How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs? | Intellectual Takeout

How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs?

Are we rebelling against the idea of beauty and culture? Or are we just too lazy to pull on a pair of slacks instead of wearing the sweats we slept in?

Source: How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs? | Intellectual Takeout

“What does our own sloppy dress tell us about ourselves? Are we too pressed for time to dress a little up rather than way down? Are we rebelling against the idea of beauty and culture? Or are we just too lazy to pull on a pair of slacks instead of wearing the sweats we slept in?”

I confess, I am sometimes guilty of prioritizing comfort over appearance, myself, but even so, I do have standards. In recent years, I have largely ditched the jeans – comfy as they undoubtedly are – for all except informal occasions (such as County Fairs!), weekends or an evening spent lounging around the house, or projects. Ditto t-shirts.

When it comes to employment, as a driver education instructor, Oxford shirt, tie, and blazer is a bit too dressy (and impractical) for 8-to-10 hours in the car, but khakis – albeit often a more refined version of “cargo”-style ones (those pockets come in handy!) – and polo or button-down shirts are my more typical attire.

I also confess, I have long wondered why we – by which I mean, the larger culture, not every individual in it – seem to have lost the ability to dress, look, and act “respectable.” Clothing is only part of the issue, of course, but it is a part, and an important one. Like it or not, first impressions count; people do make snap judgements based on what someone looks like, and that includes how they dress.

Beyond that, it’s also a matter of self-respect, as well as respect for others, and for the community / public square itself. For myself, I find that I often hear my mother’s voice, whispering in my ear, reminding me to, as she put it, “put your best foot forward.” That is still good advice, in my opinion!

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While I understand, and even (to a point) sympathize with, those who choose –  for a number of ethical and health-related reasons – to adopt a vegetarian diet, I object to those who attempt to force that lifestyle on the rest of us.

So I found the lower two responses to the upper billboard quite amusing! I tend to fall into the second (lower right) category, although a) I wouldn’t be trying to “bang a hot vegan chick,” and b) it wouldn’t take an economic crisis for me to enjoy a nice dish of hassenpfeffer!


Nota Bene: While I view vegetarianism – especially ovo-, lacto-, and piscato-vegetarianism – as legitimate dietary preferences, I have more issues with veganism, for several reasons.

First, from a physiological and health viewpoint: we are, biologically, anatomically, and ecologically, predatory omnivores. We have more in common, in that regard, with bears or raccoons than we do with horses, cows, or sheep.

That is simple reality, as can be determined from observation of our stereoscopic (hunter, not prey) vision, our dentition (mix of carnivorous and herbivorous teeth), and our digestive system, which is clearly designed to digest both animal proteins and fats, and plant matter – but not exclusively the latter.

By attempting to adopt a plant-only diet, with no supplementation from animal foods at all, we are denying our nature (some would say, our God-given nature). That rarely if ever ends well.

In this context, it is perhaps worth noting that while there have been successful vegetarian societies, historically, there has been no known successful vegan society. That may be because there are nutrients essential not only to our health, but to our reproduction, that come only from animal sources.

Secondly, vegans are more likely to be ideological extremists than are vegetarians who also supplement with dairy, eggs, or fish. And as I indicated above, it is one thing to recognize that someone may choose a particular lifestyle or diet; it is another to have them trying to force that choice on you!

Glories of the West: Music Of Cathedrals and Monasteries – Plainsong & Gregorian Chant

Three hours of what is to my mind the most glorious and holy form of sacred music ever composed: the Gregorian chant, other forms of plainsong, and medieval motets of the Age of Faith, when European Christendom was at its height, and maintained an essential unity which transcended the often bitter and violent bickering of rival kingdoms. The “Peace of God” in musical form!


If three hours of this celestial music is not enough for you, here is another excellent assortment, by the Tudor Consort:

Note that many of these are not in fact Gregorian chants, but polyphony. They are, nonetheless, both beautiful and holy – although not, to my mind, possessed of the simple and profound purity of true plainsong, particularly in the Gregorian mode.

