"Wiseblood" as written by and Keenan/weatherman/mullin/dean....
When I was young some wise fool told me
Live & learn but nothing comes for free
So I did what I could when I was able
To keep the truth away from our table

Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees
Guaranteed

Well I never walked I just learned to fly
Heaven or high was the way I stayed alive
I've seen them devils pound our bible
You saints and sinners are both my rival

Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees
Aim to please

There's blood on the street but there's nothing to steal from me
Cause I walk alone but at least I walk for free
I listen to few and I'm fueled by fire
Guess now I'm old but not much wiser

Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees
Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees
Guaranteed


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Wiseblood" as written by

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    General CommentWise Blood can be read simply as a comedy of grotesques (the so-called "Southern Gothic" genre), for it is comedic and has many grotesque elements. It can also be read as a philosophical novel, for it presents opposing views of reality and asks the reader to resolve the conflict. It can even be read as a social text, for the novel captures the South at a time of great tension, when, after World War II, the rural and cosmopolitan populations were clashing, and tent-revival preachers encountered big city marketing. Finally, Wise Blood can also be read as an unusual case study of heresy and redemption. O'Connor frequently creates heretical characters and victims of spiritual confusion; however, Wise Blood not only has such a character, but also offers a complete biography that explains the psychological and spiritual crises that have brought her character to such a state of "grotesqueness."

    Hazel Motes (whose name recalls Jesus warning us not to complain of the mote in another's eye, when we have a beam in our own, as well as man who is in a "haze" of motes) returns from the military without family but with an inheritance. He is a man in religious crisis. His own grandfather was a revival preacher, yet he has rejected not only faith, but the entire story of Jesus as "a trick on niggers." In particular, he rejects guilt and redemption. He is, as O'Connor said of the South, "not Christ-centered, but Christ-haunted." Motes is tormented by belief and rejects it violently because of how much it is a part of him. Hazel begins as many O'Connor characters do, a victim of a misunderstanding of the radical Calvinism of the South. His evangelical grandfather taught him that Jesus died for the sins of mankind and that Jesus would always "get you": this Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God view of Christ leads Motes to view salvation as a form of punishment, so he decides that he can be saved from being evil by believing in nothing. That is, he can save his soul by having no soul at all. However, his nihilism becomes a positive belief. He is not an atheist, for his nothingness takes on the power of salvation. Motes believes in a vacuum as an alternative to a hunting, predatory Jesus.

    Enoch Emery, in contrast, believes readily but cannot see beyond the body. He, like other O'Connor characters, wants and demands a physical Jesus. He is a creature of clay, a man whose blood speaks to him. It was his "wise blood" (inherited from his father) that led him to Hazel, whom he latches onto as a candidate for the "new Jesus." The character Asa Hawks, on the other hand, is one of O'Connor's mountebanks. He has no belief in anything but himself. He takes no pleasure in evil or good, only in gratification of himself. His daughter Sabbath also believes only in self-gratification.

    Hazel is a believer without belief and a seer without vision. Each of O'Connor's stories has, she said, a moment of grace, but it is a Roman Catholic grace – grace that brings a person to the brink of belief, but not grace that saves by itself. It is transformative, but those to whom the grace is given must choose to either accept it or not. One interpretation is that Hazel's own moment of grace comes with his destruction of the "new Jesus" that Enoch Emery has discovered (a mummified body he steals from a museum). Another is that throughout the novel, Hazel's "rat-colored car," takes on more and more meaning as it becomes not only a mode of transportation, but a place to live and a platform (the "nose" of its hood) from which to preach his Church without Christ. At various times in the novel he says "Nobody with a good car needs to be justified," and "nobody with a good car needed to worry about anything." In this context, after the malicious policeman destroys his car, the actual "church" from which his new denomination is launched, his moment of grace occurs: he is left with nothing but his own mind and body to incorporate his church. This is when he decides to blind himself with lime. Another intepretation is that the policeman's spite in rolling the car off the road and destroying it remind's Hazel of his own spite in rolling another man's car off the road the night before and destroying that man's life, a man who was made to look just like Hazel. Having denied the existence of sin or guilt up to this point, Hazel now says, "I'm not clean" when questioned about the barbed wire he wears under his shirt. Having denied the soul's need for redemption, Hazel now tells his landlady that he walks with rocks in his shoes "to pay," still rejecting Christ's redemption in his ironic attempt to forge his own. Whether Hazel's mote is ultimately removed or not is not made clear in the novel.

    O'Connor herself said that a chief theme of the novel was "integrity." For those people who think belief in Christ is "a matter of no great consequence," O'Connor writes, "Motes' integrity lies in his trying with such vigor to get rid of the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of his mind," but for her "Hazel's integrity lies in his not being able to." Free will, she says, "does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man," and freedom is a mystery that cannot be reduced to a simple definition. These comments, written in 1962 on the 10th anniversary of the novel, seem contradictory. It is the integrity, the sameness of will and character, that is demonstrated by the frustration of Hazel's overt will and character, for the Hazel who emerges from apostacy is not the Hazel who blindly gainsays the sermons of the grandfather who "had ridden over three counties with Jesus hidden in his head like a stinger." The religious vision of Hazel's last asceticism is not Hell- or guilt-inspired, and so his defeated will is the accomplishment of his will.
    sepultura1987on January 17, 2009   Link

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