Monday, December 7, 2009


I suppose this is what they call a "trial of faith." Could it be a mark of improvement? I don't know. But it breaks down like this:

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Resurrection, and so forth. I believe that the Catholic Church is the embassy of the Holy Spirit on Earth, in this life. I find it unlikely that the Apostles simply "made it all up," as a group of Galilean peasants "mistaking" their rabbi for Jahweh Himself is a patent absurdity; He either had to be God, or they had to all be deceived or deceivers -- it's a statistical and a moral impossibility. Furthermore, if the Apostles are the ones "really responsible" for the Church, then they must have been a lot smarter than their Master, because the facts they present are clearly beyond reason. Either their claim that their Master is God is true, or the most berated, undermined, spit upon, targeted, idiosyncratic people that ever lived "invented" a religion that would have baffled even Plato.

And yet -- why am I invaded by a pernicious sense of doubt? What happens goes like this: some absurd question arises in me about the authenticity of the gospels, or the honesty of the Apostles (though it never occurs to me to implicate St. Paul, who everyone now likes to make the whipping boy -- somehow I always assume St. Paul is right, and that may be a rock to hold on to), or some such thing, and then I consider the actual objections in the form of questions, and, go figure, the questions always have an answer; I can show how the objection isn't even viable, how it betrays a misunderstanding, or what have you, and I win one more for the team. And yet, and yet.... That's what it's like: "And yet, and yet...." In other words, there is no rational or evidentiary basis for these "and-yets", yet they still bother me. They are not based on reason or upon data; they are based on imaginary hypotheses, "what-ifs," obsessions, or emotions.

This is why the church regards Faith as a virtue. It is not believing something even in the face of contrary evidence: it is simply holding on to what one's reason has previously judged true. That is, one has faith that, given the derivation of two from the square root of four, it will always remain so in every possible world: faith is based on reason.

If after many good reasons you're still bothered by doubt, the problem is with you, not with the data.

Friday, December 4, 2009


There seem to be some very learned, very orthodox, Catholics pushing a kind of postmodern orthodoxy; they see, apparently, some congruency between the relativistic postmodern movement and the unchanging Faith. What's the rumpus? I don't think I get it. The likes of these include Catherine Pickstock, Romano Guardini, Michael Oakeshott, Eric Voegelin (I think), and, to a certain degree, James Schall. I find it bizarre. Can there really be congruency between that which holds that truth is--or at least the most important truths are--unflinchingly objective and that which holds that there are absolutely no objective truths (except, of course, the proposition, "there are no objective truths")? It's bizarre.

Did I mention: it's bizarre?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Regarding the subject matter discussed below, I've uncovered--by various means--a few insights which I hope will solve the matter. These are the sort of capstone notions I've been looking for all through which would make the issue a non-issue, something to sort of tie it all together.

- Unlike religions which make claims to solitary revelations which must be followed to the letter (e.g., Islam, Mormon), Christ, by writing nothing, opened, rather than closed, Himself to authentication. It's a paradox, so think about it for a minute, even if it hurts your head.

- Admitting, on the one hand, that the New Testament is authentic and then asking, on the other hand, whether something significant has been left out or suppressed is inconsistent. The assertion admits one statement to be true while the question presupposes the falsehood of the same statement.

- Finally, since the first Christians didn't even have any scriptures they could call "their own", the question of "suppression" cannot even be entertained when it comes to that generation. The Apostles had no concern with books; their only concern was preaching, teaching, and the Sacrifice of the Mass. So, any suppression or exclusion would have to have occurred later, e.g., between the Council of Nicea and A.D. 405 when Pope Innocent I approved the canon as it exists today. By that time, the specifically Christian scriptures had been written, and had been commented on heavily, preached and taught heavily, and were accepted throughout the orthodox church as authentic; and those books were: the New Testament as we have it. In other words: the books authenticated themselves by their usefulness, truthfulness, through centuries of use by the Fathers and by the saints, after which the Church collected them into a definitive anthology and gave them her officiating "stamp." Essentially, the Apostolic Age would have been The Time to do any suppressing if any suppressing was to be done, but everything we know about the apostles themselves discourages the view that they were the type to suppress anything. In other words, right where it matters most is right where it is most likely not to have happened.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I think a spirit has been provoking me. Either God or the Devil. Either way I think I'm coming out of it now, with some reinforced knowledge.

The issue has been the authenticity--or inauthenticity--of the New Testament. I've ruled out the solitary Ingenious Deceiver hypothesis on the Chestertonian observation that, given the actual content and variety of the anthology of writing that makes up the New Testament, no one could have come up with it. As Pascal pointed out, no one would even ever think to make up something like the Resurrection. As a purely human notion it is either insane or absurd. The only way it makes sense is if the action is Divine.

The originating concern, however, has been how we know whether or not--even granting the historical viability of the gospel narratives--there mightn't be documents that were suppressed by the Apostles; e.g., a document written by Jesus's own hand. But the only reason to suppress a document is that it makes claims contrary to the document(s) you're pushing; in this case, the "contrary" claims would be that Jesus is not, in fact, God, and that the Apostles were not His representatives. The latter is exactly the kind of thing we would expect from a man-made religion, whereas the idea that an orthodox Jew of the first century could casually commit blasphemy is untenable. But besides all that, there is the fact that the Church precedes the gospel writings. "The Gospel" is simply the witness of the Resurrection, not this or that particular book about the Riser. The Gospel was taught for years before "the gospels" were ever written. So I finally realized I've been working with a backwards axiom. It is not scripture that authorizes the Church: it is the Church that authorizes scripture. The fact is, even if the New Testament had never been "authorized," the Catholic Church would still be today exactly what it is. The Church is the Body of Christ and a Living Tradition.

But the real problem has been the vicious circle I've been going through, pondering and repondering, checking and rechecking. The question of the reliability of the Apostles has really been a bugger. But it seems unlikely that some small group of Galilean tradesmen would be capable of a vast KGB-esque conspiracy. And the claims of St. Paul to have received a direct post-Resurrection revelation of Christ, and the subsequent lack of disagreement of the original Apostles with his teaching, sure is curious. A zealot like Saul of Tarsus would never have given up his Jewish heritage--with full knowledge of the condemnation he would receive as a Christian--without damning evidence of its incompleteness.

And one more point: I read last night a great apologetic for the authenticity of the four Catholic gospels, as against the counterfeit apocrypha: To say that the unreliability of the apocrypha demonstrates the potential unreliability of the canonical gospels is like saying that the fact that there are counterfeit coins proves that all coins are counterfeit. Rather the very existence of fakes demonstrates the necessity of the originals. In any case, as above, the way any given writing was determined as worthy to be included in the canon was the degree to which it reflected or bore witness to the already-existing Church.

