I heard a preacher. The pulpit was cleverly designed to elevate the speaker to just such a height that he could maintain eyeball contact with everyone in the pews. No amount of ducking or leaning could obscure you behind even the largest of frumpy hairstyles seated in front of you.
Dressed in a robe with obscure symbolic decorations, he was using his vantage point to full effect, and there was barely a sleepy face in all the congregation; each squirmed uncomfortably as the preacher selectively rested his eye on individuals, including me.
A good orator, his voice rose and fell with a cadence of urgency, as with practiced ease he reinforced his message with amusing anecdotes, recounting stories of human pathos, all flavored with a touch of academia as he selectively quoted from this or that renowned theologian. The combined effect of sight and sound was enough to create an aura of authority, inclining one to think "Here is a wise man of great intelligence, widely read, and far above me" -- a disturbing effect making one wish for a place to hide.
But just for moment, break the compelling connection with the speaker, mentally step away from the captivation of the presentation, and ask yourself "by what authority does he say this?" Ask, is this the authority of man - a mere educated opinion? If so, we have found the species Manipulus Oratoris, using distortions of reality to play with peoples lives. So much for this type of preacher, lets move on, nothing to see here.
The donkey (Equus Asinus) on the other hand, is a beast of stubborn mind; somewhat crass, of a blended belligerent odour and attitude. If you found the opposite extreme of an angelic song and passed through to the other side, there you'd find a donkey's voice. Never one to pay much attention to those around it (unless its donkeys of the opposite sex), a donkey knows its own mind in a way that can only be accomplished after a lifetime of psychotherapy. A donkey is the epitome of physically expressing your genetics to the fullest. You can't make it do something it hasn't already decided to do, and reluctant collaboration only emerges around mutually acceptable objectives. Donkeys fill their personal space, and don't let you ever forget it! A donkey will never let ignorance stand in the way of desire.
There are so many ways in which these two are alike, and they share many attributes in common. I leave it to the reader to imagine how. But when you cross a member of Manipulus Oratoris with an Equus Asinus, and you get an example of Manipulus Asinus, or more colloquially, a pronkey. These are all too common a creature, progeny of a scary prospect, a braying from the pulpit that can scrape the inside of your skin. They live in a hyper-inflated sense of self-importance, blind and deaf to the needs of others - one only wishes it were dumb as well.
But stop. Find a person who knows himself for who he is, and who he is not. Let him receive a mantle of real authority granted in grace by someone of absolute power. This persons speech becomes like the sharpest blade, softly severing illusion from truth. Their voice a dangerous message of golden value, where at any moment you might feel the pain of surgery as the words slice you open. Who speaks like that. Could I ever speak like this?
In such a person you would truly find the Cross between the preacher and the donkey.
(All puns intended)