Essays in Idleness


Month: June, 2014

Latest from Iraq

I sometimes think that as a pundit in the newspapers I was too realpolitik; whereas now, in my enforced leisure, writing these idle essays, I am too pixie. Put this another way. In my newspaper columns I would take the position, “If you want to achieve that, you must do this.” Whereas, now I am […]

The axeman

So far as I am aware, there is yet no law against carrying an axe openly around the city; or a concealed hatchet for that matter. A broadaxe might get you stares on the trolley, but only brief, silent, and thoughtful ones. Whereas, a gun — even an innocent hunting rifle — would be a […]

Promoting intolerance

This morning’s treat: an inbox full of extremely obvious “phishing” try-ons, from something falsely describing itself as the “Gmail Team.” … I am hardly the first to observe, that if people behaved on the street the way they behave on the Internet, they would be punched — even in Canada, I think, where tolerance for […]

Calendar notes

There is a fine piece of Chinese calligraphic brushwork, rolled in a tube in the corner of a closet, up here in the High Doganate. Or rather, unrolled, on a table, for I took it out this morning to admire it again. It was done by a Chinese engineering student — on exchange to the […]

Supplementary, Mr Speaker

In the Comments thread, beneath the last post, there was a storm forming, with a conservative, Catholic, American Patriot waving Dignitatis Humanae at me (the Vatican II document: go look it up) — in defence of America’s gift to the world, of Church/State separatism. John Courtney Murray, SJ, was the original drafter of that document. […]