Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.


No great artist (musician, painter, film maker, etc.) was ever not a great audience also. So that by the same token, the reason people "in charge" of movies and television cannot make good television or movies is because they don't, despite their pretending, know what good television and movies are to begin with; and if they occupy such monopolistic position as they do it is owing solely to their ties to organized crime.


One singular thing I've observed about the brainwashed people we find ourselves dealing with is that they don't have much or any sense of independent truth. They tend to see everything (of consequence) as a matter of your view versus their view. Truth they believe is merely an opinion; so that with them rational discussions are of little or no value; because they deem reason only a tool for promoting one's own selfish opinion. They see people's minds as usually and essentially already made up and decided, and that all disquisition is little more than a kind of trick to get someone else to go along with you. Concomitant with this perspective that brooks no discussion or objectivity is the idea that it is at last the one with physical force and money who ultimately rules and decides matters intellectual, scientific, religious, and cultural. Reason has no relevance and is no force of importance except as a means of deceiving others; so that Mind then doesn't really matter. And if you agree with them on such serious concerns as arise, that's all right. But if you don't, then clearly the only course left open to them with you is war.

Not surprisingly as well, their ideas of morals, happiness and the good life originate more or less wholly from photographic images and what one can see with one's eyes. And yet, as you know well enough yourself, one must pace oneself in this life in the real, not the visual, time-space continuum.


It's a pleasure to be able to watch "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" on DVD, and being able to see now a number of episodes I didn't or wasn't able to see when it first aired. By and large the scripts are pretty to very good, and unlike scripts of some tv drama programs of the preceding 60's, the plots are (usually) realistically coherent and to a large degree believable (Irwin Allen shows, for example, were often notorious for their illogic and far fetched sequence and explanation of events.) Further of note, it is amusing how the police are almost invariably either uncooperative or hostile to Kolchak, and which is also very like real life.


As "Escoban" said, one of the little folk who visited/invaded my home back in 2000 (see my New Treatise on Hell), or words to this effect, "If one is good, two is better."

["Roaring 1920s: Leo Reisman 's Band - A Year From Today, 1929"]


And here's something else, and an add on to our earlier post of the Talmadge sisters: a clip from "New York Nights" (1929); in this case a talkie with Norma and real life love interest Gilbert Roland.

["A Year From Today (1929)" -- at the piano, and following this the party]



Birds sing almost
as soon as they're born:
each with a song all its own.
Oh, how like the trees;
the tall brush growing
wild on a hillock,
up, up, up in joyous praise!

And can I myself do better
than a soft sun
and a breeze pliant and sweet
sailing me, under the stars,
across a beckoning sea?

For animals, the time is the morning;
busy; singing; flitting; playing;
They look as if they were
made for paradise.
And yet some come to be
as poor as many people --
living off scraps.

Meanwhile, a fool can waste millions,
and destroy life and the landscape;
simply because he is a man.

I would have thought
the mountains' height
of distant grey and white,
and oceans of fond pines;
suffused with winds
and brimming waters
would have been enough.
But to one's utter
surprise and dismay,
we now are chained
from going there.

Though founding parents
left us a land
where free men might in dignity stand,
along comes a generation
that makes a pact with Satan
and free we are -- no more.

Mind control is easiest with the dumbest.
And when visions of the spectacular city
are placed before their eyes,
They will abandon justice
And hand over the innocent to wrath.

The wealthy, haunted apartment tower,
who I wonder would live there?
Built by a prosperous warlock,
a solitary dwelling of ghosts,
overlooking the bay,
rising up:
a mausoleum reaching to the sky.

And even I,
when I'd grown older
forgot the animals
thinking myself more wise,
but in truth darkened
by time's wiles.
For in self potentially lives
the interminable pit of despair.

We were to build
that house in the woods,
but did not.
The old songs we loved
have flown off to their new abode,
somewhere afar off.
Life, one day exalted
in the raiment of the sun,
later lies in a darkened room,
dieing, undone.

What was it that was left behind in time?
The countless lives, the countless stories;
tragedies, boredoms, and glories;
times of mirth;
times of despair;
moments of truth;
life weary of life and its care;
multitudes come and gone.
Where did it all go?
What did it all mean?
How much time was needed,
after all,
to pray for peace?

Lonely wilderness,
where fate descends,
the trees and branches toss wildly;
filling us with fear.

Soul is what you are;
your body but its vessel.
Would that now I could
at least live in the soul
and feed off the bread of life;
like he whose soul
has gone deeper than yours.
With cold hearts one can do nothing.

Life is but a day's journey to this world.
For mortals, each day
seen through the corridors of time
is but a flitting shadow.
You may have it,
but if so
you are bound to lose it.
But lasting is the consolation
that you tried to help;
you paid your dues
and for that reason
perhaps now in good conscience
you can at last find rest,
and go to sleep forever.

