For the Texans on the Forum
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 980
    Happy Independence Day!
    Thanked by 1Drake
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Sorry, Mr Cordova -
    I will take a gladsome share in your celebration, but -

    I have, since I learned about it in the 5th grade, always resented the fact that Texas (and other parts of the southwest) were stolen from Mexico. This didn't at all seem to fit the pure and benign image of the US that we were being taught. The Americans who had settled here had done so under certain agreements with the Mexican authorities. These they decided were 'oppressive', so let out the expected cries of 'tyranny' and 'freedom'. (What shameless brass!) Except that they didn't want freedom for their enslaved black people. Since Mexico had outlawed slavery, this become onerous to the poor, poor Texans, who really wanted Texas for themselves anyway - not to mention that it had always been coveted by the US. I really don't see much to celebrate on this 'Independence Day' - except that I have had a reasonably rewarding life here. It is an ironic certainty, though, that Texas would not be what it is today had it remained in the hands of its rightful owners. Topologically, there is some extravagantly beautiful scenery in Texas, but it's all elsewhere than anywhere near Houston.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 980
    Well, I have to go South about 135 miles to get to Houston. Here in the Piney Woods, its 100+ foot pine trees.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    I must admit that the 'piney woods' are nice - they have their own piney spirit. Though nothing, for me, could but boast to stand in the shadow of the desiduous and evergreen forests of New England or the mid-west. The 'hill country' around Austin, though, is almost northern in spirit. As for me, the more east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line that I get the happier I am. It is really a wonderful feeling being in Quebec or Ontario and knowing that 'south of the border' (as they say in Texas) means Maine and Vermont.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    After what they went through a week or so ago, I have great sympathy for the people of Texas. They really suffered during the snow/ice storms and doing without power doesn't seem too much fun, either. Must be hardy people.
    Thanked by 3Carol CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Felicia
    Posts: 67
    One of the scariest experiences I've had was driving through the Piney Woods during a thunderstorm, at night.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    If I were forced to live in Texas, I'd prefer El Paso and the Trans-Pecos. I hate heat, but I hate humidity-with-heat more.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    You would be particularly unhappy in the Houston area, Liam. For most of the year here it's like living in a giant outdoors Turkish bath. It is merciless. Unlike cold or chilly weather, which is wonderfully invigourating, the humidity here saps one of almost all spirit.

    I was ecstatic over the mere three inches of snow we had here several weeks ago - but without electricity or heat for three days was, I must admit, most uncomfortable. But, that's what it was like in some of my favourite historical periods. We do live in a fairy land. The entire US is to large parts of the world what Versailles was to XVIIIth century France. We, like those fortunate Versailles inhabitants, think it will last forever. It won't.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    I am used to humidity since East TN is horribly humid in the summer. I also dislike winter so I can put up with the humidity for the heat. I just crank up the air conditioning.

    There is considerable wealth in Texas and they have some superb pipe organs that make me envious. I could put up with many things to have access to those fine instruments.
  • stulte
    Posts: 308
    Why do I hear this whooshing sound?
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Yes, Charles - there are many fine organs in Texas, and many of them, the work of the finest builders, are in Houston. If it weren't for its organs, its symphony, ballet, and theatre, and quite a number of chamber and early music groups (not to mention Walsingham), there would be no conceivable reason to live here and suffer through this climate. But then, there are as many cultural amenities to be found elsewhere.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 980
    Once you get acclimated to the heat and humidity it’s not bad.
  • Felicia
    Posts: 67
    @bhcordova

