When Shakespeare described philosophy as “adversity’s sweet milk,” I believe he must have had a premonition of an upcoming “mini-conference” in our Department of Philosophy.
Accusing people of fascism seems to be all the rage nowadays. A popular jingle puts it this way:
No Trump! No K.K.K! No fascist U.S.A!
Getting the meter right is a little tricky at first, but as this jingle is almost always a mob chant, newbies seldom have to go it alone. If you try it at home, I suggest that it is most fun to really dig into the three K’s, so that they sound like the rat-tat-tat of a pistol firing, and then stress the first syllable of the word Fascist in what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins called sprung rhythm. Don’t repeat the rat-tat-tat effect with the U, S, and A., though, since this trips up the meter. Continue reading
“Once religious imagination and yearning have departed from a culture, the lowest, grimmest, most tedious level of material existence becomes not just one of reality’s unpleasant aspects, but in some sense the limit that marks the ‘truth’ of things.” (David Bentley Hart, In the Aftermath (2009)
For years I have had a recurrent daydream. It may have originated as a sleeping dream, but it is now a staple of my waking imagination. This daydream steals over me whenever I feel myself slipping under the anesthetic of a committee meeting, or I am forced to wander through a wasteland of what Hart calls “epic drabness,” or I am closeted with a vampiric atheist who invites me to loosen my collar and close my eyes. With this daydream, my imagination proposes that all of these experiences are, at bottom, one and the same experience. I am of a romantic disposition, so I take the propositions of my imagination very seriously. Continue reading
This morning a friend sent me this photograph of a bathing beauty contest that was held on Coney Island in 1923. He commented: “Seems almost innocent.” I responded: “Almost innocent, not quite.” Continue reading
Each of us is a pilgrim on a road that we hope will take us to the Celestial City. But we must admit this is very often a dark road, haunted by murderous footpads and crowded on either side with the strip malls, billboards and seedy motels of Vanity Fair. In out of the way places where they have yet to attract the notice of the highway department, one may, however, stumble upon a fingerpost pointing to an inn of godly refreshment. I recently raised my tired eyes to one such fingerpost at Bruce Charlton’s Notions, and have since spent some grateful hours supping by the hearth of a five-star inn of godly refreshment called Meeting the Masters. My hospitable host is William Wildblood, author of a book of the same name (which I will be reading) and occasional contributor at Albion Awakening. Many Orthosphere readers no doubt frequent B.C.’s Notions, and therefore have already turned at his fingerpost and made their way to Meeting the Masters. I’m setting up this fingerpost by the wayside for those who don’t, and haven’t. First-rate fare for weary pilgrims!
In a little over a month, I am told by this morning’s newspaper, the university will host a performance called “Considering Matthew Shepard,” which it describes as a “musical response to the tragic death of a young man” interspersed with “the thoughts of poets and selections from Shepard’s journal and his parent’s writing.” The newspaper reminds those who may have forgotten that Shepard was, nearly twenty years ago, “beaten, tortured and tied to a fence,” that he died of his injuries six days later, and that he suffered this gruesome fate “because of his sexual orientation.” The advertised event will memorialize this brutal homicide in a “truly heartfelt story” that combines “incredible voices” and a “very important message” in an “an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Continue reading
I have been preoccupied with soi-disant enemies of Hate, those men and women who are on fire to abolish what cooler heads must recognize as a highly ambiguous sentiment. Hate is an ambiguous sentiment because it is always joined to love, like follow and lead in a partner dance. Thus a world without hate would be a loveless world, an apotheosis of apathy, a United States of Whatever. Continue reading
I lead a quiet life, and so seldom see so much as the disappearing backside of naked hate, but last night I saw hate full-frontal, and that hate was coming at me. I saw a great chanting mob that was howling hatred, and specifying the object of its malice with signs that called for “fascist” blood. I saw stone-eyed ranks of la Raza Cósmica punching out their fists in the Red Salute and shouting about who did and who did not belong on campus. I listened to the hateful curses of Black nationalists, and even saw hatred pantomimed by two women dressed as clowns. Hate was on the menu last night. It was fresh, it was hot, and the portions were not small. Continue reading
A commenter recently cautioned that I had doxed myself. I appreciate his concern, but have always been knowingly reckless in maintaining my anonymity. My username matches the name on my birth certificate, and anyone who combs through my posts will discover that I am an academic geographer at a large public university in central Texas. With this information and a couple of keystrokes, anyone who is so minded can admire my photograph, peruse my curriculum vita, or tap out an e-mail with my address in the line labeled “To”. Continue reading