'When I get old I'm joining all the civic orders; Kiwanis, Rotarians, Odd Fellows, Lions, Masons, all that shit. I'll have more pins on my hat than a Vietnam vet and drink Bud Light in cinder-block chapter halls five nights a week.'
“God in his providence has placed us in a remote part of the world, and if our brethren in other countries “fall out by the way,” we will endeavour to reconcile them, but we will not become partners in their quarrels. They have a right to choose their own governments, and manage their own affairs, without our interference. God does not call us to war. We are not attacked nor endangered; until we are, we have no right to spill our own blood, or that of our children. Let us then “study the things that make for peace.” Let us unite in repressing those restless spirits who cannot see a quarrel going on without inserting themselves in it. Let us be ready constantly to exert our good offices in bringing about peace; and let us devoutly pray that God would hasten the time when “wars shall cease from the earth,” and the peaceful kingdom of Jesus Christ, which breathes nothing but good will to men, shall universally prevail.”—Peter Thatcher
Ben Smith appears to have been convinced by one of the neoconservatives’ top operators that neoconservative is no longer a useful label, and has now endorsed that person’s replacement term. Quite a trick, isn’t it? Imagine Lila Rose convincing the Associated Press to start using “pro-life” again and you’ll get a sense of the journalistic malfeasance at work.
“The ‘return’ to the lost, the excluded, the failed or destroyed, is not an option for the saint, but the very heart of saintliness. And we might think not only of Jesus’s parable of the shepherd, but of the great theological myth of the Descent into Hell, in which God’s presence in the world in Jesus is seen as his journey into the furthest deserts of despair and alienation. It is the supreme image of his freedom, to go where he is denied and forgotten; he shows his inexhaustible mercy for all by identifying even with the lost.”—Rowan Williams, The Truce of God (via ayjay)
Let us not speak badly of nationalism.
Without the virulence of nationalism, Europe and the world would already be ruled by a technical, rational, uniform empire.
Let us give credit to nationalism for two centuries, at least, of spiritual spontaneity, of free expression of the national soul, of rich historical diversity.
Nationalism was the last spasm of the individual before the gray death awaiting it.
… the Tea Party’s philosophy of government (again, as understood by Salam) has embedded within it an aversion to basic democratic principles that goes far beyond a typical contempt for Washington, politicians and pundits. … He’s describing a childish and essentially anti-political belief that a return to an Articles of Confederation-style U.S. order…
If the Department of Justice was unclear as to which constitutional power Congress exercised in 1898 when it purported to have annexed Hawaiian territory by joint resolution, it should still be unclear as to how…
As I was standing in line, I heard the jaunty marimba of the Rolling Stones’ 1966 smash hit, “Under My Thumb.” We’ve all heard the song 1,000 times — it’s a very catchy tune, from a talented, superstar band. But it also features lyrics that are not exactly friendly…
Well, OK, technically it’s called ‘Lebanon’ in what Sacred Harp bookshave it (there’s also another ‘Lebanon,’ in the more widely circulated ones, so try not to get confused). It’s called ‘Dublin,’ number 13, in William Walker’sSouthern Harmony, which is the book I have. Still others have it listed as ‘Coleshill‘ or simply ‘England
I wrote a column this week over at TheDC about the Las Vegas shooters, and how, after the media has gone to great pains to trump up any connection between spree killers and the right, they’ve finally got one that seems to fit the profile:
For Sunday morning’s shooting in Las Vegas, in which Jerad and Amanda Miller allegedly shot two police officers and a bystander before the latter took both of…
After this fashion, then, even when I was among the Celts, like the ill-tempered man in Menander, “I myself kept heaping troubles on my own head.” But whereas the boorish Celts used easily to put up with these ways of mine, they are naturally resented by a prosperous and gay and crowded city in which there are numerous dancers and flute players and more mimes than ordinary citizens, and no respect at all for those who govern. For the blush of modesty befits the unmanly, but manly fellows like you it befits to begin your revels at dawn, to spend your nights in pleasure, and to show not only by your words but by your deeds also that you despise the laws. For indeed it is only by means of those in authority that the laws inspire fear in men; so that he who insults one who is in authority, over and above this tramples on the laws. And that you take pleasure in this sort of behaviour you show clearly on many occasions, but especially in the market-places and theatres; the mass of the people by their clapping and shouting, while those in office show it by the fact that, on account of the sums they have spent on such entertainments, they are more widely known and more talked about by all men than Solon the Athenian ever was on account of his interview with Croesus the king of the Lydians. And all of you are handsome and tall and smooth-skinned and beardless; for young and old alike you are emulous of the happiness of the Phaeacians, and rather than righteousness you prefer “changes of raiment and warm baths and beds.”
