In the face of such totality, it’s little wonder that conservatives and traditionalists grow pessimistic about the future. Despair is seductive, and misery loves company.
As Christians, however, despair is profoundly sinful. When we give into despair—into hopelessness—we are denying God’s Sovereignty, His Power and His Plan to guide us through the present storm.
During my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday, he mentioned in passing the passages from 1 Kings 19 in which Elijah curls up under a broom tree and prays for death. Despite defeating the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel in the previous chapter, Elijah despairs, for he knows that Jezebel has put a price on his head—and he feels utterly alone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The latest target of the woke elites and their braying mobs is—that great symbol of imperialism and Western dominance—sheet music.
Apparently, some Oxford dons are considering removing sheet music and the ability to read traditional notation from its curriculum. One quotation from The Telegraph article notes that “The Oxford academics went on to pronounce that teaching the piano or conducting orchestras could cause ‘students of colour great distress’ as the skills involved are closely tied to ‘white European music’.”
This latest crusade is the musical equivalent of the effort in English departments across the country to downplay the teaching of grammar. Sure, one can make plenty of excellent music without knowing how to read notation, but why limit one’s self to tabs or lead sheets? I can certainly communicate certain ideas without adverbs, adjectives, or even pesky commas, but doing so severely limits the range of expression.
Hogg is so clueless that he failed to register the trademark “Good Pillow,” the ultimate name of the company; a clever individual from North Carolina snagged it the day after the Newsweek piece was published on 10 February 2021.
I’ve written several times about the possibility of secession—of a (hopefully) peaceful dissolution or separation of the United States. To be clear, I do not want that to happen, and I fear such a separation would be anything but peaceful. But if it means a world where the progressive crazies can test out their wacky theories and policies in their own land with its own borders—and I am well outside of those borders—then it may be the best possible of all options.
I tend to disagree with Daniel Webster’s assessment that “Liberty and Union” are “now and forever, one and inseparable.” While I think the Union of the States did at one time strengthen the defense of liberty, it increasingly seems that the Union—as manifested through the power of the federal government—is trampling those liberties. I prefer John C. Calhoun’s rejoinder to Andrew Jackson: “The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States and by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union.” The Union is great, but only so far as it preserves liberty and the rights of States.
Quoting John C. Calhoun favorably, of course, is dangerous in these woke times, as he was an evil slave owner (per the social justice warriors) and argued that slavery was a “positive good.” Of course the man wasn’t right about everything, but he was right about States’ rights and the importance of liberty. I can acknowledge that Truth without accepting his other beliefs.
But I digress. It seems that secession or peaceful separation is not merely a conservative pipe dream, a distant hope for some second chance at liberty. The progressives are getting in on the action. The ultra-progressive publication The Nation has a long op-ed published entitled “The Case for Blue-State Secession.” Most of the piece is ridiculous Leftist dogma, but the fact that the totalitarian Left is toying with the idea is intriguing.