Thursday, November 04, 2010

Beverly Giesbrecht reported dead. There is a change here?

I've written a number of posts on Beverly Giesbrecht, and there has recently been a fair amount of interest in some of those posts. Now we know why: She's reportedly dead. I took some slight interest in this lunatic because she's not only a Taliban-supporting fool, she lived across the way from me in Vancouver.

Here's some of the background, followed by news of her demise.


pattyjean said...

Her case is pretty sad, a lonely person who wanted to gain some kind of importance by joining a romanticised group. Isn't there a Daphne DuMaurier novel about a respectable woman who runs off and joins a band of pirates? That's the level on which this pathetic woman lived.

She was a traitor to her country, so my sympathy is very limited, but clearly there were mental problems, lots of them.

Incognito said...

what irony... but she died with those she loved. a little karma there too.

Kit said...


Dag said...

The lady is so much like some many I meet in North America, a middle aged woman with no stability in her life, no husband, no children, no greater family, no friends, no church, no society. It doesn't mean there are no people available to fill those roles, it's that they aren't filling those roles, for whatever reasons. So, a middle-aged woman flits from one fantasy solution to another, endlessly disappointed but hopeful of the next. I see it often, women "converting" to this or that, finding the right guy at long last, or the right woman, or the right religion, or the right exercise programme. No core. In this case, it lead to the Taliban and the grave.

If this were the case of a man, I'd have no sympathy at all, as in the case of J.W. Lihnd, or Gadhan, & c. I am indeed a sexist.

But I mock and humiliate Giesbrecht at every turn because of my concern for the protection of women. I use her as an example others might see and avoid becoming. Don't be like her.

At the same time, I am deeply troubled by the abandonment of Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist now in hiding from jihadis because of her naive attempt at multi-culti activism, the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" fiasco. Men generally have abandoned her, and in effect all women. If this is what Western men are, then maybe it's no wonder Western women feel little desire to be with them. I do not understand why there are not 150 million American men standing up for Molly Norris. That is a betrayal I cannot fathom.

Claude Adams said...

"Traitor to her country???" How so? Is Canada equivalent to Christianity? She challenged an ideology, a religious viewpoint. It may seem absurd to us; it made perfect sense to her. It's cruel to take any satisfaction in her death.

I'll go with Philo of Alexander: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

Dag said...

Claude, I take it you're asking if, although refuting the idea, that "authentic" Canadians are supposed to be Christians. I look at that as a straw man; but you're certainly welcome to comment any way you like here.

I see what I take to be a Left buzz word, "challenged," which I don't quite get your sense of. Perhaps you mean Giesbrecht was in some fashion trying to act out a Dadaesque performance to enlighten the masses bewildered by false consciousness? That might make her an enlightened figure in a Gnostic sense. She might well be so much more insightful than the rest of us that she indeed grasped some elemental truth that evades the rest of her fellows in Canada. Like the slave in Plato's cave, she might have seen beyond the illusion of the conspiracy to dupe the masses. If so, then yes, it would have made perfect sense to her. Unfortunately, reality, when it is private, is what others term mental illness and anti-social. True, revolutionaries are always ahead of the masses, and perhaps we are all destined to become willing dhimmis if not outright Muslims. You seem to be ahead of us in that.

But to quote a Hellenist Jewish proto-Christian Father, that betrays either a quick look at Fowler's Quotations or some deeper knowledge of Patristics and Gnosticism, which confuses me. I find that to be the case with nearly any and all Leftist commentators I encounter. The syncretism and moral relativism and the lack of linear sense is fairly consistent in Left argumentation, though I'm one of those who is stuck in the Logos and not really attuned to the Gnostic.

I think Giesbretch is a silly old woman who found herself socially exiled and was desperate for some way of justifying her exclusion from society, (her choice,) and of finding a way to "be special." It killed her. That she was involved only in a pursuit to redeem a failed life is hardly grounds for sympathy in the best case.

