Tag Archives: cultural musings

How Infirm a Foundation

Image result for images of blatant lies

I fear the long-term consequences, whatever they might turn out to be, of basing a whole civilization on a foundation of lies.

I’m not talking about the little, everyday lies that are part of human life in a fallen world. No. I mean great, thumping lies–not silly opinions, not mere mistakes, but actual bodacious whoppers: like, for instance, that whole business of “I identify as something that I’m most certainly not,” for which various government agencies are poised to punish you if you don’t believe in them. Untruths upon which public policy is based, like Man-Made Climate Change. Things that simply aren’t true. But power is brought to bear against anyone who tries to deny those things.

It hit home for me yesterday, when I went from writing about the big, hulking, smirking man who “won” a women’s weight-lifting title, with all the nooze media slavishly calling him “her,” to reading in my Bible, John 8:40-47, in which Jesus, unable to persuade some Pharisees that He was telling them the truth when He said He was sent to them from God, concluded that they were wedded to a lie.

“If God were your father,” Jesus said, “ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

“Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Ye are not of God.

Our universities teach that there is no such thing as truth–only “your truth” or “my truth.” There are no facts: only whatever helps the Left politically, or doesn’t help.

And so, leftids, you’ve convinced me–convinced me that your whole secular humanist, globalist, heaven-here-on-earth enterprise is owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by Satan, the father of lies.

Is it harmless for a man to say he’s a woman, and for all sorts of important and influential people–nooze media, government, the Olympic committee, multitudes of college professors and teacher unions–to support him in this claim, and demand that everybody else support him, too, or else?

No, it’s not harmless: because it amounts to foolish, sinful mortals setting themselves up as having the authority to re-define, and overthrow, God’s created natural order, as if they themselves were God.

And we know where that comes from, and we know where it’s going. Selah.


Trivializing Women

Image result for images of women in 1950s commercials

When I was a boy, our popular culture often depicted women as trivial creatures who couldn’t do much of anything and whose primary interests in life were clothing, hair, and gossip. Just search “women in 1950s commercials” and you’ll see what I mean.

If the media had to take notice of a woman who had actually done something, pains were always taken to argue that she was “still a lady, still daintily feminine,” still bedazzled by a new dress, even while she ran a business, made a scientific discovery, or wisely managed her household.

The overall impression I got, as a 10-year-old boy, was that women were, well, boring. But then I knew my mother and my grandmothers and my aunts were not at all boring, not trivial, not silly or anything like that. It made for some confusion.

I think we can all be happy that this isn’t done anymore. Except by the fashion industry, Hollywood, fantasy novelists, and feminists. And men, for that matter, are now trivialized, too. Except for when we’re demonized. Our popular culture has a lot not to recommend it.

Women are not trivialized in the Bible. And if we cannot see that the Biblical images of women are infinitely truer to life, as we ourselves live it, than anything slopped out to us by the advertising and entertainment industries, and by liberal politics, then our vision doesn’t amount to much. Think of Phebe, servant of the church at Cenchrea, and a deacon, who picked up Paul’s epistle in Corinth and delivered it to Rome. Think of literally hundreds of other examples.

And I would not be writing this, or anything else, but for my wife’s wisdom and diligence in managing our household–not to mention also having to manage Aunt Joan’s finances and paperwork, too. The work she does is staggering to behold.

Moral: The way they show it to us isn’t like it is.

If it were, the human race wouldn’t last another week.

(P.S.–I know “Phoebe” is normally spelled with an “o”, but I’m going with the spelling I find in my own King James Bible.)


Are We Too Old to Appreciate Cool Fashions?

Image result for Girls with Half Shaved Heads

A reader this morning remarked, speaking, I take it, to the rest of us, “You all seem as if you’re 70 years old.” As if being 70 were a bad thing. “Sometimes a haircut is just a haircut”–referring to someone going around with half his or her head shaved–“and it means nothing except style.”

As far as I can see, those who adopt this style are imitating certain Grade B celebrities that I never heard of. To go to this much trouble is to be making some kind of statement. It may be as simple a statement as “I am an idiot,” or it may be something as profound as “I are a Intyerllectural and i re-ject yore stopid borzoueis socile confentions!”

It used to be that being 70 years old entitled you to a modicum of respect, owing to the experience one accumulates over the course of seven decades.

Speaking only for myself, I do try very hard not to move with the times, because the times are evil and increasingly insane. If it seems to me that a lot of people are going out of their way to look ugly, it’s because a lot of people are going out of their way to look ugly.

Yes, I know–my father, in the 1960s, worried about young people turning into “the bell-bottom type,” although he himself wore bell-bottoms for a couple of years: in the Navy. When he volunteered to serve his country, at risk of life and limb. But I was 18 and I could only laugh at him. What a fool I was!

