There must be Chains and the Lash for the Scowling Id

“ ’Tis a very foolish piece of business; good for nothing but to promote idleness and the getting of bastards.”  (Isaac Bickerstaff, Love in a Village: A Comic Opera (1767).)

Utopias fail for two reasons.  Actually, they fail for the one reason of utopianism, but at the head of the utopian agenda, there are always these two fatal items:

Less work
More sex Continue reading

A Concrete Exemplification of the Inexorable Internal Logic of the Fall

To my recent post on the internal logic of the Fall, in which I argued that under that logic the Fall was liberation from a cruel delusion that YHWH is anyone special, and so a turn toward hard good solid real truth, in which its advocates, both human and demonic, as basically nice guys, could not but do their best to convince us to follow them in their rebellion against YHWH and his Father El Elyon, our loyal leftist atheist commenter and friend a.morphous had this to say, God bless and keep and save the poor man:

Maybe we differ [about the Fall] because you think it would be better for it not to have happened. I disagree that this is desirable, but I don’t really have an argument, it’s more a matter of esthetics. Sinless and perfect humans would not be very interesting, and would be less than fully human.

Continue reading

The New Priestcraft

“Let the people shake off the shackles with which they are bound by the existing priestcraft . . . and they would soon find teachers enough.” (Editor’s Preface, The Theological Works of Thomas Paine (1830)).

Indeed, wherever Christianity has been abandoned, new teachers have been found, and with these new teachers has come a new and more sinister priestcraft.  From the time of Lucretius, the doctrine of priestcraft has stated that religion is mere hocus pocus, a stupendous fabric of lies and thaumaturgy whereby conniving priests have frightened the peasants and ended each day with a good meal, a soft bed, and a grateful smile from their king.  Thomas Jefferson was a disciple of this doctrine, which he neatly epitomized in this line: Continue reading

Dr. Ford’s Poetry

The American Civil Liberties Union has announced that it will deviate from its policy of political neutrality and oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, “in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him.” I believe comprehensible is the word they wanted. And Dr. Ford’s allegations are comprehensible because they do not ask us to believe something we cannot under any circumstances believe, such as that a middle-aged Judge Kavanaugh traveled back in time to assault young Miss Ford, or that young Kavanaugh assaulted her in Maryland while he was at the same time playing the cello to a packed house at Carnegie Hall. Continue reading

The Drama of the Fall

The Fall was a tragedy: a conflict of irreconcilable cosmic and moral imperatives, binding upon all the actors, that can find its final resolution only at final consummation of the eschaton, when Christ shall be all in all, and Lucifer and his minions damned forever in virtue of their own incorrigible permanent decision.

What can we learn from this about the dramatic form of tragedy? What, then, do we learn about drama in general? Tragedy is both root and summit of drama, and its apotheosis. Comedy is a type of tragedy; it is tragedy writ small, and only trivially injurious (it is funny when Buster Keaton falls down; it would not be funny if he fell upon a spike and bled there to death, pinned and writhing).

Continue reading

The Inexorable Internal Logic of the Fall

The logic of his rebellion compels Satan to seek our damnation too. He has no real choice in this matter; he is doomed by his own decision to seek our doom as well. For, as a rejection of the Divine Limit per se, rebellion once undertaken cannot by its own mere lights thenceforth see its way through to anything other than the utmost rebellion of all creatures. The rejection of the Limit is effectually the will that no thing at all should ever reckon it, or therefore reck its rod. If the Limit is false, then to reckon it is to err, and so to Fall into injustice and ignobility. From Lucifer’s perspective, then, anything other than his own Fall is itself the Fall, and a rebuke thereto, so an insult, and therefore an unwarranted injury.

Continue reading

Why I Write: Gravidum Cor, Foetum Caput

“Not only libraries and shops are full of our putrid papers, but every close-stool and jakes.”  (Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621))

For those of you who weren’t alive in the seventeenth century, “close stool” and “jakes” were in that day names for what your grandmother called a “powder room,” and your mother most probably a “half-bath.”  More distant ancestors might have called it a “privy” or “stool closet,” since the chamber in question was private, closet-like, and furnished with a stool.  The seat of this stool was, of course, perforated with a large hole, and beneath this hole a chamber pot was either set or suspended. Continue reading

He Did Me Wrong!