Christianity is not an "of-the-book" religion.

(Not that Protestants would have you believe that.)

Monday, November 23, 2009


This is one of those posts--or is it a note? briefing? memorandum?--where I just go on and on and on. Or, rather, it is one of my On-and-on-and-on's which is executed by the act of writing. Correct: the written word is secondary, the concept is primary. So "Take that!" you spineless deconstructionist chumps. You could say this is my coffee hour, though it is not my coffee hour, because "coffee hour" suggests--like "tea time"--that this is the time of day I ordinarily have coffee. Not so, in this case (indeed, it is not so lately in general, as it once was in yonder dayes, when my coffeehouse was my sanctuary). In this particular case, "coffee hour" refers to the time I make a Real Coffee around midnight ("when the moment is not right") and muse upon the possibilities of a more thrilling life. Thrilling, not the way a Jack Bauer's life is thrilling, but more as, say, the narrator of "The Waste Land"'s life is thrilling. What happened to those days when I wandered and wandered not knowing what to do, not knowing what to be, or who to be, or is it whom? In those moments of utmost despair I found more meaning than the humdrum of my daily being nowadays. Boredom. That is my great devil. I have a good mind to chop boredom into little pieces, break early into a sushi bar, and switchout the pieces with some fine raw seafaring meats. O! To sabotage some chink bastards with the deadly dish of raw boredom! Or, what is even better, to poison unsuspecting whites or blacks who, attending frequent sushi bars, merely think themselves fine multicultural bastards with my vanquished and spliced and diced foe, boredom. The pufferfish was never so deadly as this. So, getting back to the point, I used to always wonder, "Oh what do I do? what shall I ever do?" and I hated it. Plans were cleverly devised and deduced and revised and destroyed and begun all over again. It was a truly hellish state of mind. Indeed I gave it up. I said to myself, I shall make no more "plans"; "goals" are for suckers. My only goal is the fly by the seat of my pants, as it were. My only plan was to make sure I never sit down to the dreadful task of actually drawing out a plan. But what fortune is there now? Now that I have abandoned my plans, I have indeed got a few things that needed to get done finished; e.g., my bachelor's degree. If I had kept making and revising plans academically, I would still be saying that I don't know what I'm going to major in, English or Philosophy. But all of that is finished now. But besides that. The point is this: that maybe I'm not obsessive enough anymore. Maybe life was more interesting when I was obsessive, even though I never got anything done. Because as it stands now, I am neither obsessive nor am I getting anything done. In other words, I'm doing nothing. If I start obsessing again, at least then I'll be doing something, even if only obsessing. On the other hand, when you really break it down, I don't want to do anything. I really have no ambition. If I work, I work for the sake of leisure and only have the itch for money. I don't care about cars, computers, selling goods or services, helping people, writing books, doing math, travelling, building models, or taking photographs. Give me my premium coffee, my premium books, premium cigars, a premium atmosophere, and, on occasion, some premium narcotics, and I have all I want. Entrepreneurs say you should make a job out of doing what you like to do best. I'm afraid that could never work in my case, because what I like to do best cannot be sold to anyone but me.

So run and hide, ladies, run and hide, sweet ladies,
For from me ye never finde securitye,
And ye dreams of all that husbands be
Shatter, when me blank stare be employed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

all there is

Let's see, you have Lewis, Eliot, and Hammett; you got The Godfather and Inglourious Basterds; and you have the Catholic Church.

And that's pretty much everything there is.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

cut down to nothing

I find it somewhat disconcerting that every "philosophical insight," once you boil it down to its essentials, is merely one more boring instance of the phenomenological reduction in action. Every "original" idea ends up being a juxtaposition between two apparent contraries, a paradox, which ultimately is so because of the nature of the relationship between the intended and the intendor, i.e., between the world and one's consciousness of it. One can either accept the mystery and move on, and in time become wise. Or, one can endeavor to explain it--or, what more often happens, to explain it away--and in time become a mere philosopher. In most cases you must pick either one or the other. I haven't noticed many "wise philosophers"; they don't usually come in that pattern.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

multiply variety

I just noticed an interesting connection. While reading Eliot's poem "Gerontion" I noticed how nearly identical the overall mood is to Chandler's The Big Sleep; not the content, the mood. But perhaps General Sternwood, in the latter, is modelled on Gerontion? Furthermore, Sternwood's greenhouse houses many orchids, and Sternwood refers to himself--in his near-death condition--as living on heat like a spider. The latter reminds me specifically of the spider in the poem. But even more interesting is the orchid connection, by accident. The original chief of counterintelligence for the CIA was James Angleton, who was friends with Eliot, was very fond of orchids, and saw their entire existence as a metaphor for deception, viz., in his profession of espionage, which Angleton, quoting Eliot, called a "wilderness of mirrors." Passages from "Gerontion" were read at Angleton's funeral. So we have this web of interrelations between Eliot, Chandler, Angleton, Orchids. Eliot doesn't mention orchids, but Chandler and Angleton do. And Chandler and Angleton seem to lean on Eliot for inspiration, and both see orchids as a key metaphor. So we've found this curious link, via Chandler and Angleton, between Eliot and Orchids. More than anything, however, all of these persons and objects point to an indescribable mood. And perhaps the Orchid is the symbol for that particular mood.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Had I been a more active person growing up and no certain obvious health disqualifications, I might have made a decent Marine. I say this because most of the things I end up being very interested in turn out to be governed by some kind of creed or "code." This is especially true in what I read. Perhaps it is Catholicism which has bred this in me. A friend of mine, a couple of years ago, noted that I was appropriating this sort of "secular creed" from my reading of Dashiell Hammett; not to say in an ungodly way, but just a way of conducting oneself in the world or in adult affairs. It made sense, and it clarifies a lot about my own mind. That's probably why I look not just for good books, but for good authors; I look for philosophers, not fabulists. But, in this sense, it is philosophy in the Stoic or the monastic sense; it is more about a "way" than about a series of true statements, more about an approach or "attitude" than about a theory. This is one of the common threads that runs, for instance, between C. S. Lewis and Dashiell Hammett; it is what makes Chandler's The Big Sleep superior to his other novels (and effectively rendering all of his other novels, for lack of that, as totally useless); it is also what makes my brand new discovery of Richard Stark's The Score superior to the other Parker novels, for it most clearly explicates Parker's, as it were, "criminal philosophy." Indeed, I think that if one wanted to be a professional thief one could easily regard the novel as a field manual. This is also one of the things that singles out Sun Tzu's The Art of War; this "bible of deception," as it has been called, I regard as a metaphor for how to conduct all of one's affairs.

