Category: Ideas and Reflections

On Gossip

A broken clock is right twice a day, as they say. It is with this adage in mind that I note, so as not to be remiss, that Pope Francis (aka Francis the Talking Marxist) finally met God’s hour hand for a passing moment. Specifically, during his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square in early September, Francis strayed from his usual themes of...

Collecting Planets

I have a city-dwelling student who has recently begun to take a keen interest in the special wonders of the night sky. She sometimes sends me urgent messages to alert me to a perfect crescent moon, or to ask me which star is shining so bright on the horizon this evening. On a couple of occasions, the objects she is noticing, as though...

Joke of the Day (Manly Version)

The Washington Post, in perhaps the funniest framing of an election in the history of journalism, presents an analysis of the Trump-Biden presidential race as a clash of two visions of masculinity. I know, I know, and I apologize if you happened to read that sentence with your mouth full. First, in full (and admittedly fair) mockery mode, the Post, a global communist...

Missing Person’s Report

It has been a few days since I posted anything here in Limbo, and I suspect a few of you have even noticed this absence, and perhaps begun to wonder, as we have all been trained to wonder over these past several months, “Could it be the coronavirus?” As a matter of fact, the answer is yes. To be precise, I have been...

The Mountain or The Marketplace

Socrates cared little for woods and birds. Peaceful riversides and quiet paths meant nothing to him. As he frequently observed, his concern was learning, and his teachers were not the rocks and trees, but his fellow citizens, whom he found and pestered in the marketplace.  Nietzsche, at the opposite end of the history of philosophy proper, wrote of his long walks alone and...

Almost Random Thoughts on an Age of Decay

No one intuits the basic moral tenor of an age more clearly than those with a vested professional interest in accommodating themselves to that tenor for personal gain, such as advertisers and other pitchmen. If you want to understand the moral condition and collective priorities of your social environment, spend a day analyzing the advertising techniques and campaigns most pervasive in the mass...

The Value of Fear

Fear makes us irrational. Fear makes us susceptible to poor arguments and dangerous “offers” that seem to promise relief from the pain of our terror. Fear causes us to choose rashly and pursue counterproductive courses of action. Fear makes us forget our real, adult interests, including our interests in other people, in favor of an aggressive form of self-absorption. Fear can make us...

Pandemic Musings

If every single Republican in Washington, D.C. over age fifty tests positive for COVID-19, and not a single one of them dies or even becomes critically ill, will the media still try to cite this spread as evidence that America needs more lockdowns, masks, social distancing, and mass hysteria to save us from this deadly contagion? That’s a rhetorical question, of course. In...

Harvest Time

Fate is the accumulation of unaccounted-for consequences — but unaccounted-for is not the same as unwilled. Fate itself is mostly an act of will, granting that our will is not only, or even especially, what we say we desire. We all live most of our lives on the level of what we say of ourselves — that is, of what we wish others...

Government By Lawyers

Reading Senator Ted Cruz’s latest mealy-mouthed lies on behalf of his owners, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, this time regarding the supposed “historical precedent” of McConnell’s hypocrisy in rushing to confirm Trump’s supreme court nominee weeks before an election, I found myself returning to the question we have all asked ourselves at one time or another: Why are so many politicians in the...