For even vegetation sleeping grows.
The seemingly quiet ivy and vine,
for example,
cling to the fence
dance in the night wind
and still yet feel
the rain upon their face.


In posting selected extracts from the Ante and Post Nicene Church Fathers, I have previously remarked that I don't always agree or share all the views they held or propounded. Yet, this said, I do else tend to concur with the vast majority of what they state. A good case in point of this is St. Augustine. At present I am going through his writing against Pelagius and Pelagius' followers, and while I do find problems with some of the arguments of the Pelagians, it doesn't seem to me that Augustine's rebuttal of them is always so very sound either; particularly, for instance, his absolute insistence that unbaptized infants are doomed to perdition. This is no small point; because I think it is arrogant dogmas like this that have in the course of history done great harm to the church and its credibility in the eyes of others. The Gospel itself states that with God all things are possible, and yet Augustine by his intellectual absolutism on such a point overlooks this caveat entirely. As well, he ignores his own statements in his Letter 143 where he concedes that it is possible that he might on a given theological point possibly be in error. Yet in his polemics against the Pelagians there is evinced no such modesty and humility. What then was driving him to such inflexible dogmatism? Did he perhaps really believe, as a matter of rhetoric, that unless people were got to believe that all must be baptized to be saved that this would prompt some to think baptism was unimportant and or unnecessary? If so, he would persuade people to do good by distorting the truth; and he distorted the truth by assuming omniscience on his own part and implacable intractability on God's. This, of course, is great foolishness and presumption; all the more disturbing and dangerous because Augustine is so very wise in many other matters.

As well, should be borne in mind in such controversies what benefit the devil does or might reap from certain conclusions. If God is always necessary to lead men to choose grace; then the corollary to this appears or could appear to be that if God does not confer such grace he in logical consequence commands evil -- for who else has such power to compel human wills if human will is impotent in such matters to start with?

To say we disagree with Augustine, or for that matter Pelagius', conclusions does not imply that we think he was a deliberately false or bad man -- only mistaken. Yet the lesson to be had here is that what the church teaches must be consistent with honesty, rational and scriptural consistency, and moral responsibility (including modesty and humility.) And when the church or those representing the church exceed these bounds they are at variance and in conflict with the truth and should not be taken very seriously. For when dogmas are at blatant variance with the truth, or are promoted with political designs in mind (as seems to be much the case with Augustine versus the Pelagians), and despite all good intention, they do pernicious injury to the church's rational trustworthiness; so that for the sake of truth and defending the church we should show no indications fear or timidity in rejecting them. This conclusion might not on the face of it seem so very startling, but religious dogmas for many people can be quite forbidding and intimidating things; people therefore must, it seems to me, be brought up to learn that truth is always superior to dogma -- even if truth requires us to suspend and defer judgment, or, as need be, frankly confess our ignorance.


One of the key tasks in life must be to extricate oneself from serial killers and genocidal mass murderers. And yet how many fail even in this!


[I posted this at my Mabel Normand Home Page, but thought I would informally and temporarily include it here for the benefit of those who might miss it there.]

Came across this by chance. Isn't it adorable? From left to right: Natalie, Constance, and Norma -- i.e., Buster Keaton's first wife and his co-star in "Our Hospitality;" the mountain girl from "Intolerance;" and the putative inspiration for the has-been silent movie star in "Sunset Boulevard."


Excerpts from Augustine's epistles continued. ~

[ch. 2] 9. Let us now observe in the second place, what follows in your letter. You have added that they said that the Christian doctrine and preaching were in no way consistent with the duties and rights of [Roman] citizens, because among its precepts we find: “Recompense to no man evil for evil,” [Romans 12:17] and, “Whosoever shall smite you on one cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any man take away your coat, let him have your cloak also; and whosoever will compel you to go a mile with him, go with him two,” [Matthew 5:39-41] — all which are affirmed to be contrary to the duties and rights of citizens; for who would submit to have anything taken from him by an enemy, or forbear from retaliating the evils of war upon an invader who ravaged a Roman province? To these and similar statements of persons speaking slightingly, or perhaps I should rather say speaking as inquirers regarding the truth, I might have given a more elaborate answer, were it not that the persons with whom the discussion is carried on are men of liberal education. In addressing such, why should we prolong the debate, and not rather begin by inquiring for ourselves how it was possible that the Republic of Rome was governed and aggrandized from insignificance and poverty to greatness and opulence by men who, when they had suffered wrong, would rather pardon than punish the offender; or how Cicero, addressing Cæsar, the greatest statesman of his time, said, in praising his character, that he was wont to forget nothing but the wrongs which were done to him? For in this Cicero spoke either praise or flattery: if he spoke praise, it was because he knew Cæsar to be such as he affirmed; if he spoke flattery, he showed that the chief magistrate of a commonwealth ought to do such things as he falsely commended in Cæsar. But what is “not rendering evil for evil,” but refraining from the passion of revenge— in other words, choosing, when one has suffered wrong, to pardon rather than to punish the offender, and to forget nothing but the wrongs done to us?

