Essays in Idleness


Fear not

We are (the present writer included) creatures of our place and time. Verily, it is our divine task to overcome this “temporality,” to escape our condition as animals, mere earthlings.

One thinks of the prisoners in camps during the war. (Any war will do.) The are creatures of the camp, yet each has a duty — not a dream, but a duty — to escape, if he can. He is not a common convict, who deserves his sentence, and has a duty to serve it out. Rather, he is the ward of an enemy who must eventually be defeated. And while he may be polite and “understanding” of his guards through the day — they might be conscripted soldiers, like him, who never chose to be camp guards; they could be “only following orders” — he will be looking for the hole in their fences and defences. I think of incidents in memoirs of captive soldiers. One must escape not only the camp, but from behind enemy lines; and with as many of one’s companions as will come.

But I am speaking by analogy of a spiritual task. Our camp accommodations may be quite pleasant; or at least more pleasant than the prospect of trekking across Siberia. We might be lazy. “There is a lion in my way,” as the sluggard says, in the Book of Proverbs. The task may seem impossible. We would need extraordinary help to spring out. In the Christian religion, Christ is that helper.

“Fear not,” He says, not only in his own Person, but throughout the Bible. Moreover it is Fear that has usually imprisoned us; at some level, perhaps, it is always fear. To be free begins (and perhaps ends) with the conquest of this terror. Not the “management” of it, but the defeat of it.

By this, I could not possibly mean that gentle reader should become a psycho, which he might do via hashish or other drugs, that suppress fear artificially. Rather we must overcome the intimidations of the world, while, in effect, plotting against it; wise as the owl of Athena.

Because we are moderns, it is hard for us to understand the simplest classical phrases. We take Christ for a kind of psychological counsellor. “Fear not” becomes the equivalent of, “don’t worry be happy.” It is part of some mundane scheme for self-improvement, like diets. But as ever with Our Saviour, the meaning is more profound.

He calls us to Freedom — to dangerous Freedom — from the temptations and exclusions of our little enclosed lives. He says, “follow me,” to Freedom, from the world.

From “the world,” I do not exclude politics. The parties of pagan “progress” are desirous of slaves. Their policies are consistently those of the plantation. Their schools are (according to me, as ever) designed to idiotize the general public,  to keep them “low information,” and thus malleable. They manipulate fear — even unreasoning fear of the Batflu — to keep the people in muzzles and chains. They seek to “guide us” in the most petty ways; and they are habitual liars. That is because “the end justifies the means,” for those without faith.

For they, too, are imprisoned by fear. And their worst fear, is that we will be unafraid.

Priestcraft, then & now

“We must follow The Science,” I have often heard, from blithering idjits who know nothing about science, except that those who question “The Science” must be smeared. The scientists, meanwhile, contradict each other, but this is never an issue until one strays from the party line. That is more serious, for it might shake someone’s faith in Scientism: our established religion, above friends, family, and even the state.

It is a religion that claims infallibility, based on a mystical principle called “Scientific Method,” which does not actually exist and never did, except as a popular delusion. Yet it inspires a welter of banal platitudes, also contradicting one another, as banal platitudes have always done. Unlike, for instance, the Catholic religion, in which a pope has claimed dogmatic infallibility only a couple of times, Scientism claims it every morning with its Corn Flakes, and every evening with its Pringles. It is there at the top of everyday’s world news — which, like all scientistic propaganda, isn’t “world” and isn’t “news.”

For consider, the mediaevals didn’t have newspapers and meejah to black out errant facts, or suppress errant opinions. They weren’t there to demand that everyone “Follow The Science” over hill, dale, and cliff. The mediaevals didn’t have Hollywood or Netflix, either; or modern pharmaceuticals, to pacify the mad. Things were much different.

The modern peasant believes in the pronouncements of Scientism to a far greater degree than the mediaeval peasant believed in Christian Revelation, and is far more obedient to the scientistic authorities than his ancestors ever were to pope or parish priest. Indeed, the more I read of the Dark and Middle Ages, in the West or in the East, the more I learn of times when the world was crawling with atheists and agnostics, heretics, “freethinkers” (though not quite as ridiculous as they are today).

And, too, of the usual “silent majority” of people who are “going along to get along,” as they have done in all ages. They have done this because the alternative is to think for oneself, which is very, very painful. And from fear of what happens if they step out of line, and break the overwhelming solidarity, so that they might be abandoned before scary, violent hordes. (We have Antifa, they had Viking raids.)

