Thursday, February 28, 2008

Unsupervised White People


That's a phrase my Ex, a Black man, used in order to describe behaviors that he found particularly Caucasian and, to him, puzzling. Bungie jumping was his prime example. Entering haunted houses was another. I offered World Domination as another.

Despite this, we are still close. Though he's still Black and I'm still White. Ain't diversity grand?

A very amusing website dedicated to this fascinating subject, worth a visit.

Old News

Instead of linking, I have copied, as they say, "the whole thing":

INAUGURATING A NEW CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL MAGAZINE

There is, we like to think, solid reason for rejoicing. Prodigious efforts, by many people, are responsible for New Liberty Journal. But since it will be the policy of this magazine to reject the hypodermic approach to world affairs, we may as well start out at once, and admit that the joy is not unconfined.

Let's face it: Unlike Vienna, it seems altogether possible that did New Liberty Journal not exist, no one would have invented it. The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace. It is not that, of course; if New Liberty Journal is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

New Liberty Journal is out of place, in the sense that the United Nations and the National Organization of Women and the New York Times are in place. It is out of place because, in its maturity, literate America rejected conservatism in favor of radical social experimentation. Instead of covetously consolidating its premises, the United States seems tormented by its tradition of fixed postulates having to do with the meaning of existence, with the relationship of the state to the individual, of the individual to his neighbor, so clearly enunciated in the enabling documents of our Republic.

"I happen to prefer champagne to ditchwater," said the benign old wrecker of the ordered society, Oliver Wendell Holmes, "but there is no reason to suppose that the cosmos does." We have come around to Mr. Holmes' view, so much that we feel gentlemanly doubts when asserting the superiority of capitalism to socialism, of republicanism to centralism, of champagne to ditchwater — of anything to anything. (How curious that one of the doubts one is not permitted is whether, at the margin, Mr. Holmes was a useful citizen!)

The inroads that relativism has made on the American soul are not so easily evident. One must recently have lived on or close to a college campus to have a vivid intimation of what has happened. It is there that we see how a number of energetic social innovators, plugging their grand designs, succeeded over the years in capturing the liberal intellectual imagination. And since ideas rule the world, the ideologues, having won over the intellectual class, simply walked in and started to run things.

Run just about everything. There never was an age of conformity quite like this one, or a camaraderie quite like the Liberals'. Drop a little itching powder in Michael Moore’s bath and before he has scratched himself for the third time, Paul Krugman will have denounced you in a dozen articles, Susan Sontag will have written ten essays about our age of terror, Harper's will have published them, and everyone in sight will have been nominated for a Freedom Award.

Conservatives in this country — at least those who have not made their peace with the New Deal, and there is a serious question of whether there are others — are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is a dangerous business in a Liberal world, as every editor of this magazine can readily show by pointing to his scars. Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.

There are, thank Heaven, the exceptions. There are those of generous impulse and a sincere desire to encourage a responsible dissent from the Liberal orthodoxy. And there are those who recognize that when all is said and done, the market place depends for a license to operate freely on the men who issue licenses — on the politicians. They recognize, therefore, that efficient getting and spending is itself impossible except in an atmosphere that encourages efficient getting and spending.

And back of all political institutions there are moral and philosophical concepts, implicit or defined. Our political economy and our high-energy industry run on large, general principles, on ideas — not by day-to-day guess work, expedients and improvisations. Ideas have to go into exchange to become or remain operative; and the medium of such exchange is the printed word. A vigorous and incorruptible journal of conservative opinion is — dare we say it? — as necessary to better living as Chemistry.

We begin publishing, then, with a considerable stock of experience with the irresponsible Right, and a despair of the intransigence of the Liberals, who run this country. All this would not appear to augur well for New Liberty Journal. Yet we start with a considerable — and considered — optimism.

After all, we crashed through. More than one hundred and twenty investors made this magazine possible, and over fifty men and women of small means invested less than one thousand dollars apiece in it. Two men and one woman, all three with overwhelming personal and public commitments, worked round the clock to make publication possible. A score of professional writers pledged their devoted attention to its needs, and hundreds of thoughtful men and women gave evidence that the appearance of such a journal as we have in mind would profoundly affect their lives.

Our own views, as expressed in a memorandum drafted a year ago, and directed to our investors, are set forth in an adjacent column. We have nothing to offer but the best that is in us. That, a thousand Liberals who read this sentiment will say with relief, is clearly not enough! It isn't enough. But it is at this point that we steal the march.

For we offer, besides ourselves, a position that has not grown old under the weight of a gigantic, parasitic bureaucracy, a position untempered by the doctoral dissertations of a generation of Ph.D's in social architecture, unattenuated by a thousand vulgar promises to a thousand different pressure groups, uncorroded by a cynical contempt for human freedom. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaves us just about the hottest thing in town.



I have altered the name of the magazine and changed some of the more time-bound personal references, but otherwise this is the text of the opening edition of the National Review, written by William F Buckley, Jr on November 19, 1955.

Buckley died yesterday. The article could have been written just as recently.



Adventures in secular religion


Part of the feminization of the West is the elevation of the planet Earth into a Mother Goddess.

And in the post-Christian West, where Christian values and themes get transmuted into progressive secular terms by anti-Christians --funny how that happens-- we have happily moved beyond feeling guilt over our sins, which caused the death of Jesus and which would be finally dealt with by the world-destroying Second Coming. Instead, new priests and prophets tell us to feel guilt over our consumerisms, which are causing the death of Mother Earth and which will be finally dealt with by the world-destroying Global Warming.

