Another week is dawning, and it’s time to look at the sun setting on some excellent individuals. 2020 was a rough year for many reasons, not least because of the deaths it brought. Here’s hoping this week’s titans are resting in the arms of Jesus:
“Rock in Peace, Eddie Van Halen” – If any of these three aren’t resting in the arms of Jesus, it’s probably Eddie Van Halen, though I’m holding out hope he experienced some manner of conversion experience and is playing “Panama” inside the pearly gates. Eddie was a pioneering guitarist, but he also built on the legacies of past giants, like the violinist Niccolo Paganini (who was so good, it was said he sold his soul to the devil for the privilege; if that’s true, there’s a pretty good band in Hell right now—not that you’d want to go and hear them!)
“Rest in Peace, Alex Trebek” – Smarmy. Smug. Canadian (I think). Alex Trebek is synonymous with Jeopardy!, and it’s unclear that anyone can fill his shoes. He brought just the right balance of bedside manner and not giving a damn to his hosting duties, asking guests for their tedious life stories, and occasionally finding them lackluster. But, boy, he was a good host. Rest in Peace, Alex.
“Rest in Peace, Rush Limbaugh” – Speaking of irreplaceable hosts, Rush Limbaugh is one of the first greats to shed off this mortal coil in the great year 2021. I don’t think anyone can truly replace Rush behind the legendary EIB Golden Mic, but I’m hoping they hire Mark Steyn as a perpetual guest host. “The Rush Limbaugh Show w/ Mark Steyn” has a nice ring to it. That’s a Canadian I can get behind.
That’s it for another macabre edition of Lazy Sunday. Happier retrospectives to come in March.
Something with which I struggle to wrap my mind around is the authoritarian impulse. I’m not pretending I’m immune to this impulse—this desire to tell others how to live their lives, backing it up with the threat of force for non-compliance—but the older I get, what little appeal the tendency held continues to diminish.
What I struggle to comprehend is the apparent need to boss people around. I understand needing to be authoritative with children and students—setting clear boundaries, understanding actions have consequences, molding the child to become a self-governing adult—but this desire to boss around perfect strangers is increasingly foreign to me.
This impulse manifests itself in virtually every facet of our lives. It creeps in bit by bit. Modest policy proposals and laws suddenly becomes weaponized Karenism, empowering authorities and otherwise normal people to swagger about with impunity, assured of the righteousness of their cause du jour.
The weather is getting warmer—it hit a balmy 77 degrees at least one day this week here in South Carolina—and that means Spring is near. Spring means gardening, and if I’m going to dive into the deep-end of converting my humble half-acre into a very small-scale farm, I’d probably better get crackin’ now.
As such, it was with great interest that I listened to an interview with Owen Benjamin, the stand-up comedian-turned-survivalist. Benjamin is a controversial figure, and I don’t agree with some of his views, but, again, I can respect his knowledge in the area of homesteading without endorsing, say, his belief that the Earth is flat.
With that preamble, I thought I’d share Benjamin’s recent interview with Blonde in the Belly of the Beast. It’s a little over an hour long, but it’s worth your time. One thing I learned is that growing some tomatoes and raising a few chickens is very easy, and that the barrier to entry for small-scale homesteading and farming is much lower than I initially thought.
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Former pick-up artist and born-again Orthodox Christian Roosh V has a new book out about his miraculous conversion away from a life of casual sex to a life devoted to serving Jesus Christ. The book, American Pilgrim, is one-part travelogue, one-part social commentary, and one-part testimony (according to what I’ve read about the book; I hope to purchase my own copy soon).
To celebrate Roosh’s nearly-four-hundred-page release, I thought it would be worth dedicating this week’s TBT to looking back at The God Pill Series, a series of three posts about Roosh’s conversion. Many of Roosh’s former colleagues in the PUA world were suspicious of his conversion, but I detected something deep and sincere in it—chiefly, because no one becomes a Christian in 2021 expecting to make more money (the primary charge being that Roosh was “reinventing” himself to cash in; unpublishing all of his pick-up books suggested otherwise).
With all the gloomy weather in South Carolina over the past week (please pray for the poor folks in Texas, who are facing truly dangerous weather conditions), it’s been ideal weather for staying home and watching movies. Surprisingly, Hulu has upped its game a bit in terms of selection.
I’m running a tad behind with today’s post, so I figured rather than diving deeply into one movie, I’d give a quick round-up of several movies, with some quick notes on each.
Dedicating two Lazy Sundays to obituaries is a bit grim, but after Rush Limbaugh’s death last week and a solid week of cold, rainy weather, it seemed appropriate.
As I began looking back at posts about deaths, I was surprised to see I had written several obituaries and memorials (enough to split this retrospective into two parts). 2020 was a particularly difficult year, as we all know, and it took some of the greats with it.
Too many. But, as my blogger and real-life friend Bette Cox noted on my Limbaugh memorial, she doesn’t wish for a peaceful rest, but a joyously busy time in Heaven. I’m sure Rush has a golden mic up there, broadcasting praises to Christ for all eternity. Excellent in Broadcasting, indeed.
“Rest in Peace, Herman Cain” – The Godfather of Godfather Pizza, and one of my favorite political figures of the twenty-first century, Herman Cain was, in some ways, a prelude to Trump: fun, humorous, controversial, down-to-earth, and populist. I loved his “9-9-9” Plan, if for no other reason than it was good marketing (and because of his belief that (to paraphrase) “if 10% is good enough for God, 9% is good enough for the federal government).
I’ve written several times about the possibility of secession—of a (hopefully) peaceful dissolution or separation of the United States. To be clear, I do not want that to happen, and I fear such a separation would be anything but peaceful. But if it means a world where the progressive crazies can test out their wacky theories and policies in their own land with its own borders—and I am well outside of those borders—then it may be the best possible of all options.
I tend to disagree with Daniel Webster’s assessment that “Liberty and Union” are “now and forever, one and inseparable.” While I think the Union of the States did at one time strengthen the defense of liberty, it increasingly seems that the Union—as manifested through the power of the federal government—is trampling those liberties. I prefer John C. Calhoun’s rejoinder to Andrew Jackson: “The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States and by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union.” The Union is great, but only so far as it preserves liberty and the rights of States.
Quoting John C. Calhoun favorably, of course, is dangerous in these woke times, as he was an evil slave owner (per the social justice warriors) and argued that slavery was a “positive good.” Of course the man wasn’t right about everything, but he was right about States’ rights and the importance of liberty. I can acknowledge that Truth without accepting his other beliefs.
But I digress. It seems that secession or peaceful separation is not merely a conservative pipe dream, a distant hope for some second chance at liberty. The progressives are getting in on the action. The ultra-progressive publication The Nation has a long op-ed published entitled “The Case for Blue-State Secession.” Most of the piece is ridiculous Leftist dogma, but the fact that the totalitarian Left is toying with the idea is intriguing.