rather than four, twenty-two (22)
Funny thing, I owe the above bon mot to Annie Oakley . . . well, "indirectly" I should say. Besides inspiring the Broadway musical ANNIE, GET YOUR GUN, the legend of "Little Miss Sure Shot" also provided a premise for an "oat burner".
In the dawn of television, before the advent of that multi-chromatic peacock, a young and pretty woman would be shown, shooting straight and keeping the peace. In one episode, she uttered something like the above bon mot.
In that same era, my journey into the dark heart of "adiaphorestic" began. It was the 50s of the last century. Primary school pupils, who attended Saint John's "(J M J+)" were being admonished to avoid entertainment that reeked of danger to "faith or morals".
To graciously inform us of those movies that so reeked, the Legion of Decency published in The CATHOLIC LIGHT a list of movies, some of which were appropriate for children, some of which were permissible for adults, and some few of which were "condemned". One of the best comedies of that era THE MOON IS BLUE, starring David Niven, was condemned.
. . . ya'know, now that I think about it, somebody had to view those movies to rate them . . . just who (?) the hell did . . . and just who (?) the hell appointed those people as arbitrators of decency . . . and what (?) the hell were their qualifications! . . .
During a Lenten Mass, the priest complied with an order issued by the bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, and with the enthusiastic concurrence of the Legion of Decency. After the homily, the congregation was asked to stand, and swear, before the holy altar of God, to avoid such entertainment as was listed as condemned.
Did I stay seated? aitch'e'double hockey sticks, no! I didn't want people, even those who disliked me, to think I was indecent. There I was on my feet with the rest of the genteel congregates with an enthusiasm for decency, swearing aloud to financially starve the coffers of those wretches, who tempt ordinary people to endanger their immortal souls with entertainment that could corrode faith or morals . . . yeah, it's an elongated sentence . . . if you dear Reader didn't get it the first time, start over at the rhetorical question.
Looking back now, I can recall feeling inexplicably angry . . . dat wuz den. Nowadays, I strongly suspect I had been insulted. Not only did the Legion of Decency consider me unworthy of freedom of inquiry, but also so did the bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. For the moment, let's give the Pope a pass, okay?
Even though I consider myself "adamantly adiaphorestic", I guess I'm still somewhat impacted by the education I received and the indoctrination I swallowed at the hands of the parish priests and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Every so often, I do something totally incompatible with my adiaphorestic disposition.
I muse about the grand scheme of things. I even wonder about what sort of tasks I'm supposed to accomplish to the end of advancing the grand scheme of things . . . talk about an irrational, yea, even ludicrous, waste of time!
Before I regale my numerous devoted fans with a joke, I should like to intimate what may have very well inspired it.
. . . Here's the first question in the Baltimore Cathecism, which I started studying in the 3rd grade . . .
. . . WHO MADE YOU? . . .
. . . And here's the answer . . . ta'dah!
. . . GOD MADE ME . . .
And now for the big follow-up:
. . . WHY DID GOD MAKE YOU?
. . . And the answer is, nearly intuitively obvious,
. . . TO KNOW HIM, TO LOVE HIM, AND TO SERVE HIM IN THIS WORD SO AS TO BE HAPPY WITH HIM IN THE NEXT.
Okay, now for the joke, Joe "nice guy" Doakes dies, and meets Saint Peter up in heaven. Mr Doakes was never a member of any religious persuasion. As a consequence, he gets his choice of what heaven, in which to spend eternity.
Saint Peter leads Doakes to a golden door, which is opened to show Jewish heaven. The people are shown enjoying matzoh ball soup, and dancing the hora. Well, Doakes says it's nice, but what about the other heavens.
He's led to a second golden door, which is opened to show Protestant heaven. The people are shown enjoying pot luck dinners, and donating out-of-date clothing. Again, Doakes says it's nice, and asks why won't Saint Peter open a third golden door.
Saint Peter says he's not allowed to do that. That's the door to Catholic heaven.
Whereupon Doakes asks, "What's the big deal with Catholic heaven?"
Saint Peter looks around, as if making sure there's no eavesdroppers in the vicinity. And then he whispers, "They think they're the only ones."
Until very recently, I inanely entertained the phantasm that I had done everything that was expected of me to the end of advancing the grand scheme of things. . . . eYep, I was assured of a slot in Catholic heaven . . . aaay, c'mon, I'm being facetious.
And then, it happened like a bolt out of the blue, one more task was laid on my ageing shoulders. Truth be told, I'll own up to being a little, well, superstitious. As best I can, I'm tackling that task here and now. Really, I got enough bad karma coming my way already. After this, I just want to sell life insurance to the end of paying down my credit card debt.
The task was sent my way, when I exercised my snide sense of humor. I thought I was twitting a certain colleague blogger with a remark about one of the ignominies, under which Islam must bear up. Elsewhere in this blog, I opined that the Temple Mount, which is held by the Muslims, has all the significance of a consolation prize.
As if to rub salt onto injured pride, I even offered a challenge of sorts . . . "show me the sapsucker, who rejoices in the ownership of a consolation prize, and I'll show you one 'sorry ass' loser" . . . eYep, somewhere in my blog, dear Reader, devoted fan, you shall find my challenge. And I wonder why I don't have any friends!
