March 2014

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What a waste of talent.

What a waste of talent.

Stumbled across this on a cable back channel called Aspire.

“Black College Quiz Show” is a straightforward derivative of the old (really old) game show called College Bowl, which I used to watch with my grandparents.

It’s intended to spotlight the scholarly attainments of students at historically black colleges like Howard, Morehouse, Spelman, Tuskegee, Cheyney, Dillard, Fisk, Hampton, and quite a few others. When I discovered it, I thought ‘cool,’ and settled in to be impressed and pleased.

I was impressed but far from pleased. In fact, I was sickened, almost to the point of despair. Here’s the thing. All the students on the show are clearly smart, articulate, and capable of great things. Quick to the buzzer, confident of their answers.

But all the questions, and I do mean ALL the questions are about things black. Civil rights history, black pop stars and athletes, black politicians, black scientists, black writers and artists, and African geography.

It’s an intellectual ghetto, an act of self segregation that literally induces nausea. These kids are clearly smart enough to learn anything. But they are aimed, forced, jammed into a focus on things African American guaranteed to isolate them from everyone who is not African American. Ethnic pride is fine. But if the only topic I ever learned about was Scotland, I know I’d be pretty much screwed. Like all these kids most definitely are. Dead on the altar of a depraved religion called Victimization.

When did this nation go so so crazy that it dooms its young in the name of political correctness? Is there any reason why a young black woman cannot be asked a question about James Madison or Wolfgang Mozart? Apparently it’s much more important for her to be confined to a corner of anger and resentment than bloom in the glory of a western tradition she and her brothers (should) share with everyone else.

Sick. So tired of seeing sour faces and myopically pissed off eyes. It’s supposed to be a positive and upbeat show. Instead it’s a damn tragedy and a self fulfilling prophecy of the long road to bitterness and nowhere.

My attorneys are removing the previous and all other indicative images.

My attorneys are removing the previous and all other identifying posts.

IRA 46.1-14. Not really. Civilization is ending, but I have all I need. I’ll die before there is screaming in the streets. But there will be screaming in the streets.

I said it would be a long long time before we got where we’re going, but it’s happening faster than I thought. Too bad for you.

I wish I cared more. I really do. But you did everything I thought you’d do, everything I knew you’d do.

You just stopped. You stopped thinking, learning, working, believing, caring, in enough numbers to crumble the whole enterprise. I was never a force. I was only describing what you were already doing. My conscience is clear.

So why am I here? Vanity? Possibly. Or maybe it’s that I feel, finally, that feeling matters somehow. That even if you die after I die, I will still feel it as a loss. That’s not believing in God, mind, it’s believing in, like, aftershocks.

Buy that? What fools you are.

I’m worth more billions than Bill Gates. Who was always an idiot-savant. Great at soldering and worthless at thinking. Why I’m talking. Other billionaires. Not a Renaissance mind in the bunch. They’re all alike. Getting older and older, and all they can think of ever is acquiring more money and power, more power and money, more, more, more. Sickness. Bunch of damn nine year olds, like most men. Three Stooges fans all, if you ask them in the men’s room. Nine.

Not that way myself. I had the misfortune and great good fortune of losing the love of my life early in life. End of ambition in perpetuity. This loss saved my soul. The hard part is caring about other souls. I’m trying.

I’m not nine. Never have been. But the truth is far worse. I have seen it all, all of it, seen it whole. The cliche is that the smart man focuses like a laser, sees the transaction, builds an edifice of transactions from the specificity of his concentration on details. Some may be like that. Not me. I just saw the whole thing all the time, all the transactions, all the maneuvering, all the emotions, all the motives, all the interactions, all the consequences, all the money moving, all the everything.

Why I came to want white things. Because everything else was a stain.

This is getting longer than I thought it would. I haven’t even answered my initial question. Maybe it’s more important for you to understand that I can tell you things you need to know. Things you won’t learn from all the intellects who are supposed to know. Because they don’t have my odd capability to see everything at once. Which is, to be honest, exhausting.

