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October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween

The Monday Column

Solon, the Father of Democracy, was a Man of the Tao
💡Solon opened Athens to true order: the transformative order found through the Tao. Ancient Athens in the 600s BC Ancient Athens didn’t have a king. It was ruled by nine archons. These were men from the largest landowning families in Attica. When an archon finished his term, he became


Solon: Man of the Tao

October 29, 2022

They're Making a Movie about Flannery O'Connor

A TDE reader sends along this Facebook post from a priest in Kentucky.

Okay, I just spent like 30min with ETHAN HAWKE, one of my favorite actors and Gattaca is one of my favorite movies!
They are scouting Churches for a film about Flannery O'Connor! His daughter Maya Hawke is going to play her! Liam Neeson will also be in it!
Anyway, the Director and Producer came to my office and asked if Ethan and the production team could see inside St. Catherine Church. I said "Of Course!" When I met Ethan I told him I loved Gattaca and the deleted scene from the end that has a strong pro-life message. We both agreed it was a beautiful scene.
Ethan was very down-to-earth and conversational. He said he has been on retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemene and wanted to see the area. They loved St. Catherine because it still has a 50's look like the period in which Flannery lived. He said he was so impressed that the traditional features had been retained. He mentioned he had read a collection of her letters when he was young and always wanted to make a film about her. (more at link)

October 28, 2022


Non-Alcoholic Drinks

I've never understood non-alcoholic drinks. They're like playing poker for funzies. Plus, we've had a good non-alcoholic drink for years: water. And we've had fun non-alcoholic drinks for years: coffee and Mountain Dew (and Coke in the good old days).  

But for some reason, this new entry into the non-alcoholic beverage market sounds pretty good. Maybe it's because it "feels" like it may have a Kava effect. I don't know.

Parch Delivers All The Fun Of Drinking Without The Booze
By Lisa Kocay at Forbes

But tonight isn't for non-alcoholic drinks. Twitter again believes in free speech. It's time to celebrate and that requires more than a non-alcoholic drink.

"The bird is freed," Elon tweeted.

I'm going to celebrate with a few gins and tonics tonight, plus I think I'm going to subscribe to Twitter Blue. I started trying to build my Twitter following last summer, then the Musk deal was called off, so I kinda stalled. I think I'll fire up my efforts again. If you haven't "followed" TDE at Twitter, please do.

I try to keep the Scrolling Blog updated with every new post, but I got behind over the last 24 hours. In case you missed them, there is a Twilight Zone piece from gifted writer and new online friend, Joseph Serwach, at

This is The Other Place: The TV Moment That Changed His Worldview
By Joseph Serwach at

I also posted a new piece by the radical feminist Mary Harrington about eco-Fascists (not to be confused with responsible environmental stewardship).

How Far Will the Eco-Fascists Go?
Mary Harrington at UnHerd

October 26, 2022

GKC Wednesday

The American critic Malcolm Cowley, attempting to define the so-called "Lost Generation," once drew up a list of "literary childhood diseases" which he published in Canby's Literary Review of October 25, 1921.

These afflictions begin with "a bad case of Chesterton," contracted at about age sixteen; Oscar Wilde is a complication; and before the patient recovers he is "overwhelmed" by Bernard Shaw. Health is not restored until the patient has "dipped into Freud and Marx." [Hans Bal, Malcolm Cowley, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993, pp. 182-83]

October 25, 2022

Michael Snellen speculates that Kanye might become Catholic. I have no opinion. The Church invites the volatile as well.

Kanye to Catholicism?
By Michael Snellen at

October 24, 2022

Weekly Column

Why David Hume is Important
💡Within 100 years, the Cartesians used impeccable logic derived from Descartes’ I think there I am to reach two conclusions: there is no earthly agent of movement and there is no matter. There is only God and mind. Hume yanked God and mind out of these conclusions and the Cartesian


Why David Hume is Important

October 23, 2022


"Why," you might have asked yourself, "should I subscribe to 'Outside the Modern Limits'"?

Easy: I give the FINE guarantee. Every issue will have,

1. Something funny,

2. Something insightful about modern life,

3. Something erudite.

And you'll only get the content with the newsletter. I will repackage items for use on, and occasionally at my Substack page and here at TDE, but otherwise, the (oh-so) FINE content is exclusive to the newsletter.

And remember: It's free.

Product Recommendation

The Kindle Paperwhite 11. It's not the latest and greatest, but I bet you can get it for $99 during the holidays (I got mine during a pre-holiday special). I replaced my Kindle 6 with it last week and am greatly enjoying the wider screen and its (much) faster response time.

I also got lucky with the case I chose (there's a seeming-endless selection). This is my third Kindle case and I've liked them all, but this one is the best. Really digging the hand-strap, which I didn't think I even cared about when I ordered, but now that I have one on my Kindle? Very nice amenity.

