Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Some People Are Obnoxious


It’s Christmas, supposedly the natal day of Yeshua – Jesus. But truly, it is not. We celebrate a pagan holyday. To the ancient Romans, it was Sol Invictus. The Zoroastrians adored Mithra. God, he was gorgeous. The pagan Greeks had Helios, who was supposed to blind you with his dazzling looks. What is the point of all this? What we are truly commemorating is the spirit of Love and Peace that Jesus brought. So, as a Catholic, I say “Amen” to all that.

What I am against is the tabula rasa dislike, contempt or even detrimental hatred for all Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etcetera, etcetera, and etcetera. That means any individual who claims to belong to an organized religious group.

Yes, I am of noble birth. The smart granddaughter of a Kuwaiti billionaire once asked me "Auntie Bella, what does being a Contessa mean?”

“It means that my family has the ability to trace its origins for six hundred years. It means that members of my illustrious and not so illustrious family robbed, sacked, slaughtered, and fought more wars than the average blokes. We have been in the business of war, money and learning longer than most. That’s all," I replied.

It means that we lived by nobles oblige. We looked after our own farmers, vassals and soldiers first if we were under attack. They were our families as much as our own. Sometimes we shared the same DNA because a Count or a Duke would lust after a pretty peasant girl. Rarely was physical rape involved. Moral rape? Most surely, for who would be hare-brained enough to turn down the sexual advances of one’s Patron and Master? In my family so far as I know, natural children were looked after very well. If they were good-looking and bright, they hit the jackpot. That would keep any legit kid on his or her toes. You had better believe it.

I know of quite a number of natural children (I dislike using the word illegitimate) who went on to Harvard Law School, Oxford for the Humanities and Johns Hopkins for Medicine. Some legitimate ones did not make the grade and it was decided that a good local University was good enough for them. Now that is Nepotism at its most positive.

I am against name calling of any ethnic group or race. It dehumanizes an individual. Since most of nobility is have mixed blood, a very wise action that it is therefore counter-productive to use ugly words to describe a certain nationality. You might be spitting on your own genes. Heaven Forbid.

The ancient Romans used to say, "Those who spit at the sky, find their spittle splattered all over their face.” That statement is full of philosophy.

Take my example. My paternal great-grandmother Du-Dai was Chiu Chao Chinese and Bicolana Filipina. When she was baptized she took the name of Apollonia. She was rich in liquidity and in gold, therefore she was addressed as Dona Apollonia.

My great-grandfather an aristocratic giant from Asturias, Northern Spain married the Dona because he was a land tycoon with little cash.

The other paternal great-grandfather hailed from Frankfurt, Germany. Don Juan Buch was of Sephardic origin but converted to Catholicism. He was known as the Copper and Nitrate Titan because he owned all the copper and nitrate mines in Chile.

My grandmother, his daughter was called Zorayde. It is Aramaic in origin. He married a fabulously wealthy woman in Argentina, Eva Mendez, whose original name had been Mainz. Her family had also emigrated from Germany.

On my maternal side, my grandfather four times removed, Graf Field Marshall Camillo von Vacani served the Hapsburg Emperor. Indeed, he was Austrian. He organized the Italian and Spanish resistance against Napoleon. His 40 volumes on the Napoleonic Wars can be found in all the greatest libraries of the world. As Preceptor to the Archduke Karl he played an influential role in his education. Vacani also drafted the Treaty of Florence, which established the Grand Duchy of Parma for Empress Maria Louisa von Hapsburg, wife of Napoleon. Three wives preceded him in death. He was nearly 90 years old when he died as Military Governor of Monzon, in the province of Aragon, Spain. In his eighties while still vigorous, he married an Italian Contessa much younger than himself and heiress to vast lands in Aragon as well as in Portugal.

Thus, because of my Teutonic, Italian, Castilian, Jewish and Chinese Ancestry, I would not tolerate being called a Kraut, a Wop, or Dago, a Spick, a Kike or a Chink. I would not react as violently as the Bossman, the one and only Sinatra, but then my liver has never known the delights of being soaked in huge amounts of Jack Daniels. I hasten to add that I share Sinatra’s feelings totally.

It upsets me to call black Africans Niggers, which is why I never do it. If I know from whence they hail, I prefer to say Kenyan, Senegalese, Congolese or Ugandan- as an example.

I refer to the people from Iran as Iranians. If they are in India, most of them are of Parsee or Zoroastrian in origin. It is a monotheistic religion and not pagan as most people think. Some of the world’s richest families are Farsi or Parsee from India, just so you know.
Those from Saudi-Arabia to me are Arabs, although strictly speaking those from the Persian Gulf and Yemen are Arabs as well. I say Kuwaiti, UAE, and Yemenite.

People from Pakistan are Pakistani not Pakis. That is demeaning and I will not stoop low.

I will admit that there are some vulgar Jews who behave in a most offensive manner. Some Catholics are so obnoxious I cannot stand them. The same applies to ignorant, rabid and backward Protestants. I will never defend a Muslim man who beats his wife or disrespects women. Hey, I won’t tolerate that from any creature with a penis. Agnostics can be a pain at Christmas. You Agnostics out there do not expect presents under the Tannenbaum – Christmas tree or near the crèche, clear? And you Atheists do not open your mouths to enlighten us. We have heard it all before. You are usually Communists or Marxists or something left. You are free to join in the celebratory dinners and cheers. Please don’t get habitually drunk as skunks. Ca Va?

I shall end this Christmas missive with a true story as recounted by writer Erich Maria Remarque. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his "All Quiet On The Western Front.”

It was Christmas Eve in Surabaya, Indonesia. The sleazy bar was even sleazier and more riotous than ever. Blackouts were frequent in the thirties because rats kept gnawing at the electric cables, which some corrupt Dutch engineers had placed on the ground in order to pocket the rest of the money.

The owner of the bar was a man who had gone native long ago. He called himself a Gringo but no one knew from where and he never told anyone. No one dared ask him because Trader Joe’s was the best dive in the Archipelago. The drinks he created were beyond non-pareil. As the lights came and went. Joe would welcome his clients.

“Hello there, you bloody limey, Grab yourself a seat you bog dweller. A! Frenchie the Frog, good to see you. Be of good cheer, slitty-eyed Li. Good evening Giovanni, you’re such a sop, you wop. At last, the kikes are here for a bit of Christmas cheer. The place is filling up. I see the monkeys are here”(in reference to the Malays)

The new man at Trader Joe’s observed these pleasant exchanges. He was puzzled. Joe hugged every man he greeted affectionately with those appellatives. They reciprocated by laughing and hugging him back.

“Excuse me my good man. I am a new arrival. Actually I am the new Minister at the Lutheran Church. Allow me to ask you a few questions.”

Trader Joe cracked up and replied. Shepherd, ask away, but make it short because I have a long line of dear people I have to look after.” The young Pastor swallowed hard a few times and decided to live dangerously just once.

“You don’t seem to like anyone that comes in here. You call all of them names. Who do you like?”

For a few minutes the whole place rocked with joyous laughter. Then Trader Joe gazed into the eyes of the young well-intentioned Pastor.

"I love my friends. All these people are my friends. I call them names with love and affection. We all lead dangerous and mysterious lives in Indonesia. No real names are ever used. So I resort to calling out to them by their ethnicities. If anyone dares to use the word limey, wop, spick, chink, kraut, or kike in my presence, I’ll know it is spoken in anger and I’ll slit his or her throat. You understand now Shepherd?"

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