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Strange Daze

The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth. But men do not see it…Split a piece of wood and I am there. Lift up the stone and you will find me there. –The Gospel of Thomas

I have noticed these signs, most often in upscale neighborhoods inhabited by professionals or well-to-do retirees.  Why put up a sign like that in a peaceful, upscale, decidedly un-diverse neighborhood?  There is nothing to suggest that the neighbors are racists or bigots.  Or that hate has set up a household on their block.   So, what is going on?  Some call it virtue signaling. But it is really vice signaling.  

Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt. There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them and that they had reason to do so.

Allied to the teachers’ unions, the liberals had permitted our schools to descend to Third World standards. They supported an immigration system that imported economic immobility. They welcomed a regulatory morass that gave elites jobs but that placed a stumbling block in the path of those who sought to get ahead.  They watched as factories closed and workers lost their jobs when production was sent to China while their investment portfolios grew fat. They shopped at Amazon while their local retailers went broke.   Rather than blame themselves, it was much easier to transfer the guilt to conservatives. That is how vice signaling became the language of liberal politics.

The people with their  “No Hate” signs sow more division than they do comity. It tells you that if you are not in tune with the Liberal zeitgeist, you are a hater.  They show their love by ordering a sign from Itsy, or Zazzle or Amazon to tell you how full of love they are, unlike the sinners around them  It is actually a hateful sign and people who put them in their yards are – like the Pharisees – hypocrites.  

Darkness at Christmas :That every conceivable human evil may be advanced by methods of social isolation, has been this year’s “breakthrough” rediscovery, and points to its ultimate authorship, Below. In Ontario, for instance, under a simpleton premier, almost all human interaction is banned, except that of mass-market retailing. Starting on the Feast of Stephen (December 26th), familiar visitors to our households will become liable to fines of up to 100,000 Canadian dollars, and up to one year in gaol.

While such lockdowns have been shown to have no effect whatever on the transmission of viruses already widely disseminated, wherever they have been studied, they are imposed as if they were “science,” by petty, and very sleazy, politicians. In no civilized jurisdiction had they such personal authority. But they are thrilled to discover that they can get away with it; that a public systematically misinformed, and deprived of prompt, decisive legal recourse, will obey their edicts, and thereby submit to enslavement. Throughout history, those willing to be enslaved, have been enslaved.

Everybody remember where we parked. Clear right. Clear left. Hit it!

It Could Have Been So Much Worse Experts who model large-scale disasters have long worried that a serious shock to one of the country’s essential systems—a month-long blackout, say, or a large breakdown in our fuel supply, or, yes, a pandemic—could plunge the nation into the cascading collapse known as a “hyper-disaster.” Store shelves would go bare within days. Hungry gangs would roam blacked-out streets. Tens of millions could die.

None of that happened. Yes, supply chains were strained. As always, toilet paper was a leading indicator that people were stocking up on essentials—to a fault. Some staples were in short supply. Where I live, yeast, of all things, was impossible to find. Stuck at home, everyone apparently decided to start baking bread. But suppliers and retailers adapted. When prices for toilet paper shot up, they figured out how to shift inventory once destined for office buildings over to the domestic market.

The Nashville bomber was apparently a suicide – The New Neo Snow on Pine  said:
While I’m at it, Trump has been the rock upon which practically every contemporary institution of power–and a whole host of major figures in our society as well–have foundered, have revealed themselves to be a bunch of poseurs, as Leftist ideologues, and nowhere near as benevolent, glorious, intelligent, and informed institutions and figures as they have been, and liked to be portrayed as. In fact, once you start to doubt the competence, objectivity, patriotism, dedication, and loyalty of the FBI to our Republic, to our political system, and to our Constitution (and, then, start to have creeping suspicions about other parts of our government and other major institutions), and start looking backward in time, the number of high profile cases over the last several decades that then come into question just keeps growing.

Robert E. Lee has always been part of that solution, because no Confederate has been judged more deserving of being honored as a national hero. President Dwight Eisenhower kept a photo of Lee in his office, and when a constituent wrote him a letter saying, ”I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated,”  the general responded eloquently.  ”Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.”

