Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Notes on the pandemic

Dear H,

At some point last week, in the middle of this pandemic, I realized the inevitable.  The chance that my personal favorite barber would remain open into the foreseeable future was nil.  This led me into one of two options.  I could resolve to just get on with life, and when worst came to worst, to shave my head.  But the angel with golden flowing locks on my shoulder said hell no.  He kicked into high gear and gave a suggestion.  "Why not call her up and work out a deal?"  So I did.  She was in the barbershop but not working, according to the receptionist, so I asked if I could speak to her.  When she answered, I got to the point.  "Look, Kim, I'm a vain man.  I can shave my hair any time and do fine, but why should I when I've got you?  So just in case the shop closes down, how about I get your number and we arrange something ourselves?"

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Black Elk Speaks: a review

Dear M,

Black Elk Speaks is supposed to be a spiritual classic for American Indians.  Not just for his tribe, but for all of them.  It's so far advanced in this direction that now, almost a hundred years after its first publication, it's beginning to get its own schools of theology, and a horde of uninspiring idiots argue about its more obscure passages.  But this is how it goes.  Inspiration leads to confusion leads to policy.  The Spirit gives life, and the letter kills it. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Black Republicans

Dear H,

Candace Owens, Queen of Blexit
In America, a black intellectual only joins the human race by joining the right wing*.  I had almost said when he votes Republican.  Nearly all the other black "thinkers," their writers and other disseminators of ideas, excluding maybe Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, are too caught up in the black question to join the rest of us.  Thus the majority of their works, if not all of them, are focused on black people and the police, or black people in history, or black people in business, or black people in politics.  There's no Thomas Sowell, who's known primarily for his works on economics, or Voddie Baucham, known primarily for his lectures on Jesus and Homeschooling, or Ben Carson, known primarily for his work on brain surgery.  Instead we get a slew of one-trick-ponies and racial narcissists, the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brittney Cooper, Shaun King, Al Sharpton, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Eric Dyson.  The only way a black man gets ahead in the Democratic Party is by cutting himself off from the rest of humanity; by whittling himself down to something so small, so specific, so niche, that it can only appeal to black men such as himself, or to white people looking to glorify themselves for loving black people.  A huge market, really, but the biggest one only to spiritual and intellectual midgets.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Some Athenian euphemisms

Dear T--

My position on r------d people* is exactly the same position on everyone else: the good ones I keep, and the worst ones I hate.  I've had more than one r------d enemy, in fact, and some of them are so brutal, so treacherous, and so incapable that I find no use for them; and I think the best use for them is the exercise we'd get running them out of town.  There are autistic people I've enjoyed, day after day, and been happy to see, and others who threatened my friends.  Some of them are sweet and others are rapists.  Some of them are silly and other ones are spoil-sports.  But J, some say, they can't help it!  Can the rest of us?  Are we really so different from them?  Are any of these categories I mentioned things we don't experience ourselves?  So what if we can think things through -- many of us still make bad decisions, rotten statements, and horrible messes, especially when acting in groups**.  We give the handicapped a pass because most of us could do better.  But I doubt in many cases we could.  A personality is something set in stone.  A sourpuss, a loser, a cheater and an idiot will be what he'll be, and many times was born that way.  God has given us our trajectory -- in most cases, our job is to act it out, not to change it***.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A commie worth reading

Dear H,

I have great respect for Peter Kropotkin, not so much for what he preached as for when he preached it.  He was born an aristocrat in 1842 but ended up an activist by 1872.  He went from a gilded cradle to a filthy prison.  His landmark treatise on anarcho-communism, The Conquest of Bread, is well-written and innovative.  It's worth a read, but not before you've read Rand or Mises or Bastiat or Hayek.  It would have made a commie of me, but it's too late -- I've seen how the trial runs went, and I prefer to not die in a gulag. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Midsommar: an analysis

Dear T,

Before getting along with this essay I want to give my recommendation.  If you're a devout Christian, or a grandma, or a respectable person in general you need to see the Horatio Hornblower series.  It's full of great morals, top-notch acting, lovable characters, and lessons about life.  For the rest of you, the Christians-in-name-only, the teenagers with no direction, the jaded hipsters, the people who saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show without wincing, and other people who don't like their souls spotless, I recommend Midsommar*.  The rest of you can stay away, and if you dare to disregard my warning, you deserve what you get.  This thing is filthy and disturbing, and if you watch it you can lay the blame anywhere other than my feet.  Blame Satan.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

So you want to be a manly man?

