Essays in Idleness


Month: March, 2016

Christ hither & away

This day, apparently for the last time until anno 2157, is both Lady Day and Good Friday. Our pre-modern ancestors, and those non-modern who walk the earth today, celebrate this Conjunction with our fast. For as this link explains (here), the 25th of March has been taken for the historical date of the Annunciation to […]

The coming days

In the grim days, when I was an overpaid prisoner in a newspaper chain, writing daily columns on matters of no importance as member of the chain gang, there were breaks. One was granted annual leave, of five weeks in my case. One was even allowed to choose which weeks, subject to negotiation with one’s […]

Stillness within the panic

I write today about Ratzinger over at Catholic Thing (here). He is back in the news, quite modestly, and I seize on almost any chance to echo my hero of the last forty years. Over here, in this Idleposting, let me add what I had no space for, though little enough it adds. Apart from […]


[Lazily brought forward, and only slightly revised, from something I wrote a couple of years ago.] * Barely three centuries have passed since English travellers in Ireland noticed the wearing of “shamroges” in “vulgar superstitious” displays of patriotism on the 17th of March. These, along with “excess in liquor,” and other inducements to debauchery, are […]

Super endless Tuesday

My curmudgeonly instinct is to dash to the support of the Republican Establishment. This would be easier to find if anyone would admit to belonging. More, I think, advertise their membership in the KKK. I am used to being a minority of one; used to supporting defunct causes. But the Republican Establishment is supposed to […]

Novels, novels

On the topic of novels, a very good one has fallen into my hands, by a dear friend, who is crazy, in all the right ways. The book is entitled, Israel Madigan. It is by Robert Eady, and good luck finding it, for the publisher is small, Catholic, and not pushy. (One might start trying, […]

Benedictine “option”

Let us revise the “Benedict option,” named by Rod Dreher, and proposed by him and many others. They invite us, in effect, to head for the hills, or to the nearest virtual equivalents; to separate ourselves, in mind if not in body, from the depraved society in which we find ourselves immured. Christians should detach, […]

All talk

Though we might exempt poets and philosophers, what people do is usually more important than what they say. Though sometimes, even among the unpoetical and unphilosophical, speech can be a crude action; or actionable, depending on the angle. One must consider these things case by case. Sandro Magister gave examples yesterday (here). I had noticed […]

Good & useless

Yairs, yairs, gentle readers, well spotted. I refer to the apparent howler yesterday, on the tail of my seventh paragraph, which read, “I only fired people for being useless.” It was to be taken more in the tone of spiritual confession, than in that of professional pride. But since not one of you has read […]

The hours of folly

The word, “untenable,” is not frequently used. Perhaps it is too philosophical for an age that is as unphilosophical as it is irreligious. Which is to say, our age of “science,” undermined by scientism, and mediated by a “logic” that is demonstrably insane. We lack the ability to abandon ideas that are untenable — that […]

Gardez l’eau

One strives for a Christian view of words that start with V, such as Vampirism; or, Violence; or, Vulgarity. And Visions, too, for sometimes folk have bad ones. To say nothing of, Valls, or rather, Walls, for I think that takes a double V. Or, Misogyny, in which we have two Vs, but both are […]

The banality of evil

So many years have passed since my last good argument over Hannah Arendt, I’ve forgotten which side I was on. Her pregnant phrase, “the banality of evil,” from her book on the Eichmann trial (published 1962), was usually under attack from the “intellectuals.” So I probably defended it. I even read the book, as I […]

Killing people

At Mass today, across the Archdiocese of Toronto, all homilies were suspended so that a statement could be read by our Cardinal Collins against the Ottawa government’s impending “euthanasia” legislation. This our Parliament was ordered to write and pass by Canada’s Supreme Court: a junto of nine who are a law unto themselves. The Parliamentary […]