    Agreed. I live in College Station, mid-way (more or less) between Houston and the Piney Woods.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,012
    I went to school in College Station and led the 5:30 Sat choir at St. Mary’s (before I really knew what sacred music was, unfortunately).
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Interesting. all our forum members here in Texas, College Station in particular.
    Fr James T Moore, the founding pastor of Walsingham, was the chaplain of the Canterbury Club (the Episcopal campus ministry) at Texas A&M back in the seventies. It was in the late seventies and early eighties that we formed OLW as a 'parish in waiting' for John Paul II's blessing of an 'Anglican Use' under his 'Pastoral Provision'. Hardly anyone other than myself believed from the start that we would grow eventually to have our own bishop of what became the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.
  • Congratulations to my Texan interlocutors on the commemoration of Independence Day (caveats or no caveats, today it is symbolic of a different kind of independence). May the rest of the country not be far behind. Care to send a delegation to Sacramento to talk sense into our governor?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jehan_Boutte
  • stulte
    Posts: 308
    ^^^^
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    MJO

    That's why I live in coastal New England instead.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    LIAM -
    I'm sure it's lovely.
    Are you surrounded by, or have nearby, a mountainous topography with lush green forests that turn gold in autumn, and a few pebble-strew rivers, streams or lakes here and there. I know that you get at least some snow every year. If this is accurate, you live in a paradise. Since you live on the coast so you go sailing out from a rocky or bouldery beach/
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    New England is, generally, a wrinkled landscape. The are some Mountains of Size (Mt Washington actually has the greatest prominence of any mountain east of the Rockies, and more than but a handful in the front range of the Rockies. We have lush forests, with at least four pronounced seasons (arguably two extra in the North Country: Mud and Black Fly, which bracket Spring). Lots of rivers, lakes and water. Abundant water. Lots of variety (natural and human-made) within a relatively small compass of distance. Much of New England has a cognate to what one sometimes calls the ABC of Italy (Another Beautiful Church): it might be referred to as ABV - Another Beautiful Village. Some aren't even villages by historical (pre-Industrial Age) standards, just pre-modern towns/small cities, where house doors open virtually onto the streetscape. For example: the heart of Marblehead*'s Old Town (https://wednesdaysinmhd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/A-Blanket-of-Snow-in-Historic-Downtown-Marblehead.jpg )


    I don't own a boat, so I don't sail, but were I to have friends who had them, yes. I don't own a home on the water, just a couple of miles inland from salt water, but I enjoy the New England coastline immensely. I enjoy the natural state, the people, the way of being, here.


    * Pronounced MAB-ble-hed. The Law of Conservation of Rs is such that Rs are moved from where they are written and added to the end of terminal vowels. Being historically known for thrift, Yankees don't waste their Rs.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    I'm envious.
    A real civilisation - with deep roots, yet!
    What glory to be surrounded by 499 year old architecture.
    In Houston, 'old' is fifty years - if it lasts that long.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 370
    Texas (and other parts of the southwest) were stolen from Mexico [...]
    Texas would not be what it is today had it remained in the hands of its rightful owners.
    Excuse me for asking an 'un-American' question: Is there any relation between these two sentences? According to what I learned in history lessons over here - where 1492 is like last month - almost none of N+S America is in the hands of its rightful (whatever that means) owners today...
    Thanked by 2CCooze CHGiffen
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Point granted and applauded, Elmar.

    I've always thought it curious that we over here build monuments in Washington to the German Holocaust. Well, nothing really wrong with that. But we do no build memorials to our own Holocaust and savagery to the Amerind. The Gauchos in Argentina even used to go on hunting parties, hunting Indians, that is, and seeing how many they could kill.

    Too, I was particularly offended during the Falkland's War back in the eighties, when Britain retook the islands form the Argentines who had invaded them.
    It wasn't as if these islands hadn't been British for near 300 years now Yet the Argentines screamed 'colonialism', seeking help from around the globe. This was odd, to say the least, because the Argentines themselves are Spanish colonists and have a very large German contingent. Everyone on these continents who is White, Yello, Bronze, Brown, etc. is a colonist, mostly European colonists, but also oriental, Indian, and others from around the world, including some modern Africans, is a colonost. Otherwise, it maight be put that the only people here who aren't colonists are the Amerind and the Blacks. What an absurd joke it is for anyone over here to cry 'colonialism'!

