Essays in Idleness


Month: December, 2012

Robert Bork

We did not want the year to pass without lamenting the loss of Robert Bork, who died 19th December age eighty-five. Among the greatest American jurisprudes, he is alas more remembered instead as a verb, for what was done to him. President Reagan managed to get Antonin Scalia onto the Supreme Court (its finest mind […]

The cure

In the words of the modern carol, “All we want for Christmas is some extra-strength Tylenol,” & sure enough, our little sister brought some up to the High Doganate, “on Christmas Day in the morning.” Since then, the quality of life has much improved up here. We specified acetaminophen, & neither aspirin nor ibuprofen, since […]

Ho ho ho

A member of our Commentariat complains about our misuse of the word, “issues.” But it is part of our “Gangnam style.” It is among the demotic expressions in which we delight. It casts light, or can do, into deep wells of unhappiness & misfortune. We heard once a young lady speak of an uncle who […]

Doomsday postponed

We forgot to check the Internet this morning to see if the world had ended, a matter of some consequence to us, for if it had, we would have to reassess our whole position towards New Age Gnosticism. As we understand, the prediction for midnight Thursday, Greenwich Mean Time, was intelligently shifted to the Northern […]

The mad in our streets

We are neglecting to write new Idleposts, while being drawn into banter in the Comments, & email. See for instance the Comments under “Why why why?” for an illustration of our descent. Still, it is banter with actual readers. We must have a dozen of them, by now! Soon we may catch up with Lady […]

Ritualistic aside

Another blogger, linking our last post, used the killing initials “tl/dr” to warn against its length (a mere two thousand words, or 2.67 newspaper pundit columns). The letters stand for, “too long / didn’t read.” Let us assure gently alarmed reader that it is really just ten much shorter posts, elaborately woven together. In our […]

“Why why why?”

Gentle reader need not actually consult this link from the Times of India, though if she reads mass media at all, she will be inured to such material. Delhi, the centre of India’s vast bureaucracy, had already the reputation of being, too, the “rape capital of India.” But gang rape in a moving city bus […]


When one whines to God — in that self-indulgent, obsessively self-referential, and spiritually self-serving, “Why me?” sort of way — it seems that God ignores one, for a while. But keep it up, and He starts piling on. As the years pass, we become the more convinced that this may be the Divine Policy, and […]


We try to keep our posts gratuitous, & the sequence random, but sometimes the one principle clashes with the other, & gratuitousness demands several consecutive posts, or nearly consecutive, on the same topic. The tag of the moment is “business magazines.” We mentioned that this is among the precious few topics for which we have […]

Om sweet om

We have trained several of our jet-setting friends to bring back newspapers & magazines. Not any one journal in particular: rather, whatever they happen to pick up along their way, & find still in their litter upon return to the Greater Parkdale Area. From childhood we have had a fascination for such things; for ephemera […]

Trendier than thou

For a magazine like the Economist, representing in theory & often in practice the classical liberal worldview (“classical” refers to the economists, starting from Adam … Smith), religion exists in a free market like everything else. This is not an animadversion. We have read leaders in the magazine over more than three decades that make […]

Refugees in time

As a youff, with a teacher determined to teach us Latin, we became mysteriously attracted to the late 4th-century Roman author, Ausonius. Edward Gibbon, in the Enlightenment, wrote him off (“his fame condemned the taste of his age”), & his habit of writing setpieces on time-worn topics from a provincial location (Bordeaux, once Burdigala) does […]

Father Schall in play

We may not have the time this week to blather as we have done the last few days, giving a certain “Mildred” an opportunity to catch us up, for she complains we write faster than she can read. But we would not have another day pass without acknowledging the retirement of Father James V. Schall […]