Oedipus at Colonus Chorus–line 841 ff “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Κρέων

σοὶ δ’ ἔγωγ’ ὁδοιπορεῖν.  [840]                                           ὁδοιπορεῖν:  note pun with Οἰδίπους

                And I–to you, TAKE A HIKE!                       ὁδοιπορεῖν:  pres inf act > ὁδοιπορέω

Χορός[1]

πρόβαθ’ ὦδε, βᾶτε βᾶτ’, ἔντοποι·                            πρόβαθ’:  2 prs pl aor imperat > προβαίνω

Step forward, forward, one and all.                                   βᾶτε:  2 prs pl aor imperat > βαίνω

πόλις ἐναίρεται, πόλις ἐμά, σθένει·  πρόβαθ’ ὧδε μοι.

Slayer of the city—my city, with force.  Gather round me.

Ἀντιγόνη

ἀφέλκομαι δύστηνος ,

ὦ ξένοι ξένοι.                     ἀφέλκομαι:  1 prs sg pres ind mp > ἀφέλκομαι  S.  OC 844

I am dragged away—wretched—Oh friends, friends!

Οἰδίπους

ποῦ τέκνον, εἰ μοι΄;

Where are you child—woe to me?

Ἀντιγόνη

πρὸς βίαν πορεύομαι.                                               πορεύομαι:  1 prs sg pres act mp > πορεύω

With force I am carried away.

 

In the song, TRUTH   becomes a transcendent value.  The   wrath that is war, has befallen America because the state has allowed slavery   as a legal right.  The soldiers are metonomy   for the Jews in Sinai gathering round the Mishkan—“a hundred circling camps   they have builded him an altar…”  The   rhythm of the song is much like a slashing sword.Like the ancient   Jewish right of Churban–חרבן—extermination of evil doers—so must those who believe slavery   a legal right be exterminatied—there can be no middle ground.

Note:  ‘his truth is marching on”—“his day is   marching on”—“God is marching on”…    Note the phrases: “His rightwous sentence,” “judgment seat” and “the   soul of wrong his slave.”  All of these   references are to eschatological judgment not only on individual salve   holders but on the nation as corporate entity.  “With a glory in his bosom that   transfigures you and me” speaks directly to the transcendent need for the war   to end slavery; transfiguring not only the individual but the State as well.

Dictates of the   state are measured against a standard that represents something beyond the State,   beyond exigencies of the time.  The   Nazi era of Germany comes readily to mind—as does any totalitarian state such   as Russia, China, North Korea, etc.

In the Oedipus   trilogy, the shift from personal evil to the state’s evil as epitomized by   Creon shifts from one person and place to another person and place.  (The whole point of the constant interplay   of ξένος—between host and guest.)  Oedipus kills his father and procreates   with his mother—thus he pollutes the State.    He is punished with exile for his crime.  Later Creon forbids Antigone to bury her   brother; she buries him despite the prohibition of the State.  (Nixon would use this argument:  since he is the President—what he commands   is legal.)

Need and command   to disobey the State is a central question to the Nazi era, as it was to the   Civil War, and as it is to almost every contemporary issue of the day.  It is a central though unasked question in   SOPHIE’S CHOICE.

(That the South   also sang this song written by Northerner and Abolitionist Julia Ward Howe,   confirms reality of a demonic parody of religion, patriotism to say nothing   of confirming the stupidity of humanity.)

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.


[1] F. Storr (Loeb)  To the rescue one and all!

Rally, neighbors to my call!

See, the foe is at the gate!

Rally to defend the State.

George F. Root:  “Yes, we’ll rally ‘round the flag, boys, We’ll rally one again, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom…. The Union forever, Hurrah boys, Hurrah!  Down with the traitors, Up with the stars!…”  George F. Cohan:  “Over there, over there, Send the word, send the word over there, That the Yanks are coming, The Yanks are coming, …”  While we might dismiss so many of these songs as jingoism gone wild, they oftentime summarize the moral imperative that a specific war represents.  Julia Ward Howe’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” summarized and summarizes with powerful imagery issues of the American Civil War.

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Amazon Review of Robert Alter’s Book of Psalms by Steven Torrey

Amazon Review of Alter’s Psalms by Steven Torrey

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Steven                Literary critic Northrup Frye created the construct of

Steven                

Literary critic Northrup Frye created the construct of demonic parody–that is to say–evil had taken over the force of the symbol.  Case in point:  the South using the song, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a defense of slavery–when clearly, the intent of Julia Ward Howe’s lyrics was to trust that God’s TRANSCENDENT truth was marching on AGAINST slavery.  The South never got that memo apparently:  “As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men FREE, our God is marching on,”  The NRA gun nut psychos now wrap themselves in the flag and claim to be true patriots defending the ‘original intent’ of the founding fathers to use the 2nd Amendment to warrant and justify armed insurrection against a tyrannical–in their view–Washington, DC.  While a new nation would be justifiably concerned for a new tyranny–Aaron Burr would have caused concern–the point of the Constitution is to use law, legislative process, democratic elections, Supreme Court decisions to implement orderly change.  Like the South, like the NRA gun nut psychos, like the Nazi State–these people engage in a demonic parody of discourse, of politics, of government, of reason, of patriotism.  They have given their souls over to the devil.

