Report to the Emperor-First Draft

Friday, March 25, AD 2016

Ecce Homo 2

(I post this each year on Good Friday at The American Catholic.  Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter.)

I thank you Marcus for taking on the onerous task of acting as my secretary, in addition to your regular duties as my aide, in regard to this portion of the report.  The Greek, Aristides, is competent, and like most Greek secretaries his Latin is quite graceful, but also like most Greek secretaries he does not know when to keep his mouth shut.  I want him kept away from this work, and I want you to observe the strictest security.  Caiaphas was playing a nefarious game, and I do not think we are out of the woods yet.  I do not want his spies finding out what I am telling the Imperator and Caiaphas altering the tales his agents are now, no doubt, spreading in Rome.  Let us take the Jew by surprise for once!

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8 Responses to Report to the Emperor-First Draft

  • This nice article says “the Prefect”, so I assume it is not Pontius Pilate? Who is the author?

  • This is excellent, my favorite recurring article of yours, but the link to the document at “bethanyum” is broken (third link, “…revolt over standards…”).

  • Thanks for the heads up. I have now linked to a new source.

  • Thanks Donald for treating us to a secular version of the Passion. I would guess there are many today who would think about it the same way.

    Happy Easter to you and your family.

  • “In the fullness of time …” meant that Jesus was able to walk into a power struggle that guaranteed his death. Moreover, the competing jurisdictions between Imperial and Jewish law created a perfect storm that teaches us how our faith rocked both worlds. Well written!

  • Dear Donald,
    Just correct the word “Jesus” for Yeshua in some paragraphs, like the ones beginning with “probably” and “learning”.

    Fantastic post.
    Best regards,

  • Lou-
    I believe the author of the non-italic part is Marcus, writing for his boss Pilate, and the Italics are that Perfect’s comments as he reads over the draft.

  • “This nice article says “the Prefect”, so I assume it is not Pontius Pilate? Who is the author?”

    Lou, Pontius Pilate was not a Procurator, he held the rank of Prefect in the Roman bureaucracy. The term Procurator only came into use in Judea in 44 AD, eleven years after Pilate condemned Jesus. Since the Gospels and Tacitus refer to Pilate as Procurator, we have to assume they used the term that was in use when they were written. A bit sloppy as history, but understandable.

Law School Was A Natural

Sunday, January 4, AD 2015

Devil Advocate

Hattip to Instapundit.  I tend not to read much fiction, but I will make an exception for this, which takes a look at the parents of a very unique precious snowflake:


Alan and I knew instantly that our child was exceptional. He was just so adorable, with his pentagram birthmark and little, grasping claws. His red eyes gleamed with intelligence. When the doctors came in with all their charts, they just confirmed what we already knew. Our child was “one of a kind” and “unlike any creature born of man.”

Alan and I were ecstatic — but also a little bit nervous. Raising a gifted child is a huge responsibility. And we were determined not to squander Ben’s talents. We vowed then and there that we would do all we could to ensure he achieved his full potential.

The first step was getting him into the right preschool. We figured it would be a breeze, given Ben’s obvious star quality. But, to our great surprise, he struggled with the interview requirement. At Trevor Day, a teacher asked him how old he was. Instead of saying “three,” he gored open her stomach and then pinned her to the ceiling with his mind. We were able to get him an interview at Trinity, thanks to a family connection. But when Ben saw the crucifix in the lobby, his eyes turned black and the walls wept blood. Why was Ben behaving this way? There was only one logical explanation: attention deficit disorder. We took him to a specialist on Park Avenue, and within five minutes our son had his first prescription for Ritalin.


The Kilmax, I noticed, had produced several troubling side effects. Ben’s eyes — usually so bright and searing — had dimmed to a pale ocher. His horns were pointed downward and his fur was falling out in clumps. I was telling him about another option — the birthright trip to Israel — when he suddenly held up his claw, cutting me off midsentence.

“No . . . more.”

I screamed for Alan, and he came running.

“Ben spoke!” I cried. We leaned in toward our son, keeping as still as possible. Ben gasped a few times, obviously struggling. Eventually, though, he managed to continue.

“No more . . . arrrrrgh! Pleeeeeaseeeearrrrrgh! Me . . . not . . . sick. Me . . . arrrrrrrgh! Monster. Let . . . be . . . monster. Let be monster.”

My eyes filled with tears. I’d always assumed that Ben would never talk — and now here he was, carrying on a full conversation!

If Ben could master language, there was no limit to what he could achieve. I whipped out my iPhone and typed in Han’s number from memory.

