Mailvox: on the Four Horsemen

JK is of two minds:

And… doesn’t he mean the Four Horsemen of the Bukkakelypse?

This is precisely why I find you both an inspiration AND an embarrassment to Christianity and decency. Why does someone like you do this so consistently? I said to someone recently, I am glad that Vox is on our side, but I am glad I don’t know him personally. Like the famed Gurkhas of world war II – they liked the results but turned a blind eye to their methods. C’mon Vox, leave the trash talkin to the heathen – you are a King’s son.

P.S. I am a third through the book and loving it. Good Job.

I have to admit, the bit about being an embarrassment to decency made me laugh. For all that I’m eminently civilized, I’m not always terribly keen on decency. The truth of the matter is that I am the precise opposite of Richard Dawkins. He’s a culturally Christian atheist, while I am a culturally godless Christian. There’s a lot about modern American evangelical culture that gives me the creeps and has since I was a child. One of the benefits of a blog is that it gives the regular reader a series of snapshots of the psyche of the blogger, and although we can successfully disguise ourselves for a while, the true picture tends to emerge over time. It’s not always a pretty one either.

I do not hold myself up as any kind of model. I harbor no ambitions to lead anyone anywhere and my heartfelt desire is to be left alone to pursue my amusements and intellectual activities in peace. What you see may not be the entire picture, but it is a relatively accurate one. Like many, if not most intellectuals, I am an arrogant, cruel and vulgar individual with a few positive attributes that make me tolerable in moderate doses. Age and Jesus Christ have certainly had an ameliorating effect over time, but our relationship with God does not change who we are, it changes what we become. I understand why I tend to put off proper Christians and prissy atheists alike, but I can’t say I regret it much, if at all. We are all sundered beings, called by light and tempted by shadow. One minute we nobly rise above our shallow and fallen natures with the aid of a gracious God, the very next we squeal with the ecstatic delight of rolling like swine in our own shit.

I could try to deny that and pretend that I am better than I am – I do, to a certain extent – but the only person I would fool in the end would be myself. If occasionally the stench of soul-rot is a bit strong hereabouts, well, it serves as a good reminder that no man is worthy of the faith and adoration of his fellows, no man but the one whose Way we attempt, each in our mean and stumbling way, to follow.

Let’s face it, propriety nearly always loses out to personal amusement when adjudicated in my civil court. And in the interest of honesty, I have to point out that as much as I’d like to, I cannot take credit for coming up with the aforementioned appellation, although I am delighted to know that I played some small part in inspiring that flash of brilliant insight. I am a King’s son, to be sure, but keep in mind that for every noble Black Prince there is an exasperating Prince Hal.

Anyhow, I’m glad JK enjoying the book thus far regardless. I think I can assure him that there will be bits that he will like very much indeed, and other bits that will make him cringe. The important thing is to understand that in this particular case, the one truly can’t exist without the other.