Regardless of our difference of approach, I do thank you for providing a chance to look at an alternative understanding of this incident.

pattyjean said...

Claude, I said that she was a traitor to her country because she supported the Islamic jihad online while she was in Canada, and then she went to Pakistan to assist the Taliban there. That's who the Canadian Army is fighting in Afghanistan...I can't believe I'm explaining this! Who did you think our forces are fighting overseas?

My calling her a traitor had nothing to do with religion, only with assisting one's country's enemies.

Dag said...

Patty Jean, this seeming confusion about the nature of Giesbrecht here might be due to me not going into detail about her career as the force behind "Jihad Unspun," a lunatic hate site she worked out of West Vancouver. She was a full-blown propagandist for bin Laden et al. She was a serious menace and traitor to the ground. I've written about Giesbrecht numerous times at this blog, and I should have made plain that she is an evil, if fundamentally stupid, woman. If I had recapped the details above, then maybe-- maybe-- some would have tried less hard to excuse her behaviour.

This particular post is of interest to a larger audience, and thanks to the commentators that larger audience will find more detail than I included above. Thank you all for that.

truepeers said...

"Traitor to her country???" How so? Is Canada equivalent to Christianity?

-Christianity is the religion that goes to war with violence (with scapegoating and crucifixion). Obviously, that leaves it open to charges of "hypocrisy" as Christian warriors can lose themselves in violence; they ride a fine line between one side and the other.

-Islam is the religion that goes to war with the unbeliever, in the belief that uniformity of belief and submission will bring "peace". Obviously, that leaves it open to charges of hypocrisy as Islamic warriors never seem too peaceful themeselves, not least in their endless internecine fights against the inevitable alleged "apostates".

The white guilt implicit in Claude's comment is clearly more derivative (if a parody of) the Christian worldview; those Westernes who accuse a "traitor" are tagged with being crucifiers (but how often does Claude make such charges in reference to the daily news of mosque bombings in Pakistan, Iraq, or Afghanistan?).

If white guilt was central to BG's embrace of Islam, the question must be asked if the Taliban war against the unbeliever, and/or as represented in an antisemitic Jihadi website, can redeem that guilt. If not, as seems likely to me, she's a traitor to her own core religion though quite likely too foolish to have evern seen it.

It would appear that "Islam" can be a retreat for Christians and white guilters who fail in riding that fine line.

Dag said...

I think much of the current anti-Christianity is a manifestation of the usual conformity of people in groups, each looking at the others to see what is now popular, what by mimicking and extending will make the individual attractive to his fellows. Some just do the minimum to get along, saying what others say, not having any commitment to what they say at all, others, such as the commentator above trying to go beyond the truisms of the usual conformist into something "daring" and unique, failing in that effort from an inability to understand the basics of the concept in the first place, falling into what I write of as "grasping the rules but not the game." These are people I term "Conformity Hippies." When they go too far even for the lazy and stupid, I call them "Death Hippies."

The conformists and fools such as we see too often are those who live not as atheists per se but as post-Christians, as Truepeers points out. The base is lost while the superstructures, as it were, remain in some twisted fashion. Well over 100 years ago, Ernst Renan points out that with the lost of the Christian base there will remain a Christian gloss that will save people from the worst of nihilism, they not knowing why they remain more or less civilized, but that civilisation resting on the residue of their unknowing apeing of Christianity. to some extent Giesbrecht still had Christianity in the back of her tiny mind, but she had little else to give her life the solid form one needs to live a coherent life. Thus, one ends up flitting from one thing to the next in the forlorn hope of finding something, or anything, of genuine worth. Islam today, and if that fails-- Oh, wait. There is no way out of that!

truepeers said...

I agree. Gil Bailie recently put up a quote to similar effect:

The knowledge of what It means to be a person is inextricably bound up with the faith of Christianity. An affirmation and a cultivation of the personal can endure for a time perhaps after faith has been extinguished, but gradually they too will be lost.

