Essays in Idleness


Month: November, 2015

The cruck of our freedom

“Ah, but you will not define this ‘freedom’ of which you speak, will you? O monster of tyranny!” The words were courageously addressed by me, to an important public figure exhibiting bombast and pomposity — rhetorical qualities with which I was earnestly trying to compete. We had fallen into some sort of debate in his […]

More than ever now or never

My title today is, if I’m not mistaken, a souvenir of “the ’Fifteen.” … Here, I have found it: Lord Bolingbroke to the exiled King James III, a.k.a. James Francis Edward Stuart, a.k.a. the Old Pretender. … Or maybe I have not. For upon adjusting my spectacles I see it is “James Rex” to the […]

Present in the past

Ah, “the gloopy ear, the screaming banshee moments.” (Mrs S.) My mama had them; I used to have them, too. And wish, now, that I could have them all back, only to have my wee childers again, back in my arms. For they are transformed, after less than twenty years. Among my correspondents there are […]

Some ethic profiling

We may assume that Sponge-Bob and Snoopy overhead, for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City, are fitted with cameras today. If not, there are drones enough to cover all the angles. Police sharp-shooters are set out on every roof; police dogs everywhere sniff for explosives. (I am copying the New York Times here, […]

Wars formerly by proxy

One could not wish to referee a pea-shoot between Erdogan and Putin. Indeed, one would not have wished to insert oneself, at any time in the last few centuries, between Russian and Turk. No one should be surprised, in the convoluted sky trails over Syria, that the two national leaders, both of whom seem to […]

The mess through history

It is well, I reflect on this Feast of Saint John of the Cross, that there were no bloggers in sixteenth-century Spain. Saint John himself would never have been among them; nor Saint Teresa of Jesus, though the poor woman might have been sorely tempted. These two, among the three dozen or so Doctors of […]

The Wraith

Getting up in the middle of last night, for whatever reason, I could not help noticing a Wraith — for only thus would I describe it — fleeing down my little hallway out of sight, having emerged from a shelved doorless closet. Yes, definitely a Wraith, I concluded, from its Edward Gorey style and appearance, […]

Make perfect thy will

An item linked by my Chief Indianapolis Correspondent (this one) caught my attention last night, and gave me something to pray on. The essay, by a wise Evangelical, is on the lust for respectability. I know it so well. Embraced, this lust consumes us; rejected it returns again and again, and I would play the […]

No-go & safe zones

On this planet, there are no permanent “safe zones,” for Catholics or others of the Christian persuasion. Or anyone. But that’s not something to wring hands over. There never were, there will never be — till God pulls the curtains on our sordid drama. We have the advantage over other communities of barely stable human […]

Silence of the lambs

In principle, I am against hotheads. Indeed, I am somewhat hothead on the issue, for in truth, I am one of nature’s hotheads myself — a loud, fanatic, combustible advocate for quiet and moderation. A day hardly passes when I do not contemplate numerous homicides; though I try not to act on them. My little […]

Mewling & the lie

The tide has turned, and I am now assured that the plurality of my female correspondents took no offence from my recent diatribes on Paris, but rather were quietly cheering me on. This, now balanced against a single instance of condemnation by a male; but he sounded like a wuss to me. Hereunder I post […]

Blow blow thou winter wind

I have much to do today, and cannot think of a topic I wish to take up, given the time available. Therefore I will present gentle reader with items I transcribe from random pages of my scratch pad. This will have the further advantage of relieving me from the need to reply to various emotive […]

On candlelight vigils

The refusal to deal with reality — and I mean hard-tack, material, worldly reality here — is paradoxically the consequence of refusing to deal with spiritual realities. It comes home to us again as the fatuous displays of an affected grief continue in Paris, and sympathetically all over the West, as also in the cells […]