It was time to start thinking about law school.

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Ernie Pyle Remembers Clark Kent

Monday, December 5, AD 2011


Withywindle at Athens and Jerusalem has a spectacular reminiscence by reporter Ernie Pyle of his encounters with Clark Kent during World War II:

We were on a press plane flying from England down to North Africa just after the troops landed in forty two. The ride was bumpy and we were passing around a bottle of whiskey. I offered it to this big man in the back, and he said, “No thanks, Mr. Pyle, I’m tee-total.” But he said it in a friendly way that didn’t seem stuck up at all. I said, “You know my name, but I don’t know yours. Who are you?” Somebody else said, “You don’t know him, Ernie? That’s Clark Kent, the one who did all those Superman stories.” I whistled, because those had been good pieces, and because I could see how young Kent must have been when he wrote them. I took a longer look at him. Big man, handsome man. He looked like he could have been a football player or a movie star. Half Johnny Weissmuller, half Gregory Peck. “I liked those,” I said. “I always wondered how you got that particular interview.” “It wasn’t easy,” Kent said to me solemnly. “First I had to find out where his favorite bar was. Then I had to buy him a drink. And he wouldn’t talk to me until I put a cape on.” He looked at me so seriously that I knew this was God’s own truth—and then he grinned, that wonderful smile that lit up his face and made everyone fall in love with him, even sergeants soaked in vinegar who weren’t that fond of their own mothers. I whooped until my guts hurt and after that he was the best friend I had in the war.

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12 Responses to Ernie Pyle Remembers Clark Kent

  • Talk about dark and gritty…. Very well written. I think he went overboard in an attempt to tone down the idealism, but very well done.

  • There is a great film noire treatment waiting to be written about Superman Foxfier, just as there is a great musical comedy waiting to be written about Batman!

  • …Wouldn’t it make more sense to reverse those two, though?

    (alternate considered response: They already did the musical comedy– dodo dodo dodo dodo BAT MAN!!!! Rejected because I couldn’t justify calling that show a musical, with only one song. )

  • Curse it, now I’ve got mental images of Superman as the straight man for a comedy.

  • “Wouldn’t it make more sense to reverse those two, though?”

    No, placing them in a genre strange to them is half the entertainment! A young Robert Mitchum, circa 1947, in the film noire treatment of Superman, and a young Jimmy Stewart, circa 1938, in the screwball musical on Batman!

  • From one of Ernie Pyle’s “lost” columns in which he mentions Superman:

    “The main impression I got, seeing German prisoners, was that they were human like anybody else, fundamentally friendly, a little vain. Certainly they are not supermen. Whenever a group of them would form, some American soldier would pop up with a camera to get a souvenir picture. And every time, all the prisoners in the vicinity would crowd into the picture like kids.

    One day I saw a group of them staring up at the sky as Superman streaked over, heading to only God knows where. They were yelling out “Ubermensch! Ubermensch!” and pointing at him. Must be a morale loss for the Germans knowing that the only real superman in this war is fighting against them.”

  • Sounds like someone did their homework. (My grandfather was a prison guard after the war– his batch was just a bunch of normal people on an evil side.)

  • “Sounds like someone did their homework. (My grandfather was a prison guard after the war– his batch was just a bunch of normal people on an evil side.)”

    I read that apparently it became a commonplace amongst the Wehrmacht that being captured by the Amis meant “going to Kansas.” We used a lot of POWs to bring in the harvest on the Great Plains. Apparently, there were a significant number of German-American farmers on the Plains, too, so it was far from a terrifying prospect. One German POW said they were assigned to help work the fields of an American farmer born in Germany. He spoke to them in perfect German and promised them some of his wife’s best apple pie if they worked hard. After getting that treat on the first day, they worked like trenchermen from then on. The guards were few and unobtrusive, given the minimal prospects for escape.

    IIRC, one–and only one–German soldier escaped from the U.S. to fight again. An SS hardcase, as I recall.

  • My father (RIP) turned 18 in June 1945 and was drafted. He served as an MP guarding german POW’s in Camp Upton on Long Island and a little upstate camp along the Hudson River.

    He said they were mostly africa corps men and still acted like soldaten after years in prison.

    He said the potato farmers would give the germans pie. He got bupkis.

    Re: Super Man. Those GI’s were Super Men although none of them knew it.

  • My father was in several parts of Germany, and after the war had occasions to guard German prisoners. I now wonder if he ever had occasion to tell young Private Ratzinger to “Keep moving, bud.”