The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, September 30, 2018


"Richard Bachman" once wrote a book about a Gypsy curse, leveled against a fat dude, which seemed like a blessing at the time. It was... not. This past month I've had the opportunity to learn why not, so I'll regale y'all with that now.

From the end of Labour Tuesday over to that weekend, I was getting next to no sleep and no food, for reasons you know. This past week I caught some sort of food poisoning. My suspects are an early brunch either Sunday or Monday - I am unsure, so I shan't name either, but both places are off my List until further notice. As a result where I was Fat N' Happy as of Labour Day, comfortably in the high 170s, which is admittedly overweight; I'm running in the low 160s now.

Lemme explain what happens to the human body when it drops 15 pounds in the space of a few weeks, mainly from malnutrition and stress.

There's this meme out there that weight loss is about "burning calories". That it's about turning those extra fat cells into energy and GAINZZ. And maybe that actually happens when you've shifted to a better diet and are doing exercise. That isn't the fuck at all what happens when you just don't eat, because you can't. Oh no.

What happens instead is that your body thinks it's starving to death - because it is. So it is attacking all the cells it can get to. Some of it's fat; maybe a lot of it. But some of it's muscle. And liver. Maybe nerve - maybe brain.

By the way, the "burning of calories" is never some perfect chemical process even in the reaction of fire. Fire tends to leave byproducts - like ash. The "burning of calories" - the destruction of cells - leaves its own "ash" behind. The DNA damage alone... well, y'all know the AT and CG pairs? C - Cytosine - is the least stable, so breaks into that DNA "fifth wheel", Uracil. This gets bourne away in the bloodstream. That's right, kiddies! Now I got liver and kidney overload to think about! I can see the results in the urine (the emulsion of uracil). I know I am simplifying a lot of this but, I'm worried to look more into it.

So besides the hunger and gastrointestinal difficulties, to cleanse the kidneys I better be drinking a LOT of water. The kidneys still work night-shift though, whether I'm drinking enough Fluids or not. And then I have the gastro pain to overcome after I've drained 'em out, at 3 AM. So - more sleepness nights.

But I deserve it, right. I can go to the confessional to offload sins like, oh, I had a fap a week ago. For racism? No Reconciliation for that - well, not for most of you, dear Westword readers. I'm damned for at least three more decades.

Spoiler here: I am not expected to last that long. So a portion of y'all are looking forward to me burnin' the rest of my calories... in Hell. Which is nice.

posted by Zimri on 17:41 | link | 0 comments


The Saker, disciple of Maximus, has gone on today to cite the "Apostolic Canons" to the same effect: such that the archons of our aeon should not be meddling with episcopal appointments. I don't believe The Saker has the right proof-text. Tragically.

Yes, later Church Synods, like Troullo, have adopted these Canons. But they derive from a forgery, as everyone west of the Jirecek Line will tell you. And trust me: we Latins want that same early proof-text, in our case against Bergoglio's sellout to the Chinese. (Pope Hormisdas knew the Canons were bogus too.) So it gives me no pleasure to contradict The Saker here.

Still, let's get into how The Saker went wrong. Maybe we'll even learn something!

The "Apostolic Canons" distill "Apostolic Constitutions", last chapter of the eighth book - thence, The Saker extracted #31. The Constitutions overall is pretty famous; the Ethiopians retained a translation, and still plead for it.

The "Constitutions" in its turn used its own sources. From books one to six, the main one was the "Didascalia Apostolorum". In our days this was edited in 1906, from a mix of defective Greek and Latin manuscripts, a full Syriac manuscript, and its wholesale plagiary in the Constitutions. So scholars are assured of its Greek text. From all that, I assume the 1929 English translation is a fair guide.

The Didascalia is a fascinating snapshot into early Christian organisation, if you can stand its length and piety. (It's a fair window onto the third-century state of the Greek Biblical text, as well.) The middle portion, also long, deals with the bishops - leaders of the "presbytery". They should be elderly and wise, and so should their wives(!) be. They act as High Priests in Christ's name, in an era when the "presbyter" had not quite yet assured his position relative to the deacon, and was not yet equated with the cohen-hieros. (No direct "Hebrews" citations!) The bishops shouldn't involve themselves in stupid secular pursuits, nor in worldly greed.

However I don't see where the Didascalia talks about making use of the worldly rulers, which should be "archon" in Greek. From one viewpoint, that just helps to prove that the Didascalia precedes the Edict of Milan. (To be more specific, its view of Bishop=Priest and Presbyter=Deputy-At-Best matches closely Cyprian.) But for our needs - East and West - this is most unhelpful, because we just lost our best potential proof-text.