Not that I regard it as in any way a virtuous path -- the Gospel is, of course, superior to all of these things, but I am not very good these days at accepting the grace to imitate that true Way. Nonetheless, I think that, just as all ancient religions in their own way have something true about them which inevitably reflect the Church, similarly all creeds reflect something, in their own dim and obscure ways, analogous to the True Creed -- that is why I don't regard my pursuits as completely depraved.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rituals and Leisures

For my theory of "categorical reading" see:

Now for some actual examples (not a complete list):


Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis
The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson
Collected Poems, 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot
Introduction to Phenomenology by Robert Sokolowski
Being Logical by D. Q. McInerny
Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper


The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien
Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
The Science of Correct Thinking: Logic by Celestine Bittle
The Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq, O.S.B.
The Essential Russell Kirk (Panichas, ed.)
Deception: The Invisible War Between KGB & CIA by E. J. Epstein
The Human Wisdom of St. Thomas (Pieper, ed.)
The Art of War by Sun-tzu

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One useful function of symbols...

Symbolism helps to discover analogies by isolating the form an analogy has to take and then plugging in the corresponding variables...


Jane Doe says to John Doe: "You hide behind rationality"

First you must isolate the action, "hiding" (H), and the essential attribute, "rationality" (R). Jane says to John: H & R, implying that ~(H & R) is what should be the case.

But to John's mind, the truth is that ~H & R = humanity itself.

So, to discover an analogy, the formula "~x & y = z" must be used, where z is the thing itself, y is one of the thing's core attributes, and x is some possible action of z with respect to y, viz., something which, if it were affirmed, would be contrary to y.

So, John Doe wants to use sun as an example: z = "the sun" (S). So now he needs a key attribute of the sun: y = "burning gas" (G). And what is something that could absolutely not be happening to the sun if it is burning gas?: x = "cools down" (C)

Ergo: ~C & G = S

To make this analogous to Jane Doe's earlier remark, we have: H & R = C & G, which, once we define the terms we know to be absurd.

So then John Doe counters Jane Doe with: "Saying that one hides behind their rationality is like saying the sun cools itself by burning gas" -- essentially, to suggest a human being is hiding behind rationality is the same as saying a human being is hiding behind human nature.Thus I find it to be with subjectivists. I have more than once been accused of being "out of touch with reality" because I hold, for instance, that truth is objective; I'm putting my head in the sand because I believe that reality is real.

Monday, August 24, 2009


In all my years of studying philosophy, now, just when I thought I was finished with it for good, I've discovered what you're supposed to learn first: logic. I find it a relief, mainly because I thought there was nothing left for me in this science (that's right, assholes: philosophy is a science), but also because of the intellectual confidence which it fosters. I truly consider metaphysics to be "first philosophy," not only because it founds, grounds, and causes every other science, but also because it really ought to be studied first. I honestly don't see how my study of logic would be anything but a nightmare if I didn't already hold a rather rigid and traditional system of metaphysics. Before rational argument can even begin terms (which refer to things) must be defined and judgments (which refer to complexes of things) must be formed; and for the past sevenish years I have been focussed on these first two acts of the mind. The third act of the mind, reasoning, is what I've been missing, and it consists in logic proper. The "square of opposition" is about the most intellectually interesting thing I've encountered since I first encountered potency and act, essence and existence. I definitely see now how no intellectual advancement is possible without logic; without logic one remains stuck at the level of propositions which--even when true--don't go anywhere.

The difficulty, of course, has been in finding suitable books to learn from. One might say, "But there are tons of logic texts to choose from," but 99% of them are not for me. That 1% of logic texts--like that 1% of texts on metaphysics--is the Old Logic, of Aristotle and Aquinas, of Cicero and Augustine, which predates and, in my opinion, wholly outperforms the new, nominalistic symbolic logic. In all fairness to the symbolists, however, I can already see how it will be useful to one day study it, and then, perhaps, after that, mathematics. But it would be a gross error to do what the contemporary philosophy department in the mainstream university today does: teach symbolic logic with scarcely any reference to the ancient and infinitely more useful logic of Aristotle. In any case, through an antiquarian bookseller (, I discovered a gem by one Celestine Bittle--last printed in 1947--which gets down to brass tacks and teaches logic without regard or respect for contemporaneous "debates" or so-called "advancements" in the "field." And, thank God, it contains a bibliography with more books like it, all written, gloriously, before the 1950's. So that's a relief.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It baffles me that for eight years the media and the Democratic Party constantly assaulted the character and decisions of George W. Bush and never once thought that they were doing anything outside their rights, but now, eight months in to the Obama administration, criticism of the president--by the same media and same Democratic Party--is considered un-American, or as they love to say, "mean-spirited." A year ago when a picture of Bush painted like Joker was in a magazine, they called it "brilliant" and "art." And now the picture of Obama as Joker is condemned by the same audience as "dangerous."

One thing is clear: these people care nothing about freedom of speech as such. All they care about is freedom to express their ideology. If anyone disagrees with their ideology--and most do--it's considered some kind of calamitous moral ambiguity (oddly, from a group of people who profess moral and cultural relativism).

The comparisons of Bush with the Nazis were completely unfounded because nothing Bush did was comparable to anything the Nazis did. The comparisons of Obama with Naziism are becoming more and more evident each day for the opposite reason. "Nazi," in fact, means National Socialism. I mean, when Bush and Cheney encountered criticism, they took it as mature statesmen should. When Obama and his people are criticized, Americans sympathetic to their cause are called upon to spy on their fellow citizens and send information about possible "dissenters" to an e-mail address at the White House! And the fact that Bush thought it prudent to spy on terrorists plotting against this country from within this country was criminal?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Equity Clinics

Let's be fair. If we must have abortion clinics, we really ought to have aborter clinics. That is, whereas the "abortion clinic" is where mothers take their children to be killed, aborter clinics are where those would-have-been mothers go to be killed. I'm thinking of opening one myself, free of charge. Low overhead. Just line them up out back by the dumpsters, aim, and fire. Doctors and politicians who felt like coming to give up their share would be more than welcome too. Of course, since they are responsible for so many more dead children, they really ought to pay a fee as well.

I mean, it only seems fair to the kids. It's not like they could defend themselves, much less avenge.

