Category: Ideas and Reflections

Merry Christmas

It is typical these days, among those still sufficiently sentient and resistant to ideological indoctrination to have wayward thoughts, to wish others a Merry Christmas with a disclaimer to the effect that Christmases, at this historical moment, do not seem to offer much to be merry about. While I certainly sympathize with that mixed tone of well-wishing lamentation, I always try to remind...

Napoleon: My Review

Having now seen part of one of the trailers for Ridley Scott’s “epic” “historical” “biopic” Napoleon, and having been urged by no one to divulge my own impressions of this important cinematic event (i.e., box office smash), I feel that it is time at last to add my two cents — more than I would waste on watching a modern Hollywood movie —...

Race To The Bottom

The entire world is being taught today, from kindergarten through graduate school and throughout the popular media and the mainstream commentariat, that racism is specifically, endemically, and inescapably a white tendency; that is, a mental trait essentially characteristic of those who are born white….

Speech, Truth, Wisdom

You should believe most of what you say, but you need not say most of what you believe.

There is no rationale for deferring speech until you are absolutely certain of the truth of what you will say. Or rather, the only rationale for adopting such a policy is…

The Official Chatter

Let us list, with comments, a few terms that one cannot avoid hearing or reading persistently these days, at least to the extent that one’s mind has the misfortune of being within range of the popular media (in all its manifestations) and the headline-shouting world it both embodies and engenders. The far right. This expression has no determined meaning in modern discourse, beyond...

Notes On the Passing Popness

Can someone tell me why a Hollywood biopic (an “epic,” as they say) about Napoleon would be relevant to a culture in which ninety-seven percent of the population would not know what country Napoleon was from, when he lived, what he is famous for, and what significance his life and actions had for future generations of thinkers and statesmen? Or why a man...

Cool

Cool (adj.): appealing to others’ fashionable tastes or preferences in such a way as to allow those others to feel that in liking you (the cool one), they are expressing their own independent and original minds.

In short, coolness is, to both the cool one and his admirers, merely a collectively aggrandizing euphemism…

Life Beneath the Veil

There is no living politician I know of whom I would trust unmonitored with my wallet or my cell phone. Why in the world would I trust one with my liberty or my need to know the truth about anything? Steps are being taken, in every advanced country on Earth, towards establishing the latest manifestation of the totalitarian dream, a cashless society, which...

The Premises of Progress

The other day, a serious student who is reading Brave New World wrote with some musings and questions inspired by the World Controller’s explanation, in one of the later chapters, of the World State’s reasons for prohibiting all access to the great art and thought of the past. I reproduce her main questions (in italics) and my replies, below, with only a few...

Reflections On Living

How to know whether you are still alive.– Do you occasionally think something that cannot be communicated properly without discarding all stock phrases and standard “talking points” vocabulary? Better yet, do you occasionally catch yourself thinking something that, for all your sincerest efforts, cannot be communicated in any language you know? That is to say, do you sometimes feel trapped within an idea...