The reason we have forgotten why Lee is worth honoring is the same reason we have forgotten why we needed him in the first place: we have lost our appreciation for old-fashioned virtues like duty and filial piety. I saw a pundit on Twitter, otherwise a pretty conservative guy, say recently: ”Robert E. Lee literally had the privilege of choosing which army he wanted to lead in the Civil War. He chose wrong.” It’s true that Lee was offered command of Union forces in April 1861, but it is a modern anachronism to assume from this that he had a choice. 

Parisian Woman and a Cat in her Cannabis Garden

Before the Internet, there was the 1960s Dial-a-Poem Hotline Fifteen rotary telephones were set up in a room at the Architectural League on the Upper East Side, and rigged up to a bank of bulky recording devices. Wires were everywhere, and the set-up would look entirely primitive to us today, but once upon a time, this was white hot technology. There were 15 answering machines for each of the phones, which you could call from anywhere and listen to a poem at random. Sometimes it could be sound art or political speeches, comedy or music. The hotlines were changed everyday by Giorno with new selections. Stickers advertising the phone number were placed in public phone booths, in cafes, on bulletin boards and on the subways.What Happened to Picasso’s Mysterious Teenage Muse? ”Once, he took me into the barn where he kept his car.  It was an old Hispano Suiza, covered in dust. It was an amazing car. He opened the door and sat on the back seat. He sat there talking about all sorts of things and told me stories. He told me that creativity was happiness and that any object can be interesting  — that they all give you ideas. But he never touched me. He knew that if he had touched me, I would be off, like a deer!”

This is a Bible with a compartment for a gun filled by a gun. Made in Venice for Doge Francesco Morosini in the second half of the 17th century.

The final tally : Essays in Idleness The great majority of the world’s population is dead. Even the statisticians concede this. Counting only the last fifty thousand years, they suggest, more than 108 billion of us have been born. (More precisely, 108,760,543,790, as of 1st July 2019; presumably at midnight GMT.) Yet only seven-point-seven billion are still alive. Every week, another couple of million “pass,” as we say, using a sporting metaphor. Among the demographic experts, there is no agreement on how many remain unborn. There is also the vexed question, of how abortions are to be counted. I would think they are a “force multiplier” on the side of death, to use the language of the Pentagon. But count them dead, and a feminist may have a spittle-flecked nutter. Should we then count them as never having died?

The Gashlycrumb Tinies: Edward Gorey’s Alphabet of Death – How the 26 children died is a matter of record. In 1963, American artist Edward Gorey presented The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a book of drawings and rhymes showing the young victims, each name standing for a letter of the alphabet: “A is for AMY who fell down the stairs”; “B is for BASIL assaulted by bears”. “I see no disparity between my books and everyday life,” said the artist. “I write about everyday life.”Original Pizza Hut “ Wichita, Kansas –  In 1958, the Carney brothers, then WSU students, had the humble goal of opening a small pizza shop on the corner of Bluff and Kellogg Streets in Wichita. Run with the help of fellow students and family, the pizza joint was a success, leading the Carneys to open another branch in Topeka. Soon, more followed. Today, Pizza Hut can be enjoyed in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Michael Walsh’s ‘Last Stands’ Explains Why Men Go Down Fighting to the Last Breath One of the unintended consequences of the recent pandemic was it drove home how vast, wonderful, and terrifying the universe is. The politicians had nearly convinced us they were going to manage everything when events escaped control. Suddenly the disease revealed we might need bravery again. Had the coronavirus proved highly fatal we might have had to make our own Beau Geste,  cause a fuss over our own endings.

This 25-Year-Old Puddle Has Its Own Instagram Account A giant puddle in Russia’s Far East city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is being described as “invincible” after it somehow survived unfixed for over a quarter of a century. It now has its own Instagram page and over 16,000 followers.

The modern world will not be punished.
It is the punishment. — Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn December 29, 2020, 2:03 PM

    When you grow up in the rain forest (note: Seattle is not the rain forest – it is the sun belt by comparison) you get so used to epic mud puddles that it is unseemly to imagine them being lionized. Right: the modern world IS the punishment.

    Who wrote that venerable curse cum blessing, “may you live in interesting times”.

    Picture little Casey at age 4, in the woods with his maternal grandfather, father and brother, poaching shake blocks, establishing great z pulley block and tackle and cable rescues to pull our trucks out of the mud. The weather so very shitty it became the butt of Seattle’s humor, and the subject of a book and movie series. Fucking RAIN. Now, I miss that. I miss it very much.

