Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Privacy, Donald Sterling, Jon Stewart, The Easter Exsultet And Paradoxical Theodicy

Image result for privacy

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

Earlier today, I applauded Antonin Scalia for his ardent defense of privacy.

Ironically, I had just copied the following link for you when I saw your incoming message.

Stewart is in top form here, partly because he embraces the breadth and depth of moral complexity.

Not surprisingly, "privacy" itself can be as problematic as Sterling's convoluted view of "race." 

I staunchly oppose any invasion of privacy and advocate stiff penalty for such penetration - a kind of rape, not only upon people but on the body politic.

Here's the rub. 

Once a "private communication" becomes "public record," we cannot turn our back on revelation (even though tawdry) any more than reasonable people can ignore anthropogenic global warming, evolution, granting LGBTs "equal protection before The Law" and the cumulative benefit of vaccination and universal healthcare.

It is lubriciously tantalizing to abuse publication of "the private." 

Lamentably, rung bells cannot be un-rung. 

And it is the ringing of deceptive, manipulative, de-contextualized "bells" that lies at the heart of American conservativism's well-oiled concubinage with The Prince of Darkness.  

Here is the drill...

John McCain sired bastard childen.  

Obama is a Muslim, Marxist Kenyan. 

Kennedy was an agent of the Pope. 

Obamacare is a train wreck.

Blessedly, great good can come from evil, a circumstance that resides on the flip side of the same coin where "imposition of The Best" results in evil.

Consider the Easter Exsultet, traditionally sung by the vigil mass celebrant whose full-throated clamor competes with acolytes instructed to ring their bells as cacophonously as possible.

In this remarkable prayer -- this sonic duel -- the following passage cuts to the quick of the human condition, and (for me) expresses the most satisfying of all theodicies: how evil -- even great evil -- can elicit good - even great good. The summum bonum

"This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.
Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!"


Here is a beautifully sung version of the Easter Exsultet as translated in the new Missal: 


I leave for Mexico tomorrow and will not be back until May 15.

Primero Dios.


Pax tecum


On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 1:56 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote:


The privacy of a phone call is more important to me than this racial controversy.
Bigots have a right to a private conversation. If an old man wants to talk trash with his girl friend, then I really, really don't want to know what he said.
You can't hang Sterling for what he said to her. You gotta hang him for his public words and deeds or not hang him at all.
Curiously, the girl friend was not white, indicating to me that Sterling's attitude towards black and Latinos is complex.
But mainly I am saddened by the lack of concern for this man's expectation of privacy.
It's not even mentioned -- that we have no right to listen in, and in fact it's down right creepy that we did listen in.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
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Fred Owens
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Ventura CA 93001

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