Today is Saint Patrick’s Day throughout the Western world, a day to venerate and celebrate the life, death, and Christian service of Saint Patrick (the day coincides with the supposed date of St. Patrick’s death). Of course, now the holiday has devolved into a drunken festivity in which everyone pretends to be Irish for a day, downing pints of green beer and wearing green.
The real story of Saint Patrick is far more interesting than the debauched modern celebration. Patrick was the son of a wealthy family in what is now Britain in the declining years of the Roman Empire. Irish raiders captured Patrick and sold him into slavery in the Emerald Isle. Working alone as a shepherd, isolated and afraid, Patrick turned to Christ for solace and strength.
After escaping captivity, God called him back to Ireland, not as a slave, but to deliver Ireland from its spiritual bondage. After his ordination, Patrick returned and preached the Gospel to the pagan Irish, sparking a major religious revival among the people there. Ultimately, Ireland became second perhaps only to France in its dedication to the Catholic Church, and unlike its Gallic co-religionists, maintained that devotion well into the twentieth century.
The tug of nostalgia is a strong one. I’m only thirty-five, and I already feel it from time to time. Indeed, I’ve always been a sucker for nostalgia, which a psychologist might argue is one of the reasons I studied history. Perhaps. I also just enjoy learning trivia.
Regardless, Audre’s post caught my attention because I have been contemplating the literal, physical act of walking lately (although I often take metaphorical strolls down memory lane, too). I’ve put on a bit of weight in The Age of The Virus, so I’ve taken up walking as a way to complement a regimen of calorie counting (which is more of a loose, back-of-the-envelope calorie guesstimate each day).
I’m trying to get in around two miles of focused walking a day, mostly around Lamar. Although work commitments don’t always make that possible, I do find that simply going about my work results in around two miles of walking in aggregate. I’m curious to see what my step totals will be once the school year resumes, and I’m dashing about between classes, pacing the rows of students, and striding across the boards as I teach.
I’m not a runner, by any means. My older brother loves to run, and has the physique to show for it. More power to him, but I know myself well enough to know it’s not something I want to do. Runners swear oaths to running’s efficacy and delights, but gasping for breath in 100-degree weather with maximum humidity doesn’t appeal to me. Walking at a brisk clip in that weather, though, is at least bearable—once I’ve embraced the stickiness and the sweat, I can go for a couple of miles easily, and sometimes three or four.
The British libertarian magazine The Spectator reached its 10,000th issue. It is the only magazine ever to reach this milestone. It began life as a newspaper in July 1828, becoming a magazine “more than 100 years” later, although it was apparently always a weekly.
Throughout its history, The Spectator took radical positions for the times. They supported the expansion of the franchise in Britain in 1832, and supported the Union in the American Civil War at a time when many Britons were concerned about the impact of cotton shortages on the British textile industry than they were about slavery (correctly or not, The Spectator cast the American Civil War in moral terms).
The European Union is an overweaning, elitist, supranational tyranny. It is a progressive dream, which is why the Leftists are melting down over Brexit, and attempted to thwart it for so many years. Progressives today—just like progressives in the early twentieth century—are gaga for technocratic rule and elitist dominance.
It’s not about “democracy”; if it was, they would have accepted the outcome of the 2016 referendum. Democracy only matters to progressives when it advances their ends. That’s why progressives hold elections and referendums—repeatedly, if necessary—until they get the outcomes they want—and then the matter is settled forever. If that doesn’t work, courts or the bureaucracy will effectively veto the voters’ “incorrect” choices.
Proverbs 31:10 says that a virtuous wife’s “worth is far above rubies” (NKJV). Quite true. These days, they’re about as rare as rubies, if not more so.
That being the case, the converse must also be true: if a virtuous wife is worth more than rubies, then a corrupt wife will cost you everything. In the case of Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex, it cost him the Crown Jewels.
2019 is winding down, and with this being the last Sunday of the year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the most popular posts of 2019.
These posts aren’t necessarily the best posts—although that’s an entirely subjective measure—just the ones that received the most hits.
When looking through the most popular posts, there were a few surprises. One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that posts I pour my heart and soul into may walk away with five views (and, oftentimes, only one!). Then other posts that I dash off in a hurry to make my self-imposed daily goal take off like Rossini rockets, garnering dozens of hits.
Some of that is timing and promotion. I find that the posts I have ready to launch at 6:30 AM do better on average. But some generous linkbacks from WhatFinger.com really created some surprises here at the end of the year, surpassing even the exposure I received from Milo Yiannopoulos. Writing posts about hot, current news items, the dropping links about said items in the comment sections of prominent news sites, also helps drive traffic, but I often lack the time required to do such “planting” (and it is a practice that can come across as spammy if not done with finesse).
Some posts take on a life of their own; I see consistent daily traffic from one of the posts on this list, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.” Apparently, a bunch of people are as mystified as I am with Steyer’s goofy, virtue-signalling belt.
Well, it’s certainly been an adventure. And while it may be premature—there are still two days left in the year!—here are the Top Five Posts of 2019:
It’s Christmas Week! And what a glorious week it is. It’s been raining persistently in South Carolina since Sunday morning, but I’m enjoying the coziness of the hygge—warm coffee and lazy reading.
PragerUhad a little video up this morning from historian Andrew Roberts about Napoleon. It’s an interesting take on the not-so-short French emperor—an apologia, really (for those that prefer reading—as I often do—to watching videos, here is a PDF transcript).
Roberts argues that Napoleon was not the necessary precursor to Hitler, et. al.; rather, Napoloen was “sui generis“—a man unto himself. While I believe the ideas of the French Revolution did unleash the totalitarian forces of Hitlerism, Stalinism, Maoism, and all the rest—a murderous, bloody Pandora’s Box—I’ve never considered Napoleon among their ranks.
The unofficial theme of the blog this week has been Christmas music. What better way to cap off the week than with a post about the best Christmas song ever written, Adolphe Adam’s “O Holy Night“?
Like its cousin “Silent Night,” the story of “O Holy Night” involves a village’s church organ. In 1843, the church organ of the French village of Roquemaure had recently been renovated, so the parish priest asked a local wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau, to write a poem to commemorate the occasion. That poem, “Cantique de Noël,” would be set to music a short time later by composer and music critic Adolphe Adam—and Christmas history would be made.