  • John Venlet December 29, 2020, 2:09 PM

    If God, The Creator, was in a split piece of wood, and split pieces of wood are not only lovely to look at they smell good, or under a rock, where I usually find only worms or roly poly bugs, He would not be God, The Creator. One can certainly see and experience God’s creation, His infiniteness, in these material things, but He is wholly separate.

  • Joel December 29, 2020, 2:24 PM

    I always look forward to Strange Daze. 🙂

  • Kevin in PA December 29, 2020, 2:25 PM

    Nicolás Gómez Dávila is correct.
    Similar to – All of life is like junior high school repeated over and over.

    From the outside the original PH looks like a public toilet.

    Was there any doubt that Hector was done in by a thug?

    I hear tell that Francesco Morosini was working a tough neighborhood back in the day. Hence the Bible- gun holster concept.

    I’m okay with all feminist having spittle-flecked nutters anytime. I actually enjoy watching them.

    PSA – keep the damn cat away from the pot plants! They think it is catnip and will eat it down to the nub.

  • PA Cat December 29, 2020, 2:51 PM

    “Was there any doubt that Hector was done in by a thug?”
    I think Achilles would resent that term.

  • gwbnyc December 29, 2020, 3:23 PM

    Is the girl the one whose mother Picasso negotiated with, or was that an earlier arrangment?

    Is the downturned ducting exhaust to keep the roof greased?

    A miquelet lock stored as discharged piqued my thoughts briefly but then that relieves the springs; if it was a consideration.

    The road that I was born to started as graded dirt with ditching either side, some portions never dry, then followed sprayed oil to quell dust. A very few years passed and hot tar was put down under medium gravel, reapplied regularly. I became familiar with lestoil and kerosene in these times.. Then at last full-blown asphalt arrived with sanitary sewers, gas and water lines. We kept our well, it was in the basement. The water was ice cold, clear, and delicious. Phasing through an interim 5’, 11-1/2” put my head sufficient height to induce aloofness and forget what I had accrued when closer to the ground.

  • Stargazer December 29, 2020, 3:35 PM

    That count-down clock to 2021 reminded me: the Time Stamper of Y2K. My client and my team were ready for Y2K. Everything fixed, checked, double checked, tested, etc. Then it happened, the dreaded Y2K turnover. Every thing was fine except the device the admins used to timestamp incoming letters. Sure enough: December 32, 1999. There was a line of people who had to have that timestamp. Happy December 32, 2020 to everyone. (And I will be a year older.)

  • H (science denier) December 29, 2020, 3:54 PM
  • Snakepit Kansas December 29, 2020, 5:10 PM

    That original Pizza Hut building, I believe, still stands on the Wichita State University campus. Drove by it a few hundred times in the late 80s to mid-90s.

    In the Philippines, you can call for a Pizza Hut delivery by busting out your cell phone and calling 9111111. Shortly some dude on a scooter will show up at your address with your request.

  • ghostsniper December 29, 2020, 7:02 PM

    In 1999 I had been building high performance CAD computers for several years and had about 4 or 5 running at all times. I decided to sacrifice one and turned the calendar ahead past 2000 just to see what would happen….

  • butch December 29, 2020, 7:22 PM

    Those “Hate has no home here” signd do simplify targeting.

  • julie December 29, 2020, 9:09 PM

    Right up there with the houses having “gun free zone” signs in the front. Come to think of it, there’s probably a pretty big crossover between the two…

  • JoeDaddy December 30, 2020, 3:23 AM

    19 JAN is a personal holiday for me. ROBERT E. LEE’s birthday. Also the day I was inducted into the US ARMY. No greater General has lived.

  • John The River December 30, 2020, 6:16 AM

    There is a book, titled (if I remember correctly) “April 1865”, that details the important decisions made by General Robert E. Lee at the end of the Civil War. His army was defeated but it was within Lee’s power to continue the war by ordering (or merely permitting) his troops to break up and make their way to the mountains and continue a guerilla war. A war that could have gone on for years and resulted in the same kind of genocide and savagery that history recorded in Yugoslavia and Vietnam.

    But Lee opposed any suggestion of taking that path, and several of his generals were adamant that “The Cause” not be abandoned. Only Robert E. Lee had the standing and the respect to put an end to any plans to go that way. Only he could simply order it to be over, and his men including the other remaining armies in the field when word reached them would obey, and it was over.

    But these ‘chest-less men’ will have Lee gone, and in Boston, yesterday, so is Abraham Lincoln.

