Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
Under the patronage of St. George. Please view at 1024x768.

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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Amexica I: N.Y., U.S. aesthetic theory

II: The Anglophone Catholic
III: Hot Savages and Cold Decadents (to be linked)
IV: Amexican Ups and Downs (to be linked)

A post today by Don Jim Tucker got the wheels turning on a series of entries that had been grinding away in the back of my mind.

What is the proper course of U.S. cultural development and what do we owe previous generations in light of the explosion of the Hispanic population and culture? Let's begin working forward, from our foundations, with the overarching principle that Catholicism is the only cultural accretion that trumps previously established ways of doing things. As the foreign and indigenous cultures of any given area differ, I will concentrate on my own: Upstate New York.

All the land we sit on was once rightly owned, or at least inhabited, by Amerindians. Although somewhat complicated by the massive gaps of open land, the ethnographic map was solidly Red, not White. To my conservative mind, Europeans began a genocide by overwhelming the Iroquois with population. It was a genetically White, culturally Western European watering down of what ran before.

  • Today, is it still fundamentally more "American" to adopt Amerindian mores than newer ones? Yes. Not in those pragmatic ways in which life functions, a la living in teepees or holding Matriarchal Councils, but certainly in wearing brushed leather jackets and turquoise - and learning their languages.

After the Dutch and French settlements, and their conquest by the British, the first real uniform code of civilization reached the New World. The Iroquois were after all savages (this is not entirely a bad thing as the word may imply), lived quasi-nomadic lifestyles, and were still in the darkness of pagan practice. Our current ruling regime was also fixed during this period.

  • Do we still owe the British a debt of cultural gratitude? Yes. With the exception of Lousiana and a few southwestern states, every government in the U.S. functions in the tradition of Anglo-Saxon common law. We were owned by them, and their blood led the Revolution. Our founding documents are written in their language, and English has been the majority tongue for our entire history.
  • Every civilization deeply owes the culture that gave it Christianity. Although the U.K. had an imperfect version of the Church, they still did much to shed Christ's Light on the New World. Other areas of the U.S. are more deeply are in debt to Spain, with her perfect Catholicism. This is true just as Ireland owes the U.K., the U.K. owes France, France owes Rome, and Rome owes Jerusalem.

Later waves of Catholic immigrants, the Quebecois, then Irish, Italian, and Polish, added to further Catholicization of the populace, but only in numbers, not in governance and very little in mass culture.

  • What debt do we have to post-Revolution Catholic newcomers? Not much. Between losing their identities so quickly, the large scale devolution of aesthetics since the Industrial Revolution (when many arrived), and the clannishness WASPs still had, their contributions are negligible. So any debt we have would be through the blood some persons share with them, not as Americans per se.

In New York, where Hispanics do not have the history they do in the Southwest or Florida, they just constitute part of the onslaught of global immigration since LBJ opened the gates to anyone.

  • What then, do non-Hispanic New Yorkers owe to Hispanics, culturally? Nothing. We already have three layers of foundational culture: Amerindian, British, and polyglot Catholic. Amerindians were the foundation, being here first, the U.K. brought civilization, and the Catholics brought ... Catholicism. While Hispanics boost Catholic population, they also add to the disorder of a multilingual, multicultural society (to be touched on later), as did the Italian and Polish before them. And in the Novus cOrdo era, heavily ethnic populations can even split the Roman Mass-goers along linguistic lines.

Unless the Hispanics can do something on the magnitude of establishing Catholicism in law, or re-instituting a monarchy, New Yorkers are right to consider them members of a foreign culture.

I shouldn't have to explain that this does not make them bad people. But residency and citizenship do not imply national status, unless one considers his nation to be nothing more than the last line on his mailing address. Hispanics inherently know where their loyalties lie, and Anglophone American Catholics do not, which is to be explored in Part II.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Wild and woolly geopolitical theory

Check out this interesting site that your correspondant ran into while surfing: "Integral Tradition and Conservative Revolution."

Now, your humble servant finds it tough to swallow the idea that to "regain its sovereignty, Europe has to end its status of a protectorate of the United States by turning away from the Atlantic towards the Russian and Muslim East and to get rid of American supremacy."