Friars, nuns, and theologians were always a minority, as “research scientists” are today, except that the latter are not subject to the public mockery that the former had to endure, when they were exposed as greedy, shameless, rapacious, shysters.

Our modern peasant wouldn’t dare. The moment he is in the presence of a Labcoat, he adopts a submissive posture — usually abject sycophancy — unlike his forefathers, a thousand years ago (except perhaps in the worst Oriental despotisms) when presented with a man wearing clerical robes. Nor would the cleric speak with such casual arrogance, nor pretend to that knowledge of the heavens that the scienticist just smugly announces. Nor, even in pharaonic Egypt, was he enfolded within a quaint moral order (“political correctness”) which changes from day to day, often at his whimsical suggestion.

For our ancient priest had no choice but to be comfortable with genuine variety in appearance and thought. He could not demand enforcement of official “Diversity,” while stomping on the human face.

What the priest had to back him up, in Western Christendom, was a consistent and rational Church doctrine, from which his superiors often deviated, as they do today. There were also scandals, of which many might be vaguely aware, but the mediaeval peasant no more assumed that the scandals undermined the teaching, than the modern peasant thinks that the debaucheries of Labcoats undermine “The Science.”

Morning in America?

Among the cleverest ways of losing an audience, is to tell them about your dreams. Well, it is not always done cleverly. A still more general principle, is that things which seem interesting to you, may not interest others. The dream itself may have been quite amusing, and yet, should it require any explanation at all, the game is over.

In the days when I was allowed to speak in public — actually paid, sometimes; or offered an “honorarium” in the hope I would decline — I once tried to explain a dream. I was speaking extempore, and soon realized that I should not have started. My audience were all wearing watches. Perhaps they were looking forward to their own sleepy-time. The more polite yawned, involuntarily. Glazed eyes pleaded with me to reach a conclusion, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it. For vanity had abrogated my wits. Lord, get me out of this parish hall, I prayed. But there was no sudden, viable disturbance, such as an aeroplane crashing.

Soon thereafter I discovered, to my horror, that I had been appointed the “literary executor” of a dear old friend, whose own public speaking had now terminated. His principal “posthumous” work, it turned out, was a book of dreams. For more than forty years, he had recorded every dream he could remember, and richly contextualized them, too. Then typed them up, neatly. From what I could see, there were no “highlights” to be extracted.

Lord, get me out of this, I once again prayed.

The manuscript seemed deep within the 99th centile of books that need not be published. The only possible reader was the author, and he had sadly died. On the other hand, most manuscripts seem like this. One feels sorry for the publishers when one reads them. But we are at a nadir of Western Civ.

I will not deny that God may appear in a vision to a prophet, while he is unconscious. But to the major prophets, such dreamers are likely to be false. Genuine prophets are not instructed to tell their dreams in homilies; or even help us pick our Bingo numbers. They aren’t told to flatter the people, like politicians. Rather, they must tell the people what’s what.

They tell them to wake up. Moreover, they do not tell them to wake eventually. Their alarm sounds now.

Of course, we should be “woke,” in a manner of speaking. But the truly woke are awake to their own depravity, at the root of their many habitual failures — not to some dream that is a sleep within a sleep.

Let me speak as if I were a prophet, new inspired: America, get up now!

Against perspective

Perhaps it could be argued, by some lunatick like me, that the world began going to hell (directly) with the discovery of perspective. It was the first fatal stroke of the “dictatorship of relativism.”

This is a notion that has been teasing me for some time (more than thirty years), and for which I have never come near to acquiring the credentials. But I’ll make my stand, secure in the knowledge that, should gentle reader dismiss everything I say, his bus won’t come any faster.

Actually, my notion began inchoately, longer ago, during arguments with my grandfather — a draughtsman, cartographer, and illuminator, who was a decided fan of High Renaissance painters (though of rather older scripts). A reactionary who truly despised “modern art,” which he compared to soup bones, he nevertheless believed in progress. But he also believed that the progress had stopped about the year 1527. Downhill from there.

He, then his son my father, were apt to teach one the rules of perspective. Whereas I, … was a difficult student from the start. I could see the relevance of perspective to geometry, as it were, but could not see its relevance to art. This was just a fly buzzing in my brain, however.

Time would pass before I was arguing with my father who, as an industrial designer, was even more cutting-edge than my grandpa. Without perspective, his whole trade would be finished. There could be no precision in design for industry, where precision is often required. The machines wouldn’t work.

That did not necessarily strike me as a bad thing. But our argument was more about plastics, on which he was expert, whereas I was “Antipla.” (That’s a kind of Antifa against plastics.) Fortunately, he was quite tolerant of opposing views — “the more absurd the better” — so I was able to live to adulthood.

