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Issue 029

Mad Mondays Issue 017
Pagan Moontide of Julius 20, Anno Domini 2020

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19

Artwork:  "Power of Media"  Artist: Jeetdoh

I think you should kill your TV.

I really, really do. 

I don’t mean that you should never again watch a movie, or a series, or a talking picture. (Televised sports is distinct issue, though not entirely dissimilar, especially due to commentators and commercials.)

But I mean that unless you are going to spend as much time talking about what you watched and heard with another live, wise and charitable human being, then I think that by watching TV you are enacting voluntary brainwashing upon yourself.

Only, it's not voluntary. It’s at your expense. It’s costing you a lot of money to listen to the TV. 

But don’t look behind the curtain. Keep turning it on and letting it tell you how to fear and covet more today than you did yesterday. 

Just don’t complain when your kids grow up to believe whatever the TV of their time tells them to believe. If you aren’t willing to question the wisdom of letting pagan strangers from far off places play a constant sales jingle of white noise around you 24/7, then I submit that your TV channels of choice have already become the full extent of your intellectual ability to speak and understand English, and thus your mind has become to rigid and closed to consider your own, willing, mental enslavement. 

What a morbid possibility! Though, it does explain the mobs we’ve seen the youth grow so fond of becoming.

It’s a serious proposition: every hour of moving picture you input to your head-matrix needs time spent again discussing and discerning its messages in order for you to learn anything from watching beyond how to believe the next thing you watch without asking it any questions.

But don’t aim for the fences; start small. Take notes on what you watch. T.E.A up that 1st note by translating it into a deeper thought the next day. Then, throw the note away and have one meaningful conversation with someone who watched with you.

And watch the scales start to fall from your eyes….

Oh: do the same thing with one paragraph of the New Testament every day for a week, and see if your world doesn’t explode in marvelously unexpected ways. 

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

    Welcome to the next level
    Clickbait Paradise

    How the other half live

    Weather the apocalypse in style with this luxury bunker, made from a converted missile silo. But with $1M buy in and monthly costs at $2500, only wealthy preppers need apply. At an undisclosed location in South America, a YouTuber known as Mr Tfue builds his own millionaire style pool houses, with basic tools. And your drink of choice could have the approval of royalty, as Queen Elizabeth II is selling gin made from leaves found in the garden at Buckingham Palace. The money raised will help maintain the royal art collection, which is usually covered by tourism revenue.

    And since you look like you know your stuff, we’ve got a bridge we’d like to sell you. The only “privately owned border crossing in North America” is an interesting phenomenon.

    That’s using the ol’ noodle

    Twitter last week faced its biggest hack to date, with a scam that involved BitCoin and some of the biggest "blue checkmarks” including Barak Obama and Elon Musk. An investigation is still ongoing as to how hackers gained access to high profile accounts, but for a small period of time, verified accounts were shut down and the Twittershpere was eerily quiet. Google has also been quietly experimenting with all sorts of tech, including holographic glasses and smart tattoos that turn your skin into a touchpad. 

    The technological marvel that is an "extreme ultraviolet lithography” machine is worth reading up on if you’re into lasers shooting at super smooth surfaces to place droplets of tin inside wafers of silicon to make a computer chip. (inhale) But even if you’re not, this tech is at the heart of a dispute over who should have it and what the CCP might do with it if they did.

    The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, some of which may be here to stay. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) But it has gotten authorities revisiting the idea of “proximity” in our cities, proposing ways we could make our urban areas more “walkable” in “fifteen minute” communities.

    A Whole Lot of Nothing?

    A recent German study showed that there was almost no spread of coronavirus in schools that reopened. Also, an article from National Review investigated reinfection rates and the elusive “herd immunity”. Much like the piece we published last week the writer suggests that most people have more immunity to Sars-CoV2 than first thought. Also, The Hill this week reported the CDC admitting that mixed testing results were possibly skewing infection data. Oof.

    In an example of bureaucratic overreach, a Kentucky couple has been issued with ankle bracelets, for refusing to sign documents promising to stay home. 

    Speaking of pandemics, chickens may provide warning for future outbreaks of viruses. As Rev Fisk has pointed out in the past, our reliance on mass-produced food is asking for trouble.

    Keep Mad Mondays Comin'

    Woke Fragility

    An article written by Justin Lee for the Independent this week looked at how the moralising of the “woke” ends up reinforcing the inequality it denounces. The writer lays out how in this time where the definitions of words are mercurial and the goalposts of what is acceptable keep changing, "Working class white people who can't keep up with shifting norms are labeled racist by the gatekeepers of those norms, who thereby safeguard their own class privilege.”

