Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ishmael’s Axe

© 19 April 2007, The Griot Poet


James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie: Character Ishmael Bush had an axe. "And the axe, which created and transformed through destruction, clears the figurative way for the deflowering of the New World."

The axe is apparently both literal and symbolic, and references are made about the character's having moved from the east to the west, creating change through the destruction (using the axe), and the like. Just a possibility: especially for someone who was an English major? (Google search) review: Set in the immense landscape of the Great Plains, The Prairie (1827) addresses many questions raised by the penetration of the American west: the displacement of the Indians, the destruction of nature, and the creation of a just society both ordered and free. Natty Bumppo, a man now in the autumn of his days, is the spokesman for the conservation of the natural environment. But as his physical prowess wanes he is ultimately unable to thwart the despoilers. In this, the last in the series of five Leatherstocking Tales, Cooper resolves the issues of The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans, but at the same time eloquently suggests that humility, self-control, reverence for God, and respect for nature are tragically lost on the prairie.


In his twisted mind… he was Ishmael. As an English major that savored the macabre, he crafted a tale in blood.

An odd, occidental male, quiet and quite weird that lived more in fantasy than reality with an imaginary girlfriend named Jelly.

The fire in his belly was from a hellish psychosis that blamed everybody else for his maladies.

The carnage of 32 bodies plus his own and 22 wounded does not atone for the lack of progress in this civilized society and country on treating mental illness and pathological difficulties.

The axe in James Cooper’s The Prairie described as both “literal and symbolic.” And Cho-Seung-Hui chose a similar path, east to west using his personal axe to grind for offenses only existing in his mind and like Ishmael Bush change his landscape by carving a path of destruction.

I had to stop reading his play Richard McBeef, because his logic had no sense, dénouement or relief.

Two stalking charges and diagnosis as a “danger to himself and others” he left “bread crumbs,” clues to his personal seclusion that now gun advocates would love to use to ensure every college age student and professor is packing heat!

In this 24-hour news cycle, how many other Ishmael’s walk our streets

The seed of destruction planted firmly in the firma of their minds, how many have their own axes to grind?

Our current gun laws allowed him to purchase not one but two guns and pass a criminal background check

That currently does not vet the emotionally unstable, the mentally disturbed.

April is a month for showers that birth May’s flowers,

Orbiting the anniversary of Hitler’s birth we now have:

Ruby Ridge
Oklahoma City

Spring gets kind of gritty when lives are snuffed out without impunity or regard to the great human beings these young people were becoming, or the professors that gave their lives protecting them… already were.

We answer pathologies with the ideology that violence begets peace… note its effectiveness in the so-called Middle East.

The carnage of 32 bodies plus his own and 22 wounded does not atone for the lack of progress in this civilized society and country on treating mental illness and pathological difficulties… to ignore such a responsibility goes beyond the pale.

Was 9/11 our destiny, were we fated for the belly of the beast when another pathological beast named Osama traces his own patronage to Ishmael?

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