Essays in Idleness


Mother of God

The expression, cited in my title, got my attention long before I became a Christian, let alone was received into the Roman fold. I found it a rather thrilling assertion, whether or not “true.” The idea that God could have a mother fritzed my little neurons; but it was better than that. For there is a […]

Per impossibile chronicles

Dear Mister Trump. After a couple of months of him in office, I have come to the conclusion that while he is reckless with his “facts and arguments,” hair-trigger in his responses, given to hyperbole at the expense of other rhetorical figures, and proud almost to a fault, he is basically honest. Even naïve. He […]

The rest is silence

The world has lost a truly great entomologist, perhaps its greatest collector of beetles, with the death of David A. Rockefeller, on Monday at the age of one hundred and one, among the cabinets of his specimens at Pocantico Hills: each impeccably labelled and mounted. Rockefeller’s dwarfed the collections of Darwin and Wallace, the accumulated […]


It is true I am a pirumphile, or lover of pears, as I am reminded by a plastic jug of excellent pear juice I have obtained from a farmer’s market. It is large, a half-gallon, but I cannot guarantee it will last very long, up here in the High Doganate. Fresh, it is very satisfying, […]

A giant rabbit

One wonders, though not for long, how many Canadians were aware that yesterday was the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Patron Saint of Canada. (Transferred to today, this year, to preserve the Third Sunday in Lent.) Of course, this is also a feast throughout the universal or Catholic Church — of Saint Joseph, Confessor, Spouse of […]

The dogwhistle chronicles

The Left mildly disguise their anti-Semitism by substituting the term “Zionists” for Jews. Our pope does it by substituting “Pharisees” and like terms, in his daily homiletic attacks from Santa Marta — aimed chiefly against Catholic doctrinal precision. Our Saviour, who could hardly have been an anti-Semite, being Jewish himself, did make actual Scribes and […]


Peronism came to Argentina and never left. Not only have the Partido Justicialista and its avatars dominated Argentine electoral politics, through their various iconic husband-and-wife acts over the last seventy years, but they have contaminated the thinking of the whole country, which adhered to their arbitrary and contradictory doctrines even during the sixteen years they […]

Benzedrine options

We use “option” to mean “alternative” today, especially inversions of the established order, and yet by the disappearance of any established order the word is returning to its earlier use. There have always been different ways to live, and different routes to Hell, as well as ways “home.” Rod Dreher’s latest instalment, The Benedict Option: […]

You are not alone …

You are not alone, gentle reader. Everyone is opposed to Daylight Savings Time. Like so many bad ideas, the measure was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin, but after being ignored as too silly even by the French revolutionists, it was borne into the world by the Kaiser in 1916. The idea, I suppose, was to […]

Empty threats

As Stalin used to say, “Nuclear weapons are only a problem for people with bad nerves.” There are people whose nerves are almost too good, and Stalin comes to mind as an example. But if it is not apocryphal, and even if it is, I think this one of his better lines. I rank it […]

Think environmentally

Obviously, if you want to be rid of the wild boars overrunning your neighbourhood, you import their natural predators. You bring in grey wolves, tigers, and komodo dragons. The Japanese authorities now rely on gun-totin’ hunters. According to news reports, they have already nailed eight hundred of the beasts in the Fukushima district where, according […]


J. M. Cameron (1910–95) was a philosophy professor at Saint Michael’s College in Toronto, here, for many years. I met him through one of his prize students, who happened to be my girlfriend at the time, forty-plus years ago. He asked me what I was reading, over tea. I was reading Hobbes. He thought Hobbes […]

Deep state

I’m against big guvmint. So is my JCWC (joint chief Washington correspondent), but he tells me to avoid the expression, “deep state.” It’s a propaganda term; it draws you into devil-worship. You might hate big guvmint, and totalitarianism in any form, but if you become obsessed, it will eat your brain. However, I like to […]