Tag Archives: humanity

Animals

Defining moments are the lightning strikes of history. At times, the sudden flash of illumination passes to leave a smoking crater in the ground. So it was this past week with kerfuffle as the President’s opposition attempted, as is tiresome and usual, to spin one of his comments into a thread of advantageous narrative.

Mara Salvatrucha, composed largely of Salvadoran, Honduran, and Guatemalan thugs, are more commonly referred to as the notorious MS-13 gang. They are also a focus of immigration enforcement in the current administration. Their repertoire of people smuggling, robbery, larceny, human trafficking, extortion, murder, money laundering, prostitution (including child prostitution), racketeering, battery, kidnapping, and arms trafficking is international in scope. The premise that these bipedal targets care little for the rule of law as it relates to national borders is extrapolated from their demonstrated disdain for every other aspect of civilization.

So, when President Trump referred to them as animals, following his characteristic rhetorical idiom, the man’s political opposition jumped on another perceived opportunity to occupy unearned moral high ground and pander to an assumed voter base. It’s unlikely that the members of MS-13 are politically active to the point of voting. Regardless, if so their support for Democrats indeed would be expected. As with most positions of the political Left, though, imagining this stretches the boundaries of sanity, much less common sense.

True to form in competing with the man his country elected to oppose them, the blue cancer in our American political system as a result suffered another in a long and wonderful series of setbacks. Defining moments. Lightning. Smoking crater in the ground. Repeat as necessary, natural law whispers.

Leftists exist as a result of efforts from better folk. Strong people, as the cycle of history shows, produce good times. The vagaries of human nature ensure good times produce a preponderance of weak people, who afterward enable the bad times producing a saving number of leaders and doers to tow their fellows out of the ideological morass of extended, and afterward institutionalized, false premises. So do good times reappear … for awhile, at least.

Following its part in these processes, the Democratic Party found itself in the same week twice defending Nancy Pelosi’s feigned outrage. Once, it was over purported disrespect shown the “divine spark” present in members of deceased Hamas terrorists littering the border between Gaza and Israel, and again prompted by his denigrating a criminal gang whose members are documented to have killed a man’s family in front of him using a chainsaw. The apparent lack in comprehension of essential concepts marking an appreciated differentiation between philosophical alternatives has seldom been so starkly displayed.

Writing purposefully in vehicles of fiction as I do, contrasting the state of humanity and its antithesis is a constant. The guiding philosophies of my actors and the consequences of their decisions comprise the supporting structure of more than a dozen novels to date. Humans are found there, and animals in human form:

Muhammad Qasim al-Khafji dedicated to a faulted vision of revelation.
His brother Omar Ali served himself in the indulgence of revenge.
Abdur-Razzaq ibn Ali ruthlessly pursued power.
Ubayd Syed Sulayman made a more honorable man a prisoner for advantage.
Yameen Amjad al-Khobar and Mikhail Ivanovich Smolin chose greed.
Minister Liu Chunwang assumed highest the authority of his Central Committee.
Valka Gerard valued too much the same ideology of accumulated power.
Colonel Berislav Borojevic fully embraced ends justifying means.
Maxim Osip Kakhovsky made death a profession in a living world.
Nasir Murad Houthi yielded to a voice declaring him an arbiter of judgment.

To call them animals is a rhetorical device. I’ve known animals with souls. I saw that of G. Gordon Kitty through its windows, while he was sitting on my chest doing the same with me. I’ve known people whose lack of attendance to their essential questions generated the amalgam of decadence manifesting in my ability to write a despicable antagonist. They are not animals, but vessels of a corroding soul; indeed a spark of the divine, if only in the sense that they risk enduring forever the sentence of righteously rendered judgment.

The stewardship to which we were commissioned involves edification of upright folk and the management of those who refuse to take up the attributes of humanity: validation of the effort having gone into our appearance. Humanity is a cause taken up to hold and not an inheritance; it is, as faith, the evidence of things unseen.

To see, often we first need to look. Since trilobites scrounged the beds of primordial seas, creatures have acted on the information at hand to good and bad results. Humanity descends from clarity, the farsighted vision to which one’s ears also contribute. Clarity remains free from the deceptions of optics, engineered steering toward a deceptive narrative so often strategized by those whose obsession is to direct the lives of others.

To see what is, one must perceive the natural order accurately: One’s God and Creator, followed by allegiances to righteous government descending from his delegated principles and bestowed rights, followed by the love of family given to ordering and propagating healthy and vital society. It is a prioritization, in descent, of dedication.

Dismissing a slow-to-anger Divinity and replacing His authority with the self or the state comprises the sin of usurpation. As with all others, it pays in death rather than whatever other currency—power, pleasure, or plunder—is promised.

To be human is to tend the soul. Humanity manifests in undertaking a long work of life, one founded, as is that of our Source, in love when the alternatives are indifference and hate, a premise presented in my character Jon Anthony’s enduring tripartite.

