TBT: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus

Earlier this week I was having a conversation with someone on Milo’s rollicking Telegram chat, in which we were trying to figure out the name of a short story involving people living in underground cells, communicating only via the Internet.  I had a feeling I had written about it before, but could not remember the name of the story.

Turns out it was E.M. Forster’s novella “The Machine Stops,” originally published in 1909, and I wrote about it in this catch-all post from the early days of The Age of The Virus (so early, in fact, I was not capitalizing the first “the” in that moniker, which I have texted so much, my last phone auto-predicted “The Age of The Virus”).  I compared the story to Kipling’s “The Mother Hive”–a story that apparently is assigned regularly in India, because pageviews for it always seem to coincide with large numbers of site visitors from the subcontinent.

But I digress.  The story sounded eerily like what our elites asked us to do during The Age of The Virus:  stay home, get fat, consume mindless entertainment, and don’t socialize.  Granted, some of us could go outside and plant gardens (I still got fat, though), but the messaging was not “become more self-sufficient so we can mitigate disaster” but “buy more stuff and don’t do anything fun.”  It was depressing to me how many people embraced this line of reasoning, turning government-mandated sloth into some kind of perverted virtue.

I appreciated the break that The Age of The Virus afforded us, but it came with the severe curtailment of liberty—and Americans ate it up!  Instead of people boldly throwing ravers and partying down, laughing at our elites, we instead retreated into our hovels, shuddering in the dark.  When I did through a big Halloween bash, it was a massive success—because, I suppose, people had finally had it.

I guess that’s the silver lining.  With that, here’s 3 April 2020’s “Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus” (perhaps the longest title of any blog post ever):

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TBT: Catching Up

It’s been a week for playing catch up after the long weekend of moving, and I’m driving to pick up Murphy today.  Since getting back to South Carolina Monday, it’s been a blur of teaching lessons, dog-proofing the house, and painting (I’ve finally stripped the old lady wallpaper and have put on a nice coat of a yellowish paint I picked up at Lowe’s from the discount rack for $9).  Thank goodness it’s summertime, so I have plenty of time in the mornings to take care of things around the house and run errands.

That’s what I will miss most about summer:  the work-life balance.  Teaching a few hours of music lessons two or three afternoons a week, with some Town Council work sprinkled in for good measure, has been glorious.  Instead of waking up at 6 AM and rushing through the same morning routine, I’m able to rise at a more stately 7:30 or 8 AM; take my coffee and breakfast; and leisurely settle into a morning of writing, gardening, cleaning, or the like.

I understand why people work so many years to retire:  not having to rush into work is amazing!  I’m blessed to have a gig where I can live like a retired person for two months out of the year.  That doesn’t mean I’ve just been sitting around the house in my underwear (uh, well, not too much); if anything, I’ve been even more productive, because I’m not constantly exhausted.

That said, I still have some catching up to do on this blog—and around the house!—and an old pup to pick up.  So with that, here’s 27 July 2020’s “Catching Up“:

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TBT: Island Living

Whenever the weight of the world—work, politics, etc.—gets to be too much, I’m tempted to retreat to a remote woodland cabin and live off the fat of the land, drinking chicory on cold mornings in a flannel shirt while stroking my rugged beard contemplatively.

That fantasy scenario ignores the fact that I know nothing about living “off the fat of the land,” and would likely die in two weeks without running water and a nearby grocery store.  But there is something appealing about unplugging from society and becoming self-sufficient.

Indeed, it’s little wonder that the modern homesteading movement has grown so large.  People are tired of unresponsive governments, woke corporations, tyrannical HR departments, and public scolds.  Why not buy a few acres in a red State and raise some chickens?

This throwback post, “Island Living,” details a couple in British Columbia who built their own island out of discarded lumber and such.  Talk about living the dream!

Here’s 21 July 2020’s “Island Living“:

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TBT^16: Happy Birthday, America!

