I hold a lantern and I howl,
And today, I look no longer for an honest man,
For every ruler under the sun
I have told to stand aside:
I looked for the bones of their fathers
And cannot tell them from the remains of a slave.
Today I look for the One who restrains him --
The lawless man, the liar and phantasmagorist,
The herald and currier
Of gangrene carrion.
You think I’m shocking
With my Ginsbergian, anarchical ways
(who’s your Dada?)?
But I am nothing to his nothing,
The anti-logos who deserves no capitalization,
The killer of pigs
Who authentically, like the good existentialists they were,
Over one more moment of demonic swinehood.
I look for the One who restrains them,
The nameless, bodiless gnashers of teeth
And who throws them like lightning into outer darkness
From the precincts of human nature,
Now sociologically dedicated to the proposition
That all men are not created,
But “equivalent” all the same
(inverted suspended double commas were invented just for me).
Democracy, egalitarian, Jacobean, has swept the house clean, brothers,
And eight visitors have noticed the vacancy sign.
The lawless, a-logial and chthonic suckers of passion,
Incubi and succubae, who really do exist, mind you,
And simply adore every reverie,
Every maxim daydream, every housewife desperation and ennui.
And whilst I’m at it, rubbed in my tub,
Debasing Sinopian coinage and dieting on onionage,
I should point out (and I am, after all, a good pointer in the middle way)
That the night snackers are not all that gender picky:
A guy is just as likely to draw the incubi.
I look for the One who restrains him,
The One who exorcises the Age of Men,
Who raises the shield to let man be man
And possibly grow into something better and forever,
But times are a-changin’ and the answer that’s blowin’
Is not the Third Person and blows ill indeed
Like a rolling stone.
It is my dogged opinion
That the icy lake down below might now be vacant,
Except for record numbers in Ptolomaea:
That’s the hyper-modern anthem --
Treachery to guests:
"Come in for the orgy, leave your ancestors behind,
Your metaphysics, memory of place and gardens of time,
Oh, and forget your soul,
So we can eat you whole."
The Restrainer is the Exorcist,
In His House,
Eschatology and diabology hereby embrace.
Where the Word is, the Son in His pleroma,
In His legacy undiminished,
Where symbol and substance marry
In union and knowledge,
Where truth and experience are one in vision
Of a company beyond death:
There the antichrist cannot abide
And withers down the lusty, aggrieved and hungry chain of privation.
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked …”
he had no idea, the badness of naked
the whence of hysteria, the starvation of revolution.
My object, Hitler said to Josef Hell in Aufzeichnung,
is to guide first-rate revolutionary upheavals,
regardless of what methods or means
I have to use in the process.
Earlier revolutions were against the peasants,
or nobility, or clergy,
or against dynasties and their network of vassals,
but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence
of a lightning rod that could conduct
and channel the odium of the general masses.
[Adolf answering Mr. Hell, when the latter asked,
"Why, Mr. Hitler, did you choose the Jews?"]
Are you frightened, Frodo?
Then you are not frightened enough:
I know what hunts you.
Go to Rivendell, the place of mystery,
Where breathes the light of the Tree.
I look for the one who restrains him
(the lawless man),
I looked where the exorcists are,
And found Him there:
Rampant upon the serpent supine.
There were exorcists by the score in the Great Church upon a time,
And they didn’t look at all like a casting call
For a maudlin movie with red flannel, ketchup,
And regrettable Roman glissandos and cymbal crash,
Rotating crania and green bile.
They were, rather, quotidian Sunday School teachers
Who taught what Sunday School teachers used to teach
(instead of that spot-color Rogerian ilk that misses all the punch lines):
Hard-core orthodox doctrine to the children,
Trinitarian, Christological (scandalously exclusive),
And the rehearsal of Apostolic ascesis,
And the reception of mystical, material sacrament:
Which is the only antidote for pig-possessors.
In the Great Church,
Exorcists were the catechists:
Sunday School teachers drove out demons,
That is the criterion for the real Church, brothers:
Does it exorcise when it theologizes?
