Sunday, August 26, 2007

Simply definitional

At mkq3’s blog, I asked BrianB (a writer who earlier in the comment thread had given a lecture on “mannered writing”): “What do you mean when you say you are a humanist?”

“Well, Abe, I suppose besides the usual definition I root for more humans instead of fewer humans, and I don’t mean I don’t like condoms.”

On the next comment, lawyer Bencard, rooting for the Chinese in the Philippines or the Chinese Filipinos, first said: “they had absolutely nothing in terms of political and economic aid from their hostile hosts but they prospered, becoming bankers, professionals, scientists and artisans of world renown. they are not the whimperers (sic), bellyachers, complainers, self-justifying people that the average pinoy is. they believe in PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.”

And when I asked: “Otherwise, who would an ‘average Pinoy’ be?”, Bencard promptly retorted: “to me, ‘average pinoy’ is one who, generally, blames the government for every misery he suffers in life, one who thinks the government is responsible to make him ‘happy’ and self-sufficient as a matter of natural entitlement. anyone who fits this description, including myself, is ‘average’ in my estimation simply because it is a pretty common trait.”

Then, browsing, I chanced upon an item about a 41-year-old priest from northern Italy who fathered a boy and so he was asked to leave his parish.

Explaining his conduct, according to the news report he said, “The fruit of one's fertility should be a cause for joy . . . I feel false, because it is not easy to walk alone along the path to truth. Sometimes you need to find someone to walk with.”

Funny but these accounts remind me of Oscar Wilde in the dock (then charged with homosexual acts with “rent boys”) who was asked on cross-examination by the prosecutor: “What is, ‘the love that dares not speak its name’?” (The prosecutor was quoting a line that alludes to homosexuality from “Two Loves,” a poem written by Wilde’s lover, Alfred Lord Douglas). Wilde was ebullient:
"The love that dares not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dares not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.
The crowd in the gallery cheered!


Blogger Bencard said...

abe, thanks for the citation. just to clarify, i was actually referring to the jews when i said they did very well in the pogroms, despite the blatant discrimination of their hostile hosts, eventually becoming international bankers,insurers, professionals, scientists, industrialist, artisans, etc. as to pinoy-chinese, they came with practically nothing and didn't ask much from their host government, just literally pulling themselves up by their bootstraps or flip-flops to the pinnacle of economic success.

August 29, 2007 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is illegal in the Philippines this "old men having homosexual sex with young boys".
I did not expect it from you to write something that suggests that the law be changed. Homosexual sex between an old man and a young boy is unnatural, ugly and predatory.

August 30, 2007 9:11 AM  
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December 27, 2015 7:55 PM  

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