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chad
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Democratic principles- its time to reveal who we are

This seemed to be a no brainer to me- whether we are union based on democratic principles or simply a commercial or an economic union. It was the argument during the civil war and surfaces frequently.

So....as an example, I can't sit in your classrooms and feel that I'm free if I feel have to go to school. I would be afraid of an "unfree existence" or a "life" sentence of any kind- these things exist in our society, in and out of prison. And if you feel that someone isn't talking to you out of this fear, then you can talk to him/her, but I don't know how effective communication would be in this kind of society anyway. We didn't want to ever go there throughout my life, we just continued as stupidly as we ever did, and, if I complain, people just take the little freedom that I had and threw me in hospitals and prions. This is how wonderful we are in the US. So, I side with the economic union argument, not one formed on democratic principles.

What say you?

Chad
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Re: Democratic principles- its time to reveal who we are

The US history books usually cite British acts which favor English businessmen as precursors to the war, but our Declaration of Independence leads me to believe that we separated on matters of principles.

It makes little difference in Moby: Nature forms whales or unions which swallow other living things. We sometimes don't know whether we are fast fish or loose fish; we sometimes can't see the surface of our skin--we could be inside a whale and not know it. We could be pulled the by the gravitational forces of the sun, or the principles of a democracy, and not be able to escape.

lucky, lucky,

Chad

But no matter what, we are still part of this earth, as far as I know. Not any space cadets out there that I know of, are there?
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suicide

Melville opens his novel with a suicide. Ishmael compares himself to Cato, who throws himself upon the sword. with a philosphical flourish, when he takes to the ship. Another character, Bulkington, a southerner, would later throw himself from the ship. I think Melville might say that Ahab and Starbuck represent mind and body, respectively. The mind of a suicide victim pulls the body to its demise, against the body's own will to survive.

So, hypothetically, my mind or my will wasn't strong enough to form a new whale of my own, and I am left with no choice but to take my own life. Or, to take Cato's situation, the will of the masses, led by Caesar, was all powerful. Cato could not break away from Rome with his own philosophy- it would not be strong enough to muster his own army. It's an interesting story.


The American civil war might be one with which you're more familiar. The confederate states could not break away from the union. The union won. I don't condone slavery, obviously, but Melville makes a strong case that we had something similar to slavery in the north anyway. Probably, semantics to Melville.

But to close: my body would be a slave to my mind. Suicide is an extreme example. It's hard to imagine that it actually happens.

Chad
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war

[ Edited ]
A Moby world is a world where the philosophy of one man's mind creates an invisible layer of skin around a multitude of people, thereby creating a large whale, metaphorically speaking. As an example, Hitler might be the mind of the Nazi party, creating a large whale, which would either try to swallow other countries to survive or destroy itself- commit suicide. Interestingly, Hitler committed suicide.

Or perhaps there are larger whales which we heither have difficulte seeing or which we cannot see- whales whose skin is not so visible, created my minds like Pythagoras for example. In fact, a whale might become so large, it might appear that Nature is commiting suicide, as depicted in the painting at the Spouter Inn.

So, a war is not a war necessarily, but could be a suicide. The final war would be something holocostal, but also something akin to a whale impaling itself on three masts...and its difficult to imagine a philosophy strong enough to swallow a whale, but democratic principles swallowed the northern right whale to form the union in the 1800's, and whale hunting continues today...

That's the Moby way of thinking! So I ask again, "Hast thou seen the white whale?"

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 08-30-2007 11:17 AM
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tattoos, Iraq and 9/11

[ Edited ]
Nature tattoos our skin naturally- I usually wear sun block. But, the sun marks our skin, as the ice in the sea marks the skin of the whale.

My guess is the source of religion would be somewhere in the middle east- religion is often cited as the reason we are currently there. Terrorism would be a white whale that would be difficult to see. Regime analysis in policy and political science could have began with Moby Dick, but I never hear the book cited as the impetus of modern- day political science. Had we read this one a little better, who knows?

