What happens when a luxury transport ship on a routine voyage to Mars is thrown off course, set adrift on an endless voyage across the cosmos? That’s the premise behind 2018’s Aniara, based on the 1956 Swedish epic poem of the same name.
The answer, ultimately, is quite bleak. Aniara fits fully into the nihilistic ennui that Scandinavians—materially prosperous but spiritually adrift—relish so stoically. Seriously, the Swedes seemed obsessed with existential crises and a sense of meaningless in life. At its best, that gives us the likes of Danish Christian existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard; at its worst, it creates the kind of mindless pleasure-seeking the passengers of the film’s title ship indulge in here.
For all the film’s depressing messaging about the futility of life (to be fair, being trapped on an endless voyage in space, eating only algae to survive, would be a fairly depressing and psychologically destructive experience), it’s a fascinating look into how a society might develop, survive, and perish in the depths of outer space.
It’s Easter Weekend 2021! Unlike last Easter, which was “decidedly un-Eastery” in The Age of The Virus, this Easter is starting to go back to normal. By the time you read this post, I will have had my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, so I’m either fully medically acceptable to our cosmopolitan elites—or dead. Gulp! I’m not sure which is worse.
Regardless, more and more folks are vaccinated, and churches have been reopened for many months now here in the South (they never should have been shuttered in the first place). I fully expect that tomorrow will see a return, albeit a perhaps socially-distanced, diminished return, to the jam-packed Easter services of The Before Times, in the Long, Long Ago.
Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, probably in a dead-heat with Christmas. Just as Christmas celebrates Christ’s Birth, Easter commemorates His Resurrection—the ultimate testament to Christ’s Victory over Death, the Devil, and the Grave.
Today is Saint Patrick’s Day throughout the Western world, a day to venerate and celebrate the life, death, and Christian service of Saint Patrick (the day coincides with the supposed date of St. Patrick’s death). Of course, now the holiday has devolved into a drunken festivity in which everyone pretends to be Irish for a day, downing pints of green beer and wearing green.
The real story of Saint Patrick is far more interesting than the debauched modern celebration. Patrick was the son of a wealthy family in what is now Britain in the declining years of the Roman Empire. Irish raiders captured Patrick and sold him into slavery in the Emerald Isle. Working alone as a shepherd, isolated and afraid, Patrick turned to Christ for solace and strength.
After escaping captivity, God called him back to Ireland, not as a slave, but to deliver Ireland from its spiritual bondage. After his ordination, Patrick returned and preached the Gospel to the pagan Irish, sparking a major religious revival among the people there. Ultimately, Ireland became second perhaps only to France in its dedication to the Catholic Church, and unlike its Gallic co-religionists, maintained that devotion well into the twentieth century.
That’s certainly encouraging. In theory, my faith to Christ is my highest priority, although like many Christians, that’s not always the case in practice. In practice—and in a practical, day-to-day sense—my family is my top priority, even if they’re an hour or two away.
The two, however, seem inextricably tied. Some years ago I heard someone (probably Dennis Prager) say that the three keys to happiness are faith, family, and work (most likely in that order). Faith in God gives us purpose (indeed, God gives us our Creation—our very existence). Family gives us people who love us, those we support and those who support us in turn. Work gives us a sense of accomplishment—the satisfaction of a job well done.
It’s the last Sunday of 2020, so in keeping with last year’s tradition, today’s Lazy Sunday is dedicated to reviewing the Top Five posts (in terms of views) for 2020.
The posts below are not the top five in terms of views all-time. Instead, I’m featuring the top five published in 2020. Indeed, there were several posts from 2019 that blew these out of the water (all view totals are at the time of writing, 22 December 2020): “Tom Steyer’s Belt” (2864 views), “Napoleonic Christmas” (295 views), “Christmas and its Symbols” (212 views), and others.