(It's people like me that make all the rest of you look bad.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wisdom of Warhol

Strategic extractions from:

"'The thing is to think of nothing.... Look, nothing is exciting, nothing is sexy, nothing is not embarassing. The only time I ever want to be something is outside a party so I can get in.'"

"At the times in my life when I was feeling the most gregarious and looking for bosom friendships, I couldn't find any takers, so that exactly when I was alone was when I felt the most like not being alone. The moment I decided I'd rather be alone and not have anyone telling me their problems, everybody I'd never even seen before in my life started running after me to tell me things I'd just decided I didn't think it was a good idea to hear about. As soon as I became a loner in my own mind, that's when I got what you might call a 'following.' As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I've found that to be absolutely axiomatic."

"We should really stay babies for much longer than we do, now that we're living so much longer. It's the long life-spans that are throwing all the old values and their applications out of whack. When people used to learn about sex at fifteen and die at thirty-five, they obviously were going to have fewer problems than people today who learn about sex at eight or so, I guess, and live to be eighty. That's a long time to play around with the same concept. The same boring concept. Parents who really love their kids and want them to be bored and discontented for as small a percentage of their lifetimes as possible maybe should go back to not letting them date until as late as possible so they have something to look forward to for a longer time."

"The biggest price you pay for love is that you have to have somebody around...."

"You can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person. A place can really make your heart skip a beat, especially if you have to take a plane to get there."

"I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. A person is entitled to the lighting that they need."

"When you want to be like something, it means you really love it. When you want to be like a rock, you really love that rock. I love plastic idols."

"People's fantasies are what give them problems. If you didn't have fantasies you wouldn't have problems because you'd just take whatever was there. But then you wouldn't have romance, because romance is finding your fantasy in people who don't have it. A friend of mine always says, 'Women love me for the man I'm not.'"

"Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue for ten years, is one of the most beautiful women in the world because she's not afraid of other people, she does what she wants. Truman Capote brought up something else about her--she's very, very clean, and that makes her more beautiful. Maybe it's even the basis of her beauty. Being clean is so important. Well-groomed people are the real beauties. It doesn't matter what they're wearing or who they're with or how much their jewelry costs or how much their clothes cost or how perfect their makeup is: if they're not clean, they're not beautiful. The most plain or unfashionable person in the world can still be beautiful if they're very well-groomed."

"Someone once asked me to state once and for all the most beautiful person I'd ever met. Well, the only people I can ever pick out as unequivocal beauties are from the movies, and then when you meet them, they're not really beauties either, so your standards don't even really exist."

More to come...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sacred and Profane

The enduring dichotomies for me, that under which nearly every work of art, visual and non-visual (or written and non-written), seeks to unite itself in my mind under the specter of a single vision or idea may receive some revelation by consideration of these ideas:

- The Monk and The Gangster

- The Monastery and The Mean Streets

- The Late-12th Century and The Early-20th Century

These are not complete, but they are momentary abstractions which serve as adaptations or manifestations of what I Always Mean. They represent my fundamental tension, my curiosity and my cynicism, my sendintariness and my violence, my ideas of vita contemplativa and vita activa.

The late-1100's of course were more rational than the early-1900's. For in the 1100's you had monks who were also Crusaders, i.e., knights. In the Middle Ages it was not "decided once and for all" that type-A is type-A and type-B is type-B. That is to say, in the Middle Ages, the human race had a better knowledge of itself, because it had a better knowledge of Original Sin, a better knowledge of the Pauline observation that the Spirit is willing but the Flesh is weak, that, in spite of our more holy aspirations, we are still fallen creatures; that it would be better for us to take up the habit and pray, but, if we must, let us fight, and fight for Truth.

I think this is one of the reasons I always come back to the notion of the Detective, who seems to reconcile these contraries in his person. Or rather, he is the only modern archetype who recognizes the reality of Original Sin, the only man who will acknowledge that he is a house divided against itself.

"Facebook": I don't get it, and I never will.

I've never liked "facebook." I don't like it now. And I have real reasons for not liking it. Ever since everyone switched over to it, it has basically screwed my social life over totally. What this means is: people that I actually liked keeping in touch with, have essentially cut me off, because I don't keep to the bullshit standards of decorum that no one ever uses in real life, but that, evidently, as soon as you're on "facebook," you simply must conform to. Another way of saying this is: what, a year ago, I could have said that would have been to the total amusement and entertainment of the other party, now is considered some kind of obnoxious crudeness with which association is expendable entirely. Fortunately a few of the people I actually do care about--viz., largely outside the e-world--I already deleted from there, especially since I have other means of contact with them (not that I am not forced to talk to them less since I don't share that common e-realm with them, which apparently filled some long-sought hole in their lives all the years before it was invented).

And what in hell is "facebook" supposed to even mean anyway?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Self and Other

Okay, here is why I object so vehemently to phenomenology and all other such egocentric epistemologies.

The whole premise of the Hellish Creature is that he makes all things a part or (as Lewis says) an "appendage" of himself, of his own ego. Phenomenologists and Idealists, whilst on This Side of Time, do just that. It's almost as if they were perverting the Socratic notion of "preparation for death" into, indeed a preparation for death, but a death which ends in Hell.

This is why I am convinced that not all forms of thinking are equally valid or, for that matter, equally safe. A philosophy which excludes the brutality of fact, which ignores the opacity of the sheerly other seems not only suspect, but perhaps, even, in a sense, demonic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Next Step

I think many believe that C. S. Lewis suffered some sort of impairment in the late 1940's (largely blamed on what is, in reality, a rather insignificant argument with Elizabeth Anscombe), after he wrote Miracles, a belief I used to somewhat buy in to, but am now no longer convinced of. They assume that, because Lewis was once largely preoccupied with more philosophical writing, when he turned to Narnia in the 1950's he somehow "stepped down." But given the whole arc of Lewis's work, I am inclined to believe he simply moved in a new direction. Writing was kind of a compulsion for Lewis, and his most popular books were written in his spare time (the only books that he really considered "work" were his scholarly publications).

Not only this, but if one really looks at the progression of Miracles (1947), a largely imaginative literature seems to logically "come next." For the aforementioned book begins with much logical rigor, and ends in a sort of epic tone. One might say the book represents, in brief, his lifelong intellectual progression. By the end of the book, Reason and Imagination have suffered a kind of fusion, Fact and Myth have become One. This is one of the very fundamental truths of the Christian faith: the Incarnation--God become Man--which is, to our human perception, the grand instance of Myth become Fact. As Chesterton put it, throughout history, philosophy and religion were like parallel rivers, but when Christianity came, those two rivers merged and became one river: from then on, Reason and Imagination would unite under the spectre of Faith, and serve one ultimate purpose rather than two distinct purposes.