My real “conversion experience” came while examining mediaeval architectural drawings. Drawn with minimal draughting equipment, without any clew about vanishing points, or even a mild instinct to foreshortening, they could be triumphantly detailed. Too, they would result in cathedrals. Rather than consider the object in any strict directional, angular view, they seemed to unroll it like a scroll.

And so did the representation of pictorial space, in the older (usually anonymous) painters — European and Other, as well as in folk art to the present day. Their innocence made their works friendlier.

Moreover, the geometrically-informed artists by whom I was mesmerized — from Giotto to Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca (this last also a brilliant mathematician) — were exceptions to prove my anti-rule. Each seemed to me (the lunatick) to balance some awareness of perspective by an heroic effort to overcome this “system” in which one object blocks our view of another in an entirely arbitrary way. They would contrive to defeat perspective, even while humouring it, by subtly “scrolling” side-to-side or upward. In this way, their figures could still be presented as if in the round, so we could begin to see behind them without being “perspected.” Distance, to them, was something to be felt, not calculated.

Today, perspective is mechanically employed, even while drawing mush.

Rapes, for instance, of Sabine Women, ought to be presented with all the faces clear, as they would be on a sarcophagus of the 5th century. The police ought to be able to round up all the “perps,” just by examining the painting. This is my principle.

Now, as what we call the “Renaissance” degenerated into projecting everything onto a grid pattern (I have an irrational dislike for Vermeer), we were on our way to snapshot photography. And photography is the opposite of an art. We live now in an age of “pics,” and worse, movies. Not accidentally it is also an age of pornography.

This is of course a very large topic, or would be if we took life seriously. Confident that no one will understand what I have just written, I should return to it frequently.

Frugal to the end

Perhaps I was the only viewer watching the taxi-meter during the latest soi-disant “debate” in Natted States. I attribute this to all my Caledonian ancestors, on my mama’s side, currently spinning in their respective graves. Or, more precisely, the Scandihoovians who de- and then re- populated Caledonia’s outer islands, probably as a consequence of trying to learn the Gaelic. (In the end they got it, though.)

These ancestors also eventually learnt to count, and that proved to be a great “game changer.” Murder may be in the nature of Scotland’s outer tribes, but extravagance certainly is not.

As the candidates in this “reality show” were speaking, I was toting up their proposed damage. What would their flowery promises cost, to do things like change the world’s climate, or eliminate carbon from our daily lives? A trillion here and a trillion there, as the saying goes. It all adds up.

The candidate on the epistle side of the “debating” stage was, as ever, the more profligate. Each of his generous proposals would cost a trillion or more; usually a few trillion, or many. Plus, there were details that caught my attention, such as a scheme to make all the capitalists pay a minimum wage that would sink them, coupled with a scheme to bail them all out from being sunk. The candidate himself, who struck me as slow-witted, did not seem aware of his joke. Later he proposed to phase out the oil industry.

On the gospel side, the other candidate, who has by his instigations already blown through enough trillions to finance several foreign wars, just trying to fight some virus from China, came across as the fiscal conservative. None of his proposals exceeded the GDP of a large European country.

Granted, this is a little-known fact, but plagues can’t be stopped. This was known before the latest one landed, but has apparently been forgotten. One just has to endure them. Modern medicine may reduce the death toll here, while increasing it there, but hey. Almost all who are infected were following social distancing protocols, and have always been doing so, for the last four millennia, at least. But plagues were designed to sprint around and through them.

Designed, I said. By whom?

Well, I cannot blame the Communist Party of China for any of those which began prior to Saturday, 23rd July, 1921.

But let us not be distracted by mortality. Back to counting money.

As I hinted, I may be the only non-member of a red-state Merican country club who still watches the bills mounting. And I do this even though it gives me pain. I was raised with the idea that frugality is a virtue.

And so, my advice to Merican friends remains: “Vote Trump. He will be slightly cheaper.”

Reform proposal

“I was just joking,” says the politician not known for his sense of humour, when caught out with some appalling statement, not in the least funny. Owing to my foolish attention to politics, I have heard this many times.

Yet I appreciate, even from my most irritating enemies, some attempt at dry humour; as I was indicating in that Catholic Thing today (see here). For instance, I once smiled when a very irritating gentleman, asked if he was trying to be funny, replied: “No, I was being psychopathic.”

Keep that up, and I might begin to like him. As it turned out in the moment however, his self-deprecatory dryness did not win the day. For my even more irritating ally then humourlessly attacked him for “admitting” that he was a psycho.

