Nameless Way 18

When the nameless way is lost, people resort to tradition.49716a61e2b4b56af4c96279235f6e86897b0d5c_r

When tradition is lost, people resort to law.

When law is lost, people resort to equilibrium morality.

When equilibrium morality is lost, people resort to brute force.

Gabhopper asked, “Can a warrioress still be loving?”

Xena said, “We have the name ‘loving’ for someone who loves, to distinguish them from people who hate, because in this dark age we have many people who hate.”

“Has hatred not always been with us, Xena?”

“Long ago everyone loved, so the word ‘loving’ did not yet exist. Love was as abundant as the air we breathe, like the water a fish lives and moves in. Only the absence of love demanded the invention of the word ‘loving’ to describe those who still held to my path.”

“Could the same be said of the wise?”

“Or the honest, or the just. As more and more people fell away from my path, the names for more and more virtues began to appear, where before there had been only formless innocence.”

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The Voice of Belial

"That little Talishi girl scares me."

“That little Talishi girl scares me.”

Belial was never crafty like Binah. He could not construct an avatar to manifest his will as physical action on the worlds that orbited him, nevertheless he commanded Binah to build another one and teach him how to operate it. And he insisted it be black, and much larger than Binah’s avatar, with more powerful arms and noisier motors, for it was Belial’s delight to terrify the planet-dwellers on every occasion that he went down among them.

When Belial first heard tidings of a new prophetess (he did not yet know that Chokhmah was walking among the nephilim in the body of Talishi) he appeared to his servant Israel, a nobleman of Family Gerash, who were also known as the White Beards. To this Israel then, Belial (through the agency of his terrifying avatar) said, You alone have done all things according to my will. Therefore I name you the Voice of Belial. Go first unto Aramel in the far west and speak unto King Gordiel the words I will tell you.

And Israel was forced to travel the entire distance to the city of Aramel on horseback, for the avatar of Belial was not configured to provide life-support for any passengers like the avatar of Binah was, which often moved Talishi about, even to the West and East Lands over the ice. Belial was not remotely interested in the comfort and convenience of his slaves.

The teachings of Talishi had grown popular among many of the yin throughout the Middle Lands and even among some of the yang of Aramel. Israel counseled that King Gordiel move against Talishi and put her under arrest, but the King was reluctant to agree on account of the popularity of Talishi among many, even his own kin. At this, Israel grew angry, and insisted that the King comply, for he came in the name of Belial himself.

King Gordiel said, On that point I have only your word, but know that I was made king of this city by the Gerash patriarch Kirodiel, and by the written law of Belial the giving of the scepter is without repentance. An errant king may only be held to account to the Patriarch by war.

Israel said to him, Consider the alternative, sire. Yin-centered rituals and devotions! Talishi is cutting at the very heart of god theory.

But King Gordiel was a far more practical yang, and he asked Lord Israel to lay out the real danger.

Israel said, The danger is two-fold, Sire. First is the Patriarch’s over-reliance on income from pilgrims to the temple of Belial. We, that is Belial (Peace Be Upon Him), could lose a third of the revenue base overnight. The second and truly frightening part is the long-term danger of actually destroying the entire sacrifice-atonement system. Our entire religious structure is based on the proven fact that Belial’s aim is not too good. As long as ‘someone’ is punished, never mind who, Belial is happy. But now Talishi comes along saying even the gods are to be judged according to an objective scale of good and evil.

Gordiel said, I see where you are going. Instead of merely atoning for our crimes, we must start actually being nice to one another.

Then will you move against this Talishi, Sire? And the King noted that this Lord Israel idiot failed to discern his sarcastic snark.

Not in haste, self-described Voice of Belial. My daughter Princess Khondiel admires this new prophetess, which gladdens my heart in a way I cannot tell. I will invite Talishi to preach before the throne, and judge for myself whether her teachings are dangerous to the peace of the realm. As for yourself, Lord Israel, get thee hence from my city and return to the capital. Messengers will be sent with word of my decision, yea or nay.

Very well, Sire, only let your word be yea, I pray you, for your sake and the sake of your subjects.

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Mount Sinai

7-2_tabernacle-dayPreviously Moses had sent his wife Zipporah and his two boys to live with his father-in-law Jethro, and now Jethro had taken them to catch up with Moses. When he got there, he noticed that Moses was spending all day judging the miscreants of the Israelites, and his caseload was killing him. Jethro advised that Moses delegate authority to minor judges, and Moses found this to be sound advice.

Exod.18:25-26 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

About two months after leaving Egypt the people came to the foot of Mount Sinai near the southern tip of the triangular peninsula. Moses went to the summit, where God announced that the Israelites had been chosen to be his priestly people. They would be a race of priests among the human race, participating in the ritual sacrifices, just as the Aaronic priesthood would be super-duper priests among the Israelites themselves who would perform the actual sacrifices. Moses went back down and told the people that’s what God had in mind. And he told them to get ready, and not have sex for three days, because on the third day God was going to land on Mount Sinai.

And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

But something had happened to God in the years since he used to walk in the Garden of Eden, or have a picnic with Abraham. He didn’t want the people to come too close to him anymore.

“Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.”

Then God spoke to Moses the Ten Commandments (orally before committing them to stone):

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Catholics traditionally use the restatement of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy chapter five as the template for the Ten Commandments which they teach Catechumens. It more clearly states the precept of not coveting another man’s wife as separate from not coveting his earthly goods. In order to maintain the number ten (because Exodus itself, in chapter 34, calls them the ten commandments), the first two commandments are merged into one, to read “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Thus, Catholic catechisms often will not state the commandment against making graven images because it’s “covered” by saying have no other gods. Anti-Catholic Protestant sects such as the Seventh Day Adventists jump on that omission, claiming that Rome “changed the Bible” to allow devotions using Marian statuary, but that is not precisely true. Catholic Bibles retain the original text.

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Strangers in Paradise 2-11

volume02issue11Freddy goes to the house of his buddy who once dated Francine, the one who still has her bikini and some sexy pictures. The lie Freddy is using is that he’s back with Francine and she wants that stuff back. Chuck has his own girlfriend Rachel there, and he doesn’t want her to know he still has that stuff, so he runs off mysteriously. While Chuck is looking for the goods, Freddy asks her how long she has known Chuck. “Long enough for him to know better than to keep any secrets from me.” She pulls up her shirt and flashes Freddy her boobs. “There, now we have a secret from him.”

When Freddy gets in the car he pulls out Francine’s bikini bottom and sniffs it like the disgusting dog he is. Then he gets to the main event, a spectacular picture of our Rubenesque heroine Francine in all her glory, wearing that bikini on a sunny beach. Now Freddy is good to go.

David wakes up in bed to the smell of coffee. “K-K-Katchoo?” he stammers. “Who were you expecting to wake up to, K-K-Katy?” she replies. Men are all the same, she mutters. Give them the time of their life, and they immediately forget your name…

Poor Francine walks all alone to work, but Freddy finally catches up to her. He wants to talk. He loves her. Oh, so that’s why he wants to marry Casey the buttless wonder, she replies. He tells her he has been playing racquetball with her boss and he called in for her, telling them she’s having a family emergency. That will give them time to talk.

In the elevator he hits the stop button between floors. He confesses that life has lost all meaning for him since he broke up. What’s the use of having a townhouse and a Porsche and a downtown club membership if he has nobody to share it with? And he doesn’t even care about sex anymore. Freddy wants Francine to admit the same thing has been happening to her. She’s let herself go to hell, her hair sucks, she’s put on weight, she’s working a job she hates and she lives with a lesbian pit bull.

Francine says leave Katchoo out of this.

Freddy says he wishes he could leave Katchoo out of this, but it’s like she’s joined to Francine at the hip or something. Freddy explores that angle for a bit, and then concludes that Francine is gay. That explains why she wouldn’t have sex with a real man like him, she couldn’t handle it. Which means Chuck must have been lying to him about Francine the lean mean sex machine when she’s really just the singing nun.

Francine says things with Chuck were different. Freddy says no joke. Freddy says “The thing is, you actually fucked both of us, but he’s the only one who got laid!”

Francine slaps him. He almost hits her back, but he restrains himself. He says he’s disappointed in her. He thought she was special. He drops an e-ticket on the floor that he says Francine won’t be needing after all. It’s a hop from Houston to Honolulu. After Freddy leaves, Francine picks it up and reads it, so deep in thought she blocks the door to the elevator for someone who needs to get on.

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In the company of giants

galileo-telescope-au-in“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.” –Galileo.

“The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”  – Caesar Cardinal Baronius (an enlightened cleric for his day and age, Pope John Paul II mentioned this quote in his rather late apology to Galileo)

“No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”  –Ken Ham

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h21_38The horrors that confronted the Gervasi family during the war years could be attributed to their Jewishness, certainly, to Hitler’s insane hatred of Jews, to Benjamin’s chosen profession, and his decision to moonlight for His Majesty’s government as part of the electronic “Wizard War” against
Hitler’s regime that culminated with the deception leading up to D-Day.

But perhaps the three biggest factors that contributed to the terrible things that befell Benjamin, Edith and Lilith were location, location, and location, for the Isle of Wight lay in the English Channel, and the English Channel was the chief arena of contest between the UK and Germany. That is not to say the Gervasis would have been immune from tragedy if they had moved upcountry; the town of Coventry, for example, was severely damaged in an air raid. But there would have been no German frogmen.

By any stretch of the imagination, the things Mike Morrich saw in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 1973 far surpassed anything Lilith witnessed or endured in the camps, but somehow they affected him far less. Perhaps he was wired differently. That didn’t make him inhuman. At seventeen, Mike
was a pretty good kid. Sure, he dropped out school just before his senior year, to the great consternation of his father, but Mike figured he kind of work he could obtain after one more year of school wasn’t much different from the work he could obtain now, so what was the point? Sure he was a skinny young man with a wild afro, but nobody who lived through the Seventies could look back and say they were proud of their hair. His father had a civil service job, his parents were still together, and Mike loved both of them. If he had been born ten or twenty years later, he would have been
the exception rather than the rule.

