These are the SC&A favorites, culled from the extensive Dr Sanity Concert Hall Series at The Wilfrid Bion Summer Festival And Psycho-Therapist Get Together. These selections have all been performed on the Skinner Stage.
Isabella won’t be able to resist.
Finally, our favorite, Dr Sanity’s American Pie.
The lyrics really will bring a tear to your eye.
As for the late night whispered sweet nothings, see Democracy In A Cartoon.
All the Dr Sanity Concert Hall series selections at The Wilfrid Bion Summer Festival And Psycho-Therapist Get Together, are excellent- really. We had a tough time selecting our favorites.
Go make your own damn list.
August 1, 2006
An Anchoress reader made an interesting observation. Referring to recent events in Seattle, she noted
Good thoughts on Mel. To my mind, one of the most depressing things about all of this is the media focus on Mel Gibson, and their total disinterest in the murder and shootings of Jews by a hate-crazed Muslim.
Mr Haq’s parents have written a letter of apology to the Seattle Jewish community (a rare event, indeed). We can only hope Mr Haq’s parents have written letters to the local institutions that might have taught lessons that might be misinterpreted or apologized for and encouraged similar actions elsewhere.
Clearly, any and all anti Semitic rhetoric is reprehensible, as is any racist and bigoted speech.
We would also ask why the media, who are obviously falling over each other to parse every word Mr Gibson uttered, consistently fails to report on the daily tsunami of racist and bigoted hate spewed daily, elsewhere, in clear and unapologetic fashion.
It isn’t as if that hate is hard to find, with a bit of research. If that proves too challenging for the MSM, well, follow this trail of breadcrumbs. There’s more. Drop us a line and we’ll point you in the right direction.
It isn’t as if the purveyors of hate have been shy.
August 1, 2006
Israel has lost the war in Lebanon. The south of that country has been reduced to cement dust, half of that country’s infrastructure is a memory and parts of the area south of Beirut look like a moonscape, but hey, if Hizbollah says Israel has lost the war, it must be so. Hizbollah has always had Lebanon’s best interests in mind, right? Look for the Israeli government to insist on losing as may wars as they can, in the future.
Israel has won the war in Lebanon, according to others. Of course, Israel has to explain how ruining the southern Lebanese sewage system will contribute to peace and security in the future and they will also have to explain how they support the delicate Lebanese democracy- and insist on explaining that support with a hammer. To reiterate, ridding Lebanon of the Hizbollah pigs (and make no mistake, that is what they are) will take the finesse of a shrewdly played political chess game. In the entire history of chess, no game has ever been won with a bulldozer.
In the civilized world, putting a child in harms way means the child might run out into the street. In southern Lebanon, and in the world that is Hizbollah, that means putting your child in proximity to artillery or rocket launchers. There is no explaining that, no excusing that and no apologizing for that. The people who do that (including wailing, fat grandmothers, are equally guilty of murder in the death of children) are degenerates who need to have their children taken away from them
The war in Lebanon is not the problem. What happened before the war in Lebanon is the problem. No country, not even Israel, needs to tolerate terrorism. Hizbollah is a terrorist organization. Any group that calls for the annihilation of another group of people, are terrorists. If that makes you uncomfortable, then we can refer to Hizbollah as Nazis.
They were elected in free and fair elections you say? So what.
National political parties and social service agencies do not have offensive weapons. National defence falls under the purview of a national government, not terror/Nazi organizations. National political parties and social service agencies do not attack third parties or countries they do not like.
National political parties and social service agencies are not organizations that should be controlled by outside regimes.
National political parties and social service agencies that insist they are humanitarian in nature and are victims of cruel aggressor that want to disarm them, cannot be trusted or taken at their word. Why? Because When political parties are led by or are under the influence of racists, bigots and tyrants- religious or otherwise- attempt to justify their actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Racists, bigots and tyrants do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of their racism, bigotry and tyranny.
National political parties and social service agencies like Hizbollah, that want to be considered moral equals to with those in the western world, cannot preach and teach hate. Hizbollah makes no effort to hide it’s bigoted and racist agenda. In fact, Hizbollah is no different than the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations.None whatsoever.
Israel needs to understand that much of the Arab world is held hostage by Arab regime bigots and tyrants. While it is tempting to plaster the Arab world with one brushstroke, it is unfair and irresponsible. Notwithstanding the idiots who defend, support and otherwise stand up for these bigots, racists and tyrants, Israel has a moral and biblical obligation to ‘not surround the enemy on 4 sides,’ but rather, must allow those who wish to leave, the opportunity to do just that and to be recognized.