That is the basis for ethics, brothers:
Does it address the demons when it theorizes
in committee and extemporizes in the news?
That is the only reason for ecumenicity, brothers,
My fellow sons of Sceva,
Does it help us drive them out?
Does it help us do our job?
Does it help us be where the exorcists are?
Which is the real meaning,
I say in my onion dome breath,
Of the Church on the rock today.
I have been asked, courteously, to shed some light on allegedly obscure passages in the lines above. Here goes:
I thought that Diogenes of Sinope would make for a worthy, searching critic of non-exorcistic realms of ecclesiality. Legend has it that Diogenes went looking with a lantern for an honest man. He lived in a tub that was provided for him by the vastly entertained city of Athens. He ate a lot of onions. He also told Alexander the Great, who had come to visit him, to step aside, as he was blocking the sun. He also told the famous conqueror that crack about the bones. He was known to brandish his middle finger, but it is not known what that gesture meant back then. He (and/or his father) was exiled from Sinope for having debased the coinage.
2 Thessalonians 2.1-10
That would be Allen
And that would be Dadaism and anti-art, with Tristan Tzara and friends.
Mark 5.13. Some Biblical scholars (I use the word in its broadest sense) have accused Jesus of the willful destruction of property not belonging to Him. I kid you not.
Human nature in itself is meaningful only in fellowship with the Holy Trinity – a redeemed fellowship that is nicely expressed in the icon of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, outside of which is darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth. The orcs do a lot of gnashing, if you need to see this done to be clear about the action. I guess orcs do this a lot mainly as a result of self-awareness.
America is a culture where freedom is predicated upon the acknowledgment that humanity is created and sustained by God. Since that doctrine’s been thrown out the window, what will happen to equality? Bestialization? Commodification? Eugenicization? ... What? This is happening already?
Quotation marks are justly called “scare quotes” by those of us creeped out by Derrida’s posse – who, against the advice of the Chicago Manual of Style, litters the text with these chicken scratches. Diogenes would have been delighted with scare quotes, though it pains me to think of what he’d have done with Jacques. He'd have probably stuck them around Jacques’ name, rendering him so-called, like "Derrida."
The former means “lie on top,” the latter below.
Something for misogynists and misanthropes.
Fra Alberigo to Dante, in Ptolomaea, Inferno XXXIII, ll133-135
Ella ruina in sì fatta cisterna;
e forse pare ancor lo corpo suso
de l'ombra che di qua dietro mi verna.
The soul falls headlong to this cesspool.
Perhaps the body of this shade, who spends
the winter with me here, still walks the earth ...
Real conservatism seeks to nurture the old knowledge of the complete man, with the hope that with manners and a sense of truth and beauty, he will have enough wits to recognize hell when he sees it. It worries me that people may be in Hades and never know the difference.
The first line of Howl.
This, unbelievably, is a real conversation with a man who really had this name. Cited in My Life Among the Deathworks, by Philip Rieff, p. 160.
St. Nikodemus the Hagiorite: “The name of exorcist is given to the catechists of those faithless or heretics who are coming into the faith, because in catechizing them, they exorcise the evil spirits dwelling in them, in the name of the Lord, that they should leave them …”
Of course, one must add to the list of antidotal ingredients these catalysts: humanistic and liberal enterprises like good grammar, good stories, and good poetry. Have you noticed that demonification corrodes language concomitantly with the decay of the ego? The intact language I'm speaking of here (pardon the pun) is the noetic art of communicating the experience of grace and glory, and of understanding the logoi of creation. This is the first world, primeval language described by Barfield in Poetic Diction and Saving the Appearances. The linguistic acrobatics and recursive closed-loop grammars of people like Proust and Joyce are not language that expels demons, but rather invites them.
With the exception of astronomy, it is an open question whether indoctrination in mathematics and science will do any good with regard to the devil and his horde. The history of "Science" and evil is ambivalent, to say the least -- as is true of all alchemies (of which this present techno-culture is only the latest): it is to be hoped, perhaps in blind faith, that science has saved as many lives as it has destroyed. I still suspect, with Tolkien, that goblins have a lot to do with technology.