They Walk Like Men

One of the interesting things about the bonfire of vanities going on on the left side of the political spectrum in the US is watching what happens when people choose to live with no restraints but that which they want and can get.

It’s not a new story.  You could say it’s an extremely old one.

There has been a tendency, because we are, after all, a Judeo-Christian civilization, even when people don’t acknowledge that, to think of civilized people, of people who have a high material culture and civilization, as people who also have a high intellectual culture.  There is a tendency too, particularly when imagining other civilizations and fantasy worlds to port a lot of our ideals into it, ideals which, honestly, people on the left have long forgotten started out as religiously based.

It is easy to forget that values such as care for the poor and helpless, a sense of restraint in our social and sexual dealings, the idea that just because you’re rich and powerful or in a position of power over others, you shouldn’t use it as a lever to treat them as objects and basically as things, there to serve your will and wishes aren’t “natural”.

There are some excellent mysteries by Anna Apostulou which take place in ancient Macedonia, in the time of Alexander.  I’d read about the time but never seen it imagined in detail, as Apostulou did, but as far as I can tell, her research is impeccable, and the society she sketches is appalling.

It is a high civilization.  No, sure, they don’t have our mechanical stuff or anything like that, but it’s the kind of high civilization I imagine we humans have attained several times in the past and lost completely, some of which might be under water from the various floodings of the melting of the ice age.

When I say “high civilization” people see spaceships.  Um… no.  And no cars, no airplanes, no electricity.

But let’s adjust the viewer to what was considered civilized and sophisticated say in the early eighteenth century.

Macedonia was probably that sophisticated. To fair, material culture wise, other than the fact we had electricity, (though often only one lightbulb and only in public areas.  No, not us, but I knew people who used oil lamps in bedrooms.  I have a hazy memory of sitting and trimming oil lamps at grandma’s when I was really little, and honestly I have no clue if the electricity-in-every-room I remember was then in place, or if we just had to have oil lamps because the electrical supply was so unreliable.)  they probably lived at the level of the village, and in some places a little better.

And yet, it is not anything we can picture as “civilized.”  Not only is there no care in protecting the helpless, there is no attempt at self restraint, except in the name of an “honor” we wouldn’t recognize.  And since their idea of honor is closer to Arab than ours, there are atrocities committed in the name of that “honor.”

But — I did say they are very good mysteries, right — these people are still recognizably human, with all our impulses and wishes and wants.  It’s just that the idea you should restrain yourself, or, frankly, give a good goddamn about anything but perhaps honor and tribe doesn’t exist.  There is religion and gods, but they’re things to appease, not a dictate of good behavior.  Pious didn’t mean “good” or “moral” in our sense.

So, what is this all about?

Well, the code of self restraint and looking after people who need it, as well as of looking beyond family and tribe is not uniquely Jewish-Christian.  There were ancient philosophies and schools of thoughts in other religions that advocated both of these, though sometimes with kind of interesting twists.  (Often reading histories not of the west is a lot like how P.J. O’Rourke described the Philippines.  Everything is great and normal, until you wake up and find mommy eating live snakes in the kitchen at two am.)

In fact, I suspect you could write a history of human civilization/life that swung between the pendulums of “natural man” and “restrained man.”  (In which man means human.  It just doesn’t scan right, auditorily if I do that.)

But for almost two hundred years now, starting with the romantics and the myth of the noble savage, we’ve been swinging away from “restrained” (by morality or civics) man and towards “natural man.”

Only the natural man isn’t.  Not any more than the restrained man.  And not at this level of civilization.  I suppose there is a “natural man” who sleeps in trees, wears no clothes, eats whatever he can catch raw.  He’s not a noble savage, but the amount of damage he can do to himself or others is limited, because he can’t really spread his ideas, since he can’t talk.

The “Natural man” these people aspire to is “unrestrained man” with all the wealth and power of civilization at their command.

This is what’s in the head of western elites at this point.  Their very expensive education has destroyed all the historical, moral, civic structures of their ancestors in favor of “just doing what comes naturally.”

I’ll note the right side of the spectrum behaves better, but who knows if it’s natural or simply because they can’t say boo without the press jumping on them.  OTOH the fact they identify as right, despite all the material disadvantages of doing that must mean they believe in SOMETHING enough not to just switch it to left and reap those advantages.

However the left, because they are in perfect accordance with the press and other supposed guardians of moral/public behavior, get a free pass even on the most atrocious transgressions.

My guess?  What we’re seeing in corruption, betrayal, aiding and abetting enemies (giving uranium to Russia, whatever the hell is going on with Muslim Brotherhood ties, etc.) and just sexual insanity and extortion, is the tip of the iceberg.

The natural man, unrestrained and with no fear of discovery because no one would expose him/her, since they’re the “good people” can get amazingly complex and bizarrely perverse.

I’m almost afraid of what we find next.



254 thoughts on “They Walk Like Men

  1. There has been a tendency,… to think of civilized people … as people who also have a high intellectual culture.

    It takes a highly developed culture to be truly decadent.

    There remains a distinction between wisdom and sophistry that is denied by sophists.

  2. I knew people who used oil lamps in bedrooms.

    There are many reasons t prefer an oil lamp to an electric one, especially if you’ve been long accustomed to oil and the quality of light its burning offers.

    I remember ab anthropology teacher mentioning the effort to convert people in India to cooking with gas rather than dried dung and the people’s objection that the gas caused the food to “taste funny.”

    I recall reading about the White House having air conditioning installed in the Truman Administration but rarely used because Truman detested the smell (and considering he had grown up in a Missouri farmhouse, the heat and humidity of DC probably reminded him of his childhood.)

    Just because something seems like an improvement to the person selling it does not require buyers agree.

    1. Grrrrr… an anthropology, an, an, an, dammit!

      Flippin’ mistyped anthropology and missed the identical fingering error in the article.

    2. Heh.

      I am told (by someone who grew up doing one or the other) that cooking over wood gives food a different taste than cooking with gas than cooking on a heating element.

      And isn’t that the entire point of smoking your meats with different woods?

      I hesitate to inquire exactly what taste dung would impart to the food. “Grassy”, I hope.

      1. I’d go with pungent.

        2/10 Would not recommend.
        It works (although smoulder fits better than burns), and it’s generally better than eating food raw, but it’s definitely an aquired taste. (Although it will make Folgers taste much more like Starbucks. Read into that way you will.)
        Personally, I was very happy to buy a backpacking stove that ran on Coleman fuel and never look back.

      2. When I was young, if we were cooking outdoors (camping, picnics, etc.) we used a wood fire. When my (ex) husband introduced me to briquettes, I didn’t like the flavor they gave to food cooked over them (and still don’t). The fuel you use does definitely affect the flavor of the food cooked over it.

    3. Have not cooked over dung, but I can tell you that sometimes propane does impart an odd chemical smell to what is cooked in too-close contact (such as panless cooking).

      1. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how something is supposed to taste, you want it to taste the way you expect it to taste. If you grew up with your momma or granma cooking lentils in ghee over dried cow pies, anything else is going to taste weird. It might taste better, but you won’t think so because you’re expecting it to taste the way momma cooked it.

        So you go to a restaurant and tell your Spouse, oh wow — they’ve got lentils in ghee! My momma used to fix that for me! You’ve got to try it, it’s delicious!

        Then the waiter brings it to the table and you take that first bite and your tongue is going, “What the hell’s this? It’s got no effing flavor! How the heck do they mess up a simple dish like lentils in ghee?”

        And your spouse tastes it and there’s nothing there, and it makes no sense that you were raving about how good lentils and ghee is, and makes that polite little noise spouses do when they think you’re crazy and don’t want to be the one to point it out.

        Of course the waiter shows up about then, with the polite question about “everything is all right?” and you tell him “No, the lentils and ghee are terrible.” The waiter, of course, assures you that the chef follows a very old family recipe, about which you express doubt because no family would eat this tasteless mockery of lentils and ghee twice, much less for generations. And you send it back.

        Now the chef is coming out, upset about your insult t his family, and you demand to know what the hell kind of family is his that thinks this tasteless slop is lentils and ghee, and he ought be ashamed to inflict it on paying customers, and in fact you are not paying for that!

        Which is how I ended up spending a night in jail, no bullshit.

      1. Agreed. I prefer wood stoves for this reason, and oil lamps give off a yellower, softer light that doesn’t bug my eyes like screens do. Oddly enough, the kindle screen (not the color one) doesn’t bother me, or my father.

          1. I put my kindle off the blue-shade setting for evening reading (and use the blue-shade setting when I need greater contrast, such as if I’m reading in the car while waiting for my mother at a Dr. appt. or some such). The yellower light, from whatever source, is supposed to help people get a better night’s sleep.

        1. My bedside ‘reading lamp’ uses a bulb that is LED but looks kinda old fashioned (the quasi-filament design) and while for general work I like 4000 K light, this is one place that 2300 K (I think..) is better. It’s very flame-like in color quality – but nicely steady.

      2. We’ve used oil lamps quite at bit, sometimes as our only source of artificial light, and while they are definitely better than stumbling around in the dark, and are better than candles (slightly brighter light and they don’t blow out as easily), if you try to use lamp light to do a lot of reading or hand-work of any kind, you may find you end up with headaches. I think the headache issue is because the flame flickers. They provide adequate light for finding your way around rooms, and for eating a meal, but not for any kind of close work.

  3. Lee Harris’s extended essay _Civilization and its Enemies_ argues that instead of Athens getting the credit for Western Civ, we should be nodding to Sparta. Because they were apparently the first in the West to get gangs of young males to shift from tribe-gang to team, willing to endure discipline and to be obedient to older and wiser men (and women) for a greater purpose. From that you can build a civilization far more easily than on gangs or herds of loose young males.

