Why Are We Not Screaming About the REAL Gun Pointed at Our Children?

I don’t understand.  I haven’t understood for years now.  Our government is sophisticated enough to engineer anti-gravity spacecraft, apparently (which is the least conspiratorial and crackpot construction one can put upon the Phoenix Lights, seen by hundreds and video-taped by dozens in 1997).  Now the new season of Ancient Aliens (a series to whose method crackpot conspiracies are no stranger) has documented that the government researched UFO’s intensively through the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), despite decades of denial.  So…

So why, in our formidable state of technological evolution—anti-gravity experiments, unlimited funding from “black budgets”, self-driving cars, heart transplants, AI that can pass the Turing Test—why can our federal government not secure the @#$&*%!! power grid?

National security is actually the one duty that our Constitution clearly and urgently thrusts upon the central government in no uncertain terms… and it seems to be the single undertaking that contemporary “leaders” are determined to ignore as they mess around in every other aspect of our lives.

An Electro-Magnetic Pulse arriving from space or the upper atmosphere would fry all of our electronics and leave us without transportation, communication, refrigeration, water treatment and pumping capacity, access to money, operation of light and heating… within a year, reasonable estimates have ninety percent of us dying of the consequences.  We have no industrial capability any longer to replace our generators, so we would have to rely upon the competence and good will of distant nations even to restore power in a year.  Yet securing the generators we have right now would be scarcely more complicated than constructing a Faraday Cage around each of them—something more or less achievable with chicken wire and tools you could buy at Home Depot.

Congress, however, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to let the power companies decide if they need to eat very modestly into their profits to secure our survival; and the power companies have decided that, no, the sun came up yesterday and will come up tomorrow… so no worries.  Actually, the sun IS a major worry.  An EMP could very well arrive from a storm of extraordinary solar flare activity of the sort that is overdue.  It’s all very nice to be on better terms now with Kim Jong Un (from either of whose two satellites a small nuclear detonation over our continent could be engineered)—but what kind of peace treaty is Donald Trump going to hammer out with the sun?

In his interview with Mark Levin last Sunday (April 22), Peter Pry didn’t really tell me much that I hadn’t already read; but hearing it all over again in so condensed a form cost me most of a night’s sleep, and I did, as well, pick up a few morsels of interesting information.  For instance, though Barack Obama approved the creation of the EMP Commission, he declined to act upon a single one of its recommendations during his two terms, and in general he treated Pry’s work with the lofty, smirking disdain so characteristic of an arrogant megalomaniac.  Had I more respect for Obama, I should suppose him a genuine Manchurian Candidate—a seditious plant whose purpose was to destroy the nation.  But a preponderance of evidence suggests, rather, that his was (and remains) a very pedestrian narcissist whose overweening sense of superiority makes of him, effectively, a downright and highly dangerous fool.

Trump has in fact taken some positive steps; but the timeline for securing the grid still seems to consume a couple of years, for reasons that I can’t follow—and if Trump is impeached or a Democrat-laden Congress is seated in 2019, look for that modicum of positive momentum to be channeled off into saving the horned owl or paying out reparations to welfare queens whose great-great-great grandfather may have been a slave.  And so we all die—not the owls; but slave descendant, slaveholder descendant, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief… nine out of ten of us die.

I’m not contending that the congressional forces who waved the power companies to play on through did not comprise a goodly number of do-nothings with “R” behind their name.  This is, or should be, an issue well beyond political partisanship.  If a Democrat were to announce credibly that securing the grid were his—or her—top priority, I’d vote “D” for president instead of libertarian (or my recent “abstain”).  In fact, priorities be damned.  There should be nothing else on the docket.  This should be the single plank of the platform.

Yet what politico on either side is uttering a peep about it?

There was a faint flurry of activity on Twitter the morning after Pry’s interview.  What I saw could be summed up either as, “What’s this all about?  Does it mean my iPhone won’t work?” or, “It’s those alarmists again!  STFU.”  Maybe we deserve to die.  Maybe our destiny is finally closing in on a society that squandered its resources and opportunities shamelessly on frivolity and amusement.  That’s a hard pill to swallow, but… what else can you say of a people who set sail in troubled waters with tubs of champagne, but no lifeboat?

White Male Bourgeois Capitalist: Bad Guy in Perpetuity

For my half-dozen faithful readers in this quadrant of the galaxy, I’m going to undertake a partial translation of a Deutsche Welle article published online last Wednesday (May 25).  My German is far from perfect, yet I don’t think I’ve missed the mark on any significant detail.

The German press is leftwing times ten; Peter Holmes has often and aptly remarked the number of formerly East German hacks who have found their way into contemporary German corridors of power (including Merkel’s inner circle).  The German press, likewise, is pretty much what one might expect of a Fourth Estate essentially run by the Stasi.  Unless a volcano is erupting in Indonesia, its stories are nothing but spin and propaganda.

