Vlorbik's Diner

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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

no damn photo, no damn booth

Posted by vlorbik on June 27, 2014

Photo on 2014-06-26 at 22.07

Photo on 2014-06-26 at 22.05

having lots of different home-made goodies
could get to be a habit. for a while. life
at “show” HQ couldn’t be better. maybe there’ll
be some action next door
soon (name change: virtual medz). maybe not.
bible and mysticism? time will tell. meanwhile,
here’s a quick link to the “religion” links
from this blog (& its ancestors). let the exegesis

Posted in DAADD, Religion | 1 Comment »

service is our prayer

Posted by vlorbik on May 11, 2014

Photo on 2014-05-11 at 12.52

madeline’s off somewhere
leading her church (but not
necessarily standing for
the doggone thing). so i
did all but the glass stuff
and prepped a sandwich. (the
rest of the french bread,
sliced for toasting, bacon.
the tomato & lettuce i’ll
prep later (very likely as
the toast toasts). i had
a couple eggs along the way
(cooked in the bacon fat,
natch, with toasted massmarket
“italian” bread [slathered
with butter, natch]). and
maybe a little of the bacon.
and some of the french bread.
and coffee. with half-n-half.
and sugar.

Posted in DAADD, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Athaliah Pierces Her Nose (1997)

Posted by vlorbik on August 20, 2013

Athalia and her mother were on their roof being served breakfast. Though the day was not yet hot, they sat in the shade of a brightly colored canopy. The whole city of Samaria lay spread out beneath them like a map: the old market to the south, the new temple to the north, the watchmen patrolling the wall around it all.

Athalia dripped some honey onto half a roll of bread thoughtfully, pretending to listen. Despite the effort she had been devoting to wearing her mother down, she was apprehensive. How much would it hurt? Hava had said hers didn’t hurt at all. “You can feel the needle sliding through, but it’s not painful.” Lili had her doubts. Hava obviously had different notions of what was or wasn’t painful since she was subject to the occasional beating. Lili herself hadn’t even been spanked since she was a little girl.

“It really shouldn’t matter what your playmates do, Lili. It’s not for the royal family to follow fashions. The people should follow us. When I was a girl back in Sidon… ”

“Oh, but Mother! You’re so pretty! Of course they all wanted to look like you! And I’m so ordinary! It’s just a nose-ring! Everybody’s wearing them! I am twelve years old, after all!”

“But, Lili, you’re not at all ordinary. You’re beautiful.”

Athalia winced as if in pain and said nothing. She was somewhat plain. Maybe her mother really couldn’t see it. She had her father’s stern, square lips and jawline. Her eyes were narrow like her mother’s, but somehow on her face they looked sinister rather than exotic. Her nose really was her best feature. She had seen the way the boys (and lately, many of the men, too) looked at Hava. It wasn’t fair. Hava was only a slave, after all.

Jezebel, taken in, thought Athalia might be about to cry. “Well, look. The priests of Jah would never let us forget it. Why beg for trouble? Your father… ”

“Everything’s always priests and politics with you! Anyway, you said the people should follow us!”

“Don’t interrupt. Your father has been trying for years to form an alliance with the Judeans. That’s what he went to Jerusalem for. And the Jahvist priests practically run the country up there.”

And so on. She could be so tiresome. What did Lili care about Jah or Judah? Her father would get his way like he always did. Nobody ever thought about her or what she wanted. Though, to be perfectly honest about it, it wasn’t exactly clear what she wanted. It wasn’t as if there were any boys she even liked. Still, she certainly wanted to be attractive. Never mind why.

“Who cares what the Jahvists think? They don’t run things around here!”—an appeal to her mother’s vanity; Athalia knew that the priests blamed Jezebel for the growing popularity of the rival cult of Baal. And a bribe: “I’ll go to temple services! Whenever you want!”

“Oh, all right… ”

So Belit, the Queen’s own beautician, came to Athalia’s rooms the next day. Belit herself was not at all beautiful, and her elaborately arranged hair, her heavy eye-shadow, and the face powder she wore at all hours of the day and night did nothing to make her more so. Years ago, as a little girl, Athalia had admired her figure, but now she had grown overweight. Her dress had obviously been tailored to show off her horrible huge breasts.
“So your majesty wishes to be pierced.”

“Please! Belit! Call me Lili like you always used to.”

“But your majesty is now a young woman.”

She certainly didn’t feel like a young woman. She hadn’t even had her first period yet. And as for sex… well, she knew about it, of course: apparently people did it just like dogs or horses. The whole thing mildly disgusted her. And then screaming for hours in agony with a baby. Baal. Which was not to say that she didn’t get a mysterious thrill looking at the muscular legs of some of the soldiers in her father’s bodyguard.

