January 22, 2018

Lately, I can’t stop thinking about nothing. More and more, I am convinced the key to understanding the cultural and personal degeneration that besets us is to understand the nihilism behind it all. Beneath the myriad travesties we witness daily lies a passionate conviction, spreading from the elite classes in the West, that nothing matters, that nothing has meaning, that nothing is sacred. By now, this nihilism has touched us all. Most of us have imbibed its poison, and it has… Read more

January 18, 2018

We take so much for granted. We assume the way things are is the best way things could be. This problem is so grave we tend never to even question the structure of our lives and the societies that shape them. Indeed, most of us find it impossible to imagine a life not built around corporate work, the acquisition of consumer goods, and the atomistic, self-centered pursuit of pleasure. In short, a life built around place, family, faith and tradition… Read more

January 16, 2018

Behind our ongoing rush of sexual misconduct allegations is a crisis of ideals. We cannot know what constitutes appropriate sexual behavior because we have separated sex from its ends. When sex is purposeless and the only ideals we value regarding it are those of maximum pleasure and an ever-shifting definition of “consent”, we should expect the kind of sexual chaos that now besets us. The current set of revelations are, above all, an indication that the ideals of the sexual… Read more

January 15, 2018

Years ago, my wife and I attended an exhibit of the original drawings of cartoons published in the The New Yorker . One showed a young boy using a blow torch to burn the words “I Need Love” into the living room wall. His mother sat in a couch in the room explaining his behavior to a friend, saying, “He’s just doing that to get attention.” It’s funny because the cartoonist has captured something real about our society, especially about… Read more

January 12, 2018

Given that many college students learn nothing during their years in higher education, one might not immediately think of them as a bunch of perfectionists. But, according to some new research, they are. Coverage of the study in USA Today says:   (The study’s) lead author Thomas Curran of the University of Bath and co-author Andrew Hill of York St. John University describe perfectionism as “an irrational desire to achieve along with being overly critical of oneself and others.” In their study, published… Read more

January 11, 2018

The other day Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a lot of people’s hopes for quickly increasing marijuana legalization up in smoke. He announced he would rescind an Obama era policy of loosey-goosey federal enforcement of marijuana law. This was, apparently a total downer for a lot of people. Isn spite of Sessions decision, many still seem very high on legalizing pot. That’s a  terrible idea. But, terrible ideas are often popular ones. So, let me explain. The claim of liberalism… Read more

January 10, 2018

Rod Dreher is a man given to strong reactions and this article at First Things seems to have precipitated another one. The article is a defense of an 1858 decision by Pope Pius IX to remove then six-year-old Edgardo Mortara from his Jewish family. Mortara had, as an infant, been ill. His parents and doctors believed he could not recover. In response, the family’s Catholic nanny secretly baptized him. The child lived. When it was discovered that he had been… Read more

June 8, 2017

You’re nervous, I get it. You want things to work out. Somehow, you think that if you plan enough, push enough, manage every little detail just right, things will go your way. You invest a lot of energy in trying to make that thing you’ve got in your mind a reality. Half the time, it doesn’t work. When it doesn’t, you’re crushed. Your disappointment knows no limits. Weeks flow by. You remain depressed and listless, deflated by having gotten a… Read more

May 25, 2017

You might not think of me as the kind of guy who hangs out with movie stars. If so, you’d be right. Most of the time. Recently though, my regular habit of spending zero time with celebrities was interrupted when I found myself standing around in the same room as actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens. Let me explain how such an event came about. My wife enters contests online. Sometimes in the evening, we’ll sit down to watch television and… Read more

May 15, 2017

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many people react poorly to my saying America is doomed. Their anger and consternation, however, do nothing to change the bleak outlook for our nation. All their outraged responses do is confirm their lack of imagination.  They cannot imagine a world in which the great American experiment has failed to such an extent that our union dissolves. They see only the facade of success: our shopping malls, our massive interstate highway system, an entertainment industry that never pauses… Read more

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