Month: May 2019


Miscellaneous Rambling

Well, summer is here. I had a very good weekend. The forecast called for rain throughout the weekend . . . and we only got a little. Actually, we got quite a bit, but it came at night or in big dumps, so 90% of the weekend was open for outdoor activities.

I got the rest of the fields planted. It took a humongous effort Saturday morning. Even with 30 minutes of help from Marie and Max, I was having troubles moving the rest of the day.

Ceiling. TrastevereI broke down and bought a new book: The New Right, by Michael Malice. I didn’t much care for Malice the first few times I heard him, but I’ve warmed to him over the past year or so. I can’t say I’m a big fan, but I listened to all five episodes of “Michael Malice Week” at the Tom Woods Show and decided I had to buy this book.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading about and studying the conservative movement (the main corpus: The Conservative Mind, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, and Catholic Intellectuals & Conservative Politics in American 1950-1985), so I figured I needed to have this book in my mental bank as well.

That, at least, is how I justified the purchase in my own mind.

Ceiling. TrastevereI also bought James Burnham’s The Machiavellians. I was shocked to hear Malice say Burnham is a bridge between the Old Right and the New Right (though I’m not sure what he means by “Old Right” . . . to be honest, I’m not even positive he uses that term . . . “Old Right” has traditionally referred to the pre-WWII Spencer-like conservatives in the Albert Jay Nock camp). When I … Read the rest

Happy Memorial Day

The new podcast episode is up: Episode 36: Memorial Day Weekend, Drinking in Mexico, Catholic Church and Divine Corruption. Enjoy.

May 25 Episode 36: Memorial Day Weekend, Drinking in Mexico, Catholic Church and Divine Corruption
Memorial Day Weekend: A tradition has come to a close: I’m not bacheloring it this holiday weekend. Please indulge this autobiographical note, with commentary on foreign intervention.

Lightning Segments. My oldest sons have been getting drunk in Mexico. I can (and in this segment do) relate.

The Crock Pot Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is like a crock pot: it can hold putrid gruel or cuisine, but it always holds its form.

Read the rest



My two oldest sons have been in Oaxaca, Mexico for the past four weeks. They’re taking “immersion classes,” which means, “Do everything in Spanish for four weeks.” They live with a Spanish mom, take Spanish classes in Spanish, take excursions in Spanish . . . and drink like Mexicans.

And that means plenty of mezcal. I didn’t realize it, but Oaxaca is the mezcal capital of Mexico . . . thereby making it the mezcal capital of the world.

What is mezcal? Well, it’s tequila, kinda:

Once demonized as the drink of Mexico’s rural poor, mezcal — which in simplest terms can be described as a distillate of agave that has been produced in Mexico for centuries — has become what one L.A. bartender dubbed “the hipster’s Cognac.” Unlike tequila, which can only be made with blue agave, mezcal can be made with more than 40 varietals, lending the category a vast spectrum of flavors. The mezcal boom north of the border parallels the popularity of modern Mexican restaurants and a surge of interest in regional Mexican cuisine; in the last decade, dedicated mezcalerias have popped up in every major city in America, from Baltimore to Seattle.

Alex and Jack have been hitting the mezcal and having a great time, one night landing themselves in an Oaxacan ghetto, much to their Mexican mom’s consternation when she heard about it the next day. They had been digitally introduced to the cousin of a Mexican friend here in Michigan; they hit the town one night and eventually found themselves in an apocalyptic-looking neighborhood with huge wild dogs roaming all over the place. Like I said, their Mexican mom wasn’t amused when they recounted the story the next day.

On a safer note, they also met the king of mezcal: Ulises TorrenteraRead the rest


From the Notebooks

The four courts: Court of Law, Court of Religion, Court of Morals, Court of Taste and Manners. (Referred to on page 30 of Nock’s Memoirs) It seems the culture wars should be fought first in T&M, and then Morals. Too many of us cede the Taste and Manners (including me) but then expect to defend our position in the Court of Morals. … Read the rest


Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.

Chesterton Short(s)

In April of 1924, the Queen’s Doll House was unveiled at the British Empire Exhibit, complete with crown jewels, wine cellar, a working gramophone, pianos, and a two-thousand book library. A number of authors, including Chesterton, Maugham, Housman, and others, contributed handwritten volumes, each the size of a postage stamp. [Ted Morgan, Maugham, New York, 1980, p. 274]

British novelist Daphne du Maurier was nervous about her impending 1928 screen test. She had been suggested for the title role in the movie version of The Constant Nymph and decided that the best way to prepare for the ordeal was to play some tennis and then relax with Chesterton’s The Return of Don Quixote. [Daphne du Maurier, Myself When Young, New York, 1977, p. 114]

In 1910, British authors John Mansfield, Walter de la Mare, John Galsworthy, Ford Maddox Ford, and Ezra Pound regularly attend a monthly dinner meeting to discuss new books. The gathering, formally named the Square Club, had been founded by G. K. Chesterton. [Letters of Ford Maddox Ford, Princeton University Press, 1965]

In April of 1925, Chesterton completed the illustrations for Hilaire Belloc’s novel, Mr. Petre. Said Belloc, “He did eight in an hour and a half. But if I hadn’t forced him, he’d never have done them at all.” [Letters from Hilaire Belloc, … Read the rest