    The idea that it is a good thing for everyone to restrain their hungers (for power, for sexual satisfaction, for food, for other people’s stuff) is seriously Odd when you look at the broad sweep of history and humans. Why not take that girl, if you are strong and don’t need her family’s political or military support? Why be nice to the poor? If the gods were not punishing them, they wouldn’t be poor. There is a great – and grim – Teaching Company series about the Other People of antiquity – the old, the poor, women, slaves, the outsiders, the deformed. You really do not want to go back in time and be one of those people.

        1. Close enough for them to farm us for parts. Of course, they’ve proven a great appetite for such farming, even of humans not yet born.

          1. Hrm. The pot-stirring that’s been going on over the last twenty years concerns me, in that it seems driven to divide more than anything else. A few on the extremes are already at that point, where those who aren’t “with” them aren’t fully human. Take a look at how well-attended the protests are. Tiny, aren’t they? Considering the vast pool of humanity around them, they really aren’t much.

            I still believe that the majority in the country are not strongly left. Or right. The majority is for a kind of status quo- things not getting much worse, hope for things getting better. This combined with the blatant awfulness of the shrill candidate got us Trump. Enough of them paid attention. Folks don’t like being talked down to, and insulted.

            That constant, low level campaign to erode trust has reaped dividends in things like the statue toppling, the creation LGWTFBBQ, the -isms being hurled at all and sundry. There are many, many people who will watch GoT, but not CNN. They likely have a slight left bias due to entertainment, but it’s not important enough for them to bother with. Most haven’t even voted in years, if ever- perhaps saving this past presidential election, for a few.

            It’s on both sides. When we speak of Them, we know who They are (no, not the giant ants- at least I hope not). The talking heads do it all the time. And yes, there *are* partisans who really do think the Other Side is truly deplorable, and better off controlled, in jail, or dead. There is very little sense of Us, in the larger, American sense.

            We all remember what is was like, just after that early blue September morning. There used to be times like that, happier times, in microcosm, in earlier years that I can recall. Nobody talked politics during the football games in the 90s- if they did, in my recollection, they were told to stuff it. Even during Slick Willy’s term, with all the worrisome things national security-wise, and so on.

            Christmas parades were generally an Us thing. Disasters, tragedies, mostly the same. When Katrina became the albatross to hang on Bush’s neck was one of the early points where I recall things becoming more political in daily life. Not that things weren’t before- I’m not making this clear, but I suppose there was something sacred, still yet. Something sacredly American. Something I guess I didn’t recognize at the time.

            The language these days about “toxic whiteness” and “the patriarchy” and the whole “Nazi” horse squeeze serves that larger push for division, no question. I don’t think many folks on *either* side realize what’s driving it, not when their own side does it.

            I certainly don’t see much of it on the right, but I’m increasingly disenthused with the whole “R” brand, their utter fecklessness, and deceit. Some cat-herding and “squirrel!” moments I expected. Not heels-dug-in, won’t-take-my-medicine childishness from those we now call the Establishment. Perhaps that’s another divide.

            *shakes head* I don’t really have an answer, nothing more than the same shoulder to the wheel, be decent to each other song I’ve been singing for years now. It’s hard to see the “Us” in violent thugs (protesters) and those mired deep in a decades old Soviet mind control program. Yet I want them to have the same rights I want, the ones the Founders put in the Constitution for us.

            Every man free to seek his own paradise on this earth, beholden only to the contracts he freely makes and the laws he assents to by living here. A little less boot on all our necks. A little- okay, okay, a heaping lot- more freedom with the responsibility that makes it right and just. If they feel socialism is best for them, I’d love for them to be able to try it out- so long as no one *else* has to join against their will. The more free we are, the better.

            1. I suppose there was something sacred, still yet.

              In Mayor Daley’s Chicago or Mayor Rizzo’s Philadelphia those neighborhoods which precinct tallies showed had not sufficiently “turned out to vote” for Da Mayor were known to receive minimal services. Trash uncollected, potholes unpaved, that sort of thing. Perhaps police patrols were less frequent and less polite, but they still patrolled.

              At the state level it was slightly better even if when my family first moved to North Carolina circa 1970 the advice was that, if you wanted your vote to count, the place to cast it was in the Democrat primary.

              But at the national level there was less such partisanship. The interstate highway system didn’t skip some states, the military didn’t protect just the :friendly” states and the Post Office gave everybody the same lousy service.

              The animus has filtered up, now. This correlates with the rise of Talk Radio and Cable News and the demise of two-newspaper towns, but I think the first two of those was a response to the trend more than a cause and the latter an inevitable market concentration as people read papers less and less and find the papers they read to be less annd less readable. As I often say about my local fishwrap: “too much paper, too little news.” And such news as appears is too predictably tilted.

              1. “The interstate highway system didn’t skip some states,”

                Oh, it did, and I can personally testify to that. It wasn’t as common at the Federal level, but it was there.

            2. I used to hold the idea that there is a tendency to dehumanize your enemy. But has the unspoken assumption that humans do not attack those they see as human, and that makes for an awkward fit with some instances in history. I’m starting to think that yes, we all see them as human, but that it doesn’t matter. Judeo-Christian belief is that man is created in G_d’s image, and therefore to destroy man is not to be taken lightly. Yes, I know there are other religions that essentially hold “do no harm to others,” but I don’t know of one that influenced Western thought to the same degree as Christianity.

              I think that what we take as dehumanizing the enemy in the West is more justifying actions against humans because of this seed of the idea of respecting G_d’s image that’s in our culture. That riot in Alexandria when Christians discovered those jars of infant remains at a pagan temple shows a striking difference in attitude toward humans.

              1. Kind of depends on what is meant by “human,” doesn’t it? Our very language assumes that if we see someone as a person, then we’ll recognize their moral worth.

              2. I’ve said for years that, among the major religions, Protestant Christianity seems to produce the most pleasant societies.

                I’m speaking as an agnostic, mind.

                Catholic societies seem to treat too many people as peasants. Even today, far too many Churcmen talk blithely about the “simple fathful” … and then wonder why their parishoners don’t listen to them. The late Father Andrew Greeley wrote about this often.

                Buddhism souds wonderful, on the surface, but Buddhist societies treat people like shit.

                The Jews seem to be doing ok in Israel, assuming their neighbors don’t kill them, but there hasn’t been a long running Jewish society to judge for a while.

                Atheistical societies run to mass murder as a tool of statecraft. I suppose a,good one may emerge, but after the record of the 20th Century, Atheism has used up any benefit of the doubt it might ever have been entitled to.

                And don’t get me f*cking started on Hinduism and the caste system.

                Protestants founded the first anti-slavery movements that weren’t basically slave revolts. They lead the way on a lot of issues that the Atheistical Left has since claimed.

                1. Eh, Protestantism has produced some of the world’s most rigorous theocracies. The thing is that “Protestant” is not a description of anything that can produce a society. The reason it keeps schisming over history is that it has no way to settle disputes.

                  1. That’s a rather silly statement.

                    First, the doctrine of solar scriptura is very good at settling most disputes.
                    Sure, we can argue over which bit has precedence in a given scenario or which translation provides a truer insight, but we’re all singing from the same hymnal, and the discussion is good in its own right.

                    Second, Jesus provided us with an acid test in the Gospel of Matthew.
                    By their fruits, shall you know them.

                    Many churches do fall off the straight and narrow way, simply because it’s hard to stay on.
                    But that tendency is nowise limited to Protestants. I’ve heard Roman Catholic priests proclaim heresy from the pulpit, and the current pope is not someone who commands my respect as a theologian (to say the least).

                    1. First, the doctrine of solar scriptura is very good at settling most disputes.


                      The Protestant division is notorious for schisming and schisming and schisming over disputes. This is the opposite of settling them.

                      I’ve heard Roman Catholic priests proclaim heresy from the pulpit, and the current pope is not someone who commands my respect as a theologian (to say the least).

                      Wheat and tares. The thing the Catholic Church has is a way to prevent such private interpretations from being the teaching.

                    1. It is extremely hard for me to accept the idea of Massachusetts Bay colony being a “theocracy” when the government answered to the voters of the colony.

                      While only members of that church could vote, we are talking about a situation where (at best guess) 80% of the members of the colony were members of that church.

                      From all indications, the Massachusetts Bay colony had a higher percentage of eligible voters in its population than did England have at that time.

                      Sorry, but by the definition of theocracy in the majority of dictionaries, Massachusetts Bay colony was not a theocracy.

                      IE Rule by the Clergy.

                    2. It was a theocracy based on two points: one, the laws were based on the beliefs of a particular religious sect regardless of reality, and two, if you believed differently you ended up in prison, exiled, or dead, because there was no allowance for that. Very similar to Islam in that respect.

                    3. First and foremost, I do not accept your definition of Theocracy.

                      Second, I see little problem (in general) with laws being based on a specific branch of a religion if the vast majority of the people living there hold that belief. I may not want to live there but that doesn’t necessarily make it “evil”.

                      Third, the Puritans went to an area that no other Europeans lived to create their ideal of a Better Society.

                      Fourth, their general position was “if you don’t like it, move elsewhere”. In one specific case, a woman was executed after being exiled at least twice but kept coming back. IE She could be considered a fanatic who wanted to “cause problems” for the majority of people living in that colony.

                      Fifth, there is a lot of nonsense about the Puritans and while I won’t wanted to live among them, there was plenty of good points about them ignored by moderns.

                    4. Heck, same in Tudor England. And that first regime sent the same proportion of its population to execution as Stalin of his.
                      Let’s agree on something: The sin of the Catholic church that required reformation was making itself a secular government and the recognizer of secular governments, with all the corruption and insanity that comes with it.
                      And protestantism didn’t take long to follow the same path (it was the only model they had) down allying itself with the state and being corrupted by it.
                      Men are broken creatures. It’s possible we won’t ever understand religion as He intended. I’m just hoping I see clearer on the other side.