Amidst the flotsam streaming out of the Kavanaugh hearing, I particularly noticed one tweet from a woman who wished to add her mite to the bulging dossier of male beastliness.  She told the world that, on some bygone evening, she and a man had repaired to a motel room, and in said room said man had proceeded to masturbate on her.  When they pulled in at the Budge It Inn, this woman may have been under the impression that they were simply going to consult a passage in the Gideon’s Bible, but I think it more likely that she was under the impression they were going to enjoy some “good sex.” Continue reading

An Eu Logion of Zippy Catholic

The Catholic, Christian and Traditionalist community were shocked and appalled to learn last week that their pillar, blogger Zippy Catholic, had been killed in a bicycle accident last Tuesday evening while riding on a country road.

We are still struggling to reconcile ourselves to this new world, in which Zippy no longer roams about skewering sloppy thought, and so enlightening all of us his readers, interlocutors and students.

It was a severe and devastating blow, completely unanticipated. Zippy was neither old, nor – so far as we knew – ill. So his death came out of left field. No one was prepared for it. He had, we all thought, several decades more of good, fruitful work in him, that all of us would have enjoyed, and that would have profited us all, and man, and the whole human project. We looked forward to that prospect, blithely, happily, as if we possessed it already. Now, it is ripped away from us. We find ourselves bereft, lost, bewildered.

And: we miss him. We want him here with us, still. God damn the evil circumstance that took him from us. And – and – God bless that taking, as proper (as it must have been, necessarily) under the purveyance of Omniscience.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Amen. Lord, bless and keep thy faithful servant Zippy Catholic, and make him soon fit to enter into the coruscating Light of thy Holy Presence. Help and heal all his wounds, correct all his defects, and complete him. All this I pray, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen, amen. Hallelujah, hallelujah, thanks be to God. Amen, amen.

Continue reading

giving his life for an utter masquerade

Reading about the final exploits of “Sky King” Richard Russell, I was reminded of a fad in mid-20th century drama, when existentialism was all the rage, of characters doing crazy things just to prove their freedom, or something like that.  For example, Sartre’s Orestes and Anouilh’s Antigone cause havoc just for the hell of it.  (The myths had to be reworked to make less sense.)  Dostoevsky arguably got there first, but he knew it was foolishness, and Raskolnikov ultimately repents his ultimately pointless murder.  In existentialism’s heyday, it was always assumed that asserting one’s freedom from all socializing and internalized expectations, sticking it to the bourgeois social order, means aligning with the Left.  Indeed, the inspiration is liberal, but there has always been some irony to the pose.  First, the incoherence of determinist materialists fretting about their freedom.  Second, that they thought they could assert their autonomy by aligning themselves with that great impersonal machine, the Direction of History and Progress, and most often with Soviet tyranny as well.

Men of the Right are understandably touchy about accusations of “LARPing” for long-defeated causes.  Still, there is more than a bit of Don Quixote in every true reactionary.  Why deny it?  The knight of La Mancha couldn’t stop history from moving past the age of knight-errantry, but he could resist being carried along in its flow.  He was only crazy because he was serious.

Jean Raspail published The Camp of the Saints in 1973, a story of Western civilization unwilling to defend itself, virtue-signaling itself to death.  It is best known for its cynical portrayal of Leftist humanitarianism, of the hatred and cowardice beneath its facade of compassion.  Raspail does sometimes read like an irate Alt Right blogger of 2018, but that’s not his fault; reality has plagiarized him.  I find, though, that his treatment of the few Right wing characters is what has stuck in my mind.  A Leftist hero may die for the victory of his ideology.  A Rightist hero often lacks an ideology.  He has loyalties, things that he loves, and things he disdains.  And victory is usually not a possibility.  His fighting and dying make no difference in the grand scheme of things.  He is in some ways much more like an existentialist hero than his adversaries.  (Spoilers follow.)

Continue reading