Since 2018, I’ve been reblogging my original “Happy Birthday, America!” post, which dates back to 2016 and the old Blogger site.  Each year I add another layer of commentary to to the original post, which essentially analyzed and discussed very briefly Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

My view on Lincoln’s role in American history has shifted somewhat in five years, but it’s undeniable that the Gettysburg Address is a powerful, succinct speech.  The Address, unlike my windy blog posts, is the quintessential illustration of the principle that “less is more.”

Like last year, this year’s post is a bit delayed due to the way the Fourth fell this year (on a Sunday).  It was a very quiet Independence Day:  my younger brother had my girlfriend, myself, and another friend over to have hot dogs and burgers, as his wife and kids were away visiting family.  I manned the grill, turning the dogs like a human-operated convenience store hot dog roller.  The thin, diner-style smash burgers my brother made were delicious, especially with American cheese.

This year was the first in awhile that didn’t really feel like the Fourth of July, even though last year’s celebration was during the supremely unfree Age of The Virus.  I suppose the holiday snuck up on me, and with the nation in the state it is, perhaps I just wasn’t feeling all that patriotic.

Nevertheless, I reminded myself that America has been on the ropes before, and we’re not going to let some bug-eating, gender-confused CommieNazis destroy our hope.

With that, here are several posts commemorating July Fourths past:

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TBT: Albino Giraffes Poached

I’ve had animals on the brain lately, especially dogs.  Perhaps it’s my girlfriend’s sweet German shepherd puppy, or my parents’ photogenic rat terrier; regardless, I realize I am becoming a softy for critters.

Not just the furry, charismatic ones, either:  I’m considering adding a small frog garden to my existing flower beds, as I have a number of toads and frogs that take up residence in my beds and planters already.  Giving them a murky little pond to splash about in would be fun, and might help cut down on some bugs in the yard.

So it is that I’m looking back to this horrible story from March 2020, about the poaching of two rare albino giraffes in Kenya.  In the original piece, I make quite a few wild speculations about the nature of the poachers, even implicating the 50,000 Chinese immigrants to the country.

Given that The Virus originated, most likely, in a Wuhan virology lab—suggesting the Chinese were working on some kind of horrible biological weapon—I’d say mistrust in China’s motives is justified.  It’s also a very weird culture, as the wet markets proved.  The Chinese long believed rhinoceros horn to be an aphrodisiac; how far-fetched would it be to think they would believe something similar about the flesh of an albino giraffe?

For that matter, Africa is still a land filled with many folk beliefs and superstitions.  Albino humans in Tanzania, for example, are the targets of witch doctors, who harvest albinos’ body parts for use in their dark magicGavin McInnes frequently mentions the belief among some African tribes that bald men’s heads are filled with gold.  And there is the horrific practice of AIDS sufferers raping virgins—especially very young children—in the belief that doing so will cure their affliction.

These are terrible things—far more wicked and evil than the murder of two albino giraffes.  But how we treat God’s Creation, even in its lower orders, is a reflection of how we treat one another.  Animal mutilation and murder is a key sign of a future serial killer or sociopath.

With that depressing preamble, here is 24 March 2020’s “Albino Giraffes Poached“:

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TBT: Hungry Like the Wolf

After writing about whales yesterday, I thought I’d look back at some animal-related posts.  I stumbled upon this post from last June, in which I waxed scientific on the origins of dogs, and how we are all the descendants of the people the wolves didn’t eat.

My entire perspective on dogs has changed dramatically in the past year.  I used to think dogs were fine, but I didn’t see what all the fuss was about.  After dating a woman who was clearly using her poorly-trained dogs as surrogate children, I swore I would never date a single woman with dogs again.

Indeed, when my current girlfriend and I started dating, she had recently adopted her puppy, a German Shepherd.  According to her, whenever she mentioned the dog, I immediately changed the subject.  That sounds about right.

