Toxic or Tonic?


What happened to our Arcadia? We stopped listening to it. We stopped dancing, we moved away, we started listening to the chant of the Machine instead. It is debt we chase now, not the moon. We are individuals, not parts in a wider whole. In a broken time, it is taboo to remember what was lost, and that fact alone makes Arcadia a revolutionary document. Look, it says. This is how it was. This is what was broken. At night, when you lie awake with your phone flashing under your pillow – do you miss it?

Paul Kingsnorth via Alan Jacobs (italics added).

I thought that was lovely, so I’m exposed as a monster:

This is where landscape writing sheds its leafy cloak and lets you glimpse its colder face – sounding like Steve Bannon, quoting Steve Bannon, black notebooks in hand, gazing from its bench at the little woodland of little England and trying to decide if “benevolent green nationalism” sounds too much like “…well, a nice kind of Hitler.”

We see you for what you are.

Warren Ellis also via Alan Jacobs, who closes with a few questions for folks like Ellis:

For these critics of Kingsnorth, is there any legitimate way to praise, and to seek to conserve, old rituals and practices? Can you love harvest festivals or Morris dancing or Druidic rites or for that matter Ember Days without being a racist, a fascist, a Nazi? Or is urban cosmopolitanism the only ethically acceptable ideal of human life?

And if you can love and practice those old ways without being a racist — How? What would distinguish morally legitimate attitudes from the ones that Kingsnorth is being pilloried for?

This inquiring mind would really like to know.

“Broken times” indeed.

* * * * *

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff at here. It should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.

I highly recommend blot.im as a crazy-easy alternative to Twitter (if you’re just looking to get your stuff “out there” and not pick fights).

Saturday Potpourri 2

  1. The Spirit of Peace
  2. Pray without ceasing and see the doctor
  3. Almost she persuades me, a skeptic
  4. Always a corrupting enterprise
  5. I do remember — don’t you?
  6. SF passes the law of unintended consequences
  7. The ever-morphing political dinner name game
  8. PROBABLY

Continue reading “Saturday Potpourri 2”

Unoriginal Thoughts

We’ve spent a lot of time talking during the last two years. Now the ugly truth can come out: I am a shameless plagiarist, with seldom an original idea to my name. So what better to send you off with than the sum and substance of myself — some of my favorite quotes?

Nineteen years ago, we bade some friends adieu as they moved back to the west coast. I recently came across a letter I gave them as my going-away gift, from which the preceding was the brief introduction.

Some of the quotes I shared:

Continue reading “Unoriginal Thoughts”