October 22, 2022

Newsletter 3 Hit Mailboxes at 7:00 AM Today

Did you miss this morning's newsletter? Dork. Subscribe so you don't miss next Saturday's. It's 100% free. I don't even try to "up-sell" anything.

On Groupies

I don't think the writer makes a great point, but it's a great read: good style and lots of fun recent history that other X-Generation folks like me can appreciate.

Pennie Lane Trumbell [was] an American socialite who founded the groupie collective the Flying Garter Girls.
Groupies Deserve More Credit
By Lisa Levy at The Walrus

October 21, 2022


From a 2019 review of a William Hogarth exhibition at the Morgan Library in Manhattan.

Gin and Morals, Please
By Thomas Triedman at The New Criterion

My thoughts on the government-induced (and scary) Gin Craze.

The Great London Gin Craze
By the mid-1730s, there were 8,659 gin shops in London

October 19, 2022

Breast Milk is Expensive

I say, "Bring back the wet nurses!"

There’s No Such Thing as Free Breastmilk
Abigail Blanco at the American Institute for Economic Research
After pumping or breastfeeding some 1,700 times over a six-month period, she calculated how much this “free” alternative cost her by adding up the price of materials and the money value of her time. She found that if a mother nursed or pumped for six months and would have been paid for the time given up based on the median annual salary for an American woman, breastfeeding would cost a whopping $11,460.


October 18, 2022

Ukraine: Far More Complicated than the Ukrainian-Flag-Waving Idiots Think

If you've been reading TDE, you may recall that I expressed extreme skepticism that the Ukrainian affair was all Russia's fault. I can't say I'm a big Putin fan but, dang it, the federal government just keeps entangling us and meddling in everyone's affairs.

Complications of the Ukraine War
Christopher Caldwell at Imprimis

October 17, 2022

Weekly Column

A/k/a "The Seers from 500 BC"

The First Amendment’s Separation of Church and State Goes Back to 500 BC
Ten of History’s Greatest Seers All Lived Around the Same Time


"The First Amendment's Separation of Church and State Goes Back to 500 BC"

October 16, 2022

For the guy who has everything. Only $700.00.

The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition: 8-Volume Set Hardcover

More Wisdom!
On the prose of T.S. Eliot.

October 15, 2022

I Drink Therefore I Am

Ah, you didn't subscribe to Outside the Modern Limits? Then you missed this morning's newsletter. Better luck next week.

But I have a great consolation prize. A nifty little review about Roger Scruton's 2010 book, I Drink Therefore I Am.

For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the whole thing, but you can read the whole thing at The Spectator, though you'll have to get a free subscription.

Whatever can be said for the ontological argument for the existence for God, Roger showed that the oenological argument has the advantage of instant intuitive conviction.
Roger Scruton Knew What Wine was For
By Roger Kimball at The Spectator

October 14, 2022


The passing of a dive bar. An account from Arlington, Virginia.

The Passing of a Dive Bar
From the Lamp

It comes from the newest issue of The Lamp that arrived yesterday. The issue looks great, just like all of them. It's still a jaw-dropping $60 for six issues, but when I walk in after a long day and a new issue is waiting for me? It lights up my evening. The $10 per pop is worth the dopamine rush alone.

Of course, Outside the Modern Limits doesn't cost anything and it arrives weekly and . . . well, that's about it, I suppose. Issue 2 is in the queue and ready to go out tomorrow. If you haven't done so . . .

October 13, 2022

Loretta Lynn

She lived to see the destruction of the art form she had done as much as anyone to perfect, if not quite pioneer.

With her death, as with Hank Aaron’s last year, this country loses one of the few living citizens who can be called quintessential Americans, in an unbroken line going back to Barbara Bush, Ola Mae Terrell, Louis Armstrong, Jim Thorpe, and Davy Crockett. When we lose Smokey Robinson and Jim Brown, the list will be complete.

Matthew Walther at The Lamp

A Tribute to Loretta Lynn
By Matthew Walther at The Lamp

Proposal 3

I'm dedicated to keeping TDE free of overt politics, but I'm compelled to point out Proposal 3's extremism. The Proposal is not simply about re-instilling Roe. It includes the right to "sterilization," without regard to age. It implements the transgender ideology as a constitutional right. It's impossible to know what even a well-meaning court would do with such language, but it can't overturn it. It would have to implement it in some fashion, including potentially allowing minors to get castrated without parental consent.

If you know voters in Michigan, make sure they know this. I'm honestly flummoxed at how any decent person could vote for the Proposal. If you're pro-abortion but intellectually honest, tell your allies to go back to the drawing board and come back with something that truly implements Roe. I'll disagree with you then, too, but at least I'll respect your honesty.  

October 12, 2022

New Podcasts: All Launch, No Take-Off

Bloomberg says the podcast industry has a problem: No one is listening to new ones anymore. A new show needs an established show to promote it. Otherwise, the glut of podcasts will choke it out.

For years, Joe Rogan told people to start a podcast. He said it was fun and easy, plus it would take-off if you published consistently and put out a decent product. A few years ago, he starkly changed his opinion. He said the market is simply too glutted.