In this case, I found the ideological contortion-act uproarious.  We’re already familiar with it on our side of the pond.  If you or I uttered in the most discreet privacy a comment containing five percent of the racism or sexism with which Rap music is laced, we’d lose our jobs pronto.  But when someone of the right DNA profile makes exponentially worse remarks than anything we’ve ever imagined, not only is all forgiven at once—the fault for the infraction is attributed to us because we have created such a hostile environment for the dear.

Read this:

Today Gangsta Rap is about rebellion above all else, according to Kathrin Bower, Professor of German Studies at the University of Richmond and an expert in German Rap [naturally].  The “Gangsta-Rapper”, clarified Bower in an interview with Deutsche Welle, presents himself ostentatiously as an outsider, a rebel, someone who deliberately ignores the rules and thereby becomes celebrated.

“The crude flaunting of material possessions, the hostility to women, and the violence in Gangsta Rap are a veiled expression of general rebellion against the worth of the middle class, established society, and political correctness.  The fact that the music publisher Echo’s award primarily reflects lofty sales numbers—and thus popularity—points to a disturbing reality, continued Bower: that “the hypermasculinity and provocation of Gangsta Rap are pleasing to young people of extremely diverse backgrounds.”

The most curious thing about that little meditation is how political correctness appears to be identified with the middle class.  I wonder if Professor Bower, expert in German Rap and the Modern World generally, really thought that one through.  PC orthodoxy is supposed to be aimed at the vicious, greedy, racist tendencies of the squalid capitalist bourgeoisie… but the rapper has both targets in the sites of his weaving (and mostly metaphorical) Glock, so some scuffing up of logical boundaries in pursuit of a brilliant insight must be forgiven.

Then we have the case of a paradoxically successful artiste-critic of the system:

Bushido’s turbulent objectives indicate a broad—and altogether contradictory—target audience: on the one hand, Muslim youths with an immigrant background, and on the other, youths who style themselves “white nationalist” or neo-Nazi.  These latter have embraced Bushido even though the rapper’s father is a Tunisian.

This time it is DW, and not one of its professorial interviewees, who’s attempting a barrel-roll that would have made the Red Baron vomit.  If Caucasian Germans who cheer on rappers are potential Nazis, then they shouldn’t be standing shoulder to shoulder with Muslim lads… should they?  Hmm.  A contradiction.  Of course, these young males aren’t nearly as bright as the DW staff and its panoply of academic contributors… so another interview can probably explain their pathetically irrational—but not contemptible (never that!)—behavior.

It wasn’t always so.  In Berlin-Kreuzberg, young people of Turkish origin have identified themselves with Hip-Hop and Rap since the Eighties in order to address their role as the “other side” in Germany, writes Ayhan Kaya, Professor of Politics and Director of the Europa Institute on Bilgi University’s campus in Istanbul.

In this early form of Rap, the objective above all else was the search for identity.  Today, writes, Kaya, that isn’t so much the case.  At the moment, he is working on a project about Gangsta Rap whose focus is how the genre has come to serve “the disillusioned Right as well as being an outlet for Muslim youth.”

“This is actually a positive development,” said Kaya in an interview with DW.  A possibility for radicalization exists in both groups, and both are similar “victims of globalization, the departure of local industry, socio-economic frustration, alienation, and humiliation.”  Hip-Hop is an escape valve for youth who otherwise might have joined radical groups like the so-called Islamic State or the National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Personally, I don’t think Professor Kaya is far off base.  I see daylight (if not exactly a Golden Dawn) in this odd marriage, as well.  As I have conjectured for some time, people raised in fundamentalist Islam and the disenfranchised “young white male” of the West who only ever hears about his “privilege” must eventually converge upon the recognition that they share significant values.  They don’t want to be lackeys to females, their masculinity disparaged and their intelligence derided.  They have a suppressed (and sometimes very distorted) but nonetheless powerful desire to serve something beyond themselves rather than eke out a sybaritic postmodern existence of chasing after animal pleasures.  They’re not very eloquent on the whole, and so they are apt to counter criticism of their crude behavior by doubling down on it: “Okay, so I’m a pig!  Oink, oink!  Better keep your distance, or I’ll splash mud on you!”  And, yes, they’re largely unemployed; and in a world increasingly fond of fusing humans with machines, their attraction to manual labor and their pride in honest sweat merely draws sneers.

The Left doesn’t want to brand these bad boys as irredeemable, at least when they’re not Caucasian: they’re too patently eligible for victim status.  Yet to suggest that they aren’t all wearing pink vagina hats only because some strange mixture of capitalism and PC fascism has nudged them into the margin is to dwell in a fantasy.

Well… where else would you expect to find the denizens of Leftworld?

Playtime in the Asylum: Life on the Left

Yesterday I wrote a piece where I portrayed working in the contemporary university as very like trying to move among the Titanic’s luxuriously dining passengers while she begins to heel over… and being bombarded with scowls if one even hints that something’s amiss.  This insistent mass-denial is definitively infantile behavior—and it characterizes everything happening on the Left today.  One must wonder at some point if leftism is indeed not some pathological kind of clinging to childhood.  I’m going to indulge that wonder at length now.