                    5. Quibble to failing to change what was the norm as quickly as it maybe could have– and total agreement.

                      That taint, philosophically speaking, falls in line with the old view of powers type gods– they’re more powerful than you, they HAVE power, and you try to manipulate that– vs there only being one God, who gives you orders, and IS power because He describes what reality is.

                      I don’t really have a good enough grasp on what I’m glancing at to describe it very well… hopefully that’s enough for folks to figure it out and say it better than I can. 😦

                      It’s like the difference between magic and prayer…..

                    6. Scotland and Switzerland *theocracies*?!?
                      I really don’t think your definition of that word comports with the standard definition of that word.
                      (Perhaps if you restricted “Switzerland” to Geneva, you might have a point – for a short period of time.)

                      I will leave this discussion here, though, as it has delved into a lot of mud-flinging over religion, and it can’t be straightened out without some LONG discussions.

                    7. It was a theocracy. The reason they managed 80% was by not admitting, or driving out, the rest. Any Quaker caught proselytizing in the colony was to be hauled out of the colony town by town — and get flogged in each town. Later they were to be executed.

                      Not to mention shorter lived but more ghastly ones, like a city where a preacher managed to reign and impose his interpretations such as forcible polygamy — with execution of women who objected.

                    8. Mary, the Puritans founded it and there were no other Europeans living there when they founded it.

                      So of course, the Puritans would be in the vast majority.

                      As for their treatment of “religious intruders”, they were no worse than the Catholic nations of Europe of that time and perhaps a little better.

                      They preferred to exile “religious dissidents” not kill them like the Catholic nations would have.

                      As for “taking over a city”, there was at least one Italian city state that was “taken over” by a Catholic Monk.

                      But in any case, I absolutely hate the misuse of the term Theocracy.

                      It means Rule By Clergy and IMO anybody who uses the term differently “Just Wants To Start A Fight”.

                      Your precious Catholic Church isn’t perfect so get off your Moral High Horse.

                      You want a fight? I really doubt that Sarah (our Host) wants a theological fight in her place.

    1. 1. I took the ‘blah blah, all cultures’ I was young enough to grow up around and the knowledge I was able to figure out about, among other things, universal human rights not being universal, and was able to free myself from fetters. The ones I wear, I wear because I have chosen them.
      2. I’ve chosen Christianity as a fetter, however bad I may be as a Christian. I’ve made other commitments. Trying to appeal to my obligations to other humans outside of those commitments irritates me. Trying to convince me of something by cherrypicking among my commitments, trying to set one against the other, irritates me greatly. I no more believe in women’s rights as a thing in of itself, independent of human rights such as those of an infant, than I believe in white’s rights.
      3. I’m not familiar with Moldbug, but I don’t need to be to show that leftism is an artifact of Christianity. The roots of the left can be traced, and while other societies have developed some of the same ideas, proximity pretty much dictates that the left got them by being an heresy of Christianity.

        1. Yes. Satanism could also be considered an heresy of Christianity. But as an heresy of Christianity, socialism assumes certain things as universal. Then tries to use them, outside of the context of Christianity, to attack Christianity. Beyond Christianity, what reason have I to adhere to those things? Socialism tries to pretend that it has existence independent of Christianity’s context when it launches some of its anti-Christian attacks.

  4. This is what’s in the head of western elites at this point.

    The cargo cultists of our “elites” tend to assume many of the qualities which are a consequence of long civilizational effort. Deferred gratification, self-restraint, “fair” treatment (as opposed to screw the other guy as much as you can) and other artifacts of several generations of moderating traditiioins, such as the Boy Scouts, routine church attendance (not the same as worship, but outwardly similar) and a general sense of what is required to be a “good” citizen, a “square” guy, an honorable person, a good sport.

    Short term gains can (and long have) been obtained by violating such norms, but those who do that are termites in society’s foundation and when unrestrained undermine that which they foolishly fail to appreciate as the achievement it is. They took for granted what others had built, and failed to do the necessary maintenance.

    1. A leftist once cheerily spoke online about certain changes as further experiments. I pointed out that it was a crime against humanity, according to Nuremberg.

    2. Termites? Hmmmm…. More like a giant game of Jenga, to me – while they stand upon the uppermost tier, shoddily laid, and pull pieces from the solid beginnings to pile up one layer higher……..

  5. *warped smile* I’m about to start teaching the Enlightenment: French vs. English/Scottish. Rousseau was a [censored] [censored]. Noble savage and happy primitives my [rude words in several languages].

    1. There’s a good case to be made that Rousseau was the Author of All Our Miseries…because the whole Noble Savage idea lies at the root of Communism…which is in turn the root of all the problems since. (I’m getting ready to write an essay on that subject)

    2. Do they let you use [censored] and [rude words in several languages] in your lectures? Because that’s the kind of school I want to attend (assuming those bits are used to attack idiotic ideas like communism).

  6. The leftist reaction to Mike Pence’s statement that he never went to dinner alone with a woman was, IMO, extremely telling in this regard. Instead of regarding it as a sensible precaution against false accusations or even taking the first step towards an extramarital affair, the left, particularly media and entertainment (but I repeat myself) figures, immediately leapt to “he’s saying that he can’t control himself around women!”
    Frankly, that reaction says far more about the behavior of people in those industries than it does about Mike Pence’s self-control.

    1. Telling, indeed.
      I think that the lefty media were especially po’ed about this because it meant that there would NEVER be a credible accusation of sexual harassment perpetuated by Pence against a female employee or volunteer.

    2. And as we’ve seen with the Weinstein thing, “can’t control himself around women” is just another demonstration of leftist projection, with almost every new day resulting in a new accusation of H-wood men in positions of power apparently incapable of controlling themselves around women (and boys, at that).

      1. It’s not a matter of “can’t control” themselves. If it were purely mental illness that caused them to be unsafe around other people, they would not be anywhere near effective in concealing it. The behavior almost certainly has some element of calculation based on who is around. Else Breen would have outed himself to a fan or author who then would have capped the bastard.

        1. A dismaying number of people claimed – long after the fact – that they knew what Breen was up to. Apparently they couldn’t be bothered to make a phone call or send an anonymous letter to the relevant authorities.

          Which makes them equally guilty, the way I view things.

          1. They arranged layers of falsehood, and the people allowed closer were picked for their willingness to buy the excuse. Someone pushed back on a not technically illegal shit test, don’t expose them to the more illegally tinged next layer of falsehood about what was going on.

            After examining Hollywood more closely, the ‘sexual revolution’ seems to be this on a massive scale, and the current othering of ‘homophobes’ an attempt in solidify the mainstreaming of the outer layers of the onion.

    3. Even if Pence were too weak to resist ‘taking advantage’ of a woman; the fact that he recognizes his weakness and takes steps to prevent it speak volumes about his real self knowledge and character. Diogenes just might have stopped searching if he ran into VP Mike Pence.

      1. This is also true, and it also gets into one of the very interesting questions about character: Who is the better man? The one who is nauseated by the very idea of cheating on his wife? Or the one who, while not nauseated by the idea, will not do it because it would be wrong?
        A case could be made for either, but people refusing to acknowledge that the latter case is even possible is extremely annoying.

        1. One of the great philosophical debates of the Western world: is it more virtuous to do the right thing with or against your inclination?

          1. To the best of my knowledge, regular animals do not restraint themselves when they are inclined to do anything. At most, a pack predator will hide in ambush while the rest drive their prey toward them. Mating restrain? Restraint from killing the young of the previous male? Nope. While some animals may bring food to an injured companion, I don’t recall any instances of those animals depriving themselves in order to bring that food. That’s the difference between simple reciprocal altruism among animals, and virtue in humans. We do restrain ourselves against our inclinations, for what we perceive to be a greater good.

            1. Which does a lovely job of illustrating a uniquely human thing– a desire for the good of the other over yourself.

              People can, and will, go hungry for total strangers– both because they don’t want to be well fed when another is hungry, and because while they want to be well-fed, they want to do the right thing more.

              Heck, there’s a major yearly fundraiser built around it– Operation Rice Bowl. (I have…questions…about CRS, but they’re not relevant to that point. Only mentioned to keep anyone from dragging it off this rather interesting topic. 😀 )
              The idea is that you take the money you would have spent on food, and give it to a food-program for some of those horrifically starving places.

              From memory, the private groups are much less likely to hand the local gang-lord the food to “distribute,” too.

          2. There is actually a lot of really good meat in there, especially when the lack of interest is abnormal to the individual– ie, grace. Which would mean the Holy Spirit is blessing you with that, which would mean you’ve got God directly touching you, which is pretty dang virtuous– which goes so far to explain the repeating about how God strengthens us when we push for the good…..

          3. Jesus didn’t say. He just closed the loophole.

            Eyes. Hands. Hellfire.

            (Which is not listed in my autocomplete *or* my spellchecker.)

            1. Well, it’s kinda moot as a practical point. You don’t get to choose whether you find donating to charity, telling the truth, or restraining yourself from getting drunk easy or hard.

              1. But the atheist philosophers want to make a huge deal of it. “Doesn’t matter if you don’t lie because you respect God, think Truth is a basic part of reality, fear getting caught, or are just too stupid to lie. The results are the same. The act of telling the ‘truth’ is the only thing that matters. Therefore Truth is just a word that describes a result.”

                And then they go on from there. Somewhere…

        2. I don’t think “better man” is really the issue. A lack of fidelity on Mr. Pence’s part would damage his career, his party, and the office he holds.

          Mrs. Pence may have absolute confidence in his fidelity and no cause to doubt him… but we now know if there’s no innocent behavior to be misconstrued, the media is happy to just lie about it.

          As to whether his caution is justified… I’ve noted the same reporters who were ridiculing him for his policy when he announced it a few months ago are now squeeing with delight over each day’s sex abuse reports from Hollywood and New York.

