Going forward, my goal is to read at least one autobiography a month. As an English major, I read a lot of fiction. It expanded my creativity but destroyed my reason. I saw the world as a fictional play. And I was ignorant about the events in life – the people that created the world around me. So I’m looking to destroy my previous illusions.
Secondary sources are usually biased. We hear things about people that are, by and large, a load of bullshit. Therefore, it’s important to separate fact and fiction. Reading autobiographies is a great way to decipher the timeline of history for oneself.
Recently, I was in Seattle for a few days and I was staying on the SeaTac strip. Out of curiosity, I drove by the former home of Gary Ridgway (aka, the “Green River Killer”). It was jut a few blocks from my hotel.
Ridgway is the most prolific serial killer in American history; he was convicted of killing 49 women…mostly prostitutes that were working on the Sea-Tac strip in the 1980s. Ridgway would solicit them for sex, drive them to his house, and strangle them to death.
When I passed by Ridgway’s old house, I saw that somebody was living there. I’m guessing that the owner of the house knows about its gruesome history. How could he not know?
We can say a lot about Gary Ridgway, or serial killers in general. Books have been written, movies have been made, etc. There’s even a morbid fascination with the subject in our culture – see the popularity of crime shows like CSI. Perhaps that’s a subject for another post. However, I will ask a question…the same one that went through my mind as I drove by Ridgway’s house:
Could you live in the former house of a serial killer?
For me, the answer is no.
The Major is a man of reason. I don’t believe in ghost towns or zombies. I laugh in the face of witch doctors. And yet, some things just give me the Heebie-Jeebies. In particular, l could not sleep in a room knowing that dozens of people were murdered there.
Clearly, the owner of the Ridgway house doesn’t care. He’s cut from a different cloth than Major Styles. Such is life. Each man does what he believes to be best. And yet, I think that there’s an important moral to this story (at least from my perspective).
Some people will overlook anything to buy a cheap piece of real estate.
I came across the following painting – I don’t know the author or the name of it. However, it’s an important work nonetheless. The painting celebrates a universal life essence – the beauty of a happy American family.
What is art? It’s the expression of your inner self. So nothing beautiful can emerge from an individual that’s broken. Garbage in, garbage out. We’ve been too lax on this point. For art is not a subjective choice, bereft of meaning. It promulgates the virtuous victory of a people. It champions the noble virtues of a nation. We need to locate the beauty giants of our culture, allowing them to present our passion to the world.
By contrast, let’s look at postmodern art. This “movement” can best be illustrated by its most famous work: “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp.
As you can see, these matters are beyond style and form. They speak to something deeper. Something that emanates – or does not emanate – from the soul of a man. Something that burns, or fails to burn, within the essence of his character.
A country needs more than a strong economy (although that’s important). It needs a WELTANSCHAUUNG. We get this worldview from an art community that celebrates the noble…one that dwells in the soil of success.
For some time, I’ve wanted to write an article about David Foster Wallace. Many years ago, I tried to read Infinite Jest. I saw a video by Stephen King where he raved about the book. Long story short, after reading the novel I was nauseated. It was, arguably, the worst book I ever read (been subjugated to is a better description). How could such a terrible book become famous?
Matt Forney provides an explanation. So I defer to his article, because he summarizes the novel, as well as Foster’s life, very well. Note that Wallace committed suicide, casting a dubious shadow over his fame.
“His books have been steadily forgotten and the choppy, sludgy style he pioneered has been swept aside by a torrent of genuine talent.”
“David Foster Wallace’s impact on American literature was as ephemeral as a rat’s fart.”
Foster was a media creation, applauded for his ability to create ambiguity. His opaque vision of the world was, in many ways, similar to other diabolical schemes: i.e. the Frankfurt School, the Kalergi Plan. Create a confusion, destroy an Alpha, and gather a shekel…then repeat and rinse.
Thankfully, the world is waking up. Democracy, via the internet, is exposing the foot soldiers of Satan. It’s a great time to be alive.
Yesterday, I came across a photo of an old classmate. I went to middle school with him and, to this day, I have vivid memories of him. He was a strong boy, excelling at athletics. Baseball, football…you name it. He was an Alpha on the playground of my youth. Even the school bully was afraid of him.
Fast forward to now…
Today he’s a single father, promoting gay rights with his young daughter. How do I know this? Well, on his Facebook profile, he’s posing with the aforementioned daughter. Their picture is superimposed with a rainbow flag and, in the left-hand corner, we find the slogan “Gay Rights Are Human Rights.”
For a moment, I tried to imagine my father doing this. What if when I was a child, he took a photo of us and wrote “I Support Transsexualism” on top of it? What would his contemporaries think ? What would people of any historical time period or country think of his actions? The answer is simple – they would call him crazy.
We need more than a positive attitude. We need a discerning eye. We need to stay committed to sanity, ignoring the false utopias of relativism. Generally speaking, be suspicious of a “new trend” in the media:
The Bible puts it well (Corinthians 11:14):
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
*It should be noted that my old classmate is single. Women, despite their sympathetic nature, find beta males to be disgusting. No woman ever said, “Someday I’ll find a man that fights for gay rights!” So it makes sense that the mother of his child left him, looking for a man with a masculine purpose.
Kix Brooks is one of America’s underrated players. Take a listen to his beautiful solo on “Red Dirt Road” (2:25 to 2:38 of the video below). He plays the main lick to the song, along with an juicy extra. We get another nice solo from 3:38 to the coda:
Soloing is more than a guitar string, or musical notation on a page. It indicates a person that’s connected with BEAUTY. A person that sees the guitar as a conduit to the celestial. A person that’s rejected the idea of art as commerce…the degeneracy of viewing music as coin collection.
It doesn’t matter how many notes you play. What’s more important is their melodic quality: the way they elevate the SPIRIT. The young man, quick to the trigger, will frequently applaud the excessive noodler: i.e. the Beavis and Butthead trope. But the more thoughtful player has ascended. He’s ready to paint his name in the sky…to defy the limitations of man.
As Richard Wagner pointed out, music should communicate a universal life essence. The playing of Kix Brooks falls into this category, and we can rightfully view him as a GREAT MAN.
In Aristotle’s Rhetoric, there’s an interesting quote on friendship:
A friend is one who is active in providing another with the things that he thinks are benefits to him.
It’s a relevant quote. Let’s start at the beginning: “A friend is one who is active…” Right off the bat, most people get an F. We live in the age of social media, where friendship is made up of “likes”. People gain a million of these “friends,” failing to see the irony. The more popular they are online, the more isolated they become in real life.
For by active, we are talking about DEEDS.
The second part of the quote is also telling: “…providing another with the things that he thinks are benefits to him.” The part of the quote is a personal challenge. It requires us to ask ourselves some introspective questions: Am I offering my friends anything of benefit? What do I do for them? Can I do more?
We forget that friends are more than audience members. Friendship is an active interchange and, like so many things of value, is something that involves a bit of work.