"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (Wilfred Owen)
"Was the individual made for society, or was society made for the individual? Since society only exists in individuals, if all individuals sacrifice themselves for society, then there will be no society. Therefore society must be made for at least some individuals, and if the some are not all, then the rest must be made for the some." (BMcC[18-11-46-503])
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your conutry." (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)
Crescit eundo. My webpages here accumulated in a disorganized way. Not good. Material about persons, places, institutions and other things that exist but never should even have been imagined much less come into being, got strewn "all over the place", weeds choking a garden. I (BMcC) am going to try to organize some of this detritus here.
Remember what New York City Mayor Ed Koch said:
If it's yellow let it mellow; if it's brown flush it down.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the effect of words depends on my Weltanshcuauung." (Apocryphal)
I bought a copy of Patricia Volk's book: "Stuffed" (Alfred Knopf, 2001; I was seeking more information about Albert J. Volk, with a picture I took years ago of whose grave memorial I feature/grace my /Incipit page, here).
The book more than repaid the US$12 I paid for it already on page 6, where I read that, as a child, when Patricia misbehaved at the family's Sunday restaurant lunch table, her mother took her outside the restaurant and locked her in the car to wait there for everybody else to finish their meal. There, she breathed on the car window to generate some condensation, and with her finger wrote obscenities in the patina thus formed on the glass: "ASS, BITCH, WHORE" (loc. cit.).
If Patricia Volk could tell her story for publication by Alfred Knopf, I think I can finally come out of the closet after ca. 60 years of keeping my mouth shut in fear: The reason I was subjected to my 1st Inquisition in the "preparatory" (they indeed did prepare me!) school I attended, was that I did what Patricia Volk did, with the difference that, whereas in her case it was all in good fun, in my case, there would have been "consequences" for fessing up to it.
I wrote an obscenity in some
by winter's cold naturally occurring condensation on the window of a school bus and the Headmaster S. Atherton Middleton's prig perma-virgin secretary Miss Lillian Lorenz saw it: "FUCK" (¿Did I even know what this word meant other than suspecting my masters did not celebrate students voicing it?).
perp prep school student I did not have any civil rights vis-à-vis my "masters ". I did not want to lie and sentence a fellow student for a felony he did not commit; but I did not want to be tortured myself, either. I consequently became a "quick study", and, in real time,
taught myself to lie to myself so that I could protect
myself from my Inquisitors without showing give-myself-away physiological reaction(s): I claimed amnesia ("I do not remember", or something
My Inquisitors had made a big mistake: They had not made me swear on a stack of Bibles to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, subject to penalty of expulsion from school on earth and subsequent eternal damnation in Hell. They had simply made their threat without remembering to ask for me to swear in.
"The power of reproduction is for the good of the species, and the human legislator acts on behalf of the species in establishing monogamous unions of one man with one woman. Individual genital organs are to be used only for a power of the species. The organs are, as it were, on loan from the species and -- more important -- subject to an exercise of eminent domain by the city." (Mark D. Jordan, "The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology", University of Chicago Press, 1997, p. 126)
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria copulare." ("It is sweet and fitting to copulate for your country": to produce more citizens, not for selfish personal pleasure; BMcC[18-11-46-503])
Woman gives birth to nine babies (BBC Online, 6 May 2021 / NYT, +2021.04.30)
A new world record: "A South African woman has reportedly given birth to 10 babies in what would be a new world record... decuplets" (BBC Online, 9 June 2021)
In British Royalty, a royal lady's job is to produce: "an heir and a spare". One to succeed to the title and the other to guarantee the family line should anything happen to the first. (Wikipedia) Being a baby factory is not just for the mothers of Shakespeare's Falstaff's "food for powder", and/or for mothers of The Third Reich 卐. Princess Diana did her job. I find this offensive to all humanity and degrading to women.
But there's something even more relevant to the quantity v. quality issue here: Suppose you are a poor farmer and your family's protein intake is largely dependent on chicken eggs. Now: suppose you have two chickens. If one of the chickens tries to cross a road (thus becoming a target of opportunity for motor vehicles), of course you will try to rescue your chicken. Now suppose, however, that you only have one chicken. Now, if your one-and-only chicken tried to cross a road you will damned-well try your best to rescue your chicken because you don't have a spare. Which chicken, my reader, would you rather be? This is a parable.
The more of anything, the
less each of it or him or her or other is worth. If there are 15 children, inheritance for each is divided by 15. Would you be as unhappy, if you had two Holy Grails and
some doofus dropped one on the floor and broke it it, as if your had
only one Holy Grail and the doofus smashed that one? Now consider 7.94 * 10 ** 9
chickens Holy Grails persons (If man was made in the image of God, how many God(sic) are there?).
I have two cats. I love both dearly. But I cannot love each as much as if I had only one cat, because I am not a 2-core multiprocessor (split-personality). I had an Alice Miller childhood (you probably do not want one!); but I do not consider it necessarily part of the problem that I was an only child. Less [noise] is more [signal] (Mies van der Rohe ~ BMcC modified as indicated). The less noise there is, the easier it to hear a whispered signal; morse code on the telegraph transmits its message better than a purring cat in a Beaufort 12 storm at sea.
If I had to work as an automobile salesman, I would rather sell Bentleys than Kias, even if the pay was not better and I did not get a car from the lot to drive to and from work, because I think there would be less hectic human traffic in the showroom, and I like to be around things (and persons) that have enduring value even if I cannot own them [I once worked in an art museum]. How about you, my reader? email@example.com
People are self-sacrificing: they sacrifice other persons' selfs. They earnestly desire to sacrifice all the messes they make onto others so that the latter can have the privilege of cleaning them [the messes the dumpers have made] up. People desparately want others to be vigorously healthy → so that they [the dumpers] can dump the messes they [the dumpers] make onto them [the dumped upon] (corpses and invalids are incapable of getting the job done in a reasonable period of time, and the dumpers' time is precious). They [the dumpers] self-conveniently never think: "I could not make a mess and then nobody would be burdened with having to clean up after me."