Wednesday, August 15, 2007

“All we are is dust in the wind, Dude.” Ted to Socrates in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

I wonder if one can be bemused and saddened at the same time. Socrates claimed that sensation at his trial; the day he left the Agora for what he hoped would be a better world.

My last post before the summer break was a rather hurried and terse pictorial observation on the differing fates of Congressman Jefferson of Louisiana and Paris Hilton of inherited millions. My point was that Jefferson's “sins” were eagerly set aside by a Democratic controlled Congress and media while Paris got a taste of what she deserved; despite her parent’s money.

I return from a paradisiacal summer to find that my message had been read and commented on by two blogers who claimed to have known me in their youth. I am forced to ponder who they really are. I will quote them here:

“Steve said...

Lysis,I'm assuming your initials are D.C. I worked at Camp Bartlett for seven summers, including one summer when you were the Camp Director. I quickly grew to love and admire you. That was one of my favorite summers.Luckily, we didn't talk about politics at camp.What a shock to look you up years later, only to find your blog filled with such vitriolic nonsense, cloaked in a veneer of nationalism and self-righteousness. I would have thought that of all the figures of my youth, you would be the one to show a little compassion toward humankind.To say I am extremely disappointed is putting it mildly.
1:48 PM”

I have known several Steves in my years as Camp Director. But since this one gives no real information as to his identity, I am afraid I cannot even guess who he is. I am inclined to think that the post is a fraud . It is a sad truth about the blogger’s world that most anyone can claim most anything and then watch the effect of their mischief from the shadows. Anyway – Steve uses the term “vitriolic” to describe my questions and comments here in the Agora. If he really is a “former” friend, perhaps he could consider that the purpose of this forum has been to stir debate and that the taking of controversial stances in a method of stimulating thought. Argument leads us to truth; the gadfly stirs us to thought. On the other hand, I can only smile at one to whom the truth is bitter. That is the hallmark of the relativists; devoid of substantive positions; they are forced to deal in half truths, innuendo, name calling, and outright deception.

For tens of thousands of words I have presented arguments and facts; Steve neither cites nor challenges any of these; he simply spits bitterness from the dark recesses of cyberspace.

As for the poster who calls himself, “Enlightened Former Saint”; his post reads:

“Enlightened former saint said...

I echo what Steve said,In my youth I looked upon you Lysis as someone thoughtful and free. I was surprised to stumble upon this festering pile of ultra right wing nonsense. Indeed you have sucked down the kool-ade of those you seemed to ridicule. I don't know where the change came from. Perhaps you were just this loopy anyhow and adolescent passion, or as you termed it "romance" clouded my youthful mind. When did you abandon reason and inquiry for obstinate proclamations of fear and hate.
2:20 AM”
Once more the poster gives no clue to his real identity – sad indeed – and once more he also fails to provide a single example of the nonsense or proclamations of fear and hate he claims to find here in the Agora. I am forced to ask him if it is the truth that is “Right Wing”? As he calls himself a “Former Saint” I must assume that he abandoned his “romantic” faith in God along with his adolescent passion for me. He and Steve should have a good time echoing each other’s empty accusations.

Should either of them care to give examples from the materials posted here in the Agora of the “nonsense” they claim exists, I would be willing to attempt to explain or defend my positions. I have little hope of such a reasoned exchange, but I invite it in all optimism.

Now on to things more important, at least to me.

The end of my thirty-sixth summer at Scout Camp – my thirty-first as a director - has put me in a mind for ending things. I began this web-log as a kind of lark, a dabbling in the computer world of a friend. I had no idea I would spend so many pleasant and thought provoking hours at the Agora. In the past years I have learned much from many who have taken the time and trouble to post here. I have honed my own writing skills, and even improved my spelling – though I must admit that it takes a caring eye to detect that refinement.

I have spent the entire summer at camp,“cold turkey”, without news; no papers, no Fox , nor CNN, no internet, no hours following CSPAN, nor listening to Carl Castle and gang on the NPR. Monday, I came “down from my mountain” to find that the world had gone on the same without my tending to its problems. President Bush has continued to defend our nation and the West, - for this I thank God continually - the Democrats continue to choose party and personal power over county, over reason itself. Murder and lies are still the tools of the enemies of humanity, and salvation is still bought with the precious blood of loving heroes.

I am inclined to leave the Agora, to take a dose of symbolic hemlock, and pass into the unknown, seeking the reasoned company of whatever gods and heroes I find populating my next fields of endeavor.

For those who might be interested, I am planning to open a Web Page for the Camp Loll Alumni Association. There I will confine my efforts to happy memories of days without bitterness, and to dreams of future service in the Elysian Fields of Yellowstone. Perhaps some of you will join me there. I will post information on this string, should this dream come true.