          “I make my living off the evening news
          Just give me something-something I can use
          People love it when you lose,
          They love dirty laundry”

    1. a) I don’t think so. I just think I was going in a direction you didn’t expect. OTOH it’s possible. I was interrupted several times. b) who is paying me for these posts that I’d spend time on a rewrite?
      (I make about 2k — a year — from “tips” for this blog. It’s not bad, but not enough to have rewrites, when I have paying work waiting.)

      1. I found no difficulty following your thread; perhaps it is Eric whose comprehension lacked?

        I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.
        — Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”

    2. Dude, that’s not the right format for critique! It’s a blog – you get to rewrite it by writing your own thoughts on the subject on your own blog post, or debating the points where you lost the thread in comments!

      1. Or chasing a tangent until it gets lost in a singularity, spinning off an idea the OP inspired, or making carp-able puns. Asking questions where you are lost and confused is acceptable, too. Drive-by criticism shows a lamentable lack of effort.

          1. “Wheel in a wheel in a wheel in a wheel.” [lyrics of section of bass part in Moses Hogan’s setting of “Ezekiel Saw ‘da Wheel.”.]

    3. I just spent the last 10 hours chasing small children around a ren fair, on six hours of sleep, and I managed to follow it just fine.

      1. LOL. That sort of activity might make it easier to follow a wandering topic. 🙂
        (And I’m not saying I agree with the commenter.)

    4. No, Mrs. Hoyt didn’t lose the thread. Take each ‘graph and distill it into its main point – it all follows. What you’re may’ve perceived is a couple of weak transitions.

      But keep in mind these essays are a gift. When (I hope, someday) they end up in a collection of Greatest Hits, I expect we’ll get a tightly edited version. Until then, Mrs. Hoyt, being up to her eyeballs in writing stories which are hotly and impatiently awaited by her fans, really has no business* fine-tuning essays.

      * From the fans point of view, obviously. We don’t actually have any right to tell her what she can and cannot do with her writing time.

    5. Just perhaps your inability to follow the thread tells more of your lack of comprehension that it does the writer’s abilities.
      And it’s a free blog, intentionally rather stream of consciousness, so do feel free to offer your critiques in a more welcoming, say juvenile, venue. In case I am not making myself clear, bugger off and pester someone in the kiddie section of the internet.

  7. I’m remembering when I dug up Macaulay’s Laws of Ancient Rome and read, in the preface, “To portray a Roman of the age of Camillus or Curius as superior to national antipathies, as mourning over the devastation and slaughter by which empire and triumphs were to be won, as looking on human suffering with the sympathy of Howard, or as treating conquered enemies with the delicacy of the Black Prince, would be to violate all dramatic propriety. The old Romans had some great virtues, fortitude, temperance, veracity, spirit to resist oppression, respect for legitimate authority, fidelity in the observing of contracts, disinterestedness, ardent patriotism; but Christian charity and chivalrous generosity were alike unknown to them.”

    On the other hand, one should not attribute to the early Christians the outlook and attitudes that people often describe as “Christian” now. They had no hint of the idea that religious toleration was a desirable policy, let alone a virtue (that seems to have emerged from the horrific religious wars of the 1600s); they were as ready to make religious observance compulsory as Muslims, and without even the Muslim idea of “People of the Book”; they didn’t hesitate at judicial torture. The Christianity we have now has been subjected to the taming influence of the Enlightenment for a quarter millennium—and that “influence” was largely a matter of superior force.

    1. Waggles hand. The difference between Christianity now and pre 1600s isn’t as great as you make out if you read original sources. It’s more like there was two strands, and one of them went all militant after the Muslim invasion, which hardened Christianity into a “fighting faith” which it REALLY wasn’t before. Though even then there were “strands” because in being adopted by the Germanic tribes and the Romans it partook some of their culture. So, when, where, and show your work, if you know what I mean.

    2. They had no hint of the idea that religious toleration was a desirable policy,


      Part of the problem with the current education system in the US is that the history that we get essentially ignores the Byzantine Empire except when it absolutely positively *must* make some reference to it. As a result, we miss out on the interplay between it and the Sassanid Persian Dynasty (which might as well not exist). If you look at that part of the world during that point in time, then you actually get quite a lot of religious tolerance. There are periods when the Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians all get along in both empires. And then there are periods of time when one empire (and usually the other one shortly afterwards) starts to persecute individuals who aren’t of the state religion, usually as a result of rising tensions between the two empires. Then things calm down again, the two empires enjoy a period of peace, and everyone starts to tolerate the other religions again.

      1. Funny how little History actually gets taught, and how much of what does get taught is taught wrongly.

        For example, while Queen Isabella of Spain did pawn her jewels to finance Columbo’s voyage, she quickly declared pawnbrokerage anathema and confiscated all accessible worldly goods of practitioners of that faith which was engaged in the business.

        1. I can’t copy and paste from the book – although it is on Amazon and has the look-inside feature, but an interesting what if-time travel book called “Custer at the Alamo” by Gregory Urbach, who related in the prologue, an account of listening to a lecture by a (supposed) history professor, broadcast on a cable access channel on a lecture about the cultural clash in the American Southwest – about four provable untruths about Davy Crockett. “Can we blame kids for being so ignorant when college professors show such contempt for basic historical facts?”
          Indeed. Yes, this, exactly. This is why I write HF, and doubtless why Mr. Urbach also writes alternate history. His book is a Createspace-published thing, and has an awesome number of reviews, preponderantly favorable.

      2. > essentially ignores the Byzantine Empire

        …which made a *lot* of European history a matter of head-scratching puzzlement for me, particularly since so many historians also used “the Church” to refer to both Byzantium and wherever the other one was that century.

        I picked up a capsule history of Byzantium more or less on a whim, and it wound up unravelling many of the WTFs of the other histories.

        It’d be like reading a bunch of histories of WWII that avoided mentioning the USA. “Only a negligible amount of fighting happened on US soil, therefore America’s involvement in the war was not important to greater conflict…”

      3. Side note, ignoring the Byzantine Empire isn’t completely ludicrous–focusing on those areas that directly affected the formation of the United States just plain makes sense, given the limited amount of time available to teach students.

      4. You know, I was responding to a comment where SH painted the past with quite a broad brush. She commented that by and large, past societies did not have a sense of protection of the rights of the poor, weak, or helpless, or of the desirability of self restraint; she remarked that there were past societies that had something like these ideas, but that they often had weird twists by our standards. Those are big generalizations! So I thought it à propos to respond at a comparable level of generalization. And now I find myself being asked for scholarly details, and attention to specific partial exceptions. That has a suggestion of double standard.

        Yes, there are things to admire about (some forms of) Christianity; for a near example, the Society of Friends deserve tremendous credit for speaking out against slavery a time when it was generally accepted as an institution. But even when past Christian epochs attained some measure of decency, they weren’t necessarily the “toleration” we have at least a fingernail grip on now. Christians, Muslims, and Zoroastrians all could be fitted under the “monotheist” umbrella, at least; in those same eras, how were people treated who believed in twenty gods, or none?

        When I look at the Christian past, it gives me an impression very much like the phrase SH quotes about eating live snakes. Sure, it’s not all the time; not every Christian is Savonarola, or Torquemada. But, for example, there was a long, long time when homosexual acts, or nonprocreative heterosexual acts, were dealt with by criminal penalties, and indeed at times by the death penalty. And that just seems crazy to me. So do various other things, though I won’t provide a lost list of examples. My real point is that I’m a nearly lifelong atheist, looking at Christianity from outside, and a of lot it looks weird to me and all too often horrific, no less than, say, Qinshihuangdi or Ashurbanipal.

        1. And that just seems crazy to me.
          And really only in modern times, with post-modern sensibilities, is our current state considered “tolerant”.

          The primary problem with Christianity and its “intolerance” has been when it becomes a tool of the state. This is not a problem inherent to Christianity, but a problem common to man. Augustine wrote about it all the way back in the early centuries (City Of God). One of the linchpins of the Reformation was that the Roman church was run as a state-like power, instead of a purely ecclesiastical institution. (The Reformation began ‘succeeding’ in the 16th century, where it failed previously, because the worldly princes were sick of Rome and her overbearing secular power.)

          The problem is that you’re seeing people/states who declare themselves Christian, and then behave in very un-Christian ways.

    3. That entire last paragraph is extremely debatable–for one thing, Christianity was not “in power” for centuries before Constantine, and it was 60-odd years between him and Theodosius. Attributing Augustine’s “go and compel them to go in” re: the Donatists to Paul, for example, ignores the fact that the two men were separated by more than three centuries.

    4. I think you give too much credit to the enlightenment, too little to the Reformation (and on the 500th Anniversary – sorta – of Luther’s Theses!)

      As to judicial torture, that may owe less to the Faith than to the secular authorities, but let’s not open that can of Wyrms.

    5. I’d put more weight on when Christianity and government were decoupled and Christianity had to compete, you got more toleration. OR when Christianity was so secure that it could tolerate a little internal variation and condescension toward a few, carefully fenced, Others. If Christianity is fighting for its life against something (like the Ottomans in Eastern Europe, or Islam and Judaism in Moorish Spain) then the claws seriously came out.

      Sarah’s point about the Germanic influence is also valid for those places where it reached. There are some fascinating translations of the Heliand, the Saxon paraphrase of the Gospels and a little of other parts of the Bible. Jesus leads a war-band. Yeaaaaahhhhh.

      1. Reminds me of the picture I saw on Imgur (the time sink) over which was written: When asking what would Jesus do, turning over tables and chasing people with a whip is not out of the question. As for leading war bands, well there is Revelation 19:13-15
        “13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God.
        14 And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
        15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”

        but from the context I get the feeling someone may have jumped the gun a little (unless you go back to Joshua 5:14–15, but the individual whom Joshua confronts and worships is unidentified).

    6. *looks over at Islam*
      How is this religious tolerance thing supposed to work with people who do not consider you a person, or even an animal that should not be tortured for fun?