The first assessment you should make of another human being is whether they truly are alive, or merely living. As I saw in Gordon, the eyes are where one may go for that, being the lamps of the body as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:22-23:

(22) “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Seeking guidance for the maintenance of one’s soul, the undertaking we generalize as the attribute of humanity, is the business of the spirit. Its gravitation toward the Creator is engineered, and the lifelong circle it travels homeward is an irresistible beckoning and destiny awaiting us each and every one. Some arrive to that court finding their shortcomings compensated by grace, while others encounter only the judgment reserved for the downside of free will. Enabling the choice of love through embrace of its rivals, those culpable find their unwilling place in a perfect plan to have been acting as the load-bearing work making His righteous souls strong. What lasts is best, and we have its promise from Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:13:

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Life is found there, and in knowing this the dullest spark among us may share that much of the mind of God. Hold out your hope for them, for that is what will bring you joy … and the fulfillment of your treasure of true humanity.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, the fifth title of Boone’s File, A Garden in Russia, is approaching the halfway point in production editing and remains on schedule for a September release. Nearly every surviving character you remember from chronologically previous titles is there—contesting for the democratic process during a constitutional crisis in the Russian Federation—as the series approaches Maximum Boone in epic fashion. Our redheaded spitfire and dynamo of resilient feminine strength wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Pondering ‘Blade Runner 2049’

The Editress and I screened Blade Runner 2049 soon enough that we avoided exposure to spoilers per the advice of someone who saw it even earlier. I have no intention of including such here. The film was a presentation of depth on a scale still seeming slow to fully assimilate days later. Worth encountering for fans of 1982’s origin property, the film is not to be entered lightly. I have little doubt its returns, financial and otherwise, will be of a longer term than perhaps its studios initially anticipated.

But this is not a movie review. As always, the waters run deeper here.

Surface impressions are the draw of a product. Less evident themes, I suspect, comprise its payload. Some of those might be intentional and others not, possibly included through darker inspiration to which the world has been subject since the minds of men and women in antiquity first encountered voices divine and despairing.

The film is, partially at least, an exploration of the nature of humanity as a designator of achievement rather than mere classification. Replicants, the artificial yet sentient beings of the franchise, are portrayed in this latest installment as sometimes displaying the virtue to a greater extent than presumably biological characters.

With that stage being set, dialogue later speculates on the nature of the soul as existentially bestowed only to products of reproduction rather than biotechnology. As such, possessing the hope of being something more is resented by engineered beings craving the same validation as any of us. By implication, humanity, being embraced by sentience following circumstantial and self-development, is presented as the superior condition. This is the point, for me at least, where the most subtle secular messaging of the movie begins to emerge.

Segue from the previous film includes the acquisition of the formerly dominant Tyrell Corporation, commercial creators and engineers of the Replicants, by the developer of synthetic food production Niander Wallace. Credited with preserving humanity in the wake of multiple environmental disasters, the character’s portrayal as the savior of humankind is messianic enough to evoke a physical resemblance to Jesus in the actor cast. I doubt this was an accident, for reasons we’ll explore next.

Wallace is projected as an intelligent, cruel, visionary pragmatist utterly unconcerned with the moral responsibilities of producing the sentient creations emerging from his product development. He’s set against K, the current-generation replicant protagonist, with the resultant, problematic premise being that the creation has evolved to a higher moral condition than its creator.

The corporatist, posturing as a deity to his synthetic life forms, in one soliloquy expounds on the historical need for slaves—such as is his business to create—as necessary to project and preserve the power of empires. The theme of Cartesian resistance to an unloving, malevolent, manipulative creator runs throughout the remainder of the experience. It’s not the first work to emerge from a resentful, myopic, spiritually dangerous, egotistic, and insular perspective assessing our role and perceiving our stratum in the natural order as being oppressed subjects of divine tyranny, should it acknowledge our Creator at all.

Being that Blade Runner 2049 was a product of Hollywood, it ought to be approached cautiously from a Christian standpoint. The town, as the recent kerfuffle surrounding producer Harvey Weinstein aptly illustrates, is hardly possessed of a culture discerning people would find edifying or superversive.

Humanity, in its taxonomical context, may judge itself as a pinnacle rather than a portfolio. Doing so adopts a false premise that, as always, cannot be successfully rehabilitated except by starting over, lest its devotees extend its unbalanced folly to disastrous systemic collapse. The process is insidious enough to take a lifetime, because the enemy is supernaturally patient when making continual progress in the deluded.

So what do we do with the movie? Despite what in the opinion of the Editress is overthinking the film, I don’t regret the experience and will probably end up owning a copy. As an effort of cinematography it is beautiful, and the storyline revitalizes and extends the dystopian backdrop of its lead-in. The first Blade Runner is one of our most viewed favorites here. Its follow-up, likewise a product of the time and culture that produced the thing, might exceed the original in its presentation and extent, if not the validity of what it is trying to say. Decide those things for yourself.

We Christians are commissioned ministers of faith to the world, a blessing precluding domination by—or fear of—worldly influences. Encountering or observing the gradient of wretchedness in fallen surroundings doesn’t equate to embracing, affiliating with, or endorsing the same. We by grace are greater than these things crossing our path.

Sometimes a movie is just a movie. What one will take away from Blade Runner 2049 depends on one’s capacity and vision, as with everything.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, Novel10/Sean4, The Yemeni Package, is at midpoint in production editing. The USAF’s taciturn vessel for opportune karma is projected to appear again with his associated supporting cast in January 2018, with another installment of Sean’s File, the back-story responsible for building a man named Daniel Sean Ritter.