We’ll talk again. Now I have to go rest on my terrace.


Three score years of rules and experience. Most rules broken, most experience wasted. But there’s a residue of conviction.

Three score years of rules and experience. Most rules broken, most experience wasted. But there’s a residue of conviction. (Mrs. IP didn’t like the original pic.)

I’m very far from being a priest or rabbi. Of the Ten Commandments, I have broken most of them. I cannot stomach the notion that the Holy Bible is somehow the literal truth of history in the tiny segment of time in which humans have attempted to record their deeds, their beliefs, and their truths. But do I believe the Bible is somehow true?

I am entitled to a whack at that question, because as a writer, bibles have been my business to a greater extent than most. I’ve written at least two and possibly a third in camouflage.

The answer is yes. The Holy Bible is truth revealed, however it was done, which remains a mystery. Its purpose is not to be a million word piece of legislation like, say, ObamaCare, that imposes answers to all questions before they are asked. It is meant as a light that shows us ourselves as we tend to be and illuminates a path toward better lives. Bibles shouldn’t be measured in terms of facts as CBS and the Washington Post define them but in terms of their candlepower.

How much brighter can we be in appraising our choices and decisions? The source of the animating candle is not as important as what we can learn from its glow. The source of that glow is everyone’s choice to make depending on what he has derived from it.

I personally don’t care how you define God or even if you believe in him. If you don’t, you do have the additional obligation of explaining where the idea of him originated, especially given that he seems to have come up with rules that are so very hard for everyone to live by, including the most powerful and talented among us. How did we evolve from the semi-animal view of the human laborer as beast of burden and disposable property to the conception that all people possess a soul and a right to a direct, transcendent connection with the almighty, however imagined?

It wasn’t rational. Economics, political power, nation state prosperity all favored the definition of ordinary people as chattels of the gifted, well born, or otherwise blessed. The Egyptian and Roman models were spectacularly successful. The precociously intellectual model of the Greeks foundered early on. Their empire was an ephemeral dream that died with the sociopathic Alexander. Why feudalism persisted well into the nineteenth century in nations as “advanced” as Italy and Germany.

A true understanding of the Bible could have prevented so much. And, yes, I’m calling shenanigans on everything evil that was supposedly done in the name of the Bible after its Old Testament publication and its subsequent New Testament update by the Council of Nicaea. People take a long time to learn anything.

Why I spoke earlier in terms of candlepower rather than Watts. Here’s where I begin. I have never once benefited personally — in terms of happiness, satisfaction, or peace of mind — from a single time I broke one of the Ten Commandments. Every single instance has brought me grief, regret, unintended consequences, and loss of self-respect. Not because I broke a commandment. But because the commandments are right. I’m 60 now. Which makes me a quick learner, I suspect.

How did a nomadic tribe of, by their own account, opportunistic invaders and killers manage to identify such vital keys to life?

Does it matter? Not until you start to perceive the anachronistic wisdom of their so-called God.

That’s how I’m suggesting we should learn to read the Bible. There are at least two astonishing things about the Old Testament. First, that morality makes such an early appearance in the story of a hard-scrabble desert tribe. Second, that there is so much literary if not strictly factual honesty in their accounts of their own history. Every conceivable kind of crime and barbarism is rendered in detail. Divine revelation or compulsive self-revelation? Murder, treachery, incest, envy, lust, treachery, persecution, stupidity, hubris, and more treachery, always with their own ill consequences, not just the judgments of the prophets and the punishments of God. (Read The Viking epic King Harald’s Saga from at least a thousand years later. Same plot. No remorse.)

It’s a portrait of a people struggling oh so fallibly toward the thing we take for granted, modern consciousness. What set them on that path? They had no algebra, no physics, no discipline of logic, no telescopes, no medicine, no science of the mind or emotions. But they divined the importance of virtue as the ideal outcome of the battle between good and evil. How did they do that?

