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One morning, when I was eight years old, I decided to play hooky from the regular activities at overnight camp and wound up coming face to face with a savage scene of sudden terror, blood and death. I had gone off alone in the woods and was been walking along a sandy trail through the woods in the Saco River valley of Maine. There was a sudden flurry of movement about five yards up the trail. I later surmised that the movement I had seen was the instant in which the snake had lunged, snapped its jaws and caught the toad.
In the time it took me to walk the distance to where they were, they were motionless. Still, it was eerily apparent that the snake was swallowing the toad whole- not just whole but alive as well. It was a terrifying moment.
The toad was bigger by half than the snake’s head so the snake’s mouth was fastened around the toad’s haunches. The back third of the toad was already inside the snake; the front two thirds were still free. Held fast by the tiny thorn-like teeth in that cold mouth, the toad still breathed. Every now and then its eyes would blink but that was all the movement it made. The big, expressionless toad eyes were absent any expression- no panic, no appeal, no desperation- not even a hint of resignation. Its fate was already sealed; it was as good as dead already.
As I realized what I was looking at and got over my initial surprise, my instinctive reaction was to want to intervene and try to rescue the toad. It was only as I moved closer that the toad struggled a little as it tried to edge away from me. It was held fast by the snake which was so inflamed by the taste of death in its mouth that it paid no attention to me. I began to realize that even if I tried to rescue the toad, it might not do any good. It had no fight in it and I was very unsure how to handle the snake. My approach had no effect on the snake or on the toad. They were motionless except for the rapid breathing and hypnotic blinking of the toad. I had already in my young life experienced the reaction of our pet cat when I interfered between her and her food bowl. The snake looked pretty large to me just then.
As I stared at them and felt the immediacy of the death I was witnessing, another emotion replaced the fear and fascination. I was suddenly outraged- not outraged at the snake for its blank predation and concupiscent tenacity- but at the toad. Its helplessness made me feel helpless too.
I crouched down and watched for a while until the snake, with a subtle but urgent, peristaltic motion relaxed its hold instantaneously and inched up its teeth on the toad’s body- engulfing another three percent or so of its length. That gulp filled me with a claustrophobia and dread so deep that I couldn’t stand to see any more. I walked away- leaving them to their fates- one the devourer and the other the acquiescent devoured.
I’ll never forget the way the toad looked at me. It comes back to me time and again Even now, forty years later; the blank, blinking eye of the toad haunts me. Of course it is ridiculous to speculate on the motives, behavior and emotions of the toad. I don’t know why toads behave the way they do when snakes begin to swallow them. I do know that I am reminded of it very often by the behavior of my fellow human beings.
It is the look you get from people who are prepared to ignore any fact, accept any contradiction and succumb to any peril in order to support their current state of belief and comfort.
I see that look often when I try to have a real dialog with (most) feminists and many of the gay people I meet. It strikes me as odd that feminists and gay activists can remain blind to the horrors faced by women and gays in any Islamic society. It is even more bizarre to see the blink of the toad flash across their faces as they recover their composure and prepare to rationalize their antipathy toward Israel and western civilization.
I see it in the faces of the glazed, parrots of political correctness and multiculturalism when they refuse to pass judgment on a culture that abuses its children, represses and beats its women and even boldly asserts its own manifest destiny to dominate and convert the rest of the world. I see that blank hopelessness it in the craven unwillingness of western officials to enforce their own laws, in their acquiescence to allow the creeping introduction of Shari’a law.
I see it too in the illogical self-destructiveness that disguises itself as evenhandedness in the leaders of the mainline churches and the Main Stream Media as they comment on the Arab/Israeli conflict. In this professionally bland, morally horrific relativism it presents the struggle as one between “peoples” with equal aims. It looks on Israel’s struggle and adds to her torment by refusing to believe that the Palestinians are the head of a snake that consists of the ruling elite of the entire Arab world. The media is placidly blinking, not able to understand that the snake wants to swallow the entire world into a Caliphate hell where Sharia law will issue fatwas on the like of them.
I also see that look when I make the point to anyone who will listen that it is THE OIL MONEY that is fueling the rise of Caliphate Islam. I’ve made the point in many of my essays on this site. No less an authority than Victor Davis Hanson has made the point. There are even at least two industry web sites that cover the whole business. Link1 1 Link 2 I don’t know how it could be clearer. Yet most people I talk to about it sort of gulp, give you the toad blink and go back to trying to remember whether the minivan has enough gas in it to get through the weekend. Well, guess what folks, every time you fill that gas tank you are renewing your subscription to the Terror Attack of the Month Club.
That’s right, there’s nothing to buy and nothing to order no salesman will call. Simply keep buying gasoline and/or heating oil from your local vendors (they don’t even look like terrorists) and we will send you your attack free of charge. No returns and no refunds. Offer good wherever you don’t bow down worship Allah at least three times a day…
Don’t look now, that snake has us squarely by the butt and we are hardly even struggling.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
You are Already a Member…