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The Pretender by Jackson Browne

An old song from 1975 sounds fresh for these times. Pay attention. It will be on the Final.

Jackson Browne told Mojo magazine in 2015: “It’s grappling with the question of whether the life you’re living is the life you thought you were heading for. ‘The Pretender’ is an open question: Do you find life’s best qualities by having children and a job, or in tearing those things down?”

But now the song is about so much more than that question alone. And the question is still open.

“The Pretender”

I’m going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
Gonna pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I’ll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I’ll get up and do it again
Say it again

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening?
I’ve been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it’s the wink of an eye
When the morning light comes streaming in
You’ll get up and do it again
Amen. [continue reading…]


Strange Daze Illustrated


Boomer Ballads: Sailing

Because it’s not far down to Paradise and the canvas really can do miracles…

Or… in another more literal variation…


Strange Daze

Moldbug is writing a book and this part is called,Big tech has no power at all – Gray Mirror

For example: why the heck is everyone and everything getting all woke right now? No one ordered them to change their minds in this direction. Are they just opening their souls, independently, but at the same time, to the lovely light of reason? If so—why didn’t we all do that a long time ago? Maybe after that ‘80s Coca-Cola commercial?

Perhaps here we see another case of attractive coordination. Nazi Germany had a process called Gleichschaltung—which is sometimes even translated as coordination, and which simply meant forcing everything to be Nazi. There could be no soccer—only Nazi soccer. Soccer fans today are not at all familiar with this process.

Just kidding! Actually, as a proud American, who nonetheless lets his son play soccer, every Premier League game today opens with a kneeling benediction against racism, which is at apparently as dangerous as drugs were when I was his age. At least, we’re supposed to say the same word to it. They also wear armbands, etc—full Pyongyang.

What caused this to happen? Who is the Nancy Reagan of racism? Who ordered everyone to agree that racism is way worse than drugs? What would happen if Man United, Chelsea or even Brighton Hove Albion was like: “erm, actually, we’ve ‘ad a meetin’ and desoided as, drugs is woise. We’ll ‘av ‘at on the shirts, guvnor, eh?” And finally: what could this possibly have to do with anything that happened in Wisconsin? There are no good or obvious answers to any of these questions.


As the wind puffs out empty wineskins, so pride of opinion, foolish men.Wolstenholme Towne, Virginia (USA), one of the first English settlements in the New World. Built on the banks of the James River in around 1619, it was destroyed by Indians a few years later and lay forgotten until archaeologists rediscovered the site in the 1970s. [continue reading…]


Something Wonderful: The Sound of Silence


JWM REACTS TO “Two riders were approaching:” Isaiah and All Along the Watchtower

Saturday was our monthly bike club. No one came out to ride with us, and one of our guys was a no show. But we rode. Despite lockdowns, mandates, or whatever, we ride. The Vietnamese, God bless them, were rallying for Trump again at the Huntington Beach pier. They’ve been there every weekend since October. They know what it’s like to lose a country.

Sunday was quiet, sad, and empty. Deep haze and clouds buried the winter sun. I took my stretch cruiser, the show bike, out early, put on my club shirt, and took a slow morning cruise. The streets were all but deserted. The few people out were slouching along with their muzzled faces shoved into cell phones, ears jammed shut with blue-tooth plugs.

Luckily, there was no one at the park, so I sat at my favorite spot, and knocked back a couple of bowls. But that served only to deepen an overall sense of gloom. So I saddled up, and just wandered, turning here or there with no thought of getting anyplace.

I cruised down Whittier Boulevard, passed the Whittwood shopping center, and slid down the side streets into the neighborhood.

I passed St. Bruno’s Catholic Church. The haze rolled in deeper, and the silver morning light grew dull.

The sun rays turned the pewter sky into the iris of an immense leaden eye with a bone white pupil staring down the world.

I rolled around the corner, and stopped, just to look at the sky. Across the street, I could see St. Bruno’s holding outdoor mass in the lunch area of the parish schoolyard. Recorded music started as the congregants lined up in their face masks to receive communion. Each received the host in his cupped hands, turned from the altar to face the street where I sat on the cruiser. Each took several steps to ensure a safe social distance, and lifted a corner of the muzzle to slide the host into the mouth, and onto the tongue.

There was something furtive and broken in the gesture. The whole scene became surreal, almost frightening. I was standing inside a tarot card. That moment could have been painted by Breughel, or Bosch.

I rolled on home and put the bike up. Buddy the Cat was in the yard, snoozing on the table in the gazebo. The haze was breaking up and the ol’ guy was enjoying the thin warmth of the January sun. I re-heated some stale coffee, sat down, and joined him.


