My tale was told an eon ago and I am still here. It was not my tale but of another man altogether, who could not be and remain himself throughout his life. We change.
He, that young chap, had to take over from me just as our sons have to and generations to come. But we, too, like him, have to give up who we are in order that another better man comes through.
We make some horrendous mistakes in life. They have long lasting effects. Some awful wounds. And sometimes it is not just our errors of omission or commission, but life itself dealing us a duff hand and our times turning tides.
Carolyn Moynihan of Mercatornet (see side-bar, right) was in the Spirit bar talking of a chap she heard of.
A couple of days ago an AP report drew attention to a man who woke from unconsciousness in a Florida hospital a few months ago calling himself Johann Ek and speaking only Swedish. That would have been a relief to the authorities hovering around if he really was Mr Ek and really Swedish.
But it appears he is really Michael Boatwright, an American, diagnosed as suffering from Transient Global Amnesia.
According to his sister, Mr Boatwright has led a wandering life, some of it in Sweden where he pursued an interest medieval history and jousting. A Swede who knew him from that time says he was talented at fighting in plate armour.
Unfortunately there are not many openings in the US job market for Swedish-speaking knight errants, and poor Mr Boatwright is virtually destitute. Let’s hope family members (he has a son and two ex-wives) can help him find his true identity and a modus vivendi in the present.
Accustomed as we are to hearing “medieval” used as a term of derision, if not abuse, it comes as a surprise to hear of people who seem to prefer the Middle Ages to our own.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, an international group dedicated to the research and recreation of pre-1600 medieval western Europe, has 40,000 members globally who adopt period personas and dress and behave accordingly at their get-togethers – lots of “m’lords” and “m’ladys”, bows and curtseys and so on.
I have a sneaking sympathy with anachronists who hark back to a time when men were men, women were women and manners were well defined. I also sympathise with Mr Boatwright, whose surname evokes forefathers who were identified in their community by their skill in building boats, and no doubt respected for it.
The contemporary world of anonymous and ever-changing work and male-female relations (defined by one female author as The End of Men), must be a nightmare for some men. No wonder if they are nostalgic for another era.
I am quick here to say that I am no medieval fantasy and nostalgia is not the name of any bar in my Tavern. Believe that or not as you will. My story - or again that of the other younger chap - is the story of every man. And every man ought to familiarise himself with it.
And she may have overlooked the more complex realities of identity and manners back in my day when young Percy was raised in the forest by a single-mum and things were not so very different from today.
Carolyn was joined by my friend James who talked of the modern generational conflicts. These are of ideas as much as lingering anachronisms - and far more. He was saying:
Generally speaking, the past few generations can be grouped this way:
The War Generation – born approximately 1920 to 1931It’s of note that these generations are not linear. Gen X are not the children of the Boomers but of the War Generation. It goes diagonally – the Boomers’ parents are the War Generation and their children are Gen Y. Gen X’s children are the current ones – Gen Z and you can see them on the streets in all their chav glory.
The Silent Generation – born approximately 1931 to 1946
The Baby Boomers – born approximately 1946 to 1961
Generation X – born approximately 1961 to 1976
Generation Y – born approximately 1976 to 1991
Generation Z – born approximately 1991 to 2003
This is important as it explains why one generation would have little sympathy for the one diagonally opposite – they are not the children or the parents, they are the younger or older brothers or sisters. Gen X are not the children of the Boomers.
Born to parents who fought in the 1st World War, they themselves grew up in the Great Depression and fought in the 2nd World War. These people were generally into the old values and being careful with money, paying cash.
They were also naive enough to buy the necessity for war, as if it really was about country v country and not an exercise in population control by the global elite.
That was just the start. It is worthwhile hearing the rest at http://nourishingobscurity.com/2013/07/19/the-generation-war/
Mankind itself is in Transition.
Almost every age we look back to has its older people bemoaning the conduct of its following generation. There is a pattern in there somewhere for those who look.
There are other patterns in the flow of history too.
Update: July 20
Bill cut into the discussion too. You can see him dropping in from the right side too:
http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/07/19/the-war-we-are-in/'Generations' seem to fall into focus.!
There are today three main competing ideologies and worldviews locked in fierce combat to see which will gain supremacy. They are the Judeo-Christian, the Muslim, and the secular humanist worldviews.
We are so mired in our everyday lives and the people around us that we lose the 'Big Picture' where the long, slow waves of human change crash against the shores of our soul.
The first and third have always been in conflict to one degree or another, while the second is a newer, 1400-year-old competitor.
I have spoken plenty about the conflict between the first two, so here I want to focus on the secular humanist war on Christianity. I have looked at this ideology before of course, and more background can be found here for example:
I now more specifically want to examine how secular statism is at odds with Christianity. Indeed, it always has been. As the early church discovered, the secular state did not take kindly to this new faith, because it presented someone other than Caesar as lord.
That could not be tolerated, so persecution erupted very early on against these recalcitrant Christians. And this battle has always taken place. A secular state has always known that it cannot command the full allegiance of the masses if another competing ideology stands in the way.
Those who give obedience to a transcendent God can never be fully subservient to any human jurisdiction.
