Sunday, February 5, 2017

Farewell to a Blogging Buddy 
Retiring from the Fray

El Violin de Plata

My dear friend, you have discovered what was revealed to me years ago. Our only true Enemy is the lust to gain Power and Dominance,–– the desire to subjugate others and bend them to our will, –– the lust for Vengeance –– the determination to Get Even at all costs. So POWER, itself, is our greatest Enemy. 

It doesn't matter whether it comes from the Left, the Right, the Church, the State, the Rich, the Poor, the Black, the White, the Lame, the Halt or the Blind. Whenever we long to "play God," instead of humbly submitting ourselves to HIS Will, we will continue to suffer and to cause others to suffer in return. It IS that simple, but few would ever admit it, because the desire to OWN and DIRECT our lives is so strong it makes us blind –– or even hostile –– to the means of our Salvation. 

To wish you Good Luck would be trite, so instead –– because I am older even than your own father –– I dare advise you to "Lift up thine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help." Please don't settle complacently for what you already know, –– or like to think you know –– always strive for more instead, and to lift your gaze ever higher. 

Though He remains invisible to the human eye, God is ALL-in-ALL –– the ineffable, inexhaustible, inescapable, ever-present, super-abundant SOURCE of Life, Light, Energy, Creativity, Joy, Truth and Love. He is Alpha and Omega. 

There are many roads that lead to God. I have found Him most easily in the realm of music by composers such as Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms and a number of others who were blest to act as WINDOWS letting those blest with spiritual vision to see limited amounts of God's Heavenly Light. 

There is no darkness when one achieves even momentary unity with the Holy Spirit. May you find ever increasing amounts of Wisdom, Joy, Satisfaction, Peace and Fulfillment as you continue your Quest.

~ § ~

The poignancy of Kurt SlverFiddle's farewell to blogging reminded me of the following poem by W. H. Auden. See if you can understand the the strong association I feel with the perplexities and lamentations Kurt has revealed to us. I dared to write a sequel or addendum to Auden's opus that says in poetic language what I tried to say to Kurt more plainly in many comments over the past several years.

_______ O What Is That Sound ________

O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
The soldiers coming.
O what is that light I see flashing so clear
Over the distance brightly, brightly?
Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
As they step lightly.
O what are they doing with all that gear,
What are they doing this morning, morning?
Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
Or perhaps a warning.
O why have they left the road down there,
Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
Perhaps a change in their orders, dear,
Why are you kneeling?
O haven't they stopped for the doctor's care,
Haven't they reined their horses, horses?
Why, they are none of them wounded, dear,
None of these forces.
O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
Is it the parson, is it, is it?
No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
Without a visit.
O it must be the farmer that lives so near.
It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
And now they are running.
O where are you going? Stay with me here!
Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
No, I promised to love you, dear,
But I must be leaving.
O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
Their boots are heavy on the floor
And their eyes are burning.

~ WH Auden (1907-1973)

______ O What is the Source ______

O yes, dear friends, it is coming, coming.
But whatever will be the source?
Will it be the Muslims, Muslims?
Or day traders at the Bourse?
We know it might be the Marxists, Marxists
The Marxists on a Pale Horse.
Perhaps it will be the false Christians, Christians
Who'd nail sinners they hate to a Cross?
Perhaps it will be the Perverts, Perverts?
The Gays who've been gathering force?
Perhaps it will be our Elders, Elders
Whose minds have been gathering moss?
Perhaps it will be the young Lovers, Lovers
Who cavort in the bracken and gorse?
O we know it is coming, coming,
But we cannot acknowledge the source.
Perhaps it might be you and me?
Yes! Who else could it be, of course?
~ FreeThinke

All of you guys will be sorely missed.


  1. Yeah, Western Hero was a haven for bloggers who truly cared and thought about the issues and had no fear of argument - heck we all thrived on it! It's how I came across AOW, the world's greatest supporter of gun rights, who was completely open to everything else, just not gun laws! It's how I came across the Thomist Climate Skeptic, William Briggs, and his brigade of highly educated conservative Catholics who it turns out are a far more diverse bunch of thinkers than you'd ever think! And, most importantly, it's how I came across FreeThinke, an Old World Man's man, and for any student of music or history or poetry or art or literature, a walking, talking 18th century Parisian Salon. It's like blogging with Voltaire himself!

