Tuesday 26th of September 2023

of the bitter-sweetness of life...

picasso's   Rod Dreher pushes the limits of his limited knowledge without the ability to think outside the religious box — except to blame what’s outside for the destruction of the box. Today, he is mortified as to why the teaching of Christian beliefs is taking a hammering, even in Christian colleges… Here he warns us about the complacent piety of older American Christians:


I’m at a conference this weekend, with a bunch of academics. I spent a couple of rich hours tonight talking with old friends who teach at Christian colleges. I wish — do I ever wish! — that most of you could have been sitting in on this. These are professors who are on the front lines, and what they report ought to blast to smithereens the complacent piety of most older American Christians.

Pornography is destroying a generation. It really is. One of the profs told me that his female students can’t get dates. Young men aren’t interested in relationships. Those who do ask women out tell them at the outset that they (the women) have to be cool with their pornography habits. From what I gathered, we are dealing with a generation of males who are failing to become men. Slavery to sensory input from screens — porn and video games — is keeping them stuck at around age 14. These are young males who attend conservative Christian colleges. This is a problem so far beyond our usual categories that we can scarcely comprehend it.

We talked also about how wokeness is conquering even conservative Christian colleges. I like to think that I’m well informed about this stuff, but even I am shockable. I said to one Evangelical college prof, “Most Catholic colleges are already lost. I get the idea that a lot of conservative Evangelical colleges are headed in the same direction.


Note: Wokeness is awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular "stay woke", whose weird grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues. Should wokeness infiltrate Christian colleges? Good question… 

Is wokeness destroying the tradition moral hierarchy of churches or is it adding a new dimension that the old priests and teachers have a colonialist problem with? Are social justice and racial justice such a problem to the go-to-heaven or go-to-hell cards? Isn’t social justice what Christ was trying to teach until the systemic churches came along with rituals, pageantry, hierarchy and bizarre interpretations of selected static views that "have failed to" (CANNOT) understand sciences?


So, Rod Dreher is using porn as a scapegoat for the inability of Christians women to get a date... Is he blaming porn for the failure of the Christian teachings? Is there a way for these evangelical blind mice to see that their own religious beliefs have fallen (they always have been there) in the fairyland of Sillydom, until knowledge came along to expose this? Is knowledge the “original sin"? 

Yes, porn can have a bad influence on people, but is this why conservative Evangelical colleges are loosing traction? Have they examined the tenet and quality of their teaching in relation to the real world? How long will it take for the Islamic religions to also fall to the modern world, should they abandon corporal punishments? 

Is the modern world exclusively based on pornography? 

The modern world is not as pretty or idealistic as a behaviour based on the fear of the wrath of god. This ideal was that of people who sent many a young guy to die on battlefields… The religious has a bad elitist smell in the choices rulers made.

But can't we grow up and discover who we really are, without wrecking the place? The religious Abrahamic social constructs, Judaism, Islam and Christianity are based on simplistic lies. Sciences can cut these open. 

Sciences have made giant strides way beyond beliefs and have recovered all the philosophical spaces lost since the Greeks had their thinkers plotting a clever understanding that had no gods in it. Christianity became a dour sour damper on ideas, because it was convenient for a Roman emperor to appease the unrest in uneducated masses as well as conquering more lands. 

Christianity stopped the thinking. We needed a renaissance. We’re having another one. Sciences are the future. Sciences are thinking the future of reality. Rather than teach evangelism, these colleges should teach sciences, in which the morals of natural forces can incorporate the larger human dimension of compassion, without a god as judge, jury and executioner. We shall live free and knowledgeable.
And porn? Porn has always been with us and on display on Greek and Roman vases BC. But our inability to deal with a social structure that can accept some flaws, or some flexible ideas, is in itself a weakness of beliefs… Sensory perceptions can be tamed not by the fear of god, but by understanding their animalistic origins to be managed in an elevated humanist social context. 

So would some poetry release the tension?

Here my mate Jules Letambour has translated/interpreted a French poem written more than 400 years ago, by Pierre de Ronsard. It should be studied by the US young men and help them, with an elevation of stylistic abstraction, into inventing their own purpose of life in a knowledgeable social context…

The Bacchanalia

Stand up! I hear the brigade
I hear the music
That our friends play,
To wake us up with rigmarole
Their torches alight.

I'm already playing the guitar,
I hear the ground
that vibrates under their feet;
I hear the free cadenza
From their dance,
That rattles with their steps.

Corydon, open the door,
So that we bring them,
From the early morning start,
Hams, pastries and sausages,
That we must sacrifice to wine.

God, guard this erudite troop;
Honour your fame,
Bellay, Baïf, and you other poets
France with the gold of your name.

Along the sacred light waves,
By the meadows,
Green crowns of willows,
To the sound of waves in a jiffy
Have the will to make verses.

Myself, tiny, whose thought
Is raised only
From the wish of a high flight,
That only allows my soul
To ignite
From the heat of a fire so hot,

In place of such wonders,
Two bottles
I pack on my backside,
In this double handled bag,
The paunch of which
Serves of oracle for companions.

See Urvoy hugging
Some Ivy
His bottle full of white wine,
Carried on his shoulder,
From a pole,
Dangling down to his side !

See the mood of this face
Who walks
Speaking to himself in whispers,
And see also the twist
Of his cheek,
T’is the Count of Alsace.

I see him as he gallops
By the troop' side
A large donkey without a brace;
I see him as he flatters it,
And scratches its
Ears and its collar.

So the Pastor of Troye
By the way
Guides a mounted Horsey,
Preaching the laws of the feast,
With his head,
So slanted to the side.

