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To the Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers


Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you fore defeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.

Sometime not too long back, Gerard posted that old footage of the French impressionists. The film of Rodin working that chisel lit up a thing that had been dead in me for a very long time. I did what I said, right after I saw it. I built a new carving table, retrieved an unfinished stone piece I abandoned over fifteen years ago, and got back to work. jwm in Strange Daze

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‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy

“The America of my timeline is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”

Robert A. Heinlein, To Sail Beyond the Sunset

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A Case for Jefferson by Robert Frost

Harrison loves my country too,
But wants it all made over new.
He’s Freudian Viennese by night.
By day he’s Marxian Muscovite.
It isn’t because he’s Russian Jew.
He’s Puritan Yankee through and through.
He dotes on Saturday pork and beans.
But his mind is hardly out of his teens:
With him the love of country means
Blowing it all to smithereens
And having it all made over new.

– – 1947

Instructions For Wayfarers

They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.

They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.

You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .

—Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

I didn’t do the murder to gain wealth and power and to become a benefactor of mankind. Nonsense! I simply did it; I did the murder for myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others, or spent my life like a spider, catching men in my web and sucking the life out of men, I couldn’t have cared at that moment.… And it was not the money I wanted, Sonia, when I did it. It was not so much the money I wanted, but something else.… I know it all now.… Understand me! Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not, whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right …” Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment

“Рукописи не горят!” ‘Manuscripts don’t burn!’ (Mikhail Bulgakov) When it is used? To express the conviction that art is prevalent over time and power, and sometimes, to express an opinion that the truth shall prevail no matter what.


Watch as Randi Parkhurst, a fine paper and book artist from the Pacific Northwest slowly unveils and demonstrates her meticulous 2007 creation, PATIENCE: the Inception of Artist Books. Some describe Patience as the equivalent of a Russian Matryoshka doll. Watch as some twenty self-contained handmade books, each inconceivably smaller than the one before, open and reveal the exquisite piece.

Even as a young child, I often had a running monologue in my head in which I opined on things. But very few people were interested (or interested at all, for the most part) when I talked to friends or family about some of the things that fascinated me. Then for many years, as an adult, I wrote essays, short stories, and poetry, and submitted some of them for publication. A few poems got published in literary journals, but I discovered something surprising, which is that after they were published I experienced a “so what?” feeling. I wanted at least a few people to tell me what reactions the poem sparked in them. I wanted to know that someone was out there reading it, and what that person thought. If a poem gets published in a journal and no one responds, did that poem get published at all? Blog comments: here, there, and everywhere – The New Neo [continue reading…]

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The Gift of a Lifetime

 

[ From What Would You Do with the Last Box of .22 Ammunition? ]

What would I do with my last box of .22 Long Rifle? First, I’d ask that it be a 100-round, hard-plastic box of good high-velocity hollow-points, like 37-grain Super-X’s or CCI Mini-Mags. I won’t cheat and call a 550-round value pack “a box.” Then I’d put it away and write my 6-year-old son, Anse, a letter for him to read after he gets a little older:

Son, this is a curse. I had thousands of .22s to shoot up when I was your age, but you only get these. That’s a raw deal for someone with your interests and inclinations, but life’s full of raw deals. You’ll manage.

You can learn a lot with a .22 rifle and 100 rounds, so long as you don’t do something stupid with them, like shoot road signs or the old appliances laying in the creeks.

Get a rifle to call your own. If there’s an old one of mine you like, I’ll give it to you. But don’t be afraid to shop for yourself. Nostalgia doesn’t make a rifle shoot, and in fact, I’ve seen plenty of old guns that weren’t worth a shit. When you get a really good rifle, you’ll know it. Until then, know that searching for it is one of life’s great pleasures.

When you have it, save your money until you can buy a good scope, otherwise you’ll spend just as much on two or three cheap ones that you won’t like. Get good mounts, too. With just 100 rounds, you can’t be fretting about your gun being off.

Don’t leave anything to chance when you check your zero. Get a good rest on a solid bench, on a range with no distractions. Just about every problem I’ve ever had sighting in a gun happened because of a shaky table or contorted shooting position. You don’t have many shots, son, so be sure not to waste them here.

