Latest musings, analyses, and general madness

The Movies: What They Were

A student who happens to work in the film festival business asks me this common question: “Is it better to watch movies in the theater?” I reply as follows: I cannot say which is “better,” because it depends what you mean by better. Better for what? However, it is certain that cinema was originally invented as a modern technological alternative to the theater,...

What Is An Activist?

An activist is one who is so oppressed and tortured by his immoderate feelings that his only means of relief is to disperse his pain among others, demanding that everyone be oppressed and tortured by his (that is, the activist’s) feelings. An activist is one who is utterly without intellectual reserve, philosophic detachment, or the natural sense of irony born of learning to...

Has America Become Two Countries?

“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has created a situation where different parts of the country are going to have completely different laws about abortion, and people are going to start migrating to states that have laws they prefer!” Very likely; and wasn’t that essentially the intention and glory of the founding concept of The United States of America? A country...

My Morality

Everything that makes life worth living is something we do not have. That is how it makes life worth living. If we had it, there would be no reason to continue. This means that desire is the evidence of everything meaningful in our lives. The voices of the modern world tell us every day that we should “live for our desires,” but they really...

On Wanting Something To Be True

In 1988, at the Seoul Olympics, Canada’s greatest hope was the reigning world champion in the 100-metre dash, Ben Johnson. A soft-spoken, stuttering, mild-mannered Jamaican immigrant, Johnson represented every secret wish of the Canadian soul: to be recognized as the best in the world for once, and not in a marginal or regional event, but in the marquee event on the biggest stage;...

You Have To Be Alive First

As Nietzsche has become far and away the most dominant thinker of the age, his most savage and radical ideas have (as he himself may have foreseen) become trivialized and democratized — a pair of adjectives Nietzsche would have regarded as a redundancy. In other words, what is dominant today is not so much Nietzsche’s own ideas, but his words shrunken in the...

On Making A Difference

Every man who thinks and writes will begin to harbor hopes of making a difference, and even, perhaps, begin to believe he is seeing evidence of his making a difference. In an age without true teachers, it may even be necessary for a man to experience such hopes, as an impetus to forge ahead with his thought against the taste and climate of...

Question for “Conservatives”

If you found a woman’s private diary under a pillow at a drug rehabilitation facility, would you read it, publish it, use it to humiliate her family and potentially cause serious material harm to the woman herself? If you would, then you would fit right in among today’s American conservatives. Perhaps I come to this story very late, because I try to avoid...

Principles of Writing

A thoughtful Korean student who frequently reads my writing, and to whom I recently mentioned my essay about the disappearing craft of handwriting, “Are We Solving the Mystery of Atlantis?” sends me the following thought: “I want to understand the writing on your website. It’s not easy, but I like that it’s not what everyone can get easily.” To which I reply as...

Will Anyone Take Debate?

Dinesh D’Souza, having been given a presidential pardon by his owner after being convicted of violating federal election law, has decided to devote the rest of his earthly life — or the rest of Trump’s shelf life as a viable gravy train for conservative media profiteers, whichever ends first — to licking Trump’s boots on the “election fraud” fraud, specifically by accusing anonymous...