Skip to comments.Ishmael's Axe
Posted on 04/17/2007 11:25:47 AM PDT by TexasBud
One possible source of the gunman's reference to "Ismail Ax" on inside of his arm is... 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, esp. for someone who was an English major?
Ah, so it’s Bush’s fault?
Ok, hopefully this end’s the speculation about the Islamist connection. The perp was an English major, after all.
Stop that. You know it is some kind of reference to Islam. And even if it isn’t, it oughtta be.
If he was an English major, why would he spell Ishmael as Ismail?
He’s not a native speaker?
Cheat notes written on his arm for an upcoming test?
other things he wrote - the “disturbed” stuff his professor described - release that, and we’ll know what this guy is all about.
if its buried, then we’ll know what is being covered up.
Or.....he could just be crazy.....
I think “Ismail” is the arabic spelling of “Ishmael.”
To the contrary of other posters, I don’t think this means he is NOT islamic.
I also think the name of “Bush” being involved might be a coincidence. The character’s name is “Ishmael Bush,” and HE is the one with the axe. I think this might indeed be the intended reference, though, because the axe figures prominently, apparently, in the story, and is referred to as “Ishmael’s axe.” That the gunman used the arabic spelling must mean something, too (to the extent anything can mean something to a deranged person).
Seems more probable.
There was no need for that ethnic slur.
Opening line - “Call me Ishmael
As Queequegs Ramadan, or Fasting and Humiliation, was to continue all day, I did not choose to disturb him till towards night-fall; for I cherish the greatest respect towards everybodys religious obligations, never mind how comical, and could not find it in my heart to undervalue even a congregation of ants worshipping a toad-stool; or those other creatures in certain parts of our earth, who with a degree of footmanism quite unprecedented in other planets, bow down before the torso of a deceased landed proprietor merely on account of the inordinate possessions yet owned and rented in his name.
I say, we good Presbyterian Christians should be charitable in these things, and not fancy ourselves so vastly superior to other mortals, pagans and what not, because of their half-crazy conceits on these subjects. There was Queequeg, now, certainly entertaining the most absurd notions about Yojo and his Ramadan;but what of that? Queequeg thought he knew what he was about, I suppose; he seemed to be content; and there let him rest. All our arguing with him would not avail; let him be, I say: and Heaven have mercy on us allPresbyterians and Pagans alikefor we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
Towards evening, when I felt assured that all his performances and rituals must be over, I went to his room and knocked at the door; but no answer. I tried to open it, but it was fastened inside. Queequeg, said I softly through the key-hole:all silent. I say, Queequeg! why dont you speak? Its IIshmael. But all remained still as before. I began to grow alarmed. I had allowed him such abundant time; I thought he might have had an apoplectic fit. I looked through the key-hole; but the door opening into an odd corner of the room, the key-hole prospect was but a crooked and sinister one. I could only see part of the foot-board of the bed and a line of the wall, but nothing more. I was surprised to behold resting against the wall the wooden shaft of Queequegs harpoon, which the landlady the evening previous had taken from him, before our mounting to the chamber. Thats strange, thought I; but at any rate, since the harpoon stands yonder, and he seldom or never goes abroad without it, therefore he must be inside here, and no possible mistake.
Queequeg!Queequeg!all still. Something must have happened. Apoplexy! I tried to burst open the door; but it stubbornly resisted. Running down stairs, I quickly stated my suspicions to the first person I metthe chamber-maid. La! la! she cried, I thought something must the matter. I went to make the bed after breakfast, and the door was locked; and not a mouse to be heard; and its been just so silent ever since. But I thought, may be, you had both gone off and locked your baggage in for safe keeping. La! la, maam!Mistress! murder! Mrs. Hussey! apoplexy!and with these cries she ran towards the kitchen, I following.
Mrs. Hussey soon appeared, with a mustard-pot in one hand and a vinegar-cruet in the other, having just broken away from the occupation of attending to the castors, and scolding her little black boy meantime.
Wood-house! cried I, which way to it? Run for Gods sake, and fetch something to pry open the doorthe axe!the axe! hes had a stroke; depend upon it!and so saying I was unmethodically rushing up stairs again empty-handed, when Mrs. Hussey interposed the mustard-pot and vinegar-cruet, and the entire castor of her countenance.
Whats the matter with you, young man?
Get the axe! For Gods sake, run for the doctor, some one, while I pry it open!
The irony is that even though you write this in jest, ultimately it will in some form get pinned on him and ‘wrong-minded conservative thought’. Not enough gun laws; too many dispossessed people who don’t feel part of society because of the racial and economic disparities, not enough federal money for mental health clinics, etc. etc. etc.
Note to self: Before I go on a murderous rampage, remember to scrawl many inane words on different parts of my body to keep Freepers speculating about my motives.
I’m just shaking my head at the unbelievable speculation going on .. It’s hard enough to grasp the enormity of what happened yesterday.
I’m not above falling into the trap of looking for an evil islamic extremist behind every awful event, yet this seems to be a helluva stretch.
When the dust settles, maybe we’ll get some clarity..in the meantime I’m going to walk the dogs.
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