“Well, how do we do this?”

“Sit down over here.” At her dressing table. Belit put a small washbasin between Lili and her small mirror of polished silver. “Have some wine.”

So it was going to hurt. Well, it was too late to back out now. She’d boasted to Hava that she would do it. There was also her mother to consider. She’d get even with Hava somehow.

Belit held the needle over the basin, poured some wine over it, and chanted some ancient prayers. “Hold this rag right here”—over her mouth—”and don’t move.”

It hurt quite a lot. There was a curious sliding sensation between the two layers of skin; the actual pain was only skin deep. Athalia clenched her teeth and tried not to cry.

The pain lasted only a few seconds, and the beautiful little gold ring looked quite striking. But it was still itching three days later when her father, Ahab, the King, returned from Judah. The terms of his new treaty were announced at a state dinner that night. Athalia was engaged to be married.

Posted in 90s, Religion, Ten Page News | Leave a Comment »

Clerihews for Athaliah (crosspost)

Posted by vlorbik on August 19, 2013

King Hazael
Was simply vile.
He got everything he had
By murdering Ben-hadad.

The prophet Micaiah
Was a great soothsayer.
All of the others had a lying spirit.
But Ahab didn’t want to hear it.

Was a yahoo.
What he did to those priests
Shouldn’t happen to beasts.

King Ahaziah
Was certainly no messiah.
He fell through a lattice. Splat!
He never recovered. That is that.

Elijah the Tishbite
Knew where the fish bite.
He was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire
Or Second Kings 2 was written by a liar.

(also found here
but i’ve lost control of that site.
originally published ~1997 in the
_ten_page_news_. long live print.
death to the net and that right early.)

Posted in Religion, Ten Page News, Verse | Leave a Comment »

not dark yet

Posted by vlorbik on June 3, 2011

you can’t *be* wise and famous.

anyway, not for long:
they kill you for it.
look at the god-damn record.
look at jesus. look at socrates.
look at john fucking lennon.
look at malcolm, look at gandhi,
look at martin fucking luther king.

it’s everywhere and everybody knows it.
speak truth to power all you want but power
talks back with violence not just words
and everybody’ll get behind the boss
without hesitation and swear it was
entirely your own god-damn fault…
what the hell did you expect?

good thing you’ll be dead by then.
the consolations of philosophy.

and now please let me say here as clearly
as i know how that *’i’m* not claiming
to have acquired any kind of wisdom…
that would be the height of foolishness.

i’m just sayin.

Posted in Exercises, Religion | 1 Comment »

Send Not To Know What Form Of Government Is Best

Posted by vlorbik on October 14, 2009

john martin posted
a video
yesterday of the
honorable d. kucinich speaking
on The Fear during GWB. good stuff too.
(freethinkers playground… but where
does the apostrophe go?)
there was a guy at uuce last sunday
that mentioned the idea of a department
of peace and it looked like a pretty
vacuous gesture… they *call* it peace
[when there *is* no peace] anyhow:
the “defense” department was after
all once known much more straightforwardly
as the “war” department. anyhow, the intro
here in the video makes it clear that at least
one version of the proposal is that such
a department work toward the abolition
of war. trouble is of course like so many
other similar ideas the first thing the
founding committee would do
if they had any principles at all
would be to disband.
war is the health of the state;
render onto caesar what belongs to caesar;
all that.
i hope for more from the church…
where i haven’t been in years…
than NPR-style hopeless-idealist-
slogan honing.
and i expect to find it. i suppose i’ll
probably have to fight tooth and nail
to *get* it… but i suppose too that
this too is standard operating procedure.
or a weariness of the flesh.
or something.

UUs for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC)

Posted in Links, Rambles, Religion | 4 Comments »

gottagottagottagotta, gottagottagottagotta, gottagottagotta givemhope

Posted by vlorbik on September 17, 2009

so here’s the holy trinity of the matrix:
church, state, and “free trade”…
the new world order. in their usual way,
the *enemy* of freedom (in their satanic majesty)
have usurped its very name.