To be a ‘lamp unto the nations’ is no easy business.
The Arab world ought to be ashamed of itself! A once great nation, is now reduced to far too many supporting and identifying with the most dysfunctional regimes and leaders in the world.
Shame on you for supporting the likes of Nasrallah and Bashar Assad!
Shame on you for attempting to mitigate the likes of bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi!
Shame on you for allowing your kids to venerate these murderers!
Now, some of you will say our criticism of Israel and the Arab world is not equal in measure. You are right. Our criticism would be equal if the problems were equal. Only an idiot would say the problems are equal.
If the Arab world were on 1/3 as successful as Israel, they would not be languishing in the 19th century, dreaming about the 12th century.
What kind of stupidity does it take to insist that a war go on, so that ‘honor’ can be preserved? What ‘honor’? Where is the ‘honor’ in insisting more innocents die so Hassan Nasrallah can declare ‘victory’ from some cave, overlooking the destruction and cement dust? What kind of perversity is that insists that babies who die needlessly are ‘martyrs’- and therefore absolves those who caused children to be put in harms way to begin with.
Suicide bombers go off to kill women and children- and are told to celebrate ‘with the joy of a wedding.’
The Arab world, is desperate to deny the Holocaust, because whoever does declare Auschwitz as a myth, can successfully transform Jews into the enemy of mankind, manipulators of history to serve their own end. The Jews control the media, the Jews control the banks and the Jews control the universities.
That explains why the Arab world is in the fix it is. Every Jew- and ‘Crusader’ wakes up every day and makes his priority the subjugation of Arabs. Jews and Christians don’t care about their jobs, their children, their businesses or anything else. That is what passes for reality in the Arab world. All the while, decent, hardworking Arabs and Muslims, suffer because of the stupidity and phony religious self righteousness of others.
Anyone who defends the Arab world status quo, is defending bigotry, racism, corruption and tyranny. Anyone who defends those things are not moral equals to the Israelis or any other free nation.
Hezbollah . . . put in place a Machiavelian plan by creating an event that would cancel the [deployment of the Lebanese army to South Lebananon, which would disarm the militia of the party of God]. Knowing very well that Israel will not have a state of heart to bombard civil targets, Hezbollan militants of Hezbollah installed rocket launchers on the roof of a building in Cana and brought in crippled children with the firm intention of creating a new situation, using the massacre of these innocent to take again the initiative of the negotiations.
Words cannot express the revulsion.
One cannot claim to defend democracy and defend the Arab regimes, aims and agenda at the same time. They are antithetical to each other.
Democracy does not have to justify itself. The west does not have to convince anyone that as imperfect as it might be, democracy is still the preferred mode of government- and in any event, far superior to the governments of any Arab regime. Those who refuse to understand, acknowledge or accept that truth, are engaged in deceit and nothing more.
SC&A have long defended Arab and Islamic interests, and we will continue to do so, vigorously. We will not defend, however, those ideologies and behaviors that have brought about the ruin of a nation.
We will have more to say, later. We realize that some foolhardy armchair jihadi will attempt to justify stupidity- and begin by saying there is a war against Muslims and Islam. As it happens, Democracies Don’t Care about Islam or anything else you believe in.
We love when that happens.
August 1, 2006
Pay attention- Gagdad Bob’s got game- and like it or not, gentle reader (we didn’t think we had that in us, either), as an integral part of our culture and society, you are on the playing field. Today, morals and ethics (those thing make you recoil in fear) are on the agenda.
Q: Are morals and ethics really “moving targets”?
A: No, I think they are stable targets toward which we are drawn. Spiritual evolution–or devolution–is a measure of how close or distant we are to these generally unattainable ideals.
The concept of objective morality confuses a lot of people, because they conflate the realm from which morality arises with the realm in which we physically exist. But the two realms are clearly not identical. Rather, part of the “human project,” so to speak, is to bring these two worlds into accord. This is the meaning of “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In the esoteric understanding, the dichotomy of heaven and earth symbolizes the ontological vertical divide, without which we truly would be condemned to a meaningless flatland existence: a journey from nothing to nowhere, with a handful of gimme in between.
But the essence of our humanness involves our ability to intuit the realm of the real–to distinguish between appearance and reality, or maya and brahman. Remember, in philosophy, the “real” does not refer to the constantly changing material world, but to the abiding reality behind it. Platonic realism refers to any school of thought that attributes reality to general ideas that are considered universal. Now, there is a lot in Plato that I don’t care for (which you can say about any great philosopher… well, except perhaps for the pedophilia), but there is no getting around the fact that he was correct on this score.
