TBT^2: Things That Go Bump in the Night

It’s the so-called “spooky season” again, which naturally turns my mind to things not seen.  Lately, I’ve been pondering the pre-modern mind, and how differently pre-moderns saw the world.  It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around it.  What must it have been like to fear God—naturally (as in, without the scientistic arrogance we moderns seem inculcated into at an early age)?  To suspect mercurial forces at play in every tree or lonely bog?

There’s so much we don’t know; so much we can’t see (even if it’s caught on video).  Ironically, for all of our assuredness about how the world works, we find ourselves in an age of constant epistemological confusion, one in which we seem incapable of knowing what is True or not.

Heady contemplations, indeed.  The possible existence of Bigfoot or any other number of odd creatures, corporeal or otherwise, is not insignificant:  if supernatural beings exist, God Exists (or, more probably, because God Exists, there are all manner of spirits and angels and the like at work, just beyond our perception).

Spooky stuff!  With that, here is “TBT: Things That Go Bump in the Night“:

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Gnostic Mysteries

There is something appealing about possessing some bit of secret knowledge or trivia that is unknown to everyone, save a select few “initiates” fortunate enough to partake in the mysteries.  The seductive allure of secret knowledge—or of just being “in-the-know” about some microniche subculture—seems to be a part of human nature.

We’d like to think in our modern age that we’re not superstitious sorts, but we are haunted everywhere.  Scientists have elevated themselves to the level of priests in a cult of scientism, worshipping the emptiness of nihilistic materialism just as the pagans worshipped lifeless idols.  Both are made of stuff—hard, material, unfeeling, insensate stuff—and both are equally empty.

But we here on the Right can fall prey to Gnostic fantasies as well.  The Libertarian dreams of a utopia in which everyone engages in frictionless free exchanges and all uncomfortable disputes are settled with cash and self-interest.  He’s as materialist and deluded as the mask-wearing mandatory vaxxer preaching loudly from the Church of Scientism.  The hyper-nationalist dreams of some impossible ethnostate that never really existed in the first place.  And so on.

Still, it’s seductive, the idea that we can possess the knowledge of good and evil, of true Reality.  After all, that’s the original sin, isn’t, it?  Eve, then Adam, could not resist the allure of being—so they were told, dishonestly—like God.  But even—perhaps, especially–Christians can fall into this trap.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Martha’s Migrant Crisis

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Apologies for the delayed post this morning, readers.  After a particularly grueling (but productive!) week and around three hours of sleep, I wasn’t prepared to write a post Friday night, and instead dozed off on the couch watching a Spanish-language horror movie.  —TPP

The big news this week is that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a few dozen illegal immigrants to an upscale island vacation destination on the taxpayers’ dime.  Normally, I’d see this move as what these things usually are:  another example of scofflaws getting rewarded while the law-abiding foot the bill.

But these are not normal times, and the cost to Florida taxpayers was well worth the message sent:  if you progressive elites like illegal migrants so much—often at the expense, in terms of treasure and blood, of the naturalized and native-born citizens you’re sworn to protect—then surely they won’t mind a few dozen border hoppers lounging around Barack Obama’s palatial estate.

For conservatives out there concerned about the cost of these illegal immigrant vacation junkets, think of it as part of the State of Florida‘s advertising budget:  instead of spending money warning people to look out for cyclists or some other wasteful public service announcement, Floridians are getting a major return on their advertising dollars.  The speed with which the Martha’s Vineyarders (Vineyardians?) expelled the dusky hordes from their sleepy progressive utopia is an object lesson in how little elites really believe anything they say.  It’s also a pretty effective way of highlighting, on a small scale, what border towns experience every day, and to a far greater magnitude.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

TBT^2: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus

The Virus is like a bad movie series that just refuses to die.  There was a controversial but impactful first release that everyone was talking about, even if they didn’t see it.  Then there was the lackluster sequel, which still enjoyed some popular support, even though ticket sales were down.

Now it feels like we’re on the tired third film, which is a watered-down, ineffectual finale (one hopes) to a premise that is played out.  Sure, critics love it, but audiences are tired of its antics.

What still seems to make it into the script of every one of these films is the part where the government bureaucrats lock everything down and release a bunch of ghosts into Manhattan (uh, wait, what?).  Meanwhile, we all kind of sit by and twiddle our thumbs and put our masks on dutifully.

What happened to the band of merry wastrels who tossed tea into Boston Harbor, rather than comply with an odious monopolization of the tea trade?  Or the plucky scofflaws who made it impossible to enforce the Stamp Act?  I’d rather disguise myself as an Indian (feather, not dot) and caffeinate the water supply than put a mask on again (but that would be cultural appropriation, of course).

In short, why don’t we get a backbone, instead of cowering behind masks and locking ourselves indoors?  We’re literally cowering before an invisible enemy with a 99%+ survival rate.

Well, liberty is never easy.  Better to stay inside watching movies and disconnecting from reality, eh?

