Words

Life

racism or cultural preservation

by Andrea Elizabeth

I don’t think there’s a clear answer to this question. The right tends to defend Western European values and culture, the left tends to call this racist. There is much to criticize in western culture, but there is much to praise as well. This is probably true of most if not all cultures. The west tends to be viewed as the biggest and the strongest, so it invites closer scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, great power brings great responsibility, as the latest Avengers movie, Captain America, Civil War, explores. This is probably the reason racism is charged more vehemently against white people than other people. When an elephant steps on you, it hurts worse.

One reaction is to hate elephants. This is popular enough among those whose gardens get ruined. Self-hatred is a human phenomenon.

Another reaction is to be impressed and awed. This is why there is such British and American (especially) influence elsewhere.

It is all very complicated. “Minority” culture in America is very mixed. On one hand, from the western-European American point of view, other culture’s uniqueness is appreciated in a boutique, eclectic sort of way that we all want to preserve. On another, they have assimilated for many reasons. Convenience, attractedness, and pressure, which includes force. It seems once infiltration has occurred, the less powerful culture’s preservation then becomes almost gratuitous.* Having compelling alternatives changes preservation to an act of will in addition to what is natural. Epi-genetics can’t be erased, but new information is quickly absorbed into it.

Feelings of nationalism are also passed down genetically and environmentally. “Feelings” seems too malleable, unless one believes them to be actual entities that can’t be wished away. Feelings can be somewhat ignored and not acted on, however, especially if one is ashamed, or made to be ashamed of them. Cultural bonds is probably a better term.

The percentage of white ethnicity in America is diminishing, so the elephant has to be more careful now. The push-back isn’t just from minority groups though. It’s also from white people who are so quick and shrill in their racist-accusing rhetoric, which could be either politically motivated, or perhaps heart-felt.

I heard the Good Morning America today anchors all agree that racial, meaning black/white, tensions have never been this high. They were covering the recent police shootings and protests. Observing from my armchair, I am dissatisfied with the coverage. The black accusers seem too quick to dismiss the shootings as hate crimes. The white dismiss-ers of this charge ignore that the trigger finger could have been too quick to fire. However, I do not see an acknowledgment of this as an admission of guilt, as the cop-defenders seem to. This thinking is too black and white. In many cases, it seems the cops are genuinely afraid of lack of complicity, especially in black people who are challenging their authority. Fear can lead to rashness and over-compensation. Some of the cases however do seem racially motivated in a disrespectful way. But there also seems to be an “I dare you” kind of stance in some of the black people. It’s almost baiting to make the cops look bad in the news. If this is an element, I do not think it is helpful for Obama and Hillary to take sides. I feel they are exacerbating the tension and therefore causing the incidents to escalate.

*guerrillas and underdogs can counter this, but I’ll not evaluate this at this time. Not out of fear of giving other cultures the power to topple “white supremacy”, but because the whole point is that we don’t want to erase people’s cultural identity, even white people’s. But what if white culture became gratuitous? This seems almost like revenge. We’re going to make you know what it’s like. My first reaction is that modern education and developments did come from the white people and to use them against us (I don’t think one should be ashamed to say “us” or “them” or “other”) is cheating. I say “modern” because I recognize that the Chinese invented gunpowder, and ancient Arabic culture developed mathematics and science, and that Ethiopia was quite advanced at one time. I don’t think our advancements makes us superior though. I’m somewhat of a Luddite and lover of the primitive as a purer way of life. But if domination is the bad-side of western culture, and it’s only seen as worse because it could dominate more people than less-powerful cultures do (and they do have what is now considered abusive dominations in their societal structures) then to use our more powerful, in the technological sense, tools against us is revenge.

No, the solution is peace, not more might makes right.

love bears all things

by Andrea Elizabeth

“Woman is weak,” it is said. “She cannot bear troubles and cares-the frail and weak must be dealt with in love.” Falsehood! Falsehood! Woman is just as strong as man, perhaps stronger. And do you really deal with her in love when you humiliate her in this way? Or who gave you permission to humiliate her, or how can your soul be so blind that you regard yourself as a creature superior to her? Just confide everything to her. If she is weak, if she cannot bear it-well, then she can lean on you; after all, you have strength enough. But you cannot tolerate that; you do not have the stamina for that. Therefore, it is you who are lacking in strength and not she.