As unbelievers deny the revelation more decisively; as they put their denial into more consistent practice, it will become the more evident what it really means to be a Christian. At the same time the unbeliever will cease to reap benefit from the values and forces developed by the very revelation he denies. Nietzsche has already warned us that the non-Christian of the modern world has no realization what it truly means to be without Christ. The last decades have suggested what life without Christ really is. The last decades were only the beginning.

– Romano Guardini , c.1949

However, I wonder about this:

The conformists and fools such as we see too often are those who live not as atheists per se but as post-Christians

-how can an atheist ever be anything other than some kind of post-theist? Human self-understanding cannot come, in the first place, from disbelief in God. It can only come from questioning why humanity is, in the first place, defined by its apprehensions of divinity. To see what it is like to live in a post-Christian world assumes one can see humanity in the light of an anthropology that has its origins in Judeo-Christian revelation.

Claude Adams said...

"I think Giesbretch is a silly old woman who found herself socially exiled and was desperate for some way of justifying her exclusion from society, (her choice,) and of finding a way to "be special." It killed her. That she was involved only in a pursuit to redeem a failed life is hardly grounds for sympathy in the best case."

Dag, I'm impressed that, from your Olympian perch , you are able to tell us what happened in the last moments of Giesbrecht's life, and to satisfy yourself she was in fact, evil, insane, a propagandist, silly and traitorous, and deserved to die. . . . and that you make these Old Testament pronouncements for the benefit of womankind everywhere.

Even if she were all those things, Dag, and even if you come honestly to your omniscience, is there room in your universe for compassion? I see a lot of pseudo-learning in your tangled sentences, but I don't see a beating heart.

Read Philo again. Or better yet, Longfellow: “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

There is ALWAYS a space for compassion and sympathy. That differentiates us from the reptile.

(And please don't be so quick to label me left, right or center. You may deduce nothing about my politics. Or does "caring" have a fixed and unmoveable place in your political spectrum?)

truepeers said...

Compassion is a euphemism for guilt - the recognition, as unfair, that we enjoy a superior position, on the social scene, to one or another "victim". One may induce (from that wide and fertile ground between omniscience and nihilism) that Claude has a politics of guilt.

Anyway, I want to know why one should feel compassion/guilt for what was, in effect, self-destructive behaviour even if this was but an instance of a larger cultural suicide. Obviously the "victim" was in a state of confounded passions - and one may well guess she did not understand why her world was such - but at what point do we not have to take responsibility for our own lives that we not end up seeking salvation among death cultists?

truepeers said...

I should add, that a close reader will see that in this instance Dag has shown the victim some degree of sympathy (by Dag's standards).

Dag said...

I think my "Olympian perch" from which I make "Old Testament pronouncements" is more likely simple authorial voice, but this prophetic old bird thanks you for the boost.

Truepeers, as always, gets to the heart of the matter. Yes, by my standards, I do indeed express some sympathy for Giesbrecht, and others like her.

Maybe had she spent some time with Tennyson she might have lived less unhappily in her final years, taking some solace in memory of... if only herself.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack'd with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.

Giesbrecht' path of glory lead to the grave; and in effect, she died alone. As it turns out, I happen to be one of the few people in this world today who writes about Giesbrecht at all. I'm as near as she comes to having a friend.

Claude Adams said...

Compassion as guilt--what an inane comment. It's precisely the opposite: the refutation of guilt, the understanding that we are a social construction, a sum of our relationships. Geisbrecht is the aggregation of all and everyone she experienced. That's precisely what Donne when he meant that none of us is an island. "What you do to one of mine you do to me." When you malign, you malign a part of yourself.

truepeers said...

Well, in order to refute guilt, you first have to feel it.

And the best way to "refute" it is to be aware of how and why we come to find ourselves on a scene where we become conscious of a victim.

