A Marriage and an Engagement

Recently a close friend of mine got engaged, and a friendly acquaintance I have worked with recently and communicate with regularly got married.

It is impossible not to think of marriage at a point like this. I don’t like talking about my personal life so I don’t. I’m sure people can figure out a lot by implication and assumption. That’s fine; for now it stays implication and assumption. You’ll learn more about my private life when I decide it isn’t private, and that may well be never. I’m just not the sort of guy who prefers mouthing off about that sort of thing in public regularly. I’ll never get the folks who ask for detailed advice about their sex life via blog posts, though I genuinely wish them well.

I am still out there writing, mostly through Castalia House and Superversive SF. The main reason I let this blog go by the wayside is a simple one: I’m too opinionated. I mouth off too much about stuff I don’t know nearly enough about. And I lack the experience to offer anything like guidance.

What I really enjoy doing, and I’m sure this sounds very strange to everyone but me, is critical analysis of fiction. I find it fun and fascinating. This why “You watch too much TV” doesn’t really register with me: Try watching TV like I do, pal. Some day, and probably not TOO far off, I’ll package some of my nonfiction into book form and make it a little more monetarily productive, though I like to think that every bit of cultural influence helps. I have other stuff going on in my life as well, and for the first time in awhile I don’t feel like I’m constantly wasting time, which is great.

Where am I going with this tangent? Eh, not too far. What I’m getting at is, I’m at the point in life where people my age and even younger are taking their next steps, and I’m trying to figure out how much this should bother me, if at all. On reflection…I think I’m fine right now. I am back going to Church regularly and work out daily, both of which are incredibly healthy. I make an effort to actively enrich myself every day and expect to start working more in my chosen field more soon, which is awesome. I started to dress better. I have a hobby I find fun.

It is impossible not to feel a little left behind looking at the wonderful stuff going on in my friends’ lives, but there’s no time fo wallow. There’s work to be done, and I have to keep moving forward.

And you know what, it actually feels pretty good.

Please pray for both of my friends, if you’re the type.

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No, racism is not “any belief that makes race out to be much more significant than it really is”

No, nobody uses the word this way. Not in casual conversation, not colloquially, never. And it is trivially easy to prove.

This definition of racism makes no moral claims.

When people refer to somebody as “racist”, they are almost always making a negative moral claim about that person – claiming that they are immoral for holding these beliefs.

Therefore this cannot be the definition they are using.

Why yes, I did have somebody say this to me with a straight face. Why do you ask?

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Divine Liturgy!, Update

Okay! Made it to an 8 AM Sunday Divine Liturgy. My thoughts:

1) It was…extremely short. Surprising, right? They normally run about an hour and 15 to two hours. This was 45 minutes!

Why? The Priest spoke/sang very very fast. I (mercifully) had a book to follow along with so as far as I could see he didn’t miss anything, and he gave a fine homily. I have nothing bad to say about him. It was just fast. I believe it was because he had another Mass to get to about a half hour away after that one.

2) There were no hymns, because everything is a hymn. Literally, EVERYTHING but the homily is sung. This included the Bible readings. The whole Liturgy is basically one long song.

It is…pretty great! I liked that part of it a lot. The whole embarrassment of you being the only off-key singer along with that one old lady while everyone else is red and silent? All gone. Great stuff! People need to feel good about participating, not embarrassed.

3) Yes, lots and lots of incense. Made my eyes water slightly, but it sure smelled good.

4) No sign of peace. God is good indeed.

5) No holding hands during the (sung!) Our Father. See above.

6) I caught the lack of a filioque in there. No, I did not forget.

7) No kneeling! That’s replaced with bowing. Kneeling is specifically a sign of repentence, not of respect and submission. So no kneeling. It was mostly standing with brief periods of sitting.

Overall experience: 10 of 10, would pray again. Us Latins should make the trip at least once.

Next up: I need to find a Latin Mass. That’ll be interesting.

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Alfie’s Army is a Joke

This is quite simple:

If you call yourself an “army” but stand outside and yell with signs as an innocent baby dies surrounded by a few cops too scared to arrest muslim rapists, with a helicopter on standby mere miles away you are in no sense of the word an army and literally completely worthless. You did not accomplish your stated goal, or even make a good faith effort.

The sad case of Alfie Evans was not a warning to society, but merely another data point confirming Britainistan is as bad or worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. That the purported “army” did absolutely nothing makes a mockery of just war theory. We have literally just seen “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”  play out in real life.

God help us all.

I hope my readers once again will pay as much attention to what I would not say as to what I did.

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Why Sports?

I’m a huge Yankees fan, and a big NJ Devils fan as well, much as I hate the name (for those unaware it actually comes from a legend about a supernatural creature living in the Jersey Pine Barrens known as the Jersey Devil…but still). I did stop watching football, though, and never liked basketball.

Still, it’s a good thing to wonder, the why of it. What’s the point? Why sports?

Well, permit me to give an example.

Let’s go back to 2001. October. 9/11 has just occurred, pushing back the baseball season. The New York Yankees just won the fourth of their four World Series titles in five years, and are now an established dynasty team.

And yet, for the first time since perhaps the 70’s, the nation has rallied around the New York Yankees…because nobody needed a win right now more than New York. And everybody was on their side. Everyone.

This team was not a powerhouse team like the 98′ or 99′ Yankees, but closer to the 87 win Yankees of 2000 that managed to get hot at the right time to snag a World Series title. Perhaps it didn’t seem that way with 95 wins – a sizable number – but their offense was relatively below par compared to previous years. True to form, with the nation on their side, they went down 0-2 in the best of 5 series to the Oakland Athletics.