Back when children used to play imaginatively—and play in real space rather than on screens—you’d occasionally have a group pretending that the “jungle gym” was a fort or that a line of blocks represented the solid walls of a house.  Then some twit named Bart would come along and pull at your leg through the gym’s bars, refusing to acknowledge the game’s solid wall, or step over the house’s fanciful brick facade instead of going through the doorway.  The other kids would howl at Bart for breaking the rules… and he would laugh and mock for a minute before going into exile and seeking some new group of kids to alienate.

People on the Left are kids in that imaginary castle… only they’re no longer kids.  They still treat Bart like a dirt-bag anomist… only now he’s a healthy adult who is trying to keep innocents from being maimed or killed.  The declaration of schools as “gun-free zones” is a perfect example.  We’ve created (if we’re leftists) a little space in our minds where no one may bring a gun.  As long as we all play by the rules, the space is indeed safe, and the game goes smoothly.  Then the Shooter steps over the “wall” without coming through the door.  We all scream, “Bart, go away!  Go away!  All right… everybody throw rocks at Bart because he won’t go away!”  In case you haven’t heard, one Pennsylvania school district was briefly equipping its classrooms with buckets of rocks before public derision made it reconsider—this as a strategy to repel a gunman.  You couldn’t make this stuff up.

I’m surprised, frankly, that fourth-graders are not now being rehearsed in the “go away” chant as a strategy to protect their tender lives.  The Left so loves chants—the link back to playground days is so gilded and palpable!  “Shooter, shooter, go away!  Don’t come back another day!”  Now that, for my money, would have a probability of success at least equal to issuing buckets of tot-sized stones.  (And there’s no chance that those would pose a temptation to little fingers during a normal school day, is there?) Any sane adult would realize that a child would become an instant target once he chucked a rock at a psycho (and most children would realize as much, too: just to be sure, I’d advise my child to circle around to the door while the poor little idiots were chunking pebbles).  But the chant… if the whole group tried the chant, led by their Joan Baez-throwback homeroom teacher, the bad guy might die laughing.

In all seriousness, this is the answer to the question often asked by conservatives, “Why do they hate us so much on the Left?”  They hate you because you’re Bart; or, to be exact (since we’re now talking about adults), they hate you because you are the father.  Fathers make sons and daughters behave.  The last two generations, especially on the Left, have grown up without responsible fathers.  Deadbeat dads abandoned Mom (perhaps several of them for any given mom), and she filled her children’s ears with reproaches of men.  Occasionally a new dad would come along who would give the kiddies anything, just to find a way to Mom’s heart (and her bed); and then there was Real Dad, AWOL when it came to imposing discipline but quick to load the kids with goodies every other weekend just to plant the thought in their tiny skulls that Mom was a villain for ever making them do anything.

With the dismantling of the nuclear family (as per the Frankfurt School’s radical playbook), we now have people reaching biological maturity who have all the emotional poise and objectivity of a six-year-old.  And their politics are progressive.  They want, they need… and everyone who stands in their way with the warning, “No, reality doesn’t work that way,” is a hateful brute who ruins the game by not pretending that the fluffy white cloud is a castle.  If only everyone would agree—if only everyone could be made to agree—that those cumulus columns are turrets, then we could all inhabit Disneyworld forever.  Yet men—not males per se, but adult men who are or would willingly be responsible fathers—keep getting in the way, insisting on guards that carry those ugly, hideous, evil firearms!  “Guns, guns, go away….”

On another day, I could extend this bridge to the hatred of Christianity and relative affection for Islam on the Left: the loathing, that is, of The Father who lays down loving rules to channel growth, and the paradoxical swooning for The Sheik who imposes his rebellious naughty-boy fantasies and forcibly sweeps everyone (but especially females) into it.

Enough to say here, in conclusion, that there is a kind of destiny working in our present decline.  As we have prospered materially, we have created an ever thicker buffer between ourselves and hard realities.  As that buffer has grown thicker, we have been able to prolong childish illusions ever further.  And, of course, as our illusions grow ever more numerous and durable, our survival as a society grows ever more precarious.  Prosperity has destroyed us, as it almost inevitably must do to such fallen creatures as we are.

When leftism plays out this fatal cycle by elevating homicidal tyrants to the seat of authority (as it has already done repeatedly over the past century), then our adult-children will at last find out—too late—what it’s really like to live in a tightly controlled space without personal defenses.

The Legacy of a Thirty-Five Year Teaching Career: Bubbles and Driftwood

I have one more week of teaching to go before I retire from the classroom, probably forever.  I’ve been exing out each surmounted day all semester, thinking the while that I would take some kind of rising pleasure in the exercise—that this final week would bring exhilaration to my ritual.  Hasn’t happened.  If anything, I feel steadily gloomier.  Why?  Because I’ll have nothing to do with myself after April?  Hardly!  Because I’ll miss interacting with my students?  Well, somewhat; but I’m a pretty withdrawn person, and solitude has never threatened me with despair.

No, it’s more like this.  Imagine that you are on the good ship Titanic as she begins to list.  Bottles slide off tables, and waiters can scarcely walk uphill sufficiently to restore them.  Chairs from one group of diners wander into another group.  Yet the band plays on, and anyone who raises a note of alarm is killed by scowls from all directions.