It's not saying much to say our relationships are a social construction. Of course. The question is how are they constructed, how does the human generate itself? The problem with much of our "intellectual" life today is that the postmodern left takes the idea that relationships are constructed as some great insight that gives them license to spin the most elaborate conspiracy theories of just how "knowledge and power" are constructed, all in the name of some liberating deconstruction.

Those of us who attend soberly to the discipline of Generative Anthropology are aware that all culture and consciousnes is fundamentally scenic, i.e. constructed through uncontrollable, unpredictable events revealing of ethical significance. When we ask how events (or fictional or theoretical scenes) emerge as sources of shared significance we learn many things about the non-conspiratorial nature of social constructions.

One thing I've learned is that any notion of "compassion" has to emerge a moment after you are first struck by the awareness of a scene on which is found a pathetic victim. The initial moment when we find ourselves struck by the pathetic creature who serves to centre a shared scene for a periphery of onlookers only allows us two or three possible "gut" responses: we either feel resentment or shame-cum-guilt, or indifference (though the latter isn't so much a response as an inability to see oneself on the same scene as the "victim"). It is only after that initial blow that we can begin to mediate that initial feeling and develop notions such as "compassion".

But it is just the nature of "compassion" that it is a way of turning away from asking fundamental questions of how our scenic consciousness is constructed. It is a denial of our initial guilt or resentment and a denial of interest in why these are fundamental aspects of human nature.

In general, there is nothing wrong with guilt. It is the sign of a mature understanding of our shared covenant with the victim as divine placeholder. But we need to talk about it today because we have replaced a serious covenantal politics and faith with a victim-worshiping cult of white guilt which sacrifices to its conspiratorial "deconstructive" vanity any real ability to understand why we are shaped by core intuitions of resentment, guilt, love, equality, freedom, etc.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with "maligning myself", while recognizing that I share in the same human scene and mimetically-constructed identity as others. It is pointless to go on about how no man is an island unless we also recognize that none of us is free of original sin (i.e. of the sacrificial violence, such as BG's Jihadi website evidenced in spades) that is also an element in the construction (or deconstruction) of each and every human scene.

Dag said...

Comments here are welcome, and they don't even have to reach much of a standard to be so. What comments here must be, though, is in good faith. If not, I delete them.

truepeers said...

I didn't see whatever comment you deleted, Dag. But if it was a response to my comment, consider this: it would be highly understandable (though i think wrongheaded) if someone was shocked and appalled by that comment, which implies(following Gans' linked comments) that our feelings of resentment and guilt are neither animal emotions nor considered indvidual thoughts, but rather a basic structural relationship on the scene of representation. In other words, we experience resentment and guilt as part of the human order before we even have a moment to think about it or decide on it. That's an affront to our romantic notions of individual autonomy.

Dag said...

Now, that is a welcome comment.

I'm going to assume that not more than one in a million will know of Eric Ganz, but the comment stands on its own, familiarity with Ganz being a possible enhancement on it.

Not everyone, or even more than one in a million, would be able to leave a comment like that here, and it's not expected or hoped for. All I ask is that people are honest. The comment I deleted was, according to me, dishonest, and pissed me off as well. Being Blog God here, I can get away with my own wrath and feel not too badly about it.

truepeers said...

One in a million would mean about 7,000 people know of Gans, given current global population. I think Gans (sp.!) probably can claim that and more, as a moderately well-known American professor with a long career of teaching, though he can't claim that many seriously interested in his work, alas.

When you think long and hard about it, there is something everyone can aspire to that one could reasonably claim only one in a million could do. And that, ultimately, is what we are called to do.

truepeers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dag said...

I'm in no position to make any claims about Gans' importance to the world of ideas, though through you I can appreciate that he might be under-appreciated at an intellectual level. Early days, here, and one can never tell if he will end up as less than de Gobineau, for example, or par, or something better. Many interesting thinkers are buried under lack of general interest, even in thinking circles, a prime example of a good thinker being Julien Jaynes, a contributor to the world who doesn't get his due. But again, the game isn't over till it's over, which is likely to be past my point. So, I reserve judgement.