Essays in Idleness


Month: January, 2013

Apocalyptic Egypt

It turns out I have written another column over at The Catholic Thing; & as it happens the first thing I have written on the Middle East for a long time. So much has happened, especially in Egypt over the last half year. But nothing new has happened. The Muslim Brotherhood continue to consolidate their […]

Just an idea

There are 63 states, provinces, & territories scattered across the 4,600,000,000 or so acres of our American estate, which is to say, north of the Rio Grande. (I have excluded the larger bodies of fresh water, but included adjoining islands. Greenland, however, I leave to the Danes.) These in turn are gathered under two federal […]

At the twilight’s last

Reading the pundits, on the second Obama Inauguration — that imitation Coronation, performed out of church at fixed intervals — one might think that half of America was attracted, & half repulsed. That impression would be wrong. The pundits’ minds are supersaturate with politics. They do not understand their fellow men, whose minds are not. […]

To be human

“Humanism” is a funny old term. It is used today to denote the extraordinarily high regard in which politicized Atheists hold themselves. It conveys the evolutionary notion, that some pigs are more equal than others. In particular, those who deviate from the scientistic doctrines of Movement Atheism, & resist jackboot orders to remove themselves from […]

Owner-sensitive media

One wonders if God is any more interested than the rest of us in hapless moaning. There’s a lot of it about. In the course of “researching” this article — i.e. glancing over a few Internet links — I have just acquired my fill of quasi-highbrow European journalists, bemoaning fate. It seems the Internet has […]

The pursuit of ignorance

The desire to leap to a conclusion, on the basis of some passing observation, which may not even be accurate, appears to be shared by all human beings. It is shared, too, with other members of that Animal Kingdom, of which we are the indisputable Monarch. It can be seen most clearly in the behaviour […]

Backward ho!

As a hack journalist of long standing, I know the news isn’t news until it touches you in some way. That is why, along with my fellow hacks, I have spent so much time “making it touch.” To understand post-modern mass media, one must understand this contrived necessity. “Chastity” in news reporting is a thing […]

James M. Buchanan

Were I to characterize my current thinking on the economic order in a single word, I would choose, “bewildered.” I agree with the popes (a whole series of them) that socialism stinks, even in its mildest, most “democratic” forms. I also agree with them that capitalism is a good thing “up to a point,” but […]

The Baptism of Christ

Back in the day when I was a Londoner, & becoming a Christian — to which I referred two posts ago — it was my habit to haunt, in addition to libraries, also museums & galleries. These were the happiest days of my life, the chastest & the poorest in material terms, & London was […]

Warmth in winter

And another thing: my fortnightly column for the Catholic Thing, electronic organ of the Faith & Reason Institute, in Washington, DC. It is on the joys, & also the moral imperatives, of book burning: “Fires are welcome in our northern winter, up here in the Canadas, & dry softwood logs are the fuel of first […]

Ask & it will be answered

“Il ne dépend pas de nous de croire en Dieu, mais seulement de ne pas accorder notre amour à de faux dieux.” This is among my favourite pensées of Simone Weil: “It is not up to us to believe in God, only not to grant our love to false gods.” Gentle reader is invited to […]

Fellow passenger

Anyone who has tried to ride on the wing of an aeroplane — & I have entirely avoided the experience — will empathize with the scrub python who attempted this feat on a flight from Cairns, Queensland, to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. An account is provided by the Sydney Morning Herald, under the […]

Your problems solved

As quite a few American & foreign pundits have begun to grasp, the U.S. electorate has been voting consistently for two things, through many election cycles. First, they want a very large, comprehensive, & intrusive Nanny State. And second, they don’t want to pay for it. From the polls, which show strong opposition to raising […]