That’s the world of education today.  I have students on the verge of graduating who either don’t read much of anything or else retain almost nothing of what they read.  I quiz them on their assignments at the end of class after giving away most of the answers in my hour of discussion: many struggle to get half the questions right.  Can they not hear, either—or can they not attend to what they hear?  Do they not know how to concentrate?  Has the ubiquitous Screen, in all of its many forms, done something to their auditory faculties even as it has destroyed their vision?  (Yesterday I put a matching quiz up on the screen that has replaced our blackboard.  Several students had to move to the front row, from where they still sat squinting.  I walked to the room’s back wall and found that my sexagenarian eyes could distinguish each character without difficulty.  Frightening.)

And speaking of blackboards… we professors were required to communicate with our classes through some formatting program called (with unconscious irony) Blackboard until very lately, when we were commanded to switch to something called (inscrutably) Canvas.  On Blackboard, I would always post a PDF of my syllabus from which students could either run a hard copy or which they might simply download onto their “devices”.  Canvas, in contrast, appears to want to array your assignments instantly on the screen without the hassle of downloading and opening (and I write “want” because the damn thing is treated as if it were our new boss, beamed down from a superior planet).  Most professors have obligingly translated their documents into the “instant access to relevant page” format.  As a result, freshmen have been unable to follow my syllabus since last August, having been initiated into the new method from Day One by the rest of the campus community.  “Go to the PDF icon, download, open, and scroll to the present date….”  Nope.  Too hard.

And speaking of programming young minds so that they can’t reason in any direction but one… I tell you here and now that colleges aren’t primarily responsible for turning your children into progressivist snowflakes.  They reach us in that condition already: high school and a lifetime spent on social media have done the job before they ever see the inside of a dorm.  Big corporations are mean and greedy (yes) and locked in a war-to-the-death with big government (no: absolutely wrong).  Donald Trump is a crude buffoon (okay—most of the time) and responsible for our power grid’s not being secure (idiotic: Trump has done what he could to repair two decades of criminal negligence under Bush and Obama).  Slavery existed only in the South (that’s wrong… but let it pass) and the Civil War was fought to combat racism (which explains why Lincoln wanted to ship all blacks back to Africa, I suppose… you poor, ignorant blockheads!).

I can hear water rushing up the ship’s corridors… and the revelers are ordering more champagne.  Why should I be happy that I’ve found a lifeboat and have cast off from the imminent calamity?  I spent my whole professional life trying to keep the old edifice afloat (for she’s really much more like the Fighting Téméraire than the Titanic)—and I’ve failed.  So I’m off to my island; and I leave behind me a spoiled treasure of unusable debris and a dissolving foam that contains the strangled shrieks of wretches realizing, in their last breath, that they have been betrayed.

Middle American Pharisees: A House That Is No Home

After spending twenty years of your life in one place—especially when the span overlaps your son’s childhood and your career’s most cherished project (a tax-exempt educational charity)—it seems like moving out should be a somber occasion.  Seems like you should be watching fond memories dissolve as you box up or throw away books and toys.  Seems like the now empty, strangely echoing rooms where you passed so many Christmases should haunt you almost unendurably.

And when virtually none of that happens… isn’t the absence of sadness itself cause for sadness?

I haven’t enjoyed living in this town (which I’ll allow to remain nameless).  Implicated in recollections of my boy’s very young childhood is the incredibly rude treatment my family received when I shifted him to another school in the fourth grade.  The old baseball gloves and trophies and the pitcher’s mound and backstop I built in the back yard darken a little when memories of cutthroat Little League competitions (rigged draft nights, instruction in how to cheat, even purloining petty cash from the concession stand) drift over like clouds.  A should-have-been gilded succession of high school achievements was tarnished by the wantonly vengeful spite of one powerful man during my son’s senior year.  Just when I start to get choked up with a touch of nostalgia, I recall these episodes… and all the painful pleasantness of looking back vanishes, leaving only a black thread of smoke from diehard embers.

The worst of it all—the thing that keeps a fire in the dark heart of the ember—is that all of the people in question made much show of their Christian faith.  They played it like a brass band.  It was as much on display as a Fourth of July fireworks celebration.  As a Christian myself, I find that especially infuriating.  This town appears to be full of such types: whited sepulchers, clean and bright on the outside but stinking of death on the inside.

And how often was I told here that salvation is a “free gift” from God—that it isn’t compensation for good works, as if one might rape the whole wide world and then run to the “safe” circle like a kid playing a game?  It is because I am a Christian that this kind of behavior among Christians so disgusts me.  And this town, during my twenty years here—more time than I’ve ever spent in any one place—has abounded in such examples.