"What then?" you answer, "did you really suppose that your boorish manners and savage ways and clumsiness would harmonise with these things? O most ignorant and quarrelsome of men, is it so senseless then and so stupid, that puny soul of yours which men of poor spirit call temperate, and which you forsooth think it your duty to adorn and deck out with temperance? You are wrong; for in the first place we do not know what temperance is and we hear its name only, while the real thing we cannot see. But if it is the sort of thing that you must now practise, if it consists in knowing that men must be enslaved to the gods and the laws, in behaving with fairness to those of equal rank and bearing with mildness any superiority among them; in studying and taking thought that the poor may suffer no injustice whatever at the hands of the rich; and, to attain this, in putting up with all the annoyances that you will naturally often meet with, hatred, anger, and abuse; and then in bearing these also with firmness, and not resenting them or giving way to your anger, but in training yourself as far as possible to practise temperance; and if again this also one defines as the effect of temperance that one abstains from every pleasure even though it be not excessively unbecoming or considered blameworthy when openly pursued, because you are convinced that it is impossible for a man to be temperate in his private life and in secret, if in public and openly he is willing to be licentious and delights in the theatres; if, in short, temperance is really this sort of thing, then you yourself have ruined yourself and moreover you are ruining us, who cannot bear in the first place even to hear the name of slavery, whether it be slavery to the gods or the laws. For sweet is liberty in all things!
"But what an affectation of humility is yours! You say that you are not our master and you will not let yourself be so called, nay more, you resent the idea, so that you have actually persuaded the majority of men who have long grown accustomed to it, to get rid of this word ‘government’ as though it were something invidious; and yet you compel us to be enslaved to magistrates and laws. But how much better it would be for you to accept the name of master, but in actual fact to allow us to be free, you who are so very mild about the names we use and very strict about the things we do!
If you have not read the Slavic poets
so much the better. There’s nothing there
for a Scotch-Irish wanderer to seek. They lived in a childhood
prolonged from age to age. For them, the sun
was a farmer’s ruddy face, the moon peeped through a cloud
and the Milky Way gladdened them like a birch-lined road.
They longed for the Kingdom which is always near,
always right at hand. Then, under apple trees
angels in homespun linen will come parting the boughs
and at the white kolkhoz tablecloth
cordiality and affection will feast (falling to the ground at times).
And you are from surf-rattled skerries. From the heaths
where burying a warrior they broke his bones
so he could not haunt the living. From the sea night
which your forefathers pulled over themselves, without a word.
Above your head no face, neither the sun’s nor the moon’s,
only the throbbing of galaxies, the immutable
violence of new beginnings, of new destruction.
All your life listening to the ocean. Black dinosaurs
wade where a purple zone of phosphorescent weeds
rises and falls on the waves as in a dream. And Agamemnon
sails the boiling deep to the steps of the palace
to have his blood gush onto marble. Till mankind passes
and the pure and stony earth is pounded by the ocean.
Thin-lipped, blue-eyed, without grace or hope,
before God the Terrible, body of the world.
Prayers are not heard. Basalt and granite.
Above them, a bird of prey. The only beauty.
What have I to do with you? From footpaths in the orchards,
from an untaught choir and shimmers of a monstrance,
from flower beds of rue, hills by the rivers, books
in which a zealous Lithuanian announced brotherhood, I come.
