To Build a Fortress Huge, To Which None was Ever Like

“In skill, in wit, in cunning him surpassed,
  Yet never engineer beneath the sun.”

Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, (1581)*

“Faustian man has become a slave of his creation.” 

Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (1926)

This post has been fermenting since I went, a few weeks back, to watch my daughter run a cross-country race.  The meet was held on the grounds of a very large high school on the outskirts of Houston, where that concrete pandemonium is tearing up the peckerwood of east Texas.  An urban frontier is always ragged, but the urban frontier of Houston is a wound.  It is a hurricane of shattered trees and growling machines; of tawdry shacks set against pharaonic masonry; of siroccos of grit, furnaces of glare, and the quaking thunder of terrific trucks. 

The high school and its grounds are restful in comparison to these surroundings, but this is only because the hurricane has already torn up the peckerwood and replaced it with another patch of concrete pandemonium. Continue reading

Morbid Pity and the Apotheosis of Blockheads

“‘The friendship of a blockhead shun,’
Said Israel’s monarch, David’s son.”*

Samuel Low, “The Fool’s Friendship” (c. 1800)

“And all that pity you are made your prey.”

Thomas Otway, The Orphan (1680)

It may strike some readers as odd that I so often quote or allude to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, one of history’s more decidedly anti-Christian thinkers.  Indeed, I most often quote The Antichrist, his most decidedly anti-Christian book.  The Antichrist is, as they used to say, strong meat, but a Christian who has the stomach for strong meat may learn a good deal from it.  Nietzsche himself believed he had diagnosed Christianity as the pathology of Western Man; I would say he has diagnosed morbid pity as the pathology of postmodern Christianity. Continue reading

Battle Stations

I am a very obscure dissident academic, but I occasionally receive messages from dissidents of even greater obscurity who are in need of encouragement and advice. Some have been geographers, some have been from other fields, but all were lonesome, some were angry, and not a few were afraid. One of these correspondents wrote to me first a few years back, and we have exchanged a few messages since then. This morning he wrote to say that he has come under a full-scale SJW attack, with blue-haired paratroopers dropping from the sky and metrosexual landing craft disgorging intersectional infantry onto his poorly defended beaches. Continue reading

An Anchoritic Church

“If you would pray acceptably . . . withdraw from the world, see that you carry not the world with you.”

Phillippe Sylvestre Dufore, Moral Instructions (1760)

Radical thinkers would have you believe that it is a great advance to discover the politics behind science, art, religion, sports, sex, or whatever else you can think of.  The fact of the matter is, that their “discovery” is a reversion to the entropy state of human consciousness, and that the discovery of hidden political agendas was coeval with the birth of human speech.  When Prometheus gave man fire, most men immediately sat down and hashed out critical theories that defamed Prometheus, deprecated fire, and exposed the gift as part of a wily Titanic conspiracy. Continue reading

Barbarous English and the Old Music

“In the old music of his native tongue.”

John Greenleaf Whittier, “Miriam” (1871)

I was yesterday sitting with a friend who was born and raised in the heart of Appalachia, and who upon opening a box lunch remarked that he “had eaten bigger sandwiches.” The remark was not out of place, since the sandwich was diminutive, but my immediate thought was that it had been a long time—too long—since I last heard this sort of idiomatic American speech. My people were not from Appalachia, but the menfolk were fond of ironic understatement, and hearing that “old music” moved me with a nostalgia like that which is said to have moved Swiss mercenaries when they heard a cowbell in some foreign land. Continue reading

SEX

I am writing to announce the Society for the Encouragement of Xenophobia, or SEX.  SEX promotes healthy insularity, combats the prejudice against provincialism, and celebrates the beauty of exclusivity.  SEX affirms that suspicion of strangers is natural and healthy, and that its free expression is the birthright of every man, woman and child.  SEX is necessary because xenophobia is nowadays repressed, persecuted and defamed by Cosmopolitan bigots.  These zealots have succeeded in criminalizing xenophobic behavior, and in planting morbid feelings of guilt and shame in the minds of many xenophobes.  Cosmopolitan propaganda has also taught far too many people to shun the xenophobes in their community, and to dread xenophobic feelings in themselves.  SEX fights back with educational programs that explode the dangerous myths about xenophobia, and that put a human face on the xenophobe community.  SEX stamps out the ugly lies and shows that xenophobes are no different than anyone else. They are your co-workers, your children, your friends.  But SEX mostly encourages xenophobes with the assurance that they have no cause for shame because God made them just this way.

Beware the Crafty Advocate

“He joys not to be retained in such a suit, where all the right in question is but a drop blown up with malice to be a bubble.”

Thomas Fuller, “The Good Advocate,” in The Holy State and the Profane State (1642).

For many people, morality is a motivator. Observing the wide discrepancies between the world as it is and the world as they believe it ought to be, such people are filled with righteous anger, and righteous anger is for them a delicious tonic that gives life zest and sparkle.

For other people, morality is a depressant. Observing the wide discrepancies between the person they are and the person they believe they ought to be, such people are mortified by a galling guilt that weighs them down and makes life sad and grey. Continue reading

The Black Beast of Respectable Opinion

The “Far Right” is the black beast of Respectable Opinion. I suppose Respectable Opinion might say bête noir, but that is only because they are Francophilic poseurs and the phrase “black beast” has awkward historical associations. In any lingo, a “black beast” is that for which one feels a special abhorrence, and Respectable Opinion feels a special abhorrence for the “Far Right.”

Continue reading

The Melting Pot or Several Savage Dogs

“When their children are grown up to be fit for such conversation as talk and play, they permit them not the least society with the Mohammedan children . . . that hereby they may timely possess them with an averseness towards all Mohammedanism . . .”

“As for the divine mysteries of Christianity, the Jews represent them to their children in such monstrous shapes, that they are fitter for their affrightment than embracing.” 

Lancelot Addison, The Present State of the Jews: More Particularly Relating to those in Barbary (1675)

When a small minority dwells amidst a host population, it normally takes on the language and culture of its host.  This is called assimilation, and it will occur unless strong obstacles are raised by the minority or host population.  If the minority wishes to preserve the purity of its culture (and blood), it must follow the path of separatism, and separatism requires it to “possess” its children “with an averseness” for the host population.  It must severely restrict association with members of the host culture and represent that culture “in monstrous shapes.” Continue reading