      And judicial torture was the norm–the move away from it was basically a major advancement, like the idea of evidence and due process to protect the rights that Christianity says we have….and more resources available…. Similar to how it’d be crazy in modern times to execute someone for stealing food, but did when that theft meant the person stole from starved, and there was no way to support any kind of a prison system. Know who pioneered that due process thing? The Inquisition.

      There’s also the issue that a lot of what we “know” has turned out to be sensationalistic, at best– lots of self-serving tainted telephone games.

      1. And here we get into the difference between tolerance and acceptance. The West could, if its leaders had the will, say to Islam “We will allow you to worship as you will, but we have laws and customs that we deem necessary to polite society. Break them and we will no longer be polite.”

        And let the uncouth soldiers take the young men of Islam quietly aside and say “Look, I don’t give a f*ck what your Imam says about girls in mimiskirts. Try that again and I’ll jack you up. And never mind the Intellectual twits who might screech. My Sgt. will pat my head.”

        1. We will not tolerate them behaving according to their religion– a religion that by historical measures is not all that bad.
          We violate it by saying that they do all have equal legal standing, and forbidding them from protecting their family’s souls when the measures would step on those rights.

          Now look at the various groups that have religious requirements for human sacrifice.

          Heck, look at the Jews in ancient Rome– they simply would not offer sacrifice to the public gods.
          Some groups did– after all, that was what was required by the laws and customs. Those that would not… well….

          If the treatment of Jews in ancient Rome is the standard for “religious tolerance,” then that was filled far before the originally pointed-to time!

          1. Ah. “By historical measures.” That’s the rub. Most of Christianity and Judaism moved over time, changing some understandings and ideas about what was acceptable behavior and what was OK back then (or “in the Old Country”) is no longer applicable today, or just isn’t done for various reasons (see some Protestants and grape juice instead of wine, for example.) Islam is still tribal, and large swathes of the loudest members of Islam feel that things should not change from the way they were when Mohammed was on the planet. Christianity tries to be a super-tribe. Islam, for various theological and cultural reasons, can’t do that.

            What do you do when you have a faith system that holds that things were better in AD 620 CE and we need to go back to that in all important ways? And that has a scripture that absolutely cannot be revised or reinterpreted because it is the literal, absolute, pure word of the Most High?

            I don’t have a good solution.

            1. Ah. “By historical measures.” That’s the rub.

              Oh, dear Lord, YES.

              I am still in the barely dipping my toes into it zone for history– but I can see the pattern where we are where we are by standing on the shoulders of giants.

              Makes me really, really mad when folks want to take that giant out at the knee, you know?

              1. Yep. Someone at my place of worship went off the deep end about how eeeeeevil John Calvin was and how terrible everything associated with him is.

                I’m now reading the “Institutes of Christian Religion.” Not because I agree with him, but to see what he really said. (I’m pretty familiar with what he did. Not a nice guy, but “by their fruits” et cetera.)

            2. For a while various Islamic countries tried to bring themselves into, say, the 19th century. Iran comes to mind. Yes, the Shah had fairly nasty Secret Police hunting ‘radicals’. And the Left assumed that said ‘radicals’ were like THEIR radicals. It never occured to them that the Shah was trying to keep a lid on murderous Jihadis, amd when they were told that, they didn’t believe it.

              The postwar (WWII) era was full of examples of the West aiding nutjobs and hindering moderates. And don’t even get me started on how the Left swallowed the whole ‘Palestinian’ con hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, amd waders.

              So, now we have LOTS of nutjobs and the moderates are keeping their heads down.

              IF Bush’s two-front limited war by limited means for limited ands had been allowed to stand as a double object lesson on what happens when you piss off the US, we might have seen some good effects. Q’daffy (I know it isn’t spelled that way, but he was) shipped us his WMD research stuff in preemptive surrender sometime around when we found Saddam (I think it was after). But the Left couldn’t let Bush have any victories, so the lessons were lost in the noise. Nothing Obumbles did was any help.

              It’s going to come to turning Mecca into a crater of faintly glowing glass. Because it’s going to take an attack bigger than 9/11 to get the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives,off,the f*cking stage. And then Hell is going to be out for noon.

            3. “And that has a scripture that absolutely cannot be revised or reinterpreted because it is the literal, absolute, pure word of the Most High?”

              And that had absolutely ALL its’ revelation delivered to only one man. That’s another major factor in making Islam unreformable.

            4. Most of Christianity and Judaism moved over time
              I’m going to dispute that by saying that a huge chunk of the ‘moving’ was done *in* society, caused *by* Christianity.

              1. As I understand it, Jesus did not promise a perfect (adj.) society, he promised to perfect society (v.). The latter assumes a process of gradual improvement and does not promise to achieve its goal in this reality.

                And He assuredly advised that not all who acted in His Name would be acting in support of His Ends.

                Given the quality of materials with which he is forced to work, I think He’s made tremendous progress.

        2. WordPress’s [LIKE] is a pain to find and make work, really.
          For this, I found it and made it work.
          And day-yam(n) but that is overdue. The talk and actions mentioned, not the [LIKE]. The [LIKE] is merely a bit overdue.

          1. One “issue” with use of the “Like” button is that it does not provide a public indication of approval. Unlike FoolBook there’s no indication of approbation. The endorsement remains covert, like a note passed in Geometry class.

            Perhaps the solution is Hunkind agreeing on a phrase, symbol or other indicator with which to “reply” to a comment, a sign that the replicant liked the remark. I propose either of the following:

            Where’s the Like button for this?


            Thumbs Up



            Assuming, of course, that that last encoding for a Thumbs Up emoji translates in WP.

                    1. Ah – so that explains the J.

                      AmpersandPoundx1F44Dsemicolon? To long to remember, too troublesome to type. Might be okay to copy/paste into a text file for pulling out and using.

                    2. Sadly, one can never know what WP will do until WP has done it. I could wish for a Preview function but I doubt not that WP would find a way to make it worse.

                      WP Delenda Est.

  8. “I’m almost afraid of what we find next.”

    As am I, but not because I expect things to continue in the direction they’ve been going.

    That pendulum can’t be pushed much further, IMO. What I’m concerned about is how far and how hard it’s going to swing the other way, once it stops.

    While I’m not giving up on restoring the Republic just yet, there are plausible scenarios where the backlash is brutal, extended, and very, very thorough. One-way helicopter rides would be only the beginning.

    I personally would not expect to survive such a backlash.

    1. If it’s just changing habits (which is hard enough) I wouldn’t worry too much. However I worry about fire, fear, flood and famine (the 4 horsemen? It alliterates) Put another way, I worry about a more than usually brutal war taking place all over the US. War is hell happening so close to me that I can see and smell it. What would be worse is if this took place all over the world.

      1. An apocalypse happening during a Maunder minimum. The full extent isn’t likely but some war here in the US is all too likely.

    2. If America slips into tyranny, it will be under the heel of the Alt-Right, not the modern Left.
      The Left has become a weak, contemptible thing reduced to screeching “MINE!! GIMMMMEEEEEE!” for compensation over imagined oppression.
      And since the means to power within their numbers tends to be a game of “how oppressed are you”, screeching is all they know. Your party doesn’t come to absolute power by crying.
      And as a result, they have actively alienated everyone capable of actually carrying out a proper seizure of power- police, military, armed citizens, workers, ect.
      The Alt-Right, on the other hand, isn’t falling into those foibles to the same extent.

        1. It’s more of an “if” than a “when”. If we go tyrannical, the tyrant will be more aligned with the tenants of what we consider to the “Alt-Right” over the overtly Marxist tenants of the Cntrl-Left.
          And the old truism applies- there’s very little difference between the way a Fascist or Communist run things.

          1. Perhaps a little. It seems to me that in states that could be described as fascist, Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile, and Mussolini’s Italy, you weren’t forced to agree with the state or else. Keeping quiet was sufficient, standing up would get you pounded down. In Nazi Germany or any Communist state, you had to openly express undying admiration for the state at all times. being quiet was the same as dissenting, and punished as harshly. I haven’t delved deeply into it, but that’s the impression I get from general reading.

            1. There are probably reasons for that that can easily be identified.

              Lenin and Hitler took over using heavy amounts of ideology. And they definitely appear to have believed the crap spewing out of their mouths. Hitler in particular was a big believer in “destiny”.

              It’s not so clear with Mussolini. He apparently started out as a Communist, and then created Fascism when he realized that “international socialism” wasn’t going to get him much support in Italy. That shows a certain amount of pragmatism on his part. I don’t know much about Franco, so I can’t comment there.

              But Pinochet? From what I’ve heard, he appears to have seized power largely to get rid of Allende and his ilk. Someone like that isn’t likely to care much what you believe, so long as you don’t believe the same things as Allende.

              1. IIRC Franco was more of a pragmatist.

                He “needed” a political party to support him so chose the Fascist Party in Spain.

                During the war against the “Republic” Forces, he didn’t care about the politics of the people fighting on his side and IIRC made sure that nobody tried to “purge” people on his side that “had the wrong politics”.

                After Franco won and Germany was fighting the Soviet Union, Hitler wanted Franco to send forces to assist Germany.

                He sent the Fascist Party forces that might have been causing problem in his rule of Spain.

                Oh, I’m heard that those forces highly impressed the German commanders.

                Brief note, George Orwell fought on the “Republic” side and witnessed the group he was with being purged by the Hard-Line Communists.

                1. The Spanish unit fighting alongside the Germans was the Division Azul.

                  IIRC, Ion Antonescu, the “Conducator” of Romania during most of World War 2, ended up having to put down a revolt by the Romanian Fascist party (Iron Guard) that helped put him in power.

                2. Franco was, if anything, more Catholic royalist than anything else. It’s worth noting that after his death, power reverted to the Crown, not to a political heir.

                  1. I think it should be said (you IMO implied it) that Franco chose to have the power revert to the current Spanish King.

