Thursday, 17 July 2014

# Entry 1. October 15.

robber (n.)
late 12c., from Anglo-French robbere, Old French robeor, agent noun from rober (see rob). Robber baron in the "corrupt, greedy financier" sense is attested from 1870s, from a comparison of Gilded Age capitalists to medieval European warlords.
It is the attempt of the more shrewd to take advantage of the less shrewd. It is the attempt of the strong to oppress the weak. It is the old robber baron in his castle descending, after men have planted their crops, and stealing them. [Henry Ward Beecher, sermon, "Truthfulness," 1871]
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A robber should look down upon lesser mortals. It is a mandate. Like God, peering  down from the heavens. That's how they measure it, anyway. Folks like this preacher here say, that is illegal, illegitimate and illogical. Quite normal; they have their reasons: their possessions, kept under the permanent fear of theft. Money. House. Car. Golf sticks. Why, even spouses. People, marooned on their little lives, like islets.

Well. True, perhaps. Let us look up rob. It's a verb.
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rob (v.)
late 12c., from Old French rober "rob, steal, pillage, ransack, rape," from West Germanic *rauba "booty" (cognates: Old High German roubon "to rob," roub "spoil, plunder;" Old English reafian, source of the reave in bereave), from Proto-Germanic *ra
ubon "to rob," from PIE *reup-, *reub- "to snatch" (see rip (v.)).
Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist? [Wyclif, c.1380]
To rob the cradle is attested from 1864 in reference to drafting young men in the American Civil War; by 1949 in reference to seductions or romantic relationships with younger persons. Related: Robbed; robbing.
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See? Keywords - young men; seductions or romantic relationships.

A whole slew of Mormonic sermons enveloping a verb, making it into a noun. But, in a way, they are one and the same -  the attempt of the more shrewd to take advantage of the less shrewd. Like Somerset Maugham's The Magician. Or Nabakov's Lolita. Take note of the mention of Christ in the verb? Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist. Yes, Christ had two robbers by his side, forever doomed to carry the burden of history. Robbers are fated to carry the weight of so much human history.

Which is why I am a robber. I rob history. Rob - it's a magic thing. A magic rob, that makes me invisible to these helpless people who can't see what is beneath their noses - history. That's why I look down from the heights of my hideout in this high rise at her - Perceforest. The sleeping Beauty.

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