Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Equality as a social construct

 Dear Son,

One of the most brilliant things I've ever seen posted on Facebook was a picture of a hawk chasing a smaller bird and a caption that stated the following: Equality is a social construct.  In nature nothing is equal.

Monday, June 19, 2017

High school in the American consciousness

Dear son,

Americans like to believe that people grow up right after high school and to me this is proof that they're childish.  There is no reason to believe that a diploma means a change in behavior or that high school, a process involving almost zero dedication or danger beyond football and breakups, will force you to make any serious decisions.  The hormones you began it with are there when you leave.  A senior is really no smarter than a sophomore.  To expect adults by the end is an exercise in fantasy.  We expect high school to be over only because the high schoolers have left the building.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The whole point of cuteness (and a defense of Planned Parenthood)

Dear Hannah,

The really strange thing about cuteness is that it goes away.  Completely goes away unless you have a disease like Gary Coleman's.  One minute you're adorable as a kitten and then poof -- no more cuteness; no more inspiring that feeling that you've got to be hugged and squeezed and cuddled even though you're spitting up all over us and crying when we're supposed to be sleeping.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Civil wrongs

Dear Hannah,

What Americans seem to miss in our approach to homosexuality is that being attracted to men isn't acting like a pussy.  The two things are completely different and we have taken them for the same thing.  The ancient Greeks were warlike and gay and never batted an eye over it; and when Horatio Nelson said "kiss me Hardy" it was because he had just been shot in a war.  Nowadays you kiss a man and everyone thinks you must be effeminate; and the "inevitable result" of someone declaring his love for a man is that he must also be in love with Liberace.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Missing the old NAACP

Dear Hannah,

Sometimes when you tell an old joke the joke is on you.  There are some jokes that are so relevant that they have to be told until the end of all time.  Such are jokes about easy moms* and mothers-in-law, and when you tell a good one you can join the ranks of Cicero.  But there is no such thing as a joke about a great grandmother-in-law.  You don't go back in time.  You either target the mother-in-law or you leave it alone.  You can say you just shot a bear in your underpants and then question how the bear got there in the first place.  What you cannot do is tell that joke to an old person.  You have to start with kids or the whole thing is lost.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Augustine

Dear Son,

Before I knew anything about Augustine I read City of God.  I'd heard that it was written by someone called a father in a religion where we were commanded by the Founder not to call anyone a father except our Father in Heaven; and although I hadn't any knowledge about Augustine as a person, I was told that it was written because Rome had fallen to the barbarians.  I picked it up and read all thousand pages.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On wudu

Dear Hannah,

The concept of breaking wudu is a singular development of the Muslim religion.  It may be defined as follows.
Wudu, or ablution, is both a traditional ritual and a practical means by which Muslims seek to maintain good physical and spiritual hygiene. Traditionally, Wudu refers to the mental preparation and physical cleanliness of Muslims for the Salat (prayer), one of the Five Pillars of Islam

Friday, April 28, 2017

An objection to the hatred of socialists

Dear Hannah,

An old college friend of mine (and it must be confessed a Russian) has objected to a statement in my last essay that every good man ought to hate a socialist.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

First they came for the Nazis

Dear son,

It's remarkable that the poem First They Came begins "first they came for the socialists" because the socialists came first, and they came for everyone else.  They didn't even come for the Jews first.  In fact, an unGodly number of the socialists in Russia at the time of the Revolution were Jews, and the socialists in Russia came for whoever they wanted.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The question of saving Syrian children

Dear Hannah,

I think any American at this point who has seen the videos of Syrian children getting gassed by Assad -- any of us who have any tendency towards reflection -- has been led to ask what exactly his feelings are for.  We know that every feeling has a purpose; and that, like faith, they were given to us for action.  As such, we look inside ourselves and thank God we are morally alive and feel something for the children; but this leads us to another more uncomfortable question.  It leads us to wonder whether it is colder to feel something and do nothing than to simply feel nothing.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tomi Lahren vs Moses: a contest in barbarity

Dear Hannah,

Wisdom is a judicious balancing of pros and cons, and the controversy over abortion isn't an exception to the rule. My reasoning against abortions is that I've seen too many pictures of aborted babies. My reasoning in favor of abortion is that I've been acquainted with too many unaborted adults.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Pop music versus the hipsters

