Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Said mechanic on sufferin succotash













Was like the three stooges, this one for all and all for one, this trinity. The dangnabit, the sufferin succotash, and the holy crow, each one could run havoc with the niceties of society and never bat an eye. Interchangeable they were at a whim, yet each could make it's own mark in the context of sublimation. This hangover from the Victorian era, this rejection of all profanity forcing the common people to develop a wide variety of malapropisms to avoid swearing on holy names just made them swear. Not that it made much matter to the outcome of the atrocities which were commented on. Not that the authentic version of the father, the son, and the holy ghost had any great impact on stars of the heavens over the eons.

Said mechanic had been raised to view all observable phenomenon in light of the trinity, and conscientious objection, not to mention avoidance of oaths and secrecy of the ballot. It made not much matter in which direction observable phenomenon impacted the state of earthly affairs, they could be readily explained by the attestation or rejection of the aforesaid principles. So off to school he had ventured as a young lad, to deal with his abc's in light of the trinity, and conscientious objection, not to mention avoidance of oaths and secrecy of the ballot. This appreciably public school was a rather diverse environment, however, within which these principles could be attested to with unqualified devotion. There seemed to be people on the earth who didn't give much of a damn about any of them, a damn which seemed to go a tad beyond the attestation or rejection of these high principles. There did seem to be this realm of hypothetical speculation about things, not always in tasteful terms, and he'd been told, sternly, that it was risky to hypothesize, especially in this manner, in light of fire and brimstone.

The trinity was the most grasped concept of the three in this little public school, a little square and many windowed abode which hid among the fox tails and quack grasses along an unfrequented prairie road. Even the catholic types who chopped off the Lord's prayer somewhere in the middle lest the rest of it interfere with their Friday fish understood about the father, son and holy ghost. Conscientious objection was a bit of a stretch though, with black and white photos of the local young men who had lost themselves in the second world war plastered all across the back wall of the one room enclave with a cupboard for plasticine, and rub sticks and triangles for percussion sessions in the corner. And secrecy of the ballot and avoidance of oaths was just a bit of tomfoolery when everyone knew who your daddy voted for, even if it wasn't John Diefenbaker he swore allegiance to.

To be a mechanic was just so black and white. Either the cultivator shovel bolt came unscrewed when forced with a wrench or it broke, there was no in between. If the gas tank was empty, the tractor would not run, and whether you beseeched upon the holy spirit or not, you had to fill the tank. If theology could only be so simple. Jesus the Son of god or the preeminent prophet? Could this not be like a grade five bolt verses a grade eight bolt in your cultivator shovel? A grade five bolt snapped when you torqued on it and a grade eight bolt snapped when you hit a rock. You were screwed either way, malapropism or not. Son of god or preeminent prophet, fire and brimstone either way. Sufferin succotash.

They had arrived on the vast Canadian prairies in the luxurious vestibules of the Canadian Pacific Railway toting an odd admixture of trunks and bundles enwrapping their worldly possessions. They were sore amazed when the seeds they scattered forth on the freshly plowed prairie sod sprang up and multiplied with a passion. Their longing for the chance to turn the other cheek to those Makhno anarchists now somewhat aligned with the Russian Red Army on the steppes by the Volga River soon evaporated in the fresh prairie breeze. Catherine the Great had, a hundred years or two ago, invited a reprieve on that disconcerting habit of conscription, heralding forth a somewhat rocky abeyance from repelling the blood of plundering thirsty legions in exchange for some economic prosperity. But these new liberating anarchists gained no humiliation from the concept of turning the other cheek, and economic prosperity was a delightful way to fill their growling tummies with buns and borscht from the ovens of these healthy Mennonite women. So with not much left to lose, a few treasures were packed up and they headed for the Americas. Canada, having a great constitution involving the subtleties of freedom of religion and a good deal on open prairie, was an ideal destination.

Opa Heinrich, being a slim man, and not a rich man, had supplicated to the Father on behalf of his growing family as to what more adventures this earthly pilgrimage had in store for them. Born in 1887 in the growingly overpopulated Mennonite villages of the Molotschna on the northern slopes of the Black Sea in what is now the Ukraine, he had travelled as a toddler by train and then horse and buggy eight hundred miles to the north and east to the land of the Bashkirs who used this unbroken prairie to pasture their herds. They named their new home Neu Samara where they established their villages living in sod huts and breaking the virgin prairie which had been every year set ablaze over it's vast reaches, an eerie spectacle to behold, to provide fresh green shoots for the Bashkir's livestock. In two decades they had gained enough prosperity to build wooden homes and mills and a school for each village. They even built a hospital. Then came the Great War.