    China nowadays regularly puts a finger in the eye of 'The West' by yelling 'colonialism' over this or that. Well, my friends, the world may be about to find out that there never has been colonialism like that which China is about to unleash upon the world. How they muzzle their own people and what they do to Tibet, the Uyghurs, other ethnic minorities should be a lesson that China is no benign power and will impose itself on the rest of the world at its earliest opportunity. China today is the living fulfillment of George Orwell's 1984. And it will do that to any and everyone on the planet that it can get its hands on.
    These are really very nasty and disrespectful people. Do you know of any other sovereign nation who presumes to tell other sovereign nations who they can and cannot entertain at state or non-state level. It is an outrage that we don't host the Dalai Lama and others because the Chinese would be displeased. So let them be displeased.

    Money, money, money is the only reason we keep coddling them. Our mega-corporations are making billions if not trillion a week there, so please don't upset the apple cart - we wouldn't at all costs want to make China mad and lose money. At a recent turnover at a UN agency the German's tenure was ending, to be replaced by someone else. Here is how diplomatic the Chinese are - as the German diplomat left the Chinese 'diplomat' stood up and shouted 'good riddance'. They are really mean, and they mean to be. It's their way or not at all.

    Several years ago at an evensong at Walsingham I met a young oriental priest. We spoke for a few moments and I made the cheery observation 'oh, you must be from Taiwan'. Within the blink of an eye and to my astonishment and fury he said with a cute smile, 'no, I'm from the mainland', as if to assert that Taiwan wasn't Taiwan. I could have pinched his impudent head off.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,159
    even used to go on hunting parties...
    ...It wasn't as if these islands hadn't been British for near 300 years now Yet the Argentines screamed 'colonialism', seeking help from around the globe.


    It isn't as though many "native" people didn't also hunt one another, hunt the so-called "colonists," and not simply kill (arguably the better outcome for those defeated in battle), but also enslave and sacrifice other human beings.

    the only people here who aren't colonist are the Amerind and the Blacks


    Meaning that any non-black (or "native") who was brought here against his will (as slave or [often-forcibly] indentured servants) automatically gets to be called that dreaded word: "colonizer?"

    At this point in time, referring to people as colonizers or as victims is perpetuating a division that is completely unnecessary. Just as I wouldn't go through the Massachusetts Bay area and claim that all non-Catholics there have the goal of vilifying and oppressing the area Catholics.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    A plague on all their houses. Only the strong survive - I remember a song by that title. The strongest do survive and win the day if their technology is superior and more advanced. Toughen up, buttercups. It's the real world.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Oh, Charles, I so surprised and disappointed. While it may seem that only the strong survive that says nothing about the moral or immoral superiority of these survivors. To the extent that they may be beastly to those who would seen not to have survived they can hardly be a paradigm for the survival of true humanity.

    I remember a conversation back in the seventies which I was sharing with a certain priest who became instrumental in the realisation of what has become the Ordinariate. I was lamenting the gross cruelties of European colonial imperialism (though I admire greatly European culture and history, and consider myself a European colonist). He remarked that it was justified on account of our technological superiority. I rebutted with a typical high minded Jacksonism that 'there is only one superiority, and that is a moral superiority'. To my astonishment my priest friend became furious at my observation, but, I was correct. The real survivors are, as our Lord pointed out, the pure in heart who shall see God. As St Paul saith, 'though you speak in the tongues of men and angels (or have technology?) and have not love, ye are as sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal'.

    True strength and the true survivors are always those who excel in love, love of God, of self, and of neighbour.