Dear Hannah,

Our honest prayer was that we would return to the days when our artists were ugly, and God and the record labels saw fit to give us Lil' Yachty.  This was not at all what we meant.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to be a terrible Mexican

Dear Hannah,

Now that the Archdiocese of Mexico City has told us that any Mexican helping build the wall is a traitor, we are left wondering exactly what they mean.  It has yet to be shown how many filthy Godless wasted Americans waltz through the doors of the current one every year to terrorize Tijuana; and it seems that if anyone could benefit from better border controls it would be the Mexicans.  We get many of their workers.  They get many of our frat boys.  You can easily conceive who's getting the worse end of this deal.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Absalom

Dear Hannah,

The Ethiopians are a very peculiar people.  Hidden away on the eastern half of Africa, they do not have a history of slavery in the Americas, and of all the different kinds of black Africans appear the least foreign to us.  Their features are in many cases sharp as the European's, and provide a stark contrast to the Africans of The Ivory Coast and the Congo.  Here you will see no flattened noses or giant lips; and their skin appears almost bright compared with the midnight blackness of the people of Sudan.  My opinion is that their women are the prettiest of black Africans; and what they surpass in all their neighbors with the beauty of the face, they double in terms of form with a thickness in the rear*.  Their only rivals on the continent are the Arabs of North Africa.  The same compliment of looks cannot be paid to their men.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dreaming of right-wing women

Dear Hannah,

I don't believe (whatever Paul and Schopenhauer said) that women in general are stupid, but I don't believe the rumor's existence is entirely the fault of our men. The women seem to have brought it on themselves.  If all our men were to start calling our women ugly nobody would believe it, mostly because there is nothing more true than that women are one of the only things we stare at so desperately that some of us end up in jail.  But even if men tried spreading the lie, the truth of an assertion lies not in its totality but in its probability.   Too many women are beautiful for us to call them ugly.  We might even say the concept of beauty revolves around women*.  But are too many women intelligent for us to say they aren't stupid?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

So are we going to keep Milo?

Dear Son,

I have never had sex with a man, and I mean this in the least Bill-Clintony way possible.  But I have gotten lots of attention from men, and the most of it came when I was around the age of 17.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The case for racist English classes

Dear Hannah,

There's a very easy way to make sure your going to judge me, and I have already done it.  It all lies in the "your."  The difference between "your" and "you're" is simple, but the fact that I've mistaken it isn't.  It hints at all kinds of things; at whether I'm sloppy or hurried or stupid or ignorant; it makes you wonder if I have ever passed the fourth grade and whether I've learned anything after it.  Who is the writer? you ask, and rightly.  If Jesus said not to judge (whatever that means) He also said that those who can be trusted with much must first be trusted with little; and I have intentionally shown you what happens when someone cannot be trusted.  Simply put, he gets judged without mercy.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The perils of parenthood

Dear Hannah,

Nothing can really prepare you for the feeling that you have ruined your child.  You simply have to feel it.  No amount of warning or observation will do.  You will not understand years of watching your parents apologize over the tiniest and most trivial most forgotten mistakes they made when you were four until you have made mistakes with your four-year-old that you just can't forget.  They'll just hit you one day like a bucket of bricks, and there will be nothing you can do to get over them.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

On bums

Dear Hannah,

Protestants (and especially Calvinists) enjoy telling us that we're all bums to God.  They have no other way of making us understand how far below Him we are morally, so they have to find a way to make us think of someone who is morally far below us.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Superbowl 51

Dear Hannah,

The really remarkable thing about the Superbowl is that it is the most lucrative football game in the US and the one that Americans are the least interested in.  30 teams have already played and lost; and all the irrational localist jingoism that pervades the average football game has already been spent on the other teams.  The most that most of us can say about the Superbowl is that we pick a team that we "hate" the least, and the team we hate the least is hated least because they probably never had a rivalry with the team we love the most.  The whole thing is an exercise in wankery, the last dregs of a season Americans began in hope and excitement, eventually petering out in a whirlwind of disappointment, and carried on simply because there weren't any other games left to watch.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Daylight saving time and its detractors

Dear Hannah,

Because daylight saving time is around the corner we can expect to hear that tired old joke from that useless old Indian:
‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.’

