Essays in Idleness


Month: February, 2015

Digby chicks

Parkdale, which is to say, the inner core of the Greater Parkdale Area, in which the High Doganate is located, is a melting pot of innumerable overlapping ethnications. Among our most exotic immigrants are those from the far east: Nova Scotia, for instance, and Newfoundland. Shopping, at least for food in Parkdale, is a treat. […]

Pray for a slow death

It is all very well for these saints to be martyred, “at the top of their game,” as it were. One suspects it may even be a worldly privilege in some cases, like the silk rope I mentioned two Idleposts ago. However, recent events have reminded us that most die slowly, whether or not they […]

Lili Kraus

The background music since last week, up here in the High Doganate, has been Mozart, mostly, oddly enough. He is not usually associated with Lent. But five CDs of his solo piano music fell into my hands the day after Ash Wednesday, and you know how superstitious I am. The organ is shut down till […]


In a politically-corrected world, where there is one side to every story, although it changes from day to day, I was delighted to see the Wall Street Journal publish a courageous article. It was in defence of French waiters. They are, as Cristina Nehring hints, among the last upholders of Western civilization; and in their […]

Primum non nocere

The Hippocratic Oath is by no means the only one that has been taken by medical students and graduates the world over, today and through the many centuries of recorded history. The Oath of Asaph in ancient Hebrew, Vaidya’s Oath in Vedic India, the Sun Simiao of Sui-dynasty China, the teachings of Nagarjuna in the […]

On legitimate government

Only recently did I discover that I am a Hobbit. It had to be explained to me. Yet it followed from my previous political experience, for I was raised to think of myself as a liberal. This meant subscribing to the notion of free enterprise, in the economy and most other things; limited government; defending […]

A voice from the chorus

Before sending my little essays out in the world, I apply a special coating, to prevent them from going viral. It is my own secret recipe, which I am not prepared to share. I will only give a couple of annoying hints, on the ingredients. What I put in may be obvious enough; but what […]

Philatelic note

Stamp collectors should be aware of a new Polish issue, which features the Canadian prisoner of conscience, Mary Wagner. It is a 2.20 złoty stamp (about 75 cents), showing the face of the prisoner behind bars, in a se-tenant pair with a “Róże haft Łowicki” — a folk-art rose embroidered in the small town of […]

The fat chance chronicles

In the course of my arguments with Herr Zeitgeist over the years, I have tended to compromise less and less. The Gentleman (cap for the German noun; they don’t have their own word for it) has of course tried to exploit this. Why won’t I be reasonable? Why must I refer to “democracy” and “the […]


Among the most common appetitive items given up for Lent, in my circle, is the Internet. Sometimes this is restricted to Internet “news and entertainment,” and I was delighted to hear from several of my GRs (“gentle readers”: an email correspondent actually used this abbreviation) that even though they were blocking almost everything else, they […]

An imposition

Rather than read me today, gentle persons really ought instead to visit Sandro Magister’s blog, and follow his links to the Ash Wednesday homilies delivered by Joseph Ratzinger, as Pope. They are a treasury. Read them, one after another, from 2006 to 2013, and one may begin to understand what is meant by the phrase, […]

Martyrdom revolved

As gentle reader may know from the news, twenty-one kidnapped Coptic Christians were martyred by beheading on the weekend, in Libya. Their blood was mixed in the Mediterranean, and the Jihadi executioners, including one with an American accent, vowed that Rome across the sea would next fall to slaughter, at the command of Allah. I […]

Sundown & after

I want briefly to record my indebtedness to the late Sun News television network, and to its staff: a couple hundred mostly young earnest industrious, rather underpaid people who lost their jobs when the signal went down at five, Friday morning. My friend Ezra Levant (who is secretly a mensch) describes most of these people […]