Month: October 2009

Short Short Story Saturday

Vampire stories are the rage, it’s Halloween, and I always got a small narcissistic kick out of this story. It ran in Gilbert Magazine about ten years ago . . . but the undead are timeless.

draculaGothic Nihilism

Jonathan had just finished watching The Conan O’Brien Show when the doorbell rang. He slowly rolled off the couch and answered the door. It was his older friend, Bramford.

“You’re still in your pajamas, Jonathan? The meeting starts in fifteen minutes,” Bramford said, picking up some jeans and throwing them at Jonathan. “It’ll take us that long on the subway alone. It’s too cold to fly.”

Jonathan caught the jeans. “I don’t feel like going.”

“You really should go. We need more young guys like you.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said, putting on his jeans and looking around for his favorite Old Navy sweatshirt.

“The President of the New England Council is going to talk. That’s the oldest Council in the U.S. It has more members than any other Council, even the ones in Eastern Europe.”

“Yeah,” Jonathan said nodding. “The Communists really killed the Councils over there.”

“It’s hard to thrive under a regime that suppresses religion,” Bramford said. “Our membership, after all, consists heavily of excommunicants and heretics.”

Jonathan nodded.

“In fact, the President’s going to talk about dwindling membership.”

“I just hope there aren’t a bunch of questions,” Jonathan said as he put on his tennis shoes, “or else we won’t get out of there until the sun comes up.”

“Don’t worry,” Bramford chuckled, “No one wants that.”

They walked down to the street and ran through a drizzling rain to the subway and … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use: Halloween Edition

halloween aleTop Ten List

Looking for scary beers? Here’s a top ten list. Moorhoueses’ Pendle Witches Brew, Young’s Old Nick, Rogue’s Dead Guy, Fantôme’s Black Ghost, Great Lakes’ Nosferatu, Wychwood’s WychCraft, Alesmith Evil Dead Red, Reaper Deathly Pale Ale, New Holland’s Ichabod, Gritty McDuff’s Halloween Ale. Lamentably, I’ve never tasted any of ’em. Heck, I don’t even know what “Nosferatu” means.

Spooky Miscellany

The haunted Drinking Club. And it’s only about 45 minutes from my Drinking Club. But I question how haunted it really is. As one of my friends said, “A few tall Oberons and things always get a little fuzzy and paranormal.”

devils-pale-ale-21136384

black-cat-lager-21136279

pumpkin-beer-review-21136765

Read the rest

Abbreviated Thursday

With the end of football (see post immediately below), I thought my life was about to shift to leisure mode: lots of time for reading, writing, and drinking. But no: parent-teacher conferences, out-of-town seminars, Halloween festivities. The . . . (um, er) excrement never stops. Plus I’m not feeling well. I thought yesterday afternoon that I was coming down with the flu, but now I think it was just a minor migraine. Anyway, not much time for blogging today. Just this:

The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names

And some decent Jimmy Kimmel:

The movie “Paranormal Activity” brought in $21 million over the weekend — amazing since it only cost $35 to make.

They said it cost 15 grand to make. I don’t think they should charge the same ticket price for a movie that cost less than a Korean automobile.

The guy who made it shot the whole movie in his house using his friends as actors. He couldn’t afford special effects so he actually had to kill his friends at the end of the movie.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the move “Terminator.” “Terminator” was the movie we liked so much we elected it governor.

Back when he was with Ben Stein, Stein wrote in the American Spectator that Kimmel has incredible talent and that he’d be big some day. Looks like Stein was right for the most part. … Read the rest

From the Notebooks

notebook picture.jpgA hazy picture is beginning to emerge in my mind. The picture is this: America, the Protestant Empire, has always been opposed to things Catholic. The opposition used to be explicit: the KKK hated Catholics and Jews, as well as blacks. In the twentieth century, such bigotry became unfashionable, so it largely went underground. But I think it’s still there, in the sense that America intuitively dislikes latent Catholicism. Even many American Catholics intuitively dislike Catholicism (which is probably why American Catholics tend to ignore Church teachings, but that’s a theological/pastoral matter, not a political one).

By “latent Catholicism,” I mean things that grew in the Catholic Middle Ages or developed from a Catholic sensibility. Many of the things aren’t even explicitly Catholic, but that knee-jerk dislike is still there, like our derision of monarchy and our dislike of authority in general. And I think it even might apply to economic things, like the gold standard (metaphysically, gold is the money of monarchy, whereas fiat money is the currency of democracies . . . more on that some other time). The free market itself grew up in the Middle Ages, without the interference of central authorities (kings) who had much (much, much) shorter arms than the long-reaching tentacles of the central authorities today.

Like I said, this is a hazy picture that I’m developing. It’s not complete and is subject to correction, maybe even downright reversal at some point.

But Hans-Hermann Hoppe added some substance to this picture. At the time that the U.S. took its greatest strides toward the modern economy (with the advent of the Federal Reserve and the income tax) and away … Read the rest