bring down the mighty or elevate the base shows how powerful it can be, but it is not the driving force of civilization. It is not at the heart of what it is to be Man. It is the advent and the elevation of Romantic Love that provides the despicable with their wedge to separate Man from Morality- pointing to this beautiful confluence of the carnal and the spiritual and calling it the mere satisfaction of genetic imperatives. If one must find the Devil whispering in the eaves, this is where he lurks: it is that which points to the underside of civilization, those dark and festering swamps where Man and love often fail, and calls that the norm, the nature of Man- there is the true voice of evil, the antithesis of love.

My point is that love is deeply written into the smaller parts of day-to-day life. Love is a basic function of human existence. As such it lends credence to the idea that there is an overall purpose to that existence. Not proof, just another hopeful sign.


I oft am concerned by the reactions I engender in folk, even when I cloak myself in the guise of the ordinary. I dislike the way my existence can warp the lives of those who stray close. Another scientific metaphor: my life as naked singularity for the human spirit.

Enough of that.

The question of my existence seems almost inconsequential to this discussion. I feel certain that the notions I presented could as easily have been born of a life in which one’s own demons had been unleashed, confronted and eventually overcome. This is germane to the reason I noted for declining commenting on your posts directly- the stated nature of my existence tends to distort the discussion. Either my words carry added import due to my immortality, or they are rendered suspect by my charade: a classic example of Catch 22, and another reason why I am enjoined against ever answering the question in an even remotely dispositive manner. Mystery makes me what I am in the virtual world. This pains me, but my choices in this matter are nil.

I hide from the world, my only exposure a web site upon which I spin tales and occasionally opine on the nature of Man. What would be the reaction were I to become publicly known as a verifiably ‘immortal’ being? That my freedom would be forfeit is a given. That my destruction would be sought is to be expected for my existence would threaten too many hide-bound ideologies. You would likely be surprised to see how many people considered rational and thoughtful and committed to the scientific pursuit of knowledge would become irrational when presented with the certainty of my existence. I would become a symbol and a tool claimed by every faction as proof against others, or denounced as an incarnation of evil, some diabolical manifestation to be eradicated as a test of faith.

Could the Devil not dangle eternal life upon the mortal Earth as a lure to damnation? Do not misunderstand- I do not believe in the Devil, or in Evil as some coherent force, rather I use the terms because they are easy and recognizable, despite their ability to fracture the discussion. Nonetheless I believe my point is valid: there are those who do believe in Evil as an active force and my existence would be an intolerable outrage to them. I know this from bitter experience. Furthermore, there are those who would stop at nothing to possess what I have, my warnings as to being careful what one wishes for notwithstanding.

All in all, I am again left with no choice.

It was noted that I dwelt on the darkness without considering the balance of light; however, I believe my position is consistent with the idea that love counters evil, that hope counters fear. I find it odd that in my recent spate of bitter unhappiness I still seem more disposed towards taking a kindly and optimistic view of both the nature of Man and His prospects, than are you. Perhaps I misunderstand? My comment that you should be able to find hope in the statement that Man is as predisposed to love as he is to procreation was offered in the smug assurance that there would be no disagreement with the premise. That you might disagree with the fact is another issue entirely, for I am in no position to expect that anyone should accept my words as indisputable. My arrogance does have its limits.

You said:

As for the nature of man, I must disagree. There are many people who might justify their actions on the basis of simply being animals. The question is not their intentions- but rather what “despicable” could possibly mean if there is no greater purpose. If we are animals, then all we can do is follow our instincts. If we are hardwired towards behaviors, then how can we follow a construct of morality that is not completely based on pure utilitarianism or genetic success?

The argument becomes circular, and for most the only escape from the circle is faith. Faith is a lovely thing to behold for it provides courage in the face of hopelessness and stands as a bulwark against fear. In the age of ignorance it was sufficient unto itself; however, in the modern arena of ideas the critical thinker cannot easily dismiss the evidence of science. Being a person of faith the fear is that science is merely a tool of damnation, seducing one away from that which has served him so well for so long. It is a frightening dilemma and for those who fall prey to the idea that Man is naught but a somewhat more ingenious animal the slide in to darkness can be short and steep.

That there are those who justify their perfidy on the basis of the animal nature of Man does not lend credence to the notion. If Man is naught but a clever beast why does he possess a sense of right and wrong? For he certainly does. What purpose does it serve? Is it truly just a construct designed to give institutions such as the Church or the Prince control over the populace? How so? Why would a moral sense be required when the threat of death is as easily at hand? It seems to me that the question to be asked is not why so many are capable of such evil, but why any one man would eschew the practice of evil when all around him embrace it? Furthermore, why would any nation elect to abstain from the Empire of Power, why would any collection of peoples elect not to slaughter their foes en masse upon victory in war? Ask not why there is Evil, for the answer to that is the submission of men to the notion that their acts have no consequence beyond the pleasure they obtain and need no justification other than the ability to commit them. I include in this those who commit evil in the name of their faith. Ask instead, why is there Good? That is the difficult question, and the one worthy of the thinking Man.

Hope for Man can be found in a single man, and be valid for all Men. The Christians out there would be nodding in agreement; however, I see Jesus only as an example of something I see manifest all about me. Hope for Man does not require that all men be capable of choosing Good over Evil, just that some are, or even one. For if one can, others can, and that is the essence of Hope.

Wednesday, October 1

I said no more politics until January; however, I did not write this, so I did not actually break my promise. Besides, he invokes Mark Twain, and I dearly love Twain's work.

Bill Whittle writes regarding Power.