Last week on the Orthosphere, Bonald posted an interesting response to The Atlantic‘s Ann-Marie Slaughter (what a fitting name for a “feminist”): “Feminism and a loveless future.” I especially appreciate Sunshine Mary’s commentary. In reading it, it occurred to me that the sexual revolution has facilitated both sexes’ degenerating into their worst vices. Our demonic cultural regime encourages men to indulge an everlasting adolescent fantasy of abundant, consequence free sex, and it allows (and rewards) women to play out their most obnoxious tendencies toward vanity and narcissism. The decadent West will burn to the ground; it has truly merited its doom.
May the memory of those who have died in battle be eternal, and may they rest in peace though they died in war.
The National Park Service has a short article on “Death and Dying” on its page for Civil War Era National Cemeteries. It features many sobering facts, like “Confederate men died at a rate three times that of their Yankee counterparts; one in five white southern men of military age did not survive the Civil War.” What a tragic and often sordid mess history is.
Christus ist auferstanden!
Arimathea will feature a Latin week as a gesture of ecumenical good will. How better to begin such a week than to note how Roman Catholics belong in the same category as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Ku Klux Klan?
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf posted the story last month in “Obama Admin in Army Reserve brief lumps Catholicism in with Al Qaeda, Hamas, KKK.” An Army information booklet about extremism listed Catholicism among the ne’er do wells; you may read the short booklet here. Jealous monotheists from other traditions need not worry; evangelical Christians, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Sunni Muslims are also included as religious extremists. It is therefore unfair to blame the president for the manual; the administration would never dare criticize Sunni Islam in such a way. Some unfortunate and likely now disciplined underling made the mistake of being honest when creating the presentation. The secularist culture of the leftist elite has clearly trickled down. The guide defines religious extremism as:
Extremism is a complex phenomenon; it is defined as beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, or strategies of a character far removed from the “ordinary.” Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.
In other words, traditional monotheistic religions are inherently “extreme” because they require as a matter of principle “seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.” This is a consequence of understanding religion as a matter of truth rather than a lifestyle accessory. Our contemporary overlords have long given up on truth; their religious indulgences are merely social or aesthetic if anything.
Andy Nowicki published an indictment of bourgeois Republican ninnies’ sensibilities last month on Alternative Right: “Sex and Violence Traditionalism.” In short, Nowicki reprimands American Christians who find “family friendly” books and films the only acceptable art and entertainment. While criticizing the Christian review site Plugged-In, he notes that “their habitual tendency is to equate sanitization with sanctification and G-rated-ness with holiness.” Of course, there is a need for family friendly gatekeepers because parents who expose their children to popular culture need trusted and accessible information about the content of books, albums, movies, and shows. Yet, adults are more than parents, and culture is more than the Veggie Tales, however positive such cucurbitaceae morality plays may be. Nowicki offers Flannery O’Connor, Shakespeare, and holy writ as devastating counterexamples to the nauseating, saccharine tendencies of contemporary Protestant megachurch aesthetics.
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Ferris Jabr published an interesting piece for the Scientific American last month: “The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens.” Jabr reviews studies that compare our reading of books with our reading of digital screens, both “traditional” lit screens and the so called “e-ink” screens of digital book readers. Before I read the article, I had assumed that we would maintain books but that they would become more of a luxury or antiquarian item and eventually cease to be part of everyday life—until the collapse of modern industrial society, that is. (And if that dystopian future happens, people will be a bit too preoccupied with survival to read much, though books would survive thanks to small pockets of learning, as monasteries might once again carry the torch of knowledge through another dark age.) The article’s findings have made me re-evaluate my dismissal of the printed word. Gutenberg will not so easily cede his place to Boris Rosing and the gang.