Essays in Idleness


Month: November, 2014

Vi Vil Vinne

Black Friday came early this year, to Ferguson, Missouri, with a major looting event that made the annual Walmart convulsion look almost tasteful. Yet while I do applaud people who avoid smashing glass, and stop to pay for their purchases, there is a generic similarity, such that the difference between looters  and bargain shoppers may […]

On managing

“Professional, David?” This was my boss speaking, thirtysomething years ago, when I was deeply implicated in “professional journalism,” editing an Asian business magazine, and allied tedious publications. I had used the word carelessly, in the conventional way, to suggest that some of the habits and practices of the company were not fully “professional,” and might […]

Wrath revisited

One should not write at all when one is very, very angry. Several past Idleposts have been deleted on that ground. Much better, I admit, to delete before posting. But best not to write them at all. I count it as a serious character flaw, on my part, that in such situations I seem unable […]


Poppy sales have been recovering — I refer only to the artificial kind — for so violent has been the history of the last century, that we can count on fresh reminders to wear them. Today, once again, at eleven o’clock, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month — before our War Memorial in […]

The people have spoken

I see that Americans are well satisfied with their politicians: over 95 percent of incumbents re-elected. Perhaps I should be more gentle in my criticism of a system that can bring such torpor and contentment, and is not so unlike monarchy after all. For note, that in this fast-changing world, some things do not change; […]

All the souls

I will tell you a Church  “reform” I would like to see. But now I will be using this word as a synonym for “restoration,” and not as the world is currently using it. I would like to see Latin restored as the normal as well as normative language of the Mass, for many different […]