                    1. He negotiated with the Legitimatist heir to have his son inherit instead — and have that son sent to Spain to be educated under Franco’s control.

              2. I doubt he cared much about what people believed as long as they didn’t advertise.

                Most people aren’t into right or left but they are pretty into “leave us the hell alone”.

                1. Most people aren’t into right or left but they are pretty into “leave us the hell alone”.

                  While true, what they consider bugging them can be….really oblivious to the rights of others.

                  Say, some of the adults who show up at kids’ events, without kids, when nobody knows them and they don’t have an obvious reason to be there, and complain that the parents of the children are watching them.

                  Or people who go into a store, wearing a baggy hoody with a huge pocket up front, packing a gym bag, and then are upset employees are always in the area.

                  Or people who sit on their yards and scream at people walking past on the public road, because it upsets the dogs.

          2. I’m not sure we’d be able to tell for sure if there was a successful takeover in the US, at least initially – one of the things a real sustainable authoritarian takeover would require is coopting all the forms and functionaries of the prior regime, basically what Augustus did when he remade the Republic into the Empire.

              1. And would have to be the First Citizen for longer since there would be people alive and records of what it was like before. That’s why the Left’s school takeover is dangerous.

      1. The modern left should not be underestimated. They have some heavy duty backing by Soros, the Clinton Clan, and other left and muslim powers. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t Iranian as well as Saudi influence behind the whole antifa / la Raza scene. Identifying those corrupted by these powers is going to be hard, like Mao’s communists, they swim in the liberal sea and can fade away before they can be caught.
        Congress and our judiciary are suspect and the protestors only the visible part of the iceberg. Deep state is the real danger.
        I’m not worried about the “alt right”, that’s bullshit, and being rapidly exposed as a false flag operation. Most of us real freedom lovers have no desire to lead or be led, or to be pushed around for that matter. The Molon Labe contingent is the country’s best hope.

        1. Yes – it isn’t what the Whiney Left can do, it is what they enable: bureaucracy dedicated to ensuring that never is heard a troubling word and spaces kept safely all day.

            1. Only if you have enough people with a hankering for freedom. Once you get past a certain point, there isn’t enough there to keep populism from becoming bread and circuses.

              Interestingly, looked at from one vantage, the barbarians sacking Rome was actually a revolt. And it was a similar sort of spark we see with Trump – the people (who revolted) were tired of being lied to, used, and abused. And, ironically, were the very sorts of people that Rome relied upon for their defense against the world.

        2. To actually be able to take over a state, you need an army.
          And by army, you need disciplined & trained dudes with guns.
          Screeching protesters aren’t enough.
          Where’s their army?
          The Blackshirts, Brownshirts, and Reds of old were blooded veterans of WWI, not pale little safe space dwelling queer studies majors.

          1. Most states in Europe, yes. If you’re doing a military revolution, yes. But plenty of states have been subverted from within by elections, or by seizing power within someone else’s revolt.

            Instead of military victory, look at Ghandi, and Mandela. On the other end, the eventual leaders of the USSR took power away from the revolutionaries, not being the original ones themselves. The old note that Hitler was democratically elected, yes. But some time look up Kwame Nkrumah. Dig through the leftist propaganda, and the history is: He wanted power. When Britain was going to give Ghana independence, they thought the were going to hand it off to hand-picked president and hand-picked government who would continue being a good client state of Britain. They only paid attention to the educated coast, and thought only they would vote.

            Kwame went instead to Moscow, and told the USSR “I can give you Ghana if you give me money.” So they did – not a lot by Soviet standards, but a lot by African standards. He used it to hire thugs, and ignored the coast, going to the interior, the poor, undeveloped, illiterate tribes. The first chief he met, he told them “You will vote for me, and your entire tribe will vote for me.” They laughed at him – why would they give him power? So he tortured them and their families to death, while making their tribe watch. After the third or fourth time he did this, the chiefs got the message.

            He won by overwhelming vote in the interior, and that was the last free and open election in Ghana until he was overthrown. Africa: one man, one vote, once. No armies needed.

            1. Established governments tend to have an inertia that is pretty hard to shake- typically one needs about 4+ years of total war to toss out the old government. Then the next set of usurpers overthrows those usurpers.

              1. Turkey has churned through a few different forms of government since the Ottoman empire fell, and most of South America tends to run on a Coup of the Month Club.

                1. The thing to note is that both Erdogan and Chavez basically turned the democratic institution against itself by being voted into power, and then proceeding to do everything that they could to sabotage that institution through the rewriting of laws.

          2. I don’t think you are wrong overall, but to pick two examples in slight disagreement to your last point, the mass of the Army in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were basically the preceding governments Army as far as troops and doctrine and training and traditions were concerned, albeit after purging elements anathema to the ruling Party in each case. Basically there was only one game in town, and as long as one could stomach the party in each case and mouthed the right platitudes, one could serve one’s country, at least up until a purge rolled downhill in the Soviet case. Add in universal conscription in both cases and it’s difficult to see where the Army of a non-Soviet Russia or non-Nazi Germany would have been grossly different.

            The party troops of the SA and the Revolutionary Red Army were in fact pick-up formations, but the sheer size of the WWII Soviet and Nazi militaries basically mandated that they’d be more of a reflection of the entire population.

              1. Just that while the streetfighters in the initial stages of a revolution-in-the-streets are in fact pickup units, so your observation applies, from that point on things get more professional just by necessity, and it doesn’t much matter anymore where the raw material comes from.

                And as far as using Occupy and paper-mache-puppet march folks as those streetfighters, that ain’t going to happen. I’d expect the left to be paying MS-13 and other criminal gangs to do the fighting rather than those college-educated layabouts.

                1. “I’d expect the left to be paying MS-13 and other criminal gangs to do the fighting…”
                  Criminal gangs are not trained soldiers- and should the Left actually resort to that…. we’d see a whole lot of Leftist and gang members decorating lamppost shortly after.

                  1. Well, you have to have someone you can send in to teach recalcitrant populations a lesson, and if you use the traditional military, they might let “Ethics” get in the way of applying said lesson – for the use case, see the historical documents by parallel timeline historian Kurt Schlichter here.

          3. “Pale little safe space dwelling queer studies majors” are cannon fodder. But then the Progressive elite aren’t concerned about their lowest minions and wouldn’t shed a single true tear to feed all of them to the wall.

                1. Nope.

                  Planned Parenthood lies to kids, for years, forming them into adults who eventually have to lie to themselves or admit a horrific blood-guilt, and their sex ed trains both sexes into dehumanizing the other, basically destroys the pair-bonding of parents, and pushes that all sex is to be “safe”– theoretically sterile, with a failure rate that grantees anybody with reasonably decent fertility will have at least one “unexpectedly” successful procreation attempt.
                  At which point, if they even know who the father is, he probably won’t want to be “trapped” by the child– so if the child survives, it will be with a random string of men or no men at all, and if there are siblings they will only be connected by their mother.

                  And their mother will most likely depend on “services” rather than charity with a face, in order to live in the comfort they have.

                  That’s a very good effective way to produce a large number of feral, entitled young adults.

                  Add in extreme identity politics, and you’ve got a group that thinks all their issues are because of THOSE EVIL PEOPLE, and… *shudder*

          4. Their army is being graduated from West Point as we speak. Nick Cole has a space opera on this one, something about the Galaxy being a dumpster fire, if I recall correctly. It’s a decent read.

          5. Identity politics is very much the creation an army.

            Skills and tactics are easily and quickly trained.
            It’s the esprit de corps (read: tribalism and subordination of self to the collective), the willingness to kill upon command, and to unhesitatingly follow the directives of authority that take time.
            It wouldn’t take much to transform Black Lives Matter, Antifa, etc. that he already established Coomand and Control causality into at least second-rate armed forces, heavy on the atrocity.

            It’s traditional for authoritarian regimes to bring in troops from the provinces to suppress unruly urbanites. But it’s hardly unprecedented for the calculation to be run the other direction.

            This is not a comfortable simulation to run.
            I’m fairly confident that “our” side would eventually win, but the other side would run up some truly impressive early body counts. (And that’s before considering the probability of foreign powers involving themselves.

            1. The Left will eat itself before it can reach a coherent whole, as that’s an inherent weakness in modern Identity politics. Despite all the talk, an Identitarian’s real enemy isn’t the power structure they are trying to chisel money out of, but that other group that is also trying to get money.
              The Hispanics don’t really care about the plight of the Blacks. The Blacks despise the Gays. Gays don’t really like the Transsexuals. Only in the minds of white Leftist are the different factions united towards one cause, and are awaiting the leadership of literal White Knights.

              1. That’s unfounded optimism.
                Wolves bring down the prey before they fight over the carcass.

                You see them working together towards that common goal, but you choose not to believe. Sure, if they succeed, they will purge each other most bloodily and enthusiastically. But that’s cold comfort st that point.

      2. I think the Left *has* the military.

        Most of the staff officers in service got their rank under Obama. And “churn” means about half of the rest spent their entire career there.

        A while back Kirk and I butted heads over whether the military had been subverted; I maintained they were “us”, and we had nothing to fear from them. Kirk maintained they’d been subverted by the SJWs. I’ve come to the conclusion Kirk was correct.

        I guess we should be glad they didn’t put Bergdahl in for a Congressional Medal of Honor instead of slapping his wrist.

        1. “Most of the staff officers in service got their rank under Obama.”

          Fragmentation grenades are still a thing, yes?

          “I guess we should be glad they didn’t put Bergdahl in for a Congressional Medal of Honor instead of slapping his wrist.”

          I know someone who was in Bergdahl’s unit at the time he went walkabout. He’s not exactly in the running for Mr. Popularity among the troops.

          1. Nod.

            I suspect that if “President Hillary” had tried to use the military to suppress her political foes, the “Loyal To Her Generals” would find themselves the target of members of the military (including many officers).