But it would be a drastic mistake to think that Lewis only wrote (as they call them) "children's stories" from 1950 until his death. This was the era of some of his most enjoyable writing, including his autobiography (which in itself has a lot of philosophy), other works of fiction, and some of his best scholarly writing (e.g., Studies in Words, The Discarded Image). As for the latter, one could most certainly consider his death "untimely" when considering these later books on literature; i.e., had he lived another ten years--another five years--we might have half a dozen more great books on old books which, like the ones he did write, put contemporary literary scholarship to shame.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Private Eye

"The detective is one who looks, who listens, who moves through this morass of objects and events in search of the thought, the idea that will pull all these things together and make sense of them. In effect, the writer and the detective are interchangeable. The reader sees the world through the detective's eyes, experiencing the proliferation of its details as if for the first time. He has become awake to the things around him, as if they might speak to him, as if, because of the attentiveness he now brings to them, they might begin to carry a meaning other than the simple fact of their existence. Private eye. The term held a triple meaning for Quinn. Not only was it the letter 'i', standing for 'investigator', it was 'I' in the upper case, the tiny life-bud buried in the body of the breathing self. At the same time, it was also the physical eye of the writer, the eye of the man who looks out from himself into the world and demands that the world reveal itself to him."

+ Paul Auster, City of Glass

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Every week, nay everyday, you will hear it from some pundit, some celebrity, some politician: "Torture is wrong. It goes against the very ideals of this country."

But where and when did that become the case? Are they referring to the 8th Amendment, which reads:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted."

But our Constitution was not written as some sort of pamphlet to be distributed throughout the nations as some vague abstract "ideal" that the whole world ought to follow: it was written to restrict the capabilities of the government to persecute its citizens.

The 8th Amendment, in principle, cannot apply to enemy combatants. The 8th Amendment only applies in local and federal law enforcement. It has nothing to do with national threats or national security. That, at least, is how it seems to me.

But then we have the third Geneva Convention to deal with, which I will deal with in my next segment. I think that when they who say "it's against all we believe in" come out with that mantra, they do not really have the Constitution in mind: they have in mind the global humanitarian ordinances set out by the Geneva Conventions. That is all find and good: but we must remember that the Geneva Conventions are not our Constitution. In this segment I merely wanted to make clear that there is nothing per se un-Constitutional about the use of cruel and unusual punishment toward enemy combatants, traitors, and spies (though, of course, there may be in the case of Geneva statutes). That is to say, there is no violation of "our ideals", as they call them, when it comes to hostile extraction of intelligence from a sworn enemy of state.

And another thing: torture has been going on for years without presidential knowledge or consent, and no matter what anyone says, it will keep going on. Ultimately such musings as these are pointless because those in the deepest levels of the intelligence services, the Pentagon, and who knows what else, stick to tried and true methods, and at the very least aren't so goddam naive.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Cold War

Progression and the need to become completely dominant is built right into the very fibre of Communism. That is why I do not think the Cold War is over, at least not in a general sense. The Soviets may not be the primary enemy anymore (though some think that the KGB is still behind it, which fits, given their long track record of successful deceptions), but Communism is still the enemy of every free society.

The fact that many do not see the abhorrent Left leaning bias in the media is proof of the power of the infiltration and wide distribution of Communist ideas into the general population. The fact that so many people do not see the president as dangerous is another proof. Communists work by patient, subtle, strategic moves, like a chessmaster. They know the deceptive uses of distraction. Today, for instance, everyone is so worried about the anti-pandemic "swine flu" the fact that the government is initiating their new control over the banking industry seems like an irrelevancy to most. Karl Marx laughs in his grave.

The problem with, and the glory of, Communism is its fundamental belief that good and evil don't exist, and, even if they did exist, wouldn't matter. Eternal Fatalists, they believe that they could not stop the progression to Communism even if they wanted to. Free will is excluded from the outset for a dialectical materialist. This belief enables them to justify nearly any action in the name of the "Greater Good," an unrealized, and unrealistic, future ideal.

I just hope that something radically changes in politics before we start in with the gulag camps.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Never waste a Good Crisis

That was what the president's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, said to the media right around the beginning of this year. He was, at that time, referring to the economy. His logic was that, no matter how the economy got messed up, may as well use the opportunity to enact whatever policies we deem necessary for Our Idea of Government in the name of Saving the Nation from Economitastrophe. And hence we have the government intruding on private business at a largely unprecedented level. I'm taking bets on how long until it all goes totally Communist and the KGB throws a parade....

The "swine flu" is no exception. Did "the government" cause or "let happen" this merely new strain of influenza? Of course not. But this administration is going to use it to the advantage of pushing their Leftist agenda. In reality the H1N1 virus is just one more garden variety variation of the many forms of influenza already going about everywhere all the time. The difference is that for this particular strain they do not have a vaccine yet because it is "new." But it is not the "Killer" the media is making it out to be. See, for instance:

As a matter of fact, tens of thousands of people died from influenza in 2006:

But who remembers that? And why don't they?

In any case, mass hysteria weakens the immune system. So don't give in.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Contemporary Deceptions

If you do not talk, you are strange.

If you do talk, you are condemned.

If you have the wrong attitude, you are ostracized.

If you have the right attitude, you are a clone.

If you describe a state of affairs, you are paranoid.

If you go with the flow, you are a flake.

If you are young, you are inexperienced.

If you are old, you are behind the times.

If you are practical, you are not imaginative enough.

If you are brilliant, you are narrow-minded.

If you are an idiot, people will elect you president.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Solid Ground

While watching a film with one of my favorite actors--certainly not the kind of film I would have watched were it not for this actor (though my purpose here has nothing to do with the actor or the film)--I began to wonder, of his character, "Why does he care? This hocus-pocus that he's chasing, why doesn't he just let it alone? Why does he have to know?" Then I remembered something: the character was once a detective. And that pretty much solves the riddle. For asking why a detective has to "get the straight" is like asking why a philosopher--the old, the true philosopher who follows, not Kant and Hegel, not Russell and Carnap, but Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle--it is like asking a philosopher why he seeks the truth. The answer is in his very nature. If you were to ask Socrates, "Why, O bald-headed, pug-nosed Athenian, why do you seek Truth?" "Why," Socrates would answer, "because it is true!" Similarly, he who has "detectiveness" in his nature will seek the story, the explanation for whatever event he finds himself in, simply because that's what a detective does. Not only does he try to unravel mystery, he is in fact a mystery to himself: he does not know why he does what he does--it is satisfying enough just to know that it's what he's supposed to do. The philosopher must not ask "why truth?"--he must seek it. The detective must not ask "why the facts?"--he must find them. Either must stand on the solid ground of his existence, must presuppose it, so that he may realize and acquire what remains to be found.

