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Burn, Baby, Burn… A Nabokovian Dissertation…

March 24, 2010


An interesting thing, fire. A basic chemical process; the rapid oxidation of material during the process of combustion.
So simple…and yet so significant.
Nearly all land-based animals have an instinctive fear of fire, yet humans learned to conquer their innate fear of fire…and learned to use fire as a valuable tool for survival.
Greek myth suggests that fire was once a tool exclusively utilized by the Gods…until Prometheus stole it from the Gods and gave it to Man. Prometheus was severely punished for his transgressions, but Man has since prospered mightily as a result of his “stolen” gift.
Early sciences and philosophy incorporated fire, and its related elemental symbols, into their design.
For example:

–The Classical Greek Elements – Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Aether.
According to Galen of Pergamum, or Claudius Galenus, these elements were used by Hippocrates in describing the human body with an association with The Four Humours:
yellow bile (fire), black bile (earth), blood (air), and phlegm (water).

–The Western elements were seen as the basic building blocks of matter. The Chinese, by contrast, were seen as ever changing and moving forces or energies—one translation of Wu Xing is simply “the five changes“.
The Wu Xing are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device for systems with five stages; hence the preferred translation of “movements”, “phases” or “steps” over “elements”.
The doctrine of five phases describes two cycles of balance:
A Generating or creation (生, shēng) cycle and an Overcoming or destruction (克/剋, kè) cycle of interactions between the phases.


Wood feeds fire;
Fire creates earth (ash);
Earth bears metal;
Metal collects water;
Water nourishes wood.


Wood parts earth;
Earth absorbs water;
Water quenches fire;
Fire melts metal;
Metal chops wood.

–The Japanese traditions use a set of elements called the 五大 (Go Dai, literally “five great”). These five are earth, water, fire, air, and void. These came from Buddhist beliefs; the classical Chinese elements (五行, go gyô) are also prominent in Japanese culture, especially to the influential Neo-Confucianists during the Edo Period.

Earth represented things that were solid.
Water represented things that were liquid.
Fire represented things that destroyed.
Air represented things that moved.
Void represented things not of our everyday life.


It is no wonder that fire…both the process, the tool, and even the term “fire” itself…has such meaning for us.
So basic…yet so profound.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs and comments that I regard the defining characteristic of Americans as the proverbial “fire in their bellies”…a burning passion for freedom and opportunity and self-determination.
Over the past few decades, however, I’ve felt that the fire of rugged individualism…the cornerstone of the foundation for America’s greatness…was being superseded by a corruptive feeling of apathy. I sensed a creeping indolence that was infecting the general populace…I sensed it because I, myself, was being overcome with it during the 1990’s. Arguably, I seemed to snap out of my narcissistic funk before my proverbial flame was extinguished entirely. And with my eyes wide open, I saw what was going on around me: it seemed that more and more people were wanting to be “taken care of”, to be coddled.
In terms of living in a working Free Democracy, they wanted others the do the “heavy lifting”. And there seemed to be a group of people who were quite willing to provide that “lackadaisical comfort” to the masses. These so-called caretakers were all-too eager to wrap up the general populace in a blanket and care for them on their own behalf.
But theirs was a wet blanket…a wet blanket that they hoped would extinguish the fiery passions of rugged individualism.

In the cycle of the wu xing, water quenches fire.

Those who wished to extinguish the flames of freedom in America were themselves burning with passion…but not with a utilitarian fire. Theirs was a fire of hate…of destruction. They burn with a hatred of America, its symbolism, its concept of rugged individualism, and everything else it represents. They stewed in the fires of their caustic hate since the 1960’s and have slowly, meticulously been taking progressive steps towards extinguishing freedom’s flame in America…in the hopes of being able to turn their own burning hate outward in an effort to burn down the foundations of America’s greatness.
And to build their own narcissistic Utopia on the ashes of the old.

In the Japanese go dai, fire represents things that are destroyed.