In case you're wondering, dear Reader, I was always snide, even when I was a practicing Catholic. For some reason, I was never approached to enlist as an altar boy. . . oh, well, their loss.
Anyway, here's how I tried twitting that colleague blogger, with text somewhat like so:
"Jews have got to be put out, somewhat, by my assigning the Temple Mount all the significance of a consolation prize. Ahnghgh, take comfort in guessing how Muslims must feel."
The guy shoots back with something like so, and I'm quoting,
1. Muslims have sole possession of the Temple Mount on Moshe Dayan's own commands.
2. check out my blog.
Be'tikva-In hope, Greg."
. . . oh, well, interested people can check out his blog at
Well, I should like to repeat for the good Reader's benefit the very first sentence in this post, specifically,
"On occasion, the result of bringing two and two together, rather than four, is twenty-two (22)."
There just had to be a deeply underlying reason for why Dayan encountered so little protest from his coreligionists and fellow Israelis by reason of those commands. Truth be told, I get the impression that was only expected of him, as he tackled a certain task, assigned him in the grand scheme of things.
To do justice in describing a certain ignominy, under which Islam must bear up, a new word is gravely needed. Not only does the Temple Mount have all the significance of a consolation prize, it is "dis-hallowed" ground, if one is permitted to coin an adjective to emphasize the state of "defiled".
. . . dear Reader, please take a breath or two, before diving into the follow text . . . even for me, it's a tad "hi-falutin'". Anyway, I do plan to submit a reader's letter that's in the same spirit but in a much more colloquial style to the good people at The PRESS & SUN-BULLETIN . . . ah, the letter directly follows:
In no way, do I believe I'm going out on a limb with the following reading from my tea leaves. Maybe, my tea leaves are sophisticated. This reading concerns hagiographers, who are historians, who delve into the history of the writing of history. About fifty or so years from now, our hagiographers will try describing how and discerning why certain attitudes emerged from the morass, in which many histories are being written.
According to my tea leaves, future hagiographers will note how certain historians, who are likely enough today graduate students, came to realize the sorry choice Islam made. In the narrow window of history, between the end of the Second World War in Europe and the United Nations' partition of Palestine, the Faith founded by the Prophet was compelled to make a choice between mutually exclusive alternatives. Choosing one meant obviating the other.
Anyway, the mutually exclusive alternatives were either reach for the moon or cling to the Temple Mount. Today, it's all too obvious to even the most casual of observers, which was chosen by Islam. By command of Moshe Dayan, who orchestrated victory for Israel in the Six Day War, the Temple Mount belongs exclusively to the Muslims.
It won't be long before the current academic apple cart gets upset by some brash glory hound with a newly minted doctorate in Middle East history. The academic world will be turned on its ear by the assertion that the Temple Mount has all the significance of a consolation prize.
Here, let me inject my personal opinion. Show me the sapsucker, who rejoices in the ownership of a consolation prize, and I'll show you one "sorry ass" loser.
As if that weren't enough ignominy for Islam to bear up under.
Let me repeat,. maybe in slightly different words, what I wrote elsewhere. The text of the first message from the the moon to the earth was, and I'm quoting exactly, "The eagle has landed".
Here, I'm deliberating going off on a tangent. The COLBERT REPORT, which is political sarcasm that masquerades as a fake cable channel news broadcast, opens with an eagle in flight . . . no more tangent.
Now, here's the implicit message from the moon to us lowly earthlings. And I'm sure I'm on the money with this one, "From now on in, when people on earth gaze up at the moon, they will be gazing up at a monument to American technology, ultimately to the United States of America."
Well, as I wrote elsewhere, the Muslims can get all sorts of wonderful amenities, after they destroy Israel. But there's no getting the moon for a monument to Islam, even if they obliterate Israel. That prospect they obliterated about sixty (60) years ago.
Elsewhere, I mused about what might've followed had Islam seized a "once-in-a-millennium" opportunity. Likely enough, only God could say for sure. Maybe, instead of a Neil being the first human being to walk on the moon, it might've been a Mohammed . . . cuhd'da bin a con'ten'dah.
Let's just suppose for moment, the first human being to walk on the moon had been a Mohammed. Here's what would surely have to be happening on nights, when the moon is full. The call to prayer from minarets around the world would remind the Faithful that the moon is a monument to Islam.
Talk about ignominy! In this century, and likely enough for centuries to come, the religious observance of the Faith is being scheduled by the phases of a monument to American infidel technology, ultimately to the infidel United States of America.
One wonders whether, in time, eagles will be accorded the same status as dogs. People can get so bitter about blowing off some piddly-little "once-in-a-millennium" opportunity.
.he who is known as sefton
. . . people familiar with what I've written previously are likely to notice that I left out the part about the Temple Mount being defiled . . . it's not so much I'm backtracking. One should note that assertion is still being published in my blog.
It's just that the people, who own that newspaper, run it like a business. Any business that upsets customers is likely to go "skint". Just so happens, the Greater Binghamton area is the residence for a large number of Muslims.
Somehow, I got the impression that my "instead of Neil, Mohammed" letter drew some heat from certain of that paper's subscribers.
In addition, I'm old enough to know that it's foolish to ask business people to risk damaging their enterprise.
.he who is known as sefton