It becomes necessary, in all reasoning, to stand on solid ground at some point. One cannot go on explaining forever, because eventually explanation itself will be called in to question; inquiry will try to step outside of itself and ask what inquiry is, but, because it made that detachment, has lost the very ability to inquire. First causes, absolute truths--they exist. They must necessarily exist. They are the ground of all reason, of all discourse. On a journey, if I have no point of origin, I do not know how far I have come; I could not really call it a journey either. If where I am is not predicated on where I was, where I am means nothing. If words are detached from their origins in reality, they lost all meaning.

I'll probably talk about this more later on. Suffice it to say, relativism, in all its forms, is the epitome of bullshittery.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More idiocies

I saw a poster at the school yesterday being toted by some moronic looking undergraduate labelling Obama as our "New War Criminal in Chief." And then today I read that the leader of some pacifist veterans thinks Obama a bigger "war criminal" than Bush.

Do these people think we have no enemies? I know one thing: no matter who you are, if you do anything involving the military, you're a war criminal. To the pacifists, "war criminal" is a redundancy.

While I disagree with nearly every action Obama has taken, the one thing I do think he has the right idea about is in trying to find new strategies to defeat Islamist terrorism. But I don't think that this is something Bush wasn't doing.

Oh, but hell. I'm so "biased" anyway. I'm the type that believes the sole function, the only conceivably justifiable function, of government is to protect its citizens from foreign aggression.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Idiocies of democracy

I was listening to a segment on the radio where they approached random people, live, asking them questions over the phone.

Basically, the questions were:

1) Do you know who the president is now? --Of course everyone knew the answer to this question.

2) Do you know who the vice president is now? --Most people couldn't remember who he was or even have his last name on the tip of their tongues.

3) The president is trying to enact as policy a strategy where each American will work according to their ability, and each American will receive from the government according to their needs. Do you agree with this? --Most did.

4) Have you ever heard of Karl Marx? --Most had no clue. One did say, as if by automatic reaction, "socialism"--as though the items from Question 3 had no relationship to that ideology (it was just a word to him apparently).

5) Did you vote for Obama? --"Oh yeah! Of course!"

Okay, this is my point about voting. If all these idiots--who don't know one goddam thing about politics--are allowed to vote, it does not matter whether I vote or not. I could not possibly win. Despite the fact that my vote would at least be informed--and, mind you, not even that well informed--my vote would be rendered meaningless by these morons who vote based on popular appeal.

It's true what Plato and Aristotle thought of democracy (which the Founders of this country also knew, but the people in government now do not seem to know): democracy is nothing more than mob rule. If the overwhelming majority of people believe that X, it does not "therefore" follow that X is true, is the best course of action, or is anything more than unreasoned response to the stimulus of propaganda.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Genius

Yeah Obama's a genius. Overturning methods which have prevented several terrorist attacks in the past six years or more. Freeing terrorists and conspirators from offshore prisons that aren't even citizens. A real genius. I just hope that blame is placed where blame is due when the next attack is successful. God knows there were plenty of successful attacks against American interests in the forty years before Bush was president. FDR-like is right. Because already, by undoing well-worn preventative measures, he has allowed to happen whatever attacks may happen. What a prodigy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Categorical Reading

So this is how I read books. I've always sort of read books this way (I'm always reading more than one at a time), but I've now been able to make my categories explicit and I think this will make things a lot more coherent.

There are "Ritual" books, and there are "Leisure" books.

- Rituals are always "repeaters," though Leisures may be either repeaters or "non-repeaters."

- In order to become a repeater, a non-repeater must pass the test of Leisure reading; if it does, it may be at the very least a Leisure-repeater.

- If after a few Leisure-repeats the book becomes Integral, it then may "graduate" to Ritual and have "tenure," as it were.

- All Rituals are repeaters, but not all repeaters are Rituals.

- Rituals may serve as Leisures when/if necessary, though they are still in essence Rituals. "Natural Rituals", in other words, may be Rituals and/or "Artificial" Leisures as needed; while "Natural Leisures" can only be Leisures. Some repeaters may never become Rituals, though they may always make great Leisures. In any case, Leisures are "safety valves."

Thus we have always at least two books to read, one Ritual, and another Leisure. Numbers may vary, but there should be no less than two at a time, so that Ritual is always grounding Leisure--and Life--and Leisure is always providing a contrast for Ritual--and stimulating new curiosities.

Not a waste

To my earlier specifications of Prufrock and Other Observations, I will also allow The Waste Land. The latter, at least, still has a profound connection with the City Streets, and provides the landscape of modern degradation, which is the essential background, in my estimation, of Hammett's work (once again, there is documented evidence that Hammett was a Eliotophile early on). Eliot's poetized City Streets became Hammett's fictionized Mean Streets. W.L. is great too because so many people don't understand it. Or rather, they think it is meant to be understood, in a logical sense, but really it is not. It is more of an impressionistic account of emotions and scenes that too often escape us.

W.L. was kind of a crossroads. There was a very surface-level element in his earliest poems; and in the later poems, there was a sort of unapologetic profundity (which is fine, just not what I'm looking for in a poet). In W.L., however, the two met and mingled. Like an existentialist's view of the world, the angst is present in objects themselves, not merely in one's mind or perception of them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

1910-ish. (-esque?)

So after doing some investigation in Inventions of the March Hare, which I introduced below, I've discovered this about the "pre-1920 Eliot": what I've liked, and, again, found to be Ideal, in Eliot was indeed all written before 1912. The poems written (not published) between November of 1909 and November of 1911 have "It" (alas, even from these, it is only the city poems that have the slightest interest to me). From the notes of the editor and the prose selections from Eliot himself, it appears that the principal--though by no means the sole--inspiration was, in fact, Jules Laforgue. And Laforgue, as it turns out, was no mere adherent to French symbolism: he was an innovator and an original. In essence, the poetry of the early-20th century experience--or as I have called it, the Poetry of the City Streets--originated in elements of Laforgue, in France, and was subsequently invented by Eliot, not in England, but in America--i.e., before he moved to England. It wasn't Paris, or even London, that provided Eliot with his "vision of the street that the street hardly understands": it was St. Louis and Cambridge.

