Getting in our faces

  1. Lives of consumption and spectacle;
  2. Word of the day: temporizing:
  3. Bring back this bumper sticker!
  4. Getting in our faces


It is usually a good idea, finding one’s friends’ and contemporaries’ talk about things inadequate, to turn for advice to our parents. But these intellectual parents, I propose, fail us. They do not contradict the common assumptions of our world by providing a vision of human life more rich and profound. Rather, they simply attempt to strip us of the capacity for believing anything that might deter us from giving ourselves up to lives of consumption and spectacle: desire without end, pleasure without purpose, selves without integrity.

(James Matthew Wilson, The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition, page 53


Boldly conservative law school professor Bruce Frohnen reviews The Benedict Option, which, the author says, is “to my mind, the most accurate representation of what the book is about and what I’m trying to do with it.” The author didn’t say what was especially good, except by implication (several extended quotes), but I thought this was succinct and very incisive:

The Benedict Option is the product of years of thought, investigation, conversation, and at times argument. Not that Dreher himself is argumentative, far from it. But the position he has taken, like the norms he seeks to preserve, garners opposition on all sides. Why? Because it entails a refusal to either temporize with a culture that has become toxic to our real humanity or to declare even metaphorical war on those seeking to destroy the remnants of a civilization of which they know nothing, except that they have been taught to see it as “racist, sexist, and homophobic.” Dreher’s position is a delicate one in that it must balance the need to be “countercultural” with the necessity to engage with a now-dominant culture that is overtly hostile to Christians and their institutions, beliefs, and practices.

I tried to elaborate on that, but failed.


Back in the Bill Clinton era, there was a bumper sticker so mordant that it made me laugh out loud, buy one, and put it on the more presentable of our two family vehicles:

My disgust with the current administration cannot be expressed here.

I’m wanting a reprise.


Political correctness may be extreme on certain campuses, but it will inevitably be mainstreamed by institutions run by graduates of these colleges.

A small but telling example: the announcement that the US men’s and women’s national soccer teams will be wearing pro-gay jerseys:

And notice how the Fox Sports journalist described this move:

U.S. Soccer has dropped some spiffy new rainbow kits to raise money for a good cause, coinciding with LGBTQ Pride month in June.

What if you are a US Soccer player who is Catholic, Evangelical, Muslim, or otherwise religious, and objects morally to celebrating gay pride (even if you have no problem at all with gays and lesbians playing professional soccer)? Too bad for you. If you objected publicly by refusing to wear the jersey, you would put your career at risk. So: violate your conscience or suffer professional consequences. This is one example of how coercive political correctness moves throughout the system.

The rising Left is bound and determined to crush or at least permanently sideline people it deems heretics — in particular, whites, males, orthodox Christians, and skeptics of the LGBT project. It does not want a pluralistic modus vivendi; it wants total domination. The establishment Left lacks the will to stop them. Its members are terrified of appearing un-woke. All a major corporation has to do to buy off the Left is declare itself in favor of Pride, and so forth.

The establishment Right lacks the will to stop them either, for fear of being called bigots. And it lacks the will or the imagination to stand in any way against corporate interests. It tried to stop Donald Trump, but failed.

(Rod Dreher) Is there any all-star homophile soccer player, male or female, who will say “I will not compete in this jersey if it is mandatory because it is gratuitously offensive to friends that I care about no less than I care about my LGBT friends”?

Red America is not reputed to be super-fond of soccer, but remember that bullying by morally preening sports leagues and conferences (e.g., NCAA) is likely to be Red America’s Achilles Heel. “It’s a complete absurdity to believe that Christians will suffer a single thing from the expansion of gay rights, and boy, do they deserve what they’re going to get.

* * * * *

Men are men before they are lawyers or physicians or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers and physicians. (John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address at St. Andrew’s, 1867)

“Liberal education is concerned with the souls of men, and therefore has little or no use for machines … [it] consists in learning to listen to still and small voices and therefore in becoming deaf to loudspeakers.” (Leo Strauss)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.