Podcasting Hasn’t Produced A New Hit in Years
By Lucas Shaw at Bloomberg

The TWE podcast is doing alright, though I relaunched it merely so people could listen to my weekly column. It has evolved into a bit more than that and listenership is growing, but for the most part, it's still just an audio medium for the column.

The newsletter, on the other hand, did very well with its first issue. I suspect the newsletter market isn't totally glutted yet. Please subscribe and forward the newsletter to friends and family.

October 11, 2022

Eric Scheske Bio

Michael Snellen shows me far more kindness than I deserve. It deserves a measured response, but I need to think about it for a bit.

Help Eric Scheske! The Best Catholic Writer Alive That You Haven’t Heard Of
Like a dinosaur, Scheske tried to learn how to be an internet writer, as all writers nowadays are. Luckily, I found his fossil.

October 10, 2022

Weekly Column

Introducing Eric Voegelin
Voegelin was not charismatic. He was a “gentleman thinker.” He didn’t like small talk and valued his time. His personality didn’t attract a cult-like following. He didn’t establish a school or movement. But he’s important.


Introducing Eric Voegelin

October 9, 2022

Boromirs Among Us

In the conservative world of Boromirs and Frodos (those who would use the ring of governmental power and those who don't), TDE is decidedly Frodoish. I'm not convinced that doesn't make us cannon fodder, however, I'm reminded of Hilaire Belloc's observation about pacificists.

Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight,
But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.

I suspect the Frodo-Boromir dichotomy needs a third option: The Aragorn One.

The right’s new divide: Frodo versus Boromir
By Tony Woodlief at The Spectator

Outside the Modern Limits Launches

My apologies for the short hiatus. Just lots of commitments and a minor illness. The newsletter went out on time, though. If you aren't subscribed, shame on you for not supporting the narcissist behind TDE. Feedback was limited but good. It will become a weekly thing. You'll enjoy it.

October 6, 2022

This summarizes every snide modernist from Voltaire to Singer

October 5, 2022


A review of In the House of Tom Bombadil. The book apparently paints Bombadil as a Christ figure. I've seen writers assert that Aragorn, Gandalf, and Sam are Christ figures. No doubt Frodo could be one too. On one level, it's derisory. On another, it makes perfect sense.

The Mysterious Being in the Ring
By Nathanael Blake at The University Bookman
Alleged Sex Slaveholder Tom Bombadil in Custody
Goldberry in protective custody

October 4, 2022

Simon and Garfunkel's I am a Rock is a Fossil

So argues Ashley Colby at UnHerd, who says, if the economics of plenty brought about a culture of narcissism, then the economics of fossil fuel scarcity will drive the narcissism out of us because we'll have to rely on one another more.

Of course, she also believes that scarcity is contributing to the increasing polarization in our society. Everyone feels increasingly squeezed financially, so we feel increasingly dissatisfied with our existence, which leads us to look at others as the cause. The end of the essay comes with this Voegelin kicker:

The ultimate destination of this narcissistic fantasy is ridding the world of all its evildoers — a kind of gnostic apocalypse in which only the truly righteous will enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet this is the exact opposite of the cultural approach we’ll need to survive. In the previous era of increasing resources, we had the riches to increase our independence; we no longer needed one another to survive. Today, however, as resources and stability begin to wane, we must rely on one another again.
The End of the Culture of Narcissism
Ashley Colby at UnHerd

October 3, 2022

It Doesn't Play in Peoria

No Monday column. Dang. I think this is the first Monday column I've missed in 2022. I'm not sure about that, but I am missing it this week. "The multiplicity of affairs," observed St. Francis de Sales, "is a continual martyrdom."

It's the "multiplicity" part that's the problem. They seem to come in multiples.

This weekend, I had to attend a wedding in Peoria, which is a heckuva drive from Michigan. But on top of that, I had many other affairs before and after Peoria and, well, the multiplicity knocked out the column.

The next column, incidentally, starts the Voegelin stage of the Existence Strikes Back project. It's not the climax of the Project, but it is the climax of Part II of the Project. I hope to become the (probably-not-so) Great Voegelin Vulgarizer, bringing the great thinker to a fun and accessible level. Daunting task, that. We'll see how it goes.

As for Peoria? It's pretty nice. It's similar to Grand Rapids, which is very nice (though a bit over-rated . . . a lot of sketch is shifting into GR, despite its attempts to deny it). I'd say Peoria's downtown is a step below GR and if you don't like Caterpillar products, don't go to Peoria.

One thing I never fully appreciated. This point in Illinois marks the beginning of the Great Plains, even if Wikipedia disagrees. It was obvious at the wedding reception venue, which was held about ten miles north of Peoria. I took the above pic while there.

October 1, 2022

Barcelona Cathedral: Billboard

My son visited Barcelona last week. He took this pic of the Cathedral. He had no idea the South Koreans were so devout.