Vigneau follows behind,
His fallen down bottles,
As the flowers, that his ear,
That still sleeps,
Drops at every step ...

But this Abel thouches him,
Thus his mouth,
He opens, and inside
Places his fingers, then takes them out
And for a laugh
They resent him, clinching teeth.

Oi, here comes Harteloye
The glory of whom 
Climbs to the sky in a straight flight
And Latan, who is with him
But only dares
counter the day with folly.

Onlookers observe us,
And take cover
With a keen experienced eye,
Though such display do not fool us
Nor do they break
Our deal with our good health.

Oi! Oi! Dear troop
What earnestness
This day brings to us!
Let's move on while Aurora
Is still
In the arms of her husband ...

Oi! I see that roses
Already opened
Through the flaming East;
To let see various cloud-skies
That travel,
Here comes the light of day.

Here comes the saffron-dawn,
Already born
Covered with carnations and flowers
The sky that opens the day,
And the earth
With Dew and of tears …

Oi! I see the valley
By two hunchbacked mounds,
And the double arch that walled
The whisper
Of two mossy streams.

It's you, Hercueil, who still
Guild the doors
Of Hercules the ancient name,
Who dedicated the memory
Of your glory
To the labours of his renown.

I salute you, Dryads, 
You, Naiads, 
In their beautiful known lairs,
And the fathers of your Satyrs
In deep burrows,
And with front-horned Fauns.

Everyone has a weapon at hand
Like a frond,
Each with an amusing voice
Overwhelms the countryside,
Waters, meadows, and the woods.

Already the kitchen is lit,
Its smoke,
Trembling to the heavens,
Already the tables are set
And are served 
Full of delicious meals.

This really invites us
To go fast
And soothe a little
The violent fury
That torments
Our barking mad appetite.

Above, the rain drizzles
A little water
Full of lys and flowers;
A bed of roses on our face
And the space
Glitters of a hundred colours ...

On the other side listen,
From Dorat comes the sweet voice
That recreates
The whole sky with a song so soft?

Oi! Oi! let's start!
He begins
Still inventing his songs,
Celebrating in a Roman voice
A fountain
And all the Gods of these fields.

Listen therefore to these wonders,
Enthusiasm from the Limousin
Doesn't let him say anything
On his lyre
That is not divine, divine.

Oi! Oi! What a sweet style is
Among his various songs;
No honey so much can recreate
That agrees
The sweet Nectar of his verses.
When I hear him, it seems that 

Let me be 
All of a sudden my ravished mind,
And that far from the people I wander
With the soul-drug of Thebain,

With Horace's soul:
Such grace
Fill her mouth with honey,
Honey as his divine Muse,
Really dine upon
Serenity in Heaven.

Oi Dusk! Star brunette,
Whose veil
Blackens the side of the sky,
That does soon appears
Leading home
By the shadows your flock.

Stop, black messenger,
Your dim light,
For a longer moment hear
The sweetness of his words,
That freaks me out
With such an enjoyable tickle.

What! From the stars, herderess,
Too light
You come back for your turn,
In front of the hour emblazed,
And send
Underground the light of day.

Go ! go ! Jealous girl, walk on,
You're not dining,
Nor your stars can hear
Such a perfect song,
That is only sung
For the real men to enjoy.

So, because the dark night,
Full of shade,
Has seized the mountains,
Let’s return dear troop
To the city,
Half-drunk with pleasure.

Never man, before he dies,
Does not live
Fully blessed perfectly;
Always with jubilation
Meshes with, secretly.

Picture at top: Bacchanale by Picasso (1955)

of pleasures, let me be...

What an amazing poem for the "boys"... Here is one for the "girls" by the same author also translated/adapted by our friend Jules Letambour...



To Cassandre

Cutey-pie, let see if the rose
that this morning has bloomed
Her carmine clothes in full Sun,
Has not wasted her lucky boon
The folds of her dark dress red,
And her lovely tone like your own.

Damn ! Soon see how in such little time,
Cutey, she has upon the space
Damn ! Let her petals fall!
Oh weary sad Nature you are,
For such a flower not to last
Only from morning till evening night!

So, if you believe me, cutey-pie,
As your age matures you along
In the greenest of its novelty,
Use, use your youth:
As like for this flower, old age
Will tarnish your beauty.


This is the best-known poem from Ronsard, under the name  "The Rose"



Here comes the depth of relationships and ephemeral attraction. Where are the benefits of beauty, love and sex?… Is the social construct of the Western world the only way to deal with procreation of the species, without being loose ended nor being “wasted”? 

The Islamic world tends to organise marriages way in advance of maturity. Many young girls are promised in marriage to people who are often much older. Was this the case of Mohamed's wife Iesha, promised to him when she was seven and married at nine, when he was 54?

Is there a case of “try before you buy” with sexual relations and is there a case of intellectual compatibility? Is sharing a life exclusively “forever” with someone else, the only way? In the bible, many kings had many wives and concubines (mistresses) to satisfy male urges. Was this not a form of male “pornography”? Or was this a sign of “power” over women and over anyone else at the same time? Is the sense of equality of gender and race, destroying the male structure in the old Churches? Who cares?…

Since we indulged with a poem by Ronsard above, we had to leave this long dead old fellow have the next word on the subject of fading beauty… We, male, rarely see ourselves the (ugly) way we look, as we age. We never look in the mirror. Some of us just shave but don't look. And contrary to the females we don’t use make up, generally...

Several translations of this poem are available, all more pedestrian than the other, thus Jules Letambour has come to the fore again with his own interpretation...