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-01-2007 08:17 AM
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Re: tattoos, Iraq and 9/11 continued

[ Edited ]
Note 1: Regime theory looks like it began a lot later than the 1800's. The question would be whether we glean anything from Moby to enhance our understanding or improve regime theory. Philosophy and religion occasionally eludes regime theorists, and, if I'm inside a whale, I would have a limited view of the world around me. Ahab was literally within a whale, but continues to ask "Have you seen the white whale?"

Note 2: Zoroastrian religion may be the beginning of religions, and the founder was possibly from a region around Afghanistan. The sects that have derived from the original zoroastrian religion have become quite large, and, having become large whales ourselves, we may now approach the apocolyptal stories found in religions or resemble the painting at the Spouter Inn. The final battle, I hope, if we survive the battles of the whales here on earth, will be our battle with the sun. At that point, everything will have converged: good and evil, man and whale, land and sea, black and white... space exploration is/"will have to" be a cooperative effort among nations. Our war effort in the middle east would be a drain on NASA's funding.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-02-2007 11:25 AM
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Re: tattoos, Iraq and 9/11 continued

The sun is not always around and fire dies. This could have been the beginning of good(warmth and light) and evil(darkness and cold) concepts of religion.

But, remember, language, like nature, has a ghostlike but a magical "now you see it, now you don't" quality about it. We sometimes see language can appear on the surfaces of our buildings(hieroglyphics), skin(tattoos), ivory(scrimshaw), just to name a few things. But sometimes we may never see all that is written on our skin, and we are at a loss to discern how we might be connnected to the world and each other. The important tattoos are those we get from the sun. The tattoos were a bit more revealing on the sailors in the 1800's.

And our languages imitate Nature. The sun can disappear behind clouds, day turns into night, the water turns white, smoke evaporates into thin air, just like the whale's spout. So, the question might not be, "Will our languages destroy the world?, but as languages are characteristic of Nature herself, the questions might be, "Is Nature inherently self-destructive? Can it last? Can we understand connections that we can't see?"
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democratic principles

There is a marraige between business objectives and democratic principles in our country and it's difficult to decide whether we are a union built upon principles or commerce, or whether our motives are principled or commercial, but both can be equalizing forces, keeping us gounded on earth, facing the tyranny of the sun. So I guess, it's Moby with a bite.. for the most part done well, I think. I don't know, I think its time for The Iliad.

Chad
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The truth

The truth is we're just union made with the whales.
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Ahab's chart- you asked for it

[ Edited ]
Ahab literally controls the fate of the whales on his chart. The movement of whale pod's around the world is recorded on, what might be, the actual skin of the whale. The lines of Ahab's face become the lines of the chart, and vice versa, and Melville creates the feeling that the chart is literally an extension of Ahab's mind. More broadly, the tails of the whales unfurl a layer of parchment or a new layer of skin on top of the world. As the whaling ships of the 1800's track whale pods, gaining new insights and information about the world around them, information recorded on whale skin or parchment, they literally amalgamate the world under a new layer of skin and the earth becomes sort of a new organism- a union of whale and man. The minds of the whaling captains or the mind of Ahab might be at the center of this union. Democracy perhaps?

But our fates are now under more control- we are now under a new layer of skin. And what's worse? Everything under this new layer of skin is a possible subject to Ahab's mind. But what's that? I think I see a cross in Ahab's forehead. Do the lines of the cross become the lines in his face, which later become the lines of the chart?

Some of the symbols and images that influence Ahab appear on the chart, and some are not visible. In other words, our fates are contolled by Ahab's mind, but we do not know all that drives Ahab to hunt the whales- not all of his influences appear on the chart or skin. Influential images sometimes appear on our skin, some do not. But religion is obviously one driving force of Ahab- the Pequod is a Quaker-run operation.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-04-2007 08:41 AM
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Ahoy matey!

