They will defend their doltish selves by claiming it’s not their preference to date a trans person, but if the only test is what a person proclaims and the person proclaims himself a woman, the defense falls way short. If the person proclaims himself half woman/half man or as other oddity, then maybe the heterosexual dolt has a defense, but if he says he’s a woman, the heterosexual dolt should be open to dating him or reveal that, when it comes down to it, he doesn’t really believe the idiocy.
Yup, this dude might need to get to confession . . . and a therapist: “A bank manager previously told police that a male driving a blue Hyundai had passed out at the wheel while in the bank’s drive-thru lane. After the employee beat on the car’s window, the driver awoke and asked for a burrito. He subsequently drove away ‘after being informed he was not at Taco Bell.'” Link.
For the first time this year, I feel normal. I still had low energy and virtually no motivation this week, but yesterday, I noticed that I seemed to have my wind back. Heck, I almost felt good.
So I’ll celebrate. My hometown is having a Winter Blues Festival this evening, so I think I’ll fortify myself against the cold, put on warm clothes, and head on down. I’ll plan on stops at the two downtown bars, plus a stop at my law office where I keep a stash of gin for those after-hour work sessions.
Other than that, I don’t have much drinking banter. When I have no script, I go over to my old standby, Modern Drunkard Magazine, and see what they have. This time, however, the Google Machine directed me to MDM’s Facebook page, so I checked it out.
It has a lot of good stuff posted under the slogan “The Brutal Hammer of Truth.” I’m not sure what it means, but based on what I saw, I think it means, “Here’s a drinking article, but here’s what it’s really about: [insert sarcastic headline].” But then again, some of the headlines simply reference what the linked article is about. Hard to say.
Running a bit late today. Theology on Tap went well last night. We changed the venue, which seemed to make a big difference. I’ll be continuing the series.
Next up: Zen Buddhism. It’s a natural outgrowth of last night’s lecture, which talked about Kerouac’s Catholicism and Buddhism. I was surprised that there was quite a bit of interest in Buddhism. As long time TDE readers know, I occasionally go on “Zen” kicks, during which I dive into D.T. Suzuki, John Wu, Thomas Merton, and others. I’ve kinda been feeling the Zen itch, so this is a good opportunity to crack open those texts again.
“I felt like a million dollars; I was adventuring in the crazy American night.” That was a Jack Kerouac Tweet. Alright, Kerouac didn’t Tweet it, of course, since he died in 1967, which was, what, two years before Twitter, but I saw it yesterday on the Kerouac Twitter feed. If you’re in my hometown tonight, stop by for my Kerouac lecture. I’ve promised attendees to keep it light . . . and informal . . . and short. I’m anticipating a 20-minute lecture. I’ll have one drink before I start, one drink during it, and one drink during the Q&A. I oughtta drink more (we’re talking the Beats, after all), but I gotta keep my wits about me in case, you know, any reactionary, Nixon types show up.
I’m glad I don’t eat fish: Americans consume fish caught with slave labor. Literally, slave labor: captured Burmese who are forced to work, like LeVar Burton captured in Africa. Granted, these modern slaves are captured by fraud, but basically the same thing, if that article is to be believed.
A must read: “Dangerously outdated gender norms are not what make it difficult to say no to sexual advances; contemporary gender norms have confused these already fraught situations. Traditional mores set the default for premarital sex at ‘no,’ at least for females. This default recognized the different sexual drives of males and females and the difficulties of bargaining with the male libido. The default ‘no’ to premarital sex meant that a female did not have to negotiate the refusal with every opportuning male; it was simply assumed. She could, of course, cast aside the default assumption; that was her power and prerogative. But she did not have to provide reasons for shutting down a sexual advance.” Link.
The Little Flower Company is Facebook official. Therese seems excited to get started. We’re working through a flower business book, but I’m open to suggestions. If anyone knows anything about growing quantities of cut flowers and wouldn’t mind answering questions via email, please email me! I’d really appreciate it. Our current proposed roster of flowers: Benary’s Giant Zinnia, Celosia, Sunrich Orange Summer Sunflower, Gomphrena, Cosmos, Dark Blue Larkspur, Misty Lavender Larkspur, Hot Biscuits Amaranthus.
Mark Steyn on s***holes and other matters. The phrase “soft totalitarianism” should become embedded in the national psyche: “The soft totalitarianism of our time . . . requires that ever more should go unsaid other than the self-flattering sentimentalism of the Official Lie. When you discuss immigration, you’re supposed to say, “Well, my Guatemalan pool-boy is the hardest-working fellow I know” – or start yakking about your Moldovan grandfather. That’s it, that’s all. The notion that it’s public policy, not a heartwarming Hallmark Channel movie of the week, and that those public-policy needs might have changed since the days of Tsarist pogroms, must never be allowed to take hold.” Link.
Day 12. The flu softens its grip on me every day, but it’s not going away soon. Although I am taking walks outdoors (on top of the exercise, my lungs seem to enjoy the cold), I’m still not back to a regular exercise routine.
Theology on Tap is in two days. The topic is Jack Kerouac and the 1960s. It looks at Kerouac’s Catholicism and Buddhism, and how both strains of spirituality informed the 1960s. I’ve put far less preparation into this lecture than I did the first three. It’s a far more concise topic, and one I’ve studied off and on for the past 20 years, so I kinda felt like I could’ve just walked up there and pulled it off with virtually no prep. I do, however, have nearly ten hours into the project, though, admittedly, much of that is just casual reading.
This lecture will not be videotaped, by the way. I simply don’t want to deal with it, plus I’m hoping for a more “relaxed,” conversational-type setting. Attendance really dropped off in November, so I want to take a different tact.