The man who poisoned my son’s senior year in high school probably felt some remorse afterward, though his pride would never let him volunteer anything so humbling as an apology.  From him we drew a reference when my son needed a person “of the cloth” to speak on his behalf as part of the admission process at a Christian university; for the man is apparently a minister of some variety at his church, and I myself stopped taking my family to any church in this burg a while back.  This, too, immensely bothers me about current Christian practice: the presumption that one’s faith is manifested by one’s attendance at some designated “house of God”—for it is an extension of the same kind of Pharisaism that induces people to mouth formulas without adjusting their conduct.  Nevertheless, I will credit this fellow with wrestling down his devils to some degree from time to time.  From the others I’ve referred to obliquely, I wouldn’t accept a sponge if I were on fire.

For I will not frame “tolerance” and hang it over my mantelpiece because it looks good there: I will not make a show of a virtue whose reality is spiritual laziness and cowardice.  What I hate about the Left is the penchant of its minions to display virtues like medals on their lapel.  I lately used the example of protesters on behalf of mustangs whose advocacy for free range must eventually starve out every damn horse on the prairie—but they have their precious cause on prominent display in the curio cabinet, and nothing else matters.  So for fake Christianity; its practitioners let slide a foul deed whose perpetrator will now repeat it again and again, always with assurance of “forgiveness”, because the little saints must burn the candle of Tolerance at their altar of Self.

This town is full of such hollow humility, such hypocritical fraud—and so, increasingly, is our whole society.  A Selfie and a Tweet send out into the cosmos the image we wish to project… and to hell with truth, consequences, and responsibility.  That sickness has eaten away our moral fiber here, in my backwoods, bourgeois American enclave, ever since the first “exclusive” residential section rose out of the sweet potato farms and oil derricks.  Now, however, the cancer has spread from our real estate into our pockets, and our hands.  We carry it everywhere we go.

So… time to find some more boxes.  I’ve bought twenty-five acres to raise my orchards… and the dust on my heels isn’t good for anything but shaking off.

The Federation of North American States: A Needed Divorce

Trying to sleep through two hours of the loudest, most persistent thunder I’ve ever heard in well over half a century on this earth mingled eerily with the images of bombs over Syria that sent me off to bed.  Storms eventually pass through, even the one last night… but so much of what we do, as individuals and corporately, takes us down paths that we can never retrace.

We Americans are supposed to teach bad guys a lesson, it seems—but why Bashar al-Assad, and why Syria?  What about the bad guys in the People’s Republic of China, whose citizen critics are “invited for a cup of tea” at the police station and are never heard from again?  We have more or less created that diseased state with an insensate, lowest-bottom-line kind of capitalism… and now we scream bloody murder at those among us who wish to see a domestic steel industry sustained (just in case we might… oh, I don’t know: get involved in a war unapproved by the Chinese?).  We haven’t invaded Venezuela yet to right wrongs and rescue Lady Justice; and, more often than not, we may be caught making pretty at Raul Castro’s despotism only a few miles off our coastline.

Meanwhile, a special prosecutor investigating a non-crime is having doors kicked in with the encouragement of hip-pocket judges as he seeks to add to his long list of people railroaded into prison because they won’t commit perjury or because they ring up big political points when put in stripes; and a Supreme Court Justice who died under patently suspicious circumstances was never autopsied and will never be exhumed.  And this, then, is the nation that rides about the world on a white charger righting wrongs?  It’s legal to murder unborn babies here… but we must punish the use of a technology whose heyday was World War I?

I know I’m not doing a good job of zeroing in on a specific issue.  In fact, my intent is precisely to evade the specific: I mean to suggest here that we Americans are now a nation in name only.  Serendipitously, I was only an hour ago reading Alexis de Toqueville’s warning that large republics increase the allurement of tyrannical power without increasing the commitment of their democratic base.  We grow more and more unalike in our essential values as our nation’s power becomes more and more concentrated in an oligarchic elite.  The citizens of San Francisco don’t seem to care that their places of business are literally scented with the human fecal matter strewn along the sidewalks.  The citizens of some small burg in Alabama, on the other hand, may want to have the Ten Commandments on display in their courthouse… but a single protester backed with money from an international financier can tie up the initiative for years in the national court system.

This is why I tweeted last week that the US will be a loose alliance of four or five republics within twenty years.  To be exact, I prophesied this outcome if the will of our presidential plebiscite were reversed by sleazy special interests and a renegade Justice Department; but even without a successful impeachment, I think a lot of people already share my view that the jig is up.  The Deep State has now gnawed all the way through the Ship of State’s keel.  I say this as someone who never supported Donald Trump for president and didn’t vote for him (exactly because I expected incoherent, impulsive hipshots like the Syrian bombing to be the result).  Trump was misidentified as a spokesman for the Vast Disenfranchised.  In my view, he isn’t and never was… but it’s also my view that nobody could be.  Not now.  The garbage I heard from “friends” during the primaries about why Ted Cruz was unsuitable only underscores my conclusion that we’ve lost sufficient common ground to survive as a tight-knit nation.

A loose federation would actually be a great benefit to everyone.  Imagine.  West Coast States, you can throw open your borders and let unvetted immigrants fertilize your boulevards all the livelong day.  The Southeastern States, meanwhile, will enforce not only their Mexican border, but also their New Mexican line—and immigrants from LA to Austin will not immediately be eligible to vote in local elections.  The Rocky Mountain States can exploit their mineral resources—or not—as they please.  New England can outlaw all forms of firearm and sugar.  Dearborn, Michigan, can post Koranic verses throughout its courthouses, or the whole region can opt for the practice of Sharia law.

