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PostEnd of Western Civilization (Ronald Hilton, USA, 02/08/04 9:09 am)
To the cry "God, what can we do?", Christopher Jones replies angrily: "I believe we are reaching a final cataclysmic moment, like the thunderous climax in a Wagnerian opera. It is clear for me who are the culprits, who has to be punished and what has to change. Most WAISers want desperately to say that I am wrong, and very few listen to me. But like the old anchor man in an old film called Network, I have a mission! You have got to get mad!! I am speaking and writing from bitter experience. The lethal combination of press, money, ageism, Hollywood greed plus narcissism and so- called democracies that are no more than a façade for money+politics plus lower to no educational standards has led to this Götterdämmerung of the West. I am not at all optimistic that we will make it and we certainly won't make it with an expeditionary force shooting up Iraqis while killers are snatching youngsters back home. This is the same everywhere in the West!! In France, Germany, Britain and the US it is the same old sad story. But like Howard Beale, you've got to get mad! Mad as hell! We can start by realizing that money is not everything and lobby to severely curtail the boulevard press and film makers. Culture is not naked people doing obscene things on the TV! More culture was created by popes and kings than all the left wing socialist democracies put together. Stop violent video games! Stop Porn on the net! Stop the moronic bureaucrats who have kidnapped culture! "
RH; By ageism, Christopher means not respect for the aged but just the contrary,
Who was Howard Beale? Christopher's message is really the same as that of the
German philosopher Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), whose Decline of the West (2
vols, 1918-1922, English translation 1932) made quite an impact when I was young.
He spoke of mass manipulation and many of the things Christopher laments. He
hoped the Prussian authoritarian tradition could save the West, Has anyone written
of the influence of Spengler on Hitler? That is to say, the young Hitler, embittered
by World War I, as Spengler was. Can someone tell us about Spengler's relationship
When Christopher Jones listed "ageism" as one of the things he laments, I think he meant lack of ageism, which he defines as "respect for those over 35. You are not an old shoe at 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or even 100. It depends. Age has nothing at all to do with it. I have read an article about the 114 years old Joan Riudavets who is Western civilization's oldest living person. He lives on Menorca and is testimony to two things: the Mediterranean diat and a good soul. Mr Riudavets is simply a very nice man; his only real concern now is that people think well of him after he dies. Many scientists have visited him and taken all sorts of tests, but they are looking in the wrong spot -- the secret is in his heart.
I am a great admirer of Spengler. I won't press the subject for fear of disturbing the peaceful weekend. Let's say he was right. " RH: I still want to know about the relationship between Spengler and Nazism. In Prades, Christopher eats a Mediterranean diet.
To the mention of the philosopher Oswald Spengler, Tim Brown replies: "Spengler? Try Jeremiah. This gloom, doom and enroute to the tomb way of seeing the world around the observer is as old as man. That's why the invention of Greek fire was heralded as the ultimate weapon. That's why Cain killed Abel. And sooner or later it will probably come true, although we're a few hundred thousand years old and counting. Personally, I'll bet on later, so during my own lifetime I'll just keep on plugging, not confusing every hiccup, such as Iraq, with a world shattering cataclysmic cosmic gotterdammerung of civilization. This is too beautful and exciting a world for me to spend the rest of my life living under my own personally generated Joe Biffelspink black cloud".
RH:Who's Tim's friend, Joe Biffelspink? The war in Iraq a hiccup? Does Tim
remember the fellow who, at the beginning of hostilities, a hiccup in 1337,
announced blithely to jis friends "I'm leaving for the Hundred Years War"
(which finished in 1553). Some hiccup! Jeremiah? He wrote at the time of the
fall of Jerusalem (586 BC) and the deportation of its population. Jeremiah escaped
to Egypt, where he died under the black cloud of his personally generated Joe
Biffilspink, which sounds like a Hebrew name, although he is not mentioned in
the Good Book. Tim reminds me of the soldiers who in the horrors of World War
I sang "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile! smile! smile!"
Tim Brown explains; "Joe Biffelspink was a cartoon character. having lived during the Cold War, when tens of thousands of jeremiahs were predicting the end of the world in a nuclear cloud, fought in Vietnam and been engaged in a few more minor wars, I am acutely aware of the horrors that come with war. But I am also aware that almost everyone, and civilization survives. Some soldiers in a few of these cracked under the strain, others felt that they were owed recompense and campaigned for bonuses and so forth, an unfortunately large number suffered irreparable injuries physical, mental or both. But the vast majority survived and went on to live out their lives".
JMiles Seeley explains "Joe Blfelspink was a character in the "Li'l Abner" cartoon strip of my youth, drawn by Al Capp. Joe walked under a dark cloud that followed him everywhere, and he cried doom and gloom constantly.
While there is plenty to be concerned about, I basically agree with Tim Brown that there are many things in life that are beautiful and much worth living for. Since I am about to undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer (chances of complete recovery are excellent) perhaps I am more than usually aware of the beauties".
RH: Miles is one of the most beloved WAISers, and we wish him a prompt recovery.
I conclude that, in order to understand America,one must read its cartoons.
I must take Cartoons 101.
Tim Brown explained; "Joe Biffelspink was a cartoon character". Now he writes: "I appreciate getting the correct spelling of Bflelspink, a somewhat unusual name with rather odd spelling" RH: Now can you understand the problems the unpaid editor of WAIS faces, and why therefore he does not share Tim's optimism. Tim would undoubtedly say the name is just a hiccup. I groan.
The decline of Western civilization is a subject which arouses strong feelings. Alberti Gutiérrez says: "Unfortunately at this juncture I see a decline of Western Civilization. It is not necessary to cite Spengler, or any doomsayer calling for repentance, to realize that the West is heading toward a Gotterdammerung. "We have to go with the times. It makes sense" is the popular bray, while the lethal combination Christopher Jones Jones mentioned prevails, and the specter of internal crumbling rises higher and higher. For instance, what measures are being taken to stop human exploitation, hunger, illiteracy and overpopulation. So far the US is the leading country of the world for its unequalled technology, resources and human energy, but I see something definitively wrong with the typical Johnny and his apple pie: The shortage of able leaders, the false liberals, the entrenched "new" Left, the political ambiguity and the institutionalized corruption, the bureaucratic bungling, the inflationary spiral, the erosion of ideals and the abnormal reversal of values, the path to cultural mediocrity and apathy, the rampart licentiousness, the never ending vulgarity and the drug maelstrom are alarming signs. I particularly worry about the deterioration of the family ties and its social and financial repercussions. What is the US divorce rate today and how does it affect children? But contrary to Christopher Jones' commentary, it is not the same old sad story only in the US, France, Germany and Great Britain, but also in Spain and many other countries. And I don't think it is a mere accident".
RH:Measures are being taken to stop human exploitation, etc., nut they are
inadequate. The basic issue is in the formula life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness, which in modern terms means reducing life to making money and
having fun. What on earth is swinging London? Swinging from the trees, like
apes? However, there are many people quietly doing opus dei. Say not the struggle
I wouldn't dismiss Spengler outright. His cycles show that a fascination with technology as opposed to content is a clear sign of decline. I find it interesting that he was orginally a mathematician. So Oswald Spengler joins Matila Ghyka, René Thom (founder of the catastrophe theory) and a few other mathematicians who tried to unravel the spiral of human behavior. But it is no accident; the guilty parties are out there".
RH: Who said "God is a mathematician"?