Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Now, this is how to do revisionist history!

Never settle for small lies.

I was looking for a copy of Kipling's Tomlinson. Strumming through the Google list, my eye was caught by the words "Tomlinson" and "blasphemous," juxtaposed oddly. Natch, I clicked. My eyes were assaulted by this:
Besides writing pagan and even evolutionary-type stories and other disgusting things including the blasphemous "Tomlinson", Rudyard Kipling, is perhaps most famous for The Jungle Book and the peom "If". He was born in India when it was a colony of the British Empire and was sent to live with an aunt in England for schooling at the tender age of 6. At 12 he went to a boarding school where there was apparently cruelty in the form of bullying from other students as well as beatings from the teachers. He later defended this abuse as necessary to the character building of future leaders of Britain. Defending the abuse of boys as a way to build character for future leaders may seem bazaar, yet when Kipling's life philosophy is examined it comes into focus clearly with the things that he stood for.
It goes on at some length, interspersed with scripture passages apparently designed to show at what level of hell Kipling currently sizzles.

The title? Rudyard Kipling: Fascist!

I happen to enjoy Kipling very much, except for the military poems where he goes on in what he takes to be lower-class accents that are pretty much gibberish on the printed page. I've read biographies. I'm aware that Kipling had his faults - principal among which that he was a raving imperialist, though given his upbringing it would be strange if he weren't. Even those sentiments were at least somewhat ambivalent, or he'd never have written A Pict Song or Recessional. Probably we wouldn't have agreed on much, but since he died almost two decades before I was born he doesn't have to answer to me.

But "fascist?" I don' think that word means what you think it means. And I really wish people would stop overusing it. Also, aren't Christians supposed to think lying is a sin or something?


CorbinKale said...

Besides the Jungle Book, this was my favorite work by Kipling.

Anonymous said...

Blasphemous? Sorry, I'm Catholic, and I don't get that.

peregrin said...

Yes, lying *is* a sin, but I think that a lot of the "reactionary" stuff like this comes from ignorance, carelessness, or laziness (not that those are any less sinful). I once saw a Christian man quote an article from The Onion as proof that J. K. Rowling is evil, not realizing that The Onion is satire. Fortunately, he deleted his post after I pointed this out to him.

MamaLiberty said...

Kipling's "Kim" is a story of almost matchless individualism, tempered by love and integrity. Whatever or whoever else Kipling was, he wrote a timeless masterpiece of self ownership and the potential for a voluntary society.