Down lunchpails

If I deviate from my admired R.S. ever or at all, it is because from my own “life experience” I cannot derive any pleasure from leftist twinkling. This is a slippage I have observed in many otherwise reliable dinosaurs. I attribute it to the drought of fashion. That is, we (dinosaurs) are always out of fashion. The twinkle comes when we see an opportunity to strike a transgressive, progressive pose, and therefore put ourselves in fashion with the smuglies, if only for a nanosecond. We seize upon it, as a dinosaur would, on something very small. But there is never much protein in the thing, and soon we must resume the hunt for something bigger and chewier.

I give initials, not a name, because examples are legion, and why should I pick on one guy who happens to be the most recent to annoy me? We see it in church pulpit as well as in politics: the soi-disant “conservative” who makes a spectacle of his one liberal view. If he lives in, say, Washington, and makes enough of it, he may still get invited to some parties. The Enemy will remember his little peep of statism or feminism or environmentalism or anti-Semitism or whatever it may be, and ignore everything else he says. He will be called, perhaps even to appear on television sometimes, but only to show that “even R.S. thinks we ought to” … euthanize our grannies, or what have you.

May Morning is when they all come out.

Had I not been criticized myself, for doing something of the kind this morning in my column over at Catholic Thing (here), I would perhaps not mention this. I stand accused (not publicly, just in email) of sympathizing with liturgical reform. I allowed that Pope Pius XII might have had good intentions, when he tried to appropriate the socialist May Day for Holy Church with his new feast of “Saint Joseph the Workman,” which replaced “Pip’n’Jim” in the missals for this day, back in 1955. That is, the venerable Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles, was displaced (to May 11th), to accommodate this papal wink to the labouring masses.

His Late Holiness ran that up the pole (“1st class – white”), but hardly anyone saluted. In the Novus Ordo it is now downplayed, but we’re stuck with it in the 1962 missal for the Extraordinary Form. … Aheu! … Father Hunwicke explains how to get around it, however, with a quick feint to Ordinariate usage (see here). … Bravo, bravo!

In general, it is a mistake to play to anyone else’s agenda. Let them play to ours. Our agenda is transcendence and salvation. It is not global warming or “workers of the world.”

For as I tried to hint in my Thing squibble, there is no call for celebration of “workers,” per, as it were, se. They labour for cash, and for cash alone. Who would work on a production line, in factory or office, if he (or she, alas) didn’t need the wages? We may empathize with slaves, including wage slaves, but must stop short of celebrating the institution of slavery. The whole scheme of Capitalism and Socialism, of Management and Labour, needs to be reviewed.

And I say, godspeed to that, and by all means let Saint Joseph the Carpenter help us show the way. Work, in a necessary craft, out of one’s own house, making use no doubt of available child labour, is the ancient and honourable way to proceed. We could start by striking down all the labour laws and city by-laws that make this impracticable, trash the income tax and so forth. For note, that the surrogate father of Our Lord was not homogenized. A carpenter, perhaps even a joiner, and thus a guildsman, a craftsman; not a “worker” waiting for a strike. There was no lunchpail in that scene.

But we could think about all this some other day. In the meantime, give us back May Morning.