    Our own US may or may not prevail in the coming decades as the strongest. If it, and our European friends do not prevail, the world will see the most hideous imperialism ever imagined under the leaden foot of the Chinese communist party. We will remain the strongest only in proportion to our moral and spiritual fibre.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Success has never been measured by morality, at least where political entities are concerned. All the great civilizations grew strong, then weaker, and eventually someone stronger arrived and conquered them. In this hemisphere, however, more natives died as a result of smallpox and measles brought by the Europeans than were ever killed by direct action. We forget, I suppose because we don't live in agricultural societies, that disease and drought weakened many civilizations including even Rome.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Success?
    What is referenced by 'success'?
    Is it material gain, empire, wealth, domination....?
    Or could it be the fruits of spiritual quest, love of God and neighbour?
    I suppose 'success' might be defined (quite subjectively) by the attainment of ones' chosen goals. What those goals may be differ greatly as related to the secular vs the sacred realms.

    The Amerind had their own native diseases and their own constant inter-tribal warfares. The subject tribes of the Aztecs were overjoyed to be liberated by the Spaniards - but, sadly, their joy was short lived. So, the Europeans are not entirely to blame, though our pitiless racism and contribution to misery was heinous and deplorable.

    Driving through Oklahoma today the highways are lined for hundreds of miles by gaudily lit up gambling casinos and gaudy hotels - and, no doubt, with the immoral and criminal relationships that such environments attract. They are all owned by the Indians. So much for the 'Noble Savage"! To some this might be called success. Success at what? Profiting from people's imbecilic greed and stupidity? Hardly a success by any sane or Christian standard.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    to my astonishment and fury he said with a cute smile, 'no, I'm from the mainland', as if to assert that Taiwan wasn't Taiwan.
    Having been treated abroad 'as if' I represented the US government's policies, I wonder if he wasn't a bit astonished himself.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    During the 1487 dedication of the temple of the sun the Aztecs sacrificed 4.000 people. So much for noble savages. There were collapses in North American Indian civilizations because of famine, drought, and warfare between the tribes. Nothing noble about any of that.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Ha! Charles - they not only sacrificed them but dined on them afterwards. In their constant warfare with other tribes the Aztec's purpose was not to kill the enemy, but to disable as many as they could, taking them back home in order to sacrifice them. It is said that, invaded by the Spanish, the Aztecs in desperation sacrificed thousands of people a day.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    It is said
    There's an awful lot of that in this forum, isn't there?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,159
    smallpox and measles


    And people strangely refer to that as genocide. As though these people had the wherewithal to think, "let's bring along those with the most prevalent viral cases, just in case we meet with someone whom we can infect. Bwahaha!"

    I'm sure a good number of "colonists" also got sick and died from this new interaction.

    This discussion and its claim that only some are allowed to be called oppressors and only some are allowed to be seen as oppressed is old and tired.

    The only people still attempting to commit genocide are the ones who set up their own little chop shops in low-income neighborhoods and deceive those therein into believing that the only way to free themselves from those racist, proverbial chains is by ridding themselves of their own offspring and possibility of parenthood.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Psalm 95 for all the gods of the gentiles are demons.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    Ah, this all started out with Mr Cordova wishing us a happy Texas independence day (which I call Texas theft day and don't at all view the stand at the Alamo as heroic, but the preposterous defiance of lawful authority).

    At any rate, we have gone quite astray.. So this day, today, doesn't have a feast or a saint on it on my Ordinariate kalendar, but I notice that the approaching Monday is reserved for St John of God, religious. What does anyone know about him?

    And, Charles - Psalm XCV is a good one, but even better as far as heathen gods go, is Psalm CXXXV, Laudate nomen Domini, the second half, which has it that
    As for the images of the heathen they are but silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
    They have mouths and speak not * eyes have they but they see not.
    They have ears and hear not * neither is there any breath in their mouths.
    They that make them are like unto them * and so are all they that put their trust in them.


    As much, of course, could be said for all the things of our world after which we vainly crave, be it clothes, houses, cars, computers, fine food (my weakness), the de riguer this and that, or any of the other things that we must have to be content - but never are.
    Thanked by 2Richard Mix Elmar