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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Hole in the Wall

But first, before taking up residence in the countryside, it is absolutely crucial to avoid those things that could abort, or even reverse, any effort to live a more essential and more spiritual life, namely the good likelihood that a person of our sort will end up offending one or more of our guardians and/or law officers. Crucial, too, to remember that it is impossible to go on breathing in times of late decadence without at the same time being in violation of at least two or three laws or fashion imperatives.

Where really, can a person go if he wishes to have a cigarette? Or tell and ethnic joke? What if he finds himself having negative thoughts about some specific race or gender or handicapped person, some man/boy pederast or cocaine merchant? How if he prefers old movies to new, yea, and romantic ballads as well? How about it if he habitually averts his face when Madonna comes on stage? And how about that Brad person and his wives!

You remember how during the religious troubles in Britain, certain unreformed Catholic aristocrats used to create secret cubicles in their homes where outlawed priests could hide from the authorities? Well there’s our answer I do believe – have a hidden place, about eight feet square, where one could smoke or speak out loud, consume high caloric foods and fail to exercise. There, in perfect darkness, a man might curse the modern age, the obsolescence of mules and the coming of baggy pants. An then, after an hour or so, fall into the best-quality sleep still available to those charged with supporting with blood and treasure the world’s last (as of today) superpower.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In times of decadence...

Moving right along, we need now to consider the ways in which a decent person might be able to weather the next few impending years. Already we’ve agreed that anyone living in a city needs immediately to abandon the place, taking as many of his or her private possessions as can be fitted into the trunk of an automobile. (We’ve not yet come to the point where racial profiling has made travel impossible for white people, nor have CCTV cameras as yet been programmed to narrow in on people understood to be historically guilty. Accordingly, a scrupulous driver ought to be able to put a fair number of jurisdictions between himself and the city he is fleeing before his local IRS agent and other creditors have been twittered as to the fact.) And this, that although city dwellers aren’t permitted to expose actual rifles in the rear window of their vehicles, yet decals are easily available, and cheap.
Having (we assume) escaped the downtown city and (a much less difficult operation), having bribed the toll taker and gatekeepers, our delinquent instinctively points his and her nose to the South, last place on earth where a person can still be left alone. Here, settled amongst poor people who still understand how to grow food, our person can sleep till noon, tend hogs, listen to good music and read four or five books a week.
(Our next installment will undertake to cite which books and hogs are most availing for an individual of our kind.)

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

More on Decadence

We cannot of course predict how long, under conditions of deep decadence, the once-great culture of the West can persist. Some say a full century still remains to us, citing as examples the seemingly interminable cultural stasis of Egypt persisting down to Alexander and beyond, or Byzantium’s thousand-year collapse. Others believe we have less time than that, perhaps only a single generation before the last performance of an opera will have been given, the last piece of literary fiction published, and the last good school sacrificed to diversity and a perverted egalitarianism. For those whose tastes run in that direction, we may by then boast ten thousand rock stars, a million celebrities, and marriage will be understood as any legally valid agreement uniting a list of husbands, wives, pets, and clones.
How then should serious people behave in the short time left to us? I have acquaintances who have chosen to stand up against the current debasement, and who seem in some cases actually to believe that a restoration of social health is still possible. That is not the opinion of this person. Decadence is easy, lots of fun, and is especially attractive to prosperous people who have become averse to struggle and concentration. That is why the facile virtues, the ones that can be practiced while sitting on a couch in a darkened room – compassion, empathy, tolerance – have crowded out the hard ones, which is to say integrity, strength, and achievement.
(We’ll definitely return to this theme in our next contribution where we [just me actually] will try to reply to the question cited in the first sentence of the second paragraph inscribed about four and a half inches above.)

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