The Old Testament panoply of laws about separating the clean from the unclean now shows up in the devotions and regulations of recycling, separating out paper, plastic, metal and organics so that they can be offered up in sacrifice at the Temple, uh, I mean, the Recycling Center. Fasting becomes Reducing Your Carbon Footprint. Indulgences become Carbon Credits. Sacred garments of modesty and sanctity are now sold in Berkeley boutiques specializing in organically raised cotton. The Bishop of Rome is replaced by the Unsuccessful Candidate for President in 2000. And despite any evidence to the contrary, the Articles of EcoFaith and the Rule of the Devout Life are clear. Ask anyone in Northern California. Or pretty well anywhere where Blueness reigns.

You get the picture.

From a Jungian viewpoint --one shared by no Jungian I know, by the way, since they've pretty well all converted to Mommy Worship-- this is another illustration of the archetypes of the collective unconscious, the universal themes and shapes which Homo Sapiens always uses to interpret reality. From the viewpoint of a weary, somewhat curmudgeonly --but still pretty damn cute-- almost-post-gay rightwinger, it's another instance of "Same Ol', Same Ol'".

A mischievous and wisely observant friend who works in a large government recyling facility...oh, wait, no....a community college... told me that after a sabbatical away, he discovered that all the folks who had been on the Diversity Committee before the summer had now migrated to the Sustainability Committee. The Faithful are nothing but faithful, even when they're fickle.

Personally, even if I don't practice it much anymore, I prefer the Old Religion.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Unremarked miracles



I was chatting with a friend tonight, who relayed a moment from the Oscars on Sunday night. I was otherwise occupied on Sunday night trying to put my brain back together and even if I hadn't been so engaged, I wouldn't be watching Oscar and his tribe of devotees. One more demerit on my Gay Scorecard. I fear my gay days are numbered.

Anyway, Jon Stewart apparent made a wisecrack --pretty well all he ever does-- about the last time a woman and a black man were running for president. Something about asteroids. Everyone felt very superior, I am sure.

But it was only forty-some years ago that the push for an end to the old racial regime started in earnest, followed years later by the revolution in women's status. In less than one lifetime, now we have two people whose race or gender would once have limited their ambitions severely, running for President of what's left of the Republic. As people with policies, I abhor them both, but as a sign of race and gender change...

And this is the miracle of America, which many Americans are the last to notice, much less praise. Such vast social change in such a short span of time. As I have said more than once: compared to the Kingdom of God, America is a shame and tragedy. Compared to the rest of the planet, it is a daily continuing miracle.

Year of the Rat


Since I live in a city with a longstanding, large and influential Chinese population, I not only know that this is now the Year of the Rat, but that it is supposedly MY year. I was born, in the Chinese horoscope, a Rat, an Earth Rat, to be precise. As if being a Pisces and a homo wasn't enough! :-)

I am a lover of grand explanatory schemes. Very unPoMo. Illusory or not, they fascinate me and, if I choose to take them seriously, they sometimes make me feel more at ease in a world that often baffles me. The Jungian-inspired MBTI or the God-Knows-By-Whom inspired Enneagram. Astrology, not much.

Nevertheless, as Elinor Roosevelt said.

Here's the layout for Rats Like Me. I wish I were indeed more rat-like than I really am. Especially when it comes to money.

The Rat in the picture above, now him I can identify with. I have no idea what the Chinese says. But the guy is clearly not happy. A great crime, I know, but there you have it. Seems to be stuck in something. And he's both angry...maybe frustrated is better...and crying. Rats are supposed to be clever. Maybe he wasn't.

Who's to blame for this state of affairs? Is he mad at someone else? Or maybe himself.

Poor dude.

Me an ex-gay?


There are times when people in the gay tribe irritate me...well, no, that's not strong enough...make me crazy. I feel like resigning.

Me, a Kinsey 10, becoming an ex-gay? Was Mom right after all??

Two lesbians are hauling a photographer before the New Mexico Human Rights Commission because she refused to take a job to make pix of their commitment ceremony. The photog is a conservative Christian.*

This kind of stuff has been going on in Canada for quite some time.

My jaw drops when I read these stories.

What started out as a movement to be left in peace to live our lives without legal or social fear has morphed into one more victim entitlement program with a nasty, illiberal and vengeful attitude, one that now has legal teeth. Liberal fascism, anyone?

This past year I got to know a really wonderful guy who clearly had his fair share of homoerotics --boy, did he :-) -- but did not identify as gay. And more, he was not socialized as gay. A guy who likes, and in some cases loves, men but who lacked the whole gay baggage. God, what a breath of fresh air for yours truly.

One of the things which separates conservatives from libertarians is that libertarians make liberty the highest value. Conservatives dislike making any one value the highest; life is too organically messy and complex for that. But progressives make justice the highest value, and in consequence will ride roughshod over liberty to enforce it. For me, liberty has got to be more important than justice or stuff like this multiplies. Progressives like to paint conservatives as nothing more than fascists. Physician, heal thyself.

I am ashamed of being part of a group that promotes this kind of behavior.

I really do consider resigning. Really.

*And I speculate that if the photog had turned out to be a Muslim, the two dykes would have backed off and genuflected before her "cultural diversity".

And more thoughts....if the situation were reversed: a fundamentalist Christian bride-to-be contacted a photographer who was, unknown to her, a lesbian and when the photog found out the venue, said she would not be comfortable there because of the conflict between sexuality and religion, and declined the job, should the Christian woman be able to take the lesbian to the Human Rights Commission? Why not? Both discrimination on religion and on sexual orientation are illegal. These laws are nuts.

Why VDH is The Man


A very long interview with Victor Davis Hanson.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Washington


Lazy critter that I be, on Washington's Birthday I have the nerve to link to my post from last year on this day. And this one, from someone else who thinks as I do. And if you can handle it, this one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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