By Luke Ford Chapter One Chapter Two  Chapter Three  Chapter Four Chapter Five  Chapter Six   Chapter Seven  Chapter Seven B  Chapter Eight   Chapter Nine  Chapter Ten  Chapter Eleven  Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997  1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009

A friend writes to me:

All he has to do is sing a pleasant competent ditty and not interrupt the festivity. And he has it made!

But nooooo not "Mr. Artistic integrity". As the show procedes through one too many pretty sweet sticky cliche tunes about "pure" love. He has to make a spectacle of himself and sing a dissonant throbbing hymn to the Venus of raging lust and recount publicly and in mixed company his fun time in Hell.

No even a pilgrimage barefoot to the Pope in Rome can't forgive such a gaff.

I can see that your concerned friends are madly signalling you and you are taking it as encouragement for goofy behavior. Now that finally you understand they are saying "train coming!" you, saving face, say "I'll think about it".

And the titanic task of explaining God to porn people and Porn to religious people cannot occur in a public or even social context. It is a difficult or ill conceived task anyway. Were it not for such "messianic zeal" it would be quite possible to be obsessed with a book or model airplanes or whatever.

I know an amateur scientist that has a collection of over 1000 pieces of fossilized dinosaur dung. He refrains from talking about it at the dinner table so his friends, though concerned, don't think it a crisis.


Me and my big mouth. I caused a mini scandal by criticizing one of my heroes on an internet post. As a writer since my childhood, I've often gotten into trouble for publicly commenting about events and issues in ways that directly or indirectly criticize those close to me.

After pouring out my heart to a friend via email, he sent me this reply, entitled "Hey Jude." [Judas, get it.]

Oh my oh my!!! Nietzsche and Wagner ! Watch it or you'll be kicked out of Wahnfreid house and unable to attend Cosima's soirees. The Meister's avid disciples are sensitive and can detect a Judas.

This is not to imply that they are not nice people with much to offer. I mean disagreeing out of the bounds of the permitted field of doctrinaire nitpicking is bad enough. Disagreeing still tolerable as it is necessary for conversation and the "body life" of the "ecclasia" ("church").

But criticism? And in public! Why that might be misunderstood! You see how it works?

Inappropriate views cogently expressed in the private space of "The List" is soiling the sacred halls. But of course there are enough "clubmen" to beat you up, or, if matters get out of hand, tell you not to post.

So then inappropriate views expressed in public space? Well Nooooo! We are assured (usually second hand) that the Master is deeply hurt and you give countenance to the enemy. If you check with him yourself of course he agrees but often because his views and your actions have ALREADY been mediated and interpreted fo him by close associates anxious to sooth the discomfort.

"Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. To obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams."

Of course Samuel was using this agrement standing AGAINST the authority and ACTION of King Saul. Much better now to twist the scripture for use BY authority against the SPEECH of the dis-established.

Now it could be that you ARE just a rebel. (But probably not a serious deadly dangerous heretic one but more like an artist jester or Loki or coyote man the trickster or the gadfly) OR IT COULD BE that you ACTUALLY SEE something and felt constrained to announce those thoughts and observations.

But in what forum? Public and private expression are "inappropriate or hurtful". A paradox and impasse!

Hey I got it, a seasonal idea!

Mary at the Annunciation she paraphrased the Song of Deborah spontaneously spouting the Magnificat (a document with some political content about justice and expression for the weak). It is in private and only the angels hear. After the shepherds and wisemen visit Mary "keeps and ponders all these things in her heart".

Of course sometimes meditating in silence is as likely to give birth to a new "religion" as it is to lead Luther to "adjust his views" and come into conformance...

Now I am not really much of a talk show listener. I think they have value but they aren't on par with serious books. Just as various pop culture, psychology and self help books are somewhat useful but of limited value.

As Paul said about exercise. "Bodily exercise profiteth a little."

There is a comfortable watering down and it happens faster in South California. At a certain point - to point this out is discomforting.

An interruption at the festivities and the feast.

As Nabal said to David's young men. "And who is this guy anyway. There are lately lots of unemployed fellows around these parts".

It could be that though you are not "ready" for life as an anchorite, hermit or monk. You ARE a bit dissatisfied with the repetitious blather and talk and social tempests in a teapot over an intrusive serious note.

