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So glad to be here

This has been one of those weeks when craziness piled 20 tabs high in the browser. It’s one of those weeks it’s especially clear that the world out there is not only rapidly going nuts, but is fragmenting into specialized segments of insanity, all threatening war with each other.

The phrase “the center cannot hold” keeps running though my brain. Not that I think centers holding is necessarily such a great idea, depending on what centers you’re talking about. Consensus may be comforting, but only for those on the inside and only as long as the delusion lasts.

But another pair of lines from the same poem seems apt:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Millions of militant morons froth with murderous indignation over any old thing and everything. Governments at every level dig deeper holes even as their residents flee in desperation. Everybody’s proudly sporting a grudge and demanding that the rest of us prostrate ourselves in guilt over whatever they imagine ails them. Our politicians have descended from merely being scurvy, lying, corrupt scum to being clowns in a circus of the damned. All these years since “terrorism” has been the excuse for tyranny, Our Betters still monumentally refuse to get it. Or worse, they get it and they enjoy it — may they rot in it.


I was going to write a post about the growing madness. I was going to make predictions about the colossal crackup Western culture is so clearly headed for. I was going to speculate about whether the current craziness is a sign of freedom end-times or just a crazed phase, soon to burn itself out in embarrassment, giving civilization (actual civilized civilization) a brief reprieve.

But no. I’m not.

Because (I remind myself once again), that deteriorating Crazyland out there isn’t where I live. And isn’t where you live, either (unless you have the misfortune to work in a university, in government, in mainstream journalism, or some other crazy-attached field).

Most of us, blessedly, walk and work and live and enjoy life among the sane. Our neighbors are too busy going about their lives to tote mattresses as performance art. They know that grudges and grievances, if they hold them, are petty things to be dealt with, not badges of pride to be poked in everybody else’s face. They may be black or white or Mexican or Asian or male or female, but they’re people first. People with families to raise and jobs to do. People who have to get along with other people as best they can — sometimes well and sometimes not so well, but always recognizing that we’re all in the same boat, one way or another.

They’re musicians and grocery clerks and retirees and librarians and mechanics and mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and neighbors and friends before they’re members of the ascendant or descending interest group, victim group, or guilty class of the week.

Let the noisy crazies rave. They’re penned up — by their own choices! — in a handful of professional, cultural, and geographic enclaves where they have more influence on each other than on us out here in the real world. Yes, the self-righteous loons and their puppets in government, media, and academia are a nuisance. Yes, they do threaten to crack society (such as it is) right down the middle, then into a thousand sharp, jagged pieces.

But they’re out there, and we’re here where the sane people are — and where the sane will remain even if Yeats’ “rough beast” is soon reborn.


  1. Pat
    Pat July 30, 2015 8:31 am

    Well said, Claire.

    The attempt to keep sane is why I rarely read much news anymore. The “news” I do read is either exposé, opinionated bias, or superficial chaff. I do want to know if the world has blown itself up overnight, but by and large I just listen for that noise because I’m sure we’ll all hear it when it comes. My mind prefers to stay clean.

    The crazies simply can’t comprehend normalcy; they won’t/can’t allow themselves the privilege of waking up to a pleasant day and looking forward to a productive one. They don’t know how to relate to “the common folk” without arrogance, and can’t afford to stop and assess their actions for fear of finding their core is all fluff.

    I thank the gods there are a few good places to come for sense and sensibility.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 30, 2015 9:55 am

    Me too, Pat and Claire.

    Nobody knows what will happen… tomorrow or today after noon, but I’m betting that an awful lot of people are going to be extremely surprised, and that an awful lot of them won’t survive.

    And what happens after that? Depends on who survives.

  3. steve
    steve July 30, 2015 11:49 am

    Nice article claire!

    World events really boggle my mind these days and my only hope I find in god and the holy bible……that’s where I find security

  4. david
    david July 31, 2015 5:53 am

    To paraphrase Gretta Garbo, ‘I just want to be left alone’. And I will do whatever i can to resist someone poking about in my life and business.

  5. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 31, 2015 7:52 am

    Actual Zimbabweans love western hunters. Why? Because they dump $50,000 (which goes a very long way) into the local economy, and because they get to eat the meat from the animals the hunters kill, and because the hunters control the population of the animals which would ruin the landscape if they were not controlled.

    But yeah Claire, I agree with you. Sit back with some beer and popcorn and watch the show.

  6. LarryA
    LarryA July 31, 2015 12:16 pm

    Not just Zimbabweans. Pretty much any country that has a scientific, successful wildlife management program, where wild animals are flourishing and the environment is improving, those of us who hunt, fish, or shoot provide the lion’s share (sorry) of the funding.