(the money sez “liberty”
when it’s really for *control*;
etcetera et-everbleeding-cetera;
sometimes lies end up a pretty
reliable hint at the truth…)

but. arbeit macht frei doesn’t get it
for this proud american: humanity
as just another sort of data is already
a line drawn much too late but finally
“the center for workforce development”
the words, not the building itself
(i am indeed thinking of a particular
building… which has its good and bad
points like any other actual thing;
so back to the abstraction). no.
not my job man. i’m in the academy.

i mean i’ll gladly *work* there;
proved it last spring (for well past
the hundredth season) and
am raring to go as always
come new year. (i.e., now: fall.)

that studying mathematics
expands a “skillset”…
a *marketable* set of skills
(as i take this word to mean)…
is as inspiring of hope in me
as pretty much anything
in intellectual life can be.
so don’t get me wrong.

i’ve got no issues at all with
helping students learn things
they *want* to know for economic reasons.
i myself am there for economic reasons
and my reluctance ever to speak of money
(or… but this is changing rapidly…
even to think about it) doesn’t mean
it shouldn’t factor in as an essential
feature of our every interaction
if we’re *serious* about studying,
say, “mathematics education”.

but insofar as studying mathematics
(rightly so called), for me it has
long been very close to the essence
of the whole project that politics
(i’ll here include all financial life)
don’t enter into the discussion.
so in some sense i’m not even
*supposed* to know what motivates
a given student.

certainly not if i’m developing workforce:
a studied indifference to suchlike issues
would seem to be pretty close to what
“being a pro” really amounts to in practice.

but they feel the same way
in every discipline:
professional indoctrination
will have consisted of a set
of things-not-recognized-as-politics:
the working assumptions of
pros in the given discipline:
we don’t care what you actually *think*
provided you can discuss *these few things*
using our special vocabulary and assumptions.

or something in that general direction.
i think. because all i know is that
math really *is* a cross-cultural
extrapolitical field of discourse
like no other.

now, the NWO would have us believe
that, for example, medicine
is “above it all” in a similar way
(while at the same time keeping us
terrified about how to pay
for the failures of our fragile bodies).

but nationwide just put its *name*
on children’s friggin hospital
and appears to be doubling its size;
is anybody gonna straightface tell me
that datacrunching insurance entities
beyond mortal understanding aren’t
telling the very MD’s up in there
what good and bad procedure is
and that crazy ivorytower booklearnin
“science” stuff has *nothing* to say…
“let’s be realistic”?

okay. let’s.
*helping each other out*
would appear to be the way to go here.
and we’ll have to stay out of sight.
*any good thing* that happens,
some control junkie will try
to get a piece of the action.
they’ll slowplay you in principle
and claim they can’t possibly
afford to do it any other way;
next year will be worse because
“grow or die”… in *every available way*…
is built into their DNA.
meanwhile, that’s *your* meat
in the grinder. when do you jump?

the liberal arts are the art of *peace*;
for me this is first of all.
and “the gospel i preach”—a phrase
i’m fond of dropping into about
one lecture per quarter (but don’t
meter carefully)— is *literacy*
first of all.

sitting quietly in a room alone
becomes the adventure of a lifetime
for some of us; we are the lucky ones.
i don’t know if i’ve ever closed a sale
with this pitch… college students
generally either know it already
or never will.

but of course we are always in a state of war.
as keeping the peace here at home
becomes more and more obviously impossible–
incarcerations are always boom business
for example–well, there’s no telling
what’ll come next. it’ll be brutal bad;
it always is. (welcome to the material world,
little lifeform: pain hurts and everybody dies;
have as good a time as you can in between.
oh, ps: there is a war between the ones
who say there is a war and the ones
who say there isn’t.)

anybody claiming to know
anything else for sure
about the future
is trying to sell you something.
tread warily.

(i *wrote* “feign interest
until you can get away” but
it occurs to me that i’ve claimed
that i’m not going to flinch
away from thinking about money
as readily as what i’ve been doing…
okay… i *might* want
actually to *buy* something…)

banks and insurance
are shylocks and bookies;
government is the muscle obviously
and religion is what’s left
of the arts of peace
after the patriarchy
gets its piece of the pie.

so i guess i’m inclined that way.
and should maybe plant a flag.
or anyway wear some colors.
(the geographical metaphor
loses much of its force
in the “dig up all roots”
timeless no-past-no-future NWO:
just keep moving…
nothing to see here…
who moved my republic?)

i’m thinking unitarianism.
“at most one god”.

heck, i’ll ID as “humanist”
right now if it’ll get me
a shinynew membership card
or something.

now, there is a “free world”
(another geographic metaphor!).
i’m even *in* it and have been
for most of my life.

between the lines.
on the streets.
in a stranger’s eyes.

