Inauguration Day 2021

The day has arrived—the briefly delayed third term of Obama’s presidency.  In the years since Obama left office, the progressive Left has become even more insane.  After a four-year reprieve under Trump, the radical progressives aren’t going to let another opportunity pass to transform the country completely.

Things are going to get worse before they get better, which is why I’m encouraging my fellow conservatives, Christians, and traditionalists to think and act locally in the years to come (H/T to historian Brion McClanahan for that pithy phrase).  Now is the time to attend town/city and county council meetings, to run for local and State offices, and to build up communities.  While we can do some of that online, we’ve got to get out and meet people—join Bible studies, form local clubs, revive forgotten civic organizations, etc.  Heck, even play at an open mic!

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The Last Day of Freedom?

Here we are, 19 January 2021—the last day of basking in liberty before Biden the Usurper assumes the throne.  For all his personal foibles and occasional missed opportunities (while acknowledging, of course, his many achievements), President Trump at least fought to ensure that Americans could enjoy freedom and opportunity.  Under progressive rule, no such guarantees exist.

But rather than look about gloomily at what is to come, I’d like to offer some words of exhortation.  Times will not be easy for conservatives and Christians over the next four years, but I’m trying to embrace this new progressive era with some cautious, small-scale optimism.

For one, I think the whole sordid election fraud, as well as the bipartisan effort to impeach President Trump for—if we’re honest about it—discouraging violence and encouraging peaceful protest—has confirmed for many of us that the elites of both parties are against us.  As such, effecting change at the national level seems increasingly futile.

That might sound discouraging, but consider it from another angle:  if we can’t make much of a dent at the national level, then why waste the energy?  Instead, let’s focus our efforts locally.

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Lazy Sunday LXXX: Big Ideas

So many of the West’s problems are fundamentally spiritual in nature.  Our politics are no longer the pedestrian, earthy wranglings over how to maintain the roads (clearly not) or what the marginal tax rate should be.  Even the most mundane of political discussions become theological battles about the nature of Truth itself.  It’s ironic given the Left’s wholesale embrace of postmodernism’s rejection of Truth.

As such, it seemed like an opportune time to dedicate a Lazy Sunday to posts about big ideas.  It’s easy to get bogged down in the details—the Devil is in them, after all—but it’s also important to grasp at the makeup of the entire forest, not just its diversity of trees.

With that, here are some of my own stabs at understanding the dark forest in which we moderns find ourselves:

  • What is Conservatism?” & “TBT: What is Conservatism?” – This post kicked off the first run of my History of Conservative Thought Class, in which begin exploring the ideas of Russell Kirk.  So much of what Americans consider to be “conservative” today is really an abstract ideology, whereas Kirk’s conservatism varied from one society to the next.  It did, however, contain some similar elements across cultures.  Kirk is mostly forgotten in conservative circles today, which is unfortunate; it would behoove us to know more of his thought and work.  
  • Resist the Black Pill” – It’s easy to get discouraged with the state of the world at present, especially here in the United States. Even with the efforts of President Trump and his MAGA cadre, there are long-term concerns for the future of our country.  The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is one sign of hope, though whether or not the Court will return to true constitutionalism is still an open question.  What we can know is that nihilistic despair is a sin, and our hope comes from the Lord.
  • What is Civilization?” – This post dealt with a lively discussion between Milo and a couple of groypers, Steve Franssen and Vincent James, about the future of civilization.  It’s an intriguing debate about whether or not abandoning the cities to progressive destroyers represents an abandonment of civilization itself (my answer would be no).

That’s it for this brief Lazy Sunday.  Here’s hoping these posts give you something to chew over as you head into your week.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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Resist the Black Pill

Lately, it’s been easy to give in to despair.  Trump is way down in the polls, we’ve suffered reversals on DACA (and Trump’s own reversals on rescinding foreign student visas for colleges going online-only in the fall and on suspending foreign worker visas through the end of the year), BLM is murdering people for saying “All Lives Matter,” and so on.

Despair is a sin.  Like most situations in life, doing the opposite of what you feel is virtuous.  Wallowing in self-pity (or shouting angrily during one of Tucker Carlson‘s litanies of unpunished progressive malfeasance) is the emotionally satisfying approach, but it’s not very productive.

I’m noticing that a number of folks on our side of this great culture war are taking the “black pill.”  Z Man railed against Trump in this week’s podcast, and in a post earlier this week (which I referenced yesterday).  Milo had all-but written Trump off until the Roger Stone commutation.

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Lazy Sunday LIX: The God Pill Series

Two weeks ago, in “Lazy Sunday LVII – Christianity, Part II,” I wrote that my three “God Pill” posts “would make a really good Lazy Sunday… and out of increasing desperation to cobble together compilations, I’ll likely do it one week, with greater detail about each individual post.”  Well, here we are:  the desperation (and my lack of originality) has brought me to this point.

For those unfamiliar with the terminology, the concept of “pilling” someone, or of being “pilled” in some way, ultimately goes back to The Matrix.  Orpheus offered Neo the blue pill, which would allow him to continue living in the simulacrum of our world, a world that was an entirely false but somewhat comforting illusion, or to take the red pill, would which would allow him to peek behind the veil and see Reality for what it truly is.

The edgier corners of the Internet began using the term “red-pilled” some years ago—I don’t know exactly when, but I saw the term used increasingly in during the long and exciting 2015-2016 election season—to refer to those who embraced the hard Truths that the mainstream media and our elites refuse to tell.  They’re those comforting little lies (“Diversity is Our Strength!”) that are hammered into us from an early age at school, in the news, in pop culture, etc.