(I wrote this and posted it as a Yahoo comment in response to an article by Joe Conasan (July 4, 2013):  “For July 4, Remembering Why the Right Doesn’t Own The Stars and Stripes.”)

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“Oedipus at Colonus” Chorus line 841ff : “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Κρέων line 841 ff page 95-96

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Gunfight–The Battle over the RIght to Bear Arms in America by Adam Winkler–My Review

GUNFIGHT—THE BATTLE OVER THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN AMERICA (2011) by  Adam Winkle who is a professor at UCLA Law School specializing in Constitutional Law.  His book is about the Supreme Court decision in Washington. DC vs Heller (2008); briefly put:  does a person have a right to have a weapon for self defense?

On December 14, 2012–20 year old Adam Lanza killed his mother with three pistol gunshots to her head.  He then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and using a Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round magazine shot his way into the locked front door.  He immediately killed with his weapon the principal and the school psychologist.  He then went on to kill with his Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S–20 children between age 5 -7.  A total of 20 children and 6 adults were killed with this Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S; he fired off 154 rounds from his weapon in a little less than 5 minutes; he then committed suicide with one of his Glock pistols.

Adam Winkler’s book is germane to the recent discussion.  He provides historical background for the 2nd Amendment, historical background for gun control, historical background of gun violence in America, historical background for weapons development, historical background for legal decisions re the 2nd Amendment.  Regrettably, he does not provide a chapter devoted to the dry and not dramatic statistics about the number of murders yearly by gunfire in America [11.900], numbers of yearly justifiable homicides in self-defense with guns [260], numbers of yearly suicides by gunshot [20,000], number of children yearly killed by gunfire [1750], the community most impacted with gun deaths [Black—death by gunfire is the leading cause of death in Black youth between age 15-25]. All of these statistics are readily available through the Center for Disease Control or FBI.   So Justice Breyer—speaking from the Bench during oral arguments—says:  “…that 80,000 to 100,000 people every year in the United States are killed or wounded in gun related homicides or crimes or accidents or suicides.”  So a chapter of maybe 7 – 10 pages giving statistical background might have been more helpful than the snippets of statistics raised as found pertinent to his discussion on topic.  One powerful statistic:  anywhere from 250 million to 300 million guns in American hands—more guns per capita than any other nation.  But compare the figure of 300 million to the yearly 100,000 gun injuries—well—it almost makes gun ownership safer than flying.

Winkler provides thumbnail sketches of the people and movements important to the gun debate—from the politicians, to the criminals, to the proponents and opponents.  (And really—lunatic comes to mind with the author of “The Global War on Your Guns:  Inside the U.N. Plan to Destroy the Bill of Rights.”  Really—one wants to say—take your antipsychotic meds NOW and sign up for electroshock therapy—don’t delay.  Be most especially worried about lunatics wearing three piece suits.)

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority.  Justice Scalia claims to be an ‘originalist’—that is to say a jurist who wants to decide a case based on the original intent of the Founding Fathers, ignoring that there is a huge difference—to put it mildly—between the zeitgeist of 1789 and 2011.  Justice Scalia’s position should sound familiar—the Tea Party lives by that doctrine.  Justice Scalia ‘originalist’ position:  beyond the absurd, sheer applesauce, cannot be taken seriously, nothing short of preposterous—to use Justice Scalia’s favorite dismissives.

Winkler concludes that with this case, everybody came out a winner.  The court affirmed that one could posses a weapon for self-defense; and Justice Scalia himself asserted that the State has responsibility to place limits on gun ownership in Part III of his decision: Syllabus: “2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56”.  (Source:  Legal Information Institute, Cornel University.)

The horrendous deed of December 14, 2012 shattered the nation.  No one can imagine what those families, neighbors, community of Newtown endure.  The President rightfully cast gun control action as a moral imperative in response to the children and adult victims.—not a question of the 2nd Amendment prerogative. He signed executive orders which seemed an appropriate response for a solution to gun violence in America.  Surprisingly, research in gun violence is not allowed by Congressional Mandate at the behest of the NRA—fearing such research would bring greater stricture on gun ownership; the President signed an executive order demanding research be conducted for the causes and prevention of gun violence.  The Yahoo comments page was taken over by gun-control opponents in droves—shouting down—and creating profiles for the explicit purpose of making negative comments–with preponderance of numbers any supporters of gun control.  The comments about the victims were oftentimes rude, crude, callous, and indifferent to the magnitude of the Newtown tragedy.  Winkler addresses the ferocity of gun proponents—the Yahoo comments made the level of ferocity—and irrationality–a force to be reckoned with.

