Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Years With Proust - Day 559

I had come to learn from my experience of life that it was a mistake to smile a friendly smile when somebody made fun of me, instead of getting angry.  But this absence of self-importance and resentment, if I had so far ceased to express it as to have become almost entirely unaware that it existed in me, was nevertheless the primordial vital element in which I was steeped.  Anger and spite came to me only in a wholly different manner, in fits of rage.  What was more, the notion of justice, to the extent of a complete absence of moral sense, was unknown to me.  I was in my heart of hearts entirely on the side of the weaker party, and of anyone who was in trouble.  I had no opinion as to the proportion in which good and evil might be blended in the relations between Morel and M. de Charlus, but the thought of the sufferings that were in store for M. de Charlus was intolerable to me.  I would have liked to warn him, but did not know how to do so.
Marcel Proust, The Captive, pp. 293-294

Proust continues to ruminate on the trials and tribulations of M. de Charlus, and whether or not he will end up in trouble as his homosexuality becomes more widely known and more people take an interest in using it against him.  Marcel is troubled by the threat of impending trouble for M. de Charlus, no matter how pretentious and annoying the Baron was normally, and he was worried about whether or not he should try and share the information with him.  Proust reports, "I was in my heart of hearts entirely on the side of the weaker party, and of anyone who was in trouble."  Whether or not we can believe Proust or not, and, truthfully, I do believe him, it's hard to read this and not think of our mad king Trump's decision to end Obama's Dreamers program.  I'm amazed, not because it's cruel and heartless and stupid, but how one little orange assclown can be so routinely cruel and heartless and stupid (I think we've figured out his default setting).  That said, what I'm horrified by is the passionate support that so many American "Christians," who I've just taken to referring to on Twitter as alt-Christians, can be so thoughtless and cruel, never mind the fact that they're supporting the most morally bankrupt president on record.  I want to think that, beyond the teaching of Jesus with whom they seem to be completely unfamiliar, that people are supposed to possess a natural sense of compassion for their fellow human beings.  It's like we've (or at least the 34% who actually voted for Trump) have become a nation of sociopaths.  In our faith we're taught, in addition to fighting against injustice, we're supposed to be compassionate and dedicated to the well-being of our fellow humans, and one of the biggest reasons why we're so adamant on those topics is because of our love of the teaching of Jesus.  Who knew that in the Bizarro Christianity in Bizarro America it would be the Muslims who would end up being the better Christians.

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