For example, most truly great mathematicians, if they are of a philosophical bent and reflect upon what they do, are unabashed Platonists. Although great mathematicians possess a promethean creativity, at the same time, they know that they are not “inventing” anything. Rather, there is a deep and abiding sense that they are discovering permanent truths about existence.
But where were these truths before the mathematician discovered them? Not only are these truths real, but in a certain sense, they are somehow more real than the world to which they give rise. In other words, these equations represent the enduring reality behind shifting appearances. A cosmos–which means “order”–is not possible without them.
It is the same with modern physics. There is a nifty little book entitled Quantum Questions: The Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists, compiled by Ken Wilber, who, by the way, has been stalking me for years and tapping my phones, but I really don’t want to get into that right now. The book demonstrates how all these formidable scientific minds–Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Planck, Pauli, Eddington, et al–arrived at a mystical or transcendental world view that regards the world as ineluctably spiritual and conscious rather than merely dead and material. Among other things, they could not reconcile the awesome beauty of the timeless mathematical world they had discovered with any deity-free cosmos.
Again, as I mentioned yesterday, this kind of natural theology only gets you so far, because one cannot necessarily equate the “God of the philosophers” with the God of the Bible or the Upanishads. But it is certainly enough, in my view, to grant that latter God an interview. After all, it’s a pretty impressive resume. If he wrote the laws of physics, who’s to say that he couldn’t have inscribed the moral law within our hearts?
Again we return to the question of objectivity. Either morals are objectively true in the sense described above, or they are merely human agreements with an “enjoy by” date stamped onto them. But even when people have bad morals, such as the Islamists, they never regard them that way. Nor, as everyone knows, does the secular leftist ever regard his morality as an ephemeral thing of convenience. To the contrary, because the leftist collapses the hierarchy of heaven and earth, he embarks on the urgent project of enforcing his morals by any means necessary, even if the means are grossly immoral, as history demonstrates ad nauseam with any leftist regime. The further left, the more immoral the government, all in the name of superior morality.
To point out a banality that may be news to some, both nazis and communists are left wing, in that they are both polar opposites of the classical liberalism of the American founders. What we call the modern conservative intellectual movement is specifically attempting to conserve the revolutionary spirit of our liberal founders, whereas what we call contemporary liberalism has an entirely different intellectual genealogy, in that it is always traceable to some form or aspect of Marxism. And as I have had occasion to mention many times, please do not equate the conservative movement with “Republicanism,” as (tragically) there are very few philosophical conservatives among our elected representatives.
So the question is, who moves? Humans, or their moral targets? In the West, our primordial moral target is known as the Ten Commandments, which were appropriately engraved in stone by God. Nowadays, many secularized folks obviously have difficulty accepting these commandments as anything other than a quaint, antiquated, and somewhat arbitrary list of do’s and don’ts. But in my book, I have a section in which I attempt to demonstrate their vital contemporary relevance, not just in their exterior aspect, but in their inner significance. For not only are the Commandments horizontal rules for governing man-to-man relations. But it so happens that they also have an interior dimension that communicates timeless, state-of-the-art advice on how to achieve spiritual fulfillment.
In that section of the book, I outline the universal applicability of the Ten Commandments for extreme seekers, off-road spiritual aspirants, omsteaders and cosmonauts of whatever vertical path. In other words, we are again dealing with something that partakes of timeless truth. This in itself is a rather profound mystery, because how, in the absence of divine intervention, could a primitive and barbaric tribe of nomads possibly have come up with these timeless truths that would still apply some 2,500 years into the future?
You try coming up with something that will still be relevant in a few years, let alone a few thousand, like the Honeymooners or the Andy Griffith show with Don Knotts. It’s not easy. In all honesty, the gap between man in his barbaric and pre-civilized state vis-à-vis the sublime moral and psycho-spiritual laws encoded in the Commandments or the Andy Griffith show is essentially infinite and unbridgeable by any mere Darwinian “just so story.” I mean, if you can believe that, what won’t you believe? (As implied in the descryption beneath the title of this blog, I believe in both Darwinian [horizontal] and Darwhiggian [vertical] evolution.)
