Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Screwtape Continues His Toast

Instead of this, what have we had tonight? There was a municipal authority with Graft sauce. But personally I could not detect in him the flavour of a really passionate and brutal avarice such as delighted one in the great tycoons of the last century. Was he not unmistakably a Little Man -- a creature of the petty rake-off pocketed with a petty joke in private and denied with the stalest platitudes in his public utterances -- a grubby little nonentity who had drifted into corruption, only just realizing that he was corrupt, and chiefly because everyone else did it? Then there was the lukewarm Casserole of Adulterers. Could you find in it any trace of a fully inflamed, defiant, rebellious, insatiable lust? I couldn't. They all tasted to me like undersexed morons who had blundered or trickled into the wrong beds in automatic response to sexy advertisements, or to make themselves feel modern and emancipated, or to reassure themselves about their virility or their "normalcy," or even because they had nothing else to do. Frankly, to me who have tasted Messalina and Cassanova, they were nauseating. The Trade Unionist stuffed with sedition was perhaps a shade better. He had done some real harm. He had, not quite unknowingly, worked for bloodshed, famine, and the extinction of liberty. Yes, in a way. But what a way! He thought of those ultimate objectives so little. Toeing the party line, self-importance, and above all mere routine, were what really dominated his life.

But now comes the point. Gastronomically, all this is deplorable. But I hope none of us puts gastronomy first. Is it not, in another and far more serious way, full of hope and promise?
Consider, first, the mere quantity. The quality may be wretched; but we never had souls (of a sort) in more abundance.

And then the triumph. We are tempted to say that such souls -- or such residual puddles of what once was soul -- are hardly worth damning. Yes, but the Enemy (for whatever inscrutable and perverse reason) thought them worth trying to save. Believe me, He did. You youngsters who have not yet been on active duty have no idea with what labour, with what delicate skill, each of these miserable creatures was finally captured.
~C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, (1961)


Cool links of the day:

Virtual Tour of Chimney Rock State Park

Webcam of the Three Sisters, in Alberta, Canada

3 Comment(s):

At Wed Dec 08, 01:28:00 AM EST, Blogger Joelle said...

This has nothing to do with Screwtape but...

am I the only one who finds it odd to have a webcam of mountains? They're mountains! They aren't going to change! I saw those mountains in person about 6 years ago...they looked the same then!

At Wed Dec 08, 06:21:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Oh, but they DO change, every day! When I lived in Alaska, there was a mountain range out my bedroom window (called the Cathedral Peaks). Some days they were shrouded in mist, in the summertime some days were sunny, and you felt you could reach out and dance on her smooth green slopes. The march downward of the snow as winter came on was always interesting to watch--'it's snowed on the summit, how many days till it reaches us in the valley'. And in the early morning as the fog burned off was my favorite time. The wisps would melt away and leave my mountains looking freshly-washed.

And now I live possibly as far away from mountains as one could ever be. :(

But having said all that, I just noticed that the Three Sisters webcam seems to be stuck on July 27, 2004. I should have looked a little closer when I set up the link!

At Wed Dec 08, 05:48:00 PM EST, Blogger Joelle said...

This is true. I didn't think of the mist and whatnot. The "mountains" around here, one day they can be completely brown and the next it looks like the Shire.


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