So, again, these are the Top Five Posts of 2020, published in 2020. All numbers are as of 22 December 2020, so there could be some shifts:
2.) “Thalassocracy” (201 views) – This post really surprised me with its success. I wrote it mostly as an after-thought—the situation with many posts when I’m churning out daily material—but the topic interested me. Based on the limited search term information WordPress gives me, it turns out that many people were searching the unusual term for the same reason I was: the video game Stellaris. In searching for the meaning of “thalassocracy,” I stumbled upon a lengthy essay on the fragility of thalassocracies—nations and empires that build their fortunes on naval prowess, rather than substantial ground forces. It’s an interesting (and long) essay, but hopefully my humble post sums it up well enough.
3.) “You Can’t Cuck the Tuck III: Liberty in The Age of The Virus” (87 views) – As you can see from the numbers, the posts begin dropping off a bit in views from here on out, though I consider anything over fifty views pretty solid for this humble blog. This piece explored the destruction of liberties in The Age of The Virus, something that I find has occurred with shocking ease, and which continues to ever more ludicrous extremes.
4.) “Big Deal” (78 views) – This post was about Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify, and his own implicit sell-out to social justice cuckery. I can’t account for its mild popularity, other than it was a timely post that touched on a widespread sentiment on the Right.
5.) “The God Pill, Part II” (76 views) – This piece reviewed former pick-up artist Roosh V’s dramatic conversion to Orthodox Christianity (covered in “The God Pill“; read the whole series here), and his decision to unpublish his bestseller, Game. That decision has really cost him financially—he recently took a gig doing construction work in Alabama for a few weeks, and is apparently back living with his parents in Maryland—but it was the right move spiritually. Many thought Roosh was converting as a way to reinvent himself to make an extra buck, but he really seems to be putting his faith first. Kudos to him.
That’s it! It’s hard to believe another year is in the books. Thanks to everyone for reading, and for your ongoing support. It can be difficult to maintain the pace of posting at times, but your feedback and comments really keep me going.
Here we are—another Christmas Eve. It’s a night full of magic, mysticism, and wonder—the Light and holy version of Halloween, when the tenuous division between our corporeal existence and the supernatural world is thin.
Last year I wrote of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions, which are changing up a bit again this year. In lieu of the usual evening candlelight service, we’re going to an afternoon service at a church in my younger brother’s neck of the woods. Afterwards, we’ll be enjoying Chinese food—a newer tradition for us—and some fondue, a tradition from my sister-in-law’s side of the family. We’re beginning to sound like 1970s Jews on Christmas.
Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas tomorrow—and some Christmas Eve merriment tonight! With that, here is 24 December 2019’s “Christmas Eve“:
“Christmas Eve” – My brief riff on Christmas Eve, which I characterized as “the most magical, mystical part of Christmas time,” this post explores that mysticism—that sense of ancient legacy and tradition—inherit in the night Christ was born.
“Christmas and Its Symbols” – This post features analysis of a daily devotional from Daily Encouraging Word, which discussed the symbols of Christmas. We Protestants tend to be practical, literal folks, but we lost some of the magic and mystery of the season—and of our faith more generally—when we abandoned symbolism for literalism. Christ and Christianity took old pagan symbols and repurposed them to tell the Good News of the Gospels. Talk about meeting potential converts where they are.
“Singing Christmas Carols with Kids” – I’m blessed to teach music for a living, and a substantial portion of my side income comes from teaching private lessons. This post celebrates the fun and joy of singing Christmas carols with young people, an activity which links us to our ancestors and our faith.
That’s it for this pre-Christmas Sunday. Stay warm, have fun, and have a Merry Christmas!
As such, we need to begin planning and preparing for the worst immediately. Indeed, many Americans have already done so, and I’ve spoken with many conservatives who believe the worst is yet to come.
Aside from stockpiling and gardening—and generally moving towards greater degrees of self-sufficiency—one important aspect to consider is community building. By that I do not mean the kind of Leftist, Obama Era pabulum in which we’re all “community organizers” mobilizing nihilistic welfare queens into a low-information progressive voting bloc. Rather, I mean genuine community building—the formation of those multitudinous, invisible bonds that bind a people together.
Doing so may very well be the most important step Christians, conservatives, and traditionalists can take to survive for the long-term.