Middle East and Beyond:Dynamite Vs. Disneyland

The XXI century has been born under the sign of war

During past century we have gone a long way towards sobering up. In the 1920-es, when the New World Order blueprints were already on public display, poets, writers and philosophers were still wallowing in pipe-dreams about the destiny of mankind and the quickest road to the Golden Age of Humanism. Hundred years later those folks are either shivering with unmitigated horror, or busy working on a do-it-yourself reinforced concrete shelter project in the backyard.

Still, when we watch, read or listen to the news lines, when we think about the plexus of the Middle East conflict, more often than not, we look at the world through our great-great-granddads’ glasses: we tend to seek such things as “equitable solution”, “workable agreement”, “mutual benefit”… Once I knew an elderly Muscovite who, having moved to his daughter in New Hampshire, was appraising the reality which thus far he had known only from the Voice of America broadcasts. I remember his excitement, his wide-open eyes: “That’s impossible!... Where is the public? Where is the media? The Congress will surely sort it out!...” I sent him a gift subscription to The New American magazine (http://www.jbs.org : something is better than nothing); for a while he was still batting his eyes, but soon stopped, and thence discussed with me only abstract sciences or local weather.

But our world is an abundant source of evidence, of the most precious food for thought and emotions, of those “signs of the times” which we are called to know and discern. A modicum of humility is needed, though: rather than assuming the role of Him Who is writing the Textbook of Life, we should carefully overview the whole course and then take the particular lessons prescribed for each one of us.

The XXI century has been born under the sign of war. Middle East, Kosovo, Chechnia, Iraq are war zones. Why do people fight wars? 200 years ago General Carl von Clausewitz answered this question by observing that war is a continuation of policy carried out by violent means. And today it is even more true than ever. Policy is an exercise of the will to power; today people fight not for the land or seas, not for gold, diamonds or oil; they fight for power over one another.

Both Dynamite and Disneyland are merely symbols of the combating forces. How accurate are they? Terrorism has always been around, in one form or another; only very recently it seems to have been wrapped into Islamic colors ─ and no one knows, of course, for how long. In other words, Dynamite (or any of its numerous substitutes in the business of killing and destruction) is a long-established combatant.

Opposing it, however, is a relatively fresh contender ─ though much older than the cartoon artist whose name it has acquired. Careful observers saw it rising and moving towards the battle lines back in the XIX century. Disneyland means everything fake and phoney, mindless, petty and superficial, which blocks human heart and reason, which dumbs man down and turns him into an animal or a gadget. Unlike Dynamite, Disneyland might be unfamiliar to some folks, especially in “backward” countries; some could even claim that it is unreal. To convince the reader, let me offer just one example: advertisement. Advertisement is Disneyland at its highest. Consider the place and role of the media in the modern world, remember how it is paid for, think how much is charged for showing a pair of underwear with a right label on the TV screen ─ and admit the reality of Disneyland.

It seems that the first one to connect this reality with the name of the well-known amusement park was priest-monk Seraphim Rose. Back in the `70es he compared American Disneyland with the Soviet Gulag: both were made to purge the man of God’s image, both claimed total power over the human soul (see, for instance, The Orthodox World View, http://IvanovoConvent.ivnet.ru/_text/orthWVe.htm). Even though Disney cartoons at that time were quite innocuous, Fr. Seraphim looked far ahead: a generation later, in the `90es, American Christians led by Southern Baptists would boycott Disney for its propaganda of godlessness, blasphemy and sexual perversions.

Since then Disneyland has made a strategic leap: from American it became Global, having contracted its services to the New World Order. Which is quite natural thing to happen: contrary to a popular misconception, the New World Order is not about dominating one nation by another (as Imperialism was); it is about eliminating nations altogether. Wherever there is a national spirit alive, ─ no matter which nation, ─ the New World Order cannot keep power. Disneyland is employed as the strike force to extinguish the national spirit in the global scramble for power. Dynamite confronts it.

After the 9/11 attack intelligent people in the US took pains to explain why America is so hotly hated all over the world. Enumerated were the Marines, the Air Force, the Navy, the CIA diplomacy, and less palpable factors, such as the World Bank, GATT and currency exchange rates, ─ while the most crucial cause remained largely in the shadow. Global Disneyland effusing from screens and speakers, from billboards and magazines, from cigarette boxes and candy wraps, at work, at school, at home, is hardly conducive to warm feelings towards America. And all the arguments like “American computers are the best”, or “Don’t like it ─ don’t watch it” are missing the point: hate is born not from reasoning of the mind but from the pain of the heart.