But, the next chestnut is much better: "... the native European people will be an ethnic minority in their own countries within sixty years. To ensure that this does not happen, and that European people retain their homeland and identity, an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement ... This does not include nor endorse hatred of any kind - but rather realizes the only hope for the progress of mankind into a new and happier world is the geographic and social sovereignty of all Peoples."

For all the pluses and minuses, the site is well thought-out. In particular, this idea was fascinating: "... the seafarers' races create commercial societies - dynamical, technologically developed, innovative, but gravitating around plutocracy, egoism and individualism. The peoples dwelling in the depth of continents, in the steppes, forests, plains and wildernesses, on the contrary, are static, conservative, contemplative, yet valiant and inclined to communitarian-counciliary principles. "Leviathan" in the terminology of geopolitical science symbolizes a maritime, "mobile", commercial civilization, e.g. Athenes, Carthago, England, the US, in contraposition to "Behemoth" - symbol of a continental, "static", non-commercial civilization, e.g. Sparta, Rome, the Holy Empire, the Golden Horde, Russia. This polarity of West and East, sea and land, island and continent, atlantism and eurasism predetermines the dynamics of the fundamental lines of world politics. "

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We should pay for a leisured class

Nothing would do more for Western Civilization than the re-establishment of a leisured nobility. Any stripe of monarchy or republic would do well to look into it, even if that the lumpen might never support the idea.

My formulation:
  • They should comprise between two and four percent of the population.
  • The status would be passed on to children only when both parents are nobles.
  • They should (of course) be originally selected from the English speaking Catholic population.

And their rights and responsibilities:

  • They receive "half the median U.S. commoner household income" from the federal treasury.
  • They receive "half the median state commoner household income" from their respective states.
  • They receive no compensation for any government service, civilian or military.
  • They cannot vote, sit on juries, or hold elective office.
  • They may not be "enlisted men" in the military, but receive no advantage in joining the officer corps or being promoted.
  • If direct taxes on income and property exist (which they shouldn't), they are exempt.
  • In place of two elected senators, each state would have one hereditary peer and one peer appointed to a life term by his state.
  • They alone may comprise the judiciary.
  • In all other cases, they are treated exactly like commoners.

So why ask the people of the Democratic Era to hand over about 4% of their income to fund such a group?

Because the new class would form a disinterested nobility. Such people would be guaranteed a middle class lifestyle with no effort, and would be prevented from making any money in public service. They would have nothing to gain and nothing to lose from the government, thus their decisions could be made more within the pure light of reason and without self-interest.

The "middling free income with public service restrictions" would encourage the ambitious to work in the private sector, and those with convictions could serve the state without giving up their ideals. And they would not be objects of scorn and envy, as half the commoner population would be richer than those who choose not to work.

As a side benefit, once again as in the Christian Era (Middle Ages, that is), a small chunk of the citizenry could exercise its artist and cultural skills without bowing to marketplace pressure. Further, if no one else, than at least this small minority would be expected to act with class in public and maintain their business and personal property in an aesthetically tasteful way. That is to say, at least 2% of America would dress well, be polite, write quality novels, and not build modernist concrete monstrosities. The bourgeois and dandies would follow by example.

We could easily pay for this by steep reductions in wasteful handouts, like personal and corporate welfare programs, which subsidize little more than bastard children and crack smoking in the former, and ugly chain stores and traffic jams in the latter.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cleaning the mental files

That last post made me realize how much brain space is wasted with geekery. What could be done with all that gray matter? Self-teaching German? Learing to change a car's oil? Finishing the Master's Degree? I've decided to mentally unload some things that are hogging space in the old cranium.

(Again with apologies to more serious readers. After the extended HHJPII/HHBXVI season, we all need a little blogging diversion.)

Forthwith, these files are now purged:

The Definition of "Cuddlecore." - How to beat "Mega Man I" in less than two hours. - That Khan knew Chekov even though he never met him. - The lyrics to the first eight They Might Be Giants albums. - The secret civilian identities of GI Joes' issued 1982-84. - The Mormon roots of "Battlestar Galactica." - The Primus song that gives homage to "Evil Dead." - Who slumbers in the sunken city of R'lyeh. - Bucky I, Bucky II, and most uselessly, Bucky III.

All gone. So much less clutter ...

What's that you say? I'm sorry, I've never heard of Etienne La Fitte.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Episode I: The Search for Scores

I ask my more gentle-natured readers to excuse the following geekery.