I always find these moments of originary artistic discovery to be a relief, precisely because they extinguish hope. Perhaps "extinguish hope" sounds too drastic. It is just that I am a firm believer in answers. I believe questions have answers, by logical and metaphysical necessity. Searches and researches must not continue on forever. The idea that a journey--which implies a destination--has, in fact, no destination--that, somehow, one is supposed to be happy with the journey as an end in itself, the question for the sake of questioning--is intrinsic bullshit.

It is when we find answers, first causes, that we find things valuable in and of themselves. One ends the obsessing, the ratiocinating, the incessant wondering, and gets on with the contemplating, the enjoying, the living. It is therefore a relief when I find "narrowness." The narrow road is the right road; the wide road is easy. Questions are easy. It is answers that are hard: they demand something of you. Hence the calamities of modern "open-mindedness."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Inventions of the March Hare

T. S. Eliot wrote a lot of poems between 1909 and 1917, the year when he gained fame with the publication of Prufrock and Other Observations. I have always preferred the poems from 1917 over the poems from 1920 onward. The only parts of, for instance, "The Waste Land" or the "Four Quartets" that I even really enjoyed were those reminiscent of pre-1920 Eliot.

And so there is this Notebook of over fifty poems which is now available, things which he never wanted to see the light of day, and I feel now I have the Eliot I was always looking for but could never find. The Eliot which in Prufrock spoke to me and then in "Gerontion" disappointed so grievously has now been re-discovered. I only need One Book from a great thinker or writer; but it has to be a Great Book, ideally, it must be a Thick Book. The thinness of Eliot's books, so to speak, made me hate him. He gave you a whiff of the good stuff and then took it away. This, of course, was not his fault. The fact is that his natural impulses jib with my own. But he wanted more than that. He wanted something else, and he changed and developed. Now I care absolutely nothing for change or development. The best things to me are those which are spontaneously derived. I usually only answer a question right when I answer it off the top of my head.

In any case, the early Notebook, sardonically titled (and then scratched out) by the poet himself, Inventions of the March Hare, contains not only the principal poetry from Prufrock, but also additional episodes of Prufrock himself, and a host of other poetry in the same spirit. It's what I thought "poetry" should be before I ever read any. What a relief.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gays are Gay

People who want to go and make all the great authors homosexual, in many cases (not all) have simply forgotten the traditional understanding of love. C. S. Lewis reminded us (one of the many things he reminded us) of the "four loves" of affection, friendship, eros, and agape. It is shameless the way literary critics look for "homoerotic" elements in some great poets where the only real evidence is for friendship, affection, and agape. Our epoch has reduced "love" to erotic love. Do they relegate the male embrace of Achilles and Odysseus, Beowulf and Wiglaf, Lancelot and Arthur, to "homoeroticism"? Freud and his slaves have really bitched everything up. Even to the point where certain actions that in past ages were considered overtly masculine now represent some kind of goddam repressed femininity on one of any given two men. It really is ridiculous. Of course, the agenda is political, unfortunately. It is all political. The reasoning that no one wants to let you in on is that if great authors and great works of literature are "O.K." with homosexuality, and we regard said works as "great," then, why by God! it is certainly great and humane to be a fairy after all!

What a load of... -- oh hell, I forgot the French word for bullshit.


A lot of the time I know I come off as believing in nothing. But if a nihilist is someone who does not believe that objective values exist, I am quite at the opposite extreme from nihilism. I believe in objectivity--in values, in truth, in knowledge, in being. But the majority of the things purported by "Intellectuals" result from subjectivity and relativism. It is to those (surprisingly dogmatically held) beliefs that I say: that is meaningless.

So basically, I believe in transcendent, objective truth. But I do not believe in anything else. Why would one base one's life on fictions (e.g., the Life-Force, the collective unconscious, evolution), when one can base one's life on facts (e.g., God, reason, order)?


Friday, March 6, 2009


All this hype about Rush Limbaugh "wanting" the president to "fail" is really aggravating. For one thing, I'm not sure that that is what Limbaugh and his type "want": rather, it's what they believe is going to happen because Obama's domestic policies are based on really bad ideas.

Secondly, even if Limbaugh were guilty, how would it be any different than the liberals' attitude to Bush over the past five or so years?

The past forty or so years has done alot to put the American president into a position he was never meant to occupy. The president was never supposed to be King.

All this celebration and festivity is wholly un-American.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Not only am I not a Progressive, I am not a conservative, properly speaking, either. Progressives want to turn the clock forward, or else bash the clock and learn some new way of telling time that is incompatible with the nature of human perception or, for that matter, of time.

Conservatives want to do literally that: conserve—preserve the status quo. They prefer the devil they do know to the devil they don't. They prefer maintaining the present problems rather than creating new ones. Conservatives want to keep the clock right on time.

Me? I am a Retrogressive. I prefer things past simply because they are past. I like old things because they are ancient, I hate new things because they are new. I don't want to maintain the status quo, but to go back to an earlier status: I want the clock turned back. I prefer the evils of the past to the evils of the present, the thinking of our ancestors rather than thinking of our grandfathers. I would have architects build cathedrals, and not skyscrapers; I would have artists paint something or someone, rather than smudging shit on a canvas; I would have people go to Mass rather than to their stupid book clubs or freemason lodge or asinine fucking political meetings.

"Revolution" does not mean moving forward, it means to go back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On hating hobbits

As I've noted before, I tend to like a lot of things that other people like, but for completely different reasons. I find this to be true with J. R. R. Tolkien. I honestly could care less about The Lord of the Rings. I think this is largely because of the novel-esque form of the story. But also because of the characters, namely the small ones. I don't mind dwarves. And I love men and elves. But, my God, I cannot fucking stand hobbits. And surely these little bastards are considered the core of Tolkien's world in most people's minds.

Thus I hate to mention that I even like Tolkien--i.e., his nonfiction, The Silmarillion, and so forth--for fear I'll be grouped with the people who like him for all the popular reasons.

C. S. Lewis at least is a little bit more elusive. Most people know he wrote more than just the Chronicles of Narnia.

And as I go through things in my head that I like, I keep thinking of all kinds of other examples.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Race is Irrelevant

It is really aggravating how the media is sheilding the President from any criticism and then, when criticism does get through (as in the case of Mr. Rush Limbaugh), the critics are called "racist." "Race" has nothing to do with someone's being an idiot. Limbaugh's problem, for one, is that we should not have to bend over backwards (or forwards) to support Obama's politics or policies for fear that if we disagree we'll be called (or will consider ourselves to be) bigots. And I think he's right on target, and I think that is precisely what people are doing.