So that Friday he was on the job site in a cavern dug under the city, a space intended to become an ornate Metro station when the system was slated to open just three years later, though it never would. Mike didn’t have any construction skills per se, and lacked the upper body strength in any event, but his job was simply to keep the area as clean as possible while the other men worked. He did so with a great deal of youthful energy.

The lights went out and there was something like a long earthquake. There was an eerie white light reflected down one of the connecting tunnels and hot dust filled the cavern even as the light faded to red. But the light never disappeared entirely, for the city above was burning. Mike Morrich and his co-workers were lucky, there were very few survivors so close to ground zero directly under the fireball of the Soviet fusion warhead.

The yield and the corresponding destruction was many times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. On Pennsylvania Avenue between the places where the White House and the Capitol building once sat was now a huge crater so hot the Potomac turned to steam before it could fill the hole. Surrounding this was a ring of total destruction where the Supreme Court, the Treasury building, and all the famous monuments used to be. When Mike stepped out of the subway tunnel and looked to where his home used to be he saw the view was largely unobstructed, yet there was no way for him to locate exactly where it was. All the landmarks were gone. Mike knew in that instant that he was an orphan, there was no point in even trying to look for his parents. They were as gone as anyone could be. So he turned and began to walk in what he guessed was the next best direction, which was away from the pillar of steam that was ground zero. As he walked, he passed through the ring of human bodies that were almost recognizable, but they were charred, and even the beer bottles at their feet were melted.

He passed through the ring of half-standing blackened buildings with white “shadows” along their base that had been people blocking the burning radiation. And it was here that Mike had to pick his way through the rubble of structures that had already been burned out just to exit to the next ring.

Mike passed through the ring of people who were still alive, but burned so badly they had no hope of recovery, and they were in such shock they felt nothing, made no sound, and would soon die. They were the lucky ones.

He passed through the ring of people who did make a sound, for they were in the throes of agony such as they never felt before in their life, and they had stripped themselves naked for their clothes made the pain worse, and their arms were held at a forty-five degree angle at their side, for if their arms touched their bodies the pain of the contact was too great.
Mike’s chances of making out of the city were good. He hadn’t been injured, but even as he walked the residual radiation of the blast did its dirty work, tearing at the DNA in his body, so that in the end, fifteen years later, he would in fact be a victim of the attack, in the form of an unbelievably painful bone cancer that would ravage him for two years.

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Strangers in Paradise 2-10

ICO003930_1Two weeks after being shot in the liver and miraculously surviving it, Katchoo returns home from the hospital with Francine, who left the heater going. She takes off her sweater, saying, “I’m hot!” Damn straight, mutters Katchoo contentedly. But Freddy has left 43 messages on the answering machine. Katchoo gets so mad she pulls some of her stitches. She swears she will kill Freddy if he comes near Francine. On a side note, their landlord is evicting them because they haven’t paid the rent for three months.

Casey is wearing some naughty underwear and tries to get Freddy to come to bed. He doesn’t want anything to do with her, because he’s thinking about no one but Francine these days. He leaves another message. Francine hears it but she won’t pick up.

Next day in the video store Francine gets goosed by none other than Margie McCoy. When it comes out that Francine is being evicted, Margie offers her small garage apartment for free, just so it won’t be vacant. Margie can’t think of anyone better to occupy it. She says Francine and Katchoo make the cutest couple. She says she wishes she had the courage to come out of the closet like Francine. She says “I guess dating Freddy would turn any woman gay.”

When she gets home Katchoo is on the phone to David. He says he loves her, and Katchoo says she doesn’t care. She is shedding tears of remorse even as she says it. She tells Francine she thinks she loves David.

The phone rings again. Francine picks it up. It’s Freddy. Francine hurls language at him that would make a sailor blush and hangs up. Francine screams, “No more phone calls! No more men! They’re ruining our lives!” Katchoo has her sit on the floor and gives her a beer. Francine reveals that Margie called her and Katchoo a “couple” and it was probably the happiest moment of her life.

Now we are getting somewhere! Katchoo says, “Would you hate it if I kissed you?” Francine says she would hate it if she didn’t. They draw close together. The doorbell rings! Katchoo runs to answer it, saying, “I don’t care who you are or what you want, you are dead! Dead! Dead!” But it’s David. He wants to come in to talk about “us”. Katchoo says there’s no “us” and there never was any “us”.

David persists, until Katchoo gets so riled up she lays him out flat on his back with a roundhouse uppercut. This is witnessed by the neighbor gal, who gives a play-by-play to her husband. The husband is uninterested until his wife mentions that Katchoo is standing in the rain in her underwear and you can see right through them. But he never gets there, he is in such a hurry he slips and hits his head on the coffee table and ends up on the floor covered with Cheetos.

David gets back up covered with mud and declares his undying love to Katchoo again, which earns him a slap. “I love you Katina Choovanski, and you’re never going to be that out of me.” He says if that’s how they want to spend their time together so be it, at least it will be her fists that beat him. This finally breaks Katchoo. She’s so sorry for hurting David. They embrace.

Once again Francine sees the whole thing and feels cut out. She goes back into the empty house for a while, then returns to the window to watch David and Katchoo in the rain.

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