I remember a remarkable conversation in the town of Nazareth a few years ago. Someone asked an American visitor whether he felt homesick seeing a McDonald’s restaurant (yes, there is such a restaurant in the town of Nazareth). “No homesick, ─ said he, ─ just plain sick”. To be sure, that healthy feeling has nothing to do with food or service: it stems from the very idea of the standardized fast food chains now chaining the entire Globe. No one forces the people to bring their sustenance ─ shekels, dinars, drachmas or rubles ─ to McDonald’s; ostensibly they remain free ─ yet they do what Disneyland tells them. Disneyland asserts its power over human will.

No wonder, then, that Dynamite is so successful in recruiting partisans among those who would not submit to Disneyland. And it doesn’t really matter whom and where to kill: Russians in Chechnia, Serbs in Kosovo, Jews in Tel-Aviv or Americans all over the place. An explosive charge went off inside: where once there was a human heart ─ Arab, Afghani, Albanian, Chechen, ─ today there is nothing but evil.

What does this war spell for the rest of us? Who is better ─ Dynamite or Disneyland? The answer is quite clear: both are worse. In fact, both are so bad that their direct subordination to Satan is beyond any doubt. Fighting one another, they launch deadly attacks against us on both sides.

We loath Disneyland, we speak about it boldly ─ and we get accused of complicity with murderers. We prosecute terrorists ─ and we get portrayed as minions of the New World Order, while Disneyland is sneaking in through every crack. Dynamite vows to blow up the Christian civilization as the “Satanic Empire”, while Disneyland inculcates in our children the root cause of the evil: “Savage fanatics are willing to give up their lives”.

The conclusion is simple: no easy road ahead. But if we follow the Apostles’ word and “hold fast what we have”, we can survive without falling prey of either enemy.

Heeding to demands of human inquisitiveness, we can try to find more knowledge of the events to come. They are, of course, in God’s hand, but current circumstances afford us enough evidence to produce a reasonable scenario for the future ─ chiefly for better understanding of the present.

By its very nature, Dynamite will never be vanquished by Disneyland ─ no matter how many McDonalds’s restaurants, Marine battalions or $100 bills are placed at its disposal. Yet the nature of Dynamite is the same as that of Disneyland, and their master is also the same. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that they will soon come to terms: solve their differences, unite their forces, and charge us with tenfold ferocity.

Those who would argue that one cannot come to terms with Dynamite, particularly in its modern Islamic form, tend to forget that Disneyland goes much deeper than fast food chains and underwear advertisement. Like timber rot, Disneyland has already infected the very core of the Western mentality ─ the ideas of God, truth and fidelity. Thus, it ain’t exactly Richard the Lion-Heart with whom the Muslims have to negotiate a “reasonable solution”.

Of particular interest here is Ecumenism, or, wider, modern "inclusive" (vague, ambivalent, irresponsible, ─ or dumbed-down) way of thinking. Even as we speak, such thinkers in once-Christian churches and reformed synagogues preach that "old controversies ought to be cast aside: Christianity, Judaism and Islam are essentially the same", and the like.

Take for instance the basic creed of Islam: "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet". The first clause is hard to argue about (whether or not Allah can be identified with True God), but the second clause is much easier, and, of course, any conscious Christian or Jew will unconditionally deny it. But watch out! Given all the efforts which President Clinton, Disneyland’s Commander-en-Chief, once put into the re-definition of the verb "to be" while being interrogated under oath, some progressive theologian will announce before long ex cathedra that Mohammed, after all, might be the prophet of the Most High.

At first, there will surely be chuckles of the unprogressive reporters; then public opinion architects will step in with thoughtful comments, followed by resolutions of Ecumenical assemblies. And then some octogenarian Rebe whose portraits adorn every other utility pole in Brooklyn, will suddenly get a new revelation from on high: yes, for the sake of preserving Jewish lives, it is permissible to count Mohammed among the prophets.

What’s next? It remains to convince to the Muslim populace of the great and glorious victory over the infidels who have bent their necks to the Prophet (in a sense, that will be true). Then Dynamite will switch from terrorism to festive fireworks, Disneyland will solemnly shut down ham and beer advertisement, such trifles as state boundaries and control over oil fields will take care of themselves, and the forces of the World Community will turn against those who, for one reason or another, would not bend their disobedient necks.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake… But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Deacon monk Macarius Especially for PRAVDA.Ru

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