By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

What must the Queen think of the younger royals’ actions?

Source: By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

“Yet there is a feeling that, while the Queen deserves our respect, certain other members of her family should try harder. Much harder. There is a turbulence in the air, a contagion of bad behaviour that taints the good deeds and hard work of other royals, causing understandable resentment. These miscreants could do worse than follow the example of the Queen; this force of nature in pastel separates who has never put a foot wrong nor allowed selfish needs or creature comforts to impede her sense of duty.”

This excellent if sobering essay on the sense of duty and propriety of Her Majesty The Queen, as contrasted against the behavior of certain other members of the Royal Family, devotes – as its title would indicate – a fair amount of its space to pointing out the foibles of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle. As well it should. Continue reading “By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator”

Advertisements

The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout

Family singing at the piano

Over the last 20 years, fewer people are learning how to read and compose music. What impact has that had on the music we listen to?

Source: The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout

“Oh yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute:
Candles in the window, carols at the spinet!”

These famous lines, from the still-popular secular Christmas song “We Need a Little Christmas” (1966) are not just me longing for Christmas, in this steamy central Maryland August (although neither would I deny it), but an illustration of the linked essay‘s point: that although most people listening to it today probably gloss right over the line without a clue as to what is meant, the song would have been unlikely to contain those lyrics, if “carols at the spinet” (a once-popular type of small, drop-action piano) had not been an easily-recognizable feature of Christmas cheer at the time it was written.

It’s certainly recognizable to me! Born in 1965, the third and much the youngest of three brothers, I grew up with a “spinet” (actually a furniture console piano) in our home: one which my father had purchased for my mother years before – at a time when they were still struggling financially – because he knew how much music meant to her. Continue reading “The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout”

The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

“You accuse us of overturning our patrie by rebellion, but it is you, who, subverting all principles of the religious and political order, were the first to proclaim that insurrection is the most sacred of duties.” — French Royalist rebel to the newly-installed Jacobin government in 1793

Source: The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

I disagree with the author of this piece’s knee-jerk anti-Trumpism, and more generally his assertion of what amounts to moral equivalency between the President’s supporters and America’s radical Left. But that doesn’t mean the essay’s depiction of the situation in which we find ourselves is wrong. Sadly!

But I like better the analysis of both the article and the situation it describes, from Clergy in Support of the 2nd Amendment, which posted a link to this article: Continue reading “The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative”

The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism: Ugly Buildings, Ugly Paintings, Ugly Words, Ugly Life

Image result for modernist art and architecture

We who live in the Western world at the present time continue to suffer under the reign of a great tyranny — the tyranny of artistic modernism.

Source: The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism | New English Review

The four “uglies” in the title above are the assessment – all too accurate – of William Briggs, in his post on the subject. I cannot disagree! Here, at any rate, are some quotes from Mark Anthony Signorelli and Nikos A. Salingaros’s piece at New English Review, linked above, with my reflections thereon:

“We who live in the Western world at the present time continue to suffer under the reign of a great tyranny — the tyranny of artistic modernism. The modernist aesthetic, which dominates our age, takes a variety of forms in the respective arts — in architecture, a lack of scale and ornamentation combined with the overwhelming deployment of materials like glass, steel, and brutalist concrete; in the plastic arts, a rejection of natural forms mixed with an unmistakable tendency towards the repulsive or meretricious; in literature, non-linear narrative, esoteric [*] imagery, and an almost perfect lack of poetic form and diction.”
Continue reading “The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism: Ugly Buildings, Ugly Paintings, Ugly Words, Ugly Life”

Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

Antifa thugs in Washington, DC. Photo credit: cantfightthetendies.

As America slips into what many are calling a “cold civil war,” not a single Democrat running for president is willing to condemn Antifa, the contemporary version of the Brownshirts that terrorized opponents of the Nazis.

Source: Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

I still think “Red Guards” is a more historically and ideologically accurate comparison for Antifa than the “Brownshirts,” but I also realize it has less resonance, and less recognition value. Such quibbles aside, this essay is sadly all too correct.

