Month: July 2016



That new Russell Kirk biography features extended descriptions of the thought of Irving Babbitt, Paul Elmer More, Albert Jay Nock, and Isabel Paterson (four figures who greatly influenced Kirk). I’m only part way through the first one (Babbitt), greatly enjoying it, and really looking forward to the description about Nock.


In the West, as Babbitt saw it, St. Francis of Assisi came closest to living a Buddhist life, though Francis, of course, had no contact with the East. But in his nearness to a Buddhist life St. Francis was unique. According to Babbitt, the West had created a dreadful world, “a world of frenzied producers” and a “world of frenzied consumers.”

I’d never thought of St. Francis as a Buddhist, probably because GKC excoriated the idea, pointing out the saint is always looking, pointed, outward, often excitedly so, whereas the eastern mystic is pointed inward. Still, I appreciate the humanist Babbitt’s apparent attempt to understand the great saint.

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Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereInteresting piece about one of the only sites I visit every day: the Drudge Report. It says Drudge may have been able to stop Trump. I found the story linked at . . . Excerpt: “Last week, SimilarWeb, an analytics firm, ranked the Drudge Report as the third-most-trafficked media publisher in the US for June 2016. The website amassed 1.2 billion combined page views for the month — all with hardly any traffic coming from social-media channels.”

Ceiling. TrastevereMan, scorching weather ahead. I hope my plants are ready. I tried hard not to over-water the in-ground plants in their formative stages, just so they were forced to expand their roots. We’ll see how I did.

Ceiling. TrastevereIt’s interesting that the Catholic Church dedicates no feast days to Old Testament saints. I figured it was due to theology, but apparently not: it’s probably just an accident of history, of how the calendar developed. My interest was piqued when I noticed that the Eastern Orthodox and Lutherans dedicate July 20th to Elijah.

Ceiling. TrastevereElijah, of course, is the patron saint of those of us who cherish the quiet: “And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereA TDE reader referred me to a David Warren piece. David used to write for Gilbert Magazine, back before the days I became editor. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his work.

Ceiling. TrastevereGreat line from that Warren piece: “We are materialists and utilitarians and, by extension, bureaucrats.” There’s a wallop of philosophy in that simple line.

Ceiling. TrastevereRemembering Warren made me think of another writer at Gilbert Magazine that I enjoyed: John Robson. We “canned” him because, given constraints on his time, he could only give us reprints. We loved his stuff, though, so it was a tough decision to make, but the board thought we should be running only original stuff, since, among other reasons, we already ran so many GKC reprints (for obvious reasons). Robson’s ongoing output can apparently be found here. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference.

Ceiling. Trastevere“The most-recent The Week that Perished” isn’t good as the past couple, but still worth a read. Excerpt:

On June 28, at least three gun-and-bomb-toting men stormed Istanbul’s main airport and left 44 people dead and another 200+ injured. Never mind that Turkey has incredibly restrictive gun laws. Never mind that Donald Trump was spotted nowhere near the scene. Never mind that at least this time around, homosexuality had nothing to do with the attack. Keep repeating to yourself that these escalating attacks have NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.

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The red currant-infused vodka was . . . alright.

It was pretty sour. I first tried it with unsweetened cranberry juice and a splash of lime. That was way too sour.

I then tried it with the juice and cranberry Sprite. That was better, but still too sour.

I then tried it with just cranberry Sprite: 50/50, over ice. That wasn’t too sour, but it wasn’t particularly good either.

So, I give this infusion experiment a “fail.” I still have a few shots left of it. I’ll experiment with it some more and see if I can get a better concoction, but I’m not terribly optimistic.

I’ll try the black currant-infused vodka later, but I’m guessing that’s going to require a lot of sweetening. Black currants are far more sour than their brother reds. … Read the rest