Rights and Desires

More Russell Kirk:

“If rights are confused with desires, the mass of men must feel always that some vast, intangible conspiracy thwarts their attainment of what they are told is their inalienable birthright. This [creates a] danger of fixing upon society a permanent grudge and frustration.”

We can see this issue clearly in the conflict between men who mistake their desire to be perceived as women for a right and the people who timidly remind them they don’t have the right to control other people’s inner lives. And even if you managed to regulate what people think, it still wouldn’t satisfy you. Nothing would because, to quote the first sentence of every course in basic economics, human desires are limitless.

The Conservative Mind

“The conservative refuses to accept utopian politics as a substitute for religion.”

Russell Kirk wrote this in the 1986 preface to his 1953 book The Conservative Mind, and if I’d heard this before, I’d have saved myself a lot of trouble.

Also, this, written before even my parents were born:

“We ought to understand conservative ideas so that we may rake from the ashes what scorched fragments of civilization escape the conflagration of unchecked will and appetite.”

Brilliant stuff. Seventy years later we see the results – for the nature, society, politics economy – of worshiping the insatiable human wants above any deity or any moral principle. We’ve got to the point where people treat even their own bodies like costume because the idea of anything remaining immutable, free from the tinkering of the desiring humans is intolerable.

Fools in Education

Everything in education is stupid. There is this extremely popular slogan, “teach people not books!” that semiliterate fools roll out to explain why they teach woke garbage instead of real literature. That they should think this sad little pun is a good argument to use in adult conversations tells you everything you need to know about these folks’ capacity to teach.

Crazy Canadian Conference

I never thought I’d say this but I hate Canada. It’s gone nuts in every possible way. Here’s the most recent example, and don’t worry, it’s not even about COVID. It’s way beyond that.

The largest professional association in Canada is holding its annual conference virtually. That’s OK, everybody is online, whatever. But the idiot Canadians have come up with a new wrinkle. We can’t just give our talks on Zoom, like all other conferences. No, that would be too out of control.

Instead, people have to record videos of themselves speaking weeks in advance, send them to the organizers, organizers will send them to moderators, and on the day of the actual conference –

– and I want everybody to pause and imagine this –

– we’ll sit in silence, watching the videos of ourselves and others being played by a moderator. Then, everybody will be kicked off the platform because God forbid anybody should let an unscripted, unapproved word or two escape their lips.

That’s it. That’s the conference. This format was chosen after a gigantic scandal where our organization accused everybody in other scholarly organizations (that wanted a normal virtual conference) of being racist.

I’m not speaking at this conference. I mean, nobody is speaking, but I’m not speaking through video either. I’m a moderator who plays the fucken videos. I agreed as a favor to a group of young scholars who wanted me there as a big name. I feel bad for them, me, and scholarship.

Magic Words

Forget the juvenile topic of ghosting, though. Isn’t the belief in the magical properties of the spoken word at the root of the toxic culture that is devouring the Anglophone world? People are incapable of demanding any action from their elected officials because they are so fixated on the words. Ads for mother’s day refer to mothers as “birthing persons.” Pronouns in email signatures. The acronyms. The belief that not naming every single miniscule group in your acronym is akin to physical destruction. The idea that words cause “literal harm.” The rabid insistence that calling yourself a woman makes you one.

All of this brought to you courtesy of the same culture that invented “ghosting” because nobody is capable of getting a hint.

The Conversation Itch

I read a long, angry thread on “ghosting,” and all I can say is. . . Anglos.

What these poor folks call ghosting is an elegant, face-saving way to fade out of each other’s lives if you aren’t a match. It’s great, it’s wonderful.

But no, Anglos have to talk everything to death. “But he hasn’t explained to me why. . . But she never said what I did wrong.” As if saying, naming, verbalizing and narrating would change the fact that you aren’t wanted.

I’m obviously not on the dating scene but if I were, I’d be grateful to a guy who just went away quietly instead of humiliating me with a speech on all the ways I don’t suit.

Also, a little piece of wisdom: if you ever catch yourself saying things like “but why did he,” “but why does she,” stop immediately. These phrases are killing your chance at a happy personal life. Change them to “why do I,” and things will get better.

Bernie’s Lucid Moment

Bernie Sanders had a brief moment of lucidity the other day:

Anybody who is in favor of giving these vaccines to teenagers – who are at no risk from COVID – is a horrible person. So at least there’s one leftist who’s not a completely horrible person. This means more can crop up with time.

Let’s remain hopeful.

Where Are the Workers?

A very young guy at the drive through window messed up our order consisting of one (1) item four times. (And it wasn’t one of those fussy coffees with paragraph-long names. I hate those). The sign next to the guy’s head said, “Please be patient with our workers. At least, they came to work. Nobody else did, so they are overwhelmed. By the way, we are hiring!”

Time to Return

My university has announced that everybody must come back to work on June 1. I’m very glad. I’ve honestly had it with people not answering emails or phone calls because they are “working” from home. A 14-month-long paid vacation is more than enough.

Of course, it will take time for people to reintegrate back into the workplace. Anything past 6 months out of work, and it gets complicated. Local restaurants and stores all have long lines because they can’t hire enough people. Nobody is looking for work.

President vs Reporter

I’m not necessarily a fan of Azerbaijan’s President Aliev but the way he wiped the floor with a supercilious Western reporter will gladden the heart of everybody who detests supercilious Western reporters: