Tuesday, May 24, 2016

O ye children of Benjamin,
gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem,
and blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem:
for evil appeareth out of the north,
and great destruction.

I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.

The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her;
they shall pitch their tents against her round about;
they shall feed every one in his place.

Prepare ye war against her;
and let us go up at noon.
Woe unto us!
for the day goeth away,
for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.

and let us go by night,
and let us destroy her palaces.

For thus hath the Lord of hosts said,
Hew ye down trees,
and cast a mount against Jerusalem:
this is the city to be visited;
she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.

As a fountain casteth out her waters,
so she casteth out her wickedness:
violence and spoil is heard in her;
before me continually is grief and wounds.

Be thou instructed,
O Jerusalem,
lest my soul depart from thee;
lest I make thee desolate,
a land not inhabited.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts,
They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine:
turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.

To whom shall I speak,
and give warning,
that they may hear?
their ear is uncircumcised,
and they cannot hearken:
the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach;
they have no delight in it.

Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord;
I am weary with holding in:
I will pour it out upon the children abroad,
and upon the assembly of young men together:
for even the husband with the wife shall be taken,
the aged with him that is full of days.

And their houses shall be turned unto others,
with their fields and wives together:
for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land,
saith the Lord.

For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness;
and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly,
when there is no peace.

Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
they were not at all ashamed,
neither could they blush:
therefore they shall fall among them that fall:
at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down,
saith the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord,
Stand ye in the ways,
and see,
and ask for the old paths,
where is the good way,
and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.
But they said,
We will not walk therein.

Also I set watchmen over you,
Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.
But they said,
We will not hearken.

Therefore hear,
ye nations,
and know,
O congregation,
what is among them.

O earth:
I will bring evil upon this people,
even the fruit of their thoughts,
because they have not hearkened unto my words,
nor to my law,
but rejected it.

To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba,
and the sweet cane from a far country?
your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

Therefore thus saith the Lord,
I will lay stumblingblocks before this people,
and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them;
the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

Thus saith the Lord,
a people cometh from the north country,
and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.

They shall lay hold on bow and spear;
they are cruel,
and have no mercy;
their voice roareth like the sea;
and they ride upon horses,
set in array as men for war against thee,
O daughter of Zion.

We have heard the fame thereof:
our hands wax feeble:
anguish hath taken hold of us,
and pain,
as of a woman in travail.

Go not forth into the field,
nor walk by the way;
for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.

O daughter of my people,
gird thee with sackcloth,
and wallow thyself in ashes:
make thee mourning,
as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation:
for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.

I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people,
that thou mayest know and try their way.

They are all grievous revolters,
walking with slanders:
they are brass and iron;
they are all corrupters.

The bellows are burned,
the lead is consumed of the fire;
the founder melteth in vain;
for the wicked are not plucked away.

Reprobate silver shall men call them,
because the Lord hath rejected them.


Benjamin said...

It's hard not to read Jeremiah chapter six as some kind of political allegory. Changing times, or growing personal awareness? As a youth, I'd've dismissed this as the flowery nonsensical meanderings and not really comprehend what its basis or reality was, but today it seems more like a poetic treatment of civil and cultural war.

Incense of Sheeba and sugar cane offends one side's moral sensibilities? A cursory web search suggests that contemporary research now postulates ( here ) that it may have been psychoactive, tamping down depression and anxiety, bringing a calm. Is this really any different than ideological opposition to cannabis today in our more contemporary zeitgeist?

Sugar is just bad for you in any purified quantity, and so I dig what they were saying, there. I wonder if it was all just political opposition to the economics of those respective trades and that they were connected to spirituality... Maybe they meant something and felt true to some worshipers and offended others' sensibilities and didn't resonate emotionally; could it have simply been two groups experiencing the same things, differently?

Hey, I'm going to be visiting PA between June 25-28th or so, visiting a friend in Baltimore Jun 29-30, and then attending the 'Escape Velocity' sci-fi convention/mini-expo in National Harbor, MD, July 1-3. While I'm in PA, I hope to visit the State College area, are you around that week? Want to meet up?

Mitch H. said...

I'll be around, I have no travel plans. Bill Johnston's talking about coming up here for the fourth of July with players to be determined later for some sort of get-together at the Weavers' place, I guess Matt Pyson's under the weather and couldn't host his usual Fourth gathering down in Norristown?

Benjamin said...

I'm still solving the "travelling salesman" problem. It looks like I may be down around Davis, WV, visiting my younger brother and his family there Monday Jun 27th through AM of Tues Jun 28th, and then come up to State College/Bellefonte via Davidsville/Johnstown, arriving by late afternoon (??). Still haven't figured out whether I should try to crash on someone's couch or just book a spot at a Bellefonte B&B.

I'm not sure what I want to do with myself up there. Hike Mount Nittany or Shingleton Gap? Visit campus and see the change? Try to round up anyone willing to BS at dinner? I was trying to see what was going on with PSSFS this summer, but all I can find is some PSI-FI stuff, and I seem to half-remember things are ... different, now. Ah well...

Unfortunately, I won't be able to stick around long, probably going to need to head down to Baltimore on the 29th, though maybe not until late PM. But that itinerary is still not firm. What's your availability on the afteroon/evening of the 28th or morning of the 29th?

Mitch H. said...

The 28th is a Tuesday I think? I suppose we could grab dinner. I could ask around, but most of the old crowd have moved out of the county.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, or possibly on the 29th. It'll depend on how long I linger down there in Davis, WV, visiting my brother, and previously in Jefferson Hills / Pittsburgh the prior few days. I might meet up with Jason Gullickson at some point before heading up to Centre County. I thought I might visit my father's grave, but apparently step mother burned the body, so I suppose that's one less thing on my itinerary, but I thought I might meander through Johnstown and childhood memories on my way from WV to your neck of the woods... Plans are getting firmer with every passing day.

