Month: July 2017


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereSettling in after a long vacation in Alpena, Michigan. Regular blogging will resume, subject to the exigencies of getting the practice and produce site back in order.

Ceiling. TrastevereVocations film from 1962. Link. I only watched the first five minutes, but it shows two things you’d never see today: Jack Nicholson as a Catholic (the featured priest) and the priest smoking a cigarette.

Ceiling. TrastevereVictor Davis Hanson on manual labor in an age that only values mental labor. It’s a bit long, but it fits loosely into my loose reasons for pursuing my ag endeavors. “There seems a human instinct to want to do physical work.”

Ceiling. TrastevereI saw this autobiographical bit about Hanson’s life very interesting: “For the past four decades, I have split my time between teaching classics and writing, and working on a farm. I cannot say that either world is nobler than the other.” At age 51, I doubt I have four decades ahead of me, but such a split seems like a good way to lead one’s life, as long as it doesn’t result in you working 80 hours a week total. I’m going to have to learn more about his farm side. … Read the rest


Trinity Church Alpena

I’m back from vacation, my annual pilgrimage to the family cottage in Alpena.

I’m putting together a short book about Albert Jay Nock (hopefully, available later this year). On my last night in Alpena, I snapped this picture of Nock’s Episcopalian church, which his father help build. I think I’ll make it the cover photo. … Read the rest


IMG_3150Brews You Can Use

Just when I think I’ve heard of everything in the drinking world, at least those things that have been around awhile, something else appears.

This time, it’s Buckfast Tonic Wine, a caffeine-infused wine made by the Benedictine monks of Buckfast. Originally made as a medicinal drink, they’ve been making it for over a century.

How powerful is it? Fifteen percent alcohol and an undetermined amount of caffeine (some say, as much as a Red Bull). If that’s not a testament to its power, this might be: a decadent country like Scotland nearly banned it. Of course, Scotland is staunchly welfare state and pro-EU, so it is the country of paternalistic politicians, but still. It’s a hard-drinking culture by any measure yet there was a serious effort to ban it.

Regardless, Buckfast has become something of Scotland’s national drink.

I heard about it in Modern Drunkard Magazine. I wish I could provide a link, but the article doesn’t appear to be online. … Read the rest


Thaddeus Russell:

Anyone who believes that advertisers control consumers need only be told a few names: Tucker, Henry J., Ford, Edsel, Mercury Park Lane, Studebaker, Wagonaire, Lincoln Blackwood, AMC Marlin, Buick Reatta, and Eagle Premier. These were among many automobiles that were marketed strenuously by their manufacturers but quickly discontinued due to weak sales.

Speaking of Russell, he launched a podcast earlier this year. I’d recommend it, but it’s often filthy . . . real filthy, both its jokes and its subject matter. The man’s thinking attracts me so I keep trying the podcast and find about half of them enjoyable, but the other half, I need to turn off well before the end. The podcast is called “Unregistered.” … Read the rest



Great summary of a loathsome man and his legacy:

Alfred Kinsey was a moral revolutionary in scientist’s clothing. The science was bad, even bogus; the man himself may now be forgotten; but the revolution came to stay, with a vengeance. Kinsey’s message—fornicate early, fornicate often, fornicate in every possible way—became the mantra of a sex-ridden age, our age, now desperate for a reformation of its own.

Joseph Epstein. … Read the rest



Cracked me up:

When Trevor-Roper attacked R. H. Tawney’s theory of the progressive bourgeois giving rise to the Puritan revolution in England, one of the editors of the journal to which he sent his attack wrote to his coeditor: “I find it difficult to decide whether T-R is a fundamentally nice person in the grip of a prose style in which it is impossible to be polite or a fundamentally unpleasant person . . . using rudeness as a disguise for nastiness.”

Joseph Epstein… Read the rest



On T.S. Eliot’s alleged anti-Semitism:

But might it be allowed that one can write or say anti-Semitic things without being an anti-Semite? Eliot is guilty of the former, but does not, I think, stand guilty of the latter. There is no record of anything on his part resembling anti-Semitic actions. He had good friends who were Jews. Not that this excuses him, but everything anti-Semitic he wrote was composed before the Holocaust. He obviously wasn’t Jew-crazy, like his difficult friend Ezra Pound, who could blame the Jews for bad weather. Eliot made a wretched mistake in the references to Jews in his poetry, and one would like to think that, as a devout Christian, it added to the burden of his guilt.

Joseph Epstein… Read the rest