A Plague of Incompetent
by Bob Wallace
Pity poor Wormwood. As Screwtape's
wannabe-demon nephew in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, he
aspired to the depths of depravity to which Screwtape had sunk.
Unfortunately, Wormwood was incompetent. So Screwtape had him
for a snack.
There's a lesson here, somewhere.
Incompetent demons always get done in, maybe? I hope so. It's
always happened in the past, with wannabe demons like Herod,
Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung and Pol Pot.
have our own wannabes right here in the US. I can even give you
some of their names (obviously, this list is not necessarily
in order of demonic-wannabe incompetence.):
Libby (What kind of grown man calls himself "Scooter,"
anyway? It reminds me of a dog I had that used to scoot around
on a brand-new carpet.)
Frank Gaffney, Jr.
These incompetent wannabe-demons
(currently known by the name "neocons") are the ones
stumbling into war in the Middle East, and dragging the US with
them. The blind leading the blind? Yep. What's that over there?
A ditch? You bet.
If I had a large enough hand-basket,
I'd stuff all of them in it and toss it straight to Hell. Have
a nice trip. Don't write. Speaking of Hell, Lewis defined it
as a bureaucracy in which "everyone is perpetually concerned
about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance,
and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy,
self-importance, and resentment."
And why do these plagues of
incompetent demons always come in groups? The demon that Jesus
kicked out said, "My name is Legion, for there are many
of us." Why could he have not said, "My name is Joe,
for there's just one of us in here"?
And then Legion got stuffed
into some pigs and sent over a cliff. Afitting end to all demons,
I'd say. Ditches and cliffs and falling into them and over them
sure do seem to figure prominently in the lives of the stupid
and evil. I think I'll write that on my palm so I don't forget
it. I will look at it often. Every day, in fact.
I know these neocons supporters
of the "Let's conquer the Middle East" wars are blindly
self-righteous to the point of fanaticism, but the truth, unbeknowst
to them, is that they are a legion of incompetent (and therefore
minor, and annoying) demons who are bollixing up everything they
Not only are these guys not
wise, they're not even knowledgeable. "My people perish
for want of knowledge!" moans Hosea. Not even wisdom, just
simple knowledge. "False swearing, lying, murder, stealing
and adultery! In their lawlessness, bloodshed follows bloodshed."
Hosea's remonstrations are directed at the local kings. Uh oh.
Something I'll write on my
other palm is the fact that so many of the preachers today criticize
the common people, telling them they're going to Hell unless
they believe as the preachers do. Yet, these same preachers rarely
say anything about the depravations of those with political power,
instead apparently believing they are going to be instrumental
in bringing Jesus back. But, in the past, the prophets' ire was
directed almost exclusively at the really naughty guys, the rulers.
And, boy, if Jesus does come back, I suspect there are going
to be some really surprised people! One of which will not be
Let's put it this way: when's
the last time Jerry Fallwell said, "Hey, George, God didn't
choose you to be President and doesn't talk to you no matter
how much your booze-damaged brain tells you He does. And, I might
add, I think you'd better buy some flame-proof underwear come
The people who are the real
prophets are ignored and insulted, just as they were in the past.
They are without honor in their hometowns. However, in 200 years,
people won't be calling them traitors anymore. By then they'll
be respecting them as the real (although dead) prophets, and
the names of the real traitors will be used as insults, the way
"Pharisee" is, even after 2000 years.
Although, to be totally honest
about it, even in 200 years there's never going to be a quote
in the Bible that reads, "And the people listeneth not to
Bob the Prophet, for their heads cleaveth to their butts."
(Considering "cleave" has a dual meaning, I know there's
a pun in there somewhere.)
Hosea may have been around
a few thousand years ago, but he knew what he was talking about,
just as the true prophets today do. And what kind of knowledge
was Hosea talking about? The same that is true now as it was
then: false swearing, lying, murder and stealing. Hmmm . . .
sure sounds like some of the Ten Commandments, doesn't it?
Obviously, in the past (as
now, and in the future) the local rulers always exempted themselves
from the prohibitions contained in the Ten Commandments (actually,
"Commandments" is a completely incorrect translation
it's "Ten Words" or "Ten Utterances").
Notice that Hosea says "lawlessness."
He's talking about Natural Law, the law of the universe, of human
nature. If these are laws of human nature he's talking about,
then they are imprinted right on our DNA. Some of those people
on the Human Genome Project going to be surprised when they find
morality at the genetic level! Ancient wisdom and modern science,
shaking hands over a chromosome.
I used to wonder how these
old guys got to be prophets. No more! It's easy. They tell people
to follow the Ten Words. And even better, they had no exemptions
for those in political power. If the local ox/cab driver couldn't/can't
murder, steal and bear false witness against his neighbor, then
neither could/can kings/presidents. Or their advisors. It doesn't
matter how much they believe in that false god known as their
own Monstrous Egos, which, as Russell Kirk accurately pointed
out, is the source of all evil. (That source ain't out there,
by the way. It's inside us.)
Of course, kings and their
advisors never believed what the prophets said, then, or now.
No matter. The Law is the Law. When the Bobby Fuller Four sang
that old song, "I Fought the Law, and the Law Won,"
even though they didn't know it, they were singing about something
far beyond all the local Barney Fifes deluding themselves they
are enforcing real Law by ticketing speeders on the interstate.
All of recorded history (what,
maybe 4000 years?) has shown that murder and stealing and bearing
false witness and worshipping false idols has never worked. If
they had worked, then we wouldn't still be having wars. It almost
seems we've involved in a war a few thousand years old, with
a few intermissions every once in a while.
All of this is just pretty
nuts, which reminds me of the best definition of insanity I've
ever heard: trying the same thing over and over and expecting
a different result. "Hey guys! Let's murder and steal and
bear false witness . . . what? We'll still be doing the same
things 4000 years in the future? But it's for a good cause! And
I'm the king, too. Are you really sure about that?" Oh,
yes, very sure.
These guys certainly need
to call "Mr. Obvious" and get a little advice. Although
they won't listen, even if he told them to take the sun shields
out of their car's front windows while driving. Which, for all
practical purposes, is exactly what they're doing with the USA.
Demon wannabes . . . ugh.
If they were lawyers, they'd belong to the firm of Stupid, Arrogant,
Blind and Insane. And if anyone founded that firm, it'd be Screwtape.
January 1, 2004
gives us Bob Wallace
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