For some, red-pilling turned to the dreaded Black Pill:  embracing nihilism.  Black Pillers argued that the hard Truths of the Red Pill revealed to them another hard truth:  that Red Pill reform is impossible at this point, as it would require an impossibly massive paradigm shift.  As such, the only option was to acknowledge the Truth—and that no one would ever believe it.  The Black Pillers are nihilistic Cassandras that, knowing they can’t warn the Blue Pill masses about the doom they face, instead decide to go along for the ride, seeing no other options.

But despair is a sin.  Ultimately, some Red and Black Pillers, in their relentless searches for Truth, came upon THE Truth:  Jesus Christ.  Thus, the God Pill.  They came to realize there is more to life than being good with chicks (much of the Red Pill community was centered in the manosphere) and wallowing in hopelessness.

Such was the case of Roosh V, the notorious proprietor of the now-defunct Return of Kings, and a former pick-up artist.  Roosh converted to Christianity after moving through all of the phases above:  Blue Pill chumpitude, Red Pill immorality, and Black Pill despair.  Ultimately, he embraced Christ, and it’s been a remarkable conversion experience.

These posts detail that transformation:

  • The God Pill” (and “TBT: The God Pill“) – This original post in what I’m now dubbing The God Pill series dives into some of the history I detailed above, focusing more on the manosphere itself, and Roosh’s role in it as one of the neo-masculine trinity (alongside the other “R” names:  Rollo and Roissy).  It also talks about Roosh’s conversion, and the concrete changes he made at the time to live a more godly life.
  • The God Pill, Part II” – About a year after his conversion, Roosh decided to unpublish the remainder of his “game” books—books with advice for men about how to meet women.  He’d already unpublished most of his more explicit works, but left his tour de forceGame, available, as he viewed it as an “agnostic tool” that could be used for good or evil—to find a good Christian wife for marriage, or to bed random floozies.
  • The God Pill, Part III” – This post delves a bit more into how Roosh began to see how debased modern society is, and what brought about his ultimate conversion to Christianity.  It also ends with a reminder that “God loves you.  That’s why He sent His Son to die for us.”

The Internet is a frightening place, but there are a lot of folks turning to it to find meaning.  Many of them, sadly, get lost down some dark byways.  But God is working even there.  Roosh’s conversion is just one example of how a thoughtful, flawed individual was brought to a loving knowledge of Christ, and I hope his story will inspire others.

That’s it for this Sunday.  Stay safe!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Lazy Sunday XXVII: Bric-a-Brac

It’s been a pretty crazy week, and the weekend has only eased up slightly.  Last week’s Lazy Sunday was all about small town living, and about how valuable social peace is to maintaining a healthy society.

I’ve been harping on this idea a great deal lately.  Politics is an abyss, and staring into it for too long and too often starts to distort and twist one’s perspective.  In some ways, avoiding the topic twists the perspective of those who are not staring into the abyss, as I wrote about yesterday.  Nevertheless, it gets tiring—indeed, soul-sucking—to focus on politics constantly.

Additionally, I am increasingly in a state of despair about the ultimate direction of our nation and culture.  President Trump has been a welcome, God-given reprieve, but even his efforts have been repeatedly stymied, even by those within the party he remolded into his own image.  Even normal ideas are increasingly considered “radical,” and we can’t even discuss problems openly anymore in a polite setting.  I am a declinist by nature, but this is just ridiculous.

So, in the midst of this deepening despair—and this sense that, in abandoning God, He’s abandoned us to our fate—I’ve been trying to write more about lighter topics.  Perhaps it’s a bit of buoyant distraction as the ship slowly descends into the murky depths of irreversible darkness, or maybe it’s the recognition that there’s more to life than petty political squabbles (although most of those squabbles are increasingly theological battles for the soul of the West), but I’ve found that writing about Saturn is more enjoyable.

With that in mind, here’s a grab-bag of portly bric-a-brac:

  • The Bull on the Roof” – I wrote this post on my phone—never an enjoyable endeavor—while watching my little niece and nephew one evening (they lived, so I guess I wasn’t too negligent).  It’s about a delightful little piece of classical music from 1920, before modern classical music turned into atonal trash and killed the genre.  I wish music composition schools were still churning out composers who could write stuff like this piece.
  • Funcling” – I love being an uncle.  My little niece and two nephews are fun (and exhausting) to watch and to play with, and their imaginations are amazing.  This piece was about their obsession with pretending to be various Nintendo characters, mostly Kirby and sundry Pokemon.
  • Summer Reading: The Story of Yankee Whaling” – I read this little book over the summer, and loved it.  Written for children in the late 1950s, the book is an historical overview of the defunct whaling industry, an industry that built and fueled New England and America.  They don’t write history like this anymore; now, the book would be full of hand-wringing about whales being endangered species due to overhunting.  None of that in this book:  whales are powerful creatures, and men need to make a living.  Adventure ensues.
  • Saturn: The Creepiest Planet?” – Other than Earth, Saturn is the best planet (and, next to Earth, the creepiest, it seems).  I dream of being able to visit other planets.  In fact, I get perturbed when talking to scientists because they’re such buzzkills about space exploration.  “You would be crushed instantly, TPP, if you tried to fly into Saturn’s gaseous core” (even that sentence mocking them is probably riddled with errors to which they would object)—yeah, I know!  Let me suspend disbelief for a minute.  Better yet, come up with some solutions.  I’m sick of nerds telling me that putting plants and potting soil on the moon won’t terraform it.  Figure it out!  Aren’t we paying you to make science-fiction a reality?

That’s it for this week.  Don’t let politics suck your soul away.  Maybe God will hear our cries for help and do something; maybe not.  Regardless, spend time with family, read good books, and listen to good music—and try to enjoy yourself as the ship goes down.

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: