The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

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John Calvin

1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

The giant was really taking his sweet time. I wasn’t worried. There was no way out except to pass my line of sight. My lazyboy was pointed to provide ample view of the stairwell.

We were all a bit surprised to hear Cameron’s name.

The fire crackled and lit tense faces.

“You do me a disservice doctor.”


“Yes, I’m not Presbyterian.”

“Come again?”

“Calvinists…predermination..that’s really not my cuppa tea.”

“I don’t really follow…”

“Strenght and Beauty…not a bad little book…but quite ripe for perversion…”

The doctor was completely lost.

“Cameron’s father was a Presbyterian minister, there’s a wee book by another fellow of that denomination called Strength and Beauty.”

“I thought Cameron was Canadian. Catholic.”

“Scottish actually. It’s the experiments that took place in Canada.” I paused searching my mind for the name behind the book I’d just mentioned.

“…ooo that’s right the fellows name was Miller..JR..or JD something to that effect, anyway I quite fancy the thing, good advice, very elegant and cheery…but all throughout there’s that sneaky nordic sternness, a bit imbecilic, in fact I think Nietzsche called it out quite well, it is a beersoaked contentment, volkish, daft, ponderous, German…”

“Cameron hated the Germans.”

“Yes, which I always found to be most amusing given how Teutonic a flavor his weltanschauung held.”

“I’m lost.”

“Well, the fellow had a very bizarre sort of idea of normalcy. That there were the ‘strong healthy types’ suited for industrial societies and then there were the ‘weak and maladapted’… most markedly displaying themselves in the German populace, via aggression and the neurosis of xenophobia. It was a wonderfully Celtic inversion of Hitler’s idea. We’re the master race! No lad! You’re the Jews!”

I chuckled a bit. “Yes, it would all be quite funny if he weren’t handed so much money and authority out where the Mounties roam….O My God the women in Montreal…anyway…he was very strong on the idea that everything was biological and that psychiatry should take a disciplinary approach. This led to those infamous incidents at Allan Memorial. Though honestly I’m surprised you’d heard of it.”

“You’d be surprised by a lot of the things I’ve heard.”

“Doubtless, doctor, doubtless. But yes we’re not doing anything of the sort here and I find the guilt by association offensive. Just because my last name is Scottish… Cameron was nothing but a simple-minded euphemism of a lobotomist living out Calvinist neurosis.”

“Calvinist neurosis?”

“Aye, think about…predetermination.. you are born damned or saved…you are born fit or unfit…your brain shape and chemistry making you either healthy or unhealthy…very little room for nuance…no free will…simply automata that must be repaired by the healthy…of course the healthy are the ones that view the world this way…which is…” I burst out laughing. “So profoundly daft that it makes me believe in God, because only the hand of something so grandiose could make creatures capable of such folly.”

No sooner had my fit of mirth ended then I noted a large frame at the bottom of the stairs.

The giant’s shoulders drooped and he was still miserable from my little tactical measure.

“How dare ya tak bout the Lord…” He said in a low voice.

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