I Return to the Place I was Born

From my youth up I never liked the city.
I never forgot the mountains where I was born.
The world caught me and harnessed me
And drove me through dust, thirty years away from home.
Migratory birds return to the same tree.
Fish find their way back to the pools where they were hatched.
I have been over the whole country,
And I have come back at last to the garden of my childhood.
My farm is only ten acres.
The farmhouse has eight or nine rooms.
Elms and willows shade the back garden.
Peach trees stand by the front door.
The village is out of sight.
You can hear dogs bark in the alleys,
And cocks crow in the mulberry trees.
When you come through the gate into the court
You will find no dust or mess.
Peace and quiet live in every room.
I am content to stay here the rest of my life.
At last I have found myself.

— Tao Yuan Ming (Tao Qian) Chinese, 365-427

About Tao Yuanming – In the Spring of 405, Tao Yuanming was serving in the army, as aide-de-camp to the local commanding officer. The death of his sister together with his disgust at the corruption and infighting of the Jin Court prompted him to resign. As Tao himself put it, he would not “bow like a servant in return for five pecks of grain” (為五斗米折腰), a saying which has entered common usage meaning “swallowing one’s pride in exchange for a meager existence”. ‘Five pecks of grain’ was among other things the specified salary of certain low-rank officials. Certainly, Tao Yuanming’s salary as Penze County Magistrate was far higher than five pecks, so this was a symbolic expression. For the last 22 years of his life, he lived in retirement on his small farmstead.

[HT: Nancy W.]


Mark Steyn remembers In a too short life, Kathy wrote in almost every form: She is the only writer I know who was both a respected poet nominated for major prizes and the “Ed Anger” columnist of The Weekly World News. And, as most of you know, after 9/11 she became the leading Canadian polemicist in the great messy decentralized blogosphere we miss so much in the age of Social Media woketalitarianism.

Kathy writes:

Following a tedious rendezvous with ovarian cancer, Kathy Shaidle has died, wishing she’d spent more time at the office.

Her tombstone reads: GET OFF MY LAWN!

She is relieved she won’t have to update her LinkedIn profile, shave her legs, or hear “Creep” by Radiohead ever again. Some may even be jealous that she’s getting out of enduring a Biden presidency.

Kathy was a writer, author, columnist and blogging pioneer, as proud of her first book’s Governor General’s Award nomination as of her stint as “Ed Anger” for the Weekly World News. A target for “cancel” culture before the term was coined, she was denounced by all the best people, sometimes for contradictory reasons.

Kathy did not lead a particularly “full life,” her existence having been comprised mostly of a series of unpleasant surprises. Her favourite corporeal pleasure was saying, “I told you so,” which she was able to utter with justification multiple times a day. A bookish movie-buff and agoraphobic homebody, as a child Kathy (as per the Roz Chast cartoon) “always preferred the little couch ride on the merry-go-round.” Yet Kathy managed to acquire a reputation for mouthiness, a side effect of her bullshit allergy.

Contrary to cliche, Kathy did not conduct herself with particular “grace,” “dignity” or “courage” in her final months. She didn’t “bravely fight on” after her cancer was pronounced terminal. All she did was (barely) cope, and then only with assistance from her generous employer, and some energetic and selfless friends whom she’d somehow managed to acquire over the years, much to her astonishment. Of course, the greatest of these was her stalwart beloved of over 20 years, Arnie, with whom she is now in the ultimate long distance relationship. They can all finally catch up on their sleep.

Donations can be made to the Dorothy Ley Hospice, Toronto.

Posted at Arnie’s page at Blazing Cat Fur



But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

5 Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.  —-   Isaiah 21

In an interview Dylan is asked why after so many years he still out there on stage, performing all of his songs on tour. After emphasizing that he doesn’t take any of it for granted, Dylan gives the following reply: ‘’It goes back to that destiny thing. I mean, I made a bargain with it, you know, long time ago. And I’m holding up my end’’. On the question of what his bargain was Dylan answers: ‘‘to get where I am now”. And asked whom he made that bargain with he answers: “With the Chief Commander, in this earth, and in a world we can’t see”. — Kees de Graaf  

[continue reading…]


Signs of Civil War II from 1997: What to Watch For

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. — Matthew 24:6

Civil War II Checklist By Thomas Chittum in 1997

    1. Ethnic/racial classification on government documents. “Every time you see a blank for your ethnic group on a form, think Civil War II.”
    2. “If illegal aliens are allowed to vote, even in local elections, it will be another unmistakable signal that American citizenship, and therefore America itself, is finished.”
    3. “The abolition of the right to bear arms.”
    4. “Watch for racially split juries.”
    5. “Watch for the military to assume police duties.”
    6. “Watch for the establishment of an elite military force outside the chain of command of the regular military to serve as an internal counterinsurgency force.”
    7. “Watch for Washington D.C. to increasingly resemble the capital of some banana republic under siege by revolutionaries and mobs. Specifically, watch for riots in Washington D.C. to grow in scope until they menace the White House and the Congress.”
    8. “Resegregation: Watch for Africans and other minorities demanding, and often getting, separate facilities for themselves, another clear sign that they’re continuing to reject co-option.”
    9. “Watch for further replacement of individual rights by group rights”

[continue reading…]