          2. What I can’t believe is that military judge let him walk with just a BCD. At the very least, I’d have been tempted to return him to his Taliban buddies’ tender mercies.

        2. It isn’t so much that the “…Left *has* the military.” as it is that the military has lost the bubble in oh-so-very-many-ways. The refusal to hold Bergdahl accountable is just another example in a long, long line of such betrayals of duty by the officer corps. And, since the officer corps and military in general is a reflection of the society from whence it comes…? We are witnessing a crisis in the body politic that has roots in cultural issues well beyond that which the SJW types are a symptom of.

          Here’s the thing: Overall, there is a general reluctance to hold people accountable and to standards. The petty crap, like a young soldier walking across the grass? They’ll happily crucify someone like that, for a relatively minor transgression. Something bigger, though, that would require true moral courage for someone to point at and say “This far, and no further… The line must be held…”? Yeah. That? Not so much.

          I observed this sort of thing happening back at the beginning of my career in the 1980s, and while it was noticeable then, it’s a hell of a lot worse now than it was. The issues began, I think, when they acquiesced to the whole notion of selected parties being immune to punishment due to skin color, ethnicity, and sex. Since you can’t hold PFC X accountable for his misconduct because of his skin tone, well… Why bother to hold PFC Y to the standards, just because he happens to be a member of the majority?

          I don’t know if that’s all of it, but I think it is definitely a contributing factor, along with the way society in general refuses to really demand accountability for malfeasance and iniquitous behavior. The reluctance to call out people and actually do anything when they commit misconduct flows over into the military from civilian life, and that’s just a sad fact. The officer corps, when you get down to it, is a reflection of the outside world it comes from, and if a kid doesn’t understand the need for accountability to be demonstrated to others, well… How are you going to inculcate that in the short time we’ve got them in training for their positions?

          The whole thing is insidious, because when someone like Bergdahl isn’t held accountable and visibly punished for his misconduct, the follow-on is that there are a bunch of people who are going to say to themselves “Well, they aren’t really serious about all this other bullshit they talk, so… Obviously, the system is not going to back me when the time comes, and y’know what? If they’re not going to be serious when it comes to life-and-death misconduct, I’m just not going to entrust my life and sacred honor to supporting this bullshit…”.

          The real damage done by this decision not to punish Bergdahl visibly is that a significant number of people are going to take the appropriate lesson from this situation, recognize that the system doesn’t care about misconduct, and then refuse to support or participate in it. Why should they, when the system obviously doesn’t hold their lives, which they are going to have to risk because of men like Bergdahl “doing their own thing”, at all important. So, why should they risk it all, on behalf of that system, when the system obviously doesn’t care about what they are hazarding, and offering up in sacrifice?

          Bergdahl needed to be visibly punished, and punished hard, because of that factor–What the men who went out looking for him risked, what the dead lost, and all the wounds and other associated costs. What does this essential acquittal tell men like Master Sergeant Mark Allen, who was shot in the head and left permanently disabled while searching for Bergdahl? It tells him that the service he gave all for doesn’t give a damn about what he sacrificed, or what other men risked looking for Bergdahl.

          And, in the end? That means a lot of men are going to do the math, and not bother to show up when the trumpet sounds. Why risk anything on behalf of a system and a service that holds their lives so lightly, and treats them as inconsequential?

          That’s the true legacy of COL Nance’s decision, in this matter. And, it’s a symptom of the depth and magnitude of the moral rot in our officer corps that he fails to comprehend this.

          1. “Since you can’t hold PFC X accountable for his misconduct because of his skin tone, well… Why bother to hold PFC Y to the standards, just because he happens to be a member of the majority?”

            We saw exactly the same thing under the housing bubble: Official Victim Groups are getting a pass, and if we keep the same standards for the majority, they’re going to notice and they still has a majority that they can use on us. Therefore, we won’t have standards for anyone, and the government’s on the hook anyway.

            That’s also why you got Trump: normals noticed because Obama made the reverse discrimination obvious.

            Lots of people don’t like to see it in those terms, but when you create another legal system based on discrimination, eventually those being discriminated against will punch back.

            1. For about ten years after the housing bubble burst otherwise intelligent people would demand of me (or the air, and I was close by) why Congress wasn’t holding hearings about the cause. I would tell them “Because politicians browbeat the lending industry into abandoning the standards that prevented the bubble in the first place. They aren’t holding hearings because they’re afraid that if they ask somebody, on record, why it happened that somebody might, on record, tell them.”

      3. A huge chunk of the left is NOT the weak, contemptible thing you see. That is all merely a tool and a symptom. (The antifa are a tool, the snowflakes are a symptom.) The intent is to break down the culture into chaos, so only the strong state remains. Those trying to drive this breakdown are not weak and contemptible – they think they know what they’re doing, and that they will build their utopia on the ruins of Western Civilization.
        Remember, while they pose well concerning “democracy”, they do NOT desire it – it is merely a tool to achieve their utopia.

        The “alt-right” is difficult to discuss, since everyone seems to have a different idea about who it is. If you mean populist, anti-nutter, pro-strong-America voters, there’s still a lot of room for the semi-socialists in there (IOW, old-style Democrats).

    3. My reading of history is that the ends of the pendulum swing almost always get clownish. The actual swing isn’t that fast. And, really, when you get down to it the gibbering nonsense of the Left isn’t more extreem than the gibbering idiocy of the religious Victorians.

      We keep talking about rapid chages. I think it’s a built in expectation. Maybe from when one alpa ape killed the previous one. But the changes aren’t that fats, they really aren’t. The Left was almost this silly in the 1960’s, and almost this pervasive in the 1970’s. They’re hysterical NOW because they are losing ground, but they aren’t much more,extreme.

  9. “Only the natural man isn’t. Not any more than the restrained man.”

    So very true. Due to the way humans, well, are, our young don’t spring from the womb ready to do battle with all and sundry to survive. Nurture/culture is a part of being human. Those of us who weren’t *actually* raised by wolves get socialized by our families and those we meet and interact with in daily life. The base urges that drive human beings are inherently selfish- hunger means you need to feed *you,* it’s not your stomach telling you that someone else needs those roots and berries.

    “All tends to power corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely” has likely been around longer than Lord Acton. The urge to “help” one’s fellow man is not necessarily innate, but the idea that Y result comes from X input is basic pattern matching, and that *is* hard coded into the human mind. I believe this is where the impulse to control comes from. If only other human beings would behave properly, everything would be just perfect.

    This kind of exercise of power comes with ego rewards. People like getting help- and free stuff. Doing good and seeing good results leads to the one in power to feel that they are wise, that their decisions are the right ones. If other people disagree, well, their decisions are *not* the right ones. Eventually, every decision becomes the right one. Once you are convinced you can do no wrong, morality becomes a meaningless term.

    The revelations of sexual misconduct are not a surprise. Truly, I expect it goes deeper than that. The scandals are a symptom of the (in their own minds) autocrat’s disconnect with reality. It’s not the yes-men, though they contribute. It is the atrophied sense of right and wrong where “right” is the things that move the autocrat towards greater power and “wrong” is merely the opposite.

    1. I’d argue that the sex scandals [or as the Capitol Steps used to put it “skex sandals”] are about abuse of power. Weinstein, Clinton and Clinton, others assumed that since they were in positions of power, that justified or at least excused abusing other people. “He’s a famous auteur so it’s OK.” They do not need to rein-in their desires, because they are Great Men (at least in their own minds.) Everyone else exists for their benefit, because of Power.

      I wonder if that’s why the Left pounced on the recording of Trump saying that women make themselves available to powerful men, even if he personally did not make use of that observation. THEY would have, so of course he must have.

      1. Yeah, that’s more what I figured. For them, Power does not need responsibility, because they have power, they are by definition responsible people (so they get away with bloody murder).

    2. When the Catholic Abuse Scandal was big a wise man (whose name escapes me) said that he expected that someday an even bigger scandal would break in the Public Schools.

      It hasn’t, yet, but if the teachers’s unions lose some power, I expect it to.

      1. Heh, I grew up with teh Catholic Abuse Scandal.

        Because I was looking that way, I saw the Public School Abuse Scandal.

        I noticed the numbers were WAY higher on the PSA side, vs the CAS, especially when you adjust for “hey, this SOB groped me” vs “30 years ago, Father Dead For ten years….”.

        And they ask why I homeschool….

      2. The school sexual abuse problem has been slowly breaking for over a decade, but the dibs & drabs daily reporting has turned it into background noise in the MSM, something they no longer report because it falls within the “dog bites man” category.

        To move it up would require something that isn’t likely to happen, such as revelation of Rotherham-level corruption or Congressional hearings (although if Trump gets reelected and keeps DeVoss, there might be a DOE investigation — but it would take at least that long to clear out the current educracy and bring in some cleansing actors.)

        Hell, we can’t even kill Head Start which is demonstrably a waste of money.

        1. The rot set in when assorted Big Brains decided that local control of schools was A Bad Thing. And local control isn’t coming back, unless we can get vouchers…which admitedly isn’t absolutely impossible. If inner city Black mayors are supporters (and I kniw of one, at least) it could happen.

        2. There will be no revelations unless the teachers’ union, for some reason, loses power and can be thrown to the wolves. Notice Weinstein didn’t fall from grace until he lost power. And that’s a lot harder for organizations than for people.

  10. I really have to wonder how the Amish are going to fare in the United States should we have a SHTF event. There’s a lot of them around here. They’re peaceful, as in pacifistic. SHTF won’t affect their farming and food production as far as reliance on modern niceties like electricity, gas, and running water.

    But when the hordes from the city come to rape and enslave them and take all of their food and livestock – do the rest of us in the community take our arms to protect them when they won’t do it for themselves? Me- I would. But, I’d negotiate, and if necessary, extract a reasonable payment in foodstuffs afterwards.

    We have no hippie/leftist communes nearby. If we did, I wouldn’t lift a finger to help.