I was skittish around the dog initially, but now I love that critter.  Sure, I still find it a bit sad when single women approaching The Wall start channeling their unfulfilled maternal instincts into a four-legged fur ball, but I can now appreciate these wonderful creatures for the positive qualities they possess.  As Gavin McInnes—no lover of dogs—often says, we bred dogs to love us unconditionally, so it’s little wonder that they do.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to be loved.

Here is 29 June 2020’s “Hungry Like the Wolf“:

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TBT: Leftism in a Nutshell

In looking at the inflationary effects of so many people staying out of work on unemployment, I’d completely forgotten about this short post from 1 June 2019, “Leftism in a Nutshell.”  The post looks at the “degrowth movement,” a movement that sought “to intentionally shrink the economy to address climate change.”

Well, the degrowth movement—which I have not heard of since 2019—had the chance to try out their deranged economic experiment in 2020 during The Age of The Virus.  It turns out that fewer people working doesn’t mean “not as many brands at the grocery store”; it just means less of everything, and it’s all more expensive!

I’m not opposed to some personal minimalism.  Despite my love for miscellaneous bric-a-brac, I appreciate living beneath my means and cutting down on spending (I’m only a spendthrift at Universal Studios).  But re-reading the Vice article about the degrowth movement makes me think it’s just a flimsy intellectual excuse for laziness.

That is, after all, Leftism in a nutshell:  always the grasshopper, never the ant.

Here is 1 June 2019’s “Leftism in a Nutshell“:

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TBT: Disorder

It’s easy to forget now, but last summer was terrifying.  Race riots erupted in cities all over the country as a result of the death of George Floyd, a fentanyl-addicted career criminal who has now been sainted by our elites.  The summer of rioting and looting did more to undermine racial harmony and social peace in our nation than any event of the last decade.

Now that The Usurper Biden sits upon the throne, the rioting seems to have subsided, as least for now, although there was a shooting at George Floyd Square amid the one-year anniversary observance of his death.  Even so, I remember how scary last summer was, with radical, violent BLM and Antifa protests breaking out even here in South Carolina.

Part of the growing homesteading movement seems inspired, in part, by the wild lawlessness of the cities.  Why live cheek-by-jowl with people who hate you because of your supposed privilege—and pay a hefty premium in rent to do so—when you can live affordably and safely in the country?  I have at least one neighbor who seems to be doing that, and I’ve made some half-hearted efforts of my own at the same.

Regardless, I pray for peace—and prepare for the worst.  I’d encourage you to do the same.

Here is 5 June 2020’s “Disorder“:

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TBT: Gay Totalitarianism

Thanks to Lauren Witzke, yesterday’s post was spread far more widely than I anticipated.  It’s thanks to her that I even had the idea for the post, thus proving, once again, that beautiful and intelligent women continue to serve as a source of inspiration.

In keeping with the theme, I thought this week’s TBT should look back at a past post about the totalitarian nature of the LGBTQ+2Aetc. movement.  I wrote this piece way back in April 2019, which feels like it was an eternity go.

The problem I identified at the time—the excessive empowerment of fringe identities leading to perverse incentives to play victim—has only exacerbated since then.  Remember, 2019 was before the George Floyd debacle, which turned a man with numerous health problems overdosing on fentanyl into a martyr and a saint—and resulted in a summer of race riots.  Depending on one’s sexual orientation and/or skin color, one can practically commit crimes and get off scot-free.

I attributed this to the totalitarian Left’s lust for power.  Now, however, I’m not even so sure if that’s what is at root of it all.  At a certain point, rational explanations fail.  There is such a degree of irrationality at play, the presumption shifts from “these actions are conscious and intentional” to “these actions are the result of an insane mind.”  Perhaps we’re witnessing widespread insanity, which progressive politics caters to happily.

Whatever the reason, identity politics is destroying our fragile social fabric, rending it violently apart.

With that, here is 2 April 2019’s “Gay Totalitarianism“:

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