Welcome to 2019

A real person in the world wrote this today:

The store’s closing is viewed as both an injury and an insult to the town. There just isn’t anywhere else to buy a long list of ordinary goods, from dish-towels to tennis balls without a 17-mile journey west, which means an hour behind the wheel coming-and-going, plus whatever time you spend picking stuff up inside.

If only anybody had thought of creating a mega-retail store on this newfangled thing called the Internet. Maybe then we’d have a way to buy all the crap we need without 17-mile journeys.

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More Moral

The very word “moral” has been so emptied of meaning that it’s now used as shorthand for “I have no idea and can’t be bothered to learn.”

Here is another example:

The representative responded with an exasperated “Oh my goodness” and suggested that those focusing on her errors need to readjust their priorities. It sounded like she was asking to be taken seriously but not literally, as some observers have suggested about the factually challenged president. “If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees,” she said. “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

Facts, you see, are immoral. Believing in objective truth is also immoral. The only moral thing is vague, meaningless feel-goodness.

Immoral

We repeat: nothing for the ineffective, immoral and costly ‘border wall’. #TrumpShutdownpic.twitter.com/0MoSry6LOv

— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 6, 2019

I can understand “ineffective and costly”, although nobody can prove the ineffective part. But I sincerely don’t get how it’s immoral.

What’s eternally curious is how acceding to the dictates of capital is now formulated as THE moral issue at the heart of modern progressivism. And it’s not just in this issue of the wall. It’s in absolutely everything. Support for fluidity is now proof of one’s morality. God is dead; now capital is our God.

Dishonest

A reader contacted me under a pseudonym a few months ago. She turned out to be a prominent Southern lawyer with a problem she hoped I’d write about. Her college-age daughter had always been a “girly girl” and intellectually precocious, but had struggled with anxiety and depression. She liked boys and had boyfriends in high school, but also faced social challenges and often found herself on the outs with cliques. The young woman went off to college—which began, as it often does these days, with an invitation to state her name, sexual orientation and “pronouns.” When her anxiety flared during her first semester, she and several of her friends decided their angst had a fashionable cause: “gender dysphoria.” Within a year, the lawyer’s daughter had begun a course of testosterone.

The lawyer lady is being dishonest. Friends and college have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this. “My good kid fell in with bad company” is the eternal excuse of parents who want an easy way out. The girl is very clearly rejecting her mother. Instead of bugging journalists, mom should take a good, long look at her own relationship with her womanhood. That’s where the answer lies. The kid is trying to tell her something, and she’s refusing to hear.

Christmas Miracle

So it turns out that classes don’t begin tomorrow. They begin next week. I should have read my own syllabus more attentively.

A colleague saw my frenetic emailing about “tomorrow’s classes” and called me to put me out of my misery and remind me that there are no classes tomorrow.

This is truly a Christmas miracle. I’ve been moaning about how great it would be to have at least a week of an actual holiday (which for me means being at home alone with my research), and now I have that week. I must be dreaming!

Merry Orthodox Christmas! And by the way, it’s clear that our Christmas actually works. What has yours done for you, huh? Just saying.

A Split Within Conservatism

Folks, I’m preparing classes, both are completely new preparations, very much outside my field, so I have nothing fun to share, unless you are desperately in need of a lecture on the differences and, much more curiously, similarities between the totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and Spain in the twentieth century. (Bonus points for those who can point out the similarities beyond the obvious point that they were both totalitarian.)

In the meantime, I’m suggesting this great link from JD Vance on the transformations within modern conservatism. See or read, also, Tucker Carlson’s great monologue from January, 2 referenced at the link. Short recap for the very busy: there are some conservatives who are waking up to the sheer unadulterated idiocy of the belief that “the market is always right” and other conservatives are reacting like the hysterical fools that they are. It’s a great development, and I obviously hope that this awakening finally puts an end to “the wisdom of the markets” dogma.

Sorry, got to run, the course on totalitarian regimes won’t teach itself.