Two men who are far "blacker" than Obama are Armstrong Williams and Thomas Sowell. Either one of them I--and no doubt Mr. Limbaugh--would support as president. They both have two things that Obama has not: they are both sharp as fucking tacks, and they're not ignoramus Left-wingers. Ask any conservative why they do not like Obama and why they do like, say, Thomas Sowell, and the answers you get may vary. But obviously the reasons for preferring Sowell will abound, and they won't be because of race. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, Sowell is more "black" than Obama, i.e., has two black parents while Obama only has one. So again it will have nothing to do with "race."

This whole issue of "race" is a liberal media tactic to attack with a genetic logical fallacy those who disagree with Obama's socialist agenda without having to provide any rational bases for those positions. That is to say, it is liberals, not conservatives, who are preoccupied with "race." Conservatives do not care about the body, but about the mind.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gun Control

If the President has his way, I may end up a criminal myself in the next few years.

The following information comes from Dr. Dolhenty of the Center for Applied Philosophy a.k.a. The Radical Academy:

- In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

- In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

- Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

- China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

-Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

- Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

- Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million 'educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

- Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

- It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

-- Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

-- Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

-- Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

-- In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

-- Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

-- It will never happen here? Probably the Aussies said that too!

-- While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms in Australia, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

-- There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly.

-- Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns.

-- The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

- You won't see this data on the U.S. evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

- Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

- During W.W. II the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were armed!

- Note: Admiral Yamamoto who crafted the attack on Pearl Harbor had attended Harvard University from 1919 to 1921 and was Naval Attaché to the U. S. from 1925 to 1928.

- Most of our Navy was destroyed at Pearl Harbor and our Army had been deprived of funding and was ill prepared to defend the country.

- It was reported that when asked why Japan did not follow up the Pearl Harbor attack with an invasion of the U. S. mainland, Admiral Yamamoto's reply was that he had lived in the U. S. and knew that almost all households had guns.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


It just occurred to me that one of the reasons I find C. S. Lewis so satisfying and so re-readable is that all his writings--by his own admission--convey solutions to problems which he himself had experienced. On things that he had never had a problem with or never perceived as a problem, he had little or nothing to say.

I think this gives some evidence to my own nature. For I find the same in St. Benedict, even though I don't live in a monastery. There is something, for me, in people who say nothing of what they have not derived from long and painstaking trial and error.

It is interesting, parenthetically, that one of Lewis's favorite pupils, a lad called Griffiths, became Dom Bede Griffiths, O.S.B.

Monday, January 19, 2009

At every turn, I disagree.

I cannot say the extent to which I am alienated from contemporary humanity. Or even, for that matter, ancient humanity. At times I wonder if I am not just one more ideologue, one more idiot, one more liberal (in the originary sense).

I say this because while one might object to liberal (current sense) "law" or conservative "order", I nearly object to both. I should say this: I object to law in nearly every form as we now understand it. I do not object to order, in principle, but I do object to state-sanctioned, state-governed, order, which nearly amounts to law anyway.

Give me a Catholic cardinal, give me a mob boss: but do not give me a government bureaucrat--I might hurt him.

I think it is almost useless to even argue such points anymore, or to listen to such points being argued. I noticed something highly insightful in the Rule of St. Benedict today, which he actually got from the Book of Proverbs: The fool cannot be corrected with words. That, precisely, is why I think no one need make any apology for any abuses perpetrated by either the Medieval Crusaders or the Renaissance Inquisitors. You cannot allow a bunch of idiots run around and ruin everyone's good sense with lies. You can warn them once or twice. But if, inevitably, they will not listen to reason, you must apply the rod. (So I suppose in some cases I can be amenable to order.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

scraped down to nothing

I really want simplicity. I really want only what is most hard-boiled and elementary. I try to let my mind broaden, but then find I prefer the forest to the plains, the caves to the mountains. Empathy is not in my nature.

This is all fine and good. But here is the problem: what do I do with all the time I have left over?

Alas, I may have to delve into the world of action and events. Let no one forget that the foregoing has only to do with my interior life.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Criminals and Hypocrites

I can tolerate a straightforward lawless or criminal person. A thief, a contract killer, an extortionist, and what have you, I am okay with. What I cannot tolerate--and indeed wish I could hire said contract killer to assassinate--is a con artist, someone who does evil under the pretence of good, someone who does good for the sake of evil. For a criminal merely does evil for the sake of some good.

But there are more con artists in spirit than there are textbook con artists. I insist, there are con artists at every level of government. There are con artists in real estate and banking. Nearly every person who thinks himself a good person is a con artist. "Whoever says of himself he is not a sinner is a liar."

I can always find the good in an allegedly evil person. I can rarely find the good in an allegedly good person. I say, if you want to cut a man's throat, declare his offense in the public square and in the public square, by all means, cut his throat. But he really needs his own throat cut who would condemn, in the public square, throat-cutting but then behind closed doors or in some obscure shade goes ahead and cuts his enemy's throat anyway. And that, precisely, is what the politician, the tycoon, the attorney do.

We are all hypocrites. The question is what kind of hypocrite we will be. We can be a hypocrite for good or a hypocrite for evil. Hypocrites for evil abound; they are what we commonly call a hypocrite. What we need more of are hypocrites for good. Those dastardly villians who will cut your throat on the public square but then pay your funeral home costs; who sells you heroin but will then cut you off when you start to become a danger to yourself, because he just kind of likes you for some reason; who, to your face, tells you to go fuck yourself, but behind closed doors tells his associates that you're "all right."

But he who really needs a good throat-cutting is the insufferable Society Man who tells you how much he respects you, and then behind closed doors plans and plots for your demise and death.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Okay, my people brothers.... Let me give you the Four One One.... That means information!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Here is the modern-liberal mind in a nutshell: we want all the effects that traditional values have had on mankind, but without tradition.

- We want justice, but without truth.

- We want truth, but without religion.

- We want religion, but without Christianity.

- We want Christ, but without His Divinity.

- We want divinity, but without God.

- We want a God, but one without a personality.

"We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."

And they wonder why I'm so pissed off....

Absurdities -- oops, I mean ideologies....

People who think that conservatism lacks the logical coherence of ideologies such as socialism or liberalism are absolutely right, but, as people usually are, for the wrong reasons.

I will discuss this more as time goes on, but right now I make this declaration for the record:

They are correct in saying that conservatism lacks an ideological framework. And that is precisely because conservatism is not an ideology. It is the absence of ideology. It in fact condemns ideology because ideologies unrealistically seek to make people conform to an absurd ideal--an abstraction, a metaphysical utopia--which has no connection with the vast story of human experience.

Conservatism is not ideology: it is indeed the only conceivable antidote to ideology.