Joan, thanks from your encouragement on Pot Stories. I'm writing a little summery of each piece and I'm really having fun just going over this stuff. There're 27 separate pieces, each with its own information and lessons to be learned. And the diversity of history and thought. All for three bucks.
True story: I was in a Manhattan Blarney Stone bar drinking fifty-cent beers. It was the mid-'80s. I got involved in conversation with a reporter for the New York Post, which happened to be depreciating in value and losing readership at the time.
I told him, "Look at this headline: what a disgrace. It’s becoming a rag. The Post was founded by Alexander Hamilton, y-know. What-d-ya call this headline? Began to Knesset, "SORRY RON DUMPED ME."
He didn't even frown, like it was nothin'. "Look man, the New York Post is the most entertainment you can possibly buy for a quarter!”
So, thirty years later, I really feel that Pot Stories is the most entertainment and information you could possibly buy for five bucks. (And it's only three now. I'm raising the price soon.)
I really love reading Barbara. That stuff on the gnostics, most people have no idea who they were because the church did such a great job persecuting them and obliterating their memory. Barbara is an expert on the period.
Did you get to "The Islamic Holocaust"? As I said she was an early feminist writer and the level of compassion for Islamic women is extraordinary. It's institutionalized misogyny. Just that piece alone should be more read to expose the horrors that Islamic women at going through. Only world zeitgeist can change things.
Dig this: Outrageous. Believe me, Barbara Walker is one of the best historians I ever came across. She rivals Will and Ariel Durant in footnoting and documentary skill. She's not making up the following. It's true. The west, not just Christians, should be rubbing the mullahs' noses in it and crying out loud: This is Islam!
From Barbara's essay:
"In Atlanta in 2008... twenty-five-year-old Sandeela Kanwal was killed by her father because she was seeking a divorce from the designated husband... When Ayaan Hirsi Ali went on a one-woman crusade to get the Dutch police simply to keep track of the number of honor killings in Holland, she was scorned for exaggerating the problem -- until a pilot program in just two of the country's twenty-five regions found eleven such killings from October 2004 to May 2005. After the United States 'liberated' Iraq from the secular Baath Party regime and handed it to the Shiites, there were forty-seven documented honor killings in 2006 in Basra alone. Ayman Udas was killed by her brothers in Pakistan for bringing disgrace to the family by singing on television. Harry Potter film actress Afshan Azad was attacked and nearly killed by her father and brother this summer for dating a Hindu. A four-year-old Palestinian girl who was raped by an adult was allowed to bleed to death, to preserve the family's honor.”
A historical note on this: With the advent of Emperor Hirohito in 1926, Japan took on an ultra nationalist, military, supremacist regime called the Shōwa Period. By the ‘30s, the country was so immersed in their power absolutely no dissent or criticism of the government was tolerated. Free speech was eradicated. Same as in Germany, thousands were either assassinated or send to prison. In the early thirties, the junta was so powerful it invaded Manchuria, and the Nanking Massacre is well documented with 350,000 people was killed, many by being buried alive.
My point is suppressing and abolishing free speech leads to horror. We are witnessing many horrible acts right now and we should make the connection between the Charlie Hebdo incident and the atrocities we read in the media every day.