 
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Ahoy matey!

[ Edited ]
So I began the forum with my "ahoy matey!" comment and I wanted to stop there. I hinted at people being unable to feel. Melville may have believed that we have too many layers of skin- our senses are "dulled" in some way. Like Ishmael, we have tp "take to the ship!" Melville probably (Ishmael?) experienced a society that commiserates and actually chanced upon a church group and said "Don't go there!&quot-- "Wailing" in other's misery can swallow you alive, and so does the religion, burying you in another layer of skin. Indeed, The Bible has its own whale story.

Break through those layers of commiseration that takes place in bars across the country! Wrench your hearts from your souls! --they are but words, and being such, they carry the same meaning!

Chad

Religions are different, but church services meet in one place and time. Religions can be at war- regardless.

Message Edited by chad on 09-04-2007 08:45 PM
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three

[ Edited ]
Numbers have some religious significance and appear throught Moby. The important point to remember is that numbers, like letters are visual symbols. Ahhhhhh...that my fate could be determined by a number, as when Ahab makes a third attempt to hunt the white whale! In other words, the significance and the meaning of the number three has bound me to my fate. It's almost like the number itself is/becomes a philosophy.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-05-2007 10:55 AM
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Rachel

[ Edited ]
Rachel was very beautiful and was considered to be one of the matriarchs of the Jewish nation/religion, but our eyes can decieve us or lead us astray. Rachel might be symbolic of language which can either lead us astray or help form a nation or both. The name "Rachel" is religious and feminine which also probably has some significance, but I'd say that language is the main theme or "vessel."

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-06-2007 12:57 AM
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trashing religion

This is an era of transcendentalism. Melville would probably say that religion removes us from our world around us. So, you wouldn't want to walk on water. You might sound like Ahab's pegleg tapping on the deck, reminding us of something impervious or own mortality. You would want to somehow connect to the ocean below you.

Chad

Land was claimed in the name of religion. Bodies of water and lands were named after saints, and borders surrounded the name. See Mohican, by Fennimore-Cooper.
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Re: trashing religion

[ Edited ]


Message Edited by chad on 09-08-2007 09:11 AM
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Re: trashing religion

[ Edited ]


Message Edited by chad on 09-08-2007 09:10 AM
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trashing religion cont.

Early Sun Priests might have had difficulty explaining to worshippers why the sun goes down, or disappears behind clouds or an occasional eclipse. But our modern-day Christianity also retained evanescent characteristics found in Nature. Christianity is embodied one visual symbol of the cross, but our God is someone that we cannnot see, someone we're not supposed to visualize, for example.

Chad
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the union, the whaleocracy or the U.S. and whale hunting

I think we now have to let the whale decide his own fate in U.S. waters. Melville believed that the union we formed hinged on the hunting of whales. In fact, in an 1800's government ripe with hypocrisy(I use this word here, because I don't think bathroom violations are necessarily hypocritical), the only truth was that we were a union of whale and man. As such, the whale is to a jury, a judge or a member of the cabinet. That we are a now union based on democratic principles is also debateable. A moratorium on all whale hunting within US waters should continue until democratic principles actually become principles, or until we form a "more perfect" union.

Chad
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Spain- a great wahle stranded on the sands of Europe.

[ Edited ]
The important point would be that Spain was referred to as a "beached whale" in extracts. To understand that a oountry could be a whale is to understand Moby. Also: Spain's economic interests mainly surounded gold and silver; the Spanish colonies became more self-sufficient through whaling enterprises. Although they separated from Europe, the colonies of Spain and other European countries would not relinquish their quest(lust?) for gold. In fact, gold would provide the motivation to hunt the whales; the gold doubloon would be the Pequod's motivation to hunt the white whale.

Spain was a probably a better idea for me personally, but I don't know....

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-10-2007 10:16 AM
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