    We will all miss Western Hero, but it's effect? It will long be felt by all who participated and read, forever. (Funny, I have this sudden urge to hear an Appalachian 4-string duel...) ;)


  2. Thank you, Jersey. You are more than kind. Even though we disagree –– often vehemently –– on political philosophy, I've known for a long time that you are very different from most leftists in that you have a great, kind heart, a broader, less doctrinaire, less power-driven focus, an appreciation of absurdities, and a keen sense of humor.

    I'd love to know your thoughts on why I posted Auden's famous poem and my parody of it as it might relate to the decision to close Western Hero?

    My reasoning may be subtle, but because I love to examine the possible implications and hidden meanings that so often lie between any given set of lines, I'm always hopeful that others will make similar efforts to look beyond the obvious and explore that mysterious immeasurable, unquantifiable realm where TRUE meaning so often may be found.

    1. Please don't tell me he's going back to the Middle East! Silver's around my age! He's too old for that craziness!


    2. Where did you get the idea he might go back to the Middle East? I don't believe he'd ever do that, Jersey. He's a bit older than you, has a very responsible job, a god marriage, and still lots of family to care for.

      He has talked about heading for Central and South America, but I doubt he;ll go there any time soon, except for a short stay, maybe.

    3. Oh! Sheesh! :)

      It was that poem. Sounds like the guys off to war, or getting arrested, or something like that!


    4. The Auden poem, Jersey? On the surface it's about a man who comes to realize with mounting horror that a group of soldiers spotted in the distance are in fact coming for HIM. We don't know who this man is, ir what he might have done that would make him the object of an official "witch hunt" by soldiers. But we learn, as he keeps asking questions that try to deny that HE is to be their prey and their victim, that his companion –– the person he presumably loves and trusts most –– has in fact betrayed him.

      That's the "plot," but at a deeper level the poem is about the betrayal of trust we too often foolishly put in one another.

      5. ... Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

      6. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

      7. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

      8. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

      9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked ...

      ~ Jeremiah 17: 5-9

      The meaning and significance in good poetry is hardly ever revealed by taking it literally. Most poetry is filled with symbolism, parables and allegorical connotations and and all sorts of figurative language.

      Even beyond betrayal, the piece is concerned wth the heartbreak –– and the terror –– that accompanies the sudden realization that one is alone, friendless and with no more importance to others than a voice crying in the wilderness.

      Yeah! It's pretty serious stuff.

      To understand what I'm trying to say, you must have a clear understanding of WHO and WHAT "The LORD" really IS.

      He is not who most of us have been led to believe He is, and that is why most people of intelligence have abandoned "Him;" but it is not "Him" they have abandoned.

      Quite rightly they sense the falseness of the impression they've been given of a stern, hyper-judgmental, quasi-sadistic AUTHORITARIAN PRESENCE who lives OUTSIDE –– and far ABOVE –– themselves, when in fact God is a SPIRIT who is the embodiment and perfect expression of Truth, Love, Principle, Intelligence, Soul (the essence of individual identity) and Life, itself. God IS All-IN-All.

      People reject what they imagine God to be, because they don't want to be bossed around, but that is a completely wrong-headed approach that leads to dissension, disharmony, disunity, futility, and misery ending in CHAOS.

      Is this what I believe AUDEN was thinking literally when he wrote O What Is That Sound? I doubt it. I'm pretty sure my feeble words might make him laugh, but I'm as sure as any mortal could be that what I've said IS what he MEANT.

    5. Yeah, I like Auden. I like writers who can be concise and yet leave a lot to the readers imagination. The piece reminds me of Kafka's, The Trial.

      I suppose some people do reject God out of some need for spiritual independence. I think you have to actually have a belief in God at some point or another, however, to then reject Him. People who have been raised agnostic or atheist or just of some significantly different tradition do not reject God, they simply fail to feel the belief in the first place. It's not so much rejection as it is just a different perspective.

