Essays in Idleness


Month: September, 2013

Winged victory

Today is again Michaelmas, the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels — of Michael, physician, and general in war; commander of the Jews, patron of the Nile, archistrategos of the Greeks, defender of the Romans; rescuer of souls. On this day in old Normandy, and England, the husbandman’s season ended, and another began; as […]

Lust, anger, values

We take a grim view of statistics up here in the High Doganate, polls especially, & election results in particular. But that does not mean we don’t throw numbers about. One cites them by way of confirming the obvious, when the obvious is being denied. Advocates of “democracy” like to say that voting beats violence […]

On the culture

The Greeks, as I once learned through Leo Strauss, had a wonderful word for vulgarity. They called it apeirokalia — that is, a lack of experience in beautiful things. At the heart of liberal education (“liberal” in the pre-modern sense), is a project to rescue men from this condition. It gives them the experience they […]

Go forth, anyway

The Church, to my mind, has a profound problem, which she has had from her beginning, & yet it could be mistaken for a modern problem. She aspires to convert & inspire all folk, & has within herself the means to reach into the heart of every human culture. But in practice, the pews are […]

Taking war seriously

For many years, up here in the High Doganate, we had to think about statecraft, about politics & diplomacy, about peace & war, about the problems of peace & the problems of war, & about history, especially current history in which peace & war are often inextricably mingled. As a consequence, we had many thoughts. […]

Lip service

In my column for Catholic Thing yesterday, I looked over the latest “Fat Man” package by the Intelligent Designists, dropped on the neo-Darwinoids — it is Darwin’s Doubt, by Stephen C. Meyer — & expressed some mildly pacifist sentiment. That the former are basically right about the latter, it may come as no surprise that […]

An authoritarian writes

Well, the summer is over, & that means I don’t have to read modern Chinese history any more. (I self-assign a topic each year for summer reading, & this year it was post-Ming China, crammed as if for a test on Labour Day.) Now, technically the summer will not end until the equinox on the […]