Then, you know what to do: Wait until the last week in August or the first one in September. Head to the hardwoods. Any of the ridges we’ve always hunted will be fine. Go alone. Pick a sunny morning that’s calm and still and cool—maybe 12 hours after a rain so the leaves on the ground are soft and quiet. Don’t go if it’s been raining all night, though, because the droplets will still be falling from the canopy, and it’s hard to tell the difference in that sound and the sounds of squirrels cutting.

Look for the mature pignut and shagbark hickories. There’ll be one or two growing for every 10 oaks on a ridge, and you know what they look like. If you hear a hickory nut fall to the ground, it’s probably because a squirrel dropped it, since the mast around here doesn’t fall on its own until late September. Stand there a minute or two, and listen for teeth scraping on the nut. Then you’ll know for sure.

Sneak up on the sound. Watch for limbs shaking. Use the shadows to get close. If you spook a squirrel it’s OK, because there’ll be another one—but eventually you’ll learn how to get right under them, and almost never spook them. Find a sapling for a rest, one that’s several inches around so the trunk doesn’t flex and so that you’re solid, and shoot the squirrels in the head. Take no other shots but that. Clean every squirrel, and cook them for yourself or share them. Don’t ever waste one.

One hundred rounds of .22 won’t last long, but it’s enough, if you use a few each fall, to learn how to do this. And if you learn how to do this, you can go hunting for anything else, anywhere on the planet, and hold your own just fine. —Will Brantley

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David Warren Health Update

Latest news: Essays in Idleness David Warren continues —

Got back to the High Doganate yesterday; such a joy to be among the jackhammers again, the summer heat, and the jungle music from across the street. My son and sister continue their heroic work on my behalf, together with those doctors and nurses and physiotherapists who have improved my opinion of Canadian healthcare.

I continue to improve, but slowly; at least another two or three months of shameless leisure. Thanks for all letters and emails of encouragement, and reckless gifts of money. Very tired, and still in the mental fog appropriate to my condition, so I shan’t try to be acrobatic just yet.

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Kennel Flags Across America Are at Half Mast

We pause to mourn the victim of this unbridled PUPPY ATTACK! via the ever-popular New Neo

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An excerpt on the mind virus infecting black Americans: The Curse of Aaron – by David Cole [HT: Commenter JWM]

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

But why? Why the anger and hatred? By not answering that question, Shakespeare has inadvertently given us the most relevant 21st-century black character of any playwright in history. A character living in a society in which he is afforded all possible opportunities, while—even as he takes advantage of those opportunities—he harbors nothing but hostility toward the majority population, even if he can point to no specific reason why they deserve such enmity. His very identity is based upon hatred of whites. There’s no tidy origin story, no specific wrong that’s being avenged or injury that served as a catalyst for the rage. There’s just an angry black man who looks gift horses in the mouth and yanks their teeth for pleasure. A black man who finds more satisfaction in being at war than he does from achieving success.

A black man who feels entitled to that war, even if he cannot name a single concrete reason why he should be.

Behold the black New York Times and Washington Post and MSNBC journalists and the black Biden administration officials and the black Hollywood producers and the black athletes and academics who live lives that would make most people green with envy, yet who seem to find fulfillment only in antiwhite, anti-West rage.

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

If you could hear the innermost thoughts of someone like the NYT’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, that’s exactly what would be playing on a loop.

Meghan Markle is Aaron in a way that’s almost too on-the-nose. Accepted into a royal house, she proceeded to destroy it from within, in the name of a righteous anger based on nothing more than a belief that she’s racially entitled to be destructive. Presented with a life of luxury and influence, she found greater satisfaction in sowing discord.

Of course, Markle’s an extreme (and, as I said, almost too perfect) example. Plus, in all ways that matter, she’s irrelevant; a bimbo actress–turned–figurehead royal–turned–“famous for being famous” tabloid fodder. The far more pressing matter is that the “Aaron attitude” is fast becoming the norm among everyday American blacks. In last week’s column, I wrote about the process of black radicalization. Aaron is the result of that radicalization.