Te Deum – 5th Century Monastic Chant (Solemn)

This form of Christian chant – Gregorian chant – is, of course, of unquestionably Western provenance! As the notation on the linked YouTube page notes,

“Monks of the one of the Abbeys of the Solesmes Congregation sing this beautiful chant. The Te Deum is attributed to two Fathers and Doctors of the Church, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, and is one the most majestic chants in the Liturgy of the Church. It is sung in traditional seminaries and monastic houses at the Divine Office and for Double feasts of the First Class, The Nativity, Easter, Corpus Christi, Epiphany, Pentecost and those which have an Octave. The solemn Te Deum is sung on all occasions of public [liturgical] rejoicing, in Traditional Catholic Churches.”

And in English translation, it is sung (or recited, in the Office of Morning Prayer) in not a few traditional Anglican churches, as well!


Nota Bene: The Abbey of Solesmes, under Dom Prosper Guéranger, was largely responsible for the rebirth and liturgical restoration of Gregorian Chant, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and remains the mother-house of a Benedictine community to this day (with several interruptions along the way!). For more information, check out this fascinating brief account of its history, or the Abbey’s own history page.


Here is the Te Deum in traditional English translation:

Te Deum laudamus.

WE praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud; the Heavens, and all the Powers therein;
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

THOU art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints, in glory everlasting.

O LORD, save thy people, and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name ever, world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Here is an English-language plainsong (chant) version:

Archimandrite Serafim chants Psalm 53 in Aramaic | YouTube

The incredibly gifted Archimandrite (a senior priest) Serafim chants the 53rd Psalm (in the Eastern Orthodox reckoning, which follows the Septuagint; I believe it is Psalm 52 in the KJV, RSV, and other versions of Scripture which follow the Masoretic text) in Aramaic, with his chorus of parishioners, including an amazingly sweet-voiced young girl.

This rendition (sometimes erroneously referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) occurred during a visit of the current Pope to Georgia, where Fr. Serafim and his people have taken refuge. Some might question whether this is technically “of the West,” as it is Eastern Orthodox (Syriac / Assyrian) Christianity, and Fr. Serafim himself and many of his parishioners are Syrian.

To that objection, I have these things to say in response:

  1. This chant is in Aramaic, the language of Our Lord Himself, during the time of His Incarnation. That’s good enough for me.
  2. Middle Eastern Christians are among the most persecuted on Earth. The Middle East was the cradle of Christian civilization, until it was overthrown by the Muslims in the 7th century. Fr. Serafim and his people fled to Georgia, a European country, to escape Islamic persecution. That’s good enough for me, too.
  3. Syria is not our enemy. As I have commented previously, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not a Western liberal democrat (thank God!), but he protects the rights of women and minority religions, including Christianity, in a way which is all too rare in the Middle East (and elsewhere).

If these considerations are not sufficient for you, you are of course free not to follow The Anglophilic Anglican. Go in peace, with my blessings.

Das Lied der Deutschen / Deutschlandlied

The Anglophilic Anglican I may be, but a significant portion of my ancestry – approximately a third – is German, and I have always had a great deal of respect, appreciation, and affection for Germans and Germany… and for this song! (Of course, the English were and are themselves a Germanic people, with an originally Germanic language, and many Germanic features to their culture.) This particular video clip is especially nice, as it shows both historic and contemporary images of Germany!

Following are the lyrics, in both German and English. Note that “Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der Welt,” is not nearly as imperialistic as is often thought: it meant and means that Germans should love and be loyal to their Fatherland above all other loves and loyalties in the world.

I have no issue with that, for those whose heritage is exclusively German! So, indeed, it should be. Sometimes mongrels like me (English, Scots, and German, in the main, with touches of Irish, Swedish, and French Huguenot, so that I have trouble sometimes figuring out which side to root for, in any given European conflict…) wish we had a bit more cohesiveness in our background…

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
brüderlich zusammenhält.
Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt!

Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang
Sollen in der Welt behalten
Ihren alten schönen Klang,
Uns zu edler Tat begeistern
Unser ganzes Leben lang.
Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang!