Reagan, of beloved memory, could be rather good at this. He had a mind so simple, that he could perceive contradictions. Example, in answer to a journalist who asked if he was trying to start a nuclear war:

“Why would I want to start a nuclear war, when I am having so much fun oppressing the poor?”

To raise the temperature a bit, I like to bring Christ into it. According to me, Our Lord could be very dry. I cited just two examples in my Thing column, but I hold that it is worth reading through the Gospels again, to find more. If one is lazy, look in one of those Protestant red-letter editions, so that you may go directly to the quotes. But it is worth reading the set-ups, too (in the black letters), for the authors and “compilers” of our Bible could also indulge in subtleties of expression.

So did Shakespeare and Dante; even Goethe. This is among the reasons their works have also remained in print. Or here is a student assignment. Read Homer’s Odyssey, and write me an essay on the topic of “ninnies.” (Hint: the word isn’t Greek. You will have to consider translations.)

I have sometimes thought it would be fun to go out drinking with Homer. (Having recently been cancelled as a “Lit” teacher, I don’t get to ask students ridiculous questions any more.)

But returning, foolishly, to politics, I wonder if we are looking for reforms in all the wrong places. Most political policies and proposals strike me as abnormally stupid, as might appear if we thought them through. Worse, I suspect that they are cynically designed to appeal to an audience that is intellectually feeble. Things are said that might sound plausible at first, but on Housman’s “four minutes’ thought,” could be exposed as unlikely. Fortunately for the politicians, no one seems to have the time at his disposal. For, as Housman continued,  “thinking is hard, and four minutes is a long time.”

I hope that last paragraph sounded sufficiently elitist and condescending. Often I wish that all of God’s children were snobs. That, rather than becoming angry, when they realize that they have been lied to, they would from the beginning have turned up their noses.

But as a compromise, I recommend civilized discourse. Let the politician sometimes say things with a smile, and a wink. Or better yet, without. For he should not use a bludgeon, but prefer sharp witty knives. This, I believe, would change even his godforsaken policies, for the better. For he would make fewer suggestions that were merely shamefully dumb.

Otiosus rants

Did you know? That, “Racism is the creation of white people”?

Of course you did, if you are young, woke, and poorly educated, like the white woman who is now the British Library’s Chief Librarian. (“Liz Jolly.”) Her statement, in a video to staff last summer, promoting her Decolonizing Working Group, though perfectly acceptable to Guardian subscribers, was mocked by several African and Asiatic scholars who have depended upon that library’s resources over the years. Noting that history is more complicated than Ms Jolly was ever told, they criticized her as “pig ignorant,” &c.

But her explicitly racist “anti-racist” programme proceeds, with aggressive “anti-racist” exhibitions, new “anti-racist” signage, and so forth. The demand to de-acquisition authors who do not reinforce the current ideological stereotypes has not yet gathered to full force, but has started.

The capture of essentially all major cultural institutions by unhinged political fanatics with daddy issues, is among the signs of our times. Those who resist are driven out of employment; those who accede have a lock on the splendidly-paid positions, for which beleaguered taxpayers are billed. The consequences to Western Civ are not trifling.

Perhaps I am unfair to single out just the one career arts bureaucrat, when there are thousands to choose from. I may even be prejudiced, not only against white people like Ms Jolly, but against those of the scheduled races who have cooperated in trashing the institutional heritage of the Big Wen.

For London was my Athens, back in the day, and I take these things personally. My British Museum Library ticket was among my most cherished possessions, and the old Reading Room among my favourite haunts. I am now so old that I can remember when such places were ruled, and staffed, by respectably boring establishment types with Oxbridge degrees.

Yet this is the very class that has suborned itself to the Revolution. It still works on old boy and girl networks, and has become dramatically more smug. But now it dismantles what its ancestors built. The fish-rot starts at the head of British society, as it has in Canada, and throughout America and Europe.

The odd thing, about this morning’s intemperate effusion, is that I meant to write an Idlepost defending printed books. It was only because I was looking something up on the Internet that I tripped into this recent egregious scandal, in what we might call the swamp life of the mind.

For a new generation of reactionaries, old printed books can provide a way to preserve the culture and knowledge now being systematically “re-curated” (i.e. censored and physically destroyed) everywhere I look.

But of course I meant small private libraries, that will have to be hidden from public view, and guarded against electronic penetration; not the extravagant starchitectural wonders that pass for “highbrow” among people who never formed the habit of reading.