Although a self-confessed Original Series Trekkie, I was forced to admit after the mediocre "Next Generation" and the abominable "Deep Space Nine" that Star Wars was on-the-whole a more solid mythos.

Fortunes changed later, when "Voyager" turned out well, and "The Phantom Menace" and "The Clone Wars" dragged Star Wars down well below Star Trek.

After a phenomenal last two seasons of "Enterprise," there was no longer any comparison. However, the nerd gods have smiled on Star Wars with the release of "Episode III." While not even up to the caliber of "Jedi," it does capture some of the old SW magic.

So the question is now up in the air. Which is the more consistent (not implying better) saga? We must turn to math for the answer.

Here are the rules for our problem:
  • Each license will be judged against its strongest member, which shall receive a 10.
  • The Trek movies shall be split into Original and Next Generation. "Generations" shall count as a "NG" film.
  • No non-canonical entries, a la cartoons, comic books, or novels, shall be counted.

First, Star Wars:

  • Episode IV: A New Hope - 9
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - 10
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - 8
  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 4
  • Episode II: The Clone Wars - 6
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - 7

Now, Star Trek:

  • The Original Series - 10
  • The Next Generation - 7
  • Deep Space 9 - 5
  • Voyager - 8
  • Enterprise - 9
  • Movies: Original - 7 (They are of wildly different quality independently.)
  • Movies: Next Generation - 7

STAR WARS: 7.33. STAR TREK: 7.57.

Close! Certainly within the realm of statistical margin of error. With one raised eyebrow, I say, "Fascinating."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Put yo' hands in the aiyr; Aristotle

File this under "H," for "Hair: Things that make you want to tear it out."

From an interview with hip-hop preacher Pastor Phil Jackson:

Q: Would Jesus like your style?
A: I think if Jesus were here today, he would be in the hip hop community.

Q: And what about the Pope?
A: Whether it's the Pope or a traditional Church, they worry that hip-hop doesn't reverence (sic) Christ.

What's a traditional church? The Apostolic MethoDutch Lutherterians?


And, on a related topic:

Three Catholics, three Jews, and three Baptists are stranded on a desert island. The Catholics set up the "Church of St. Mary's." The Jews set up the "Temple of Beth Israel."

The first Baptist sets up the "First Desert Island Baptist Church."
The second Baptist sets up the "Second Desert Island Baptist Church."
The third Baptist sets up the "Third Desert Island Baptist Church, Reformed."

Don't try to tell this one, it's funnier in print. Unless you're a really good joke teller.


From Aristotle's "Politics," one of the books that converted me to monarchism:

1276a 12-14: Some democracies, like tyrannies, rest on force and are not directed toward the common advantage.

1311a 15-16: Taking after democracy, tyranny makes war on the notables in the citizen body.

1312b 35-38: Ultimate democracy, like unmixed and final oligarchy, is really a tyranny divided [among a multitude of persons].

1313b 32-41: The final form of democracy has characteristics of tyranny: women dominate in the household so that they can denounce their husbands, slaves lack discipline, and flatterers—demagogues—are held in honor. The people wish to be a monarch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Norway; Genocide; Cousin luvin'

I apologize for the lack of posting; my computer is overun with spyware and my internet connection is always tenuous.

First, Happy Norwegian Independence Day!

Take that, Sweden. And don't you forget it.


Here's a good piece on Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide. This is why Islam will eventually defeat the West and the Rest: They stick up for themselves whether or not they're right. Whereas we excuse ourselves even when we're not wrong.


And, a slightly dusty article from WND detailing Islamic inbreeding. I was going to cob up a picture of some toothless folks from the Appalachians wearing NASCAR burkas and crescent-laden trucker hats, but that wouldn't be fair ... to the mountain men.

Hopefully, webbed fingers will make it more difficult to light shoe bombs.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Charm Culture and Business Barbarianism

I've mentioned before that I currently sell insurance for a living; it's going on three years now.

Mercifully, being a home worker, there are rarely instances in which I have to interact with corporate culture. Calling it such is generous, as it is more of an unwritten system of veiling greed and hostility, and thus hardly approaches anything that may be labeled "culture."

