Essays in Idleness


Month: January, 2014

Inside the fog

When I am reading history, it is always as a partisan. There is no war in which I have not taken sides. Indeed, figuring out what side one would have been on is part of the pleasure in studying the past, and a goad to intimate involvement. “You had to be there,” and since we […]

More information

The whole morning, up here in the High Doganate, when I was intending to draft another of my long, rambling, tedious posts, was taken out instead by the quaint business of “catching up with email.” This is a punishment for trying to ignore it several days. It can’t be ignored. Try that, and some of […]

The viscerality deficit

The uphillness of the struggle, for those who would restore a modicum of good old Western Civ anywhere, can be almost discouraging at times. I think decades ago we were already trying to roll our chariot up an inclined plane. By now the angle of ascent is formidable, and the need for genuine prayer has […]

The mystery of the thing

My last essay on this website was a complete dog, as I came to realize when one of my Commentariat trained my attention on a single flippant word, and rubbed my nose in it. That word was “sell,” in the colloquial sense of “advertise,” and I was using it to construct a defence of Pope […]

Yes & no

“I am double-minded, actually.” The expression is among my favourites in Delhi English. It is not as easily translatable into standard mid-Atlantic as might first appear. It does not mean, for instance, “I cannot make up my mind between two irreconcilables.” Indeed, it has nothing to do with making up one’s mind, for it describes […]

Anatomy of the January blues

If there is one use for the calendrical New Year, it is provided, unintentionally, through the media, and through the accidents of social life. Towards the end of the old year, and bleeding into the new, we are exposed to a higher density of “signs of the times” than at any other time of year. […]