With that, here is 29 July 2021’s “TBT: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus“:

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TBT^2: Leftism in a Nutshell

When I first wrote about the “degrowth movement” three years ago, it seemed like another kooky Leftist spin to cover for an economy that would inevitably decline under a Democratic president.  When I revisited that post last summer, it was after five months of Biden the Usurper’s economic misery and malaise, and after a year of shutdowns thanks to The Virus.

In other words, we’d tried involuntary degrowth, and it’s made us poorer.

A year on, the economy has gotten even worse.  We’re all quite aware that gas prices are through the roof.  Food prices have skyrocketed as well.  One reason I’m dieting this summer (besides the fact that I need to return to my lean, pantheric form) and skipping breakfast is because it saves a few bucks (and because I need my massive spaghetti ration to last a lot longer—I can down a pound of spaghetti with shocking rapidity).  Groceries are too expensive for binge eating.

The most recent print issue of Backwoods Home Magazine (Issue #189, July/August/September 2022) features a cover story entitled “The Return of Victory Gardens.”  That piece discusses not just the high prices of groceries, but the scarcity of items on shelves.

For years, I’ve boasted about how cheap food is.  Just a few years ago, you could pick up a loaf of bread from Dollar General for eighty-eight cents.  Granted, it wasn’t good bread, but it got the job done.  Eggs were cheap.  Butter was maybe a dollar for four sticks.  Pretty much everything you could need was easily affordable, even if it wouldn’t make for the most exciting meals.

Now, none of those items are particularly cheap.  The lowest price for a loaf of crummy (and crumbly) white bread I can find locally is around $1.49 a loaf.  I have a hook-up for eggs, so I’m covered there.  But my egg supplier tells me that I should start canning butter, because the price of that is about to go way up.

And forget about eating meat.  It looks like the grand dream of the globohomo super elites—that we’ll all be eating cricket burgers, safely isolated and subdued in our living pods—is getting closer and closer to reality.

It became a BoomerCon cliché to point to Venezuela as an example of what happens when socialism runs amok.  But the BoomerCons were right.  Unless we want to be eating pet rabbits and zoo animals, we’d better do something to shore up our food stores and increase our independence from the supply chains stat.

With that, here’s “TBT: Leftism in a Nutshell“:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Bicentennial Man (1999)

After many requests—from Audre Myers, not lots of different people—I am finally reviewing Bicentennial Man (1999), the film in which Robert Williams plays a robot, Andrew Martin, who wishes to become a human.  I picked up this flick on-demand on RedBox for about $4—a small price to pay to make Audre happy (and/or to appease her, depending upon one’s perspective).

When I announced I’d be reviewing this film last Monday, it engendered some controversy in the comments.  Regular reader and contributor Pontiac Dreamer 39 (now going by “Always a Kid for Today”) wrote:

Bicentennial man?! Crikey, Tyler, you’re going to need a lot of booze. I like Robin Williams but that film is dross. If you can get through to the end sober, I’ll be impressed. Personally, I’d have made Audre rewatch that film! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Audre predictably came to the film’s defense, citing its relevance in an age in which robots and artificial intelligence are growing increasingly sophisticated.  Ponty/AaKfT argued better films on the topic exist, such as Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 masterpiece RoboCop.

You can read the comment thread for yourself, but after viewing the film (stone cold sober), I am ready to render my judgment on Bicentennial Man.

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TBT: Monsters

As the days grow shorter and cooler, with a full moon overhead, that old Halloween spirit has me excited for mischief and fun to come.  Shirts for this year’s Spooktacular have come in, and I’m ready to play more spooky tunes from my front porch!

I’ve already reblogged one of my favorite posts, “On Ghost Stories,” and it’s a bit early to throwback to past Halloween posts, so it seemed like a good time to consider another post pertaining to the so-called “spooky season.”  This post, “Monsters,” is very much in the same vein as “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” but from the angle of cryptids—think “Bigfoot“—rather than strictly supernatural creatures.

I don’t know if I believe in Bigfoot or not—I want to believe in it, at least—but I’m very much open to the possibility that there is far more to God’s Creation than we can even hope to comprehend.  As such, it seems self-limiting to outright deny the existence of certain creatures.  There might be plenty of evidence against the existence of Bigfoot, Mothman, etc., but such was the case—as I point out in this post—with the adorably weird duck-billed platypus.

But I digress.  Whether these monsters exist or not, there are still plenty around us.  With that, here is 21 October 2020’s “Monsters“:

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TBT: Things That Go Bump in the Night

Despite my griping about South Carolina weather in yesterday’s post, the first day of September was surprisingly cool and overcast, giving the slightest taste of the crisp autumnality to come.  This time of year always gets me thinking about Halloween and spooky stuff, especially as everything feels more magical.

Our modern minds have diminished and dismissed the supernatural as mere superstition, often accompanied with attempts to explain away supernatural phenomena with explanations that themselves require faith to believe.  That “faith” is in scientism, a counterfeit “religion” built purely on a material understanding of the world.

We see but through a glass darkly.  There is more to our world than meets the eye—more to it than what we can observe.  God tells us much of what is there—at least, what we need to know—and Scripture seems to suggest we shouldn’t go looking for things beyond Him and His Son.

Seems prudent to me.  With that, here is 2 September 2021’s “Things That Go Bump in the Night“:

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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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