Now I’m the one who’s pushing 70, and I can look back over the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 17 years of a new century–and see how far we’ve slid down the pipe.

I am proud of my grey hairs. I think I’ve earned them. And I’ve earned the right, by looking back on my own damned foolishness, to say that a society that thinks the shorter a time you’ve lived, the wiser you must be, is headed for a real hard time.


A Good Idea Gone Bad

Image result for images of almond delight free cash in every box

As long as we’re on the subject of cereal box prizes, let’s go just a little ways down Memory Lane, back into the 1980s.

How do you get people to try a new cereal? Well, the advertisers of Almond Delight came up with a swell idea: offer “Free Cash in Every Box.” Consumers had a chance to find either real legal tender–$1, $5, $50, or $500–inside the box, or else a bit of foreign  currency. Now if that wasn’t going to make the product fly off the shelves, what would?

They didn’t calculate for Original Sin.

Imagine our disappointment when we brought home a box of Almond Delight and found that someone had already slit it open with a box-cutter and removed whatever money was inside. We were even more disappointed when we went back to the store and found every Almond Delight box on the shelf similarly treated. Every last one of ’em had already been slit open. I need hardly add that we didn’t buy it again.

Maybe  “Free Cash in Every Box” wasn’t such a good idea, after all.

The thing to remember, though, is that this was the brainchild of highly-paid professionals who supposedly knew what they were doing.

Or, as Isaiah once put it, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22)


Liberal Logic 101

Image result for images of angry liberals shouting

Welcome to Introduction to Left-Wing Logic. Here you will learn at least 90% of what you will eventually say.

Today’s lesson: an example.

Conservatives turn people against us by reminding them that Democrats booed God at their 2012 national convention, and have lately booed and heckled both  the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance at smaller meetings. How do we counter that?

Easy!

Step One: Deny. Employ such sharp ripostes as “Never happened!” “That’s a lie!” “That video was edited!” “The Russians hacked the video!” Remember, there is no such thing as “truth,” or “a fact.” There is only whatever helps us to gain power, and whatever doesn’t help.

Step Two: Personal attack. You must discredit the speaker. Employ such unanswerable epithets as “Racist!” “Knotsy!” “Fascist!” “Biggit!” “Hater!” There are many you can use. Many conservatives will give up and slink away. Most Republicans will. They just can’t stand up to our rage.

But, in case neither Step One nor Step Two, or both of them together, suffice to win the argument…

Step Three: Riot. You are entitled to injure the persons and destroy the property of anyone who dares to disagree with you. This is how democracy gets done in America.

This set of procedures should be adequate for any disagreement you might conceivably encounter.

And if all else fails, Step Four: Reach for the Play-Doh.


Roadblocks to Utopia

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Here are a few built-in limitations to government that liberals and other statists will never understand. Their ideology forbids them to accept these as true. Nevertheless, they are.

*Government cannot force anyone to like or respect someone else. Efforts to do so only make people angry.

*Government has no power to abolish any part of human nature. “Hate,” for instance. They think they can make it against the law; but the most they can do is re-direct it. Even in Blue States, you can still hate Christians, smokers, Republicans, people who own businesses, and Climbit Change Deniers.

*Government has absolutely no power to create wealth, although it’s really great at inhibiting the creation of wealth. Government has no money of its own–only what it can squeeze out in taxes from whoever is creating wealth. All government programs must be paid for, one way or another. “Free stuff” isn’t free. God help us if the federal government ever goes broke: which it could, if sane fiscal policies are not installed quite soon.

*Government has no power over the ordinary processes of nature–the sun, the sea, movements of the earth, and so on. They claim they do, but that’s a lie.

*Government cannot survive radical cultural change without radically altering its form and replacing its personnel, often with extreme violence. If you want to keep your free republic, based on a rule of law, you have to keep the culture that nurtures it. This is why utopian statist schemes always result in piles of dead bodies.

Because all of these things are true, and cannot be altered by any human power, all attempts to create an earthly paradise by the power and wisdom of the state–that is, fallible and sinful human beings–must end in abject failure.

Think about it.


Something to Think About

Image result for images of nursing home patients on park bench

When I go to visit Aunt Joan at the nursing home, I usually visit with a couple of the other residents. Like, why not, as long as I’m there? They might appreciate a visit.

So I was talking today with the woman in the room across the hall from Joan, telling her about Joan’s travels all over the world, back in the day. Gloria wanted to know if Joan ever visited Barbados, because that’s where she was born and raised. We got to talking about Barbados, and Gloria asked me how old I was. It turned out she’s only one year older than I am.

One year. That’s not much. And yet she’s in the nursing home and I’m still playing basketball, when I get the chance. What a world of difference is packed into that one year!

I think the lesson God wants me to take to heart is this: to take no blessings for granted, but to treasure them and be thankful for them while we have them. Once again I found myself thinking, “Well, my aunts worked diligently and were able to do the things they most wished to do. They lived solid Christian lives and were a blessing to everyone who knew them.” And which of us can say the same?