As for military adventures abroad, if a couple of our republics want to put on the cape and amend injustices in Botswana, they may certainly do so as long as it’s on their own dime.  We’ll share a currency and trade freely among ourselves (without tariffs); but as for tax moneys, what’s Peter’s will no longer be accessible to Paul.

Now there would be something to hope for!  Hallelujah—hasten the day!

The Risks of Academic Feminism: Be Careful How Much Paranoia You Activate

Of course, in these times, I have to explain why I believe feminism to be a symptom of cultural decadence.  In fact, I attempted to clarify and pinpoint my usage in the last post by qualifying the species of feminism I had in mind as “overkill”.  No decent human being is comfortable with women (or anyone else) being paid less for the same job or being passed over for the job just because of an irrelevant biological detail.  I know the feeling.  I was denied jobs on two separate occasions (as I was told confidentially by people on the search committees) because I was NOT a woman.

We don’t seem to have reached the stage where no prejudice operates in such circumstances, do we?  Rather, we move ineffectively and hypocritically from one kind of prejudice to its opposite like a small ship caught in a fatal roll during a storm, its seams working looser all the while and taking in more water.  We’re sinking because we can’t address any problem rationally, it appears—without bombastic ostentation advertising our moral superiority to the world for social and professional “brownie points”.

As a result, real people suffer real consequences.  Some of these may be the “oppressor class” transformed into a new “victim class”.  I would have said, if asked, that the most oppressed group on earth is the honest, who never catch any breaks and are forbidden by their rigid scruples from defending themselves in a worldly fashion.  But no… now it seems that sincere, devout Christians (again, note the qualifiers: I understand all too well that not all professing Christians are friends of the truth) are another “privileged class”.  On the chessboard of victimology, academic gripe-mongers have found yet another piece that they have outflanked.

What I would devote the rest of this short space to is precisely the winners of the sordid game.  Once you’ve queened yourself three or four times over by reaching the “most victimized” extreme of the board—left-handed transgendered African-cum-Cherokee American with bad eyesight and a host of learning disabilities—what, exactly, have you won?  More specifically, what prize do young women walk away with after being indoctrinated with feminist vitriol for four years in an English or Social Studies program?  Released into a viciously, incorrigibly hostile world (as they suppose), what are they specially equipped to do?

I can answer that, because I have observed the behavior of college undergrads of this persuasion at close quarters for the past three years or so, since I’ve been teaching more upper-division classes.  Frankly, I’ve chosen to retire a bit early partially because of what I’ve seen.  I have blogged several times about the experience of being denounced in public as horribly insensitive because I once joked that a few chronically AWOL students must have committed suicide over the homework.  The “offense sensors” are always turned up high and being trained on constant swivel in all directions.  These young women perceive everything—every motion, every static position, every relic of the past, every proposal for the future—as a possible plot.  They are the ultimate conspiracy theorists.  Men have always been out to “get” their kind, and nothing can ever change male DNA.  Like wolves that have been domesticated into dogs, men may be conditioned to love their leash and lick the hand that throws them a bone; but any sudden movement in the wrong direction may activate latent instincts in a snarl and a show of teeth.

Women are the little lambs who hold the leash.  They may boast of having a lion’s heart… but deep down, they know too well what force is in their limbs, and they tremble.  Every feminist rhodomontade about being able to punch out a man after a week in the gym is followed—often in the same breath—with outrage about being left so vulnerable to the brute cruelty of men: witness the #metoo movement.  A membership at the gym wasn’t advanced as solving that problem, was it?

When faced with literary texts, these frenetic coeds scan it like a crime survivor reviewing photos to find her molester.  Does a story have women in it?  Then what role do they play?  You see, one is being abused or demeaned here… and another over there.  Are there no women at all in the story?  What did we tell you?  For these men, women don’t even exist!  Is the story saturated with empowered women and sprinkled with submissive males—or salted with a rebellious brute or two needing to be taught his place?  Then the focus is on the bad guy: how dare he rebel!  Most men are just like him.  How dare they be so brutal!  Lock and load!

Only in the last couple of weeks has it occurred to me to connect this “misandry” (“hatred of masculinity”) with the suicide obsession.  What are young women equipped to do after a half-decade’s worth of feminist brainwash?  See a mortal threat in every pair of pants, see a cutthroat rival in every colleague who shaves, see a rigged game in every social or political institution in which males participate… see nothing but menace and snare in all directions.  Like Capuana’s Marchese of Roccaverdina, who at last glimpses the ghost of the man he murdered in every shadow and in every dream, they are driven mad by saboteur specters that leave them neither when they wake nor when they sleep.

And a few of these pitiable lives end in suicide… a few, but far more than a college-free upbringing would have produced.  This is the ideology that insists on making our world more “humane” in its peculiar fashion!

“The Center Cannot Hold”: Why the Future Must Bring Change, for Better or for Worse

I sometimes “console” myself these days (if you can call it that) with the thought that the future must necessarily look very different from the present.  Several unfortunate trends in our declining civilization are self-annihilating.  The disappearance of their motive forces will not necessarily leave things better, and in some ways will likely leave things worse; but at least there will be a clearing of the air, and something may be reassembled from the rubble if any survivor of the old school should manage to crawl out of a bunker.

Gay couples cannot naturally have children.  They have two choices: adopt or (in the case of lesbians) resort to artificial insemination.  Adoption is still impeded by certain legal obstacles in many jurisdictions and incurs great expense; artificial pregnancy is likewise costly with its relatively high failure rates, and carries the further risk of bodily harm once the unnaturally massive doses of hormones settle into the system.  Most such couples will simply embrace childlessness.  Why wouldn’t they?  Even heterosexual pairs go to elaborate lengths now to avoid conception (or take desperate steps to terminate pregnancy).  A couple that chooses to go yin-yin rather than yin-yang presumably never had child-bearing high on its list, to begin with.

Yes, I used the word “choose”.  In my experience, most people of this persuasion have chosen their path after our carnivorous heterosexual practices have worn them out.  And avoiding the “baby trap” is also one popular motive for thumbing one’s nose at Ozzie and Harriet.  So… I venture to say that the influence of “the gay” on future societies will be minimal, having been washed out of the linens after a few generational cycles.  The only reason this would NOT be true would be precisely because heterosexuals might continue to choose against their nature due to dating customs (once called “courtship”) grown intolerably ravenous.  Yet since we’re talking about the future, a still more likely option than homosexuality, in that event, would be the “sex-bot”: the made-to-order, life-like toy that the Japanese are already refining.  No, I’m not suggesting that Siri or Alexa equipped with a new porno-ap and a supermodel delivery system would constitute a great leap forward for a decadent civilization… but our present moral log-jam will be blown to high heaven, one way or the other.

The clock is ticking on “overkill” feminism, as well: the outlook, I mean, that attributes all female gripes and setbacks to males.  Western males, especially, are the supposed villains; and for that reason, Third World practices are obliviously licensed by neo-feminists just because their male practitioners are not Caucasians.  Self-annihilation has never been so transparent.  On a global scale, Islam is not going to relax its general position on women staying at home with the kids any time soon—and to Islam belongs the future, judging by present vectors.  The leaders of organized Christianity have succeeded in debasing the faith to an anemic, self-shaming, ever-in-retreat caricature of forgiveness that plays perfectly into the hand of secular utopianism.  In parts of Europe, Catholics and Protestants alike are practically carrying bricks and mortar for the construction of new mosques in some crazy act of penance (tinged with a solipsistic vision of sainthood).  Meanwhile, Muslims in these newly disputed border territories (what else can you call Western Europe?) are quite deliberately having large families.  Germany’s whopping abortion rate is owed to its native, formerly Christian population—not to its immigrants from Turkey and Syria.  Of course, the feminist phalanx is celebrating abortion culture at the same time as it lobbies for the admission of more Islamic “refugees”.

So, once again, the trend is clearly toward the extermination of the independent woman; and not just of her, but of the effeminate, feckless, grotesque distortion of the Christian faith that has rendered us, the faithful, incapable of correcting our own children and standing our own ground against thugs that beat down the doors of our homes.  We will be bleached out of history’s wash in the Darwinian kind of retribution visited upon those who rationalize self-indulgent laziness and cowardice.  Thus always to pious hypocrites and equivocating, morally inept fools.

Perhaps most surprisingly—and most luridly—the unskilled, undisciplined, indigent masses so very catalytic in all Western politics over the past fifty years are likewise slated for the slaughterhouse.  (This includes, but is by not means limited to, the Islamic masses of Europe, once they serve their purpose.)  Our legions of unlettered “guests” contribute little or nothing to economies into which they are “invited”.  They mow lawns and swab out toilets only because automating these mind-numbing chores would cost more than relegating them to human drudges.  Even those few who virtuously slave in such misery cannot often make ends meet with their pay (especially since they represent the very demographic that produces the most children).  They draw heavily upon public welfare programs, therefore; and, as these go bankrupt—as they must, and sooner rather than later—a largely uneducated electorate, conditioned to accepting charity from the central government’s invisible, quasi-divine hand, will riot destructively and necessitate (if not vote for) the suspension of civil rights and the institution of martial law.

Beyond this point, the masses’ benign Big Brother will become unrecognizable.  The scenarios for trimming the dead wood from the tree are far too many to review here.  China’s long-standing and brutally enforced “one child” policy is perhaps the least subtle.  (I would anticipate, rather, something like a sterilant secretly infused into the required annual flu vaccine.)  The elite who rule us, in any case, will soon find an efficient way of exterminating the “needy class” that currently supposes itself their favorite child, forever to be lavished with free goodies every time it whimpers.

I could go on.  Perhaps I will, in a book for anyone with the stomach to read it.  Most of the public, I know, will pass on to some more “enjoyable” fare.  That’s exactly my point… don’t you see?  The cattle filing up the chute that ends beneath the slaughterboy’s sledgehammer are practically cutting in line to get to the excitement.

