Monday, September 29, 2008

It's all Oliver Cromwell's Fault. Pt. 3

Oliver Cromwell was a part of the gentry: neither a peasant, nor a royal--just middle class. He subscribed to the values of the middle class and fought for them, above all for equality, the making-the-same of all people that continues today. At one point, he lost his land, and it is a question what effect that loss had on his demand for equality; from a psychological perspective, it must have intensified it.

It wasn't simply a matter of politics for him. As a Puritan, he believed in the Doctrine of Total Depravity, according to which man is so totally depraved that he is simply incapable of choosing good; on the contrary, he thought, man can not choose good, but--god has to predestine man to salvation. So when Oliver Cromwell looked at King Charles, he saw someone who thinks he is better than the rest, someone who thinks himself above others.

Actually, King Charles did think that, and so did the royalty and nobility. What did the richest and most powerful of England have in common with stinking peasants with bad teeth who had a tendency to lie all the time? All they were good for were their pretty young virgins, and the droit du seigneur, the right of the lord to sleep with a virgin on her wedding night, guaranteed them that. As for the virgins and their husbands, what were they going to do, call the police? Some say this Right of the First Night is a historical myth; I say calling it a historical myth is the upper class trying to re-write its most egregious and direct uses of power out of history, because that historical fact certainly has the power to induce resentment against the rich and powerful even today.

Oliver Cromwell, the Protestant soldiers of the New Model Army, who'd sing hymns before battle, and the Parliament, the political counterweight to the King's will, all saw this and the thousand and one other uses and abuses of the middle-class that the upper class made, and it made them resentful; for their part, King Charles, the royalty, and the Catholic Church looked at them as the ignorant rabble, uneducated, incapable of interpreting the bible, prone to hallucination, and altogether like children.

They were both right, but Cromwell had more might.

Cromwell killed Charles I and neutered his son, Charles II, and he set up a "just" government. He wiped out scores of Irish Catholics (do we call it a "genocide," or was it just a "massacre"?), and they closed down The Globe. Shakespeare was a bad influence on the people, you see. Verily I say unto you that, looking back, we can see whence Ayatollah Khomeini got his inspiration. No dancing, no drinking, no painting, no having fun; just Jesus. Although, to be fair, and balanced, you can do anything that you want in Iran today, just as long as the mollah gets his pay.

The same ideology that was born between the Protestant and Catholic wars in 17th century England is the same ideology that conquered the United States.

It's very simple. The people who got on boats and came to America were the very same Calvinists. Their ideology is the dominant one in the United States of America. It is true that people came to the US from different countries, but their minds were taken over. All of them. Even the Mexicans today are being converted to Protestantism. Mexican Protestants...

That's whom you're dealing with my taxi-driver friend: Oliver Cromwell Protestants.



Notice the date range gets shorter as time goes on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's all Oliver Cromwell's fault. Pt. II.

Come to think of it, this series deserves a subtitle: Armenian Anthropology 101: Know who's fucking with you: The English. (We'll get to the Russians in good time, don't worry).

So look at King Charles's portrait in the post below. Look at his clothes: a combination of silk, cotton, wool, and velvet. Not bad for the 17th century. The crown is shown just behind his left hand: The sign of power. But, most importantly, look at his left hand. It is resting on something right around the elbow. His left wrist is relaxed, can afford to casually hang down, because his left elbow is being supported by something. That something is the hilt of his sword. You can't really see it, the hilt of his sword, but that, in itself, is a point: He doesn't show off his power, he suggests it.

Let that be a lesson to us who live in the current age: King Charles's portrait tells us that He has the power to kill. The left wrist can casually hang, because the right arm can reach over and draw the sword, and--eviscerate. And he really could do that.

He lived in an extraordinary age, just like we do. He leaned Catholic, and lost. Except Catholic and Protestant are religious interpretations with a history far more interesting than what they write in the textbooks. Take the Hussites, for example, and the first guns.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's all Oliver Cromwell's fault.

There are in the world today these people called the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. If you're living in Southern California, they would be the annoying racist assholes that question your right to breathe. We deal with them every day, and we might as well find out who they are.

Where to start? Let's see. OK.

It all goes back to King Charles the first.

But let me back-track a bit. The other day I called a cab, a taxi. Taxis and their significance are different in the east coast as opposed to the west coast. For one thing, in the east coast, you hail a cab; on the west coast you have to call them. But there are many other differences between the coasts. All of that for later, maybe.

The cab company I dialed is owned by an Armenian. Not quite an "oligarch," but he certainly gets everything he can out his cabbies, who, in my case, was, predictably, an Armenian, too. It was around rush hour, and we got stuck in traffic, right around the 210's Lake exit. We were talking the whole way.

He was a cool guy; we talked about many things on the way. It turned out that he was supporting a wife and two children on his "salary," driving a cab from anywhere between 12-18 hours every day. He said that he's been in the US for six years. He brought his family over three years ago. His English was horrible; we spoke in Armenian. He seemed very clean cut: he didn't look like he drank or smoked much, just moderately. He was around my age, his mid-late 30's, and he seemed like he was devoted to his family, his kids. Family is what he lived for, and family life was sustaining him. I suggested that he get one of those cassette-tape language instruction courses in English; he thought that was a good idea.

So we are driving and talking, driving and talking. Everything is normal, until he bursts out:

"Black people and Mexicans, I get along with, but white people, they are totally racist jerks. The other day, there was a white guy in my cab, and he asked me, 'Why are you here?' And I said, 'What do you mean?' And he said, 'Why are you in my country?' And I said, 'What the fuck do mean 'Your country'? This is the land of Indians. You killed them. This is not 'your country' and if you fuck with me, I'll kick your fucking ass.'"

Which brings us to Oliver Cromwell.

We go back a few hundred years. Charles the First, 1636:

More later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brilliant senatorial rhetoric...

The metaphors just keep coming.

"I'm not going to get stampeded into rubber stamping this proposal." Yeah, so to speak.

It's all Bull. Shit. As it were.

Chuck Schumer did ask a good question, though, that Paulson ultimately and clearly did not answer: Why can't they take $150 billion right now and wait for the legislators to reassess in a couple of months? It's not like they are going to spend the $700 billion all at once. Why can't they wait? Wait until the Senate reconvenes and decides whether the other $550 BILLION is necessary? No answer. Just a bunch of horseshit (so to speak).

After watching two hours of this (I couldn't stomach any more), I had the distinct impression that the entire thing was theater: It was as if the senators had gotten together with Paulson and rehearsed what they were going to say. In particular, Chris Dodd is a shit. I don't care that he's a democrat--he's a shit: clearly a Wall Street stooge. Among other reasons, he's a shit for humiliating the head of the S.E.C., gratuitously chiding him for a late report, as if the chairman of the S.E.C. types and delivers commission reports, himself. Yeah, right. And Sarah Palin is the most competent foreign policy expert in the history of the United States.

And Paulson... I don't know. How can he be described? A shifty latent homosexual with an oral fixation that approaches finance like a football game. What with him constantly tonguing his lips wrung into an "O" every two seconds? It was disgusting watching that creep. It was disgusting watching all of those creeps. Hell, politics is just disgusting creeps altogether.