    Here in the U.S. 70 to 75% of state wildlife funding comes from the Pittman-Robinson Fund (supported by excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, and rods and reels) and hunting/fishing license fees plus duck stamps, upland bird endorsements, etc.

  7. Matt, another
    Matt, another July 31, 2015 8:16 pm

    I was just wondering what happens to the rest of the world when the U.S. Collapses? Will it toddle along without us? Will it crumble from lack of input,of our tax dollars? Will goods be shipped in hopes of a market? Will it be time to get even where possible?

  8. Pat
    Pat August 1, 2015 3:10 am

    The Third World will continue as it has been. The Second World (is there such a thing?) will sigh “Here we go again,” and tighten its belt (again). The First World will panic, point fingers, and maneuver for control. The Underground – in every country – will thrive.

    The real question is, “What will WE do?” Will we have the guts, resolve and knowledge to take advantage and press our case for liberty – or will we fall with them, pulling in our heads like a turtle, waiting for the machinations of each country to sweep up the debris and tell us where we go next?

  9. Pat
    Pat August 1, 2015 3:28 am

    Oh, one more question: Will we be *WILLING* to work together for a common cause, rather than jockeying for position over degrees of freedom? Can we recognize what are the important issues and ignore the nit-picking? (A defining Republican trait, as evidenced by 17 candidates running for President this year.)

  10. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 1, 2015 6:26 am

    We don’t need to act in a common cause, unless that cause is “live and let live” (that is, not acting in common).

    The rest of the world will be better off when the US collapses. Just think, no more empire to support dictators willing to sell out their country for the benefit of the US crony class. The good Americans bring to the world is not because of the machinations of empire, but in spite of it. And that will still remain when the empire is gone, and the USA is broken into pieces.

  11. Pat
    Pat August 1, 2015 10:12 am

    A little nit-picking there, Paul. The common cause I had in mind is freedom – whether it’s called “live and let live” or not. But freedom can be a common cause, without “acting in common” (assuming you mean acting in concert). We don’t all have to agree on every single point of contention… or delegate this to me, that to you… or take the same action at the same time in our respective corners of the world, in order to work toward a common cause.

    We are on the same page here. But when TSHTF we better be ready to be heard, not just duck and run, or “the good Americans bring to the world” is going to be lost in the shuffle, out-shouted and out-maneuvered, and we’ll be left with the same old tyranny to fill the void.

    Questions: Why has “herding cats” become the accepted metaphor – or the only means – for getting libertarians to act in common? And why not be willing to ‘act in common’ for a common cause as basic and necessary as freedom?

  12. LarryA
    LarryA August 1, 2015 10:09 pm

    We don’t need to act in a common cause, unless that cause is “live and let live” (that is, not acting in common).
    The only way we can protect our individual rights is to collectively protect everybody else’s individual rights.

  13. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 2, 2015 11:44 am

    “The common cause I had in mind is freedom”

    Ah, but I have to disagree. Common implies “everyone” – but not everyone wants to be free. There never will be a worldview that will be subscribed to by everyone.

    I personally want liberty, but I’m not interested in forcing it on anyone else. I say, let anarchists be anarchists, let “liberals” be “liberals, let “conservatives” be “conservatives”, let communists be communists, and so forth. Live and let live is not the same as a common liberty.

    This view is known as panarchy or panarchism. I happen to believe that anarchy will become very popular under such an umbrella, as people discover their previous preferred worldview doesn’t work so well. There is no more reliable way to learn than by personal experience. But not everyone will become anarchist.

  14. Pat
    Pat August 2, 2015 2:31 pm

    An-archy! Pan-archy! Mal-archy! As long as we keep stressing the differences between us, instead of working for what we have in common, we will never sell freedom to anyone. SELL – NOT FORCE. And we will sound no better than any other politician, so why should we be believed?!

    That’s all I’m saying. And that’s all I’m going to say.

  15. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 3, 2015 10:12 am

    [As long as we keep stressing the differences]

    Well, there are differences! The point is to NOT convert everyone – an obvious impossibility – but to look for the minimum requirement to eliminate inter-polity violence. We shouldn’t care if other people don’t share our worldview, but should care only if they aggress against us.

    I’m not even that interested in selling anarchy or liberty any more. Some people resist sales tactics (I don’t blame ’em), while personal experience still works in teaching them. People should GET WHAT THEY WANT, then discover if they like the results or not. That’s how they learn.

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