    1. If you’re smart, you definitely will. The Amish are where you’ll get most of your food, at least until the infrastructure gets put back together.

    2. There are several sects of “Plain People”. Maybe some aren’t so pacifist or might make an exception to save themselves.

  11. I’m almost afraid of what we find next.

    It has not been much worse than I’d imagined. I’m kicking myself a little for not having it put it together before it came out. (Just had a conversation on that.) In my defense, I care so little about the stupid bastards that I hadn’t really done my due diligence.

  12. This is the essence of Chesterton. The idea that, far from causing the dark ages, the Church “was the only thing that ever brought us out of them”. (Which has a lot in common with A Canticle for Leibowitz, too.)

    “And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon.”

  13. Unfortunately when you let the barbarians in or grow your own removing them ends up requiring rivers of blood. We on the edge, lean the wrong way and the barbarians win.

    1. Not necessarily. We grow our own barbarians all the time.
      They’re called children, and they’re proof that humans can be taught not to be barbarous.

      1. True but if you let them reach adulthood and further encourage their barbarism in college, through the media, and an entire political party you will end up at a point of no return where the choice is succumbing to the barbarians or having to physically fight back. If you reach that point and decide to fight you will see those blood rivers.

      2. I’ve said for years that anyone who wants children to ‘act naturally’ must like being surrounded by savages.

        “There was an old woman with notions quite new
        Who never told children the things they should do.

        She pulled all the covers up over her head
        When people explained where her theories lead.”


  14. The comments on qualities of ancient civilization not being those we would recognize as being civilized in many ways reminded me of somethings I picked up second-hand when a co-worker was learning useful Latin in a class geared toward pre-med/microbiology. The ancient meaning of “pedagogy,” for example, was not teaching children or not as used nowadays, but as I recall, something more limited and…no you don’t want to know.

  15. Sigh. I suspect I lack useful skills. Pioneers generally have little need for spreadsheets, much less major capital asset reconciliations. Write and let me know how it is, okay?

    We’re Going To Space, Are You Coming?
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Apparently when Von Braun was going around the country selling the idea of going to the moon/space, he would say “We’re going to the moon. Are you coming?”

    Two things are important here: that the idea of going to the moon had to be sold and sold to non-scientists, and the idea that some portion of humanity is going to space and it is entirely your choice whether you’re coming or not. You can’t forever prevent the species from going.

    This is my last article specifically about the Tenessee Valley Interstellar Workshop – sort of – which is exactly that kind of effort. Sure a lot of the people involved have Ph.D.s in physics or engineering, but for three years now – I do not know about before that since I was not involved – they also had people like me and other writers, who are along to convince others, the normal people, that there is a possibility – let alone a point – in going to space.

    Look, I got your answers to my last article on TVIW, and you know what? I’ve heard them all before. Oh, sure, over the years – though mostly from leftists, who apparently have now infected the rest of society – “It’s too expensive” or “It’s too hard” or “there is no point to it” or “We’re broke” or “Shouldn’t we take care of those who need it at home before we go to space?”

    But besides hearing this from the frightened people on the left, I’d read them years before when I did a history project on the history of Portuguese discoveries and went to the library to read the documents of the time.


    1. I wish Sarah would post those here. The blogware that site runs is too craptastic for me to put up with.

    2. “ “Shouldn’t we take care of those who need it at home before we go to space?””

      “If I saw any indication that you and imbeciles like you intended to stop oppsing the spread of industrialization – which is the only proven way to end widespread povert – you might have a point. Until then, pound sand.”

  16. You remind me of “Men without Chests” by C. S. Lewis where he ridicules the society that asks the gelding to be fruitful, etc. Our society’s elites lack proper affections and compensate with bigger screens on their TVs

  17. I loathe certain buzzwords. Take “organic”. Please. Want to impress me? Show me an inorganic banana.

    “Natural” is one of the worst. Botulism is natural. Malaria is natural. As social apes, for us living in trees, plotting to murder the Alpha and his offspring and rape his females into pregnancy is natural.

    You can keep “natural”.

    1. “This is all-natural!”
      “So, like asbostos?”
      “Yes.. er,, no..”
      “Well, is it natural or isn’t it?”
      “It is.”
      “Just like asbestos.”
      “NO!, Not at all!”
      “Oh, synthetic, then?”
      “Well, make up what’s left of your mind.”

      1. There’s an even sillier one that, fortunately for my blood pressure, hasn’t caught on; “Chemical Free!”

        Well, no, not so much. Unless you’re selling vacuum.

        1. I’d say ox head hurt again, but even ox know American Chemical Society has a running offer to pay something to the person who can demonstrate any “non-chemical” *substance*. Naturally, the ACS is in no danger of owing anyone that.

    2. I’m half expecting to see “carbon-free” food get sold at grocery stores and restaurants at some point. If so, I think I’ll not buy that.

      1. There actually is some. Those pink snowballs Dolly Madison used to sell. I think they got pulled because somebody figured out they were faintly radioactive….

      2. I have seen “carbon-free’ sugar. Now, they meant the processing was all done with renewables, rather than the sugar had no carbon in it, which would mean it was not sugar, but water.

        Though, to think of it, it would not surprise me if those claiming such nonsense did imbibe “butt water”….

        1. Some use language to illuminate, others to obscure. Sadly, the big bucks seem to be in obscuration.

        2. they should be forced to label it ‘dumping toxic chemicals into the environment in China instead of carbon dioxide here’ if it was made using solar…

    3. “GMO free” is another one that pisses me off, especially on corn products, grain etc. Every cultivar we eat has been modified by human selection to some degree, including all the supermarket meat. Unless you’re living in the jungle, your food is not GMO free.

      1. The troublemaker son almost got us killed at whole foods, when he demanded to be assured that the hairbrush was GMO free and Gluten Free. Then he threw a fit over the lack of black m&m’s and said “Racisssss” over and over again OBVIOUSLY taking the piss.
        I thought we’d be chased out the door by hairy middle aged women.

        1. YES! Now *that* is fun!
          (And, yes, this is why my family – up and down and across the tree – normally won’t let me in places like that.)

  18. Just remember, next time you go to the movies, someone sitting near you thought ‘Purge’ and ‘Saw’ were cool…

    1. …so I should just wait for the DVD/Blu-ray?

      To be honest, the only movies I’ve seen in theaters lately have been the comic book movies. Mostly the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

      (Though I must admit I prefer the DVDs. I can rewind.) 😀

      1. I prefer DVD to Bluray because the fast forward is better for skimming. Which says something about my attention span.

        The last big release film I saw in the theatre was THE TWO TOWERS. Since then, I’ve seen one small release documentary; JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (which I recommend).

        1. Last big release? Gosh, it depends on the definition of big release. We saw Wind River in theatre, and KIMI NO NA WA./YOUR NAME, will certainly see the new Thor flick … hope Blade of the Immortal opens around here.

          1. The household has visited theatres for certain TCM theatrical showings of classic films. We saw Princess Bride big screen that way, and North By Northwest. Downtown we’ve a vintage theatre from the Twenties and have attended for some of their exhibitions of such films as The Searchers. Some films just have to be seen on large screen with theatrical sound and an audience — the collective gasp! from the audience when Alan Arkin’s character leaps out of the shadows in Wait Until Dark always gets me, even though I can count the seconds until it happens; some things just entail a collective moment.

            1. One thing i will miss about L.A. is the showings of classic sci-fi films at The Egyptian. Got to see 2001 in the theater on film that way, along with many others.

        2. As age, diabetes and other factors dictate more and more of my options I find a certain comfort in being able to hit PAUSE for a brief relief.

        3. Hrm,, not sure I ever watched anything on Bluray… DVD is/was “good enough” and Bluray just seemed excess in many ways.. and that whole thing where the thing ON the disc has to be considered worth the time to watch. Come to think of, last movie I saw was Star Wars 7 – and that was in self-defense (know WTH everyone else is going on about).

      2. I have not been doing the DC theatrical flicks, in part because one family member has declared one comic book mythos sufficient to absorb, but I spent an inordinate amount of time this afternoon watching videos discussing the recently announced casting of Zachary “Chuck” Levi as the Big Red Cheese. He’s an interesting pick with the acting chips to play(the original!) Captain Marvel but I think Adam Baldwin physically (especially facially) better suited for the character. Shazam!

        1. I think the only DC movie I saw was Wonder Woman. I definitely enjoyed it, though I haven’t gotten the DVD yet. I snatched up the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 DVD as soon as I could, though.

          So I can laugh and not-cry when I want to.

    1. No. ‘Barbarians’ worked under restraints, just not the same ones as the people calling them ‘Barbarians’.

      An unrestrained man is called an ‘oaf’.

        1. A savage can manage pretty well on his own, with minimal,tools (until he makes some). There are damned few savages in the US right now. There are vast numbers of oafs, and a dismaying number of thugs.

  19. What you’re describing is the original sin:

    [The serpent] said to the woman, “Even if God said not to eat from any tree in the garden—” The woman interrupted, “We can eat from every tree in the garden, except that one in the middle […][…] And the woman saw that the tree was good for food…

    Animals cannot sin. When the lion kills the cubs in a pride he’s just taken over, that’s his nature, that’s the Command of the Creator for the behavior of the species—the two are identical.

    That’s why the Eden story puts the temptation in the mouth of a beast: “Even if God said not to eat it, you know it’s good to eat—are you really going to deny your nature and let a verbal command override your instincts?” And the result is more object lesson than punishment: Nature gives us weeds and thorns and labor pains and venomous serpents—human effort “unnaturally” gives us bread and epidurals and antivenin. You don’t get to use those and still claim, “I’m just doing what comes naturally” when it comes to moral behavior.

  20. Alright, brain must be off (yes, more than usual…) perhaps residual effects of the silly clock-shifting. I have no place to put the idea, but the title here has me contemplating a line that seems to make no sense: They walk like toasters.

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