Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Triumph of Hitler?

"Rage, rage for the dying of the light," said the drunk poet Dylan Thomas. Sorry, it was "against the dying of the light." And we love Dylan in his saying it. But for Hitler, as I read Rosenbaum's book, it was 'rage for the dying.' The purpose of the blackmail and counterfeit was to obscure a du, a thou outside the self which could and had caused pain which he revenged by murdering, and, yes, this included destroying a Weltanschauung, Judaism, that demanded that man see in himself another; 'and God (?in Cain) said to him, 'Where is your brother Abel?'" "Hier ist Kein warum (Here there is no asking why)," the SS guard told an inmate when an icicle he grabbed to slake his thirst was taken from him; the potential du could make no objection. Hitler didn't spare Dr. Bloch, his mother's Jewish doctor during her death, perhaps out of a transference split, projecting the blame for his mother's death onto the Jews, but more out of a counterfeit that 'ultimately he resolved to care for his mother.' But did Hitler win? Not in his life anyway. He killed himself when the persecuted other, he correctly knew, was coming to get him. Also an odd proof. He married Eva Braun. He acknowledged her as another. I know you're not impressed with the honeymoon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Learning From 'Explaining Hitler'

Mr. Rosenbaum in 'Explaining Hitler' finds blackmail done by Hitler's grandmother and counterfeit by his brother and in what Hitler does. Though not the worst crimes, they are the signature crimes. This led me to reflect on a sort of blackmail my German heritage grandfather visited on my mother to keep her from going to law school. It also led me to reflect on that sappy title 'All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten' but with the twist of reconsidering that we all set out to 'adapt' in the world in part using the lessons of who we are from our parents and their view of us and our view of them and how they related. It also resonated with something I noticed for the first time in the Advent Gospels. To slightly bowdlerize the story to frame a question (and imply an answer), Mary thought she was pregnant and came to hear Gabriel talk to her and tell that her child was from G-d and would be a moral ruler. This apparently was accepted by her aunt Elizabeth who in the excitement was also able to conceive. Incidentally, the moral lessons from the third Sunday of Advent I think are wonderful. We have John going out to talk of repentance and I'm all ready for rules that would have you standing on one foot forever when he comes up with, for the police, don't falsely accuse people, for the tax collector, don't collect more than is owed, etc. Anyway, who is Christ to be after having this image from his mother with maybe a little talent for denial?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Putting depression in Christmas

Many adults get beaten down by Christmas. It is, in America, generally rescued by a 'Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' attitude. In this attitude, people generally take a relationship in which there is a substantial power difference, an adult to a child, and treat the child very kindly. In this, we act as more or less all powerful and treat the child, the power deficient, in such a way as to raise them to our imputed stature. Finding ourselves as power deficient in relation to Christ as implied in Christmas is often more problematic. Also, being related to Christ in the season as opposed to our original parents in whom we first found a reflection of competency, especially when this provides a reminder that they are gone, can be difficult.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Currently reading Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum. He says that he started off to explain Hitler but then, given the uncertainties, found it useful also to look at people's 'explaining' as a reflection of themselves. As the author says,

I became fascinated with this phenomenon, when it came to Hitler, of "negative capability" (the quality first defined by John Keats as the ability to tolerate uncertainty without "irritable reaching" for certainty).

The book is wonderful certainly. Rosenbaum notes his "preference for Empsonian ambiguity;" definition anyone?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Talk and listen to the Iranians

Did business with an ex-pat of Lebanon; have some idea now what is meant by Arab courtesy. He used to work for Harari, the Lebanese president in waiting it seemed who was assassinated with the evidence pointing to the leadership of Syria. Rafik Harari, a Sunni, got his adult start in life supervising construction contracts for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. When James Baker says talk to the Iranians perhaps the point should be to find out if, like Cain, they hear G-d's voice asking them, 'What happened to your brother Abel (in this case Harari)?' Or are their consciences disposed to accept murder and, by implication importantly, proceed with murder. One could suppose that Syria is their client but they did not authorize this extraterritorial action. Failing this, one has to assume that their Holocaust denial conference is part of an exercise to reduce guilt over the wish for a coming Holocaust to the point that the anticipated pleasure in it would overwhelm restraint. Preemptive action against their devloping nuclear weapons then would seem necessary.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"There's no succes like failure.."

Poets are philosophers of course. Virgil, starting his epic with "Arma virumque cano," acknowledged that the sung poem was a classical cliche 2000 years ago (translation of Virgil: 'I sing of arms and the man'). Perhaps thus I recall 'Bob Dylan.' I was getting more room in my garage and set out, for a while, some things at the side of the house a few months ago. I was tasked to find the 'wreath wrapped in Saran Wrap that goes above the fireplace.' Well apparently that had been picked out of those objects and taken. The 'success' in this for the 'Christmas season' is that it shows that, though Christianity may be a religion, it is also something of a personality cult. Scrooge and other skeptics the angels do sing to you too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Virgin Mary and her extrapolation to Beauty

As some of you Muslims may not know, Friday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and there will be Masses similar to a Sunday. Avid reader will recall that I had spoken about the Church's noting that 'Mary is ever Virgin.' Your unauthorized theolgist will now, unlike Houdini, show you the magic behind this, and how this means the hottest appearing girls/women will be found at Catholic institutions, e.g. hospitals, Church. Start with, or in a sense, end with de Sade as a reductio ad absurdum. He wanted to destroy the narcissism of the woman other and have her totally. This, in some sense, would put the woman in the past tense. Grammarians et al. may wonder if you can 'have a Catholic girl' but, as she identifies with Mary, she definitely can not be, indelicately, 'had.' Thus she is gloriously independent and may present herself in her glory, will often be slim as an adolescent, the Jews whisper that the Church mistranslated the word for this as 'virgin,' and dress or appear fashionably. The bella donna reflects this.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Israeli Palestinian Problem

I did have one prominent 'My Daddy is bigger then Your Daddy' experience as a kid. Had a next door neighbor and whenever, his dad would play ball with us, he would insure that his boy got 'all the time' at bat and other disproportionate treatment. To me, the Israeli Arab or Palestinian conflict is similar. This is sure in that context. Condoleeza Rice is huffing and twittering from Jericho to Jerusalem; the main obstacle to the much demanded, prayed for, deal, cf. Tony Blair in recent post, is, well, "The sticking point is Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist." Oh, well, minor detail. Could go either way, right, Arab Dad?