  • Casey Klahn December 30, 2020, 8:00 AM

    I didn’t realize that Picasso split with Françoise Gilot in 1954; I have a catalog of dates for Matisse in my head, but my details of Picasso’s life are less filled-in. His works of Sylvette are fantastic and important – it’s a good article. She was made to order.

    Here I go again, personalizing the content here. Mallory, in the rug painting on the sidebar here, was my long time muse. I’ve drawn and painted her a hundred times, both nude and clothed. She wore her hair short with straight bangs; her eyes are femme fatale and her whole appearance vampish. In reality, she has wounds and trophies in life. She had a way of posing that thrilled all the artists who drew her – a turn of the hand. Her neck was too long, her head very sculpted, her hands and wrists just so. When she stopped posing, it left a hole in our practice.

    Of course, I still paint her from memory. BTW, I made some money from those paintings, although I was just starting this whole adventure of working from the nude and from life. Damn covid; it has almost stopped our life sessions and zoom is not the same. Oh, also I just displayed Mallory as a portrait in the NYC annual pastel exhibition (except this year it was virtual). Merde. Anyway, it was noteworthy for me.

    Maybe for all the shit Picasso put them through, the sands of time will refine. Sylvette will be famous for 500 years because of her beauty and inspiration. Picasso’s shittiness will fade, fade, fade. Nobody remembers how Caravaggio murdered a man. What were Tintoretto’s politics? Who cares? No mistake: he should’ve treated people and women better. One wonders how all of the art would look had he kept it in his trousers. The stupid fuck.

  • Harry December 30, 2020, 9:32 AM

    I’m not sure “Pizza Hut” and “enjoy” belong in the same sentence, at least when it comes to our local Pizza Hut.

  • George_Banner December 30, 2020, 9:46 AM

    “I have noticed these signs”

    Virtue signaling is the right answer.
    Some people are desperate to perform the sacraments of the Maarx Moloch religion.

    And then there’s quite a lot of [Q] “political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” [/Q]
    ― Theodore Dalrymple

    We are facing half the country peddling with the rabid spittle spraying insanity of pisslim jihadist fanatics the missionary, messianic and terminally aggressive religion of leftism in all its flavors.

    Most people who do not partake of the Maarx Moloch religion still don’t understand the nature of the enemy.

    The only mistake of Robert Lee was that he lost.

  • jhstuart December 30, 2020, 10:00 AM

    I was passing through a rural VT town when I first saw one of the Hate signs. I was past the sign before I could read it correctly and thought it said, “Kate has no home here”. I thought OMG, what did Kate do
    to be ostracized. Was she a modern day Hester Prynne? I was truly disappointed to learn the real message.

  • EX-Californian Pete December 30, 2020, 10:05 AM

    Remember when Liberals swore (although they always LIE) that they were all for “TOLERANCE,” and wanted to “COEXIST”?
    I guess they quit demanding that after they decided it was more fun to condemn and attack everyone who was not exactly like them. Or maybe because burning, looting, destroying, and rioting was a lot more fun, and a lot less work for those who are ignorant, angry, and lazy.

  • James ONeil December 30, 2020, 10:45 AM

    The plane using the highway as a runway; Some years back a guy that worked for me, to get his pilot’s licence, was making his solo cross country, got a wee bit lost outside of Fairbanks. Brought his plane down on Chena Hot Springs Road, taxied pass, reading mail boxes to find where he was (Mail addresses then read 6 Mile Chena Hot Springs Rd, 7.8 mile CHSR, etc.), took off completing his flight.

    There’s still the occasional plane on the road in rural Alaska but it’s not as common a sight as it was back in the day.

  • James ONeil December 30, 2020, 11:17 AM

    Sigh, Casey, damncovid, or more accurately, damnstupidresponse to an uncommon cold, has stopped our life sessions up here on top the world. Other than that, it’s have very little effect on my life style but the lack of those sessions is a great loss.

    & congrads on NYC Exibit!

  • Jeff Brokaw January 1, 2021, 6:36 AM

    I concur with Joel above — Strange Daze is awesome. Such a wonderful collection of random stuff from funny to interesting to odd, and never EVER boring.

    Top notch and well done sir!

  • LB1901 January 1, 2021, 12:55 PM

    There is no ‘Gospel of Thomas.’ No. No there isn’t.