In his youth, Auden planned to become a mining engineer, and he’s always terrific at depicting industrial landscapes — he gravitates to tram lines and slag heaps — but he can also survey rough terrain through the eyes of a secret agent: “Control of the passes was, he saw, the key” or “Watching with binoculars the movement of the grass for an ambush,/ The pistol cocked, the code-word committed to memory …”
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Poets are full of contradictions. It is one of the tools of the trade. Here’s one of Miłosz’s contradictions, but only an apparent one: while entertaining these thoughts, these heresies, he faithfully attended the stucco, Spanish revival-style Church of Mary Magdalen in Berkeley every Sunday. He sat towards the back of the church, and some remember him serving as an usher. Another colleague remembers a time when the pews were being replaced, and all had a dispensation to sit, rather than kneel, after communion. Milosz kneeled on the floor nevertheless. And he was on his knees praying for a long time.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Lavinia Stoddard was born on this date in June 29, 1787.
The inefficacy of the police is not merely an inconvenience, though it is certainly that, as well. It indicates that the government and its associated administration, which have for decades mandated, and presided over, a depressing degeneration of law enforcement, are unaware that the maintenance of order is not merely one of their tasks among others—such as ensuring that people are protected from the way others might happen to address them—but the very justification of their existence. Criminal disorder saps their legitimacy, which, in turn, leads to further disorder.
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
… perhaps someone should tell the ladies they are sitting on a beach in a country that forces women to have babies. Even the poor women Goldberg, President Biden, and other Democrats are so worried about. The U.S. State Department says that in the Bahamas, 90% of residents report a religious affiliation, and 70% are Protestant. According to the Bahamian penal code today, anyone involved in an abortion can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. . Some state laws in the U.S. seek to hold the abortion provider accountable.
“What we’re living through is not a situation where religion is intruding into the government’s rightful arena—it’s exactly the opposite,” Barr said. “It’s that government and politics are usurping the role of religion.”
He emphasises that he is noting things, not opinionating and, in the end, we all have to work with what we have. That is his hero's quandary. "The narrator is incredibly pessimistic and incredibly withering about everything, but he ends up digging away at the ground that he has to stand on. He ends up falling into a pit. It's fine to be pessimistic, but I also think you have to circle back to yourself and you have to realise you're also here. And maybe a pessimistic voice is just one of the other dandelion heads in this big field where these ideas are swimming around."
Hopkins is one of the great Christian poets of the modern era. His verse is profoundly, indeed almost totally, religious in subject and nature. A devout and orthodox convert to Catholicism who became a Jesuit priest, he considered poetry a spiritual distraction unless it could serve the faith. This quality makes his popularity in our increasingly secular and anti-religious age seem paradoxical. Yet the devotional nature of his work may actually be responsible for his continuing readership. Hopkins’s passionate faith may provide something not easily found elsewhere on the current curriculum – serious and disciplined Christian spirituality.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel , Scott’s film created a world so rich, so dirty and wet and worn out, so visually stunning, that imitation was an inevitability. Less gym-bro than , less wacky than Terry Gilliam’s , and less all-out apocalyptic than , arguably defined not just 1980s science fiction, but in the forty years since its initial release, sci-fi films in general. From , to andand evenis owed a debt of gratitude.
Monday, June 27, 2022
Coolidge and the Historians is not itself a book which provides the reexamination of the change of 1932 we need, but it does clear the path for such a book. In clearing the ground of the predominant misconceptions-in showing that they are, indeed, misconceptions-Silver opens anew the questions about the period that need to be raised if a more adequate account of the New Deal revolution is to be given.
Sunday, June 26, 2022
“We should not let our monoculture to become a monoconscience; we should fight to erect healthy boundaries around our conscience while also respecting the boundaries of others. And we must understand that nobody should be forced, or ever expected, to manifest their innermost thoughts. These moral convictions are often the fruit of hours, if not years, of careful consideration and grappling—so why throw them to the proverbial dogs who will make our innermost beliefs into memes and soundbites that scarcely represent them at all, and may even deliberately misrepresent them?”
At one point last year, Etsy purged any listing associated with Dr. Seuss, following a social panic centered on the view that the famed children’s author and artist was racist. And in 2020, Etsy officials asserted that the slogan “I 💜 J.K. Rowling” promotes hatred, even while allowing the sale of products that read “Fuck J.K. Rowling”; and that instruct ideologically non-compliant “TERFs” (a term of abuse that stands for Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists) to “shut the fuck up.” Indeed, there’s a whole product sub-category dedicated to merchandise marked “Fuck TERFs.” Amazingly, none of these explicit expressions of hatred has (to my knowledge) been judged as being offside Etsy’s rule against promoting hatred.
… there is a lot of 'good stuff' in this enjoyable, albeit heterogeneous, volume.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
This lively parson and citizen-scientist can come off as one of Austen’s daft comic characters. In one of his more memorable passages, White recounts shouting at bees through a speaking trumpet, a period version of a megaphone, to see how well they could hear.
