Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Notes on the pandemic

Dear H,

At some point last week, in the middle of this pandemic, I realized the inevitable.  The chance that my personal favorite barber would remain open into the foreseeable future was nil.  This led me into one of two options.  I could resolve to just get on with life, and when worst came to worst, to shave my head.  But the angel with golden flowing locks on my shoulder said hell no.  He kicked into high gear and gave a suggestion.  "Why not call her up and work out a deal?"  So I did.  She was in the barbershop but not working, according to the receptionist, so I asked if I could speak to her.  When she answered, I got to the point.  "Look, Kim, I'm a vain man.  I can shave my hair any time and do fine, but why should I when I've got you?  So just in case the shop closes down, how about I get your number and we arrange something ourselves?"

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Black Elk Speaks: a review

Dear M,

Black Elk Speaks is supposed to be a spiritual classic for American Indians.  Not just for his tribe, but for all of them.  It's so far advanced in this direction that now, almost a hundred years after its first publication, it's beginning to get its own schools of theology, and a horde of uninspiring idiots argue about its more obscure passages.  But this is how it goes.  Inspiration leads to confusion leads to policy.  The Spirit gives life, and the letter kills it. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Black Republicans

Dear H,

Candace Owens, Queen of Blexit
In America, a black intellectual only joins the human race by joining the right wing*.  I had almost said when he votes Republican.  Nearly all the other black "thinkers," their writers and other disseminators of ideas, excluding maybe Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, are too caught up in the black question to join the rest of us.  Thus the majority of their works, if not all of them, are focused on black people and the police, or black people in history, or black people in business, or black people in politics.  There's no Thomas Sowell, who's known primarily for his works on economics, or Voddie Baucham, known primarily for his lectures on Jesus and Homeschooling, or Ben Carson, known primarily for his work on brain surgery.  Instead we get a slew of one-trick-ponies and racial narcissists, the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brittney Cooper, Shaun King, Al Sharpton, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Eric Dyson.  The only way a black man gets ahead in the Democratic Party is by cutting himself off from the rest of humanity; by whittling himself down to something so small, so specific, so niche, that it can only appeal to black men such as himself, or to white people looking to glorify themselves for loving black people.  A huge market, really, but the biggest one only to spiritual and intellectual midgets.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Some Athenian euphemisms

Dear T--

My position on r------d people* is exactly the same position on everyone else: the good ones I keep, and the worst ones I hate.  I've had more than one r------d enemy, in fact, and some of them are so brutal, so treacherous, and so incapable that I find no use for them; and I think the best use for them is the exercise we'd get running them out of town.  There are autistic people I've enjoyed, day after day, and been happy to see, and others who threatened my friends.  Some of them are sweet and others are rapists.  Some of them are silly and other ones are spoil-sports.  But J, some say, they can't help it!  Can the rest of us?  Are we really so different from them?  Are any of these categories I mentioned things we don't experience ourselves?  So what if we can think things through -- many of us still make bad decisions, rotten statements, and horrible messes, especially when acting in groups**.  We give the handicapped a pass because most of us could do better.  But I doubt in many cases we could.  A personality is something set in stone.  A sourpuss, a loser, a cheater and an idiot will be what he'll be, and many times was born that way.  God has given us our trajectory -- in most cases, our job is to act it out, not to change it***.