Sunday, January 22, 2017

We're pregnant

Dear Hannah,

Yesterday I met a man who was celebrating a pregnancy, and when I asked him if the baby was his and he pointed at a man and said "we're pregnant," I laughed and then congratulated him.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What was Aleppo?

Dear Hannah,

To my knowledge nobody I know knows of the meaning of Aleppo.  We know that it is in Syria.  Know that Assad has been bombing it.  We know that it is what the women are referring to as "a humanitarian crisis," and what the men are referring to as "a point of strategic importance."  Nobody has told me why the Syrians are more important than the thousands of women and children being butchered by drug lords in Mexico; or why Assad is more threatening to us than said drug lords in Mexico; or why the people are being bombed in Aleppo in the first place; or why Assad is a bad guy and the rebels are good.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Westworld: a review

Dear Hannah,

HBO's first season of Westworld has the honor of being so good that we are worried it will continue; and in doing so joins a series of series that would have been better if they'd left them unfinished.  The first series I remember starting this well was The Matrix, followed by two sequels that gave us more of the story but none of the magic; followed by things like The Hunger Games which eventually gave us a solution when what we actually wanted was more of the problem.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Carrie Fisher, world class beauty

Dear Hannah,

There is one thing shared in common by everyone who says that Carrie Fisher should be remembered for her brains, and that is that none of them will be remembered for their brains.  That she was beautiful is beyond dispute; and she will be remembered as long as Star Wars is still selling and Slave Leia is warping our sexuality.  What she will not be remembered for is her activism or her attitude.  We could have hired any woman to scold Harrison Ford across a decade; that is the thing known as marriage.  But the glory of doing it and still having us want her belongs to her face.  And secondly it belongs to her wearing a metal bikini.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baby, it's cold outside

Dear Hannah,

One thing that seems to have escaped feminists' notice in the controversy over Baby, it's cold outside is that the song is a duet.  Perhaps never in the history of rape or music or music about raping people has anyone ever toured with their rapist for the express purpose of singing about being raped.  And this is for two reasons.  The first is that singing about it would be painful for the woman; and the second is that it would be dangerous for the man.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

This week in hate

Dear Hannah,

The New York Times has decided to run a new feature titled This week in hate.  Cataloguing a series of hate crimes dating back to November 16, it strangely fails to mention November 28th, when a young Somalian man in Ohio ran his car into a lot of pedestrians, got out of said car, and then began stabbing Americans at random.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Social media: an apology

Dear Hannah,

In retrospect I may have "suffered" what is commonly known as a "lapse in judgment."  Any references on this Facebook account relating to the someone known as Richard Gere and any acts he probably did not commit have been removed on account of a) their slanderous nature and b) the impropriety of sharing the allegations themselves; and prove 1) that I can in fact be fouler in the pursuit of hilarity than I prefer and b) that I occasionally require some forgiveness for said acts of impropriety.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

In defense of socialists

Dear Hannah,

Let's say for a moment -- hypothetically -- that someone out there had a son and the son hit his head and hitting his head sent him into convulsions; and the going into convulsions sent the man's wife into a panic, and the panic sent her to the hospital, and the hospital sent her to a room.  And let's suppose that the room was empty, and she wondered where the doctor was, and the doctor appeared for five minutes and then disappeared again; and she was given no medicine, and she waited for three hours, and at the end of it all she was sent home without anything more than a recommendation to see another doctor -- and that almost a month later, after receiving absolutely nothing more than a recommendation, she received a bill.  The original charge: $1200.  The cost after insurance: $350.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

In defense of fake news sites

Dear Hannah,

The great value of a page like Shares from your Aunt is that it proves what we already knew about the elderly: that they are too old.  Perhaps nobody since the turning of the millennium has ever so accurately caricatured the embarrassing aunt on Facebook, and done it so convincingly that our aunts are likely to take the posts seriously.  An unwavering credulity, accepting even the wildest assertions and conspiracy theories; a mangling of minor facts in embarrassing ways that accidentally make them important; a tendency to crusade over the stupidest and most irrelevant things comprises the gist of the web-page, which is unintentionally the gist of many of our aunts.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Concerning improper use of the word Moron