Too, as in Aldous Huxley, and the age of Homer, we should be memorizing our most treasured works for the dark age to come. Intelligent schooling, even rote learning must, like the Catholic Church, survive underground. It is a task from which much good might emerge. Or at the least, it will give us something to do, while we await the Apocalypse.

Swamp creatures

Let me say at the outset that I do not intend any part of this Idlepost as a criticism of the inhabitants of swamps, whether reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, snakes, wild pigs, or even swamp wallabies. Likewise, I give swamp vegetation a pass, and the microbiota (with certain choice exceptions). These are all God’s creatures, it says here, and some of them are (apparently) edible.

No, I am referring to the politicians who occupy the original wetlands of the lower Potomac River, especially the Democrats. At the moment I’m thinking of Adam Schiff, as the lowest of the low, but could name a hundred others, plus a few Republicans to give an impression of objectivity. That so many of these came from California is noteworthy, should we wish to be empirical, yet one of the vilest is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Among the most successful swamp creatures, in evolutionary terms, he has amassed a magnificent fortune in forty-seven years of “public service.” The hard-drive of his son, Hunter — forgotten at some computer repair shop, perhaps because he was high on crack cocaine — gives us some insight into how this is done.

While creatures like Biden are among the most accomplished, and might seem special cases, the phenomenon is universal. National capitals everywhere attract such swamp creatures, and the bigger the country, the bigger the swamp. Also, the greater variety of wetlands. In principle, all offer a way to get rich entirely without honest labour; even on the municipal scale, through bye-laws. And, potentially, without the inconveniences of a life of crime, in the narrowly formal sense. Too, they offer costumage, in the phrase I quote too often from Measure for Measure. This is where Isabella describes apes playing God, and speaks of the “proud man, dress’d in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d.” And of his “glassy essence.”

(Act II, scene two, but read the whole play.)

For it is a little-appreciated fact that, while money is a great motivator of men, the worst sort prefer a fouler currency. It is power they really want, and while power is a reliable means to money, money is only sometimes needed for the road to power. Whether in the buying or the being bought, the proud man keeps his eye on the main prize: his own apotheosis.

What has impressed me about Trump — though I might not admire him for other reasons — is his bravery among the ‘gators and the ‘crocs. Supposing he is defeated in the upcoming election, he would retire from office, uniquely among presidents, poorer than when he went in. (His considerable assets having been trashed.) Too, he is among the tiny minority who ever tried to do what he promised: “Drain the swamp.”

But the swamp is yuge. And he has been battling its inhabitants, nearly single-handed. I never counted his chances very high, and am amazed that he has gotten this far.

Where to turn?

I notice, from a piece that got through the censors this morning, that a genuinely peaceful protest in New York — a rally for free speech — was violently dispersed by Antifa. On past performance, these free speech advocates will soon be slandered as “white supremacists” in the meejah (after all, they were pro-Trump) — even though half the protesters weren’t white; and almost all the thugs were. This is how things are, now. And at the next debate, Mr Trump will be solemnly asked to denounce “white supremacy,” yet again. After the Election, I expect things to be worse.

The world spins. It is currently upside-down. We’ve come to a time when even Sean Ono Lennon is rightside-up. (God bless him, for somehow turning out sane.)

While it is not in my interest, currently, for gentle reader to get off the Internet, the idea must have occurred to him. In times like these, why put yourself under watch from Big Brother (or, Big Sibling, as he might prefer)? Why surround yourself with his electronic eyes?

Granted, Nanny State was devising ways to track its citizens, and to exercise “crowd control,” long before the Internet was invented. But we had the advantage with them, for they were incompetent, often laughably inept. Too, they were long restrained, by unambiguously Christian traditions. However, Internet-plus-meejah-plus-activists-plus-Kafkaesque-bureaucracy makes a more formidable adversary.

I am not recommending a systematic withdrawal from the world. That is for people with a religious calling, or some grave eccentricity. Rather I am thinking of self-defence, in the spirit of buying a gun. Of course, I am writing from Canada, one of the countries where owning a gun is more-or-less illegal; as is any other form of self-defence. (“When seconds count, the police will be here in minutes.”) Though I have noticed that, upcountry, the “No Hunting” signs tend to have been used for target practice.

The “other side,” as I see it, which always worked on numbers, now has algorithms. “Artificial Intelligence” can home right in on “uncomplying” citizens whom its masters wish to silence. The Nanny State never took the individual seriously, except when he was offering a threat. Now it is threatened by anything human. It is, as it were, utilitarian in outlook — “the greatest good for the greatest number” — along with other fatuous concepts, unamenable to reason. By its nature, it is positivist, nominalist, relativist, and “idealistic” in a very abstract way.