Since God chose to intervene in human affairs, writes Newman, it should not surprise us that He would “make provisions for retaining in the world a knowledge of Himself.” Left to our own devices, we would inevitably bring God’s saving message to ruin. So He established the Church and provides her the gift of infallibility, whereby, through His power, she teaches without error what God has revealed and wishes the whole world to know.
What Remains to Be Said contains some of the very best poems of recent decades. Among contemporary poets, Shaw stands out for his combination of thoughtfulness, emotional power, and technical panache. Most important, he is a good servant of the Logos, the generating spirit of language.
What strikes me as fascinating is that my admiration of Nock and my seemingly continuous pull back to the man is as much a mystery as the man himself is! The guy was, to put it bluntly, an enigma. In his Memoirs, for example, we find out every thought he ever had, its origin, its evolution, and its end, but we learn absolutely nothing about his actual personal life. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he never mentions that he was once married, had two sons, and had been a priest in the Episcopal Church. It is only in the biographical works about Nock that we get any details, and even those are unsatisfactorily vague.
What advice would Beha offer to Catholic writers in 2022? “It’s tough,” he began. “I think truly my advice would be: Find a way to take pleasure and satisfaction in the doing of it. Because it is unlikely that the culture at large is going to give you external rewards for it. And the other thing is, even if they do give you external rewards for it, that’s not going to be worth how much work it is to do it well.”
Friday, June 24, 2022
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Shouldn’t comedy kick up at people in authority, and not down at those who have no power? “I think you’ve got to be very, very careful about saying what you’re allowed to make jokes about,” he says. “You’ve always got to kick up? Really? What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? They’re not all in houses of parliament or in monarchies. There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.”
Anyone who attended Catholic schools for as long as I did knows how to make jokes about the faith. And I can’t believe in a God who has no sense of humor.
“When I as an Indigenous Pacific Islander look at the mural, I am hurt and offended,” wrote Faauuga Moliga, vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education, in a text. “I am certain most people of color who have viewed the mural at Washington feel the same as me.”
Do you think Arnautoff maybe didn’t intend to flatter George Washington or the U.S., but was reminding us of an unpleasant truth that we ought to remain aware if?
“If you try a prayer to the Earth, a god, your ancestors, the Universe, love, and it doesn’t work, if your inner critic comes out or your trauma screams “wrong,” that’s okay. Step away for a few minutes. You’ll get there. Try easing into it slowly. A quick prayer that is literately just “thank you” when you get unexpected luck or a despairing “please help” when you’re feeling your absolute worst is enough. The intention is clear. The Divine is listening. You’ll grow slowly from there.”
A large majority of journalists say they come across misinformation at least sometimes when they are working on a story, and while most say they are confident in their ability to recognize it, about a quarter of reporting journalists (26%) say they have unknowingly reported on a story that was later found to contain false information.
How do they know it is misinformation, a designation that, as often as not has political connotation? There was plenty of misinformation printed about Covid-19. Early in 2020 you could find that the Wuhan laboratory did experiments on bats regarding coronaviruses. It wouldn’t lake to find that they raised their own bats and didn’t buy them at food markets. I have seen articles in the paper I used to work for where the line between reporting and opinion seemed blurred.
Reviewers are paired with books either because they know the subject, or they have an ax to grind. In the case of Shipton's On Jazz, I have both. I am a jazz musician, like my father and grandfather before me, and my brother beside me. As the black sheep of the family—they're all tenor saxophonists, while I play guitar—I have ground my ax into the ears of audiences from the Arctic Circle to the cellars of Paris and the dancehalls of San Francisco. So Alyn Shipton has my deepest sympathy—not the sympathy of pity, but the sympathy of fellow-feeling.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
That figures of authority are so often caught in lies has brought about an erosion of confidence in our institutions. I barely scraped a GCSE in Biology, but when esteemed scientific journals are publishing authors who maintain that “sex is a spectrum”, it gives the false impression that my understanding of the subject is superior to theirs. Experts appear to have forgotten that the legitimacy of their claims is grounded in evidence and research, not by waving around a doctoral certificate.
Both of these books chronicle the women’s overlapping friendships, the evolution of their thinking, and the significant contributions they made to philosophy—a field dominated by men even to this day. In the wake of World War II, which raised pressing questions about human nature, they pushed back against the dominant view among philosophers of the time that there are no objective moral truths and that values like good, bad, right and wrong are essentially subjective projections or “the upshot of one’s particular upbringing.”
You don’t even have to be that old to know how absurd it is to think that public criticism of the person who signs one’s paychecks could happen without consequences.
Starting today, and continuing for the next 17 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links.
Read on, pleas.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
One of the compensations of a less permissive society — or, at least, a society in which un-Christian behaviour is neither celebrated nor sanctified by politicians and the law — is that deliberate transgressions are far more shocking and, therefore, far more enjoyable. A successful wag needs to operate within a wider system of beliefs and expectations that he or she can pick at and degrade. It is amusing to ponder what Raven would make of Britain now.
