Blog Archive

Monday, May 19, 2014


I try to be reasonable. In fact, I view irrationality as I do strangers: A friend I haven't met yet. After all, everything has a very real explanation or reason somewhere just as there certainly is a sound of a tree falling when there is no one there to hear it. In fact, most of what I know of the world is evidence and faith based upon the apparent results attributed to it.  I will see and hear and experience personally only a fraction of Reality before I go. Still, I am hopelessly dependent upon the conclusions and reports and evaluations of other people whom have made it their business to do such things. Although I do not "kill the messenger" of bad reports, most "messengers" these days are unreliable. Foolishness reigns in high places. As Roman Pontius Pilatus concluded rhetorically in his interrogation of Christus, "What is truth?" His only reply, a sad, resigned, and pregnant pause as this falsely accused man gazed upon him returning outside to try and appeal to a Jewish mob's absence of sensibilities one more time. From the Dawn of Man, History is a cake of Lies frosted with Truth.

As Grandfather, I find myself relishing the exploitation of my young Grandson's wide-eyed wonder over ludicrous and irrational stories just as my own Wicked Grandfather prevailed upon me at five. Much later in life, after my Grandfather was long gone, was it finally revealed that the great mass of fermented stories he related to me were complete fabrications, with a few mustard seeds of truth.

Why are adult men and women such prolific liars? Of course, the common knowledge that children are rigorously honest is itself a confabulation. We are born with an exquisitely irresistible inclination to lie in our blood, even when it is easier to tell the truth. Highly educated and influential people play armchair god while their more powerful cohorts enforce Policy and Procedure with bludgeons.

I defer to larger truths evidenced by a thousand lies. The Grandfather that respects truth will modestly  acquiesce at the end of the day by confessing the sin of white lies to his Grandson because ultimately he knows the higher principle and responsibility he has to be truthful. All fun aside, conceding that all men are liars I must redeem personal integrity as an individual by not perjuring myself in his court.

If Bipolar has taught me anything, it is the discovery of the Fact that the brilliant flights of Mania and the pretense of Dissociations from reality are financed directly by the Banks, Casinos, and other repositories of neurotransmitters and followed eventually by the depressing dopamine debt. Drugs that ostensibly float a synthetic loan to cover it demand interest, penalties and punitive fees.

Collectively, we are nominally serious about elites being held accountable to truth but rarely can it be enforced fairly and reasonably beyond the occasional clueless scapegoat authentically bewildered at being singled out from business as usual where the only perceived crime is being stupidly caught. I am continually in awe of this world's System celebrating corporate psychopathy without any shame.

I conclude that Sobriety is a sound quality of mind beyond abstinence from addictive substances, behaviors, and beliefs that is of great transcendent and spiritual value because of it's rarified and brief sanity and clarity. Sobriety is the air and stable platform of the deep sea diver and awareness or wakefulness to the sleeper in a disturbing nightmare. It brings the dead back to Life: True evolution.

What is Truth? It is Love and Life, among the rarest and exquisitely delectable samples we can taste in this supermarket. If we must ask the price, it is apparent we cannot afford to buy it. We can't live with or without it. It is a foreign language and profanely counterfeited currency in a material world that blasphemously attempts to mint it with fiat words and sell it like bottled water. It is beyond most. 

DelanceyPlace: Red Fortress by Catherine Merridale

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Today's selection -- from Red Fortress by Catherine Merridale. Nations routinely underestimate the length, cost and carnage of the wars they enter. Of particular note were the grotesque miscalculations made by royal families across Europe on the eve of World War I. The absurdity was particularly evident in the preparations of the naive Empress Alexandra of Russia, wife of the even duller Nicholas II, both of whom were famously murdered only four years later in a basement in Ekaterinburg:

"And then, without a thought for art or bread, Russia entered Europe's war. 'Let the unity of the Tsar and His people become yet stronger,' Nicholas II declared in his manifesto. 'Let Russia rise as one person.' Like those of every other European nation, his subjects drank deep on such rhetoric, forgetting other troubles for one final, fervent season. Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot on 28 June 1914. On 23 July, Serbia received an Austrian ultimatum threatening punitive war. The Serbs appealed for Russian help, and St Petersburg, dreaming of Slavic brotherhood and Balkan influence, responded. Russia's general mobilization began on 30 July. In August, Moscow put out its national flags, began collections for the war effort, and cheered each new batch of recruits as they marched past the Kremlin walls. ...
"The Kremlin's status as an imperial palace, the property of the tsars, allowed the Romanovs to put it to a novel use. In 1914, the empress Alexandra ordered that a hospital for officers should be created somewhere on the Kremlin hill. The concession to mere citizens was a serious one, implying profanation of the consecrated [Kremlin] ground, but the idea was to emphasize the sacred nature of this war. There was also something intimate, a direct personal link, in a hospital that bore the empress's name. Fifty beds were envisaged, though a contingency was proposed 'should all of these be occupied'. As the first casualties arrived, the empress requested that she be informed of each officer's name and the details of his wounds. The impression that these men were almost family could only have been reinforced at Easter 1915 (and again in 1916) when each of the patients in the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna hospital received a personal gift, a small china egg, hand-decorated with the imperial coat of arms. 

"What started as a noble act, however, soon became absurd. Russia's war was a disaster. The troops were brave -- their courage in the face of death was legendary -- but they were not prepared to fight this bitter war. In the first year alone, their losses were about four million men. The soldiers fell to better-equipped and better-led opponents, to poor port networks on their own side, and to the ebbing of morale. If the empress had taken the time to read the reports on 'her' officers, she would have been alarmed at the details of shell-wounds, head injuries amputations. The Kremlin hospital began its life in the spirit of Marie Antoinette's toy farm in eighteenth-century Versailles, complete snowy palace linen on the beds, but it ended in chaos and squalor. The plight of the casualties was desperate, their numbers overwhelming. Distracted by problems at court, the empress lost interest, leaving the enterprise to Moscow's city government." 

Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin
Author: Catherine Merridale
Publisher: Metropolitan Books a Henry Hold and Company, LLC
Copyright 2013 by Catherine Merridale
Pages 268-269
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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.

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