Thankfully, I’ve recently noticed that our own fires of passion have been rekindled. After sitting idly by for years and years, people are finally standing up and speaking out against this move to exterminate our Torch of Freedom. We are witnessing our country slowly being burned down by the Progressive Left and rebuilt in their own image. The Progressive Left piously proclaim that the old ways were flawed, weak, and vulnerable. The Progressive Left claim that their new ways will be better for us all…more solid, more structurally sound. They proclaim that the old ways were weak…built on old wood (which would explain how their fires of hate could so easily burn it down). They proclaim that their new ways will be solid as steel; a system of strong men to carry the burdens of liberty on our behalf while they nurture us under the wet blanket of secure dependency
Steel Men…eager to embrace our responsibilities as Americans on our behalf.
The Serbo-Croation word for “steel men” is “stalin“.
Would it be too much of a reach to refer to these Progressive Leftist and their alternative system of government as “stalin“-esque…or “stalin“-ist?
I have no problem with making such a reference….because self-proclaimed Men of Steel will not withstand the passionate fires of Freedom.

In the cycle of the wu xing, fire melts metal.

But fire can also be used as a tool. And a tool can be used for creative, utilitarian purposes…and it can be used as a tool for destruction.
One fire in particular comes to mind:
Der Reichstagbrand…or The Reichstag Fire of 1933.

This wasn’t the type of fire that could be used to shape metal…it was the type of fire that was used to shape destinies.
In case you don’t know your history, The Reichstag Fire was regarded as the proverbial fulcrum that Hitler used to overthrow his political rivals, suspend civil liberties, and to consolidate power in Germany for the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany. Hitler seized upon the opportunity to fan the flames of anger & zealotry, utilizing inspirational speeches and a complicit propaganda machine thinly disguised as mass media in order to inspire Germany to rise from the ashes of their ignominious defeat in World War One and the fall of the Kaisers.
Hitler used passionate words of hateful bile in order to fan the flames of hate in his followers…while utilizing his sycophantic media to perpetrate Yellow Journalism to further inflame the populace.

In the four humours of Hippocrates, yellow bile symbolizes fire

In addition, The Reichstag Fire fanned the flames of hate among Hitler’s most devoted followers against what they perceived as opposition to their majestic reconstruction of their version of Germany. This, in conjunction with such later events as Kristallnacht and Die Endlosung Der Judenfrage would lead to one of the most momentous…and most horrific…events of the 20th Century.
The resulting fires of war claimed the lives of nearly 100 million people world wide.

It is still debated whether The Reichstag Fire was actually set by Marinus Van Der Lubbe and his Communist cohorts…or if it was actually caused by Hermann Goring, as claimed by Gen. Franz Halder.
But all that really matters is that Hitler saw a serious crisis and refused to let it go to waste.

And I am reminded of all this after reading about the numerous claims by the Mainstream Media that racial epithets were directed at black congressmen as they headed to the Capitol to vote on Obamacare.
All those cameras…all those recording devices..heck, even some of the congressmen themselves were carrying video recording devices (including some of the ones who claim to have been the targets of the racist invectives!)…

…yet nobody has been able to provide any proof that it actually happened.

But only a fool would let a serious crisis go to waste, right?
So now the Democrats, along with their Progressive supporters and a complicit Mainstream Media, are claiming that the Tea-Party Protesters are actively racist and are escalating their heated rhetoric into violent action.
In 1933, Hitler used The Reichstag Fire to push for the Reichstag Fire Decree, signed into law by Hindenburg using Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. This enabled then-Chancellor Hitler to enact legislation that would essentially suppress any political dissent…quenching the fires of freedom…and making way for him and his party to seize total control of Germany.

Today, hateful bile is being utilized by the likes of Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, David Axelrod, and Steny Hoyer.
And inflammatory Yellow Journalism is being utilized by the likes of Chris Matthews, Rick Sanchez, Frank Rich, Joe Klein, and Keith Olbermann.

Burns you up, doesn’t it?

It’s going to be tricky, but we need to watch out for any attempt by Obama and/or his followers to enact their own Reichstag Fire Decree against us.
Our fire, our passion, can be utilized as an effective tool in order to stop these “stalin“-ists who seek to torch The Constitution, smother out the flames of rugged individualism, and burn the USA down to its very foundation…and then gleefully piss on its smoldering ashes.