(cue a loudly strummed six-string…)

Posted in Labor, Me Me Me, Rambles, Religion | 3 Comments »

We Don’t Need No Stinking Badgers

Posted by vlorbik on August 17, 2009

stand up for yourself
or find somebody to stand up for you
or be beaten and raped and left alone
with your pain until the next guy
in line comes to beat you and rape you
again. that kind of thing.
the rules of the tank and not only
of the tank: the rules of the oldest
profession. at least some of the time.
*some* of those “girls” out on the street
every night and day are presumably beaten up
pretty regularly just to keep the money flowing
for some “pimp”—a word so loaded
that, for me, it can *have* no “literal” meaning
(hence the squarequotes; a marginal note
as it were to myself marking a bit that
requires more explication; a kiss and
a promise). anyhow, the pimp considered
as an economic actor would then be, what,
a member of the second-oldest profession?
because this looks like “slaves and bosses
shall be the order of the day” from here
and a good enough model of *all* economic life
to account for the constant currency
of the very *saying* about
“the oldest profession”.

anyhow if you can’t beat him you join him
so you’re reunited with the cosmic principle
whereas acceptance is the answer to all
your problems and you get out there
and turn your tricks like a good girl
or anyhow come back with the money
one way or another because, well,
because you’ve got to *turn it over*.
and so you just accept it and call it
stockholm syndrome or call it the gospel
but it actually works because christ
it’s better than fucking jail.
where there’s even less carrot
and even more stick. the rules.

and how do they frighten the hardened cons?
pascal’s quiet room alone.
which i’m actually pretty good at.
please don’t misunderstand:
solitary *confinement* would
break my spirit down too and
probably faster than most;
i’m not claiming any moral toughness here
(quite the opposite in fact…
more “scarequotes”…).

but, and i think i’m getting pretty close
to an actual *point* here, something
“lee” said recently. reading makes people
less inclined to violence.

so you learn the arts of literacy
because if bygod all you’ve gotta do
to get out of the next assbeating
is, i don’t know, memorize some
_bible_ verses (as an ex of mine
was made to do as a kid for this
very reason; i expect this is
*very* common in at least some
and it works.

and if you get so good at this “reading” thing?
that you can instruct others? oh goody.
you can be a “schoolteacher”. your job?
teach people to do as they’re told
(or negotiate a way to fake it).
for advanced credit, give the appearance
that you’re doing something worthwhile
and loving it; this is called
“making us look good” (or “the bait”).
but don’t forget: advanced credit
can work against you. nobody likes a smartass.

Posted in Rambles, Rants, Religion | 8 Comments »

the governor listeth

Posted by vlorbik on August 16, 2009

Fermat’s Room reviewed by Maths Teacher.
Bob Samuels interviewed at HtUW.
AA: Cult or Cure? (Chaz Bufe) plugged.

Posted in Labor, Links, Movies, Religion | 1 Comment »

Assume A Can Opener If You Have It Not

Posted by vlorbik on August 15, 2009

earlier this week, i made some remark
to the effect that the Program is a sort
of christless christianity; then yesterday’s
morning ramble included
islam with christianity as a god-the-father
“monotheism”. the point here is that for my
purposes right now, the church and the mosque
and “these rooms” (where Program doctrine
is promulgated) are doing essentially the
*same* work: teaching submission to authority.

… acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because i find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

“acceptance” is about as central here
as “submission” is in mecca… and there’s
a great deal to be learned here,
and not just for drunks and submissives
either probably. but god damn it.
why to they always have to say things
like “all my problems” and
no serenity“? it’s the old
*absolutism* that poisons the whole deal
for almost anybody *not* active in a church
or synagogue or what have you.

now, i’d like to believe that there’s
actually some redemptive power
in the god damn gospel; hell,
i *do* believe it. i’ve *seen* it.

but “find a sponsor, read scripture,
go to meetings” looks to me to be
a *way* better description of
“how it works” than any of this
faith-and-faith-alone hooey.

anyhow. sponsorship is on my mind.
like needing a car and driver
to sponsor me back into the driving world
or, for that matter, my guide-of-the-moment
in “rules of the tank” post
of a couple hours ago. you can’t get
much of anywhere all by yourself;
i’m going to need a lot of help.

but madeline wasn’t kidding when she told me…
quite plainly cutting off a certain line
of discussion as is not at all her usual way…
“you’ll *never* find any authority you can respect”.

so it’s a problem.
the spirit of mathematics
as channelled by me through my
memories of my own teachers
and readings and sessions
with students and whatnot?
doesn’t seem to be doing it
for me anymore.

school is still school.
there’s a gospel in there (literacy itself)
but you’ll need to be mighty lucky
not to get caught worshipping some
false idol like workforce development.
there sure doesn’t seem to be anything
for *me* to sponsor *others* into there.

now what?

Posted in Rambles, Religion | 3 Comments »