What's good eating up there, these days? Golden Wok still going. I have still not found a better General Tso's chicken than I remember they used to make? Maybe The Corner Room? Any more current favorites?

Wow, fewer and fewer used books stores in State College. There were so many, twenty years ago... I guess Webster's moved, a sub place moved in and apparently didn't last. A shame, I loved that funky storefront. Sounds like they're living on as much by being as cafe as not...

Mitch H. said...

There's a new Chinese place in the old Army recruiters' office on College that people say nice things about. And I have no idea what the bookstore situation is like in SC. I mostly use Kindle these days, my house is too cluttered to continue filling it up with physical media.

Benjamin said...

Whoops, my last may have come through as 'anonymous'

So, I'd be up for dinner, surely. I can think of Golden Wok and The Corner Room, but there may be some new favorite you might suggest--- I see things keep on changing. Fred Ramsey's bookstore moved, is it now in effect a cafe with attached used bookshelves? There were so many places to buy used books in 1996... :(

I might also be meeting up with Jason Gullickson when I'm out in western PA. My itinerary is still shaping up based on the availability of people, though I guess I won't need to worry about finding my father's grave-- apparently step mother burned the body. (Can explain in person and provide necessary missing context). My schedule my slide forward or back a day, but I should have things more firmed out by this time next week, I expect.

Benjamin said...

Aaah, okay. Well, we can always play it by ear (@ your 4:43pm reply)

Benjamin said...

Okay, after some hemming and hawing about "do I stay at a Bed+Breakfast, or a 'famous' hotel like the Atherton Hotel or Nittany Lion Inn or Hotel State College, I decided it was just a place to flop after all, and booked a room at the Rodeway Inn at 1040 N Atherton, still well within walking distance of campus and downtown, anyway. And so I've got a room there for a overnight stay from June 28th-29th. I'm not entirely positive when I'll get to town, I'm sort of figuring mid-afternoon and I'll be around. I'd love to meet up for dinner Tuesday evening, or plausibly even early lunch on Wednesday.

I haven't really decided for sure what else I'll do while around. I have a pent-up desire to revisit a short hike at Mount Nittany or even Shingleton Gap. I'd propose dinner on the 28th, at Golden Wok or the Corner Room. What do you think?

Mitch H. said...

I haven't been to the Golden Wok in years, but whatever you prefer.

Mitch H. said...

I haven't been to the Golden Wok in years, but whatever you prefer.

Benjamin said...

I'm probably chasing nostalgia by suggesting it. :) I haven't yet found its equal in making a crispy-textured General Tso's with the right balance of flavor and peppery heat, but then, maybe that's disappeared from their repertoire years ago. I don't think I want to chance my one dinner in town in a decade on a place that is an unknown, but if you know of some other new place that's excellent and you want to go, I'd accompany you. :) I also mentioned the Corner Room as a hedge, but let me know what appeals!

I think I want to try to get into 102 McAllister Building and cover the chalkboards with 'PSSFS WILL HAUNT FOREVER.' I was reading old attendance sheets and my (lame) answers on archive.org's waybackmachine copies of clubs.psu.edu/pssfs and feeling sad about the discontinuity and disruption to the campus society that united and still unites so many alumni. Maybe I need to start whispering in the ears of the Psi-Fi group that formed last month and try to reconnect them a deeper past they could yet claim... Though it may be a bad sign, that they thought Zuckerburg's Beast was a good way to organize; I can't even look in there, having nuked the Facebook account I should never have created as soon as the system allowed it...

I'm full of strong opinions, but am all ears as to what we could do. I might try to say hello to Joe Russo, as well. My cursory check of events suggested it was a quiet weeknight in Happy Valley, probably why I saw my choice of hotel rooms...

I wish I had more time, or better timing, for my visit. Will you be attending any cons this year? The last OTAKON at the BCC? Anything on the Sci-fi track?

Mitch H. said...

You should probably check a head of time to see where Joe will be, his family is going through some rough times right now.

Mitch H. said...

You should probably check a head of time to see where Joe will be, his family is going through some rough times right now.

Benjamin said...

Re: Russo, no point in trying to coordinate; I won't really be able to change my itinerary much. It either works out or it doesn't, this visit. I'll say 'Hello, thanks again for being a positive force in my life when I needed a helping hand, I'm doing alright and I still wish you all the best...' I'm sorry to hear that his family may be going through a hard time, and I feel great sympathy, being no stranger to familial pain, myself.

Heh, you're pointedly quiet on the other stuff I brought up. I'm serious about haunting chalk messages from PSSFS, maybe with some photos to distribute to friends... :) What would you think about someone curating some sort of Internet presence for PSSFS Alum to rally around? Or is there some other community (OTAKON?) that still holds a quorum of them?

Mitch H. said...

I don't really do anything with the university crowd these days. I wasn't even aware there was a successor SF club. A couple years ago I realized I wasn't young anymore and I was starting to verge on creeper by hanging out with college students, so I stopped.

Benjamin said...

Oh Mitch, some cultures venerate age as a mark of experience and a harbinger of wisdom! Besides, PSSFS was never an undergraduate-only society, and it's rightful for alumni to be associated. Creepy would be, I don't know, fondling the kids. I think the Penn State Administration has done more of that than any alum. But I agree it would probably be going too far to try to organize or run their affairs, and yet, at the same time, the society was never undergraduate-only. Especially now, if there is no student-operated PSSFS, wouldn't the timing be better than ever to create an alumni-centered organization?