Whereas we, so far as we are human, take ourselves quite personally. In a clinch, we often prefer our own survival, and the survival of family and friends, to the requirements of a bureaucratic “policy.” That this is “selfish” should be immediately affirmed.

Because the masses are now deprived of a Christian education, they misconstrue the “selfishness” of Christian teaching, which tells us that we ought selfishly to become saints.  Our intention should be to get ourselves to Heaven, along with any we know who can be taken with us. But charity is not “selfish,” except in a modern sense, where the meaning is inverted.

Likewise with “culture.” Under modern tenets of “multiculturalism,” even fidelity to the old Christian view is decried as a form of selfishness, calling out for persecution. This is because it is “cultural,” not “multi” — in all the many languages it speaks, and in all the variety of communities it comes from. All are eventually banned, for refusing to bleach out.

Our enemy wants us to eschew uniqueness, and become instead “diverse” — by which it means homogenized and narrowly interchangeable; or reducible only to skin pigmentation. Increasingly, this adversary has the means to enforce its arbitrary will.

Yet, by using the brains God gave us, we can still achieve a certain aloofness. Unplugging the machines remains in our power.

Moreover, we were always told that this is desirable. “Give unto Caesar” was specifically upheld, in the spirit of bailing out a sinking canoe. “Here, take it back, and now leave me alone.” We can, or should try, to live without the State’s generous gifts of water. For the emergencies, we must learn to swim.

“In but not of” is the Christian expedient. While it is presented as advanced technology, the Internet and its extensions are nothing new. They are the world. Our lives here are fleeting. Our calling is to see through the world (oh please, someone explain this to the pope), and when necessary to check out, through the facility of martyrdom. To squeeze out through the “Jerusalem Gate” of Our Lord, so to say.

The squeeze, today, is between the Spirit of the Batflu, and the Spirit of the Thugs. These are the most visible weapons currently in use by the other side: to keep us imprisoned in our bat-muzzles and our fears. How to resist them?

Protests are no use, nor old-fashioned appeals for elementary justice, now that justice has been redefined by the thugs and their allies on the Left. To turn to the government for protection is naïve. Such help as we are going to get, comes from elsewhere. We can’t demand it; we can only humbly pray.

Joy & futility

It is, to be perfectly candid with gentle reader, one of those wonderful days in Ontario. It is that glorious day, in October, when the leaves on the trees have declared their fall colours, and a stiff, yet still polite, chill northish breeze, says that the summer is positively over. Canada, quite generally as her seasons pass, is the most beautiful country in the world. Our autumns are the finest. And today is as fine as life on Earth can be.

The summer is over, with its bags of dripping heat, and blackflies buzzing round them. We have reached a time when, if you haven’t got the harvest in yet, or landed the fish, you should apply for pogey. For our winters can be rude and humourless. God did not put the polar bears here in a moment of absent-mindedness. They were meant as a warning to travellers, that you have come far enough. Nothing north of where I sit now, could possibly be worth the trouble.

Some Warrens among my ancestors — not the main line, but close enough — learnt this after they were evicted from Zanesville, Ohio. United Empire Loyalists to a fault — a rather expensive fault, as it turned out — they next tried what I can only describe as rock farming, near Sudbury, Ont. Right next to Gauthiers, with whom they never talked. There is a place up there, with our name, not theirs, which I assume to be abandoned. (I once met a Gauthier, down here in the big city. She was still carrying a grudge.) There is another place north of Edmonton, Alberta, that the capitalists (stress on “pit”) have only got round to building a subdivision over in the present century.

Later, these people on my father’s side — the Sudbury rock farmers — decided that the rocks would grow faster in Hastings County, several days’ journey to the south; then Deseranto, one of Ontario’s more inhabited ghost towns. Later still, they just moved into Toronto.

They’d been masons back in England. I mean actual stone-masons, not the apron-wearing kind. Our affinity to rocks is thus deep-seated. You have to be brave, to truly love a rock; and patient, to wait for it to grow. Their handiwork could still be seen in the “new wharves” at Liverpool — until those silted over. The sight of stone and water, still fills me with a thrill. Surely there’s potential.

Everyone’s ancestors are like this, I claim; their lives ultimately futile. Do not bank on success in this world. Our future, anyway, lies in another. But we get glimpses of it, on such an autumn day.