Either/Or Part II, page 112, Sören Kierkegaard

social media did not create this phenomenon

by Andrea Elizabeth

“an ‘esteemed public,’ which, to recall a line by Goethe, ‘is sufficiently shameless to believe that everything a person undertakes he does in order to provide material for conversation.”

Either/Or Part II, p. 101-102, Sören Kierkegaard

again, to be

by Andrea Elizabeth

Kierkegaard Sören, rather than argue with you directly, I’ll take the round about. The route less taken and thus preserved pristine. The route one takes on one’s own in one’s kayak. (Either/Or Part II, page 84) I’ll not call you coward. I’ll call you hermit monk.

Time Lapse

by Andrea Elizabeth

is a 2014 indie, low budget time travel film that may or may not have fatal errors (link includes spoilers). I like how it works anyway and many times prefer minimalistic staging with maximalistic psychology. From Wikipedia,

“Time Lapse is a 2014 American indie sci-fi thriller and the directorial debut of Bradley King. The film centers upon a group of friends who discover a machine that can take pictures of things 24 hours into the future, causing increasingly complex causal loops. It premiered on April 18, 2014 at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.”

*my spoilers here on out* I won’t get into the mechanics but instead explore the morality from a Darwinian survival of the fittest or one with the most knowledge point of view. Yes I think it is the one with the most knowledge who survives the longest, but this cannot override fate. Niceness overrides selfishness too, but again, not fate.

The girl wanted to be loved by the boy, the boy wanted to paint, and the friend wanted money, or perhaps just winning. The girl and the friend were probably the most selfish, but the boy was stymied, and possibly a coward. The girl and friend were the most committed to their gain and the boy to altruism, but blocked. The girl’s selfishness unblocks him somehow. But her selfishness was willing to bargain. Her goals were more mutually beneficial. Letting him stay stymied didn’t do him any good either. He blamed himself for her fall, and maybe that’s fair. Her alternatives, besides the one she chose, were to give up on him and commit to someone else, which I think he would have let her do (his apathy may have made this option less attractive) or to live a life of mutual death. Both of these alternatives required giving up, which she could not make herself do.

No wonder St John of Tobolsk knows how to complete a thought

by Andrea Elizabeth

During his pastorate in Chernigov, John distinguished himself with running a Spiritual Academy, writing prose and poetry inspired by faith, and inspiring faith in others. His most famous work, which is still the standard work on Theodicy among the Eastern Orthodox, is “Iliotropion”, which he wrote in Latin, translated into Slavonic and then into Russian.” Wikipedia

And he was pre-industrial revolution. 1651-1715

And he’s related to St. John Maximovich.

See his treatise on God’s providence here.

God’s Providence

by Andrea Elizabeth

I do not know anything about St. John of Tobolsk, but this treatise on  God’s Providence regarding circumstances is amazing. What an attention span.

the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

by Andrea Elizabeth

Yes, but this is to motivate non-starters. It doesn’t get you to the end. 2000 steps gets you a mile, times 1000 equals 2,000,000. If you’re talking 2,000,000 steps, one single step doesn’t seem to matter very much. Granted the first and the last are the most important because of what they symbolize, but the single steps in the middle are lost in the multitude. The insignificance of a single middle step can make a person take really long breaks because what does a few more minutes matter? I would only have progressed a couple hundred steps. 1/10 of one mile, 1/10,000 of 1000 miles. If one is impressed with statistics, as all democratic people are, then who cares about such a small contribution?

If your goal is 2,000,000 steps, then you better have more motivation than the accomplishment of one step. A step at this ratio is so insignificant than one only takes it in faith. Faith that it will matter when perceptibly it doesn’t. And it doesn’t unless it’s accompanied a million fold; unless it’s a habit. It’s a similar problem with land fill accumulation and pollution. Unless the majority of people change their habits, there wont be a perceivable difference if one person goes green.

One person can start a movement, but the exponents wont be there if he isn’t also extraordinarily gifted in many other areas such as advertising and is very motivated to change the world as well as develop personal good habits. I’m not promoting giving up, however. What I am promoting is finding motivation elsewhere besides counting steps. Step counters are narcissistic. The reason for taking insignificant steps is to prove will-power. There is some merit to that as it is a healthy endeavor, but the purpose of walking is intentionally a journey needful for other reasons. I guess I’m tired of all the motivational amputee and ptsd stories I’m getting on my facebook feed. Yes, I walk to therapeutically overcome too, but I can only do it if I’m in a beautiful setting where there is a desirable point B, with many landscaping perks along the way. If I’m stuck in the city, I will walk to escape having to talk to people or sit still in a gray environment. Walking through grayness is more tolerable than sitting in it.