Dear Hannah,

I will begin this letter by expressing my disappointment with H.L. Mencken; and being disappointed (perhaps unfairly) because H.L. Mencken was not G.K. Chesterton.  The beauty of G.K. Chesterton wasn't only that he was right (whenever he was, that is); it was that he didn't have to tell you when he was.  His genius eked from every line; even when he was being ridiculous.  Mencken was distasteful not only enough to be right (when he was right), but to insist that he was right when he thought he was right.  And the way he insisted he was right was by insisting others were morons.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why everyone hates Ayn Rand

Dear Hannah,

Perhaps in the history of mankind there has never been so enjoyable a teaching as Objectivism from so unlikeable a teacher as Ayn Rand.  Jesus Christ was so magnetic that He spent His days ruining dinner parties and insulting His followers -- and despite this He was so fun that even the children loved Him.  Joseph Smith was so popular with women that he felt forced to reintroduce polygamy to the Americas.  Mohammed was so interesting that he was illiterate and still ended up with one of the most propagated books in all of human history.  Ayn Rand's insults stung more than her teachings soothed.  The men who should have naturally been her allies ended up becoming her enemies.    

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The perils of naming yourself

Dear Hannah,

One thing that I realized after reading a very thoughtful (and extremely Catholic) essay by Anthony Esolen, was that, in the war over gender pronouns and in nearly everything else, it's generally a terrible thing to name yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2016

In praise of Milo Yiannopoulos

Dear Hannah,

I'll admit that I hated Milo at first.  Something about the way he was making fun of fat women.  He seemed undignified, cold, and low; taking the issue far beyond the heresy of leftists and turning it into something personal -- something regrettable by anyone who has ever had an overweight mother or a sister.  The people who are against "fat shaming" (even if what they're against is only stating a preference for fitness) are really against health and beauty and taste, and thus perfectly worthy of a thrashing.  The overweight, on the other hand, are only overweight; and so long as they aren't demanding admiration for their fatness or forcing us to say that everyone is beautiful, may displease us sexually, but often make up for their unattractiveness with what we call a personality*.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The American Dream and its critics

Dear Hannah,

Because I was in college I've done several things I wouldn't do now, at the top of the list being a beer bong with more than seven types of hard alcohol (which resulted in me blacking out and doing horrible things), voting as a Democrat, and reading Michael Moore.  The latter of these took place in small apartment after I decided to stop snorting cocaine and picked up some Chomsky, and involved a book much longer than it needed to be about something like Oprah Winfrey becoming president.  It was brilliantly titled Dude, Where's My Country?  One of the chapters has stuck with me more than the one about Oprah being an ideal presidential candidate, however, and it had to do with the fraudulence of the American Dream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Concerning Didion's sense of humor

Dear Son,

Reading Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem leaves me with the impression that she was one of those skinny, sickly girls who's always complaining about problems and never giving any solutions -- someone more commonly referred to as a whiner.  I've met several of them in my life and they all make me want to leave the second I meet them, because if you don't; if you find yourself giving in for even a second to your pity and trying to console them and (what's worse) trying to be a friend, you find yourself consoling them all the time instead of enjoying your life.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Welfare queens and their defenders



Dear Hannah,

If the editors of The Atlantic had ever seen Lost, they might remember a scene when Sawyer the lovable con-man explains his father's philosophy of stealing.  It runs, in entirety, that no matter who you are or what you do for a living, you're either taking or giving too much, but you're never getting what you deserve.  The whole world is alternating between stealing or being stolen from.  The professional thief (and maybe even the saintliest of saints) might argue that he's separated from the rest of humanity only in name.  A saner man might argue back that the thief is separated from humanity more particularly by degree.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

On wankery

Dear Son*,

I'm convinced that a major reason Americans are dumber than our ancestors is because so many of us are wankers.  Almost nobody talks about this, but a man's ability to be excellent is directly connected to whether he's spent himself sexually.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Are women as good as men?

Dear Hannah,

At this point it can very safely be said that feminism from its inception was practically a bait-and-switch.   We know this because from the beginning feminists were telling us they were as good as men, and now the arguments from feminists center around the fact that they aren't.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mothers and other villains

Dear Hannah,

It seems we have a conflict of interest.  Somewhere within the last couple of years you've decided life is intolerable without music; which is unfortunate because I think life is intolerable with it.  In this regard you came about a decade too late.  Sometime around 2008 someone stole all my cd's and I came to the realization that silence and I were better off than I thought; and my theory, to the best of my ability, has to do with the fact that the things coming out of my brain were more interesting than any music I could put into it.