November 15, 2007

Brain Jazz: Great Performances of the Blogsphere, 1

brainjazz2-thumb.jpgI follow more than 360 different blogs and websites on a daily basis (Curse you, Google Reader!). As a result I -- at the least -- scan many prominent writers and find much to admire as well as more that is predictably pedestrian. It would be the same if I was flipping through 360+ daily magazines.

Every so often, one writer that I follow finds "the flow," gets "on a roll," and simply dazzles you. These writers go from being merely interesting to something more. At the moment, I'm noting a stunning series of posts by Robert Godwin at One Cosmos.

For the past week, Godwin has been reading from, arguing with, and augmenting a book. In this case it is God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World by Walter Russell Mead. Mead's a protean thinker and engaging writer. I've previously enjoyed and been challenged by his book, Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America's Grand Strategy in a World at Risk.

Godwin's meditations and riffs on Mead certainly made me hit the one-click "buy" button at Amazon. That's pretty much a foregone conclusion. The interest and fascination in his series of posts, however, does not arise from a straight review of Mead's book, but from Godwin's palpable interaction with Mead's mind that create his own idiosyncratic riffs of what Godwin is, is not, and might have been saying.

The result of the series is summed up best by a phenomenon that I've noted before that takes place only on the web: BRAIN JAZZ .

Here's a few cuts from Godwin's long serenade in several parts. You might want to spend the time and brain-listen to the whole thing.

I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night

There are three primary dreams in competition for who will Dream history 1) American classical liberalism (i.e., conservatism), 2) European statist secular leftism (including its American variety), and 3) Islamism. The world is not big enough for all of these dreams, and yet, only one of these dreams is big enough for the world.

Learning and Relearning the Americoon Way

Much of the resentment toward us has to do with the fact that in order to survive and flourish in this world, you must adapt your dopey world to the world we both discovered and made, which is to say, "reality" -- and nothing is the source of more resentment than the demands of reality.

We are all Abraham now.

We are all Abraham now. The idea that we must have "a personal relationship with God" has "for more than three centuries been strengthening its hold in American life."

There is no priggish, sanctimonious moral scold of a church lady like a secular one....

What Does it All Mean?

There are three principal, mutually exclusive grand narratives in competition, 1) European style socialism (which subsumes such hideous developments as identity politics, multiculturalism, moral relativism, deconstruction, victimology, and the cluelessly ironic rejection of all grand narrative except for its own), 2) Islamism, and 3) Anglo-American classical liberalism.

The Adventure of Reality and How to Avoid It

Originally we were a tiny band of oddballs numbering perhaps 5000 or less. For reasons we can scarcely imagine, these explorers decided to venture out of Africa, and keep venturing -- north, east, and west, then further west until there was no place to go but up and now in.

The West has its own version of a dysfunctional ideology that puts up obstacles to personal development and which runs counter to the Adventure of Consciousness: the psycho-spiritual left in all its insidious varieties and permutations. Let's take an example that comes readily to mind, the attempt to shackle black people in a cognitive prison in which they are indoctrinated to believe that their greatest obstacles are not within, but without.

Time, Revolution, and the Healing of History

Our ideological adversaries are not living in reality. Indeed, that is what makes them our adversaries. People who don't live in reality necessarily become frustrated, resentful, and aggressive, especially toward those who do live in reality. They think that by attacking reality and those who live in it, they can somehow transform their unreality into reality, but of course it never works. Reality always has the last word.

The Perpetual War on History

This retardation is responsible for the passionate moral energy that causes the leftist to, say, fight to save the lives of mass murderers, or for the right to kill the unborn, or to be hysterical over the physical environment but care not a bit about the much greater danger of soul pollution.

Universal Religion and the Many Worlds Hypothesis

Instead of "Afro-American Studies," "Middle East Studies," or "Queer Studies" -- which will contribute exactly nothing to your ability to understand higher worlds -- what we are desperately in need of is WASP studies.
Posted by Vanderleun at November 15, 2007 1:07 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"Instead of "Afro-American Studies," "Middle East Studies," or "Queer Studies" -- which will contribute exactly nothing to your ability to understand higher worlds -- what we are desperately in need of is WASP studies."

I recall a friend of mine who got into a graduate program with a major proposal that he described as "utterly ridiculous." It was some variant on women's studies. However, since they offered to pay him to attend their university, he took them up on the offer in spite of the subject, and promptly got into all sorts of headline-style trouble (mostly agitating for teacher's assistant rights, like access to health plans.) (Yeah, he's a little left but he's also open-minded.)

I miss him. He's the sort of person that the phrase "a real kick in the pants" was invented for.

Posted by: B. Durbin at November 15, 2007 6:18 PM

"1) American classical liberalism 2) European statist secular leftism and 3) Islamism."

So my choices are freedom, slavery, or death. Tough one.

Posted by: Clayton Barnett at November 16, 2007 5:34 AM

One Important Series!!!
Starting at least a week ago through todays post,
Gagdad Bob is synthesizing and articulating (for those of us who can't) what conservatives are up against and how those false ideals relate to one another. He has done it simply (+R and -r)and even with the pun-ishment of some of his words, you can understand it...maybe not the first time (It took me several reads to get there) but when you do, you understand the struggle we are facing with the "leftists" from A to Z. He keeps teasing us with the thought of a book on these very subjects and then says 'no one would read it" I would Bob...write the damn thing! It's one of those things that is if I buy your other books, will you write this one???

Posted by: d adams at November 16, 2007 9:33 AM

360 blogs!! Yikes, I thought I read too many at 20-30 depending on my time.

One that I seldom miss is One Cosmos.

Gagdad challenges my brain like no one else. As mentioned by d adams it often takes me rereading before the light bulb goes on. Challenging, yes, but so many of his insights are brilliant. And, he seemingly does it so easily.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at November 17, 2007 2:38 PM

Yes, Gagdad Bob is always good for a new thought. I don't know how he produces so much.

Posted by: Bird Dog at November 20, 2007 8:43 AM