This all reminds me of when I was frantically trying to finish my book, just over two years ago. The deadline was approaching, and at the last minute I had disassembled the entire last chapter and was in the process of trying to put it back together again. I was trying to come up with a suitable bang-up ending, and I thought to myself, “why not show how the Ten Commandments and the Upanishads, understood esoterically, convey the identical perennial psycho spiritual know-how and be-who to serious seekers–that they represent two independent views of the same transcendent reality? Call them the ten ‘Commanishads’ or ‘Upanishalts.’”
As soon as I thought of it, I knew that it was possible, although don’t ask me how I knew that I knew. However, I needed help. At the time, I happened to be on a plane flying back from New York to L.A, after having visited my brother-in-law and nephew. I was on the right plane, because I needed a rabbi in a hurry, and there is always a rabbi on a flight from New York. Normally I’m not the kind of guy who just walks up to to a total stranger and introduces himself, but something came over me. Being Jewish, I knew that he would have no choice but to be kind to this cosmic stranger.
I had seen this fellow enter the plane, and if he wasn’t a rabbi, then he was hardcore Orthodox, and that was good enough for me. Nobody dresses like that on a slightly sweltering plane. I walked down the aisle to where he was sitting, absently flipping through a magazine, and blurted out, “are you a rabbi?” He seemed a little disconcerted at first, but he could tell at a glance that I wasn’t Arab, and I explained to him that this was a spiritual emergency and that I needed some immediate assistance. He didn’t know anything about the Upanishads, but when I mentioned that some people believe that “Abraham” and “Brahman” might be etymologically related, he was intrigued. (I have no idea if that’s true, but at least it got the conversation going.) I knew we were on the same wavelength when he started his discourse by saying that the first five commandments have to do with man’s relationship to God, while the second five govern man’s relationship to man. “Hey, vertical and horizontal! You ‘da mensch!”
So to sum it all up, no spiritual progress is possible without the cultivation of virtue, the closing of the gap between us and our highest ideals. “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” But not arbitrarily. Timeless moral truths are the luster of the eternal target to which our lives are properly aimed. “Affix to the Upanishad, the bow incomparable, the sharp arrow of devotional worship; then, with mind absorbed and heart melted in love, draw the arrow and hit the mark–the imperishable Brahman.”
Say, did I mention that Brahman and Abraham are etymologically related?
Damn, that’s only the second question. Nine more to go. I don’t mean to be so verbose, but… To tell you the truth, Dr. Freudjungadler, this is one of the reasons why we’re here to see you. Frankly, Petey thinks I talk too much, especially for someone who “knows so little,” as he delicately puts it. He recently alerted me to this new feature on amazon. Can you believe it? It supposedly shows that only seven percent of the books in the world have more words per sentence than I do, and apparently most of them are written by a guy named Heidegger, which, I must tell you, is a bit of an insult, because I always thought Heidegger was a sort of mystagogic blowhard, not at all like me, whom in all modesty I consider a model of clarity compared to that Teutonic freak who goes on and on and on about the being of being and the nothingness that nothingness nihilates, and how the self creates both the absence it presents and the presentation from which it is absent, and how the self is both nothingness and the source of the nullity it embodies in public space, and how the nothing “nothings” and how only the nothing nothings, and how nothing can’t derive from something, as if by a slow decay of the ding an sich, or whatever you call it. Go ahead, Doc. You tell Petey. I don’t write that way, do I? Do I? Well?
August 1, 2006
See Fausta Central for the links roundup.
Actually, this is a really big deal. Look for the left and MSM to gravely prounounce Fidel the ‘Cuban Kennedy.’
Hugo Chavez, take note of how the Cubans will ‘mourn’ the ‘people’s hero.
August 1, 2006
I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajun that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to have the say in our town and all other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.
August 1, 2006
It all goes back to my mother (who was quite a talented musician) telling me I had no musical talent when I was 10 years old. I simply refused to believe her assessment–despite all evidence to the contrary. Years and years of therapy later, I still suffer from the [usually harmless] delusion that I am musical and artistic…
Dr Sanity has published what will be one of the most saved posts of the year.
In one place, at one time, Dr Sanity has posted links to her entire collection of musical parodies- a more toe tapping and hum-along collection that any of those Time Warner middle of the night infomercials.
Finally, Dr Sanity can look mom in the eye and say, “No talent? Oh yeah? Well, check this out!!”
It’s nice to finally get get back at mom!
(I’m sorry mother, yes mother, of course mother, I didn’t mean to thrust a knife into your heart, mother…)
Check out the parodies- all of em. They are truly witty, sharp and funny.
We are polling ourselves and will publish a list of our favorites later in the day.