Let us kindle the fires of freedom, use the Torch of Liberty as our guide, and make them feel the resonating heat of our passions.
If we do this…without burning ourselves…we will truly, finally, happily be able to say these two words to those Progressives currently in power:

You’re fired“.


“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”-Rahm Emanuel
“Crisis is the rallying cry of a tyrant.”-James Madison

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Joshua permalink
    April 20, 2010 11:10 pm

    I really enjoyed the beginning of your blog. A cool redux of fire and elements throughout history. I was however, quite unimpressed by the gigantic leaps you make in your argument though. I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you mix fact with opinion with a weak argument then, ironically, you are guilty of the ” yellow journalism” that you, yourself, complained about.
    In your first leap, you infer that programs meant to help people are meant to be burdened by “steel men” and that Stalin is it’s translation in some language. That’s nice but where are the Democratic references, where they use these words…quotes and the like?
    Also you reference the NWSP and put it in bold print as to suggest a link to Socialism. Hitlechanged the name of his party because theideas of socialism were popular in Germanyat the time. He actually detested Socialism because it promoted equality amongst different races. Hitler was a Nationalist and a Facist but never a socialist so to link him that way is just silly.

    • Xian Do permalink*
      April 21, 2010 11:31 pm

      Hello, Joshua.
      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the beginning of my blog.
      I was, however, quite unimpressed by your insistence that I be held to such a high standard.
      For example:

      “I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you mix fact with opinion with a weak argument then, ironically, you are guilty of the ” yellow journalism” that you, yourself, complained about.”

      So…are you saying that I, and my measly little blog, are comparable to the NY Times and the Associated Press? If you are, than I thank you for the praise.
      Or, perhaps, you are alleging that they, and other Mainstream Media organizations, have reduced themselves to my level? I would vociferously agree that they’ve seriously diminished themselves in my eyes as well as others.
      But truthfully, I fail to see how anybody can compare little ol’ me, a lowly blogger who won’t even promote his own site, to The All-Powerful Main Stream Media.
      We are two completely different entities.
      The biggest difference between myself and the MSM, though….and a difference that you apparently missed…is that I don’t even pretend to be a journalist.
      I just express my opinion here…that’s all.
      So it seems rather disingenuous to accuse me of “Yellow Journalism” considering that I’m not a journalist, nor ever regarded myself as such…not to mention that it also smacks of desperation to make such an accusation against me in order to possibly denigrate me & my opinions.


      Then you said:

      “In your first leap, you infer that programs meant to help people are meant to be burdened by “steel men” and that Stalin is it’s translation in some language. That’s nice but where are the Democratic references, where they use these words…quotes and the like?”

      Another fine example of holding a lowly blogger to a higher standard; if you re-read your comment, you’ll see that you already answered your own question.
      Here…let me help:

      “In your first leap, you infer that programs…”

      See it yet? The magic word is “infer”.
      Here’s the definition:

      –verb (used with object)
      1. To derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: They inferred his displeasure from his cool tone of voice.
      2. (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) To indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.
      3. To guess; speculate; surmise.
      4. To hint; imply; suggest.

      I’d like to hear an explanation as to why a person must cite references, quotes, and any sort of bibliography when making an inference…especially when I freely admit that this is where I voice my OPINION.


      I was going to reply to your third point about Hitler….but I came to my senses. Your specious rationalization regarding Hitler’s ideology reminds me of the guy who hated Jews and opposed Israel’s right to exist yet claimed that…since he worked amicably with other Jewish co-workers…he wasn’t really anti-Semitic.
      If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
      If you want to contort yourself & your ideology by believing that Hitler’s avocation of “Deutschland uber alles” instead of “Workers of the World, unite!” proves that he wasn’t a Socialist, that’s you own personal problem.
      I won’t waste my time trying to reason with someone so determined to supersede the truth with what they WANT to believe.


      As for your other comment….the one about how “greed is good, yet greed is bad, yet greed is good etc”…
      Since it was as off-topic as it was discursively prolix, I chose not to post it.

      But, again, thanks for your comments.