Deep tech

Every time I see a photograph of Jack Dorsey, I want to wash and shave. It is seldom that another human being has such an hygienic effect on me; especially one I have never personally met. Thanks to him, I may report to gentle reader that, up here in the privacy of the High Doganate (surrounded by jackhammers), I am quite clean-shaven this morning. I was able to resist the temptation to bathe in Dettol, but my shower was the next best thing.

I’m going out on a limb here. I am assuming my reader knows who Jack Dorsey is. (It’s not hard to find his picture.)

The boss of Twitter is among the “deep tech” executives who have, in a less ambiguous way than ever before, shut the accounts of the Trump campaign, within three weeks of a national election, and are blocking those (rather numerous) subscribers who are trying to forward the meaty revelations appearing in the New York Post. Those, incidentally, unambiguously show that one of the presidential candidates (Biden, of all people) is seriously fraudulent and corrupt. Who’d have guessed it? (Well, I did.)

Now, when I write “deep tech,” some reader will accuse me of touting a conspiracy theory. I use this expression on the analogy of “deep state.” Curiously, I don’t think this is a conspiracy at all. In the District of Columbia, where the bureaucratic institutions of the Merican Nanny State are chiefly located, Democrats routinely take well over 90 percent of the vote. Republicans do not necessarily finish second, however. That the labour pool for these institutions is overwhelmingly “progressive,” is something I infer.

Ditto for Silicon Valley. The residents do not need to conspire, although the speed at which identical editorial decisions are reached, is amazing. This I attribute to their electronic hardware.

Some seven years ago, under the influence of well-intended friends, I did a three-month experiment of “being on Twitter.” They said it would immensely increase my “hits,” and it did — while dramatically decreasing attention to them. I was flattered by all the fan-mail I received, because I am a shallow person, but when the three months were up I got off. For I do not covet a mass audience, or that kind of fame. Engaging in live-time battles of wits with other Twitterers is fun for a while, but sooner or later one recovers one’s self-respect. Or at least some people do.

Is censorship of the Internet important? In the long run, arguably, no. We can’t know what happens in the long run. But in the short run, it is the most powerful tool in the hands of Satan’s proxies. The attempt to black out information unfavourable to the Democrats, or anything favourable to the Republicans, is a victory for Antifa, and Critical Race Theory (currently the rage among the administrative class; it goes well beyond Marxism).

Biden is not, and never was, a radical. He is merely sleazy, and a little senile. He wouldn’t put radicals in his government because he agrees with them. He will include them, in the way post-War governments in Central Europe included the Communists in their coalitions, thinking that this would buy them off. They only asked for a few portfolios. With these, they rapidly took over. Within a few years they didn’t even have to shoot people any more: for entire populations were now quite compliant.

I think much of the voting population is vaguely like Biden. They are generally opposed to looting and violence, but sleepily willing to accept a “root cause.” They think the disorder will stop once they’ve got rid of Trump. But no, supposing they decide to do this, they will discover that they have removed the principal adversary to it, and deep statism. They’d be wiser to annihilate the profoundly compromised Democratic Party.

Notes on cancellation

Was the Cancel Culture worse in the past? It depends where you landed, after your drop through the Wormhole. My impression is that, even today, the Cancel Culture is worse in Red China than over here.

But it is not getting worse as quickly.

Consider events in Belarus, or “White Russia,” where it has been unwise to be a Cossack since 1917. It remains so, with Alexander Lukashenko still in power, but nominal opposition nominally permitted. So long as you’re not a Cossack. Is opposition to the state ideology — called “Stalinism” by our own politically correct — banned? Only according to the people who live there.

What has Belarus to do with Cancel Culture, gentle reader might ask. From what I can make out from this distance, Lukashenko may actually command a majority. But his electoral opponent, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya — widely admired in the West because she is a woman and speaks English well — is also “one of them,” according to my Chief Belorussian Correspondent. That her husband, the previous presidential candidate, was in gaol, seemed to argue for her political sanctity: but there are squabbles among that elite, as there are squabbles over here among the proponents of “Me Too” and Antifa. This provides some entertaining theatre sometimes, but what interests me is the attitudes in common between the people who are angrily cancelling each other.

This morning, for reasons I won’t disclose, I was thinking of the Cancel Culture under the Whig Junto, that ruled England (if we may use these terms broadly) through most of the 18th century, after the death of beloved Queen Anne, and even before. To a United Empire Loyalist like myself, their curious judgements eventually led to the loss of our Thirteen Colonies. But as early as the 1720s, Ben Franklin was trying to form a Whig Junto for America: one of many things that have disappeared down the Memory Hole, over here. Indeed, we might need Wormholes to get them back again.