To drive home the fact of anachronism, consider the Book of David. Maybe contemporaneous with Homer, who was more Beowulf than Shakespeare. David was Shakespeare about two millennia early. Not being glib. T-h-i-n-k about it. If you have the knowledge, context, and mental capacity to….

It is the contrast that provides the spark that should light the light. In its sequence of events, Israel is every other ancient civilization more than not. Despots and fools and builders and destroyers. Against this is the tug of an aspiration not found in their antecedents and peers. The moral glue of their aspiration enabled them to survive where every other imperiled civilization couldn’t, their absolute subjugation by a ruthless occupying empire.

Which caused them to up the ante.

It’s become fashionable to assign Jesus to a category of resurrected gods that includes Osiris and Dionysius. Malarkey. Those gods didn’t return from the dead for any altruistic purpose. They were akin to the concept of spring. Not the moral salvation of all the worshipers.

Jesus is a unique figure, fundamentally unlike Osiris or even Buddha. He was conceived as God made man. Picture the equality sign in your heads. Man made God. Ordinary man made divine. That was the revelation and the revolution. That was the breakthrough.

Jesus was not here to ask us to die in imitation of him. He was here to say that he had already died for us, which freed us to live and think and be and hold our own communion with the greater meaning of life.

He reduced the Ten Commandments to two. Not because the Ten were no longer operative, but because he was, like fathers who give away their daughters at weddings, telling us that he trusted us to make our own decisions now, that he was prepared to forgive our errors as long as we remembered where we came from and how we had been raised. All those errors were already paid for if we could just remember who we were supposed to be.

You can call it a fable if you want. Like one of Kipling’s Just So Stories. You can blame the fable for the continual failures of the brides to justify daddy’s confidence. But what you can’t do is wash away the murderous record of the human societies that have attempted to rule the daddy fable out of the story.

Their record is not only catastrophic but inhuman and monstrous. Their defense is rational philosophy.

But the first rule of Instapunk is that rationality unleavened by truth is the surest road there is to calamity.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Now we are reaching the crisis. Things are not falling apart. They are flying apart. The people who are smarter than all the ancient notions of God are in control. They have forgotten everything that enabled Mankind to emerge from the blood of Assyrian massacres. And they WILL kill us all with their rational omniscience.

P.S. For those who are the noticing kind, that was not my first selfie. This was.

Pacal. I was younger and fitter then. A punk with clout. Still had my Mohawk.

Pacal. I was younger and fitter then. A punk with clout. Still had my Mohawk.

Funny thing. My wife wanted Instapunk to go away. She likes the Scot in me, just not the Scot who goes for the kill when a simple wounding will do.

My main point is even simpler than hers. Life is about living. Which means never yielding, never surrendering, never accepting what other people tell you should be your fate.

Here’s one stanza of one of the greatest poems ever written. By a middle aged Hartford insurance executive who drank his orange juice, read his Wall Street Journal, and dashed off a few lines of verse before driving to work.

Sunday Morning

By Wallace Stevens

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings

Nothing is the way you think it is. Nothing. You kids. You’re fools. You’re all just awful. Knowing nothing is the worst preparation for life imaginable.

What are Instapunk Rules? The only defense against a worthless, meaningless existence. Learn or die. It’s that simple.

Literally, the dagger in the left hand.

Literally, the dagger in the left hand.

An old friend responded to the pic of the trench knife by saying it reminded him of his la main gauche.

Interesting in a couple of respects. Yes, there’s a resemblance. A brutal proof that death has stalked men for hundreds of years. But there’s also a big difference between the French dagger and the trench knife. The former is a weapon of treachery, the latter a final measure of self defense.

When the trench is overrun, the knife is just a chance at living for one more minute.

It’s clear we’ll have to talk a lot more about World War I, the trenches, and the hell of life on the western front.

Which we can accomplish here.

