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.
We’re continuing our dive into the B-sides and deep cuts of the TPP oeuvre. For this Lazy Sunday, I decided to check out September 2019.
Whoa! What a gold mine of hidden gems and nuggets, forgotten in the tide of events. I didn’t realize how many good posts I generate during that first full month of the 2019-2020 school year. There’s enough for a couple of weeks, but here are three forgotten posts to tide you over until next Sunday:
“Remembering 1519” – With The New York Times‘s 1619 Project all the rage—a retelling of American history in which racism and slavery are the only pertinent factors in our grand national story—this post examined a piece from The Federalist about Hernan Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs in 1519. Rather than framing it as evil Europeans callously destroying the peaceful natives (any fifth grader can tell you the Aztecs were anything but peaceful), he flips the script to something closer to the Truth: the Catholic Christian Spaniards toppled a wicked regime built on human sacrifice and false gods. The Spanish weren’t angels, but they destroyed a great evil.
“Saturn: The Creepiest Planet?” – Quora inspired this post, and the site has now become a favorite of mine for people smarmily answering astronomy questions. The Solar System has always fascinated me, and Saturn in particular is alluring—so mysterious and regal, with its massive rings. I’ve even written a song, “The Rings of Saturn,” which I will hopefully record one day. The Quora post in question asked “What is the creepiest planet in our solar system?”; the answer, per a recording of Saturn’s electromagnetic waves, is Saturn. The embedded video to that recording is now, sadly, dead, but I’m sure some intrepid searching could turn it up.
“A Tale of Two Cyclists” – One of my more frivolous and cantankerous posts, this short screed denounces “spandex-festooned cyclists riding in the middle of a busy lane during rush hour.” Yet my sympathies are entirely with the second cyclist, “a black man of indeterminate age…. wearing street clothes, and riding what appeared to be a fairly rundown bike.” I have no problem with folks who use a bike as their primary means of transportation, lacking any other options. But these large groups of “cyclists” who ostentatiously hog entire lanes at 5 PM drive me batty.
That’s it for this Sunday! We’ll continue our exploration for at least another week, as there are some more goodies from September 2019 to explore.
A couple of days before the start of the school year, my school underwent a round of indoctrination professional development: the dreaded diversity, equity, and inclusion training ($5 subs got a sneak peek of my handwritten notes earlier this week, which I uploaded as a digitized PDF). As these things go, it wasn’t terrible, but there was plenty of social justice buzz words, and a subtle, implied anti-white bias to it. Really, it was an anti-Truth and objectivity bias.
This Saturday, permit me to be your guide through the harrowing world of corporate-style diversity training in the Year of Our Wokeness Two-Thousand and Twenty C.E. (because “A.D.” is discriminatory against non-Christians, even though the B.C.E./C.E. dating system is still based on the Birth of Jesus Christ!).
It’s been awhile (3 April 2020) since I’ve written a Phone it in Friday, which means I’ve been doing my job and writing actual content on Friday, not just slapping together listicles of random thoughts (that link is not intended to diminish Audre Myers, a far more engaging random thinker than me). That said, today seems like a good opportunity to phone it in—after a day of baby wranglingyesterday, and a fitful night’s sleep (thanks in part to some heavy, but delicious, meals).
Yesterday, I wrote about the destruction of statues of American leaders—the destruction of American history. My position is that tearing down virtually any statue—Confederate, Union, Theodore Roosevelt, etc.—is the untenable erasure of our nation’s history. Further, the historic illiteracy of the woke SJWs has seen the defenestration of statues of abolitionists—an absurdity for groups that claim to be fighting against the legacy of slavery.
In that context, I made a big deal about the toppling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln has assumed something of a demigod status in American history, one that glosses over some of the thorny issues of how to respond to the secession of the Southern States (a real question at the time was, having opted into the Constitution, could States later opt out; for a good biographical read on that issue, check out “A Voice of Reason” by John Marquardt at the Abbeville Institute). Lincoln was certainly a man with many noble qualities, and a keen constitutional mind. The toppling of his statues is the height of insanity—or nearly so.
It’s been a scary week in the United States as the nation’s cities engage in an orgy of violence and looting in reaction to the death of George Floyd. From all accounts, it seems that Floyd’s death was unwarranted, but my experience with these situations is that more evidence quietly appears after the fact that breaks down the “gentle giant” narrative (see also: Ahmed Arbury, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, etc., etc., etc.).
Regardless, the reaction from blacks and white Leftists is completely reprehensible and evil. One man’s (allegedly) unjustified death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer does not justify a week of pillaging and death.
Here’s to another Monday off from work (for those of us blessed to work in fields that give out random days off liberally). Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is one of those holidays that feels like an excuse to have a little taste of the recently-departed Christmas holiday. Everyone is still dragging in January, coming off the high of Christmas and New Year’s. I find the cold intellectually stimulating, but most of us are spending our time comfortably indoors, basking in central heating. It all makes for seasonal sluggishness.
Last year’s MLK Day post sought to take advantage of the day’s cozy laziness with some suggested reading. Contra the whole “make it a day ON” virtue-signalers, it really is the perfect day to crank up the heat, brew some coffee, and enjoy reading with some fried eggs (over medium, please) and toast (and, for us Southerners, a hearty helping of grits). It’s one of the last taste of the hygge before the warm weather creeps back in (which occurs sometime in late February or early March here in South Carolina).
That’s all by way of lengthy preamble to today’s post. I thought this year it might be worth looking at the holiday itself, and the man behind it. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was, indeed, a remarkable man, and one who did a great deal to advance the cause of liberty, more equally enjoyed. But while we’re not allowed to say so—MLK has been elevated to something like sainthood in the American Pantheon—he was an imperfect vessel in many ways.
I first found out about him and his controversial essay from NR, back when I was a devout print subscriber, amid the heady days when campus protests were novel enough to be terrifying. NR ran a little blurb about Williams College cancelling a scheduled talk from Derb, and I’ve been listening to his podcast—an entertaining mix of news, science, political and cultural commentary, and updates on the president of Turkmenistan—ever since.
A major part of American history was, of course, slavery. As I typed that sentence, I nearly wrote “the unfortunate legacy of slavery,” though we’re still living that, just not in the way the race-baiters and social justice warriors claim.
But phrases like “the unfortunate legacy of slavery” have become incredibly cliched. It and similar phrases (“slavery is our great national sin”) act as magic talismans, incantations that, when invoked, protect the speaker (presumably) from the ultimate curse, the label of “racist.”
Of course, slavery was wrong, and slavery is immoral. It was our great national sin (paid for, as Lincoln pointed out in his Second Inaugural Address, with the blood “drawn by the sword” in the American Civil War). It continues to have an “unfortunate legacy,” in that race-baiting charlatans continue to blame it for virtually every pathology in black American culture.
Dang it… I screwed up the incantation with that last bit. I’d better kiss my job goodbye right now.