One year to another

The year is ending with 313 unanswered letters in my email inbox, two dozen more of the snail variety, and thank-you notes unwritten to most of the very kind people who responded to my mendicant plea on Black Friday, more than five weeks ago (some in amounts greater than 50$). … I am ashamed. … But too, I am without secretarial assistance, or some whip-wielding personage to keep me rolling my boulder. I do attentively read all the incoming; and express my thanks to our common Maker for a remarkably thoughtful audience, in frequent short expostulations and Rosary prayers. Please bear with me, and when necessary, forgive.

On this, the fourteenth anniversary of my reception into the Holy Catholic Church.


Having given my prediction for the next two thousand years, yesterday, it would be petty for me to tell gentle reader everything that will happen in the next twelve months. One year is much like another, and the little dramas exploited by the industry of news and entertainment are actually quite boring. That which is genuinely interesting, partakes of Mystery and is not subject to seasonal change.

Take Trump for instance, whom I have mentioned too often in this last year, as he is a common topic for conversation, being overtaken by the weather only in this last week or so. Like the other rakers and shakers of history, he is, almost certainly, secretly a bore. Indeed, this may be one of history’s best-kept secrets: a vast conspiracy of the rich and famous to make us think they live enchanted lives, when in fact almost everything they do is tedious, and exciting only when violence intervenes.

He has done, to be sure, lots of little things, to restrain the administrative state (in which I include mild tax relief). The American economy would seem to be booming again, even the manufacturing sector, but what does that matter? In the absence of his vaunted wall, he seems able to restrict illegal immigration, merely by tweeting. (It is amazing what putzes even criminals are.) By taking the micromanagement pincers off his generals he has allowed big gains in the field against Daesh and Taliban, without committing major new resources. The best bit was, “next year in Jerusalem.” Other things of this nature, I happily applaud.

But there is no great structural transformation, and won’t be. He is trimming at the edges of what I have long called the “Nanny State” (the complex of government and big business), and have now improved to, “Twisted Nanny State.” The people themselves do not want to take moral or fiscal responsibility for their own lives, and have adapted too well to an environment of centrally-regulated spiritual, material, and aesthetic tawdriness; to “consumerism” in trade, politics, and leisure. Only God can change hearts. Sentimentality is completely ineffective.

Ditto, the right-wing semi-lunatics whose rise is in response to the décrépitude of the European Union. I wish them all well, but they are trimming at the edges.

Laws of inertia, in the universe we inhabit, will continue to function. Things stay the same until the tipping points are reached. Dramatic and comprehensive change requires applications of extraordinary energy, which cannot be controlled by mere human beings. But individual hearts can change, and we should focus on what is actually achievable, leaving the aggregate effect to God.

I’m going to disappear for a few days. But first, my best wishes for a Happy New Year and Christmas Octave, to each of you and to all of our beloved — the living and alike, the dead.