“Antifa activists constitute a dedicated, organized national violent organization openly suppressing political opponents, something that ought to be condemned by everyone, not just those whom they seek to silence.

“Antifa now is arming itself. History teaches us that armed thugs pave the way for monstrous political oppression. Yet the leaders of the Democratic Party are now becoming complicit with armed thugs…”

A good friend of mine (and a fellow Anglican priest) posted this on Facebook yesterday, quoting another clergyman who commented,

“In the choice between the civilized and the uncivilized, one must always choose the civilized.”

Indeed! Today’s Democrats are full of hot air about supposed “white nationalist / supremacist terrorists,” but – as this essay points out – haven’t a word to say about their own Antifa thugs, who represent the far greater threat to peace and stability. Projection at its finest!

My friend who posted this added, in a reply,

What the Jacobins did to France, and the communists to Russia, Asia and other parts of the world, Antifa would do here if they had the power to do it. That’s why they must be crushed. It’s also why any connection that can be established between Antifa and the Dems must be highlighted.

I agree, and am doing my bit to that end!

Sex and the City writer regrets choosing a career over having children | Daily Mail Online

Candace Bushnell, 60, has admitted that she regrets choosing a career over having children as she is now ‘truly alone’

Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell, 60, has admitted that she regrets choosing a career over having children as she is now ‘truly alone’.

Source: Sex and the City writer regrets choosing a career over having children | Daily Mail Online

Now, if this isn’t ironic!

As the friend who originally shared this accurately noted,

“The writer made a small fortune pedaling fantasy lifestyle lies to impressionable young career women, and now rues the fact… long after the damage was done and an entire generation of warped women now walks among us…”

Beyond sad.

The Demon in Middlebury by ​Ryszard Legutko | Articles | First Things

https://d2ipgh48lxx565.cloudfront.net/uploads/article_5d24d86da76c2.jpg?Expires=1565357763&Signature=csYxGz-~jLS1q7oJ-pxNdmM6sTwBKQCZM8qROcUiZdtEMTlsiwjBt-KUvkcUhsHI8K0ev7g8rZhG5JiuPYZSPHB1bMdymyx~wRe6LAkwwmVX-sK1CbF2VTX46m8zxKzxwzbxqJnrsiys84H1~7udcW6jBkphPJLcq99b7TIX7C4uQVsvmH9uEySPq7VYVva81GdamoF8HUcVUjQXxyuBbGqZ957ngRXnUfVOLmsyNlTehUnnoy~S1pSbWQkv8cuZ4U0-MatbXAhE49BcU3Mlpv4lT~d2DvlZ2DS-sLgmB2oWqTbvAeFW0KsJMj3p~1zsQcigXh8ybJqrtFFo~vqJZg__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAIN7SVXNLPAOVDKZQ

The invitation from Middlebury College to speak about my book The Demon in Democracy came last year. I was pleased to receive it…

Source: The Demon in Middlebury by ​Ryszard Legutko | Articles | First Things

This just isn’t funny anymore, if it ever was.

I used to like Middlebury College; heck, I used to want to go there, or teach there, or both. I like Vermont. I like the town of Middlebury. I especially like the “secret” recipe for a maple syrup vinaigrette that I got from someone there, during my brief stint teaching outdoor education nearby! But I do not like what Middlebury College has become.

This is from Ryszard Legutko, author of the book The Demon in Democracy, which I referenced in a previous post, but have not yet had the chance to read. Now I want to, all the more! Because there is a demon lurking at the heart of liberal democracy, one whose existence is unsuspected by many, studiously ignored by others, and actively fed and worshiped by some. And I am not sure that I am using that term entirely metaphorically!