The young men including Opa Heinrich had to serve in the Russian army and formed hospital units while the unconscientious peasants battled the Germans, and the Russian army took to domiciling their Austrian prisoners of war with the kindhearted Mennonites for lack of better quarters. Then came Lenin's Bolshevik October Revolution of 1917. It was quit the horse race with the Bolshevik Reds on the inside and the Allied Whites on the outside and the Makhno anarchists bringing up the middle, them all making pit stops to exchange their weary horses for fresh ones from the Mennonite barns. By 1919 the Reds had gained a wide lead over the Whites in the region and gave the Bashkir's, who had newly established their own republic, the autonomy to run their own affairs. The Neu Samara Mennonites threw in the towel with these factional conservative Muslim herders in hopes for a bit of freedom.

The Neu Samarians had strongly to suffer from this because the local administrative unit needing an organized bit of infrastructure set up their administration in the Mennonite villages which had to accommodate the employees in their houses and perform cartilage services. In 1920 within the scope of so called communism the now controlling Soviet government took the grain away from farmers, so that not even seed was left, and there was in 1921-22 in the whole country a big hunger. In Neu Samara, with no seed to plant, there was this big lack of food too. Hunger weakens, and many villagers fell ill to typhoid and malaria. Because the government realized that it could go on so no more, more freedom was let to the farmers within the scope of a new economic policy. In 1922 the farmers were allowed some sowing grain and the situation returned to normal bit by bit. Many Mennonites had no trust in the Soviet government any longer and used this opportunity to emigrate. So truly tried and tempered by the Holy Spirit, Opa Heinrich embarked with his young family to the Americas. By horse and buggy, by train, by ship, by train, by horse and buggy, more virgin prairie.

Said mechanic had been privy to the intrigue of the layers of premises to persuasions, persuasions being the views of Opas wherever they habituate. There are methods available to this custom of preserving persuasions, the most natural one being blandishment. When flattery fails drastically in this theoretical indoctrination, damnation may be the only resort, avoiding bloodshed. The excommunication of dissenters, often self imposed, can lead to their fruitful analysis of the premises to persuasions. It can lead to a soul lost in the wilderness of human apperceptions. Often it leads to both. One could surmise that it must lead to both, that you can't have one without the other, but this would just be a layer of some premise. Said mechanic was just such a soul lost in the wilderness of human apperceptions. Whether this had led to a fruitful analysis of any premises would be to build on the vagaries of accepting certain premises, those layers upon layers built upon certitude.

Now Menno Simons, in about 1527, having become a priest in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, and having overcome a phobia for reading from the good book in case it subjected his world view to turmoil wrote in retrospect "Those two young men (the other priests of the place) and myself spent our time daily in playing, drinking and other diversions, in all vanity. At length I resolved that I would give myself to reading the New Testament attentively. I had not proceeded far therein ere I discovered that we were deceived.” Now there's a layer. Sounds like a soul lost in the wilderness of human apperceptions leading to some fruitful analysis. The greatest lesson to be learned here for all young Mennonites is not to concern yourselves too much on your Opa's views on playing cards and drinking during your formative years. The Holy Spirit works in wonderfully mysterious ways, if one partakes of that layer.

Our humble precursor of Mennonitishness, our Menno Simmons, hacked through several layers of ontological speculation, depriving the Roman Catholic Church of some of it's human collateral. The first layer to fall was that of transubstantiation, him having first hand experience with wine not turning readily into blood having honoured the principle of not giving that which is holy to dogs. The second layer to fall was the myth of salvation through baptism, mainly child baptism, that the act of baptism which by itself could save a miserable human life from fire and brimstone. Possibly gaining some insight from Parmenides who reckoned that apart from truth all else belongs to the vagaries of human opinion, Menno surmised that human opinion must align itself somewhat with the truth in order to circumvent fire and brimstone, fire and brimstone being a truth on the layer he gravitated towards. You must believe and be baptized upon that belief. Menno Simmon's third great layer of malcontent with the established premises concerned pacifism which morphed into conscientious objection, and Menno was proficient at this game of avoiding the ravaging savages of mankind, always one step ahead of his demise. This is a game which Mennonites have continued to enjoy, and has oft led them far afield.

The good book which Menno Simmons read from was the New Testament and it involved this tale of Jesus who was born unto mankind and garnered a bit of a following. The tale built upon the history and shortcomings in the search for utopia of a Semitic tribe who prevailed in a bid for the lands inward from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This tale was written down from the oral history about this presence who made a remarkable impact on the lives of his peers. Archaeologists and linguists and historians have delightfully treated us to many layers of speculation regarding his life and the playful diversity between the varying sects who entertained the common folk among this tribe with their precepts considering themselves the chosen of YHWH, the god who is, and who had brought them to this land they called Canaan. It does seem that Jesus and his precursor John the Baptist were at least very knowledgeable of, if not affiliated with the Essenes, a rather reticent sect who had communities in many towns and villages.