    The language of guilt and the need for justification is, once again, hard to miss: 

    "anti-racist liturgies convince them they're the "right sort" and thus couldn't be acting from base motives: 'Conversely, blaming or criticizing ‘others’ for a particular moral failing reduces one’s own sense of guilt for that same moral failing.” This attitude is reciprocally reinforced within progressive social circles as.. [those] who inhabit social circles where people go around denouncing racism to one another constantly — painting themselves as staunch advocates for social justice — it would become almost impossible for these people to see the role that they play in perpetuating systemic inequality.'” Log and speck, anyone?

    The writer observes that even acts of charity become a means of reinforcing your own self-righteousness: 

    "Over the past several weeks, social media has been flooded with screenshots of donations given to charities committed to racial justice, and even donations given through Venmo to one’s black friends and acquaintances. But performative virtue binds and blinds. It generates in-group solidarity while blinding individuals to their role within the system. Thus the wisdom of Christ's exhortation: "When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

    Lee goes on to quote from Rene Girard who noted that "from time immemorial, human communities have resolved social crises by way of the "scapegoat mechanism": everyone unites against a single victim, who is blamed for the crisis and sacrificed (i.e. killed or exiled); thus is social peace restored.” But, he concludes, this only conceals “privilege under sham virtue.” How about it has "indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but it is of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh”?

    Fallen human nature is disappointingly predictable on that front - our guilty hearts know that there needs to be a Scapegoat who can really, once for all, procure righteousness for us.

    The writer concludes that “the most meaningful act of resistance to systemic racism would be for its primary beneficiaries to seek ways to give of themselves… rather than attempting to blame, coerce, cajole or expropriate from others under the auspices of anti-racism.” He says that this “is at once simpler and far more demanding than anything on offer from Robin DiAngelo” who’s book “White Fragility”, he recommends using as compost. Hear, hear!

    Only Illuminati Need Apply
    Your Reaction Highlights

    Hi Pastor,

    I’ve been doing some reading on dispensationalism stimulated by an article written a sixteen years ago by Pastor Wolfmueller. I found the article to be very informative and appreciated the end notes. Afterward, I read all 5 articles of Theodore Engelder's analysis of chiliasm, which was cited in your end notes. Engelder was very strong concerning chiliasm/dispensationalism. In fact, he said chiliasm is a vicious delusion in its demands and a strong delusion in that it can enforce its demands. He also said that it must be banned from Christian theology. He's absolutely right! Dispensationalism is a form of biblical interpretation that abuses clear Scripture passages. I'm also in the process of reading Backgrounds to Dispensationalism by Clarence Bass. Are there any other books you would highly recommend as I research and combat this strong delusion?

    God's blessings.

    The first volume of Thief in the Night: First Last Things is being reworked for formatting to be re-released in 2021.

    The first podcast between Wolfmueller and me discussing the matter can be found here, and the rest of the Wolfschatology series can be found here.

    Rec: A Good Word from Rev Fisk 

    For those who caught the SMChill this weekend, you would have heard Rev Fisk suggested chasing a particular video down. And here it is!

    Officer Jakhary Jackson, a black policeman, speaks about the Portland riots. He talks about how his eyes have been open to the total confusion in this movement, when his white colleagues were called “racist” for helping him after he was hit with debris thrown by protestors.


    😷 Anything your facemask can do, mine can do better: this one translates the wearer’s speech into 8 languages

    🐠 Black is the new black: marine biologists have found a fish that absorbs light

    📷 A photographer has recreated portraits of historical figures by dressing up their descendants

    🧬 DNA testing machine could rapidly detect illegal wildlife products

    🩹 Scientists are excited about this human skin replacement

    🧮 End of the line: Researchers warn that deep learning is approaching computational limits

    🌊 Scientists say a new ocean is forming as Africa splits apart

    Sweetness You May Have Missed

    This Week Preached

    Romans 6, The Fourteen Words, and Fulfillment

    Recent Release

    The Cross is not my Enemy

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    In the end, it's all Dust anyway:
    Creative Meanderings in the Fictional Mind of Jonathan Fisk
    Emberfall Ch. 2

    Emberfall Ch.1 can be found here.

    The first was no man’s hero. Clearly.

    “Clarity is the ability to discern between light and darkness despite the patch-worked sights of a crumbling and gray reality.”

    His name was Gurth-El, and he was the son of Jahelwulph, which made him also the bloodthrall of Cedric, who himself was titled Regent of the Ramah Woodistry, and all but the latter was easy to see, if you knew where to look, for around the fellow’s otherwise unappealing neck hung a golden gorglet, forged as a clean collar, so pure a circle as to make removal impossible save by a jeweler’s tools, and inscribed with the name and title you just heard.

    The rest of him, the sensitive modern reader will understand, is more difficult, as no honest description given can avoid the clothes of more fashionable orthodoxies. But let us suffice it to say that he wore a single denim overall which, while buckled over both breasts to keep its wide and floppy circumference from falling to the ankles, did little to prevent the generally-offensive pigment-heavy rolls of flesh from spilling out on both sides, shirtless as he otherwise was, in total defiance of what all but his tribe might label “standard niceties”.

