New Years Eve 2014 and the new world disorder:
The other day Little Brother drove some of us out to look around a cemetery in Chicago, with special attention to a monument called “Eternal Silence.”  It seemed according to a plaque that it had been put up to celebrate the accomplishments of the founder of the city.  I had mental reservation.  In about 3400 BC some energetic people now called the Missouri Mound People started putting up large earthworks and continued for 5,000 years. 

Their first construction was at Poverty Point in Louisiana.  There are of course many mysteries involving them, but I think it’s pretty clear that they moved up and down the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Ohio, went down to the Gulf and probably beyond and around the Great Lakes.  The only problematic point is the transit from the Mississippi to the Great Lakes, which is where Chicago is, and which would have been a highly critical place for thousands of years.  The Mound People vanished just about the time Europeans showed up in that part of the continent, but I would be hard pressed to believe that the Chicago area was ever quite deserted in the last few thousand years.

Nonetheless it’s an imposing statue, a man in a sheet wrapped as a shroud standing against a shiny black granite backdrop.  Looking around I find that there has been a legend that a camera cannot function properly around the stature.  There are indeed many pictures of it, but the subject is limited in its color and excessive in its contrast; it ought to be photographed by twilight or storm light, anything to bring out more detail.  But the pictures are almost all taken under streaming sunlight, enhancing color all right, but cloaking shadows.  The camera functions ok, but the cameraman doesn’t.  Nobody wants to be around that thing after dark.  Despite its lack of detail, the statue reminded me of the statue of Giordano Bruno in Rome put up some 20 years before. 

That statue is a most engaging, as is the story of the man.  He was born of a modest background, became a monk and generated an enormous amount of writing.  He was burned at the stake for heresy.  But that was back in about 1600, oddly enough about the time the Mound Builders were vanishing.  Then in the nineteenth century they were looking for martyrs who had been persecuted by the Catholic Church.  Bruno got his recognition and his marvelous statue.

The immediate purpose of the statue was to attack the Church so as to encourage people not to continue to let the Church have political power.  Some of us also suspect that people were trying to encourage a rebellion by those of scientific bent against church influence and martyrs are good for that sort of thing.

So we come to martyrs.  I suspect that the first martyrs were Christians in Rome.  The stories are so numerous that it’s hard to believe it never happened.  And those martyrs were volunteers, suffering when it would not have been terribly inconvenient to escape notice.  I’m sure they were not the first to die because of their religion – I imagine every regime change in history that involved a change in religion also involved mass slaughter.  But they died, or we are told they died, for their religion.  And it seems historically to have worked.

Jump forward to the renaissance, and now the shoe is on the other foot.  The same church that offered martyrs is now punishing such.  Clearly there is something quite strange about martyrdom.  It certainly does not seem to lead to peace and consensus.  And, yes, it seems to work.  They say a church can run a mission under circumstances where an army cannot operate.  And when a soldier gets killed his influence declines but when a missionary gets killed his influence grows.

I suppose that a lack of consensus regarding “race” is one of the festering elements in our society.  It was recently in the news that a developer in New York had bought the stable where they keep the horses that pull carriages around Central park.  His friend the mayor has now decided that letting the horses stroll around for human fun is cruelty to animals, so he is going to shut down the operation.  About one in four New Yorkers agree, but nobody cares about the three.  That of course will mean that the zoning of the stables changes and the developer makes a lot of money.  They have denied that this is the purpose of the whole drill.  I doubt it.  At about the same time a man was selling cigarettes one by one on the streets of New York.  A policeman choked him to death.  It seems not all the tax had been paid.  And of the cigarettes smoked in New York, how many have all the taxes paid?  It turns out to be about the same one in four.  A lot of people suspect that the man’s death was not unrelated to the fact that he was Black.  Again martyrdom is effective in causing change, but I don’t see it being really a force for love.

And now the charging rhinoceros in the living room.  We are looking at martyrdom on an enormous scale.  No, I really don’t know whether the number of people doing horrible things to themselves and others in the name of Islam is greater or less than the number of early Christian martyrs.  I doubt anybody is trying to work up an estimate.  But I don’t hesitate to call them martyrs as I hesitate to call say Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr. martyrs; it’s the question of whether its’ voluntary.

I cannot imagine where all this is leading to.  Obviously a major global regime change is coming pretty soon; demographics will see to that.  And somehow this flood of martyrs is going to have a huge influence.  But how will it play out?

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