A defense of my almost indefensible language

Dear H,

A very kind gentleman has written me this week and asked me why I used the term "blow-job" in a letter to a three-year-old girl.  One of the reasons I can think of is that these letters aren't actually written to a three-year-old girl.  They're written to you, of course; but which version of you is a matter of utmost importance.

I've never enjoyed having anything forced upon me at any point in my life, which has led me to believe that you won't either.  Schooling is almost always mandatory because children would rather do otherwise; which leads lots of children to hate the process of schooling -- and church -- and nearly everything else that's good for them.  It also leads them to forget the majority of the things they learned during them.   And so I've determined that if some things are mandatory, other things will be entirely up to you.  I may point you toward an essay if the situation calls for it, but I don't plan on asking you to read them; and I suspect you won't be interested in reading them until you're an adult.  I want you to admire me first before reading me.  I want you to want to be like me.  When you want to be like me, they're all yours to read.

I have every reason to suspect that if things go poorly you'll never read them, and then they'll belong to your brother -- in whose development I have an equally serious interest.  I make no promises about how you'll feel about me at any point in your life.  What I promise is that I'll always be here for you -- even if I die.  Unlike my grandfather, who aside from his pictures and a few letters has almost entirely disappeared, I always want something of me that you can look back on and cherish; something that came out of my soul instead of a picture of my face.  I want my grandchildren to know me; and if things go extremely well, I want lots of other people's grandchildren to know me.  But they can only know me if they're interested in knowing me -- never forced; never pushed on anyone as a matter of copy-book memorization.  I want to be pursued because I was unique.  I want to leave something interesting and beautiful and shockingly honest behind me.  Something that can only be appreciated by a vigorous mind and an active soul.  In other words, something picked up by adults for fun.

But differences in age aside, the primary reason I left the term blow-job in the essay is artistic.  And as I briefly stated in A timely rediscovery of Aaron Burr and A toast to Bill Clintonthe times we live in are relatively safe.  The fact that Bill Clinton testified for a blow-job and Richard Nixon was almost imprisoned for eavesdropping is perhaps the most significant testament to our historical success.  History is no place for decency.  History is ugly, as you will learn in your studies of Jewish and Greek and Roman history, which I hope to have you  encounter by the time you're in high-school.  The Book of Judges is how humanity really was -- and still is, as can be proved in the stories coming out of Mexico and the Middle East.  Herodotus will scare you as he scared me -- because horrible things happen when good people aren't willing to fight horrible people.  The Puritans read their children Fox's Book of Martyrs, which was so disgusting I couldn't finish it.  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire mentions Roman tyrants raping lots of little boys, and Tacitus tells us that Tiberius raped nearly any woman he wanted.

The essential element missing in the average American's education is a healthy fear of tyranny.  The thing we've needed most is the thing we've decided to forget.  We've lost interest in liberty because we don't know what life is like without it.  An education on the most terrifying points of tyranny is as good as teaching you to not run with scissors.  Clinton's blow-job is almost a laughing matter, like a beautiful church girl who slips up and swears.  Americans are the best of people, and we can tell it by our scandals.  

Christians, of all people, who are almost always the people who complain about my decency, should be the most familiar with historical ugliness.  You can't read the story of Sodom and not become acquainted with sodomy.  You can't read about Lot and not learn about incest.  You can't read about Judah and not learn about prostitutes.  If you read Moses, you're acquainted with bestiality.  If you read Judges, you see a woman chopped into twelve pieces and shipped to all Israel.  Kings sacrifice children to Molech, and Absalom rapes ten of his father's wives in broad daylight.  There's no reason to go further here.  Western civilization's most sacred book is almost its ugliest.  The most holy book of all is almost profane in its depictions of depravity.  There are no really safe places, except places where people are aware of ugly places.  If we complain about hearing about a blow job, be happy we're not hearing about anything worse! 

Your father,


  1. "... and Tacitus tells us that Tiberius raped nearly anyone he wanted."

    Are you sure you don't mean Caligula?

    1. Absolutely certain. As Tiberius aged, he became a reclusive rapist, actually and more openly preferring to rape women and children of noble birth and the appearance of innocence. Tacitus is a terrifying read, which is why everyone should read him!

  2. I knew about the secluding himself on Capri and about the "little fishes"; I didn't know that he actively raping nobles.

    Still, as I understand it, Caligula was raping noble women *and* their husbands, which is why I thought that the "raped nearly anyone he wanted" might have been intended about him.


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