      For instance, to reject God could also imply the rejection of all the morality and philosophy and psychology and sociology of God as a real thing, the center of a belief system, as held by millions and millions of people for millennia. I am an atheist, but would find that perspective..., well..., stupid. I do not see the God figure as necessarily good or bad, right to accept or wrong. It depends on depends on depends on and on and on and on. Then there's all the various versions of God we see, especially in this age of the Personal Jesus.

      As I mentioned on Thersites site today, "you work with the principles you have unless and until you can change them." Judeo-Christian principles are a real part of our lives and whether you believe in God or not you have to accept that reality and try to work with it, when and where and with whom you can, to get anything good done. It's a good principle in itself. This is why I always decry those who fall into the trap of associating Islam with terrorism. It works against what we're trying to do - stop terrorism!


  3. I miss the Western Hero site. Especially Silverfiddle!

    But I have the feeling that, other than his going through some withdrawal pains, he's happier without blogging. So much acrimony flying around!

    Blogging can take over one's life! I've learned that lesson over the past several months -- and I've been pulling back for that reason (and a few other reasons as well).

    Life is too short to get all wound up in some of the discussions that we have here in the blogosphere.

    1. I understand what you're saying, AOW, but I think the real reason for withdrawing from the blogosphere may have more to do with the Heartbreak, Exhaustion and Feeling of Futility that comes with the realization that despite one's finest, most earnest, most hopeful, sometimes genuinely creative efforts to communicate thoughts. information, and beliefs we hope might be of some value to others, we are met too often with Hostility, –– a desire to Discredit, Refute and Discard without making the slightest attempt to understand –– an abysmal Lack of Curiosity, and total Lack of Comprehension –– even from one's friends and supposed compatriots.

      Acrimony is a good word to describe it, but before I quit I would like to learn WHY most of us feel such a pressing need to be eternally COMBATIVE –– even with those we hopefully regard as allies –– in the context of blogging?

      The phenomenon says something very disturbing and disillusioning about Human Nature.

      Everyone seems to want to TALK, but few-if-any show any willingness to make even the slightest effort to LISTEN, and too often even when we do, the effort is perfunctory –– i.e. superficial, cursory, desultory, hasty, hurried, rapid, fleeting, token, casual, careless, halfhearted, sketchy, mechanical, automatic, routine, offhand, inattentive, etc.

      I'm sure I'm as guilty as anyone of this regrettable custom, but at least I am aware of it, and do try to reach out to express appreciation and empathy more than most.

      Unfortunately, when someone spits in my metaphorical eye, kicks my metaphorical shin, or slaps my metaphorical face, I'm too apt to express my sense of outrage and extreme disapproval in no uncertain terms –– hardly a way "to win friends and influence people," I admit. };^(>

      The only real
      value I can see in bogging –– after more than sixteen years –– is to write in order to clear my OWN thoughts, and try t said my OWN sense of curiosity and concern. It's bit like praying in public, or writing a private diary you know will be put in exhibit immediately as you write it.

      It would be best of course, to give freely and unstintingly without the slightest hope of ever getting any Reward or Recognition.

      As we abandon the search for Glory, Self-Gratification and any form of Ego-Massage from others, we must, perforce, become more godly. At least that is my hope.

    2. FT,
      There is more than one reason for withdrawing from the online fray -- the one you mentioned, the one I mentioned, and others unmentioned (such as the time-consuming task of monitoring comments).

      I note that, in the last few days my local news site, has turned off the comments option. It's no wonder! Comments were "strange" -- by any standard. Even though in recent months all of us were forced to divulge our actual identities in order to comment.

    3. FreeThinke is quite perceptive!

    4. Tallulita Bancocabezo said

      Yes, Osservatore, dahling. I've known the dear boy all my life. We went to school together as a matter of fact, and even as far back as elementary school, several of our teachers said just what you have said. Of course most thought he was just daft. Definitely not one of us. I've always liked him, though. He was awfully cute when we were in high school.