Oh, consolations of mortals, futile creeds.
And yet you did not know what I know. The earth teaches
More than does the nakedness of elements. No one with impunity
gives to himself the eyes of a god. So brave, in a void,
you offered sacrifices to demons: there were Wotan and Thor,
the screech of Erinyes in the air, the terror of dogs
when Hekate with her retinue of the dead draws near.
Better to carve suns and moons on the joints of crosses
as was done in my district. To birches and firs
give feminine names. To implore protection
against the mute and treacherous might
than to proclaim, as you did, an inhuman thing.
A big h/t to Brad Birzer on Facebook, for pointing out this column Orwell wrote for Tribune in 1943:
Reading Michael Roberts’s book on T. E. Hulme, I was reminded once again of the dangerous mistake that the Socialist movement makes in ignoring what one might call the neo-reactionaryschool of writers. There is a considerable number of these writers: they are intellectually distinguished, they are…
You’ll recognize the words, maybe not the tune. I picked this video because a kid is leading it:
Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, / Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, / Call for songs of loudest praise.
I will rise and go to Jesus, / He’ll embrace me in His arms; In the arms of my dear Savior; / Oh…
The situation in Thailand is now reverted to what is essentially a standard practice since the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1932: Absolutist military rule with backing from King Bhumibol Adulyadej, because direct absolute monarchy is so unmodern. The country did not have a stable democratic government for about 60 years until approximately 1992, after the tenth coup since 1932…
Several more Northern California counties plan secession votes:
Voters in Del Norte and Tehama, with a combined population of about 91,000, will decide June 3 on an advisory measure that asks each county’s board of supervisors to join a wider effort to form a 51st state named Jefferson.
Elected officials in Glenn, Modoc, Siskiyou and Yuba counties already voted to join the movement. Supervisors…
Jason Joseph notices a split between Peter Lawler’s postmodern conservatives and the crowd of lovable modernity-rejecting hobbits at Front Porch Republic. Patrick Deneen, porcher capo, accepts the challenge:
This debate pits the anti-consumerist, CSA-loving, small town-adoring, pro-hand working, suburb-loathing, bourbon-sipping denizens of the “Front Porch Republic” against the McDonald’s loving,…
As recently as 2008, while commending himself for being “now one of Maoism’s few noteworthy representatives”, Badiou praised Mao’s thought as “a new politics of the negation of the negation”. From one point of view, this stance is merely contemptible – a professorial pirouette around a vast pile of corpses. But one must bear in mind the fathomless frivolity of some on the French left. Already in 1980, two former Maoist militants had announced their rejection of the creed in the language of fashion: “China was in … Now it is out … we are no longer Maoists.” Against this background, Badiou’s persistence is almost heroically absurd.
In the west, Maoism had two defining characteristics: it bore no relation to conditions in China, in regard to which its proponents remained invincibly ignorant; and it was embraced by sections of an intellectual class that was, for political purposes, almost entirely irrelevant.
… The Little Red Book has now achieved what looks like being its most enduring significance: as a piece of capitalist kitsch.
Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, ingenious Russians began recording banned bootlegged jazz, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll on exposed X-ray film salvaged from hospital waste bins and archives.
"Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy," says Sergei Khrushchev. "Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music."
Despite an assertively rootlessparochialism that may be our chief character trait, your average American Memorial Day celebrant may nonetheless find the distribution of Ukip voters in this week’s election interesting.
Wherein Chauncey DeVega reflects that progressivism hasn’t quite been severed from its protestant roots:
Several years ago, I watched students become unhinged and hysterical in response to Right-wing professional bomb thrower David Horowitz. They cried. They shambled about in a confused state. Some of them were taken to…
Every so often, David Brooks comes very close to getting it, but he’s never quite willing to take his arguments to their logical conclusion. Like back in March, he wrote that “The real power in the world is not military or political. It is the power of individuals to withdraw their consent.” Or this week:
The answer is to use Lee Kuan Yew means to achieve Jeffersonian ends — to become less…