Author: Daren Jonescu

On Letting Go of Friends

Throughout my teaching life, spanning twenty-five years, I have frequently had the honor of serving as private counselor or mentor to students struggling with personal problems — usually problems of an existential, as opposed to practical, nature. I seem to have a knack for attracting young people who are a little outside modernity’s social norms, whether temperamentally, intellectually, or both. One reason for...

Look Happy!

Recently, a friend returned to a frequent theme of our conversations, namely the infantilization of contemporary society. In particular, he noted the increasing emphasis on the supposed importance of making every aspect of life “fun.” Work should be fun. Learning, of course, should be fun. Even politics should be fun — Trump, as cultist Clarice Feldman gushes, is “the most fun president ever.”...

Economics vs. Political Philosophy

One of my great bugaboos in conversing with my sometime allies in the American conservative movement is their all too frequent infatuation with, and deference toward, free market economic theory. Let me state this as clearly as possible. Economics in the modern form — the form into which it has evolved since, like its sisters among the “social sciences,” it detached itself from...

Save the Whales

Two beluga whales, beautiful, swim ovals in an aquarium tank. Round and round, never changing direction or speed. The crowd gasps, “Whaaaaa,” each time the pair pass near the glass. I wonder: Are those whales going insane from the boring repetition, feeling trapped, desperate to escape? Or does this describe their audience? Or does it describe me, standing here watching this depressing spectacle?...

Looking vs. Seeing

“To look at” vs. “To see”: Directing one’s eyes toward a thing is completely different from focusing one’s vision upon it. To look at a thing is a physical action, a movement of the body and an aiming or orienting of the organs of sight. To see that thing (to focus upon one part of one’s visual field rather than another) is a...

On Our Moral Certainties

Because we live in our society, in our time, we cannot avoid exposure to the dominant moral atmosphere and the tenor of discourse around us. Growing up in a peculiar kind of social environment, the things that are considered “normal” in that environment inevitably come to feel normal to us too — and that includes the things about which we have reservations, or...

Weekend Reflection: Against Parentheses

The following is my little commentary on today’s university climate, the modern academic journal “culture,” and postmodernism. It was first published, under a pseudonym suited to the subject matter, in an undeservingly short-lived satirical journal, The American Drivel Review, back in 2007. Against Parentheses by Jacques de Rigueur Parenthetical remarks (by which, I must stipulate, I mean strictly such comments, asides, qualifications, etc.,...

North Korea Actually Expects Trump to Do What He Promised — Imagine That!

The U.S. is boasting that Secretary of State Pompeo’s recent meeting with Kim Jong-un’s tyranny was a great success, with much happy-go-lucky progress being made toward denuclearization. The Kim regime, meanwhile, is singing a very different tune, expressing dismay and frustration that the U.S. seems to be trying to push the Norks into “unilateral denuclearization,” which is not what they signed on for. ...

Mission Accomplished: The Trump Cult Exposed

Every few days, out of a curiosity more of the morbid than the intellectual variety, I take a deep breath and spend a minute or two perusing the latest collection of repetitive, illogical, myopic cult-bait being chummed at American Thinker. One of the standard bloody morsels offered up for the Trumpiranhas is the daily serving of vitriol against the evil “NeverTrumpers.” The metaphor...

Why Socialists Like Soccer

Spectator sports often teach us a lot about the people, or rather peoples, who make them popular. There is nothing new about this, of course. Seneca taught us as much about the state of Roman society in his time as about his own Stoic sensibilities, when he wrote, in his Moral Letter “On Crowds”: But nothing is so damaging to good character as...