  4. In the meantime, please enjoy the following clip (but do yourself a favour and skip to 2:50 in...)

  5. I to will miss Silver, and very much.
    As for the Super Bowl today I will (not) be watching!!!! I hope patriots win but I can't support the NFL l.allowing an anti American pig to mock my president at halftime!!!!!!!! I'm an American!!!!! I love my country and I voted trump!!!!!!!

  6. Geeze, SF, only five comments in more than 24 hours. I guess the folks out there don't think much of you, do they? You were smart to get out of this rotten racket. It don't pay diddley squat.

    1. Only 5 comments? Speaks volumes about all the acrimony here in blogistan.

  7. I threw down my cell phone and crossed the border last week. Guantanamera was the first song I sang for the people.

    1. El Hombre Viejo said

      Throwing it down is a good first step. Throwing it AWAY would be better; You will never be free until you can cut the cord that ties you to The Grid, walk away and never look back.

      Vaya con Dios!

      Not easy, but worth it, I'm sure.

  8. Replies
    1. Cultivo una rosa blanca
      En julio como enero,
      Para el amigo sincero
      Que me da su mano franca

    2. El verso mio de Guantanamera, dedicado a mi quierida:

      El mar se brill como diamantes,
      derramados a pleno sol
      Yo soy un barco de noche,
      Pero tu eres mi farol

    3. Tu eres un verdadero romantico, violin de plata! Su quierida es muy afortunada!

    4. Señor RIolinda said

      I have a white rose to tend
      In July as in January;
      I give it to the true friend
      Who offers his frank hand to me.
      And to the cruel one whose blows
      Break the heart by which I live,
      Thistle nor thorn do I give:
      For him, too, I have a white rose.”

      ― José Martí, Versos Sencillos (Simple Verses_

    5. Senor Riolinda said


      Jajajajajajaj Jajajajajajajaj Jajajajajajajajajaj

      (And they say I'm a ship)
      I have to sail
      (And they say that I am a ship)
      By the restless waters
      (And say I'm a ship)
      I never, never can stop
      (And they say I'm a ship)
      I'm not interested in your comment

      I am a ship
      That I have to navigate
      For the restless waters of the wide sea
      I am a cloud
      That no one can tie me
      He who tries it goes up and has to go down

      I sing because singing is good
      And I dance because dancing is better,
      The world is just a great theater
      And I never almost under the curtain
      I want because I want to like
      And cheat when they deceive me
      I work because I have no choice
      But to work I feel unhappy
      I feel because feeling inspires me
      And I forget therefore that
      To remember loves that I had many in life,
      But in none could I anchor


      I suffer because suffering teaches me
      And I cry because crying makes me good
      After the novel is over
      I laugh at what could not be

      I dream because I dream elevates
      And I stop because I do not want to follow
      Trying to find out that the wheel and the thread
      Of the future are entangled
      I feel because feeling inspires me
      I forget then to remember
      Loves that I had many in life
      But in none could I anchor

      I am a ship
      That I have to navigate
      For restless waters
      Of the wide sea
      I am a cloud
      That no one can tie me
      And the one who tries it goes up
      And has to go down

      (And they say that I am a ship)
      By the restless waters
      (And say I'm a ship) and never,
      I can never stop
      (And they say I'm a ship)
      I'm not interested in your comment
      (And they say I'm a ship) ...

    6. Señor Riolinda said

      Tu eres un verdadero romantico, violin de plata! Su quierida es muy afortunada!

      You are a true romantic, violin de Plata. Your beloved is very fortunate.

    7. Tallulita Bancocabeza said

      Personally, dahlings, I think both of you are nuts, but I love you anyway.

    8. Tallulita: That's how we roll in Latin America, right Speedy?

    9. Speedy G's commentary is quite trenchant. I love worldly men.

  9. Oh no I must go bid him farewell

    1. You'll never get a better opportunity than here and now, Lisa.

      But there is no need for farewells. El Violin de Plata will always be with us in one form or another, –– probably incognito from now on, but one never knows ...

      Keep the faith. ;-)

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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