The Constitutions, then, pulled this warning against political interference from elsewhere. I'd like there to be a parallel strand also preMilanese but I am unsure we shall find one.

In the meantime I advise The Saker get back to citing Maximus.

posted by Zimri on 14:16 | link | 0 comments

Can't lick the 'chick

HBDChick is back online. We still don't know why @jack kicked her off. Circumstantial evidence points to a mass memoryholing of historians.

If you want to be dangerous to society, learn history. If you want a war, learn genetics.

posted by Zimri on 10:14 | link | 0 comments

Why priests

One Garry Wills about five years back published something "new" in the genre of abolishing priests from Christendom. I ran across this in the Boulder Bookstore last week - I know, "where else".

I've been exposed to anticlerical currents in our culture most of my life. If there has ever been such an animal as a "Judaeo-Christian" that would be my mother: raised by parents who didn't trust the Catholic hierarchy one bit (mum herself was more tolerant). My dad didn't mind the Anglican ceremony but he too never held truck with self-appointed "shamans". And then there's the ambient liberalism of American culture, of "spirituality" and objection to "organised religion". And then there's all the Gary Jennings and Barbara Tuchman I read in my tweens and teens. So Wills is just more of the same.

Wills does offer a scholarly argument, such as it goes. He notes that Judaism has its own "temple / state division" and, being Judaism, divides by genome. The Gospels do not witness that Jesus was in a priestly tribe. Wills also notes that Paul - a Benjaminite himself IIRC - places Jesus with the royal line: again, not with Levi or Cohen or Aaron or what have you. The first generations of Christian had deacons and preachers, and an infrastructure of laymen (mostly women!), and a hierarchy of "overseers" whose Greek name has come down to us as bishops. It had something that sounds like "priest": presbyter, the "elder". But it didn't yet have a hieros, a cohen.

Then someone, an avid reader of Paul, wrote the encyclical "Hebrews".

Tertullian in De Pudicitia, 20 knew it as "the letter of Barnabas to the Hebrews", and indeed Barnabas in life was a Levite. (We shall not entertain Luther's silly notion that it was Apollos.)

In the early Church, "Hebrews" circulated amongst pro-priest congregations; other congregations scorned it. One does find references to Eternal High Priest Jesus in Polycarp, and then in the Didascalia; but they don't quote from this text. The proto-orthodox hierarchy eventually ascribed the tract to Paul, despite this being impossible (witnesses to the Lord had "confirmed" the Christian kerygma to this author, who therefore was no direct recipient of Revelation as was Paul). The smarter theologians never insisted on this ascription, and have in our day accepted its arguments without demanding more of us.

"Hebrews" argues for substitutionary atonement. The Semitic G-d requires sacrifice. Jesus remains the Lamb of God, as in other NT texts, although I don't think Hebrews uses that exact term. "Hebrews" wants Jesus as High Priest as well, to which end the text points to Melchizedek: that Jesus transcends, in a basic way, all the Israelite tribal distinctions. It is, for "Hebrews", better that Jesus not belong to Levi. "Hebrews" positioned Christianity to face the Mediterranean temple religions face-to-face; but uniquely, with no need or use for bloodshed. Except for the blood of Christian martyrs like the aforementioned Polycarp.

Wills doesn't approve substitutionary atonement. In this he goes against Rene Girard, who argues that it is necessary in any human society. If you - like Girard, and like me - think that S.A. is the whole point, then wherever you read about later Christian theologians "accreting" and "innovating" new ways to raise its profile, you will be understanding these as discoveries. Where he casts Catholic philosophy as a pile of lies; you will be watching the erection of a vast, beautiful, and sturdy cathedral.

There is no middle ground. Either the Christians were lying (and remember, "Hebrews" is not a pseudepigraph; its author never aimed to deceive) or else Wills is. (Okay, someone else might argue a middle ground: in a S.A. religion that managed without the regular reenactment of the Atonement; or in an Atonement-centred religion that managed without priests. But that someone isn't Wills. I can't think of how such a postulated religion would work.)

So let's get to Wills' own theology. He holds Jesus as one of ... [the] prophets of G-d. And when Wills gets into the Qur'an, that vaunted skepticism, which he levels against the Church's founding documents, vaporises. So without "Hebrews", Wills has mired himself in Muhammadanism. I hold this as evidence that "Hebrews" successfully postponed The Day Of Islam in the Near East. Praise be to G-d!

For appendix, you will be WHOLLY UNSURPRISED to hear that Wills had spent five years in Jesuit madrassa. Vox Day offers an apology, and perhaps a suggestion.

posted by Zimri on 09:30 | link | 0 comments

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