"What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?" asked William Blake rhetorically in our all-time fave poem, "The Tyger," cited in our October 2005 post "What immortal hand or eye?" featuring the late, great Baby Cakes (above) and his sister "with fire burning bright in their eyes as they defended their turf from the intruder."
"Music to my ears," we wanted to write in the comments to Horsefeathers's latest post, cum video, "Nobody asked me but," BUT … we were unable to comment due to some inscrutable technical thing about registering that just didn't work for us, so here are excerpts of his argument, followed by our own frustrated but heartfelt comments:
We are weakened by our own therapeutic approach to the jihad. Were we to destroy the symbols of Islam, they'd be at our feet instead of at our throats.
When sharia law prevails and Bach is banned, somewhere there will remain a hidden version of the single greatest musical piece ever composed, played by the greatest pianist to ever interpret it: Here's a portion of the Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould. Proof, if any more were needed, of the superiority of Western culture. Let's hope 2009 is a year when the West wakes up and vows to defend itself.
Citing exerpts from an imail conversation with our sis this evening, here's what we wanted to write in the comments:
We: Tuck might choose Haydn's "Creation" or Handel's "Messiah" or "any of that stuff," says he.
She: An extremely succinct article.
We: Yes. It made me tingle. Similar to the way Obama gave Chris Matthews a thrill up his leg.
It all calls to mind the recent acknowledgement by British atheist Matthew Parris that "In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts," as blogged the other day by our dear friend neo, who quotes Parris in her post "Africa and change: what hath the missionaries wrought?":
"It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
"I used to avoid this truth by applauding — as you can — the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write …
"But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing."
"Parris goes on to describe the transformation he has observed, the difference between the converted and those still mired in tribal attitudes," writes neo:
He says the former are more open, relaxed, lively, curious, and engaged with the world. Parris rejects the cultural/moral relativism that denies that there is anything inherently better about these sort of attitudes as opposed to the characteristics fostered by traditional tribal beliefs. Instead, he insists on making a distinction, and a judgment.
Read the whole thing, and then "Pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death."