Thus throughout its 2,000 year history, hostile governments have sought to eradicate Christianity, or at least subvert it for its own purposes and subsume it under its own rule.
An important new book on this theme has just been released, and it will serve as the foundation of the rest of this piece. I refer to Benjamin Wiker’s Worshipping the State: How Liberalism became Our State Religion (Regnery, 2013).
In this vital volume Wiker hows how the modern liberal war against the faith is not new at all, and fits into this longstanding struggle between state supremacy and the supremacy of God. He rightly notes that secular liberalism is a political religion which cannot peacefully coexist with Christianity.
He offers an historical overview of this struggle, and spends much of his book examining political philosophy of the last 500 years. He notes that the separation of state and religion was first championed by Christianity. Before that the two were closely fused.
But when Jesus insisted on rendering to Caesar his due, and to God his, he revolutionised the way religion and politics interacted. And Christian resistance to the state began from the earliest times, with believers refusing to bow to the state.
So a war between these two allegiances has always existed. But it was during the past half millennium that the philosophical and ideological basis for this rejection of Christianity was carefully spelled out. Wiker closely examines the political thought of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Locke and others in this regard.
All these thinkers, in various way, saw Christianity as a threat to the political order, and believed that the state could not allow it to have free reign. It must be co-opted if not destroyed, if the liberal vision is to be realised and established. Their thoughts, especially as propagated in the universities, eventually held sway, and today we see secular liberalism as the de facto state religion in the West.
Although pretending neutrality, the modern secular liberal ideology is “itself a religion, or an anti-religion
– a complete worldview and an agenda in direct and fierce competition with Christianity. The domain covered by secular liberalism is as extensive as that of any religion and in particular of Christianity, the religion that it has displaced.”
It has its own cosmology (there is no god or spiritual reality, only deterministic materialism and physical cause and effect), and its own moral philosophy (there is no universal good and evil, with the maximisation of human pleasure and “rights” the chief end of man), and so on.
These two worldviews are at total odds with each other:
“Secular liberalism defines itself against Christianity,
self-consciously and dogmatically denying what Christianity affirms”.
Wiker nicely lays out a series of contrasting values, goals and emphases:
Christians believe that God exists, the universe has meaning, and we have purpose and significance because of God’s existence.
Liberals believe there is no God, the universe is ultimately meaningless, and there is nothing special about humanity.
Christians believe people are fallen and need God’s grace to be made right, while liberals deny the fallenness of humanity, and think we are perfectible by our own efforts.
Because of this, Christians believe all political and social life is tainted, and we cannot place our final hope in the state or this world.
Liberals see the state as saviour, and believe that human reason and political power can usher in an earthy paradise.
Christians see church and state as complementary institutions, each with their own jurisdiction and power. Liberals want to see the church totally subservient to the dictates of the state, with it alone being the sole source of authority and power.
Christians believe that human life is sacred because made in God’s image, and is thus worthy of protection. Liberals see no inherent value in human life, and believe the state can and should determine who should live and who should die. Christians see sexuality as something confined to the parameters of heterosexual marriage while liberals see it as an anything-goes affair in which every form of sexuality is regarded as equally valid and acceptable.The 'Men's Rights sphere fights against just one aspect of this secular religion; Feminism.
But most MRAs just do not see the Big Picture. It is not only that Feminism and the destruction it has wreaked on family, law, education and human sexuality is the whole or even the main evil. No. It is more.
Most MRAs do not see that they too have adopted many other aspects of the same secular religious philosophy of which feminism is just one womyn-centric expression.
The hunter-gatherer stage of life still captures the imaginations of those fearful of growing up. It was the Infanthood of mankind. Yet many people still think that it defines human behaviour. They would like to see us re-invent that era in the 'man-woman-manners-conduct-relationships' bizzo. It is what the secular-humanist, anti-human PTB want you to believe.
But just as we leave infanthood and caves behind and toddle to the makeshift tents made from settee arms and blankets, and on to the tree-houses of the pre-teens and the mortgaged terrace houses, apartments and McMansions of adulthood, so has Humanity struggled to grow through stages.
While we are in any one stage we find it hard to imagine any other, despite the evidence all around. The transitions are full of turmoil and we are swept along, resentfully.
We find it hard to let go of the past stage. Grown men and grown women at 35 retain all the moral wisdom of the 14 year old, and our massive 'entertainment Industry keeps them at that teen age.
Like the teenager we want the Power to take charge of it and make it the way we want it to be. All we have to fall back on is past, childhood, what has been, and our imaginations - the unreal - for what might be if we alone had our way.
So we make a Pact, as Faust did.
We seek to change the world around us but fail to see that the only 'thing' we have the inherent right and power to change is ourselves.
Occasionally we stop for a moment and wonder just what it is all about. What are we doing? What are we doing here? What is it about?
And I answer with a question.
Whom does the Grail serve?
Few ask it. Few even CAN ask it. Few even comprehend what it might mean.
Even fewer find the right answer amongst the huge number of possible wrong ones.
The Tavern is a refreshment stop on the Journey to the right answer.
Faust had to pay the Ultimate Price when his Pact terms fell due.
When he wanted all to stay 'just as it is'.
We cannot. We must not. We are on a long journey across generations and epochs. We have a destination.