And then this happened.

That is a ridiculous play. It almost doesn’t make sense. Years later Jeter would swear he practiced for a play like this, which in some ways is even crazier, because that’s pretty much not a thing. But it happened.

Of course the Yankees won the series, and then beat the world record holding 116 win Mariners in six games to advance to the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks…where they promptly went down 0-2 again. Their offense was non-existent.

Games 3, 4, and 5 were held in New York City. Game three was a close game but more or less standard, a one run pitcher’s duel won by the Yankees.

Game 4…well…

Set the scene. If the Yankees go down 1-3, the series is pretty much over. They haven’t hit a lick all series. Bottom of the ninth. 2 outs. One man on. Down 2.

And this happens.

The Yankees won that game on a walk-off home run by – who else? – Derek Jeter, the famous “Mr. November” home run hit just after midnight.

Okay. Series tied. Thing is, the Yanks are still in hot water. They’re still not hitting, and if they go down a game they need to win not one but two games on the road against the D-Backs, who have been a monster at home. Game 5 was almost as pivotal as game 4…as well as the last game played that year in Yankee Stadium.

And it didn’t go well. Down 2. Bottom of the ninth. Two outs. The crowd is quiet. Brosius, the batter, has two strikes on him.

The crowd is on the edge of their seats, but the game is over. After all, once is amazing, but twice? Two nights in a row? In the world series? It had never happened. Ever. Surely it would be too much to expect something like that again.

To this day, this is the single most amazing thing I have ever seen, in any sport. Listen to the crowd. Never has a crowd ever been that loud before or since. Never.

And for this to happen in 2001? Of all years? In this ballpark? Twice?

It defies belief.

The Yankees won that game, but they were blown out in game 6. Game 7 in Arizona had one of the most dramatic ninth innings of all-time, when legendary closer Mariano Rivera – the greatest postseason pitcherever – blew the save thanks to his own error and some bloop hits to bad spots in the ballpark. After the game he sat for hours and answered every question, not making any excuses for his poor night. His reputation survived this game, and despite also blowing a famous game (2, technically) in 2004 he did go on to win one more World Series, and his reputation as greatest postseason pitcher of all time remains intact.

The Diamondbacks won the series. You can’t take that way from them.

But for two nights – two glorious nights – the Yankees shined as a beacon of hope not just for New York, but America. With one swing of the bat in game 5 everything – the tragedy, the horror, the fear – was all forgotten as Brosius’s ball landed two rows back in the left field seats of Yankee Stadium.

As Joe Buck said, it bordered on the surreal.

On that day, the Yankees were the heroes America needed.

And that, reader, is why I watch sports.

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A Point of Order

I always find it a little amusing when people try to impute “sides” on me, and I find that the “side” people think I am on tends to be shaped by their own pre-existing opinions.

My last post was not written either as an anti or as a pro Vox Day manifesto. The truth is that I agree with Vox on some things and disagree on others. Similarly with John C. Wright, though to many people’s surprise I probably agree with him on less. Professionally Vox has treated me extremely well and I owe him much.

I have also expressed my dislike of Christian support of pick up artists, which leads certain people to think that I am implicitly siding with feminist criticisms of PUAs, when I am of course doing no such thing.

Now, for those who read Vox, he is currently doing a thorough takedown of Jordan Peterson. I like Peterson, but I’m not too fussed by this. The truth is that what I like about him is orthogonal to Vox’s specific criticisms of him. He is good at discussing certain topics, good at exposing hard core feminists, good at common sense life advice, and has interesting cultural and mythical analyses.

But he is a Canadian academic, and not a Christian like Dr. Feser. To me it was quite obvious that we had to read him with caveats in mind. Nothing Vox is saying has convinced me that my initial reasons to listening to Peterson were ill-founded.

Perhaps in that sense where I disagree with Vox is that I consider it very possible that intelligent and honest people can still be extremely wrong on certain issues. Peterson believes a lot of things I consider very wrong, but I also don’t see a reason to think he’s a liar.

I’m not going anywhere sith this. Just shouting out a few points into the ether.

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What I Think We Should Do

I am not alt right, but believe it or not I think a lot of their concerns are quite valid in terms of the effects of minorities on populations, immigration, the evil of Islam, etc.

Where I (mainly, among other ways) differ is in response. I simply see no way in which mass deportation can be considered moral at this point. We would be dragging people out of their homes – legal citizens – at gunpoint and forcing them on pain of death to them and their families to settle in lands utterly foreign to them. It is not right. It is not moral. It is not just. There is no recourse to just war here: You would be the aggressor.

Might this mean that war is coming eventually? Maybe! So what do we do about it?

Unlike most people, I am willing to say that there is simply no good answer. Deportation is not a magic bullet. A radical change of the school system is not a magic bullet. Stricter immigration laws is not a magic bullet. Trump is not a magic bullet. There are no magic bullets.

What we can do is this: Sell your cloak and buy a sword. Maybe war is coming. Maybe not! Live out the faith in word and deed. Perform the corporal works of mercy. Try to contribute something good, true, and beautiful to society. Repent. And pray without ceasing.

Will this prevent war? Will this solve our many other issues?

Probably not, really. At least not for a long, long time. But that’s life. As Tolkien once said, we are in for the long defeat. Take heart – the final victory is assured. And in the meantime we muddle through as best we can.

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