"If this weren't true, this would be one of the most compelling horror stories you could ever see. Because it's true, it makes it really important we all see it and spread the word," – @glennbeck on #GosnellMovie
Welcome to the first day of fallthe eve of the first day of fall, my favorite time of year. I’m celebrating its arrival tonight. I want to have gin and tonic, but that’s not a fall drink, so I might have Sam Adams’ Octoberfest. I’m still mulling it over.
Wow, talk about being torn: Lourdes University offers a craft beer degree. On the one hand, it’s just another milestone on the road to Idiocracy, further evidence of the dumbing down of America that is turning colleges and universities into laughingstocks. On the other hand, it’s beer. I like beer. I don’t like colleges and universities. So, on balance, I applaud it.
Lourdes University crafted The Full-Bodied Degree program in response to industry needs. The curriculum offers an interdisciplinary approach to the craft beverage industry. Lourdes is the only U.S. university to offer budding microbrewers and vintners the opportunity to master the art, science and business of winemaking, brewing and distilling.
Lourdes is also a Catholic university, so it’s fitting that it offers a degree steeped in the monastic tradition. Obviously, it shouldn’t be a scholarly degree as much as it should be a master-apprentice craft, but what the hey. Pretty much all degrees are jokes these days.
For the man who has everything: The shirt with a beer pocket.
Whew, brutal blitz these past nine days: four lunch meetings, funeral, overnight-obligation wedding, three tennis matches, an out-of-town cross-country meet, and a six-hour obligation in my service club’s County Fair fundraiser. I think I’m done for awhile, though. It wasn’t too bad, but I’m glad things appear to be calming down. Marie and I thought things would slow down as the kids left home, but that hasn’t been the case.
I’ve used my spare moments to work on the podcast. I am starting to use Audacity to record it, which I think will result in a higher quality audio (sorry, I’m afraid it won’t help the content). I recorded a new introduction earlier this week and added it to last Sunday’s episode.
So, Ms. Ford won’t testify?!?! Am I the only person who finds this whole thing transparently farcical? First, the accusations are over 35 years old, and now she won’t testify. It’s obviously a last-gasp delay tactic. Enough already. I’m shocked it’s getting credibility from any quarter, left or right. But these are the times we live in.
I’m kind of a low-profile guy so this isn’t my style, but I’m glad to see a priest with guts: “Parishioners defy Chicago Archdiocese, burn rainbow flag in ‘exorcism’ ceremony: A priest and parishioners from the Resurrection Parish in Chicago burned a rainbow pride flag that had once been prominently displayed in their Roman Catholic church.” Link. I can’t say I see the point in burning it, and to call it an “exorcism”? I’m not sure that’s even theologically accurate (driving an evil spirit from a person?). But I get it. It was an outrage that the flag covered their crucifix and they’re lashing back. Good for them.
Random Blurb from the Notebooks: C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape told his pupil that the best mental attitude that he could give a potential earthly victim is the “grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk” and casual reading (like the newspaper) is ample by way of knowledge. It’s a hell-bound attitude because it’s full of pride (the first of all sins) and ignorance (the trait that keeps men from knowing about their pride).
The historian of intellectual history, Frances Yates, wrote extensively about the realm of magical pursuits in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Yates pointed out that Renaissance magic—though characters like Ficino, Giordano Bruno, Campanella, and Cornelius Agrippa—reached its apex in the sixteenth century. But in 1614, Isaac Casaubon published a devastating treatise on Hermes Trismegistus that showed he never existed. Because Hermes Trismegistus was the beacon of Renaissance magic, the entire movement crumbled.
The Renaissance was a time of great plans and aspirations for taking control of man’s environment. Magic was the instrument of choice to carry out these desires.
When magic crumbled after 1614, the aspiration for power and control over mundane affairs didn’t crumble with it.
Empirical science immediately picked up the baton and ran toward the goal of creating a harmonious world and society through empiricism: “The history of science . . . does not explain why this happened at this time, . . . Historians of science are aware of a gap here. . . ‘In its initial stages, the Scientific Revolution came about rather by a systematic change in intellectual outlook, than by an increase in technical equipment. Why such a revolution in methods of thought should have taken place is obscure.’”
Yates suggested that the explanation lies in the continuing attitude of Renaissance magic. “The new world views, the new attitudes, the new motives which were to lead to the emergence of modern science [first] made their appearance” in Renaissance magic, as evidenced by the parallels between Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and Campanella’s City of the Sun.