Monday, June 20, 2022
In today’s world, the hatred directed towards high-profile victims-du-jour is such that inspires some poor schnook to load his (it’s almost always a “his”) garage with firearms and make an attack. Then we can say it wasn’t us, it wasn’t our hatred, it was a “lone wolf.” Last week there was an assassination attempt on a Chief Justice, the following day, a hostile mob gathered around the home of a second Supreme Court justice and threatened to target her children. Nothing “happened,” but the ritual had a chilling familiarity. How much of this public unleashing of hatred is an attempt to incite a “lone wolf” attack, as happened in the case of the miserable assassin wannabe, Nicholas Roske? Is there a unacknowledged hope that if we stoke an atmosphere of public hatred someone will eventually tip over the top and “do something”?
But slowly, so slowly, I began to learn things. Part of it came from my study of Medieval and Renaissance literature. Part came from my ending up as a professor at a Dominican-run college, so that I—whose boyhood church and school were named after him—was reading Thomas Aquinas for the first time. Part came from my having to teach Renaissance and Medieval art and architecture. A great part came from my dear wife, a Protestant, who knew the old hymns, so that I was singing, for the first time in my life—because she insists on going to Mass only where the music is real—such powerful songs as “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and “Thine Is the Glory.”
I have had a low opinion of the Novus Ordo since Pope Pill imposed it on us. I just don’t have any other church to go to. Woe is me. (These things really mean something to you if you’re 80 years old and are a person of faith.)
You may not like Catholic teaching, you may disagree with it, you may even despise it, but if you are logically consistent, you should be happy there is a Catholic Church willing to be, well, Catholic. If a bishop doesn’t have the integrity to profess his own faith, he isn’t worth the ring or episcopal hat he wears. Religious diversity and freedom are built on the right to reject as well as embrace certain religious truths. And shouldn’t schools that reject Catholic teaching not advertise that they teach the Catholic faith? Joining another denomination, or no denomination, or embracing secular humanism are all options—no need for false advertising.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
'As a public body we take cognisance of changes in society around how such questions may be asked without discrimination and have a duty to promote inclusiveness – therefore all donors are now asked the same questions.'
No, Professor. Your duty is to get blood to those who need it. Asking dumb-ass questions is going to prove counterproductive. Since Professor Turner is a biotechnologist, and not just a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, i presume he knows what a woman is. (I was surprised, when Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said she couldn’t say what a woman is because she’s not a biologist, that the follow-up question wasn’t “Are you a woman?”
Saturday, June 18, 2022
… the unlikely, unexpected nature of his verbal wizardry marks it all the more readily as genius. An essential criterion of genius, after all, is that we can’t explain its origin. It seems to come out of nowhere, perhaps even from some otherworldly source. The more limited and specific the type of genius, moreover, the more uncanny it seems. We take Einstein’s genius for granted and make his name synonymous with intellectual brilliance. Shakespeare looms, the unapproachable Bard, his genius self-evident as the sun. But that a conventionally educated popular writer should become a giant of English prose—that gives us pause. It disrupts our assumptions about achievement, and changes how we view the people around us.
The one organ indispensable to a social novelist — much more so than, for example, a brain — is the Cold Eye: the ability to see one's characters in all their folly and self-absorption, from a detached point of view — and yet with cynicism kept always at bay by some tenderness and a little envy. In that respect, at least, Sinclair Lewis was a great social novelist, which is of course a much higher thing than a mere satirist. The Cold Eye is everywhere in his books: he could not be sentimental if he wanted to — which, of course, he didn't.
Friday, June 17, 2022
Manga artists tend to draw women with tiny waists and larger breasts, or at the very least, they tend to draw women in ways that make them more sexually appealing than normal. Feminists in Japan are naturally angry about this, but interestingly, data shows that around 70 percent of manga artists are women according to the article. Moreover, the majority of these artists are in their 20s and 30s.
The author of the article just linked to gives as examples words like “awesome” and “incredible.” At one time, if an author used these terms to describe something, you could be confident that it was indeed highly unusual and impressive – a rare and extremely difficult achievement, a major catastrophe, or what have you. Now, of course, these terms have become utterly trivialized, applied to everything from some fast food someone enjoyed to a tweet one liked. At one time, calling something “awesome” or “incredible” conveyed significant information because these terms would be applied only to a small number of things or events. Today it conveys very little information because the words are applied so indiscriminately.
“Maggie has always respectfully shared her religious or political views, which every student is entitled to do under the First Amendment,” according to Walters. “It is a sad day for civil dialogue and freedom of speech when universities can issue gag orders like those issued against Maggie for nothing more than expressing her beliefs — beliefs held by millions of Americans.”
I hope she wins big time. (Her university might was to consult with Oberlin College.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
In The Minutes, Letts presents some big ideas about our country. Yet one wishes he had spent an hour or two in a library to learn something about his subject. Regrettably, he appears not to have bothered. This does not prevent him, however, from lecturing his audience in a tone that mixes hysterical shrieking with bombast and wholesale ignorance. To explain why this is, I must give away the play’s big surprise. I can’t really say that this is a spoiler, though, as that would suggest there was something that was being spoiled.
… What the “men don’t read novels” debate gets wrong about fiction. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The NSBA has seen its revenue from dues cut in half, and there are questions about its survival. Meanwhile, some other state school board organizations are looking at creating an alternative national school board organization