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach lasst uns alle streben
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
Blüh’ im Glanze dieses Glückes,
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland!

Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world,
When, for protection and defense,
It always stands brotherly together.
From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world!

German women, German loyalty,
German wine and German song
Shall retain in the world
Their old beautiful chime
And inspire us to noble deeds
During all of our life.
German women, German loyalty,
German wine and German song!

Unity and justice and freedom
For the German fatherland!
Towards these let us all strive
Brotherly with heart and hand!
Unity and justice and freedom
Are the foundation of happiness;
Flourish in the radiance of this happiness,
Flourish, German fatherland!

Death of 7-year-old Baltimore girl weeks after shooting revives anger about “no snitching” ethos | Baltimore Sun

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Taylor Hayes’ homicide is the latest case in which detectives believe an individual has information on who killed a child but is not cooperating.

Source: Death of 7-year-old Baltimore girl weeks after shooting revives anger about ‘no snitching’ ethos – Baltimore Sun

The link to this story came across my Facebook newsfeed. The person who posted it commented,

“You don’t know her name. You don’t want to know her name. She does not matter. Don’t worry, she wasn’t killed by a Cop or White Dude. And of course I am wrong for talking about her.

“The death Thursday of Taylor Hayes — the 7-year-old girl who had struggled to survive for two weeks after being shot — has once again elicited anger about Baltimore’s notorious ‘no-snitching’ ethos.

“Taylor’s homicide is the latest high-profile case in which detectives believe an individual has information on who killed a child — but won’t cooperate.

“What was her name?”

No whites or cops involved? No wonder we don’t know her name, or her story!

Her name, of course, is Taylor. But the reason why her name, and her story, are not as widely known as, say, that of Freddie Gray or Trayvon Martin is that her story does not fit the “national narrative,” which portrays blacks as the innocent victims of police violence. Mostly perpetrated by white officers, of course, according to this narrative; but cops in general (and to a lesser but still significant extent, whites in general) are the bad guys.

The reality is far different. It is not whites, or cops of any race, that are largely responsible for violence against African Americans; it is their fellow blacks. 8.6% of blacks killed were killed by whites in 2016 (note that 15.8% of white victims were killed by blacks, that same year: nearly twice the rate, despite blacks making up a substantially smaller percentage of the population) – but 89.3% of blacks were killed by other blacks. This, according to a US News and World Report article from September of 2016, entitled “Race and Homicide in America, by the Numbers.”

Yet you still see lunacy like this…

https://patriactionary.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/theenemy.png

Can we say, “disconnected from reality,” boys and girls…?

I couldn’t find similar percentage figures for police, but I did learn that in 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer, and that black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. In other words, police have far more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. If LEOs might sometimes be a little jumpy in such situations, it’s not without reason.

But again, that doesn’t fit the national narrative – or perhaps I ought to say the “progressive,” or more accurately Leftist (since it’s anything but authentically progressive – more like retrogressive), narrative – so we don’t hear about those figures.

We live in sad times.

One other point needs to be made, and it was raised in the NY Post essay cited above:

“Violent crime has now risen by a significant amount for two consecutive years. The total number of violent crimes rose 4.1 percent in 2016, and estimated homicides rose 8.6 percent. In 2015, violent crime rose by nearly 4 percent and estimated homicides by nearly 11 percent. The last time violence rose two years in a row was 2005-06.

“The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened. Having been told incessantly by politicians, the media and Black Lives Matter activists that they are bigoted for getting out of their cars and questioning someone loitering on a known drug corner at 2 a.m., many officers are instead just driving by.

“Such stops are discretionary; cops don’t have to make them. And when political elites demonize the police for just such proactive policing, we shouldn’t be surprised when cops get the message and do less of it. Seventy-two percent of the nation’s officers say that they and their colleagues are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons, according to a Pew Research poll released in January 2017. The reason is the persistent anti-cop climate.”

This is, or should be, a concern for all Americans, regardless of race, location, or economic status. “No-go zones” in the U.S.? This, my friends, is a problem!