    But to the deep contrary, this outfit and even manner was, to him, the mark of his highest birthright, far more meaningful than the faux-glory banded about his gruesome neck, and this a persistent faith not despite many centuries of effort at reform via social-algorithm management. So also was the laboring castes’ birthright a life-long diabetes, along with its tightly controlled, life-saving dosages of sulinesia, or what the the terrestrial humans would have called “insulin.”

    The man beside him was a fool. Or a bard, if you prefer. A much maligned class in every venue, mind you, save that one at which you demand them sing for supper to solve your errant plagues of boredom with remastered narratives of dungeons fast and furious dragons. But always a man of both intense curiosity and keen perception! (That is, if he is any credit to the trade.)

    This bard, in particular, was not yet a discredit. But he was still a youth, in his infant-twenties at most, quite the spectacle beside the gray-bearded uncouth with whom he discoursed. Likewise, the younger man was fitted with the hereditary denim overalls of the soilers. But the distinction between these made their prejudicial ages a mere pittance. Where Gurth-El’s jumper sagged with misfit use, and even abuse, the fool’s half-cunning gaze presided over a most slickened tailoring of pompous, bedazzled denim jean one might feign imagine. Above its many smug buckles and audaciously speckle-colored pop-utilities, themselves now hidden, now seen beneath the wavy flourishes of a thigh-low purple-green-yellow cloak, the eyes of the man showed no posture of long repose, but rather the fidgety impatience of a soul too long suckled on the adrenaline of a near run thing.

    His name was V’mba, Son of Vittel, and he too was the bloodthrall of Cedric of Ramah. He too, thusly, wore the very same golden banded choker.

    There are many more details which the astute reader would also notice to further distinguish these two men of the jubileer caste. For Gurth-El carried upon his wide hip a likewise wide crescent hammer, the most common tool of trade for the everyman among the soilers, part plumber’s wrench, part personal PLA-net usb, all machete.

    V’mba had instead no such thing. Far less interesting at first glance, he carried a funny-looking stick, the type one might craft for a king to brandish at court.  Only, this one, while steam-punky enough to tickle your manga memories, appeared to be made of much humbler stuff than gold and diamond plate. It was not attached to the endless menagerie of jingling clips and carbiner-festooned pocketry upon him, but it matched their quirky contours well as V’mba waved it about whenever and where’ere he spoke, for it were the very living familiar of the magic he found when voicing his own thoughts.

    Likewise to the previous paragraph which we might have subtitled, On the Unique Perplexities of an Offworld Experience so Far into the Future that the Dirt Poor have iPhones that are also both Deadly Weapons and Multi-Purpose Customizable Hyper-Utility Toolbelts, I might also temper your capacity to read on any longer with the following soliloquy in six paragraphs,  On the Linguistical Dilemma of Overcoming the Systemic Confusion of Tongues in Tension with Realism in Storytelling.

    (Here, the uneducated and only slightly dull reader will enjoy skipping ahead to where its more like TV at the start of the next chapter.)

    Most facts of history are, truly, tedious and boring. This is especially true when they are by themselves. History is not a thing, but a past. It is not a moment, but a memory. It is not a dot matrix, but a network, in which every fact matters in an infinite display of divinely provided intersections, buttresses, and, thank God, curb-checks.

    One such fact that alone is unsubstantial, but within our story is quite essential to its meaning, is the cumulative history of language devolution which rendered the talking of these two essential men, to the untrained ear, the most atrocious barking of guttural coughs and bursts, much like the fit one might imagine having on the third day of a terrible flu. This jubileer’s dialect was not as far removed from the well-documented and officially mandated Solarium Hebraic as it is from your own tongue of favor, but still the same sufficiently so to keep all but the most important words or phrases from overlapping in significance.

    As both languages and their history of animosity and oppression will play a dynamic role in the universal enlightening which the tale regales, it tempts the novel bard to endeavor an Homeric feat in pun’t’ua’tin’ and and hyph-en-fus’onin’ that would with certainty make your eyes bleed under the duress of your own Herculean efforts to understand anything of it at all.

    This would, I agree, allow us both to feel quite swell about our own hoighty-toightyness should we succeed together, you and I, author and reader. But if we should fail at but one iota, we should also feel quite ill for all our laudable pondering of completely made-up, scribbled-odd locutionalphilia.

    So instead, I will lecture boldly this once, crying Havoc! and unleashing the dogs of poetic license against the scoundrel intrusions of the cynic’s melting whine for more realism. Be it thus remembered: the converse of all jubileers sounds rude and uncouth, not only in audacity but more so in vulgar descriptives, and this fully despite the fact that I toil at your pleasure to deliver its import to our tale on your everlasting illumination’s behalf in the finest of the King’s English.

    Let us pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.