For the leftist blacks, whites, and Jews who view themselves as shepherds of the black community, Aaron is the ideal, the goal of all the social engineering and propagandizing. Perpetually furious, blindly hateful, vengeful though not for any wrongs actually incurred, unmollified by opportunity or success, and obsessively focused on “tearing it down” while having no idea what to replace “it” with.

An important part of Aaron’s character arc is that he has no exit strategy. Having had no goal beyond destruction, once it becomes clear that his scheming has produced the desired results (the royal house is crumbling, and Titus’ last remaining son Lucius has joined with the Goths to lead an assault on the city), Aaron decides to pick up and leave (a luxury the New York Times Aarons might have, but inner-city Aarons don’t). He grabs his baby, his “son and heir” (the product of his trysts with Tamora), and hits the road.

Unfortunately for him, he’s caught by Lucius and the Goths. Lucius declares that the Moor and his offspring will be killed, a rather understandable response considering that Aaron orchestrated the murder of his brothers, the rape and maiming of his sister, and the dismemberment of his father.

“Save the child,” Aaron implores. In exchange, Aaron offers to reveal all the evils he’s done, every underhanded deed, every plot. “Things that highly may advantage thee to hear.” But only if Lucius swears that the child will be unharmed.

And now we come to my favorite part of the play. Lucius says:

Who should I swear by? Thou believest no god:
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?

And Aaron essentially replies, indeed, an oath from me is worthless. But I know that you have a belief in morals and ethics. I know that if you give me your word, you’ll keep it,

For I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called conscience.

Aaron despises white society. But he understands that these people he’s waged war against have a thing inside them that can be manipulated, an adherence to a set of values and beliefs. A conscience. Aaron knows how to use this weakness against them; their sense of morality, their allegiance to the rule of law. Their “do-gooder” mindset…

RTWT @ The Curse of Aaron – by David Cole

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“Don’t F**k with my distribution costs!”

A tender moment of caring and sharing between blacks and whites from “Network” (1976) The Mao Tse Tung Hour Negotiations

[HT: Commenter Eric Blair]

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BLM founder is branded a FRAUD after buying a $1.4 million home

  • Patrisse Cullors, 37, has bought an expansive property in Topanga Canyon
  • The district in which the BLM founder will now live is 88% white and 1.8% black
  • Critics accused her of abandoning her social justice and activist roots
  • Cullors has written a best-selling memoir and has a follow-up out in October
  • In October she signed a ‘multi-platform, multi-year’ deal with Warner Bros
  • BLM brought in $90 million in donations last year, it emerged in March

I see, I notice, I supply a little context, and I pass on… Some African-Americans are not so sanguine about this latest bit of plain fat-ass grifting by black self-proclaimed Marxist perverts. [continue reading…]

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The One-Eyed Man

In terra unum caecorum rex est luscus. — Erasmus

Several weeks back, after hundreds of assuring and calming comments, I had my left eye operated on to remove cataracts and insert a new, artificial lens.  The most immediate effect right after the operation was — according to my sister-in-law — a very stoned afternoon at my place waiting for the aftereffects of the anesthesia to wear off. She later confirmed that she was not feeling relaxed when, upon returning home, I whipped out the cast iron skillet, various knives, and other sharp-edged tools, and cobbled together a grilled ham and cheese sandwich while talking to it. Not my usual bill of fare but I’m sure it seemed like a good idea to my seething cranium. 

After that, it was a couple of days of taking good care of my left eye so as not to undo what had been done with a careless eye rub. At night I wore a protective eyeshield.

Then there was the morning after.

At first, you are not sure what is going on with your vision. What you are seeing seems like your regular vision only, well, washed and cleaned. Things seem slightly sharper and this impression only grows more distinct with, indeed, every passing hour. It is as if your sight, compromised for many years, was slowly and deliberately being returned to you; as if some hidden rheostat was being steadily turned up. 

But, as it turns out, that is only, well, half-true.