As someone else pointed out—Nancy Lanza, before December 14, would have been regarded as a ‘good guy’ with a gun; she never anticipated that her weapon would be used for purpose of evil.  She obeyed the Connecticut Laws regarding registering her weapons, submitting to and passing a criminal and psychiatric background check.  Many have asserted that the problem lies with the mentally ill owning guns—ignoring that Adam Lanza did not demonstrate any serious mental health issues.  (Indeed, in a PBS Frontline program, acquaintances called him odd and nothing more—not delusional, not hearing voices, nor demonstrating any other psychiatric symptoms.)

Adam Lanza planned his rampage in his mind in detail.  He could do this because he had physical possession of a weapon; he knew how to use the weapon, he had proficiency in its use.  Physical possession of that weapon allowed him the murderous ideation.  No weapon, no ideation to murder, no murder.  It’s as simple as all that and as sad as all that.

Adam Winkler’s GUNFIGHT: THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN AMERICA gives a good read over the issues and trajectory of gun ownership and its law in America.  In the presence of Newtown, the Supreme Court may give States greater leeway and allowance in establishing prohibitions regarding gun ownership.

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Hebrew נפשׁ {nephesh}

Hebrew נפשׁ {nephesh}

            and Masoretic Text Psalm 69:2  — A question of impotence?

 

From Hebrew Psalm 69:2:  “Save me, o God, for the waters have come
into my soul.”  What is so complicated about translating the Hebrew word
נפשׁ {nephesh} as soul?  There is no way, no how, that נפשׁ {nephesh}
can be translated as neck, throat, lips, or mouth.

 

That so many modern texts have chosen to mistranslate נפשׁ {nephesh}
suggests an anti-metaphysical reading of the Hebrew text. 
A disguised anti-Semitism?

 

So many people in America sleep out of doors for no other reason than a lack of sufficient wit to fill out an application for subsidized Section 8 Housing and not for gross incompetence or drug addiction or release from a prison.
The mistranslation suggests a profound cynicism worthy of the Enron
Corporation or the Pelican Bay Prison inmate.  And one wonders if the bishop –pick a bishop, any bishop–is so morally bankrupt as to tolerate this mis-translation.

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Copyright notice

October 27

4 WORKS DOWNLOADED

Today, 10-27-10, I downloaded four documents I had produced over the years.
 
1–“A Mind of Winter, Essays 2007” is a series of essays I produced over the course of the years sometime between 2000 and 2005.  These also included excerpts from my book, The Diaclectic of Interpretation:  An Essay on Consequence.  Chapter VII, page 81 “The Sonnets of Shakespeare:  The Work of Metaphor as Mask, Inclusion, and Meeting” asserts that Shakespeare’s Sonnets are a mourning sequence for the death of his 11 year old twin son to twin daughter Judith.  This essay was orginally produced in 1995 and revised in 2005, I think.  This essay is Chapter 3 of the larger work:  THE DIALECTIC OF INTERPRETAION:  AN ESSAY ON CONSEQUENCCE.
 
2–“Seek Not for Answers:  PROMETHEUS” is an introductory essay to my Greek to English translation of Aeschylus’ PROMETHEUS.
 
3–“A Greek to English Translation of Aeschylus’ PROMETHEUS.”  This is an interlinear translation of Greek-English; I typed in the Greek including diacritical markings with an interlinear English translation–almost a word for word translation.  There are accompanying definitions of words, including accidence , as well as comment where needed.  While I do not pretend to orginality, I made the effort to increase my knowledge of Greek vocabulary and grammar.
 
4–A Power Point  of Ancient Greek Participle :  Forms and Syntax.
 
I expect in another few days to add the concluding chapter to THE DIATLECTIC OF INTERPRETATION, as soon as I proof read and make corrections.  The work was begun on an orginal MAC, and then with the Windows XP Word 2000, then converted to Word 2003, then to Word 2007 when I bought this new computer this past July.  But with every change, The Greek material was lost and has to be retyped, no small effort considering the amount of work I had done and considering that every diacritical mark has to be replaced and re-inserted.
 
I had begun my study of Hebrew almost fifteen years ago and almost 12 years ago at Berkeley’s Lehrhaus Judaica.  Of course, they, or fellow students, are not responsible for any of the content.  I audited  Hellenic Greek classes at San Francisco State Univeristy, to which I owe profound gratitude for allowing my presence in their class.  Lehrhaus Biblical Hebrew class examines the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin text so these ancient languages become a living experience:  in modern parlance–in the zone.
 
The picture is not included for vanity but to provide evidence that I am the sole author of these works; in a day and age of internet hoax etc, and identity theft, this photo asserts my identity and my right to publish these works on line. 
 
Steven Torrey
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