I am not thinking specifically of the political careers of Lord Somers, the Earl of Halifax, Sunderlands, Shrewsburies, or others whom the beloved Queen despised. I think of them more as the beneficiaries of the Inglorious Revolution of 1688, that put William and Mary on the throne, thus eventually Anne herself, to say nothing of our beloved Elizabeth II.

We have had a form of Cancel Culture since then, starting perhaps in London, but by now spread throughout the English-speaking world, and more dilutely through its mental colonies. While the word is sometimes cancelled, the epithet “progressive” describes this attitude; and I remember “liberal.” Anything inconsistent with its “givens” has been subject to censorship, in academia and elsewhere, for more than three centuries now. A party might call itself “Conservative,” but will be quick to deny that it is unprogressive. Indeed, in Ontario here, we have had to suffer the indignity of a party called “Progressive Conservative” to the present day, although the more progressive people are always trying to cancel it.

Much of the anti-Catholic bigotry, mostly latent since the Catholic Church herself embraced “progress,” but now re-blossoming, dates back to the deposition of James II (in that Inglorious Revolution), and long before him to the Reformation in which the Middle Ages, generally, were cancelled. The smearing of all previous accomplishments was, as it is always, necessary to the preservation of power through subsequent revolutionary regimes.

The attitudes in question — the great kaleidoscope of them — have appeared to vary over the years. But it is only the re-scattering of tinsels in a mirror. What today seems somewhat abhorrent to what were once “liberal” people, is only the latest pattern. True, the cancellers of our Cancel Culture may seem drooling violent thugs, and insane, but their principles are as “enlightened” and “humane” as those of their predecessors — who also cancelled their predecessors, in turn.

All along there has been an underground, too, resisting but never entirely surfacing: a Counter Culture underneath, or on the other side. I, for instance, belong to it (call me a Proud Boy if you will), and got used to being cancelled from about the age of twenty-three.

Thanksgiving, cont.

It would appear that there is no shortage of water on this planet. I have travelled broadly, and can assure gentle reader that this is so. Very well, I have not crossed the Sahara, but neither have I rowed up the Amazon where, I hear, everything is damp. These things balance out. There don’t seem to be any waterspouts, spinning our precious water into outer space. I’d be alarmed if there were. But no, it appears the water is staying. When I read the works of our environmentalcases, who tell me there is a shortage of water, I must fight the temptation to say: “Thou fool!”

This is not Venus, or Mars. I am prepared to believe there are water shortages there; and perhaps worse on Mercury, to say nothing of the Moon. Moreover, our water comes (overwhelmingly: again, I have checked) in convenient liquid form. True, much of it is salted; but that is a problem we can cope with. Verily, we’ve been coping for some time, and as the population of soi-disant Sapiens increases, we have increasing brain-power to address such tasks. Let me not bore gentle reader with the latest I have read in the popular science journals.

For this is my point. The good Lord placed us in our orbit, just so. In innumerable other ways, He made this planet suitable for human habitation. (See: Isaiah.) And then He put us here. (The whole story is told at the beginning of Genesis, in words that were comprehensible to the ancient Hebrews, and remain so even to me.) Our advancement to the anthropic cosmological principle is just scientific details; the whole thing fits together better the more we look.

I was a conservationist as long as I can remember. That’s not the same thing as an environmentalcase. Built into my assumptions about the world, even before I consciously “believed in God,” was the notion that the universe is big, and that the point of conservation was to make things better for the people who live in this tiny place. The planet — Gaia, or however you want to personify it — can take care of itself. (Or herself, as I prefer.) She is not within our power to abuse. Problems only arise when she is apparently abusing us, and in that case, the solution seems invariably to be, quit being stupid.

We shouldn’t do a thing for Gaia. We should only do things for ourselves. Sometimes, as in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and so forth, this involved megaprojects, and sometimes it might still. But day to day, the rule “adapt or die” is sufficient instruction to be getting on with.

As gentle reader may guess, I am working towards a subtlety. In fact, I have already revealed it. The world is for us, not us for the world. We are in the world, not of it, as Christ and various predecessors stated; or at least hinted, in their seasons. What the world “owes” us she has long since paid; what we owe the world is, arguably, our children. (Not killing them is, to my mind, an important conservation point.)

Glancing through this Tutti Frutti document, or whatever the label was on what was discharged from the Vatican the other day, I am appalled. My own Holy Father gets the order backwards. He seems to think that we owe the world something. He really should clarify that we do not.