Easter Thoughts: Does Hell Exist?

I’m not a “high church” guy these days, if I ever was.  I’m certainly less inclined to Catholicism than I was in my youth; and if I were Catholic today, I would likely be very tempted to walk away from the Church.  The Supreme Pontiff has not a little to do with that aversion.  Pat Buchanan has lately written that Pope Francis seems destined to create an enduring schism among the Roman faithful, and some lifelong Catholics are charging that this Pope is the Antichrist.  He doesn’t hesitate to weigh in on issues that have nothing whatever to do with his scholarly expertise or moral understanding, as in his promoting the exploitative crusade to ban guns spearheaded by our sheltered “safe zone” teens.  (Modest estimates put the annual cost in lives, should the Second Amendment be repealed, in the vicinity of the entire Vietnam War’s—though it’s hard to calculate how many people escape death thanks to a Smith & Wesson’s appearing at just the right moment.)  Yet on matters like the propriety of transgenderism, about which Christian doctrine is both long established and wholly coherent, the papal response is, “Who am I to judge?”

All of that said, I am going to make a case this Easter morning for why Hell is an ultimate irreality, as Francis is reported to have opined in private recently (and has coyly backed away from publicly without issuing an actual denial).  I must say first off that I’m appalled by the number of purportedly conservative mouthpieces who have retorted, “Well, if there’s no Hell, then there’s no reason to seek salvation”—as if the motive for desiring a closer approach to God were really a terror of the shadows at one’s shoulders.  If you read Shakespeare’s collected works because I’m holding you hostage and feeding you only when I see you turning pages, then you’re hardly a bibliophile.

God is all good, and we must believe that He does no evil and could create nothing evil.  (As for His ordering the slaughter of women and children—and livestock, too, just to make it a clean sweep—at times in the Old Testament, you may make of this what you will; I know what I must call it.)  Now, evil exists in this world… so has God therefore not created all that is?  He has.  But evil does not ultimately exist, any more than the other illusions of this world.  Shadows do not exist as material objects—you cannot trap one, bottle one, or stroke one.  Yet during certain long hours of our terrestrial day, there is nothing around us but shadow.

Or consider it from this angle: the practical angle, if you will—the point of view of a sixty-four-year-old man who has seen people at most of their not-so-good moments.  What happens to desperate characters?  They rarely get punished by human laws—not if they’re really good at being bad.  (“The big thieves are arresting the little one,” once quipped Diogenes.)  I know what happens to them: I’ve seen it.  They have themselves.  Having spent their adult life usurping God’s role and creating a universe just to the dimensions of their whimsy—X millions of population making X income per capita with X children per household, Y mandatory visits to state doctors and Y years in state education camps, Z police watching over them to “protect them”—these fantastical egomaniacs arranging their human ant farms end up in a tight, impenetrable cocoon of Self.  They are clinical sociopaths to start with; their dead souls eventually ossify and permanently relegate them to a “safe zone” of utter non-being—a place where any contact with reality and with outward-reaching souls is impossible.

This is what I find so grimly sobering about no-longer-children shaking their raised fists in fascistic salutes to the cause of forcing behavior patterns down people’s throats: I see little “ant-farmers” in the making, eager to assign prison or execution to those who stand in the way of their utopia.  And, no, Pope Francis has not taken the side of reason and free exchange against the goose-stepping utopians, so I am not, alas, in effective agreement with him about anything here.

Yet the evil ones do disappear.  They do not burn in a real Hell.  They define nothingness by dwelling where no vibrant soul can dwell; and in being forever separated from God, they suffer an indescribable anguish beyond any torture of physical flames.  Each is them is a madman trapped for eternity in a labyrinthine hall of mirrors, his own lunacy facing him at every turn, visions of lunacy awaiting him whenever he attempts escape by shutting his eyes.

These days, whenever I hear words like “change”, “meaningful change”, “progress”, “a better future”, and “not good enough”, I catch a hubristic scent of fire and brimstone in my nostrils.  I sense the presence of the void—of that which is not.  But, you protest, the Christian faith is all about change… well, yes and no.  It is about the opportunity of individual souls to return to the self-effacing wonder and joy in elevating mystery that characterize a little child.  One might say that it is about changing back to our Edenic state, about coming home, after a fruitless trek through the surrounding desert. God All Good no doubt made us this way because we cannot appreciate—with mind and spirit, with intellect and imagination—the infinite possibilities of what is until we fill our mouths with a bitter ash of our own arrogant concoction: what is not.  And in this, let us recognize that He did well.  Reality is vivified and deepened when infused with sentient participants who embrace it.  That some, perhaps many or most, prefer a squalid pit of ash wherein they alone rule is not an excessive cost to pay for such an awakening; for life within the ashes does not really exist.

If what I have written today takes the side of Pope Francis against his detractors, then I am happy to lend a hand.  The truth, however, knows no sides, in truth.  The road goes straight, and we fools tumble off it where we may.