Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Starting at the top

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. 
Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.                 
- Thomas de Quincey, in "Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" 

A grim conservative moralist quoted these words in perfect seriousness. What little I know of Mr. de Quincey leads me to suspect that his tongue and his cheek were close friends.

But I, Ex Cathedra, have proceeded directly to the final degrading vice, my worst, procrastination, without ever having once taken anyone's life. (If we discount Jesus' doctrine of wishing it makes it so.) If you discount the occasional unreturned book, no robber I. As for drinking and Sabbath-breaking, I must plead guilty. But incivility? Never.


Another good excerpt from Mr de Q's letter to a friend:
I was also to tell you that (Papa) agreed with you too in your detestation of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ but I told him you had not said you detested it, but that it was painful to read, upon which he withdrew his message but cherishes a hope that, if ever you do read it, you will detest it…



Anonymous said...

Conservative morality does have a tendency towards reverse telescoping: big sins lead to small sins, and the small sins are placed under the microscope as the culmination of evil. But then, liberalism does the same. After all, doesn't the death of service members pale in comparison to the loss of diversity in the military? Or the killing of viable children that survive abortions a small price to pay for the reproductive emancipation of women?

Sorry for bringing up abortion, but the details of the Gosnell trial have made me sick to my stomach. And so few people know about it because the "reputable" news stations they watch (because someone said they're "reputable") refuse to touch the story because it smashes the narrative into a million pieces.

All in all, I'll take conservative moralism over liberal moralism. At least that way I don't have to worry about going over a cliff- or somebody pushing me over for my "own good."


OreamnosAmericanus said...

As you may know, Ex Cathedra takes a dim view of moralists in general, left or right. The man completely missed the ironic humor in the piece, which, every time I read it, makes me laugh.

As for the Gosnell business. Gross and horrific. And yes, the MSM will do their best to hide it away. Lying by omission is one of their standard MO's.

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