With an open mind and two sides of the story, you’re bound to learn something new. Welcome to the zoo! This is a blog where both the Republican and Democratic viewpoints are represented. The blog is not meant to sway you either way necessarily, just to present both sides of the story. You may not agree with the whole article, but hey, you’re likely to agree with half!
“WIr sind doch nunmehr gantz / ja mehr alß gantz vertorben. Der frechen Völcker schar / die rasende Posaun /
Daß vom Blutt feiste Schwerd / die donnernde Carthaun /
Hat alles diß hinweg / was mancher sawr erworben /
Die alte Redligkeit vnnd Tugend ist gestorben;
Die Kirchen sind verheert / die Starcken vmbgehawn /
Die Jungfrawn sind geschänd; vnd wo wir hin nur schawn /
Ist Fewr / Pest / Mord vnd Todt / hier zwischen Schantz vñ Korbẽ
Dort zwischen Mawr vñ Stad / rint allzeit frisches Blutt
Dreymal sind schon sechs Jahr als vnser Ströme Flutt
Von so viel Leichen schwer / sich langsam fortgedrungen.
Ich schweige noch von dehm / was stärcker als der Todt /
(Du Straßburg weist es wol) der grimmen Hungersnoth /
Vnd daß der Seelen=Schatz gar vielen abgezwungen.” — “Tränen des Vaterlandes”
It is the most logical thing in the world to yearn for the rigidity of the medieval cosmology, the moral landscape to which a stonemason, manuscript illuminator or painter could turn for artistic solace, and from whose ethereal, luminescent matter parabolic universes could take shape. This bedrock of the European imagination held fast even in its deepest moments of crisis, before its eventual exhaustion. The peculiarly medieval aura, which thrived on the starkest contrasts between light and dark, good and evil, changeability and eternity, could always create, as if from antediluvian clay, the antidote to its own blood curdling nightmares. For every grisly, teeth-gnashing demon in the grottos and impenetrable abysses of Byzantine-Romanesque architecture, there stood in sublimely-opposed chiasma, up above the clerestory or enthroned in the tympanum, the shining redeemer, Christ Pantokrator.
It is not easy to imagine what an entire city on fire must look like. It would be easier to imagine what Hell itself looks like: more than two millennia of referential material survive to aid in painting that mental portrait. Perusing Dante, or staring wide-eyed at a tableau of Hieronymus Bosch, even turning one’s ear to the apocalyptic blare and bleating of any dime-a-dozen Evangelical can give one at least an inkling of this. The word itself has been cheapened almost beyond practical use: “go to Hell,” “to Hell with it,” “what the Hell.” It is as if, as the preacher in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man explains it, the eternal punishment of brimstone were a mild discomfort. Not so: Hell is stench, Hell is immobility, Hell is an eternity of directionless torture, and by eternity is meant the elapsed time it takes for a sparrow to light upon a mountain of a million-billion grains of sand and, carrying one away in his beak, to make it flat.
“πάθει μάθος.” -Derived from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon. Refers to learning gained through adversary. -To the memory of the German martyrs-
Orthodoxy, ὀρθός, “correct, upright, decent,” + δόξᾰ, “opinion.” The opinion which an upright person holds. One may be forgiven for chafing under the presupposed weight of an “orthodox” opinion; after all, in some quarters, it is held to be an act of the highest arrogance to dub one opinion more correct than another. I am not of that persuasion.