An English In Kentucky


















Friday June 21st 2019Tim Candler9


    Mention the name Plutarch and while it makes it sound as though you know what you're talking about, there's also a very good chance it makes you sound like a boring old pompous ass. Either way any mention of Plutarch should rightly cause some sort of reaction, so go ahead. The same can be said of course for the State of Missouri. Plutarch was a writer who did ancient biographies of ancient men. In his biography of a famed General of the Roman Republic called Lucullus, Plutarch records Lucullus' progress toward  Eastern Turkey into a territory controlled by Tigranes the Great, and Plutarch mentions this:  "The first messenger, that gave notice of Lucullus' coming was so far from pleasing to Tigranes that he had his (the messenger's) head cut off for his pains; and no man dared to bring further information. Without any intelligence at all, Tigranes sat while war was already blazing around him, giving ear only to those who flattered him." Freud had a rather kindly explanation for this sort of neurosis, he suggested that the whole shooting the messenger thing was a 'take no notice' defense, it was a way of dealing with distressing, unbearable facts or news.



   The Church developed a form of shooting the messenger, they had a wide ranging set of arguments, as a messenger you could beg for forgiveness and if you were stubborn you were declared a heretic, which meant that when you died you went to hell. Nor was the Church that fond of fancy new ideas from so called scientists, all of whom were inches away from being possessed by demons and it was really only fair to burn a few at the stake as an example to other poor souls. The tyrannical tend to a version of shooting the messenger which is currently on full display here in the United States. What you do is put your faith in good messengers, there'll always be one, and then should the bad messengers have found secure employment in something like the EPA, you cut the departments funding, you move the department to a part of your territory that no one with an inch of imagination or anything like a spark of interest in the future would want to be relocated to. A little cruel to Kansas City on my part perhaps, unnecessarily vicious, a little over the top but at the same time I'm certain that even in Missouri they have their own way of knowing whether the truth hurts.



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