C.S. Lewis observed the same thing in The Abolition of Man. “[T]he sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse. . . There is something that unites magic and applied science while separating them from the ‘wisdom’ of earlier ages. . . For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious—such as digging up and mutilating the dead. If we compare the chief trumpeter of the new era (Bacon) with Marlowe’s Faustus, the similarity is striking. . . It might be going too far to say that the modern scientific movement was tainted from its birth: but I think it would be true to say that it was born in an unhealthy neighborhood and at an inauspicious hour.”
Significantly, modern science has been the handmaiden of Progressives for the past three hundred years. And science has delivered. It has provided Progressives with powerful ammunition to assault the earth’s shortcomings, and has resulted in high standards of living for the average person unequaled in history.
Merely using science to create a utopian society is not magical, of course, but, as Lewis knew, it’s a close cousin of magic. The goals are the same; the means are merely different.
Or usually different. In reality, the means tend to bleed into one another.
I’m not saying teenage antics are irrelevant, but accusations that fall way short of rape that are 35 years old? Come on. And let’s be honest: The pound-me-too shifted the social consciousness radically on such things. What would’ve been deemed acceptable antics in the 1970s-1980s are now considered sexual assault. I remember seeing a guy grope a girl in her privates in the hallway at the middle school in 1979. The girl rightfully smacked him, and then it was over. The guy was a creep, but I don’t think it even crossed the girl’s mind to go to the administration. I’m not saying those were good times, and I welcome, in part, the corrective offered by pound-me-too movement, but geesh. Drunken-over-the-clothes groping at a teenage party in the early 1980s, when such things were, regrettably, frequent at throw-down parties? When the assailant was probably drunk and inexperienced with alcohol? That’s supposed to disqualify a guy from anything in 2018? I suppose he opened himself up to such probing when seeking a public career, but still. It’s surreally stupid.
I think I’ve watched that Weather Channel video ten times now. Cracks me up every time. Whatta fraud. TWC said it wasn’t fraudulent: the anchor (ironic name) was standing on wet grass and was tired. Ha. Derisible stuff. The video triggers an epistemology discussion at the new Weekly Eudemon podcast, which you can find here.
Meanwhile, a cohort in the media, NPR, downplays the effect that exaggerated reporting has one evacuations. I and others have maintained that exaggerated/hyped forecasting contributes to people declining to evacuate (“fool me once, shame on you . . .”), but NPR doesn’t even mention that as a factor in this piece: Why They Chose To Stay In The Path Of Hurricane Florence.
Boy, I’m really shocked: “More Yale Freshmen Identify As LGBTQ Than Conservative, Survey Finds.” Link. Depending on the poll, anywhere from 2% to 5% identify as LGBTQUITXYandZ; 40% identify as “conservative.” And then you have Yale . . . and pretty much every other elite university in America, I’m guessing. That and galloping inflation on costs. We really need a harsh backlash against higher education, but it’s going to be hard to pull off since the other udges–big government, big business–have higher education’s back. Hudge, Gudge, and Dudge.
I’ve been crazy busy, but I can’t believe I missed this: “The Vatican is preparing the “necessary clarifications” about accusations that top Vatican officials including Pope Francis covered up the sexual misconduct of a now-disgraced American ex-cardinal, Francis’ top advisers said Monday.” Link. He can’t respond during an airplane interview, in a Tweet, or during a session with an atheistic reporter? Wow. It’s almost like he thinks such modes of communication might not be entirely appropriate for important things. It’s better to use such things to muddy the waters and throw the faithful into confusion. When clarity is sought . . .
I have a confession: I’ve never outgrown drunken hijinks. Sure, I don’t have that many myself anymore, but my mind still guiltily goes back in time and recollects some of my more, ahem, immoderate antics and laughs.
I honestly don’t know if that’s a sin or not: fond recollections of committing sin. My gut says “yes,” but I’ve never looked into it. If I recalled with fondness all the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models I bedded in my teens (I was an early #metoo victim), I would think that would be traipsing in the area of lust. Wouldn’t the same apply to laughing about clear violations on the (numerous) injunctions against drunkenness?
I also enjoy hearing about current drunken antics. My son goes to college in Ypsilanti, and he said there’s a restaurant called “Stufd” that stays open late to serve drunken college kids. You go to the counter, place your order, give them your name, and come get your food when they scream your name. They would allow customers to give whatever name they wanted, but they had to start insisting on using the customer’s real name because the late-night drunks would give a fictitious name but forget it when the food was available. For some reason, that really cracked me up. (“Mr. Magoo [nothing] Mr. Magoo! [nothing] “MR. MAGOO YOUR ORDER IS READY!” Damn. The drunken moron forgot what name he gave us.”)