Said mechanic had felt in his heart for years that these Essenes, or a portion of them, were actually the early Christian community with the persona of Jesus being a somewhat emancipating figure leading to a more openness to the world at large with the teachings predicated by this community, possibly somewhat of a Zealot instigating a pacifistic revolt against the mighty Roman Empire. The analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls and modern day explicating of the gospels and early testament had done little to disparage him of this view. Early Christian writers were stone dead quiet on the use of the name Essene but were keen on using the concept of “The way,” a phrase which embodied both the god and the spiritual path of these intertwined communities. It seemed the early close followers of Jesus way were privy to many intrinsic postulates of the secretive Essenes. Jesus spoke in parables to the masses but explained these allegories only to his closest disciples who seemed to have some knowledge of his less epochal tendencies, the more epochal tendencies being to heal and mingle with heathens even though he was want to nuance these folk with higher philosophical reasoning other than “Your faith has set you free.” Humorous really, to subvert the masses with the good works of righteousness.

The masses came to hear Jesus message in awe of the miraculous healings he enacted, at least that's the way it came to be presented in light of aligning with the prophecies of old, these feats being consistent with the higher levels of cognizance supposedly achieved by some Essenes. In view of the marvels purported by the pagan religions, the Christian's god had to outdo them just a little, eh? Whether Jesus parents, Joseph and Mary, were a part of the Essene community is a gander, but they did purportedly journey to Egypt on the well travelled “Way of the Sea” where the Therapeuts, who were closely linked with the Essenes, had a community. And Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth, except that the place was tiny, tiny if it was populated at all, and they were in likelihood Nazarites, Nazareth being a name given to the community of Essenes some of whom where Nazarites, and Nazareth being a well known local in the good book for such a tiny, tiny place, but my oh my this gets convoluted.

Oh those grade eight bolts on the cultivator shovels, tough as omnipotence, but for the rocks. Said mechanic had physically attended a wee bit of bible school just past his higher school on the conjecture that he might obtain some nostalgia for his Mennonitish roots. This wee bit of a school in the heartland of the Canadian sod had developed a linguistic diversion among it's conscripts which was an undecipherable mixture of subverted English and low German to any but it's few elocutionists. Needless to say, it put many visitants in a state of awe. If any nostalgia was indeed gained here it was for the warmhearted deceit with which words can be tortured by politicianists and religionists and other extremist groups. And that grade eight cultivator bolts would have had as little comprehensibility two thousand years ago as “The way” has today. They'd assume bolts were things we sent to school, which in an allegorical sense is almost deducible. All this allegory, and then for him to say “If you have eyes see and if you have ears hear.” Sufferin succotash.

It was a movement which did take hold, however, first gaining a foothold in the Jewish communities throughout the Roman Empire and then spreading to the Gentile poor and slaves. Seems like they rather irked the Roman lords, these righteous ones, equality among the masses not leading well to the trickle down philosophy of economics administered by a prismatic pantheon. The peshers, those Essene interpretations of events so important to this Semitic tribe's fulfillment of their prophesied yearnings, lost their meanings to the pilfered Gentile converts and became taken as literal fact. Pesher and allegory. Walking on water. Driving out evil spirits. The meaning of numbers. His teaching was not keen on giving away the secrets of attaining heaven. Had to work your way up through the levels of the cabala, these Essenes, to attain to the heavens, these heavens attainable in this generation, or the next, or the next, human progress gaining the same laxness as reincarnation. “And Jesus begat the disciples go out in a boat to humanity, he went up to the heavens to pray. But the boat was tossed about by the wind and waves of this evil humanity and the disciples were sore afraid. But Jesus came walking toward them on the sea of evil. 'Take courage' said He, 'It is I, do not be afraid,' and the evil wind was vanquished.” And so it came to pass.

But they subverted them. They finally subverted those righteous ones, them having established such a following that the great Roman Empire had no choice but to first condone them, and then since the Christians had such a jealous god not willing to share his omnipotence with the prismatic pantheon, to adapt this religiosity as the sole means of supplication. It took a few centuries but they subverted them, didn't have to try really, it happened from within, human nature running it's course with the struggle for power and control, using theological philanderings cockamamie enough to blow any sane man's mind and the cunning transmogrification of chirography into a good book straight from the mouth of god, of course egged on by the democratic workings of the holy spirit, to create such a debauched volume of vetted interpretations that it could condone the hierarchy of popes and bishops and priests of the Holy Roman Catholic Empire, with no need for the masses to crave the insights of mystical transcendence as long as they brought forth their offerings and costly penance along with their confessions of mischievous deeds to keep them subdued and the high rollers high rolling. And then came Menno Simmons.

Seems us Opas have a few more layers to hack through yet. Breaking grade eight cultivator bolts on the rocks of tradition, Said mechanic can but scratch his head. Not that it will make much matter to the outcome of the atrocities which are commented on. It can lead to a soul lost in the wilderness of human apperceptions.




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