Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I wanted to have a copy of this fable filed away, for my own purposes, in complete form. This is the best version I’ve seen so far.
The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains
The Taihang and Wangwu Mountains, which had a periphery of seven hundred li and were a hundred thousand feet high, originally lay south of Jizhou and north of Heyang.
The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain, nearly ninety years of age, lived behind these mountains. He was unhappy about the fact that the mountains blocked his way to the south and he had to walk round them whenever he went our or came back, so he called the whole family together to talk about the matter. ” What would you say,” he said to them,”if I suggest that all of us work hard to level the two mountains, so as to open a way to places south of Yu Prefecture and the Han River?” Many voices said they agreed to the idea.
But his wife had her doubts. “With your strength,” she said, “you could hardly remove a small hill like Kuifu. What could you do with the Taihang and Wangwu Mountains? Besides, where could you deposit the earth and rocks.?”
“Carry them to the shores of the Bohai Sea and north of Yintu,” said several people.
The old man, helped by his son and grandson who could carry things, began to break rocks and dig earth, which they carried in baskets and dustbins to the shores of the Bohai Sea. The seven-year-old son of a widow named Jingcheng, one of the old man’s neighbours, came running up to offer his help. One trip to the sea took them a long time: they left in winter and came back in summer.
The Wise Old Man at the River Bend stopped the old man. He laughed and said, “How unwise you are! At your age, old and feeble as you are, you cannot even remove one hair on the mountain, let alone so much earth and so many rocks!”
The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain heaved a long sign and said, “You are so conceited that you are blind to reason. Even a widow and a child know better than you. When I die, there will be my sons, who will have their sons and grandsons. Those grandsons will have their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. But the mountains will not grow. Why is it impossible to level them?” The Wise Old Man at the River Bend could not answer him.
The Old Man’s words were heard by a god with snakes in his hands. He was afraid that the old man would really level the two mountains, and reported the whole thing to the Heavenly God. Moved by the old man’s determination, the Heavenly God ordered the two sons of Kua’ershi to carry the two mountains on their backs and put one east of Shuo and the other south of Yong. After this, there were no more mountains between Jizhou and the Han River.
from Lie zi (Writings of Lie Yu Kou)
This is the essence of modern liberalism: Sacrifice your individual hopes, dreams, ambitions, and visions of yourself, for the sake of joining some vast dynasty laboring endlessly toward some goal that will not be visible in your lifetime. Become ant-like.
It’s the essence of communism as well. That isn’t my opinion, it’s a hard fact. As I pointed out in passing a month ago on Cassy’s blog, it was noted in a speech given by Mao-Tse Tung in 1945 to Seventh National Congress.
There is an ancient Chinese fable called “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains”. It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way. He called his sons, and hoe in hand they began to dig up these mountains with great determination. Another graybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, “How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up those two huge mountains.” The Foolish Old Man replied, “When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can’t we clear them away?” Having refuted the Wise Old Man’s wrong view, he went on digging every day, unshaken in his conviction. God was moved by this, and he sent down two angels, who carried the mountains away on their backs. Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism, the other is feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party has long made up its mind to dig them up. We must persevere and work unceasingly, and we, too, will touch God’s heart. Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can’t these two mountains be cleared away?
What’s awkward about this fable is the ending. It would be a much better recruitment tool for communism if that part were left out, for as it is, the old man does not reproduce recursively into an unforeseeable future with quasi-infinite numbers of descendants laboring away at the mountains one bucket at a time. The angels take care of everything!
There is a real weakness there, for it creates an ambiguity about how things are supposed to be getting done. And this affects our modern liberals, it seems to me. What exactly are they trying to do? To achieve, on a secular plane of existence, a mighty goal through incrementalism? Or to tug at the heartstrings of some deity who will then plunge in and get ‘er done, so they can stop working? Some combination of those two, perhaps?
Our liberals themselves don’t seem to know for sure. If the goal is to work entirely within the secular plane of existence and toil away at Plan A the way the Foolish Old Man said — it really wouldn’t matter whether these bucket carriers are good people or bad people, would it? Racists, sexists…whatever. As long as they’re slinging away at those buckets.
But our liberals are engaged in a constant endeavor, often needlessly, of declaring this guy good and that other guy inferior. That guy has expressed doubts about evolution. That other guy doesn’t believe in global warming. This one was a fighter pilot who dropped bombs on people. And she is a traitor to her own sex who doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose…
…it’s as if they’re showing off for some deity. It’s as if they’re going for Plan B, waiting for those angels to pick up the mountains. Which, of course, could only arouse their passions if they had exhausted all optimism about Plan A.
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