Dostoyevsky, we hardly know thee: “A Domino’s franchise owner in Russia offered customers 100 years of free pizza (max of 100 pies per year) if they got the Domino’s logo tattooed on their bodies ‘in a prominent place.’ Turns out, demand was so overwhelming it had to cap the number of winners at 350.”
Even I’m a little surprised that it’s this high: “More than 50 percent of adolescent females transitioning to the opposite gender tried committing suicide, according to a Tuesday study that asked a number of respondents with various gender identities about suicide attempts.” Link. An educator once told me that it has nothing to do with mental illness. It’s because they’re rejected by society. Ah, yes. That’s why the pre-Constantine Christians committed suicide in such high numbers and blacks killed themselves in record numbers under Jim Crow. And don’t even get me started on that famous movie, Suicide of the Nerds.
Great podcast at Econtalk: Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet Union, and In the First Circle. Econtalk is starting a reader’s club and In the First Circle is the first book. The podcast is so good, I’m tempted to join the club, but I know I’d never keep up with the reading. I fear my days of reading long Russian novels are behind me.
Freakin’ Detroit Lions. Whatta circus Monday night. But I’m actually fine with it. If the Lions got good, I’d feel compelled to watch professional football, and I really don’t want to, especially since they’re using more and more female announcers. The incongruity of listening to a woman announce a man’s game, it’s grating for reasons I can’t precisely put my finger on. It’s kind of like the bilingual Mass. I detest it with a passion . . . but I can’t articulate why.
Two of my boys go to Eastern Michigan University, whose football team just beat Purdue. Making its way around Ypsilanti: #wewantbama.
EMU, incidentally, was the alma mater of the great Joe Sobran. He left National Review and this earth far too soon.
Random Blurb from the Notebooks: Written twelve years ago:
The advocates of laws that give people freedom from reality don’t just want that freedom for themselves. I, after all, can wear my wife’s underwear and weep while watching the Soap Opera channel. I don’t need a new law for that. I just need my own apartment.
But if I want to force the rest of society to say (without mockery), “That’s a nice bra you’re wearing today, Mr. Scheske,” I need a rule change. Without it, societal attitudes don’t change, with the result that someone might think I’m a freak.
It’s all related to the gay marriage debate, if you haven’t figured it out. It isn’t about civil rights or freedom. It’s about forcing the rest of society to accept the freedom from reality that you desire. It would be like a drunk demanding that the rest of society honor his drinking problem. “Whatta grand thing that Mr. Fields drank so much at the bar that now he’s staggering down main street with little command of his bodily fluids. If he wants to get that drunk, people shouldn’t snicker at him.”
The folks who want gay marriage don’t want it for themselves. They want it for the rest of society. They want everyone to say, “Whatta grand thing that Chuck and Bob are having relations.” They don’t want the inconvenience of society (or reality) saying, “Marriage is by nature man and woman.” They want freedom from that reality, and they want the rest of us to go along with the farce.
It makes me kinda wonder. All the sexual civil rights stuff started with the privacy mantra: “What two consenting adults do in their own bedroom is their own business.” Privacy this, privacy that. It had a ring to it that Americans intuitively sympathize with.
But it didn’t take long before the privacy theme got translated into a public one. The gays didn’t just want privacy. They wanted public affirmation of their gayness. And now the “transgender” folks don’t want to wear women’s clothing in private. They want to wear it in public, and they want everyone to say it’s cool.
It makes me think that what happens in private doesn’t stay private, just as what happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas. The rest of society eventually pays for all that sinning, regardless of where it takes place.
Happy 9/11 Days. I avoid my parish as much as possible around this holiday, for reasons set forth here. I don’t know if we played the saccharine “I was there” God recording. I didn’t feel like crying, so I went to a neighboring parish.
If you’re an enterprising African-American, especially one with a bum mentality, I have a great business idea for you: N-Word Vouchers. In exchange for, say, $5, you give a white person a voucher that allows them to say the N-word. You print “This person is not a racist. He’s just a funny mo-fo. I vouch for him.” Then print your name and phone number on the back, so people can call you to verify his non-racist cred. I came up with that idea while walking the streets of Boston.
Random Blurb from the Notebooks: It’s in government’s self-interest to let businesses get big. When they get big, the government can claim it needs to get bigger to protect the nation from big businesses. This is exactly what happened during the Teddy Roosevelt administration, and his cousin Franklin played a similar card during The Great Depression. We know Obama is going to play that card, too: In the wake of the scandals, we need more government oversight, maybe even a nationalization of the country’s banks. And if that occurs, big businesses will get even bigger . . . because only big businesses will be able to afford the lobby costs and wine-filled dinners to sway favorable loans out government-controlled banks.
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