The videotape of my first lecture, incidentally, has caught on a little bit. Over 700 views, including one commentator who calls it “simplistic hogwash.” The response is obvious: We’re covering 2,000 years in 30 minutes; of course it’s going to be simplistic. As for “hogwash,” I don’t think he remotely understands what he’s alleging. Everything in that lecture is a fact. Are there other facts that are omitted. Um, frick yes . . . I was covering 2,000 years in 30 minutes. Are some of those omitted facts unfavorable to the Catholic Church? Again, frick yes. Are some of those omitted facts favorable to the Catholic Church? Yes, frick yes. Did I focus on facts that a Catholic audience would find most interesting? Of course.
If you want a nifty book about the problem of telling (creating) history, I recommend Jeff Riggenbach’s Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism. It explains the historical process well and makes clear things I basically intuited, but didn’t understand clearly. (A lot of books by The von Mises Institute, incidentally, do that.) The key takeaway (as I remember it) is, every history by virtue of limited space isn’t exhaustive. The author must pick certain facts and omit others. The historian’s only real goal is to try to be even-handed in what he presents, but that’s virtually impossible to do. Revisionist historians don’t try to be even-handed but, rather, set out to present facts that get omitted from the mainstream history books. Howard Zinn’s People’s History is no doubt 100% factual, but it’s relentlessly anti-American (read: anti-white person) in its slate of facts . . . a fact that, if I recall correctly, Zinn readily admitted, since he had set out to write a corrective, to offer a counter-weight to a historical record that he found ridiculously slanted the other way.
Hey, today’s a feast day for every Otis Redding fan: John the Hut-Dweller. How many of us think, I just want to sit on the dock of the bay or live in a simple shanty someplace, like John the Hut-Dweller presumably did?
Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching jackals roll in
And then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah
I’m sittin’ on the deck of my hut
Just praying my soul away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the deck of hut
John Hut’s life was a bit more interesting than that, btw.
"Many colleges claim that they develop 'leaders.' All too often, that means turning out graduates who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do. There are already too many people like that, and they are a menace to everyone else's freedom."
This has been a long time in coming: “A bill that would end Indiana’s prohibition-era ban on carryout Sunday alcohol sales was overwhelmingly approved by a key state Senate committee.” Link. I grew up on the Indiana border, went to school at Notre Dame, and live on the border. This law is a hardship when you forget to prepare for it.
The Prohibition-era law also illustrates something I’ve heard a few times: Indiana is the most southern of the northern states: strong Klan presence, good old boy networks, Billy Sunday-type views toward drinking. In Elkhart County, which is close to me, the good ol’ boys network and corresponding corruption is supposedly very strong. I’ve seen some of it first hand.
Of course, Elkhart County also boasts a large Amish population, which I suppose is a good ol’ boys network on steroids of sorts, but the Amish don’t have any corruption (which can only exist in government (all other associations are voluntary) and the Amish loathe government). Despite their distaste for government, the Amish don’t mind a little Blue law. Local Shipshewana, which is an Amish paradise of sorts, has a local ordinance that prohibits the sale of alcohol every day of the week.
This illness continues to dog me, taking my crops, land, money, and womenfolk. For today, I merely present part of my notes from Part I of the Theology on Tap Lecture on the causes of the Reformation . . .
The Black Death: As much as 60% of Europe wiped out. Good clergy especially hard hit . . . as much as 90% of clergy in some areas . . . probably 100% in some areas. The leaven of society removed. We can’t over-emphasize this enough. Unfortunately, we can’t really under-emphasize it either, since it’s spiritual and can’t really be measured.
The Black Death resulted in improved conditions for peasants. Fewer workers.
As the population improved, wages began to fall again. Nobility started pressuring the peasants, such as by enclosing grazing land to exclusion of peasant livestock. Resentment in general.
Clerical Privilege: pay no taxes, don’t undertake civic duties like night watch, and no secular courts for crimes committed. And remember: There were a ton of clergy. Resentment at church. Lots of clerics. It was either be a priest or harvest turnips for a living.
This weakened confidence in the sacraments. Not necessarily Donatism, but a creeping doubt perhaps. I mean, if the sacraments bestow grace and lead people to virtue, how come so many priests are sons of bitches?
Monasteries: We discussed this last month: Good men start monasteries, they get lots of donations, they then attract lesser men, eventually, flat-out bad men: sloths. Tons of monasteries. I envision them like McDonald’s today. And remember what monasteries were supposed to do: foster spiritual growth, virtue. This becomes relevant.
Institutional Corruption: The Church had a lot of things it did: missionary work, care for the sick, maintaining churches, etc. Those things take money. When it moved to Avignon (see below), it lost revenue from the Papal States in Italy. The Church looked for ways to cover shortfalls. It made honest mistakes, and it also had the “mistakes” of grasping popes and bishops, men who took advantage of the position. Simony, pluralism, extravagance.
Avignon: Pope Clement the V was a Frenchman and loyal to France. He moved the Papacy there, where it became pretty much a “French thing,” instead of a universal church. Gregory XI to move back to Rome. Greatly hurt the prestige of the Papacy, but not as much as the great schism.
The Great Schism: After Gregory XI died, Urban VI was elected in 1378, and he was a piece of work, possibly mentally unstable, definitely a dick. He even had some enemy cardinals tortured. A majority of cardinals retaliated, saying the election was bogus, and elected Clement VII as Pope, who returned to Avignon. The Great Western Schism. Nations lined up on both sides, at one point they tried to compromise and elected a third pope, thereby making the situation even worse. The Council of Constance (1418) ended it by accepting the resignation of the contending popes and electing Martin V. But the prestige of the Papacy was greatly tarnished.
Increasing attacks on the Papacy in general. Perhaps the most notable: Marsilius of Padua. Widely read. Such attacks fairly unheard of until the late middle ages.
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