All the Nooze That’s Fit to Print

(Never fails to bring tears of rejoicing to my eyes…)

Y’know what? It’s pretty easy to get demoralized by the news. I mean, it’s one damned thing after another, all of it awful, a never-ending freak show: like the report today about the 22-year-old nut in Los Angeles who wants to be “a genderless alien or extraterrestrial” and has had over 100 plastic surgery procedures toward that end ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4274396/Man-spends-50-000-transform-genderless-ALIEN.html ). Look at the mess he’s made of himself!

But we ought to remember that that’s the nature of the news.

A thousand cats sitting on a thousand people’s laps, that’s not news, it would never be reported. One cat going mad and biting off Grandma’s tongue–that’s news, and it will be reported everywhere.

The news is about deviations from the norm, the more deviant, the better. Ordinary people doing ordinary things, with ordinary results, is not news. Okay, a local weekly reporting the youth league soccer scores, that’s pretty normal–and as the guy whose job once included getting that stuff into the paper, I’m here to tell you that they’d tar and feather you if you ever left it out.

It’s not that the news reports we read, and get distressed by, are fictional–although some of it is, and more than is good for us. We do have to pay heed to what’s happening. A lot of it is bad. A lot of it, we would stop if we could.

But we mustn’t let ourselves be freaked out by it. (“I plead guilty, your honor…”) Accepting that it’s bad news, resolved to do what good we can, there’s still one thing we must always remember:

Our God is an awesome God!


A P.C. Fantasy for Teens

Image result for images of politically correct kids

I’ve been invited to review a new young readers’ fantasy novel which I’m not going to read because I’m afraid it will make my brain fall out. I won’t name the title or the author because I don’t wish to hurt anyone’s feelings; but I feel I ought to comment on this book as a cultural barometer.

The story is all about a “diverse” group of teens saddled with various handicaps and representing various ethno-cultural groups–because, as you know, there’s no such thing anymore as “Americans.” The group includes kids who are deaf, blind, “overweight” (I think that means “fat”), lazy, wheelchair-bound, “angry,” and “a chronic loner”–think of Seven Miserable Dwarfs, without Snow White. Anyhow, they all go off to some other world where they all become “warriors”–because, as you know, anyone can literally become anything he wants to be. Does that mean I have a chance to play center for the Lakers?

I do not wish to find out more about this. When a liberal says someone is a “warrior,” they usually mean “a social justice warrior,” which is a euphemism for a particularly annoying malcontent.

I insist that there is a difference between fantasy and twaddle; and if not, there ought to be.

The author is a middle school teacher who has become an expert on such riveting topics as “Going beyond tolerance: How to teach kids to be inclusive” and “The importance of diversity in writing for teens.” By “diversity,” liberals mean a rigid uniformity of thought. We do all know that by now, don’t we?

Is it humane to subject children to such a grueling regimen of Political Correctness? You wouldn’t be allowed to do it to a dog. I mean, okay, sure, we want to be nice to everybody, especially to children. Our God and King expects it of us. But being nice should not entail filling their heads with tiresome poppycock.

This literary enterprise reeks of unearned self-esteem, which is one thing our culture can easily do without. Individual human beings are valuable in and of themselves, in or out of a wheelchair. They derive this value not owing to their membership in this or that cherished minority group, but simply because they are persons created by God in His image.

Anything else is just a lot of bunk.


Boston Fines Woman, 76, $200 for not Shoveling Snow

Image result for images of boston sidewalks buried in snow

A 76-year-old woman on a fixed income has been fined $200 by the city of Boston for not shoveling snow from the sidewalk in front of her home ( http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2017/02/support_piling_up_for_retiree_hit_with_ticket ). A stranger has offered to pay the fine for her, but she says she’d rather appeal it.

I imagine there are still places where neighbors would have shoveled it for her. She made a start on the job, but when a lot of the snow turned to ice, she couldn’t finish.

Our glorious leaders may not be able to protect us from gangs of illegal aliens, but heaven help you if you can’t shovel away all your Global Warming. Boston officials appear to be uncomfortable with all the bad publicity they’re getting. Well, they deserve it.

In my own neighborhood, it’s usual for a bunch of us to pitch in and shovel for the few people who aren’t physically able to do it. No one makes a big deal about it; it’s just what we do as a matter of course. Last winter it took half a dozen of us to free Harlem’s car. He was down with cancer (he has recovered!) and couldn’t do it himself. So we did it for him, because that’s what neighbors do.

Obviously the city can’t allow the sidewalks to pile up with snow. Just as obviously, some people are unable to shovel it away without help. So you help. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for government to whack somebody.

Don’t these little tyrants in Boston have a school bake sale they can raid?


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