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Monday, January 02, 2012

Bah... Humbug.


























Bah... Humbug.

I awaken on this January twoth, and feel mean . Not drop-kicking kittens into a brick wall mean. The classic meaning. Scrooge mean. We were (unsuccessfully) phished this morning. Our good con friends were NOT, in fact, robbed at knife-point by a gang of thugs. The Dread Dormomoo, who has more cleverness in her little finger than I have in my big finger, searched a key phrase in the email, and lo, Google set us straight. The fact that we, in whom the milk of human kindness flows by the quart in every vein (reference - QUICK!), would have that used against us, as though we were suckers, yokels from whom the fruits of our not inconsiderable labors may be plucked by a scheme playing upon our natural sympathies, sends me around the bend.

"Hmmm..." sez my many reader, "seems a bit extreme to react that way to a scam email."

But wait, THERE'S MORE!

We have been providing shelter for for some months to someone "trying to turn his life around" (Please, I relate this NOT to garner The Praise of Men, or to trumpet "What a good boy am I!!" but rather to provide A Cautionary Tale. Please do not think good OR ill of me for doing so. I am not doing the Pharisee DanceTM). We have in return been lied to voluminously, and perhaps stolen from yesterday. Happy New Year!

I do not go to Vegas. I do not buy lottery tickets. I do not bet on even a sure thing, for I believe in entropy. Yet I have consistently picked losers in the "help them" department. The restauranteur who needed money as a down payment for the building, and did not purchase the building springs readily to mind.

Bah... Humbug. Sucker.

Altruism is a lie. No-one gives for altruistic reasons. Altruism is a concept whereby one giver may feel superior to others because "I give altruistically".

Altruism is a champagne-at-brunch counterfeit of charity, or "agape" as the Greek puts it. The altruist preens when he gives, because he feels superior to the believer who "gives out of duty" or "gives to his church", or "doesn't give to save the gay unborn whales from being nuked".

The agapist gives, yes, because God says to. He gives because of the pressure of Need. He gives because in his giving he provides God yet another pipeline through which to bless. Jesus did not teach "Give and it shall be given to you" so that televangelists may wear Rolexes, or drive shiny purple Cadillacs. 

Given this, why do I feel mean? I am hurt. Hurt once too often. Hurt by "it wasn't good enough".
Hurt that I am, apparently a sucker, a straw-gnawing yokel. And I am done.

I'll give to the homeless man, buy a burger for the hitchhiker on the on-ramp, but for now, in answer to the sob story, the pathos, the Tales of Schmaltz, the "more that 25-words plea", my answer will be:

"This is my problem how ?"

7 comments:

Michael W said...

I've had this happen to myself on occasion (although not as much due to my chronically hermit habits). I sometimes wonder if I should respond by genuinely hurting the next person in sincere need that I meet?

It would certainly balance the scales.

So does this mean that Justice is, preferably, a level playing field?

And does this answer the old question of why God sometimes lets bad things happen to good people?

The Aardvark said...

I am uncertain as to whether your response is tongue-in-cheek, a gentle rebuke, all, or neither.
I cannot hurt someone (I know THAT was tongue in cheek!) because there are sanctions. Not smart for me.

Anyone who wants true Justice must be mad!

"...why God sometimes lets bad things happen to good people?"

This presupposes God's activity, or at least allowance. This seems perilously close to the Bachmannesque "God uses hurricanes and earthquakes to get politicians' attention."

1) We live in an entropy-ridden, fallen world. Entropy scars everything. Our insistence upon sin, upon "My Way", renders us targets of Falling Things in a crumbling moral and material cosmos. We choose our environment, and consequences, as surely as we choose our breakfast cereals or beer brands.

2) See #1

3) Thankfully we have redemption in Christ Jesus, the forgiveness of our sins, and adoption into the family of God. Sadly, this does not always exonerate us from natural or judicial consequences. The murderer may well come to Christ, but he will still walk the Green Mile. (Jeffrey Daumer is a case in point. Apparently, he had a real conversion to Jesus, was baptised, and was murdered in prison by a fellow convict.)

Even as a Christian, should I choose to jump off the roof, I will still get lumps. (NO FAIRS!)

I just needed to pout a great pout, blow off steam. I WILL be somewhat more, ngaaahh, sensitive for awhile.

(I recommend Walter Wangerin's "Book of the Dun Cow". Kind of a Christian "Animal Farm", just not lame.)

As you brought up justice, I encourage you to go here:

http://tinyurl.com/7qlce35

It has narration, a reading from the back of a Chinese knockoff Batman toy package.

Michael W said...

Well, it wasn't a rebuke, so let's go with slightly tongue-in-cheek attempt to help you find a safe harbor of an answer.

That Chinese version of Batman's origin sounds like how my mother would've described it (if she ever read a comic book in her life I never heard of it)>

The Aardvark said...

Thank you, though a rebuke would also be welcome. (I JUST WANT ATTENTION!!!!!)

I am not having an easy time discerning things of late. No Spidey-sense. (SPIDERMAN!)

Perhaps I should confine myself to unicorns and candy floss.

OBAMA 2012!

Michael W said...

I know I don't have Spidey-Sense. I can't get the little black wavy lines to appear around my head (not to mention having the half-Spider mask materialize on my face).

And I don't think you should confine yourself to comments on unicorns and candy floss. It's harder for me to come up with snappy comebacks on those subjects.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

"Altruism is a champagne-at-brunch counterfeit of charity, or "agape" as the Greek puts it. The altruist preens when he gives, because he feels superior to the believer who "gives out of duty" or "gives to his church", or "doesn't give to save the gay unborn whales from being nuked".

The agapist gives, yes, because God says to. He gives because of the pressure of Need. He gives because in his giving he provides God yet another pipeline through which to bless. Jesus did not teach "Give and it shall be given to you" so that televangelists may wear Rolexes, or drive shiny purple Cadillacs."

THAT was the sweet sound of a Louisville Slugger splitting as it connected to send the pea through the outfield and bring the loaded bases home for a walk-off win:
Well done!!!

The Aardvark said...

Wow, Galt.
Just...wow! Thank you.

(And this also shows why aluminium bats just won't do.) "TINK" indeed....