Dear M,

Smiling on the front lines
I don't consider watching sports a necessary prerequisite to manhood. Depending on the sport, playing them is more like it. I consider knowing sports stats and knowing Pokemon stats to be exactly the same man-stat.  So for those of you who keep calling my Man Card into question every time not watching football comes up, here are a list of things I think make a man really manly, and sometimes even godly.  I fit a good chunk of these, but I want to fit them all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Sober yourself up (Rambler No. 2)

Dear H,

As many authors have already told us, man's mind is never satisfied with the things immediately in front of it.  It's always breaking away from the present to lose itself in plans for the future.  We forego the only time in our power right now to plan enjoying things which, in all likelihood, we may never even get to.  And as this practice is an easy target for raillery to the jokesters and of preaching to the serious, it's been ridiculed with all the best barbs wit has to offer, and exaggerated with all the high-blown words of oratory.  Every historical example of its absurdity has been studiously collected.  It's been mocked profusely; and a hundred over-used sayings have been called out to battle against it. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

The rise and fall of Mark Driscoll

Dear H,

Up until Mark Driscoll I had never considered getting a full-time job.  I was a playboy and a loser at heart, had never read a serious book, and had lived in a kind of perpetual childhood.  Then I heard him speak.  A stocky, round-faced working-class type, he caught me off guard because he was funny.  A pastor who was actually funny.  Unheard of, in those days, and in fact most days, as Christianity and humor are in an eternal fight to the death (neither sex nor laughter are mentioned in Heaven).

Friday, January 10, 2020

On the death of Cato

Dear T,

This week we've been waiting for World War 3 to start.  At least that's what everyone's been telling us.  It started about a year ago, actually.  A little event nobody even noticed that turned into more events and got us to here.  And if you want, you could say it started a lifetime ago.  Donald Trump put the squeeze on Iran last year because they put the squeeze on President Obama.  They put the squeeze on President Obama because the Ayatollah took over in 1979.  He took over because Mohammed's followers couldn't agree about who takes over for Mohammed.  And Mohammed only took over because nobody could decide who really spoke best for Moses.  So you could say this was four-thousand years or so in the making.

Monday, January 6, 2020

In defense of Hollywood

Dear H,

Ricky Gervais, hero
I hate the poem First They Came, but I have to admit it has kind of a point.  Once you go down some roads you have to ask who's next?  Thus once Ricky Gervais told the actors to shut up (hats off to him), why not the professors?  Once the professors, why not the musicians?  Why not the cashiers, the mechanics, and the nurses? Why not the street-sweepers and garbagemen, the bus-boys and Uber drivers, the mail-men and the waitresses?  None of whom, by the way, have anything to do directly with politics, or are specialists in any field related to government or social policy, and few of whom, in the end, have ever read a serious book on economics, or law, or civics, or foreign policy. 

Friday, January 3, 2020

In defense of Pope Slappy

Dear M,

I'll confess up-front, for the sake of dramatic effect, that I think Pope Francis is a slimeball.  Nearly everything he does in the news makes me sick.  We caught him washing Syrians' feet.  He told us to let them all in -- an act which even the Dalai Lama, out of respect for Western Civilization, is against.  The next he says we can't judge perverts, while likening Donald Trump to the baby-killer King Herod.  He hates the death penalty, and even life imprisonment for murderers.

I could go on here, but unnecessarily.  He's for life if you're a lowlife.  If you're doing well, or a patriot, or innocently wealthy, or you just won a war against the Hun, you'll be last in line for a foot washing.  Like nearly all leftist Christians, he says to love your enemy and care for the outsider.  Like nearly all leftist Christians, he forgets that this is subjective, and that the "outsider," the "sinner," the "woman at the well," the person you're "not supposed to judge," is the person you are personally offended by.  He ought to eat his words and wash Trump's feet.