Lazy Sunday XC: Questions, Part IV

After last week’s celebration of 100 weeks of posts, I’m continuing my review of posts that pose questions in their titles.  Also, today’s post marks the 800th post on the blog, which is pretty nifty.  Regardless, I’ll likely depart from these posts to do some Christmas Lazy Sundays as the holiday approaches, but for now, let’s dive back into some questions:

  • The Collapse of the Obama Coalition?” – This post considered the future of the so-called “Obama Coalition,” a coalition of various fringe identity groups to deliver electoral victory to the Democrats.  The occasion for the piece was Kamala Harris dropping out of the Democratic primaries.  Turns out I wasn’t as wrong about her future success as I thought at the time—she’s very likely going to become president thanks to Biden’s advanced age and blatant election fraud.  But it’s still an open question whether or not identity politics will succeed long-term.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: What is Political Moderation?” – In this essay, I explore the question “what exactly is political moderation” and a sub-question:  does political moderation truly exist?  My basic argument is that when we call for “political moderation,” we’re really just surrendering slowly to the side that wants more via compromise—in this case, Republicans compromising with Democrats until progressivism reigns supreme.
  • The Revival of Traditionalism?” – This post looked at the possible impact of The Age of The Virus on a revival of more traditional modes of living.  Perhaps my assessment of that impact was overly optimistic, as it seems The Virus has merely encouraged us to depend even more on mind-numbing entertainment and social isolation.  But it was nice to see feminists complaining about having to spend more time with their kids.

That’s it for this week.  Here’s hoping you found some answers.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

 

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

$1.00

Conservative Girls are Prettier

Way back in 2001, good ol’ John “The Derb” Derbyshire wrote a column for National Review called “Hillary’s Style Crash.”  That was back in the days before NR kicked Derb to the curb for writing his controversial piece for Taki’s MagThe Talk: Nonblack Version,” in which Derb dropped some unpleasant nuggets of wisdom.  That piece went up during the first round of the past decade’s worth of race riots, back before most of us realized it was mostly ginned up controversy.

Regardless, while I don’t agree with Derb’s race realism overall, he does offer up some remarkably insightful commentary.  His weekly podcast is often the highlight of my Saturday mornings, and he comes across as an intellectually curious, gentle man who sincerely cares about his adopted country.  His best commentary involves cultural matters, and that 2001 piece offers up a great insight:  conservative girls are prettier, but progressive girls are easier.

Read More »

Lazy Sunday LIV: Coronavirus

It was inevitable—a Lazy Sunday dedicated to the coronavirus.  This may end up being a “Part I,” depending on what happens over the next few weeks, but I’m planning on shifting away from corona talk for awhile.  There are bigger and better things in life than a Chinese biological weapon and/or Chinese culinary disaster-turned-virus.

I’ve been trying to make the most of a generally bad situation.  It’s springtime in South Carolina, so for about two weeks, we’ll enjoy pleasantly mild weather before the oppressive heat of summer hits.  Z Man has an excellent, optimistic post up today about “Springtime In The Pandemic“; it’s a must-read, and follows some of my own ideas about the possible cultural consequences of everyone being at home and resuming more traditional roles.

So this Lazy Sunday, it’s time to look back at my various posts on the dreaded virus:

  • Phone it in Friday VIII: Coronavirus Conundrum” & “Phone it in Friday IX: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part II: Attack of the Virus” – What a difference a week makes!  Between these two posts, I went from writing off the coronavirus as a bad strain of flu to being much more concerned.  Even since the second installment here, though, I’ve come to reassess the situation again. How much of this shutdown is necessary to stem the spread of the virus, and how much of it is the result of panicked media reporting?  I think it’s possible it’s a threat and the threat is overblown.  We’ll see next week, when this fifteen-day experiment in social isolation has run its course—or gets renewed.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Coronavirus Prepping” – When I wrote this post on 7 March 2020, I still thought the coronavirus’s threat was remote, but I was concerned about the disruption to supply chains.  I detailed my steps for preparing for the possibility of quarantines and/or shortages.  Fortunately, it seems that now grocers are catching up, and unless you’re looking for toilet paper, you can largely find what you need.
  • High-Tech Agrarianism” – This essay explored an idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile, but that takes on new urgency in the Age of Corona:  what if we combined small-scale agriculture with high technology?  Using our lawns to grow grass seems like a waste of the land and of the effort to maintain it.  What if we applied the effort of mowing and weeding to growing easy-to-maintain crops?  In our normal lives, people don’t have the time, but as we’re shifting more to telecommuting and distance learning, it seems like we’d all be able to spend a bit more time in the garden.
  • The Revival of Traditionalism?” – In line with the previous post, this piece explored the social and cultural impact of the coronavirus on gender roles.  It was vindicating to see one of the greats write on a similar topic this morning.  The upshot to this whole forced shutdown is that we’re really reevaluating what truly matters in life, as I opined about at length above.

Well, that does it for now.  Stay safe, wash your hands, and God Bless!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

The Revival of Traditionalism?

Milo Yiannopoulos posted a screen shot yesterday of an essay from The Atlantic reading “How the Coronavirus Will Send Us Back to the 1950s” (the piece, by Helen Lewis, is now called “The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism“—a silver lining to this pandemic, I suppose).  His caption reads, “HOLY SH[*]T YES PLEASE[.]”