10. When these things are read in their own authors, they are received with loud applause; they are regarded as the record and recommendation of virtues in the practice of which the Republic deserved to hold sway over so many nations, because its citizens preferred to pardon rather than punish those who wronged them. But when the precept, “Render to no man evil for evil,” is read as given by divine authority, and when, from the pulpits in our churches, this wholesome counsel is published in the midst of our congregations, or, as we might say, in places of instruction open to all, of both sexes and of all ages and ranks, our religion is accused as an enemy to the Republic! Yet, were our religion listened to as it deserves, it would establish, consecrate, strengthen, and enlarge the commonwealth in a way beyond all that Romulus, Numa, Brutus, and all the other men of renown in Roman history achieved. For what is a republic but a commonwealth? Therefore its interests are common to all; they are the interests of the State. Now what is a State but a multitude of men bound together by some bond of concord? In one of their own authors we read: “What was a scattered and unsettled multitude had by concord become in a short time a State.” But what exhortations to concord have they ever appointed to be read in their temples? So far from this, they were unhappily compelled to devise how they might worship without giving offense to any of their gods, who were all at such variance among themselves, that, had their worshippers imitated their quarrelling, the State must have fallen to pieces for want of the bond of concord, as it soon afterwards began to do through civil wars, when the morals of the people were changed and corrupted.

14. These precepts concerning patience ought to be always retained in the habitual discipline of the heart, and the benevolence which prevents the recompensing of evil for evil must be always fully cherished in the disposition. At the same time, many things must be done in correcting with a certain benevolent severity, even against their own wishes, men whose welfare rather than their wishes it is our duty to consult and the Christian Scriptures have most unambiguously commended this virtue in a magistrate. For in the correction of a son, even with some sternness, there is assuredly no diminution of a father's love; yet, in the correction, that is done which is received with reluctance and pain by one whom it seems necessary to heal by pain. And on this principle, if the commonwealth observe the precepts of the Christian religion, even its wars themselves will not be carried on without the benevolent design that, after the resisting nations have been conquered, provision may be more easily made for enjoying in peace the mutual bond of piety and justice. For the person from whom is taken away the freedom which he abuses in doing wrong is vanquished with benefit to himself; since nothing is more truly a misfortune than that good fortune of offenders, by which pernicious impunity is maintained, and the evil disposition, like an enemy within the man, is strengthened. But the perverse and froward hearts of men think human affairs are prosperous when men are concerned about magnificent mansions, and indifferent to the ruin of souls; when mighty theatres are built up, and the foundations of virtue are undermined; when the madness of extravagance is highly esteemed, and works of mercy are scorned; when, out of the wealth and affluence of rich men, luxurious provision is made for actors, and the poor are grudged the necessaries of life; when that God who, by the public declarations of His doctrine, protests against public vice, is blasphemed by impious communities, which demand gods of such character that even those theatrical representations which bring disgrace to both body and soul are fitly performed in honour of them. If God permit these things to prevail, He is in that permission showing more grievous displeasure: if He leave these crimes unpunished, such impunity is a more terrible judgment. When, on the other hand, He overthrows the props of vice, and reduces to poverty those lusts which were nursed by plenty, He afflicts in mercy. And in mercy, also, if such a thing were possible, even wars might be waged by the good, in order that, by bringing under the yoke the unbridled lusts of men, those vices might be abolished which ought, under a just government, to be either extirpated or suppressed.

15. For if the Christian religion condemned wars of every kind, the command given in the gospel to soldiers asking counsel as to salvation would rather be to cast away their arms, and withdraw themselves wholly from military service; whereas the word spoken to such was, “Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages,” [Luke 3:14] — the command to be content with their wages manifestly implying no prohibition to continue in the service. Wherefore, let those who say that the doctrine of Christ is incompatible with the State's well-being, give us an army composed of soldiers such as the doctrine of Christ requires them to be; let them give us such subjects, such husbands and wives, such parents and children, such masters and servants, such kings, such judges— in fine, even such taxpayers and tax-gatherers, as the Christian religion has taught that men should be, and then let them dare to say that it is adverse to the State's well-being; yea, rather, let them no longer hesitate to confess that this doctrine, if it were obeyed, would be the salvation of the commonwealth.
~ Letter 138