About a few miles into a nature walk or kayak trip, when the second wind kicks in, and you get in a rhythm, the individual steps and peddles or paddles can become downright enjoyable. I suppose it’s endorphins, but it’s also the drumbeat of the wild. Instead of steeeeep, steeeeep, steeeeep, it becomes STEP STEP STEP! (provided the incline is not too steep) And montras start going through your head instead or ruminations on anxieties. Montras like Lord Have Mer Cy, Lord Have Mer Cy. Or GLO ry to GOD! Or some repetitious lyric to a secular song that is strangely un-annoying in this context. This rhythmic moving for miles and miles is very addictive. And one only has to count to four.

from a distance

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have just refreshed myself on Jacques Derrida’s differance by skimming some things on his Spectres of Marx. Basically I like how he poetically describes critiquing meaning and value. Capitalists probably inflate value and Communists probably disrespect value. I think the industrial revolution caused both of these conditions, but it did create the convenient middle class. One can step outside and reevaluate that as well. I think the reason Derrida loves so much to step outside is because the status quo did not work for him, expecially because of anti-Semitism directed towards him in his childhood. To relate this to my last post on Traditionalism, I think hard line traditionalists are so because it works for them and they believe it should work for everyone. The disenfranchised tend to ditch tradition because it did not work for them. This is usually the case for the villains in superhero movies, like The Incredibles’ Syndrome.

As a young Buddy Pine, the boy who would become Syndrome aspired to become a superhero and this goal led him to beg Bob Parr to hire him as a sidekick, “Incredi-boy!”. Sadly, after Bob categorically refused to grant Buddy’s favor, Buddy returned home in disgrace and rejected the righteous path. He became embittered and eventually descended into megalomania.

Could Bob have been less dismissive and taught him a better path? The rest of the article explores that.

At least Derrida, unlike Syndrome, detaches himself from his experience, and asks others to as well, instead of letting his passions lead him awry.

Why it doesn’t seem that tradition works for everyone is another question. One’s sins and one’s relationship to it is certainly one reason, but I suspect there are many others as well including innate handicaps and experienced mistreatments. This is where the perception and maturity of one’s Priest is so important. One size does not fit all.

right vs might

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am a traditionalist, but not a lay down and die one. Tradition is right, but hard liners who say, ‘agree with the fathers or you hate Jesus’ rub me wrong. As do those who think Jesus has changed his mind, or that the fathers were wrong. I often find myself without a country. There is peace on both ends but not in the middle. Yes the fathers were right, but might there be room for mercy and non superiority-complex hard line tactics? Maybe even a little room for understanding something with a little fuller picture of things that might have been learned throughout the ages? For instance, the fathers were big on personal guilt, individual free will which leads to total individual responsibility. I think there’s room in Christ’s words, ‘it would be better for a millstone be tied around your neck and hurled into the sea than to cause one of these young ones to stumble,’ for a bit of an external cause for one’s stumbling.

But I don’t like for that to be used as an excuse or a dead end. Stumbling can be recovered from and the fathers have the cure. Or at least the path of mercy. The unworthy and those who have no wedding garment have a path to boldly approach with confession, some measure of repentance to be determined by a fallible father confessor*, and a constant request for mercy.

I read a comment on facebook that the recent aggressive liberal agenda isn’t so much directed towards Christians as towards those who stand in the way of egalitarian marxism. Namely white authority structures, which usually do play the Christian and thus persecution for righteousness sake card. If you don’t submit to me, you aren’t submitting to Christ. Firstly, I don’t know why they aren’t so much against “ethnic” male authority, such as Mexican Catholics and Muslim subjugation of women. I guess it’s because European power structures are traditionally the biggest and strongest. I think there is a lot to criticize about white domination, judgmentalism, and destructive profiteering in the world, but these politicians do not offer a good solution. Marxism is tainted with violence and corruption too. But I don’t blame the peasants and former slaves for falling for it.

*Traditionalism is big on authority figures who must be obeyed. Yet they are fallible and sometimes destructively selfish. It is easier to surrender your mind and gain cozy favor by submitting to a demanding authority. It is lonely and difficult to not totally lean on someone that way and take responsibility for your own moral and mental development. Ignorance and blind submission may be bliss, but I can’t rest in it.