  2. Joshua permalink
    April 22, 2010 9:03 am

    You are so funny. I do not hold you to any other standards than of those that you include in your title such as dissertation. Since you like to define terms for me let me ingeniously do it for you.
    A dissertation or thesis[1] is a document submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification presenting the author’s research and findings.[2] In some countries/universities, the word thesis or a cognate is used as part of a bachelor’s or master’s course, while dissertation is normally applied to a doctorate.

    By calling you work a dissertation, you INFER that a logical argument is to follow. When in reality you just take a few random facts and do not show any understanding of them, but just smash them together like a two year old that can’t figure out how to build The Deathstar with your Star Wars Leggo kit. Your conclusions are invalid because they are unsubstantiated.

    Please don’t take this to heart, I am only trying to help. The only reason I wrote was because I find ignorance to be distasteful and not unlike a virus in it’s effects. To have an opinion is fine, but to pretend that it is based on shoestring facts…well, just don’t expect many sensible people to respect you for it.
    As for the Hitler references you made in your dissertation, you should probably realize something. Most Americans are sick of people making ridiculous comparisons
    of former Mass Murderers, with anyone they please. Another thing. Talk about things you know and understand because Hitler was no Socialist, do you remember that he hated the Russians and actually fought them in a war and that his known policies conflicted with Commie core beliefs? I could write a DISSERTATION on how poorly you apparently understand history. I hope you try doing some reading. But reading where you try to understand instead of just look for things to support your childish ideas. Don’t be afraid to change your mind once in a while. Freakin silliness

    • Xian Do permalink*
      April 23, 2010 8:01 am

      Well, golly-gee! Shows how dumb you are! That’s not what “Dissertation” means at all!
      Talk about things you know, Joshua, because I could write a DISSERTATION on how poorly you apparently understand word definitions.
      You should quit getting your information about the definition of words from sources that seek only to re-affirm your ideology.

      Interestingly enough, I learned the definition of “dissertation”…the REAL definition, not your version of it…from the same book that claims Hitler wasn’t a Socialist! What a coincidence, eh?

      Please don’t take this to heart, I am only trying to help. The only reason I wrote was because I find ignorance to be distasteful and not unlike a virus in it’s effects.


      Now…did the above comment annoy you?
      Do you shake your head in frustration as to how some smug egotist tries to utterly dismiss your whole assertion by claiming that you’re too stupid to know the truth…when in fact you really do indeed know the truth?
      Welcome to my world, pal.

      As I stated earlier, I learned the hard way how futile it is to discuss politics with somebody like you. I might even wager that you also believe that Hitler was also a big fan of Capitalism or that the Nazi Party was a Christian movement…or maybe you don’t.
      It doesn’t matter. I’ve heard it all before and I’ve long been fed up with debating followers of revisionist history.

      Now perhaps I COULD have instead made the comparison of the Obama Administration to the rise of Socialism in Russia during the early 1920’s. The parallels between the rise of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in those days were quite striking indeed and certainly would’ve suited my purposes pretty much the same. At the very least, I could’ve avoided any “I’m so tired of people making Hitler comparisons…” comments such as yours, Joshua.

      The only problem is that since there are so many people of your ideology who regard Che Guevara as a hero, Fidel Castro as a great leader, Chairman Mao Zedong as a role model (see Anita Dunn, for example), and Socialism itself…generically speaking…as no big deal…
      I was afraid that if I did indeed make the comparison of the Obama Administration to Lenin & the Soviet Union, you would’ve regarded it as a compliment and my point would’ve been lost on folks like you.

      As for your all-too-predictable invocation of Godwin’s Law against my comparison…I invoke Quirk’s Exception.
      (If you look at some previous blogs of mine, you’ll know what I’m referring to!)
      People like me make the over-used “Hitler/Nazi” comparison because we can actually draw legitimate comparisons to what happened then to what’s happening now…and it concerns us.
      People like you, on the other hand, make the over-used “Hitler/Nazi” comparison simply to slander and denigrate your opponent in the hopes of shutting down the discussion.

      But as for your suggestion that I not be afraid to change my mind once in a while….?
      I considered allowing you to respond again so that we could continue a dialogue. And I also was going to thank you for correcting my error in using the word “dissertation” in my title and considered replacing the word with something more definitively appropriate.
      Well, I changed my mind.
      Goodbye, Joshua.
      Thanks again for the comments.

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