The Lewis piece is the usual feminist hand-wringing about the disparate impact of the coronavirus on women.  Feminists always find a way to make global catastrophes about them, and not about everyone who is truly suffering.  The attitude seems to be, “yes, yes, people will die, but why do I have to make any sacrifices or trade-offs for the people I ostensibly love?”

Read More »

Milo on Generation Joker

Earlier this week, I finally had the opportunity to watch Joker, the movie that DC got right (I also watched black-and-white indie film The Lighthouse, which I also heartily recommend).  It’s one of those films that has stuck with me, as I keep contemplating its title character’s woeful arc.

That’s unusual for a superhero movie.  I’m not a film snob, and I enjoy the action-packed, high-gloss hilarity of [insert Marvel Cinematic Universe movie here].  But I’ve usually forgotten most of the details of those superhero movies by the time I get home from the theater.

Joker is different.  Indeed, I wouldn’t even call it a “superhero” (or even a super villain) movie.  Yes, it’s the origin story of the The Joker, Batman’s greatest rival.  It does follow some of the tropes of the standalone superhero flick:  the discovery of the character’s powers (in this case, a 38 Special and mental illness), his utilization of those powers, and his full acceptance of his new role.

But it’s more than a superhero flick.  It’s the brooding, angsty cry of a generation.

Read More »

Destroying Marriage with the Flip of a Coin

Today’s post is something straight out of Dalrock’s excellent blog:  a couple in Florida decided to take the last name of whoever won a coin toss.

Here is the image from the article:

A picture is worth a thousand soyboys.  I sent this article to my younger brother, sister-in-law, and girlfriend yesterday, and my brother commented, “The entire aesthetic of the lady officiant makes me think of one of these dystopian sci-fi settings where there’s one secular religion imposed by the State.”  Amen.

I will add:  the bride’s (Darcy’s) reaction to winning the coin toss speaks volumes.  She’s clearly gloating at winning an arbitrary coin toss that strips her husband of his last remaining shred of masculine dignity.  And the look on the groom’s (Jeff’s) face suggests he is not pleased with the outcome.

Of course, Jeff will never admit this fact.  Here is a particularly cringe-inducing excerpt:

At the altar of their Dec. 14 wedding, they flipped a brass, engraved medallion, one side with Darcy’s last name, and the other with Jeff’s surname.

“It’s fair. I am a graduate student in economics at Florida State and I think about fairness,” Jeff told the Palm Beach Post.

“Being with someone who was willing to start the marriage from a creative and teamwork and fair place felt like a really good first step toward an equal partnership,” Darcy, a nurse-midwife, added.

When the time came, it was Darcy’s name that won out. Mr. and Mrs. Ward were thrilled with the result.

“You could say I won,” Jeff said. “I was the one who received something new.”

The phrase “I am a graduate student in economics at Florida State and I think about fairness” perfectly encapsulates the clueless virtue-signalling of noodle-wristed academics.  Jeff is saying, “I’m smart, so I know better than centuries of tradition.”

His claim that he “won” because he “received something new” is protesting too much.  Jeff knows that what he and his wife have done is ludicrous—otherwise it wouldn’t make the New York Post—and emasculating, so he’s attempting to save face with a ex post facto justification.

The hyphenation of last names, or wives keeping their maiden names, may seem like a small personal choice, but it’s one of the thousand little cuts against traditional marriage.  Marriage is the coming together of two people into one, with the husband as the spiritual leader.  Taking her husband’s last name is a significant demonstration of devotion and fidelity.  It also serves the practical purpose of confirming paternity and keeping fathers responsible to their children.

It might seem like I’m making a big deal over a small decision—“it’s just a name, TPP.”  Well, what’s in a name?  Surely there is some symbolic and practical significance to taking a husband’s name.

Further, I’d be more amenable to such arguments if we hadn’t seen the systematic destruction of marriage over the last 100 years.  That destruction began with baby steps.  Anything we can do to shore up traditional marriage is a positive good.

I completely understand the special cases:  academics retaining their maiden names professionally, for example.  But a wife should not begrudge her husband for becoming one with him—that’s a recipe for a failed marriage.  Besides, no kid wants to be saddled with a hyphenated last name.

Let’s hope Jeff and Darcy make it.  My instincts tell me they won’t.  Darcy is clearly the “man” in this relationship, and Jeff is not.  Whether they realize it or not, that’s going to breed a great deal of unhappiness and strife.

I hope I’m wrong, for their sake.

Reacting to Hysterical Reactions: Peloton Ad

While driving home from work, I heard a little news bulletin on the radio about controversy surrounding a recent Peloton ad.  Peloton is some kind of high-end exercise bike that features videos of instructors shouting at you in that obnoxious, oddly stentorian way that hyper-motivational athletic types use when coaching quasi-sports for middle-aged women.  You know the kind of voice I mean.

Apparently, the ad is “cringeworthy” because it features a woman working out, and then thanking her husband for the gift (presumably on the Christmas following the one where she received the bike).  Also, the woman is attractive and already thin; never mind that we’re supposed to be “healthy at any size” (a concept, as my girlfriend explained to me, that does not mean we pretend 400-pound land monsters gobbling dozens of Quarter Pounders a day are “healthy,” but that a person can pursue a healthy lifestyle even if he’s morbidly obese).

The shrill feminists denouncing the ad are saying that the husband is shaming his wife into becoming even thinner—never mind that maybe she wanted an easy way to workout at home (skinny people can be unhealthy in their habits, too).  Throughout the commercial, the wife records her progress, and critics are pointing out the anxious look on her face, suggesting she’s pleading for her husband’s affection.

Give me a break.

Read More »