Among other things.

The reality of the logo up top.

The reality of the logo up top.

The way we’re going to start Instapunk Rules. I have one of these. It’s a trench knife. A real one. It’s a triangular blade not meant for or even competent for slicing bread. The only thing it’s good for is killing. Mine belonged to the gentlest man I ever knew, a former captain of infantry in the famous Rainbow Division of World War I. He participated in almost all the final battles that determined the outcome of that war.

Its beginning was almost exactly a hundred years ago. The most deadly strike against modern civilization ever. But most of you know nothing of it. Names like Verdun, the Somme, Chateau Thierry, Gallipoli, the Argonne Forest, and Belleau Wood mean nothing to you. Even as I write this, Apple software is protesting that the proper names are misspellings.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates don’t know or care about this stuff. Men hurled themselves into a hail of technology that was guaranteed to kill them. People like Jobs and Gates condemn gun technology. As if machine guns are to blame for what happens between titanic egos. So they’re for gun control. Like I’m for computer mouse control. Which folded into the price of a cup of coffee adds up to nothing, even at Vente prices.

I’m going to do all you millennials a huge favor. You won’t like it. You won’t understand it. You won’t even believe it. But men who were far far better than you threw their lives away for a cause you’ll never understand because by their sacrifice they eliminated any responsibility you might ever have to feel. Great, huh? Sure. Ungrateful jerks are jerks because they never know they should be grateful. People like me are sick of you.

Thing is, I won’t be talking in general.

No. I have proof of the difference between the ones who were men then and the whiny pricks who call themselves men now.

I have a pile of letters from my grandfather to his wife. From the front in World War I. Which killed more western Europeans (uh, the supposedly civilized ones) than died in World War II. For the sake of comparison the Brits lost 350,000 in WWII. Ten times that in what the Greatest Generation liked to call the prelude. To be clear, that’s 3,500,000. Wrap your tiny heads around that and look up Douglas Haig on Wiki. Starting to get it? That’s three times all American combat losses in history.

America always comes to the rescue. But we don’t consent to the pure slaughter of our young in foreign adventures. Except one time, in 1918. When progressive Woodrow thought he could remake the world in the image of Princeton. Bad idea. No world ever wanted to be Princeton. But America paid for his orange and black vision.

In close to four years of world war across all oceans Americans in the army, navy, air force and marines lost 440,000 killed in action in WWII. In less than one year of World War I combat, American infantry in Europe lost more than 100,000 troops in France and Germany. In trenches that sickened and disfigured them when they weren’t charging into mud and shit filled swamps of stinking arms and legs and intestines called No Man’s land.

Everything dead. Killed trees don't stink as much as corpses of men.

Everything dead. Artillery fried trees don’t stink as much as corpses of men.

Whether you like it or not, I’m going to tell you about it. Not because I want to cater to your idiotic naïveté. You know, if we treat them right they’ll treat us right bullshit. Because there are always power brokers who are willing to spend every level of human life, unflinchingly, to achieve domination over others. The United States was the first nation in history to halt this kind of aggression without seeking to impose an authoritarian empire of its own. Here’s one of the first missives from one of the least imperialistic soldiers of that first great selfless defense of civilization.

A man writes to his wife. Wanna hear what he has to say?

A man writes to his wife. Wanna hear what he has to say?

Or just enjoy the fact that every photo you click on will expand to fill your screen.

No splash yet. Only a matter of time. But the whole gang is here. Tired of Arreffelly talking about dogs.

Killing our country. The MSM hate Sarah because her voice makes deerhounds hide under the covers. Hey. You don’t like women’s voices? Get the hell out of the country. Most of the people here are women, they have high pitched horrifying voices and some of them, a very few, have good ideas. Get used to it. And your damned deerhounds too.

We’ll be back. We need our multimedia army. Our writers, our spellers, our angers, our muggers…

And we need our Times Roman font. So you smart people can understand what we say.