Monday, May 5, 2008

The Last Thing I'll Say About It

I did skim through the various posts of this blog that made some reference to my sport. Out of over 900 entries, I deal with it perhaps 10 or 15 times -- a bit over one percent. Certainly no more. I skimmed through them, trying to come to some understanding as to what could have caused so great an offense. I am mystified.

I seem to have had two complaints. Something over six months ago or so the vulgarity was getting to me. There were a couple of men who really played off of each other -- individually they were fine, but the combination was toxic. For some reason they toned it down, later, and my complaint went away.

What, I'm not allowed to vent, here? Fuck you.

My other issue was about a lack of intensity. Well? My needs were different than theirs. Am I allowed to notice that? It was frustrating for me, but I don't think I put pressure on anyone. That I discussed it here, in this anonymous forum, can hardly be cause for the personal offense that has been taken.

I did play rough with K, here. I went on a rant -- a satirical rant, mind you -- in which I coined the sobriquet p-hole. I thought it was pretty funny. I still do. I find the unreasonable, the selfish and self-centered to be comical. Childhood shapes our sense of humor, and much of the insanity that I work out here is a parody of my father.

As for the other gentleman, I expressed nothing but personal respect for him.

I never talked about FP, there, but it was not a secret. I was given to understand on occasion that some various men had taken a look, at least once. More than that I do not know. No one expressed a concern. I would have hoped that if anyone thought I had crossed some line, or was acting dishonestly, they would have apprised me of that fact. It's not only that none of them did, it's that I believe that each of them would have. My observation of their characters assures me that they would act honorably in an issue that touched upon our sport. Perhaps their occasional glimpses did not catch anything offensive. But it's not on them.

The attentive reader of these pages, and you are legion, will have been struck by my motifs of betrayal and injustice. I am no martyr, but these are powerful themes in my life. Is this that, again? To me, it is. I'm sure it's not meant to be. But that's what every petty despot supposes of himself.

That's what it boils down to, as I see it. The difference between greatness of heart, and pettiness. A close and jealous attention to the details of how we conduct ourselves with others, or the casual self-indulgence of expedience. I am deeply flawed, socially. But anyone who says I am dishonest is both a fool and a liar. If I am wrong, show me where. I will apologize, and mean it.

I owe no apology. I am owed one, that will never come. To misunderstand is inevitable. To lash out without an attempt at clarity is pitiful, but human. I am disappointed, and disgusted -- and perhaps you've noticed how carefully I choose my words. I find anger to be pathetic, but that doesn't mean I don't feel it too. It must be anger that wants to attribute this ugliness to stupidity. It must be anger that would have respect turn into disrespect. You know the pattern. Shock and grief and anger.

But I've been through this sort of thing before. And as I said somewhere, I've had real loss. No one's dead, no one's on drugs, no one's crippled, no one's in jail, no one's sick. This is only a five. A fairly standard betrayal of civil obligation. The veil is pulled back, and you find that where you had thought you'd been liked, you were tolerated, and for only as long as was convenient. You find that the greeting masked a sigh -- Oh, here he is, again. And you know it's true, because the bonds of courtesy snapped so very easily.

You smile and shake your head sadly. You could see it coming. I mean you, not me. I could see it too, but I always expect it. You could see it, because anyone as consumed with betrayal as I am, must want it. And here it is. You saw how I'd write about it, my sport -- how important it was, and the people -- so you knew, craftsman that I am, that I'd somehow have to weave my themes together. You knew it was coming. But I surprised you, right, about how?

What other nightmare will rise up from the pit?

It's time for another attack on my family. My son is safely returned from the wars.

Wouldn't that be rich?

I was going to leave it there. Because you really do have no idea how bitter my soul is. And I have lost sons. But we have to believe there is such a thing as mercy. There must be. We've given it ourselves, haven't we? -- and that proves it's real. There must be a mercy that isn't discovered only in the fact that something worse hasn't happened yet.

Mercy is found, then, in a thing ending when it should end.

And that's the last thing I'll say about it.



Ms.Green said...

I often hear the first part of Job 13:15 quoted "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." but rarely is the rest of the verse quoted. It seemed apropos here.

"... but I will maintain mine own ways before him."

You fit this verse well, Jack.

Jack H said...

It's always a debate with me, when I use vulgarity in these pages. The "fuck you" here is of course symbolic, of pride. *This is my place. I built it. I am master here, and will do as I think right. Anyone who visits must follow the rules of civility. Any who intrude with the vulgarity of their judgmental incomprehension are not welcome.* All that, in a "fuck you".

So I don't quite know what to make of your specific. I will maintain my own ways before him. Is that a good thing? In my "That Which I Feared Most" -- somewhere in these pages -- the whole idea is that even the righteous, who are blameless, need to repent. I like to think that my way is to be honest. Shall I repent of this? I will not. The most I can do is remain silent. Is this a pride, of which I must repent? I don't know, anymore than we can understand exactly how Job, blameless, needed to repent. We just know that he did.

I have no one to counsel me. That's what friends do -- pull up their friends when they fall into folly. Am I wrong? How? I just don't see it.

But that's the heart of the human condition. We do what we do, right or wrong, and we feel what we feel about it, and we never quite know what's best, even in the end. Understanding this frees me to a fair degree. I need not torment myself. I do what I think is best, according to principles that I think God approves. I would hope that the ways, my ways, that I maintain before Him, are also His ways. In this case, the example I follow, imperfectly, is of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. When he was slapped in the face, he asked what wrong he had done, and if none, why was he slapped. And before the incorrigible he was simply silent. I am a poor reflection of Jesus, very poor, but I will cling to my righteousness, such as it is. Just another way that I'm like Job.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Jack, we are all so very sensitive. Some, however (through a fault of their own?) try so very hard to hide it.

And now that you've used the "F" word on the front page of FP, I will need to publish a disclaimer under our "Blog Source" list. This is not a complaint. You are not the only one listed that writes in such occasional prose. After I come up with the disclaimer, I'll add both of you back on. (Some Christians, as you know, are taken aback with colorful language. One of our very best friends, however, was an ex-con. We saw his big, beautiful heart anyway, even though his vocabulary was somewhat "MFin'" repetitive.)

Keep up the great work!


P.S. Are you a bloggist that has a book or two / column or two, etc. published? If so, I'd love to have the links.

Anonymous said...

... And, no, I have not completed your 900+ posts yet. (I was just curious.) However, I AM working on it! :)


Anonymous said...


Have you previously written a post that might be considered a faith/sports type piece (regarding, of course, you and your particular sport).

If so, could you give me those links?


P.S. Please delete this comment if things are getting too "busy" in here. I haven't your e-mail. Maybe you could e-mail us? Ours is on our site.

Jack H said...

I'm afraid you're in for a few shocks, my dear J, in these pages. I allow myself almost anything, here. Not for the faint of heart, or those of truly refined sensitivities. I don't do it on purpose, or lightly. Well ... some I do. But this is largely a personal endeavor, and I know how I am. In any case, FP is not actually a serious effort. While there is some cosmos in the chaos, one does have to search, and go carefully to avoid the shoals.

I had some efforts published in a previous decade. Long out of print. Some parts of it are blogged -- see my profile -- the Calvin shots in the top right corner. I was going to post more of it but things happened.

My email address is also in that profile. But you're married, and my only love is the sea, so ... it's hopeless, between us ... just hopeless.