I commend a bit more reading to you!

One day I will have to write "the Book of Remonstrance". This would contain accounts such as:

The 'suasions Nebuchadnezzers councilors explained to the highly valued three Hebrew children to persuade them to "act right" for the encore orchestral performance.

Texts based on employer and other company officials trying to persuade a valued employee to take a disciplinary demotion for his "errors" segueng to a firing but trying to get the employee to resign rather than collect severance.

The true account of a Rosecrutian, an accountant and "Seeker" who came to the headquarters to work directly for the wise and good people of the Brotherhood and Order. But found them imperfect and did he not quite fit in the pecking order. The poor guy lost his faith and the power to levitate large stone blocks!

..All the sorts of things IN FORM similar to your "I need to think more about the points you guys raised.." Hmmn maybe a literary sequel to Job but dealing not with the "problem of suffering" but of the MORE DIFFICULT problem of "conversation, conformance and persuasion".

Anyway savor the delicious remonstrances and rebukes. They make fine texts.

Also I have been looking diligently with concordance for the Proverbs

"To criticize is to stab in the back"

or the

"Beware friends who criticize and remonstrate with them extensively in appalling kindness".

Do you suppose they are Apocryphal? Or maybe they are lost in the Gnostic library buried in Elephantine, Egypt.

Is a cautionary note warning of lack of substance that harmful? Is this to become a Rush Limbaugh cult?

And yes ,wouldn't it be nice to keep inaccuracies to private communication. That will impress 'em.

Clear everything first!

The warning of "talk that is not speech at all" cannot come too soon!

They complain but maybe you did some good.

Your strategic mistake? Your attention getting grabber. I'll bet that the header is taken as a literal topic sentence and it is so loud a zinger they cant hear the forest for the tree. Leave it to media people to take a phrase out of context!

You can be treated like this because you are NOT a peer. You were supposed to merely follow and repeat. You noticed that there was already enough repetition....

Be not a "men pleaser as the manner of some are" and take an antiacid O Timotheous and get a cast iron stomach!

Now then comes the psychologizing. (Talk about hurtful. Doesn't that count!?) Any truth in it is happy accident at your weakest vulnerable points (and I don't mean the arguments!) and has no bearing on the truth. They are being "charitable" to you by not giving your ideas credit.

You know Luther had constipation and discovered that "the just shall live by faith" on the pot. So what of the accident of the idea? That's trivial.

Luke "we're concerned for you. Repent and have good only thoughts!"

Reading your actual text it seems about 90% non-malicious and the 10% can't be edited out. If you had intended worse in a fit of pique, you did not succeed.

>Perhaps you write things publicly to see if people care about what you have to say............a >validation of your worth (as in the case of your scathing piece on >your father printed in a mainstream Seventh Day Adventist journal).

>You like to shock people, in your actions and your words - verbal and written.

>I have always known that about you. You don't have to shock people to remind them you are alive.

>A good dose of kindness is unusual >enough these days, and it will make a more lasting and welcoming >impression.

Why do you say such naughty things? Be quiet and that makes a big impression? YOU, by your disposition.... ARE going to be uncomfortable with most any people's up-close disapproval as you by your disposition seek BOTH their attention and approval.

(See I can psychologize too!)

Let it suffice that what you say have a good amount of truth in it.

Luke I'm sorry but this sounds too familiar. I think I have seen it far too often. Mostly observing the pattern as a third person.

In short I think this is more a tempest in a teacup and a social brouhaha to pass the time than anything else.

Now I am sure you have your faults and for instance might well deliberately but thoughtlessly publicize private information that could disrupt the balance of private lives.(Considering especially people's inclination to make mountains out of molehills and cause themselves needless grief worrying about their neighbors' or friends' sins!!!)

Nor do I wish be Oedipus' father figure or to lead you astray.

Now I don't mean to be unkind or excessively caustic or acid. I respect and feel kindly toward these associates of yours. But gentile irony is NOT out of order.

By Luke Ford Chapter Two  Chapter Three  Chapter Four Chapter Five  Chapter Six   Chapter Seven  Chapter Seven B  Chapter Eight   Chapter Nine  Chapter Ten  Chapter Eleven  Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997  1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009