I can now see two different universes from my illusory position at the center of creation depending on which eye I use. If  I shut my right, uncorrected eye everything is crisp and bright and shows its true colors. But if I shut my left eye, the world is all slightly sepia-toned — everything has a vague yellow/brown tint to it.  It is as if I moved within an old nostalgic universe or a fading photograph’s memory of one.

With both eyes open it would seem that they have made a deal between themselves and I exist in a world half-tint and half-clear. Most of the time now I go about without remarking on it very much but yesterday I inadvertently left my place without the glasses that I have worn since 1988. Usually, I would turn around and get them but I really felt no pressure to do so. Everything seemed, if not exactly crisp and bright, but “good enough.”

Today everything seems, if I alternate eyes, still half-dim and half-bright. But those days are numbered. The right eye is due to have its cataracts removed and lens replaced soon. I won’t be sad to leave the one-eyed man behind. I won’t even be nostalgic for the sepia-tinted old-fashioned look my world used to have. If I want that I can always wear shades. In fact, I am actually heading for a place where I can say with some accuracy, “The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.” [continue reading…]

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Something Wonderful: Amazing Grace


Through many dangers, toils and snares…

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Long Read of the Week: Equality by C. S. Lewis

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. Whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure. I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost, much less a nation. Nor do most people — all the people who believe advertisements, and think in catchwords and spread rumors. The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.

This introduces a view of equality rather different from that in which we have been trained. I do not think that equality is one of those things (like wisdom or happiness) which are good simply in themselves and for their own sakes. I think it is in the same class as medicine, which is good because we are ill, or clothes which are good because we are no longer innocent. I don’t think the old authority in kings, priests, husbands, or fathers, and the old obedience in subjects, laymen, wives, and sons, was in itself a degrading or evil thing at all. I think it was intrinsically as good and beautiful as the nakedness of Adam and Eve. It was rightly taken away because men became bad and abused it. To attempt to restore it now would be the same error as that of the Nudists. Legal and economic equality are absolutely necessary remedies for the Fall, and protection against cruelty.

But medicine is not good. There is no spiritual sustenance in flat equality. It is a dim recognition of this fact which makes much of our political propaganda sound so thin. We are trying to be enraptured by something which is merely the negative condition of the good life. That is why the imagination of people is so easily captured by appeals to the craving for inequality, whether in a romantic form of films about loyal courtiers or in the brutal form of Nazi ideology. The tempter always works on some real weakness in our own system of values — offers food to some need which we have starved. [continue reading…]

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Lethal Earworm Alert

I apologize in advance for any rapid onset dementia caused by this item but it had to go somewhere. You don’t have to look and looking you don’t have to listen. You have been warned. [continue reading…]

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Strange Daze Illustrated

The Statue Of Liberty’s Head:  The head of the Statue of Liberty sits on display in a park in Paris, France in 1878, not long before it was transported to its permanent home in New York City. A gift from France to the U.S., the statue was built and even displayed in its home country before eventually being shipped overseas. [continue reading…]

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The Old Order Changes

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world…

Prince Philip dead at 99: Queen announces the passing of Duke of Edinburgh weeks after heart surgery and after 73 years of marriage.

Born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, Philip was evacuated as an infant from Greece by a British warship following the Greek/Turk war and resettled in Paris where he attended an American school. Following stints in schools in Germany and Scotland Philip joined the Royal Navy and served with distinction in World War II, being mentioned in dispatches. He was also present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese Surrender was signed.

He met Princess Elizabeth in 1939 and they began to exchange letters when she was 13.  He asked King George for her hand in 1946 and they were married in a state wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 1947. Over 200 million people watched it from around the world. 

From there he went on until age 99 living a very big life.

My first memory of television is watching Elizabeth being crowned in a State Coronation in 1953. Soon, much later, I will watch a State Funeral.

… But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seëst—if indeed I go—
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow’d, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crown’d with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”

So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
Revolving many memories, till the hull
Look’d one black dot against the verge of dawn,
And on the mere the wailing died away.

—  Morte d’Arthur /  Tennyson
 

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