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.
Seven of the States were in New England of the Mid-Atlantic: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The other nine were California, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
While I certainly don’t like seeing Southern States in that list (I’ll consider West Virginia “honorarily Southern”), their inclusion makes sense. Mississippi is a great State, as I imagine West Virginia is, too, but they’re not exactly hotbeds of opportunity. Similarly, Louisiana is so corrupt, it’s little wonder that it’s shedding inhabitants.
The rest of these States make perfect sense: New England and the Mid-Atlantic are hotbeds of failed progressive policies and social justice insanity. Reading photog’s posts at Orion’s Cold Fire gives a good sense for the besieged nature of conservatives in his State, Massachusetts. I once spoke with a pharmacist who relocated his family from either Connecticut or Vermont—I can’t quite remember now—who said he had to move South because he was run out of his job for not supporting abortion.
Disclaimer: I do not endorse violence as a means to achieving political ends in normal circumstances. That said, I reject the claim that “violence never solves anything.” The vast annals of human history suggest the opposite is largely the case—violence has been the resort—sometimes final, sometimes not—to resolve any number of problems. Our entire political system rests on the implicit use of violent force towards upholding the common good—and protecting those unable to protect themselves. Jesus Christ died—quite violently!—for our sins, offering us ultimate salvation forever.
Further, our entire nation is founded on a last-resort to violence to secure American liberty: the American Revolution. Brave men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to secure liberty and to defend their rights. Over 4000 did make the ultimate sacrifice—and many, many more since then—to win and secure our freedom. Sometimes some turbulence is necessary—as the Left has told us all of last year as BLM destroyed cities—to secure liberty.
That’s an uncomfortable concept—I don’t necessarily like it, and I am sad to see it has come to that—but it’s the foundation of our Republic. I sincerely pray for reconciliation and healing, as did John Dickinson prior to the American Revolution, but I am not optimistic given Democratic control of the organs of power. The storming of the Capitol will be used as a pretext—it already is—to oppress and imprison conservatives. At such a point, the remaining options begin to vanish.
I am not calling for or advocating violence in any form—but I’m afraid it’s coming nevertheless. Please pray with me for reconciliation—true reconciliation, not the dictator’s peace of bending the knee to Leftist insanity—and prepare for troubled times ahead.
I know, I know—everyone wants to read and talk about the storming of our metaphorical Bastille. I’m going to cover that in-depth in this weekend’s SubscribeStar Saturday post, not because I know it is the event of the decade—and will therefore crassly milk it for subscribers—but because my own observations are so tantalizingly spicy, I have to hide them behind a paywall. Believe it or not, $1 is apparently a major hurdle.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a bit local draconianism that I will hopefully soon be able to address head-on: my small town of Lamar has adopted a mask ordinance. Given our current Town Council, I’m surprised it took this long.
The ordinance, dated 14 December 2020 and effective 4 January 2021—but only received in water bills on 7 January 2021—is entitled “REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL AND FOODSERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS, AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.” It features a number of “WHEREAS” justifications, mostly the “recommendations of public health experts.” It then lists the “Use of Face Coverings” in Section 1, detailing that face coverings must be worn indoors at stores and restaurants, etc., with plenty of opportunities to not wear a mask listed in Section 2, “Exemptions”—religious reasons, dental cleanings, etc.
The penalties for infractions—detailed in Sections 3 and 4—are $25 for individuals and $100 for businesses that fail to require employees to wear masks. Section 3 seems laughably unenforceable in a town that has maybe three police officers—and just a recipe for another unpleasant interaction between otherwise law-abiding citizens and police. Section 4 is particularly onerous, though, as it forces private companies to force their employees to wear masks, or face daily $100 fines.
Granted, most business establishments have already bent the knee and have bought into the mask hysteria. In my mind, though, that makes the mask mandate even more unnecessary: if Dollar General is making me wear a mask to buy a $1.26 loaf of bread-based loaf product anyway, why does the Town Council need to ladle an extra dollop of self-righteous scolding?
Last Friday as I pulled up to work, I do what I do every day: pick up my gaiter mask from the emergency brake and put it over my head. As I did so, I experienced every ounce of everyday oppression that modern man endures.
Wearing a mask is, indeed, a small thing to ask, but it’s become the proverbial straw—and my face the camel’s back.
So I decided, then and there, to make an extremely small stand for my own independence. In some limited scenarios, I am going to stop wearing my mask publicly.
In other words, there’s very little chance SubscribeStar is going to shut down a “star“—their term for their content providers—over groundless accusations. That’s one big reason I signed up for their service: I had confidence that they wouldn’t shutter my blog posts simply for thinking critically and questioning the prevailing orthodoxy.
Let me be clear: I do think The Virus is real and is potentially life-threatening, especially for the elderly and the chronically ill. Indeed, the CDC findings indicate that is, indeed, the case. Even when not life-threatening, it’s surely unpleasant—just like a particularly bad case of the flu is unpleasant.
But just as we’ve done in the past with bad flu seasons, we should begin returning to some degree of normality. Indeed, Sweden’s approach to The Virus has been practical and effective: protect the elderly and other vulnerable populations while encouraging as much normality as possible for the rest of society. Let younger people work, play, and mingle, and develop that coveted herd immunity.
Lazy Sunday is rolling on with some more “Forgotten Posts” (check out Volume I and Volume II). Again, the criteria for selection is pretty loose—I scroll through my archives and find posts I don’t link to very often, or which I’ve largely forgotten that I wrote. Even that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
This week’s selections come from June 2019. The summer is always a slow month for new; ergo, it’s a slow month for blogging. But with a self-imposed daily post requirement, I’ve gotta come up with something. Here’s a taste of those somethings:
“The Price of Freedom: A Good Attorney” – This post explores the concept “that the process is the punishment.” For conservatives, that usually means blowing tons of cash on attorney’s fees to prove one’s innocence in a justice system that increasingly assumes guilt, tainted as it is by social justice bromides. Lawfare is, more and more, how the Left imposes its agenda on an unwilling population, so it’s good to see the Right fighting back. Owen Benjamin’s recent victory against Patreon is one excellent example. But freedom isn’t free; it bills at about $200 an hour.