Essays in Idleness


Month: August, 2017

Include me in

“Whenever I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my Browning.” This, attributed to Goering but rather indited by some other nutjob mediocrity, is among my favourite phrases. Often I cite it with glee. I know just what he meant; rarely has one the chance to empathize with Nazis. Monsters they were, but also human, […]


A storm which with high and howling winds, crosses over the city, funnelling some trillions of gallons from the Gulf of Mexico, then pauses, and backs over it again, must really dislike Houston. That it now proposes to inundate New Orleans, reprising the track of Katrina, suggests animus of a very high order on the […]

Of rich & poor

I try to avoid taking sides on this issue, defending the poor to the rich, and the rich to the poor, and leaving the “middle classes” — so puffed in North American political oratory, such as it is — under siege from both sides. One adjusts one’s position tactically against any pendulum of opinion, however. […]

War, famine, plague, sedition

I present the Four Horsemen in this rather Florentine way, to end on the surprise of “sedition.” In the revelation to John, on Patmos, the one thing clear is that they ride out on horses “white, red, black, and pale.” I think then as now the association of pale was with ghostly, “ghastly,” not beige. […]

Bring back liberals

Yes, yes, gentle reader, I am trying to be irrelevant, but it’s hard, hard to cut against the grain. I do not mean my own grain, of course — for I think that I am naturally irrelevant — but that of the society around me, and which has been around all my adult life. A […]

The knot

If I am going to run for President (see previous Idlepost), it strikes me I will have to dress better, and shave more frequently. To which end my little sister — the success in the family — dragged me along the spiff section of Bloor-by-Yorkville yesterday. She had decided I would need a couple of […]

The grandstand chronicles

Should I decide to run against Trump in 2020 (and I realize it will require an amendment to the United States Constitution), I have my campaign strategy mapped out. Like Trump’s in ’16, it will anchor upon a slogan: “Make America Christian again.” As I am allergic to baseball caps — double allergic when they […]


It is amusing how economics works in Japan. In truth, this “applied science” is amusing everywhere, but one place at a time. My title plays on the name of that country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe; one sees the term often in Asiatic media. He is trying, with the considerable equipage of a modern guvmint, to […]

Portent of doom

Today’s total solar eclipse is, I am given to understand, by the almanacs as well as the fools in the media, the first to pass right across those Natted States Merica, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean; the path of totality impinging upon no other nation state. If I were a USAmerican, I’d be […]

The longer game

What a week it has been, at least in the yellow world of journalism and politics. I have had nothing new to say on anything — at least I hope to have said nothing new, for my intention in commenting on passing events is simply to repeat the old gnomes which they freshly illustrate. Thucydides, […]

How to win the civil war

It depends, of course, which side you want to win. “Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks,” as my hippie friends used to say. The methods used by what I consider to be the Other Side in the current civil war are working well for them: sneak attacks, lies, and misrepresentations. But I wonder, sometimes, what might […]

Of dog-whistles & duck calls

“Gawd I hate white people.” This did not come from the mouth of a BLM, or an SJW, or other DMI (my abbreviation for, “drooling malicious idjit”); rather, from that of an ageing white male. I knew exactly what he meant. We had been discussing the SFs among the overmonied and underbrained in one of […]

The Google archipelago

On the 4th of December, 1999, I first became acquainted with Google. I know the date because I recorded it, with a pen, in a notebook. My elder son, the techie — then age thirteen — explained to me what a “search engine” is, and why I must use it. Too, why he was setting […]