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In a season that at one time represented a birth and meant hope for the future there’s a lot of teetering at the brink.
The pit is marked, fenced, and entry roads blocked, but the opportunistic know how to get around common-sense barriers and then blame others if something runs afoul.
The usual commonsense danger of stumbling into the pit faces the new problem of do-goods eager to fling you down the hole and then piously tongue wag saying “I told you mining was bad and to be careful. So HAH, it’s your fault!”
I dislike being cynical, but experience leaves lessons that overshadow the season of hope the way COVID deprives America of smiles with orders to mask them.
But, we’ve been here before and might know it better if the siren wail of supersize do-goods was not so sadly in the way.
Yes, we’ve been here, some of us anyway, and more might know if the do-good crew hadn’t decried grammar and literature as hate speech. Well, see for yourself what you think.
Around the American Revolution, William Blake (living under the crown in England) wrote Songs of Experience including (condensed) this. “O rose thou art sick, the invisible worm that flies in the night has found out they bed of crimson joy. His dark secret love does they life destroy.”
The invisible worm is an apt metaphor for an unseen virus or for the sickened spirits of those decrying Blake for hosts of reasons but mainly that his message is too potent, can’t be controlled, and distracts from do-nice visions of purple penguins dancing under pink palms on sand beach 17 of utopic paradise.
Do-goods, for all their typical physical pastiness, have remarkable abilities to become Queens in Wonderland where metaphoric and real heads roll at whim. So it is the do-nice crowd are not so nice (especially in result) but can be relied upon to smile beatific radiance as heads roll by; satisfaction.
That’s not much of a Christmas image is it?
No it’s not, and I’m well aware of those who’d say even that is too much racist, supremacist and elitist for them. For them seems so.
But where do you start peopling your world? Do you begin by throwing out the others you don’t understand or like?
That’s one way to go about it, but rather grim and imperial as I observed recently in a St. Paul school board meeting deciding on suitable school names.
Why, I wonder, if a message a student might find offensive is so important why do they not begin by changing the district name to something less exclusionary and ecclesiastical?
If a child is traumatized by a school name then how much worse is the damage with an entire school district named to humiliate them?
Proper do-goods pick their targets, soft and easy are the do-good ideal. And wonder, do you, if do-good pontiffs ask students (interesting how often pontiffs slip up and call students kids or children) if they were burdened by a school name at all?
Does it seem to you that championing an inclusive society that begins with purges (removing historical figures is a form of purge)? Inclusion that needs to start by removing supposed the bad apples seems far from inclusionary. Why does do-good say one thing while promoting another?
You can reassure me and yourself by seeking evidence of how political purging ends. Call me direct if you find the happy ending in a purge other than one sweetly assuring “only dissidents were cast out in making this utopia.”
Whether the good-doing is based on faith, politic or race its result will speak for itself, usually in ways we think horrible unless you’re partial to beheadings and burning at the stake. Then you may indeed find satisfaction, but for most of us I pray not.
Here’s a thought. While pushing out the standard fare of Western civilization the goody-dos remove common ground. Common, some will protest.
What’s common for us in all that ancient rubbish of the past? Because it is removed from the present day is what makes the past useful.
We’re not likely to become Greeks at the time of Alexander, Imperial Romans or Elizabethan English. Nor, I think, do we wish to.
In peoples and events past we’re able to see a (in this case, the hell with Trudeau) common humanity much more difficult (I’d say unlikely) to make on a basis of socio-political micromanaging. This has been tried.
The Communists were ardent about it with the result that the Brotherhood of all Peoples existed more in propa-anda than in the lives of people living according to family ties, language, ethnicity, and so on.
Human societies don’t take well to blenders. The results get messy.
Good people with good ideas and who try to do good things do the most damage because we do not and never have seen the same things as good.
I believe people can be victims of bad systems they’re caught in. But I hold it also true that people who think themselves and their ways good should indulge in another think.
Good schoolboarders poison a society with petty divisions damaging to the whole as Nazi race theory alive and well with different targets under new titles.
Do-good people are damned dangerous. They don’t see it because the ever-inflating value of their own goodness doesn’t allow it.
All the pits on the Iron Range aren’t enough to hold the ill done in the name of good done by people confident of their right and goodness.
A reasoning person might easily lose hope. The chasm seems too-too great. But this is the season we can be reminded of the miracle of faith. A child born far away; new life, a fresh start. Less quick to judge, more ready to love might bring a miracle of faith able bridge the divide.
This Christmas I hope it so for you, yours, theirs, ours, and for us.