Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Rebuke of W

Some familiar calumnies have arrived by way of a comment by "w":

You are a luciferian or satanist. Not simpy because you reject christianity. This is not personal. Ir is your focus against all religions that impute fear as a motivation for conversion. You are more focused on prosperity and meterial growth on earth. You are 100% earthly minded so your hope dies with you. Sorry thats all u get in this life. Turn to Christ u will have more beyond ur limited achievement.
I already asked the commenter not to leave me in suspense on whether I am a "luciferian" or a "satanist," and pending that, I will offer a few more remarks.

As it happens, I'm not terribly focused on prosperity and "meterial [sic] growth" as these things go. You clearly have not seen the car I drive, nor compared that car with the car I could afford, let alone compared it with the car I could "afford" by modern-day American standards, which means something more like, "I can somehow manage to get a lender to finance despite all known tenets of underwriting." Clearly you're unfamiliar with the clothes I wear, the house I live in, the cuisine I purchase, etc. It's all pretty unexciting where it's not outright downscale, and rest assured even the best of it won't be appearing in any upscale fashion magazines any time soon.

But as you say, this is not personal, and I agree.

I have goals, hopes, and aspirations, but they actually have little to do with money or material things. The money and the things are secondary; a necessary evil, means to higher ends.

That said, I am not interested in engaging in a fatuous poverty-off with you or anyone. That's your game. I am not an ascetic and I don't play one on the internets. It's your creed that pretends that poverty is some kind of exalted state -- or in certain theological-political moods it does, depending on the local point trying to be scored -- and I do not share in this creed, either broadly or in this particular. I have seen poverty up close and I know that those who experience it don't inherit the earth or lasso the moon or otherwise resemble the lachrymose treacle found in the Beatitudes. They suffer in assorted ways, and the striving they must do is not ennobling. Feel free to give away all your money and possessions if you really think otherwise, but don't wait for me, as I won't be joining you.

So while I do not focus on "prosperity and meterial [sic] growth" in any significant way, I also do not apologize for avoiding poverty and attaining some of life's comforts. You can pretend to condemn this approach to life if you think it will assist your groveling before your favorite god watching from his invisible sky attic, but I call bullshit.

As for your pronouncements on the foreseeable life-span of my hopes, you can go ahead and fuck the fuck right off. If I thought you were speaking from a grounding in reality, I might take this as a simple statement of fact -- i.e., "people die" -- and move on. But given your professed creed, you are instead articulating (with almost complete English words) an anticipation that you will be "saved" from death and that people like me will not be, and this disparity pleases you. Or perhaps you intend it as leverage in converting me to your definitely-not-fear-based religion, and are in the familiar proselyter's habit of labeling this form of manipulation as "love." Whatever that is, it's not love, so I call bullshit once more.

Whatever. As you say, this is not personal, and I agree.

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