Thursday, June 05, 2008

Random Blasts from the Past ~ Third Jan, '06

The Auguries

This morning, I looked out the window and saw an owl. It was perched high up on a TV arial attached to the house across the alley from us. Birds often perch there but I knew this one was different when I glanced at it. I steadied the glasses and sure enough, it was an owl. In broad daylight. Just sitting there, scoping things out. It stayed for quite a while.

If I were a Roman Senator, I would be giving the Forum a pass for the day. Maybe taking the fam up to the farm for a couple of days off, just in case something, or someone, untoward is coming up the Via Appia for a looksie.

I wished in an email to a couple of friends that we still had professional soothsayers who could interpret such things, but I've done a little reading in my time, and my friends quite a bit more. Owls are never a good omen. Never.

It turns out Hegel thought so too. "As to giving advice, philosophy always arrives on the scene too late. When philosophy paints its gray on gray, then has a form of life grown old. The owl of Minerva takes wing only with the coming of the twilight."

My friend, ever earger to cheer me up said, "You, my dear, have seen the divine messenger bird that presages the imminent collapse of our way of life.."

Well, Steyn too seems to be in the business of augury reading. Seems to be talking about the flight of the owl. The terrible thing is, I have a feeling that Hegel was right and we are too late. Demographics is a bigger problem than anyone can deal with, even if they had the will.

It's the Titanic problem. Moving full speed and the rudder's too small. This baby's a bitch on the corners. Iceberg dead ahead. There's only one thing we can do: try to rescue as many of the souls aboard her as we can in whatever lifeboats we've got. The ship is in the hands of Mr. Newton.

Nothing. Anyone. Can. Do.

When the Pope said he was expecting a smaller Church, I think he wasn't anticipating making it so deliberately as Pope. He does seem to be interested in saving as many as possible under his watch. This says to me that he isn't going to be firing people, even the ones he knows most richly deserve it. Much as it is tempting to those of us who have been watching the 'berg coming, have been pleading for years with the deck officers to change course, slow down and pay attention; much as we might enjoy watching the new captain hang a few of those idiots from the yardarm, it isn't going to change the speed or course of the ship. Nothing human can do that.

What Steyn says about the world is what Ratzi has been saying about the Church; things can't be turned aside at this point. And hanging the bastards who put us here is a wasteful luxury.

Benedict is one of those who has been watching for a long time. He knows what we know, and more. He knows that the demographic machinery can't be stopped. If we had known what was happening sixty years ago, maybe. But just at that moment we were a bit busy in the West. While the world was looking the other way, the saboteurs got into the Sanctuary through the boiler room doors.

The question, of course, is what to do now.


Well don't look at me! I haven't got a clue.
And if I did, no one would believe me.

"Four times struck as oft the clashing sound
Of arms was heard, and inward groans rebound.
Yet, mad with zeal, and blinded with our fate,
We haul along the horse in solemn state;
Then place the dire portent within the tow'r.
Cassandra cried, and curs'd th' unhappy hour;
Foretold our fate; but, by the god's decree,
All heard, and none believ'd the prophecy."

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