“Public Policy’s Absent Aesthetics”: I’m at AmCon

rantin': ...What leapt out to me was the absence of the aesthetic side of smoking vs. wearing the patch. I don’t just mean that smoking looks good, although it does: Smoke dissolves like perfect conversation. Smoke turns women into chapels.What I mean is that all these aesthetic associations reinforce nicotine addiction. The sights and smells and sounds of smoking (tapping the cigarette against the pack; I knew one woman who made a little kiss sound every time she took a drag) intertwine in … [Read more...]

“Sociology as Class War”: I’m at AmCon

asking why progressives keep greasing the camel: I just finished Andrew Cherlin’s new book, Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America. It’s a solid piece of historically-informed synthesis.But it’s also full of examples of my least-favorite feature of contemporary sociology of the family. Because almost all writing that gets labeled “sociology” is done by members of the overeducated elite, the values common among that elite are taken for granted and treated … [Read more...]

“The Prize of the Defeated”: Matthew Walther on Don Colacho

click: Nicolás Gómez-Dávila’s name is not one to conjure with on these shores or, probably, any others. His work, almost exclusively collections of short—indeed one- or two-sentence—compositions, was long available only in limited editions from small presses in his native Colombia, and even then only because his family and friends urged him to publish. Translations, especially into German, have made him a cult figure in Europe, but in the United States, where he has never appeared in any publish … [Read more...]

“Discipline Is Not So Much a Social Necessity as an Aesthetic Obligation”

Any article bringing more attention to Don Colacho is an article I want you to read: ...If conservatives are characterized by nostalgia, reactionaries are characterized by decadence. Conservatives build networks and speak in sound bites; reactionaries build mausoleums and speak in epitaphs. Reactionaries are aesthetic rather than practical thinkers. They play alongside, if not across, the border of tragedy and fatalism. Civil debate is meaningless to the side that has already lost. more … [Read more...]

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: A “Gay and Catholic” DVD Extra

This is the post about "possibilities for publicly honoring nonmarital sacrificial love," and there are a lot of directions I could go with it.I could jump into the ongoing conversation about vowed friendships, except that a) I delve into those questions extensively in the book and b) I don't tbh really grok the CS Lewis, friendship is about gazing outward not at one another, friendship is a realm of pure freedom, stuff. You all already know I don't like realms of pure freedom and am not … [Read more...]

“Modernity as an Overlearning of Christianity”: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

good food for thought all the way through: ...Heresy therefore always poses a tricky double challenge for orthodoxy: a heresy that affirms a thing that orthodoxy also affirms (albeit to the exclusion of other necessary truths, or drawing false consequences from it), by definition, cannot be wholly evil, and orthodoxy must affirm the good things in it; and there is always a temptation to face the overemphasis on one pole by overemphasizing the other pole and falling into the other heresy (w … [Read more...]

From Peter de Vries, “The Tents of Wickedness”

The task of rearing a child must have taught her a lot. Taught her that the conformity we often glibly equate with mediocrity isn't something free spirits "transcend" as much as something they're not quite up to. That convention calls for broader shoulders--and, for all I know, more imagination--than revolt. --this is in the voice of the comic hero, so he's kind of a fatuous ass, but the best trick is to put wisdom in the mouths of asses. … [Read more...]


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