At any rate, Legutko comments, inter alia, on the socialist-fascist-cultural Marxist mess our academic world has become; and he does so using Middlebury as his personal example, since the college soviet unloaded on him, there. I will let you read his account of the incident in question! But he follows that account with this analysis:

“By comparing the clichés with the realities they supposedly describe, we find that the aim of this language is to reverse the meanings of words. ‘Marginalized people’ are not people who are marginalized, but people who set the college’s agenda and can get away with just about anything, including physically assaulting their professors. ‘Respectful and non-disruptive counter-space’ means subjecting a lecturer to insults and humiliations. ‘Inclusivity’ is the systemic censuring of people and ideas. I don’t know what ‘healing’ is supposed to mean, but I suspect it might refer to the joy a hooligan feels in his acts of vandalism.”

This is precisely the sort of warping of language Orwell tried to warn us about! Newspeak, the memory hole, some animals are more equal than others… but I digress:

“Am I exaggerating? Am I unjust to the students and their faculty mentors, people who may be misguided but are sincere in their desire for a better world? Let us see what their better world would look like. Here is one of the demands that the SGA (Student Government Association) at Middlebury made after the incident:

Any organization or academic department that invites a speaker to campus will be required to fill out a due diligence form created by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in coordination with the SGA Institutional Diversity Committee. These questions should be created to determine whether a speaker’s beliefs align with Middlebury’s community standards [emphasis added by The Anglophilic Anglican], removing the burden of researching speakers from the student body.

“I learned from this statement that Middlebury has two offices (at least) to monitor diversity, equity, and inclusion at the college. Student activists seem to find it an undue burden to have to do the work of policing invited speakers. They insist that the institution do their bidding. And Middlebury is not an anomaly. Similar bodies are everywhere, at every college, university, and corporation in the U.S. and many European countries, all of them surveilling the words and actions of their members and implementing ideological directives with bureaucratic ruthlessness.”

So, only speakers whose “beliefs align with Middlebury’s community standards” (thank you, Facebook, or as some now call it, Fascistbook) will be allowed on campus? Or if others somehow manage to be permitted, they can expect to experience protest, heckling, or worse? All in the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Alles klar, Herr Kommisar?

How is this not Communist? Marxist? Fascist? Totalitarian? Did we live through the 20th century, defeating both the Nazis in the Second World War and the Soviets in the Cold War, in vain? Did my father fight and earn the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in the first, and defend our country via signals intelligence in the second, in vain? I begin to fear so, to my deep dismay!

Bear in mind, Legutko is a person who grew up in Communist Poland, having been born there in 1949. He is Professor of philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, specializing in ancient philosophy and political theory, and a Member of the European Parliament. He knows whereof he speaks, when it comes to totalitarianism and dictatorship: historically, philosophically, and personally. He continues,

“The growing power of these offices would not be possible without the corruption of language. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have ceased to mean what they always meant and now mean the opposite. They now mean rigidity, dogmatism, conformity, intimidation, control, arbitrariness, and censorship. The offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion are in fact guardians of the regnant ­ideology — ‘Middlebury’s community standards’ — and their job is to censure all ‘beliefs’ that do not ‘align; with those standards. In ­Orwell’s world, war was peace, freedom slavery, and ignorance strength. At Middlebury, diversity is monopoly, equity bias, and inclusion censorship.”

So now we have student soviets, sitting in judgement on both their professors (most of whom are cultural Marxists themselves, anyway, and most of the few who aren’t, are – understandably, it must be confessed – interested in protecting their jobs, their incomes, and their families’ futures), and on anyone who might be invited to speak to them?

What can we call these, other than academic soviets? How did we allow colleges and universities to become neo-bolshevik? What happened to academic freedom, to freedom of inquiry? What happened to a challenging intellectual environment (for anyone other than conservatives and traditionalists, who are to be actively ghettoed)?

I knew the situation was bad, and getting worse. I knew it was already heading in that direction when I was last directly involved with the academic world, in the mid-1990s; and I knew it had only tanked still further since. But I have to admit, even I did not know it was this bad. Heaven help us.

The only bright spot is Legutko’s concluding paragraph. I am tempted to reproduce it here, but I shall refrain: better you should read the whole article!