Still, I'm called on a few times a week to deal with a client that attempts to wield the broad sword of business culture with me. Let's not consider those whom I have contacted cold, for they are not under the same obligation of good manners that others are in more social settings. But, when clients contact me and want me to do something that they think I'm going to hassle them over, they give me the "game face." Who are they? Fischer playing Spassky for the world chess championship? Why the graven face and stern look?

Usually, this is a fellow (or worse still, a woman) who wants to cash out a policy sold to him by a previous agent. Let it be known that I really couldn't care less what you do with products I didn't sell you; although I'll advise you as to the best course of action, I'm not going to tie you to your chair to stop you from surrendering a policy. So then I walk in and get the game face, they put me in the most uncomfortable part of the house (or want to do business on the hood of my car), and don't even offer me a beverage. This last one is particularly tweaking: At his request I drive sometimes an hour to his house at his request, and he can't pour me a cup of coffee?

Then, the lies and obfuscation. Sure, folks don't want to talk about the messy details of life, a la divorce, but if they just want to buy a boat with the money, so what? I can't talk people out of buying boats to save their life insurance and won't usually even try. And if they let me know what's on their minds, I'll be out quicker. Otherwise, it turns into 20 Questions.
  • Do you need the cash?
  • Or do you just not want to pay anymore?
  • Do you have the excess coverage to make up for it?
  • Would you rather take a loan and pay it off?
  • Etc ...

Then the hostility flows free, unlike the coffee. How dare I do my job and try to help them make an informed decision? I'm under no obligation to help jackasses. I'm completely free to leave the form and let them fill it out wrong, then go chase down another notary public, then pay to mail the forms themselves. And then get their checks two extra weeks late because they don't have inter-office envelopes like I do. Pull the jackassery on me to an extreme degree and I'm liable to do just that - this happens about once a year.

And if they're just jerks or give me the business culture treatment, they would be wise to remember that I am knee-deep in paperwork on any given day. I mean this literally. My inboxes if stacked together would go up to my knee. If you're nice, you go to the top of the pile. If you try to be a Big Man in front of me to impress your wife or make up for your insecurity, you go to the bottom of the pile.

By no means is this limited to policy surrenders, or to my job alone. When I'm dealing with overly businesslike business people, I'm liable to find someone else to provide my services. Is friendliness too much to ask?

How about the Charm Culture? By being nice, playing verbal pattycake, asking them about their kids, and doing small harmless favors, I've gotten things I didn't even ask for: free slices of pizza, free beers afterhours at my favorite pubs, and even a quarter-point off my mortgage rate after I'd already signed the paperwork. How many folks to do you know got a 30-year rate of 5.25% in mid-2004? I got that with honey, not vinegar.

Charm mixed with dishonesty can turn disingenuous and become mere sycophancy. This is not what I'm advocating. But how about we all start by giving each other the benefit of the doubt?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Iron Chef Jacobin

I'm back from my recent excursion.

Has anyone seen Iron Chef America? A complete waste of time. The original Japanese show provided me with at least a solid year of fascination, but the remake is shoddy and foolish.

The most irritating thing about it is Bobby Flay. The guy's accent just grates on me. And, when he was on the one-shot special against Iron Chef Japanese Morimoto, he stood on his cooking station and shot his arms upward in a display of uncultured American bravado. Morimoto rightly condemned the action.

He also came to my home town for his series that showcases local cuisine around America. Having sampled everything he had on the episode, I know first-hand that his opinions were based on the hipness of the establishment and not the quality of the food. It seems as if Flay just asked the local potentates which businesses they wanted to get free advertising, and he followed their wishes.

It's too bad to see Alton Brown wasting his time with this one, although I suppose everone has to eat.

But the glaring deficit is the lack of martial culture in the U.S. It's not hard to imagine a Japanese Warrior Chef competing for the honor of his clan and subordinates. American restauranteurs are much more likely to vie for the favor of mass-market yobs or effete NYC dandies.

Aesthetically, the show can't be pulled of in a republic. A monarchy like Japan has all the needed pomp and circumstance to put the outlandish scenario somewhere in the realm of believability.

The lack of a landed nobility makes the idea of a eccentric tycoon who establishes a quasi-gladitorial cooking arena foolish. Or rather, that self-respecting chefs would compete in such a person's contests.

The U.S. just doesn't have that kind of taste for masculine drama. My countrymen will take the WWE (nee WWF) seriously, or American Gladiators, but it has to involve pure physical acumen for most of us to consider it a manly contest.